It’s well documented the love Bob Dylan had for The Beatles. The enigmatic singer’s adoration for the pop maestros wasn’t just kept to the band as a group but as respect for each member. In 1970, Dylan got together with The Beatles’ man with the guitar George Harrison for a recording session, from which came this beautiful cover of ‘Yesterday’.
Dylan’s particular affection for George was a known fact, least of all because of his work with Harrison in the supergroup Travelling Wilburys which also included Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. More importantly, because Dylan saw in Harrison one of the more important songwriters of a generation, though he admitted working with George to try and find his voice following the split of The Beatles.
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By the time the Beatles played Shea Stadium to 55,000 fans in 1965, the screams of the crowd were so loud that the band couldn’t hear themselves play a note.
But at one gig, four years before, they very much could hear themselves play, all too clearly. In fact, pretty much the only other sound they could hear was metaphorical tumbleweed blowing across the venue floor.
The venue in question was the Palais Ballroom, in Aldershot, Surrey, England. This was the Beatles’ first gig in the south of the UK, set up for the four by their pal, Sam Leach.
Leach’s big idea was to get as many London record company execs into the Palais as possible. It proved, however, impossible to get even a single one.
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By early 1969, The Beatles had already started going their separate ways. In January of that year, the contentious Let It Be sessions exposed the many animosities between the band members. Before they’d put a dent in the album, George Harrison walked out with plans to quit the group for good.
George’s problems with Paul McCartney ended up on film for all to see in the Let It Be documentary. But that was only part of the story. George and John Lennon reportedly got into a fistfight during these sessions as well. And Ringo remained weary following his own walkout the previous summer.
With John and Yoko set to be married in March ’69, The Beatles didn’t seem built to last. Yet they wouldn’t go out without releasing many more classic songs. “I’ve Got a Feeling,” the last great collaboration between John and Paul, was among them.
In between the Let It Be and Abbey Road sessions, John found himself with a great wedding story to tell but only Paul around to help him record it. So he and Paul knocked it out on their own. Soon after, it became the final Beatles No. 1 hit in England.
Paul McCartney has written countless lyrics that have been part of the soundtrack of the live of millions. But the opening line “When you were young and your heart was an open book…” was an especially evocative entry in his songbook because of its place in the James Bond movie franchise. ‘Live And Let Die’ entered the UK singles chart on 9 June 1973, and remains a key moment in McCartney’s live set more than 45 years later.
The song was even more significant to Beatles fans as it reunited Paul with the esteemed producer George Martin. He composed and produced the score for the film of the same name, the first to star Roger Moore in the 007 role. The title track, written by McCartney, was more than just one of his classic ballads, twice changing gear into suitably high-speed instrumental sections featuring Martin’s quite brilliant orchestrations.
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On every Beatles album, you see the majority of songs credited as Lennon-McCartney tunes. However, after the early days of John and Paul writing “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and other tracks “nose to nose,” most songs came from one songwriter or the other.
Few would mistake “Come Together” for a Paul McCartney tune. Likewise, the idea that John Lennon could have written “Your Mother Should Know” seems insane at this point in time. Nonetheless, the publishing deal had both men credited on all Beatles tracks they wrote.
After The Beatles broke up, that led to a lot of confusion. John spoke of how people kept telling him how great “Yesterday” was. Over the years, he became exhausted trying to explain it wasn’t his. (He liked Paul’s classic tune but never wished her wrote it.”)
When he ran through who wrote what on all the Beatles albums, there were some songs John simply laughed about. In fact, he said he “would never even dream of writing” one Lennon-McCartney track from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Very few people are aware that George Harrison released two solo albums whilst still a Beatle.
The first is Wonderwall Music and the second is Electronic Sound. Wonderall Music doubles as Harrison’s first solo album and the soundtrack to the film Wonderwall, directed by Joe Massot and starring Jane Birkin, one-time wife of Serge Gainsbourg and mother to Charlotte Gainsbourg. The songs on Wonderwall Music were largely instrumental and the recording was begun in late 1967 and continued into January of 1968. And one must keep in mind that it was music written for film. Even so, there are a few stand-outs.
It was a time when Harrison was deeply into India music, having by this point become quite adept at playing the sitar. The album opens with a hypnotizing track called “Microbes” and is followed by what is perhaps one of my favorite George Harrison songs, “Red Lady Too.” The chord progressions, arrangements and instrumentation on this song are simply brilliant.
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It’s June 9th, so September 26th is not far off.
That would be the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ towering classic album, “Abbey Road.” Something is happening, but we’re not sure what exactly.
So far, The Beatles have struck gold with 50th anniversary editions of “Sgt. Pepper” and “The White Album.” Each release was inventive and cool, and sold like crazy.
“The White Album” did include outtakes of two “Abbey Road” songs– “Mean Mr. Mustard” and “Polythene Pam.” But otherwise there are plenty of work tapes, demos, and other miscellaneous music that would be swell to hear from the making of “Abbey Road.” Also, the album, which was remastered for the 2009 box set, could get a Giles Martin remix now. Martin is also working on the 2020 50th anniversary of “Let it Be” and the movie that accompanies it.
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If you ask Beatles fans which album is the best, many will go with 1969’s Abbey Road. Certainly, it’s among the most representative records the band released. It featured rockers like “Come Together,” pop ditties like “Oh! Darling,” and two George Harrison masterpieces.
On the second side, Abbey Road delivered an operatic medley that wowed critics and fans alike. It also served as a fitting close to the band’s last studio album. In so many ways, it was (as the final track announced) “The End.” But don’t expect John Lennon to get sentimental and accept that.
To John, there was much to be admired on the first side of Abbey Road. He was quite proud of “Come Together,” which became his last No. 1 hit with The Beatles. But he considered the rest of the album tossed together and, in short, “junk.”
John Lennon’s life took a number of wild turns in the 1970s. At the start of the decade, he was completing his escape from The Beatles, the world’s most famous band. In late 1970, his triumphant debut solo album answered all questions people had about his powers as a songwriter on his own.
But a few years later, he had become estranged from Yoko Ono in what he called his “lost weekend” phase. Though he was making music and producing albums for others, he was abusing drugs and generally seemed to have lost his way.
That changed when he landed his first No. 1 single (with a hand from Elton John) and worked his way back to Yoko. The following year (1975), Yoko gave birth to Sean and John famously became a househusband to raise him. He kept that routine going through the end of the decade.
Sir Paul McCartney, 76, and wife Nancy Shevell, 59, dressed to impress as they attended a charity event in New York City on Tuesday
Nancy looked demure as she wore a black sweetheart-neck gown and kept her accessories to a minimum by wearing a few silver rings.
The brunette beauty styled her locks into a sleek, straight style and with a side parting so that her hair framed her face well.
Sir Paul put on a dapper display in a black suit, a white shirt and a black tie, while his salt-and-pepper locks were brushed back behind his ears.
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