Why The Beatles Are Still Relevant… and my 5th Year Anniversary.

This is my 5th-year anniversary on WP. Thank you all for still reading and commenting. 

This was part of Dave’s at A Sound Day “Turntable Talk” series…hope you like it. It’s also a more in-depth re-working of my first post on September 18, 2017. I never dreamed I would be accepted in such a large community of like-minded people. It’s not easy to meet Big Star fans in real life…here in this community, they come to you. My mission was…if I could get one person to at least give Badfinger, Big Star, or the Raspberries a listen…my job was done…but it’s been so much more than that because I’ve learned more than I’ve given. Yes, I love the Beatles but they don’t need my cheerleading.

I usually write shorter posts than this…but it was a lot to say on this subject.

So why are The Beatles still popular with older and younger generations? Their influence seems never-ending. It’s as though they have never left. There are other bands that left a legacy but nothing like the footprint of the Beatles.

The Beatles shaped culture instead of following it. Society changed after that appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. They cast such a large net in music compared to everyone else. They influenced everything from rock, folk-rock, power pop, psychedelia, progressive rock, and heavy metal. They practically invented the thought or image of a rock band. They moved passed that and have become a huge part of the culture they helped create.

The Beatle’s breakup was announced in 1970. Many rumors flew that they might regroup through the years but that ended on December 8, 1980, in New York with the assassination of John Lennon.

Through the seventies, the Beatles were still quite popular with the Red and Blue greatest-hits albums released in the early seventies. The greatest hits album Rock and Roll Music (terrible silver cover) was released in 1976. Capitol released Got To Get You In My Life as a single off of the album and it peaked at #1 in Canada and #7 in the Billboard 100 in 1976. This was 10 years after it was released as an album track on Revolver.

I bought my first Beatle album (Hey Jude Again) in 1975 when I was 8 and then bought the Rock and Roll Music album. So, I was a 2nd generation Beatles fan and there were many of us. The solo Beatles dominated the charts to the mid-seventies. After 1975 they had hits but not as many as before. Beatles’ popularity waned in the mid to late 70s when the “newer/ younger” generations considered the Beatles as belonging to their parents. Many youngsters believed Led Zeppelin, Queen, and all newer bands would replace the Beatles in scope and success.

Everything changed when Lennon was murdered. A newer generation heard the music. Their popularity would go up and down but with the first Beatle CDs released in 1987…again another generation heard the Beatles. Sgt Pepper was re-released 20 years after the original and it went to number one.

What really cemented them in the public’s mind happened on November 20, 1995. The Beatles Anthology CDs were released, and the documentary was viewed during prime time on ABC. Since then, they have never left. On November 13, 2000, they released the compilation album “1” which was the best-selling album of the decade worldwide. The Beatles were also the largest selling band between 2000-2010. In 2009 The Beatles Rock Band game came out and…yet another generation found their music. One was my son who was born in 2000.

Between 2010-2020 they remixed and reissued many of their classic albums with 50th-anniversary editions. The Get Back film by Peter Jackson is the latest project that has thrust them in the spotlight again…but really, they have never left.

The bottom line for their staying power is their music. The songwriting was outstanding. Even the early music was something new. They used minor chords, and different rhythms, along with harmonizing over the top. I’m not going to go into musical theory, but they never repeated themselves. Every album stands on its own.  John Lennon’s rhythm guitar was quirky and inventive, George Harrison brought in a Chet Atkins style along with jazz chords, Paul brought bass playing to a new level, and Ringo was a left-hander that played right-handed with an open high hat. The main thing was the songwriting, quality, and quantity that is rarely if ever seen.

Bob Dylan: “Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid.”

They rarely included their singles on albums. Most bands used singles to sell albums, but The Beatles treated both formats as different entities. Songs that weren’t released as singles include Norwegian Wood, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, With A Little Help From My Friends, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, All My Loving, A Day In The Life, Back In The USSR, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Helter Skelter, Michele, The Night Before, and one of the most popular Beatles song Here Comes The Sun, and many more. Any other band would have released these songs as singles but with the Beatles…they were just album cuts. That is how deep their songwriting was at the time, and from 1966 onward George was contributing to the quality as well. George developed into a great songwriter in the impossible situation of being with two of the best in history.

They had more variety than many others. They were rockers in Hamburg and The Cavern. They were pop stars in the Beatlemania years. They were rock-folk-pop in the middle period of Rubber Soul and Revolver. They were Psychedelic rockers during the Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour era. Then they went back to their roots and were rockers again with the White Album and Let It Be. Abbey Road saw them perfecting their craft in all genres. They knew when to make an exit…while still on top.

They broke up because they outgrew each other and were together constantly, much like brothers. John, Paul, and George grew up together in Liverpool and they knew Ringo well early on. They were never made to stay together like the Stones. The Stones developed a business/brand attitude, but the Beatles were more of a family and things were more personal.

They were not this clean polite band that Brian Epstein and the press created. In fact, the Stones and Beatles’ images should have been reversed… but to make it…they had to clean up to get through the international door. After they did, the door was open for all others. They did however speak of whatever was on their mind. They said things stars just didn’t say, even in the early days. There was something honest about them that is still there to this day.

They were symmetrical… John brought in Paul, Paul brought in George, and George brought in Ringo.

Their story adds depth to their legacy. The odds of them finding Brian Epstein, George Martin, Stuart Sutcliffe, and everyone on the way was nearly zero. If one key person would have would have gone the other way…the story would not be the same or might not have happened.

In a hundred years…the question will still be asked… why are the Beatles still relevant?

Beatles – In My Life

What other band in the world would not release this song as a single? That alone shows that they had quality as well as quantity. It was on Rubber Soul released in 1965. I always considered Revolver and Rubber Soul sister and brother albums. Rubber Soul was released first and Revolver could have been the continuation of Rubber Soul or the wilder older brother/sister.

This song is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. We have a short journey through John Lennon’s life up to that point. This song is as close to perfection as you can get.

Lennon said that a reporter asked him ” why don’t you put some of the way you write in the book in the songs?’ or ‘Why don’t you put something about your childhood into the songs?” and that spurred him on to write this personal song.

Pete Pete Shotton, who was a close childhood friend of John, has related how John once told him that the lyric about the friends who were “dead” and “living” was about Stuart Sutcliffe, a close friend and former Beatle who died of a brain tumor in April of 1962, and Pete himself as the “living” friend.

John was picky with Beatle songs. There were some he claimed not to like but this one was one of the songs he was most proud of.

Before his death, Lennon gave an extensive interview with Playboy magazine and the interviewer went down a list of Lennon and McCartney songs. Lennon gave his feelings about each song and who wrote what. McCartney, later on, agreed with most of all John’s memories on who wrote what…except on a couple of songs. John and Paul seem to disagree on two songs in particular: “Eleanor Rigby” and this song.

John claims he wrote everything except the middle eight, which he attributed to Paul. Paul has said that he wrote most of the melody and helped with the lyrics. I tend to believe Paul on this but I’m amazed that they both seemed to agree on most of the other songs. John could write some beautiful melodies but this one sounds like Paul had a lot to do with it.

In the studio, something seemed to be missing so George Martin slowed down the tape and recorded an Elizabethan piano solo. Not that Ringo Starr needs any defending…but people seem to downgrade him because he wasn’t like Keith Moon or John Bonham. No Ringo played for the song…this song is a great example. If he would have been busy it would have ruined it. Ringo played this one perfectly as he did with most other Beatles songs.

