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.
There are places I’ll remember All my life, though some have changed Some forever, not for better Some have gone and some remain All these places had their moments With lovers and friends, I still can recall Some are dead and some are living In my life, I’ve loved them all
All four faces of The Beatles appear stretched on the cover of 1965’s Rubber Soul, but it is not only the picture that is mind bending, the music within stretches the boundaries of popular music, too. In my mind it is he first truly unified album by The Beatles (and their first recorded within a specified session period), it is a quantum leap compared to the band’s past work. The Songwriting is out of this world, and the instrumentation was cutting edge. A milestone in rock history. Continue reading “December 3: The Beatles Rubber Soul was released in 1965”→
A shitload of great music was released in 1968, here are my 20 chosen songs.
Madame George – Van Morrison
Madame George is the album’s whirlpool. Possibly one of the most compassionate pieces of music ever made, it asks us, no, arranges that we see the plight of what I’ll be brutal and call a lovelorn drag queen with such intense empathy that when the singer hurts him, we do too.
A song from the album Astral Weeks, released in 1968. It was recorded during the first Astral Weeks session that took place on September 25, 1968 at Century Sound Studios in New York City with Lewis Merenstein as producer.
In 1974, after he had recorded eight albums, Morrison told Ritchie Yorke when he asked him what he considered his finest single track and the one that he enjoyed the most that it was: “Definitely ‘Madame George’, definitely. I’m just starting to realize it more and more. It just seems to get at you… it just lays right in there, that whole track. The vocals and the instruments and the whole thing. I like that one.”
– Down on Cyprus Avenue
With a childlike vision leaping into view
Clicking, clacking of the high heeled shoe
Ford and Fitzroy, Madame George
Marching with the soldier boy behind
He’s much older now with hat on drinking wine
And that smell of sweet perfume comes drifting through
The cool night air like Shalimar
Ringo was a star in his own right in Liverpool before we even met. Ringo was a professional drummer who sang and performed and was in one of the top groups in Britain, but especially in Liverpool. So Ringo’s talent would have come out one way or the other … whatever that spark is in Ringo, we all know it but can’t put our finger on it. Whether it’s acting, drumming, or singing, I don’t know. There’s something in him that is projectable and he would have surfaced as an individual … Ringo is a damn good drummer.
~John Lennon (Sept 1980)
Beatles accept award Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions 1988:
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.
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.