Saturday, 24 December 2016

Upcoming George Martin bio

Coming in August 2017 - part one of a new George Martin biography
Kenneth Womack is a scholar and a Beatles author who has previously written a few books on the group:  "Long and Winding Roads", "The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles", "The Beatles Encyclopedia", and "New Critical Perspectives on the Beatles". He is currently working on a 2-part biography on George Martin for Chicago Review Press. The first volume will be published August 1, 2017, titled "Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, The Early Years, 1926–1966". It will be 336 pages and will be published in a hardcover.

From the Publisher: In the first book of its kind, "Maximum Volume" offers a glimpse into the mind, the music, and the man behind the sound of the Beatles. George Martin’s working-class childhood, his education, and his musical influences at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama profoundly shaped his early career in the BBC’s Classical Music department and as head of the EMI Group’s Parlophone Records. These musical influences would become the fount out of which flowed the genius behind his seven years producing the Beatles’ incredible body of work, including such albums as "Rubber Soul", "Revolver", "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band", and "Abbey Road". 

The first of a two-part series, "Maximum Volume" traces Martin’s early years as a scratch pianist, his life in the Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War, and his groundbreaking work as the head of Parlophone Records during the 1950s, when Martin saved the company from ruin after making his name as a producer of comedy and spoken-word recordings.

In its most dramatic moments, "Maximum Volume" narrates the story of Martin’s unlikely discovery of the Beatles and his painstaking efforts to prepare their newfangled sound for the British music marketplace. As the story unfolds, Martin and the band craft numerous Number 1 hits along the group’s progress towards The Ed Sullivan Show and such landmark songs as "Yesterday" and "In My Life"—Beatles tunes that bear Martin’s unmistakable musical signature.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Beatles promoter Sam Leach dies

Roger Stormo and Sam Leach, 2008.
Sam Leach, a well known name in Liverpool's early Beatles history died last night in the arms of two of his children, following a brief hospitalisation. Sam's daughter Samantha posted this on Facebook today:

Our dad passed away this morning peacefully in the arms of my sister and brother. Although we knew he wasn't well it's still left us shocked and truely deverstated as we didn't think it would happen so fast. He is such a legend as you all know a true warrior, dads words "Never give up and never give in" ....and he never did. Sleep tight dad. Samantha xxx

Sam was a promoter of dances and concerts in and around Liverpool in the early sixties. A champion of The Beatles, booking them for many of his events, Sam wanted to become their manager at one point. He attempted to introduce The Beatles to London agents by promoting shows at The Palais Ballroom in Aldershot on 9 December 1961. The show was not advertised properly and, as a result, only 18 people attended. The local newspaper, The Aldershot News, failed to publish Sam Leach's advertisement for the show. Weeks after this Brian Epstein became the group's manager.

Paul McCartney with Sam Leach
Sam remained friendly with the Beatles after they had left Liverpool, and published the pictorial "Beatles on Broadway" in many countries around the world in 1964.

Norwegian edition of Sam's picture magazine from 1964
Paul McCartney used to invite Sam backstage whenever he returned to give concerts in the hometown. Sam wrote a book about his days as a maverick dance promoter, "The Rocking City", and he used to sell photos from his Beatles days from a table in The Grapes, a pub opposite the Cavern Club in Mathew Street. Sam also attended Beatles conventions in other countries.

This year, a documentary film about Sam Leach, The Sixth Beatle premiered at the Toronto international film festival, with Sam in attendance. Sam was 81 when he passed away. Rest in peace.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Petition to add a disc to Flowers in the dirt

Figure of Eight - one of many constellations of the single.
After the track lists of the new archives edition of Paul McCartney's "Flowers in the dirt" have been published, fans have launched an online petition to add another physical disc to the set.

Link to petition 

Previous archive editions have added single B-sides to the physical discs, but "Flowers in the dirt" deviates from this policy by having these tracks available as downloads only.
Russian fan Evgeny Sokolov created the petition and writes: "We, Paul McCartney fans, are extremely disappointed by the fact that the forthcoming reissue of the classic album Flowers In The Dirt by Paul McCartney will include some great tracks (b-sides, remixes, alternate versions) only as download. The price of the deluxe set is high enough and those who buy those expensive sets deserve actual CD's (and) not downloads".

Paul Sinclair from superdeluxeedition.com also weighs in on the subject in an open letter to Paul.

Here are the tracks in question:

1. Back On My Feet * - originally the B-side of "Once Upon A Long Ago" in 1987
2. Flying To My Home * - originally the B-side of "My Brave Face"
3. The First Stone - originally the B-side of "This One"
4. Good Sign - originally a track on the 12" single of "This One"
5. This One (Club Lovejoys Mix) - appeared on a limited UK 12-inch promo single and was released afterwards on a commercial 12-inch single paired with “Figure Of Eight” and only released in very limited quantities in the UK, Germany and France.
6. Figure Of Eight (12” Bob Clearmountain Mix) - from the 12" single 12R6235
7. Loveliest Thing * - originally a track on the CD single CDRS6235
8. Où Est Le Soleil? (12” Mix) - originally on a 12" single
9. Où Est Le Soleil? (Tub Dub Mix) - originally on a 12" single
10. Où Est Le Soleil? (7” Mix) - originally the B-side of "Figure of eight" 7" single
11. Où Est Le Soleil? (Instrumental) - originally a dance club promo only
12. Party Party (Original Mix) - originally a one sided single included in the "World Tour Pack"
13. Party Party (Club Mix) - originally a promo disc for club DJs only.

