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50 From 66: a YouTube Special


Following on from the previous post: Part of the process by which I upped the ante from last year’s 45s party was by putting together a massive YouTube playlist from 1966 and having it play, at different sections from the playlist, on different computers scattered around the place. It turned out to be an excellent conversation piece and no wonder: watching Otis Redding on his Ready Steady Go special is a spiritual experience, even with the sound down. At the same time, some of the clips are positively cheesy: you don’t need audio to ascertain which groups will survive into the “rock” era and which ones won’t.

When I cast my mind back to what it was like digging up original versions of records back in the early 80s (both from my own perspective and that of the Smiths, about whom I’m currently penning a biography), I realize how spoiled the modern generation, our wonderkid 16-year old Catskill 45s drummer included, has it. And I’m not sure that having it easy means having it better. But as Groove Armada so recently put it, with ironic assistance from the now aging Richie Havens, you “can’t turn back the hands of time.” Well, you can, somewhat, as the Catskill 45s proved and this YouTube playlist confirms. But as long as you do so with a smile on your face and with one eye happily looking towards the future, it’s okay.

50 from 1966. While the images make for compelling viewing, so the audio occasionally makes for thrilling listening. You can always keep it running in the background while you work or make dinner. Or make out. Whatever turns you on.

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