My Beatles Record Collection Pt. 5 – ‘Rubber Soul’

John is wearing his suede 'Rubber Soul' jacket! And I wonder what is making George smile so widely...

John is wearing his suede ‘Rubber Soul’ jacket! And I wonder what is making George smile so widely…

‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello, and welcome to this month’s edition of ‘My Beatles Record Collection’! This particular series even has a ‘suggested search entry’ on our laptop’s Google Chrome, now! But anyway, I shall start the post…

This post, the featured album is…Rubber Soul! This album is often recognised as the album that splits the early Beatles from the late-era Beatles (though I prefer the three-levels version. Or should that be seven? Google ‘seven levels paul mccartney’ if you have no idea what I’m joking about…) and has been named ‘the biggest leap in The Beatles’ career’ by various people of note. Whilst the band’s growing maturity and concern with lyrics is demonstrated on Help!, it is on Rubber Soul that these leaps are first demonstrated in full flow. And that’s not to mention the musical leaps that this album also made: its inclusion of the French/Greek guitar lines in ‘Michelle’/’Girl’ (respectively), the use of many genres including folk, psych rock, R&B and pop/rock, and the use of sitar on ‘Norwegian Wood’ (the first use of the instrument in rock music) are what makes the album one of the most influential in the history of rock music. Rubber Soul influenced many musicians to begin focusing on the album as a piece of art, and is particularly notable for inspiring Brian Wilson to create The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. It reached Number Five on Rolling Stone’s ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time’, and Number Two on my ranking of The Beatles’ albums earlier this year. (Though I’m not too sure this blog is quite as important is Rolling Stone… 😉 )

My copy of Rubber Soul is probably the most expensive LP in my collection. I would have paid $100AUD for it full price, but the nice guy at the fab record shop I buy from gave me a discount, leaving the price at 70 bucks! Those of you who’ve been within the ‘AYNITB’ community for a while might remember it from this post. But anyway, here’s a picture (and yes, it’s from that post):

rubber soul lp one

Some of you might know that Rubber Soul was the first Beatles album to not feature the name of the band on the front cover (a practice which was very uncommon at the time). This would later be repeated with RevolverAbbey Road and Let It Be. But look closely at the picture; just below the ‘Rubber Soul’ text and between John’s and Ringo’s heads are the words ‘THE BEATLES’. Gasp! What naughty record company violated this first?! (And for once, it’s not the cover butcherers also known as EMI Australia…) Yes, my precious pressing is an import. And you’ll soon find out what country it is from…

rubber soul 1

Here’s the back of the album. (I love the photos on the back!) The LP appears to be enclosed in the plastic bag behind it, but it is in fact encased in a plastic sleeve. (As were all the pressing of Rubber Soul from this particular country…) Whether the record is in mono or stereo isn’t indicated, but listening to the album tells the audiophile to whom the album belongs that it is in mono! Yay! There are no backflaps but nothing online suggests that it is anything but a first edition. Though there is barely any information online concerning this country’s version of this album… If any of you know a bit about this record, your information would be greatly appreciated!

Take a look at the bottom left-hand corner. As will probably know, The Beatles at this stage were released mainly on either Parlophone or Capitol. But this Rubber Soul was released on Odeon Records, record company that released The Beatles in (among other places)…

rubber soul 2

…URUGUAY! Yes, that’s right — Uruguay. A little country in the south-east of South America, that is in the same hemisphere as my own country (Australia). The Beatles truly were here, there and everywhere… But anyway, I find it very cool that I have a Uruguayan vinyl in my collection. I wonder how much of a rarity it is (or not)…

image

The record sleeve with the cover. Yes, I’m lucky enough to have the original paper sleeve! It’s in absolutely impeccable condition… The cover itself also appears to be in mint condition, as it has been protected by the plastic protector found on each Uruguayan Beatles album.

