By the late 1960s, The Beatles probably came to expect that someone in the band would walk out during a recording session. When Ringo ditched the group for weeks after tense days making The White Album, it served as a warning sign.
While recording “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” for the same album, John Lennon stormed out of the studio after being driven nuts by the endless takes. Next up was George Harrison, who left the band for close to two weeks during the Let It Be sessions. By then, it didn’t seem like a fluke.
Yet Paul McCartney had managed to keep his cool through most of those years. Making Abbey Road in mid-’69, Paul seemed especially determined to see the group through one more record.
But it wouldn’t be easy. After John declined to play or sing on “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” Paul began getting frustrated. It boiled over a few weeks later while recording John’s “Come Together.”
Here's a sampling of popular music across the decades. It's a list of the albums (remember those) that topped the Billboard 200 chart in 1969, 1979, 1989 and 1999.
A testament to their long careers, a few artists show up in this list more than once -- a couple in different decades. Also, interesting to note that while 10 albums hit No. 1 in 1969, a whopping 22 albums topped the chart in 1999.
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A set of Paul McCartney’s handwritten lyrics to the classic Beatles song Hey Jude will be offered at auction in the U.S this month.
McCartney used the lyrics during the recording of the song at Trident Studios in London in July 1968, and later gifted them to a studio engineer.
The musical manuscript is now expected to fetch $200,000 – $300,000 when it hits the block at Gotta Have Rock and Roll Auctions on July 26.
Paul McCartney famously wrote Hey Jude for John Lennon’s son Julian, after Lennon left his wife Cynthia for Yoko Ono.
“I started with the idea “Hey Jules,” which was Julian, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better,” McCartney later recalled.
“Hey, try and deal with this terrible thing. I knew it was not going to be easy for him. I always feel sorry for kids in divorces.”
A bronze statue of John Lennon is heading to Liverpool this summer all in the name of peace.
St George’s Hall will welcome the John Lennon Peace Statue on August 1 until the end of September following its time at Glastonbury Festival.
The artwork, which is 180cm high, was created by artist Laura Lian and cast by the Castle Foundry.
Laura said: "I made the statue to help inspire a new generation to reinforce John and Yoko’s message of Peace.
"We are really excited to have the statue at this beautiful historical Hall in Liverpool."
Alan Smith, general manager of St George’s Hall, said: "We’re delighted to host this statue showcasing one of Liverpool’s most-loved sons.
"In the month of August and September the city celebrates International Beatle Week and it’s fitting that we welcome this new addition.
"It’s sure to be a hit and will become a must-visit selfie and Instagram spot".
Source: Elle May Rice/liverpoolecho.co.ukdetails
While looking back on his career in 1980, John Lennon saw a lot he didn’t like about his time with The Beatles. In fact, he had no problem dismissing songs like “Cry, Baby, Cry” and “Glass Onion” as “rubbish” and “throwaway” material. He was even harsher about songs he didn’t write.
Regarding Paul’s “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” John wouldn’t even take part in the track’s recording during the Abbey Road sessions. Instead of contributing backing vocals or suggesting how to improve it, he hated the song so much he just left the studio for the day.
As for the famous medley on the second side of Abbey Road, John described “that sort of pop opera” as “junk” not worthy of a rock ‘n’ roll record. However, there was one bright spot for him, and it came on the album’s opening track.
The song was “Come Together,” which hit No. 1 on the U.S. charts in November 1969. Though John criticized a lot of Beatles tunes, he came as close as he could to raving about this one.
When The Beatles showed up at EMI studios in 1962 for their first major recording session, they were unknown in London. Only the hippest guys at the company’s labels had heard of them, and the old-guard producers and engineers couldn’t care less.
However, one young engineer in the studio that day went on to work with the band on their greatest albums (including Sgt. Pepper’s and Abbey Road). His name was Geoff Emerick, and he became one of the top names in the recording industry.
