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Beatles News

From April 2014

Beatles-in-the-studio experts Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan rank the works of Fab in terms of their groundbreaking sonic innovations.

The Beatles' stellar songwriting skills and world-class charm are the staples of pop culture commentary. Less often mentioned are the groundbreaking production tricks and ideas that made their records the benchmark for creative recording in the last century, and beyond.

The group’s remarkable thirst for newness, allied with the ingenuity of their producers and engineers at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios, gave rise to cutting-edge sonics and daring studio exploration – now often taken for granted.

The following ten tracks showcase The Beatles at their most technically innovative: applying production ideas stunning for their age to make music that sounds as current and powerful today as it ever did. In fact, given the fairly safe standards of today’s pop, it’s arguable that in 2014 we’re still far behind the Beatles’ trailblazing 40-year-old lead…

So, enjoy these 10 Beatle greats from a whole new angle....

 

By: Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan

Source: Mojo

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Peter Jones obituary - Sunday, August 02, 2015

Music journalist and author who wrote the earliest biographies of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

During the late 1950s and early 60s the weekly music press was the main source of news and information about the latest developments in British and American pop music. Of the several papers in the marketplace, Record Mirror was most often the first to spot new trends, including the Motown sound and rhythm & blues. Its chief writer and editor for much of this era was Peter Jones, who has died aged 85. As well as his articles, Jones wrote the earliest book-length biographies of both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Always immaculately dressed, Jones evolved a working routine at Record Mirror centred on a lengthy lunchtime spent at the bar of the De Hems pub off Shaftesbury Avenue in London. There, according to his friend and colleague Norman Jopling, when music business contacts came to meet him “he was genial, good company, and, importantly, an easy touch for those precious column inches”. Frequently interviews with artists would take place at De Hems, with Peter taking notes in shorthand. He would compose articles and pithy record reviews on a typewriter that had two sizes of capital letters b details

Do you know that during the recording of the Beatles' iconic song 'Norwegian Wood', one of the strings of the sitar played by George Harrison broke leaving him with no clue about how to replace it until he was helped by none other than Indian political activist in Britain Ayana Angadi.

This and several other titbits about the Fab Four and their India connection are mentioned in an article in "The Equator Line" magazine written by American freelance writer Robert Cepican.

Harrison bought the sitar from a shop called Indiacraft on Oxford Street in London and John Lennon suggested using it for the first time in the song 'Norwegian Wood'.

The Beatles-India story took an interesting twist during the recording of 'Norwegian Wood'. Whether it was divine intervention or the product of a 'real crummy' sitar, one of the strings on the instrument broke," writes Cepican in the piece titled "The Yogi and the Fab Four".

Written by Lennon and Paul McCartney, 'Norwegian Wood' was recorded in October 1965 and released on December 6, 1965. Cepican, who is the author of "Yesterday Came Suddenly, The History of the Beatles" and is working on another book on the legendary British band, says Harrison had no clue how t details

The Beatles stars Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have remembered their friend Cilla Black in emotional tributes today.

As Cilla began to make her name in showbiz, she could count The Beatles as some of her close friends, and her first single was Love of The Loved by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. When her music career began at Liverpool's famous Cavern Club, she performed alongside such acts as The Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers. Now Ringo, who appeared on her BBC variety show, Cilla, which aired between 1968 to 1976, has paid tribute to his “good friend”.

He tweeted today: "I just heard the news Cilla black has left us she was a good friend we will all miss her peace to Cilla peace and love to the family R&B xxx." While Paul McCartney, who is currently in LA, said in a statement: "Such a shock to hear about Cilla’s passing. "She was a lovely girl who infected everyone with her great spirit. From first meeting her as a cloakroom girl at the Cavern in Liverpool, to seeing her many times since, she always had a fun loving dignity that made her a great pleasure to be around. "She had a fine distinctive voice and was always a bit of a laugh. It was a privilege to know and love her."