image

The label of the LP. The image showing the back cover is clearly written in English, but the label is written in Spanish with an English translation in brackets. (I went to Spain with my parents, once, when I was about six. I got tonsillitis in Barcelona…) And check out the label itself! Not black and gold, not orange… But blue! That is because my record is not on Parlophone — it is on Odeon.

image

And Side Two of the album. It appears very scratched (and it is). But thankfully, the scratches aren’t very deep and are easily filled in with the record cleaner we use in our house. If I remember rightly, the album plays like a dream! The vinyl is nice and thick and pressed in mono, which helps. Interestingly, mono LPs always play better on our record player. Probably ‘cos it’s old enough to most likely have at least had one Beatles record spun as a brand new release… 🙂

And that’s ‘My Beatles Record Collection’ finished for another month! It’ll be back in the New Year, with the album that just turns out to by my favourite recording of all time…

Oh, and congratulations to George (Harrison) who’s receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award (what The Beatles received earlier this year) at the Grammys next year, in particular for All Things Must Pass and the Concert for Bangladesh! Congratulations, Georgie. You deserve it, and it’s sad that you can’t be here to accept it yourself.

And a happy belated (as the Americans would say) half-birthday to ‘All You Need Is The Beatles’, which turned six months old on the fifth of this month! I’ve loved writing this blog over the past six (that many already?!) months, and hope it continues to bring me the joy it does now for many more months/years to come! It also helps that I have a really awesome group of followers, so thank you for liking/commenting/sharing/just generally making the ‘AYNITB’ community a really fab place on the net! I really appreciate it.

Hope you have a groovy day/afternoon/evening/whenever, and good day sunshine! 🙂

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… 🙂 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? 😉 ), 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 🙂

 

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! 🙂

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 cliché, 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… 🙂

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 🙂

 

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! 🙂

Some Beatles demos/alternate takes/sessions to feast your ears on…

Taken in the Austrian Alps - made me smile :-) !

Taken in the Austrian Alps – made me smile 🙂 !

 

 Recently – whilst completing a science assignment – I decided to stop listening to Rubber Soul for the third time in a row (I still love it dearly, but I didn’t want to get sick of it – I’d debate whether that’s possible, though 🙂 …) and do some YouTubing as a means of finding something new to listen to (I don’t buy much music on iTunes – prefer it on vinyl). And under my ‘recommended videos’ thing(y) was a video containing a compilation of Magical Mystery Tour/White Album era demos. I gave it a listen, and then I found even more of these videos under ‘suggested videos’! So yeah, it did take two nights to finish my science, but I found a really cool idea for a post! I absolutely love listening to Beatles demos – I feel a little special, hearing a completely different (and often rare) version of such familiar songs that I know and love dearly. Obviously, though, not all such recordings are rare – as we all know, the Anthology project made some of these relatively well-known. So this post pays homage to those bits and pieces John, Paul, George and Ringo may or may not have wanted us to hear – enjoy!

‘The Beatles’ Home Demos: A Hard Day’s Night and Rubber Soul

‘If I Fell’: Crappy sound quality, but that is the case with most home demos (due to primitive recording equipment). I like this version, and it proves that John was good with falsetto notes, even in the early Beatles days.

‘World Without Love’: Funnily enough, my local classic hits station (what else would I listen to? Actually, I might listen to Triple J – the local indie rock station – at some point, ‘cos I like that sort of thing too) plays the Peter and Gordon version of this song all the time, but it took me a good year-and-a-half of Beatles fandom to work out it was a Lennon/McCartney (namely, McCartney) composition! Yeah – of course I knew that most (if not all) of Peter and Gordon’s songs were written by Paul ‘cos Peter was Peter Asher (Jane Asher’s brother) – but I cannot believe I did not clue on earlier. I like this version more than the original, I have to say – probably because Paul’s singing it… 🙂

‘One And One Is Two’: Never heard this song before, but it’s groovy! I like the way Paul sings it…

‘We Can Work It Out’: Ahh – back to actual Beatles songs again! I really like the folksiness of the original, but this version is still folky and still really cool. In fact, the official version of this was just on the radio (spooky!)…

‘She Said, She Said’

Although I am forever saying that I do not have one favourite Beatles song (if an ever-changing list of about 100 tunes counts, well I do), I would cite this one as top dog if my life depended on it. As I said in my ‘Favourite Beatles Song’ post, I love this song, so I find the above very, very cool! Two completely different versions from the psychedelic masterpiece that ended Side One of my favourite Beatles album (Revolver)!