Yet in ’62, when The Beatles arrived to record “Love Me Do,” Emerick was as unknown as the band he heard play. But his recollections from that day are priceless. He mentions the “quite fidgety and quite funny” John Lennon calling an EMI employee named Norman “Normal.”
He also notes the affable bass player (Paul McCartney), a “dejected” and short drummer (Ringo), and a lead guitar player who was very young and “almost emaciated” (George Harrison). The other thing that struck Emerick about George that day in ’62 was the black eye he sported.
He really does get by with a little help from his friends.
As the years passed, you didn’t hear any Beatles blaming Yoko Ono for splitting up the band. After all, they were there and knew firsthand that George Harrison could hardly stand Paul McCartney by 1969. Meanwhile, Paul had his own widely discussed issues with John Lennon.
That’s not counting the fistfight George and John had while the band was being filmed for Let It Be. And we won’t get into the time Ringo walked out on the group during the White Album sessions. Or the time a few months later when George quit the band for a while.
Indeed, the period from early ’68 through late ’69 had “Beatles breakup” written all over it. As it turned out, that happened to be the same time the love between John and Yoko blossomed and the two got married.
But before The Beatles went their separate ways, they had one more masterpiece to record: Abbey Road. Just as the sessions were getting underway, John and Yoko made an entrance that freaked everyone out. Decades later, the chief engineer called it the craziest thing he’d seen.
Because of their crazy schedule and recording-contract demands, John Lennon and Paul McCartney always needed fresh songs to fill out the next album. As even Beatles fans will admit, they didn’t always come up with winners, but they had to finish them and move on to the next project.
By the time they got to Rubber Soul, John and Paul’s songs had become much more complex, but they still weren’t above recycling simpler, older material. That’s how Paul ended up pulling out and rehashing one of his earliest songs.
As Paul noted in his biography Many Years From Now, that’s how “Michelle” ended up on Rubber Soul. Back in the late ’50s, he’d play the song as an instrumental at parties where he’d wear a turtleneck and “pretend I could speak French” to impress girls. (Bear in mind he was hardly 17 at the time.)
At the suggestion of John, Paul decided to bring it out and add lyrics — including some French ones — for the band’s latest album. But he definitely didn’t speak the language, so he needed help from someone who did.
Only John Lennon appeared in the final movie
The new film Yesterday, which imagines a world in which only one person remembers The Beatles, was originally meant to feature cameos from all of the Fab Four.
In the movie, singer-songwriter Jack (played by Himesh Patel) wakes up to discover The Beatles never existed and he is the only person with any knowledge of their music. After attempting to remind the world of the group, he begins to play their songs as his own and achieves huge success.
Yesterday features only one of the legendary group, changing John Lennon’s story so he lives a long life instead of being murdered by Mark Chapman. During an appearance on the Empire podcast, writer Richard Curtis and director Danny Boyle revealed they had originally intended to feature all four members of the band.
“When [Jack] first goes to Liverpool, I’d written a long scene where he just goes to a pub and he bumps into George [Harrison] and Ringo [Starr],” Curtis said. “It was, I hope, a sweet scene, and they were just two delightful, oldish men who’d once been in a band together […] music enthusiasts who had never got any further.”
Source: Rhian Daly /nm details
Most people can agree that Paul McCartney is one of the greatest performers of our time. He released countless songs that he wrote himself and, according to Smooth Radio, has done duets with some of the biggest names in the music industry. Born in Liverpool, England, McCartney’s contributions to music have been so significant that he was knighted in 1997 and now entitled to call himself “sir.” That is quite an accomplishment for anyone, and we can only imagine that the former Beatle is nothing less than honored.
As a member of The Beatles, which were one of the biggest musical sensations ever, there aren’t too many people who are not familiar with McCartney. The Beatles released countless songs, so many, in fact, that a lot of fans may have trouble choosing a favorite. What we don’t often think of is that the members of the group themselves have certain songs that they prefer over others. So, what was McCartney’s favorite Beatles song?