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What can you really say about Sir Paul McCartney, the former Beatle, pop music pioneer, worldwide cultural icon, and all-around great guy, that hasn't already been said?

I mean, seriously. With the Beatles changing music for the better, becoming a pop culture institution and being "more popular than Jesus," getting the chance to see one of its members in concert isn't just a show, it's a bucket list life experience (yes, this includes Ringo). Those lucky enough to pick Macca over Bud Light stage headliner the Weeknd got just that: a completely joyful, can't-miss concert that celebrated more than 50 years of music.

Even at 73, McCartney exudes the energy of an artist half his age. He bounces around onstage, bobbing his head to the music and looking in awe at the thousands and thousands of fans. It’s the kind of energy that makes it seem like he’s still not used to receiving so much love and support—a really good trait that makes fans feel like this night is special, that this concert is historic. “This is so cool. Just give me a moment to let it sink in.” he said, taking a minute to wave to the crowd and survey the Chicago skyline.

By: Josh Terry

Source: Red Eye

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GEORGE HARRISON – HUMANITARIAN - Saturday, August 01, 2015

Fully 14 years before Live Aid, on 1 August, 1971, George Harrison, his friend and mentor Ravi Shankar and a host of stars pulled off something that had never been achieved, or even attempted before: the two Concerts For Bangla Desh at Madison Square Garden in New York.

George had been deeply moved when Shankar had brought to his attention the plight of millions of starving refugees of the former East Pakistan, suffering the effects of the Bhola cyclone of 1970 and the Liberation War in the country. Five days earlier, on July 27, he had released his single ‘Bangla Desh’ on the Apple label, bringing this humanitarian crisis to the world’s attention as only a world-famous former Beatle could. That same day, he and Shankar held a press conference to announce their ambitious concert plans for just a few days’ time.

The track, co-produced by George with Phil Spector, featured Ringo Starr and Jim Keltner on drums and other such alumni as Billy Preston and Leon Russell. It went to No. 10 in the UK and No. 23 in the US, and made the top ten around much of Europe.

On August 1,after rehearsals in New York, the concerts took place at 2.30pm and 8pm. They played to a total of 40,000 people, w details

Paul McCartney has claimed that "dozens" of potential Beatles songs were lost as he and John Lennon would frequently forget their work before getting the opportunity to record it.

The bassist was talking to The Evening Standard about how new recording devices have fundamentally changed the songwriting process, revealing that songs he co-wrote with Lennon in the 1960s were often forgotten the morning after.

"Things have changed quite a bit," said Sir Paul. "You've got recording devices now which change the songwriting process. For instance, John and I didn't have them when we first started writing, we would write a song and just have to remember it.

"And there was always the risk that we'd just forget it. If the next morning you couldn't remember it – it was gone. In actual fact you had to write songs that were memorable, because you had to remember them or they were lost! There must have been dozens lost this way. 

"We didn't have tape recorders. Now you can do it on your phone. So you would have to form the thing, have it all finished, remember it all, go in pretty quickly and record it. Now, because you can get things down on a device, I've got millions of things I want to record and details

At first it looked like Bono, the robber baron of pop, had struck again. Not content with trying to turn the world’s mobile phones into a global brainwashing droid army by secretly implanting U2’s new album into their otherwise immaculate iTunes libraries, now he’s trying to steal the Beatles.

“John Lennon was an immigrant,” he said on Ellis Island on Wednesday, at a celebration of the 40th anniversary of John Lennon being granted his US green card. “One more Irish immigrant on an island full of Irish immigrants … Let’s claim him, in fact let’s claim all the Beatles, not as immigrants, but as Irish.”

He may have been semi-comically nodding to America’s widely claimed Irish roots but you could virtually hear Merseyside bristling at his blasphemy. Yet Bono’s argument has precedence. The Beatles’ Irish roots have, according to some cultural repatriators, never been properly acknowledged.

