Famous Rock Guitars Part 5

Back as promised…I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea so to speak but I hope you enjoy it. This is obviously the 5th edition of this series. In Part 1, Part2, Part 3, and Part 4. We covered Brian May’s Red Special, Willie Nelson’s Trigger, George Harrison’s Rocky, Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat, Bruce Springsteen’s guitar, Neil Young’s Old Black guitar, John Lennon’s Casino + a Bonus, and Keith Richards Telecaster.

Today will we look at:

Paul McCartney’s Hofner Bass and Eric Clapton’s Blackie.

Paul McCartney’s Hofner Bass and the MISSING Hofner Bass

paul mccartney hofner bass | Tumblr | Paul mccartney, Beatles john, Beatles  photos

Paul’s bass is maybe the most iconic guitar/bass of all time in rock music. You see this bass and you think Beatles. I see the attraction to this bass. I have a Hofner copy and I’ve played a Hofner a few times. They are ultra light and have a nice feel to them. The Hofner is really easy to play.

Lets start with the Hofner he bought in Hamburg in 1961…we will call it The Cavern Bass or Hofner#1.  It was played on some iconic Beatles recordings including their very first studio outing in June 1961 in Hamburg, their first single Love Me Do in 1962 and their first two albums, Please Please Me and With The Beatles in 1963. It’s the one you hear on “She Loves You, “Twist and Shout”, it was played in Hamburg, at The Cavern Club, and at Abbey Road.

In 1965 he sent it in to get it worked on…it was  sprayed with a darker sunburst and the pickup guard removed.

It was last seen in the 1969 footage from Twickenham Studios, where the Beatles were filming “Let It Be.” Soon afterward, it was stolen, most likely from a closet at EMI’s Abbey Road studio, along with Harrison’s Gretsch Tennessean and second Ric 360-12. People are still looking for that bass guitar.

These two pictures show the same Bass…the Cavern Bass…notice the different colors and the removed pick guard…but same bass.

Pin on Men and their guitarsPin by Lynne Jones on THE BEATLES | Paul mccartney beatles, Lennon and  mccartney, Paul mccartney

In 1963 Paul bought another Hofner bass that he used as his primary bass and played it from then on and still does. We will call it Hofner #2. He didn’t retire the Cavern Bass but just used it as a back up to Hofner #2.

Here are the two basses labeled…the #1 is the lost/stolen Cavern bass and the #2 is the 1963 bass he used throughout the Beatles. Paul is still looking for the Cavern Bass and the Hofner company has a webpage describing the bass and trying to get it back for Paul.

The Daily Beatle has moved!: The Höfner setlist

I have to wonder who has this bass. Odds are they don’t know what they have… if it survives. I hope Paul gets it back… he loves instruments and still has many of the instruments he used with The Beatles… Hey…lets go out and find this bass…that would be one way to meet him!

***From the  mid-sixties on he would use a Rickenbacker bass which produced brighter and clearer bass sound. He famously used one on Sgt Pepper. He used both basses through the years.

Paul McCartney on the set of Magical Mystery Tour in 1967 playing his  painted Rickenbacker 4001S bass. | Paul mccartney, The beatles, Lennon and  mccartney

Eric Clapton’s Blackie

The Guitar Center Puts Eric Clapton's Legendary Stratocaster on Display -  Bloomberg

Eric built this guitar in around 1970 from different Fender Strats…here is Eric telling the story.

Eric Clapton: “I was in Nashville and I went into this shop called Sho-Bud where they had stacks of Fender Strats going for virtually nothing because they were so unfashionable and unwanted,” 

“I bought a big pile of them all for a song – they were really cheap, like $300 or $400 each – and I took them home and gave them out. I gave Steve Winwood one, I gave Pete Townshend one, I gave George Harrison one and I kept a few, and I made Blackie out of a group of them. I took the pickups out of one, the scratchplate off another, the neck off another and I made my own guitar, like a hybrid guitar that had all the best bits from all these Strats.”

Blackie would be the main guitar used on every one of Eric’s albums for 15 years. During that time, Eric and Blackie would rack up an impressive number of hits, including “Cocaine,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Wonderful Tonight,” and “Lay Down Sally.”

in 2004, Eric worked with Christie’s to auction the legendary guitar off. The winner paid $959,000 for Blackie, with most of the proceeds again supporting Eric’s Crossroads Center.

Eric Clapton's Blackie: History of the Great Fender Stratocaster |  Guitarriego

Beatles – She Loves You

This song help kick off the sixties. The melody, music, the great harmonies and just the excitement of the song. She Loves You help define them and broke huge. Ozzy Osbourne made a statement about the song… “Imagine you go to bed today and the world is black and white and then you wake up, and everything’s in color.” 

These great melodies that John, Paul, and later George would come up with lasted through their career. Even when their music got a little more sophisticated the melodies remained…they were  underneath the early, middle, and late era Beatle music.

It’s best known for the yeah, yeah, yeah… Yeah, the Everly Brothers did it first, using a hook of “yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” on their 1961 cover of the song “Temptation,” which was a #1 hit in the UK.

Paul McCartney’s dad wanted the Beatles to sing yes, yes, yes instead because he thought it sounded more dignified.…doesn’t have the same ring does it?

She Loves You peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, Canada, the UK, and New Zealand in 1964.

In the UK, this is the biggest selling Beatles single. It held the record for top-selling UK single of all time until 1977, when Wings topped it with Mull Of Kintyre.

George Martin didn’t like the ending chord. He thought it sounded too much like the The Andrew Sisters but the Beatles liked it and over rode the producer on this one…and it works great.

in April 1964 The Beatles had the Top 5 Songs on the Billboard Top 100 Singles of the week. The closest any other artist ever got was 3 songs in the Top 10. But there they were- Can’t Buy Me Love, Twist and Shout,  She Loves You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Please Please Me, sitting at the top, along with 7 other Beatles songs in the Top 100 the same week.

Cynthia Lennon: “He was also romantic, a side of him I saw more often as our relationship deepened. He wrote love poems on scraps of paper and passed them to me at college. For our first Christmas he drew a card with a picture of me in my new shaggy coat, standing opposite him, our heads together, his hand on my arm. It was covered with kisses and hearts and he wrote, ‘Our first Christmas, I love you, yes, yes, yes.’ A few years later he used the same idea in one of the Beatles’ first hits, ‘She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.'”

John Lennon: “I remember it was Paul’s idea,” Lennon recalled, “Instead of singing ‘I love you’ again, we’d have a third party.”

Paul McCartney: “We were in a van up in Newcastle somewhere,” “and we’d just gone over to our hotel. I originally got an idea of doing one of those answering songs, where a couple of us sing about ‘she loves you’ and the other one sort of says the ‘yes, yes’ bit. You know, ‘yeah, yeah’ answering whoever who is saying it. But we decided that was a crummy idea anyway. But we had the idea of writing a song called ‘She Loves You’ then. And we just sat up in the hotel bedroom for a few hours and wrote it.”

From Songfacts

The Beatles tell quite a tale in this tidy pop song. Some poor guy thinks he has lost his girl for good, but he’s redeemed when he finds out from a friend that she still loves him. There’s even a moral at the end of the story: “Pride can hurt you too.” Good advice when arguing with a loved one.

This was an instant hit in the UK, but not in America, where it was released on Swan records, the only US label that would take it. Swan put it out in September 1963, but while The Beatles were huge in their homeland, they were still no big deal in America until February 1964. That’s when Beatlemania took hold and “She Loves You” became a US hit.

This was one of four Beatles songs that was never released in stereo. The others are “Love Me Do,” “I’ll Get You” and “You Know My Name (Look Up The Number).” 

The Beatles released a German version translated as “Sie Liebt Dich” in the US in 1964. They learned some German when they became the house band at the Star-Club in Hamburg in 1962, but needed a German speaker to help them with the lyrics. They recorded the German version in Paris – it was the only time they recorded outside of England.

Apart from “My Bonnie,” which was recorded with Tony Sheridan in their early days in Hamburg, the only other song the Beatles recorded in another language, again German, was “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” “Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand” was recorded the same time as “Sie Liebt Dich.”

“Sie Liebt Dich” peaked at #97, the lowest position of the Beatles’ 71 Hot 100 charted songs.

