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For his 50th birthday this year, Joe Boucher’s wife took him to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. This past summer, on the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, he went to the music festival site in upstate New York, stood where the stage had been and imagined what it was like.
He’s walked in the crosswalk at Abbey Road and stood on the stage at the Cavern Club, where the Beatles started out in Liverpool. Rock ‘n’ roll is part of his DNA, culturally and otherwise. “I am the youngest of five kids, and I grew up with a good classic-rock pedigree,” said Boucher, concert manager for the Portland Symphony Orchestra and an ardent Beatles fan.
A musician who spent years on the road in rock bands, Boucher is writing the second act of his musical story by creating orchestral rock shows and shares his passion for the Beatles with “Imagine: The Beatles Solo Years,” at 7 p.m. Friday at the Sanford Performing Arts Center, an 850-seat theater that opened a year ago in Sanford High School.
Source: Bob Keyes/pressherald.com
Most of the stories of the White Album sessions are dark. There’s the one about Ringo feeling so unwanted he left the country while recording “Back in the USSR.” Or how George Harrison brought in Eric Clapton so the other Beatles would pay attention to a song he wrote.
Paul McCartney famously referred to this record as “the tension album,” and the selfishness of the band members was a big part of that. According to just about everyone there, you’d only see a Beatle get excited when recording one of his own songs. Otherwise, it was every man for himself.
But there were exceptions. Before “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” became a sore spot for all parties, the Fab Four had a grand old time goofing around doing the backing vocals. And, judging by Beatles quotes, it sounds like they also had fun recording “Happiness Is a Warm Gun.”
After they’d finished the record, Paul described that John Lennon-penned classic as a highlight of The White Album. In fact, he went out of his way to describe how much he loved “Happiness.”
What would’ve happened if George Harrison hadn’t returned to The Beatles in January 1969? That’s been a fascinating topic ever since George took his leave from the band during the sessions for Let It Be.
For John Lennon, George’s departure didn’t represent the end of the world. “Let’s get in Eric [Clapton],” he said calmly. “He’s just as good and not such a headache.” To reinforce the point, John (always ready to burn someone) began playing The Who’s “A Quick One, While He’s Away.”
But it wouldn’t be that simple. For starters, Paul McCartney and Ringo didn’t agree to call in Clapton as a replacement for George. And that wasn’t the only thing keeping one of the era’s guitar gods from joining the Fab Four.
If John bothered to run it by Clapton, he probably would have gotten a “no” in reply. By early ’69, George and Clapton had already solidified what would become a lifelong friendship.
The following extract from the book describes George Harrison’s budding involvement with The Beatles as a key songwriter; and how after a few false starts he would cement this role with Here Comes The Sun. When George Harrison unveiled his latest composition, “Here Comes the Sun,” it was much to the delight of his bandmates. With songs like The White Album’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and, more recently, “Something,” Harrison had finally proven his mettle as a songwriter of the highest order. For Lennon, “Something” had been a revelation. As he later recalled, “Paul and I really carved up the empire between us, because we were the singers. George didn’t even used to sing when we brought him into the group. He was a guitarist. And for the first few years he didn’t sing on stage. We maybe let him do one number, like we would with Ringo.” By the time Harrison started his life as a working songwriter, “there was an embarrassing period where his songs weren’t that good,” Lennon added, “and nobody wanted to say anything, but we all worked on them—like we did on Ringo’s. I mean, we put more work into those songs details
Before he founded Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page was a very busy man on the London recording scene. In fact, he was one of the top session guitarists of the era. During the mid-1960s, he played the solo on Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman” as well as rhythm guitar on records by The Who and The Kinks.
And when Joe Cocker’s take on “With a Little Help From My Friends” shot to No. 1 in ’69, it went there with Page’s searing lead guitar. Basically, if a producer wanted any sort of guitar work without having to prep the player, he could call Page, who’d get the job done.
