I’m not, by any stretch, an avid Beatles fan but I’ve been listening to the remastered version of Abbey Road on Spotify this week, and it struck me what a phenomenal record it really is. Such an innovative record – I find it hard to believe that it was recorded before the 1970s! The production is faultless, and the vocals are, to my ears, the best of any Beatles album. ‘Something’ and ‘Here Comes The Sun’ are works of genius by George Harrison. I think ‘Something’ is actually one of the best records ever written – it’s just amazing. And the medley on side two just works so well – it had the potential to be a self-indulgent disaster, but it’s just so ahead of its time and different. That iconic cover too.. Anyhow, just ordered it on vinyl, a great album from start to finish.
My source – Please Please Me CD – mono version
The sound of October 1962. Is this when the 60s started? Not for me as a six ear old. The 60s didn’t at this time, nor for a few years to come, mean anything special. The didn’t immediately register with me, but it did make some impression because not long after when Beatlemania took off I knew it well enough to sing it with friends.
According to MacDonald this album version is the one that features Alan White on drums, with a disgruntled Ringo relegated to tambourine. I can’t listen and say that’s definitely not Ringo.
Notable for opening with Lennon’s harmonica employing a riff he learned from Delbert McClinton, who had played something (supposedly) similar on Bruce Channel’s Hey Baby.
It doesn’t sound that alike to me. But legend is that Delbert showed John how. That aside Delbert McClinton is a fine musician. I saw him at The Garage in Islington about 20 years ago and he was fabulous. Piling a massive amount of energy into his performance, he was » Continue Reading.
There have been threads about The Beatles since the original Word v1 site (of which Tigger’s White album post below is just the latest). The recent publicity given to 50 years since Sgt Pepper, the thread on Rolling Stones songs ordered by merit, plus comments elsewhere on Ian McDonald’s Revolution In The Head got me thinking and planted a seed.
I propose to listen to every Beatles song in turn, and post a commentary on each one of them, first to last. The order of songs will be guided by MacDonald’s book; while I may refer to, concur with or disagree with IMac’s opinions or extract notable information the thoughts will be mine and I hope yours.
Just to be clear, the main purpose of referring to Revolution In The Head is to use it as a chronological guide. I’m not proposing a redundant exercise of re-analysing the songs as McDonald did, but want to consider their impact on me and I want to read your thoughts on how they hit you. I recall almost all of them first time around. How have younger members come across them and how do you feel about them?
So we can discuss EVERY » Continue Reading.
He filled in for Buddy Holly on the 1959 tour after Buddy was killed, Bob Dylan played in his band and The Beatles covered his songs in Hamburg and on their failed Decca audition.
Above all Bobby Vee made some great pre-Fabs pop records.
Around 1960 Dylan lied his way into Bobby Vee’s band under the name Elston Gunnn (with three n’s) claiming he was a piano player and had toured with Conway Twitty. Vee was impressed, but later learned that Dylan could only play in the key of C. They hired him for $15 a night, but the job didn’t last long as Bob wasn’t much of piano player.
It was lightweight pop perhaps, but Take Good Care Of My Baby was a great Goffin & King song.
My first real exposure to Pop music was a gift for my fifth birthday, With The Beatles. We had no record player but the gifted brought one round whenever she babysat. I was entranced by those songs, transported by their fresh, wide-eyed excitement. I’d dance myself to sleep. My aunt was a skilled babysitter.
By the time I was eighteen, it was Songs In The Key Of Life, a wondrous, sprawling album, covering every aspect of life. It was cool, sophisticated and definitely very grown up. It was music to dance to, to fall in love to, to pray to, to drink to, to laugh to, to flirt to, to stand up and be counted to, to man the barricades to. It had jazz, rap and soul. Even a crying baby couldn’t spoil it.
Today, I’m recovering from a really difficult year. A Moon Shaped Pool documents a car crash of the soul but has splinters of hope. I listen to it and marvel at how far Pop music has come since my childhood. Radiohead have effectively created a Classical Song Cycle rather than a Rock record. Its ebbs and flows transport me just as much as With The Beatles » Continue Reading.
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali is dead aged 74. He was without doubt the greatest sportsman of the last 50 years and one of the most recognised people on Earth.
It will be interesting to see if the anti-boxing movement tries to make much of his Parkinson’s disease.
My current one is Sudoku. I just love the challenge to my intellect – it’s all about logic, and I can’t believe that I can’t get my head around it, given that I think I’m an intelligent person.
In the last couple of days I have had a couple of breakthroughs, after buying a “how to solve” book, and also using an iPhone app that shows you different techniques.
In the past my obsessions have been musical – Frank Zappa, The Beatles, Thelonious Monk, Erik Satie, and so on.
