1953 – now, that’s what we call an exceptional year! It is best remembered in Britain for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, but that was by no means the only noteworthy news event.
Much memorable music was also made that year, and you can hear many of the most popular hits from back then right now on THEN 1953, the first in a new series from Fantastic Voyage, the label that brings you the highly popular British Hit Parade series. Unlike that series, which provides two multi-disc sets per year intended for the serious chart completists out there, the brand new THEN series has the more casual music buyer in mind. Although THEN 1953 includes every chart-topper for the year, the series is not constrained by chart position or label in its aim of presenting the most memorable sounds of each year.
Successive volumes of THEN, chronicling 1954 through to 1959, will follow over the coming months. Each one is compiled and annotated by eminent chartwatcher Dave McAleer, the former chief consultant and contributor to the now defunct Guinness Book Of British Hit Singles, who is currently devising pop quiz books for the Official Charts Company and assisting with the Virgin Book Of British Hit Albums. Dave’s sleeve notes spend as much time recalling the news events of the year as they do exploring the musical highlights.
If you are looking to build up a library of the most enduring British hits from each year, THEN is the series for you. If you are looking for a souvenir of a particular year – to remember a birth, a first kiss, or a wedding – THEN will provide the soundtrack to those memories.
- I Believe (Frankie Laine)
- (How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window (Lita Roza with The Johnny Douglas Orchestra)
- Here In My Heart (Al Martino)
- She Wears Red Feathers (Guy Mitchell)
- I'm Walking Behind You (Eddie Fisher & Sally Sweetland)
- Let’s Walk That-A-Way (Doris Day & Johnnie Ray)
- Dragnet (Ted Heath & His Music)
- Answer Me (David Whitfield)
- You Belong To Me (Jo Stafford)
- Kiss (Dean Martin)
- Ricochet (Joan Regan with The Squadronaires)
- Crying In The Chapel (Lee Lawrence)
- In A Golden Coach (There's A Heart Of Gold) (Billy Cotton & His Band (vocal Doreen Stephens))
- Coronation Rag (Winifred Atwell)
- The Windsor Waltz (Vera Lynn)
- The Song From The Moulin Rouge (Mantovani)
- Comes A-Long A-Love (Kay Starr)
- Broken Wings (The Stargazers)
- Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes (Perry Como)
- Vaya Con Dios (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
- Look At That Girl (Guy Mitchell)
- Why Don't You Believe Me? (Joni James)
- Hey Joe! (Frankie Laine)
- Outside Of Heaven (Eddie Fisher)
- Seven Lonely Days (Gisele MacKenzie)
- Terry's Theme From "Limelight" (Frank Chacksfield)
- Poppa Piccolino (Diana Decker)
- Wonderful Copenhagen (Danny Kaye)