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Beatles News

The Beatles succeeded for countless reasons, but their chemistry as four instrumentalists had a lot to do with it. For the vast majority of their songs, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, with some production expertise from George Martin, made the magic in the studio without any outside help.

On occasion, they looked for guest performers who could augment their sound. Some of these folks were relatively unknown outside their fellow musicians, while others were stars in their own right. Here are five special guests who made a big difference on specific songs of the Fab Four. (Listed in chronological order.)


Alan Civil wasn’t the first guest to appear on a Beatles record, but his part on “For No One” made an impact that seemed to open the doors for the group to try it again. The song features McCartney singing about a guy whose relationship is crumbling before him, even though he’s too far in denial to see it. If McCartney’s vocals can’t get through to him, Civil’s lovely, melancholy horn part should do the trick. McCartney and Martin forced him to hit a high note that the instrument doesn’t normally reach, but Civil came through in details

John Lennon's Last Interview - Sunday, April 21, 2024

Editor’s Note: Former radio executive Laurie Kaye is the author of Confessions of A Rock ‘N Roll Name-Dropper: My Life Leading Up to Lennon’s Last Interview.She was part of the RKO radio team that interviewed John Lennon before his death on that same day of Dec. 8, 1980, and shared this excerpt with us from her book.

On December 8, 1980, I was overflowing with excitement, anticipation, and disbelief as I approached the Dakota Apartments on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. I was there to play my part in John Lennon’s one and only US radio interview following the release of his and Yoko Ono’s brand-new album, Double Fantasy, and the voices in my head were telling me that this was without a doubt about to become the best day of my life that I could ever even begin to imagine, and that I was truly the luckiest person on the planet.

Visions of thousands of screaming Beatles fans packed into Dodger Stadium so many years earlier swirled through my brain like milkshake in a blender, and I could barely keep myself from swaggering down the sidewalk as my associates and I approached the security booth area right outside the Dakota’s entrance.

I’d flown out one day earlier details

Peter Brown, 87, worked for the Beatles, introduced Paul McCartney to his wife, Linda Eastman, was best man at John and Yoko’s wedding and was immortalized in John Lennon’s lyric, “Peter Brown called to say you can make it OK, you can get married in Gibraltar.” But the McCartneys reportedly ceremonially burned his 1983 book with coauthor Steven Gaines, The Love You Make, a warts-and-all Beatles bestseller many have called “The Muck You Rake.”

Brown and Gaines, who conducted hundreds of interviews with the Fab Four, their spouses, friends, families and business associates in the early 1980s for the book, had a lot more material than what made it into The Love You Make. Now Brown and Gaines present All You Need is Love: The Beatles in Their Own Words — Unpublished, Unvarnished, and Told by The Beatles and Their Inner Circle, an oral history created from those original transcripts. Though light on musical insights, the book is heavy on personal drama and a piercing look inside the band. Here are 10 juicy takeaways.

Source: Tim Appelo/AARP

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Ringo Starr has announced new tour dates for his All Star Band. Spring concerts were previously announced; the new run of shows will take place in the fall.

The nine new dates start on Sept. 12 in Omaha and run through Sept. 25 with a show at New York City's Radio City Music Hall.

Starr will also release a new EP, Crooked Boy, on Saturday for Record Store Day; a digital edition will arrive on April 26. "February Sky," the first single from the EP, was released last week. You can hear it below.

In other news, Starr's old band the Beatles will see their long-shelved 1970 film Let It Be receive a proper release. Disney+ will air a remastered version of the movie, about the making of the band's last-released album, on May 8.

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band features Steve Lukather, Edgar Winter, Colin Hay, Warren Ham, Hamish Stuart and Gregg Bissonette. They will launch a spring tour on May 22 in Las Vegas; that run will wrap up on June 9 in Austin.

