Tag Archives: The Beatles

Everything’s Coming Up Pepper

In case you haven’t heard, June 1 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ eighth studio album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Debates rage as to whether this is simply a great album or the greatest album, but there’s no question of its musical and culture importance as a work of art. You cannot watch anything about the 1960s that doesn’t reference it as a touchstone. It is endlessly dissected and studied and what better opportunity to do so once again than with an anniversary!

The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Anniversary Edition Trailer

Coming on May 26 is a mega super duper deluxe reissue of the album itself with various packaging and trappings. As reported pretty much everywhere, “The ‘Anniversary Editions’ of “Sgt. Pepper” will include a single CD version with the new stereo mix (priced at $18.98 on Amazon) and a deluxe two-CD and digital version ($24.98) containing 13 alternate takes of all the “Sgt. Pepper” songs in the original sequence plus five additional takes.”

It also includes news stereo and 5.1 surround mixes. I still marvel at the remastered versions of the album (stereo and mono) that came out in 2009 so I can barely contain my excitement to hear this new set.

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper & Beyond - OFFICIAL TRAILER

Also in the mix is a new documentary about the album, which claims to have “rare archived footage of their heyday, including footage that hasn’t been seen since the 60’s.” Directed by Alan G. Parker and produced by Reynold D’Silva and Alexa Morris, It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! Sgt Pepper & Beyond is also due out May 26.

 

The Sue Me, Sue You Blues and “Blurred Lines”

There are a lot of music—what? Not purists, exactly. And not scholars. I guess music…grouches—out there crowing about the recent ruling against Robin Thicke and Pharrell re: “Blurred Lines.” I love Marvin Gaye as much as the next guy and also believe artists should be compensated for their work, but this verdict is nonsense. And the scale of it borders on dangerous.

The core of the case seems to be centered on whether Thicke and Pharrell “stole” Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give it Up” as the foundation for the massively popular “Blurred Lines.” A jury sided with the Gaye estate and awarded them a $7.3 million settlement. I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the music industry the last decade-plus but I can tell you making $7 million on any one song is quite a feat. The award basically negates any original contribution Thicke and Pharrell brought to “Blurred Lines.” You can find lots of debate about song structure, melody and scales elsewhere. The important thing to consider is that songwriters now need to document and compensate any and all sources of inspiration or face legal jeopardy.

Now back to those gloating about another upstart “entertainer” (vs. artist) getting what’s coming to him. Consider the number of songs from your favorite (read: legitimate) artists that might not be here if held to the same standard applied to “Blurred Lines.” You can Google how many times Keith Richards has acknowledged nicking riffs from Chuck Berry, and I won’t even get into Led Zeppelin’s long history of “borrowing” from their idols. Just consider two songs from our most beloved band, The Beatles.

If that riff doesn’t sound familiar then you need to go back and listen to “I Feel Fine” again.

Continue reading The Sue Me, Sue You Blues and “Blurred Lines”

All the Videos From CONAN’s George Harrison Week

If you’ve seen A Hard Day’s Night then you know George was definitely the coolest Beatle. If you’ve seen any clip of him you know it. And so it’s fitting that we celebrate George Harrison Week with Conan O’Brien and a cast of friends, family and admirers.

Beck Kicks it off with “Wah Wah” and the influence of All Things Must Pass on Beck’s sound become so obvious now.

Next is George’s old pal, Paul Simon with a tasty cover of “Here Comes the Sun.”

Contrast that with this version of the George Harrison and Paul Simon playing it together in 1976 and you can FEEL the years wash over you.

Continue reading All the Videos From CONAN’s George Harrison Week

George Harrison’s Apple Records Remastered, Re-released

The last few have been banner years for Beatles fans. The band’s catalog has been remastered in mono and stereo for digital and vinyl release, volume one of Mark Lewisohn’s meticulously researched trilogy was released, and both McCartney and Lennon back catalogs have also been getting the reissue/repackage/repackage treatment—replete with extra goodies. And now George is catching up.

