Beatles News

While the Beatles' first Anthology, released 20 years ago this month, isn't exactly canonical Fab Four, it's worth remembering how momentous the compilation seemed at the time. Perhaps you were among those whose minds were blown in anticipation of new Beatle baubles, demos, outtakes and live cuts that went beyond what even the most rapacious bootleg collector would have been able to gather up. 

Would it feel as if one were present at Abbey Road, beholding an impassioned conversation before the next masterpiece was commenced? Would there be takes to challenge the known, canonical ones for "best ever" versions? Would one discover a fresh McCartney vocal to claim as a favorite going forward, some new delight that would repay hundreds of listenings, just as the old Beatles records always had?

Upon its November, 1995, release, Anthology 1 was a huge seller, as if there was any way it could not be. Posthumous round-ups of rarities were normally geared toward the obsessives, but as we're talking Beatles, Fab Four diehards form their own kind of widespread subculture, and thus a listening majority. 

And it's not hard to imagine fans agog over performances like a live cut of "This Boy" from The Morecamb details

It has only been a week since John Fardy and Shane Coleman took a look at John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band album for the Cultural Toolbox. It's only fair to give some of the other former Beatles some attention, so this week's choice was Paul McCartney and Wings with their 1973 album Band on The Run.

Shane started by explaining how he agreed with John's suggestion last week that the Plastic Ono Band was a great album, "until he said it was the best post-Beatles album by any ex-Beatles. To which I profoundly disagreed, and I said no - this album, Band on the Run, is a better album".

John 'stands resolute' in his view that Plastic Ono is the finest of those albums, but admits "Band on the Run is a great post-Beatles album, and I think it's the second best post-Beatles album".

They did give passing mention to George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, leading to John reflecting on the origins of the phrase 'band on the run'.

"The story of how this album was made is quite interesting," he explained. "The phrase, McCartney heard it first, was from George Harrison in a meeting on the dissolution of Apple Corps.

"Harrison had used this phrase 'band on the run' and it stuck in McCartney's head. Fast fo details

What do acid, Peter Fonda, and an argument have in common?

All of these elements led to the recording of “She Said She Said,” the Revolver track known for another fact: Paul McCartney did not participate in the session. Nevertheless, “She Said She Said” stands as a classic example of the Beatles’ musical and lyrical experimentation.

The idea for the track originates from an August 24, 1965 party which occurred during the Beatles’ US tour. Held at the Beatles’ rented house in Los Angeles, the party saw the group hosting such luminaries as Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, and Fonda. During the event everyone except Paul McCartney dropped acid; when George Harrison experienced disturbing hallucinations, Fonda attempted to soothe Harrison. According to the Beatles Bible website, Fonda told Harrison about how he had almost died at ten years old after accidentally shooting himself in the stomach. John Lennon overheard Fonda stating “I know what it’s like to be dead”; annoyed and upset by his words, Lennon replied “You’re making me feel like I’ve never been born. Who put all that shit in your head?” After Lennon recovered from the trip, he details

George Harrison: The quiet Beatle - Saturday, November 28, 2015

He was the diffident Beatle, a quiet and unassuming figure beside the towering egos of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

But, after his innate creativity was allowed to flourish, George Harrison made his own mark as a great songwriter, with works such as Here Comes The Sun, While My Guitar Gently Weeps holding their own beside those of his colleagues.

And Something was hailed by Frank Sinatra as "the greatest love song ever written".

The son of a bus driver, George Harrison was born in the Hunts Cross area of Liverpool on 25 February 1943.

Although his childhood home was a back-to-back-terrace house with an outside toilet, a scholarship to the Liverpool Institute, where he met Paul McCartney, a year his senior, held out the promise of a better life.

Like millions of his contemporaries, the young George Harrison fell under the spell of rock 'n' roll, especially the records brought to Liverpool by visiting seamen and played, by night, on Radio Luxembourg.

Aged 14, he bought a £3 guitar, music replaced his academic studies and, a year later, his mastery of more than the mere basic chords brought about his induction into The Quarrymen, a group which featured John Lennon and Paul M details

Former Beatles man Paul McCartney has written a letter in support of the 'Meat Free Mondays' campaign, addressing David Cameron in advance of the Paris Climate Change Conference, which begins on Monday (November 30).

The McCartney Family have been backing the campaign since 2009. The campaign argues that developed countries can reduce their carbon footprint by 2% overnight if everyone cuts out meat consumption one day a week, as well as talking about health benefits.

The McCartney's suggestions include the implementation of Meat Free Mondays at schools, universities and government buildings, as well as involving restaurants and private businesses.

Alongside his letter, Paul McCartney has released a video on behalf of the campaign, in which he says:

"Hello there. Paul McCartney speaking … to you." "If you heard that meat production was one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, what would you do? Would you just ignore that fact, or would you want to do something and want to find a solution?" "Well, we encourage people at Meat Free Monday to not eat meat on a Monday – or any other day of the week – just one day makes a real difference!" "The idea has b details

Pity the poor Brits, who only received the first side of the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour as an EP. After all, Side 2 of the 1967 American version included the greatest double-sided single in Beatles history — “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” — when Capitol paired the original film’s music with a trio of recent double-sided hits.

