It was two years ago today!

Happy birthday, All You Need Is The Beatles!

Happy birthday, All You Need Is The Beatles!

On the 5th of June, 2014, I published my very first post on this blog. And today – 13,800 views, 92 posts and 121 readers on – marks 2 years since I first made this blog live. So happy birthday, All You Need Is The Beatles! Thank you so much to you all for joining me on this ride – for reading what I publish, and for adding your own thoughts in the comments section and for sharing them with your social media followers, too. It is what turns AYNITB from a random site where I post ramblings on music to an interesting and lively community – it means a lot! I’ve certainly enjoyed the past two years with this place, and I hope you all have too… And so here’s to the next year, with all the writing, commenting and musicality that will undoubtedly arrive with it! I don’t know about you, but I for one am looking forward to it very much… ūüôā

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You Say It’s Your Birthday!

I got a little arty for the occasion!

I drew a picture for the occasion!

Today is the 5th of June, 2015. Precisely one year ago, I was writing my very first blog post and publishing my brand-new blog. And 4,974 views, 79 readers (that’s you!), 67 blog posts and 1 year later, I’m writing a post, too! So happy first birthday, All You Need Is The Beatles. To quote John, ‘another year over, and a new one just begun’.

AYNITB has come a long way since that very first post. (It was titled ‘Welcome To All You Need Is The Beatles!’, and you can read it here.) In the profile I wrote on myself in my post, I said that John Lennon was my favourite Beatle and that¬†Revolver¬†was my favourite Beatles album. That hasn’t changed. And oh, I still like making really bad Beatles puns. You can see them scattered throughout the blog.

But so much has changed in the world of¬†AYNITB, too. You may have noticed that I said¬†something about publishing my poetry and prose on here. Which I don’t do anymore. And now, I write about loads of my other favourite artists, as well. This time last year, I would have barely even heard of a few of the artists that I now know and love. And I hated all modern music, which has changed, too. I started this blog as a place where I could write about The Beatles, and occasionally publish my poetry. It’s sort of turned into a place where I can rant about all my favourite artists, review gigs I’ve been to, write about my own adventures in the world of music and…write about The Beatles!

And these past 12 months have been pretty awesome, and I chronicled some great times on here! I wrote about that time I went to my first Beatles tribute, or that time I saw some members of Australian alternative rock royalty perform The White Album in its entirety, or when I¬†finally got my fancy Blu-Ray of¬†A Hard Day’s Night. More recently, I wrote about playing my first gig,¬†and when I met one of my musical heroes, Courtney Barnett!¬†Writing about music is a wonderful thing. Music is something that brings people together; it creates memories. I think it has magical properties. As one of those people who loves music, to be able to write about it is so much fun!

There’s also some posts which I’m pretty proud of, too. I really enjoy writing my approximately weekly posts, and some of my favourites include the pieces I wrote on John Lennon on his birthday and the anniversary of his death, the post I did recently on my favourite bands from the ’60s and ’70s, and my review of Courtney Barnett’s gig in my hometown. (What are your favourite AYNITB posts? I’d love to know!)

And by the way, thank you! Thank you so much¬†for reading my blog. Thank you for adding your thoughts at the end of my posts; I really enjoy waking up the morning after I’ve updated, and seeing all your thoughts and comments. And thank you for ‘liking’ my posts, and sharing them with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers and whatever other social media you may have. Or for sharing them with your friends and family in real life, if any of you do that… You — as the readers — put the ‘community’ in the All You Need Is The Beatles community. So thank you. I really appreciate it! ūüôā

Thank you also to my wonderful family and friends who read this blog. Thank you so much for reading my posts, and for telling me what you think, and for offering me advice and for being really supportive of my blog! You all know who you are. ūüôā

I’m super excited about this next year of All You Need Is The Beatles! I’ve still got loads of Beatley posts, and most of my writing will be about them. But I’m going to do all sorts of posts about my other favourite artists, too. And I’ll be doing gig reviews, and music reviews, and (hopefully!) posts about my own gigs and songs, too! But The Beatles will still be the main focus. The blog is called All You Need Is The Beatles, after all! To paraphrase The Who, ‘I’ve got a feeling that 2015/16 is gonna be a good year.’

So here’s to the year that was, the year that is and the many years of blogging to come! And now for a song…

Good day sunshine ’till next post! ūüôā

A Mad Day Out!

In The Beatles' fandom, we don't have 'Where's Wally'. We have 'Where are The Beatles'.

In The Beatles’ fandom, we don’t have ‘Where’s Wally’. We have ‘Where are The Beatles’.

Sorry for not posting in over a week! I’ve been holidaying in Melbourne (involving lots of shopping, more additions to my Beatles t-shirt/vinyl collection and a Jacqui Lambie¬†sighting!)¬†since Saturday, and got back a couple of nights ago, but I’ve found some time to post today. And by the way, welcome to 2015 on ‘All You Need Is The Beatles’! I’ve got a feeling the next 12 months are going to be really awesome for this blog, with heaps of Beatle-y posts as usual, plus some stuff on a few of their contemporaries¬†& some stuff on the 21st-century indie music scene. Not to mention the month-long first birthday party for this blog to be held in June… ūüôā But alas, here is a post I started a few weeks ago and decided to finish today!

Whilst there are a heap of instantly recognisable¬†photos taken of The Beatles pre-Sgt. Pepper/White Album (most of which are taken by an insanely talented man who was the band’s official photographer from 1964-1966 & lived in Melbourne where he hung out with the likes of Germaine Greer, Mirka Mora, John and Sunday Reed and Barry Humphries/Dame Edna/Les Patterson for a few years before that, Bob Whitaker), arguably the most iconic behind the Abbey Road photoshoot (and perhaps the¬†Sgt. Pepper one, too) is one of the band on July 28th, 1968. John, Paul, George and Ringo were in the midst of the White Album Sessions. They weren’t getting on so well. But they clearly got on well on this particular day… The day of the Mad Day Out photoshoot! Below are some of my favourite images from that day (and some not-so-serious captions… ūüėČ ) — enjoy!

John is wearing his Apple Rooftop coat! (Well, it was actually Yoko's...) And their poses create a groovy effect...

Gorgeous coats, John and George. Where can I purchase garments of such a variety? (“Well, you would need a time machine, for one… Or more money than you’ll probably accumulate in your entire life…”)

Hiding in the hollyhock...

Hiding in the hollyhock…

Boy, you've been a naughty boy(s)...

Boy, you’ve been a naughty boy(s) / you let your face grow long You sat on the grass when you have clearly read a sign telling you to do the exact opposite…

Whistling and Martha (perhaps John is whistling 'Martha My Dear'? Oh wait -- the song didn't exactly exist at that point in time, and John didn't exactly play on the song either, so...)

Whistling and Martha (perhaps John is whistling ‘Martha My Dear’? Oh wait — the song didn’t exactly exist at that point in time, and John didn’t exactly play on the song either, so…)

Iconic image! See -- I told you so... ;-)

Don McCullin (the photographer): “Y’know, boys, this picture I’ve just taken. I’ve got a feeling that this’ll become one of the most iconic images taken of you.” The Beatles then shake their heads: “Nah, Don. We’ve still got that picture of us walking across that zebra crossing to be taken in a year.”

'GET OUT!'

‘GET OUT! WE DON’T WANT NO CAMERAS!’

