Listen to ‘Isolation’, the sparse fifth track on ‘Plastic Ono Band’ (John Lennon’s first post-Beatles record), a meditative piano ballad on which he laments the fact that “the world may not have many years”, and you may find it difficult to believe that the album turns 50 this year. Featuring both the brittle, paranoid ‘Working Class Hero’ and the unabashedly romantic ‘Love’, it’s a timeless collection that truly encompasses the complex singer-songwriter’s duality.
It would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday earlier this month. To celebrate both this and the album’s anniversary, publisher Thames & Hudson has released John & Yoko / Plastic Ono Band, a lush coffee table book that gathers together interviews new and old, hand-written song lyrics and previously unseen photos – from Lennon’s childhood snaps to candid studio pics – that tell the story of this singular musician and magnificent record.
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If you were a fan of Jamaican giants Toots Hibbert and Bob Marley, the idea of British pop stars recording reggae songs might have terrified you. Did the world need that ’74 Eric Clapton cover of “I Shot the Sheriff”? Clapton thought so. The former members of The Beatles also went there in the ’70s.
That wouldn’t have come as a complete surprise to fans of the Fab Four. After all, The Beatles took their first stab at Jamaican music way back on 1964’s “I Call Your Name.” On that track, you hear the band shift into a ska beat in the middle eight bars.
Island sounds crept into the band’s music again on The White Album (1968). On that record, McCartney developed “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” with a rocksteady beat. (While the recording reportedly bugged Lennon to no end, it wasn’t the groove that annoyed him.)
After the Beatles’ breakup, Toots & The Maytals and Marley & The Wailers broke internationally with their reggae sounds. And Lennon and McCartney took a stab at the music in their ’70s solo work. In both Lennon’s and McCartney’s cases, these dives into reggae predated that of Clapton.
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The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac are both classic rock bands, but you wouldn’t really associate one with the other. However, one of the Fab Four’s later songs was directly inspired by a Fleetwood Mac song. Here’s how Fleetwood Mac inspired The Beatles — and how John Lennon’s passing inspired a member of Fleetwood Mac.There are numerous books and articles about The Beatles’ influence on pop culture, however, The Beatles definitely drew inspiration from other artists. For example, Abbey Road is filled with references to other artists. Listen closely, and you’ll hear homages to everyone from Ludwig van Beethoven to Chuck Berry. In addition, one of the tracks from Abbey Road took influence from one of the Fab Four’s contemporaries, Fleetwood Mac.
John Lennon was married twice at different times of his life, though his marriage to Yoko Ono was best known. Before this, however, he was married to Cynthia Lennon, whom he met before he was famous. But what happened to Cynthia, after she and John broke up?
Cynthia Lennon first met John in 1957, when they were both attending Liverpool College of Art.
They began dating and in 1962 she became pregnant with Julian, who was subsequently born on April 8, 1963.
At this time, the band was only just making it big in the music business, but in the years which followed, The Beatles’ fame morphed into Beatlemania
Their relationship began to break down until John met avant-garde artist Yoko Ono and they began corresponding in 1966.
Source: Jenny Desborough/express.co.ukdetails
From classic American rockers to British artists to the estates of late legends, here's a look at some of the musicians who have objected to Donald Trump using their songs at campaign events.
JOHN FOGERTY, PHIL COLLINS, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
Some classic rockers say not only do they oppose Trump using their music, the choice of songs is ironic or downright wrong. John Fogerty, who last week sent the campaign a cease-and-desist letter over the use of “Fortunate Son” by his band Creedence Clearwater Revival, said he was baffled by the use of a song that could have been written to slam Trump. Phil Collins sent the campaign a demand to stop using “In the Air Tonight" after it was played at an Iowa rally this month. Many observers say it was an odd song to choose given that the air among the mostly mask-less people at the rally could have been spreading the coronavirus. And just as he had with Ronald Reagan in 1984, Bruce Springsteen objected in 2016 to Trump blasting “Born in the U.S.A." as a patriotic anthem, when it's actually a scathing indictment of the treatment of Vietnam vets.
