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 🙂 ), 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 AbracadabraBeatles 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! 🙂

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! 🙂

Another fab Friday night in my life (pun, again, intended)!

The stage display of the Beatles tribute I went to last night - taken during interval.

The stage display of the Beatles tribute I went to last night – taken during interval.

Last night, my parents and I attended a slightly-impromptu Beatles tribute (not that I’m complaining)! As you might remember (or know – depends if you’re an Adelaidean or not), there is a lift-out in the Saturday edition of The Advertiser called the SA Weekend, the set-out of which got a bit of a makeover a few months ago. One of the changes made at that time was a page named something to the effect of ‘Go Out, Stay In’. The ‘Go Out’ bit includes a list of concerts, exhibitions and events in general, and the ‘Stay In’ bit includes a list of books, movies and albums of the week (yes – The White Album was once the Vintage Album of the Week). I don’t normally look at the ‘Go Out’ bit (too busy looking for more Beatles albums on the ‘Stay In’ side!), but luckily my mum did! A day after I posted on here last, Mum came into my room with the ‘Go Out’ page, indicating at a part advertising a Beatles tribute involving Glenn Shorrock of The Twilights/Little River Band, and Doug Parkinson of The Questions – two very important figures in Australian music. There was a catch, though – it was a school concert! The performance was held in the auditorium of Westminster School, and the orchestra/bands/choirs/etc. that performed were all students. Though, as I learnt last night, that if you didn’t know that they were my age, you might have thought they were professionals! The groups were almost surprisingly good, and I think they did The Fabs justice.

The gig started with one of the big bands doing a ‘Sgt. Pepper Medley’, though in reality, the songs involved were ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ (Revolver), ‘Come Together’ – with some groovy improv. from the resident guitarist and a couple of saxophonists – (Abbey Road), and, well, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ (okay, I could have just typed ‘Sgt. Pepper’), though it seemed more like the reprise than the actual song. On the big screen at the back, a picture was projected for each song – which I liked a lot. For this, the gatefold of Pepper was put up.

The next song was an acapella version of ‘I Feel Fine’, which was very cool! This was probably my one of my equal-favourite performances. ‘I Feel Fine’ is from their utterly-gorgeous folk-rock era (yes, I admit I would probably use ‘utterly-gorgeous’ to describe any of their eras, but still…) – one of my favourite parts of The Beatles’ career – thus I really liked hearing its ‘vocal jazz’ arrangement. The other school-exclusive performance that I liked very much was the other ‘vocal jazz’ arrangement of ‘Drive My Car’, which – too – is folk-rock Beatles (it’s on Rubber Soul), and sounded cool with the harmonies added for acapella’s sake.

The Beatles weren’t the only band to have their songs played that night – Glenn Shorrock played some of his Little River Band songs, too! Before interval, he played ‘Emma’ (which I didn’t realise was LRB until last night) and ‘Curiosity Killed The Cat’ (ditto). And then, in the second half, he sang ‘Reminiscing’ (interestingly was one of John’s [Lennon – though I assume you know who I mean when I write ‘John’!] favourite songs during the last years of his life – I can see why! ‘Reminiscing’ is also my fave LRB song), ‘Help Is On It’s Way’ and ‘Cool Change’ (ditto with ‘Emma’ and ‘Curiosity Killed The Cat). It was quite amazing, really, seeing that!

In the second half, plenty of The Fab Four’s stuff was played, too, but with either Glenn or Doug Parkinson (or both!) on vocals. ‘In My Life’ and ‘Eleanor Rigby’ were played with full string arrangements; ‘Let It Be’, ‘Dear Prudence’ (yes, I was surprised, too – but very happy!), ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ (the Joe Cocker version, though) and ‘Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End’ (complete with the solos), however, were played with full orchestra, band AND choir arrangements! I was very happy to hear ‘Dear Prudence’ – not particularly well-known when compared with ‘Hey Jude’ – and, of course, the latter part of the Abbey Road medley! In fact, I was incredibly surprised to hear ‘Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End’, ‘cos they make up a bit of an obscure gem that only Beatles fans are aware of!