This was voted the best song of all time by a panel of songwriters in a 2000 Mojo magazine poll.

Paul McCartney on writing the song: “So I recall writing the whole melody. And it actually does sound very like me, if you analyze it. I was obviously working to (John’s) lyrics. The melody’s structure is very me. So my recollection is saying to John, ‘Just go and have a cup of tea or something. Let me be with this for ten minutes on my own and I’ll do it.’ And with the inspiration of Smokey and The Miracles, I tried to keep it melodic but a bit bluesy, with the minors and little harmonies, and then my recollection is going back up into the room and saying, ‘Got it, great! Good tune, I think. What d’you think?’ John said, ‘Nice,’ and we continued working with it from then, using that melody and filling out the rest of the verses. As usual, for these co-written things, he often just had the first verse, which was always enough: it was the direction, it was the signpost and it was the inspiration for the whole song. I hate the word but it was the template.”

“We wrote it, and in my memory we tagged on the introduction, which I think I thought up. I was imaging the intro of a Miracles record, and to my mind the phrases on guitar are very much Smokey and The Miracles. So it was John’s original inspiration, I think my melody, I think my guitar riff. I don’t want to be categorical about this. But that’s my recollection. We then finished it off and it was a fine song which John sang.”

John Lennon: “’In My Life’ was, I think, my first real, major piece of work. Up until then it had all been glib and throw-away. I had one mind that wrote books and another that churned out things about ‘I love you’ and ‘you love me,’ because that’s how Paul and I did it…It was the first song that I wrote that was really, consciously, about my life…a remembrance of friends and lovers of the past.”

John Lennon:  “I wrote that in Kenwood (his home at the time). I used to write upstairs where I had about ten Brunell tape recorders all linked up, I still have them, I’d mastered them over the period of a year or two – I could never make a rock and roll record but I could make some far out stuff on it. I wrote it upstairs, that was one where I wrote the lyrics first and then sang it.” He added that was usually the case with songs such as this one and “Across the Universe” and “some of the ones that stand out a bit.”

In My Life

There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

In my life I love you more

Real or Memorex? Lip Syncing and Backing Tracks

I saw an interview with Paul McCartney and he called out major bands playing live with backing tracks but refused to say which ones. I also saw an article about Motley Crue using pre-recorded tracks to bolster their sound.

McCartney: “To me the concert experience is at the heart of what music is about. You come to a show and you are in the room so it is the real thing.  I have been to concerts where I think, ‘Oh, I really am in the room with Tony Bennett and it is like he is in my living room’. That is a great part of the experience. I then think, ‘Wait a minute, people must think that about me’. When we make mistakes playing live, we always now turn it and say, ‘Tell you what  this proves we are live

McCartney and his band did just that when I saw him. They messed up an intro of a song…Paul laughed and went on.

Before you read the rest…I might be harsher than some people. I didn’t even like it when after 1981… the Stones started to fill up their stage with different musicians to sweeten the sound…and professional backup singers…I would rather hear Keith sing backup. The same applies to the Who… who did the same thing on their 1988-89 tour. That was more because of Townshend’s hearing problems but I would have rather heard the four of them and maybe a keyboardist…BUT at least those bands were not faking it…they didn’t hide anything…they just added more musicians.

Sometimes backing tracks have to be used…Backing tracks are sometimes used when a band cannot have an orchestra or an exotic instrument which I totally get. I’ve seen KISS use it when Peter Criss would sing Beth…I totally get that. I’ve seen The Who use a backing track for Won’t Get Fooled Again and Baba O’Riley which again I totally get. They don’t try to hide it…it’s a part that would be hard to duplicate live and is the main part of the song. That is the reason Keith Moon wore headphones while playing those songs so he would come in on time.

Those tracks are not what I’m talking about. What I’m getting at is when a guitarist, bassist, or vocalist mimes what they were doing and you are NOT hearing it live. You are hearing what they perfected in a studio sometime in the past.

There are places when this has to be done. Many TV studios are not made for rock bands and they have to lip sync to a backing track…most of the bands don’t like doing it but if they want to promote a song they do. In music videos for the most part…they have to lip sync also… so there are times when there is no other choice.

When you are paying $100 for a ticket…I don’t believe lip-syncing or faking should be allowed or they should have to tell you they are doing it. I could take four more bloggers (any volunteers?) and we could mime to Jumpin’ Jack Flash…would anyone want to pay $100 for that? Many acts that dance and jump about…when you hear them sing you hear no panting or breathing hard and you SEE them panting and breathing hard. I’m not a fan but I admire the fact that Lady GaGa actually called some performers out for lip-syncing.

“I don’t think it’s cool to lip-sync, I’m not judging if people do, because it’s everybody’s own style and type of artist they’ve decided to be. But I think that if you pay money for a ticket to see a show then the artist should f**king have some pipes and sing their records for you”I agree with her.

Paul McCartney is 80 and sometimes his voice goes off… not a lot but sometimes…so what? Mick Jagger goes off at times…but that makes them human. I’m old fashion about this…  but I cannot respect anyone that goes out and mimes their greatest hits in a live atmosphere. I’ve been listening to a lot of concerts in the 70s… Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, The Who, Led Zeppelin, etc. How did they do it without autotune? How did they do it without an extra Jimmy Page guitar pre-recorded? If they messed up…they messed up…big deal…they are human. Some performers have said since the ticket prices are so high…they want to give a perfect show. No, I don’t want a perfect show…I want a real show warts and all.

What do you think? If you go to see a band live…do you want to hear guitar, vocal, or bass tracks that were recorded earlier? Live music…should be live… right? Am I’m expecting too much? It may not bother many people.

Artists who have been caught lip-syncing include Mariah Carey, Katy Perry, Milli Vanilli, 50 Cent, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Selena Gomez, Madonna, and more.

Ah…I cannot conclude this post without Miss Ashley Simpson…the poster child for lip-syncing.

Beatles – She’s Leaving Home

I got this album when I was 10 years old and they even included the cutouts 10 years after it was released.

This song was on the Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album. The album was probably the most influential rock album ever released. Other bands followed with psychedelic albums with varying results. The Zombie’s Odessey and Oracle was a great one but the Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request disappointed many fans. Sgt Pepper worked well but The Beatles would completely move on after their next EP – Album Magical Mystery Tour.

Not only were the songs different but the sound was different than their last albums. The two that stood out were Ringo’s drums and his use of toms on songs like A Day In The Life. Paul’s bass playing was brilliant. His bass on the album and especially Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds stands up to anything today…the sound of the bass also was crystal clear.

She’s Leaving Home took me a while to appreciate but when I got older I was blown away. This song was inspired by a real runaway named Melonie Coe. She had been on the television show, Ready, Steady Go, and won a prize for a miming and dancing contest. The Beatles were performing on the program and it was Paul who presented her with her prize.

Fast forward a couple of years and Melanie ran away from home in the afternoon leaving a note for her mother to find when she returned.  Melanie was running away with her boyfriend because she was in the early stages of pregnancy. She ended up breaking up with the guy.

The story of her disappearance was reported in the British newspaper, The Daily Mirror, and when Paul McCartney read it, he began to write the song She’s Leaving Home. The headline read: A-Level Girl Dumps Car and Vanishes.