Grammy-Award winner Steve Lukather, best known as the lead guitarist for Toto, recently joined host Kenneth Womack to talk about the Beatles on "Everything Fab Four," a new podcast co-produced by me and Womack, a music scholar who also writes about pop music for Salon, and distributed by Salon.
Lukather, who has played on over 2,000 rock and pop tracks, talks about how he went from being "shitty at sports" and "bullied as a kid" to finding his soul in music when the Beatles hit "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1964.
"Life went from black-and-white to color," says Lukather. "I was like, I gotta learn how to do that. I [joined] a band when I was nine. I mean, what are the odds of a little kid from West Hollywood seeing the Beatles on 'Ed Sullivan,' then playing on the 50th anniversary of that show?"
Nowadays, having been a member of Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band for years, he counts Ringo as one of his closest friends. "I cherish that relationship probably more than anything at this point," Lukather says. "Ringo's the coolest guy I've ever been friends with — and I have a lot of cool friends."
During an appearance on BBC 6 Music, The Beatles legend Paul McCartney talked about the ongoing pandemic, his upcoming new album "McCartney III," and more.
"McCartney III" is due this December, you can check it out here via Amazon.
When the interviewer said, "This is 'McCartney III,' so let's do a bit of context - if this is maybe the third part of the trilogy. 'McCartney I' in 1970 - that was kind of the start of the lo-fi-DIY-play-and-produce-everything-yourself. Have you always had a soft spot for that record?
"Oh, yeah. It happened just because I was spending a bit of time at home because, suddenly, I wasn't in The Beatles anymore.
"So you're a bit of a loose end, to say the least. But I had all my stuff - I had a drum kit, I had my bass, I had my guitar, had an amp, I got hold of a four-track recorder from EMI, which is the same machine that we'd used with The Beatles.
"So I just went real-lo-fi, just plugged the microphone straight into the back - didn't have a mixing desk - and made some music. That was it!"
A kitten named after John Lennon when he was found on what would have been The Beatles star's 80th birthday has adopted the role of big brother to a smaller cat called Ringo.
Ginger tabby Lennon was named by RSPCA inspector and Beatles fan Anthony Joynes after he was discovered by students on John Lennon Drive in Liverpool earlier this month.
The frightened cat was taken to the RSPCA Wirral and Chester branch to be cared for, and has since become inseparable from a tiny black and white kitten.
The purring pair became so close staff decided to name the smaller cat after Beatles bandmate and drummer Ringo Starr.
Ringo has been hand-reared by staff since he was rejected by his mother at birth but has found a big brother figure in Lennon.
The debate between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones has been going on ever since they first crossed paths on the charts 55 years ago. The argument at the time, and one that still persists, was that the Beatles were a pop group and the Stones were a rock band: the boys next door vs. the bad boys of rock. So who’s better? Tribute bands Abbey Road and Satisfaction engage in an on-stage musical showdown at 8 p.m. Saturday, November 14 at the Greenville Municipal Auditorium (GMA).
Full COVID protocols and socially distanced seating are in place.
Taking the side of the Fab Four is Abbey Road, one of the county’s top Beatles tribute bands. With brilliant musicianship and authentic costumes and gear, Abbey Road plays beloved songs spanning the Beatles’ career. They face off against renowned Stones tribute band Satisfaction - The International Rolling Stones Show, who offer a faithful rendition of the music and style of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the bad boys of the British Invasion.
“Music fans never had a chance to see the Beatles and the Rolling Stones perform on the same marquee,” said Chris Legrand, who plays “Mick Jagger” in the show.
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The Beatles enjoyed lucrative fame and fortune over the course of their tenure. The band achieved 16 number one singles over their ten years in the charts, kickstarting the legacy of each of their members for decades to come. Perhaps one of the most popular of the Fab Four was John Lennon. Lennon was tragically murdered on December 8, 1980 by Mark David Chapman.
Since then, his life has been celebrated in various forms, including film.
One of the films telling the story of his early life was 2009's Nowhere Boy.
Nowhere Boy starred Aaron Taylor-Johnson playing Lennon, and explored how the musical legend kick-started his journey into showbiz.
The film saw a young Lennon picking up a guitar for the first time, assembling a team of young musicians, and creating the most legendary band of all time.