Source: Michael Gallucci/ultimateclassicrock.com

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Paul McCartney is known as one of the most talented and successful songwriters of all time. He’s penned–or co-penned–countless smashes and beloved tunes throughout his many decades as a superstar. But even the greats borrow from others, and that doesn’t exclude the former Beatle.

In the latest episode of his podcast Paul McCartney: A Life in Lyrics (co-produced by iHeartPodcasts and Pushkin), the rocker admitted that even he has been influenced by other songwriters. Only, in one specific instance, he wasn’t so much influenced or inspired, but rather, he simply lifted lyrics from someone else and used them for his own purpose.

“That chorus that I've used as a chorus, literally, is the lyrics to an old Victorian song,” McCartney shared in the podcast. He was referring to the tune “Golden Slumbers,” which the Beatles released in September 1969.

McCartney’s podcast co-host, his friend and poet Paul Muldoon, tried to soften the comment the songwriter had just made. “Is this what we call sampling?” he asked, but McCartney wasn’t trying to sugarcoat things.

“Well, it's called stealing,” McCartney said. It’s g details

As two of the biggest stars in the planet, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder had to know that any collaboration between them would invite major scrutiny. They overcame those worries by keeping it simple with “Ebony and Ivory,” a straightforward plea for racial unity that struck a major chord with audiences when released in 1982.

How did the song develop? And how did a little tardiness almost throw a wrench into everyone’s plans? Why don’t we get all the details on this hugely successful chart-topping song? A Duet, but with Whom?

Paul McCartney took a break from Wings with his 1980 album McCartney II, but it wasn’t meant to be a permanent break. He intended to reassemble the group for his following album, which would be recorded with George Martin as producer. In October 1980, Wings did demos of a batch of songs McCartney had recently written, songs that would end up on albums like Tug of War (1982) and Pipes of Peace (1983).

One of the songs that the band demoed was “Ebony and Ivory.” McCartney envisioned the song as a duet, and he had Denny Laine, Wings’ longtime guitarist, sing it with him on the demo. Alas, those sessions were Wings’ last, as McCart details

The Beatles and their music were an enormous part of my teenage years.

You usually chose between The Rolling Stones or The Beatles as to who were your favourite music icons. For me, it was always The Beatles, unfortunately I didn’t succeed in seeing them live but I did marry a Liverpool man who went to art school with John Lennon and who used to listen to the group play in the Cavern Club in Liverpool long before they became famous – so that was quite something to talk about!

They were amazing pioneers of sound, John, Paul, George and Ringo, four working class lads from Liverpool who were music rebels. They ignored the old way of recording music and together with producer George Martin, they opened up new horizons, again and again, experimental, avant-garde, rock, jazz, pop. They had a special sound using new techniques. Their albums were innovative to not only the sound but the incredible album cover designs. They were real works of art and they displayed the songs’ lyrics too.

The 1960s youth culture was born, a sort of protest against the adult world. I remember the feeling well, a change of lifestyle and freedom to experiment with art, fashion, morality, female liberation – Th details

On April 9, All You Need Is Love: The Beatles in Their Own Words was released worldwide. The book is written by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines, who have both worked with The Beatles and written about them for years.

The book features unreleased interviews with The Beetles and their significant others, including Yoko Ono. This is not the first time Yoko Ono and John's relationship has been in the spotlight.

Their relationship started in an art gallery and took many forms in the 14 years they were together. It continues to be one of the most famous love stories. A look into their relationship timeline shows that Yoko continues to carry on John's legacy and accept awards on his behalf.

"Love can sometimes be hell", Yoko Ono says about her relationship with John Lennon

Yoko Ono and John Lennon's relationship began at a gallery where Yoko presented her artwork at the Indica Valley. The Beatles visited the gallery, and John was intrigued by Yoko's work. John later recalled to Playboy about his first meet and reported,

"That's when we locked eyes, and she got it, and I got it and, as they say in all the interviews we do, the rest is history."

