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Thread: The Beatles appraised

  1. #166
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    I'm not sure why this is such a difficult point to make. Luchesi thinks that those who came after the Beatles have secondhand opinions that are 'revisionist' - in particular, those that esteem the Beatles higher than he thinks they should be esteemed. I merely countered with the obvious point that we here at TC all came after the event of Beethoven, but if we esteem him highly, it's unlikely that we'd suffer the charge of revisionism.

    Actually, if we accept Luchesi's contention, it doesn't matter what the opinion is, pro or con: if we were too young for first hand experience, our opinion doesn't count.

    Tell that to Woodduck re his opinions of Wagner.
    It is hard to "esteem" The Beatles higher than they've earned. And like I've said, having been there, it is hard to overestimate their impact: their songs were so new and fresh compared to what had been on radio; the mobs of crowds; the sensation of everything they did or said - it all added up to perceiving The Beatles as the most important cultural force from the mid '60s to the end of the decade.

    The revisionist opinion which I guess Luchesi is alluding to, is simply wrong, IMO.

  2. #167
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    It is hard to "esteem" The Beatles higher than they've earned. And like I've said, having been there, it is hard to overestimate their impact: their songs were so new and fresh compared to what had been on radio; the mobs of crowds; the sensation of everything they did or said - it all added up to perceiving The Beatles as the most important cultural force from the mid '60s to the end of the decade.

    The revisionist opinion which I guess Luchesi is alluding to, is simply wrong, IMO.
    I think you should re-read my posts and try to find out why you have that opinion of what I meant. It's wholly natural to twist words into what you already want to believe. I do it too.
    Albert Einstein, "I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.

  3. #168
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Just another aspect of The Beatles' influence.


  4. #169
    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    ..this is rather nice..


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  6. #170
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    Just another aspect of The Beatles' influence.

    I've often thought that XTX were a band that sounded like what The Beatles might have done had they stayed together.

  7. #171
    Senior Member Jay's Avatar
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  9. #172
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Four Not-So-Random Beatles Songs for a Sunday Evening

    Today's songs are most of the Beatles' instrumentals, although only one of these ("Flying") were given a release as an official Beatles track while the band was still active. Instrumentals just weren't their "thing", yet they explored this facet of music anyway.

    Cayenne (1960)
    Cry For A Shadow (1962)
    12 Bar Original (1965)
    Flying (1967)

    Cayenne

    This one is from back before they were even called The Beatles, although they'd soon be changing their band name from The Quarrymen to The Silver Beatles.

    Regardless, this cheap recording, made by teenaged future Beatles torn between Skiffle music and Rock and Roll, shows an early aspect of their future success: They were writing their own material. This one is credited solely to Paul McCartney McCartney hadn't yet moved into the bassist spot, so that's him on lead guitar, accompanied by John Lennon on rhythm guitar.

    Cry For A Shadow

    In June 1961 The Beatles were booked as a session band for singer Tony Sheridan for a few tracks, who billed them generically as "The Beat Brothers". Somehow they managed to also record two songs without Sheridan, Cry For a Shadow, and a rocking cover of Ain't She Sweet with John Lennon on lead vocal.

    That's Harrison, of course, on lead guitar, Lennon on rhythm guitar, McCartney on bass guitar (and scream), and soon-to-be-replaced drummer Pete Best.

    Cry For a Shadow is the only song credited to George Harrison/John Lennon, and was intended as a parody of another popular backing band, The Shadows, who backed Cliff Richard, and were the most popular group in England at the time.

    It was intended at the time to be a single B-side (with a Sheridan track as the A-Side), but the record company (Polydor) shelved it, although once The Beatles proved to be extraordinarily popular, it was released in 1964 as an single A-side, with Sheridan's track moved to the B-side.

    This is actually The Beatles' first original composition to be professionally recorded.

    12 Bar Original

    This 1965 attempt at an instrumental track was eventually scrapped, although it was finally released in 1996 for the Anthology set. It was recorded during the Rubber Soul sessions. This instrumental gets an unusual songwriting credit from all four band members (Harrison, Lennon, McCartney, Starkey)

    What's remarkable is that they were again attempting something out of their comfort zone, and certainly something unusual. Also remarkable is just how unremarkable this rambling 12-bar blues is, although it certainly would not have been out-of-place amongst some of the other releases from other bands at the time.