That included recordings for film scores. So when Parlophone chief George Martin needed incidental music recorded for a film starring his hot new act, Page got the call. But it wasn’t a situation where Martin wanted to use a session musician over one of The Beatles (as he’d done in the past).
For those who ever wished to see Jamie Oliver and Lil Nas X sharing a canvass, right now is your fortunate day
The long-lasting art work for The Beatles‘ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Membership Band’ album cowl has been up to date for the 21st century, with a wide range of fashionable musicians, celebrities and popular culture figures included on the newly designed piece.
The art work was designed by German artist TrippieSteff as a part of a remake of a number of basic album covers, together with Blondie’s ‘Parallel Lines’ and Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’, by a crew of graphic designers and artists.
The brand new art work, which options Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Drake and Lil Nas X rather than the unique Fab 4 on the centre, depicts a spread of up to date figures together with Elon Musk, Kylie Jenner, Bernie Sanders and BoJack Horseman. See the brand new design under.
In early June 1966, The Rolling Stones ruled the airwaves on both sides of the Atlantic with “Paint It Black.” That track, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard and UK charts, featured a driving rhythm and a sitar part played by Brian Jones.
But The Beatles weren’t looking to their purported rivals for inspiration as they recorded Revolver in April-June ’66. A year earlier, George Harrison wrote a song that reflected the influence of The Byrds (“If I Needed Someone”) for Rubber Soul. (George played sitar on that ’65 album as well.)
Meanwhile, Paul McCartney was hitting a peak during the Revolver sessions with ballads like “For No One” and “Here, There and Everywhere.” And on “Good Day Sunshine, the album’s bounciest song, Paul looked to another American band for inspiration.
On that short and sweet track, Paul said he had The Lovin’ Spoonful in mind. But Paul didn’t play the barroom-style piano on “Good Day Sunshine.” Those honors went to the best pianist in the studio that day.
Compared to other Beatles records, The White Album was a bona fide avalanche of material. With four sides and over 93 minutes of music and effects, it was over three times as long as A Hard Day’s Night and nearly an hour longer than Revolver.
Speaking not long after its release, George Harrison said it was so long it could be overwhelming. “It’s too big for people to really get into it,” George commented. “For the reviewers and also [fans].”
But fans of John Lennon couldn’t help but celebrate. On the double-record release, you get 11 tracks featuring John’s writing and 10 with him on lead vocal. And from “Dear Prudence” on Side One to “Revolution 1” on Side Four, it was John at or near his best.
Among John’s tracks were Ringo’s favorite from the album (“Yer Blues”) and one both George and Paul McCartney greatly admired (“Happiness Is a Warm Gun”). With “Happiness Is a Warm Gun,” we got a song only John Lennon could have written — and one he called “a history of rock ‘n’ roll.”
You know when someone asks your thoughts on something, like getting bangs or starting a podcast, and it sounds like they shouldn’t do it but you don’t have the heart to tell them? That’s how Paul McCartney felt when screenwriter Richard Curtis first approached him about the movie Yesterday, which posits a world in which the Beatles never existed. (We can’t blame him!) In a new interview with Billboard, McCartney says, “Richard Curtis, who [directed] Love Actually, wrote to me with the idea. And I thought, This is a terrible idea, but I couldn’t tell him so I said, ‘Well, that sounds interesting — good luck.’ I didn’t think anything more of it.” Then, when McCartney found out Danny Boyle was tied to the project, he thought, They must think they can pull it off.
Source: Justin Curto/vulture.comdetails
Over the years, it has become common for people to think Ringo Starr isn’t talented. To legitimize this viewpoint, many have pointed to the time John Lennon was allegedly told Ringo was the best drummer in the world. According to Snopes.com, John supposedly responded “The best drummer in the world? Ringo wasn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles!” Did John actually make this callous remark?The alleged quote would not have become popular if didn’t reinforce people’s preconceived notions of Ringo. It is true Beatles records rarely featured songwriting from the band’s drummer. Some of the only Beatles tracks written by Ringo are the forgotten instrumental song “Flying” and the cutesy children’s song “Octopus’s Garden.”