* The 1993 remastered edition of "Flowers In The Dirt" was part of what was then called The Paul McCartney Collection and the disc contained three bonus tracks which are now to be released as downloads only: "Back on My Feet", "Flying to My Home" and "Loveliest Thing".

Paul McCartney released a myriad of singles for "Figure of Eight" back in 1989, and collectors had a hard time finding them all at the time:
  • Parlophone R6235 - 7"
  • Parlophone RDJ6235 – DJ 7" single
  • Parlophone 12R6235 – 12" single
  • Parlophone 12RS6235 - 12" limited edition single
  • Parlophone 12RX6235 - 12" limited edition single
  • Parlophone CD3R6235 - 3" CD single
  • Parlophone CDRS6235 – 5" CD single
R6235 - Figure of eight (5:16) / Ou est le soleil? (4:50)

The A-side is remixed by Bob Clearmountain. The B-side has a remix by Shep Pettibone. The original track was only available on the CD version of “Flowers in the dirt”

RDJ6235 - Figure of eight (3:59) / Ou est le soleil? (3:57)

This release is a special DJ mix. Both versions are edited compared to the official release. Not commercially available.

12R6235 - Figure of eight (5:16) / This one (Club lovejoys mix) (6:10)

12" single. The B-side is not only a remix but a completely new version with different lyrics.

12RS6235 - Figure of eight (5:16) / Où Est Le Soleil? (4:50)

Same material as the 7” single, but on this 12” limited edition pressing, the image from the front of the sleeve is etched into the disc on the B-side.

12RX6235 - Figure of eight (5:16) / Où Est Le Soleil? (7:10) / Où Est Le Soleil? (tub dub mix) (4:30)

12" single. Two different mixes of "Où Est Le Soleil?". A third, instrumental mix was to be found on a special promotional 12" single released to dance clubs only.

CD3R6235 - Figure of eight (5:16) / Rough ride (4:54) / Où Est Le Soleil? (7" mix) (4:50)

A special 3-inch CD single. "Rough ride" is a remix only available here and on the 1990 2CD Japan special edition release of "Flowers In The Dirt".

CDRS6235 - Figure of eight (4:04) / The long and winding road (Lennon/McCartney) (3:53) / The loveliest thing (3:59)

This release had a new track "The loveliest thing".

"This One" was another single from the album, released in quite a few configurations:
  • Parlophone R6223 – 7" single
  • Parlophone RX6223 - Limited edition 7" pack
  • Parlophone 12R6223 - 12" single
  • Parlophone 12RX6223 - Limited edition 12" single
  • Parlophone CDR6223 - CD single
R6223 - This one (4:10) / The first stone (McCartney/Stuart) (4:03)

The regular 7" single

RX6223 - This one (McCartney) (4:10) / The long and winding road (Lennon/McCartney) (3:50)

Limited edition boxed set containing 6 postcards and a 7" single. The Beatles track taken from the recording of the "Put It There" video cassette special.

12R6223 and CDR6223 - This one (4:10) / The first stone (McCartney/Stuart) (4:03) / I wanna cry (4:40) / I'm in love again (Domino/Bartholomew) (2:40)

Released on a 12" single as well as on a CD single.

12RX6223 - This one (4:10) / The first stone(McCartney/Stuart) (4:03) / Good sign (6:52)

Another 12" single.

"Party Party" appeared this way:

Parlophone R6238 - 7" one sided single
Parlophone CD3R6238 -3" CD single
Parlophone 12R6238 - 12" DJ promo

R6238 and CD3R6238 - Party party (P.McCartney/L.McCartney/McIntosh/Stuart/Whitten/Wickens) (5:36)

This single was not available on its own, but was added as a bonus disc when buying the "Flowers in the dirt - World tour pack" on either vinyl or CD.

12R6238 - Party party (original mix) (5:36) / Party party (Bruce Forest club mix) (6:27)

Promo pressing only released to club DJs.

"Où Est Le Soleil?"
  • Parlophone 12SOL 1 - 12" DJ promo single
  • Parlophone 14 2034136 12" Italian single
  • Capitol V15199 - 12" USA single
Où Est Le Soleil? (7:10) / Où Est Le Soleil? (Tub Dub mix) (4:30) / Où Est Le Soleil? (Instrumental mix) (4:30)

The Parlophone promo was only pressed in a few hundred copies aimed at club DJs, but the Italian release was available all over Europe.

Link to petition

Paul McCartney has responded positively to Russian requests in the past. In 2008, a survey on a Russian Beatles fan site concluded that the song most fans wanted Paul to include on his set list was a track from the "Band on the run" album, "Mrs Vandebilt" - which had been a hit in the Soviet Union. Paul responded by rehearsing the song and included it in his set list when he played a free concert in Kiev that year, saying in Ukranian: "We were asked to do this". The song remained in his set list for years after that, as it proved to be one of the non-Beatle songs fans could sing along to.

Also planned for download only release are the following cassette demos:
1. I Don’t Want To Confess
2. Shallow Grave
3. Mistress And Maid

The Archive edition of "Flowers In The Dirt" is due out March 24, 2017 - below are Amazon links for preordering:

Paul McCartney Flowers In The Dirt Deluxe Edition (3CD 1DVD)
Paul McCartney Flowers In The Dirt Special Edition (2CD)
Paul McCartney Flowers In The Dirt Double LP

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Track lists for Flowers in the dirt

Planned for March 24: The Archive edition of Paul McCartney's "Flowers in the dirt".