John, at that time, was married details

George Harrison had temporarily quit The Beatles in January 1969, disillusioned with their fraught sessions after witnessing the domestic bliss of The Band and their home studio set-up in Woodstock the previous November. What he saw in New York suggested a cooler, more democratic process was possible. The tensions in which he was mired at that time bore a handful of songs that were at once spiteful yet contemplative, including “I Me Mine” and “Wah Wah.”

“Run Of The Mill” is similarly probing; ironically, its lyrics were first scrawled across an envelope from Apple, the company that would irrevocably tear the group apart over differences of opinion regarding its management. A few weeks after Paul McCartney announced to the world in April 1970 that The Beatles had split, Harrison was in New York to discuss starting work on a solo album with Phil Spector, playing the producer “Run Of The Mill” and a selection of songs he’d earmarked for it. While the majority of “Run Of The Mill”’s ire is purportedly aimed at McCartney, the song also serves as a cautionary tale of owning one’s actions: “No one around you will carry the blame for you,” details

When The Beatles first released “Happiness is a Warm Gun” in 1968, many assumed the track was about sex, drugs, or both. But in reality, the inspiration came from something far less illicit: an American Rifleman magazine cover.

Of course, in typical John Lennon fashion, there were multiple sources of inspiration for the track that closed Side One of the Beatles’ eponymous album (known as the “White Album”). Those sources included a shoplifter, a peeping Tom, Lennon’s sexual relationship with Yoko Ono, and rampant public defecation.

The Magazine Cover That Inspired “Happiness is a Warm Gun”

“Happiness is a Warm Gun” is a psychedelic, rambling track that switches subject matter almost as much as it changes time signature. The second half of the song builds anticipatory tension that explodes into the song’s main hook: Happiness is a warm gun, bang, bang, shoot, shoot. As Lennon later explained, he picked up the line from a cover of the U.S. National Rifle Association’s monthly publication, The American Rifleman.

Source: Melanie Davis/americansongwriter.com

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The documentary, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, will be available to watch for the first time in 50 years. The film follows The Beatles as they record 'Let It Be,' and as they perform for what would be their final time as a group. Everett

Disney+ is adding to its library of music documentaries, bringing a long lost Beatles doc to its slate.

The streaming service is adding the 1970 film Let It Be to its platform, beginning May 8, 2024. It will be the first time that the film, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, has been made available to watch in 50 years.

Peter Jackson’s Park Road Post Production restored the film, with Lindsay-Hogg’s support, allowing for its rerelease. Jackson, of course, directed the 2021 documentary for Disney+ The Beatles: Get Back.

Let It Be follows The Beatles as they record the aforementioned album, and as they perform for what would be their final time as a group.

Disney says that the background and story provided by Get Back allows for the film to be more fully appreciated, with Jackson and Lindsay-Hogg now voicing support for people to see both projects in a more complete context.

“Let It Be was ready to go in October/November 1969, details

At 81, Paul McCartney still going strong, considers himself on first wind aiming for 100. Fans praise McCartney's positive attitude, secrets for aging well, including yoga and a vegan lifestyle. Rock asked McCartney about aging, received hilarious response from Beatles star.

The artist is getting older, but at the age of 81, Paul McCartney isn't quitting music. The Beatles star continues to age in reverse. While speaking alongside Chris Rock, Paul McCartney revealed his true feelings on getting older.

In the following, we're going to take a look back at the entertaining interview between the two, and what Paul McCartney had to say. We'll also reveal how the fans reacted to the interview. As expected, fans had nothing but praise for Paul and his thoughts.

We'll conclude things by taking a closer look at the ways McCartney is currently fighting the aging process, and what he's doing to keep a youthful look and mindset.

Paul McCartney Told Chris Rock He's Still On His First-Wind, Building Up To His Second-Wind On The Road To 100

Paul McCarntey has always been a great guest, filled with fantastic stories from the past. He's also full of wisdom, and that was on full display during his chat details

The Beatles’s influence ranges far and wide. Almost every artist today can trace their musicality back to the foursome in one way or another. While that credit isn’t always given, there are a few artists that have made it a point to pay homage to the Fab Four. Find three such artists and their Beatles-centric songs, below.

