April 18, 2017

Remastering the One Beatles Live Album Finally Made It Great

The Beatles’ mid-’60s live album sounded terrible until Abbey Road used custom code to clean it up . Author: Tim Moynihan. Tim Moynihan Gear

The Beatles’ remarkable catalog includes just one official live album, and the group’s immense popularity made it unlistenable. The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, recorded in 1964 and 1965 but not released until 1977, was always a frustrating listen. Try as you might, you simply cannot hear much music above the fan-belt squeal of 10,000 Beatlemaniacs.

You can’t blame the Fab Four, nor their legendary producer George Martin. Martin did what he could with the three-track tapes, but the limitations of 1970s technology did little to elevate the music above the din. Boosting the high frequencies—the snap of Ringo Starr’s hi-hat, the shimmer and chime of George Harrison’s guitar—only made the racket made by all those fans even louder.

To get a sense of what the team at Abbey Road Studios did, imagine deconstructing a smoothie so you’re left with whole strawberries, peeled bananas, and ice cubes, then mixing them again from scratch.

All of which makes the remastered version of Live at the Hollywood Bowl especially impressive. The do-over, which coincided with the August release of Ron Howard’s documentary film Eight Days a Week, squeezes astonishing clarity out of the source tapes. You can finally hear an exceptionally tight band grinding out infectious blues-based rock propelled by a driving beat, wailing guitars, and raspy vocals. This album never sounded so lucid, present, or weighty.

“What became apparent when you compared it to what came out in 1977 is how hard Ringo is hitting the drums,” says Giles Martin, George Martin’s son and the producer of the remastered album. “How hard the band were really digging in. We didn’t really know about that before. You take these layers of natural tape effects away to get to the heart of the performance, and when you get there, you actually hear the dynamics.”

Technological wizardry helped uncover the hidden sonics. But don’t think you can just run out and buy the same software to make your crappy Can bootlegs listenable. There’s no checkbox in ProTools to reverse-engineer a lousy recording. To get a sense of what the team at Abbey Road Studios did, imagine deconstructing a smoothie so you’re left with the strawberries, bananas, and ice in their original forms, just so you can blend them again from scratch.

To do that, James Clarke, a systems analyst at Abbey Road Studios, developed a “demixing” process to separate each instrument and vocal track from the cacophony. He isolated everything Ringo, Harrison, Paul McCartney, and John Lennon played and sang, separated it from the din of the crowd, and effectively created clean tracks to remaster. Fittingly, Clarke’s audio-modeling process used spectrograms—imagery you might associate with ghost-hunting—to bring the spirit of these live performances back to life.

“It doesn’t exist as a software program that is easy to use,” Clarke says. “It’s a lot of Matlab, more like a research tool. There’s no graphical front end where you can just load a piece of audio up, paint a track, and extract the audio. I write manual scripts, which I then put into the engine to process.”
Make This Bird Sing

Before tackling the project, Martin told Clarke to take a crack at a track Martin thought might give the engineer fits. “I challenged him with ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ on an acoustic guitar, and I knew just by being a mean, mean bastard that separating acoustic guitar and vocals was going to be the biggest challenge for him,” Martin says. “You have a lot of frequency crossover and distortion of signal path that goes on.”

Clarke passed that test. Then came the real challenge: Working with those three-track source tapes from the Hollywood Bowl to create digital models of each instrument, the vocals, and the enraptured crowd. From there, engineers could tweak each track to create the final mix.

The Old Recording

The New Version

Separating the kick drum and bass guitar proved relatively easy, because low frequencies don’t suffer from crossover with crowd noise. But vocals, guitars, snare drums, and cymbals share the same sonic real estate with the banshee wail of the fans. The Beatles’ virtuosity and consistency helped here. The modeling process involves using samples of each instrument to help the software determine what to look for and pull out into its own track. If the recording didn’t have a clean enough version of the track Clarke wanted to isolate, he used session recordings to build those audio fingerprints. “I went back to the studio versions to build the models,” he says. “They’re not as accurate, as there are usually temporal and tuning changes between playing in the studio and playing live, but the Beatles were pretty spot-on between studio and live versions.”

After creating spectrogram models of each instrument, he loaded the files into what he calls his “little controller program.” A few hours later, it gave him a clean track of the instrument he modeled. All of those tracks went to the mixing engineer.

From the start, Martin hoped to make the recording as lifelike and accurate as possible. “I wanted to know what it was like watching the Beatles play live,” he says.

Clarke’s process could breathe new life into other old recordings. He and Martin say a few other bands have asked them about working a little magic on the live shows in their own archives, though they wouldn’t name names.
Liven It Up

The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl is a live album, and Martin and Clark decided to leave a little crowd noise in, even though Clarke says he achieved “nearly full separation” of the music and the audience. As with Bob Dylan’s 1966 concert at “Royal Albert Hall” and Johnny Cash’s gigs at Folsom and San Quentin prisons, the recording wouldn’t have the same energy without a little cheering and screaming. In the end, the remaster dropped the crowd noise by about 3 decibels. “They could have pushed it a lot further if they wanted to,” Clarke says, “but I think they got it spot on.” After almost 40 years, you can finally hear the Beatles in The Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl, and they sound glorious.

Source: https://www.wired.com/2017/03/remastering-one-beatles-live-album-finally-made-great/

March 17, 2017

50th Anniversary Edition of Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Release Date & Promo

According to The Sunday Times, a New edition of Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band is planned for release this year, with the single tracks "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" added.

The newspaper says that "The 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band this June will be marked with a worldwide re-release — and for fans it will mean at last hearing the album as the band had intended it to sound".

According to the newspaper's sources, the anniversary relaunch on June 1 will reinstate the two tracks, which George Martin agreed to release as a single several months before the album was in the shops. The Sunday Times quotes Paul McCartney:"We were then moving away from screaming girls’ gigs where no one could hear anything in the concert halls any more and were working on Sgt Pepper. John wrote this absolutely amazing song, Strawberry Fields Forever, for the new album and I was frankly a bit jealous, so I went home and wrote Penny Lane. It worked and we wanted them as the main tracks on Sgt Pepper."

The Sunday Times also writes that "Although details of the re-release are being kept secret, it is understood that all parties involved have co-operated fully, including McCartney, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison".

Source: Sunday Times

We must add that as far as we're concerned, we believe that a 50th Anniversary re-release of the "Sgt. Pepper" album should do more than just add the Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever single to the album's lineup, and we do think that a far grander scheme is in the works.