It was slightly inappropriate to take pictures – due to the fact much of the audience was there to see their kids perform – but I did manage to get a picture in interval, so that is what the stage looks like! I have actually performed on that stage, before – each year, there is a string/concert-band competition called ABODA, in which my string ensemble performs in each year (usually the concert band I’m in does too, but this year we can’t). In fact, ABODA is next week, and I’ll be heading Violin Two!!

And so to sum it all up, the concert wasn’t the WAC or The Beatle Boys, but it was a fabulous night! The school groups acted really professional and were really good, and it was a delight to see Glenn Shorrock and Doug Parkinson perform, too. If only my school did Beatles tributes…

I hope you’re having a fabulous day/night/whatever time it is wherever you are on this vast globe, and good day sunshine! 🙂

A ‘Good Night’ (pun intended) at The White Album Concert!

 

The promotional poster for the gig.

The promotional poster for the gig.

And me before the show, in my White Album shirt (which was my only Beatles shirt until last month!). Yes, and I do wear things other than Beatles shirts...

And me before the show, in my White Album shirt (which was my only Beatles shirt until last month!). Yes, and I do wear things other than Beatles shirts…

 

Hey Bulldog/Jude/all,

Well, as you have probably gathered, I went to a gig last night. And that gig was none other than the critically-acclaimed White Album Concert! As I explained in my previous post, The White Album Concert is made up of four well-known Australian musicians (Tim Rodgers of You Am I, Chris Cheney of The Living End, Phil Jamieson of Grinspoon and Josh Pyke, an ARIA-Award-winning singer/songwriter – a soloist, too, unlike the other three) singing/playing the entirety of The Beatles (better known as The White Album), along with a 17-piece band. The show was toured once before – in 2009 – and has been travelling around Australia since the 13th of this month. As you can probably guess, Adelaide had one of their last shows – the second-to-last, to be exact. The show was held in the Festival Centre – our fancy theatre where a lot of shows are held (also the second-biggest venue in SA).

After being forced to park on the other side of town (the CBD isn’t particularly big, though – one could probably drive from one side to the other in ten minutes) due to the premiere of a play in the Dunstan Playhouse and some soccer match, we finally came to the Festival Centre. We (or more specifically, my Dad – thanks!) bought a program, which can be seen in the picture above, and, soon enough, we had entered the theatre and the lights were dimmed.

The show was begun with the band playing ‘Can You Take Me Back’ (the unrelated coda at the end of ‘Cry Baby Cry’, if you are not familiar with the title), before Chris Cheney ran onto the stage, and began playing ‘Back In The USSR’! This was followed by the entire contents of the first disc, each song being covered by either Cheney, Jamieson, Rodgers or Pyke. And then, twenty minutes after the last strum of ‘Julia’, the second half again started with Cheney – this time, though, playing ‘Birthday’. After the end of ‘Good Night’, however, the show did not finish – all four musicians came together (pun intended) to cover ‘A Day In The Life’ and a reprise of ‘Revolution’ (and most of the audience stood up and danced/sang at this point – including me)! And I should probably add that by the entirety of the White Album, I mean the entirety – this means their repertoire included ‘Wild Honey Pie’ and ‘Revolution No. 9’ (which didn’t sound much like the real thing – thankfully… But then, I listened to the entire track for the first time yesterday, and it was nowhere near as bad as I thought. I found John and George’s (non-edited) voices quite comforting, though – not sure I would have listened to the whole thing otherwise…)!

I don’t have a stand-out favourite performance, as all the covers were so darn good! I was, however, incredibly impressed by the fact that the White Album version of ‘Revolution’ was performed specifically as ‘Revolution No. 1’, and that the single version of ‘Revolution’ was kept for the encore. If I did have to choose a favourite bit, though, it would probably be ‘Cry Baby Cry’ (sang by Josh Pyke), ‘Rocky Racoon’ (Pyke, again – I don’t normally like this song too much, but it sounded like a ‘Oh! Yoko’ and ‘Racoon’ mash up!), ‘Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey’ (Tim Rodgers), ‘Long, Long, Long’ (Pyke, again), ‘Yer Blues’ (Phil Jamieson) and Chris Cheney’s guitar-god moment, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’! Other favourites included their versions of ‘Martha My Dear’, ‘I’m So Tired’ and ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’, but to be honest, I really didn’t do too much favouring!

