Tag Archives: 1963

Today: Bringing It All Back Home (48) & Please Please Me (50)

Bob Dylan - bringing it all back home

 

the beatles please please me

Bringing It All Back Home” is not included in the “Music Calendar post” … It has a separate post (part of the “Bob Dylan Albums” series):

..now let’s focus on The Beatles debut album..“Please Please Me” released 50 years ago today!

….they were a group with the luck to meet opportunities, the wit to recognize them, the drive to seize them, and the talent to fullfil them. Please Please Me is the sound of them doing all four.
~Tom Ewing (pitchfork.com)

#1 – I Saw Her Standing There 

Wikipedia:

Released 22 March 1963
Recorded 11 February 1963,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock and roll, pop
Length 32:45
Label Parlophone
Producer George Martin

Please Please Me is the debut album by the English rock band the Beatles. Parlophone rush-released the album on 22 March 1963 in the United Kingdom to capitalise on the success of singles “Please Please Me” (No. 1 on most lists but only No. 2 on Record Retailer) and “Love Me Do” (No. 17).

Of the album’s fourteen songs, eight were written by Lennon–McCartney (originally credited “McCartney–Lennon”), early evidence of what Rolling Stone later called “[their invention of] the idea of the self-contained rock band, writing their own hits and playing their own instruments”. In 2012, Please Please Me was voted 39th on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.

beatles-w-album-please-please-me

…It’s a blueprint of everything the Beatles would ever do, mixing up doo-wop, country, R&B, girl groups, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, and Tin Pan Alley into their own exuberant sound. John and Paul sang the openhearted originals “Ask Me Why,” “There’s a Place,” and “I Saw Her Standing There.” Ringo shouted, “All right, George!” in his gender-flipped cover of the Shirelles’ ultrafemme “Boys.” All four Beatles sang and played with total emotional urgency, holding nothing back, knowing their first shot at getting out of Liverpool could have been their last. You can hear John completely blow out his voice in the last track, “Twist and Shout.”
~Rollingstone.com

#7 – Please Please Me

Beatles Please Please Me

Recording

In order for the album to contain fourteen songs (the norm for British 12″ vinyl pop albums at that time was to have seven songs on each side, while American albums usually had only five or six songs per side) ten more tracks were needed to add to the four sides of their first two singles recorded and released previously. Therefore, at 10:00 am on Monday, 11 February 1963, the Beatles and George Martin started recording what was essentially their live act in 1963, and finished 585 minutes later (9 hours and 45 minutes). In three sessions that day (each lasting approximately three hours) they produced an authentic representation of the band’s Cavern Club-era sound, as there were very few overdubs and edits. Optimistically, only two sessions were originally booked by Martin—the evening session was added later.

beatles and george martin 1963

The day ended with a cover of “Twist and Shout”, which had to be recorded last because John Lennon had a particularly bad cold and Martin feared the throat-shredding vocal would ruin Lennon’s voice for the day. This performance, captured on the first take, prompted Martin to say: “I don’t know how they do it. We’ve been recording all day but the longer we go on the better they get.

#14 – Twist and Shout

Track Listing

All songs written by McCartney–Lennon, except where noted.

Side One

  1. “I Saw Her Standing There”
  2. “Misery”
  3. “Anna (Go to Him)” (Arthur Alexander)
  4. “Chains” (Gerry Goffin, Carole King)
  5. “Boys” (Luther Dixon, Wes Farrell)
  6. “Ask Me Why”
  7. “Please Please Me”

Side two

  1. “Love Me Do”
  2. “P.S. I Love You”
  3. “Baby It’s You” (Mack David, Barney Williams, Burt Bacharach)
  4. “Do You Want to Know a Secret”
  5. “A Taste of Honey” (Bobby Scott, Ric Marlow)
  6. “There’s a Place”
  7. “Twist and Shout” (Phil Medley, Bert Russell)

beatles please please me album back

 

Personnel

According to Mark Lewisohn:

The Beatles
  • John Lennon – lead vocals, background vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, harmonica, hand claps
  • Paul McCartney – lead vocals, background vocals, bass guitar, hand claps
  • George Harrison – background vocals, lead vocals on “Chains” and “Do You Want to Know a Secret”, lead guitar, acoustic guitar, hand claps
  • Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, maracas, hand claps, lead vocals on “Boys”
Additional musicians and production
  • George Martin – producer, mixer, additional arrangements, piano on “Misery”, celesta on “Baby It’s You”
  • Norman Smith – audio engineer, mixer
  • Andy White – drums on “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You”

The Beatles

Reception

  • Please Please Me hit the top of the UK album charts in May 1963 and remained there for thirty weeks before being replaced by With The Beatles. This was surprising because the UK album charts at the time tended to be dominated by film soundtracks and easy listening vocalists.
  • In 2012, Please Please Me was voted 39th on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. It was ranked first among the Beatles’ early albums, and sixth of all of the Beatles’ albums, with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club BandRevolver,Rubber SoulThe Beatles (The White Album) and Abbey Road ranked higher.
  • Rolling Stone also placed two songs from the album on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time: No. 139, “I Saw Her Standing There”, and No. 184, “Please Please Me”.
  • According to Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic, “Decades after its release, the album still sounds fresh”, the covers are “impressive” and the originals “astonishing“.