    Flying

    This 1967 instrumental also gets an unusual songwriting credit from all four band members, and was written for their short film Magical Mystery Tour. The six-song soundtrack was released in the UK as a 2 EP set, although "The Suits" in the US grabbed a handful of non-album singles and created a full-length LP.

    Is this truly an instrumental though? I'd say "yes", even though it features the four of them singing some wordless lyrics, their voices are functioning as instruments. It's mostly McCartney's tunes, and he wanted the vocals to sound un-Beatley, hence Starr's voice is the most prominent in the mix.

    Interestingly, the outro of the song is almost as long as the song itself, and features tape loops, and backwards mellotron, which had been used earlier in the song.

    THE BEATLES WIKI: "In the televised Magical Mystery Tour film, "Flying" is accompanied by images soaring over snow covered hills and mountains (specially shot in Iceland) washed in psychedelic yellows and greens [and other colours], then up into the clouds. It is followed immediately by John Lennon's introduction of the audience to the magical land of the four or five wizards, who appear to monitor and influence the mystery tour. This was one of the segments which suffered the most when the film was initially aired by the BBC on Boxing Day 1967 in black and white instead of colour."

    Surprisingly, although it wasn't a hit record, it did get a significant amount of radio airplay, being used as filler and bed music.





  10. #173
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Four Random Beatles Songs for a Tuesday Night

    Glass Onion
    Helter Skelter
    Real Love
    Long, Long, Long


    I love randomness.

    Three of tonight's random songs are from The Beatles' 1968 White Album

    Glass Onion

    This rocker from John Lennon also features from wicked strings that are all slidey, not how a typical string bed usually functions in pop music. But, no matter, the real treat here is the name-checking in the lyrics to previous songs.

    Helter Skelter

    This rocker from Paul McCartney may be about as Heavy Metal as the Beatles ever got, and some credit them with helping to create that genre with this song.

    Real Love

    The very, VERY, last "new" song from The Beatles, appearing on their Anthology 2 album. This was the second of three planned songs (the third was never finished, and scrapped) intended to be fleshed out from old demos from Lennon.

    Long, Long, Long

    This one is also from the White Album, written by George Harrison. This tender and spiritual song is loaded with some great vocals, excellent acoustic guitar, and an eerie ending featuring a glass full of something-or-other rattling on top of one of the amplifiers.





  11. #174
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    It's likely you're familiar with the song Nowhere Man, written by John Lennon.

    Here's the isolated lead guitars (!) part played simultaneously by Lennon and George Harrison (on twin Fender Stratocasters). The crystalline sound of the lead guitars was created by Lennon's request that they be as "high-pitched as possible". The engineers, aghast, complied by pushing the treble of the guitar tracks as far as possible.

    Of course, there are some other noteworthy things about the song, including the introspective lyrics, the equally jangly rhythm guitar, the bouncy yet melodic bassline from Paul McCartney, and some creative but understated drumming from Ringo Starr. The three part a cappella opening was also pretty different for a pop song at the time. Even the counterpoint of the backing vocals was pretty nifty, although they'd been doing THAT for years already.



    .

    Here's the track, as released way back in 1966 on Rubber Soul. Note the mixing used, with the vocals on one channel, and the instruments on the other.

    The song was remixed to "modern" standards decades later when the song was included in the revamped Yellow Submarine "Songtrack" album, with the vocals spread from left to right, and the instruments mostly center. The lead guitars really sparkle in this mix, but the drums are mixed down to where they are barely heard, as though someone had thrown dirt on 'em.


    Last edited by pianozach; Oct-06-2021 at 18:12.

  12. #175
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Tuesday Night 4 Random Beatles Songs

    She Loves You
    Yes it Is
    And Your Bird Can Sing
    For No One



    She Loves You

    Well, one of the Beatles' first monster hits (1963) in the USA instantly made everyone sit up and take notice with it's very clever "Yeah, yeah, yeah" hook. Those falsetto "Ooo's" were also pretty "hook-y" as well. And of course, at this early stage in their career they were writing "I, You, Me, Love" lyrics that resonated with their intended teenager target audience.