'This is a very rare parrot of the...um...er...well...SQUAWKING variety,' say the two leading parrot experts, John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

‘This is a very rare parrot of the…um…er…well…SQUAWKING variety,’ say the two leading parrot experts, John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Aww! And...

Aww! And…

Aww, again! Anyone who thinks that The Beatles hated each other need to take a look at these pictures...

Aww, again! Anyone who thinks that The Beatles hated each other need to take a look at these pictures — they were clearly very close.

Yo we's is da Beatle gansters! (Or perhaps how The Beatles would introduce themselves if they really were gangsters...)

“Yo. We’s is da Beatle gansters!” (Perhaps how The Beatles would introduce themselves if they really were gangsters…)

The man in the above picture has now started an exclusive internet forum dedicated to those who involved themselves in The Beatles without knowing. Notable people who've refused to join include the man on the cover of 'Abbey Road', a masterpiece recorded by (according to him) 'four kooks'.

“The man in the above picture has now started an exclusive internet forum dedicated to those who involved themselves in The Beatles without knowing. Notable people who’ve refused to join include the man on the cover of ‘Abbey Road’, a masterpiece recorded by (according to him) ‘four kooks’,” reports the deadly serious blogger, tangerinetrees99.

No, you four. I don't think it's possible to swim through concrete...

No, you four. I don’t think it’s possible to swim through concrete…

And finally, my favourite picture from 'Mad Day Out'! Peeping out from behind that hollyhock...

And finally, my favourite picture from ‘Mad Day Out’! Peeping out from behind that hollyhock…

And there we have it! Got any more Mad Day Out pictures/funny captions you want to add? Feel free to put them in the comments below… I’ll get back to doing more musically-orientated posts next time, but today I felt like showcasing one of the most famous photo sessions arguably of all time. And by the way, this is tangerinetrees99’s 50th post! Woo hoo! Until next post, good day sunshine! ūüôā

P.S. And thank you to Quirky T for mentioning ‘AYNITB’ in their¬†latest post! You can check out their awesome blog — all about music! — at¬†https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/!

My Beatles Record Collection Pt. 4 – ‘Help!’

Sorry for not posting in two weeks. But I shall make up for such crimes with this very cute picture!

Sorry for not posting in two weeks. But I shall make up for such crimes with this very cute picture! Martha, my dear…

Sorry. Boy, I’ve been a naughty girl. I have not posted in two weeks. I have a large school assignment (or “Independent Research Project”) due this Thursday, and I was working on it for most of last weekend. (I also went to see a groovy film called¬†God Help The Girl, and did¬†a good dose of record shopping beforehand. Let’s just say one of the LPs I bought is white, double and is the subject of a relatively low number…!) I’ve still got a bit to do on the project, but I have found a bit of time to blog today, as well! Yay! So that’s my excuse, and why this month’s edition of ‘My Beatles Record Collection’ could seem early…

But anyway, this month we have¬†Help!, the second Beatles studio album I ever listened to, and the first LP I ever bought (almost a year ago). (I actually bought a box set of Beatles records called¬†The Beatles Box¬†slightly beforehand, but I always count¬†Help! as my first actual LP.) I think I listened to soon after watching the film¬†Help!, which is not surprising ‘cos¬†Help! is my favourite Beatles film. (The music — I love ’65 Beatles –, the technicolour, the ski scene, Ahme, that flat…) The album made number five in my ranking from earlier this year.

My copy of Help! is possibly the most valuable in my collection. It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s worth a bit.¬†But anyway, here’s a picture.

help one

Wait — tangerinetrees99 has TWO copies of¬†Help!?! Let me explain…

The copy on the left (the newer-looking stereo pressing) was the one I obtained first. But it is not the one that I think might be quite valuable. Why? It’s a 2012 pressing, which I purchased late last year (on the 8th of December, in fact — RIP John ūüė¶ ). And it doesn’t play. Again, why? Well… About a year ago, we purchased an original 1960s stereogram, and that is when I began collecting records. But me being very naive and knowing absolutely zilch about vinyl at the time, I thought all Beatles LPs were going to be priced well-off into the 100s (AUD) and that I’d never be able to buy an original pressing. So I purchased a new pressing from a record shop (not the one I go to now — I was yet to find that one) on that horrible anniversary and I couldn’t wait to get home to play it. The needle in the record player was completely original, and having previously played a few records on the player and experiencing no issues, felt no need to replace it. So anyway, I get home and play the record. ‘Help!’ plays perfectly. But about halfway through ‘The Night Before’, the LP begins to skip like¬†mad. Ditto with ‘I Need You’, ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’, ‘Another Girl’, ‘You’re Going To Lose That Girl’, ‘Ticket To Ride’… We obviously ended up replacing the needle, but Side One of the record is forever ruined (stupid, naive me)… Not that it matters anymore, though!

image

Here’s the actual cover of the record. You can see how much I payed for it — ha ha! Apart from some light discolouring, the cover is in¬†really¬†good condition. And the LP is in mono! Most times for me, mono triumphs stereo by miles, so hurrah! (I didn’t know about the difference between the mono/stereo mixes at the time, though…)

image

Here’s the back of the LP — in even better condition than the front! If you look carefully, you will see that I have landed myself a UK pressing! And you have probably already noticed the backflaps, meaning that my copy is first edition. Good job, me. I’ve seen pretty much the same LP going for a¬†lot more than $50AUD on eBay, so even better job, me… My¬†Help!¬†was owned by the same person who owned my¬†With The Beatles, funnily enough — he/she (I assume the latter) must have sold his/her LPs to my record shop…

image

Here is a close-up on the catalogue number/backflaps/John. Wow — my¬†Help!¬†was a¬†very¬†lucky fluke. Very…. First-edition. UK. Mono. (Even though the earlier stereo pressings are worth more.). Very lucky.

image

Here’s the cover with the inner sleeve/actual record. I have the original EMITEX sleeve in mint condition! How cool is that! “Clark” must have been very careful with her records (as is also shown with my¬†With The Beatles).

image

And the vinyl itself! On black and gold label! Hurrah! Told you it was first edition! Nice break from the orange, isn’t it? This is Side Two. Side One is in mint condition, and plays absolutely perfectly. (Though everything we play on our record player crackles — due to the age of the stereogram.) This side has a scratch through ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’, though I’m very lucky that it doesn’t affect the sound at all! Probably due to that wonderful record-cleaner stuff that we use…

And there we go! One of my most valuable records in a pillow you never gave me (bonus points if you know what song I’m referencing!)…

Haven’t got much else to write. I promise I’ll be back to normal blogging schedule next week (I’ll have handed in my assignment by then). Anyway, it’s only TWO MORE WEEKS to two whole months of Summer holidays and the end of the school year! Yay! I’ll blog as much as I can in the holidays, to make up for posts I have missed. Next week, though, will be a sad post. It will be the 29th of November. We miss you, George.

Have a wonderful day/night/afternoon/morning/weekend/week/[insert period of time], and good day sunshine until I post next! ūüôā

 

Words Are Flowing Out: My Favourite Beatles Quotes

How cool is this?! The original sketch for the cover of 'Revolver' (my favourite Beatles album).

How cool is this?! The original sketch for the cover of ‘Revolver’ (my favourite Beatles album).