Full album (UK Mono) from youtube:

Other MAR-22:

Continue reading Today: Bringing It All Back Home (48) & Please Please Me (50)

30 Best live albums countdown: 23 – One night stand Live at the Harlem Square Club 1963 by Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke Harlem 1

Sam Cooke was one the first to blend gospel music and secular music, the early foundation of soul music. He was the opposite of Elvis: He was a black performer who appealed to a white audience, who wrote his own songs and who controlled his own business.

On Jan. 12, 1963, Sam Cooke was not playing to the white  audiences who knew him only from his earlier records. He was headlining a few concerts at Miami’s Harlem Square Club, he performed for black audiences who appreciated his roots and expected a grittier, more soulful Sam Cooke, which isexcactly what they got! It is indeed  a rougher, rawer and more immediate side of Sam Cooke on display. Sam Cooke’s smooth voice sets the tone but it’s his abillities as an entertainer in world class form that take it to the top.

Sam Cooke Recording at RCA Studios

Cooke was  energized by a recent tour of Europe with former labelmate Little Richard, when he took the stage at the Harlem Square Club in Miami.  He gave us an electrifying set of sweaty, sanctified, manic and masterful soul music. The show was taped for an album which sat on the shelf for twenty years until it was released in 1985.

It is a fantastic recording and maybe it shows us what direction Mr. Cooke could have gone. But instead he got an eighteen month period which would see his baby son die, see the recording of some of his finest music, and then his all too early death.

One night stand! Live At The Harlem Square Club is one of the finest live releases I know of, worthy of standing next to James Brown’s landmark Apollo Theater date (recorded just a month earlier) and also worthy of the 23rd place on my list of the 30 best live albums.

samcookepic

It is one of the great moments in the history of soul music, heck, any kind of music! 

Rolling Stone Magazine  ranked it at 443 on their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time:

Cooke was elegance personified, but he works this Florida club until it’s hotter than hell, while sounding like he never breaks a sweat. He croons “For Sentimental Reasons” like a superlover, and when the crowd sings along with him, it’s magic.

Peter Guralnick (in his book Dream Boogie:  The Triumph of Sam Cooke):

There was nothing soft, measured or polite about the Sam Cooke you saw at the Harlem Square Club; there was none of the self-effacing, mannerable, ‘fair-haired little colored boy’ that the white man was always looking for. This was Sam Cooke undisguised, charmingly self-assured, “he had his crowd,” said [guitarist] Clif White approvingly – he was as proud as he has been raised to be, not about to take any scraps from the white man’s table.

For me the difference from his studio work and this live album is clearest on Chain Gang. Listen to the two songs from the two minute mark, strike that, listen to the whole song. Both versions are great but the live version is raw, fantastic distillation of Soul! The way he switches from smooth, velvety voice into a gritty rasp, it is amazing, what an “instrument” he had.

Chain Gang:

All the songs are darker, more raw, more sexual. Cooke is twisting the audience around his finger and he sounds like a man who has  earthly desires to attend to. It is raw soul, and I never thought I should say that about Sam Cooke!
Continue reading 30 Best live albums countdown: 23 – One night stand Live at the Harlem Square Club 1963 by Sam Cooke

Bob Dylan – The 5th recording session for “The Times They Are A-Changin’” – 24 October 1963 – update

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.
~Bob Dylan (The Times They Are A-Changin’)

“Another thing about Times They Are A-Changin’ – I wanted to say in it that if you have something that you don’t want to lose, and people threaten you, you are not really free.”
~Bob Dylan (to Ray Coleman, May 1965)

49 years ago Dylan did his 5th recording session for “The Time They are A-Changin’” 

Some background info from Wikipedia:

The Times They Are a-Changin’ is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in January 1964 by Columbia Records.

Produced by Tom Wilson, it is the singer-songwriter’s first collection to feature only original compositions. The album consists mostly of stark, sparsely-arranged story songs concerning issues such as racism, poverty, and social change. The title track is one of Dylan’s most famous; many felt that it captured the spirit of social and political upheaval that characterized the 1960s.

……………
Another session was held the following day, October 24. Master takes of “The Times They Are a-Changin'” and “One Too Many Mornings” were recorded and later included in the final album sequence. A master take for “Lay Down Your Weary Tune” was also recorded, but ultimately left out of the final album; it was eventually released on Biograph. Two more outtakes, “Eternal Circle” and “Suze (The Cough Song)”, were later issued on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991.

Albums involved:

ALBUM Release date CODE
The Times They Are A-Changin’ 1964-01-13 TTTAA
Biograph 1985-11-07 BIO
The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3
(Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991
1991-03-26 TBS1-3

 

Studio A
Columbia Recording Studio
New York City, New York
October 24, 1963, 10-1 pm

Produced by Tom Wilson.
Engineers: Knuerr and Dauria.

