Various Artists

1964: The Soundtrack

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AllMusic Review by

Castle's The Soundtrack series is one of the best ideas for a various-artists collection series in a while. Each installment is a double-disc chronicle of the hits and trends of the year, including both big hits and the kinds of obscurities that illuminate much about the sound and feel of the year. Due to licensing restrictions, of course, some big artists are missing, and on the 1964 installment, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones are the heavy-hitters who are most sorely missed. But, the thing is, they're not needed, because the very intent of the collection is to capture the kind of ephemeral things that make up a year. This also means that it has a bunch of stuff that frequently never makes oldies collections -- whether it's Eric Winstone's "Dr. Who" or Heinz's "Questions I Can't Answer" -- and while some of this stuff isn't great, it's far more interesting than hearing the same songs recycled again and again. Since this was compiled for a British audience, it is heavy on light British pop hits, but that also is serendipitous, because 1964 was the height of the British Invasion, so it speaks to those on either side of the ocean who crave a pop soundtrack filled with hits, hooks, forgotten gems, and rightly forgotten trivialities. It's a lot of fun and highly recommended.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:14
2 2:22
3 3:10
4 2:20
5 2:26
6 2:48
7 2:26
8 2:12
9 2:49
10 2:31
11 2:28
12 2:42
13 2:00
14
2:50
15 3:26
16 2:37
17 2:46
18 2:25
19 2:15
20 2:41
21 2:16
22 2:19
23 2:11
24 1:57
25 2:50
blue highlight denotes track pick