Tag: Beatles

Tuesday 9/21/21 1:05am ET: Feature LP: Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965)

Rubber Soul is the sixth studio album by the English rock band the Beatles. It was released December 3, 1965 in the United Kingdom, on EMI’s Parlophone label, accompanied by the non-album double A-side single “Day Tripper” / “We Can Work It Out”. The original North American release, issued by Capitol Records, contains ten of the fourteen songs and two tracks withheld from the band’s Help! album. Rubber Soul met with a highly favourable critical response and topped sales charts in Britain and the United States for several weeks.

The recording sessions took place in London over a four-week period beginning in October 1965. For the first time in their career, the band were able to record an album free of concert, radio or film commitments. Often referred to as a folk rock album, particularly in its Capitol configuration, Rubber Soul incorporates a mix of pop, soul and folk musical styles. The title derives from the colloquialism “plastic soul” and was the Beatles’ way of acknowledging their lack of authenticity compared to the African-American soul artists they admired. After A Hard Day’s Night in 1964, it was the second Beatles LP to contain only original material.

The songs demonstrate the Beatles’ increasing maturity as lyricists, and in their incorporation of brighter guitar tones and new instrumentation such as sitar, harmonium and fuzz bass, the group striving for more expressive sounds and arrangements for their music. The project marked a progression in the band’s treatment of the album format as an artistic platform, an approach they continued to develop with Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The four songs omitted by Capitol, including the February 1966 single “Nowhere Man”, later appeared on the North American release Yesterday and Today.

Rubber Soul was highly influential on the Beatles’ peers, leading to a widespread focus away from singles and onto creating albums of consistently high-quality songs. It has been recognized by music critics as an album that opened up the possibilities of pop music in terms of lyrical and musical scope, and as a key work in the creation of styles such as psychedelia and progressive rock. Among its many appearances on critics’ best-album lists, Rolling Stone ranked it fifth on the magazine’s 2012 list “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. In 2000, it was voted at number 34 in the third edition of Colin Larkin’s book All Time Top 1000 Albums. The album was certified 6× platinum by the RIAA in 1997, indicating shipments of at least six million copies in the US. In 2013, Rubber Soul was certified platinum by the BPI for UK sales since 1994.

  1. “Drive My Car” 2:25
  2. “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” 2:05
  3. “You Won’t See Me” 3:18
  4. “Nowhere Man” 2:40
  5. “Think for Yourself” 2:16
  6. “The Word” 2:41
  7. “Michelle” 2:40
  8. “What Goes On” 2:47
  9. “Girl” 2:30
  10. “I’m Looking Through You” 2:23
  11. “In My Life” 2:24
  12. “Wait” 2:12
  13. “If I Needed Someone” 2:20
  14. “Run for Your Life” 2:18

John Lennon – lead, harmony and backing vocals; rhythm, acoustic and lead guitars; organ on “Think for Yourself”; tambourine
Paul McCartney – lead, harmony and backing vocals; bass, acoustic and lead guitars; piano; maracas

George Harrison – lead, harmony and backing vocals; lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars; sitar on “Norwegian Wood”; maracas, tambourin3
Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, maracas, cowbell, bells, cymbals; Hammond organ on “I’m Looking Through You”; lead vocals on “What Goes On”
George Martin – production, mixing; piano on “In My Life”, harmonium on “The Word” and “If I Needed Someone”
Mal Evans – Hammond organ on “You Won’t See Me”

Tuesday 8/21/21 1am ET: Feature LP: The Beatles White Album (1968)

The Beatles, also known as the White Album, is the ninth studio album and only double album by English rock band the Beatles, released on November 22, 1968. Its plain white sleeve contains no graphics or text other than the band’s name embossed, which was intended as a direct contrast to the vivid cover artwork of the band’s previous LP Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Beatles is recognized for its fragmentary style and diverse range of genres, including folk, British blues, ska, music hall and the avant-garde. It has since been viewed by some critics as a postmodern work, as well as among the greatest albums of all time.

