As we await the new album, here’s an article which has been getting a lot of posting with approval on Twitter and Facebook. I think it overclaims here and there, but it’s still a very good and entertaining championing of Macca’s brilliance. His argument about how the narrative of John as the edgy genius and Paul as the safe middle of the road entertainer was established is persuasive. It’s interesting though how things have changed. Increasingly it seems to me that Paul’s reputation has risen (fairly in my view) and John’s (unfairly) has fallen. Fact is, the miracle and uniqueness of the Beatles is that it had not one but two pop geniuses in the one band.
Someone called Bill Wyman has ranked all the Beatles songs; see the link at the bottom of this post. Turns out its not THAT Bill Wyman, but an American critic who shares the name. He clearly likes a list – is he perchance an Afterworder?
Some right old nonsense in here, it has to be said. I think we can all agree that Good Day Sunshine isn’t the very worst track recorded by The Beatles. I doubt even he thinks that.
I’m sure some of you have seen this by now, it’s the new video for Glass Onion, ahead of the White Album release next Friday. It’s quite a spiffing bit of animation.
‘Hey Jude’ was released in the U.K on 30 August 1968. The link below the video is to a nice Guardian piece on the song pointing out that it is probably now The Beatles’ most popular song (though I’d have thought ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Let It Be’ must run it close). All McCartney songs – Lennon’s most popular is surely ‘Imagine’.
I can vouch for its enduring global appeal – at an outdoor concert I was at in Shanghai recently, featuring orchestral Beatles numbers, it was ‘Hey Jude’ and those na-an-nas that had the locals singing and swaying along. Hey Jude Hitmakers, indeed.
People tend to be a bit sniffy about ‘Hey Jude’ but I’ve never understood why – it worked when it came out and it still works now half a century later. Long may it run.
Listening to the ho-hum title track to Magical Mystery Tour, I was reminded again what a weak track it actually is, especially coming hot on the heels of ‘Pepper’. But come to the coda, and fade, and it all suddenly gels – a plinky-plonk piano ambles skywards, vaguely referencing the main theme, beneath the sound of clinking glasses and one of Macca’s best bass moments – a pulsing, dark little groove, that bubbles and squirms its way out of the song.
I think it’s a proper little HJH moment, and thinking about it, they did seem to chuck in little goodies at fade-outs or codas. Backwards tapes on ‘Rain’, the honking laughter on ‘Within You’, those big, straffing lush guitar lines at the end of ‘Strawberry Fields’ and of course, HJ itself, about 5 minutes bloody coda.
So, what are your favourite endings? Happy or otherwise…
I’ve only just come across this, a fan’s Lynne-style polishing off of the 3rd song Yoko passed on to Macca and co which was (apparently) vetoed by George from Anthology III following the UK press reaction to Free As A Bird and Real Love. Thought I’d share it, in case others haven’t seen.
First instalment of a massive, two-part biog of Sir G is out at the start of September. The chaps at the “Something About The Beatles” podcast have a chat with author Kenneth Womack in this week’s edition.
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 akin to a » 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.
Is this the work of anyone here?
The so-called fifth Beatle has died according to a Twitter message by Ringo.
If true, it’s the sad loss of a great, great man.
Nice 15 minutes on the 1967 BBC programme Our World, that was the first true live international satellite broadcast, linking 25 odd countries around the world with live footage. The UK contributions included The Beatles live at Abbey Road recording All You Need is Love which is discussed in the programme.
It’s 1965. Really. You’re on a ski-ing holiday in the Alps, and are delighted to find the Beatles there too, filming their second feature film, Help. Okay so far?
You’re amongst a small crowd of spectators when a grand piano is lifted by crane above the boys for a Ticket To Ride sequence. As they prepare for the scene, you – and you alone – notice a rope around the grand piano fraying to a thread. You dash for the boys, knowing full well you can only push one of them out of the way of the falling piano.
Although it’s a tragedy that three Beatles were crushed to death, you achieve fame of a sort for saving the life one of the Beatles. My question is – which one did you save? And why?
Rules: Smartarse votes for any “Beatle” not John, Paul, George, or Ringo will be disqualified. Votes for any outcome other than you saving the life of one Beatle (and the consequent deaths of the other three) will be disqualified. A reason has to be given for your split-second choice. remember – history turns on your decision.
Driving home from soccer training, number 1 son just told me with some enthusiasm that his music homework is to analyse 3 pieces from an artist of the 60s or 70s, colour tone, variation etc. Seems like a nice idea and he’s obviously into it. I have to point out at this juncture that any dialog with a 15 year old is rare, so anything that goes beyond monosyllables and grunts is amazing in the first place, let alone enthusiasm. Car rides tend toward silence usually.
So anyway, he said his first thought was HJH, but it seems like everyone else in the class is going that way. You also have to bear in mind this is in a music department talent night where the boys did a *very* convincing Pat Metheny cover where I wasn’t biting my knuckles, so awareness and choice aren’t an issue. Anyway, I piped up with The Dame (70s, Ziggy era, and he’s a fan), but he was ahead of me….he’d already picked the Kinks, all on his lonesome. Fair bought a tear to the eye it did.
Anyway, his “research” (presumably the first 3 results on Google) reveal that some deranged lunatic reckons “All » Continue Reading.