SPECIAL EDITION [3CD/1DVD]
• Deluxe 3 CD + DVD Numbered Edition
• 18 bonus audio tracks across 2 discs, featuring previously unreleased demos with Elvis
Costello
• Original B-sides, remixes and single edits, plus 3 previously unreleased tracks from a
cassette demo (download only)
• Remastered at Abbey Road Studios
• DVD featuring all of the music videos from the album, the ‘Put It There’
documentary and 3 new edits of unseen archive material
• Also includes a 112 page essay book, 32 page notebook of Paul’s handwritten lyrics
and notes, 64 page photobook featuring the music videos for ‘This One’, 32 page
Linda McCartney exhibition catalogue
• Plus downloadable high-resolution audio (Disc 1, 2, and 3)

DISC 1:
1. My Brave Face (2017 Remaster)
2. Rough Ride (2017 Remaster)
3. You Want Her Too (2017 Remaster)
4. Distractions (2017 Remaster)
5. We Got Married (2017 Remaster)
6. Put It There (2017 Remaster)
7. Figure Of Eight (2017 Remaster)
8. This One (2017 Remaster)
9. Don’t Be Careless Love (2017 Remaster)
10. That Day Is Done (2017 Remaster)
11. How Many People (2017 Remaster)
12. Motor Of Love (2017 Remaster)
13. Où Est Le Soleil? (2017 Remaster)

DISC 2:
1. The Lovers That Never Were (Original Demo)
2. Tommy’s Coming Home (Original Demo)
3. Twenty Fine Fingers (Original Demo)
4. So Like Candy (Original Demo)
5. You Want Her Too (Original Demo)
6. That Day Is Done (Original Demo)
7. Don’t Be Careless Love (Original Demo)
8. My Brave Face (Original Demo)
9. Playboy To A Man (Original Demo)

DISC 3:
1. The Lovers That Never Were (1988 Demo)
2. Tommy’s Coming Home (1988 Demo)
3. Twenty Fine Fingers (1988 Demo)
4. So Like Candy (1988 Demo)
5. You Want Her Too (1988 Demo)
6. That Day Is Done (1988 Demo)
7. Don’t Be Careless Love (1988 Demo)
8. My Brave Face (1988 Demo)
9. Playboy To A Man (1988 Demo)

DOWNLOAD ONLY:
Original B-sides, remixes and single edits:
1. Back On My Feet
2. Flying To My Home
3. The First Stone
4. Good Sign
5. This One (Club Lovejoys Mix)
6. Figure Of Eight (12” Bob Clearmountain Mix)
7. Loveliest Thing
8. Où Est Le Soleil? (12” Mix)
9. Où Est Le Soleil? (Tub Dub Mix)
10. Où Est Le Soleil? (7” Mix)
11. Où Est Le Soleil? (Instrumental)
12. Party Party (Original Mix)
13. Party Party (Club Mix)
Cassette demos:
1. I Don’t Want To Confess
2. Shallow Grave
3. Mistress And Maid


Amazon links:

Paul McCartney Flowers In The Dirt Deluxe Edition (3CD 1DVD)
Paul McCartney Flowers In The Dirt Special Edition (2CD)
Paul McCartney Flowers In The Dirt Double LP

MQS SD - The Newest Physical Music Format

The Beatles 1 - in a new physical format
A new physical format is on it's way, and The Beatles "1" album is available in this high resolution format, called MQS SD, which in fact is a micro SD card. Explore further on the video below:

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Flowers in the dirt announced on Amazon

Planned for March 24: The Archive edition of Paul McCartney's "Flowers in the dirt".
Amazon has announced the Archive edition of Paul McCartney's 1989 album "Flowers in the dirt". A Deluxe edition, containing 3 CDs and 1 DVD and a Special edition of 2 CDs, as well as a double vinyl album are listed.
Originally planned for release in 2016, the album was delayed following McCartney having left his previous record label Hear Music/Concorde for Capitol Records.
At the time of the original release, "Flowers in the dirt" was considered a major return to form, and earned him some of his best reviews in years. The album made number 1 in the United Kingdom and Norway and produced several hit singles (the first being "My Brave Face"). It also marked a return to concert touring for McCartney. His last tour was the December tour of 1979 with Wings, now he embarked on a World tour as a solo artist. Starting in Drammen, Norway, the Paul McCartney World Tour opened on 26 September 1989 and featured concerts in North America, Europe, Japan and Brazil until the following July.

New vinyl edition has two LPs and mp3 downloads.

After the meagre sales that greeted the 1986 album "Press to Play", McCartney realised that he needed to work much harder on his follow-up. Thus, he not only teamed up with several different producers, but also spent the better part of 18 months perfecting "Flowers in the Dirt". A highlight of the sessions was McCartney's productive alliance with Elvis Costello, with whom he composed many new songs. In his 2015 autobiography, "Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink", Costello described the track "That Day Is Done" as, "the unhappy sequel to "Veronica"", which they had also co-written. McCartney greatly enjoyed the new partnership, even finding that Costello mirrored John Lennon in certain aspects of his personality. Costello would also appear on the album, even co-singing "You Want Her Too" with McCartney. Another celebrity guest included was his friend David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, who plays the guitar on "We Got Married". On "Put It There", McCartney used an old Buddy Holly trick, the knee-percussion, that McCartney recorded on the same day as the backing track. Elvis also persuaded Paul to bring back his trademark Höfner bass guitar, both for recording the album and on tour. The bass guitar had been retired since Paul's Beatle days, but he must have enjoyed playing it again, it still remains an icon in his stage presence.