When you read about the inspiration for Beatles songs, you get some surprises. A good example comes with John Lennon and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.” Because of the song’s trippy nature — and the initials in the title — many thought it was written about LSD.
But John said that wasn’t true. Looking back, he said Alice in Wonderland served as the main inspiration, while a drawing by his son Julian supplied the title. (On “Hey Jude,” the wildly popular Paul McCartney ballad, the songwriter also had Julian Lennon in mind.)
Other tracks speaks for themselves. It’s no mystery what inspired “The Ballad of John and Yoko” or John’s “In My Life.” On the other hand, Paul was much less inclined to write autobiographically and include personal details in songs.
We can’t say for sure, but we doubt many understood Paul was speaking about the U.S. civil rights movement when he penned “Blackbird.” An even bigger surprise comes when you hear about him writing “Got to Get You Into My Life.” Paul said it’s not about a woman at all.
As a 1960s rock band, The Beatles went heavy on guitars, and that’s what got the crowds screaming. In early hits like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “A Hard Day’s Night,” the clanging guitars and pulsing drums get your attention and hold it.
But The Beatles were far more than a straight rock band. As their songwriting matured and more instruments entered the pictured, keyboards took more prominence in the music. On 1965’s Rubber Soul, John Lennon’s classic “In My Life” featured a piano solo that sounded Baroque.
By 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Paul McCartney featured the piano on his “Lovely Rita” and “When I’m Sixty-Four.” The epic “A Day in the Life,” chiefly written by John, also went heavy on piano all the way down to the crashing, three-keyboard ending.Yet despite all the piano you heard on these records, there wasn’t more than one solid keyboard player in the group. That was Paul, who later showcased some of his best work on The White Album.
As The Beatles drifted apart in the late 1960s, you found more and more recordings missing members of the group. In the case of “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” the track went out without the help of Ringo or George Harrison because both were out of town at the time.
However, if you look at Abbey Road or Let It Be, you’ll find various tunes missing the contributions of one or more Beatles. That person was usually John Lennon, who either wasn’t present during the recording sessions or simply didn’t want to play on a song he didn’t write.
In the middle of the documentary Let It Be, you get the idea John wasn’t interested in the slightest as George rehearsed his tune, “I Me Mine.” Rather than thinking how he might contribute, John grabs Yoko Ono and takes her for a waltz on the studio floor.
Later in 1969, during the Abbey Road sessions, John was even more dismissive of Paul’s “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.” Though he was in the studio that day, he just didn’t want any part of the song.
John seemed to hate everything about ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.’
For much of his life, Michael Callahan didn’t look like Ringo Starr, not even when he wore a wig and impersonated the young Ringo in a Beatles tribute band called Shout.
But as the older Ringo, Callahan, AKA Ringer Star, has found a niche. There are other portrayals -- drummers in Beatle tribute bands appearing in the different phases from goofy mop top Ringo to the Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road eras. But in his research, Callahan has not found another performer impersonating the famed Beatle drummer in his present incarnation.
People have asked Callahan if he got plastic surgery to look like Starr. “My standard answer is that Ringo had to become a senior citizen in his 70s to start looking like me,” Callahan said.
Source: Jeff Guy/wellingtondailynews.comdetails
In Rocketman, Elton John is shown picking his stage persona via a bandmate's first name and looking at a John Lennon poster. But is this really what happened?
Before he was Elton John, he was known as Reggie Dwight. Not quite the popstar name.
So, Reg went about picking a new onstage persona that kicked off a new era of his flamboyant and hugely successful life.
But was what happened in Rocketman really what happened?
Why did Elton John pick his name?
In 1962, Reg and his friends formed a band named Bluesology.
A few years later, Bluesology was backing American soul and R&B musicians such as the Isley Brothers, Major Lance and Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles.
