The Beatles Anthology Podcast

Last week the Beatles released a new 3-part podcast that takes a look at Beatles Anthology project from twenty years ago — “British music journalists and Beatles experts Kevin Holwett and Mark Ellen discuss the classic Anthology releases, shining a light on the fascinating stories behind these albums which tell the story of the development … Continue reading The Beatles Anthology Podcast

Alternate Beatles

Recently I’ve seen the traffic spike on some of my Beatles writings, specifically on alt-history Beatles, so I’m going to assemble a guide to things I written on the subject over the years. Post-Abbey Road Albums It’s an interesting game to imagine what the Beatles might’ve done had they soldiered on into 1970. There’s interesting … Continue reading Alternate Beatles

Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition

What if the Beatles didn’t get a record contract with Parlophone in 1962? That’s the subject of BBC Radio 4’s radio play, Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition, adapted by Ray Connolly from his novella of the same name. Originally broadcast by the BBC in 2013, it was rebroadcast again this week, and I streamed … Continue reading Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition

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 albums … Continue 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’s … Continue reading Ethan Hawke’s “The Black Album”

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 recording … Continue 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 it … Continue reading The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963

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 there … Continue reading On Ramping Up the Christmas Music

On Paul McCartney, the Election, and His Band

Excepting Twitter, this is my last word on politics until Wednesday, and that’s a promise. Paul McCartney and his band make an endorsement in the 2012 presidential election. I realized something watching that little video. Paul’s band has been together together for a decade. While the Beatles were a band for longer than that, the … Continue reading On Paul McCartney, the Election, and His Band

On Christmas Day Music Musings

Like many atheists, I love Christmas. Richard Dawkins, for instance, says that he’s “culturally Christian” when he’s asked why he does Christmas things — the Christmas celebrations are part of the cultural DNA. Elizabeth Cornwell wrote an essay for the Washington Post about her own “Very Atheist Christmas” and it hits a lot of my … Continue reading On Christmas Day Music Musings