9: Over The Rainbow – Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs

NeilTop 30 - Songs Of The 1960s

Entered Charts: 23 December 1964
Entry Point: 19
Highest Chart: 1
Weeks In: 14

If I had told you on the 1st March that we’d find a song in the top 10 that first became an international hit in 1939, would you have believed me? If in 196r, I had told you that one of Australia’s hardest rockers, Billy Thorpe and his Aztecs would have a hit with such a song later in the year, would you have believed me?

Over The Rainbow was the ultimate optimist’s song, taken of course from the 1939 movie classic, Gone With The Wind. Thorpe released his very acoustic version in late 1964 and found himself with a number 1 hit in early 1965. What makes this even more impressive is that, at that time, The Beatles only had to sneeze and it would become a number one hit.

In 1973, Thorpie created another version – a blues-inspired version that he played to an adoring crowd at Sunbury. To me, the 1964 version is the better version but that’s going to be very much a matter of preference.