The Beatles, Words Of Love

Posted in The Beatles on November 17th, 2013 by Willie

words of love

I had a dream the other night (no, please keep reading) where the Beatles were reunited in the 1980s and John Lennon was still alive. It was an incredibly visceral dream with the four guys aged perfectly for the time. They were recording a track in the studio. John was decked out in a red and black leather jacket with his hair pulled back in a pony tail, rocking his classic black circular sunglasses. Paul was dressed in a large Christmas sweater, holding his Hofner bass and looking very nervous. John was also a bundle of nerves, pacing near the microphone with a grey colored Fender. I don’t remember what George and Ringo looked like but they were there as well. Then, the magic happened. They started playing Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be The Day,” harmonizing beautifully, restarting a few times in the process. The dream felt real and the music sounded live. I was thrilled to experience it.

Anyway, as fate would have it, the Beatle company Apple, released a new music video, “Words of Love,” another Buddy Holly cover, just the a few days ago. The song originally appeared on Beatles For Sale, a criminally underrated Beatle record (if there is such a thing) that got a lot of slack for featuring too many covers and carrying a bit of a depressed vibe. The record was released late in 1964 and reflects the exhausted around the world impact that Beatlemania had on the guys. The songs like “I’m a Loser” and “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party” had a sense of world-weariness to them but like any Beatle record, the performances and production are immaculate, creating a warm and intimate listening experience.

The “Words of Love” music video is just gorgeous. Mixing in psychedelic animation, a bit of CGI and sparkly magic to priceless clips of the Beatles running around during the height of Beatlemania. I would be incredible if Apple released a video like this for every song in the catalog. A massive task for sure, but, who cares, the music still holds up so breathing new life into the old songs with gorgeous imagery is a wonderful idea. I always wised that Apple should make a sequel to Yellow Submarine, featuring music of the White Album. The Beatles themselves didn’t voice Yellow Submarine when they were all alive in the first place so a new animated movie wouldn’t be so sacrilegious and would be really awesome. That will probably never happen unless I somehow become president of Apple records one day so in the meantime, enjoy the limitless splendor and charm of this wonderful “Words of Love” music video.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

John Lennon Singing Lead on Get Back

Posted in George Harrison, John Lennon, The Beatles, Youtube Favs on August 25th, 2011 by Willie

The Beatles are one of those bands so famous, that to the untrained ear of the average person, its hard to tell which Beatle is singing what.  Of course, such distinctions are “Beatles 101” to hardcore fans, but part of the confusion lies in the seamless harmonic blend Lennon and McCartney produced in many of their classic hits.  When they weren’t sharing a lead vocal or a song dominated by harmonies, the Beatles had simple rules about who was going to sing lead for any given song.  Normally, the principle songwriter was the logical choice for the lead.  It was very rare when these roles were reversed.  For instance, there isn’t one song that George or Ringo wrote that John or Paul sang lead on, and there isn’t one instance in the Beatle catalog of Paul or John writing a song specifically for their partner to tackle.  There were anomalies of course.  Sometimes John would write a song with melodic sections too high for him to reach, so he’d have Paul take over.  This is evident in the bridge 0f “A Hard Day’s Night,” and the choruses of “Anytime At All.”  “Day Tripper,” another John song, was almost entirely out of John’s vocal range, and so Paul becomes the dominant voice throughout the verses with John beefing up the lower harmonies and the bridge.  Despite this, John and Paul never poached each others tunes, or more exactly, they were so competitive, they wouldn’t allow it.  This came to a head during the Abbey Road sessions when John really wanted Paul’s “Oh! Darling,” but Paul wouldn’t give it up.  All this history leads to the rarity of the video I’m about to present which is a near complete performance of John Lennon singing Paul’s 1969 hit “Get Back.”  What makes this so rare and interesting is that for starters, Paul sings the lead on the record and in the live rooftop performance.  Secondly, to have John sing a Paul song with fun and relish right when they were breaking up is extremely bizarre given how their respective massive egos could barely keep them in the same room by that point.  What’s also interesting about John’s performance here is that he includes bits of lyrics that Paul originally wrote about Pakistanis taking British jobs, but later cut out due to political incorrectness.  So, with all that said, I’ve laid out this super treat of rock and roll goodness for all you to enjoy, but before you do, make sure to cast your vote for CBS’s Best Local NYC blogger, in which I’m a finalist.  Remember, if you’ve voted already, you can vote again, once every day until the contest ends on September 9th.  Just click these words to help me out, I really appreciate it!