Single: "My Brave Face" and the non-album track "Flying To My Home"
In May 1989, the Beatlesque "My Brave Face" was released as a single and promptly gave McCartney a US hit, reaching number 25, while reaching number 18 in the UK. In June, "Flowers in the Dirt" was released to high anticipation and immediately entered the UK charts at number 1, garnering very positive reviews from all around. In the US, the reaction was better than "Press to Play", with the album reaching number 21, staying on the charts for a year and going gold, though it still sold beneath expectations. The second single, "This One", also reached number 18 in the UK. The follow-ups "Figure of Eight"/"Où est le Soleil?" and "Put It There" would all be minor UK hits.

Special edition: 2CDs

The album cover artwork was photographed by Linda McCartney. The background canvas was painted by the British artist Brian Clarke, who was also responsible for designing stage backdrops for the world tour.

12" single featuring three remixes of the track "Ou est le Soleil?"

In an interview with the Washington Post in July 2016, Paul McCartney revealed that the non-inclusion of any "Flowers" tracks on his recent "Pure McCartney" compilation was due to the Archive edition being on the horizon.

Paul was then asked by the interviewer, "Will it be released in its entirety? There are all those songs you wrote and recorded with Elvis Costello, many of them not officially released," to which Paul responded: "That’s one of the real exciting things. Those demos. We’re releasing them as part of this package. I’m not sure I’m supposed to be telling you this. . . . It’s great that you’re a fan of "Flowers in the Dirt". Cause you’ve got a real nice release coming out. We showed it all to Elvis, and he was just tickled pink."

Unconfirmed from the industry is that the set includes 21 demos, 61 tracks all in all (music and video), plus paper material in the form of at least one 112 page book and several other booklets etc.

Original album track listing:

1. My Brave Face
2. Rough Ride
3. You Want Her Too
4. Distractions
5. We Got Married
6. Put It There
7. Figure Of Eight
8. This One
9. Don't Be Careless Love
10. That Day Is Done
11. How Many People
12. Motor Of Love
13. Ou Est Le Soleil (bonus track on cassette and CD editions)

Earlier re-releases
World Tour Pack

- A limited-edition "World Tour Pack" of "Flowers in the Dirt", sold in a facsimile trunk, was issued in Great Britain and Europe in October 1989, and America (with British catalogue numbers) in January 1990. The set included a bonus single of "Party Party" (mixed by Bruce Forest and released on a one-sided 7" single in vinyl editions of the "World Tour Pack" and a 3" CD-single in compact disc editions of the "World Tour Pack").

Japan 2CD edition (1990)
 - In March 1990, another limited edition of the album that featured a bonus disc was released exclusively in Japan and re-entered the country's chart.

Track list of CD2:

1. "Message" – 0:28 - an environmental message from Paul to the Japanese fans.
2. "The Long and Winding Road" (Lennon–McCartney) – 3:51 From the video "Put It There".
3. "Loveliest Thing" – 3:59
4 "Rough Ride" – 4:53
5. "Ou est le Soleil (7" Mix)" – 4:50
6. "Mama's Little Girl" – 3:41 - an outtake from the 1972 "Red Rose Speedway" sessions.
7. "Same Time Next Year" – 3:06 - an outtake from the 1979 "Back To The Egg" sessions.
8. "Party, Party" (McCartney/Linda McCartney/Robbie McIntosh/Hamish Stuart/Chris Whitten/Paul "Wix" Wickens) – 5:35
9. "P.S. Love Me Do" (McCartney–Lennon) – 3:40 - The studio version of the combination of two of The Beatles songs owned by MPL Communications. The live version is found on the "Birthday" CD single.

1993 Remastered CD
- A remastered CD was released in 1993.

Bonus tracks:
"Back on My Feet" – 4:24
"Flying to My Home" – 4:15
"Loveliest Thing" – 3:58

Amazon listings:

Paul McCartney Flowers In The Dirt Deluxe Edition (3CD 1DVD)
Paul McCartney Flowers In The Dirt Special Edition (2CD)
Paul McCartney Flowers In The Dirt Double LP

Earlier DeLuxe releases in McCartney's Archive series:

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

New plan for family archive at Friar Park

Crackerbox Palace. Friar Park, Henley-on-Thames
Olivia Harrison, the widow of Beatle George Harrison wants to build an archive at the home they shared for 30 years.

Mrs Harrison has applied to South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, for permission to remove temporary storage and utility units at Friar Park and erect new buildings.

The development would include an archive building for the storage of family papers and objects which are currently stored in “unsuitable conditions” in various places around the estate.

The building would measure 20m by 8m and include accommodation for an archivist.

The application is a revision of plans for which Mrs Harrison was granted planning permission in 2014 but has not yet implemented.


It says: “Since that time thoughts about the planning of the site have evolved, particularly in the way that the garden landscaping might be resolved in this area, which impacts on the layout of the proposed and consented buildings.

“There is now a strong desire to reconnect lost garden routes and to remove a proliferation of later access roads and hard-standing areas, especially closer to the historic buildings.

“For this to be achieved, a revised layout is required but one which also seeks to preserve as much of the historic garden structure as well as the presently protected trees.”

Mrs Harrison also wants to relocate the estate security and accommodation for night staff. The estate is obliged to operate a 24-hour security operation 365 days a year.

In 1999, Harrison was attacked after a man broke in and stabbed him seven times before his wife knocked out the intruder with a poker.

High security around Friar Park was put in place following the attack.

The plans also include new ancillary stores, gardeners’ sheds, staff welfare facilities and machinery/car park storage plus an additional garage for the storage of three vintage cars which are currently stored off site.

The district council will make a decision by January 16.