Jack Paar played a video clip of The Beatles performing the song on his show January 3, 1964. The Beatles had appeared on news clips as part of stories about their success in England, but this was the first time they appeared on a US TV talk show. They also played it on both of their live Ed Sullivan Show appearances. When The Beatles agreed to do the show, they were not a big deal in America and took less money than most acts received for their fee. When The Beatles played The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time, it got the largest audience ever for a TV show. Sullivan began having regular musical guests from the world of popular music, and it became a showcase for groups like The Rolling Stones, The Supremes, Santana and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Paul McCartney and John Lennon were inspired to write this after a concert at the Majestic Ballroom in Newcastle when they were part of a tour with Roy Orbison and Gerry & the Pacemakers. Says McCartney, “There was a Bobby Rydell song out at the time ‘Forget Him’ and, as often happens, you think of one song when you write another. We were in a van up in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. I’d planned an answering song where a couple of us would sing ‘She loves you’ and the other ones would answer ‘Yeah Yeah.’ We decided that was a crummy idea but at least we then had the idea of a song called She Loves You. So we sat in the hotel bedroom for a few hours and wrote it; John and I, sitting on twin beds with guitars.” 

In the UK, this hit #1 twice in 1963, first on September 4 and again on November 20.

Regarding the falsetto exaltation that occurs at the song’s manic peak, McCartney once explained: “The ‘wooooo’ was taken from the Isley Brothers’ ‘Twist and Shout.’ We stuck it in everything.”

These wordless vocalizations of joy were a Beatles hallmark; they most obvious example is the extended fadeout in “Hey Jude.”

The Beatles played part of this at the end of “All You Need Is Love,” which they recorded four years later.

This song was played at the conclusion of the concert sequence at the end of the film A Hard Day’s Night, although it wasn’t included on the soundtrack album. 

Norman Smith, who was The Beatles engineer, told the story in his autobiography John Called me Normal about feeling his heart sink when he spotted the lyrics on the music stand. As he later relayed to Mark Lewinsohn: “She loves you, yeah yeah yeah, She loves you, yeah yeah yeah, she loves you yeah yeah yeah yeah… I thought, My God, what a lyric! This is going to be the one I do not like.”

Smith had a hit in 1972 with “Oh Babe What Would You Say” as Hurricane Smith. He also produced the first three Pink Floyd albums.

There is a very clear edit in this song between the lines “I think it’s only fair/Pride can hurt you too.” It appears that two version had been edited together. 

In August 2009 the Official Chart Company compiled a list of the Beatles biggest selling hits in the UK, including re-issues. They revealed that this song was the Fab Four’s best seller in their native country, followed by “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

The Melissa Manchester hit You Should Hear How She Talks About You was written as a contemporary take on this song, with the singer telling a friend that a guy is really into her.

She Loves You

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

You think you’ve lost your love
Well, I saw her yesterday-ay
It’s you she’s thinking of
And she told me what to say-ay

She says she loves you
And you know that can’t be bad
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad

She said you hurt her so
She almost lost her mind
But now she says she knows
You’re not the hurtin’ kind

She says she loves you
And you know that can’t be bad
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad, ooh

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
With a love like that
You know you should be glad

You know it’s up to you
I think it’s only fair
Pride can hurt you, too
Apologize to her

Because she loves you
And you know that can’t be bad
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad, ooh

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
With a love like that
You know you should be glad
With a love like that
You know you should be glad
With a love like that
You know you should be glad
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Quick Martha Update Part 3

I had some requests to show an update on Martha. I was going to post an update on her on October 4th 2020…exactly a year after we got her but with my work right now I had to hold that off. Her birthday is August 18, 2019 so now she is one year and five months old.

She has settled down now a little bit. This is our third Saint and we never had one with this much energy but now she has matured a little.

We had one scare with her. This goes out as a warning to anyone who is taking their pet to get a rabies shot. We never had trouble with it at all with our other dogs… but around 12 hours after the shot…she started to get really sick. For three days she could not hold anything down and would not eat… and the vet kept telling us to give her Benadryl. She was allergic to the rabies shot. After the third day my son came home with a hamburger and she ate it. When she did that she started to get better and was soon back to normal.

So after your pet gets a rabies shot…keep a close eye on them.

Anyway she has free range in our house. After she was house broken AND we could trust her not to eat our couch… she no longer has to stay in her kennel.

She still has a lot of energy but nothing like she did a few months ago.

I’ll give you a few pictures for updates starting with the first ones.

Martha at 2 months old…Oct 4, 2019

IMG_2820.JPGIMG_2777.JPG

Martha at 3 Months old

IMG_2832.JPGIMG_2855.JPG

Martha at 4 Months old…she still has the penguin and plays with it.

IMG_2942.JPGIMG_2955.JPG

Martha at 7 months and 8 days in our driveway…March 26, 2020

IMG_3060.JPG

Martha now…I brought her along to work with me…since I’m the only one left in IT at this moment and I have it all to myself…I had her setup…we were a little messy that day. 

After coming home from work…logging in trying to get a few more things done at work…Martha has other ideas

The song that she is named after! “Martha My Dear”

Beatles – Get Back

John Lennon was primarily a rhythm guitar player but George Harrison briefly left the Beatles during the recording of Let It Be.  John took the lead guitar part on this song and made a memorable solo. John was a very aggressive guitar player and on this one he was on the mark.

McCartney got the idea for the title “Get Back” from the line “Get back to where you should be” from a song George Harrison wrote called “Sour Milk Sea,” which was eventually recorded by Jackie Lomax. McCartney changed the line to, “Get back to where you once belonged”.

Early versions include the line “I dig no Pakistanis.” The song began as a commentary about immigration, telling people to “get back” to their own countries. It was meant to mock Britain’s anti-immigrant proponents. Paul McCartney, who wrote the song and sang lead, thought better of it and made the lyrics more palatable.

At the end of this album version, we hear cheering, followed by McCartney saying, “Thanks Mo” in response to Ringo’s wife, Maureen, who was clapping. Lennon then says, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we’ve passed the audition.” This part came from the live rooftop performance.

This song went number 1  everywhere. #1 in the  Billboard 100, Canada, UK, New Zealand, The UK, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Ireland…and so on. The B side was Don’t Let Me Down…which personally I like more.

From Songfacts

“Get Back” was going to be the title of the album and the documentary film about making it. The Beatles stopped touring in 1966 and were worn thin by 1968, but they rekindled their passion for performance after shooting the “Hey Jude” promotional film in September that year before a live audience. Energized by the effort, they agreed to the documentary; the concept was The Beatles “getting back” to their roots and playing new songs for a live audience without any studio tricks.

The song “Get Back” came closest to capturing that spirit. Produced by George Martin, it was released as the follow-up single to “Hey Jude” in April 1969 (a month later in America) and was another blockbuster for the group, going to #1 in most territories.

The album became something completely different from the live set they planned. Glyn Johns, who engineered the sessions, was asked to put it together from what were really rehearsal tapes. After he assembled the album, it sat around while the Let It Be documentary was being edited from the film footage of The Beatles rehearsing in the studio and playing on the rooftop. During this time, The Beatles made the Abbey Road album, released it, and broke up.

Phil Spector, who had worked on John Lennon’s solo song “Instant Karma” (which George Harrison played on), was brought in to produce the Get Back album, which was re-titled Let It Be. Spector took the tapes and added orchestrations using his “Wall Of Sound” technique, and the album that was supposed to be the raw sound of The Beatles returning to their roots was released as a highly produced swan song on May 8, 1970, after they had broken up.

The Beatles famously performed this song from the rooftop of Apple Records on January 30, 1969, footage of which serves as the climax to their Let It Be documentary film. Knowing it would get shut down pretty quickly, the group kept mum about the performance, which was designed to promote the single and provide an ending for their film. They got in three takes of “Get Back” before police pulled the plug. The plan worked: Not only did they get their film ending, but the audio (including their banter) was used on various edits of “Get Back” to give it a live feel and add some character.

In their early days, The Beatles were musical warriors, playing in clubs for hours most nights. The “Get Back” single harkened to those days and was advertised as “The Beatles as nature intended.”

The single version runs 3:11 and contains a false ending at 2:34, after which McCartney comes back with a spoken verse:

“Get back Loretta, your mummy’s waiting for you, wearing her high-heeled shoes and her low-neck sweater, get back home, Loretta.”

The album version is a little shorter (3:09) and omits this section. It begins with a behind-the-scenes bit from the band tuning up during a session for the song on January 27, 1969. We hear John Lennon poke fun at the first line (“Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner, but he knew it couldn’t last”) by saying:

“Sweet Loretta fat she thought she was a cleaner, but she was a frying pan.”

Preston was a salve and a spark for the group. On January 10, 1969, George Harrison quit and almost left for good. He came back to work on January 21, but the tension lingered. Preston showed up the next day and galvanized the group; he played on “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” and participated in sessions for several other tracks.