1. “Edge of Seventeen” (Stevie Nicks)

Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen” has transcended its original meaning. While Nicks wrote this track as an ode to John Lennon (and her uncle who’s name was also John), it now stands as Nicks’ thesis statement of sorts. It has a certain magic that only Nicks is able to deliver. Nevertheless, Nicks’ original intent was to pay homage to the former Beatles member. Because of that, it earns a worthy spot on this list.

Source: Alex Hopper/americansongwriter.com

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The Beatles were one of the most successful musical acts when it came to collecting Hot 100 hits during their heyday. The band pushed pretty much every single they released to the ranking of the most-consumed songs in the U.S. for nearly a decade. While many of their beloved smashes reached the competitive tally, plenty of other well-known tunes from the group never had a chance to shine on the chart, based on how it was arranged at the time.

This week, one of The Beatles’ most recognizable songs finds a home on the Hot 100. It does so thanks to an inventive and beautiful cover from one of the biggest musical stars in the world—and it reaches a new peak thanks to the reworking.

A cover of The Beatles’ “Blackbird” by Beyoncé debuts on the Hot 100 this week. The tune opens at No. 27 on the ranking of the most-consumed songs in the U.S.

Beyoncé’s take on the Beatles classic sticks pretty close to the original, though she does make it her own in some ways. For starters, she changed the name, but only slightly. To help differentiate it from the classic, and to keep it in the same format as her other tracks on her latest album, she’s added a second "i," c details

The Beatles are getting the big-screen biopic treatment in not just one film, but a Fab Four of movies that will give each band member their own spotlight — all of which are to be directed by Sam Mendes.

For the first time, the Beatles, long among the stingiest rights granters, are giving full life and music rights to a movie project. Sony Pictures announced Monday a deal that may dwarf all music biopics that have come before it, with the stories of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr spread out over a quartet of films.

The films, conceived by Mendes, are expected to roll out theatrically in innovative fashion, with the movies potentially coexisting or intersecting in theaters. Precise release plans will be announced at a later date. Sony is targeting 2027 for their release.

McCartney, Starr and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison have all signed off on the project through the band’s Apple Corps. Ltd. Sony Music Publishing controls the rights to the majority of Beatles songs.

“I’m honored to be telling the story of the greatest rock band of all time, and excited to challenge the notion of what constitutes a trip to the movies,” Me details

One, two, three, four

Those four words kick off the debut album by The Beatles as they explode into the intro with guitar, bass, and drums. After “Love Me Do” reached No. 17 on the British charts and “Please Please Me” hit No. 1, it was time to record an album. When producer George Martin witnessed the audience’s reaction to the band’s live shows, he decided they should record the same songs they regularly performed. On February 11, 1963, the band entered EMI Studios on Abbey Road in London and laid down 10 songs. Let’s take a look at the story behind one of them—”I Saw Her Standing There” by The Beatles.

Well, she was just seventeen
You know what I mean
And the way she looked
Was way beyond compare
So how could I dance with another
Ooh, when I saw her standing there?
The Origin

Paul McCartney began writing the song as he was returning home from a show in Southport, England. He was influenced by the traditional song “As I Roved Out.” He worked out the arrangement on an acoustic guitar at musician Alan Caldwell’s house in October 1962. (Caldwell went by the name of Rory Storm and had a band, Rory St details

Described inevitably, but correctly, as ‘a classic’, it’s pretty close to perfection.

That’s not so much because of the discreet studio, where a white grand piano currently takes pride of place, but because of the captivating, white-shuttered 18th century house which looks out, across a terrace arrayed with statues, to the Mediterranean – and which is even blessed with its own chapel, carved into the hillside above.