It’s doubtful if Paul remembered Melanie from their brief encounter.

In the article, her father said “I cannot imagine why she should run away, she has everything here … even her fur coat.” And Lennon and McCartney turned that into “We gave her everything money could buy.”
Melanie moved to Los Angeles, having decided to become an actress. She didn’t make it and her only claim to fame was that she dated Burt Ward…a.k.a Robin in the television series Batman. She moved back to England and then on to Southern Spain where she became a real estate agent.

Melanie Coe 3

Paul was excited about this song and rang George Martin up to do it NOW. George couldn’t record when Paul wanted to so Paul recruited  Mike Leander…another producer. That didn’t sit well with Martin and he was hurt but there wasn’t much he could do.

George Martin: “It was the song that got away, It was the song I wanted to do…It was just one of those silly things. He was so damned impatient and I was up to my eyes with other work and I just couldn’t cope. But Paul realizes now, though he was surprised that I was upset.”

Melanie Coe: “The amazing thing about the song was how much it got right about my life, It quoted the parents as saying ‘we gave her everything money could buy’ which was true in my case. I had two diamond rings, a mink coat, hand-made clothes in silk and cashmere and even my own car. Then there was the line ‘after living alone for so many years,’ which really struck home to me because I was an only child and I always felt alone…I heard the song when it came out and thought it was about someone like me but never dreamed it was actually about me…I must have been in my twenties when my mother said she’d seen Paul on television and he’d said that the song was based on a story in a newspaper. That’s when I started telling my friends it was about me.”

Melanie Coe: “I first heard the song when it came out and I didn’t realize it was about me, but I remember thinking it could have been about me….I found the song to be extremely sad. It obviously struck a chord somewhere. It wasn’t until later, when I was in my twenties, that my mother said, ‘You know, that song was about you!’ She had seen an interview with Paul [McCartney] on television and he said he’d based the song on this newspaper article. She put two and two together.”

Paul McCartney: “We’d seen a story in the newspaper about a young girl who had left home and not been found. There were a lot of those at the time, That was enough to give us a story line. So I started to get the lyrics: she slips out and leaves a note and then the parents wake up and then…It was rather poignant. I like it as a song, and when I showed it to John, he added the Greek chorus, long sustained notes, and one of the nice things about the structure of the song is that it stays on those chords endlessly. Before that period in our songwriting we would have changed chords but it stays on the C chord. It really holds you. It’s a really nice little trick and I think it worked very well.”

“Greek chorus” entails by adding: “While I was showing that to John, he was doing the Greek chorus, the parents’ view: ‘We gave her most of our lives, we gave her everything money could buy.’ I think that may have been in the runaway story, it might have been a quote from the parents.”

John Lennon: “Paul had the basic theme for this song, but all those lines like ‘We sacrificed most of our life…we gave her everything money could buy,’ those were the things Mimi used to say to me. It was easy to write.”

She’s Leaving Home

Wednesday morning at five o’clock as the day begins
Silently closing her bedroom door
Leaving the note that she hoped would say more
She goes downstairs to the kitchen clutching her handkerchief
Quietly turning the backdoor key
Stepping outside she is free

She (We gave her most of our lives)
Is leaving (Sacrificed most of our lives)
Home (We gave her everything money could buy)
She’s leaving home after living alone
For so many years (Bye bye)

Father snores as his wife gets into her dressing gown
Picks up the letter that’s lying there
Standing alone at the top of the stairs
She breaks down and cries to her husband “Daddy our baby’s gone
Why would she treat us so thoughtlessly?
How could she do this to me?”

She (We never thought of ourselves)
Is leaving (Never a thought for ourselves)
Home (We struggled hard all our lives to get by)
She’s leaving home after living alone
For so many years (Bye bye)

Friday morning at nine o’clock she is far away
Waiting to keep the appointment she made
Meeting a man from the motor trade

She (What did we do that was wrong)
Is having (We didn’t know it was wrong)
Fun (Fun is the one thing that money can’t buy)
Something inside that was always denied
For so many years (Bye bye)

She’s leaving home
Bye bye

Beatles – Savoy Truffle

I love the horns in this song. It wasn’t George Harrison’s best on the album…that would be While My Guitar Gently Weeps but this one is fun.

George was good friends with Eric Clapton and was watching his friend with toothaches and getting dental work. Clapton’s weakness was candy and he would eat all of it until it was gone.

Harrison got the lyrics for this from the inside lid of a box of chocolates. Montelimar, Ginger Sling, Cream Tangerine, and Coffee Dessert were names of candies in the Mackintosh “Good News” assortment. The names “Cherry Creme” and “Coconut Fudge” were invented by George, however, to round out the verses.

Press agent Derek Taylor came up with the line  ‘You know that what you eat you are‘.

Derek Taylor: “George said, ‘We need a bit here, da da, da da da da, da da,’ and I thought again of my good friend, Alan Pariser. He had done a film called ‘You Are What You Eat,’ which was a very pippy thing; ‘Don’t eat meat, man, or you’ll be filled with the adrenaline of frightened animals.’ So I said to George, ‘You know that what you eat you are.’

good-news-chocolates

The MacIntosh’s Good News box where George got some of the lyrics.

Harrison wrote the line “We all know Obla-Di-Bla-Da” as an in-joke with the band. McCartney had pushed Obla-Di-Bla-Da so much that the band played endless versions of it and were not happy about it.

The White Album was released in 1968 and peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Chart, #1 in Canada, #1 in the UK, and #1 about everywhere else…and it would be #1 as well on my list.

The White Album is as diverse as you can get… Pop, Rock, Country, Folk, Reggae, Avant-Garde, Blues, Hard Rock, and some 20’s British Music Hall thrown in the mix. It has plenty of songs that you have heard of and many that the masses have not heard. The Beatles more than many bands could bend to a style of music and play that style well.

Some critics said they should have taken the best of the two albums and slimmed it down to one. I understand that argument but as a Beatle fan…Nahhhhh. It’s the Beatles White Album!

George Harrison: “At that time he had a lot of cavities in his teeth and needed dental work. He always had a toothache but he ate a lot of chocolates – he couldn’t resist them, and once he saw a box he had to eat them all. He was over at my house, and I had a box of ‘Good News’ chocolates on the table and wrote the song from the names inside the lid: ‘Creme Tangerine, Montelimart’…” 

“He’d got this real sweet tooth and he had just had his mouth worked on. His dentist said he was through with candy. So, as a tribute, I wrote ‘You’ll have to have them all pulled out, after the Savoy Truffle.’ The truffle was some kind of sweet, just like all the rest, ‘crème tangerine,’ ‘ginger sling,’ just candy, to tease Eric.” 

Savoy Truffle

Creme tangerine and montelimar
A ginger sling with a pineapple heart
A coffee dessert, yes you know it’s good news
But you’ll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle

Cool cherry cream, a nice apple tart
I feel your taste all the time we’re apart
Coconut fudge, really blows down those blues
But you’ll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle

You might not feel it now
But when the pain cuts through
You’re going to know, and how
The sweat is going to fill your head
When it becomes too much
You shout aloud

You’ll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle

You know that what you eat you are,
But what is sweet now, turns so sour
We all know Obla-Di-Bla-Da
But can you show me, where you are?

