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‘Plastic soul’, a description used by black musicians of the time to describer Mick Jagger – a white man singing soul music – warped by Paul McCartney into ‘Rubber soul’ (also a play on rubber soled-shoes), finally finding its rightful home as the title of the Beatles’ sixth studio album.

Regarded by many as the first album to truly cement the band’s musical maturation, Rubber Soul is an curious mix of the Beatles’ influences up until this point: pop, folk rock, R&B and the first stirrings of psychedelia. Knocked up just in time for the Christmas market, the album climbed to the top of the charts (replacing The Sound of Music soundtrack) and chilled out there for 42 weeks.

Fifty years on, we take a track-by-track look at the album to see if it stands the test of time.

‘Drive My Car’ The first version of the lyrics for the McCartney-penned ‘Drive my Car’ were blasted as ‘crap’ by Lennon and, in truth, they were. ‘You can buy me golden rings’ worried the pair that they’d fall back on to lazily rhyming ‘rings’ with ‘things’, so, after a ciggie break, ‘baby, you can dr details

Happy 50th birthday to Rubber Soul, the album where the Beatles became the Beatles. It was the most out-there music they'd ever made, but also their warmest, friendliest and most emotionally direct. As soon as it dropped in December, 1965, Rubber Soul cut the story of pop music in half — we're all living in the future this album invented. Now as then, every pop artist wants to make a Rubber Soul of their own. "Finally we took over the studio," John Lennon told Rolling Stone's Jann S. Wenner in 1970. "In the early days, we had to take what we were given, we didn't know how you could get more bass. We were learning the technique on Rubber Soul. We were more precise about making the album, that's all, and we took over the cover and everything." 

Rubber Soul was the album where the moptops grew up. It was also where they were smoking loads of weed, so all through these songs, wild humor and deep emotion go hand in hand, like George Harrison and cowboy hats. (No rock star has ever looked less stupid in a cowboy hat than George on the back cover.) In addition to everything else it is, Rubber Soul is their best sung album. You can have a great time just focusing on the background vocals: Paul McCartney's harmonies o details

Sir Paul McCartney has been praised for the way he respects his fans, by Then Jerico frontman Mark Shaw.

The 'Big Area' singer unexpectedly bumped into the Beatles legend whilst walking in London and was amazed to see McCartney, 73, on his own happily chatting to his admirers and signing autographs in the street.

Shaw admits it was very refreshing to see a musician as famous as McCartney - who is married to Nancy Shevell - being so generous with his time especially when he doesn't need to be due to his lauded position at the top of the music world.

Speaking about his recent experience with the 'Yesterday' songwriter, the 54-year-old rock star told BANG Showbiz: "I saw Paul McCartney the other day in Soho. He was being photographed and asked for autographs by a couple of fans and he saw me and I looked at him and said, 'Looking really cool Sir Paul,' and he nodded and that was nice moment. I thought it was lovely that he still has the time to stand in the middle of the street with no security and talk to people and spend the time of day."


Source: Inside Toronto

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Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy Award-winner John Fogerty and Spoon added to the star-filled lineup of artists taking part in IMAGINE: JOHN LENNON 75TH BIRTHDAY CONCERT, an all-star concert event celebrating the music and message of the legendary music icon. The one-night-only concert event taping will be held at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, December 5th at 7:30pm ET, and air exclusively on AMC on Saturday, December 19th at 9:00pm ET/PT.

The concert event and broadcast premiere will also include very special video appearances by the remaining members of The Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award-winner Kevin Bacon will join as the special guest host of this star-filled event.

Also announced today is the all-star house band featuring: Greg Phillinganes (Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton) on keyboards, drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp), bassist Lee Sklar (James Taylor), Felicia Collins and Sid McGinnis (Paul Shaffer CBS Orchestra) on guitars, along with keyboardist Boh Cooper, percussionist Taku Hirano, and backing vocals Jory Steinberg, and Trya Juliette.


Source: Broadway World


Imagine: 12 Great Books About John Lennon - Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Thirty-five years ago, on December 8, 1980, John Lennon was murdered outside his Dakota apartment by Mark David Chapman. Lennon, a brilliant artist and complex man, was witty, ornery, and haunted, exploring his life through his art. Lennon remains an influential part of our culture. His song "Imagine" has become a timeless plea for peace.

Because his early life and half of his artistic career was so interwoven with the Beatles, I've included several biographies of the Beatles as well, which show the evolution of the group and the interactions of the members, especially the genius writing team of Lennon and Paul McCartney.

1. John Lennon: The Life Philip Norman

Norman, whose 1981 classic Shout! is considered the definitive biography of The Beatles, returns with John Lennon: The Life. It's an intimate look at the troubled genius who, with other Beatles members, changed the shape and sound of popular music. The book takes us from his early Liverpool days and childhood tragedies through the roller-coaster ride that was The Beatles. It studies his post-Beatles career, his turbulent marriage to Yoko Ono, his peace crusade, and his murder. Monitor critic Lorne Entress called it " wonderful unfolding of Lennon's details

In a Beverly Hills back room filled with the personal possessions of a lifetime of fame as a Beatle and solo artist, Ringo Starr happily posed for pictures with guests on Tuesday. It was the opening-night party celebrating this week's auction of selected items from Starr's life and career to benefit his Lotus Foundation charity. 