The Beatles crown the Top 125 Artists of All Time chart, thanks to their unrivaled dominance on the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 since their U.S. breakthrough in 1964.
On the occasion of Billboard's 125th anniversary, our charts team created an equally monumental ranking: Billboard's Top 125 Artists of All Time.
Using a formula blending all titles tallied on both the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart (since its inception on Aug. 4, 1958) and the Billboard 200 albums chart (since it became a combined stereo/mono survey on Aug. 17, 1963), we assembled a list of music's all-time top artists. (Due to changes in chart methodology and title turnover rates, certain periods for each chart recap were weighted differently to ensure as equal a representation as possible among all eras.)
The result: a group of truly iconic acts whose achievements prove that the history of Billboard mirrors the history of pop music itself.
Source: Trevor Anderson, Gary Trust / Billboarddetails
Here are seven things you need to know about the three-LP, newly remixed—by Giles Martin and Sam Okell—and remastered version of Abbey Road, all of said re-ing done in honor of the album's 50th anniversary:
1) According to Universal, the remix was done from the original eight-track master tape, not from digital files made from that tape; inscriptions on the lead-out areas of all six sides suggest that these new LPs are the product of half-speed mastering. All surfaces on my review copy were noiseless.
2) Listening to these new mixes, the dominant impression is one of increased articulation. The equalization isn't drastically different from that of the original mix.
Source: Art Dudley/stereophile.com
e’ve always seen him through the lens of peace and love. But ask Ringo Starr to describe what life looks like through his eyes, he has another word.
“Beautiful," said Starr. "The people in my life, the life I’m leading. I get to do what I love, play drums, and while I’m doing that, I take photos.”
The legendary Beatles drummer takes photos, and creates books like his third one, Another Day in the Life, not just to document, but to change the world.
One hundred percent of proceeds from his work goes straight to his non-profit, The Lotus Foundation, which funds and promotes projects to advance social welfare.
“We go from Doctors Across Borders to battered women to kids with cancer, but we have the one I always support is Water Aid. If you have nothing else you should have water. Makes me emotional to think about those poor kids,” said Starr, holding back tears.
When you look at the tracklist for the Beatles’ White Album (1968), you can see why the band’s producer thought it should have been trimmed down. In fact, George Martin believed it ought to go out as one “really super album” rather than a two-record set.
Between a solo improvisation by Paul McCartney (“Wild Honey Pie”), a song about chocolates (“Savoy Truffle“), and a seven-minute sound experiment (“Revolution 9”), we’d have a hard time arguing it was all essential Beatles material.
The crazy thing is, The Beatles actually did scrap two songs during the White Album sessions. If you’ve ever heard John Lennon’s wild “What’s the New Mary Jane,” you probably understand why that one got cut.
However, regarding the second — George’s “Not Guilty” — you can’t make the same case. And it gets even harder when you learn the Fab Four took over 100 stabs at the song.
Part of John Lennon’s tooth is going on show in Bristol to raise awareness of oral cancer.
People will have the opportunity to wear the tooth round their neck and have their photo taken with it.
The tooth necklace is on a UK tour in a bid to raise awareness of oral cancer. Over the next few weeks, it is visiting 16 dental practices to highlight National Mouth Cancer Month. It will be accompanied by free mouth screenings, promotions and fundraising events at every dental practice.
Mouth cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world. NHS guidance says that early detection can boost chances of survival from 50% to 90%.
Lennon gave the tooth to his former housekeeper, Dot Jarlett, between 1964 and 1968 thinking she would dispose of it. Instead, she gave it to her daughter - a massive fan of the Beatles - who guessed it would be worth something one day. She sold the tooth recently in order to pay for a family member's operation.