But, dream South of France property though it may be, I can reveal that Julian Lennon has decided to walk away from it – albeit for £22million.

That’s the price tag which musician, photographer and philanthropist Julian – only child of John Lennon’s marriage to his first wife, Cynthia – has put on the house which he’s owned for the past 25 years or so.

Described as a ‘passion project’, the four-storey house, which has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and numerous balconies, is the sort of architectural gem which could have appeared in a play by Noel Coward or a novel by Somerset Maugham, who memorably called the Riviera, his home for many years, ‘a sunny place for shady people’.

Sourc details

During Monday’s (April 8) solar eclipse, a number of well-known hits surged on streaming platforms as Americans got into the spirit of the event. Plenty of songs that had some connection to the sun, or the moon, or, more specifically, eclipses, benefited from the special occurrence. One of the most successful from that day comes from the biggest bands of all time, and it’s way up in terms of plays on the top streaming platforms.

The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” gained massively on Monday as millions of Americans focused on all things related to the eclipse–even songs that weren’t really connected to the event. On that one day, the Fab Four’s track earned 656,000 plays on streaming sites, according to Billboard.

More than 600,000 streams in a single day is impressive. Given the fact that “Here Comes the Sun” is already more than half a century old, its performance is even more notable. The Beatles’ cut ranked inside the top 200 on Spotify’s U.S. chart on that day, beating out dozens of more current smashes.

Billboard states that when compared to the Monday before the eclipse, streams of “Here Comes the Sun” were up 58%. T details

The Beatles are, well, what can we really say that isn’t obvious? They are probably the biggest band ever. The Fab Four remain icons of music. Throughout their time together, the Beatles created a litany of indelible songs and massive hits. In fact, 20 different Beatles songs hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. And yet, that isn’t the end of the Beatles’ quality output. In fact, these are 30 great songs from the Fab Four that were never chart-toppers in the United States.

“All My Loving”

Interestingly, the Beatles (or their label, more than likely) didn’t go in too heavily on “All My Loving.” It was released as a single in Canada, becoming a number-one hit. Then, eventually, the Canadian single got imported to the United States, but that left it to peak at 45 in America, which is a real surprise.

Source: Chris Morgan/Yardbarker

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We love a classic interview where someone famous either nails a future prediction or, better still, they fail miserably at it, so we can gently mock them. We've discovered one that definitely sits in the former camp, and it's with none other than Beatles legend George Martin.

Back in 1983, Martin had, of course, moved on from producing The Beatles and onto other projects including setting up AIR Studios in Montserrat – a fascinating story in itself, which we go into here. That didn't mean he would ever stop getting asked about the band though, but he was always more than willing to talk about them.

It was also the year Martin had written his book, Making Music: The Guide to Writing- Performing and Recording, a compilation of his own "little tricks of the trade" and those from a vast number of his contacts, from Adam Ant to Hans Zimmer. And it was this book that he was being interviewed about in the November issue of Home & Studio Recording.

Source: Andy Jones/musicradar.com

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It was 54 years ago today when Paul McCartney put out a press release saying he was no longer working with The Beatles.

Despite this, Macca claimed it was John Lennon who broke up the band in 1970.

Speaking previously with BBC Radio 4, the 81-year-old said: “I’m not the person who instigated the split.

“John walked into the room one day and said, ‘I’m leaving The Beatles’ and he said, ‘It’s quite thrilling, it’s like a divorce.’

“And then we were there to pick up the pieces. I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny, coming in one day and saying I’m leaving the group.”

Hunter Davies, who wrote The Beatles’ only authorised biography during their career, backs up McCartney’s claim. According to The Times, he previously said: “Between 1966 and 1968, when I was hanging around them, it was clear that John had had enough. Of everything really: of his wife, Cynthia, of life, of the whole damn thing.”

Davies claimed Lennon would sit around idle for days, half-stoned and staring into space in total silence. Having become rich and famous, the restless star felt it was all the details

Sir Paul McCartney was "so embarrassed" when he tried to play lead guitar with the Beatles.