And did I prefer The Beatle Boys to the WAC? As with above, I really cannot choose, as they were both so different. (On a random note, I’m listening to Anthology 3 at the moment, and the acoustic version of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ has just come on – I forgot how beautiful the demo is! I prefer it to the real thing…) As we all know, The Beatle Boys dressed up in the suits and boots and had their hair cut in moptops and put on Scouse accents – and what a great job of their tribute they did! The WAC was completely different, though – no dressing up, no accents (though Tim Rodgers did make a ‘rattle your jewellery’ joke in a Liverpudlian accent), no haircuts – just a night of electrifyingly-good music, sung by four relatively-famous musos. So again, I have no preference – let’s just say that they were both two of the best nights of my life! But this time, however, I took a lot of pictures, and only one video (0f ‘Cry Baby Cry’), so I will have something to show you of my own, for once – we were sitting in Row E of the dress circle, so I was in the perfect position to get some full stage shots! See below for my pictures and some YouTube clips of the concert in other states:

white album one

white album two

white album three

Note all the psychedelic lighting - I couldn't quite capture the beauty of them in single shots, but I tried! The acoustics were also amazing - it was so loud, but God, did it sound good!

Note all the psychedelic lighting – I couldn’t quite capture the beauty of them in single shots, but I tried! The acoustics were also amazing – it was so loud, but God, did it sound good!

white album five

The whole band!

The whole band!

 

The promo.

‘Birthday’

‘Revolution No. 1’ (gives you a good idea of the atmosphere – everyone singing!)

 

So there you – a review of my lovely night! I think I posted this last time, but here is the link to their website, so please check it out! Hope you’re all having a great day, wherever you are, and good day sunshine! 🙂

Things We Polled Today…

A lovely picture of John and Paul!

A lovely picture of John and Paul! Don’t they look sweet? 🙂

Well – I haven’t done a poll in a while, have I? I also have some other things to write about today (i.e. Ron Howard’s upcoming Beatles doco – for which I cannot wait!), but to start off with – here’s a poll! It’s titled ‘Which Beatles’ period is your favourite’ (as you will see further down), and Option One will be ‘the early years’ – the Hamburg/Cavern Club Era (1960) ’till the A Hard Day’s Night sessions (1964), which includes Pete Best/Stu Sutcliffe, the ‘Love Me Do’/’P.S. I Love You’ sessions, the marathon 12-hour Please Please Me session and the With The Beatles sessions, plus the filming of A Hard Day’s Night and their Australian tour. Option Two will be the ‘middle years’ – the Beatles For Sale (late 1964) sessions ’till the Magical Mystery Tour/Yellow Submarine sessions (1968 – there’s a slight overlap, here, ‘cos both the film and album Yellow Submarine fit in with the psychedelia of Sgt. Pepper/ Magical Mystery Tour, but were recorded around the time of ‘Lady Madonna’, which is considered as a part of their back-to-basics-rock-and-roll late material. I consider Yellow to be middle-period, but that’s only my opinion), which includes ‘Ticket To Ride’/’Yes It Is’, the album/film/single Help! (which includes classics such as the title track, ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’ and – of course – ‘Yesterday’), Shea Stadium, Rubber Soul, ‘Paperback Writer’/’Rain’, the groundbreaking Revolver, the Sgt. Pepper sessions, plus (not-so-positive bits) the introduction of pot/LSD, the decision to stop touring (not that was necessarily a bad thing…) and the ‘Jesus remark’ (which was taken completely out of context). And then, the final option will be the ‘late years’, spanning from the ‘Lady Madonna’ sessions ’till the break-up – this involves India, introduction of Yoko and Linda, the White Album sessions, ‘Hey Jude’/’Revolution’, the Get Back/Let It Be sessions and Abbey Road, plus the mounds of arguments and the split ( 😦 ). If I had to choose, I would vote for the ‘middle years’ – my favourite albums (Revolver, Help!, Beatles For Sale and Rubber Soul) were all recorded in that period – plus the songs I favour – and (not that it matters) I think they looked the best around that period (not that they were bad-looking at any period – except for maybe Paul’s Let It Be beard…)! Oh, and one word: PSYCHEDELIA! But this isn’t a place for me to vote, ‘cos I’m putting it to you. So please choose, and I’d love to see which period is the most popular amongst the people who’ve seen past this large block of text and voted!

