Today’s music video is No Milk Today and the song is performed here by the English group Herman’s Hermits.
This video was posted to You Tube by Nachtwaker Hugo
The song I have featured today is by Herman’s Hermits, an English band which was just one of the huge number of bands and artists who were part of what is known in the U.S. as The British Invasion. The band was huge in the UK at a time when The Beatles were the biggest thing in music. While The Beatles occupied the top rung of the music ladder all on their own, there were so many bands on that second rung, and this band was just one of the many of them. They were really popular in the UK, and also here in Australia, where they had a string of Top Ten Hits with three Number One hits. They started out in their music career in 1964 and hung around till around 1970, and while they still perform occasionally these days, those years were their biggest. Peter Noone was the front man, and the band’s the lead singer, and the band faded a little when he left to pursue a short lived solo career. This song was their biggest hit. It was written by Graham Gouldman, and while that name may not mean much, he wrote a string of hits, most of them smash hits, for other bands and artists at the time, and later went on to become a founding member of the huge English band 10CC with Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, an English art rock band which had a string of hits from 1972 till 1983.
However, although I have featured this song today, this isn’t the main story for today.
I want you to look at the following hit chart. This image is perhaps a little small, but if you click on the image, it will open in a new window, and will be much larger, so you can see it more easily.
Firstly, this is the National Top 40 chart for the week starting on the 7th December 1966. It is taken from Go Set magazine. This magazine was far and away the biggest selling and most popular of the popular music magazines in Australia. The U.S. had Rolling Stone magazine, and the UK had a number of music magazines, and Go Set was the biggest in Australia. It was a weekly magazine, tabloid in size, and retailed at 15 cents a copy, and teenagers waited at newsagents for it to arrive, it was so popular. Each week it came out with the latest Top 40 chart, collated from record sales across the Nation of Australia.
Now, while some of the songs from overseas artists and bands that you see on the Australian Charts at this time appeared later than the release date of that song in their home Countries, mainly the UK and the U.S. those songs were released at later dates here in Australia, as they had to be transported from those other Countries to Australia, and the charts were based on actual sales, so, while some radio stations may already have been playing some of the songs, they only appeared on the charts after they went on sale to the general public.
As you can see here, the song I have featured today, Herman’s Hermits No Milk Today, debuted at Number One. This was a pretty rare occurrence, for any song to debut at Number One, and while it happened with songs by The Beatles, it rarely happened with other songs.
However, what is of real note as you look at this chart is that five songs debuted inside the Top Ten, and in fact, five of the top seven songs were new releases. On some weeks, you might see three songs debuting on the charts, spread across the whole Top 40, it was a rare thing to see five songs debuting in any one week, and to have five songs debuting inside the Top Ten was unheard of. The music was so hot around this period of time that songs came and went from the Top 40 in pretty rapid succession. It was so hot on this one week that fifteen Singles debuted on the Top 40 chart in ONE week.
Let’s just look at the first twelve songs on that chart you see there.
Debuting at Number One is No Milk Today by Herman’s Hermits. It debuted at Number One and spent two weeks at Number One.
At Number Two is Sorry by the Australian band The Easybeats. This band was the biggest band in Australia at the time, and they were huge. They went to England and made it huge there as well. This song, Sorry, spent two earlier weeks at Number One.
At Number Three here is Winchester Cathedral, by the English group, The New Vaudeville Band. This song didn’t quite get to Number One, but had three earlier weeks at Number Two, its highest position on the Australian charts.
Debuting at Number Four here is Let It Be Me, an EP released by Johnny Young, who vied with Normie Rowe as the biggest male singer in Australia at the time. This EP was a compilation of four songs, two of which were Step Back and Cara Lyn, a double sided hit for Young which spent one earlier week at Number One.
Debuting at Number Five here is the monster smash hit from The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations. Oddly, this song, while monumentally huge everywhere else on Planet Earth, did not make it to Number One in Australia. Even though it never went to Number One, it spent the longest time of all these songs inside the Top Ten, eleven weeks in all, hovering around position two, three, and four for ten of those weeks, most of that time at Number Two, while other songs came and went to Number One around it.
Debuting at Number Six here is Ooh La La from Normie Rowe, and this song catapulted him over Johnny Young as the biggest name male singer in Australia at that time. This song took over the Number One position two weeks later from No Milk Today, and spent four of the following five weeks at Number One.
Debuting at Number Seven here is Friday On My Mind by The Easybeats. This one song is now seen as arguably the greatest Australian composed song of the rock and roll era, even to this day. It featured here in some pretty hot company this week, and spent only one week at Number One, splitting the four weeks of Normie Rowe’s Ooh La La.
At Number Eight here is Lady Godiva by the English duo Peter And Gordon, and this song spent one earlier Week at Number One.
At Number Nine here is Spicks And Specks by the Australian group The Bee Gees. This song made it as high as Number Two, and spent three earlier weeks hovering at Two and Three.
At Number Ten here is Needle In A Haystack by the Australian Group The Twilights, and this song spent three earlier weeks at Number One.
At Number Eleven here is Stop Stop Stop, by the English group The Hollies, and of all these songs, this is the only one not to crack it into the Top Ten.
At Number Twelve here is the Bobby Darin song If I Were A Carpenter., which spent one earlier week at Number One.
So, here we have twelve songs, and only four of them did not go to Number One.
This was a time when so much wonderful music was being released week in, week out, and so many good songs didn’t get to Number One.
To have so many great songs debuting in that one week was something that had never been seen before, and is probably the only time it has ever happened, as five of the top seven selling Singles in that week were debut Singles.
Sometimes, you didn’t know which way to turn.