Demo One: This could not sound more different than the original, but I still love it! John was still clearly working on the lyrics (He said//I know what it’s like to be dead…), and Paul appears to be with John at the time (hence dialogue at end). Writing session at Kenwood, perhaps?

Demo Two: This is my favourite out of the two. John had mostly completed the lyrics by this point, and appears to practising it. I love how the acoustic guitar sounds so trippy, even though it likely hasn’t been edited – John had a semi-acoustic (meaning he can amp it up – I, too, have one), so I wonder if he put a pedal on it, or something? I’d love to know what he put on it, if he did anything… Oh, and there is a little bit of language in this bit – such things don’t bother me in the slightest, but just thought I should cover myself.

‘Revolution’

Wow – those people who think that John is no good as a guitarist need to listen to this! That riff at the beginning is incredibly hard to play – and I should know, ‘cos I play guitar myself! And I love John’s vocals in this, too – need I say more?

‘Something’

‘Something in the way she moves//attracts me like a pomegranate!’ Ha, ha 🙂 – need I say more? Also, George and John making up more of those random lyrics…in need for another smiley 🙂 !

Oh, and I didn’t know George could sing like that! Wow, George, wow! Normally, his anyway-gorgeous voice is quite smooth and sweet, but on this, he rocks really hard! And of course, I love this song anyway – in fact, it was this that taught me that George wrote songs, too…

A Random Bloopers Reel

This one – unlike the clips above – is a medley of all sorts of bloopers, in no kind of order whatsoever. It’s very funny, though – lots of laughing (pity a certain version of ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ ain’t on there) and jokes 🙂 ! Oh, and I s’pose I should cover myself over usage of ‘language’, too – it’s mostly from Paul (naughty Paul 🙂 !)!

‘You Can’t Do That’/’Love Me Do’/’Gimme Some Truth’/’She Said, She Said’ (Get Back sessions)

Not all of the Get Back sessions were shown in Let It Be. ‘Of course they weren’t,’ you’re probably thinking. ‘Otherwise we’d have proper of footage of George leaving the band, and we’d probably also have footage of Yoko screaming sufficient enough to make us deaf.’ Well, yeah – you’re right – but what many people don’t know is that The Beatles recorded a lot more material than first apparent within that period of time – whether that be alternate versions of past songs, or the beginnings of songs that will eventually end up on solo albums. The songs I chose to post were swamped-down versions of ‘You Can’t Do That’ and ‘Love Me Do’, that sound so damn cool (!), a version of ‘Gimme Some Truth’, a song that would appear on John’s 1971 masterpiece Imagine, and that song I keep on rambling about – ‘She Said, She Said’ (+ a version of ‘She Came In Through The Bathroom Window), the Get Back edition. Apparently they also did ‘Norwegian Wood’ – can’t find it, though… 😦

‘I’m So Tired’…sung by Paul! Oh, and ‘Get Back’/’Yesterday’…sung by John!

Yep, I’m serious; Paul is singing a song off the White Album, which – I might add – was written about Yoko. Paul singing a love song for Yoko – hmm. As I’ve said before, I really like Yoko (excepting the screaming) and have tremendous respect for her, but we all know that Paul did not feel the same way… But anyway (who he is singing about aside), his version is really quite good. In fact, it’s really good – gives John a run for his money. At the end of the day, though, John wins for me 🙂 ! As for ‘Get Back’ – oh my God! This might just be my favourite version of this song – especially love the tempo, John’s voice and Ringo’s fills. When I listened to this to test its eligibility for this post, all I could do was stomp my foot, clap along, dance and air-guitar along – that is all I need to say… And ‘Yesterday’ – John fooling about with a famously-Paul-only song. Sure, all the Macca Maniacs will not like it at all, but I think it’s funny! By the way, videos one & two are from Get Back, too.