Source: Callum Crumlish/express.co.ukdetails
One of the biggest magical mysteries of the 1960s for me — as someone who experienced the era not in the moment, but as history — is how much music the marquee acts of the decade made, and the rate at which they made it.
In 1965, for instance, the Beatles released not only the underrated Help!, but also the masterpiece Rubber Soul. That same year, Bob Dylan blew minds by going electric twice with Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited.
Not to be outdone, the Rolling Stones put out three LPs in ’65. Creedence Clearwater Revival matched that number in 1969, and let loose with two more in 1970.
In the modern era, technology has made it much easier to make music and reach fans directly. Your laptop is your home studio, the internet a distribution network. Yet artists rarely release music with anything close to the frequency of those brash baby boomers when pop was coming of age.
Major stars now go years between projects. In the last eight years — more than the entire length of the Beatles' recording career — Rihanna has released only one album, 2016′s Anti, without diminishing her star power one bit.
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When John Lennon and his first wife Cynthia finalized their divorce in 1968, their son Julian had only recently turned five. In photos from that year’s Rock and Roll Circus, you see the young Julian sitting on his father’s lap and taking in an eventful episode of late-’60s London.
After John and Yoko Ono moved to New York in 1971, contact between Julian and his father became much more difficult. Speaking with Spin in ’75, John spoke about how they were getting on, and a recent trip they had made to Disney World.
“What we do is irrelevant,” John told Spin. “It doesn’t really matter. As long as he’s around. Cause I don’t see him that often.” John also pointed to how bright — and how into music — Julian was. “He likes Queen, though I haven’t heard them yet,” he said. “[Julian] turns me on to music.”
When the two Lennons were together, they also did some jamming. If you got a copy of Walls and Bridges (1974), you heard Julian playing drums on the final track. While that informal recording sounds like fun, John had to release another version of the same track on Rock ‘n’ Roll (1975).
Sir Paul McCartney is set to release a new solo album that was recorded spontaneously in nine weeks during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Titled McCartney III, it follows 1970's McCartney I and 1980's McCartney II, both of which were also recorded alone.
"I was just messing around, never suspecting for one second that this was going to be an album," the star told BBC 6 Music's Matt Everitt.
He added that some of the songs had "echoes of the pandemic".
One such track features the lyric: "When the cold days come, we'll wish that we had seized the day."
"That was me reminding myself, and anyone listening, that you've got to grab the good stuff and get on through the pandemic," he said.
Sean Ono Lennon’s first experience reworking his father’s catalog was terrifying and intimidating, but he had two main goals in mind to keep him on track: preserve his father’s message in the songs and help the late icon’s music reach a younger audience.
On Oct. 9, which would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday, “GIMME SOME TRUTH. THE ULTIMATE MIXES” was released and includes 36 tracks hand-picked by Yoko Ono and Sean Ono Lennon, who serve as executive producer and producer on the project. The duo worked closely with engineer and mixer Paul Hicks to maintain the essence of the songs, which were completely remixed.
Ono Lennon, 44, came out stronger at the end of the at-times heavy process.
“I knew that it was going to be kind of introspective for me, obviously. I was scared going into it, to be honest. I had a fear of messing everything up or not being helpful or it being too emotionally difficult to just listen to my dad’s voice over and over again,” Ono Lennon said. “Especially ‘Double Fantasy,’ it triggers a whole period of my childhood that was tough because that’s when he died. I had a lot of resistance working on details
McCartney III will be the final album in a trilogy of LPs where Sir Paul plays all the parts on each song and produces the album. It follows 'McCartney' made 50 years ago in 1970 shortly after the Beatles split and McCartney II made in 1980.
Sir Paul, who described his lockdown as a “rockdown” in his Sussex studio, said: “I was living lockdown life on my farm with my family and I would go to my studio every day. I had to do a little bit of work on some film music and that turned into the opening track and then when it was done I thought what will I do next?
“I had some stuff I’d worked on over the years but sometimes time would run out and it would be left half-finished so I started thinking about what I had.
“Each day I’d start recording with the instrument I wrote the song on and then gradually layer it all up, it was a lot of fun. It was about making music for yourself rather than making music that has to do a job. So, I just did stuff I fancied doing. I had no idea this would end up as an album.”