Continue reading Bob Dylan – The 5th recording session for “The Times They Are A-Changin’” – 24 October 1963 – update

Bob Dylan – The 4th recording session for “The Times They Are A-Changin’” – 23 October 1963 – update

OLD post … You’re being redirected to a newer version……

“The message isn’t in the words, …. I don’t do anything with a sort of message.
I’m just transferring my thoughts into music. Nobody can give you a message like that.”
~Bob Dylan (to Ray Coleman, May 1965)

To me, that song [When The Ship Comes In] says a whole lot. Patti LaBelle should do that. You know? You know, there again, that comes from hanging out at a lot of poetry gatherings. Those kind of images are very romantic. They’re very gothic and romantic at the same time. And they have a sweetness to it, also. So It’s a combination of a lot of different elements at the time. That’s not a contrived line. That’s not sitting down and writing a song. Those kind of songs, they just come out. They’re in you so they’ve got to come out.
~Bob Dylan (to Paul Zollo, April 1991)

49 years ago Dylan did his 4th recording session for “The Time They are A-Changin'” 

Some background info from Wikipedia:

The Times They Are a-Changin’ is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in January 1964 by Columbia Records.

Produced by Tom Wilson, it is the singer-songwriter’s first collection to feature only original compositions. The album consists mostly of stark, sparsely-arranged story songs concerning issues such as racism, poverty, and social change. The title track is one of Dylan’s most famous; many felt that it captured the spirit of social and political upheaval that characterized the 1960s.

Sessions did not resume for more than two months. During the interim, Dylan toured briefly with Joan Baez, performing a number of key concerts that raised his profile in the media. When Dylan returned to Studio A on October 23, he had six more original compositions ready for recording. Master takes for “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” and “When the Ship Comes In” were both culled from the October 23 session. A master take for “Percy’s Song” was also recorded, but it was ultimately set aside and was not officially released until Biograph in 1985.

Albums involved:

ALBUM Release date CODE
The Times They Are A-Changin’ 1964-01-13 TTTAA
Biograph 1985-11-07 BIO
Love @ Theft bonus disc 2001-09-11 LTB

Studio A
Columbia Recording Studio
New York City, New York
October 23, 1963, 10-1 pm

Produced by Tom Wilson.
Engineers: Knuerr and Dauria.

Songs:

  1. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
  2. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
  3. When The Ship Comes In
  4. When The Ship Comes In
  5. The Times They Are A-Changin’
  6. Percy’s Song – BIO
    “….the exquisitely performed ‘protest’ number ‘Percy’s Song’…”
    ~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)

    “Percy’s song” makes one think Dylan could have had a career as a courtroom lawyer….. “Percy’s song” is long – too long, I think, for the simple story it tells; the appeal here is the melody and Dylan’s evident affection for this tune and for the repeating lines, “turn. turn, turn again… turn, turn to the rain and the wind.” He weaves a spell with these lines, passing along the spell they wove on him….
    ~Paul Williams (Performing artist 60-73)

  7. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
  8. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll – TTTAA
    “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” is an extremely moving song that has stood the test of time better than any of Dylan’s other early topical songs of this sort… Dylan sings it from the heart; he really cares about the woman who died – her dignity and the value of her life come through in the song, it is a memorial to her and a tribute to people like her as much as an attack on her killer and people like him and the system that coddles them.
    ~Paul Williams (Performin Artist 60-73)

    “Although a song such as his magnificent ‘Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll’ makes an ordinary worker into a kind of heroine, Dylan makes this happen as a device, not an end in itself: a device for strengthening an essentially political and social polemic.
    ~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)



  9. When The Ship Comes In
  10. When The Ship Comes In – TTTAA
    “Even as words on the page, though, the song has a charm very much its own—like a glimpse into a world both real and unreal: morally mature (if severe) yet child-like in conception. The internal rhyming is so effective, driving the vision along in the rhythm of the oncoming ship as it meets, again and again, relentlessly, the swell of the sea: ‘And the song, will, lift, as the main, sail, shifts / And the boat, drifts . . .’ and this internal rhyming collaborates perfectly with the alliterative effects (as well, of course, as with the tune): ‘Then the sands will roll out a carpet of gold / For your weary toes to be a-touchin’. . .’ The child-like allegory comes over as a quite unexceptionable moral cleanliness—a convincing wisdom. …” ~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)


  11. The Times They Are A-Changin’ – L&TB
    (note: either this take or take 16 was released on L&TB)

  12. The Times They Are A-Changin’
  13. The Times They Are A-Changin’
  14. The Times They Are A-Changin’
  15. The Times They Are A-Changin’
  16. The Times They Are A-Changin’
  17. East Laredo Blues
  18. Key To The Highway (Charles Segar/Willie Broonzy)
  19. That’s All Right Mama (Arthur Crudup)


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References:

-Egil