It’s common knowledge that Billboard Magazine‘s pop charts were inundated by UK-originated singles in 1964 with the advent of the so-called British Invasion, and most of the big-name recording artists from England saw most of their releases reach the Top 100 that year.
However, this article takes a look at some songs that were lost among the British Invasion’s top releases, although they did manage to attain Billboard status as Bubbling Under The Top 100. And undoubtedly, some of these selections may have reached No. 100 or better if not for the glut of UK songs reaching higher levels of the U.S. pop charts. To hear any of the featured songs, simply click on the title.
* “FROM ME TO YOU” (The Beatles, No. 116 U.S., No. 1 UK): The remainder of the recordings discussed in this article Bubbled Under The Billboard Top 100 in 1964, but “From Me To You” deserves mention. As The Fab Four was en route to superstar status in the UK in 1963, Capitol Records — which released most of their hits after the start of the Invasion — showed little interest in issuing any of their singles, thus leaving the door open for other labels. With Capitol’s disinterest in The Beatles, EMI Music, a British recording and publishing company headquartered in London, set up an agreement with Chicago-based Vee-Jay Records to release “Please Please Me.” With the pre-Invasion Beatles getting little attention from the U.S. record-buying public, “Please Please Me” on Vee-Jay went nowhere, but Vee-Jay had the right of first refusal written into their contract with EMI and therefore, the label was offered this follow-up single, which was released on May 20, 1963. But again, there was little U.S. interest, and because Vee-Jay was experiencing financial troubles, the leasing agreement with EMI was terminated due to non-payment of royalties. In 1963, this song only Bubbled Under at No. 116, but when released as Vee Jay 581 the following year, it charted at No. 41.
* “BABY LET ME TAKE YOU HOME” (The Animals, No. 102 U.S., No. 21 UK): This group was founded in Newcastle in 1958 as The Alan Price Combo, but the band moved to London after becoming famous in 1964. This song, written by Wes Farrell and Bert Russell, immediately preceded their most-noted release, “The House Of The Rising Sun” (No. 1, 1964), The group consisted of Eric Burden (vocals), Alan Price (keyboards), Chas Chandler (bass), Hilton Valentine (guitar), and John Steel (drums).
* “I’LL COME RUNNING OVER” (Lulu, No. 105, uncharted UK): The songstress was born Marie Lawrie in Glasgow, Scotland, and her first hit in the U.S. (“Shout”) only managed to reach No. 94 on Billboard. Three years later, she appeared in the movie To Sir With Love, and her rendition of the title song from that film became the first of her four Billboard Top 40s, as it spent five consecutive weeks in the No. 1 position.
* “HERE I GO AGAIN” (The Hollies, No. 107 U.S., No. 4 UK): This group, formed in Manchester in 1962, only edged into the Billboard Hot 100 once — with “Just One Look” (No. 98) — in 1964, and they didn’t manage a U.S. Top 40 until “Look Through Any Window” in early 1966. Allan Clark fronted the band, which also featured Graham Nash and Tony Hicks (guitar), Eric Haydock (bass) and Bobby Elliott (drums).
* “GUESS WHO” (Dusty Springfield, No. 109 U.S., uncharted UK): Born Mary O’Brien in London, the vocalist-guitarist first entered the American charts as a member of The Springfields, a folk-rock trio who hit it big with “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (No. 20, 1962). She wound up with 11 Billboard Top 40s, and she reached the Hot 100 with four singles in 1964, but this wasn’t one of them.
* “GOOGLE EYE” (The Nashville Teens, No.117 U.S., No. 10 UK): Arthur Sharp was lead singer of this sextet, formed in Weybridge, and its drummer Barry Jenkins left the group to join The Animals in 1966. This song was written by John D. Loudermilk, and the band’s most-notable hit was “Tobacco Road” (No. 14, 1964).
* “THE LEGEND OF XANADU” (Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich (No. 123 U.S., No. 1 UK): This British pop-rock quintet from Wiltshire had two million-selling singles in the UK, including this one, which reached No. 1 as their biggest hit. With musical accompaniment directed by John Gregory, the song was also No. 1 in both Ireland and Sweden, and their only U.S. Hot 100 charter was “Zabadak” (No. 52 in 1968).
* “PROMISE YOU’LL TELL HER” (Swinging Blue Jeans, No. 130 U.S., uncharted UK): Though this song only bubbled under, the Liverpool quartet — consisting of Roy Ennis and Ralph Ellis (guitar), Norm Kuhlke (drums), and Les Braid (bass) — did manage to hit the Hot 100 three times in 1964, topped by “Hippy Hippy Shake” (No. 24).
* “TELL ME WHEN” (The Applejacks, No. 135 U.S., No. 7 UK): This was the first of four 1964 releases on the London label by a band that formed as a skiffle group called The Crestas in 1961. These Applejacks are not to be confused with Dave Appell’s same-name group from Philadelphia.. Al Jackson was lead singer of the UK group, which included one female, bass guitarist Megan Davies, the sister of Ray and Dave Davies of The Kinks. In 1965, Megan married the group’s drummer, Gerry Freeman.
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