On the Occasion of John Lennon’s 75th Birthday

Today, John Lennon would have been seventy-five. That seems almost impossible to credit. In our minds, an image burned in from pictures or movies or television or music, he’s always a young man, never quite reaching middle age. I’m older now than Lennon was when he was killed. We remember him young, because he neverContinue reading “On the Occasion of John Lennon’s 75th Birthday”

Paul McCartney and the Beatles’ Songwriting Credits

In an interview with Esquire, Paul McCartney was asked about the famous “Lennon/McCartney” songwriting credit and why he has suggested in the past that some songs should be credited with the reverse, “McCartney/Lennon.” (Without getting overly technical, it has to do with limitations of metadata on digital music files.) On some of his live albumsContinue reading “Paul McCartney and the Beatles’ Songwriting Credits”

Ethan Hawke’s “The Black Album”

I haven’t seen Richard Linklater’s new film Boyhood yet, and despite the rave reviews I may not anytime soon, but there is an aspect of the film that touches on my interests. At some late point in the film, the character played by Ethan Hawke gives his son a 3-disc mixtape of post-Beatles songs. It’sContinue reading “Ethan Hawke’s “The Black Album””

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!, Michael Tomasky’s New Beatles Book

As I write this, we’re on the cusp of the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in New York City and their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. Published by The Daily Beast and released this week, Michael Tomasky’s Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! looks back at those events in February 1964, how and why theyContinue reading “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!, Michael Tomasky’s New Beatles Book”

Artistically Beatles

It’s safe to say that I have more Beatles cover albums in my collection than official Beatles albums.  (I have to make that distinction, as I have a nice sized collection of bootleg albums.)  And over the years, I’ve bought some absolute junk. I have no idea when I picked up Vincent DiCola’s Artistically Beatles. Continue reading “Artistically Beatles”

A Single-Disc White Album

Let’s talk about the Beatles’ White Album. Recording in 1968, after the Beatles went to India to study transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the White Album, thirty tracks long, is famously bloated. The band came back from India with a wealth of material and the intention to record it all. Then the recordingContinue reading “A Single-Disc White Album”

The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963

On Tuesday the Beatles issued their second major release of the year, after last month’s On Air: Live at the BBC Volume 2 — The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963. This was a surprise release. While we knew about On Air for a few months, Bootleg Recordings 1963 was quietly announced a few days before itContinue reading “The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963”

The Return of Rutlemania

In December the Rutles are coming to Blu-Ray. The Rutles, the legend that will last a lunchtime! The Rutles, the Prefab Four! The Rutles — Ron, Dirk, Stig, and Barry! The Rutles, four loveable moptops from Liverpool who conquered the musical world and discovered tea! The Rutles were the creation of Eric Idle and NeilContinue reading “The Return of Rutlemania”

Untold Tales of the Beatles in Hamburg

Later this month, Tune In, the first volume of Mark Lewisohn’s three volume biography of the Beatles, The Beatles: All These Years, comes out. I’ve been awaiting this book for five or six years. Lewisohn, the writer behind The Beatles Recording Sessions and The Complete Beatles Chronicle, the the world’s foremost expert on the Beatles,Continue reading “Untold Tales of the Beatles in Hamburg”

On Ramping Up the Christmas Music

It wouldn’t be December without “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Instead of the version that you probably hear on the radio at least twice this time of year, this is the extended remix by Trevor Horn. It’s notable for a few things. The instrumentation is mixed lower so the vocals are more prominent. And thereContinue reading “On Ramping Up the Christmas Music”