December 19: The Beatles’ Seventh Christmas Record: Happy Christmas 1969

The final Beatles Christmas offering was also recorded separately, as the band had effectively split by this point. It features an extensive visit with John and Yoko at their Tittenhurst Park estate, where they play “what will Santa bring me?” games. Harrison only appears briefly, and Starr only shows up to plug his recent film, The Magic Christian. Paul sings his original ad-lib, This is to Wish You a Merry, Merry Christmas. Starting at 1:30, at the tail-end of Ringo’s song, the guitar solos from The End are heard, followed by Yoko interviewing John.

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December 11: John Lennon released John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band in 1970

… Lennon presents everything on the surface, and the song titles — “Mother,” “I Found Out,” “Working Class Hero,” “Isolation,” “God,” “My Mummy’s Dead” — illustrate what each song is about, and charts his loss of faith in his parents, country, friends, fans, and idols. It’s an unflinching document of bare-bones despair and pain, but for all its nihilism, it is ultimately life-affirming; it is unique not only in Lennon’s catalog, but in all of popular music. Few albums are ever as harrowing, difficult, and rewarding as John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

I don’t believe in Beatles
~John Lennon (“God”)

Mother:

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December 8: John Lennon was murdered in 1980 – 36 years ago

john-lennon

 “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
~John Lennon

From the Liverpool docks to the red light Hamburg streets
Down in the quarry with the Quarrymen.
Playing to the big crowds
Playing to the cheap seats
Another day in your life on your way to your journey’s end
Shine your light, move it on, you burn so bright, roll on John
~Bob Dylan

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
― John Lennon

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33 Songs released in 1971 you MUST hear

Photo – Iain Macmillian
Photo – Iain Macmillian

 

Rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released in 1971
  • Songs from live albums not allowed (that’s another & more complicated list)

Please feel free to publish your own favorite songs from 1971 in the comments section…

AND lists like this are supposed to be fun! Don’t take it too seriously.

My favorite (studio) albums from 1971 include:

Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2, If Only I Could Remember My Name (David Crosby),  There’s a Riot Goin’ On (Sly & the Family Stone), What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye), Who’s Next (The Who), Tapestry (Carole King),  Shaft: Music from the Soundtrack (Isaac Hayes),  Sticky Fingers (The Rolling Stones), Imagine (John Lennon),  Surf’s Up (Beach Boys),  LA Woman (The Doors),  Coat of Many Colors (Dolly Parton), IV (Led Zeppelin), Every Picture Tells a Story (Rod Stewart), Songs of Love & Hate (Leonard Cohen), Blue (Joni Mitchell), Pearl (Janis Joplin), White Light (Gene Clark), John Prine (John Prine), Nilsson Schmilsson (Harry Nilsson), Hunky Dory (David Bowie), Tupelo Honey (Van Morrison), Jack Johnson (Miles Davis), The Cry of Love (Jimi Hendrix), In Search Of A Song (Tom T. Hall), Crazy Horse (Crazy Horse) & Just as I Am (Bill Withers).

Here we go…

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August 6: The Beatles released “Help!” in 1965

The_Beatles-Help_-Frontal

.. 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.”
~rollingstone.com

…. 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:

From Wikipedia:

Released 6 August 1965
Recorded 15–19 February, 13 April, 10 May& 14–17 June 1965,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock
Length 34:20
Label Parlophone
Producer George Martin

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