[Just a note before I start writing…Recently I’ve gotten a lot of new followers, and I’d just like to say welcome to you all! I hope you enjoy reading my weekly/more frequent than weekly (when I have time) posts, and thank you for following! That goes for everyone, by the way — whether you’ve been here since I clicked the blue ‘Publish’ button for the very first time, or only for a couple of days (or something in between), thank you for reading and liking and sharing and (more recently) commenting! Now I’d better get on with the post…]

Apologies for not posting yesterday. I had a very good reason not to, though, which you will read about further down. But now I thought I would compile a list of my favourite Beatles quotes. Of course we all know that The Beatles always had something inspiring/witty/sad/mesmerising to say, and that we all will probably end up using at least one quote from each interview each of them gave. But I’ve realised that even more whilst researching for this post. The Beatles were very clever with words (as is — obviously — evident in their songs), and this translates to their interviews, as well. So here are some of my personal highlights — enjoy!

“Creativity is a gift. It doesn’t come through if the air is cluttered.”

– John Lennon.

“You’ve got as many lives as you like. And more…even ones you don’t want.”

– George Harrison.

“Nothing pleases me more than to go into a room and come out with a piece of music.”

– (Sir James) Paul McCartney (MBE)

“I was an only child, with three amazing brothers.”

– Ringo/Richard Starr/Starkey…

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”

– John

“The Beatles saved the world the world from boredom.”

– George

“Microphones are just like people — if you shout at them, they get scared.”

– Paul

“When I was about twelve, I used to think I must be a genius but nobody’s noticed.”

– John

“I’d like to think that all the old Beatle fans have grown up and they’ve gotten married and they’ve all got kids and they’re all more responsible, but they still have a space in their hearts for us.”

– George

“The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

– Paul (or should that be Faul? I should do a post on PiD at some point…)

“Everything government touches turns to crap.”

– Ringo

“Trying to please everybody is impossible. If you did that, you’d end up in the middle with nobody liking you.”

Р John

“It’s nothing to do with how many years old you are, or how big your body is. It’s down to what your greater consciousness is, and if you can live in harmony with what’s going on in creation.”

– George

“I don’t work at being ordinary.”

– Paul

“I’ve never really done anything to create what happened. It creates itself.”

– Ringo

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”

– John

“I’d rather be a musician than a rock star.”

– George

” My grandkids always beat me at Rock Band. And I say, Listen, you may beat me at Rock Band, but I made the original records, so shut up.”

– Paul

“My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”

– John

“It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite.”

George

“Sadness isn’t sadness. It’s happiness in a black jacket. Tears are not tears. They’re balls of laughter dipped in salt. Death is not death. It’s life that’s jumped off a tall cliff.”

– Paul

“I like Beethoven — especially the poems.”

– Ringo

And there we go! Beatles quotes in a nutshell (bringing back that ol’ joke, is tangerinetrees!)… If you know of any other Beatles quotes that you absolutely love, feel free to put them in the Comments below!

And as for my exciting happening on the weekend…I saw¬†A Hard Day’s Night¬†on the big screen! And it was nothing short of absolutely, completely and utterly amazing! Don’t think I stopped smiling for the entire duration of the film ūüôā … I noticed a lot of stuff that I hadn’t noticed before (and I’ve watched it about ten times), and though I’ve watched it before in HD, nothing beats seeing a film on a big screen. Especially¬†AHDN.¬†The audience was full of laughter (though I must have been the annoying audience member that cracked up every two minutes — I started laughing just before John cuts the tape measure and goes, ‘I now declare this bridge open,’ for example…), and we all clapped and screamed at the end. But, wow, it was amazing. And to think that I thought just a few months ago (see June and July archives) that I’d never see it on the big screen… I guess I’ll just need to hope for a cinema release of¬†Help!¬†and¬†Yellow Submarine in 2015 and 2018 (respectively)… ūüėČ

And that’s my post for this week! Stay tuned for something (I’ve got a few ideas that I need to decide on) this weekend, and a profile on perhaps my most valuable LP in ‘My Beatles Record Collection’ for the next. But until then, good day sunshine ūüôā

Beatles Song of the Post (and a few other tidbits)

I don't know if I've posted this image before (I think it's one of my headers), but I love these pictures so much! Reminds me of the album they are used to promote, '1' -- the first Fabs album I ever bought, and my key to the wonderful world of The Beatles...

I don’t know if I’ve posted this image before (I think it’s one of my headers), but I love these pictures so much! Reminds me of the album they are used to promote, ‘1’ — the first Fabs album I ever bought, and my key to the wonderful world of The Beatles…

Well, the final school term of 2014 has begun, and 7 weeks left of this school year! Yay! I have a really big History assignment impending, so I apologise if I don’t get to post as much as I’d like. I also have my Grade 3 violin exam coming in two¬†weeks. These next couple of months are going to be very busy. But The Beatles (and this blog) will not be neglected! I also have another exciting event coming up in a couple of weeks, too, which I’ll write more about at the bottom of this post. The weather is really, really hot here in Adelaide today, but it’ll get to a good 15 or so degrees above this in January, so I guess I’d better get used to it. But to sum up this paragraph, everything finally seems peaceful and round in my mind, and to quote The Beatles, “It’s getting better all the time!” For once, my pessimistic nature seems to be taking a back seat… ūüėČ

So today, I was going to do a relatively detailed post, but I’ve got some other stuff to write about too so I decided just to write about a featured Beatles song. And because it’s so hot today, I’ve decided to feature (drum roll please, Ringo)…’Rain’! (Yeah, I know — it is obviously not raining here, but there are lines in this song that refer to the sun…)

‘Rain’ isn’t even remotely well known, yet it’s still one of the most influential songs ever released (IMO). Only The Beatles could do that! It was, in fact, the B-side to ‘Paperback Writer’ (both gorgeous songs), though some say it was actually a double-A-sided single. It was (slightly obviously) written by John (HE’S SINGING IT), and he, er, rather obviously, is singing it. I read somewhere that he sang much of the backing vocals as well, though according to Wikipedia Paul and George also sang a track each. Apparently (again according to Wikipedia), it has been often hailed “The Beatles’ finest B-side”. Well, The Beatles’ B-sides are actually a lot of their best songs (‘This Boy’ is, in my opinion, a far superior song to ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’. I considerably prefer ‘You Can’t Do That’ to ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’. ‘Yes It Is’ is a B-side, and whilst I love ‘Ticket To Ride’ about equally to it, it is still absolutely exquisite. Not to even¬†mention ‘I Am The Walrus’, ‘Revolution’, ‘Old Brown Shoe’….), so I really do not know how one could choose a¬†finest¬†B-side. So let’s just say its¬†one of their finest…

Some claim that the song was about LSD, and others claim it is about the horrible weather that John saw when he was touring Australia. I — being Australian — obviously think it would be cool if one of my favourite songs is written about my country, but I honestly don’t care¬†if it’s about acid or not. I guess we’ll never know what is the right story, as John never commented on what the song was about. But anyway… The song is notable for being the first exhibition of BACKMASKING! And I guarantee you that no satanic messages were involved ūüėČ … Both John and George Martin have claimed that they created it. John claims to have accidentally discovered it whilst listening to a tape of the song whilst he was “stoned out of his mind”, and George Martin also claims that he discovered it whilst playing around with the tapes and thinking it would be fun to do something with John’s voice. Geoff Emerick backs up John, but who knows? John played his 1965 Gretsch Nashville (rhythm) guitar, Paul used his Rickenbacker bass for the first time, George used his Gibson SG and Ringo played, well, his Ludwig drums. Talking of Ringo’s drumming, ‘Rain’ often cited as Ringo’s best drumming performance (including Ringo himself). Quote Ringo:¬†“I think it’s the best out of all the records I’ve ever made. ‘Rain’ blows me away…I know me and I know my playing…and then there’s ‘Rain'” The song just has an amazing rhythm track, full stop. Be sure to listen to it with good-quality speakers and/or headphones!

