1955 – now, that’s what we call an exceptional year! In Britain, 1955 saw Anthony Eden replace Winston Churchill as prime minister, Ruth Ellis become the last woman ever to be executed, Donald Campbell brake the world water speed record and Stirling Moss become the first British driver to win the British Grand Prix. It was also the year that blue jeans became popular, Coke came in cans and Princess Margaret did not marry Group Captain Peter Townsend.
Much memorable music was also made that year (indeed Rock Around The Clock charted twice) and you can hear many of the most popular hits from back then right now on THEN 1955, continuing the new series from Fantastic Voyage, the label that brings you the highly popular British Hit Parade compilations. Unlike that series, which provides two multi-disc sets per year intended for the serious chart completists out there, the THEN series has the more casual music buyer in mind.
Although THEN 1955 includes all UK and many US chart-toppers, 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 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 fondly remembered Guinness Book Of British Hit Singles, who is currently working on the Virgin Book Of British Singles.
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.
- Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White (Perez Prado & His Orchestra)
- Unchained Melody (Jimmy Young)
- Softly, Softly (Ruby Murray)
- The Finger Of Suspicion (Dickie Valentine)
- Mambo Italiano (Rosemary Clooney)
- Love Is A Many Splendored Thing (The Four Aces (Pop) featuring Al Alberts)
- Stranger In Paradise (Tony Bennett)
- Dreamboat (Alma Cogan)
- Hernando's Hideaway (The Johnston Brothers)
- Blue Star (The "Medic" Theme) (Cyril Stapelton Orchestra featuring Julie Dawn)
- Happy Days And Lonely Nights (Frankie Vaughan)
- Let Me Go Lover (Joan Weber)
- The Dam Busters March (The Central Band Of The Royal Air Force, conductor W/Cdr AE Sime OBE)
- Rose Marie (Slim Whitman)
- Cool Water (Frankie Laine)
- The Man From Laramie (Jimmy Young)
- Give Me Your Word (Tennessee Ernie Ford)
- The Yellow Rose Of Texas (Mitch Miller & His Orchestra)
- The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane (Dean Martin)
- Close The Door (The Stargazers)
- Where Will The Dimple Be? (Rosemary Clooney)
- Christmas Alphabet (Dickie Valentine)
- Sincerely (The McGuire Sisters)
- Earth Angel (The Crew-Cuts)
- Ain't That A Shame (Pat Boone)
- Seventeen (Boyd Bennett & His Rockets)
- (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock (Bill Haley & His Comets)
- Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White (Eddie Calvert)