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Summer of Love ?

February 10, 2013

The summer of 1966 was regarded as the summer of love, but did the charts agree with this? I looked at the UK singles charts and analysed the number of songs that had the words ‘love’ or ‘lover’ in the title and discovered that 1990 was the year of ‘love’ as 136 titles contained these words. The next best effort was 1988 which boasted 123 ‘love’ songs. Of the 62 years that the charts have been going for, 1966 came a lowly 40th in terms of number of ‘love’ songs, with only 31 of songs that charted that year containing the word ‘love’ or ‘lover’.


So maybe it wasn’t the number of ‘love’ songs that made 1966 the summer of love, but rather how well the songs performed on the chart. So I looked at the number of times the words ‘love’ or ‘lover’ appeared in song titles each week and added these up. 1966 fared better. The ‘love’ words appeared a total of 255 times on the chart over the year, making it the 27th best year for ‘love’ on this basis. It was, however, still a long way behind 1988 which saw 600 appearances of the ‘love’ words. 1990 had dropped into 4th place with only 500 appearances.


But this method is still slightly flawed as in 1966 there was only a top 50 produced, whereas in later years, a top 75 or top 100 was produced. So the last thing I did was see what percentage of the chart each year was taken up with ‘love’ songs. Here 1966 put in its best performance with 9.62% of the charts being taken up with ‘love’ songs. This, however, only managed to be the 14th best of the 62 years of charts. 1956 won on this bases with 13.11% of the charts being ‘love’ songs that year.


Here is a list of the 31 ‘love’ songs of 1966:


A Love Like Yours – Ike And Tina Turner

A Lover’s Concerto – Toys

A Man Without Love – Kenneth Mckellar

Games That Lovers Play – Donald Peers

Groovy Kind Of Love – Wayne Fontana And The Mindbenders

Have You Ever Loved Somebody? – Paul And Barry Ryan

Have You Ever Loved Somebody? – Searchers

I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love – Petula Clark

I Guess I’ll Always Love You – Isley Brothers

I Love Her – Paul And Barry Ryan

I Love How You Love Me – Paul And Barry Ryan

I Love My Dog – Cat Stevens

I’m Ready For Love – Martha Reeves And The Vandellas

In The Arms Of Love – Andy Williams

It’s Love – Ken Dodd

Love Letters – Elvis Presley

Lovers Of The World Unite – David And Jonathan

Love’s Just A Broken Heart – Cilla Black

More Than Love – Ken Dodd

My Love – Petula Clark

My Lover’s Prayer – Otis Redding

Nobody Needs Your Love – Gene Pitney

Somewhere My Love – Manuel And The Music Of The Mountains

Somewhere My Love – Mike Sammes Singers

Warm And Tender Love – Percy Sledge

What Now My Love – Sonny And Cher

When A Man Loves A Woman – Percy Sledge

You Can’t Hurry Love – Supremes

You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me – Dusty Springfield

You Don’t Love Me – Gary Walker

You Gave Me Somebody To Love – Manfred Mann


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One Comment
  1. Nik permalink

    Hi – I think 1967 was regarded as the Summer of Love – not 1966. Maybe that will help your stats!

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