The Beatles met Preston in 1962 when they were both playing in Germany, but they hadn’t seen each other since. It was Harrison’s idea to bring him in; after George left the Let It Be sessions, he saw Preston in concert with Ray Charles and arranged for him to join The Beatles. Having him in the studio eased the tension and made it easier for the group to put personal conflicts aside and record the album.

The press release to promote the single contains this quote from McCartney: “We were sitting in the studio and we made it up out of thin air… we started to write words there and then… when we finished it, we recorded it at Apple Studios and made it into a song to roller coast by.”

Lennon claimed this was basically a rewrite of their 1968 song “Lady Madonna.”

Beatles fans found lots of hidden meaning in their lyrics, and sometimes the band did too. In his 1980 Playboy interview, John Lennon claimed that Paul looked at Yoko in the studio when he sang the line “get back to where you once belong.” John was sure he was disrespecting her.

There was speculation that the character “JoJo” was based on Joseph Melville See Jr., Linda McCartney’s first husband, who was from Tucson, Arizona. McCartney denied this, explaining in his 1988 autobiography Many Years From Now that he and Linda were on good terms with See, who used the first name Melville, and that “JoJo” was “an imaginary character, half-man and half-woman.”

Linda attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, and in 1979 she and Paul bought a ranch there. As for Joseph Melville See, he never remarried, and in 2000 he killed himself in Tucson.

Billy Preston’s piano solo was spontaneous. he told New Jersey’s Asbury Park Press in 2000: “I was playing a Fender Rhodes on ‘Get Back.’ They just told me, ‘Take a solo!’ I wasn’t expecting to do a solo. When we were rehearsing, I wasn’t playing a solo.”

The last version of the song The Beatles played on the Apple rooftop can be heard in the widely bootlegged “rooftop sessions,” which finds McCartney mocking the police as they shut them down. You can hear him ad-lib the lines “You been out too long, Loretta! You’ve been playing on the roofs again! That’s no good! You know your mommy doesn’t like that! Oh, she’s getting angry… she’ll have you arrested! Get back!”

An edited version of the rooftop performances was released on the Anthology 3 collection in 1996.

Some of the artists to cover this song include: The Bee Gees, The Crusaders, Dizzy Gillespie, Al Green, Elton John, The London Symphony Orchestra, The Main Ingredient, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Billy Preston, Kenny Rogers, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Shadows, Status Quo, Rod Stewart, Ike and Tina Turner, and Sarah Vaughan.

In 2003, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr gave permission to Apple Records to rework the album and remove Phil Spector’s production. The result is the stripped-down version called Let It Be… Naked, which McCartney claims is what the group intended.

McCartney played this at halftime of the 2005 Super Bowl. This was the year after Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed during the halftime show, so the NFL insisted on an act that wouldn’t incite controversy or push the envelope. McCartney fit the bill.

Get Back

Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner
But he knew it wouldn’t last
Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona
For some California grass

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back Jojo, go home

Get back, get back
Back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Back to where you once belonged
Get back Jo

Sweet Loretta Martin thought she was a woman
But she was another man
All the girls around her say she’s got it coming
But she gets it while she can

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back Loretta, go home

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back, get back

“The Perfect Pop Song”

I found this article about The Max Planck Institute in Germany conducting a study on the perfect pop song… the winner was Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

As everyone here knows I’m a huge Beatles fan…but this one? I couldn’t disagree more with their conclusion but it is interesting on how they made the choice… I posted a couple of links.

‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ is the most perfect pop song ever, science proves

The Beatles ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ is “the perfect pop song”, according to science

Beatles – Real Love

This was the second “new” song by the Beatles to be released in the 1990’s and it was on the Anthology 2 album. I liked the song but it didn’t resonate with me like Free As A Bird did. Real Love sounded more like a Lennon solo song with the Beatles backing him…but I love Lennon’s solo output so I did like it but it wasn’t as “Beatle-ly” to me than Free As a Bird.

The song was more fully realized than Free As a Bird and didn’t take as much input by the other three shaping it. This is the only Beatles song where the songwriting credit is John Lennon alone instead of Lennon-McCartney or all four Beatles.

Paul McCartney did his best John Lennon imitation to help the lead vocal because the recording of John’s voice was low and spotty in some places. The lead vocal is actually a John and Paul duet.

The song with Lennon’s early takes on “Real Love,” recorded with just guitar and vocals, had also appeared on the soundtrack of the Imagine: John Lennon documentary before the Beatles got to finish it.

The song peaked at #11 in the Billboard 100, #12 in Canada, and #4 in the UK in 1996.

From Songfacts

This was an unfinished song written by John Lennon that was completed by the remaining Beatles. It was the second “new” release for the Anthology 2 album (“Free As A Bird” was the first). Yoko Ono supplied Lennon’s demos and gave the remaining Beatles permission to use them.

Jeff Lynne from The Electric Light Orchestra put this together. He has produced albums for George Harrison and played with him in The Traveling Wilburys.

Lennon recorded his demo on a small tape recorder, which posed a challenge when Lynne tried to mix it with updated tracks. He was able to use a noise reduction system to improve the sound. 

According to notes in the John Lennon album Acoustic, when Lennon wrote this song, the original title was “Girls and Boys.”

Real Love

All my little plans and schemes
Lost like some forgotten dreams
Seems that all I really was doing
Was waiting for you

Just like little girls and boys
Playing with their little toys
Seems like all they really were doing
Was waiting for love

Don’t need to be alone
No need to be alone
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real

From this moment on I know
Exactly where my life will go
Seems that all I really was doing
Was waiting for love

Don’t need to be afraid
No need to be afraid
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real

Thought I’d been in love before
But in my heart, I wanted more
Seems like all I really was doing
Was waiting for you

Don’t need to be alone
Don’t need to be alone
It’s real love, it’s real
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real
It’s real love, it’s real

Beatles Anthology 1…Desert Island Box Set

We are wrapping up Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days. We went into extra innings extending four more picks from these categories… favorite Soundtracks, Greatest Hits, music related movie and now ending with Box Sets. This is my pick for the final round…the Box Set I would take to the island: Beatles Anthology 1

2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 14 PICK 6- BOX SETS- BADFINGER20 SELECTS- THE BEATLES -ANTHOLOGY 1

Now for my last pick in our draft. I’ve come full circle with the Beatles…back in July (hard to believe it was that long ago) it was the White Album and now the 1996 release of Anthology 1 that focuses on a happier but hectic time in the Beatles history.

I can’t explain how excited I was for this release. I was working at a wood shop…just a few months away from my first corporate IT job and I was about to buy this new Beatle CD with a new song. For the first time in my life I could buy a Beatle song that wasn’t recorded in the sixties called Free As A Bird. I had a friend I worked with that doubled as a distribution center driver during holiday season. My plan was to head to lunch the day it was released and buy it in a record shop…remember those? My friend came in with a thick CD case and said here you go…it was Anthology 1 and he said Merry early Christmas. 

Anthology 1 covered everything in the time span of 1958-1964. You got a rare McCartney/Harrison song and a Lennon/Harrison song included. Also home studio taped songs and early Decca demos that were shopped and that I only read about until then. Many of the songs were listed in books but had been locked away in EMI’s vault. Also on this were live performances and alternate takes of the songs. 

The Anthology series introduced the Beatles to a new generation. I had a couple of cousins who were all into New Kids On The Block…when Anthology came out they called me and said now they understood why I liked the Beatles and to this day they still do.

The other thing it did was to help Paul McCartney’s standing. After John Lennon was murdered he was put on a pedestal and Paul was a square.  It was unfair. After the Anthology Paul’s reputation as a great songwriter and singer started to move up again in it’s rightful place…

Now to the song that really excited me. The first official new Beatle song in decades. Free As A Bird still stands up to me. George’s slide just cuts through you and it sounds modern yet older at the same time.

The video is hands down my favorite music video. It was still the mid 90s and CGI wasn’t what it would become just a just a few years later but this works well.

In Spite of All the Danger… a McCartney/Harrison song…the only one to be credited as such was recorded in 1958! One of the first recordings they ever did. You can hear those raw harmonies forming and this was part of the birth of the Beatles. They never properly recorded this song later on which is a shame. I like George’s solo on this one also. Paul will perform it in concert on occasion.

The home/demos were great to hear. Before the Cavern, Hamburg, and worldwide stardom…the start of it all. Hallelujah I Love Her So.