Creme tangerine and montelimar
A ginger sling with a pineapple heart
A coffee dessert, yes you know it’s good news
But you’ll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle
Yes you’ll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle

Beatles – You Can’t Do That

I love B-sides and this is a good one. I liked You Can’t Do That much better than the A-side Can’t Buy Me Love.

John Lennon never liked his voice. He always wanted George Martin to add echo or anything else to cover it up. I never understood that…for me John was one of the best rock and roll singers out there. His thin nasal voice cut through the music and cuts into you.

I first heard this song on a 1976 compilation album Rock and Roll Music. That was my second ever Beatles album. Capital put together one of the worse covers ever for that album.

Beatles Rock and Roll Music front and backBeatles Rock and Roll Music Gatefold

The cover made the Beatles look like they were from the 50s. A very few of the songs on the album were covers of 50s songs. Ringo Starr said: “It made us look cheap and we never were cheap. All that Coca-Cola and cars with big fins was the Fifties!” John Lennon told Capitol that the cover looked like a Monkees reject. He offered to design the cover but was declined. That doesn’t mean the album didn’t contain great music…a double album full of some great songs.

You Can’t Do That helped popularized the two-measure guitar riff…. a guitar riff that opens a song and continues through it. It laid the foundation for modern rock… with artists such as The Stones to Nirvana. The Beatles would use this frequently in songs such as I Feel Fine, Ticket To Ride, Day Tripper, If I Needed Someone, Paperback Writer and I Want To Tell You. The Stones made a career of it.

The song originally appeared on the UK soundtrack of A Hard Days Night. They recorded this in nine takes on George Harrison’s 21st birthday (February 25, 1964). The song was the B side to Can’t Buy Me Love but managed to peak at #48 in the Billboard 100 and #33 in Canada in 1964. Harry Nilsson covered it in 1967 and that version peaked at #10 in Canada.

This was the first Beatles song on which George Harrison played a 12-string guitar… John played the lead. Lennon said that Wilson Pickett was an influence on this song.

You Can’t Do That

I got something to say that might ’cause you pain
If I catch you talking to that boy again
I’m gonna let you down
And leave you flat
Because I told you before, oh
You can’t do that

Well, it’s the second time I’ve caught you talking to him
Do I have to tell you one more time, I think it’s a sin
I think I’ll let you down (let you down)
And leave you flat
(Gonna let you down and leave you flat)
Because I’ve told you before, oh
You can’t do that

Everybody’s green
‘Cause I’m the one, who won your love
But if they’d seen
You’re talking that way they’d laugh in my face

So please listen to me, if you wanna stay mine
I can’t help my feelings, I’ll go out of my mind
I’m gonna let you down (let you down)
And leave you flat
(Gonna let you down and leave you flat)
Because I’ve told you before, oh, you can’t do that

You can’t do that
You can’t do that
You can’t do that
You can’t do that
You can’t do that

Everybody’s green
‘Cause I’m the one who won your love
But if they’d seen
You’re talking that way they’d laugh in my face

So please listen to me, if you wanna stay mine
I can’t help my feelings, I’ll go out of my mind
I’m gonna let you down (let you down)
And leave you flat
(Gonna let you down and leave you flat)
Because I’ve told you before, oh
You can’t do that

Beatles – I Want To Tell You

This is a good George Harrison song off of Revolver. This song held the distinction of the first Beatles song where the bass was overdubbed after recording. it’s a great opening riff…a very underrated riff.

The first time I heard the song…what jumped out at me was the alarming flat-ninth notes played by Paul on the piano. It jars you but not in a bad way. The song has a strange structure and The Beatles had some trouble recording it. The timing was hard to nail down. Even artists that covered it later…one being Ted Nugent had a lot of trouble recording it because he kept jumping the time up.

Paul McCartney: “This track proved very difficult for us to learn,  I kept on getting it wrong, because it was written in a very odd way. It wasn’t 4/4 or waltz time or anything. Then I realized that it was regularly irregular, and, after that, we soon worked it out.”

Three Harrison compositions on a single Beatles album was unheard of at that time. George’s quality started to rise during this period.

With the sessions for the Revolver album winding down, The Beatles only needing four more songs to complete the album, George offered up his third composition for recording. He actually offered 4…his other song Isn’t It A Pity was rejected. I’m sure though that the song wasn’t the seven-minute opus we know today at that time.

I always thought with a little more work on this song…it could have been a single. It has the element of edgy power pop. Revolver had everything you could ask for from a band. Revolver peaked at #1 in the US, Canada, and the UK in 1966.

George Harrison: “The mind is the thing that hops about telling us to do this and do that. What we need is to lose the mind.” 

George Harrison:  “About the avalancheof thoughts that are so hard to write down or say or transmit.”

George Harrison: “All I needed to do was keep on writing and maybe eventually I would write something good,” George Harrison once stated. “It’s relativity. It did, however, provide me with an occupation.”

George Martin: “I think the trouble with George was that he was never treated on the same level as having the same quality of songwriting, by anyone – by John, by Paul or by me, I’m as guilty in that respect. I was the guy who used to say: ‘If he’s got a song, we’ll let him have it on the album’ – very condescendingly. I know he must have felt really bad about that…George was a loner and I’m afraid that was made the worse by the three of us. I’m sorry about that now.”

I Want To Tell You

I want to tell you
My head is filled with things to say
When you’re here
All those words they seem to slip away

When I get near you
The games begin to drag me down
It’s all right
I’ll make you maybe next time around

But if I seem to act unkind
It’s only me, it’s not my mind
That is confusing things
I want to tell you
I feel hung up and I don’t know why
I don’t mind
I could wait forever, I’ve got time

Sometimes I wish I knew you well
Then I could speak my mind and tell
Maybe you’d understand

I want to tell you
I feel hung up and I don’t know why
I don’t mind
I could wait forever, I’ve got time
I’ve got time
I’ve got time

Beatles – Across The Universe

When I became a Beatles fan way back when I was 8 years old…and up to my teenage years I hardly ever heard this one mentioned by people. I’ve seen its popularity grow through the years. My biggest problem with it is they should have spent more time on it. Lennon accused McCartney of subconsciously trying to destroy it. You could see Paul let out a big yawn while rehearsing in the Let It Be film but that probably had more to do with him being tired after hours of playing in a studio…but maybe Lennon had a point.

One of the reasons John got upset with Paul was because instead of getting professional backup singers or a choir…Paul went out the Abbey Road door and grabbed two “Apple Scruffs” to sing backup on the song. That version did not go on the Let It Be album, however. That version was on a charity album.

This first appeared on No One’s Gonna Change Our World, a 1969 charity album for the World Wildlife Fund. Bird noises were dubbed into this version to create a nature theme. It didn’t sound too bad.

No One's Gonna Change Our World (1969, Vinyl) - Discogs

When I bought the Let It Be album it took a few listens but soon this one intrigued me. The lyrics alone are enthralling because of the imagery. Since I first heard it, the song has taken on huge popularity.

It even had a movie that was made around its title and worked around Beatle lyrics in 2007. That alone boosted its popularity.

I always wondered about the Jai guru deva om phrase. “Jai guru deva, om” translates to “hail to the Heavenly Teacher” or “I give thanks to Guru Dev.” That was a mantra was invented by the Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – the late protégé of Guru Dev.