Lennon was born and raised in Liverpool, as were his parents, after which his family tree starts sprouting shamrocks. Some sources claim that his paternal grandfather, a freight clerk called John (Jack) Lennon, originated from 19th-century Dublin details

It seems like yesterday - Friday, July 31, 2015

Tomorrow is exactly 50 years since The Beatles played a now legendary show in Blackpool.

JON RHODES looks back on a day when the Fab Four chose to unleash one of the most famous pop songs of all time.

“For Paul McCartney of Liverpool... Opportunity Knocks!”

The wacky one liner and cheeky grin of a fresh-faced George Harrison said it all, after he approached the microphone to introduce his bandmate to the fired-up audience at Blackpool’s ABC Theatre on Sunday, August 1, 1965.

The Beatles had something pretty special lined up for the resort crowd – not to mention the millions watching the ‘Blackpool Night Out’ show back home on TV.

Acoustic guitar slung around his neck, mop top Paul was left alone under the spotlight as John and George exited stage left.

Two minutes and four seconds later, as the song came to an end, everyone watching knew they had witnessed something ground breaking. Paul McCartney of Liverpool had very much ‘passed the audition’ and the legend that is Yesterday was born.

The song, McCartney’s beautiful and aching ballad of lost love – a tune which, as legend has it, came to him in a dream – details

I was walking out of dinner right around eight o'clock Thursday night when I heard an extremely familiar voice coming from the Samsung Stage on the south end of the Lollapalooza festival grounds. I moved into a clearing for a better view and peered at the jumbotrons beside the stage. Yup, it was Paul McCartney and his band, soundchecking.

Most soundchecks last a few minutes. Roadies tune the drums and guitars, maybe play a little "Stairway," and adjust the levels on the microphones. The band runs through a couple partial songs. They laugh and then give the thumbs up, before leaving the stage. Headliners take a little more time, playing a handful of songs before heading out into the night.

Not Sir Paul.

McCartney played for well over an hour. Essentially, he performed a show for anyone within hearing distance. And because Lollapalooza is held in Grant Park, which is smack dab in the middle of downtown Chicago, McCartney's epic soundcheck could be heard by pretty everyone all over the city — a preview of his Friday night headlining set (which will be livestreamed Sunday night on Red Bull TV).

By: Richard S. Chang

Source: Redbull.com

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Ringo rocks: Al Murray - Friday, July 31, 2015

Comedian on why Ringo is the greatest.

Al Murray is a man of many talents. Stand-up comedian, TV personality, sitcom writer, he's even had a crack at politics.

And, as those of you that read our recent interview with Al and his percussive partner Andrew Prestidge will most certainly be aware, he's a pretty handy drummer, as well.

So, as a multi-talented sticksman of note he's well-placed to put his case forward for why Ringo Starr is a grade A drum hero.

"Before I knew what Beatles were or what Beatles meant I knew the album Abbey Road. And before I knew who Ringo was or what any of that meant, or any of that nonsense that gets tediously repeated about Ringo, I knew he was a great drummer. Come Together folks. A part that perfectly encapsulates the drummer's art – it sets a scene, it grooves, it grows, it serves the song, it is full of personality and it can't be anyone else.

"Because a lot of nonsense gets said about Ringo. Time to time on Twitter I've found myself determined to defend him from a sea of people I can only really describe as idiots.

By: Rich Chamberlain

Source: Music Radar

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Paul McCartney's early Eighties efforts, Tug of War and Pipes of Peace, will be reissued on October 2nd, with both arriving as multi-disc sets boasting numerous previously unreleased demos and outtakes. 

Both Tug of War and Pipes of Peace feature a number of classic McCartney cuts, including his duets with Stevie Wonder ("Ebony and Ivory") and Michael Jackson ("Say Say Say"), as well as solo hits like "Take It Away" and the John Lennon tribute, "Here Today." Pre-orders for both albums are available now.

