Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Compleat Beatles

The Compleat Beatles, released in 1984, is a two-hour documentary, chronicling the career of the "Fab Four." Though it has since been supplanted by the longer and more in-depth documentary Beatles Anthology, The Compleat Beatles was for many years largely regarded as the definitive source of information on the Beatles.

Narrated by Malcolm McDowell, it included extensive interviews with a number of sources close to the Beatles, including producer George Martin, their first manager Allan Williams, music writer Bill Harry, and musicians Gerry Marsden, Billy J. Kramer, Marianne Faithfull, Billy Preston, and Tony Sheridan, as well as early concert footage, behind-the-scenes background on the making of their albums, and candid footage of their often obsessed, hysterical fans.

Directed by Patrick Montgomery, the film was produced by Delilah Films and released by MGM/UA. It enjoyed a brief theatrical release in 1984.

Quotations from the film

"It wasn't their music which sold them to me, it was their charm. They were a charming people."--George Martin.

“They generally wrote their own songs…they would play them, one to the other…It was very much a competition, and a very healthy one.”--George Martin

“At the moment they were being given a philosophy in which they could live their lives as individuals, at that very second, (manager Brian Epstein) died. The one who wanted them to be as a group.”--Marianne Faithfull

Narration in the film

"The weary faces on the cover of the next British LP, Beatles for Sale, showed that Beatlemania was taking its toll."

"Magical Mystery Tour…was their first venture following Brian’s death. Largely a project of Paul’s, the idea was to travel the English countryside in a bus filled with friends, actors and circus freaks, and to film whatever happened. Unfortunately, nothing did."

"It had to be stoically accepted that the Beatles were, in the end, a phenomenon of the Sixties; the Seventies, and beyond, were only to feel their influence."

"“Hey Jude” was their first release from the newly formed Apple Corps. The song was seven minutes long, double the length of most singles. Radio stations usually refused to play a song that lasted more than three minutes, but once again The Beatles were the exception to the rule. “Hey Jude” became The Beatles’ largest selling single of all."


Friday, April 30, 2010

Paul McCartney on "The Inner Light"

"George wrote this. Forget the Indian music and listen to the melody. Don't you think it's a beautiful melody? It's really lovely."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Got to Get You Into My Life"

"Got to Get You into My Life" is a song by The Beatles on the album Revolver. It was released as a single in the US in 1976, a decade after its initial release and six years after The Beatles split up. This was the single that was released as a promo for the Rock 'n' Roll Music compilation album. It hit #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, The Beatles' last top ten hit there until their 1995 release "Free as a Bird."

Development of song

Though officially credited to Lennon-McCartney, McCartney was primarily responsible for the writing of this track, to which he also contributes lead vocals. John Lennon was said to have been very fond of the song, saying this was, "Paul at his best," according to a 1980 Playboy interview. McCartney attempted to write in the style of American soul music for this song, as particularly inspired by the Stax label. The soul revue-style horns are especially allusive to the Stax "Memphis soul" sound. Traces of Motown influence are apparent as well. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios between 7 April and 17 June 1966 and evolved considerably between the first takes and the final version released on album. The mono and stereo versions of the recording also feature completely different ad libs in the fade-out. In Got to Get You Into My Life, the brass were miked in the bells of their instruments then put through a limiter.

Song structure

Following the outro chords of "I Want to Tell You", the song immediately starts with the horns. McCartney's vocals clock in at 0:07. The predominant instrument playing is the horns, similar to the soul records of the late '50s and early '60s. The chorus of the song appears at 1:04, with the song's title sung. The song switches between a verse and the refrain. The electric guitar solo clocks in at 1:53, and at 2:10 the horns come in, playing the same chords as the song opened with. The song closes with fading vocals of McCartney, much akin to the soul records of the time. The percussion instrument most predominant is the tambourine, overdubbed onto the standard drum kit.


Although many believed it was a love song that Paul was writing for a girl, he later disclosed the song was about marijuana in Barry Miles' book Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now. Many lyrics from the song suggested this - "I took a ride I didn't know what I would find there / Another road where maybe I could see some other kind of mind there.", "What can I do, what can I be when I'm with you I want to stay there / If I am true I will never leave and if I do I know the way there."


* Paul McCartney – vocals, bass
* John Lennon – rhythm guitar, vocals (on Anthology 2 version)
* George Harrison – lead guitar, vocals (on Anthology 2 version)
* Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine
* George Martin – organ
* Eddie Thornton – trumpet
* Ian Hamer – trumpet
* Les Condon – trumpet
* Alan Branscombe – tenor saxophone
* Peter Coe – tenor saxophone

Other Covers

* Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers
* Blood, Sweat, and Tears
* Earth, Wind, and Fire
* Diana Ross
* Syesha Mercado of American Idol
* Courtney Murphy of Australian Idol
* Matt Corby of Australian Idol
* Daniel Johnston
* BUCK Enterprises

B-side: "Helter Skelter"
Released: Album: 5 August 1966; Single: 31 May 1976 (U.S.)
Format: 7"
Recorded: Abbey Road Studios - 7 April, 17 June 1966
Genre: Soul/ Rock
Length: 2:27 (stereo version), 2:35 (mono version)
Label: Capitol 4274 (U.S.)
Writer(s): Lennon/McCartney
Producer: George Martin


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pattie Boyd's Beauty Tips #1

SINCE A GIRL's "shining glory" truly is her hair, I think it is very important to pay extra special attention to your "Barnet" -- that's London slang for hair-do.