Wait, don’t go just yet.  As a bonus I’ve included another ultra rare performance, this time its none other than George Harrison taking his shot at singing lead at “Get Back.”  He was doing as a guiding track for Doris Troy’s cover version that she was cutting for Apple in 1970.  George isn’t as intense as John or Paul, but he’s having a good time leading this funkier version of “Get Back,” plus he even tries to make up his own new melodic section at the end before he gives up.  AWESOME!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

John Lennon, Instant Karma

Posted in John Lennon, Youtube Favs on May 24th, 2011 by Willie

Part 71 of my youtube countdown begins in a flash with John Lennon’s 1970 release “Instant Karma.”  “Instant Karma” is one of the fastest released songs in rock history.  John wrote it in the morning, recorded it in the afternoon, and released it ten days later.  The urgency of its release convinced karmic minded George Harrison to throw on his electric guitar.  Other Plastic Ono’s include Yoko on backing vocals, Alan White of YES fame on drums, Klaus (Revolver cover designer) Voorman on bass, and Billy Preston on grand piano.  The message of the song is awesome.  John is pleading for people just to achieve a modicum of self awareness regarding their cosmic role in the universe, and how in light of that, they should drop their petty prejudices, quibbles, and fears, and thus embrace a more meaningful existence.  It’s a beautiful message, and it rings true and instantly every time you play it.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Top Ten Most Played Songs on my iPod

Posted in Willie Simpson's Original Music on May 18th, 2011 by Willie

Did you know that when you plug your iPod into your computer, iTunes can arrange your iPod’s mp3s by plays, from most played to least? It’s pretty fascinating to see what you’ve been listening to exclusively, and how many thousands (yes thousands of times) you’ve clicked play on certain songs. Well, I’d thought it’d be interesting to share the top ten most played songs on my iPod in a new awesome mega post. So, without further ado, here is the list, starting with #10!

#10- The Police- Can’t Stand Losing You, 255 plays. My countdown kicks off with the Police’s catchy little reggae punk tune known as “Can’t Stand Losing You.”  From Outlandos d’Amour, this song isn’t skipped much for a bunch of reasons.  First, its supremely catchy, with its syncopated guitars, tight harmonies, and perfect drumming.  Second, Sting’s lyrics are so raw and real, that its one of the greatest breakup songs ever.  I’m just addicted to the way that chorus fades into oblivion.

#9-  The Beatles- Eleanor Rigby, 509 plays. Ahh, the Beatles, of course, you’ll be seeing a few songs by the fab four pepper my top ten I’m not ashamed to say. “Eleanor Rigby,” from Revolver, is just a brilliant song to play on a crowded depressed subway during rush hour.  The song swoops in with George Martin’s brilliant string arrangement, and you look around the train and see “all the lonely people,” wondering “where do they all belong.”  Then you wonder if you yourself is one of those lonely people who is gonna die alone while you are arranging your socks in your dingy apartment. Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Beatles, Hey Bulldog vs. Lady Madonna Video Controversy

Posted in The Beatles, Youtube Favs on April 8th, 2011 by Willie

WELCOME to part 31 of my youtube countdown!  Today, I have a special Beatle-tastic history lesson, featuring clips of two insanely great Beatle rockers, Hey Bulldog, and Lady Madonna.  First, let present the sad story of Hey Bulldog, John Lennon’s lost masterpiece of rock.  Hey Bulldog is one of John’s most ferocious, manic rockers.  It’s a hard driving, piano riffed, distortion pedaled, philosophical nonsense song.  It has John barking one of his best late era vocal performances.  My knees buckle every time he launches into the “You can taaaallk to meee, YOU CAN TALK TO ME, if you’re lonely you can talllk to me,” refrain.  It is in my top 5 Beatle songs ever.  Now, why is the story of this amazing song so sad?  Because the Beatle myth makers, whoever they may be, did their best to sweep it under the rug of Beatle glory!  First of all, it was a song featured on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack, the least essential of the original Beatle albums.  If you’re not familiar, the Yellow Submarine album, was the album for the legendary cartoon, but featured previously released material, and the film score on side 2, making a bit of a throwaway…(though in actuality, it isn’t, and you should own it.)  Anyway, the second reason this song got the shaft was because a film team came into Abbey Road studios to film the Beatles record the song, and then, in their infinite wisdom, took the footage, and cut it up to go along with their then 1968 single Lady Madonna!  This was just so annoying.  Here you have a document of the Beatles recording and performing a late era Beatle song, an extremely rare thing I might add, AND as a full unit no less, and you fuck it up by pasting another song on top and turning them into lip-syncers.  It was a travesty until someone at Apple finally found the original footage and put it back together, thus restoring the glory of Hey Bulldog’s production.  So, for your enjoyment, I present both Hey Bulldog and Lady Madonna, for you to see just how often the people in charge of marketing the Beatles got it wrong.  I mean, you all should know how Capital just butchered all their singles and records until 1967, turning every one record into two, to sell more.  Anyway, that’s a whole other can of worms.  Here you go, enjoy the music!


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Beatles Get High Singing And Your Bird Can Sing

Posted in The Beatles, Youtube Favs on February 20th, 2011 by Willie

Part 5 of my youtube countdown continues with my favorite group ever, the Beatles. This outtake of “And Your Bird Can Sing,” is from the Revolver sessions, and features the boys overdubbing some crazed vocals. If you are a fan of human beings, there is no way to possibly hate this thing you are about to play. I love this take because it displays the incredible friendship they all had, as well as the joy they experienced in making all that wonderful music. By the way, this track is featured in the legendary Beatles Anthology Series, Volume 2. My favorite volume out of the 3, so pick that up if you don’t have it.  There is so much I could say about the Beatles, my love for them, and what they mean, but that’s all gonna come in a massive post/video extravaganza someday, not in my little youtube countdown, so enjoy this for now, and stay tuned as we have now crossed the 1/5 mark!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,