Tug of War, released in 1982, was McCartney's third solo LP and first after Wings broke up. The two-CD reissue of the critically acclaimed, Number One record will feature a new remix of the entire album, as well as eight previously unreleased tracks, including a solo rendition of "Ebony and Ivory" and outtakes, "Stop, You Don’t Know Where She Came From" and "Something That Didn't Happen."

A three-CD, one-DVD edition will also include original music videos for the album's singles, as well as an 18-minute documentary, Fly TIA—Behind The Scenes on Take It Away. A 112-page essay book and 64-page scrapbook will also arrive with the deluxe edition, while the super deluxe set — limited to details

Almost 51 years ago, screaming masses of young people ran amok in the streets of Toronto, proving definitively that Beatlemania was alive and well in Canada.

They were anxiously awaiting their first glimpse of the Fab Four in the flesh as the Beatles prepared to play Maple Leaf Gardens for the first time.

CBC was there, capturing the happy pandemonium of fans young and old (check out the grandmas who give the guys their stamp of approval because they're "decent, clean boys!"), as well as talking to John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison about the fan fury that follows them around the world.

Click through the gallery above for vintage photos of the Beatles' British Invasion, courtesy of the CBC Still Photo Collection, and watch the amazing archival news footage below for a glimpse at the boy band demands of 1964.

By: Andrea Warner

Source: CBC

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Yoko Ono teamed up with U2's Bono and The Edge on Wednesday to unveil a tapestry honoring John Lennon. The John Lennon Amnesty International Tapestry was presented inside the Registry Room at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration in New York. The 24-foot by 10-foot tapestry depicts Manhattan as a yellow submarine with Lennon as its captain waving a peace sign. 

The artwork was unveiled on the 40th anniversary of Lennon receiving his green card allowing him permanent residency in the United States. The tapestry was commissioned by Art For Amnesty founder Bill Shipsey as a token of appreciation for Ono, 82, giving Amnesty International rights to record covers of Lennon's post-Beatles songs. 

The Make Some Noise campaign has featured Lennon covers by U2, R.E.M., Christina Aguilera, The Cure, Duran Duran and other artists and has raised more than $5 million for the human rights advocacy group. 

By: Paul Chavez

Source: The Daily Mail

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It’s 50 years since the release of the Beatles’s second feature film, Help!. Whatever you may think of the film itself (which got very mixed reviews) this rollicking film of “good, clean insanity” provides a wonderfully unique window on to the social changes that men saw in the 1960s.

As Alex Bilmes recently wrote in Esquire, the Beatles “made it not just OK but insanely desirable to be a stylish, successful, smartarse British man”. The representation of masculinity embodied in Help! is a key stepping stone to more obvious displays of gender fluidity that were to emerge in later decades.

It’s 50 years since the release of the Beatles’s second feature film, Help!. Whatever you may think of the film itself (which got very mixed reviews) this rollicking film of “good, clean insanity” provides a wonderfully unique window on to the social changes that men saw in the 1960s. As Alex Bilmes recently wrote in Esquire, the Beatles “made it not just OK but insanely desirable to be a stylish, successful, smartarse British man”. The representation of masculinity embodied in Help! is a key stepping stone to more obvious displays of gender fluidity that we details

At risk of starting an unresolvable debate The Beatles' 1965/66 pair of albums Rubber Soul and Revolver are the reason they're the revered group they remain to this day. Built on an upfront act of genre rebellion — touching on everything from world music, folk rock and psych pop — the records set the band on the defining course away from simply being the marketable 'fab four'. Creative diversity and confidence that earned both albums a top five finish in the 2012 Rolling Stone 'top 200 albums of all time' list.

In celebration of the albums' 50th anniversary, a selection of antipodean artists have banded together for the national Rubber Soul Revolver tour, where they will perform both iconic releases in full. Marlon Williams, Husky Gawenda (Husky), Jordie Lane and Fergus Linacre (Kingswood) will bring the albums back to life with their own contemporary touch added to the classic tracks. "'Rubber Soul' strikes the beautiful balance between incredible pop music with just a little bit of weirdness in it", Williams explains of the album's influential mark, while Gawenda adds that "the songs are so musical and touch on universal things, I don't think that time and place really matters". 