Source: Tom Eames/smoothradio.comdetails
Is it on your bucket list to meet a Beatle? Where there's a will — and the money to purchase a Ringo Starr painting — there's a way.
The Danielle Peleg Art Gallery in Keego Harbor will be hosting an exhibit and sale of limited-edition, hand-signed art by Ringo Starr from July 26-31.
The event is tied to the legendary Beatles drummer's concert on Aug. 1 with his All-Starr Band at the Colosseum at Caesars in Windsor, Ontario, just across the river from Detroit.
The tour, which marks 30 years of Starr's concerts of famous friends, will feature band members Colin Hay of Men at Work, founding Toto member Steve Lukather, Santana and Journey member Gregg Rolie, and more.
If you buy select artworks from the gallery, Starr will meet and take a photo with you at the Windsor show, according to a Friday press release from Rock Art Show.
The free art show is open to the public.
Source: Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Pressdetails
In Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting director Danny Boyle’s latest film, Yesterday, viewers are asked what the world would be like if The Beatles didn’t exist through the eyes of somebody who remembered that they did. This marriage between the Fab Four and film is not a new one, but when people think about this marriage, they are more likely think about films such as A Hard Day’s Night, Help, or Yellow Submarine.
However, their footprint on the industry has lived on for nearly 50 years since the band called it quits in 1970. From jukebox musicals, to fictional retellings of the bands’ members, to dramas guided by a character’s love for the band, The Beatles have been the basis of several films spanning nearly every genre, but these are some of the most memorable.
Paul McCartney kicked off a three-hour, career-spanning set with the iconic opening strain of “A Hard Day’s Night” at San Jose’s SAP Center on Wednesday, July 10 — and from there, the 77-year-old never let up as he barreled through decades of hits from every phase of his career.
McCartney brought the crowd to hushed reverence during a stirring rendition of “Blackbird,” while later on, the mood was decidedly different when the riff-laden excess of “Back in the U.S.S.R.” brought everyone to their feet. It’s no surprise that McCartney’s contributions to pop rock’s greatest songbook continue to enthrall generation after generation. Even when the newest songs to join his set list — a handful of fairly forgettable tracks from McCartney’s 2018 solo release, “Egypt Station” — were, by contrast, tepidly received by the crowd, he wasn’t the least bit fazed.
“When we do a Beatles song,” he playfully moaned, “a galaxy of phones light up. When we do a new song, a black hole suddenly emerges. That’s OK, though. We don’t care.”
Source: Joshua Kosman/datebook.sfchronicle.comdetails
Danny Boyle's new film Yesterday has brought renewed interest in The Beatles' iconic catalog.
As previously reported, multiple classics by the Fab Four infuse July 13-dated tallies after the first full tracking week following the movie's June 28 theatrical release. In the film, the lead character, portrayed by Himesh Patel, finds that he is the only person alive who remembers The Beatles, leading him to begin performing their music and passing it off as his own.
On the strength of the group's five entries on the Hot Rock Songs chart, Paul McCartney and the late John Lennon concurrently debut on the newly launched Rock Songwriters chart, tied at No. 4.
The weekly Rock Songwriters chart is based on total points accrued by a songwriter for each attributed song that appears on the Hot Rock Songs chart (which blends streaming, airplay and download sales data); plus, genre-based songwriter and producer charts follow the same methodology based on corresponding "Hot"-named genre charts. As with Billboard's yearly recaps, multiple writers split points for each song equally (and the dividing of points will lead to occasional ties on rankings).
Source: Xander Zellner/billboard.com
In the fall, Beatles fans will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road, released on September 26, 1969. While celebrations will surely take place at London’s famous zebra crosswalk and all over the world, the Sunset Strip has a bit of its own Abbey Road history, which actually was a mystery for over 40 years.
The Beatles’ first Sunset Strip billboard was also the band’s last studio album. By the time Abbey Road was released, John, Paul, George and Ringo were so recognizable that designer John Kosh (now known as Kosh) didn’t even add the band’s name on the legendary album cover.
