The Beatles – Revolver (Epic 2017 #019)

The Epic 2017 Project #019: 170119

The Beatles – Revolver (1966)

61i5kdinqll

On a business trip to Liverpool early last summer, a good friend of mine took me to Shirley Street to show me the Eleanor Rigby statue, designed and made by the English entertainer Tommy Steele.

It’s a haunting tribute to the song from “Revolver’ and, although the character (originally known as Miss Daisy Hawkins) is fictitious, the idea of a lonely lady feeding the pigeons from a park bench is captured so lovingly here that you feel obliged to sit alongside her for a while when you visit.

imgp9683

We’re fortunate to possess an original vinyl pressing of the album in mono from 1966, courtesy of my wife’s elder sisters who were ardent Beatles fans back in the day.

The Beatles – Please please me (Leaping Ahead #89)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #89: 160329

[A song from 1963]

Released on 11 January 1963, this was the second Beatles single in the UK and the first in the US. It did so well in the UK that Parlophone rush-released the album of the same name on 22 March 1963, primarily to capitalise on its success. It didn’t do so well stateside but, on its re-release in January 1964 with ‘From me to you’ on the B-side, leapt to No.3 in the Billboard 100.

Joe Cocker – With a little help from my friends (Leaping Ahead #68)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #68: 160308

[A song by someone lost in 2014]

This wonderful cover of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends” reached number one in the UK in 1968 and it propelled Cocker to international fame after his performance of it at Woodstock in 1969. Thirty-three years later, he repeated it at the Party at the Palace concert for the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II.

In 1993 Cocker was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male, in 2007 was awarded a bronze Sheffield Legends plaque in his hometown and in 2008 he received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music. He was ranked number 97 on Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest singers list.

Upon hearing about Cocker’s death in 2014, Paul McCartney said this about Cocker’s version of the Beatles 1967 song:

He was a lovely northern lad who I loved a lot and, like many people, I loved his singing. I was especially pleased when he decided to cover “With a Little Help from My Friends” and I remember him and (producer) Denny Cordell coming round to the studio in Saville Row and playing me what they’d recorded and it was just mind-blowing, totally turned the song into a soul anthem and I was forever grateful to him for doing that.

Joe Cocker OBE (20 May 1944 – 22 December 2014). Rest in Peace.

The Beatles – top rock albums

IMGP4278

Issue 91 of ‘Classic Rock’ magazine – published in April 2006 – featured the 100 Greatest British Rock Albums ever. As I am fortunate enough to have 60 of these in my collection, this is day 35 in a mini-series for Jemtunes – sample tracks from each of the albums I own from 100 through to 1

Day 35: Number 33/100: The Beatles – Taxman (from Revolver – 1966)

Extended-play (The EP)

Although the ‘extended play’ concept had been around for years – it originated on a 78 in 1919 – the 1960’s were its heyday. EPs were usually compilations of singles or album samplers and were typically played at 45 rpm on seven-inch discs with two songs on each side.

The Beatles ‘No 1’ is a good example…

gep8883_agep8883_b

IMGP3495

Unfortunately vinyl and cover have become separated over the years – probably ended up on a bedroom wall sometime around Christmas 1963! However, I still have the vinyl.

No.1 was the Beatles’ third British EP released in November 1963. A side – “I saw her standing there” and ‘Misery” B side – “Anna (go to him)” and ‘Chains”.

Other than those published by RCA, EPs were relatively uncommon in the United States and Canada, but they were widely sold in the United Kingdom, and in some other European countries. Record Retailer printed the first EP chart in 1960. The New Musical Express (NME), Melody Maker, Disc and Music Echo and the Record Mirror continued to list EPs on their respective singles charts. The Beatles’ Twist and Shout outsold most singles for some weeks in 1963. When the BBC and Record Retailer commissioned the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) to compile a chart it was restricted to singles and EPs disappeared from the listings.

25 songs in 25 days #22

One song per day along with an explanation of why you picked it. Day 22 – a song that someone has sung to you

That would have to be…

Golden Slumbers – The Beatles (1969)

Over the years we’ve had our own family, this song (and our own variations on it) has been sung repeatedly – by us to children, by our children to us, by my wife to me and by me to my dogs (and once to a rabbit).