Source: The Henley Standard

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Peace & Love: The Life & Times of Ringo Starr


This teaser trailer caused a lot of speculation on social media, because nothing was found to confirm that this was indeed a documentary in the making. Nothing on imdb or elsewhere. But axs.com managed to find the man behind the teaser trailer, Noven Jaisi. In an exclusive email exchange with the website, Jaisi explains that this is a documentary he would like to make, but he has not had any success in contacting Ringo. Now that he has gone public, we hope that contact will be made, and that his project can come to fruition.

Link: Axs.com

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Harrison vinyl boxed set

Two picture discs included with the boxed set.
This post has been updated with new information after it was first published. As previously rumoured, a George Harrison vinyl collection is going to be available individually and as a boxed set. The set has a release date of  February 24, 2017 - just in time for what would have been Harrison's 74th birthday. The collection has still not been officially announced, so we are quoting an anonymous source.

The collection consists of all George Harrison's LPs (except the live album "Concert for Bangladesh", which is a various artists album anyway), which means that the "All Things Must Pass" triple album and the "Live in Japan" double album are included. Exclusive to the boxed set are two picture disc singles not sold separately: a replica of the original "When We Was Fab" 12" maxi single and a new one for the song "Cloud Nine" (tracks to be confirmed). The latter is the same 7" as the Genesis Publications "I Me Mine" book bonus vinyl single (or EP).

An illustration of George Harrison albums.
George's first two albums, the experimental "Electronic Sound" and the movie soundtrack "Wonderwall Music", both released while Harrison was still in the Beatles, will also be part of the reissue programme. "Early Takes Vol 1" is currently readily available on vinyl and will not be included in the boxed set. Here's a list of the 13 albums in the box:
  1. Wonderwall Music
  2. Electronic Sound
  3. All Things Must Pass
  4. Living In The Material World
  5. Dark Horse
  6. Extra Texture
  7. 33 & 1/3
  8. George Harrison
  9. Somewhere In England
  10. Gone Troppo
  11. Cloud Nine
  12. Live In Japan
  13. Brainwashed
  14. +
  15. Picture disc When We Was Fab
  16. Picture disc Cloud Nine

This is all preliminary information, so details may change before the release. The two compilation albums "Best of George Harrison" and "Best of Dark Horse, 1976-1989" haven't made the list. Still these albums contain some material not available in the new collection, like the "Bangladesh" single version on the former and "Poor Little Girl" and "Cheer Down" on the latter.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

New TMOQ Gazettes

HMC 028
A couple of new releases in the TMOQ Gazette series of video bootlegs have been announced, according to Collector's Music Reviews. The two DVDs concentrate on in depth look at specific promotional films. The first of these examines "Hey Jude" and "Revolution".  The DVD features some Abbey Road rehearsal footage for the ‘Music’ documentary, the rehearsals for the promo video on the set of the David Frost show and more little extras all in superb stereo sound.

Front and back of the booklet shows it's a 1DVD/1CD release.

The documentary Music! - An experiment in television was released in 1968 and is a celebration of music in Britain, ranging from Tippett, The Beatles, folk clubs, brass bands right through to bell ringing.
The Beatles footage captures rehearsals for "Hey Jude", and was filmed on Tuesday 30th of July, 1968. The Beatles recorded takes 7 through to 25, though according to Mark Lewisohn, it was not The Beatles' intention to capture the perfect recording yet. But this session was arranged as more than a means of rehearsing "Hey Jude", it was also arranged so that the Beatles could be filmed for part of this documentary.
The resulting film only includes around six minutes of Beatles footage, compiled from several hours of shooting, showing The Beatles busking, chatting and rehearsing. The musical takes recorded during this session featured just piano, drums and acoustic guitar - so there was no role for George Harrison. Music! showed him in the control room of studio 2 with George Martin and Ken Scott.
"The film crew was supposed to work in such a way that no-one would realize they were there," recalls Scott. "But of course they were getting in everyone's way and everyone was getting uptight about it." Most of the footage used were from take 9 of "Hey Jude".

HMC 029

"Lady Madonna & Hey Bulldog" (HMC 029) examines the video from the recording session of "Hey Bulldog", which was utilised for the "Lady Madonna" promotional film in 1968, and re-edited to promote "Hey Bulldog" in conjunction with the 1999 release of "Yellow Submarine Songtrack", which featured new mixes of songs used in the animated feature film.  Further new edits on this bootleg release contain unseen material alongside "a compilation of studio outtakes, isolated tracks, demos and alternate mixes for both songs". A brand new edit of the filming session for the track clocking in at 20 minutes is a surprising feature.

Front and back of the booklet.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Kenny and The Beatles on the radio

The late Kenny Everett
A new radio show about legendary and controversial radio DJ Kenny Everett and his relationship with the Beatles, presented by Paul Gambaccini, will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on the 21st December at 10pm.

Maurice James Christopher Cole (25 December 1944 – 4 April 1995), known professionally as Kenny Everett, was a British comedian, radio DJ and television entertainer. Everett is best known for his career as a radio DJ and for The Kenny Everett Video Show.

A fellow Liverpudlian, Kenny got on well with the Beatles. Everett had struck up a friendship with the Beatles and accompanied them on their August 1966 tour of the United States, sending back daily reports for pirate station Radio London. He was heard in May 1967 on the BBC's Light Programme previewing the Beatles' forthcoming album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and was one of the DJs on the new pop music station Radio 1 from its launch at the end of September 1967. He also produced The Beatles' 1968 and 1969 Christmas records, collages of odd noises, musical snippets, and individual messages.