This song was also one of the earliest examples of the music clip. As you may or may not remember from my earlier post¬†Six Ways The Beatles Changed The World, The Beatles basically invented the music clip, and were using promo films as early as late 1965, but at that point were really just miming their stuff in black-and-white. Though you could technically say that ‘Penny Lane’/’Strawberry Fields Forever’ were the first¬†true¬†music videos (they are truly amazing — look them up), ‘Rain’ and ‘Paperback Writer’ were the first songs that had proper music clips. The Beatles are filmed wandering around the grounds of a British mansion called Chiswick House IN COLOUR, and yeah, they mime, but there you have it! To quote George, “So I suppose, in a way, we invented MTV.”

So there you have it — a profile of one of The Beatles’ finest songs, from my favourite Beatles era. (The music from that era is — excuse cliche — too completely and utterly¬†beautiful¬†for words.) Hope you learnt something!

And my news… I’M GOING TO SEE RODRIGUEZ LIVE IN TWO WEEKS! Some of you may have heard of a guy called Rodriguez (or Sixto Rodriguez) and/or a documentary called¬†Searching For Sugarman.¬†Story cut short, Rodriguez was an American folk singer (slightly Dylanesque) who sold about six records in the US, but was “bigger than Elvis” in South Africa. (He also sold quite well here.) He was actually thought dead by most of his fans until he was found by some South African fans in the ’90s. And next month he is touring Australia! We only managed to finally get tickets a couple of days ago, as most of them had been bought by stupid scalpers. But anyway, I’m really excited, and you’ll be sure to get a post on the gig! I’ll leave you with my favourite Rodriguez song now, so good day sunshine until next week! ūüôā

The latest additions to my record collection

Good morning (or whatever), good morning, good morning-g! (Nothing to do save your life, call the wife in…)

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day in Adelaide (today is just plain hot), so my mum and I went into the city. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I collect Beatles LPs, so it’ll be no surprise to you that I had been saving my cash for weeks for a trip to my favourite record shop — which is in Rundle Mall (which is in the city, if you’re not Australian). I haven’t been in there for at least three months, so it was nice to buy some more records. I’m known in there as The Beatles girl! But anyway, here are my purchases.

1. Though I bought a couple of non-Beatles records, my priority was (obviously) to buy a Beatles LP. And I got¬†Rubber Soul! I already own this album…on iTunes…so it is really nice to have it on vinyl!

rubber soul lp one

If you look extra carefully at the image below, you might see that the record is not from here (Australia), or England, or America — but from¬†Uruguay! It’s in mono, and though there are no backflaps, some scouting around on the web indicates that it is a first pressing, and the label shows it was released there on Odeon Records (The Beatles’ record label in Japan, too). I won’t go into much detail now, but here’s the back of the album and the LP itself. It¬†is absolutely¬†bee-yoo-ti-ful, in my opinion¬†– it might just be my favourite of all the ones we bought!

rubber soul lp two

2. You might remember from a couple of posts ago that I mentioned that I liked an alternative group called The Black Keys. Well, I bought their latest album Turn Blue¬†(from May 2014, so it’s new vinyl — the album debuted at number one in Australia!) yesterday, as well! The Black Keys are actually playing Adelaide next year, but the stupid venue says ‘for over-eighteens only’. Grr. I really wanted to see them. But the website did say ‘unless otherwise advertised’, so I can only hope it will be advertised otherwise. But anyway, the album is completely and utterly groovy¬†— I would highly recommend it to anyone who really enjoys psych/alt rock. I have had the riff from the ridiculously-catchy ‘Fever’ stuck in my head ever since I listened to the LP last night. And I think it is really cool that some modern artists still release on vinyl — if/when (hopefully the latter!) I am a recording musician, I will be sure to release actual LPs, too.

turn blue black keys one

Turn Blue came with a large poster of the cover (above) AND the album in CD format (plus the beautiful cardboard sleeve), so good value for $40AUD!

turn blue black keys two

3. We have a loyalty card for the shop at which we buy our records, and we had reached ten stamps on our card! I got an Australian-edition first pressing of the¬†Requests¬†EP with the extra money, which was released in 1964 (between the¬†Long Tall Sally¬†EP and¬†Beatles For Sale, I’d say) and plays ‘Long Tall Sally’, ‘I Call Your Name’, ‘Please Mister Postman’ and ‘Boys’. As with¬†Rubber Soul, I won’t go into too much detail now (I need material for their respective ‘MBRC’ posts!), but here it is.

requests one

requests two

4. And finally, my mum bought a 2014-pressing (in other words, a new vinyl) of¬†The Velvet Underground and Nico! Hope she’ll let me borrow it, ‘cos I really like The Velvet Underground… ūüôā On the original versions of this album, one could peel off the iconic yellow banana, and below would be a pink, peeled banana. Sadly, this doesn’t go for the new versions.

the velvet underground and nico one

Our version came with a fancy (well, not quite as fancy as¬†Turn Blue) paper sleeve. It seems that most new LPs come with paper sleeves (as opposed to plastic ones) — my 2013¬†Help! did, too. But that¬†Help! doesn’t exactly work…but you’ll have to wait for the¬†Help!¬†edition of ‘My Beatles Record Collection’ for that story (I have it on first-ed. British mono, too)… Our (or my mum’s, rather)¬†Velvet Underground and Nico¬†also has a gatefold sleeve, but I won’t post an image of that (probably will come up on Google if you type ‘the velvet underground and nico gatefold’).

the velvet underground and nico two

So there we go — the trip my mum and I made to my favourite record shop¬†in an LP sleeve! (And tangerinetrees99 desperately trying to invent her own cliches…)

And that’s my post for the weekend. I’ll probably do my planned ‘The¬†Rubber Soul Jacket Appreciation Society’ post next (but who knows? ūüėČ ), but this Thursday is John’s birthday! Happy birthday, Johnny! But of course he will get an extra special post — ‘extra special’ for my favourite Beatle! But until Tuesday/Wednesday, good day sunshine ūüôā

 

My Ranking of The Beatles’ Albums

The Beatles with four of their five first LPs. One would assume the photo was taken in between August (Help!) and December (Rubber Soul), 1965.

The Beatles with four of their five first LPs. One would assume the photo was taken in between August (Help!) and December (Rubber Soul), 1965.

A note to begin with: The sun is up, the sky is blue (it’s beautiful and so are you / dear Prudence — why won’t you come out to play?), ‘All You Need Is The Beatles’ is only one hundred and thirty six views away from its thousandth view (well, it’ll be even closer by the time you read this) and COMMENTS HAVE FINALLY BEEN ENABLED ON THIS BLOG! Yay! So be sure to send me a postcard, drop me a line, stating point of view!¬†

I had this idea first a few months ago (about a month after I started this blog. It’s funny to think that it’s four months old — not that old in the scheme of things, I guess, but it feels more like last month that¬†I created my WordPress account and posted my ‘Welcome’ post, as opposed to over a season), and I thought I’d do it today! I hadn’t actually listened to all of The Beatles’ studio albums at that point (well, I knew most of the songs, but anyway), and I’m listening to the only one I haven’t yet done so yet¬†right now. I will not be including¬†Magical Mystery Tour in this post as I believe it is not a proper studio album (instead¬†a Capitol Records butcher job of the songs off the film and the band’s 1967 — that’s not to say I don’t love the album ūüôā ), and please remember this is only my humble opinion. Oh, and please remember that a worst ranking on a Beatles album ranking list in my case still makes it better than pretty much everything ever recorded (with maybe two or three exceptions). Pretty much everything. So I still love it dearly, but just not as much as number one!

