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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yellow Submarine Week, It's All Too Much, All Together Now

Posted in The Beatles on April 19th, 2012 by Willie

A wise Beatle once said, all things must pass, and so must Yellow Submarine week.  The end of the movie, one of my favorite sequences, features the stunning George Harrison masterpiece, “It’s All Too Much.”  Following that brain scrambling skillet of wonderment are the Beatles themselves, appearing in an overly good mood (especially for 1968), introducing a slice of Paul McCartney camp fire brilliance, “All Together Now.”  Sometimes I just can’t help but repeat the live Beatle sequence over and over.  Each Beatle puts on a remarkably memorable performance.  Ringo comes across just like his cartoon character, sort of childish and naive.  Paul is at his corny best, making some self referential Beatle jokes, this one a plug for “Fixing a Hole.”  I love George’s halted speech, wondering eyes, and sly smiles.  John saves his Beatle charm for the end, stealing the scene with his warning of “newer and bluer meanies,” and expert pronunciation of the words “singing,” and “FOUR!”  Ever the leader, John is the captain with his pocket telescope, remaining still and calm while the other Beatles are bobbing away with crazy energy.  It’s just one of the greatest scenes in Beatle history, and my dream would be if someone came out with extended footage from that video session, or outtakes.  Haven’t seen anything like that though, so its probably on the scrapheap of history.  Ah well, beggars can’t be choosers, so we’ll make due with this priceless moment.  Enjoy.

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

Yellow Submarine Week, It's Only a Northern Song

Posted in The Beatles on April 18th, 2012 by Willie

Most people point to John Lennon as the group’s most rebellious member, but the title really belongs to George.  He had no problem writing songs about telling girls, the media, and his fans to sod off.  Some people say he was preachy, especially when he started incorporating Eastern Mysticism in his songs, but I always saw him as just expressing his individuality, and really, what choice did he have?  John and Paul had left him to be a solo songwriter in the world’s greatest group, so when George built up his songwriting confidence, which really didn’t take that long in the scheme of things, he started speaking his mind, very clearly.  “It’s Only a Northern Song,” shown below in the awesome psychedelic sequence from Yellow Submarine, features George at his most sarcastic and rebellious.  He is writing a letter, in the demented pop song format, to his music publishing company, “Northern Songs,” in regards to the shitty royalties deal he signed when he was 19 years old.  George would actually end up being the lucky Beatle (along with Ringo), for when the general Beatle song publishing contract expired in 1968, he started his own publishing company called “Harrisongs,” allowing him to own a bunch of his later Beatle hits like “Something,” and “Here Comes the Son.”  Ringo started a similar company called “Startling Music,” which allowed him to own his few Beatle songs, while John and Paul reupped their contract, damning them to a lifetime of low royalties and the eventual non-ownership of all their wondrous hits.  However, until 1968, all the Beatles were under the oppressive umbrella of “Northern Songs,” the product of a contract signed before they were famous and before no one could predict the billions of dollars their songs would generate.  Luckily we have “It’s Only a Northern Song,” forever standing as a grim reminder to aspiring musicians everywhere on the verge of signing horrible record publishing deals.  Thank you George.

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

Yellow Submarine Week, Part 1!

Posted in The Beatles on April 12th, 2012 by Willie

Ahh, Yellow Submarine, the movie responsible for injecting coolness in every child that comes across it at just the right age.  I personally believe that any age is the right age for Yellow Submarine, and that is why, naturally, Yellow Submarine Week is commencing today on this very website.  Yellow Submarine is infamous for not featuring the Beatles’ real voices, save for the music and a winning appearance at the end.  The film itself is a gorgeous post-modern piece of glorious pop art, providing music videos for a bunch of psychedelic classics from the Beatles absurdly genius 65-68 era.  For part 1, we have the first ten minutes of the movie which includes one of the greatest voice over openings of all time.  “Once upon a time, or maybe twice, there lie an unearthly paradise called Pepperland.”  The film, which wasn’t written by the Beatles, certainly captured a lot of the brilliant Lennonesque humor and writing style featured in John’s books, writings, and art.  Originally, the Beatles really wanted nothing to do with the movie, thinking it would be terrible, and only agreed to it as a way to satisfy their 4 film contract with MGM.  When it was completed, they were stunned at its quality, and thus agreed to contribute the famous ending, but that bit of fun will be saved for conclusion of our little celebration.  As for now, enjoy the wonderful opening, the Blue Meanies, and Ringo’s rendition of the Paul McCartney classic, “Yellow Submarine.”

