I've been awash in nostalgia since Easter Sunday, when my brother gave me a two-CD compilation of top pop hits of 1964. It's his own MP3 compilation, not available in stores or on Amazon.com. Sorry, folks...
That year, 1964, was a great year for my brother, Rob, and me. Both of us were fans of the Beatles and any group that came across the Atlantic in their wake we welcomed. Some of the songs Rob compiled just aren't played anymore, even on the golden oldies stations, and that's too bad. In 1964 most of the tunes were very pop. They were short, a couple of minutes at most, had good tunes, sometimes silly lyrics, but all of them were catchy.
The Beatles had songs they fobbed off onto other artists, and never recorded--at least in any official version on the albums released while the band existed--and some of these are terrific; early work, but already showing much songwriting sophistication. I've included three songs by the group, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, and a demo by John Lennon of "Bad To Me." Lennon and McCartney are credited with all the songs, although "Bad To Me" and "I Call Your Name" were written solo by Lennon.
"From A Window" is from the 1964 T.A.M.I. Show:
A guy has uploaded the single by Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, "Bad To Me" b/w "I Call Your Name" from the 45 rpm single:
"I Call Your Name," as you may recall, did make it to The Beatles Second Album in the U.S., and the EP, Long Tall Sally, in the UK.
Finally, here's the 1963 demo by John Lennon of his song, "Bad To Me." I think Billy J. Kramer did a good job, but what would it have been like to have fully produced recordings of the Beatles doing all of the songs that other artists got hits by doing?