This Anthology covers so much and to see them grow just between 1958-1964 is something special…not to mention how much they grew with the two other Anthologies. Every band grows but usually not to this extent. So to my fellow castaways we have enough to keep us entertained. Thanks to everyone and thanks to Hans for hosting this. Hope to see you all back when the next draft starts.

Paul, George And Ringo Over The Blue Moon – Keener13.com

Beatles – Here Comes The Sun

If you want to hear an optimistic song look no further than this one. This is another Beatles song that was not released as a single. Harrison wrote it and  sang lead, played acoustic guitar and used his newly acquired Moog synthesizer on this track. It was one of the first pop songs to feature a Moog.

George wrote “Here Comes The Sun” after he decided to not show up for a scheduled Apple business meeting in early Spring. He wrote this in Eric Clapton’s garden using one of Clapton’s acoustic guitars enjoying a spring day.

Here Comes the Sun was on the Beatles last studio album Abbey Road. The album contained two of George’s best known songs. Something and Here Comes the Sun. This is one of my favorite George songs.

George Harrison: “‘Here Comes The Sun’ was written at the time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: ‘Sign this’ and ‘sign that.’ Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever; by the time spring comes you really deserve it. So one day I decided I was going to sag off Apple and I went over to Eric Clapton’s house. The relief of not having to go and see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric’s acoustic guitars and wrote ‘Here Comes The Sun.'”

When The Beatles’ music was finally made available for download on iTunes in 2010, “Here Comes The Sun” was the top-selling song the first week.

From Songfacts

“It was just sunny and it was all just the release of that tension that had been building up on me,” Harrison said in a 1969 BBC Radio interview. “It was just a really nice sunny day, and I picked up the guitar, which was the first time I’d played the guitar for a couple of weeks because I’d been so busy. And the first thing that came out was that song. It just came. And I finished it later when I was on holiday in Sardinia.”

In the documentary The Material World, Eric Clapton talked about writing this song with Harrison: “It was one of those beautiful spring mornings. I think it was April, we were just walking around the garden with our guitars. I don’t do that, you know? This is what George brought to the situation. He was just a magical guy… we sat down at the bottom of the garden, looking out, and the sun was shining; it was a beautiful morning, and he began to sing the opening lines and I just watched this thing come to life.”

The music begins on the left channel and gradually moves to the right as Harrison’s vocal begins.

The instrumental break is similar to “Badge,” which Harrison helped Clapton write for his band Cream.

John Lennon did not play on this. Around this time, he was making a habit of not playing on Harrison’s compositions as the two were not on the best of terms. The two eventually settled their differences as George contributed quite a bit to Lennon’s album Imagine two years later. 

The Beatles had stopped touring by the time they recorded this song, so they never played it live. The first time Harrison played it live was at the 1971 Concert for Bangla Desh, which he organized to bring aid to that country. He played it at a handful of appearances in the ’70s and ’80s, but didn’t perform it on a tour until 1991, when he joined Eric Clapton for 12 shows in Japan. This version can be heard on the album Live in Japan.

At the Concert for Bangla Desh, Harrison brought Badfinger lead singer Pete Ham to the front of the stage to sing it with him. Badfinger was signed to The Beatles’ Apple Records and had a hit months earlier with “No Matter What.” Harrison had them play on his first post-Beatles solo album, All Things Must Pass, in 1970, and used them as backing musicians at the concert. The Badfinger story, though, had a tragic ending. As Apple Records disintegrated, the group left the label and ended up in legal wranglings that left them angry and broke. Ham committed suicide in 1975.

In 1976, a cover by Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel was a #10 hit in the UK.

Richie Havens covered this in 1971. The Beatles’ version never charted, but his hit #16 in the US. Havens told DISCoveries magazine in 1994: “Fortunately, I can sing things that changed my mind and gave me articulation, like the songs of The Beatles. What they did was, they presented the language we speak in a very straightforward way. The images were totally clear. The influence of clarity – that was the whole influence of the British Invasion.”

Other popular covers were recorded by Nina Simone and Peter Tosh.

On November 20, 1976, Harrison performed this with Paul Simon on Saturday Night Live. On a previous show, producer Lorne Michaels offered The Beatles $3,000 (union minimum), to show up and perform. He said they could split it up any way they wanted, giving Ringo less if they felt like it. Lennon and McCartney were watching together in New York at the time and almost went. On the show when Harrison performed this, there is a skit where he is arguing with Michaels over the money. Michaels tries to explain that the $3000 was for the whole group, and he would have to accept less.

When Harrison died in 2001, many artists performed this at their concerts as a tribute. It was played at the induction ceremonies of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the all-star jam.

George Harrison played a guitar solo that was placed at 1:02 into the song, but didn’t make the final cut. Here’s the clip where George Martin and Dhani Harrison listen to it.

Harrison released a follow-up song called “Here Comes The Moon” on his self-titled 1979 album. That song is a tribute to the moon, the “sun’s little brother” that acts like a mirror in the sky, reflecting our light.

In 2006, this was voted by the members of the GeorgeHarrison.com forum as their favorite song of his.

Take That’s Gary Barlow covered this for a 2012 advert for Marks and Spencer. It was the first song he’d recorded as a solo artist since his sophomore album, Twelve Months, Eleven Days in 1999. He said: “It’s a real a privilege to cover such an iconic track. You can’t better perfection but I hope we’ve given it a modern twist that will capture the mood of the nation and provide the perfect anthem for summer 2012.” The song’s exposure on the commercial resulted in the original Beatles recording charting in the UK singles top 75 for the first time.

Paul McCartney was also feeling the pain from Beatles’ business dealings around this time and wrote his own, far more pessimistic, song about it: “You Never Give Me Your Money,” which was also included on Abbey Road.

Tom Petty, who was Harrison’s good friend and played with him in the Traveling Wilburys, said of this song in Rolling Stone: “No piece of music can make you feel better than this. It’s such an optimistic song, with that little bit of ache in it that makes the happiness mean even more.”

At the 2016 Republican National Convention, Ivanka Trump, speaking before her father Donald took the stage, emerged with this song playing. The Harrison estate was not happy and voiced their displeasure on Twitter: “The unauthorized use of #HereComestheSun at the #RNCinCLE is offensive & against the wishes of the George Harrison estate. If it had been Beware Of Darkness, then we MAY have approved it!”

Naya Rivera and Demi Lovato sang this on the 2013 Glee episode “Tina in the Sky with Diamonds.”

Nina Simone’s version was used on the TV series Scandal in the 2015 episode “You Can’t Take Command.”

During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, many found solace in this song. Some hospitals would play the song when a patient was discharged.

Harrison and Simon on SNL

Here Comes The Sun

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun
It’s all right
It’s all right

Chuck Berry – Roll Over Beethoven

I like going back to the pioneers who started all of this. Those old raw recordings have been inspected, dissected, and copied to this day. All rock bands will do a Chuck Berry riff somewhere and most likely will cover at least one of his many songs.

I first was introduced to Chuck Berry by the Beatles faithful version. This song is a staple of early rock and roll. Everyone from George Harrison to Keith Richards were influenced by Chuck Berry. His songs were mini stories set against a fast guitar with a driving beat.

This song is about the rock ‘n’ roll craze that was taking over America. Beethoven and Tchaikovsky were classical composers who were being bumped aside by rock. At the time, many critics dismissed rock music as a passing fad…and the fad is still going on.

Berry started writing this song to rib his younger sister, Lucy, who played classical music on the family piano. Chuck was telling her to stop playing so he could play rock and roll.

The song peaked at #29 in the US Charts and #2 in the R&B Charts in 1956.

From Songfacts

Berry was careful to write lyrics that told a coherent story, which in this case follows a young many as he pursues his favorite music. Berry also took care to deliver his lyrics clearly so a wider audience could understand them. This helped him avoid the fate of many Little Richard songs: more popular, but sanitized covers by Pat Boone.

The line, “Early in the mornin’ I’m a givin’ you a warnin'” is a tribute to Louis Jordan’s 1947 track “Early In The Mornin’.”

Jordan, a jump-blues innovator, certainly earned the tribute: his 1946 song “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman” has a guitar intro (played by Carl Hogan) that Berry lifted for “Roll Over Beethoven.”

The Beatles released a version of this song in 1963, which they played at most of their early live shows. The following year, The Beach Boys released “Fun, Fun, Fun,” which copied the intro to “Roll Over Beethoven” nearly note for note.

This was used in the 1992 movie Beethoven, which is about a Saint Bernard.

The Electric Light Orchestra covered this in 1973, mixing in some of Beethoven’s music. It was their biggest hit at the time, going to #6 in the UK and #42 in the US.

