The Great Singles Quiz

Doing the previous article on The Beatles’ picture sleeves encouraged me to take a photo of some more sleeves.  Then I had an idea for a quiz.

This display includes singles covers from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s (in no specific order).

Here’s a quiz, based on these sleeves.  I’ll post the answers below.  It’s just for your enjoyment, and you’ll have to keep score at home.  Most answers you can get just by looking or figuring out.  Others you can guess.  And some you might just need to know.  You can zoom or click to enlarge the display.

1. Which artist has a whole row?

2. Which song was written by Paul McCartney?

3. What song is from “Fast Times At Ridgemont High”?

4. Which row is all records that belonged to my father?

5. What record is the oldest?

6. What record is the newest?

7. What song is shown by two different artists?

8. What group had vocalist Robert Plant?

9. Which record was banned by some stations as a “drug” song?

10. Which sleeve shows only 1 member of a 2-person act?

Okay, times up.  Raise your pencils and turn over your quiz.

Answers:

1. Billy Joel.

2. “Goodbye” by Mary Hopkin.

3. “Somebody’s Baby” by Jackson Browne.

4. Row 3…obviously the oldest row.

5. “Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley, 1956.

6. “The One I Love” by R.E.M. from 1987.

7. “Needles and Pins” by The Searchers and by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers with Stevie Nicks. Not easy to spot!

8. The Honeydrippers.  “Sea of Love” & “Rockin’ At Midnight”.

9. “Eight Miles High” by The Byrds.

10.  “The Boxer” has Art Garfunkel on the front and Paul Simon on the back.  Maybe by splitting them up the record company was giving us a hint of the future.

Sorry, no prizes, but hopefully, you had fun testing your vision and your musical knowledge.

Some additional thoughts on singles, and where we are today. 

Singles have been around since Gramophones were invented.  One song on a cylinder.  Singles used to be 10-inch 78 rpm records.  But, it was the 7-inch 45 rpm record which started in 1949 that became the really popular form.  The 33 1/3 rpm album started at about the same time.  You could buy the hit you loved on a 45, or if you thought an album might have enough good songs, you could pay a higher price for the collection of songs.

In the 1970’s, there was a  shift to albums being huge sellers.  By the 1980’s, 45 rpm singles began to disappear.  CD albums took over, and it seemed wrong to only have a single (usually two songs) on a whole disc.

But now, music has come full circle back to singles.  Albums are hardly selling compared to the ’70’s and ’80’s.  The big event now is to drop an unexpected single.  Of course that means a downloaded or streaming single.  Even the top artists are having trouble selling an album’s worth of material in significant numbers.  Today, careers are being made on singles.

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