London – April 5, 2017 – It was 50 years ago this June 1st when The Beatles’ John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr astonished and delighted the world, ushering in the Summer of Love with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a groundbreaking masterwork that became popular music’s most universally acclaimed album. To salute the occasion, The Beatles will release a suite of lavishly presented ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition packages on May 26 (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe). The album is newly mixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell in stereo and 5.1 surround audio and expanded with early takes from the studio sessions, including no fewer than 34 previously unreleased recordings. 
“It’s crazy to think that 50 years later we are looking back on this project with such fondness and a little bit of amazement at how four guys, a great producer and his engineers could make such a lasting piece of art,” says Paul McCartney in his newly-penned introduction for the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition.
“‘Sgt. Pepper’ seemed to capture the mood of that year, and it also allowed a lot of other people to kick off from there and to really go for it,” Ringo Starr recalls in the Anniversary Edition’s book.

For Record Store Day on April 22, Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe will release an exclusive, limited edition seven-inch vinyl single of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane,” among the first songs recorded during the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ sessions, which began in November 1966. Rather than being held for inclusion on the album, the two songs were released as a double A-sided single in February 1967. Amidst intense media speculation about the band’s next move, the single bridged what was then considered a long gap between the Revolver album, released in August 1966, and ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ which followed 10 months later.
This is the first time Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has been remixed and presented with additional session recordings, and it is the first Beatles album to be remixed and expanded since the 2003 release of Let It Be… Naked. To create the new stereo and 5.1 surround audio mixes for ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios in London. All of the Anniversary Edition releases include Martin’s new stereo mix of the album, which was sourced directly from the original four-track session tapes and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by his father, George Martin.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition releases include:
A CD featuring the new ‘Sgt. Pepper’ stereo mix, complete with the original U.K. album’s “Edit for LP End” run-out groove.

Deluxe:  Expanded 2CD and digital package features the new stereo album mix on the first CD and adds a second CD of 18 tracks, including previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album. The second CD also includes a new stereo mix and a previously unreleased instrumental take of “Penny Lane” and the 2015 stereo mix and two previously unreleased complete takes of “Strawberry Fields Forever.” 
Deluxe Vinyl:  Expanded 180-gram 2LP vinyl package features the new stereo album mix on the first LP and adds a second LP with previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album. 
Super Deluxe:  The comprehensive six-disc boxed set features:
CD 1:  New stereo album mix 
CDs 2 & 3:  
- 33 additional recordings from the studio sessions, most previously unreleased and mixed for the first time from the four-track session tapes, sequenced in chronological order of their recording dates
- A new stereo mix of “Penny Lane” and the 2015 stereo mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever” 
CD 4:  
- Direct transfers of the album’s original mono mix and the “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” singles
- Capitol Records’ U.S. promotional mono single mix of “Penny Lane” 
- Previously unreleased early mono mixes of “She’s Leaving Home,” “A Day In The Life,” and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” (a mix thought to have been erased from a tape in 1967, but discovered during archive research for the anniversary edition)
Discs 5 & 6 (Blu-ray and DVD):
- New 5.1 surround audio mixes of the album and “Penny Lane” by Giles Martin and Sam Okell, plus their 2015 5.1 surround mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever” 
- High resolution audio versions of the new stereo mixes of the album and “Penny Lane” and of the 2015 stereo mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever” 
- Video features:  4K restored original promotional films for “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane,” and “A Day In The Life;” plus The Making of Sgt. Pepper, a restored, previously unreleased documentary film (broadcast in 1992), featuring insightful interviews with McCartney, Harrison, and Starr, and in-studio footage introduced by George Martin. 

– “A splendid time is guaranteed for all” –

The album’s vibrant artwork, including its extravagant Pop Art cover which finds The Beatles surrounded by a crowd of heroes in a 3D collage, was created by Peter Blake and Jann Haworth in collaboration with the band. The original artwork is showcased across the suite of Anniversary Edition releases, including the album’s pull-out sheet of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ cutouts. Housed in a 12-inch by 12-inch box with lenticular artwork and two bonus posters, the six-disc Super Deluxe set is presented with a 144-page hardcover book. The book includes new introductions by Paul McCartney and Giles Martin, and chapters covering comprehensive song-by-song details and recording information, the design of the cover, the album’s musical innovations and its historical context by Beatles historian, author and radio producer Kevin Howlett; composer and musicologist Howard Goodall; music producer and writer Joe Boyd; and journalists Ed Vulliamy and Jeff Slate,  illustrated with rare photographs, reproductions of handwritten lyrics, Abbey Road Studios documentation, and original ‘Sgt. Pepper’ print ads. The Deluxe 2CD digipak is slipcased with a 50-page booklet abridged from the box set’s book, and the 2LP Deluxe Vinyl is presented in a faithful reproduction of the album’s original gatefold jacket.

– “We hope you will enjoy the show” –

Just as many ideas are sparked by chance, ‘Sgt. Pepper’ first sprang from a conversation between Paul and Beatles roadie Mal Evans on an airplane, when Mal’s request to pass the salt and pepper was misheard by Paul as “Sgt. Pepper.” The concept of who such a figure could be took root in Paul’s mind, blooming with the imagination of The Beatles as an Edwardian era military band -- “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The Beatles’ creative wellspring for ‘Sgt. Pepper’ also flowed from such myriad sources as The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album, a Victorian circus poster (“Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!”), a TV commercial for breakfast cereal (“Good Morning Good Morning”), a picture drawn by John’s young son, Julian (“Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”), a teen runaway reported in the news (“She’s Leaving Home’), and Hindu teachings (“Within You Without You”).

– “Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song” –

Using the standard four-track tape recording equipment of the day, The Beatles collaborated with producer George Martin to achieve “the impossible,” as they dubbed it, to go as far out as they could with arrangements and new technology to realize their collective vision for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. As George Martin described it, “We were into another kind of art form where you were putting something down on tape that could only be done on tape.” The Beatles clocked more than 400 hours in Abbey Road’s Studio 2 to record the album, wrapping sessions in April 1967. 

– “I read the news today oh boy” –

Upon its release on June 1, 1967, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band initially spent 148 weeks in the British chart, including a total of 27 weeks at number one. During its first U.S. chart run, the album held the number one spot for 15 of the 88 weeks it appeared in the Top 200. ‘Sgt. Pepper’ won four GRAMMY Awards®, including Album of the Year, and it remains one of the most influential and bestselling albums of all time. In 2003, the U.S. Library of Congress selected ‘Sgt. Pepper’ for the National Recording Registry, recognizing the album as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” ‘Sgt. Pepper’ tops Rolling Stone magazine’s definitive list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

Preorder Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition:  http://TheBeatles.lnk.to/SgtPepperAnniversary

Watch a brief trailer video for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition:


Track List, More Details Emerge on Beatles' 50th Anniversary "Sgt. Pepper"
04-07-17 We now have the full details on the 50th anniversary editions of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Considered one of the greatest, if not THE best, album of the rock era, Sgt. Pepper will receive a multi-format release on May 26, five days before the 50th anniversary of the album's release.