‘Cry Baby Cry’

As I repeatedly state in various places on this blog, my favourite Beatles songs change from day to day. But ‘Cry Baby Cry’ is a bit like ‘She Said, She Said’ – it always remains somewhat near (if not at) the top of my list. In fact, it was the first song I played on my steel-stringed guitar, and I can still remember listening to it for the first time earlier this year, and being completely blown away. I especially love the almost proto-metal electric-guitar version near the end, with John screaming out the vocals in a, well, proto-metal-type way – a complete contrast to the folky official version (which I still love). Sounds really cool however it is played, let’s just say!

‘Yes It Is’

a) ‘One, two, three, bread.’ Deserves a smiley, Johnny 🙂 ! Next time I have to do a count-in, I know what I’m going to do…

b) I know I posted the Anthology version of this song (a mash-up of takes 2 & 14) in an earlier post, but here is the complete evolution of that Beatles song that everyone sadly forgets (except those who know it, of course). I love this song (okay – I love every Beatles song, with the exception of ‘Revolution 9’ and ‘Wild Honey Pie’ – which I appreciate at the very least), so I find this absolutely fab!

‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’

‘You cheat, tangerinetrees99,’ you’re probably thinking. ‘That’s not rare at all! It’s off blooming Anthology!’ Yes, and I am well aware of that, but I really wanted it in this post. And it is an alternate version of the official, after all, isn’t it? But anyway, I swear I heard this version of ‘WMGGW’ far before I heard the White Album edition. In fact, I prefer this to the Eric Clapton guitar-god version everyone knows. I love everything about this demo – the acoustic-ness of the whole thing, the fact it is in G minor (as opposed to A minor), just – well – everything! Thank you, George, for recording such a gorgeous version of this song.

Paul sings John a very sweet tribute

Aww! How sweet of Paul? I like his versions, too – I also like what he said before he started… I won’t say too much about this one, apart from the fact that it made me a little emotional – you’ll have to watch it yourself… 🙂

So there we have it – an incredibly long post (I’ll try and be shorter next week), but I hope it was all worth it. Enjoy listening to things you may or may not have heard before – but nonetheless (whether you’ve heard them or not), it’ll make for a fab listening marathon! Hope you have a good rest of your day (whichever hemisphere you’re in), and I’ll leave you with this really funny clip of 1965 Christmas record outtakes, which I guarantee will have you hysterically laughing by the minute-mark (excusing one or two grotty jokes, that might or might not bother you – I’m in the latter, so just covering myself again… Still, it is really funny!)! Good day sunshine 🙂

 

Thank You Mr. Postman! Pt. 2

 

The latest edition to my Beatle-y merchandise collection!

The latest edition to my Beatle-y merchandise collection!

 

Rubber Soul – John, Paul, George and Ringo’s sixth album, released in Britain on the 3rd of December, 1965; what does it mean to you? To me, it means a few things – a) it was the first Beatles studio album I purchased, b) I remember listening to it on a plane flight from Melbourne to Adelaide (where it snowed, yesterday – not in my part (where it stayed just about 8 degrees all day), but it still snowed!) just under a year ago, and c) to me, it marks when the later years of The Beatles’ career start. But now, it means something more – ‘cos look what came in the mail at about 11 o’clock (AM – obviously…) today! The above book is a Rubber Soul ‘song album’ – a magazine that contains eight ‘already standard songs’ off the album, plus three pages of ‘fabulous photos’! I ordered it off Ebay on Monday (Ringo’s birthday!), and (since it only had to come down from Queensland – the state at the very top of Australia, if you’re not familiar with the geography of my country) it has arrived surprisingly quickly! I had a flip through the pages, and it looks as though most of the songs are in the correct key signature, so I shouldn’t have to do too much transposing to bring them up/down to the way The Fab Four played them! The songs noted in the book are – in case you can’t read the listing on the picture (it would appear quite small on, say, an iPhone) – ‘Michelle’, ‘Norwegian Wood’, ‘Nowhere Man’, ‘Girl’, ‘Wait’, ‘If I Needed Someone’, ‘Drive My Car’ and ‘Think For Yourself’, and are printed in that order. In the middle of the booklet is a double-page spread of pictures of The Beatles taken at various points in 1965, and just over 3/4ths of the way through, there is a image-page dedicated to the Shea Stadium gig. So as you can see, I’m quite pleased with my latest purchase!