ELO was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 7, 2017, less than a month after Berry’s death. They opened the ceremony with a performance of this song in tribute to Berry.

For a February 4, 1977 primetime special celebrating 25 years of American Bandstand, Berry performed this song joined by Seals & Crofts, Gregg Allman, Junior Walker, Johnny Rivers, the Pointer Sisters, Charlie Daniels and Doc Severinsen. This was one of the first “all-star jams” that would later become commonplace. This performance served as a showcase for the musicians, who were introduced as they performed by Paul Williams. 

Iron Maiden spoofed this on their song “Roll Over Vic Vella,” which was used as the B-side to the single for “From Now to Eternity” It’s one of the few singles that featured a photograph of the band performing as cover art. 

Leon Russell often covered this song. He performed it on the musical variety show Shindig! in 1964.

The Beatles version…the bands I’ve played in used more powerful amps in a small club than the Beatles had at that time for stadiums. They made it necessary to boost the power with larger amps…to this day I don’t see how they heard each other…they probably didn’t. 

Roll Over Beethoven

Well, I’ma write a letter
I’m gon’ mail it to my local DJ
Yeah that’s the jumpin little record
I want my jockey to play
Roll over Beethoven, I gotta hear it again today

You know, my temperature’s risin’
The jukebox blowin’ a fuse
My heart’s beatin’ rhythm
And my soul keeps a-singin’ the blues
Roll over Beethoven, tell Tchaikovsky the news

I got the rockin’ pneumonia
I need a shot of rhythm and blues
I caught the rollin’ arthritis
Sittin’ down at a rhythm review
Roll over Beethoven, they rockin’ in two by two

Well, if you feel and like it
Go get your lover, then reel and rock it
Roll it over and move on up just a
Trifle further, then reel and rock it
Wind another
Roll over Beethoven, dig these rhythm and blues

Well in the mornin’ I’m givin’ you my mornin’
Don’t you step on my blue suede shoes
Hey diddle diddle, I’ma play my fiddle
Ain’t got nothin’ to lose
Roll over Beethoven, tell Tchaikovsky the news

You know she wiggles like a glow worm
Dance like a spinnin’ top
She got a crazy partner
Ya oughta see ’em reel and rock
Long as she got a dime the music will never stop

Roll over Beethoven
Roll over Beethoven
Roll over Beethoven
Roll over Beethoven
Roll over Beethoven, dig these rhythm and blues

Beatles – Help! Soundtrack Album

We wrapped up Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days. We are going into extra innings and extending three more picks from these categories… favorite Soundtracks, Greatest Hits, and a music related movie. This is my pick for sountrack…Help! by the Beatles.

2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 11 PICK 4- SOUNDTRACKS- BADFINGER20 SELECTS- THE BEATLES- HELP!

To avoid confusion I’m reviewing the UK version of Help! because that is the one that I own.

The movie Help! was an enjoyable movie. It was not nearly as good as A Hard Days Night but it had it’s moments. I love black and white movies but the color made Help! stand out. The Beatles knew it wasn’t as good as their first…John had a quote about it: “it was like being a frog in a movie about clams.” Nevertheless it was a fun movie and a pleasure to watch today.

Amazon.com: Blujway The Beatles Help Lobby Card Movie Poster Replica 11 X  14 Photo Print: Posters & Prints

They shot the movie in five different locations…London, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Austria, and the Bahamas.

It was the first Beatle movie I ever saw…I rented it from a video store in the mid-eighties. The Help! movie was the only Beatle movie they had at the time. With no internet, it was my only window to see the Beatles other than the documentary The Compleat Beatles.

Behind-the-Scenes Footage From the Beatles' 'Help!' Surfaces

The soundtrack is a great album on it’s own.

I picked this album/soundtrack because I always thought this was the transitional album between Beatlemania and The Beatles middle period. After this album would come Rubber Soul and the swinging sixties would officially be kicked off. Help! shows them making strides into the future. You can hear a some of their earlier work and get a hint of what was coming.

Here are a few songs…I’ll leave the big hits off of the preview.

You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away is a good song with a noticeable Dylan influence.

One of my favorite songs on the album is The Night Before…I first heard it on the Beatles Rock and Roll Music compilation album. It’s another song that would have been a single for another band.

As soon as I heard I’ve Just Seen A Face…I learned it on guitar and have been playing it ever since. This is a song that you can see the change starting to take place…from the bouncy numbers to this folk influenced one. This song would be on the American version of Rubber Soul.

You’re Going to Lose That Girl has a catchy call and response chorus. The backup vocals are superb.

The title track is brilliant with John calling out for Help after being battered by Beatlemania. They also dipped into their club roots with a cover of the Larry Williams song Dizzy Miss Lizzy. The album had the hits of course…Help!, Yesterday, and Ticket To Ride…all #1 in the Billboard 100.

I’m ready to watch Help! now…can I smuggle a Blu-ray player on the island?

Help!
The Night Before
You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
I Need You
Another Girl
You’re Going to Lose That Girl
Ticket to Ride
Act Naturally
It’s Only Love
You Like Me Too Much
Tell Me What You See
I’ve Just Seen a Face
Yesterday
Dizzy Miss Lizzy

Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour

This is the title song to the soundtrack album of the movie Magical Mystery Tour. In reality it was more of a very expensive home movie but I do like it. Like Paul McCartney said…where else would you see a video of the Beatles doing I Am The Walrus?

They began on the song two weeks after Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released.

In the 60s a “Mystery Tour” was a bus trip to an unknown destination. They were popular in England at that time…many times they ended up to see the Blackpool lights.

The song peaked at #2 in the UK. It was not released as a single in the US. The song was written by Lennon and McCartney. Paul’s concept and Lennon helped with the lyrics.

“Magical Mystery Tour” was released as the title track to a six-song double EP in the United Kingdom on 8 December 1967. It was the first example of a double EP in Britain. In the United States, the double EP was stretched to an LP by adding five songs previously released as singles.

Paul McCartney: “’Magical Mystery Tour’ was co-written by John and I, very much in our fairground period. One of our great inspirations was always the Barker. ‘Roll up!  Roll up!’

Paul McCartney: “It used to just be called a mystery tour, up north,” “When we were kids, you’d get on a bus, and you didn’t know where you were going, but nearly always it was Blackpool. From Liverpool, it was inevitably Blackpool and everyone would go, ‘Oooo, it was Blackpool after all!’ Everyone would spend time guessing where they were going, and this was part of the thrill. And we remembered those. So much of The Beatles’ stuff was a slight switch on a memory; in ‘Penny Lane,’ the nurse and the barber and the fireman were just people we saw on a bus route, but this time they’d be with us. So we’d always just heighten the reality to make a little bit of surreality. That we were interested in.”

From Songfacts

Five months after recording this, The Beatles started making a TV special with this as the title track. The special aired in the UK in 1967, but didn’t appear in the US until 1976 when it was released in theaters, becoming the fourth Beatles movie. The film, which was an early precursor of today’s reality TV shows, didn’t go over well with critics or fans.

When they started recording this, they only had the title, a little bit of music, and the first line. Paul McCartney wrote the verses, John Lennon the refrain. 

The carnival barker at the beginning is Paul McCartney.

In the 1978 movie The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash directed by former Monty Python member Eric Idle, this song is parodied by the title “Tragical History Tour.”

Charles Manson used to refer to life as “A Magical Mystery Tour” after hearing this song. He later warped other Beatles songs (“Helter Skelter,” “Piggies,” “Blackbird”) to explain a race war named Helter Skelter. He used to say that the Beatles were telling it like it is.

Magical Mystery Tour

Roll up roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up roll up for the Mystery Tour

Roll up
That’s an invitation
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up
To make a reservation
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

The Magical Mystery Tour
Is waiting to take you away
Waiting to take you away

Roll up
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

Roll up
They’ve got everything you need
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up
Satisfaction guaranteed
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

The Magical Mystery Tour is hoping to take you away
Hoping to take you away

The Mystery Tour

Ah

The Magical Mystery Tour
Roll up
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

Roll up
That’s an invitation
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up
To make a reservation
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

The Magical Mystery Tour
Is coming to take you away
Coming to take you away

The Magical Mystery Tour
Is dying to take you away
Dying to take you away
Take you today

Beatles – Back In The U.S.S.R.

I always liked this rocking song by the Beatles. They threw a little Beach Boy feel in it also.

The song was written during the band’s visit to Rishikesh, India is early 1968, the intention being to study and practice Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi.

