All posts tagged: The Beatles

george-harrison

CD BOXSET REVIEW: GEORGE HARRISON, “The Apple Years 1968 – 75”

The perfect companion piece – the sensible companion piece to the earlier The Dark Horse Years 1976 – 1992.  This beautifully styled 6 CD plus DVD and hardcover book set brings together all of the late guitarist’s earlier output – most notably, the long and often-forgotten Wonderwall Music (soundtrack music) and Electronic Sound (Moog synthesizer experimentation), both of which had been deleted and unavailable as quickly as they’d been released. The Apple Years 1968 – 75 includes George’s 1970 masterpiece All Things Must Pass (now in its original black and white sleeve); the equally high-quality Living In The Material World, 1974’s Dark Horse and the final “new” album Apple Records issued in 1975, Extra Texture. While All Things Must Pass receives most of the attention for its three albums (2 CD’s) of George being “free from The Beatles”, filled with top notch songs/songwriting, there are some very high points to the other albums.  Certainly, the worldwide hit single “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” from Living In The Material World has to take …

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BOOK REVIEW: Candy Leonard, “Beatleness”

For once, a book about The Beatles that differs – to me – from the ones that have gone before.  Beatleness, by Dr. Candy Leonard, is a look at the meaning of The Beatles to the “first generation” who experienced The Beatles from their initial landing on the American shores in February, 1964.  Told through numerous perspectives, it traces the five year journey of these fans along with The Beatles from their debut, their progression and their end in May, 1970. Often, books about The Beatles are heaped with praise and empty hyperbole or rehash stories you’ve heard a million times before.  This book is not like that, which makes it a worthwhile and deeply interesting read.  For me, the striking statements are those which criticize the band during their more adventurous phases (Revolver, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, etc.) – some fans felt the band was getting  strange or weird; some were alienated by these less-than-squeaky clean Moptops – some switched allegiances to other bands of the day (The Monkees, being the most notable – and …

The Paul & John - Inner Sunset

ALBUM REVIEW: The Paul & John – Inner Sunset

With a name that knowingly evokes the Beatles and the pinnacle of pop songwriting, The Paul & John set expectations sky-high for their debut album. In Inner Sunset, the fruit of a collaboration between Paul Myers (The Gravelberrys, Flam!, A Wizard A True Star—Todd Rundgren in the Studio) and John Moremen (The Orange Peels, Half Japanese, Roy Loney), they have simply delivered one of the best guitar pop half-hours of 2014. Myers and Moremen, who play every note on the album and share vocal duties, show themselves to be accomplished songwriters  and expert arrangers throughout Inner Sunset, building each song on a foundation of sturdy hooks and memorable moments (the handclaps on the bridge of “Hungry Little Monkey”, the superb duelling guitars on “When I Lost My Way”), pristine harmonies, and clever wordplay (“’77 and the punk rock summer/I was just another of the wannabe Strummers”). While there are echoes of Wilco’s sun-bleached pop circa Summerteeth, Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend, the Wondermints’ Bali and Cotton Mather’s masterful Kon Tiki—and the album will certainly appeal to fans of all four—The Paul & John’s Inner Sunset has a unique spiritual …

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The Man Who Brought The Beatles To America… And America To The Beatles

February 9, 1964. 8:00pm. The click-clack of changing dials rings through American homes as the fuzzy gray picture on the television screen clears to reveal the gleaming eye of CBS and The Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan is a religion for America’s families (not least of which is the fictional McAfees, who put their dreams of an appearance to song in Bye, Bye Birdie). Tonight, however, is special. Momentous, even. Life-changing for the eager youth poised nose-to-nose with the set. Because within that golden hour, those precious 60 minutes, American households discovered the Beatles; the Sixties, and the future of music as we know and appreciate it today, were born. Though radio stations and record shops were crushed with demands for the Beatles’ music prior to the airing, for many young folks, this was the first time they had seen the Fab Four in motion as living, breathing young men. They could almost touch them. That fateful evening is so ingrained in many memories, almost to the point of fable, that sometimes it’s taken for granted. …

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Popdose Conceptual Theater: The Fool on the Hill

I read Matt Ruff’s fantasy classic “Fool on the Hill” at a rather strange time in my life.  I was living on the beach in South Africa, bartending sporadically, and generally enjoying the end of my twenties without much of a thought to the future.  Shortly after finishing the book, I went to a trance party at a secluded fishing camp north of Durban.  While I was about as geographically far away from upstate New York as it’s possible to be – and the warm beach was quite divorced from the icy gorges of Ithaca – I felt like I had stepped into a scene from the book.  I always felt that the good-natured debauchery of the Bohemians would blend well with rave culture, and the three pills of MDMA that I took at the trance party somehow led my brain back into the story for a while while my body took care of itself.  Much like the protagonist in the novel, I eventually found myself making out with a woman whose face I hadn’t …

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BOXSET REVIEW: The Beatles, “The U.S. Albums”

As a lifelong Beatles obsessive, I could ruminate and pontificate about the various permutations of Beatles albums.  As we all know, Capitol Records in the U.S. saw fit to reconfigure the band’s U.K. output to fit the American market.  They also gave them a different, more radio-friendly mix – more reverb and echo to suit A.M. radio.  To a degree, it worked, because these are the albums I grew up with as a child and know from memory (until I grew older and sophisticated enough to hunt down all the “proper” British releases).  In many ways, I preferred the Capitol releases because they sounded better; the British versions always sounded dry and flat; they didn’t have that boisterousness I loved in the American versions. And that’s the problem with this new boxset.  I give Capitol full marks for the presentation – a magnificent job done on replicating each of the original album covers, with the “File Under:” tabs in the upper right hand corner; the “stereophonic” marking on the spine – even the generic Capitol …

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AJOBO: Why I Quit The Beatles

This upcoming weekend marks a milestone in music history; unless you live under a rock, you already know that it was 50 years ago Sunday that the Beatles performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. Unfortunately for them, after that appearance, they faded into obscurity and are now largely known as the biggest disappointments ever. Except for that Ringo. Hit after hit after hit! Not to mention his knighting… (Okay, I’m done.) I can’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve intentionally listened to a Beatles album. I’m inclined to say, like, eight years? Maybe more, maybe less. Folks who knew me in the “before times” will be shocked to hear that, since I was probably qualified to be institutionalized at one point for how Beatle-crazy I was. And we’re talking at least a decade here. (Nothing compared the first generation, but considering that’s a pretty substantial chunk or my life at this point, it probably warped my brain forever.) As with any fandom, a natural ebb and flow of interest is totally normal. Kind of …

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The Friday Five: December 13, 2013

Friday Five : |ˈfrīdā – fīv| : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button in iTunes and share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up the media player of your choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments. The Five: It’s 8:30 PM, do you know where your Friday Five is? — MP “Part-Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder (from In Square Circle, 1985) “Cool Yule” by The Brian Setzer Orchestra (from Dig That Crazy Christmas, 2005) “None of Dem (feat. Röyksopp)” by Robyn (from Body Talk, 2010) “Team” by Lorde (from Pure Heroine, 2013) “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (Take 5)” by The Beatles (from Anthology 2 (disc 2), 1996) What’s on your shuffle today?