Mr. Acker Bilk – Strangers on the Shore

First Hit #1: May 26, 1962

And so the British invasion begins.

“With a really nice piece of clarinet music?”

Yes. Mr. Acker Bilk marked the first British recording to hit number 1 on the Hot 100. There was some British stuff on previous charts, but the Hot 100 hadn’t seen one grace its top spot until this song went to #1. Before the end of the year, we’ll see another British number one, and then by the end of the decade a couple more will show up. But, right now, Strangers on the Shore is the first, and it’s a very nice song.

I’m not sure I’m prepared to go beyond that. It’s a well played and evocative song for clarinet, and I can see why people bought it and listened to it. But, to be honest, I’m not sure there’s much there beyond how very nice it is. Sure, I’d be the first to say that a really nice instrumental would be very welcome on a modern pop chart, but is there really much more to say here? It’s not a revolution, nor does it try to be, it’s just pleasant.

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