Video of the Week: 8 Things The Beatles Pioneered

From Failures Come Pop Successes

(via Culture Sonar) by Mark Daponte

One of the more bizarre sayings (and something parents of an infant shouldn’t have to say to the nanny) is “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”  This advice, meaning don’t throw away something good in the course of throwing out something bad, was heeded by a number of rock stars who found gems amongst musical projects they had thrown out.

The most noteworthy salvage job was Pete Townshend’s unfinished sci-fi rock opera film called Lifehouse which started as a story written around several songs.  Pete recalled: “The essence of the storyline was a kind of futuristic scene.  It’s a fantasy set at a time when rock ’n’ roll didn’t exist.  The world was completely collapsing and the only experience that anybody ever had was through test tubes. In a way, they lived as if they were on television. Everything was programmed.  The enemies were people who gave us entertainment intravenously and the heroes were savages who’d kept rock ‘n’ roll as a primitive force and had gone to live with it in the woods.  The story was about these two sides coming together and having a brief battle.”

Read more: From Failures Come Pop Successes – CultureSonar

Video of the Week: Can You Guess These Beatles Songs in Under 1 Second?

Quora: Why has Paul McCartney never performed ‘Oh! Darling’ live?

Answer by Peter Levy:

To record the vocal for this song, Paul went into the studio each day for a week and recorded exactly one take of the lead vocal. It’s such a strenuous song to sing that he couldn’t try two times in the same day.

He also said at the time (when he was in his mid-twenties) that he could have nailed the vocal five years earlier. So he’s had trouble with the vocal from the very start.

I think that’s why he didn’t sing it in concert – it’s too hard.

These days he has trouble with a lot of vocals that he used to easily perform in concert, so it’s fair to say that he never will perform “Oh! Darling,” unless he changes the arrangement so it fits his range.

Answer by Jay Snead:

t’s a killer song to sing the way it was sung on the album. This was really hard for Paul to record even when he was 27 and on the top of his game.

If he did it early in a set, it would ruin his voice for the rest of the show. if he sang it last, he might not have the voice to pull it off.

He has an enormous repertoire and can afford to leave Oh! Darling alone.

Answer by John Nowman:

Paul went into the studio every day – over days and days in order to get his vocals sounding hoarse, which is the effect he wanted and had to nail the vocals, when finally put down, quickly before his voice let him down due to strain and effort. Lennon had similar vocal problems with Twist and Shout early in their career, as the track was left until the end of the recording session, where he had to produce the vocals in one go to prevent damage to his his vocal chords, He did it in 1 and 1/2 takes, I believe. Listen to the track and see how hoarse his voice actually was after a full day recording vocals for the LP they were working on – at this moment early in their career time and money were not a luxury then. On Revolution Lennon lay on his back for hours prior to singing the vocals allowing fluid to enter his lungs for the right sound effect. Hope this helps.

Read more: (5) Why has Paul McCartney never performed Oh! Darling live? – Quora

A Little Help for Their Friends: Lennon/McCartney Non-Beatles Songwriting Credits

The songwriting partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney deservedly has hallowed status on the basis of the many classics the Beatles themselves recorded.

But as songwriters they remain perhaps under-appraised even so, considering their many other, lesser-known songwriting credits on hit songs they gave to others to perform–songs which might have added to the Beatles’ own lengthy list of hits had they chosen to release them themselves.

Paul was particularly active in promoting other fledgling acts by giving them hit songs, even though his compositions at the time were still credited to the Lennon/McCartney team. One such example is “Goodbye“, which he gave to an 18-year-old Mary Hopkin, and which was a #13 single in America (#2 UK) Here’s Mary’s recording:

…and Paul’s demo version:

Hopkin’s debut album was produced by McCartney and featured the massive worldwide hit “Those Were The Days”.

The sixties hit duo Peter and Gordon’s first three hit singles were all penned by Lennon and McCartney, although if you listen to Beatles demo versions you hear Paul singing the lead vocals, a pretty sure sign (judging from the Beatles’ catalogue itself) that he was at least the primary and perhaps sole writer of these songs also:

A World Without Love“, a number 1 hit in 1964, almost certainly would have topped the charts in Beatle-recorded form as well. It’s a British Invasion classic:

(Peter Asher is the Austin Powers-looking gent at left)

Here’s the Beatles’ demo version:

The other two Peter and Gordon hits written by the Beatles:

Nobody I Know” (#12 US hit):

…and “I Don’t Want To See You Again” (#16 US):

Another British Invasion act, Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas, were produced by George Martin and recorded many Lennon/McCartney songs. Bad To Me (below) reached number 1 in England (#9 US) and its sound is pure 1964 Beatles.

The “J” in Billy J. Kramer, by the way, was the suggestion of John Lennon, who thought it gave Billy a tougher image. (Lennon also gave the band The Cyrkle its name. Maybe Beatle-influenced band nomenclature is an article unto itself…) 

“I’ll Be On My Way”, “I Call Your Name”, “I’ll Keep You Satisfied”, and “From A Window“, all recorded by the Dakotas, were Lennon/McCartney songs. And their recording of George Harrison’s “Do You Want To Know A Secret” was also a number 2 hit in the UK.

Badfinger, who, like Mary Hopkin were signed to the Beatles’ Apple Records, had their career jump-started in 1969 when Paul McCartney gave away another (#7 US) hit, “Come And Get It“.

Beatle fans who’ve never heard the demo will find that Badfinger pretty much stuck to Paul’s blueprint:

This is by no means a complete list. It’s merely meant to point out that Lennon and McCartney weren’t just hitmakers as Beatles. From the mid-60’s through the early 70’s their songwriting was here, there and everywhere.

Did You Ever Realize…

The Beatles Discuss Abbey Road, Let It Be, and the Future of The Beatles in 1969-70 Interviews

An edit of Beatles interviews from 1969 to 1970. Each Beatle generally sounds positive and supportive of each others’ songs and solo projects, but also realistic about the business issues they had been going through.

They also seem surprisingly open to making more Beatles songs and albums in 1970 and beyond.

This audio seems to contradict a central myth of the Beatles that they made Abbey Road thinking it would be their last album.

01 John Lennon (Everett Is Here, September 1969) 0:00

02 Paul McCartney (Scene And Heard, September 1969) 0:31

03 George Harrison (Scene And Heard, October 1969) 11:42

04 John Lennon (Scene And Heard, October 1969) 22:23

05 John Lennon (Scene And Heard, February 1970) 26:55

06 George Harrison (Scene And Heard, March 1970) 30:31

07 Ringo Starr (Scene And Heard, March 1970) 36:23

08 George Harrison (The Beatles Today, March 1970) 38:33

Video of the Week: The Fab Faux Perform a Near-Perfect Abbey Road Side 2

Did You Ever Realize…

On This Day…The Beatles’ ‘Rubber Soul’

(via Thisdayinmusic.com)

Following a well deserved holiday, John, Paul, George and Ringo returned to the studios in mid October 1965, not only to record their next album but also a new single – their first double A-side “Day Tripper” and “We Can Work It Out. ”

During these sessions, The Beatles took a major artistic leap forward, and when Rubber Soul was released in Dec 65, it presented a new, growing Beatles to the world, with a stunning collection of songs which introduced a new direction, sophistication and depth. Talking about the recording many years later Paul McCartney said, “We smoked a bit of pot, the first time we’d ever done that. We normally didn’t smoke when we were working.”

Read more: The Beatles – Rubber Soul | This Day In Music

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