By: Jonny Nai details

Over 900 songwriters or singers have written or sung about weather, the most common being Bob Dylan, followed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, according to British researchers, writing in the journal Weather. Sixteen percent, or 48, of The Beatles' 308 songs are weather-related.

Weather plays a powerful role in our lives so it should be no surprise that the theme is played out in the music songwriters and singers produce, researchers said.

"I think they simply wrote about aspects of the world that they enjoyed or inspired them. They have lots of good catchy music tunes, so that helps too," Dr. Sally Brown of the University of Southampton, which is part of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research said.

Brown and other Tyndall researchers uncovered 759 popular songs with a weather connection, with about 7 percent of the top 500 songs being weather-related. The group has developed a database of the songs and is looking for any additions it may have missed.

As songwriters, The Beatles made deep connections with their audience about the nature of the human condition, according to Beatles' expert Dr. Kenneth Womack, dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmo details

As any rock fan knows, the Beatles never got back together.

What you might not know is that even partial Beatles reunions and "near misses" were frustratingly rare back when such things mattered (prior to George Harrison's death in 2001).

Which is why the video below is so enjoyable.

On June 5, 1987, three of the five original musicians who appeared on the classic Beatles White Album track "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" reunited to perform the song live at the Prince's Trust Rock Gala at London's Wembley Arena. George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton were joined by an all-star U.K. band, including Elton John, Phil Collins, Jeff Lynne, Ray Cooper and ... well, if you're wondering who that understandably happy bassist is, it's Mark King from Level 42. Harrison, Starr and Clapton last performed the song live 16 years earlier at the Concert for Bangladesh in New York City.

By: Damian Fanelli

Source: Guitar World

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A last-ditch effort 'before their long love affair with the squealers dies out'

It was 50 years ago—on July 29, 1965—that the Beatles movie Help! was released in the U.K., and TIME’s critic had a very cynical guess as to why. “Help! is the Beatles‘ all-out try at carving a new career as a screen team before their long love affair with the squealers dies out,” the magazine surmised shortly after its U.S. release later that summer. “As such, it is a failure, for as actors they are still nothing but Beatles, without enough characterization—or even caricaturization—to play anything but sight gags.”

The second half of that paragraph was pretty accurate: even while playing characters, the Beatles were still unmistakably the Beatles. They never quite managed (with the possible exception of Ringo Starr’s turn on Shining Time Station) to fully take on roles other than their own. But the idea that the band needed Help! to boost a dimming star is, in hindsight, dead wrong. Today, decades after their run ended, there are plenty of “squealers” who still love the Beatles.

And, for that matter, who still love Help!

By : Lily Rothman details

As so often happens these days, the big art story of the moment is, in fact, really a celebrity story.

I'm talking about super-rapper Kanye West's team-up with video art maestro-turned-Oscar-winner Steve McQueen for the new video, All Day/I Feel Like That. The resulting nine-minute opus, presented as a video installation, got a four-day run at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (it closes today).

What makes this more than the most basic of music-video premises is West's relationship to the camera. Sometimes it swivels away from him, forcing him to chase it to center himself in the frame; sometimes it comes at him, forcing him to dodge.

As the rollicking All Day segues into the more morose I Feel Like That, the rapper sinks to the floor in seeming exhaustion, the camera still hovering over him, as if in a kind of triumph.

There is a precedent that comes to mind here. The relationship between camera and subject here calls to mind John Lennon/Yoko Ono's Rape (1969), for which the duo had a cameraman pursue a young woman through the streets of London. At first she tries to engage the camera to find out what's going on, then to escape it, and then at last, as it chases her into her apartment, she br details

He'll star as the iconic singer-songwriter in Radio 2's 'When Elvis Met The Beatles'.