Apple promo from Italy

One of his radio interviews with the Beatles was released on an Apple record in Italy, titled Una sensazionale intervista - a sensational interview. The 45 rpm single disc was part of a promotional Apple package, also containing discs from Mary Hopkin, The Iveys and Jackie Lomax. Side one contains part 1 which lasts 3:30 and side two contains part 2 which lasts 3:52. The interview begins with John singing "Cottonfields" and ends with the whole band singing "Goodbye" to Kenny Everett with much fun in between. Recorded during the recording sessions for "Don't Pass Me By", the interview was played in edited form on his show.

Paul Gambaccini said: "Kenny Everett was the greatest radio presenter of my lifetime. The Beatles were the greatest group. I hope that when we put them together the result is at least good! I have done several programmes about my old friend Kenny Everett before, but never one taking this angle. This is fascinating. I love to learn, and I have learned about one of my friends and heroes from working on this show."

Diagnosed as HIV positive in 1989, Everett died from an AIDS-related illness aged 50 in 1995.

The Radio 2 show, which will air at 10pm on December 21, also promises to reveal how Everett inspired lyrics to one of the Beatles' most memorable hits...we trust this will be done in the best possible taste.

Beatles back at the Royal Variety Performance

Poster for this year's edition Royal Variety Performance
Tuesday December 6 it's again time to rattle some jewellery at this year's Royal Variety Performance in London. The Beatles themselves only appeared once at this event, and that was back in 1963. Now it's an ensemble from Cirque du Soleil who are going to entertain the audience with an excerpt from their Beatles show "Love" at the Hammersmith Apollo.

The Beatles were invited back several times, but felt that they had done their bit and never came back to perform at the annual event. However, in 1986 Paul McCartney returned to the line-up, as he perfomed "Only Love Remains" from his then current album, "Press To Play". The Royal Variety Performance is usually filmed, and excerpts shown on TV in Great Britain and elsewhere.

Tickets: www.royalvarietycharity.org/rvptickets

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Time Takes Time Blu-spec CD2

New edition "Time Takes Time" CD (Japan)
26. October 2016 saw the release of Ringo Starr's 1992 album "Time Takes Time" on a Blu-spec CD2 in Japan. As was the case with the original Japan release of the album, it includes the bonus track "Don't Be Cruel", otherwise only available on the "Weight Of The World" single. A Sony Music release, the album is also available on a yellow vinyl limited edition (1500 copies). The releases were available to buy at Ringo's recent concerts in Japan.

Limited edition yellow vinyl release.
The Blu-spec CD format is a Red Book Compact Disc manufactured by a proprietary process introduced by Sony Music Entertainment Japan in 2008. Instead of a traditional infra-red laser, a blue laser is used for recording the pits on the CD master that is needed for disc replication. The blue laser purportedly creates more precise pits, which Sony claims reduces distortion in the optical read-out process. The "Blu-spec CD2" or BSCD2 is a 2012 progression of the Blu-spec CD format which employs a more precise BD cutting machine, a master disc that is made from the same smooth material as silicon wafers for chip manufacture, and a different recording layer material for the master disc. Sony refers to this process as "Phase Transition Mastering".  A Blu-spec CD and a Blu-spec CD2 disc can be played on all CD players and does not require a blue laser to be read.

Friday, 4 November 2016

John&Yoko albums reissue plan

White vinyl limited edition of Unfinished Music No. 2:Life with the lions
1st group, November 11 - 2016:
John Lennon and Yoko Ono:Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (1968) also on White vinyl
John Lennon and Yoko Ono:Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With Lions (1969) also on White vinyl
Yoko Ono:Plastic Ono Band (1970) Also on Clear vinyl


2nd group (date to be announced):
Yoko Ono:Fly (1971)
Yoko Ono:Approximately Infinite Universe (1973)
Yoko Ono:Feeling the Space (1973)
Yoko Ono:A Story (recorded in 1974, released as part of Ono Box in 1992)

3rd group (date to be announced):
Yoko Ono:Season of Glass (1981)
Yoko Ono:It’s Alright (I See Rainbows) (1982)
Yoko Ono:Starpeace (1985)
John Lennon and Yoko Ono:Unfinished Music No. 3: Wedding Album (1969)

The vinyl is re-mastered from the original tapes by Greg Calbi and Sean Lennon. In addition to making the vinyl available for the first time in decades, each album will also be available digitally for the first time ever.

Eight Days A Week wins award

Winner of Best music documentary at the Critics' Choice Documentary Awards.
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years was named best music documentary at the first annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards on Thursday night in New York.
The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards were created to honour the finest achievements in documentary features and non-fiction television. The winners were determined by a committee of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) members with a background and expertise in the documentary field.
The Ron Howard film was also nominated for Best direction of a documentary feature, but the category was won by "O.J. Made in America", which took home four prizes at the event.

Meanwhile, The Beatles are busy promoting the home cinema release of the documentary, available on digital download, Blu-ray, DVD and 2 disc special edition from 18 November.


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Capitol Records celebrates 75th anniversary: Releases

As part of Capitol's 75th anniversary, "Meet The Beatles" will be available on vinyl again.
CAPITOL RECORDS TO LAUNCH YEAR-LONG 75TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION IN NOVEMBER

Hollywood, CA – Capitol Records, one of the world’s preeminent music companies and the first record label established on the West Coast, will launch its 75thAnniversary Celebration in November with an extensive slate of music, film and literary projects that will pay tribute to Capitol artists spanning the past eight decades and shine a spotlight on their historic contributions to music and popular culture.