  • Single-CD - A new stereo mix including the U.K. version of the album's "Edit for LP End" run-out groove.
  • Double-CD - Stereo mix on disc 1 plus an 18 track second disc with alternate takes of all of the songs on the album, two alternate takes of Penny Lane including an instrumental version, and three alternate takes of Strawberry Fields Forever.
  • Double-Vinyl LP - Same as Double-CD without the Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields takes. 
  • Six-CD
    • New Stereo Mix
    • Two-CDs/33 tracks of studio outtakes
    • One-CD of the album and bonus tracks in mono
    • Two-Blu-Ray or DVDs with 5.1 mix and high resolution versions of the album plus a previously unreleased documentary and promotional films. 
The Super Deluxe version will include a 144-page hardcovered book with introductions by Paul McCartney and Giles Martin. The two-CD version will have a shortened 50-page booklet. 
The track lists:

Single-CD (Stereo Mix)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • With A Little Help From My Friends
  • Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  • Getting Better
  • Fixing A Hole
  • She's Leaving Home
  • Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
  • Within You Without You
  • When I'm Sixty-Four
  • Lovely Rita
  • Good Morning Good Morning
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  • A Day In The Life

Two-CD Set

Disc 1 (Stereo Mix)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • With A Little Help From My Friends
  • Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  • Getting Better
  • Fixing A Hole
  • She's Leaving Home
  • Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
  • Within You Without You
  • When I'm Sixty-Four
  • Lovely Rita
  • Good Morning Good Morning
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  • A Day In The Life
Disc 2
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Take 9)
  • With A Little Help From My Friends (Take 1 - False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental)
  • Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Take 1)
  • Getting Better (Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The End)
  • Fixing A Hole (Speech And Take 3)
  • She's Leaving Home (Take 1 – Instrumental)
  • Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! (Take 4)
  • Within You Without You (Take 1 - Indian Instruments)
  • When I'm Sixty-Four (Take 2)
  • Lovely Rita (Speech And Take 9)
  • Good Morning Good Morning (Take 8)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (Take 8)
  • A Day In The Life (Take 1 With Hummed Last Chord)
  • Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 7)
  • Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 26)
  • Strawberry Fields Forever (Stereo Mix - 2015)
  • Penny Lane (Take 6 - Instrumental)
  • Penny Lane (Stereo Mix - 2017)

2-Vinyl LP Set

LP 1 (Stereo Mix)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • With A Little Help From My Friends
  • Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  • Getting Better
  • Fixing A Hole
  • She's Leaving Home
  • Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
  • Within You Without You
  • When I'm Sixty-Four
  • Lovely Rita
  • Good Morning Good Morning
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  • A Day In The Life
LP 2
  • Side A
    • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Take 9 And Speech)
    • With A Little Help From My Friends (Take 1 - False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental)
    • Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Take 1)
    • Getting Better (Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The End)
    • Fixing A Hole (Speech And Take 3)
    • She's Leaving Home (Take 1 – Instrumental)
    • Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! (Take 4)
  • Side B
    • Within You Without You (Take 1 - Indian Instruments)
    • When I'm Sixty-Four (Take 2)
    • Lovely Rita (Speech And Take 9)
    • Good Morning Good Morning (Take 8)
    • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (Take 8)
    • A Day In The Life (Take 1 With Hummed Last Chord)

Super Deluxe (4CD/DVD/Blu-ray box set)

Disc 1 (Stereo Mix)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • With A Little Help From My Friends
  • Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  • Getting Better
  • Fixing A Hole
  • She's Leaving Home
  • Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
  • Within You Without You
  • When I'm Sixty-Four
  • Lovely Rita
  • Good Morning Good Morning
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  • A Day In The Life
Disc 2
  • Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 1)
  • Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 4)
  • Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 7)
  • Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 26)
  • Strawberry Fields Forever (Stereo Mix - 2015)
  • When I'm Sixty-Four (Take 2)
  • Penny Lane (Take 6 – Instrumental)
  • Penny Lane (Vocal Overdubs And Speech)
  • Penny Lane (Stereo Mix - 2017)
  • A Day In The Life (Take 1)
  • A Day In The Life (Take 2)
  • A Day In The Life (Orchestra Overdub)
  • A Day In The Life (Hummed Last Chord) (Takes 8, 9, 10 and 11)
  • A Day In The Life (The Last Chord)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Take 1 – Instrumental)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Take 9 And Speech)
  • Good Morning Good Morning (Take 1 - Instrumental, Breakdown)
  • Good Morning Good Morning (Take 8)
Disc 3
  • Fixing A Hole (Take 1)
  • Fixing A Hole (Speech And Take 3)
  • Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! (Speech From Before Take 1; Take 4 And Speech At End)
  • Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! (Take 7)
  • Lovely Rita (Speech And Take 9)
  • Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Take 1 And Speech At The End)
  • Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Speech, False Start And Take 5)
  • Getting Better (Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The End)
  • Getting Better (Take 12)
  • Within You Without You (Take 1 - Indian Instruments Only)
  • Within You Without You (George Coaching The Musicians)
  • She's Leaving Home (Take 1 – Instrumental)
  • She's Leaving Home (Take 6 – Instrumental)
  • With A Little Help From My Friends (Take 1 - False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (Speech And Take 8)
Disc 4 (Mono Mix)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • With A Little Help From My Friends
  • Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  • Getting Better
  • Fixing A Hole
  • She's Leaving Home
  • Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
  • Within You Without You
  • When I'm Sixty-Four
  • Lovely Rita
  • Good Morning Good Morning
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  • A Day In The Life
  • Strawberry Fields Forever (Original Mono Mix)
  • Penny Lane (Original Mono Mix)
  • A Day In The Life (Unreleased First Mono Mix)
  • Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Unreleased Mono Mix - No. 11)
  • She's Leaving Home (Unreleased First Mono Mix)
  • Penny Lane (Capitol Records U.S. Promo Single - Mono Mix)
Discs 5 & 6 (Blu-ray & DVD)
  • Audio Features (both discs)
    • New 5.1 Surround Audio mixes of Sgt. Pepper album and Penny Lane, plus 2015 5.1 Surround mix of Strawberry Fields Forever (Blu-ray: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby True HD 5.1 / DVD: DTS Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • High Resolution Audio versions of 2017 Sgt. Pepper stereo mix and 2017 Penny Lane stereo mix, plus 2015 Strawberry Fields Forever hi res stereo mix (Blu-ray: LPCM Stereo 96KHz/24bit / DVD: LPCM Stereo)
  • Video Features (both discs)
    • The Making of Sgt. Pepper (restored 1992 documentary film, previously unreleased)
    • Promotional Films
      • A Day In The Life (4K restored)
      • Strawberry Fields Forever (4K restored)
      • Penny Lane (4K restored)

        Source: http://www.vintagevinylnews.com/2017/04/track-list-more-details-emerge-on.html

