Beatles News

The rock legend tells Billboard the origin stories -- some moving, some bawdy -- behind eight of The Beatles' record-breaking 20 No. 1 hits.

More than 50 years after the release of their debut single, "Love Me Do," principally written by a then-16-year-old Paul McCartney, The Beatles remain the Billboard Hot 100's biggest act of all time. Even in 2015, the band's accomplishments still stagger: 34 top 10 hits, 50 songs in the top 40 and the most No. 1s in a calendar year (six in 1964 and five in 1965) -- plus, McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are the only artists to take over the Hot 100's top five positions simultaneously. The deluxe reissue of The Beatles' 1 hits collection, released Nov. 6 and featuring the following eight indelible classics, is expected to make a top 10 debut on the Billboard 200.

In late 1962, The Beatles began to blitz the United Kingdom with effusively energetic songs, but America initially took a skeptical view of their music, as well as their girlish haircuts. "The big story about 'I Want to Hold Your Hand,' " recalls McCartney, "I'd said to Brian [Epstein, the band's manager], 'We don't want to go to America until we have a No. 1 record.' A lot of British artists details

I’ve got a bone to pick with The Nation's Favourite Beatles Number One. Hippy-dippy ballads such as We Can Work It Out and Let It Be finished far too high in the list, while rock classics Paperback Writer and Hard Day’s Night didn’t get the status they deserved. Every viewer doubtless had their own quibbles, too. Ranking Beatles songs is always a hiding to nothing but that’s the beauty of such exercises - they’re a controversy-stirrer and conversation-starter.

The week that their greatest hits collection, 1, got a deluxe bells-and-whistles re-release, ITV capitalised with this evocative two-hour tribute, framed around a public poll. The Mersey moptops notched 27 chart-topping singles in the UK and US, hence we counted down viewers’ favourites from 27 to one.

As always with such hagiographies, the great and good queued up to offer soundbites. There was pop royalty such as Bjorn from Abba, Tito Jackson, Lamont Dozier, Noel Gallagher and Sandie Shaw (sadly, it was a headshot so we couldn’t tell if she was barefoot). There were fans from the Sixties, such as model Twiggy and actress Sue Johnston. There were random celebrities, including David Tennant, Michael Palin, Ken Dodd details

When Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys heard the Beatles' Rubber Soul for the first time, he knew something in pop had changed.

"I listened to Rubber Soul, and I said, 'How could they possibly make an album where the songs all sound like they come from the same place?'" Wilson said in the 2008 documentary The Beach Boys and the Satan. "I couldn't deal with it. It blew my mind. And I said, 'Damn it, I've got to do that. I've got to try that with the boys.'

" He saw it as the first pop album without any filler, and it likely was. It hit stores at a time when the industry was far more focused on singles, and records were largely viewed as methods to house them. It inspired Wilson to write Pet Sounds, a highly symphonic masterpiece, which in turn inspired the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's the Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was arguably the greatest musical conversation that has ever existed. These three albums — Rubber Soul, Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper's the Lonely Hearts Club Band — all sit in the top of Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums" of all time, Nos. 5, 2 and 1, respectively.

Beyond just inspiring Wilson, Rubber Soul challenged all of pop music to step up and start seeing albums as artistic wholes an details

Andy White, the Scottish studio session musician who played the drums on Love Me Do and other early tracks by The Beatles, has died in New Jersey. According to his family, the 85-year-old died on Monday following a stroke. White was chosen ahead of Ringo Starr in September 1962 to play drums on the single version of Love Me Do and its B-side, P.S. I Love You. White, who was born in Glasgow in 1930, is also believed to have played on the album version of Please Please Me. He could therefore legitimately claim to be one of the so-called "Fifth Beatles", alongside the likes of Pete Best, Stuart Sutcliffe and others.

White also played drums on Lulu's 1964 cover of Shout and Sir Tom Jones' 1965 single It's Not Unusual. He went on to tour with Marlene Dietrich, Burt Bacharach and Rod Stewart and perform with the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra. In a 2009 interview with a New Jersey newspaper, White revealed he was often called to London's Abbey Road studios in the 1960s. "I would get a call from EMI and you never knew what you were going to be asked to do," he told The Progress.

White was paid a one-off fee - £5 - for his three hours with the Beatles and received no subsequent royalties. Starr, who played drums on details

To mark ITV's broadcast of 'The Nation's Favourite Beatles Number One' we take a look through the archives to see what links the Fab Four to this county we call home.

It was back on Friday June 21 1963 the band played to an audience in Guildford, in their one and only visit to the town. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison were the headline act on the Jimmy Crawford Package Show. The band headlined two concerts at the Odeon in the upper High Street. Scores of screaming fans were in tow waiting to hear the band of the moment and their many hits. Some braves fans even tried to scale the wall in Sydenham Road in an attempt to get into The Beatles' dressing room.

At the time the Surrey Advertiser's sister paper, the Guildford and Godalming Times, reported on the gig. The reviewer said: “The Beatles did their best to sing above the deafening screams of the audience. “I recognised their hit numbers but most of the words were inaudible.”