 

(And now for some more…)

As most Beatlemaniacs will have heard by now, acclaimed director and actor Ron Howard is both directing and producing a documentary on The Beatles’ touring years (1960 – 1966), which is scheduled for release in late-2015! Ron Howard (who – amongst other things – starred as Richie in Happy Days, plus is the creator behind Parenthood) is a self-proclaimed Beatlemaniac himself, and is being joined by Nigel Sinclair (who produced George Harrison: Living In The Material World); the two (according to Rolling Stone) have been granted access to the Apple Corps archives (I can only dream!), and are sourcing footage/photos/material from fans. For more information, here is the link to the article on The Beatles’ official website, which involves information on how to submit your material for the doco (anyone here got any??). You can find Rolling Stone‘s article (the most informative yet) on the upcoming feature here. And Sky News Australia’s two-bobs’-worth is here – whilst short, it contains a cool news-clip about the event! I cannot wait for this to be released, and I’ll be making sure I’m at the pre-viewing if it makes it to cinemas.

As for some other Beatle-y news, The Grammys’ Beatles tribute has been nominated for six Emmy awards! Let’s hope it wins some, ‘cos (in my opinion) watching Paul and Ringo re-unite is much more interesting than binge-watching Game Of Thrones (not that I’ve ever watched it)… And A Hard Day’s Night has been released on Australian iTunes stores (as of the 9th of this month), but it’s rated M. Why M?? I get that John snorts a bottle of coke (the cola kind…) in the train (‘But they hadn’t even done pot at this point, let alone cocaine,’ I protest), there are a few jokes of a sexual nature (Paul’s comment to the effect of, ‘He [Grandfather] could be in an orgy by now!’, John’s ‘Please can I have one to surge with?’ comment, what John and the girl are hinting at in the ‘she looks more like me than I do’ scene, and the stamp collection), and of course, the smoking – but M? Really?? I also read that the Australian BluRay isn’t particularly good, so I’m glad I got my UK export! Talking of my UK export…IT’S BEING SHIPPED ON MONDAY! I absolutely cannot wait for it to come!

Oh, and a big thank you to my good friend (you know who you are) for recommending an interesting book to me, earlier this year – I just finished it yesterday! But what book am I referring to, you ask? When We Wake, a dystopian novel written by New Zealander-come-Australian Karen Healey! The story is about a sixteen-year-old girl living in 2027 Melbourne named Tegan, who’s about to go on a climate-change-action protest with her best friend Alex and her boyfriend-as-of-the-night-before Dalmar. However, a sniper intervenes, and Tegan is shot dead. Tegan had donated her body to science some time before she died, though. She wakes up (as the first successful cryonics – the process of freezing someone who is dead, and then proceeding to try and revive them – patient) in 2128, and soon enough, she finds herself in the middle of the paparazzi, a medicinal-drug-smuggling plot, a secret – and possibly corrupt – government operation and a devout Christian cult, who want her dead. And of course, Tegan is a hardcore Beatlemaniac – her favourite is Ringo, but the majority of Beatles references are somewhat related to John 🙂 ; yay for Johnny! Sadly, though, George isn’t mentioned… However, I really enjoyed this read, and you can buy your own copy here. Again, thank you, my friend, and hope you’re enjoying the holidays!

And one more thing… if you haven’t already noticed, I’ve changed my sidebar widgets slightly! Please check out my profile, and see if you can guess what songs I’m punning on. Good day sunshine 🙂

The Poll On The Hill

 

Wouldn't this be just fab to have on your wall? Sadly, I do not own one as of yet.

Wouldn’t this be just fab to have on your wall? Sadly, I do not own one as of yet.

 

Excuse my incredibly lame pun – I think it’s the worst I’ve come up with yet (you’re trying too hard, tangerinetrees99!)! This blogging session’s album is Magical Mystery Tour, and the title track is just finishing – as all Beatlemaniacs know, ‘The Fool On The Hill’ is the second track (it just started), and I’ve already done a ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ pun, so guess what I’m punning on this time?!