February 10, 2017

Paul McCartney sues Sony over Beatles song rights

The complaint was filed in the Southern District of New York. The musician hopes to regain ownership of songs co-written with John Lennon.
In 1969, Lennon and McCartney lost ownership of their publishing when Northern Songs was bought by ATV in 1969. In 1985 Michael Jackson bought ATV Music for $47.5 million, beating a joint bid by McCartney and Yoko Ono. A merger between ATV and Sony a decade later saw Sony acquire a half stake in the song rights, and in 2016 the company bought out the other 50 per cent stake for $750 million.
McCartney's legal action will leverage the termination provisions of the US Copyright Act. In 1976, Congress increased the period of copyright protection for creative works, and allowed authors to reclaim rights in the latter stages of a copyright term. The lawsuit declares that McCartney has been serving termination notices for almost a decade.
Under US copyright law, songwriters are able to reclaim the publishing rights to their work after 56 years. McCartney’s songs will be eligible from in 2018, 56 years after the release of The Beatles' first EMI single Love Me Do.
McCartney's complaint states that Sony has failed to provide confirmation of the musician's termination notices. "For years following service of the first Termination Notices, Defendants gave no indication to Paul McCartney that they contested the efficacy of Paul McCartney’s Termination Notices. Defendants’ affiliates did, however, oppose at least one other artist’s terminations of transfers under the terms of the 1976 Copyright Act."
The writ continues: "Rather than provide clear assurances to Paul McCartney that Defendants will not challenge his exercise of his termination rights, Defendants are clearly reserving their rights pending the final outcome of the Duran Duran litigation in the U.K."
This is a reference to Duran Duran's unsuccessful attempt to regain rights to their songs. In December 2016, a judge in England ruled that American termination law should not take precedent over English contract law.
In response to McCartney's claim, Sony/ATV Music Publishing issued a statement:
Sony/ATV has the highest respect for Sir Paul McCartney with whom we have enjoyed a long and mutually rewarding relationship with respect to the treasured Lennon & McCartney song catalog. We have collaborated closely with both Sir Paul and the late John Lennon’s Estate for decades to protect, preserve and promote the catalog’s long-term value. We are disappointed that they have filed this lawsuit which we believe is both unnecessary and premature.

Source: https://www.beatlesbible.com/2017/01/18/paul-mccartney-sues-sony-beatles-song-rights/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheBeatlesBible+%28The+Beatles+Bible%29

December 15, 2016

Listen to the Beatles Christmas Messages: 7 Vintage Recordings for Their Fans: 1963-1969

Every year from 1963 to 1969, the Beatles recorded a special Christmas greeting to their fans. It started when “Beatlemania” took off and the band found itself unable to answer all the fan mail.  “I’d love to reply personally to everyone,” says Lennon in the 1963 message, “but I just haven’t enough pens.” The first message was intended to make their most loyal fans feel appreciated. Like those that followed, the 1963 message was mailed as a paper-thin vinyl “flexi disc” to members of the Beatles fan club. The recording features the Beatles’ trademark wit and whimsy, with a chorus of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Ringo” and a version of “Good King Wenceslas” that refers to Betty Grable. It was made on October 17, 1963 at Abbey Road Studios, just after the band recorded “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

The band recorded their next holiday greeting, Another Beatles Christmas Record, on October 26, 1964, the same day they recorded the song “Honey Don’t.” Lennon’s rebellious nature begins to show, as he pokes fun at the prepared script: “It’s somebody’s bad hand wroter.”

Recorded on November 8, 1965 during the Rubber Soul sessions at Abbey Road, the 1965 message features a re-working of “Yesterday,” with the refrain “Oh I believe on Christmas Day.” The band’s gift for free-associational role playing is becoming more apparent. One piece of dialogue near the end was eventually re-used by producer George Martin and his son Giles at the end of the re-mixed version of “All You Need is Love” on the 2006 album Love: “All right put the lights off. This is Johnny Rhythm saying good night to you all and God Blesses.”

You can sense the band’s creative powers growing in the 1966 message, Pantomime: Everywhere It’s Christmas. The recording was made at Abbey Road on November 25, 1966, during a break from working on “Strawberry Fields Forever.” The Beatles were just beginning work on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band. Instead of simply thanking their fans and recounting the events of the year, the Beatles use sound effects and dialogue to create a vaudeville play based around a song that goes, “Everywhere it’s Christmas, at the end of every year.” Paul McCartney designed the cover.

This was the last Christmas message recorded by the Beatles all together in one place. Titled Christmas Time (Is Here Again), it reveals the group’s continuing experimentation with sound effects and storytelling. The scenario, written by the band earlier on the day it was recorded (November 28, 1967), is about a group of people auditioning for a BBC radio play. Lennon and Ringo Starr designed the cover.

By the Christmas season of 1968, relations within the Beatles were becoming strained. The holiday message was produced around the time the “White Album” was released, in November of 1968. The four members’ voices were recorded separately, in various locations. There’s plenty of self-mockery. Perhaps the most striking moment comes when the American singer Tiny Tim (invited by George Harrison) strums a ukulele and sings “Nowhere Man” in a high falsetto.

The Beatles were in the process of breaking up when they recorded (separately) their final Christmas message in November and December of 1969. A couple of months earlier, just before the release of Abbey Road, Lennon had announced to the others that he was leaving the group. Yoko Ono appears prominently on the recording, singing and talking with Lennon about peace. Fittingly, the 1969 message incorporates a snippet from the Abbey Road recording of “The End.”

This post was written by Open Culture contributor Mike Springer.

Related Content:
The Beatles: Unplugged Collects Acoustic Demos of White Album Songs (1968)
Peter Sellers Reads The Beatles’ “She Loves You” in Four Different Accents
The 10-Minute, Never-Released, Experimental Demo of The Beatles’ “Revolution” (1968)

Source: http://www.openculture.com/2013/12/listen-to-the-beatles-christmas-records.html

October 21, 2016

The Alternate White Album - 1998 Edition

The sleeve says: No Anthology Tracks.Another in the series of Alternate albums, where a collection is put together based on the timing of the original released album. This particular C.D. collects together a lot of fine outtakes from the "White Album" era, including studio alternate takes, live performances and of course the Esher sessions. It also pulls together some of the official stereo or mono mixes that were less commonly found. Yes, I know we already have these pieces, but, nicely presented and nicely collected together makes it worth having them again.

I'm approaching The Alternate White Album with the attitude of the amateur who loves the White Album, and not with the attitude of the hard core Beatles fan who wants to get every possible alternate take that exists out there. I mostly wanted to hear some of the alternate versions and mono mixes that exist of these songs without shelling out a fortune for the original mono vinyl (yet).