Just one more thing before I show you some pictures of the book – the mystery of when the book was published, as this is not apparent at first view. When I purchased the book, I was under the impression that it was printed in 1965, but as I will show a little further down, the book was being sold at a price of 80 cents. In Australia in 1965, our currency was the Australian pound/penny – it continued to be so until the 14th of February, 1966 (when it was all decimalised, and we ended up with the Australian dollar/cent). Interestingly, until the release of Revolver, Australian Beatles releases were always a couple of months behind the UK. Because of this, Rubber Soul (the last record to have a delayed release date here) was put on shelves on the 17th of February, 1966 – only three days after decimalisation. I’d assume that my book was released around the same time as the album, so my guess is that it was released some time between February (the date of both decimalisation – hence the price of 80 cents – and the Australian release of Rubber Soul) and August (the world release-date of Revolver – involving Australia for the first time…), 1966. I don’t think it could have been any later, ‘cos – as far as I can see – these ‘song albums’ were released with every LP (making the previous one out-of-print), the price would be too little for something even released in 1970s, and the pages look too old to be something much later. But now, I’ll stop writing, and show you my pictures; enjoy!

The '80 cents' thing I was talking about (off the back cover - it was scribbled off the front, as you may have noted from my image at the top of the post).

The ’80 cents’ thing I was talking about (off the back cover – the price was scribbled off the front, as you may have noted from my image at the top of the post).

The publishing information - interesting from the point of view of an Australian Beatlemaniac...

The publishing information – interesting from the point of view of an Australian Beatlemaniac, but worth a look…

A page of music - 'Nowhere Man', to be exact. This image might be illegal (I don't know), so please look at my 'Disclaimers' post if you are thinking of suing me (though I doubt some Apple Corps. official would bother to read such blogs)...

A page of music – ‘Nowhere Man’, to be exact. This image might be illegal (I don’t know), so please look at my ‘Disclaimers’ post if you are thinking of suing me (though I doubt some Apple Corps. official would bother to read this)…

A double-spread of pictures (yay!)! Oh, and just look at that picture of John in the right corner of the left-hand page - oh my, was he attractive :-) !

A double-spread of pictures (yay!)! Oh, and just look at that picture of John in the right corner of the left-hand page – oh my, was he attractive 🙂 !

Another page of music - 'Girl', this time. I love this song - it will definitely make my next 'Favourite Beatles Songs' post, and I can't believe it didn't feature on the first one!

Another page of music – ‘Girl’, this time. I love this song – it will definitely make my next ‘Favourite Beatles Songs’ post, and I can’t believe it didn’t feature on the first one!

The Shea Stadium pictures I was talking about, plus the last page of 'Drive My Car'.

The Shea Stadium pictures I was talking about, plus the last page of ‘Drive My Car’.

The last page - 'Think For Yourself', the song that turned me on to how good a songwriter George was! Note the different title font - it appears to have been used on both the first and last pages of music.

The last pages – ‘Think For Yourself’, the song that turned me on to how good a songwriter George was! Note the different title font – it appears to have been used on both the first and last pages of music.