    But in terms of arranging and production, The Beatles were already kicking butt: The ringing cymbals, and the depth of the sound of the kick drum was bad azz. There's George Harrison's jangly guitar punctuations. Vocally, there's also a rather interesting interplay between the lines sung by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, in that one is not really sure which one of them is singing the melody.

    The Beatles, at least in their earlier songs, also effectively used "stop time" liberally, and this song is no exception. And, of course, there's that clever use of ending the song with 3-part vocals singing a tonic 6th chord.

    This was released as a single, and, as such, did not appear on an LP (in the UK) until a few years later.

    Yes it Is

    This was the B-side to the 1965 single Ticket to Ride.

    This ballad features some rather rich and complex 3-part vocal harmonies from John, Paul, and George, and the arrangement features a volume pedal guitar played by George.

    And Your Bird Can Sing

    This one appeared on the 1966 Revolver album, and features a unique double guitar riff/solo/counter melody line played by Harrison and McCartney. In fact, it is one of the FIRST, if not THE first known recording of twin harmony guitars in Rock and Roll music (although Les Paul had been doing this sort of thing for many years). Some fine lyrics from Lennon that are vague enough to be intriguing. This song was buried on Revolver amongst a barrel of excellent songs, so it often gets a bit overshadowed and overlooked, even though it made Guitar World's list of Top 100 Guitar Solos list (at #69). I think that Lennon's jangly rhythm guitar is nifty as well.

    For No One

    This ballad, written mostly by Paul, is also from the Revolver album. It features a solo french horn solo, also used as a counterpoint to the melody in the last verse, a rather sophisticated arranging technique in popular music.





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  14. #176
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Four Random Beatles Songs for a Monday Night


    Anna (Go to Him), (1963)
    It's Only Love, (1965)
    Long Tall Sally (Live at the Star Club, 1962)
    Any Time at All (1964)


    Anna (Go to Him)

    A cover song, but note how the background vocals are really in the "background" as they are nowadays, but mixed considerably "hotter". Of course, even then the Beatles were known for their incredible harmonies.

    Frankly, the Beatles have actually taken a page out of the Elvis Presley play book by covering an R&B song, this one by Arthur Alexander. At least The Beatles put their own stamp on the cover by adding the backing vocals. And Lennon, even on that first album, Please Please Me, was a great vocalist.

    It's Only Love

    From their 1965 album Help!, this original song by John Lennon features only John on vocals, going from a quiet and shy vocal to a rip-roaring rock voice between the verses and choruses.

    It also features lyrics with some unsubtle double entendres, rather bold at the time. So subtle that it sailed right past the censors.

    The overdubbed tambourine gives the song some energy, in direct counterpoint to the descending melody of the verses. And the vibrato guitar is a bit unique.


    Long Tall Sally (Live at the Star Club, 1962)

    This live bootleg from December 1962 just showcases the raw energy, the excitement, and potential of these four guys, including their new drummer Ringo Starr. Again, this one's a cover of an R&B song, this time from Little Richard, which Paul McCartney mimics quite well, to his credit.

    It's also hard to fathom that there was practically no other band playing with this sort of grit and drive at the time.

    Any Time at All

    This one is from their 1964 album A Hard Day's Night. Although the lead vocals are from John Lennon, his bandmate Paul sings the higher second line of every chorus, sounding as much like John as he can.

    A unique feature of this song is the use of an overdubbed piano on the bass lines during the verses. There's another hook that the Beatles were masters of right from the start, and that's the use of hard stops in the backing track - a very effective use of negative space.

    There's also a rather interesting "solo" section shared by the guitar and piano, first playing in opposite directions, then in harmony, with the piano melody line being played in octaves.





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  16. #177
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Thanks for that YouTube channel with the Star Club remastered recordings.

    They sang "Falling in Love Again (Can't Help It)" Marlene Dietrich in Blue Angel 1930

    here's what's on the channel

    Ask My Why -
    Be Bop a Lula -
    Besame Mucho -
    Falling In Love Again -
    Hallelujah I Love Her So -
    I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry Over You -
    I'm Talking About You -
    Kansas City -
    Long Tall Sally -
    Mr Moonlight -
    Red Hot -
    Sheila -
    Shimmy Like Kate -
    The Hippy Hippy Shake -
    Twist and Shout -
    Last edited by Luchesi; Oct-19-2021 at 19:36.
    Albert Einstein, "I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.

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