Okay, okay, yes, yes — I’ll shut up now and get on with the ranking. Here we go!

12. Yellow Submarine

yellow submarine

I feel The Beatles (or Apple) really should have gone ahead with their original idea for the release of the¬†Yellow Submarine track — a double EP, as with the Parlophone release of the¬†Magical Mystery Tour¬†soundtrack. The songs ‘Yellow Submarine’ (whilst it probably needed to be included on the album for obvious reasons) and ‘All You Need Is Love’ (though I believe the ‘Yellow Submarine’ version is different from the better-known one) had already been included on different albums/singles/EPs, and did we really need the classical George Martin Orchestra bits on the album? This is, in fact, the only one I haven’t listened to in full before now (I opted for the better — IMO —¬†Yellow Submarine Songtrack) — I have watched¬†Yellow Submarine a billion-trillion (okay, maybe not quite that much) times, though, so I’ve of course heard them before. Actually physically LISTENING to the album does make me think that Apple didn’t need to follow in the direction of the Capitol butchers [insert certain famous¬†R. Whitaker-photographed cover here] and create a soundtrack in the style of the US¬†A Hard Day’s Night and¬†Help! albums, but it also takes me back to that Spring day a year ago when I first watched¬†Yellow Submarine. I remember sitting in our top room (the DVD player with the main TV wouldn’t actually work), absorbed by psychedelic masterpiece animation (‘Eleanor Rigby’ and ‘It’s All Too Much’ come to mind) and the middle-era Beatles tunes, many of which I hadn’t heard before (the only album I owned was¬†1, and I’d only listened as far as The Fabs’ other well-known hits and¬†Rubber Soul).

Despite my criticism of the inclusion of the GMO soundtrack and songs which had already been on other releases, I absolutely love the originals! ‘Hey Bulldog’, ‘It’s All Too Much’ and ‘Only A Northern Song’ are some of my favourite Beatles songs, and I don’t want to imagine life without them — thus I don’t want to imagine life with the¬†Yellow Submarine¬†album, either!

DID YOU KNOW?¬†Yellow Submarine¬†was the first album to feature the “devil horns” hand symbol on the cover.

BEST SONGS: ‘Hey Bulldog’, ‘It’s All Too Much’, ‘Only A Northern Song’

11.¬†A Hard Day’s Night

a hard day's night

Despite the above being the background image of this blog, A Hard Day’s Night¬†is far from my favourite Beatles album. Why, you ask? Here is my reasoning:

Those of you who know me will know I’m a alt./indie/folk/psych¬†rock fiend when I’m not listening to The Beatles. The Beatles usually satisfy this love — much of their early/late-era stuff rocks really hard, and they were of course comprised of folk and psych rock in their middle era (my favourite). Their only album that I find too poppy is¬†A Hard Day’s Night. Whilst the album is made up completely of Lennon/McCartney compositions, their songwriting hadn’t really started to mature yet, and it’s still all I-love-her-and-she-loves-me (excepting ‘I’ll Cry Instead’, which was probably The Fab Four’s first example of confessional lyricism). I’m not a huge fan of the title song, which I find too poppy in particular, and ‘And I Love Her’ doesn’t have the bluesy Lennon touch (though I think he contributed)¬†that other McCartney ballads have (i.e. ‘Michelle’), and ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ I feel needs more pizzazz (I do actually like these songs, though). So I’m probably being a bit controversial citing a so-called “leap” in The Beatles’ career one of my least favourite Beatles albums, but who cares? There are actually some songs on the above that I love dearly, which will be listed below.

DID YOU KNOW? A Hard Day’s Night¬†is the only Beatles album to only comprise of Lennon/McCartney compositions. The next all-original album —¬†Rubber Soul — also had two Harrison compositions.

BEST SONGS: ‘I Should Have Known Better’, ‘Tell Me Why’, ‘If I Fell’, ‘Things We Said Today’ and ‘You Can’t Do That’.

10. With The Beatles

with the beatles

Whilst I think this beats the album below in the covers department (except here in Australia. Ugh. The Australian cover is atrocious. EMI Australia is the Capitol of the record-cover world), I don’t like it as much¬† I actually rank it equal to the below (you’ll have to wait to see what it is), but one had to go before. I don’t think the covers are as electrifying as the ones on the below, but then my favourite Beatles cover is on¬†With The Beatles (it’s ‘Money (That’s What I Want’). I do genuinely love this album, but I do prefer The Beatles’ later stuff, so unfortunately it ended up here.

DID YOU KNOW?¬†With The Beatles includes the song ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, which was the Rolling Stones’ first hit. John and Paul finished the song off in the corner of a room whilst Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were talking.

BEST SONGS: ‘It Won’t Be Long’, ‘Not A Second Time’, ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’, ‘Please Mr Postman’

9. Please Please Me

beatles please please me

This is what ‘the below’ is!¬†Please Please Me! You can probably see what I mean about¬†With The Beatles having a better cover. It certainly ain’t¬†Revolver.¬†And I can see why The Beatles were going to parody it for the cover of¬†Get Back-turn-Let It Be. And Ringo has a quiff.

But seriously (without out-of-the-blue remarks concerning Richard Starkey’s choice of hair styling in the early 1960s), this album is a Beatlemaniac’s secret weapon whilst trying to point out that The Beatles were a¬†rock band, end of story. They rock dead hard on this album. And no wonder – they had come straight from The Cavern and Hamburg!

DID YOU KNOW? Most of Please Please Me was recorded within a marathon 12-hour session. John had a cold that day, and promptly lost his voice after the recording of ‘Twist and Shout’ (the last song to be recorded).

BEST SONGS: ‘Please Please Me’, ‘There’s A Place’, ‘Baby It’s You’ (I have liked the Shirlees’ version for years, so I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered The Beatles did it), ‘I Saw Her Standing There’.

8. Beatles For Sale

beatles for sale

This is, personally, one of my favourite Beatles covers, but of course the stupid cover butcher-rers over here in the Southern Hemisphere had to ruin it by creating a rubbish replacement. More on that later, though.

This is actually one of my favourite Beatles albums, despite it being 8. If you asked me tomorrow, it could be in a completely different place. It’s got some of my favourite Lennon compositions (‘I’m A Loser’, ‘I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party’), some of the most beautiful harmonies John and Paul ever did (‘Baby’s In Black’) and of course the amazing¬†drums in ‘What You’re Doing’!

DID YOU KNOW?¬†Beatles For Sale¬†(along with¬†With The Beatles) was one of the two albums to have an alternate cover in Australia. Apparently John actually wrote a letter to EMI in protest, but alas to no avail. C’mon EMI Australia – listen to the artist!