Capitol Music Group (CMG) Chairman & CEO Steve Barnett today announced three of the company’s planned endeavors: A year-long major vinyl reissue campaign – The Capitol Records 75th Anniversary Collection, 75 albums that illustrate the unparalleled artistry of Capitol Records throughout its history – launched in partnership with leading home furnishings destination Crate and Barrel; the publication of a deluxe photograph and essay book from TASCHEN, 75 Years Of Capitol Records, on December 15, and the development of a Capitol Records docu series being produced by Nigel Sinclair/Whitehorse Pictures (The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years, No Direction Home: Bob Dylan), with individual episodes to be directed by music luminaries and Capitol artists, past and present.



The year-long celebration will commence on Tuesday, November 15 when Capitol becomes the first record company to receive a star of recognition from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which will be installed in front of the landmark Capitol Tower and adjacent to the internationally-renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame. At the star’s unveiling, the State the Los Angeles City Council will present Capitol with a resolution declaring November 15 Capitol Records Day in the city. Beginning that evening, the spire on top of the Capitol Tower that has always emitted “Hollywood” in Morse code will change to “Capitol 75,” and will continue to flash in that manner for the next 12 months.

The Capitol Records 75th Anniversary Collection – Vinyl Reissue Program

To select 75 albums that represent the best of Capitol Records from among literally thousands of works the company has released over the past 75 years, the label convened an advisory board of noted music journalists, authors and renowned creative figures to decide on the final list of albums that comprise The Capitol Records 75th Anniversary Collection. The result spans myriad Capitol eras and musical genres, and includes best sellers, influential works and lesser-known gems (see below). The reissue program begins this month, and titles will be available through music retailers throughout 2017.

Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - USA edition
Crate and Barrel & American Airlines Partnerships

Leading home furnishings retailer Crate and Barrel has partnered with Capitol for its 75th Anniversary celebration to feature The Capitol Records 75th Anniversary Collection in stores nationwide. The collection can be found within The Listening Room, where consumers can find an exclusive collection of furniture, accessories and cutting edge audio equipment. American Airlines continues their partnership with Capitol Records and Universal Music Group to celebrate a Hollywood Icon and its contribution to music around the world. In 2017, American Airlines will continue their commitment to the industry by launching, “Fly to the Beat” – a Global Music platform, connecting consumers to their favorite musicians – including Capitol artists — and moments across five continents.

75 Years of Capitol Records – TASCHEN Release in December

To commemorate Capitol’s extraordinary history of recorded music, TASCHEN is publishing the official account of Capitol Records from its founding year of 1942 through to today. To be released December 15, 75 Years of Capitol Records follows the label’s evolution and the making of some of the greatest music of the 20th and 21st centuries. The book includes hundreds of images from Capitol’s extensive archives, as well as a foreword by Beck and essays by cultural historians and music and architecture critics. This photographic and musical history includes the label’s most commercially successful, creative and important artists whose work has defined Capitol Records, music and popular culture for the past eight decades. 75 Years of Capitol Records is also available at Capitol’s online store.

Capitol Records Docu series – Produced by Nigel Sinclair / Whitehorse Pictures

This series – planned for release in the autumn of 2017 – will tap into the creative passions of Capitol’s artists, the hidden glories of the company’s extensive archives and the many stories that have taken place within the Capitol Tower throughout its 75-year as one of the world’s premiere music companies. But it will be more than just the illustrious history of such a storied label; it will also tell the story of America’s love  affair with popular music and an exploration of how Capitol’s
artists and their music have helped shaped social movements, transform our popular culture and helped define our lives. This docuseries will be produced by Nigel Sinclair’s Whitehorse Pictures, the creative team involved in numerous music-centered documentaries, including the award-winning No Direction Home: Bob Dylan and the just-released The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years. Each episode in this docuseries will be directed by a past or present-day Capitol artist or other cultural luminary who will bring a unique and knowledgeable perspective to the stories being conveyed.
Revolver - Capitol records edition.


The Capitol Records 75th Anniversary Collection  
(alphabetical by artist)

