1966: More popular than Jesus*

1966 was one of the greatest, most transformative years in music history - and here are 365 songs that prove it.

From London to Laurel Canyon, artists were creating all-time classic hits while redefining the possibilities of what popular music could sound like.

The established acts of the British Invasion were at the top of their game, including the Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks, the Who, Dusty Springfield, the Yardbirds, Spencer Davies, Manfred Mann, the Hollies and the Animals.

Across the ocean, California was exploding with the sounds of the Byrds, the Mamas and the Papas, the Monkees, Jefferson Airplane, Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield, the Doors, and Love. This year also saw the emergence of the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, Jimi Hendrix, the Velvet Underground, and Frank Zappa.

Soul music was rarely better, with the Supremes, Four Tops, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, Temptations, Percy Sledge, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Wilson Pickett all in the charts.

Dylan was at the height of his creative powers, and even Sinatra had a #1 song. Aretha Franklin was on the cusp of stardom, a young David Bowie was cutting his first records, and Elvis released a steady flow of songs. Rarely was so much music royalty active at the same time.

All this was happening against a backdrop of military, social and generational conflict - not to mention increasingly open drug experimentation - and this fact was reflected in many songs of the time.

So here - day by day - are 365 songs from that momentous year. Enjoy.

* I'm not saying it was better or greater, or comparing it with Jesus Christ as a person, or God as a thing or whatever it is.

(Come ‘Round Here) I’m the One You Need’ (The Miracles)

31 DECEMBER 1966

The Miracles’ single ‘(Come ‘Round Here) I’m the One You Need’ entered the UK charts during this month in 1966. It went on to peak at #37 there, and had been to #17 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and #4 on the R&B charts. It did better in the UK when it was re-released in 1971, hitting #13 on that occasion.

The feel and driving beat of this splendid song is strongly reminiscent of 1967's ‘Tears of a Clown’ (which became a massive #1 hit for them three years later).

This was the last single they released under the name 'the Miracles', and in 1967 Smokey Robinson started to get top billing on their name on the record covers.

B-side: 'Save Me'
Recorded: Hitsville U.S.A. (Studio A), 13 September 1966
Released: 19 October 1966 
Highest chart position: #37 (UK), #17 (US) 
Length: 2:30 
Label: Tamla T 54140 

(Come ‘Round Here) I’m the One You Need’  (The Miracles)