Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Beatles wanted to record "Revolver" in Memphis, Tennessee

Impressive news reached us today. At an auction (organized by Recordmecca) a letter written by George Harrison was sold for 18.000 euro.

The interesting part is the end of the letter (written in 1966 by George at Kinfauns): there he reveals that The Beatles had been seriously considering recording "Revolver" at Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee with Jim Stewart.

Imagine how that would have sounded!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The story behind I'm So Tired

On Flemish Radio 1, during the Monschau programme they were looking for songs that criticise smoking. Surprisingly, they only managed to find one.

But looking closer at "I'm So Tired" by The Beatles, I noticed the following sentence:

" I'm so tired, I'm feeling so upset
Although I'm so tired, I'll have another cigarette
And curse Sir Walter Raleigh
He was such a stupid git"

Now Sir Walter Raleigh is the guy who is credited with introducing tobacco to Britain from America in the 16th century, and thus for indirectly getting John Lennon hooked on cigarettes.

And a "git" is an insult, so clearly Lennon seems angry :)

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Hey Jude is number 5 in a Flemish radio poll

Radio 2, a Flemish radio station that caters to a mainstream audience, published a reader's poll with the "best songs from the 1960's".

The Beatles feature twice, once with Hey Jude at nr. 5 and a second time with "Yesterday" at number 34. Joe Cocker also scores with his version of "With a little help...".

Top 10

1. "Eloise" - Barry Ryan
2. "Eenzaam zonder jou" - Will Tura
3. "(I can't get no) satisfaction" - The Rolling Stones
4. "Suspicious minds" - Elvis Presley
5. "Hey Jude" - The Beatles
6. "Seven horses in the sky" - The Pebbles
7. "Suzanne" - Leonard Cohen
8. "With a little help from my friends" - Joe Cocker
9. "Daydream" - The Wallace Collection
10. "Bad moon rising" - Creedence Clearwater Revival

34. "Yesterday" - The Beatles

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Ben E. King dies, aged 76

Sad news from America. Benjamin Earl King, better known as Ben E. King died today.

He will always be remembered by Beatle fans as the author (together with Leiber and Stoller) of Stand By Me, the soul classic that was covered by John Lennon on his Rock 'n Roll cover album.

The single released by John Lennon reached No. 20 on Billboard and remained 9 weeks in the charts

picture: Ben E. King performing at the 2006 Summerfest, Manhattan, New York. June 2006 - CC BY-SA 2.0 - by Flickr user J&R Music World

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Ticket to Ride released in the USA

Exactly 50 years ago today, The Beatles released their 9th Capitol single on the US market. On the A-side was Ticket to Ride (one of my favourites with a great guitar riff) and on the B-side Yes it is, a complex song with great three-part harmonies and some wonderful guitar playing by George Harrison).

A fine anecdote is that on the label it says "From the upcoming United Artists movie Eight Arms to Hold You", which was the working title for their movie "HELP!". Surely a collector's Item

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Stand By Me released in the UK

Almost a month after the US release of Stand By Me, Apple also released the single from Rock 'n Roll in the UK.

Written by Ben E. King, the song was only a minor hit for John Lennon, reaching No. 27 of the charts and only remaining 2 weeks in the Top 30.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Record Store Day 2015 re-release: The Family Way

Tomorrow it is Record Store Day.

This year there are not many Beatle-related exclusives available, but one item worth checking out is the re-release of The Family Way, a soundtrack from 1967 and the unofficial first Beatle solo effort by Paul McCartney (although for some reason George Harrison gets the official credit for first solo-record when he released Wonderwall a year later).

Here is what Record Store Day has to say about the record:

This 1967 soundtrack composed by Paul McCartney is one of the most elusive Beatles souvenirs. The original vinyl album has been long out of print, and it is commanding sky-high prices on the collector's circuit.

It is released in 5,700 copies.

And the movie, you may ask? Well, The Family Way is a 1966 British comedy-drama lmovie based on Bill Naughton's play All in Good Time (1963). Some people may remember it was reworked as a television play, Honeymoon Postponed. The film was produced and directed by John and Roy Boulting, respectively, and starred father and daughter John Mills and Hayley Mills.

The soundtrack was composed by Paul McCartney and released on an album in January 1967.