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Stones' (Dis)Satisfaction Defined the Summer of '65 - Tuesday, June 02, 2015

In 1964, the Beatles initiated a pop music renaissance and music became important to young baby boomers in a way it had never been for previous generations. Children, some not yet in double digits, were immersed in Top 40 radio, often listening under the covers long after our parents thought we were asleep.

With earnest curiosity, we engaged with lyrics that were becoming increasingly complex, even for our older brothers and sisters. By '65, we heard the simplicity of "Gee, I really love you," give way to "the twisted reach of crazy sorrow." And fresh new sounds and rhythms from British and American groups made it hard to keep still. Not yet burdened with the self-consciousness of puberty, we danced.

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I Thought I Bought a Beatles ‘Butcher Cover,’ But I Really Bought An Obligation - Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Take a close look at the photo above. See how “File Under: the Beatles” and “T 2553″ are partially obscured? Spotting that little line is like striking gold in a record store, because it suggests that you may have stumbled upon one of the holy grails of record collecting: The Beatles’ notorious “butcher cover.”
Back in 1966, there was no band bigger than the Beatles. The Fab Four could do no wrong: 10 American albums, 10 American hits. With tracks like “Yesterday,” “Day Tripper,” and “Drive My Car,” their release that year, Yesterday and Today, was another guaranteed chart-topper.
Then they stepped into their second controversy, the first happening just three months prior when John Lennon made his now famous “more popular than Jesus” comment.

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Paul McCartney's tips for staying fit in his 70s - and it's not what you'd think - Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Beatles legend is still nimble as a ballerina and is as fit and healthy as ever - but what's his secret?

Nimble as a ballerina, with the skin of a particularly soft baby thanks to his wife’s moisturiser, Sir Paul McCartney is 72 going on 27.

He’s a father of five and grandfather of eight and has five decades in the business behind him. But this icon of rock royalty feels as fit and healthy as ever.

As well as dumping the dope he famously smoked for years, he has also adopted a punishing daily gym regime.

And so it is that a pair of denim-clad legs and a Beatle bottom are wobbling precariously before me.

One of the planet’s most famous men is demonstrating his headstand technique – “my secret claim to fame” – in the backstage dressing room before his triumphant homecoming show in Liverpool.

It is quite possibly the most surreal moment of my career. Like Macca circa 1967, I think I might even be hallucinating.

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The Beatles’ “Rain” and the Advent of Backward Vocals - Sunday, May 31, 2015

How John Lennon's "creative accident" became one of rock 'n' roll's greatest innovations.

The Beatles’ unprecedented sonic experimentation on their 1966 album Revolver make it one rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest albums. But ironically, one of the album’s greatest innovations happened on a B-side that came out before the final album.
Backward guitar and sitar solos appear throughout Revolver, which is credited as the first popularized use of “backmasking”, the intentional recording of a track in reverse. But songs like “Love You To” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” were not the first songs the band recorded backward.

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Bob Dylan: How the Isle of Wight festival managed to steal the voice of a generation from Woodstock - Friday, May 29, 2015

The day the Woodstock festival opened was an epoch-defining moment in pop. Yet an even more extraordinary event was taking place less than 100 miles away on Friday, 15 August, 1969.

In a journey every bit as unlikely as that of the tin can that had taken men to the Moon less than a month earlier, Bob Dylan and his family were boarding the QE2 in New York to sail to a little island off the south coast of England, snubbing the festival that had been set up in Dylan’s backyard in order to tempt him out of three years’ retirement. In one of the greatest coups, naïve but earnest youngsters were unwittingly stealing the planet’s biggest rock star from the most famous festival in rock history.

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The Beatles, “Love of the Loved” [Decca Audition, 1962): Deep Beatles - Friday, May 29, 2015

Deep Beatles’ look at the Decca audition concludes with another early John Lennon/Paul McCartney original, “Love of the Loved.” Primarily a McCartney composition, “Love of the Loved” features a slight Latin rhythm and a vocal performance that demonstrates the singer had worked on refining his range and phrasing. The Beatles never officially released the song, although it was later covered by a fellow Liverpudlian.

According to Mark Lewisohn’s Tune In, McCartney first penned the track in 1959 while walking home, either from a date or John Lennon’s house. His then-girlfriend Dot Rhone later claimed he had written the lyrics with her in mind, but Paul McCartney never publicly commented on this assertion.

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Jacaranda to open coffee shop and vinyl record store above iconic bar - Thursday, May 28, 2015

Famous Beatles venue to go back to its beginnings with vinyl shop and coffee bar.

Iconic Liverpool venue The Jacaranda is to go back to its roots with a new coffee shop and vinyl record emporium on its first floor.

The historic Liverpool bar reopened its doors back in November.