British actor Tom Hughes is to play John Lennon in a forthcoming radio drama.

Hughes, known for his roles in BBC One's Silk and the Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant film Cemetery Junction, will portray the iconic singer-songwriter in BBC Radio 2's When Elvis Met The Beatles.

The drama's writer, Jeff Young, describes it as "a kind of fake documentary" that imagines what happened when the Fab Four met the American singer at his L.A. mansion in August 1965. Kevin Mains, who played Lennon's songwriting partner Paul McCartney in recent ITV drama Cilla, will co-star as Presley. 

By: Nick Levine

Source: NME

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Among those receiving LIPA companionship's from Sir Paul were Slade's Noddy Holder, Travis star Fran Healy and Everyman's Gemma Bodinetz.

Sir Paul McCartney was back in Liverpool today for the annual LIPA graduation ceremony.

The Beatles star was on hand to honour the institute’s new Companions, who this year included Gemma Bodinetz, the artistic director of the Everyman and Playhouse theatres since 2003.

Among others from the arts and entertainment world receiving the accolade from Sir Paul – LIPA’s co-founder – today were Slade star Noddy Holder and Travis frontman Fran Healy.

The other five new Companions were four-time Grammy-winning record producer Hugh Padgham, music manager and founder of Quest Management Scott Rodger, theatre designer Conor Murphy, professor of applied and social theatre James Thompson and contemporary dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Phoenix Dance Theatre Sharon Watson.

By:Rob Pattinson

Source: The Liverpool Echo

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Organisers of a major creative event in Woodbridge have announced this summer’s line-up – and an expansion of the festival.

As well as music and art, this year’s event will include a literary strand, featuring books about music, with the preview of a new work about The Beatles, featuring never seen before photos from the first years of Beatlemania.

The Woodbridge Art and Music Festival takes place over the weekend of August 8 and 9 with acts ranging from festival headliners to cult club DJs, pioneering electronic acts from the 1960s, inspirational hip hop artists, visual artists, disco dons, guitar icons, psychedelic rockers, and talks by authors.

Ben Osborne, event organiser and founder of music and art collective Noise of Art, said: “The festival will be holding its debut literary strand on the Sunday of this year’s festival weekend.

“The literary strand will feature books about music, including a yet-to-be-released special edition book of new Beatles photographs, and the biographies of Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks by Zoe Howe, and Peter Gabriel by Daryl Easlea, plus a book at bedtime session for younger festival-goers between 4.30pm and 6pm.

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Brad  Hughes doesn’t need any “help” when it comes to his obsession with everything Beatles. The 14-year-old from Lisarow has been on the “long and winding road” to collect everything and anything to do with The Beatles because there’s “something” he just loves about them.

It all started when Brad, aged about 8, and his dad, Simon, were on a “day tripper” in the car and Brad heard a Beatles CD for the first time. Since then and “with a little help from his friends”, mostly his parents, he has managed to amass one of the largest collections of Beatles memorabilia this side of Liverpool­, England­.

It includes rare comics, books, records, model cars, vinyls, newspaper clippings, DVDs and a Beatles jukebox.

“Dad was a musician and a Beatles fan,” Brad said. “I heard a CD in the car and it all started from there.” He won’t nominate a favourite Beatle – he has a soft spot for George and John – and he won’t say which era of Beatles music he likes the best.

By: Denice Barnes

Source: Daily Telegraph

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ARTIST CREATES THOUGHT PROVOKING COMIC STRIP ILLUSTRATING THE LYRICS TO JOHN LENNON’S CLASSIC SONG ON WORLD PEACE.

Pablo Stanley has used his illustration skills to create a visual representation of John Lennon’s 1971 song, “Imagine.” The comic strip he created depicts lyrics from the song imploring the listener to “imagine there’s no heaven,” “no countries,” “no religion.” Legendary activists for change are depicted such as Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Harvey Milk, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

By: Alison Lesley

Source: World Religion News

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