On February 4, 2008 “Across The Universe” became the first track to be beamed directly into space. It was transmitted through NASA’s antenna in the DSN’s Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex, towards the North Star, Polaris, 431 light-years from Earth. The broadcasting of the Beatles song was done to mark both NASA’s 50th birthday and the 40th anniversary of Across The Universe. Paul McCartney described the transmission as an “amazing feat” adding, “Well done, NASA. Send my love to the aliens!”

David Bowie also did a good version of this song. Liam Gallagher has cited this song as a huge influence on him starting to write songs.

John Lennon: “I was lying next to me first wife in bed, and I was irritated. She must have been going on and on about something and she’d gone to sleep and I kept hearing these words over and over, flowing like an endless stream. I went downstairs and it turned into sort of a cosmic song rather than an irritated song… it drove me out of bed. I didn’t want to write it, but I was slightly irritable and I went downstairs and I couldn’t get to sleep until I’d put it on paper.”

John Lennon: “It’s one of the best lyrics I’ve written. In fact, it could be the best.” He added: “It’s good poetry, or whatever you call it, without chewin’ it. See, the ones I like are the ones that stand as words, without melody. They don’t have to have any melody, like a poem, you can read them.”

John Lennon: “The Beatles didn’t make a good record of it. I think subconsciously sometimes we – I say ‘we’ although I think Paul did it more than the rest of us – Paul would, sort of subconsciously, try and destroy a great song… meaning we’d play experimental games with my great pieces, like ‘Strawberry Fields,’ which I always thought was badly recorded.”

The World Wildlife Fund

Across The Universe

Words are flowing out
Like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
Are drifting through my opened mind
Possessing and caressing me

Jai Guru Deva, Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Images of broken light
Which dance before me like a million eyes
They call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe

Jai Guru Deva, Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Sounds of laughter, shades of life
Are ringing through my opened ears
Inciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love
Which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on across the universe

Jai Guru Deva, Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva

John Lennon – How Do You Sleep?

How Do You Sleep? is very powerful…but you do feel for Paul McCartney. Paul did have lyrics on the Ram album about John and Yoko but you had to look for them. In this song…there is no looking…even the average fan would know exactly who he was singing about. To me, the most vicious line is The sound you make is muzak to my ears. 

The song is on the album Imagine. This John Lennon song is direct and to the point. His feud with Paul was in the papers and after what John took as lyrics aimed at him and Yoko from Paul’s album Ram…it culminated with this song.

John has said that “How Do You Sleep” was like one of Dylan’s nasty songs and mentioned, “Like a Rolling Stone.” The big difference though was that Bob veiled the identity of his target. This song was vicious but not as vicious as it could have been if Ringo and other musicians hadn’t intervened.

Yoko and Allen Klein were feeding some lines about Paul to John during the recording. Ringo was upset with the content and simply said: “That’s enough, John”. Alan White ended up playing the drums on the track.

This song can be hard to listen to as a Beatle fan but it is a catchy dark gritty pointed song. I have always liked it. George Harrison’s slide guitar cuts through and doesn’t have the sweet sound he uses for his songs. It also shows you where George was at the time with Paul. This is not John’s best song by any measure but the music has an intensity about it and is very powerful. It’s ironic, but even without Paul being there he helped pull it out of John.

Paul did later admit that a few lyrics on “Ram” were pointed at John and Yoko but John, never one to hint…went for the throat. He would later soften and say the song was more about himself than Paul.

John and Paul would later repair the relationship…never to the point of working together again but on a friendly basis. They would keep in touch over the years by talking on the phone, in letters, and face to face at times.

John Lennon: “It’s not about Paul, it’s about me. I’m really attacking myself. But I regret the association, well, what’s to regret? He lived through it. The only thing that matters is how he and I feel about these things and not what the writer or commentator thinks about it. Him and me are okay.”

John Lennon: “You know, I wasn’t really feeling that vicious at the time,” “But I was using my resentment toward Paul to create a song, let’s put it that way. He saw that it pointedly refers to him, and people kept hounding him about it. But, you know, there were a few digs on his album before mine. He’s so obscure other people didn’t notice them, but I heard them. I thought, well, I’m not obscure, I just get right down to the nitty-gritty. So he’d done it his way and I did it mine.

Paul McCartney: “You hear the stories from various angles and apparently people who were in the room when John was writing that, he was getting suggestions for the lyrics off Allan Klein,” he said. “So, you see the atmosphere of ‘Let’s get Paul. Let’s nail him in a song…’ And those things were pretty hurtful.”

How Do You Sleep

So Sgt. Pepper took you by surprise
You better see right through that mother’s eyes
Those freaks was right when they said you was dead
The one mistake you made was in your head

Ah, how do you sleep
Ah, how do you sleep at night

You live with straights who tell you, you was king
Jump when your momma tell you anything
The only thing you done was yesterday
And since you’re gone you’re just another day

Ah, how do you sleep
Ah, how do you sleep at night

Ah, how do you sleep
Ah, how do you sleep at night

A pretty face may last a year or two
But pretty soon they’ll see what you can do
The sound you make is muzak to my ears
You must have learned something in all those years

Ah, how do you sleep
Ah, how do you sleep at night

Paul McCartney – Sally G

I’ve always liked B-Sides… Let’s listen to some Liverpudlian Country Music.

I cannot hear this song without thinking of my grandmother. Her name was Sally and yes her last name started with G. She lived to the ripe old age of 96. I have posted about the A-side of this single Juniors Farm but never about this B-side that I like. I heard this song when I was 7 because my sister had this single and it’s been in my head ever since.

When I saw him in 2010 and 2014 I thought both times…hmmm he is in Nashville so Sally G surely will be played. Nope… Paul didn’t utter Sally’s name.

The song actually got played on the country stations in Nashville which looking back I can’t believe happened at that time. Nashville wasn’t exactly in love with rock performers.

Sally G was written and recorded in Nashville. In 1974 Paul McCartney came to Nashville. They rented a 133-acre farm just outside of Lebanon TN from songwriter Curly Putman (“Green, Green Grass of Home”) for $2,000 a week. They had requested a farm within 50 miles of Nashville that had horses and swimming facilities.

The band stayed at the farm for 6 weeks while the Putman family vacationed in Hawaii. When Putman and his wife returned to their farm, McCartney saw them walking up the driveway. McCartney and the band greeted them by playing “Green, Green Grass of Home.”

I have a cousin that lives in Lebanon around 5 miles from where he stayed…not a great picture but here it is today.

IMG_2102.PNG

Lloyd Green, Bob Willis, and Johnny Gimble Willis contributed steel guitar, dobro, and fiddle respectively while adding legitimacy to McCartney’s country venture.

Paul playing guitar on “Junior’s Farm” in 1974

OFFTOPIC: Unseen picture of Paul McCartney in Nashville, 1974. | Paul  mccartney and wings, The beatles, Beatles photos

Sally G. and it peaked at #17 in the Billboard 100,  #51 on the country charts, #11 in the Canadian Country charts, and #61 in Canada.  Paul composed the song after visiting the nightlife in Printer’s Alley.

As his time in Tennessee came to a close, McCartney told a group of local reporters that he hoped to mount a U.S. tour the following year and that if it happened, Music City would definitely be on the itinerary.

McCartney didn’t come back until 36 years later in 2010 and I finally got to see him. Paul…you lied but all was forgiven when he took the stage.

I hardly ever point out a bridge in a song but in this one…it’s kept me listening for decades. It’s not the lyrics but the melody, backups, and harmonizing on the final “move along.”