The 81-year-old music legend was part of the iconic rock group alongside John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr but explained when he tried playing lead guitar during an early gig instead of bass, he "totally froze" on stage.

Speaking on the 'Paul McCartney: A Life in Lyrics' podcast, he explained: "Mind you, when I first met John. He didn’t play guitar, ‘cause I had to show him guitar chords because he’d been taught by his mum [Julia], and she only knew banjo chords.

" We had this gig and it was like, the first thing I ever played, and I was lead guitar player. John was rhythm. And I had a solo and I totally froze. Could not move my fingers. … It was like, just so embarrassing. My lead guitar playing career melted at that moment and I said, ‘Well, I’m not doing this again. I’m not cut out for this. I’m no good."

The 'Hey Jude' singer provided most of the lyrics for the Beatles and was also co-lead singer alongside John and previously revealed he loves to spend time with his instruments and he even worries that some of them might feel "lonely".

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Beatles legend Ringo Starr has announced a new single, "February Sky," from his upcoming EP, Crooked Boy.

Crooked Boy will be Starr's fourth consecutive EP and includes four original tracks - "February Sky," "Gonna Need Someone," "Adeline," and "Crooked Boy." All songs were written and produced by Linda Perry for Starr to make his own, adding vocals and playing drums.

The EP will be released on a limited-edition marble vinyl on Record Store Day on April 20. On April 26, it will be released digitally. Fans can pre-order the black vinyl and CD now, releasing on May 31.

After previously collaborating on two songs that appeared on earlier Ringo EPs, Linda approached Ringo and asked if she could produce an entire EP. That was the origin of Crooked Boy.

"Linda made me a great EP - she produced it in her studio and then sent me the tracks and I added the drumming and my vocals," Ringo said. "'February Sky' is great - very moody - but since Linda wrote these specifically for me - it of course has to have a positive peace & love element."

Source: rttnews.com/

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Arguably no group in rock history has had a bigger impact than The Beatles.

Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, a.k.a. The Fab Four, produced 19 No. 1 albums, scored 20 No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and became the best-selling music artists of all time, per the Recording Industry Association of America.

Founding members McCartney and Lennon met in Liverpool, England, on July 6, 1957. That day, McCartney played with Lennon’s band, The Quarrymen, and they bonded over their love of songwriting.

"I turned round to him right then on first meeting and said, 'Do you want to join the group?' ” Lennon said of his bandmate in The Beatles Anthology. “And he said ‘yes’ the next day as I recall it.”

McCartney brought his school friend, Harrison, into the fold in 1958, according to Far Out Magazine. After The Quarrymen rebranded as The Beatles in 1960, the group went through several more early lineup changes — including the addition of Starr and brief tenures of bass player Stuart Sutcliffe and drummer Pete Best. The Beatles released their debut album, Please Please Me, in 1963.

Proof of the band’s international success details

The final curtain will come down this summer on Cirque du Soleil's long-running show “The Beatles Love," a cultural icon on the Las Vegas Strip that brought band members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr back together for public appearances throughout its 18-year run.

Cirque announced on Tuesday that the show housed at the Mirage will end on July 7, part of the iconic hotel-casino's major renovation plan to rebrand itself into the Hard Rock Las Vegas.

Stéphane Lefebvre, CEO of the Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, said in a statement that more than 11.5 million people have seen the show — an energetic portrayal of the Fab Four's history and music with aerial stunts and whimsical dance numbers on a colorful, 360-degree stage.

“We are grateful to the creators, cast, crew and all involved in bringing this show to life," Lefebvre said, "and we know The Beatles LOVE will live on long after the final bow.”

In a separate statement, Joe Lupo, president of the Mirage, thanked the Cirque performers and crew members working behind the scenes “who played a part in entertaining guests and bridged generations" for nearly two decades.

The production premiered in the details

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