Most of the songs on the album were written during March and April 1968 at a Transcendental Meditation course in Rishikesh, India. There, the only western instrument available to the band was the acoustic guitar; several of these songs remained acoustic on The Beatles and were recorded solo, or only by part of the group. The production aesthetic ensured that the album’s sound was scaled-down and less reliant on studio innovation than most of their releases since Revolver (1966). The Beatles also broke with the band’s tradition at the time of incorporating several musical styles in one song by keeping each piece of music consistently faithful to a select genre.

At the end of May 1968, the Beatles returned to EMI Studios in London to commence recording sessions that lasted until mid-October. During these sessions, arguments broke out among the foursome over creative differences and John Lennon’s new partner, Yoko Ono, whose constant presence subverted the Beatles’ policy of excluding wives and girlfriends from the studio. After a series of various problems, including producer George Martin taking an unannounced holiday and engineer Geoff Emerick suddenly quitting during a session, Ringo Starr left the band for two weeks in August. The same tensions continued throughout the following year and led to the band’s break-up.

The Beatles received favourable reviews from most music critics; detractors found its satirical songs unimportant and apolitical amid the turbulent political and social climate of 1968. It topped record charts in Britain and the United States. No singles were issued in either territory, but “Hey Jude” and “Revolution” originated from the same recording sessions and were issued on a single in August 1968. The album has been certified 24× platinum by the RIAA.

  1. “Back in the U.S.S.R.” 2:43
  2. “Dear Prudence” 3:56
  3. “Glass Onion” 2:18
  4. “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” 3:08
  5. “Wild Honey Pie” 0:52
  6. “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill” 3:14
  7. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” 4:45
  8. “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” 2:47
  9. “Martha My Dear” 2:28
  10. “I’m So Tired” 2:03
  11. “Blackbird” 2:18
  12. “Piggies” 2:04
  13. “Rocky Raccoon” 3:33
  14. “Don’t Pass Me By” 3:51
  15. “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?” 1:41
  16. “I Will” 1:46
  17. “Julia” 2:57
  18. “Birthday” 2:42
  19. “Yer Blues” 4:01
  20. “Mother Nature’s Son” 2:48
  21. “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” 2:24
  22. “Sexy Sadie” 3:15
  23. “Helter Skelter” 4:30
  24. “Long, Long, Long” 3:08
  25. “Revolution 1” 4:15
  26. “Honey Pie” 2:41
  27. “Savoy Truffle” 2:54
  28. “Cry Baby Cry” 3:02
  29. “Revolution 9” 8:15
  30. “Good Night” 3:14

John Lennon – lead, harmony and background vocals
Paul McCartney – lead, harmony and background vocals
George Harrison – lead, rhythm, acoustic and bass guitars
Ringo Starr – drums and assorted percussion (tambourine, bongos, cymbals, maracas and vocal percussion)

Monday 8/16/21 12:30am ET: Feature LP: Beatles – Please Please Me (1963)

Please Please Me is the debut studio album by the English rock band the Beatles. Produced by George Martin, it was released on EMI’s Parlophone label on March 22, 1963 in the United Kingdom, following the success of the band’s first two singles “Love Me Do”, which reached number 17 on the UK Singles Chart, and “Please Please Me” which reached number 1 on the NME and Melody Maker charts. The album topped Record Retailer’s LP chart for 30 weeks, an unprecedented achievement for a pop album at that time.

Aside from their already released singles, the Beatles recorded the majority of Please Please Me in one long recording session at EMI Studios on February 11, 1963. On February 20, Martin added overdubs to “Misery” and “Baby It’s You”. Of the album’s 14 songs, eight were written by Lennon–McCartney (originally credited “McCartney–Lennon”). Rolling Stone magazine later cited these original compositions as early evidence of the Beatles’ “[invention of] the idea of the self-contained rock band, writing their own hits and playing their own instruments”. In 2012, Please Please Me was voted 39th on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. It was voted number 622 in the third edition of Colin Larkin’s All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).