Me and Sally took up,
things began to look up,
Me and her were going strong.

Then she started lyin’,
I could see our love was dyin’.
I heard a voice say,
“Move along, move along”.

Paul McCartney: “Buddy Killen [studio owner and music publisher] took us out to Printer’s Alley, a little club district,” “I didn’t see anyone named ‘Sally G’ in Printer’s Alley, nor did I see anyone who ran her eyes over me when she was singing ‘A Troubled Mind.’ That was my imagination, adding to the reality of it.”

Musician gets to stay on the farm for 3 weeks. 

Home movies of Wings in the studio in Nashville 1974

Sally G

Somewhere to the south of New York City
Lies the friendly state of Tennessee,
Down in Nashville town I met a pretty
Who made a pretty big fool out of me.

And they call her Sally,
Sally G, why d’you wanna do the things you do to me?
You’re my Sally, Sally G
took the part that was the heart of me, Sally G.

The night life took me down to Printers Alley,
where Sally sang a song behind a bar.
I ran my eyes across her as she sang a tangled mime,
I used to love to hear her sweet guitar.

And they call her Sally,
Sally G, why d’you wanna do the things you do to me?
You’re my Sally, Sally G
took the part that was the heart of me, Sally G.

Me and Sally took up,
things began to look up,
Me and her were going strong.

Then she started lyin’,
I could see our love was dyin’.
I heard a voice say,
“Move along, move along”.

Well now. I’m on my own again,
I wonder if she ever really understood.
I never thought to ask her what the letter “G” stood for,
But I know for sure it wasn’t good.

And they call her Sally,
Sally G, why d’you wanna do the things you do to me?
You’re my Sally, Sally G
took the part that was the heart of me, Sally G.

Sally G.

Beatles – I’ve Got A Feeling

I’m glad the Let It Be album is getting a new life because of the Get back film.   It’s not Revolver by any means but it was never meant to be. Let It Be started off as an album that would feature minimum overdubs and get back to playing as a band. I’ve Got A Feeling is a mix of two unfinished songs, Paul McCartney’s “I’ve Got a Feeling” and John Lennon’s “Everybody Had a Hard Year.”

John Lennon did have a hard year. He got divorced, battled heroin addiction, police drug raid, Yoko had suffered a miscarriage and he was convicted of drug possession.

John had worked on this song earlier. After meeting with Paul at his St. John’s Wood home in London sometime in December of 1968 to merge both of their songs into one, John met with the others at Twickenham Studios on January 2nd, 1969, with an arrangement that was already formulated, right down to the synchronized vocals of both composers in the final verse. All that was left was to finalize the arrangement with George and Ringo and to rehearse it repeatedly before it was ready to record.

The Beatles recorded this live on the Apple rooftop, which was used in their movie, Let It Be. John Lennon’s guitar sounds downright nasty and George’s compliments that sound with clean licks off of his Fender.

The Let It Be album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, Canada, and The UK in 1970.

The version of I’ve Got a Feeling which was released on Let It Be was recorded during the rooftop concert. The studio take was released on the 1996 Anthology 3. Let It Be… Naked, which was a remix album that came out in 2003, patched two different rooftop concert takes.

I would have loved to hear Elvis do a cover of this song…but I can’t imagine him singing the “wet dream” part but it would have been interesting.

Pearl Jam also did a version of this song.

I’ve Got A Feeling

I’ve got a feeling, a feeling deep inside
Oh yeah, oh yeah.
I’ve got a feeling, a feeling I can’t hide
Oh no, oh no, oh no.
Yeah, I’ve got a feeling.

Oh please believe me, I’d hate to miss the train
Oh yeah, oh yeah.
And if you leave me I won’t be late again
Oh no, oh no, oh no.
Yeah, I’ve got a feeling, yeah.

All these years I’ve been wandering around,
Wondering how come nobody told me
All that I was looking for was somebody
Who looked like you.

I’ve got a feeling, that keeps me on my toes
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

I’ve got a feeling, I think that everybody knows
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah.
Yeah, yeah, I’ve got a feeling, yeah.
Yeah

Ev’rybody had a hard year
Ev’rybody had a good time
Ev’rybody had a wet dream,
Ev’rybody saw the sunshine
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Ev’rybody had a good year,
Ev’rybody let their hair down,
Ev’rybody pulled their socks up,
Ev’rybody put their foot down.
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Yeah I’ve got a feeling
A feeling deep inside
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

I’ve got a feeling, a feeling I can’t hide
Oh no
Oh no no no

Yeah yeah yeah yeah
I’ve got a feeling
I’ve got a feeling

Beatles – Let It Be

Today I’m guest hosting on “Once Upon a Time in the 70s.” If you can please give them a visit and leave a comment…I would appreciate it! They have a great site and they will be guest hosting my site one day this week! Now back to our song…

This one has always been a favorite of mine. Many people I know thought it was a religious song because of Mother Mary but Mother Mary was Paul’s mother. It does have a gospel feel though.

From Yesterday to Let It Be: how Paul McCartney grappled with his mother's  death in his songs

It’s always had a calming effect on me. The song is part of my DNA and although it’s been played quite a bit on radio…I can still enjoy it.

Paul McCartney has said he wrote “Let It Be” and “The Long and Winding Road” on the same day. How is that for a day’s work?

One thing that makes the song unique is what solo are you going to hear from George? The single version of the song has a good solo, but the album version has the best. On January 4, 1970, Paul, George, and Ringo went into the studio to clean up tracks for the album release. George put down one of my favorite solos of all time. It’s the solo that has some growl to it and is highly melodic. Later on, in 2003 when Let It Be Naked was released…yet another version of the solo was on there but not as good as the distorted version.

On October 31st, 1956, Paul’s mother Mary Patricia McCartney had passed away from breast cancer. Paul had said she was the unsung leader of their family. John and Paul bonded later on when John’s mother was killed by getting hit by a car.

The song was on the Let It Be Album. The album had the largest initial sales in US record history up to that time: 3.7 million advance orders. That is going out on top. Let It Be peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, Canada, New Zealand and #2 in the UK. The album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, Canada, and the UK in 1970.

At the time some critics didn’t like the album as much. I’ve always liked the raw feel of it. The album contained Let It Be, The Long and Winding Road, Get Back, and I’ve Got A Feeling…plus a song that could have been a single…The Two Of Us. It shows what high standards they were held to.

I bought the Let It Be at a yard sale when I was a kid. The single had a B side that I had never heard of at the time.  The song is called You Know My Name (Look Up The Number). It’s so off the wall it has to be heard…not described. It is basically John and Paul making a comedy record…with Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones on sax.

Paul started to write this during the White Album sessions but instead of Mother Mary…it was Mother Malcome after their roadie Mal Evans. He also sings a ling about Brother Malcome in a video I have below. Mal Evans has said that during the White Album sessions Paul had a vision of him saying Let It Be. I have Mal’s quote below.

Mal Evans: “Paul was meditating one day, they were writing all the time, and I came to him in a vision. I was just standing there, saying, “Let it be, let it be,’ and that’s where the song came from. It was funny; I had driven him back from a session one night (at Twickenham Film Studios in London, January 1969) a few months later. It was three o-clock in the morning, it was raining, it was dark in London and we were sitting in the car, just before he went in, just laughing and talking. He said, ‘Mal, I’ve got a new song and it’s called “Let It Be,” and I sing about “Mother Malcolm,” but he was a bit shy. So, he turned to me and said, ‘Would you mind if I said, “Mother Mary,” because people might not understand?’ So, I said, ‘Sure.’ But, he was lovely.”