The double CD set offers a run through the 31 songs of the original album in alternate takes, either from mono mixes, the 'Peter Sellers Tape' (a tape with early rough mixes of the songs, given as a gift to actor Peter Sellers by Ringo) and a few from the Esher sessions in spring 1968. These versions are not radically different (the possible exception being a wonderful acoustic version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"), but they add interesting little twists and turns here and there that have just the novelty value for me as a moderate Beatles fan to enjoy the material anew.

Added to this are 25 bonus tracks, home demos, out-takes and alternate takes of varying quality and interest that were recorded at the same time. There are no fantastic discoveries here, but tracks like George's "Sour Milk Sea" and "Not Guilty" deserve to be heard, John's "Everybody Had a Hard Year" sheds some light on "I've Got a Feeling" from Let It Be, and the prototype for his "Jealous Guy" (here under a different title) may surprise quite a few people, so it's not all just fluff.

The sound quality of this is fine, only the Esher sessions and home demos sound rather muffled. The package claims that the CDs contain "no Anthology tracks". I'm not entirely sure about one or two of them, but mostly this seems to be true.

As a mixture of released tracks (the mono mixes), demos, unreleased mixes and out-takes this can of course not reach the quality of the released White Album, and hard core fans will perhaps want a more comprehensive set of alternate versions from the White Album sessions, but this is useful enough to broaden the horizon for the average fan. Not one of the rip-off bootlegs, but actually pretty good stuff. http://rateyourmusic.com/release/unauth/the_beatles/the_alternate_white_album/


Disc 1:
  1. Back In The USSR [Alternate Mix, Extra Aeroplane Noises]
  2. Dear Prudence [Alternate Mix, Clean Intro, Different End]
  3. Glass Union [Mono Mix 26-9-1968]
  4. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da [Alternate Mix, 'Peter Sellers tape'] 
  5. Wild Honey Pie [Alternate Mix, 'Peter Sellers tape']
  6. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill [Esher Sessions, May 1968] 
  7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps [Acoustic Version] 
  8. Happiness Is A Warm Gun [Mono Mix, Louder Bass]
  9. Martha My Dear [Mono Mix 4-10-1968]
  10. I'm So Tired [Monitor Mix, Extra Guitar] 
  11. Blackbird [Mono Mix, Different Bird Sounds] 
  12. Piggies [Mono Mix, Different Piggies Sounds]
  13. Rocky Raccoon [Mono Mix] 
  14. Don't Pass By Me [Alternate Mix, 'Peter Sellers tape']
  15. Why Don't We Do It In The Road?[Mono Mix]
  16. I Will [Mono Mix]
  17. Julia [Early Acoustic Lennon Demo]
  18. Child Of Nature [Esher Sessions, May 1968] 
  19. Not Guilty [Unreleased Stereo Remix] 
  20. Circles [Esher Sessions, May 1968] 
  21. Sour Milk Sea [Esher Sessions, May 1968]
  22. Junk [Esher Sessions, May 1968]
  23. Hey Jude  [Early Version, 30-7-1968] 
  24. Brian Epstein Blues [Monitor Mix]
  25. What's The New Mary Jean [Take 4]
Disc 2:
  1. Birthday [18-9-1968, Overdubs 19-9-1968]
  2. Yer Blues [Alternate Mix, 'Peter Sellers tape']
  3. Mother Nature's Son [Monitor Mix]
  4. Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey [Alternate Mix, 'Peter Sellers Tape', Cleaner Intro, Different Ending]
  5. Sexy Sadie [Unedited Version, Lasts 38 Seconds Longer Than The Released Version]
  6. Helter Skelter [Mono Mix, Shorter Version Without 'Blisters On My Fingers', Louder Backing Vocals]
  7. Long, Long Long [Mono Mix, 7-10-1968]
  8. Revoution 1 [Acoustic Version, Esher Sessions]
  9. Honey Pie#1 [Esher Sessions]
  10. Honey Pie#2 [Esher Sessions]
  11. Cry Baby Cry [Esher Sessions]
  12. Revolution 9 [Mono Mix]
  13. Good Night [Shorter Version, Chldren's Voices At The End]
  14. I Hate To See [The Evening Sun Go Down]
  15. Hey Jude [Early Version, 30-7-1968]
  16. Las Vegas Tune [30-7-1968]
  17. Everyone Had A Hard Year [John's Home Demo]
  18. A Case Of The Blues [John's Home Demo]
  19. Happy Rishikesh Song [Demo]
  20. Oh My Love [John's Home Demo]
  21. Gone Tomorrow Her Today [Acoustic Version]
  22. Helter Skelter [Acoustic Version]
  23. Wierd Album Sessions [Anthology Video Medley]
  24. Spiritual Regeneration [Rishikesh Tape, India 1968]
  25. Riskikesh No. 9 [Rishikesh Tape, India 1968]

September 24, 2016

The Beatles Live At The Hollywood Bowl to be released in September

The Beatles have announced the release of remixed and remastered recordings of their Hollywood Bowl concerts from 1964 and 1965.
Live At The Hollywood Bowl will be released in September 2016 to coincide with the Ron Howard documentary The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years.
The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl cover artwork