In early 1968, the British government launched the “I’m Backing Britain” campaign to rally enthusiasm and boost their economy. McCartney was inspired by this and Chuck Berry’s Back In The U.S.A. The working title was I’m Backing the UK.

This song was on the double White Album released in 1968. The album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Chart, Canada, and the UK. There was tension between the members on this album.

Following an argument with McCartney over the drum part for this song, Ringo walked out on The Beatles. He flew to Sardinia for a holiday to consider his future. While there he received a telegram from his bandmates saying, ‘You’re the best rock ‘n’ roll drummer in the world. Come on home, we love you.’ On his return, he found his drum kit covered with flowers. A banner above read, ‘Welcome Back.’

Paul did end up playing drums on the track. It is credited to Lennon/McCartney but it is a McCartney written song.

This song caused some controversy with conservative America, because it came out during Vietnam and the Cold War and it appeared to be celebrating the enemy. The John Birch Society accused The Beatles with promoting communism.

Paul McCartney: “Chuck Berry once did a song called ‘Back In The U.S.A,’ which is very American, very Chuck Berry, you know. He was ‘serving in the army and, when I get back home, I’m gonna kiss the ground,’ you know, ‘can’t wait to get back to the States.’ It’s very much an American thing, I always thought. So, this one, ‘Back In The U.S.S.R.’ was about, in my mind, a spy who has been in America for a long, long time. Some fellow who’s been in America for a long time and he’s picked up and he’s very American, but he gets back to the U.S.S.R., and he’s, sort of, saying ‘Leave it till tomorrow, honey to disconnect the phone,’ and ‘come here, honey,’ with Russian women, and all that.”

From Songfacts

The story of this song begins in Hrishikesh, India, where The Beatles were on a retreat learning Transcendental Meditation from their guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Also on the retreat was Mike Love of The Beach Boys, who told us: “Paul (McCartney) came down to the breakfast table one morning saying, ‘Hey, Mike, listen to this.’ And he starts strumming and singing, ‘Back in the U.S.S.R.,’ the verses. And I said, ‘Well, Paul, what you ought to do is talk about the girls around Russia, Ukraine girls and then Georgia on my mind, and that kind of thing.’ Which he did.

So I think it was the fact I was there, which caused Paul to think in terms of Beach Boys, and then my suggestion for what to do on the bridge, he took that suggestion and crafted, like only Sir Paul can, a really great song.”

McCartney was impressed with the idea and used some Beach Boys’ elements in this song: Instead of “California Girls” it was “Moscow Girls.” Plus, the definitive Beach Boy “Oooeeeeoooo” in the background harmonies.

The title was inspired by Chuck Berry’s “Back In The U.S.A.” The Beach Boys had been influenced by that song and also “Sweet Little Sixteen” to come up with “California Girls” and “Surfin’ U.S.A.”

Things were tense when they were working on this album, and Ringo walked out during recording, briefly quitting the band. Paul McCartney played drums in his place.

The line “Georgia’s always on my mind” in a play on the Ray Charles song “Georgia On My Mind.” It has a double meaning, since Georgia was part of the U.S.S.R.

Elton John performed this song when he toured Russia in 1979, and he got a huge response. This was the year before Moscow hosted the Summer Olympics, which the United States boycotted. Elton told Q magazine: “The first night as an encore I did ‘Back In The U.S.S.R.’ And they went apes–t. It was like playing ‘Philadelphia Freedom’ in Philadelphia. You just noticed that the people there were as ordinary and as good as the people you’d notice anywhere else.”

Billy Joel got a similar reaction when he played the song in Moscow in 1987.

This opens with the sound of an airplane flying from left to right across the speakers. Stereo was relatively new, so this was very innovative for the time.

Paul McCartney told Mojo magazine October 2008 that the song’s middle-eight was a spoof of the Beach Boys leading up to Pet Sounds. He added: “The rest is (sings first bars of the melody line of the opening verse) more Jerry Lee (Lewis). And the title is Chuck Berry, Back In The U.S.A., and the song itself is more a take on Chuck. You’d get these soldiers back from Korea or Vietnam, wherever the hell, and Chuck was picking up on that. I thought it was a funny idea to spoof that with the most unlikely thing of way back in Siberia.”

There was a rumor in the Soviet Union that The Beatles had secretly visited the U.S.S.R. and given a private concert for the children of top Communist party members. They believed the song was written because of the concert. Actually, some fans still believe so. 

The wafer-thin actress and model Twiggy claimed that this song was written for her to sing on a tour of Russia that didn’t materialize. She and McCartney had met to discuss a film project, but it’s unlikely this song was written for her.

Paul McCartney used this as the title to an album he released only in Russia in 1989. In 2002, McCartney called his US tour the “Back In The US” tour.

In Stephen King’s 1979 novel The Dead Zone, a serial killer hums this tune as he contemplates his first murder.

Back In The U.S.S.R

Flew in from Miami Beach BOAC
Didn’t get to bed last night
On the way the paper bag was on my knee
Man, I had a dreadful flight
I’m back in the USSR
You don’t know how lucky you are, boy
Back in the USSR, yeah

Been away so long I early knew the place
Gee, it’s good to be back home
Leave it till tomorrow to unpack my case
Honey disconnect the phone
I’m back in the USSR
You don’t know how lucky you are, boy
Back in the US
Back in the US
Back in the USSR

Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the west behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia’s always on my my my my my my my my my mind
Oh, come on
Hu hey hu, hey, ah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
I’m back in the USSR
You don’t know how lucky you are, boys
Back in the USSR

Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the west behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia’s always on my my my my my my my my my mind

Oh, show me round your snow peaked
Mountain way down south
Take me to your daddy’s farm
Let me hear your balalaika’s ringing out
Come and keep your comrade warm
I’m back in the USSR
Hey, you don’t know how lucky you are, boy
Back in the USSR
Oh, let me tell you, honey

Beatles – If I Needed Someone

This has that Rickenbacker sound. This song was written by George Harrison, who was influenced by The Byrds song “The Bells of Rhymney.” This one has always been a favorite of mine by George.

If I Needed Someone was one of four songs Capitol Records held off of the American release of Rubber Soul. US audiences hadn’t heard the song until June 20th, 1966, which was the date of release for the American album Yesterday…And Today.

If I Needed Someone was the only George Harrison composition to have been performed live by The Beatles. The other songs that featured George on vocals were covers but this was the only original song before they stopped touring.

The Hollies received an early recording of “If I Needed Someone.” They proceeded to quickly record their own rendition of the song and release it as their next British single on December 3rd, 1965, the exact day that The Beatles’ released Rubber Soul.

The Hollies took the song to #20 on the British charts, and it became the first George Harrison composition to make the charts.

Roger McGuinn: “George Harrison wrote that song after hearing the Byrds’ recording of “Bells of Rhymney.” He gave a copy of his new recording to Derek Taylor, the Beatles’ former press officer, who flew to Los Angeles and brought it to my house. He said George wanted me to know that he had written the song based on the rising and falling notes of my electric Rickenbacker 12-string guitar introduction. It was a great honor to have in some small way influenced our heroes the Beatles.”

From Songfacts

 It was not Ravi Shankar that introduced George to the wonderment of sitar, but Byrd traveler David Crosby shortly after Shawn Phillips had shown him the basic steps. In 1965 The Beatles toured the US and visited Ravi at World Pacific Studios where The Byrds had permanent residency. It was also here that Roger McGuinn’s Rickenbacker jingle jangle influenced Harrison’s “If I Needed Someone.” In turn, The Byrds were influenced by Harrison’s 12-string guitar work. 

If I Needed Someone

If I needed someone to love
You’re the one that I’d be thinking of
If I needed someone

If I had some more time to spend
Then I guess I’d be with you my friend
If I needed someone
Had you come some other day
Then it might not have been like this
But you see now I’m too much in love

Carve your number on my wall
And maybe you will get a call from me
If I needed someone
Ah, ah, ah, ah

If I had some more time to spend
Then I guess I’d be with you my friend
If I needed someone
Had you come some other day
Then it might not have been like this
But you see now I’m too much in love

Carve your number on my wall
And maybe you will get a call from me
If I needed someone
Ah, ah

Beatles – I Feel Fine

One of the great guitar riffs in rock…very melodic and sounds great on a guitar.

John Lennon said he borrowed from the song “Watch Your Step” by the American blues musician Bobby Parker. I Feel Fine was released in late 1964. It was the A side of the single with She’s A Woman on the B side.

The first note of this song marked the first time feedback was used on a major release. It was created when John Lennon leaned his electric guitar against an amplifier and Paul McCartney played a note on his bass, creating a strangely appealing feedback loop.

