By Ray Ennis
January 9 1965
Having a real ‘feet-up-and-take-it-easy’ type of Christmas, I’ve had lots of time to think about a couple of things in the ‘pop world’ that I’d like to see changed during the coming year.
Though I know that the season of goodwill usually stretches into January (pity it doesn’t last all year) – I hope that the people concerned won’t be offended by my criticisms.
They probably won’t put my name in their black books, but I’d be more than pleased if they’d include my suggestions in their shiny 1965 diaries as New Year Resolutions.
Firstly, I’d love to see all the musical papers combining their resources to produce ONE hit parade chart. At the moment, no two charts give the same positions.
There’s nothing underhand or crooked about this – different systems of compilation result in different placings – but these different placings confuse the record buyers and the artists involved.
In addition, they cause the general public to lose faith in the accuracy of every chart.
Like most other groups we follow the charts very closely and we’ve noticed many discrepancies. No particular group has been shown any favouritism. Knowing the sales figures of our records, we’ve been disappointed when they haven’t reached higher chart placings. This has been balanced out when we’ve been pleasantly surprised by a higher placing than that suggested by our sales figures.
However, I do think that the ROLLING STONES lost sales through the confusion surrounding the chart placings of ‘Little Red Rooster.’
This record could possibly have sold more copies had it been shown as a steady climber – instead we had an amazing situation where it was rising in some charts and falling in others.
Net result was the record didn’t get as many radio and TV plays as a ‘top of the charts’ disc’ usually gets, and the people who only purchase discs that are climbing the ‘Top Twenty’ were too confused to buy.
One accurate chart shared and published by all the papers would have eliminated all the resultant furore and inquiry that followed this particular incident.
Secondly, I think we could do with some new style TV ‘pop shows’ in 1965. During the past year the SWINGING BLUEJEANS have had the pleasure of appearing in several Continental and Scandinavian TV shows.
We’ve been greatly impressed by their high standard of production, the amount of thought that has gone into the presentation of each number, and the correspondingly higher praise that critics and viewers have given to these shows.
I’d like to see at least one TV show a week that didn’t feature the current chart successes, but concentrated on presenting two or three popular groups playing some of their general repertoire LIVE – with a few spontaneous interviews included.
I think most British TV shows lack atmosphere and there’s lots and lots of atmosphere to be captured when a concert audience gets going. I feel that excerpts from traveling package shows would make excellent viewing, and if this can’t be arranged, then televise special live Pop Spectaculars from various big theatres all over the country.
There, I’ve got that off my chest – hope I haven’t made any enemies.
On behalf of the S.B.J. I would like to thank MERSEY BEAT for letting us air our views in this column.
Editor’s Notes: It was always my intention to try to capture some of the essence of the world of the musician by offering them the opportunity to discuss their opinions. I began a series of columns in which each member of a group, in their own words, could voice their different views on the various aspects of the pop world at the time.