December 4: The Beatles released Beatles For Sale in 1964

Beatles for Sale is the fourth studio album by the Beatles, it was released on 4 December 1964 and produced by George Martin. The album marked a minor turning point in the evolution of the Lennon -McCartney  partnership, John Lennon particularly now showing interest in composing songs of a more autobiographical nature. I’m a Loser shows Lennon for the first time coming under the influence of Bob Dylan, whom he met in New York while on tour, on 28 August 1964.

John, when you were in New York, what did you like best about it?

 I just like cities, you see, and preferably big ones. That’s why I liked it. And we met some good people like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, you know, and I enjoy meeting people I admire.

(Sept 13, 1964 via In The Life Of…The Beatles)

Beatles for Sale didn’t  produce a single for the UK – the non-album tracks I Feel Fine and She’s a Woman performed that role. Nevertheless, that coupling was followed up in the United States by Eight Days a Week, which became their seventh number one.

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March 4: The Beatles released Real Love in 1996

“Real Love” is a song written by John Lennon, and recorded with overdubs by the three surviving Beatles in 1995 for release as part of The Beatles Anthology project. To date, it is the last released record of new material credited to the Beatles.

Lennon made six takes of the song in 1979 and 1980 with “Real Life”, a different song that merged with “Real Love”. The song was ignored until 1988 when the sixth take was used on the documentary soundtrack Imagine: John Lennon.
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December 17: The Beatles’ Third Christmas Record 1965

Several off-key, a cappella versions of Yesterday are dispersed throughout the record, alongside Lennon’s Happy Christmas to Ya List’nas, Auld Lang Syne, a one-and-a-half-line version of the Four Tops’ It’s the Same Old Song, which they quickly stop before they violate the copyright, and an original poem titled Christmas Comes But Once a Year. A second version of Auld Lang Syne segues messily into a cover of Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction. I find this both funny and interesting and my favorite among the Christmas records.

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December 16: The Beatles’ Fourth Christmas Record, Pantomime: Everywhere It’s Christmas 1966

Recorded between sessions for Strawberry Fields Forever, for the 1966 offering, the usual greetings and thanks gave way to a ‘Pantomime’-themed collection of original songs and dramatic skits. The songs include Everywhere It’s Christmas, Orowainya, and Please Don’t Bring Your Banjo Back. Paul McCartney plays the piano. The sketches performed include Podgy the Bear and Jasper and Felpin Mansions.

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August 15: Watch – The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965

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August 15: The Beatles played at Shea Stadium in 1965

“Now, ladies and gentlemen, honoured by their country, decorated by their Queen, loved here in America, here are The Beatles!”
– Ed Sullivan

The Shea Stadium concert on 15 August was record-breaking and one of the most famous concert events of its era.  Over 55,000 people saw the concert.  “Beatlemania” was at one of its highest marks at the Shea show. Film footage taken at the concert shows many teenagers and women crying, screaming, and even fainting. The crowd noise was such that security guards can be seen covering their ears as The Beatles enter the field.

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The Beatles interview before Shea Stadium:

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1968: 20 Songs Released in 1968 You Must Hear

My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

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.
    -Lester Bangs

    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




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