By October 1968, The Beatles probably considered it a miracle that they were almost finished The White Album. Since they began work on the double record at the end of May, they’d experienced just about every problem a band could have.
Geoff Emerick, the Beatles’ Grammy-winning engineer, also gave up on the band during these contentious sessions. And George Harrison thought about doing the same. (An assist by Eric Clapton might have kept him in the band.)
When Paul McCartney led the band through one of his self-described “fruity” songs late in the White Album sessions, the mood seemed to be, “Let’s get this done.” And the lineup on “Honey Pie” reflected that.
Rock and roll band “The Beatles” pose for a portrait circa 1967. | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
It might have been the change of scenery that had the Fab Four in the mood early that October. For the week in question, the band worked at Trident Studios rather than at Abbey Road. “I like this hot kind of music!” Paul said, getting ready at the start of the session.
After the Beatles tragically broke up in the early 1970s, each member of the band went on to have a solo career. George Harrison proved he could be a great solo artist with his masterpiece “My Sweet Lord.” Let’s look at the history and controversy behind one of the most iconic Beatles solo songs.
George was raised Catholic but converted to Hinduism later in life. His Hindu beliefs inform much of his work as a Beatle and as a solo artist. After he began to take an interest in Indian spirituality, three Hindu gurus – Sri Yukteswar Giri, Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, and Sri Mahavatar Babaji – were depicted on the cover of the Fab Four’s seminal album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. After the Beatles broke up, George recorded a version of the Hari Krishna Mantra and used images of the Hindu god Krishna in his album art.
When The Beatles released “Something” as a single backed with “Come Together” in 1969, it was significant for a number of reasons. For George Harrison, it was the first time the band released a song he wrote as a single (i.e., the A side).
When it hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts that November, it became the first time someone besides John Lennon or Paul McCartney had got the Fab Four there. (It was also the last time.) And the praise for “Something” began rolling in right away.
Before Frank Sinatra began singing it at his shows, he’d call it one of the best love songs ever written. But even Sinatra was confused about the composer. (At first, he attributed it to Lennon and McCartney.)
Fifty years later, it remains one of the most popular and most covered Beatles tracks. However, it’s still not entirely clear who George was thinking about when he wrote his greatest love song.
The Beatles produced an iconic mix of cheery pop songs and psychedelic experiments. Although they never wrote as many macabre tunes as Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, or Marilyn Manson, the Fab Four did give us a handful of eerie tracks. Here are the spookiest songs that the Beatles ever wrote.
“A Day in the Life” remains one of Beatles‘ most popular and critically acclaimed songs. The song’s popularity is a touch surprising given its horrifying undertones. The song sees John Lennon and Paul MCartney narrating four seemingly disconnected vignettes. One is about a man who died in a car accident, another is about a World War II movie, the third is about a man’s daily routine, and the fourth is about “four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire.”
None of these lyrics are scary unto themselves, however, they are each followed by a cacophonous instrumental break which sounds like the gates of hell being opened.
By the time The Beatles split, in 1970, Paul McCartney had already accomplished more than any musician could have hoped for. Having helped change the face of music on several occasions, he could have spent his post-Beatles life in semi-retirement, emerging solely to remind us of his past accomplishments. As a solo artist, however, McCartney continued to shape pop and rock music, whether with new collaborators (Wings, his wife Linda, Elvis Costello, producer Nigel Godrich) or simply following wherever his creative muse led. The best Paul McCartney songs, then, pay tribute to that relentless drive to keep finding new modes of expression.One of the interesting aspects of Paul’s 2013 album, NEW, is that the production credits feature Giles Martin and Ethan Johns, successful young producers, but – more significantly – the respective sons of George Martin and Glyn Johns, both of whom had produced The Beatles. From the sessions with Ethan Johns came ‘Early Days’, a song about Macca’s carefree teenage years back in Liverpool. “On the day I wrote the track ‘Early Days’ I was thinking about the past, particularly me and John in Liverpool in the early days, so I just ran with that,&rdq details
When you watch the Let It Be documentary, a few things stand out. One is the famous ending, in which The Beatles give their last live performance on the roof of the Apple building. Also noteworthy is the energy Billy Preston brings after several uninspired rehearsals early in the film.