Even though the band did not frequent the music venues of Surrey, they did see the appeal of the county as three out of the four band members have at one point called Surrey their home. John Lennon lived in Kenwood, St George's Hill in details

Paul McCartney Signs Rocking Horse for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Auction “Let’s get rocking for Alder Hey!"

 This Christmas, one very lucky child could be receiving a personalised rocking horse signed by Paul. The horse – made by Stevenson Brothers – features Paul’s signature along with a handwritten lyric from the classic Beatles song ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’: “Rockin’ horse people eat marshmallow pies!!"

The signature and Beatles quote are not the only ties the wooden steed has to Paul: Stevenson Brothers – who have previously designed rocking horses for ‘Her Majesty' the Queen - modeled this particular creation not on “Henry the horse” who of course “dances the waltz”, but on Paul’s own Appaloosa named ‘Moonstar’, copying both his colouring and markings.

On top of this, Paul has also placed an additional surprise inside a “secret locking chamber” that’s been built into the underside of rocking horse!

This one-of-a-kind rocking horse is now up for auction to raise funds for the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and will be exclusively details

Colts owner Jim Irsay didn't add a fourth Beatles guitar to his collection this weekend, but he did pick up an iconic piece of Fab Four history. Irsay paid $2.125 million for the bass drum head used by Ringo Starr during the Beatles' 1964 performances in the United States -- including appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and two concerts at the Indiana State Fair. The band's Feb. 9, 1964, visit to Sullivan's program launched the "British Invasion" of rock music and introduced U.S. viewers to John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Starr.

"Mr. Irsay is thrilled to be able to bring this special piece of music history to Indianapolis," said Chris McKinney, curator of Irsay's rare guitars and collectibles "One of the largest television audiences ever watched the lads for the first time and had that logo etched into their minds forever."

The "drop-T" logo drum head, a 20-inch model made by Remo and originally attached to Starr's Ludwig kit, was auctioned Saturday by Julien's in Los Angeles. Before the auction, experts predicted a bid in the neighborhood of $1 million would secure the drum head.

The auction also featured John Lennon's 1962 J-160E Gibson acoustic guitar, which sold for $2.41 million t details

"I wanted to put out what I felt about revolution. I thought it was time we spoke about it," John Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1970. With "Revolution," The Beatles songwriter "wanted to tell you, or whoever listens, to communicate, to say 'What do you say? This is what I say.'

" Lennon wrote "Revolution 1" -- and, subsequently, the faster single version, "Revolution" -- with the dual purpose of glorifying the spirit of the idea as well as calling out its potential for charlatanism. With the context-less and wide-ranging lyrics, such as, "But if you want money / For people with minds that hate / All I can tell you is brother, you have to wait," Lennon's intentions with the song were not explicitly clear, meaning it could have broader appeal.

But an interview with film director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, exclusively provided to The Huffington Post with the recent release of "The Beatles 1" video set, provides a new entry point for the song. Lindsay-Hogg, who directed four music videos for The Beatles, recalled Lennon instructing him when they shot the "Revolution" video in 1968: "Whatever else you do in the song, I think I ought to have a close-up" on the line, "But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao / You ain details

Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s five-decade career as television, film, and theater director has spanned everything from Ready, Steady, Go! to Waiting for Godot. There was also a period, in the mid-1960s, when he made something called promos for a band called the Beatles.

“Promo” was the term for what, in the fullness of time, would become known as the music video. And it’s impossible to imagine a better crash course on the early days of the form than the three new editions of the Beatles’ hits package, 1, coming out this weekend, in time (per long-standing Fab Four tradition) for holiday wish lists. The set includes the deluxe 1+, a whopping package of 50 gorgeously restored videos, with new stereo and 5.1 remixes by Giles (son of George) Martin. Forget the bootleg, third-generation, Betamax versions on YouTube. Frame by frame, new aural and visual wonders are revealed here, from the bristling guitars on “Paperback Writer” to the graffitied “STONES” that can now be clearly seen on a Penny Lane street sign.

Lindsay-Hogg, who shot the Beatles at critical career junctures (including Let It Be, the film that unsuspectingly captured their breakup), remembers what it was l details

Fox News Channel’s Howard Kurtz has whipped up some must-see TV for fans of The Beatles. On tomorrow’s MediaBuzz at 11 a.m. ET, Kurtz has an exclusive interview with a doctor who claims to have operated on Beatles’ music legend John Lennon. He will reveal the inaccuracies that have colored decades of reporting on what really happened on the night he was brought to a New York hospital on Dec. 8, 1980.

I was stunned to learn that after 35 years of reporting, the media narrative of what happened to John Lennon when he got to the hospital on that fateful night was deeply flawed. From medical details to the reaction of Yoko Ono, we will shed new light on a tragedy all of us so vividly remember,” Kurtz told TVNewser.

Kurtz will use interviews with key eyewitnesses who have not spoken out before to examine the embellished accounts that have developed over the years. The program also will touch on how Yoko Ono was depicted in the media following her husband’s death.

By: Brian Flood

Source: TVNewser

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