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Fifty years ago, the Beatles landed in the U.S., generating the biggest explosion rock & roll has ever seen. In the new issue of Rolling Stone (on stands Friday, January 3rd), contributing editor Mikal Gilmore examines just how the Fab Four arrived in the States facing media disdain and a clueless record label in the wake of the devastating assassination of John F. Kennedy — and still managed to conquer America. 

On February 9th, 1964, Ed Sullivan famously intoned, "Tonight, the whole country is waiting to hear England's Beatles." Eight months later, the band had landed 28 records in Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart (11 in the Top 10), seen 10 albums released worldwide and been introduced to marijuana by Bob Dylan. But the band's voyage from Liverpool to New York City in '64 was filled with far more apprehension and stress than relaxation and glee. Gilmore's story traces the band's early fears, label woes and other hardships that threatened to derail its journey. "They've got their own groups," Paul McCartn details

Before the throngs of screaming fans, before selling billions of records, before creating chart-topping hit after hit, before becoming musical icons and before they were known as the Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr “were just boys” who faced many blunders and pitfalls on their journey to superstardom.

This simple truth was what inspired renowned Philadelphia journalist Larry Kane to write his newest book “When They Were Boys: The True Story of the Beatles’ Rise to the Top,” which focuses on the Beatles’ climb to fame from when they first met as teenagers in the 1950s to their historic first appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964. “[This book] is a page-turning, riveting account of these young boys who grow into young men and who [went] through all this craziness — betrayal, commitment, love, a lot of hate and [who had] a tremendous amount of help along the way,” Kane said. “Some of the things that have happened in this book … are to details

Christmas has just come and gone, so obviously that means that Valentine's Day is right around the corner (for retailers, at least). Starbucks is readying the release of its Sweetheart 2014 compilation, the latest in the coffee chain's series of love-inspired cover songs.

With a tracklist featuring indie rock bigwigs such as Phosphorescent, Vampire Weekend and Fiona Apple, Sweetheart 2014 is sure to be any hipster's dream Valentine's Day present. To help hype up the release of the album, "Loser" singer Beck has revealed his contribution to the album: an acoustic cover of John Lennon's "Love." Beginning with a somber piano and seguing into a heavy-handed guitar, Beck is highlights the best of "Love" with soft, dazed vocals that wind around the song's signature riffs.

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Signed Beatles Record Fetches $13,350 - Tuesday, December 31, 2013

According to the Beatles memorabilia dealer who sold the album, this is; "One of the most historic signed records there is! A fully signed 1962 first issue "Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You" 45 signed by all four Beatles on the a side of the record!

All have signed in dark blue ballpoint pen! This record was signed on October 6, 1962 at Dawson's music shop in Widnes, England one day after the 45 was issued!" Rare Beatles items are among some of the hottest collectibles in the marketplace today, often fetching staggering amounts. Having this particular record personally signed by all four band members, early in their career, adds to the records rarity. Because there just aren't that many fully-signed early (Beatles) items available. Rarity creates desirability for collectors, and desirability can push prices sky-high. Earlier this year (March, 2013) a rare signed copy of The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), sold for $290,500. Setting a new world record for the most expensive record sold at that time.

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On December 18, 2013, American musician and composer Sean Lennon (son ofJohn Lennon and Yoko Ono) shared a photo on his Facebook wall, depicting a pianist playing John Lennon's famous song

“Imagine” to the rows of Ukrainian riot police. In a week, the photo has gathered over 16,900 likes and has been shared over 6,100 times. The artistic action that took place in Kyiv, Ukraine, during ongoing EuroMaidan rallies. It was conceptualised and implemented by non-partisan activists of the group called Euromaidan's Civic Sector [uk].

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Source: Global Voices Online

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Making an album – even a classic album – sometimes can be an exercise in overcoming adversity. Still, the monumental troubles that Paul McCartney and Wings had to surmount to record Band on the Run, easily McCartney’s best post-Beatles album, easily could have served as fodder for an epic Hollywood film.