Source: Mark Jefferies/express.co.uk
While 1970 marked the end of The Beatles, it also marked the beginning of four solo careers of the band’s former members. And George Harrison was the first of the bunch to notch a Billboard no. 1 single with “My Sweet Lord,” which peaked on the charts in December ’70.
All Things Must Pass, Harrison’s debut No. 1 album, sold better than the first LPs by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr. After so many years of getting limited space on Beatles records, Harrison was thriving as an artist outside of his old band’s confines.
After devoting so much time and energy to the Concert for Bangladesh in ’71, Harrison returned with Living in the Material World (1973). Once again, Harrison found a receptive audience for the album and its lead single, “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth).”
Harrison didn’t appear to be done there. That summer, he teed up “Don’t Let Me Wait Too Long” as the second single from the record. However, for reasons never clearly explained, Harrison never released it.
Julian Lennon, son of John, sang background vocals. Steve Holley, formerly of Paul McCartney's Wings, played drums. Micky Dolenz, formerly of the Prefab Four (aka the Monkees), added vocal harmonies. Mark Hudson, who produced nine albums for Ringo Starr, helmed the project.
No wonder Joey Molland's just-released "Be True to Yourself" sounds like the most Beatlicious album of the year.
"I wasn't expecting to make a record," said singer-guitarist Molland, a true Liverpudlian rock star who has lived in the Twin Cities for more than 35 years. "I am getting old. I'm 73. I can make records in basements, but a full-blown record with a full-blown crew with Mark Hudson producing is something I wasn't really expecting."
On Molland's sixth solo album and first in seven years, there are echoes of John, Paul, George and sometimes even Ringo.
"I had all the same influences: Irving Berlin and Cole Porter all the way to the early rock 'n' roll and the advent of R&B. Chuck Berry, Elvis, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley & and the Comets," Molland said last week. "I learned to play all that stuff in Liverpool. And I had the Beatles on top of it."
The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum welcomes back local Beatles aficionado, Gary Baker, as he takes us on The Beatles' final journey from the rooftop concert in January 1969, to the release of "Let It Be", and the “official” breakup of the band in the spring of 1970. Join us on Facebook Live at 6 p.m. Nov. 5, to enjoy rare audio and video footage, LPs, 45s, posters, and advertisements as Gary shares the fascinating stories behind the most popular band in history.
Baker is well-known around the Coshocton area as a lover of all things Beatles. He has made multiple trips to both Liverpool and London to explore Beatles’ haunts such as the famous Cavern Club, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, and Abbey Road. For the past two years, he has been a special guest on WTNS-FM with host Mike Bechtol for shows on both the 50th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The White Album.
This special night is for everyone: the diehard Beatles fan, students of 1960s counterculture, and young listeners just discovering the music of the most influential band in history.
The Beatles were an English rock band that is responsible for some of the world’s most iconic songs. Tunes like “Hey Jude,” “Let it Be,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “Love Me Do” continue to inspire and delight fans to this day, over fifty years after they were originally released.
Although the Beatles disbanded in 1970, with all the members going on to establish separate careers in the music industry, fans still know and love John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison as members of the Beatles. While people everywhere love the band and what they stand for, the Beatles did make some enemies in their time — most notably, the first lady of the Philippines, who made a shocking move to ban them from the country in 1966, after they refused an exclusive invitation from her office.
Paul McCartney has hinted that he is gearing up to release ‘McCartney III’, completing a trilogy of self-titled albums that he started recording before The Beatles split up.
The music icon released ‘McCartney’ in 1970 before following it a decade later with 1980’s ‘McCartney II’. Both albums were recorded at home and featured additional vocals from his late wife Linda.
McCartney fans have started to receive hints that a third release is on the way after a series of surprise animations began to appear on Spotify.
When users play songs from ‘McCartney’ and ‘McCartney II’ on the Spotify mobile app, they are greeted with an animation of a dice thrown onto the images of the album covers, with three dots facing upwards.
Over on Reddit, McCartney’s fans also claim to have received a bag printed with his name and containing three dice.