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

James Paul McCartney, The Wings TV Special

Posted in Paul McCartney, Youtube Favs on August 30th, 2011 by Willie

Paul McCartney fans, do I have a present for you.  Did you know that Paul’s real first name was James?  Did you know that Paul did a music special for ABC and the BBC in 1973 called “James Paul McCartney?”  Did you know the critics hated it?  Did you know critics are mostly idiots?  Well, now that you know, it is my absolute pleasure to introduce this 7 part Paul McCartney extravaganza.  What’s extra special about this post, is that this TV special WAS NEVER released on VHS or DVD, so this is the only place you’re gonna find it for now.  You get Paul and his newly formed group Wings, featuring wife Linda and guitarist Denny Laine, performing some solo Paul songs, some Beatles songs, and some Wings songs, all with aplomb.  It’s basically a glorified series of music videos stitched together that you’ll find heard to turn off.  My only problem with the videos are Paul’s unfortunate mullet, his worst hair style ever.  Oh well, it shouldn’t stop you for enjoying the music, and it shouldn’t stop you for voting me in as CBS’s Best Local NYC blogger, which you can do by clicking here!  Paul McCartney told me to tell everyone everyday, so if you gotta problem with voting for me, take it up with the old knight himself.  Cheers!

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

The Beatles, All You Need is Love

Posted in The Beatles, Youtube Favs on June 26th, 2011 by Willie

At last we’ve arrived at part 100 of my youtube favorites countdown.  This is the final part of the countdown, and boy has it been a magical journey through some of my favorite songs and videos of all time.  I had to end the countdown on the Beatles because it hurts my eyes when they don’t fall on #1 in any list predominantly about rock and roll.  “All You Need is Love,” is a mysterious song.  It was written specifically for the historic first worldwide satellite TV broadcast, “Our World,” and was watched by over 400 million people globally.  The song is a mystery because there aren’t too many quotes from John Lennon about the inspiration and writing of the song, and the other Beatles and George Martin can’t seem to remember exactly where the song came from.  The song wasn’t made for any album, and the recording of the track (save some overdubs) was mostly done in the live recording you see below.  So you don’t have a bunch of takes and jam sessions in the vault that might give further insight into its creation.  I have yet to hear a demo of John on his guitar or piano plunking out the song for the first time, which would simply be a marvelous thing if it exists somewhere.  Anyway, this song is a Masterpiece, (note the capital M.)  It’s one of the greatest slogans ever set to music and fantastic slice of artistic genius.  It’s also just further evidence of the insane alien amount of productivity the Beatles were capable of.  They had just finished Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, their timeless masterwork, and then a few weeks later, they unleash this masterstroke.  They were an unstoppable force of magic, churning out record after record, with smash #1 singles (that weren’t on the LPs) dotting those releases.  What’s further amazing is that nothing in their tumultuous personal lives slowed them down a bit.  In 1967, John was a full blown drug addict; snorting cocaine, dropping acid every weekend, smoking pot everyday, and probably drinking heavily.  His marriage was falling apart, he was having a massive identity crisis, he was jealous of Paul McCartney, and he was suffering a dark depression.  None of that seemed to stop him from writing a song like, “All You Need is Love,” and then following it up with another track like the brilliant “I am the Walrus,” a few weeks after.  No force, personal or global, could really stop the momentum the Beatles had built for themselves, and it all culminated in them being considered the greatest musicians of the 20th century.  So the countdown ends, but the website doesn’t of course.  From here on out, I’ll be focusing on writing more ambitious “proper essays” and articles on everything from music, politics, culture, and philosophy.  So keep checking back, as I intend to make this one of the best websites you’ll ever read.  Thank you so much.

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,