Archive for the ‘Beatles’ Category

23 Songs For Today

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

1.Donna and Blitzen -Badly Drawn Boy
2. You Were Right -Badly Drawn Boy
3. Happiness Is A Warm Gun -The Beatles
4. Blackbird -The Beatles
5. Hey Bulldog- The Beatles
6. Junk – The Beatles
7. Child of Nature  -The Beatles
8. Munich -Editors
9. Who Do You Want For Your Love? -Icicle Works
10.Oh My Love -John Lennon
11. Places -The Last Detail
12. Photographs -The Last Detail
13. Despite Repeated Warnings -Paul McCartney
14. The Back Seat Of My Car -Paul McCartney
15. Bluebird -Paul McCartney & Wings
16. Mayfly -Paul Weller
17. What Would He Say? -Paul Weller
18. Aspects -Paul Weller
19. Books -Paul Weller
20. May Love Travel With You -Paul Weller
21. A World Without Love -Peter & Gordon
22. I Just Wanna Hold Your Hand (On Christmas Day) -The Yearning
23. Airplane (Fly Me To Mexico) -The Yearning

50 Years, 30 Directions

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Almost eighteen months after Sgt.Pepper ( a gap longer than Pet Sounds to Smiley Smile), the Beatles released their next album, simply called The Beatles, in plane white packaging. It was the single biggest outburst of new Beatles music; 30 unheard tracks, none released on a prior single or available for early listening on Spotify…

The title and white packaging may indicate a move towards simplicity and group harmony. There was certainly a move away from the psychedelia of 1967, but in about 30 different directions. We got the softest side of the Beatles (Goodnight, Honey Pie) at the same time as the hardest (Helter Skelter, Yer Blues), the weirdest (Revolution 9) alongside straightforward rock and pop. It’s unlikely you will love all 30 tracks, or even want to listen to some of them again, but it’s also very possible that some of your favorite Beatles songs, if not your favorite songs of all time, are part of this album.

And now the White Album is exactly 50 years old, and tearing up the charts again,courtesy of a comprehensive 50 year anniversary release, showcasing the legendary Esher demos plus a lot more on the deluxe editions. The Esher demos demonstrate that John, Paul and George were not short of inspiration after Rishikesh. George, in particular, was starting entering his composing high-point, where one song per side of a Beatles record would not accommodate his brilliant creativity –Long Long Long is probably my favorite “unknown” Beatles song.

Indeed, the White Album sessions in retrospect indicated the beginning of the end for the Beatles as a group, and the white color is pretty much the only unifying theme of the album. The brilliance is very much there, but there is a sense of disunity and division, which is very much a theme of our 2018 world. We can’t run away from this reality, but we can temporarily forget about it in the brilliance of this album, or at least the parts that reflect our own musical idyll.

The Engineer Of The Beatles

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

Sad news today is the passing of Geoff Emerick, the sound engineer for the many of the Beatles best known recordings. You can read about his important contribution to the Beatles legend here.

Old Times Good Times

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

The last two albums reviewed on this page have both burned up the charts, despite the veteran status of both artist. Macca (76) has seen Egypt Station top Billboard and reach #2 in the UK, while Paul Weller (just turned 60) has reached #2 with his 14th solo album, and effectively 26th in his career.

But the most exciting news for veteran musicians is no doubt the 50th anniversary White Album collection, available in 3CD and 7CD configurations, including the Esher Demos. We may just see a group that broke up almost 50 years ago also tearing up the charts.

Macca Station

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Macca is back with his new album Egypt Station –and back in the public consciousness especially on the back of the Carpool Karaoke video with James Corden. The new album, as with the previous New album, sees McCartney trying to modernise his sound for a new generation, especially on the rather gimmicky Fuh You –however his strength remains the modular pop songs like Hunt You Down/Naked/C-Link and especially Despite Repeated Warnings, which subtly but obviously digs at the current US Presidents environmental policies. The other strength is the traditional McCartney ballads such I Don’t Know and Do It Now. Overall, it may not in the upper echelons of McCartney’s work, but it shows that he is still a creative force to be reckoned with.

When I’m 76 Part 2

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

 

Today, we celebrate the 76th birthday of the Mozart of pop ‘n rock, Brian Wilson. We are thankful for his immeasurable contribution to melody, harmony, music and culture and wish him a day of peace and joy with his family – with his music featuring high on the charts, there is much is celebrate.

Meanwhile, the birthday boy of two days ago has announced the release of his latest solo album. No doubt, he will also be flying up the chart soon.

When I’m 76

Monday, June 18th, 2018

It’s that time of year as the days reach their longest in the north, and the shortest in the south, that the Gemini twins of song celebrate their birthdays two days apart. It’s Sir Paul’s turn first, so very best birthday to Paul McCartney and thanks for a very full time of great music.

23 Songs For Today

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

1) BRIGHT EYES (Art Garfunkel)
2) NO FAIR AT ALL (Association)
3) WHEN I GROW UP (TO BE A MAN)
4) RAIN (Beatles)
5) KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVENS DOOR (Bob Dylan)
6) EIGHT MILES HIGH (Byrds)
7) A NEW CAREER IN A NEW TOWN (David Bowie)
8) MANHATTAN SKYLINE (David Shire)
9) BROTHERS IN ARMS (Dire Straits)
10) BUILD (Housemartins)
11) GOING UNDERGROUND (Jam)
12) DON’T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA (Julie Covington)
13) WE’LL TAKE THIS TRAIN (Kane Gang)
14) WATERLOO SUNSET (Kinks)
15) NEVER’S END (Lloyd Cole And The Commotions)
16) HEART OF GOLD (Neil Young)
17) TECHNIQUE (Prefab Sprout)
18) WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS (Queen)
19) WORLD LEADER PRETEND (REM)
20) A LOVE SO BEAUTIFUL (Roy Orbison)
22) I WON’T SHARE YOU (Smiths)
23) ONE (U2)

Happy 75, George

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Happy 75th birthday to my favorite Beatle, George Harrison. He hasn’t been with us for some time, but he speaks to us clearly in 2018 in this, one of his greatest songs

“Watch out now, take care
Beware of greedy leaders
They take you where you should not go”

 

My favorite musicians: #2

Sunday, February 18th, 2018

You’ve probably heard of the Beatles. You probably like them a lot, unless you are one of the very perverse people who say they are overrated. A group that split up almost fifty years ago, and effectively had seven years of record-making still manages to influence, make headlines (e.g. Quincy Jones) and get their music played over the world.

The strength of the Beatles was having three strong and often complementary songwriters, a great drummer and a lot of personality. The great music didn’t end in 1970 either -all four Beatles had their solo moments and All Things Must Pass,  in particular shows how creative George had become in the later Beatles years. So for fifty-plus years of history and great music, the Beatles are my #2.