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The Beatles are one of the greatest musical acts of all time, an original boy band that is responsible for crafting some of the world’s most influential songs. Comprised of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, the Beatles remain hugely popular with fans of all ages, even though the group disbanded more than four decades ago.
Rumors have swirled around the Beatles ever since the group first formed, many of them that persist to this day. One of the most enduring rumors is an urban legend that still makes the rounds today, even though George Harrison personally debunked it several decades ago.
In 1957, Lennon joined forces with a young McCartney for the first time. They formed a band, going through several name variations and welcoming a variety of different members before establishing the final lineup, with George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
Over the next several years, the group finalized a band name, and as The Beatles, they steadily grew in popularity around their hometown of Liverpool.
A letter written by The Beatles’ manager following the sacking of the band’s original drummer is going under the hammer.
Brian Epstein signed up Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best – the band’s first drummer – on January 24 1962, after hearing them play. But only months later he fired Best and replaced him with Ringo Starr.
The letter which is up for sale was part of a tranche of communications Epstein sent to “secret Beatle” Joe Flannery, a key figure in the Fab Four’s rise to fame. Flannery, who died last year aged 87, was the band’s booking manager from 1962-63, during the early history of the Fab Four.
On September 8 1962, Epstein wrote to tell him he had released Best from his contract. He had told the Liverpool drummer three weeks earlier that he had to leave the band. The letter has been kept by Flannery’s family and is now being sold by his nephew.
Epstein wrote: “I read from the Mersey Beat (Liverpool music publication) Pete Best has now joined The All Stars.
After The Beatles parted ways in 1970, fans didn’t have to wait long to see how the Fab Four would do as solo artists. In fact, Paul McCartney released his debut solo LP weeks before Let It Be, the final Beatles album, even hit record stores.
That didn’t go over well with McCartney’s bandmates, but they all released their own records before the year ended. Ringo Starr’s Beaucoup of Blues, released September ’70, was the first to follow McCartney. George Harrison came next with the blockbuster All Things Must Pass in November.
While Beatles fans were digesting Harrison’s triple album, John Lennon entered the fray with John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (December ’70). That was a lot for folks to absorb in eight months, and it kept coming with McCartney’s Ram and Lennon’s Imagine (both by September ’71).
It wasn’t only the quantity of material that was remarkable, though. The quality of the records was so high that you might argue that the Beatles’ breakup was a good thing. (Indeed, Lennon did argue that.) But as of ’77 Ringo didn’t believe the Fab Four solo efforts matched the Beatles’ work.
Frank Sinatra didn’t cover much from the catalogue of The Beatles, but he did sing two of the band’s most famous songs. The first was “Yesterday,” the Paul McCartney-penned track (credited to Lennon-McCartney) released in 1965.
After the release of Abbey Road (1969), Sinatra picked another winner in “Something,” the George Harrison track that was the Quiet One’s first A-side on a Beatles single. Sinatra loved “Something” so much he called it one of the greatest love songs ever written.
However, Sinatra didn’t realize Harrison wrote it at first, and at least one former Beatle had fun with that. “Frank Sinatra used to introduce ‘Something’ as his favorite Lennon-McCartney song,” McCartney said in Beatles Anthology. “Thanks, Frank.”
A few years after the Beatles’ breakup, John Lennon wrote a song on the Walls and Bridges (1974) album that he thought was perfect for Sinatra to sing. And Lennon pitched the idea to the Chairman of the Board in a 1980 interview.
Though The Beatles split up in 1970, collaborations between the former bandmates not named Paul McCartney continued. When George Harrison’s triple-album All Things Must Pass arrived in November ’70, it featured his old pal Ringo Starr playing drums on several tracks.
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Lennon’s solo debut that arrived the following month, also featured Ringo on drums. In the following years, Lennon and Harrison would return the favor to their former bandmate and friend.
As far as the music-buying public could tell, Harrison acted on that impulse first when he produced and played guitar on “It Don’t Come Easy,” Ringo’s debut U.K. single released in April ’71. However, the recording sessions took place the previous year — before The Beatles announced their breakup.
And though the track was credited to Starr, the drummer later acknowledged he co-wrote the song with Harrison. That helped explain the “Hare Krishna” you hear about halfway through “It Don’t Come Easy.”