Now the team are planning a vinyl store and cafe above the famous bar.

It will feature self-contained booths with a vinyl deck set in the table where music fans can listen to their favourite discs whilst they have a coffee.

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Places I remember: The city centre venues which hosted The Beatles - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ahead of Macca's gig at the Echo Arena we highlight some of the smaller city centre venues that hosted the Fab Four.

This week sees a welcome return to his hometown for Sir Paul McCartney.

The Beatles legend will be bringing his Out There tour to Liverpool on Thursday.

He’ll be playing at the ECHO arena, on the site of the old King’s Dock, where he performed another triumphant Liverpool show back in 2003.

As he takes to the stage in front of 11,000 fans, Paul might pause to reflect he's come a long way from the tiny city centre clubs frequented by the Beatles in the early 1960s.

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Read Previously Unknown George Harrison Letter From 1966 - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Penned during 'Revolver' sessions, letter reveals that The Beatles pulled out of planned Stax sessions due to financial issues

A previously unreleased letter that George Harrison wrote to Atlanta DJ Paul Drew in May of 1966 reveals that the Beatles seriously contemplated recording at Stax in Memphis with producer Jim Stewart before the plan was derailed by financial issues. "We would all like it a lot," Harrison wrote by hand, "but too many people get insane with money ideas at the mention of the word 'Beatles,' and so it fell through!"

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Astonishing cache of unseen Beatles photos discovered after 50 years - Friday, May 22, 2015

WORLD EXCLUSIVE Hundreds of previously unseen Beatles photos have been found after languishing in boxes for 50 years alongside forgotten images of other famous names from the 1960s.

The Beatles photos, captured during a shoot at Granada Studios in December 1965, are among around half a million newly discovered images from the worlds of music, sport and entertainment captured by photographers for TV Times magazine.

Only a tiny fraction were published before they were stashed in A4 envelopes inside boxes at the British Film Institute (BFI) in London – and apparently forgotten about ever since.



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THE BEATLES, MICHAEL JACKSON, AND JUST WHO OWNS WHAT IN THE WORLD OF MUSIC PUBLISHING - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It seems as though musicians are being busted for copyright infringement a lot more frequently. ‘Blurred lines’ sounds like ‘Got to give it up’, ‘Stay with me’ is a knock-off of ‘I won’t back down’, and ‘Down Under’ rips off ‘Kookaburra’. When did artists become so litigious? Actually, it’s been going on forever.
In many cases of musical misappropriation, artists themselves are remarkably cool about ‘their’ music being used by someone else. Tom Petty was extremely gracious to Sam Smith about the similarities between ‘Stay with me’ and ‘I won’t back down’, saying in a blog post “I have never had any hard feelings toward Sam”

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ASTRID KIRCHHERR - Monday, May 18, 2015

The Astrid Kirchherr Early Beatles Collection of photographs – available exclusively at Rock Paper Photo - is one of the most important photographic records of a time in 20th century popular culture that was quite simply magical. Rock Paper Photo is the birth of a cataclysmic youth movement as personified by a group of young men from the north of Engalnd was witnessed via the camera of a style-innovating young German woman who befriended and influenced them. All of them were in the right place, at the right time, to make history together. Astrid Kirchherr’s lens caught the members of the Beatles as they transitioned from unknown teenagers to famous rock stars, from innocent to wise, from youths to men. These photographs remain as witnesses to this era, and viewers of the collection are privileged to experience them.

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Mary McCartney: My recipe book has been torture - Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sir Paul McCartney's daughter talks about her family and the inspiration behind her new vegetarian cookbook At My Table.

In her light-filled studio tucked away down a cobbled mews in an unglamorous corner of northwest London, Mary McCartney is juggling the day’s engagements and talking about her books.
On the table in front of us are the hefty volumes of Monochrome/Colour. Published last year, they gather together images taken by the photographer over the past 20-odd years. There are street scenes, still-lifes, celebrity portraits (actress Gwyneth Paltrow, musician Beth Ditto) and intimate pictures of family members. Here’s musician father Sir Paul and his wife Nancy Shevell, fuzzily caught embracing in his London garden at the reception after their 2011 wedding. There’s fashion designer sister Stella, shot in warm close-up. There’s her late mother Linda, snapped on Polaroid.

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Paul McCartney's 'McCartney II' Turns 35 Years Old: How It Foretold The Sound Of 1980s Pop - Friday, May 15, 2015

An icon he may be, but sometimes Paul McCartney doesn’t get the respect he deserves, maybe because next to sarky, saintly Lennon, he can’t help but look like a bit of a sentimental old softie. But it’s worth remembering that as a fan of experimental composer Stockhausen in his youth and a dabbler in electronica as one half of The Fireman in his autumn years, Macca has always been an experimenter and a technological first-adopter, keen to embrace new techniques and unafraid to appear a little silly in the process. That, in a nutshell, is the story of ‘McCartney II’, his quirky, synth heavy second solo album, released 35 years ago this weekend.