BEST SONGS: ‘No Reply’, ‘I’m A Loser’, ‘Baby’s In Black’, ‘I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party’, ‘What You’re Doing’

7. Let It Be

LetItBe

I love this album, but it’s mish-mashy. And it has my least-favourite Beatles song (the Spector version of ‘The Long And Winding Road’. Despite the fact he is a crazed murderer who let off guns in recording sessions at John’s ‘Lost Weekend’, I love his work on John and George’s stuff and most of¬†Let It Be. But ‘The Long And Winding Road’ should have been left as it was.) on it. But it has ‘Across The Universe’! And the album version of ‘Let It Be’ (which I think is far superior to the single)! And ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’! And ‘For You Blue’! And ‘Get Back’!

DID YOU KNOW? Though it was the last album to be released, Let It Be was the second-to-last album to be recorded. Abbey Road was actually recorded after.

BEST SONGS: ‘Across The Universe’, ‘Let It Be’ (album version), ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’, ‘For You Blue’, ‘Get Back.

6. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

sgt pepper

I know this is supposed to be The Beatles’ best album. But I beg to differ. I don’t feel it possesses the same magic that I feel a certain other Beatles psychedelic masterpiece does. But I still love this album. I listened to it the other day, and it was better than I remembered it. It did give me that euphoric feeling I get sometimes whilst listening to the Fabs, but not as strong as some other albums. But anyway, the thing is beautiful. Completely and utterly¬†beautiful. And that is all.

DID YOU KNOW? The crowd of people on the cover include Bob Dylan, Stu Sutcliffe, Mae West and Shirley Temple. John suggested having Jesus and Hitler, but that didn’t happen. Gandhi was originally on the cover, but was painted out at the request of EMI.

BEST SONGS: ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’, ‘Lovely Rita’, ‘A Day In The Life’

5. Help!

beatles-help-uk-cover-art

 

Help! was the second Beatles studio album and the first actual LP I bought. And yes, I prefer it to¬†Sgt. Pepper — but as I said above, if you asked me tomorrow, it’d probably be a different story.

But however, The Beatles were maturing, and the film soundtrack side in particular is impeccable. Everything from ‘Help!’ to ‘The Night Before’, ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’ to ‘Ticket To Ride’ was of incredibly high calibre, and breaking boundaries like never before. The second side, not so much, but c’mon – it has ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’!

DID YOU KNOW? The song ‘Help!’ was actually a cry for help from John, who was depressed, trapped by Beatlemania and unsure of the path of his life at the time. He later called this period (going from about late ’64 to late ’65 — poor thing) his ‘Fat Elvis Period’. Some of his best work (i.e. ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’, ‘Nowhere Man’) came from this period, but at a cruel cost.

BEST SONGS: The entire first side.

4. The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album)

the white album

 

This would have been far from my favourite Beatles album if you’d asked me a couple of months ago. Then I went to the White Album Concert, and was utterly blown away! It came further and further to the top of this list, and it made it to here!

Everything (well, nearly everything) in this album is good. And the thing is that there’s something for everybody. Whether you like hard-rocking proto-metal (‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’, ‘Helter Skelter’), Eric Clapton (‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’), soft and hypnotic fingerpicking (‘Dear Prudence’, ‘Blackbird’), satirical social commentary (‘Piggies’), Paul’s — quote John — ‘granny s**t’ (‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’) or even 9-minute experimental avant-garde-ness that involves a monotone voice reciting ‘number nine, number nine’ and Yoko Ono saying ‘You become naked’ (‘Revolution 9’), there’s something for you. And then there’s more!

DID YOU KNOW? The White Album includes John’s only solo Beatle track, ‘Julia’. Paul had been recording stuff by himself and releasing it as The Beatles as early as¬†Help!.

BEST SONGS: ‘Dear Prudence’, ‘Long Long Long’, ‘Cry Baby Cry’, ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’, ‘Helter Skelter’, ‘Blackbird’– too many to list. That’s the beauty of a double album.

3. Abbey Road

Beatles_-_Abbey_Road

I used to always think of¬†Abbey Road and¬†Sgt. Pepper as part one and part two. Both experimental, both ahead-of-their-time — but I have always preferred¬†Abbey Road. As with below (you’ll see what it is), I first heard it on a plane. I now own it on CD, and I listened to it yesterday — for what seems like the first time, properly. The bass lines sounded¬†impeccable, it sounded like The Beatles were actually in the room singing ‘Because’, The Abbey Road Medley was better than it was before (a feat I thought impossible!)! Just, wow!

DID YOU KNOW? The last song The Beatles recorded together was ‘The End’ (the second-to-last track on¬†AR, if you count ‘Her Majesty’ as a proper track), rather fittingly. Apparently it was pretty much the only session after¬†John got together with Yoko that he attended without her (according to Geoff Emerick).

BEST SONGS: ‘Come T Just do yourself a favour and listen to the entire album.

2. Rubber Soul

rubber soul

Words (not even THE word – pun intended) cannot explain my love for this album. I heard this dead early in my Beatles fandom — only a month after I bought my first album,¬†1. As I said above, I first heard this on a plane. I hadn’t heard any of the songs before (excepting ‘Norwegian Wood’), and was I in for a treat! Some of the band’s most obscure numbers quickly became some of my favourites. And let’s just say it changed my life almost as much as¬†1 did. It’s my goal, in fact, to cover the entirety of this album. So far, I’ve done ‘The Word’, and I should be doing ‘I’m Looking Through You’ next.

DID YOU KNOW? The undistorted, cropped version of the cover (possibly my favourite picture of The Beatles) resurfaced after over 47 years early last year. It is still unknown whether it is genuine, but I like to think it is.

BEST SONGS: See ‘Best Songs’ for¬†Abbey Road — or in other words (coincidentally, ‘The Word’ is playing), do yourself a favour and listen to the entire album.

And now for number one (drum roll please, Ringo)…

1. Revolver

Revolver

From the ‘one, two, three, four’ mutterings of ‘Taxman’ to the trippy piano outro of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’,¬†Revolver is undoubtedly a masterpiece. And in my opinion, it’s The Beatles’ best album. I first listened to this album (after being mind-blown by ‘I’m Only Sleeping’ two months earlier) in February, after bribing myself with it as a treat at the end of a particularly probing school day. And I was hooked. But nothing — nothing in this world AT ALL — quite affected me like a casual listening to my mono 1st-edition LP of the above one Tuesday evening. About halfway through ‘I’m Only Sleeping’, something hit me. An intense feeling of insane, euphoric love. That emotion continued through the rest of the album, whether it be to the acidic¬†overdrive of ‘She Said She Said’ (my favourite Beatles song), to the clavichord in ‘For No One’, the chorusing in ‘Yellow Submarine’, to the tight, harmonised ‘oohs’ in ‘Here, There and Everywhere’. Of course I had thought before that The Beatles were the best thing that ever happened to the music world, or maybe even the world in general if I was feeling particularly ambitious. But it was only then for the first time that I actually¬†knew it.

DID YOU KNOW? Suggested names for Revolver involved Abracadabra, Beatles on Safari, Magic Circles and After Geography. Revolver was decided on three weeks before the release.

BEST SONGS: I’m not even going to tell you to do yourself a favour. It’s essential to your existence that you listen to this album. Every single song on this album is mind-blowing, IMO. Every. Single. Song.

 

So there you go — that’s my opinion. And sorry, that was insanely long (and I’ve been writing this for nearly two hours). But I hope you read it, and I promise I won’t go that long again. Have a fab rest of your day, wherever you are, and good day sunshine! ūüôā

Standin’ In The Garden, Listening To ‘Watching Rainbows’

The bootleg this post will revolve around. I don't own it (yet...naughty bootleg-buying me!), but I know the song well, and love it dearly.