But anyway – as one would think – I’m going to post a poll. I’m also going to assume that your computer/phone/tablet/MP3 player/whatever internet-enabled device you’re reading this on doesn’t also take form as a hill, so it will not be a ‘poll on the hill’. As you’ve probably guessed, I have a tendency to go off on tangents, so I will post the poll before this turns into the word-count of the millennium (yay – ‘Blue Jay Way’ just came on!).

 

 

I love hearing who people’s favourite Beatles are – you can find out a lot about that person from their answer. I’d also love to see who’s the most popular Beatle out of everyone who can withstand my lame puns, thus reads this blog, so please vote! As you will have probably gathered from my ‘Welcome’ post (and my ‘When The Beatles Drove Us Wild’ review), my favourite Beatle is John/John Winston Lennon/John Ono Lennon/Dr Winston O’Boogie/Johnny, whose song ‘I Am The Walrus’ has just come on (and I bet you I’ll be in hysterics in a few seconds!)! Anyway, I’m going to get a tan from the British (Australian??) rain – which was pouring down in thick sheets just a second ago, but has seemingly stopped – with a walrus and the eggmen (more puns)! Good day rain/sunshine 🙂

 

Beatle Boys Videos

Hey (Jude/Bulldog) all,

It has been really cold in Adelaide of late (as in three shirts plus thick coat and woolly cardigan, two pairs of socks and a pair of fleecy stockings under your pants, yet somehow you’re still frozen kind of cold) – if you’re reading this in the Northern (Song??) Hemisphere, I’m envious; I like Winter more than Summer, though, ’cause in Adelaide, most of Summer is spent sweltering inside your boiling-hot house whilst outside, the amount of degrees amount to some ridiculous number above 40. Anyway, our long-cold-lonely Winter temperatures reminded me of the Salisbury Plains scene in Help!, in which The Beatles all seem practically frozen (I know how you feel, John, Paul, George and Ringo)! I posted a clip from such parts of the film below (the song is ‘I Need You’, in case you didn’t know, and it’s a George Harrison composition, for all you Harrison-Heads out there).

 

Anyway, back on topic…Sorry I didn’t post the videos from The Beatle Boys gig yesterday, like I promised I would. My parents were using the laptop/phone (not that I needed the phone) for most of the day, and I was too busy listening to Beatles LPs on our record player (they were Let It Be and Beatles For Sale, in case you’re interested) to be bothered. There’s also another problem – WordPress (the site on which this blog is produced) refuses to let me upload the videos onto this post because ‘the file is too large’. You would probably think this is a good thing and be thanking God there is a limit on the size of files, if you saw how bad my filming skills were that night (I was being a Beatlemaniac, if you know what I mean…), but it is a right pain-in-the-neck for me. Anyway, I managed to find some YouTube clips of the band, which are probably of a better standard, so enjoy! All these songs were performed on the night in the second half with the same outfits/graphics/etc., except ‘Get Back’ (which was also done) obviously wasn’t performed on top of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, and ‘She Loves You’ was in the first half with the imitation Beatles-in-Australia look.

 

‘Come Together’

 

‘Get Back’ (their version of the infamous rooftop concert The Beatles performed for unsuspecting – and lucky – bystanders on top of Apple Corps. HQ in January 1969)

 

‘She Loves You’

 

‘Hello, Goodbye’

 

‘Revolution’

 

‘I Feel Fine’

 

‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ (yes – I successfully touch-typed that with zilch stuff-ups, for once!)

 

So, enjoy the videos, and hope it gives you a sense of how amazing it was to see The Beatle Boys live. Also, I believe my lovely mother Facebook-ed the band with a link to this very blog, so if a Beatle Boy is reading this, I’d just like to say how much I loved your performance, and how I’d love to go see you again if you come back to SA!

Anyway – if you’re reading this in Adelaide, keep warm, and if you’re reading this in the Northern Hemisphere, enjoy the lovely warm weather that any Australian would assume you have at this time of year. Good day sunshine, for now!