Paul McCartney: “One night during this tense time, I had a dream. I saw my mum, who’d been dead ten years or so. And it was so great to see her because that’s a wonderful thing about dreams: you actually are reunited with that person for a second; there they are and you appear to both be physically together again. It was so wonderful for me and she was very reassuring. In the dream she said, ‘It’ll be all right.’ I’m not sure if she used the words ‘Let it be’ but that was the gist of her advice. It was, ‘Don’t worry too much, it will turn out okay.’ It was such a sweet dream. I woke up thinking, ‘Oh, it was really great to visit with her again. I felt very blessed to have that dream. So that got me writing the song ‘Let It Be.’ I literally started off ‘Mother Mary,’ which was her name. ‘When I find myself in times of trouble,’ which I certainly found myself in. The song was based on that dream.”

“She was reassuring me, saying, ‘It’s going to be OK, just let it be.’ I felt so great. She gave me the positive words. I woke up and thought, ‘What was that? She said ‘Let It Be.’ That’s good.’ So I wrote the song ‘Let It Be’ out of positivity.”

From Songfacts

Since Let It Be was The Beatles’ last album, it made an appropriate statement about leaving problems behind and moving on in life. The album was supposed to convey an entirely different message. It was going to be called “Get Back,” and they were going to record it in front of an audience on live TV, with another TV special showing them practicing the songs in the studio. It was going to be The Beatles getting back to their roots and playing unadorned live music instead of struggling in the studio like they did for The White Album. When they started putting the album together, it became clear the project wouldn’t work, and George Harrison left the sessions. When he returned, they abandoned the live idea and decided to use the TV footage as their last movie. While the film was being edited, The Beatles recorded and released Abbey Road, then broke up. Eventually, Phil Spector was given the tapes and asked to produce the album, which was released months after The Beatles broke up. By then, it was clear “Let It Be” would be a better name than “Get Back.”

According to McCartney, this is a very positive song, owing to its inspiration. One night when he was paranoid and anxious, he had a dream where he saw his mother, who had been dead for ten years or so – she came to him in his time of trouble, speaking words of wisdom that brought him much peace when he needed it. It was this sweet dream that got him to begin writing the song.

Many have been moved by the song on a deeply personal level, including Corden, who broke down when they sang it together. “I remember my granddad, who was a musician, sitting me down and telling me, ‘I’m going to play you the best song you’ve ever heard,’ and he played me that,” he said. “If my granddad was here right now he’d get an absolute kick out of this.” McCartney replied, “He is.”

It was John Lennon who wanted Phil Spector to produce the album. Spector worked on Lennon’s “Instant Karma” and was known for his bombastic “Wall Of Sound” style. McCartney hated Spector’s production, and in 2003 he pushed to have the album remixed and released without Spector’s influence. The result was Let It Be… Naked, which eliminated most of Spector’s work and is much closer to what The Beatles intended for the album. “Maggie Mae” and “Dig It” were removed, and an entirely different guitar solo was used for this song.

The Beatles weren’t the first to release this song – Aretha Franklin was. The Queen of Soul recorded it in December 1969, and it was released on her album This Girl’s In Love With You in January 1970, two months before The Beatles released their version (she also covered The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby” on that album).

Aretha recorded it with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, who were a group of musicians that owned their own studio in Alabama, but would travel to New York to record with Aretha. David Hood, who was their bass player, told us that Paul McCartney sent demos of the song to Atlantic Records (Franklin’s label) and to the Muscle Shoals musicians. Said Hood, “I kick myself for not grabbing that demo. Because I think they probably dropped it in the garbage. Our version was different. We changed it a little bit from his demo, where their version is different from that demo and from Aretha’s version, as well. Just slightly, but little things.”

In April 1987, this was released as a charity single in aid of The Sun newspaper’s Zeebrugge ferry disaster fund. Featuring Paul McCartney, Mark Knopfler, Kate Bush, Boy George and many others, it was called “Ferry Aid” and spent three weeks at #1 in the UK. 

Billy Preston added organ and electric piano to this track. Preston was such a significant contributor to the Let It Be album that John Lennon floated the idea of making him a full band member. Preston’s contributions were more than musical: He came in after George Harrison got frustrated with the sessions and quit the band. After his bandmates agreed to his terms (including abandoning a live performance they had planned), Harrison returned to the sessions after 12 days and arranged for Preston to join them. Having Preston there kept tensions at bay and greased the creative gears, allowing them to complete the album that was looking precarious when he arrived.

This was the first Beatles song released in The Soviet Union. The single made it there in 1972.

In 2001, McCartney helped organize the “Concert For New York,” to benefit victims of The World Trade Center disaster. He closed the show with this, inviting the other acts and some New York cops and firefighters on stage to sing with him.

This song was played at Linda McCartney’s funeral.

On July 18, 2008, Paul McCartney joined Billy Joel onstage at Shea Stadium in New York and played this as the final song of the final concert at Shea. As a member of The Beatles, McCartney played the first stadium rock concert when they performed at Shea on August 15, 1965.

Until 1994 and the recordings for “Free As A Bird,” the session for this song on January 4, 1970 was the last Beatles recording session. Lennon wasn’t present that day, as he was on holiday.

A cover by American R&B artist Jennifer Hudson featuring the Roots, who are the house band on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, debuted at #98 on the Hot 100 in February 2010. She recorded it for the Hope For Haiti Now charity telecast after the earthquake that devastated the country. It was the third time the song had entered the US singles chart as Joan Baez’s version peaked at #49 in 1971.

A month after Jennifer Hudson’s version reached the Hot 100, Kris Allen took the song to the chart for a fourth time when his cover debuted at #63. Allen’s cut charted after he performed the song on American Idol, with proceeds from its digital sales benefiting Haiti earthquake relief efforts through the Idol Gives Back Foundation.

John Legend and Alicia keys performed this song on the tribute special The Beatles: The Night That Changed America, which aired in 2014 exactly 50 years after the group made their famous appearance on Ed Sullivan Show. Legend introduced it as “a song that has comforted generations with its beauty and its message.”

Sesame Street used this with the title changed to “Letter B.” The lyrics were changed to list words that begin with B.

Paul sings “Brother Malcolm” in this rough version near the end

Let It Be

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be, be

And when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me
Shinin’ until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

And let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Beatles – One After 909

A pure rock and roll song by The Beatles. It’s always a joy to listen to because it goes back to their roots They played this song live in the early days before Beatlemania. When they recorded the final version on the roof you could see they were having a good time. George’s guitar playing on this is perfect.

A song that was recorded in January of 1969 but was written by John and Paul  in the 1950s. Being a very early attempt at songwriting, John Lennon reluctantly brought it forward for The Beatles to record when they were looking for new material in early 1963. They recorded it but didn’t have a take that they liked.

In 1969 John pulled out “One After 909” from his memory and presented it again. On this occasion, it was reworked with enthusiasm and with a different feel and arrangement, the result becoming a cool presentation of early Beatlemania at their final live performance on the rooftop in 1969.