Clearly, the Fab Four (plus Yoko Ono) did not enjoy making the movie, especially in the beginning. The caught-on-camera argument between Paul McCartney and George Harrison led to George walking out on the band for a stretch in January 1969.
After George agreed to return, the band moved the recording dates (originally call the Get Back sessions) to Abbey Road. In the transition, they seemed to lose interest in a few of the songs they’d started.
One of those tracks was “The Long and Winding Road,” a ballad you can see Paul playing on piano at one point in Let It Be. While it ended up being the Beatles’ last No. 1 hit in America, Paul didn’t like what the song had become prior to its release.
The last album recorded by The Beatles featured several of their most loved – and most covered – songs. ‘Something’, ‘Come Together’ and ‘Here Comes The Sun’, for example, have been recorded by hundreds of artists, while fresh takes on songs from Abbey Road continue to emerge some 50 years on. Our our favourite Abbey Road cover versions take in recordings by soul, jazz and classical music icons.The swamp funk that The Beatles had been looking for on their own version of ‘Come Together’ came naturally to Ike And Tina Turner. Indeed, the rock’n’roll music that had first made the fledgling Beatles want to be stars owes a great debt to Ike Turner, whose 1951 recording ‘Rocket 88’ (credited to Jackie Brenston And The Delta Cats) is often cited as an candidate for being the first rock’n’roll recording. After touring in support of The Rolling Stones in late 1969, the husband-and-wife duo covered ‘Come Together’ as the title track of their first album of the 70s, released in May that year.
Today we’re taking a look back at an iconic moment in pop music history, the time that Ravi Shankar, iconic Indian musician, taught The Beatles’ George Harrison how to play the traditional Indian instrument, the sitar.
What transpired was a rich and fruitful partnership between the pair which would not only see Harrison promote both Shankar and Indian music through his various channels with The Beatles. But it would also see Shankar become a deeply respected musician in the Western world on his own merit.
Shankar, the father of folk singer Norah Jones, became widely known for his collaborations with The Beatles, among other western musicians, and brought the intricacy and beauty of classical Indian music to the masses.
When The Beatles went their separate ways in 1970, fans couldn’t wait to see how their solo projects would turn out. In the case of Paul McCartney’s debut effort, they didn’t have to wait long. That’s because Paul released his record while simultaneously announcing he’d quit the Fab Four.
But McCartney didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Critics were underwhelmed, and Paul’s bandmates were, too. John Lennon described it as “rubbish,” while George Harrison simply called it “disappointing.”
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band got almost the opposite reception. While it didn’t sell as well as Paul’s effort, critics raved about John’s songwriting and stunning vocal performance. But neither Paul nor John had come up with one of those trademark No. 1 singles.
George did the honors on that front when he released “My Sweet Lord” from his late ’70 All Things Must Pass album. (Both the single and record topped the charts.) But George had been very hesitant about releasing what became his most recognizable — and best-selling — song he’d ever record.
In a new q interview, Starr also talks about his photography, his All-Starr band, and how an illness inspired him to drum.
He was the drummer of what is arguably the most influential rock band of all time — and at 79, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is still recording albums, touring and performing.
But Starr's story is anything but a fairytale: as a child he suffered from tuberculosis; he worked on boats and in factories before hitting the bigtime; and he suffered from alcoholism that was so severe, he ended up in rehab.
Still, his love of drums never wavered, and in a new q feature interview, he talked with host Tom Power about everything from his knighthood to how he first got introduced to drumming.