Archive for With The Beatles

I Want To Hold Your Hand & Going Global

Posted in Beatles in 12 Songs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2013 by fred6368

The Beatles in Twelve Songs (2)

It was 50 years go today that the Beatles taught America to play, with the biggest prime-time TV show audience ever (73 million viewers) on the Ed Sullivan show, February 9th 1964. In the UK I Want To Hold Your Hand had been the cherry on the cake of their annus mirabilis 1963 where it went to Number One in the charts by knocking off their own She Loves You, which had been in the Top 3 ever since it was released, and had just returned to the top after Beatlemania had gone national. In the USA I Want To Hold Your Hand popped a nations cherry and they laid down begging for the first British Invasion since 1812. This is how The Beatles woke them up and how America succumbed

Surprising huh? Quite a flat performance of a song tooled by McCartney to be a hit single written specifically to break the American market whilst he was living in the house of his girlfriend Jane Asher. Asher’s father was a Harley Street doctor, and her musical mum, Margaret Elliott, was a Professor at the Guildhall School of Music where she had taught producer George Martin the oboe. Frustrated by Capitol Records not promoting, or even releasing, early Beatles singles, manager Brian Epstein had asked Lennon and McCartney to write a song specifically to be a hit in the USA, and it was Paul who did. Jane’s brother Peter Asher was the first to hear the song, played on piano, as his room was opposite Paul’s  at 57 Wimpole Street London. This is what a made to order US hit record sounds like

Peter Asher’s bedroom proved to be amazingly strategically placed. He became good friends with McCartney, showing him round London and later became head of Apple Records, signing James Taylor with whom he Continue reading

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The Beatles and Jimmy Saville

Posted in Beatles History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2011 by fred6368

Top of The Pops 

Top of the Pops was the premiere pop music show on British television during the sixties and seventies. It wasn’t as cool as Ready Steady Go, it wasn’t as prescient as Oh Boy, or as early as 6.5 Special. What gave it the premiere position was that it was on BBC TV at 7pm on a Thursday evening. If you were a fun-seeking popster, or teen, or adolescent, you no longer had to catch bands on odd programmes, like Crackerjack. Suddenly pop music was all bundled up in one place just as we started buying televisions as a nation. Most importantly of all it created passionate conversations in the school playground on a Friday morning and drove us to buy records right away!

Jimmy Saville, who has just passed away,  and is lying in state in a gold coffin, was a nutter from Leeds & the first DJ on the first BBC Top of The Pops on January 1st 1964.  It was broadcast from a converted church in Manchester (Rusholme) and, planned to last for 6 shows, ran for 40 years. Jimmy Saville was the King of Bling in the early sixties, arguably the first Brit DJ and just the shock jock to make Top of the Pops, based on his Teen & Twenty Disc Show on Radio Luxembourg a hit.  The BBC weren’t very committed to it, as Jimmy put it; “The BBC had a studio in Manchester [on Dickenson Road] which was a disused church and, anything they didn’t want to do in London, they slung up into this old church.” Even so the irrepressible Saville introduced the opening track to us ‘guys and gals’ and created a broadcasting phenomenon. Written by The Beatles, but played by the Rolling Stones, ironically the first ever song played on Top of The Pops was I Wanna Be Your Man; 

The Beatles and Top of the Pops; Continue reading

Paul’s Bass

Posted in Paul McCartney with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2011 by fred6368

Best Remasters (2)

The one single thing that most impressed me about the Remasters was Paul’s bass playing; it really was phenomenal stuff. Every song sounds richer than I remember even though I’d heard every Beatles song when they came out since Please Please Me. Fifty years ago this week The Beatles began their informal residency at the Cavern Club on Mathew Street in Liverpool. Whilst their breakthrough gig was at the Litherland Hall in December 1960 what characterised their early live sound was Pete Best’s bass drum booming out across the Cavern with Paul’s Bass. Here is their booming bass sound at the Star Club Hamburg with I Saw Her Standing There;

However I hadn’t really noticed the bass at all because of the poor sound equipment available in the sixties; tinny transistor radios and mono Dansettes. In fact the first time I became aware of Paul’s bass playing (videos on YouTube Playlist) was when Barry Gibb picked Paperback Writer as his favourite Beatles song because of the bass; Paperback Writer;

In researching this article I found a great discussion of the evolution of Paul’s Bass playing by Denis Alstrand. He picks up on Paul’s bass playing on their first recording Continue reading

Beatles Singles 1962-64

Posted in Beatles History, Open Context Model of Learning with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2010 by fred6368

Beatles Creativity Phase Two; Singles Men

Trevor Horn, who in November 1963 was inspired to become a producer when he noticed the difference between the Beatles error-strewn live performance on the Royal Variety Show compared to the exuberant polish of their studio songs, observed that there is always one weak member of a group when it comes to recording; which is why he says he never recorded U2.  George Martin thought the same with Pete Best and, sadly, I think that Pete was a live rock n roll drummer and not cut out for the studio work supporting the song that Ringo delivered at Abbey Road; here are The Beatles trying to find their recording feet whilst auditioning with Pete Best on Love Me Do;   Continue reading

We Wanna Be Your Band

Posted in With The Beatles with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2009 by fred6368

WITH THE BEATLES

With The Beatles felt like the moment that the conquering heros of Beatlemania returned to us, their fans, with their first proper album, rather than just capturing a snapshot of their stage show. It was the first British pop music album whose release was universally anticipated; to the tune of half a million advance orders, notching up over 1.5m sales in the UK in six weeks after its release on November 22nd 1963, the day President Kennedy was assassinated. In my experience each Beatles album had a track which people got excited about as though it was the new single.  This time it was All My Loving.

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