Is “obsession” human nature? (We’re talking First World problems here of course). I recently stayed with some old friends and as I retreated to the couch to indulge in my latest obsession this question was seriously asked. I don’t know. But I’m happy in my little obsessive world…
With the death of George Martin the Peter Sellers’ version of A Hard Day’s Night has once more come to the fore.
I, unfortunately, heard it on Desert Island Discs for the first time ages fairly recently. One of Hugh Bonneville’s choices.
Neither my wife nor I find it remotely amusing. We never have. The thought of it as a DID is bewildering. Does anyone really find it funny? It was slightly clever, but always shite. IMHO.
I give you The Corals newest psychedelic masterpiece from their new album `Distance Inbetween`, any disagreements pray tell….
As regular AW podcast star Ola is coming to Dublin next week, there will be a going-out on the Friday night, January 15th. Where? Oh, somewhere “in town”. Time? 8pm seems sensible. I’ll figure out the details next week. Yeah? Who’s in??
I wish I had a better justification for this thread, other than the thought that -if only we could establish some kind of connection- it might get loads of comments.
On the Beatles’ “1” DVD the Hey Jude clip from the David Frost Show appears to run quite a bit longer than usual and right at the end it features a strange bespectacled character who I don’t recall seeing in the clip before. He is clearly much older than the assembled crowd of youngsters and dressed in a curious fashion.
His name is Billy and Macca speaks at length about him in the DVD commentary, but allow me to add a few memories of my own.
North of London’s Oxford Street behind Selfridges department store lies the 18th century open space known as Manchester Square. Between 1960 and 1995 EMI records’ imposing glass fronted headquarters was located there (don’t look for it, it was demolished some time ago). Now, the one thing nearly everyone knows about 20 Manchester Square is that the cover photo of The Beatles’ first LP Please Please Me was taken in the stairwell there. But what most people don’t know is that this wasn’t just a one-off. For years EMI’s press office used Manchester Square extensively as a cheap and convenient location for their publicity photos. Dozens of iconic pictures were taken against the front of the building, or in the basement stairwell and some, like the Seekers’ EP cover shown here, were even snapped in the park-like environs of Manchester Square itself. The Marylebone Council park bench upon which Judith Durham is reclining so seductively here is clearly branded “Manchester Square 1953” so it was maybe 22 years old when the photo was taken.
The heated discussion over on our latest ‘Beatles’ thread got me thinking about how generations tend to stay loyal to the bands they grew up with.
(read more in comments)
The most common topic for a pop song is love. More specifically, the singer describes in the first person the feeling of being in love or the effect the object of their desire has upon them. For example, “Girl, I’m just a jeepster for your love”*is a perfect expression of the exuberant joy being in love can evoke.
Pop music has been around for fifty years. One would have thought that all of that outpouring of raw feeling could be turned to some use. How about asking Dr. Popstar their advice on relationships? Of course, Dr. Popstar is usually too wrapped up in themselves to lift their eyes from their personal beloved and ponder other people’s issues, but it does happen.
As usual, The Beatles were probably at the root of it. She Loves You is unselfishly third person, lending an observational eye on another’s relationship. In a song famously monosyllabic, the single most important word is ‘apologise’. It is carefully enunciated in the third and final verse. ‘Apologise to her’ is the best piece of advice Dr. Popstar has ever given me. I took it to heart 52 years ago and have deployed it often. It has helped » Continue Reading.
My two favourite things in the world, The Beatles n Doc True together at last *
* Yes I know the Beatles appeared singing Ticket To Ride on TOTP on the TARDIS visualiser in Episode 1 of ‘The Chase’ in 1965
I know nothing about him apart from his gangster-lizard-overlord family. A few desultory searches haven’t revealed much, other than he might, just possibly, perhaps, not be the Cthulhu-alike I was expecting from the name.
Given that Hills is unlikely to win, regardless of her capabilities (because woman, because another Dem), and that Trump is a freaking horrorshow we can rely on to crash and burn in a bonfire of his own vanities, is Jeb the best of a bad bunch? Is he “his own man” or just another chip off the old blockhead?
Any links to sane, balanced overviews of the man and his policies (if he has any) much appreciated. Or post your own wild opinions here in order that I may formulate my own thereof.
(My search for a picture of him that wasn’t boring also drew a blank.)
Alerted by Steven C in the upcoming JOHN&YOKO podcast about the latest opus from Ringo Starr of Rory Storm & The Hurricanes fame I decided to listen to the title track which is constructed from Beatles & Ringo song titles ie the sort of game people play on blogs like this. It is doggerel of the lowest calibre
“I know that we can work it out There ain’t no need of twist and shout And I won’t back off boogaloo Unless you say you love me do”
Makes ‘Drumming Is My Madness’ sound like Penny Lane
Very few decent songs. Glossily produced and edited. Middle of the road music for the middle aged. The Beatles worst album.
Convince me otherwise….