1: Ashford & Simpson: Solid, 1984
2: Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique, 1989
3: Beck: Morning Phase, 2014
4: Blind Melon: Blind Melon, 1992
5: Bob Seger: Night Moves, 1976
6: Bobbie Gentry: Ode To Billy Joe, 1967
7: Bobby Darin: You’re The Reason I’m Living, 1963
8: Bonnie Raitt: Nick of Time, 1989
9: Bonnie Raitt: Luck Of The Draw,1991
10: Buck Owens: Buck Owens, 1961
11: Cannonball Adderley: Mercy Mercy Mercy,1966
12: Coldplay: Parachutes, 2000
13: Crowded House: Crowded House, 1986
14: Dean Martin: Dino: Italian Love Songs, 1962
15: Duke Ellington: The Duke Plays Ellington, 1953
16: Foo Fighters:Foo Fighters, 1994
17: Frank Sinatra, In The Wee Small Hours, 1955
18: Frank Sinatra: Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! 1956
19: Frank Sinatra: Come Fly With Me, 1958
20: Frank Sinatra: Frank Sinatra Sings For Only The Lonely, 1958
21: Freddie Jackson: Rock Me Tonight, 1985
22: Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps: Bluejean Bop, 1956
23: George Clinton: Computer Games, 1982
24: George Harrison: All Things Must Pass, 1970
25: Glen Campbell: By the Time I Get to Phoenix, 1968
26: Grand Funk Railroad: We’re an American Band, 1973
27: Heart: Heart, 1985
28: James Taylor: James Taylor, 1968 (would be nice if they used the Apple label)
29: Joe South: Introspect, 1968
30: John Lennon: Imagine, 1971
31: Johnny Mercer: Accentuate the Positive, 1957
32: Judy Garland: Judy at Carnegie Hall, 1961
33: Katy Perry: Teenage Dream, 2010
34: Kingston Trio: Kingston Trio, 1958
35: Knack: Get The Knack, 1979
36: Les Paul and Mary Ford: Les and Mary, 1955
37: Linda Ronstadt: Heart Like a Wheel, 1974
38: Louie Prima: The Wildest, 1956
39: Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly: Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly, 1977
40: Mazzy Star: So Tonight That I Might See, 1993
41: MC Hammer: Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, 1990
42: Megadeth: Peace Sells: 1986
43: Merle Haggard: Mama Tried, 1968
44: Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool, 1957
45: Nancy Wilson: How Glad I Am, 1964
46: Nat King Cole: Unforgettable, 1953
47: Natalie Cole: Unpredictable, 1977
48: Neil Diamond: The Jazz Singer, 1980
49: Norah Jones: Come Away With Me, 2002
50: Peggy Lee: Is That All There Is, 1969
51: Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon, 1973
52: Radiohead: OK Computer, 1997
53: Raspberries: Raspberries, 1972
54: Richard Thompson: Rumor & Sigh, 1991
55: Ringo Starr: Ringo, 1973
56: Robert Glaspar: Black Radio, 2012
57: Rosanne Cash: Black Cadillac, 2006
58: Sam Smith: In The Lonely Hour, 2014
59: Steve Miller Band: Fly Like an Eagle, 1976
60: Tavares: In The City, 1975
61: Tennessee Ernie Ford: Sixteen Tons, 1960
62: The Band: Music From Big Pink, 1968
63: The Band: The Band, 1969
64: The Beach Boys: Surfer Girl, 1963
65: The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds, 1966
66: The Beatles: Meet The Beatles, 1964
67: The Beatles: Revolver, 1966
68: The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967
69: The Beatles: The Beatles, 1968
70: The Beatles: Abbey Road, 1969
71: Tina Turner: Private Dancer,1984
72: Various: Oklahoma, 1955
73: Various: Funny Girl, 1968
74: Wanda Jackson: There’s a Party Goin’ On, 1961
75: Wings: Band on the Run, 1973

For Beatles fans, the big news here is that "Meet The Beatles" gets a re-release on vinyl. It was deleted on vinyl when The Beatles' catalogue was streamlined in 1987 to consist of just the UK albums, but has been brought back as a CD on two occasions. But will it be in "Duophonic" stereo this time? ;-) We have no information about whether "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" will feature the yellow line on the top of the cover or whether or not it will contain the dog whistle and the gibberish at the end of the record, or if "Revolver" will be missing three songs. It probably will, though.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Book review: All You Need Is Love

The LP sized book comes in an outer slipcase.
"All You Need Is Love" by Paul Skellett & Simon Weitzman is one of the new books released by UK based Archivum Publishing. Money to publish the book comes from crowd funding through Pledge Music and The Fest for Beatles Fans. The book is 180 pages and looks like a happening, thanks to a modern, collage-like layout. It features essays on the June 25, 1967 Our World satellite telecast, quotes from The Beatles themselves and a few insiders like engineer Geoff Emerick and producer George Martin, courtesy of old interviews and books, the creation and recording of "All You Need Is Love" and a little bit about the B-side of the single, "Baby, You're A Rich Man".

John and Paul with manager Brian Epstein.

Sprinkled throughout the book are a lot of photos from the recording session, the live event and the previous day's balloon promotions inside EMI studios (and at the back outside the no. 1 studio). Also featured are lots of "All You Need Is Love" front covers from singles released around the world, blown up to 12" size.

International front covers of the "All You Need Is Love" single.
Although fairly good at describing the circumstances under which the Our World TV special came about, as well as the technical intricacies of the recording of the main song itself (which initially had George Harrison playing the violin and Paul McCartney on double bass!), the text still falls a little short and is still not the final word on the live event. For instance, we do get a photo of Paul painting the "Come back Millie" sign, as well as glimpses of the sign in photos from the broadcast, but the text fails to explain the background story.

Paul, painting a sign which was an inside joke in the McCartney family.
Still, the book is a nice trip back to the days when The Beatles ruled the world. And yet, they didn't. The book also examines how "the straights" reacted to the fact that Great Britain and the BBC's contribution to the first global TV broadcast was this pop group. It's revealed that the countries in the "Eastern bloc" at the time, with the Soviet Union at the helm, all decided to withdraw their participation in the broadcast after all, after finding out that The Beatles were participants. They were probably afraid that The Beatles' music could corrupt their youth. Which they probably did anyway. Of course, in hindsight, The Beatles contribution is the only significant thing that makes us all still remember the "Our World" TV-show.

Colour photos from the broadcast and rehearsal was used as a guide to colourise the clip in the 90's.
The Our World TV special was shot and televised in black and white, and the Beatles' performance of "All You Need Is Love" was colourised in the nineties for the Beatles' documentary TV series "The Beatles' Anthology". In 2015, the full colourised clip was used as a promotional music video in the DVD and Blu-ray release of The Beatles 1.

Links:
Archivum Publishing
PledgeMusic
Paul Skellett

In 1997, Tracks released their book on the subject, 'All You Need is Love': "Beatles" Dress Rehearsal, which featured lots of colour and black and white photos and an essay from Steve Turner. It's still available here and there.