The band thought it sounded great, but in this pre-Hendrix era, feedback was considered a technical malfunction and not an artistic enhancement.Producer George Martin was always open to new ideas and agreed to insert it at the beginning of the song. Paul would say that he let them experiment.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, Canada, UK, and New Zealand in 1965.

From Songfacts

An early Beatles track, “I Feel Fine” lyrically is a simple love song about a guy who is crazy about his girl. It’s not Shakespeare, but it’s effective:

She’s so glad, she’s telling all the world
That her baby buys her things, you know
He buys her diamond rings, you know

The refrain is typical of Lennon’s songwriting, with the three long notes: “I’m so glad.” The sudden explosive refrain in harmonies is similar to Giovanni Gabrieli’s grand concerto “In ecclesiis,” an early baroque-music-piece. 

There is a very faint sound at the end of the song that was rumored to be barking dogs. It’s actually just McCartney goofing around.

The Beatles included this in their setlist when they toured the US in August 1965. Prior to their famous Shea Stadium appearance on August 15, they taped a performance of this song and five others for an Ed Sullivan Show episode that aired September 12.

The group made two music videos for this song as part of a one-day shoot where they banged out takes for four others as well. These were not high-concept films: just the band having some fun while lip-synching the tracks. The first “I Feel Fine” video got pretty goofy, with Ringo riding a stationary bike. For the second, the band simply sits down and eats lunch. This later version wasn’t released until 2015 when it was included on the 1+ collection.

The Ventures incorporated the riff into their surf rock instrumental version of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” on their 1965 Christmas album.

In America, this knocked “Come See About Me” by The Supremes from the top spot. “I Feel Fine” stayed for three weeks, at which point “Come See About Me” returned to bump it off.

I Feel Fine

Baby’s good to me, you know
She’s happy as can be, you know
She said so
I’m in love with her and I feel fine

Baby says she’s mine, you know
She tells me all the time, you know
She said so
I’m in love with her and I feel fine

I’m so glad that she’s my little girl
She’s so glad, she’s telling all the world
That her baby buys her things, you know
He buys her diamond rings, you know
She said so
She’s in love with me and I feel fine

Baby says she’s mine, you know
She tells me all the time, you know
She said so
I’m in love with her and I feel fine

I’m so glad that she’s my little girl
She’s so glad, she’s telling all the world
That her baby buys her things, you know
He buys her diamond rings, you know
She said so
She’s in love with me and I feel fine
She’s in love with me and I feel fine, mmm

Beatles – Hey Jude

This is one of McCartney’s best written songs. Like a lot of other great songs it builds… from McCartney’s lone voice and piano to a giant sing a long at the end. Hey Jude is one of the most famous songs in rock history.

This was their debut single for their new record company Apple. The A side was Hey Jude and the B side was Revolution. That is a great way to start. This was one of the best double A side singles ever.

The song was not on an album at the time. Hey Jude peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, UK, Canada, and New Zealand in 1968.

Paul McCartney wrote this as “Hey Jules,” a song meant to comfort John Lennon’s 5-year-old son Julian as John and Cynthia were getting a divorce. The change to “Jude” was inspired by the character “Jud” in the musical Oklahoma! Paul went to visit Cynthia and Julian when the divorce was happening and he composed most of it then.

John wanted Revolution released as a single right away but when he heard this song he agreed to have Revolution as the B side.

It was the Beatles longest single, running 7:11. George Martin was afraid radio stations would not play it but John said ‘They will if it’s us.” When this became a hit, stations learned that listeners would stick around if they liked the song, which paved the way for long songs like “American Pie” and “Layla.”Disc jockeys loved it…they got a break.

The Beatles filmed a promotional video for this song, which was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg who directed Let It Be. He had the Beatles sing the song (the music was on a backing track) in front of an audience of about 100 people, who sang it with them. This was the closest the Beatles had come to a live performance since they had stopped touring two years earlier.

The clip first aired on the UK program The David Frost Show in 1968, and was quickly picked up by other shows, giving the song a big promotional push.

Paul McCartney: “I thought, as a friend of the family, I would motor out to Weybridge (John’s former home with Cynthia) and tell them that everything was all right: to try and cheer them up, basically, and see how they were. I had about an hour’s drive. I would always turn the radio off and try and make up songs, just in case…I starting singing: ‘Hey Jules – don’t make it bad, take a sad song, and make it better…’ It was optimistic, a hopeful message for Julian: ‘Come on, man, your parents got divorced. I know you’re not happy, but you’ll be OK.’ I eventually changed ‘Jules’ to ‘Jude.’ One of the characters in ‘Oklahoma’ is called Jude, and I like the name.” 

Cynthia Lennon: “During the divorce proceedings, I was truly surprised when, one afternoon, Paul arrived on his own. I was touched by his obvious concern for our welfare and even more moved when he presented me with a single red rose accompanied by a jokey remark about our future. ‘How about it, Cyn?  How about you and me getting married?’ We both laughed at the thought of the world’s reaction to an announcement like that being let loose. On his journey down to visit Julian and I, Paul composed the beautiful song ‘Hey Jude.’ He said it was for Julian. I will never forget Paul’s gesture of care and concern in coming to see us. It made me feel important and loved, as opposed to feeling discarded and obsolete.”

Paul McCartney: “I finished it all up in Cavendish (Paul’s home) and I was in the music room upstairs when John and Yoko came to visit and they were right behind me over my right shoulder, standing up, listening to it as I played it to them, and when I got to the line ‘The movement you need is on your shoulder,’ I looked over my shoulder and I said, ‘I’ll change that, it’s a bit crummy. I was just blocking it out,’ and John said, ‘You won’t, you know. That’s the best line in it!’ That’s collaboration. When someone’s that firm about a line that you’re going to junk, and he says, ‘No, keep it in.’

John Lennon: “He said it was written about Julian…but I always heard it as a song to me. If you think about it, Yoko’s just come into the picture. He’s saying: ‘Hey, Jude – hey, John.’ I know I’m sounding like one of those fans who reads things into it, but you can hear it as a song to me. The words ‘go out and get her’ – subconsciously he was saying, ‘Go ahead, leave me.’ But on a conscious level, he didn’t want me to go ahead. The angel inside him was saying, ‘Bless you.’ The devil in him didn’t like it at all, because he didn’t want to lose his partner.”

John Lennon: “Well, when Paul first played ‘Hey Jude’ to me…I took it very personally. ‘Ah, it’s me,’ I said, ‘it’s me.” He said, ‘No, it’s me!’ I said, ‘Check, we’re going through the same bit.’ So we all are. Whoever is going through a bit with us is going through it. That’s the groove.”

From Songfacts

This was named as the song most often referred to in literature in a list compiled by culture interpretation website Small Demons. Amongst the 55 books the site says it’s mentioned in are Stephen King’s Wolves of the Calla (“Why do people over here sing Hey Jude? I don’t know”) and Toni Morrison’s Paradise (“Soane had been horrified – and he drove off accompanying Hey Jude on his radio”).

Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” was runner-up on the list and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” came in third place

In 1987 Julian ran into Paul in New York City when they were staying at the same hotel and he finally heard Paul tell him the story of the song firsthand. He admitted to Paul that growing up, he’d always felt closer to him than to his own father. In Steve Turner’s book The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song, Julian said: “Paul told me he’d been thinking about my circumstances, about what I was going through and what I’d have to go through. Paul and I used to hang out quite a bit – more than Dad and I did… There seem to be far more pictures of me and Paul playing at that age than me and Dad. I’ve never really wanted to know the truth of how Dad was and how he was with me. There was some very negative stuff – like when he said that I’d come out of a whisky bottle on a Saturday night. That’s tough to deal with. You think, where’s the love in that? It surprises me whenever I hear the song. It’s strange to think someone has written a song about you. It still touches me.”

The Beatles inner circle was shifting when Paul McCartney wrote this song. John Lennon had recently taken up with Yoko and cast off his first wife, Cynthia; McCartney had broken off his engagement with his longtime girlfriend Jane Asher. He was the only Beatle to reach out to Cynthia and Julian at this time.

The drive to the Lennon home in Surrey was one of reflection for McCartney, who thought about Julian and how difficult life could be as a child of divorce. He wrote the line, “Don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better” thinking about how he could encourage the boy.

Paul was conditioned to think up songs on this trip, as he used to drive to the home for songwriting sessions with John – there were instruments and recording equipment in the attic.

