Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Beatles Anthology - Episode One

All songs are written by Lennon/McCartney and performed by The Beatles, unless otherwise noted.

Episode One (July '40 to March '63) - 1:18:53

"You couldn't get a cup of sugar, let alone a rock' n' roll record." - George Harrison

1. Liverpool: The Childhood Years [7:35]
2. Discovering Rock & Roll [11:23]
3. John, Paul & George – The Beginning of The Beatles [5:21]
4. First Recordings 1958 – 1960 [2:55]
5. Stuart Sutcliffe [3:20]
6. Early Tours [6:59]
7. Pete Best [2:07]
8. Hamburg [13:16]
9. Growing Pains [1:09]
10. Stuart Sutcliffe Leaves [2:08]
* Excerpts of the following songs:
o I'm Down
o FBI (Marvin-Welch-Harris) — Performed by The Shadows
11. The Cavern [4:08]
* Excerpts of the following songs:
o Long Tall Sally (Johnson-Blackwell-Penniman)
o Kansas City (Leiber-Stoller)
o Some Other Guy (Leiber-Stoller-Barrett)
12. Decca Sessions [1:28]
* Audition tapes recorded at the Decca Studios, London on 1 January 1962.
o Three Cool Cats (Leiber-Stoller) — George Harrison on lead vocal and Pete Best on drums.
o The Sheik of Araby (Smith-Wheeler-Snyder) — George Harrison on lead vocal and Pete Best on drums.
* Audition tape recorded at Parlophone on 6 June 1962.
o Besame Mucho (Velazquez-Skylar) — Paul McCartney on lead vocal and Pete Best on drums.
13. George Martin [1:40]
* The Beatles and George Martin (record producer) discuss the context of their first meeting and recording contract.
14. Ringo Arrives [4:44]
15. Love Me Do [3:13]
* Overdubbed footage of the Beatles performing Love Me Do in 1963, which merges at the very end into brief footage of Ringo playing drums in 1995 during the Anthology sessions.
16. Please Please Me – "We’re No. 1" [7:27]
* How Do You Do It? (Murray)
o Audio of performance by Mitch Murray.
o Video of performance by Gerry & The Pacemakers.
o Audio of performance by The Beatles recorded at Abbey Road Studios on 4 September 1962).
* Please Please Me - performed live in 1964 on the Ed Sullivan Show
* Leave My Kitten Alone (John-Turner-McDougal) — Demo recording done on 14 August, 1964 at Abbey Road Studios and played over the credits.


Friday, November 05, 2010

"Soldier of Love (Lay Down Your Arms)"

"Soldier of Love (Lay Down Your Arms)" is a 1962 song, written by Buzz Cason and Tony Moon, originally recorded by country artist Arthur Alexander, appearing as a B-side to his single "Where Have You Been." The song was later covered by The Beatles during a 1963 session on the BBC, that is available on the album Live at the BBC; by Marshall Crenshaw on his debut album; and by Pearl Jam for the album, No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees, with their version appearing as a B-side to their cover of "Last Kiss."


Thursday, November 04, 2010

New Beatle Disc Is A Revolution

January 23, 1969

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second of a two part article concerning the Beatles' new album. It was prepared by the Capitol Record Company.

Side three of "The Beatles" is a rock showcase.

BIRTHDAY is the hard rock of the 1960s. YER BLUES is good Cream about which George slyly comments, "You never knew we were really from Chicago, did you? We learned all the basic blues rhythms and patterns when we were young lads living there, so we thought we'd get back into it for a bit."

"MOTHER NATURE'S SON is Paul singing about himself and EVERYBODY'S GOT SOMETHING TO HIDE EXCEPT ME AND MY MONKEY is John Lennon singing about himself," says George.

SEXY SADIE is seen in the same almost wistful light as Lovely Rita. It's followed by HELTER SKELTER, which comes on like hard acid rock and sounds like this description by George: "Do you have helter skelters here, things in fun fairs that you get on a mat and slide 'round and 'round? You start at the top and come down--and then go back up."

The final cut is an example of what's best in folk rock.

One of the real sleepers in this collection is by Geroge and titled LONG, LONG, LONG.

The fourth and last side begins with REVOLUTION NO. 1 which George says: " . . . was recorded before the other side of HEY JUDE, has less attack, not as much of a revolution, more the Glen Miller version."

HONEY PIE is the kind of ragtime nostalgia Tiny Tim might choose to do. SAVOY TRUFFLE sounds like something that would have been used in those marathon dances, but George says that it's " . . . probably a box of chocolates, or a chocolate."

CRY BABY CRY could be about the "she" in SHE'S LEAVING HOME. Of it George says "It's all in the mind, really."

REVOLUTION NO. 9 is an electronic experience. George said "I don't know what the meaning is, but the effects came from live effects we created ourselves or things we already found on tape by editing (these) tapes and making loops of tapes; and we built the whole thing out of that. We got a lot just from the tape library; we cut sounds out of old records."