The bootleg this post will revolve around. I don’t own it (yet…naughty bootleg-buying me!), but I know the song well, and love it dearly.

Well, yay! It’s finally holidays again! Two lovely weeks of freedom! I thought I’d do a short thing today (‘Huh?’ I bet you’re thinking. ‘tangerinetrees99 absolutely does not do short!’ Well tangerinetrees is going to prove she can – and yes, she did just feel a sudden urge to refer to herself in the third person) on something that deserves its own post, so here goes.

Those of you who read my post from two weeks ago, My Twelve Favourite Beatles Lead Guitar Parts (you can read it here), will know I mentioned a song called ‘Watching Rainbows’. I’m pretty sure I said I’d do a post on it,¬†so here it is!

In short, I. Love. This. And I think it should have been released, either in this form or in a different, re-recorded version. But anyway – here’s some background info:

‘Watching Rainbows’ was recorded in midst of the Get Back sessions – Wikipedia has supplied me with the exact date, which is the 14th of January, 1969. This was, in fact, recorded without George, as he had temporarily quit the band during this period. George’s absence explains the lack of bass, as Paul was on lead guitar. As you will hear, it is John’s song, so he is obviously on vocals and on that GORGEOUS electric piano. Ringo (again, just slightly obviously. I hope you are good at seeing sarcasm in print) is on drums.

You may recognise a couple of riffs. The first one of these is at the start, and sounds a bit like the main riff of ‘I’ve Got¬†A Feeling’. (The riff was later used in ‘I Know (I Know)’ off Mind Games, for all you Lennonites like myself out there!)

Did you know that ‘Watching Rainbows’ was in fact the origin of this riff? There are three songs that make up ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ – obviously Paul’s, well, ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’, Johns’ ‘Everybody Had A Hard Year’ and ‘Watching Rainbows’! A riff that sounds similar to ‘Hey Bulldog’ is also used at the end. Other songs that ‘WR’ is often associated with include ‘I Am The Walrus’ (‘WR’ has the line ‘Standin’ in the garden, waitin’ for the English sun to come and make me brown’ – ‘IATW’ has the lines ‘Sitting in an English Garden waiting for the sun / if the sun don’t come you get your tan from sitting in the English rain’) and ‘Mean Mister Mustard’, which was rehearsed directly before.

‘Watching Rainbows’ has been widely bootlegged, and was in fact the title of a 1978 bootleg album of Get Back outtakes! But I’m not here to promote bootlegging (that would be, erm, illegal). But here’s the song, and here are the lyrics, directly copied (with some spelling/grammar fix-ups from me) from lyricsmode.com (yes, they had the lyrics to an obscure Beatles bootleg!). Make sure you listen to it, as it is an absolutely amazing song, and incredibly good for a random Threetles jam!

Standin’ in the garden, waitin’ for the sun to shine /
Hand my umbrella, with this dirt –¬†I wish she was mine /
Everybody doves, think a thing; it didn’t come /
Instead of watching rainbows, I’m gonna make me some /
Instead of watchin’ rainbows, I’m gonna make me some /
Standin’ in the garden, waitin’ for the English sun to come and make me brown so I can be someone /
Lookin’ at the bench of next door neighbours /
Cryin’ to my mum, I’m tryin’ to set sabres /
Everybody’s got to have something hard to grow /
Well, instead of watching rainbows under the sun /
You gotta get out son, and make you one /
You gotta get out son, and make you run /
Because you’re not gonna make it if you cry, cry, though /
Shoot big!
Shoot big!
Whatever you do, you gotta kill somebody to get what you wanna get /
You gotta shoot big!
You gotta shoot big!
Until you shoot big /
I can’t stand.

So there you go. Enjoy!

And just to finish off, you may or may not know that iTunes have released a free EP called 4: John, Paul, George, Ringo to go along with their brand-new Beatles solo-career masters! The tracks are as follows: ‘Love’ (John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, from their 1970 self-titled album), ‘Call Me Back Again’ (Paul McCartney and Wings, from their 1975 album, Venus and Mars), ‘Let It Down’ (George Harrison, from his 1970 triple-album All Things Must Pass) and ‘Walk With You’ (Ringo Starr, from his 2012 album Y Not). John and George have the best tracks by far (well, I have to confess I actually haven’t heard the other two tracks, but as a general rule, John and George’s solo careers are the best out of the four), but it’s free! I downloaded it last night, and be sure to do so too! I believe it’s only free for a limited time…

Oh, and Dhani Harrison recently played a version with his band (NOT thenewno2) of his dad’s ‘Let It Down’ (also featured on that EP!). I really like it –¬†and gosh, he sounds a lot¬†like George!¬†Here it is:

Good day sunshine! ūüôā

My Twelve Favourite Beatles Lead Guitar Parts (and some other stuff)

The band in question with the instrument in question...

The band in question with the instrument in question…

 

Oh, and you know you're a guitar-playing Beatlemaniac when you own one of these! I actually do...

Oh, and you know you’re a guitar-playing Beatlemaniac when you own one of these! I actually do…

 

I play guitar. (Well, you probably already knew that, but anyway.) And despite what a few 70’s insert-rock-god-of-your-choice fans like to believe, The Beatles were incredibly good guitarists. And so I decided to make a list of their best lead guitar moments! This won’t include rhythm/finger-picked parts, ‘cos they will get their own post at some point, along with bass and drums. And by the way, Eric Clapton on ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ doesn’t count.

As I said above, The Beatles were much better at their craft than they are given credit for. Some of the most famous riffs have come from the Casinos/Rickenbackers/Gretschs¬†at Studio Two (or Studio One…or Studio Three), Abbey Road Studios (or Trident Studios…or Twickenham), and there are actually a few soaring rock-god moments in the catalogue. Whether it be their incredible use of overdrive, or the clever use of slides and pulloffs and hammerons, there is something special about The Beatles’ playing that no-one else can re-create. (Yeah, I know that sounds clich√©, but it’s true.) So here’s my list – too small to fit in all my favourite moments, but just big enough for this lovely blog! Oh, and if you’re not a guitarist (or not familiar with some of the terminology), you might like to skim over the guitar dictionary below, which’ll give you an idea of what things such as ‘pulloffs’ and ‘hammerons’ are (if you don’t already know): http://www.guitarscholar.co.uk/dictionary/. And the number in brackets (if required) refers to when the part in question begins, so you can skip to that point to hear what I’m talking about if you want. And now let the list begin!