It all began with McCartney’s desire to work in a locale that was off the beaten path. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately, as it turned out), his record company, EMI, had an international presence, with recording facilities based in Bombay, Rio de Janeiro, Peking and … aha! … Lagos. Enchanted by visions of sunning on the beach by day, and recording by night, McCartney decided to gather his Wings bandmates and head for the Nigerian city, nestled on the west coast of Africa. Nevermind the fact that pre-trip inoculations to prevent cholera, typhoid, polio and a host of other potential diseases were required. One week prior to heading for Africa, McCartney corralled his fellow Wings members to rehearse some new songs. Disputes en details

As a member of the most famous band in music history, Sir Paul McCartney has sold over 100 million albums and singles. He’s constantly feted across the globe, honored with knighthoods and lifetime achievement awards.

The man has access to pretty much anything he could ever desire. Except a free Brooklyn Nets t-shirt. The musician stopped by the Barclays Center Monday night to watch the Brooklyn Nets rout the Philadelphia 76ers. When the team’s in-game entertainment crew rolled out t-shirt cannons during a game break, McCartney showed nearly as much passion as a teenage Beatles fan at Shea Stadium in 1965.

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Source: USA Today

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A Jewish perspective of The Beatles - Sunday, December 29, 2013

Just as Judaism is an ethical and spiritual lighthouse, so too were The Beatles. Most religions have their roots in spiritual awakening. The Beatles had a powerful appeal to a generation in calling forth a spiritual bonding.

They sought out wonder, meaning, and innocence in their lives and music. Similar to Judaism, the religious allure of The Beatles was a vital factor in allowing the group to endure. They were spiritual apostles that evangelized a kind of gospel that resonated with tens, if not hundreds of millions of people across a broad spectrum of the planet. The own personal search for a meaningful spirituality was a major part of their attraction. Joining the Beatle religion was nothing more than a matter of "belonging to the community" of people who enjoyed their music and definitely agreed with the idea, tone, focus, and message.  They preached a fantastic gospel through music-not lectures and shiurim. Just as many secular Jews benefit from belonging to the Jewish community and don't go all the way into it, a large details

Paul McCartney dominates the final Hot Tours tally of the year, earning the No. 1 spot on the weekly recap with more than $40.6 million in ticket sales from the final leg of his Out There! tour. Following jaunts through North and South America and Europe earlier in the year,

Sir Paul closed out his world tour with a six-show run through three cities in Japan during November. Returning to the country as a touring headliner for the first time in 11 years, he kicked off the trek with two shows in Osaka on Nov. 11-12. More than 71,000 tickets were sold during the two-night run at Kyocera Dome, the city’s 50,000-seat baseball stadium. With $11.6 million in revenue, the rock legend grossed $3.4 million more than the last time he played the Osaka venue -- also two performances -- during 2002’s Driving World tour. The Out There! tour’s final shows were held on Nov. 18, 19 and 21 at the Tokyo Dome, marking another return visit for McCartney who also played three concerts at the stadium during the 2002 tour. Ticket prices topped out at $117 details


Society always celebrates the records that top the Billboard 200 album chart. Back of The Billboards is a Music Times weekly segment that looks at the opposite end: the new record that finished closest to the back of the Billboard 200 for the previous week. We hope to give a fighting chance to the bands you haven't heard of.

Week of 12/27/2013

WHO: The Beatles

WHATThe Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963

SPOT: 172

Back of The Billboards is a feature meant to highlight new releases from up-and-coming or at least smaller performers, but the last few weeks of the year don't bring in many new releases. The Beatles and the Universal Music Group took a page out of Beyonce's book and released The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963 as an iTunes exclusive on December 17. The compilation collects 59 tracks from the band leading up to its first studio album in 1963, including 44 live tracks from the band's performances on BBC, as well as 15 outtakes details

Beatles Radio Listener Poll
If the Dead can do a farewell show without Jerry can Paul & Ringo without John & George?