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The Cathedral and the Shrink’s Office 'All Things Must Pass' vs. 'Plastic Ono Band' - Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dualities are fascinating: Yin and Yang, Blur and Oasis, God and Satan, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and so on. You can analyze these contrasting pairs to apparent death, and yet they’ll spring up again, resurrected, presenting fresh puzzles. Whether you approach each duo as a harmonious conjunction of opposites or as a violent discord between irreconcilables, the process always manages to generate a spark.

In the present case, consider the difficult question of the greatest album by a former Beatle. Sure, you might find a few dissenters who would want to bust up the duality I’m about to present: they’d claim that Imagine is the best post-Beatles effort, and maybe a few daring reactionaries would cite Band on the Run. You could throw Lennon against McCartney and see what insights ensue, since that’s the principal Beatles duality in everyone’s mind, with Lennon as the emotionally raw rocker and McCartney as the consummate craftsman of orchestral pop.

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This Album Proves the Best Beatles Songwriter Wasn't McCartney or Lennon - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The John Lennon and Paul McCartney songwriting duo has been so lionized throughout history it's difficult to consider them anything besides creative divinity. However, after the Beatles broke up, neither achieved a comparable level of artistic mastery. But a third Beatle did: George Harrison.

Harrison, the so-called "quiet Beatle," shocked the world with his solo debut, which he began recording 45 years ago this month. Entitled All Things Must Pass, the album's spiritually infused folk and blues blew critics' minds. The moment was "the rock equivalent of the shock felt by pre-war moviegoers when [Greta] Garbo first opened her mouth in a talkie: Garbo talks! — Harrison is free!" wrote Richard Williams for Melody Maker.

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May 12, 1963: Bob Dylan walks off the Ed Sullivan Show - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Performing on The Ed Sullivan Show might have helped launch the careers of Elvis Presley and the Beatles, but Bob Dylan took a different approach to fame: courting celebrity by not performing.

Dylan was slated to appear on the massively popular variety show on this day, May 12, in 1963 — a year before the Beatles. At the time, he was little known by mainstream audiences, although TIME had referred to him a year earlier as “a promising young hobo.”

“He dresses in sheepskin and a black corduroy Huck Finn cap, which covers only a small part of his long, tumbling hair,” TIME’s 1962 story attests. “[H]e delivers his songs in a studied nasal that has just the right clothespin-on-the-nose honesty to appeal to those who most deeply care.”

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Tampa wedding band Phase5 jams with Sir Paul McCartney - Tuesday, May 12, 2015


It was, in almost every respect, a carbon-copy weekend gig for Josh Walther and his wedding band, Phase5. Booked a year in advance at a familiar Winter Park country club. Intimate, 200 people, tops. Decent vegan spread.

"The decor wasn't extravagant," he said. "It was just a typical family gathering."

Totally typical, yes — except for the part where Paul McCartney showed up. And hopped onstage. And grabbed the microphone. And sang I Saw Her Standing There. And left Walther and his band reeling from the musical memory of a lifetime.

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Lyric Of The Week: The Beatles, “Julia” - Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Songs by rock artists about their mothers are relatively few and far between. Those that there are tend to go to one of two extremes. You’ll get the occasional gushing tribute, a la Bruce Springsteen’s “The Wish.” On the flip side of that coin are the rockers who take umbrage with the way they were raised, such as Roger Waters in Pink Floyd’s scathing “Mother.”

“Julia”, by The Beatles, falls somewhere in between, a kind of impressionistic meditation by an earthbound man on the ethereal presence of a woman calling to him yet hovering out of his reach. Or at least that’s how it sounds removed from any context. In actuality, the man, John Lennon, was writing the song as an indirect tribute to his deceased mother Julia, which makes this one of the more oddly fascinating entries into this subgenre of music.

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Cirque du Soleil's LOVE, Nine Years Later: Peace, Love and Harmony in a Torn World - Monday, May 11, 2015

Most people float down the rivers of time without leaving a ripple. Some stir the waters and leave somewhat of an impact. And then there are those who carve out their own islands in time and form a permanent place in eternity. Such were the Beatles.

Who could have imagined that four boys -- one of them a teenager at the time -- from a seaport village would take the world by storm and eventually become one of the biggest forces in music history, comparable to the likes of Mozart or Beethoven?

It was just over 50 years ago, in February 1964, that the Beatles landed in America to the delight of throngs of screaming fans. Two nights later, their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show drew a television viewing audience of 73 million. For that brief moment in time, the streets emptied and crime stopped.

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