This is a classic interview with Dick Cavett. Recorded 40 years ago (November 23, 1971), the conversation starts with light small-talk, then tackles some bigger issues. Did Yoko break up the band? Did the other Beatles hold him back musically? Is there any relationship between drugs and the Indian music that so fascinated Harrison? It was a question better left to Ravi Shankar to answer, and that he did:
1969 was another great year in music, here are my 20 chosen songs (and those who came close).
Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
One of the greatest rock songs from any artist, “Gimme Shelter” is a glowering, snarling beast of a recording. It tiptoes in on one of music’s most recognizable chord-based riffs, ghostly “oooh’s,” and percussion ratcheting up the tension. When the full band enters—sinister low piano notes, fuzzy harmonica, organ chimes—it grabs you by the lapels and shakes you, begging you for shelter from an ominous storm.
-Bill Janovitz (Rocks Off: 50 Tracks That Tell the Story of the Rolling Stones)
It first appeared as the opening track on the band’s 1969 album Let It Bleed. Greil Marcus, writing in Rolling Stone magazine at the time of its release, said of it, “The Stones have never done anything better.”
The recording features Richards playing in his new open tuning on electric guitar. The recording also features vocals by Merry Clayton, recorded at a last-minute late-night recording session during the mixing phase, arranged by her friend and record producer Jack Nitzsche.Lisa Fischer was later recruited to perform the song during their concerts.
– Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away
On November 29, 2002, a year after his death, a tribute concert for George Harrison was held at Royal Albert Hall. Friends and family gathered to play his songs, and it was an impressive, if predictable, roster:
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Tom Petty, and Eric Clapton, who also served as musical director, took center stage, but George’s son Dhani Harrison was also there, as was Ravi Shankar’s daughter Anoushka, early British rock & roller Joe Brown, and Gary Brooker. Unlike many all-star lineups, everybody had a close personal connection to George.
.. a big step forward, exploring doubt, loneliness, alienation, adult sexual longing, acoustic guitars, electric piano, bongos, castanets, and the finest George songs known to man. … Help! was utterly ruined in its U.S. version, which cut half the songs and added worthless orchestral soundtrack filler, so it’s always been underrated. But Help! is the first chapter in the astounding creative takeoff the Beatles were just beginning: the soulful bereavement of “Ticket to Ride,” the impossibly erotic gentleness of “Tell Me What You See,” the desperate falsetto and electric punch of “You’re Going to Lose That Girl.”
…. the album’s masterpiece is McCartney’s brooding, deceptively simple chamber-pop ballad “Yesterday.” … it’s compositionally complex, one of the first major pop songs to draw directly from classical music, juxtaposing acoustic guitar with a string quartet, shifting from minor to major chords. It set the stage for one of the most groundbreaking and innovative periods in The Beatles’ career, not to mention pop music in general.
~Mark Kemp (pastemagazine.com)
Help! – from a 6-song set filmed for British television in August of 1965:
6 August 1965
15–19 February, 13 April, 10 May& 14–17 June 1965,
EMI Studios, London
Let It Be… Naked is a remixed and remastered version of their 1970 album Let It Be. The project was initiated by Paul McCartney, who had always felt aggrieved that Phil Spector’s production did not accurately represent the group’s “stripped-down” intentions for the original album.
Let It Be… Naked presents the songs “naked” – without Spector’s overdubs and now including the incidental studio chatter featured between most cuts of the original album. Let It Be… Naked also replaces “Dig It” and “Maggie Mae” with “Don’t Let Me Down”, originally featured as the B-side of the “Get Back” single.