The new album – released on CD and digital download on 9 September, and on vinyl on 18 November – contains 17 songs: eight from the 1964 show, two from the first 1965 show, six from the second 1965 show, and a composite version of Dizzy Miss Lizzy from the two 1965 recordings (similar to the 1977 album).
Extracts from the three concerts – 23 August 1964, and 29 and 30 August 1965 – were released in 1977 as The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl, but the album has been long out of print.
A technical fault left Paul McCartney's vocals and introductions inaudible during the first four songs of the 29 August 1965 show, rendering a substantial portion of the recordings unusable.
Five songs from 30 August 1965 appeared on The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl: Twist And Shout, She's A Woman, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Can't Buy Me Love and A Hard Day's Night. The album version of Dizzy Miss Lizzy was a composite edit incorporating parts of the 29 and 30 August performances.
The track listing is almost identical to that of the 1977 album, aside from four extra tracks, three of which are previously unreleased.
Beatles fans have long hoped for the full release of the 1964 and 1965 concert recordings, although that now seems unlikely.
Here's the official press release:
The Beatles’ Companion Album to New Ron Howard-Directed Feature Documentary Presents Remixed and Mastered Recordings from Three Hollywood Bowl Concerts.
Apple Corps Ltd. and Universal Music Group are pleased to announce global release plans for The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl, a new album that captures the joyous exuberance of the band’s three sold-out concerts at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl in 1964 and 1965. A companion to The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years, Academy Award®-winner Ron Howard’s authorized and highly anticipated documentary feature film about the band’s early career, The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl will be released worldwide on CD and for digital download and streaming on September 9, followed by a 180-gram gatefold vinyl LP on November 18. The album includes a 24-page booklet with an essay by noted music journalist David Fricke, and its cover art features a sunny photo taken on August 22, 1964 by The Beatles’ then-U.S. tour manager, Bob Bonis, as John, Paul, George and Ringo boarded a chartered flight from Seattle Tacoma Airport to Vancouver, BC for their first concert in Canada.
Documenting The Beatles’ Hollywood Bowl concerts on tape was no easy feat, as producer Sir George Martin explained in his album notes for 1977’s The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl: “The chaos, I might almost say panic, that reigned at these concerts was unbelievable unless you were there. Only three track recording was possible; The Beatles had no ‘fold back’ speakers, so they could not hear what they were singing, and the eternal shriek from 17,000 healthy, young lungs made even a jet plane inaudible.”
While The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl references the long out of print 1977 album, it is an entirely new release, directly sourced from the original three track tapes of the concerts. To preserve the excitement of the shows while unveiling the performances in today’s best available clarity and quality, GRAMMY Award® winning producer Giles Martin and GRAMMY Award® winning engineer Sam Okell have expertly remixed and mastered the recordings at Abbey Road Studios, including the thirteen tracks from the original album produced by Giles’ father, plus four additional, previously unreleased recordings from the momentous concerts.
“A few years ago Capitol Studios called saying they’d discovered some Hollywood Bowl three track tapes in their archive,” says Giles Martin. “We transferred them and noticed an improvement over the tapes we’ve kept in the London archive. Alongside this I’d been working for some time with a team headed by technical engineer James Clarke on demix technology, the ability to remove and separate sounds from a single track. With Sam Okell, I started work on remixing the Hollywood Bowl tapes. Technology has moved on since my father worked on the material all those years ago. Now there’s improved clarity, and so the immediacy and visceral excitement can be heard like never before. My father’s words still ring true, but what we hear now is the raw energy of four lads playing together to a crowd that loved them. This is the closest you can get to being at the Hollywood Bowl at the height of Beatlemania. We hope you enjoy the show…”
Featuring rare and exclusive footage, Ron Howard’s The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years is based on the first part of The Beatles’ career (1962-1966) – the period in which they toured and captured the world’s acclaim. The film is produced with the full cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison. The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years touches on the band’s Hollywood Bowl concerts and includes footage of the “Boys” performance featured on The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl.
White Horse Pictures’ GRAMMY Award®-winning Nigel Sinclair, Scott Pascucci, and Academy Award® and Emmy Award®-winner Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment are producing with Howard. Apple Corps Ltd.’s Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde are serving as executive producers, along with Imagine’s Michael Rosenberg and White Horse’s Guy East and Nicholas Ferrall.
Following a world premiere event in London on September 15, the film will roll out theatrically worldwide with release dates set in the U.K., France and Germany (September 15); the U.S., Australia and New Zealand (September 16); and Japan (September 22). In the U.S., Hulu is the presenting partner for Abramorama’s theatrical release of the film, which will be available to stream exclusively to Hulu subscribers beginning September 17. Studiocanal and PolyGram Entertainment are also anchor partners on the film, having acquired U.K., France, Germany and Australia and New Zealand rights. For more information about the film, visit www.thebeatleseightdaysaweek.com.
The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl track list:
  1. Twist and Shout [30 August, 1965]
  2. She’s A Woman [30 August, 1965]
  3. Dizzy Miss Lizzy [30 August, 1965 / 29 August, 1965 – one edit]
  4. Ticket To Ride [29 August, 1965]
  5. Can’t Buy Me Love [30 August, 1965]
  6. Things We Said Today [23 August, 1964]
  7. Roll Over Beethoven [23 August, 1964]
  8. Boys [23 August, 1964]
  9. A Hard Day’s Night [30 August, 1965]
  10. Help! [29 August, 1965]
  11. All My Loving [23 August, 1964]
  12. She Loves You [23 August, 1964]
  13. Long Tall Sally [23 August, 1964]
  14. You Can’t Do That [23 August, 1964 – previously unreleased]
  15. I Want To Hold Your Hand [23 August, 1964 – previously unreleased]
  16. Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby [30 August, 1965 – previously unreleased]
  17. Baby’s In Black [30 August, 1965 – previously unreleased] [sic]

Source: https://www.beatlesbible.com/2016/07/20/the-beatles-live-at-the-hollywood-bowl-to-be-released-in-september/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheBeatlesBible+%28The+Beatles+Bible%29 

August 29, 2016

How Michael Jackson bought the publishing rights to the Beatles Catalogue

The King of Pop once took some business advice from Paul McCartney—and used it to buy all of the Beatles song collection.

Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney first met and became friendly in the mid-1970s, when, according to Jackson, McCartney tried to sell him a song, "Girlfriend," for Jackson's upcoming solo album. Although it took a couple of years (and McCartney released the song first with Wings), the two hit it off, and over the next few years, they collaborated on a number of duets. The lead single off of Jackson’s smash album, Thriller (1982), was "The Girl Is Mine," a duet he penned while watching cartoons with McCartney. Likewise, McCartney’s album Pipes of Peace (1983) had two songs featuring Jackson, "The Man" and "Say Say Say." The two superstars even filmed a music video for "Say Say Say," playing traveling vaudevillians who peddle their "Mac and Jack Wonder Potion" to unsuspecting townspeople.

During this time, McCartney reportedly explained to Jackson about the lucrative nature of music publishing. For complex legal reasons, the Beatle had lost his stake in Northern Songs, the publishing company that he and John Lennon set up, in the late 1960s. Because he wasn’t profiting from his own songs’ publishing rights, McCartney told Jackson about how he had been purchasing other artists’ catalogues (such as Buddy Holly’s) as a business investment. McCartney explained to the future King of Pop that whoever owns the rights to a song’s lyrics and composition earns royalties every time that song plays on film, TV, the radio, in a commercial, or in a concert. According to McCartney, Jackson then jokingly told him "one day, I’ll own your songs."

With the help of his attorney John Branca, Jackson started buying the rights to '60s songs that he liked enough to dance to. In 1984, Branca told Jackson that music publishing company ATV was for sale. Owned by an Australian billionaire named Robert Holmes à Court, ATV owned the rights to 251 songs from the Beatles’ catalogue (as well as 4000 other songs and a library of sound effects). Branca asked Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, who ran Lennon’s estate, if she was interested in teaming up with McCartney to purchase ATV. Ono said no and reportedly gave her blessing for Jackson (rather than a corporation) to own the songs. Branca then asked McCartney’s lawyer if McCartney wanted to buy ATV, and his lawyer said the catalogue was too expensive.

