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When the Goldfinger Soundtrack Dominated the Album Charts

Editor's note: Ever since the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles' debut single "Love Me Do") we've been on a half-century celebration cycle in which we are scheduled to relive every Beatles innovation, every release of the Beatles' landmark career in real time, right until the inevitable 50th anniversary of their breakup in 2020. But what other long-forgotten anniversaries are being overshadowed by the Fab Four (Again?) To answer that question, we present another installment in this series: "The 50th Anniversary of Something Else."

Beatlemania, as we know from history, never abated, especially not in 1965 where they repeated every triumph they scheduled in 1964. With their second summer movie not quite out yet, the preview single "Ticket to Ride" topped the UK the first week in May. Some critics consider it the first heavy metal song or an early prototype to drugged psychedelia or Lennon's first recorded reaction to taking LSD. Don't worry, you'll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of that soon enough. For now, we're jetting back to the states to celebrating the 50th anniversaries of these events that took place the first week of May 1965.

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Goldfinger dominates the U.S. album charts So much has been made of the Frozen soundtrack staying at number one for 13 non-consecutive weeks. But consider than soundtrack to Goldfinger, the third James Bond film, held that summit for 16 consecutive weeks! And this was at a time when there was a working Beatles and people actually bought records. It was the first Bond score which composer John Barry had total creative control over and the first truly great vocal theme in the long running movie series, the one by which all future Bond themes would be measured against. Whose lives would ever be the same after hearing singer Shirley Bassey give ear shattering voice to Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley's menacing lyrics which, all about a heartless man who loves only gold. Only gold!!! Only gold!! He loves gooooooooolllld! Okay, I'll stop now.

In a bit of irony that might even get Miss Moneypenny to crack a smile, the Goldfinger soundtrack, which spent 70 weeks in the Billboard Top 200 album charts, was never given a gold record certification by the RIAA. Maybe because it's the kiss of death for Mister Goldfinger!

After you enjoy the title track say your leisure, you oughta check out such glum soundtrack showstoppers as "Gassing the Gangsters," the nuclear winner "The Arrival of the Bomb and Count Down" and the controversial "Teasing the Korean."

Herman's Hermits top the U.S. Charts with "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" While "Ticket to Ride" quickly rose to number one on the British singles charge, this maudlin skiffle ballad posed no challenge because it was never released as a single in the UK! Brits apparently had already had enough of the song, especially since it had been sung by actor Tom Courtney on a 1963 British TV play as well as being a selection frequently sung at little girls' birthday parties, with a quick switch of the mum's married name.

Barely a month into whatever mania rival Manchester band Freddie and the Dreamers were inspiring stateside, Herm quickly eclipsed Fred as "The British Pop Star Parents Like More Than Kids Do."

Some credit the ensuing "Hermania" in the US with Noone's resemblance to a young JFK and his exaggerated Manchester accent, which he wasn't ashamed to sing in. If scoring over a dozen US top 10s and two number ones wasn't enough couldn't to secure Herman's Hermits an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, surely influencing fellow Mancunian candidates to sing it like they talk it (Morrissey, the Stone Roses' Ian Brown, Oasis' Liam Gallagher and Davy Jones of the Monkees) should have qualified. But then you realize none of those blokes are in the hall either.

Keith Richards dreams up the riff to "Satisfaction" In the same merry month of May that Paul McCartney put the finishing touches on a song that came to him in a dream ("Scrambled Egg," maybe you've heard of it) Mick Jagger and Richards completed a song based around a riff that came to Keef in a dream on May 7, in a hotel in Clearwater, Florida.

Richards awoke, committed it to tape and then fell back asleep, filling the rest of the cassette with his snoring. The riff found its way into the Stones' first American number one single by July and its first number one American album Out of Our Heads by August. But snoring won't figure prominently on a Stones album until Their Satanic Majesties Request two years later.

Spike Jones dies May 1, 1965, at age 53 53 seems like the median age for rock and rollers in 2015, but 50 years ago it was well over the hill. The advent of rock 'n' roll pushed Jones and his City Slickers into early obsolescence, but his frenetic sound-effect punctuated music would influence Frank Zappa, the Bonzo Doo-Dah Dog Band, The Band (who name check him on "Up on Cripple Creek"), "Weird Al" Yankovic, and of course, the Beatles (see "Yellow Submarine," "All Together Now" and "Good Morning, Good Morning").

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Serene Dominic
Contact: Serene Dominic