It made for a surprisingly effective soundtrack, when you consider its association with such a badly conceived, awfully executed movie misfire. But even the American version of Magical Mystery Tour — released in the U.S. on November 27, 1967, it’s now part of the canon — struggles to overcome comparisons with the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, issued earlier the same year. There’s no over-reaching theme on Magical Mystery Tour, no fizzy medleys, no eye-popping maze of cultural icons to pore over on the cover — and that tends to expose the weaker songs in a way that it didn’t for Sgt. Pepper.

So, we have Paul McCartney offering the limpid, but ultimately undercooked “The Fool on the Hill” and, with “Your Mother Should Know,” another in what details

“The White Album”—its official title is the decidedly simple The Beatles—was released on November 22, 1968 to an eager audience. Released almost 18 months after the seminal Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, the 30-song collection captured John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr indulging in a variety of musical styles. While the songwriting was evolving, and most of the songs were composed while attending a Transcendental Meditation course, the relationships between the four continued to dissolve during the recording; The Beatles officially broke up in April 1970. Here are some facts about one of the most polarizing, enigmatic records ever made.

1. A BEACH BOY HELPED WITH THE BEACH BOY PARODY "BACK IN THE USSR." Mike Love was a fellow attendee of the Maharishi’s course in Rishikesh, India. He recalled McCartney and his acoustic guitar at breakfast one morning playing what would become the first song on the 'White Album." Love suggested putting something in the song about “all the girls around Russia.” McCartney listened.

2. RINGO STARR QUIT THE BAND FOR TWO WEEKS. Starr never felt like more of an outsider within the band than during details

It’s the ultimate rock’n’roll souvenir. Ringo Starr is to auction off the first ever copy of the band’s1968 album, The Beatles, more commonly known as the White Album.

Each unit of the record, which acquired its name due to its minimalist packaging, came with its own serial number stamped on the cover. White Album No 0000001 will be sold at Julien’s, the Beverly Hills auction house that specialises in celebrity memorabilia, on 3 to 5 December.

The first four pressings of the LP were all in possession of the Beatles. It was assumed that No 0000001 belonged to John Lennon, who Paul McCartney once said “shouted loudest” for it. But it turns out the drummer has had the record all along, and kept it locked away in a London bank vault for more than 35 years.

Bidding on the record starts at $20,000 (£13,276), but it is estimated to fetch up to $60,000. Copy No 0000005 of the album sold at an auction in 2008 for around $30,000.

Starr is also auctioning off many items of jewellery, as well as art, clothes and instruments, including George Harrison’s Gretsch Tennessean guitar, which is expected to fetch up to $200,000.

By: Nadia Khomami


Rock n Roll Watergate - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

After feverishly reading Robert Rosen's updated 15th anniversary eBook edition of Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon, you feel like you are inside The Dakota with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. This isn't quite your average rock n roll biography. In a twist of fate, John Lennon's personal diaries landed in Rosen's lap on May of 1981, about a year and a half after the famed ex-Beatle was killed outside his apartment by a crazed fan.

The making of this book is as intriguing as the book itself. Here is an excerpt from the Prelude of Nowhere Man, where Rosen recounts the process of transcribing Lennon's diaries:

"Still, it was not until Wednesday, October 21, that I began the process of transcribing Lennon's diaries. It was exhausting work that continued unabated until the end of November. No matter how much I transcribed, there was always more; the task seemed endless. I forced myself into a routine that rarely varied: I woke up at 5 A.M., rolled out of bed and tore into the journals. Then, for the next 16 hours, fueled by coffee and amphetamines, I wrestled with Lennon's scrawls and codes and symbols. As I transcribed his words on my IBM Selectric, I said them out loud like an incantation, and I began to feel w details

What kind of contrarian would single out 1970 as his favorite year for Beatles music? That was, after all, the year the Beatles disbanded and broke the hearts of millions of music fans around the world.

That’s Chris Carter, host of the long-running “Breakfast with the Beatles” radio show heard Sunday mornings in Los Angeles on KLOS-FM (95.5).

“We got something like 14 Beatles records that year: not only the ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Let It Be’ [Beatles] albums, but solo albums from Paul, George, John and two from Ringo, plus John’s ‘Instant Karma’ single, ‘My Sweet Lord’ from George, etc. So it really is my favorite year.

It certainly was a year of dramatic transition for all four Beatles — and Beatle fans — as the group that brought so many innovations to pop music during its relatively brief eight-year recording career called it quits, and each member of the quartet moved forward with solo endeavors.

The biggest surprise of all, however, may have been Harrison’s emergence from the long shadow under which he’d been working for so long being in the same band with Lennon and McCartney.

He did it wit details

Beatles Radio Listener Poll
Do you think the 27 number ones are The Beatles best work.?