Branca offered Holmes à Court $30 million for ATV, but other people—including Virgin’s Richard Branson and music industry executives Marty Bandier and Charles Koppelman—were also bidding on the company. Going against the counsel from his group of advisors (including businessman David Geffen), Jackson told Branca to offer $40 million. Holmes à Court still wanted more money, but Jackson stood firm in his desire to buy ATV. "You can’t put a price on a Picasso … you can’t put a price on these songs, there’s no value on them," Jackson reportedly said. "They’re the best songs that have ever been written."

Branca offered $45 million and did a handshake deal with Holmes à Court in April 1985, but the ATV owner backed out. Branca—along with competing bidders Bandier and Koppelman—traveled to London to try to finalize an agreement; to seal the deal, Branca promised Holmes à Court that Jackson would perform in a charity concert in Perth, Australia and exclude the Beatles tune "Penny Lane" from the deal (so Holmes à Court could give that song to his daughter). In August 1985, after months of negotiations, Jackson paid $47.5 million to buy ATV.

McCartney was not pleased to learn that his supposed friend bought the rights to his songs. He wrote letters to Jackson about the purchase, but Jackson dismissed them all by saying it was just business. "He won't even answer my letters, so we haven't talked and we don't have that great a relationship," McCartney said in 2001.

In 1995, Jackson sold 50 percent of ATV to Sony for $95 million, a sale that created the music publishing company Sony/ATV. Today, Sony/ATV owns the rights to millions of songs by everyone from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. In March 2016, seven years after Jackson’s death, Sony/ATV agreed to pay $750 million to Jackson’s estate to buy out his 50 percent share of the company.

But for McCartney, it's been a long and winding road. Though he's said in the past that it wouldn't make sense for him to pay for his own work ("The trouble is I wrote those songs for nothing and buying them back at these phenomenal sums …" McCartney once explained. "I just can't do it."), his tune may have changed. On December 15, 2015, he filed a termination notice with the U.S. Copyright Office, the first step required for an artist to get back the publishing rights to their songs.

Source: http://mentalfloss.com/article/85007/how-michael-jackson-bought-publishing-rights-beatles-catalogue

August 28, 2016

Beatles Challenger One Bootleg - Great collection of Beatles sounds...

The Beatles ‎– Challenger One
Label: Vulture Records ‎– VT CD 011
Format: 3 × CD, Unofficial Release
Country: Italy
Released: 1990
Genre: Rock, Pop

CD 1 of 3. Basically the same as the Ultra Rare Trax series but with some more songs.
Includes Ultra Rare Trax 1 & 2.

CD 2 of 3. Basically the same as the Ultra Rare Trax series but with some more songs.
Includes Ultra Rare Trax 3 & 4.
Includes "Live At The Budokan Hall".

CD 3 of 3. Basically the same as the Ultra Rare Trax series but with some more songs.
Includes Ultra Rare Trax 5 & 6.

CD 1
1. I Saw Her Standing There (take 2) (3:07)
2. One After 909 (take 2) (3:03)
3. She's A Woman (take 2) (3:17)
4. I'm Looking Through You (take 2) (3:00)
5. If You Got Troubles (2:20)
6. How Do You Do It (2:11)
7. Penny Lane (2:55)
8. Strawberry Fields Forever (3:20)
9. From Me To You (1:50)
10. Besame Mucho (2:32)
11. The Fool On The Hill (2:45)
12. Paper Back Writer (2:39)
13. Can't Buy Me Love (2:17)
14. There's A Place (take 3) (0:10)
15. There's A Place (take 3) (2) (1:55)
16. That Means A Lot (2:27)
17. Day Tripper (I) (0:24)
18. Day Tripper (II) (3:04)
19. I Am The Walrus (4:26)
20. Misery (take 1) (1:48)
21. Leave My Kitten Alone (2:52)
22. We Can Work It Out (2:11)
23. A Hard Day's Night (2:46)
24. Norwegian Wood (2:18)
25. Do You Want To Know A Secret (2:01)
26. Aerial Tour (instrumental) (2:07)
27. A Hard Day's Night (2) (2:31)
28. I'm A Looser (2:35)
29. I Feel Fine (2:18)
30. Money (2:54)
31. Twist And Shout (2:45)

CD 2
1. Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da (2:57)
2. Tomorrow Never Knows (2:57)
3. A Day In The Life (5:26)
4. Yes It Is (2:53)
5. I Saw Her Standing There (take 10) (2:58)
6. Norwegian Wood (take 1) (2:03)
7. Not Guilty (3:18)
8. Across The Universe (3:43)
9. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (3:26)
10. Ticket To Ride (3:43)
11. One After 909 (3:11)
12. A Taste Of Honey (take 7) (2:27)
13. I Feel Fine (take 7) (2:28)
14. Yer Blues (4:02)
15. Blues Jam (3:48)
16. Not Guilty (4:24)
17. Get Back (2:17)
18. Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues (2:34)
19. Do You Want To Know A Secret (take 8) (2:14)
20. All You Need Is Love (4:59)
21. Yesterday (budokan '66) (2:28)
22. Paperback Writer (budokan '66) (2:23)
23. She's A Woman (budokan '66) (3:07)
24. Day Tripper (budokan '66) (3:08)

CD 3
1. Christmas Time Is Here Again (1:12)
2. Because (2:19)
3. Revolution (3:20)
4. I Me Mine (2:13)
5. Strawberry Fields Forever (take 1) (2:41)
6. Hey Jude (rehersal Take 9) (5:38)
7. Magical Mystery Tour (2:36)
8. What's The New Mary Jane? (6:05)
9. Lady Madonna (2:14)
10. One After 909 (2:58)
11. Ob-la-di-ob-la-da (2:38)
12. Christmas Time Is Here Again (2) (0:58)
13. Come And Get It (2:30)
14. Hold Me Tight (2:38)
15. I'll Be On My Way (2:11)
16. Strawberry Fields Forever (take 7) (3:55)
17. It's All Too Much (2:28)
18. 12 Bar Original (3:54)
19. I Hate To See (1:08)
20. She's A Woman (take 7) (6:28)
21. What's The New Mary Jane? (2) (6:50)
22. Dig It (8:08)

July 09, 2016

The Last Lennon/McCartney Song? (Now And Then)

Published on Aug 20, 2014
"Now And Then" (also known as "I Don't Want To Lose You" or "Miss You") is the name given to an unreleased composition by John Lennon. It was first recorded in demo form in 1978 and was considered in 1995 as a third possible reunion single by Lennon's former band, The Beatles, for their 1995 autobiographical project The Beatles Anthology.

Lennon wrote "Now And Then" in the late 1970s, around the same time as "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love". He recorded the unfinished piece of music in a demo form at his home at the Dakota Building, New York City, around 1979. The lyrics are typical of the apologetic love songs that Lennon wrote in the later half of his career. Despite reports, for the most part the verses are nearly complete, though there are still a few lines that Lennon did not flesh out on the demo tape performance.

In January 1994, Paul McCartney was given two tape cassettes by Lennon's widow Yoko Ono that included home recordings of songs Lennon never completed or released commercially. The songs on the tape included the eventually completed and released "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love", in addition to two other songs was a tape with the words "for Paul" scrawled hastily in John's handwriting, which included "Grow Old With Me" and "Now And Then". In March 1995, the three surviving Beatles began work on "Now And Then" by recording a rough backing track that was to be used as an overdub. However, after only two days of recording, all work on the song ceased and plans for a third reunion single were scrapped permanently.

According to McCartney, George Harrison "didn't want to do it," possibly because new verses would have had to be written. Producer Jeff Lynne reported that "It was one day—one afternoon, really—messing with it. The song had a chorus but is almost totally lacking in verses. We did the backing track, a rough go that we really didn't finish." An additional factor behind scrapping the song was a technical defect in the original recording. As with "Real Love", a 60-cycle mains hum can be heard throughout Lennon's demo recording. However, it was noticeably louder on '"Now And Then", making it much harder to remove.

Throughout 2005 and 2006, press reports speculated that McCartney and Starr would release a complete version of the song in the future. On 29 April 2007, the Daily Express reported that the song might be released to coincide with the Beatles catalogue being released for the first time via digital download. Additional reports circulated that same year that McCartney was hoping to complete the song as a "Lennon–McCartney composition" by writing new verses, laying down a new drum track recorded by Ringo Starr, and utilising archival recordings of Harrison's guitar work.

In April 2008, The Sun reported that "there have been discussions about finishing 'Now And Then.'" From there, the story was picked up and repeated by a number of music and entertainment media sources.

The only (unofficial) available recording of the song is Lennon's original demo. In February 2009, the same version of Lennon's recording was released on a bootleg CD, taken from a different source, with none of the "buzz" which hampered the Beatles recording of the song in 1995. The overdubs added in 1995 by the other surviving members have yet to surface.

A popular fan remix from 2007 called the "1995 edit" consists of Lennon's original demo along with instrumental overdubs by an unspecified artist and samples from various 1960s Beatles songs. Contrary to repeated misconception, this remix does not contain any of the work that the three surviving members of the Beatles recorded in the 1990s.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCSZn2Q7o8U

New Movie: The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years

Finally, The Beatles have released a film trailer and a poster, as well as information about what started as a documentary about The Beatles live concerts, but ended up as a broader perspective on the first part of their career, from 1962 to 1966.

The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years will be getting a theatrical all-star world premiere in London on September 15th, and the same day it will also be screened in France and Germany. Other countries will follow, currently release dates have been published for Australia and New Zealand (September 16th) and Japan (September 22nd), in addition to the previously mentioned UK, France and Germany (September 15th).

Hulu will have the exclusive US streaming video on-demand rights to the film on SVOD beginning September 17th – marking the first feature film to debut on Hulu following its theatrical premiere. The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years is the first film acquired by Hulu’s Documentary Films arm which will serve as a new home for premium original and exclusive documentary film titles coming to Hulu.

The film is based on the first part of The Beatles’ career (1962-1966) – the period in which they toured and captured the world’s acclaim. Ron Howard’s film will explore how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr came together to become this extraordinary phenomenon, The Beatles. It will explore their inner workings – how they made decisions, created their music and built their collective career together – all the while, exploring The Beatles’ extraordinary and unique musical gifts and their remarkable, complementary personalities. The film will focus on the time period from the early Beatles’ journey in the days of The Cavern Club in Liverpool to their last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966.

Featuring rare and exclusive footage, the film is produced with the full cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.

Richard Abramowitz’s Abramorama will handle the US theatrical release of the film that is set to be an event driven experience with a few special surprises planned for cinemagoers.

Of special interest is a brief sequence near the end of the trailer, featuring colour footage shot from behind the band, from the Washington DC concert, February 1964.

Link: TheBeatlesEightDaysAWeek.com

Award-winning Editor Paul Crowder is the editor. Crowder’s long-time collaborator, Mark Monroe, is serving as writer. Marc Ambrose is the supervising producer.
White Horse Pictures’ Grammy Award-winning Nigel Sinclair, Scott Pascucci and Academy Award®-winner and Emmy® Award-winner Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment are producing with Ron Howard. Apple Corps Ltd.’s Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde are serving as executive producers, along with Imagine’s Michael Rosenberg and White Horse’s Guy East and Nicholas Ferrall. Studiocanal is an anchor partner on the film, having acquired UK, France, Germany and Australia and New Zealand rights.

Source: https://wogew.blogspot.com/2016/06/poster-trailer-and-cinema-dates.html

May 20, 2016

Author Mark Lewisohn — Talks About 3 New Beatles Books

The interview "Author Mark Lewisohn: Serious Jibber Jabber With Conan O'Brien" that went public Wednesday is an amazing in-depth discussion on the Beatles centered mostly around Lewisohn's “All These Years: Volume 1: Tune In,” but also talking about the Beatles' career as a whole. The interview, which lasts 83 minutes, is something that never could likely have been done on O'Brien's TV show because of the time spent and the topics covered. The knowledge that emerges on both sides of the interview from Lewisohn and O'Brien, who himself is a huge Beatles, fan, is not only illuminating but enlightening.
For example, the two get into a discussion of Brian Epstein with O'Brien saying, “He's the only one who sees them in '62 and says they're going to be the biggest thing ever.” “He was a man of tremendous energy,” Lewisohn answers. “He would consume himself with whatever it was that was interesting him. And the Beatles were miraculous to him. They came along at just the right time in his life much as he came along at the right time in their lives. It was the perfect marriage of manager and artist.”
An interesting moment is when, in discussing the personalities of the four Beatles, Lewisohn says Paul McCartney, not John Lennon, caused the most problems for Epstein. “They all had their difficult sides, but Paul's was the one that Brian had the most trouble with for sure because Paul was the most conspicuously ambitious for the Beatles. John and George were both ambitious, too, no doubt about it, but they would be more laid back. You wouldn't see it quite so openly as you would with Paul.”
They also discuss Ringo Starr as the rock of the Beatles. “They wanted Ringo first of all for his character and personality was a fit. Secondly, tempo, rock-solid tempo, unwavering beat, metronomic, perfect for guitarists and singers. The guy before, Pete, they always felt he always wavered on his beat. He was erratic, he speeded up, he slowed down. Ringo was rock solid.” “He was also rock solid through every outtake,” O'Brien quipped.
These are just a couple of highlights from a discussion that has many and shouldn't be missed. It's the second interview in two days featuring an intense discussion with Lewisohn. Stephen K. Peeples posted four videos on YouTube with more great talk about the Beatles from Lewisohn. The first is here. None should be missed.
Source: http://www.examiner.com/review/mark-lewisohn-s-interview-with-conan-o-brien-is-a-must-see