My hair is long, so I am writing this only for girls with long hair (or girls who plan to grow long hair). First off, cleanliness is the number one beauty secret when it comes to long hair -- or any hair, I s'pose. I usually wash my hair once a day. I dry it in a clean linen towel, then carefully and gently comb all the tangles out.

You will have to experiment with various shampoos to find the one that is right for you. You don't have to use expensive shampoos. There are very good ones in your five and dime stores. I think a shampoo with olive oil added is good for most normal hair.

Just before my hair is completely dry, I give it a good brushing with a natural bristle brush. Be sure your hair is not still wet, or you will "stretch" it and break off the ends. When my hair is gleaming (still dampish), I take about eight big round rollers and carefully roll up the ends. I curl them over about three times. You have to use more or less turns, depending on how much natural curl there is in your hair.

When my hair is dry, I remove the rollers. Then I lift the hair at the top of my head and back-comb or brush it until there is enough teased up to give me a little "crown." Next, I comb over the teasing gently until the crown looks smooth and neat. Now I comb my bangs down, over my eyebrows and, holding them lightly, flick the ends up so that I get a curved line (which is very flattering to the eyes).

Finally, I carefully comb the sides and ends, also flicking the bottoms up all the way around. The final move is to spray my hair thoroughly with a good, light hair spray. This holds it in place without getting it all gooey.

If you have trouble with this hair style, don't despair. Please keep trying and soon you will learn how to do what is exactly right for you and your hair type. Good luck!

Beatles Covers: Steve Earle - I'm Looking Through You

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Good Night"

"Good Night" is the final song by The Beatles on their self-titled album (aka The White Album). It is sung by Ringo Starr, the only Beatle to appear on the song. The music is provided by an orchestra arranged and conducted by George Martin.


John Lennon originally wrote the song as a lullaby for his son Julian when he was five years old.

George Martin's arrangement is excessively lush, and intentionally so. Lennon is said to have wanted the song to sound "real cheesy" — like a Gordon Jenkins-esque Hollywood production number. The musicians play the following instruments: twelve violins, three violas, three cellos, one harp, three flutes, one clarinet, one horn, one vibraphone and one string bass. The Mike Sammes Singers also took part in the recording.

Covers and other uses

The song has been covered by several artists, including the Carpenters, Ramsey Lewis, Kenny Loggins, Cyril Stapleton, the Manhattan Transfer, and Monkees drummer Micky Dolenz and the "Forces Sweetheart" Vera Lynn who released it as a single and performed it on a BBC TV variety show. It was also chosen by the British band Coldplay to play out after the band had left the stage at concerts on their 2005–2006 Twisted Logic Tour.

In the 1980s, it was used as the soundtrack to an animated film that was used for the daily close-down of Sydney, Australia's Seven Network affiliate, ATN-7. The sequence contained brief cartoon nudity, so it earned considerable controversy. The song was also used back in the 1970s on Greensboro, North Carolina's WFMY-TV when they were signing off the air.

A truncated version of the recording was used in the close-down of Newark, New Jersey TV station WWHT for its short-lived rock video format as "U-68" in 1986.

A later cover version, appeared in the Mexican TV '70s show El Chavo del Ocho, on the Acapulco special sung in Spanish by Chespirito and titled "Buenas noches, vecindad" (literally, "Good night, neighborhood").

A one-second clip of the song is heard on the Paul McCartney album Liverpool Sound Collage at 3:38 on the track "Plastic Beetle."


The song makes two appearances on the Beatles' soundtrack to the Cirque du Soleil production of Love. It first can be heard at the end of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" transitioning into "Octopus's Garden." It can be heard a minor third lower than originally recorded. After the orchestral intro to the third verse of "Good Night", the same orchestral accompaniment is played over a sample of Ringo Starr freely, slowly singing the opening words to "Octopus's Garden". Later, at the end of the show, after the strains of "All You Need Is Love" have faded out, the orchestral outro of "Good Night" (in its original key, G major) (as well as the last bits of dialogue in the Beatles' fan club-exclusive Christmas album) brings the album to a peaceful close.

Album: The Beatles
Released: 22 November 1968
Recorded: 28 June 1968
Genre: Pop, lullaby
Length: 3:11
Label: Apple Records
Writer: Lennon/McCartney
Producer: George Martin


Monday, April 26, 2010

George Harrison's Thoughts on LSD

"Up until LSD, I never realised that there was anything beyond this state of consciousness. But all the pressure was such that, like the man [Bob Dylan] said, 'There must be some way out of here.' I think for me it was definitely LSD. The first time I took it, it just blew everything away. I had such an incredible feeling of well-being, that there was a God and I could see Him in every blade of grass. It was like gaining hundreds of years of experience within twelve hours. It changed me and there was no way back to what I was before. It wasn't all good, because it left a lot of questions as well. And we still had to continue being fab, you know? And now with that added perspective, it wasn't easy."
-November 1987

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Paul McCartney on "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"

"I think this is my favourite on The Beatles album."