In a 2018 interview with GQ, Paul McCartney talked about how he came up with the idea for this song: “John and his wife Cynthia had divorced, and I felt a bit sorry for their son, who was now a child of a divorce. I was driving out to see the son and Cynthia one day and I was thinking about the boy whose name was Julian – Julian Lennon, and I started this idea, ‘Hey Jules, don’t make it bad, it’s gonna be OK.’ It was like a reassurance song.

So that was the idea that I got driving out to see them. I saw them and then I came back and worked on the song some more. But I like that name, Jude.”

This was the first song released on Apple Records, the record label owned by The Beatles. It was recorded at Trident Studios, London, on July 31 and August 1, 1968 with a 36 piece orchestra. Orchestra members clapped and sang on the fadeout – they earned double their normal rate for their efforts.

Paul McCartney on his songwriting partnership with John Lennon in Observer Music Monthly October 2007: “I have fond flashbacks of John writing – he’d scribble it down real quick, desperate to get back to the guitar. But I knew at that moment that this was going to be a good collaboration. Like when I did ‘Hey Jude.’ I was going through it for him and Yoko when I was living in London. I had a music room at the top of the house and I was playing ‘Hey Jude’ when I got to the line ‘The movement you need is on your shoulder’ and I turned round to John and said: ‘I’ll fix that if you want.’ And he said: ‘You won’t, you know, that’s a great line, that’s the best line in it.’ Now that’s the other side of a great collaborator – don’t touch it, man, that’s OK.”

This song hit #1 in at least 12 countries and by the end of 1968 had sold more than 5 million copies. It eventually sold over 10 million copies in the United States, becoming the fourth-biggest selling Beatles single there. Factoring in the price of records in 1968 vs. 1964, when the top-seller “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was released, “Hey Jude” might be the biggest earner.

When McCartney played this song for John Lennon and Yoko Ono, John interpreted it as being about him; he heard the line “You were made to go out and get her” as Paul imploring him to leave his first wife and go after Yoko (“I always heard it as a song to me,” said Lennon). This was one of Lennon’s more narcissistic moments, as he failed to grasp that the song was written for his son.

This was going to be the B-side to “Revolution,” but it ended up the other way around. It is a testament to this song that it pushed “Revolution” to the other side of the record.

George Harrison wanted to play a guitar riff after the vocal phrases, but Paul wouldn’t let him. Things got tense between them around this time as McCartney got very particular about how Harrison played on songs he wrote.

Julian Lennon didn’t find out that this song was written for him until he was a teenager. It was around this time that he reconnected with his dad, whom he would visit in New York from time to time until his death.

In terms of songcraft, this is one of the most studied Beatles songs. It starts with a vocal – Paul’s voice singing “Hey” – then the piano comes in (an F chord). The song gradually builds, with McCartney alone playing on the first verse, then the sounds of George Harrison’s guitar, Ringo’s tambourine, and harmony vocals by George and John. The drums enter about 50 seconds in, and the song builds from there, reaching a peak of intensity with McCartney delivering the “better… better… better” line punctuated by a Little Richard-style scream, then the famous singalong resolution.

The “na na na” fadeout takes four minutes. The chorus is repeated 19 times.

“Jude” is the German word for “Jew,” but nobody in the Beatles camp knew that. In 1967 and 1968, the group owned a retail store on Baker Street in London called the Apple Boutique, which they closed around the time this song was released. On the shuttered building, an employee scrawled the words “Revolution” and “Hey Jude” to promote the new Beatles single. Without proper context, this proved offensive to Jewish residents, who read it as hateful graffiti.

Wilson Pickett recorded this shortly after The Beatles did. His version hit #16 UK and #23 US and provided the name for his album. Duane Allman played on it and got a huge career boost when the song became a hit. He spent the next year as a session guitarist for many famous singers and then formed The Allman Brothers, who are considered the greatest Southern Rock band of all time.

Thanks to the communal nature of this song, it is sometimes used to pay tribute to those who have passed. When Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr appeared on the 2014 CBS special The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles, Paul dedicated the song John Lennon and George Harrison. Musicians who performed earlier in the show joined on stage for the ending, which closed the telecast.

In America, an album called Hey Jude (originally titled “The Beatles Again”) was released in 1970 containing this and several other Beatles songs that were released as singles or B-sides. The album has not appeared as a CD because Apple Records made the decision to copy only the British LP releases onto CD. In the ’60s the American record company managed to get extra LPs off the British releases by cutting down the number of tracks, then putting them out with singles and B-sides as additional albums. 

As discussed in the DVD Composing the Beatles Songbook, while Paul wrote this song for Julian, in a lot of ways McCartney wrote this song about his brand-new relationship with Linda Eastman.

After the “Oh” in the crescendo, McCartney sings “YEAH!” in a non-falsetto voice. The note he hits is F Natural above male High C, a very difficult note for a male to hit in a non-falsetto voice.

The original 1968 version was recorded in mono, and many listeners find it far superior to the stereo remake from 1970, which is much more heavily produced.

On The Beatles Anthology 3, there is a version of this song with an introduction spoken by John and Paul: “From the heart of the black country: When I was a robber in Boston place You gathered round me with your fine embrace.”

“Boston place” (mentioned by Paul) is a small London street where The Beatles’ company Apple had just installed an electronics laboratory. In a more familiar scene, Boston Street was that street in which The Beatles ran for the title sequence of their film A Hard Day’s Night. John spoke of the “Black Country,” which was the name of the old smokestack industrial region in the middle of England.

Richie Havens played this at Woodstock when he opened the festival in 1969.

If you listen at about 2:55, you hear a sound from John Lennon while Paul keeps singing. It sounds like “Ohh!” at first, but it is really him saying “…chord!” You can barely hear it, but if you listen really closely, you can hear him say “Got the wrong CHORD.” He says “chord” much louder than the other words. And about two or three counts later, you can hear McCartney say “F**king hell.” 

The song debuted at #10 in the Hot 100, and in doing so it made history by becoming the first ever single to reach the top 10 in its first week on the chart.

When the Beatles music was made available for download for the first time – on iTunes November 16, 2010 – “Hey Jude” was the most downloaded Beatles song that day.

McCartney played this at the 2005 Live8 concert in London. He started with “The Long and Winding Road” and flowed it into the end of “Hey Jude,” which closed out the Live8 concert. 

Paul McCartney played this at the 2005 Super Bowl halftime show. He performed the year after Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed on stage, causing an uproar. McCartney was deemed a safe and reliable choice for a nudity-free performance.

Sesame Street did a parody of this (and tribute to healthy eating) called “Hey Food.”

With hundreds of crowd favorites to choose from in his catalog, Paul McCartney mixes up his setlists when he plays live, but this one always seems to stick. “I’ll switch up the songs, but I’ve got to do ‘Hey Jude’ because it is such fun and it’s great handing that over to the audience,” he told GQ. The greatest thing is, you feel this sense of community, and in these times when it’s a little dark and people are separated by politics and stuff, it’s so fantastic to see them all come together singing the end of ‘Hey Jude.’ I’m very happy about that, so I keep it in the show.”

This appears frequently throughout Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, including the first installment, The Gunslinger (1982). The fantasy western is set in a parallel universe where a lone gunslinger is on a quest for revenge. King explained the significance of the song in a 1988 interview with The Guardian: “I see the gunslinger’s world as sort of a post-radiation world where everybody’s history has gotten clobbered and about the only thing anybody remembers anymore is the chorus to ‘Hey, Jude.'”

Hey Jude

Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Hey Jude, don’t be afraid
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better

And anytime you feel the pain
Hey Jude, refrain
Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it’s a fool
Who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder
Na-na-na, na, na
Na-na-na, na

Hey Jude, don’t let me down
You have found her, now go and get her (let it out and let it in)
Remember to let her into your heart (hey Jude)
Then you can start to make it better

So let it out and let it in
Hey Jude, begin
You’re waiting for someone to perform with
And don’t you know that it’s just you
Hey Jude, you’ll do
The movement you need is on your shoulder
Na-na-na, na, na
Na-na-na, na, yeah

Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her under your skin
Then you’ll begin to make it better
Better better better better better, ah!

Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (Jude Jude, Judy Judy Judy Judy, ow wow!)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (my, my, my)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (yeah, you know you can make it, Jude, Jude, you’re not gonna break it)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (don’t make it bad, Jude, take a sad song and make it better)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (oh Jude, Jude, hey Jude, wa!)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (oh Jude)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (hey, hey, hey, hey)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (hey, hey)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (now, Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (Jude, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah, make it, Jude)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah, yeah yeah, yeah! Yeah! Yeah!)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude