July 21, 2018

The Beatles - Albums for free on YouTube

The Beatles - Free As Birds on YouTube!
In an unprecedented move, The Beatles have released most of their albums for free - on YouTube. Whether or not this is going to be a permanent move remains to be seen. It's all the original British albums, from "Please Please Me" from 1963 to "Let It Be" from 1970, all presented in their remastered stereo editions. In addition to this, the following albums are also available:, "1962-1966" (The Red Album), "1967-1970" (The Blue Album), Anthologies 1-3 plus "Anthology Highlights", "1", "Love", and both volumes of "Past Masters".

In some instances, a music video is screened during the song, in others, there's just a still picture of the album cover. For instance, "Anthology Highlights" starts with the "Free As A Bird" video, then continues with the other tracks with just a still photo, then near the end, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" has the modern music video, as has the closing song, "Real Love".

Screen capture from YouTube (Norwegian text)

It seems that these albums are not available worldwide, as some readers of this blog have reported that they are unable to see them on YouTube. I sent one of my readers in Hungary a link to "One after 909", and all he got was an "attachment unavailable" message. Chile, the Netherlands and Iceland are other countries where the albums are not available, but they are available in important markets like USA and U.K.

Other recent uploads to the channel: "Eight Days A Week" (the Shea Stadium video they made for Ron Howard's film), the Intertel music videos for "Ticket To Ride", "I Feel Fine" (chipless version) and the umbrella version of "Help!". Also, the "Come Together" animated video they made for "1" back in 2000 and "A Hard Day's Night" from the Paris concert. As part of the promotions for the cinematic event "Yellow Submarine" they have published two new short films,  "Yellow Submarine - An Introduction" and "Yellow Submarine - The Design":

Here's a link to The Beatles' YouTube channel, straight to the album listings, which are themed playlists sorted by album.

Source: http://wogew.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-beatles-for-free-on-youtube.html

February 03, 2018

The Beatles Unplugged Bootleg

Just when you thought that everything that could be said that was new, fresh, or unusual about the Beatles' later history was already out there, along comes The Beatles: Unplugged, a bootleg CD so good that the folks at Apple and EMI ought to be kicking themselves for not thinking of it first. This disc (which is sort-of subtitled "The Kinfaun-Session," referring to George Harrison's Esher home) pulls together the 23 songs that Harrison, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney recorded as works-in-progress at Harrison's home in May of 1968. Most of what's here was eventually heard either on The Beatles [White Album], or various solo works ("Child of Nature" surfacing with new lyrics as "A Jealous Guy," etc.) or B-sides ("What's the New Mary Jane"), and on various bootlegs. What makes this presentation better than most is that it's part of that "digipak" bootleg series that's been coming out of Europe since late 2000 and generally knocking listeners out with its quality. The production here is a match for any legitimate release, not just in sound quality but also the care that went into the selection, order, and editing of the tapes; there's some hiss here and there, to be sure, and a few tracks are close to overload on the sound, but there's nothing here that will make you jump to lower the volume or skip to the next cut -- in fact, chances are most of the songs here will get repeated more than once. It's a lot like listening to an "unplugged" version of The Beatles (even re-creating The Beatles [White Album]'s packaging), since most of it is represented here, and in excellent form. Indeed, the version of "Revolution" on this disc -- just to cite one example -- is as good as the released one, only brighter, and, if you will, bouncier, as the trio has unbridled fun with the lyric, the beat, and the rhymes without the need to pump up the wattage or the seriousness of it all; if the finished song is John Lennon's message to the world about politics, hate, and manipulation of the Beatles, this is his handwritten draft of that message, with all of his momentary digressions and mental edits left in. McCartney and Harrison's songs are just as well represented, and the only thing missing is a contribution by Ringo Starr, who didn't participate in these recordings. The curious element is that it's the hard-rocking songs -- "Yer Blues" and "Back in the USSR" -- that come off the best, even though they're the most different from the finished versions; the demo of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" is just as entertaining, as the trio plunges headfirst into reggae armed with just their guitars and some good intentions. As the notes point out, whatever stresses the group may have been experiencing as a formal entity, the three guitarists had some productive and harmonious sessions and they still sounded as cool, creative, and cutting edge as they ever did. As bonus cuts, the makers have added "Helter Skelter" from a studio run-through, and thrown on "Spiritual Regeneration," the Beatles/Beach Boys ode to the Maharishi (which segues into the Beatles' birthday greeting to Mike Love) and a somewhat less-entertaining, informal, acoustic medley of traditional songs, all tracks recorded in India.
Source: AllMusic Review

Child of Nature later became Jealous Guy on John Lennon's solo album Imagine
Circles, written by George Harrison, was later released on Gone Troppo, his solo album released in 1982.

Sour Milk Sea was later given to Jackie Lomax which would be released in 1968.
Not Guilty was released in George Harrison's self-titled album in 1979, and an alternative take was released on Anthology.
Junk was released on Paul McCartney's first self-titled album, and the demo was also released on Anthology, a bit shorter than the original.
Spiritual Regeneration India was played for a birthday in India, according to someone talking in the song.
Rishikesh No. 9? I don't know.
01 - Cry Baby Cry
02 - Child Of Nature
03 - The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
04 - I'm So Tired
05 - Yer Blues
06 - Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except for Me and My Monkey
07 - What's The New Mary Jane
08 - Revolution
09 - While My Guitar Gently Weeps
10 - Circles
11 - Sour Milk Sea
12 - Not Guilty
13 - Piggies
14 - Julia
15 - Blackbird
16 - Rocky Raccoon
17 - Back In The U.S.S.R.
18 - Honey Pie
19 - Mother Nature's Son
20 - Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
21 - Junk
22 - Dear Prudence
23 - Sexy Sadie
24 - Helter Skelter
25 - Spiritual Regeneration India
26 - Rishikesh No. 9

More info here: http://getbeatlebootlegs.blogspot.com/2012/06/download-here.html

The Beatles: Unplugged Collects Acoustic Demos of White Album Songs (1968)

I am a child of Beatles fans; we owned nearly every album in original mono vinyl pressings. But somehow there was a hole in our collection—a whale-sized hole, it turned out—because we didn’t have a copy of the White Album. I was introduced to it later by a friend, who shared its secrets with me like one would share the favorite work of a favorite poet—reverently. We delved into the history and learned that recording sessions were notoriously fractious—with Ringo stepping away for a while and Paul stepping in on the drums, and with the others recording solo, sometimes with session players, rarely in the same room together— a situation reflected in the tracking of the record, which feels like a compilation of songs by each Beatle (but Ringo), rather than the usual smooth affair of Lennon/McCartney, and occasional Harrison productions.

That ranginess is what makes the White Album special: it’s feels so familiar, and yet it’s not like anything they’d done before and presages the genius to come in their solo careers. So imagine my surprised delight at stumbling across a bootleg that die-hard completists have surely known about for ages (though it only saw release in 2002): The Beatles: Unplugged is a recording of acoustic songs, most of which would appear on the the White Album, played and sung by John, Paul, and George at George’s house in Esher—hence the bootleg’s subtitle, the Kinfauns-Sessions (Kinfauns was the name of George’s home). Here are the close vocal harmonies that seemed to mark a group of musicians in near-perfect harmony with each other (but without Ringo, again). And here are some of the Beatles’ most poignant, pointed, and vaudevillian songs live and direct, without any studio tricks whatsoever.
Of course these were recorded as demos, and not meant for release of any kind, but even so, they’re fairly high-quality, in a lo-fi kind of way. Listening to the songs in this form makes me think of the folk/psych revivalism of the so-called New Weird America that hearkened back to so much sixties’ trippy playfulness, but mostly eschewed the major label studio sound of sixties’ records and welcomed prominent tape hiss and single-track, bedroom takes. Given the rapid pop-culture recycling that is the hallmark of the early 21st century, The Beatles: Unplugged sounds strangely modern.

The Unplugged session includes a wonderfully airy rendition of “Dear Prudence,” which like so many of these songs, was written during The Beatles’ sojourn in India, about Mia Farrow’s sister (a complete tracklist is here). The compilers of the release have tacked on three additional songs: “Spiritual Regeneration India” (also a birthday tribute to The Beach Boy’s Mike Love), an oddly upbeat studio run-through of “Helter Skelter,” and a free-form acoustic medley of traditional songs called “Rishikesh No. 9” (also called “Spiritual Christmas”). In addition to the slew of White Album songs, the recording session also features McCartney’s “Junk,” which later appeared on his 1970 solo album McCartney and John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” (here called “Child of Nature”), which surfaced on 1971’s Imagine. As Allmusic’s Bruce Eder writes, Unplugged is a bootleg so good, “the folks at Apple and EMI ought to be kicking themselves for not thinking of it first.”

Eric Clapton’s Isolated Guitar Track From the Classic Beatles Song, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ (1968)
Hear the 1962 Beatles Demo that Decca Rejected: “Guitar Groups are on Their Way Out, Mr. Epstein”
How Bertrand Russell Turned The Beatles Against the Vietnam War
Peter Sellers Reads The Beatles’ “She Loves You” in Four Voices
Josh Jones is a writer and musician. He recently finished a dissertation on land, landscape, and labor.

Source: http://www.openculture.com/2013/01/ithe_beatles_unpluggedi_collects_acoustic_demos_of_iwhite_albumi_songs_1968.html

December 30, 2017

The Beatles Story Album

The Beatles' Story is the sixth album by the Beatles in the United States, issued on 23 November 1964 by Capitol Records in both mono and stereo formats (although the mono was merely a fold-down of the stereo mix). It is a documentary double album featuring interviews, press conferences, snippets of original or orchestral versions of Beatles songs with voice-overs. The easy listening excerpts were created, produced and arranged by Stu Phillips with the Hollyridge Strings originally recorded for the first Capitol Records' Beatles Song Book.[1]

This documentary album was issued in response to interviews of the Beatles collected on the Vee-Jay Records release, Hear the Beatles Tell All.[citation needed]


Originally, Capitol Records intended to release the group's 1964 performance at the Hollywood Bowl, but due to a lack of advanced live recording and sound enhancement technology and the excessive amount of loud screaming fans on tape the album was shelved. Another plan was to release a 2 LP 'Greatest Hits' album for the Christmas market. Four songs were to make their Capitol debut on this album: "A Hard Day's Night," "Misery," "There's a Place," and "From Me to You." The album was compiled, but never issued.


Release and reception

The Beatles' Story entered the Billboard Pop Albums on 12 December at number 97, and on 2 January 1965 it reached its peak position at number seven, where it remained for four weeks before beginning its slide down the charts.[2] It has been certified a gold record by the RIAA;[3] it was also released in Canada and is currently out of print. It was released by Toshiba EMI in Japan on the Apple label (in stereo) in a box set with a deluxe 24 page 12"x12" booklet that contains the entire text of the script in English and Japanese.

The album contains a brief stereo excerpt of "Twist and Shout" performed at their 1964 Hollywood Bowl concert. The album was only released on cassette tape in Canada (4XBB 2222) and Japan (ZR44-1019), and was never issued at all on a stereo 8-track cartridge tape. The Beatles' Story was being prepared for release on digital audio tape in 1996, but when the format failed commercially the plan was scrapped.[citation needed] In 2014, The Beatles Story was made available on CD for the first time in the Beatles boxed set, The U.S. Albums. Running time is: 49:22.

Side one
No.     Title     Length
1.     "On Stage with the Beatles"     1:03
2.     "How Beatlemania Began"     1:20
3.     "Beatlemania in Action"     1:25
4.     "Man Behind the Beatles – Brian Epstein"     2:47
5.     "John Lennon"     5:50
6.     "Who's a Millionaire?"     0:39
Side two
No.     Title     Length
1.     "Beatles Will Be Beatles"     7:28
2.     "Man Behind the Music – George Martin"     1:04
3.     "George Harrison"     4:46
Side three
No.     Title     Length
1.     "A Hard Day's Night – Their First Movie"     3:08
2.     "Paul McCartney"     2:45
3.     "Sneaky Haircuts and More About Paul"     3:29
Side four
No.     Title     Length
1.     "The Beatles Look at Life"     2:05
2.     "Victims of Beatlemania"     1:10
3.     "Beatle Medley"     3:58
4.     "Ringo Starr"     6:24
5.     "Liverpool and All the World!"     1:05

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles%27_Story

You can listen to it here:


December 29, 2017

The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963

The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963 is a compilation album of 59 previously unreleased recordings by English rock band the Beatles, released on 17 December 2013, exclusively through the iTunes Store.[1] While it was initially only available for a few hours,[2] it is currently available again for purchase.[3] The release was timed to extend the copyright of the 1963 recordings under EU law by 20 years – the EU protects recordings for 70 years only if they are formally released.[1][4] Officially unreleased recordings from the band's earlier recording sessions previously entered public domain in 2012.[citation needed]

The album includes 15 studio outtakes and 42 live BBC Radio tracks, adding to those released previously on the albums Live at the BBC (1994) and On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2 (2013).[5] The album also includes John Lennon's demo recordings of "Bad to Me" and "I'm in Love", later released as singles by Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas and the Fourmost, respectively.[1]

Track listing
Tracks 1–14 are stereo; the rest are mono.
All tracks written by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted.


1-1 There's A Place (Studio Outtake / Takes 5 & 6) 2:19
1-2 There's A Place (Studio Outtake / Take 8) 1:58
1-3 There's A Place (Studio Outtake / Take 9) 2:04
1-4 Do You Want To Know A Secret (Studio Outtake / Take 7) 2:17
1-5 A Taste Of Honey (Studio Outtake / Take 6) 2:12
1-6 I Saw Her Standing There (Studio Outtake / Take 2) 3:07
1-7 Misery (Studio Outtake / Take 1) 1:54
1-8 Misery (Studio Outtake / Take 7) 1:56
1-9 From Me To You (Studio Outtake / Takes 1 & 2) 3:24
1-10 From Me To You (Studio Outtake / Take 5) 2:17
1-11 Thank You Girl (Studio Outtake / Take 1) 2:09
1-12 Thank You Girl (Studio Outtake / Take 5) 2:04
1-13 One After 909 (Studio Outtake / Takes 1 & 2) 4:29
1-14 Hold Me Tight (Studio Outtake / Take 21) 2:42
1-15 Money (That's What I Want) (Studio Outtake) 2:48
1-16 Some Other Guy (Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963) 2:02
1-17 Love Me Do (Live At The BBC For "Saturday Club" 26th January, 1963) 2:31
1-18 Too Much Monkey Business (Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963) 1:50
1-19 I Saw Her Standing There (Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 16th March, 1963) 2:38
1-20 Do You Want To Know A Secret (Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963) 1:50
1-21 From Me To You (Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963) 1:54
1-22 I Got To Find My Baby (Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963) 1:59
1-23 Roll Over Beethoven (Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 29th June, 1963) 2:29
1-24 A Taste Of Honey (Live At BBC For "Easy Beat" / 23rd June, 1963) 2:01
1-25 Love Me Do (Live At BBC For "Easy Beat" / 20th October, 1963) 2:29
1-26 Please Please Me (Live At BBC For "Easy Beat" / 20th October, 1963) 2:08
1-27 She Loves You (Live At BBC For "Easy Beat" / 20th October, 1963) 2:29
1-28 I Want To Hold Your Hand (Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 21st December, 1963) 2:19
1-29 Till There Was You (Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 21st December, 1963) 2:16
2-1 Roll Over Beethoven (Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 21st December, 1963) 2:16
2-2 You Really Got A Hold On Me (Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 4th June, 1963) 2:54
2-3 The Hippy Hippy Shake (Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 4th June, 1963) 1:43
2-4 Till There Was You (Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" /11th June, 1963) 2:14
2-5 A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues (Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 18th June, 1963) 2:06
2-6 A Taste Of Honey (Live At The BBC for "Pop Go The Beatles" 18th June, 1963) 1:56
2-7 Money (That's What I Want) (Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 18th June, 1963) 2:41
2-8 Anna (Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 25th June, 1963) 3:02
2-9 Love Me Do (Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 10th September, 1963) 2:29
2-10 She Loves You (Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 24th September, 1963) 2:16
2-11 I'll Get You (Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 10th September, 1963) 2:05
2-12 A Taste Of Honey (Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 10th September, 1963) 2:00
2-13 Boys (Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 17th September, 1963) 2:12
2-14 Chains (Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 17th September, 1963) 2:22
2-15 You Really Got A Hold On Me (Live At The BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" 17th September, 1963) 2:57
2-16 I Saw Her Standing There (Live At The BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" 24th September, 1963) 2:41
2-17 She Loves You (Live At The BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" 10th September, 1963) 2:15
2-18 Twist And Shout (Live At the BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" 24th September, 1963) 2:36
2-19 Do You Want To Know A Secret (Live At The BBC For "Here We Go" 12th March, 1963) 1:55
2-20 Please Please Me (Live At The BBC For "Here We Go" 12th March, 1963) 1:57
2-21 Long Tall Sally (Live At The BBC For "Side By Side" 13th May, 1963) 1:49
2-22 Chains (Live At The BBC For "Side By Side" 13th May, 1963) 2:23
2-23 Boys (Live At The BBC For "Side By Side" 13th May, 1963) 1:53
2-24 A Taste Of Honey (Live At The BBC For "Side By Side" 13th May, 1963) 2:04
2-25 Roll Over Beethoven (Live At The BBC For "From Us To You" 26th December, 1963) 2:17
2-26 All My Loving (Live At The BBC For "From Us To You" 26th December, 1963) 2:06
2-27 She Loves You (Live At The BBC For "From Us To You" 26th December, 1963) 2:21
2-28 Till There Was You (Live At The BBC For "From Us To You" 26th December, 1963) 2:12
2-29 Bad To Me (Demo) 1:29
2-30 I'm In Love (Demo) 1:32

There also appears to be an unofficial bootleg CD version of the recordings.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles_Bootleg_Recordings_1963

After something of a false start, Apple Corps/Universal have today issued 59 previously unreleased recordings by The Beatles consisting of studio outtakes and live material from 1963.
We should clarify straight off the bat, that this is not a deluxe box set; indeed, it’s not being released physically on any format. Bootleg Recordings 1963 (as this collection is dubbed) is a digital-only affair and can only be bought via iTunes. But hey, it is The Beatles, so coverage here is justified!
The Beatles’ Anthology albums (themselves nearly 20 years old) were the one and only time in the last 50 years that Fab Four studio outtakes have been officially released, so to see something akin to The Holy Grail almost casually uploaded onto (the other) Apple’s iTunes servers takes a while to get your head around.

But that is what has happened. Tracks made available include work-in-progress from Please Please Me and With The Beatles, and early takes of the group’s first (official) UK number one From Me To You and its B-side Thank You Girl. The 1963 version of The One After 909 (which famously went unreleased until Paul and John dusted it down for Let It Be six years later) is another notable inclusion (takes 1&2) in this Beatles Bootleg bundle.
Into total, 15 studio tracks are issued followed by an enormous amount of what you might call Live at the BBC ‘the leftovers’ – tracks recorded at the BBC radio studios that haven’t appeared on the official releases (1994 and 2013) probably to avoid duplication and in some cases because the sound quality is not up to par. So we get three Love Me Dos, four A Taste Of Honeys and a couple of Do You Want To Know A Secrets amongst the 42 Beeb tracks. A special treat at the end of the Bootleg Recordings are demo versions of Bad To Me and I’m In Love, two Lennon-McCartney songs given to other groups (Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas and The Fourmost, respectively).

As a fan of physical media the first reaction is ‘why couldn’t they have released this is a proper box set’, but in truth, the digital domain is somehow a more forgiving environment for this Merseybeat memory dump; running orders don’t need to be fretted over (or are rendered irrelevant by the medium), and no one is going to complain about multiple versions of the same track because you just can just download the ones you want. In short, Apple don’t need to think  about it too much, because the truth of the matter seems to be that they would probably rather not do this at all. The current thinking is that this Bootleg Recordings 1963 release is all about retaining copyright of the material once it’s over 50 years old. Previously released material is now protected for 70 years (in Europe), but unreleased material is not afforded the same protection and becomes public domain. The solution? Release it.

And that is what Apple/Universal have done today. The Anthology projects of the 1990s were studies in planning, hype, marketing, coordination and global brand enhancement. Three multi-formatted double albums spread over a year with the small matter of a six-part companion TV documentary (and later a hardback book). By comparison Bootleg Recordings 1963 is the polar opposite. No hype, no build-up, no advertising, no ‘tie-ins’ – just a bucketful of Beatles’ rarities falling onto the unsuspecting Mop Top fan as they go about their daily business.

If there are no changes in the copyright law, then surely we can look forward to similar Beatles Bootleg recordings in our Christmas stockings over the next seven years. Bootleg Recordings 1963 is released globally via iTunes today and is available to download in many territories already.

Source: http://www.superdeluxeedition.com/news/beatles-bootleg-recordings-1963/

December 17, 2017

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

December 02, 2017

Christmas Messages Covers- Updated HQ Scans

Each year the Beatles would send a studio message thanking all their fan club members for a wonderful year. Below are the covers for each year from 1963 thru 1969 and a link where you can get them. Enjoy http://returntopepperland.blogspot.com/2006/11/beatles-christmas-records.html

December 01, 2017

John Lennon – 2018 US Postal Service Stamp

Looks like the US Postal Service is to honour John Lennon in 2018.
The newest stamp in its Music Icons series will honor singer and songwriter John Lennon (1940–1980), “….a rock ’n’ roll hero successful both as a founding member of the Beatles and as a solo artist.”

If the photograph for the stamp looks familiar, it was most recently used on the cover of Philip Norman’s book John Lennon – The Life, which came out in 2008. The image is by legendary rock photographer Bob Gruen who knew Lennon well and has taken many iconic images of him. The photograph comes from a photo shoot for the cover of his 1978 album

Walls and Bridges

The Postal Service has previously honoured The Beatles as a group on a 1999 postage stamp as part of its Celebrate the Century series. That issue depicted the Yellow Submarine from the animated movie and soundtrack Yellow Submarine. The upcoming Lennon release will be the first to feature an actual likeness of one of the Beatles on a U.S. stamp.
In 2007 Britain’s Royal Mail issued ten different stamps celebrating the importance of The Beatles to Britain and the world. These depicted album covers (With The Beatles; Help!; Revolver; Sgt. Pepper; Let It Be; and Abbey Road, plus the single ‘Love Me Do’), along with images of Beatle memorabilia. For more detail on those releases click here.
Detailed information and the issue date for the Lennon US Postal Service stamp will be revealed later. The stamp design is preliminary and subject to change until issuance dates.

Source: https://beatlesblogger.com/2017/12/15/john-lennon-2018-us-postal-service-stamp/

November 01, 2017

Beatles Christmas Records Box Set Coming Dec. 15

Resourceful Beatles fans have been beat-ing the drum for several days sharing info about upcoming year-end releases from the Fab Four. Videos, presumably from Apple Records, would appear on YouTube and elsewhere, only to vanish within hours. By Oct. 31, one project was identified as the long-awaited release of the annual Christmas messages that the Beatles sent to their fan club members on flexi-discs for many years. On Nov. 1… a title: The Beatles Christmas Records Box, which appeared on Amazon’s France-based website for EUR71.88 under the code name Tbc (The Beatles Christmas?).

And on Nov. 1, Amazon’s U.K. site listed a second release, a vinyl edition of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which, the detectives assured their fellow fans, was a picture disc of the album.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Sure enough, several titles showed up on Amazon today (Nov. 2) for a Dec. 15 release. Shortly after 9 a.m. ET, the formal announcement arrive from Apple Corps Ltd., Capitol Records and Universal Music Enterprises.

The Beatles Christmas Records Box is a limited-edition collection of 7″ singles, pressed on colored vinyl, of the Fab Four’s annual holiday messages that were sent to their fan club members from 1963-1969.

From the announcement: “The Beatles’ annual holiday tradition of recording jolly Christmas messages for fan club members was an important part of the band’s relationship with their most ardent supporters, affectionately referred to by them as ‘Beatle People’. Spanning 1963 to 1969, The Beatles’ holiday recordings were originally pressed on flexi-discs and mailed to fan club members each December.

“Never released beyond the fan club until now, The Beatles’ seven holiday messages have been newly pressed on a rainbow of seven-inch colored vinyl singles for The Christmas Records box set. The limited-edition collection presents each vinyl single with its original flexi-disc sleeve artwork, accompanied by a 16-page booklet with recording notes and reproductions of the fan club’s National Newsletters, which were mailed to members with the holiday flexi-discs.”

The Beatles: The Christmas Records [limited edition box set: seven 7” colored vinyl singles]

1963: “The Beatles’ Christmas Record” (one-sided, 5:00 TRT)

Recorded: 17 October 1963 – Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London

1964: “Another Beatles Christmas Record” (one-sided, 3:58 TRT)

Recorded: 26 October 1964 – Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London

1965: “The Beatles’ Third Christmas Record” (one-sided, 6:20 TRT)

Recorded: 8 November 1965 – Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London

1966: “Pantomime – Everywhere It’s Christmas: The Beatles’ Fourth Christmas Record” (one-sided, 6:36 TRT)

Recorded: 25 November 1966 – Dick James Music, New Oxford Street, London

1967: “Christmas Time (Is Here Again): The Beatles’ Fifth Christmas Record” (one-sided, 6:06 TRT)

Recorded: 28 November 1967 – Studio Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London

1968: “The Beatles’ Sixth Christmas Record” (two-sided, 7:48 TRT)

Recorded: 1968, various locations

1969: “The Beatles’ Seventh Christmas Record” (two-sided, 7:39 TRT)

Recorded: 1969, various locations

Pre-order The Beatles Christmas Records Box in the U.K. here and the U.S. here.

Also coming Dec. 15 is the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’s 2017 stereo mix as a 1-LP, 180g vinyl edition and as a limited, collectible picture disc vinyl LP. Produced by Giles Martin for this year’s 50th Anniversary Edition releases, the album’s new stereo mix was sourced directly from the original four-track session tapes and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by Giles’ father, George Martin.

Pre-order the picture disc: for the U.K. here and the U.S. here. Pre-order the 180g vinyl: for the U.K. here and the U.S. here.

On the same date, the Deluxe Anniversary Edition of Sgt. Pepper’s will debut worldwide in high definition digital audio (96kHz/24bit). This edition features the album’s 2017 stereo mix, plus 18 additional tracks, including complete alternate takes for the groundbreaking album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo. The expanded edition also features the 2017 stereo mix and an instrumental take of “Penny Lane” and the 2015 stereo mix and two complete alternate takes for “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Shortly after the labels’ April 5 announcement of the Sgt. Pepper’s 50th Anniversary editions, fan pre-orders went wild. And for weeks following their May 26 release, all four versions sold phenomenally, with the Super Deluxe Edition (at a super deluxe $149.98 list price) holding the top spot at Amazon.

Source: http://bestclassicbands.com/beatles-christmas-records-box-11-2-17/

August 11, 2017

John Lennon's letter to first wife sells for $30,000 at auction

AN OPEN letter John Lennon wrote to his ex-wife Cynthia slamming her for making details of their marriage breakdown public has been unearthed after 41 years. John Lennon's letter to first wife sells for $30,000 at auction. By GILLIAN CRAWLEY, PUBLISHED: 13:08, Mon, Aug 7, 2017 | UPDATED: 13:24, Mon, Aug 7, 2017

In the original letter, which is titled 'an open letter to Cynthia Twist' and is dated November 15, 1976, the former Beatle said Cynthia had an 'impaired' memory of their marriage.

He claimed their relationship was over long before Yoko Ono arrived on the scene and accused her of double standards for wishing to get away from her past with the Beatle, yet was happy to speak about it to magazines.

Lennon sent the letter to a US weekly magazine for them to publish with the request that it is 'printed without any edits.

I think it only fair to me and your readers to present my side of the story'.

He wrote it in response to an article Cynthia had published in an English women's magazine earlier that year.

She claimed her ex-husband's mounting LSD use and the intrusion of Yoko Ono were to blame for the breakdown of the marriage.

At the time these letters were written, Lennon had reunited with his second wife Ono after an 18 month separation.

In Lennon's rebuttal, he claimed Cynthia came to visit him two years earlier in 1974 to try and persuade him to get back together with her but he declined because he was still in love with Ono.

He refuted her claim that he hired a private detective to spy on her and her future husband Roberto Bassanini who she was married to from 1970 to 1973.

The letter measures 8.5in by 11in and has been signed 'John' with Lennon adding a small sketch of his face.

It is being consigned by a private collector in the US who wishes to remain anonymous and the letter is tipped to sell for £20,000 ($25,000).

It reads in full: “As you and I well know, our marriage was over long before the advent of L.S.D. or Yoko Ono ... and that's reality!

“Your memory is impaired to say the least.

“Your version of our first L.S.D. trip is rather vague, and you seem to have forgotten subsequent trips altogether!

“You also seem to have forgotten that only two years ago, while I was separated from Yoko, you suddenly brought Julian to see me in Los Angeles after three years of silence.

“During this visit, you hardly allowed me to be alone with him for one moment.

“You even asked me to remarry you and/or give you another child, 'for Julian's sake'!

“I politely told you no, and that, anyway, I was still in love with Yoko, (which I thought was very 'down to earth').

“There were no detectives sent to Italy. Our mutual friend Alex Mardas went to Bassanini's Hotel to see how you were, as you said you were too ill to come home...

“Finally, I don't blame you for wanting to get away from your 'Beatle' past.

“But if you are serious about it, you should try to avoid talking to and posing for magazines and newspapers!

“We did have some good years, so dwell on them for a change, and, as Dylan says, it was 'A Simple Twist of Fate!'

“Love & good luck to the three of you, from the three of us.”

Lennon's pun on Cynthia’s surname at the close of the first letter 'A Simple Twist of Fate' possibly inspired Cynthia's decision to call her forthcoming memoirs A Twist of Lennon which were published in 1978.

A spokesman for US based RR Auctions, who are selling the letter, said: “As Lennon's official side of the story, a public he-said, she-said self-defence, these letters represent the unique final chapter in the life of the former Beatle.

“They are of the utmost rarity and importance.” Cynthia met Lennon in a calligraphy class at the Liverpool College of Art and they began dating in 1958.

They married in 1962 and were together for six years but divorced in November 1968.

In 1976, Cynthia married John Twist, an engineer from Lancashire, but divorced him in 1983.

She was married to night club owner Noel Charles from 2002 until his death in 2013. Two years later, in 2015, she died aged 65.

The auction ended on August 9.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/music/837932/John-Lennon-marriage-Cynthia-letter-Yoko-Ono-the-Beatles#.WYiC-hx7BHs.blogger