Tag Archives: John lennon

John Lennon or Paul McCartney, who’s the better songwriter? McCartney’s 20 best Beatles songs

John Lennon or Paul McCartney, who’s the better songwriter? McCartney’s 20 best Beatles songs

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make

Ok, so it is about the songs, is it? Not John’s cockiness and dry wit, not Paul’s technical skill, not the fact that death is the best career step a musician can have. (John Lennon would have laughed and agreed, so shut the fuck up. ) The fact is that John Lennon’s death put a blanket over Paul McCartney’s reputation and legacy (especially his work in The Beatles) and he will not be taken seriously until they meet in rock’n roll heaven.  It is only about the songs? yeah right…

Yes, I am saying that Paul suffered in critical regard because he didn’t get murdered. But…

Continue reading John Lennon or Paul McCartney, who’s the better songwriter? McCartney’s 20 best Beatles songs

June 23: The late Stu Sutcliffe was born in 1940

stu sutcliffe

He wasn’t really a very good musician. In fact, he wasn’t a musician at all until we talked him into buying a bass. We taught him to play twelve-bars, like Thirty Days by Chuck Berry. That was the first thing he ever learnt. He picked up a few things and he practised a bit until he could get through a couple of other tunes as well. It was a bit ropey, but it didn’t matter at that time because he looked so cool. We never had many gigs in Liverpool before we went to Hamburg, anyway.
~George Harrison (Anthology)

Nice tribute video:

It was John and Stuart who thought of the name. They were art students and while George’s and my parents would make us go to bed, Stuart and John could live the little dream that we all dream: to stay up all night. And it was then they thought up the name.
One April evening in 1960, walking along Gambier Terrace by Liverpool Cathedral, John and Stuart announced: ‘Hey, we want to call the band The Beatles.
~Paul McCartney (Anthology)

Continue reading June 23: The late Stu Sutcliffe was born in 1940

June 1: The Beatles released Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967

 

June 1: The Beatles released Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967

“A decisive moment in the history of Western civilisation”
– Kenneth Tynan, The Times

“Sgt Pepper is one of the most important steps in our career. It had to be just right. We tried, and I think succeeded in achieving what we set out to do.”
– John Lennon

The opening track:

We were fed up with being the Beatles. We really hated that fucking four little mop-top boys approach. We were not boys, we were men. It was all gone, all that boy shit, all that screaming, we didn’t want any more, plus, we’d now got turned on to pot and thought of ourselves as artists rather than just performers. There was now more to it; not only had John and I been writing, George had been writing, we’d been in films, John had written books, so it was natural that we should become artists.

– Paul McCartney

I love Sgt. Pepper and it will always be in my top 5 Beatles album, sometimes at number 5 sometimes at the top spot. It’s a great Beatles album,  and it’s one of the best album in Rock history. It is laid out as a concept album, but the idea held for two songs, the coda, and the album’s sleeve design.

The Beatles songs now did not sound practiced or rehearsed, and the reason for this is that they weren’t. They were studio snippets put together in sections and pieces. I think that’s the reason that the outtakes from the Sgt. Pepper sessions are so uninspiring, so unfinished. There are several bootlegs with alternative versions, and for Beatles-nerds they are of course something to seek out. That said, I think the best Sgt.Pepper outtakes are presented on Anthology 2, and, yes, they are put together in the same way as the original album, each song constructed from different takes and sound bites.

I’m guessing it would be a difficult record to play live.

I believe that this album represent a shift in popular music, we look at pop/rock music before and after Sgt. Pepper. Almost everything on the album was new. And it still sounds new and fresh.

Happy birthday, Sgt. Pepper!

The Making of Sgt. Pepper documentary made for the 25 year anniversary :

Continue reading June 1: The Beatles released Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967

Unreleased – Watching Rainbows by The Beatles

Watching Rainbows

Unreleased – Watching Rainbows by The Beatles

The Unreleased series

Our third entry in this series is a song that gets better and better and I really wonder what it could have been if they finished it. It is the song Watching Rainbows by The Beatles. Yes, there are still some unreleased gems out there.

Watching Rainbows is recorded on 14 January 1969 during the massive Get Back sessions at Twickenham Studios. It features John Lennon on lead vocal and electric piano, Paul McCartney on lead guitar, and Ringo Starr on drums. Bass guitar is absent from the song because Paul McCartney is playing George Harrison’s usual role as lead electric guitar.

beatles-1969 watching Rainbows

Why was George absent? We’ll come to that, let us listen to the song first. Bare in mind that this is just as much a jam-session as a finished song, but we get a glimpse into what it could have been.

Watching Rainbows – The Beatles (1969):

George Harrison quit the band for a brief period starting on January 10th, 1969. At the time, The Beatles were practicing at the film studio, Twickenham, so that their rehearsals could be filmed. After a morning filed with verbal altercations between George and Paul, a quiet George Harrison eventually met up with the group and crew for lunch a bit late. Rather than joining them, he simply stated, “See you ’round the clubs” and disappeared.

The three remaining Beatles went back to the recording room not knowing what to do and unleashed an angry improvisational ruckus with John Lennon sarcastically leading the group to play The Who’s “A Quick One, While He’s Away.”

Days later, word got back to Harrison that Lennon had mentioned bringing in Eric Clapton as a replacement, which Lennon had probably said as a ploy to get George back rather than a real solution. After a five-hour meeting, Harrison rejoined the group on January 15th, 1969.

beatles1-400x400
Continue reading Unreleased – Watching Rainbows by The Beatles

Feb 15: The Beatles recorded “Ticket To Ride” in 1965

ticket to ride beatles picture sleeve

The Beatles were such a prolific album act that it’s sometimes hard to abstract their later singles; here, they ride their roots as a bar band in Liverpool and Hamburg to a new kind of glory.
~Dave Marsh (The Heart of Rock & Soul)

The opening circular riff, played on 12-string guitar by George Harrison, was a signpost for the folk-rock wave that would ride through rock music itself in 1965.
~Richie Unterberger (allmusic.com)

Continue reading Feb 15: The Beatles recorded “Ticket To Ride” in 1965