George Harrison’s first six solo albums, released between 1968 and 1975 on The Beatles’ Apple Records label, have been digitally remastered from the original analogue masters for CD and digital release. The deluxe, eight-disc boxed edition, The Apple Years 1968-75 will be out on September 22. The albums included are:

  • Wonderwall Music
  • Electronic Sound
  • All Things Must Pass
  • Living In The Material World
  • Dark Horse
  • Extra Texture (Read All About It)

The entire set was supervised by George’s son, Dhani. Thank God for this kid, eh? His dedication to the old man’s legacy is really heart-warming.

Read all about the extra bits and ordering information on the George Harrison official release page, or just watch the teaser video.

Who The Fuck Is Anyone?

In the end, I guess we’re all just vapor. We dissipate and vanish over time. Some of us linger for a while, like a scent in old clothes, but ultimately we go away. Even the people and things we love the most. Even The Beatles.

It was within a couple of hours of his win for Best New Artist that Justin Vernon found himself the subject of an Internet meme. Or rather, his nom de plume, Bon Iver. It probably wasn’t what he had in mind when he clumsily accepted his award but a good portion of the Twitterverse was asking, “who the fuck is Bon Ivor?” Enough that it’s inspired a Tumblr blog based on many tweeters’ mishearing the name.

While a gang of dopey Twitter geeks wondering who Bonny Bear is and why he beat out J Cole (but really, who is that?)is one thing, there’s something far more disturbing out there. Something that chills my blood and unsettles my soul. There are maybe as many of these dopes asking: Who the Fuck is Paul McCartney?

Now I know that our attentions wane and shift over the years and generational differences can leave gaps and voids between us. But aren’t some things just…known? Aren’t there some facts, events and people who endure and transcend these differences? Surely, Paul Fucking McCartney is one.

It was a few years ago that Sab astonished us all with a report that he was working with an intern who had no idea who Kurt Cobain was. While that was (and is) shocking to me—not only because of Nirvana’s place in the greater cultural hierarchy, but because he hadn’t been dead that long—the idea that ANYONE doesn’t recognize the name of one of only two living Beatles is simply mind blowing.

And yet here we are, watching the constant flow of the Twitter stream wash away the few remaining features of our collective memory. What we’re left with is a fluid and a completely forgettable shape-shift of conversation. And these memories lose their meaning…oh wait, that was the other one.

Paul Weller Welcomes Twins, Names Them After Fave Musicians

When I was a kid—and I mean, when I was eight or nine years old—I told anyone who would listen that if I ever had kids I would name them after The Beatles. And I meant all of The Beatles, even Ringo. But I was a kid and what did I know? I grew up and realized it was ridiculous to name my kids after my favorite band.

Paul Weller on the other hand is welcoming his twin sons Bowie and John Paul into the world this week. The 53 year old former frontman of The Jam announced their birth via his website.

Don’t get me wrong, I love music and understand how deeply our favorite artists can touch us. But isn’t it a bit childish to be so blatant about it? I mean, it’s not like I have a son named after a famous musician. Oh, wait…

VIA The New Music Express

Handwritten Lyrics for A Day in the Life Auctioned

On a Loop in Hell Some handwritten lyrics of the Beatles‘ “A Day in the Life” will hit the auction block in June, the BBC reports. Written by John Lennon in a couple types of ink (because one pen apparently ran out) and with corrections and notes throughout, the double-side sheet is expected to fetch around $700,000, just behind the current record holder for handwritten Beatles lyrics.

“According to [Sotheby’s], the current record for the sale of Beatles lyrics is All You Need Is Love, which fetched $1m (£655,450) in 2005.”

The lyrics go up for sale on June 18, in case anyone is looking for a birthday present for Paul McCartney.

The Beatles: Amazon, Insound, wiki