12. ‘Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey’ (particularly¬†the double-stops at the beginning, but also the fills in between the “c’mon, c’mon” bit)

This song has a few records set around it. It’s the longest Beatles song title. It contains John’s highest note (a C6, or two Cs above middle C – in other words, incredibly¬†high!). It also probably has The Beatles’ largest use of cowbell. But finally, in my opinion, it’s one of their rockiest songs. I have a small obsession with the double-stops at the beginning – a lick that I must learn! But today, I also noticed the actual lead guitar bit once the song (and the cowbell!) has kicked in – and they are damn impressive! George’s fingers must have been¬†very nimble…

11. ‘Let It Be’ – album version (1:57)

What a pity this isn’t the single version/the version that everyone knows – I’d choose the above over it any day! The solo in this is something else – unlike the slightly sappy solo on the single, this one is gutsy and overdriven and crunchy and very, very groovy! I particularly love the slide/bends in it. And for those of you who think The Beatles can’t do a soaring rock-god thing, listen to this – you’re wrong! Oh, and I dig the organ…

10. ‘Old Brown Shoe’ (1:37)

Wikipedia describes George’s solo in this unfairly-underrated blues-rocker as “highly [Eric] Claptonesque”, and rightly so! The lead guitar in this is just stunning – rocky¬†and cool in every way! Slightly reminiscent of ‘Savoy Truffle’ and ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, in my opinion… People say The Beatles didn’t do the blues well, but I beg to differ – George (if you think about it) was actually a very bluesy guitarist in the late-’60s, his skills in such genres on full show in songs such as the above and ‘For You Blue’ (which he wrote – John played the slide lead). And I don’t want to imagine life without ‘Yer Blues’!

9. ‘Taxman’ (1:12)

Paul plays the wonderfully acidic solo here, despite the fact George wrote the song in protest of the amount of money he and his bandmates lost to taxes (you tell them, George!)! Even those of you who aren’t guitarists probably can hear how intricate it is. The entire solo (plus the fills in other bits of the song) are comprised of a number of excruciatingly-difficult pulloffs and position-changes, so Paul was clearly damn good at the guitar to be able to pull this off (pun may or may not be intended)! I love this song in general – the accented rhythm guitar, the whimsical harmonies, and (of course) the political message it carries! And a fun-fact for you – a different take of this solo was reversed and used in the psychedelic tape-looped masterpiece ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’.

8. ‘I’m Only Sleeping’ (1:32)

One word: backmasking. This is, in fact, the second or third (depends whether you go on the track-listing of Revolver or on the recording dates) song ever to use it. EVER. No satanic messages involved.

In fact, this song is just amazing. I was listening to my¬†Revolver¬†vinyl the other day, and felt¬†some kind of intense euphoric wash of love¬†about halfway through this song. It completely and utterly blew my mind. But more on that strange experience and The Beatles’ effect on me another day…

7. ‘Nowhere Man’ (0:48)

Rubber Soul is a beautiful album. My second favourite, to be exact – only behind¬†Revolver. And this is possibly one of the top three most beautiful songs on the album! John and George played the solo on matching “sonic blue” Fender Strats, and god, it sounds good! I don’t know what I like so much about it, but I just do, and that is all. And by the way, you have to watch the clip above – it is just the cutest thing ever! And a bit sad too – but then, so is the song…

6. ‘Octopus’s Garden’ (the beginning + 1:33)

This was the first Beatles song I ever heard. Must have been about four – I certainly remember asking my godfather (hello!) to put it on a compilation CD when I was about six. But now I’m over double that age, I still love this song. And I love it – apart from sentimental reasons – especially for the lead guitar (and the harmonies, but that’s a different story). I believe George played it¬†through a Leslie speaker, and then had it multi-tracked (like ‘Old Brown Shoe’, and so many other Beatles songs of the time). People dismiss this song ‘cos it’s Ringo’s, but it’s beautiful, incredibly complex, and it turned so many people (myself included) onto that magic world that is The Beatles.

5. ‘Hey Bulldog’ (1:42)

Back to the 1968 overdrive that I appear to be so obsessed with! I reckon 1968 was The Beatles best year for their lead guitar… There has been some debate as to whether John or George plays the solo, but it has generally been said that George played it on his black-and-red Gibson SG (as can be seen in the music clip above). But then there’s that riff. Possibly my favourite riff ever. So I guess it’s here for both of it’s lead guitar parts.

4. ‘Get Back’ (0:43 + 2:00)

If you seriously thought this list wouldn’t contain any John solos, you clearly haven’t been reading this blog! Despite popular opinion, John was a stellar guitarist – and I’m not just saying that. Listen to the rhythm part in ‘All My Loving’, or the Esher demo of ‘Revolution’ – only a stellar guitarist could play that! But this isn’t about rhythm, it’s about lead. And John had a number of groovy lead moments, but this is my favourite. The crunchy bending and intricate picking of this song were played on John’s famed Epiphone Casino, and it’s far more complicated than it sounds! Trust me – I tried it, and probably shouldn’t have… And sorry about the subtitles – it was the only clip I could find that uses the original¬†Let It Be footage.

3. ‘Not Guilty’ – Beatles version (entire song, but the solo is at 1:33)

Yeah, yeah, yeah – I do know this is on¬†Anthology 3, but it deserves to be on here. In fact, in that case ‘Watching Rainbows’ (an obscure¬†Get Back bootleg THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN RELEASED) should be on here, too, but that’s a different story. I have never heard George’s solo rendition of this, but I have heard it is acoustic – I personally love it as a prime example of acid rock, as displayed above. Like a few of the songs on here, I don’t know why I love the lead so much on this – maybe the overdrive (as you will have gathered, it is my favourite effect), the volume pedal (I think), just the fact it is so hard-rocking? But who cares – it’s groovy, so it deserves a spot on here! Oh, and I dig the harpsichord…

2. ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ (0:44)

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve really badly sung this riff whilst miming air guitar in front of my mirror. Lost count. Someone on a Beatles forum described it as ‘[Led] Zeppelin-esque, yet heavier’, and I agree. I’d go so far to say that it is proto-metal. I don’t think there is much I can say about this one, so I’ll let it (and my love for it) speak for itself. And finally…

1. ‘Dear Prudence’ (1:50)

This, my friends, is possibly the best Beatles lead guitar part, and definitely the most underrated. BUT¬†IT’S LOST IN THE MIX!! WHY?! (Sorry…) And that’s why I put the isolated guitar above. But anyway, I. Love. This. Part. The bending, the crunch, the bluesy bits– oh, just everything! Listen to it yourself, and you’ll see what I mean. I’m trying to play it on my own guitar at the moment, and it’s almost impossible! I officially proclaim George a guitar genius.

So there you go! My favourite Beatles lead guitar parts, with bass/rhythm guitar/percussion/insert other random instrument a Beatle played more than once on more than one Beatle record editions coming soon!

 

And it was birthday on Thursday! Thank you to all those who helped me celebrate. I was serenaded with ‘Here Comes The Sun’ by my class (who supposedly ‘hate’ The Beatles!), and had a lovely tea with my parents (and later with my grandfather and godparents respectively!)! I got lots of beautiful Beatles stuff, including my own copy of LIFE’s collection of Robert Whitaker’s photographs of The Beatles (I’ve wanted that book since December!), a rare World Record Club pressing of¬†Magical Mystery Tour and Other Splendid Hits (Australian pressing), some first-edition Beatles 7″ singles/EPs, a beautiful hardback copy of John’s books¬†In His Own Write¬†and¬†A Spaniard In The Works¬†and a ticket to John Waters’ infamous John Lennon tribute ‘Looking Through A Glass Onion’ (which you’ll – undoubtedly – be getting a post on)! Here’s a picture:

Once again, thank you! I've been well and truly spoilt... :-)

Once again, thank you! I’ve been well and truly spoilt… ūüôā

Oh, and Big W in Australia (I don’t know if they exist elsewhere) are selling official Beatles shirts for $13AUD, in two styles (Abbey Road and a 1963 photo-shoot)! I’ve already got my two (thanks to a lovely friend who told me about them), so make sure you go and check your local store out!

Good day sunshine ūüôā