More than 800 items from his music career and the life he shares with wife Barbara Bach will be sold by Julien's Auctions, from star-shaped jewelry and vintage drum kits to his suit from A Hard Day's Night and mementos from decades of world travel. As guests took snapshots, Starr picked up a wooden Balinese statue and cradled it like he planned to take it back home.

"They'll never notice," he said with a laugh, then turned toward a mod tweed jacket hanging nearby and stroked his fingers on the lapel. "I'll try this on."

Starr will be one of thousands monitoring the auction online and on site at Julien's, with special attention paid to instruments used on Beatles and Starr solo records, including the 1964 Rickenbacker electric guitar given to him by John Lennon. A pair of rings he wore at every live Beatles gig he ever played are being sold. And in a glass case at the auctio details

The Beatles: 10 Best Solo Songs - Wednesday, December 02, 2015

The Beatles didn’t stop producing fantastic music just because of the band’s 1970 disbandment. In fact, and this is a controversial one, some of the best stuff from Paul, John, Ringo, and George came during the post-Beatles era.

That isn’t to challenge The Beatles in anyway. The Beatles are The Beatles. They’re the best. If someone asks for your top five favourite bands you don’t even bother mentioning them because they transcend above petty ranking systems. No, it isn’t a challenge. It’s just a reminder that upon going solo, the fab four were still the world’s very best musical artists.

McCartney went on to have immediate massive success with the band Wings, Lennon put out some singles that rival even his sixties Beatles stuff in terms of popularity, Harrison continued to solidify himself as one of music’s most talented guitarists and songwriters, and Ringo, with a little help from his friends in the form of his All Starr Band, is still rocking today. Yes, they each made some fantastic songs following their split up, and here are ten of the very best.

10. My Love – Paul McCartney

Easy listening, romantic bliss.

By: Sam Dawson

The Beatles’ ‘Rubber Soul’ Turns 50 - Wednesday, December 02, 2015

For most American teens, the arrival of the Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” 50 years ago was unsettling. Instead of cheerleading for love, the album’s songs held cryptic messages about thinking for yourself, the hypnotic power of women, something called “getting high” and bedding down with the opposite sex. Clearly, growing up wasn’t going to be easy.

Released in the U.K. on Dec. 3, 1965, and in the U.S. three days later, “Rubber Soul” remains one of the most critically acclaimed albums in rock history, influencing a generation of artists, including Brian Wilson, Bob Dylan and Stevie Wonder. It also marked rock’s shift from formulaic pop to studio experimentation and high art.

But while “Rubber Soul” has been hailed as an epic masterpiece and one of the first fully developed folk-rock albums, the vision for the U.S. release wasn’t entirely the work of John, Paul, George and Ringo or the Beatles’ producer, George Martin.

The 12-song album issued in the U.S. was markedly different from the British version, which featured 14 songs. Though both versions shared Robert Freeman’s cover photo and psychedelic lettering (ginger here a details

Not seen in public for more than 50 years, Ringo's three piece kit was used in more than 200 performances and was used on classic songs "From me to you", "All my loving" and "Please Mr Postman".

The 1963 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl Downbeat drum kit, which comes with an eye watering estimate of £198,000 to £331,000, was the first ever owned by Ringo and featured on 180 studio recordings.

As well as being one of the most recognisable of Beatles memorabilia, the drum kit was the first to feature the newly designed "drop T" logo, which was put on by sign painter Eddie Stokes for an extra £5. But the drum kit has not been seen in public since their now legendary appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. Since it was retired from use, Paul McCartney has also used the kit when he recorded his first solo album and has now been restored with historically correct hardware. The auction, which will be held in Los Angeles at Julien's Auctions today (thurs), comprises a total of over 800 items from the collection of Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach with the proceeds benefitting the Lotus Foundation.

By: Robert Kellaway

Source: The Express


Beatles statue at Liverpool's Pier Head - Monday, November 30, 2015

A new statue of the Beatles is due to be officially unveiled at Liverpool’s Pier Head this week. The giant bronzes of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr are being installed in front of the Three Graces – where they were wrapped in tarpaulin against the stormy weather this morning. They have been donated to the city by the Cavern Club and have been sculpted by artist Andrew Edwards, who also created the All Together Now World War I statue last year.

Cavern’s managing director Bill Heckle said: “It has been an unbelievable experience to witness the transformation of this city since Cavern City Tours was incorporated in 1983. “It bears little or no resemblance to the forward thinking vibrant and world-class city that now stands before us. “It has been undeniable that tourism has been an integral and driving factor in the renaissance of Liverpool and its most famous four sons have played a pivotal role in bringing people here. “We’re proud that we have been able to finance this project on behalf of fans from all over the world.”

The unveiling on Friday coincides with the 50th anniversary of the last time the band played in their home c details

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