Assigned by Capitol Records to transform Kosh’s album into a billboard overlooking the Sunset Strip, designer Roland Young also kept the image free of text. In fact, he kept most of the original album design but cropped out the London streetscape and extended the heads into the sky as if the band was crossing Sunset Blvd.
Source: Frances Anderton/kcrw.com
While legendary musician and singer Sir Paul McCartney continues to storm the globe on his “Freshen Up” world tour, three re-releases of classic live McCartney albums and one new release that's has never filled speakers before will be out Friday.
These albums cover not just the decades of McCartney's career, but several different phases of his life from the end of his days in the Beatles to the present as a preeminent touring act on his own. This look will run through these releases in order of their original release dates.
First up, from 1976, “Wings over America” documented the 1975-76 tour of McCartney's band, Wings, that was met with massive success. Primarily recorded from the LA Forum show in June of '76, this triple-LP (2 CD) set contains a ton of Beatles hits mixed in with Wings tracks that fans love, alongside solo McCartney material and even a few covers here and there. This remastered set is the same track-listing that's been released previously, with the new pressings available in both black and color vinyl (transparent red, green, and blue, in this case) versions, as well as CD, and will include the original album art and original souvenir poster.
On their first couple of albums, the Beatles fleshed out the track listings with covers drawn from their pre-fame club shows, when they were required to play everything from Little Richard to show tunes.
But for their third LP, A Hard Day's Night, which was released on July 10, 1964, the songwriting team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney would be responsible for all 14 of its songs for the first time.
Because George Harrison, who made his entry into the songwriting world on With the Beatles' "Don't Bother Me," would soon become more prolific, A Hard Day's Night is the only Beatles album to consist solely of Lennon-McCartney originals. More importantly, it showcased precisely how quickly they were growing as composers.
They had already shown signs, with the chord progressions heard on With the Beatles (especially on "All My Loving" and the coda to "It Won't Be Long") becoming more sophisticated, but they still relied too often on simple pop and R&B ideas (see "Little Child" and "Not a Second Time").
For the first time, Stella McCartney, Paul McCartney's daughter, has released a collection inspired by The Beatles, and by the psychedelic universe created in the "Yellow Submarine". Find out everything below.
Yellow Submarine was one of the most popular animated films of the 1970s. It was a pop culture gem, and released on July 17, 1968 to a community of eager fans. Featuring The Beatles bandmates as the stars, the beloved film was recently re-screened for its 50th anniversary. Today, the film continues to inspire, as Stella McCartney has just released a new collection inspired by the film, and by the band.
“I recently went to a screening with family and friends for the digital relaunch of Yellow Submarine, I hadn’t seen it since I was young, and honestly it blew my mind. It affected me in a way I just wasn’t expecting. Especially this idea of connecting people and bringing people together — politically this message has never been more relevant. So, I came out and I was like ‘I have to do something."
Source: Agathe Duval/vogue.fr
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Most of us were content coming back from the long Fourth of July holiday weekend with simple stories of hanging out with friends and family. Minneapolis music vet Ben Kyle of Romantica notoriety, however, came back with this whopper of a tale, which he has recounted to us via e-mail:
“I had played two interpretations of his songs to the crowd gathered on Vine Street outside Capitol Records, and I was standing there on stage next to Jim Keltner who was doing a drum roll and listening to David Lynch introduce the man himself when all of a sudden I felt an arm around my shoulder. I turned around, and it was Ringo hugging me and saying, ‘Thank you brother!’”
Yep, he’s referring to that Ringo, the one from Liverpool just across the Irish Sea from Kyle’s native Belfast. The Romantica frontman was invited to perform at a public bash thrown outside the famed Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles in honor of the Beatles drummer’s 79th birthday.
Source: Chris Riemenschneider/startribune.com