After that, there could only come the end. It's called GOOD NIGHT. It works in the same way that A DAY IN THE LIFE worked for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

George, when asked about the use of different musical styles in this collection, summed up the impact of these 93 minutes. "I suppose because we're influenced by a lot of different types of music, then the influence must show in the stuff we write."

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Beatles Covers: Joe Cocker - She Came in Through the Bathroom Window

John Lennon on "Give Peace a Chance"

"The real word I used on the record was 'masturbation,' but I'd just got in trouble for 'The Ballad of John and Yoko' and I didn't want any more fuss, so I put 'mastication' in the written lyrics. It was a cop-out, but the message about peace was more important to me than having a little laugh about a word."

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

'The Beatles' New Album Has Some For Everyone

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is taken from a release from Capitol Records describing the Beatles' latest album, telling what their latest effort "is all about." Today's article is the first of two describing the double pocket album, the second of which will appear Thursday.

One of the comments heard about the Beatles' latest album is that they have returned to their "old Bag."

No so. They've returned to everybody's old bag.

From the first cut on, it's a revolution in every sense of the word. George Harrison said flatly that the first cut was "Paul's tribute to Brian Wilson (of the Beach Boys), whom he digs very much."

American performers have been spreading the joys of the U.S.A. for some time. The Beatles pay tribute to home as it would have been done in another country--and titled it BACK IN THE USSR.

George says that Paul's first inspiration came from the "I'm backing the U.S.S.R." I think it was originally "I'm backing U.S.A." There were several more ideas, but that's how it ended up.

DEAR PRUDENCE has simple and almost child-like lyrics (not as surrealistic as LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS) coupled with the latest in electronic sounds.

George says of GLASS ONION: "It's just nice, the imagery of that 'looking through a glass onion.'" Phrases and titles from STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER, THE FOOL ON THE HILL, I AM THE WALRUS, and LADY MADONNA parody the Beatles' own style.

OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA was once planned as a single. HEY JUDE's success curbed that, however. Here are echoes of African folk music.

"There's a fellow in London, Jimmy Scott, and his Obladi Oblada Band," George says. "He made it up based on some African saying. Obladi Oblada, life goes on, man."

The side continues with the barest fragment of a lament, typical of hyper-rock. George says the cut is wild, and they called it WILD HONEY PIE.

BUNGALOW BILL is a lilting, happy treatment of a theme typical of "Jungle Book" type movies. It confronts the adult governed world.

On WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS, George blends voice and instrument so each plays an equal part in softly crying, "sad."

Then there's the shock ending to the last cut. With that old Gene Chandler DUKE OF EARL styling, John defies belief by saying "Happiness is a warm gun." Its origin confirms the feeling that this is a powerful argument for gun control.

"After Kennedy--the second Kennedy--was killed, British papers printed ads from American gun mags, and one of the selling things was 'Happiness is a warm gun,' believe it or not," George says.

In MARTHA MY DEAR, "Martha is a big sheep dog," according to George. I'M SO TIRED brings back the '50s and the plaintive ballad with a rock beat.

BLACKBIRD will go into a lot of folk singers' repertoires. About PIGGIES, George says it was written almost three years ago. It's got the last word on ticky-tacky houses all in a row.

ROCKY RACCOON starts out country-heavy, but there's a quick jump to Dylan, and a Nilsson Scat type ending which refers to the Gideon Bible.

Like ACT NATURALLY, the sixth cut is a country song for Ringo. This time his request is DON'T PASS ME BY.

WHY DON'T WE DO IT IN THE ROAD is like Elvis at his dirtiest; I WILL is updated Bobby Vee at his cleanest, and JULIA is one of those sweet things Donovan can do without sounding like he's trying to convince you he's calling out to his real girl friend.

Next: sides three and four.

Monday, November 01, 2010

John Lennon on "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"

"This is about Yoko. She's very heavy, and there was nothing else I could say about her other than I want you, she's so heavy. Someone said the lyrics weren't very good. But there was nothing more I wanted to say.

"I remember that the simplicity on the new album was evident on the Beatles double album. It was evident in 'She's So Heavy,' in fact a reviewer wrote of 'She's So Heavy': 'He seems to have lost his talent for lyrics, it's so simple and boring.' 'She's So Heavy' was about Yoko. When it gets down to it, like she said, when you're drowning you don't say, 'I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me,' you just scream. And in 'She's So Heavy,' I just sang, 'I want you, I want you so bad, she's so heavy, I want you,' like that. I started simplifying my lyrics then, on the double album."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Donovan Leitch on "Yellow Submarine"

"Paul needed to jam and that's what we did. And on that particular day he said he had another song. It was called 'Yellow Submarine.' He played it for me and said, 'There's just one line I haven't got.' So I said, 'Let's go into the other room.' We did and I came out with 'Sky of blue and sea of green' - my only contribution to the Beatles' lyrics. So Paul and I had a productive little relationship there for a while."