So there you have it – an insider’s view of my latest Beatle-y thing! And now for a couple of other things…

A Hard Day’s Night might just make its way onto Australian big screens! I was giving The Beatles’ official website one of my weekly looks the other day, and I came across a page titled ‘A Hard Day’s Night Screenings Info’. I clicked on it – for no apparent reason (a glimmer of hope, perhaps?!) – and proceeded to read it. And, guess what? The article said (quote), “In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of its world premiere in London, The Beatles’ epoch-making music movie will have an extended run of screenings across the USA and the UK from 4 July 2014, with more global dates to be announced soon.” So this means that it might – just might – make its way Down Under, and, good gracious, would I be the happiest girl on Earth if it did! If you (like me) have an account on the website, make sure you ‘Favourite’ the page and keep your eyes peeled. If you don’t, however, I’ve posted the link here. But if you’re reading this in the US/UK, I’d assume you’ve already seen it – I’d love to hear what it was like!

(And finally…)

Today is a special day for me, because it marks exactly one year since I purchased my first Beatles album! About six months earlier (after becoming a casual fan three years before – this being revived again in 2012), my then-best-friend turned me on to The Beatles’ music (after a playing of ‘All You Need Is Love’ one school assembly), and we spent our lunch-breaks singing tunes such as ‘Eleanor Rigby’ (her favourite Beatles song) and ‘Hello Goodbye’ (my then-fave – it’s the first Beatles song I have exact memory of listening to, so it’s a little special to me), and talking about our favourite Beatles (hers was Paul, and – as you will have gathered – mine is John). There was only one problem, though – I thought my parents didn’t like The Fab Four (I was very, very wrong), so I was too afraid to tell them about my new-found passion. So – about six months later – I found myself making up elaborate plots that would allow me to purchase a Beatles album without my mother and father cluing on too much. I remember scouring iTunes – which, at the time, was selling 1 and Help! at discounted prices – to try and find an album that I could start out with. I decided up on 1 – at this time, of course, I had no knowledge of their studio albums (would you believe it – I though Abbey Road was a Rolling Stones album!), so I unwittingly ended up with their best-selling, 2000-released compilation (not that I care!). But anyway, I plotted for about two weeks, and finally, my ‘B-day’ had rolled along. I’d purchased an iTunes card a few days earlier (as part of my plot), and bought a few other songs to make myself appear a little less ‘suspicious’ (as I thought myself at the time). But my plan fell apart (thankfully!), when Mum ended up going through a newly-purchased flute music book to try and find some music to recommend (all a part of my plot), she also ended up discovering I was a rookie Beatlemaniac – and I discovered that she also liked their music! Since then, my love has only blossomed, so I reckon the decision I made that day was one of the best (if not the best) decision I have made in my life! It’s funny to think that, a year ago, I didn’t even know what The Beatles really looked like (that was unfortunate for me 🙂 ) or that George sang (I soon discovered he wrote, as ‘Something’ is on 1) some Beatles songs, but now (a year later), I can recite their entire discography off in a matter of seconds, and I could tell you really obscure facts, such as the month and year that John got his drivers’ licence in, and how old he was (he got it in February 1965, and he was 24-turning-25)! I reckon I’ll love The Beatles for the rest of my life – and to think it’s all down to an album I bought exactly one year ago, today! So (to conclude this last paragraph), I’ve posted 1 – that life-changing album, for me – below. If you’re already a Beatlemaniac (like I assume most people reading this are), have a listen – who would pass up an opportunity to listen to a certain band that changed the course of the world?!?! But if you’re a casual fan, or haven’t discovered The Fabs all that much, yet, why don’t you listen to this album, too? Once you have, I guarantee you that your life will never be the same – all down to four talented musicians/singers/songwriters that changed so many other lives, too. I salute you, John, Paul, George and Ringo! So here is that album that changed my life, and I’d like to think that it’ll help change many others, too:

 

So now, on this sunny afternoon (to quote The Kinks) that is also an extremely valid candidate for the coldest day in our long-cold-lonely Winter (to quote The Beatles), good day sunshine! 🙂