John, Paul, and George were talking about the song and John said he always wanted to change the words. Paul said no…it’s great like it is so they played the song on the rooftop. It would be included on the Let It Be album released in 1970

The song was about a lady who tells her boyfriend she is leaving on the train that leaves after train number 909. He begs her not to go, but she does anyway. He packs his bags and rushes after her and discovers that she is not on “the one after 909,” so he goes home depressed and goes into the wrong house.

John Lennon: “I wrote it when I was about seventeen, either right before or after ‘Hello Little Girl,’ and it was resurrected for (the ‘Let It Be’) album, probably for lack of material. Nine has always been around. I’m not sure why. I was born on the ninth of October, I lived at nine Newcastle Road, ‘Revolution 9.’ Numerologically, I’m apparently a number three or six, so I’m not sure where the nine comes from…but it’s all part of nine.”

Paul McCartney:It was a number we didn’t used to do much but it was one that we always liked doing, and we rediscovered it. There were a couple of tunes that we wondered why we never put out; either George Martin didn’t like them enough to or he favored others. It’s not a great song but it’s a great favorite of mine because it has great memories for me of John and I trying to write a bluesy freight-train song. There were a lot of those songs at the time, like ‘Midnight Special,’ ‘Freight Train,’ ‘Rock Island Line,’ so this was the ‘One After 909.’ She didn’t get the 909, she got the one after it! It was a tribute to British Rail, actually. No, at the time we weren’t think British, it was much more the Super Chief from Omaha.”

One After 909

My baby said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909
I said move over honey I’m traveling on that line
I said move over once, move over twice
Come on baby don’t be cold as ice.
Said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909.

I begged her not to go and I begged her on my bended knees,
You’re only fooling around, you’re fooling around with me.
I said move over once, move over twice
Come on baby don’t be cold as ice.
Said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909.

I got my bag, run to the station
Railman says you’ve got the the wrong location
I got my bag, run right home
Then I find I’ve got the number wrong

Well she said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909
I said move over honey I’m traveling on that line
I said move over once, move over twice
Come on baby don’t be cold as ice.
Said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909.

I got my bag, run to the station
Railman says you’ve got the the wrong location
I got my bag, run right home
Then I find I’ve got the number wrong

Well she said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909
I said move over honey I’m traveling on that line
I said move over once, move over twice
Come on baby don’t be cold as ice.
Said she’s trav’ling on the one after 9-0,
Said she’s trav’ling on the one after 9-0,
Said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909.

Beatles – Help! ….Album

I don’t post many albums, but I wanted to go over this one. This will be the UK version of the album. The American version was a different album with the soundtrack music replacing some of the songs.

In my opinion, it was one of the most important albums the Beatles ever released. The album signaled a change with the Beatles. Rubber Soul is usually credited as the album that represented the Beatles transformation from pure a rock/pop band into something more. I’ve always seen Help! as the bridge from Beatlemania to the middle period of Rubber Soul and Revolver. With songs like You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, The Night Before, I’ve Just Seen A Face, and Ticket to Ride it was apparent that a change was coming.

Was the album as good as Rubber Soul? No, but it cleared the way for the change that was coming. In 1963 the Beatles released She Loves You…4 years later they recorded A Day In The Life. That is only 4 years…it would be like building a go-cart and 4 years later building a rocket and going to the moon. There were steps in between though and Help! was one of them. What makes the Beatles so special is they didn’t repeat themselves. They progressed with every album into a different sound and feel. It wasn’t only drugs but social issues, fame, isolation, and superior songwriting skills.

You can tell pot had some influence on this album. Most of the songs were not as fast-paced with a beat group mentality. You still had some songs that were the Beatles that everyone knew at the time. Songs like You’re Going to Lose That Girl, and the two covers Act Naturally and Dizzy Miss Lizzy. I’ve always liked You’re Going to Lose That Girl with the call and response and Ringo did an excellent job on Act Naturally.

I think the most underrated song on the album is The Night Before. If any other band did this song…it would have been a single. Other songs that I like (that were not hits) are It’s Only Love (although Lennon hated it), I’ve Just Seen A Face, I Need You, and Another Girl.

I shouldn’t rate Beatle albums because it’s hard for me to be objective about them but I would give this 5 out of 5 stars. A fun movie also if you get a chance …watch it.

Track Listing

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 – Ticket To Ride

According to John Lennon, when the Beatles were in Hamburg, prostitutes had to have a piece of paper proving they have a clean bill of health…as in a Ticket To Ride. McCartney said it was “a British Railways ticket to the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight.” Lennon’s description caught a 9-year-old boy’s imagination much more.

George Harrison came up with the way the riff was played. Ringo came up with a distinctive staccato drum pattern for this song based on the way George played it. He said a big part of his drumming style is being a left-handed drummer trying to play right-handed.

I remember this the most by it being used in the Beatles movie Help! in the scene where The Beatles ski… poorly. Copies of the original single released on Capitol Records say: “From the United Artists Release ‘Eight Arms To Hold You’,” which was the original working title of Help!

Mark My Words: Movie Review: The Beatles in Help! (1965)

The Beatles were one of the first groups to make music videos, which were done so they could promote their songs without showing up at TV stations. They made one for “Ticket To Ride” in a shoot where they did four other songs as well. All the footage was shot in the studio; this one saw the band performing in front of oversized tickets for trains and busses.

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

Carl Palmer: “One of the most exciting, rhythmical patterns and parts and songs that I ever heard, which I thought was really big-time and had it all going is a track by The Beatles called ‘Ticket To Ride, the drum part on that I always thought was exceptional.”

From Songfacts

The Beatles taped a performance of this song that was broadcast on an episode of Ed Sullivan Show that aired September 12, 1965 (the last Ed Sullivan show broadcast in black and white). The Beatles recorded it prior to their Shea Stadium concert that took place August 15.

The Carpenters covered this in 1969 with the gender reversed to suit lead vocalist Karen Carpenter (“he’s got a ticket to ride…” Their mellow version was released as the duo’s first single and included on their first album, which was also called Ticket To Ride. Their rendition didn’t chart, but made its way onto plenty of light rock playlists.

In Stephen King’s 1977 novel The Shining, a supernatural Big Band ensemble plays a swing version of this at The Overlook Hotel.

Ticket To Ride

I think I’m gonna be sad
I think it’s today, yeah
The girl that’s driving me mad
Is going away

She’s got a ticket to ride
She’s got a ticket to ride
She’s got a ticket to ride
But she don’t care

She said that living with me
Is bringing her down yeah
For she would never be free
When I was around

She’s got a ticket to ride
She’s got a ticket to ride
She’s got a ticket to ride
But she don’t care

I don’t know why she’s ridin’ so high
She ought to think twice
She ought to do right by me
Before she gets to saying goodbye
She ought to think twice,
She ought to do right by me
I think I’m gonna be sad
I think it’s today yeah
The girl that’s driving me mad
Is going away, yeah

She’s got a ticket to ride
She’s got a ticket to ride
She’s got a ticket to ride
But she don’t care

I don’t know why she’s ridin’ so high
She ought to think twice
She ought to do right by me
Before she gets to saying goodbye
She ought to think twice
She ought to do right by me
She said that living with me
Is bringing her down, yeah
For she would never be free
When I was around

Ah, she’s got a ticket to ride
She’s got a ticket to ride
She’s got a ticket to ride
But she don’t care

My baby don’t care, my baby don’t care
My baby don’t care, my baby don’t care
My baby don’t care, my baby don’t care