  1. “I Saw Her Standing There” 2:55
  2. “Misery” 1:49
  3. “Anna (Go to Him)” 2:55
  4. “Chains” 2:23
  5. “Boys” 2:24
  6. “Ask Me Why” 2:24
  7. “Please Please Me” 1:59
  8. “Love Me Do” 2:21
  9. “P.S. I Love You” 2:04
  10. “Baby It’s You” 2:40
  11. “Do You Want to Know a Secret” 1:56
  12. “A Taste of Honey” 2:03
  13. “There’s a Place” 1:51
  14. “Twist and Shout” 2:32

John Lennon – lead vocals, backing vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, harmonica, hand claps
Paul McCartney – lead vocals, backing vocals, bass guitar, hand claps
George Harrison – lead guitar, acoustic guitar, hand claps, backing vocals; lead vocals on “Chains” and “Do You Want to Know a Secret”
Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, maracas, hand claps; lead vocals on “Boys”
George Martin – producer, mixer, additional arrangements, piano on “Misery”, celesta on “Baby It’s You”
Andy White – drums on “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You”

Wednesday 6/23/21 12pm ET: Artist Countdown: The Beatles Top 30 Hits

Between 1962 and 1970, the Beatles released 12 studio albums, 13 extended plays (EPs) and 22 singles. The band’s international discography is more complicated due to different versions of their albums sometimes being released in other countries, particularly during their early years on Capitol Records in North America. The Beatles’ discography was originally released on the vinyl format, with full-length long plays (LPs), shorter EPs and singles. Over the years, the collection has also been released on cassette, 8-track, compact disc (CD), on a USB flash drive in MP3 and 24-bit FLAC format, and on digital media streaming services. Although their output has come to include vault items and remixed mash-ups, the Beatles’ “core catalogue”, recorded between 1962 and 1970, comprises 213 songs. Additionally, they released five tracks that are different versions of previously released songs: “Love Me Do”, “Revolution”, “Get Back”, “Across the Universe” and “Let It Be”; two tracks in German: “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand” and “Sie Liebt Dich”; and two tracks that are duplicates of songs included on previous albums but also included on the album Yellow Submarine: “Yellow Submarine” and “All You Need Is Love”.

Most of the Beatles’ albums were released in both mono and stereo. Since mono record players were the most common at the time, the Beatles and their regular producer, George Martin, originally gave more time and attention to preparing the mono mixes of their recordings. The Beatles had involved themselves in creating only the mono mixes for the first four albums; the stereo mixes were prepared without their supervision. However, because by the late 1960s stereo record players became more common, their final two albums – Abbey Road and Let It Be – were mixed and released in stereo only.

From 1968, in both the UK and the US, starting with the single “Hey Jude” and the album The Beatles (better known as “the White Album”), new releases appeared on the Beatles’ own Apple record label. Parlophone and Capitol catalogue numbers continued to be used for contractual reasons.

The Beatles’ UK discography was first released on CD in 1987 and 1988. The first four albums were released in mono only, while the remaining albums were issued in stereo only. However, the sound of the digital transfers of the discs, produced by Martin using the best equipment available during the early days of the format, no longer meets the standards achievable with 21st-century techniques. Thus, from 2005 to 2009, the original recordings were remastered using the latest technology, and Apple and EMI released this version of the Beatles’ catalogue on CD on 9 September 2009 in mono and stereo.

With the first CD releases of their albums, the Beatles’ core catalogue was harmonised worldwide to encompass their original UK studio albums released in 1963–1970, the 1967 US Magical Mystery Tour LP and the Past Masters compilation, the latter two of which include the recordings released in 1962–1970 that are not present on the UK albums (mainly non-album singles and B-sides). Since then, other past releases have been reissued in digital formats and on vinyl. The catalogue is currently distributed by Universal Music Enterprises’ Calderstone Productions.

1Hey Jude1968
2Get Back1969
3All You Need Is Love1967
4Hello, Goodbye1967
5Let It Be1970
6I Feel Fine1964
8Paperback Writer1966
9Lady Madonna1968
10Ticket to Ride1965
11The Ballad of John and Yoko1969
13A Hard Day’s Night1964
14Can’t Buy Me Love1964
15Yellow Submarine1966
16I Want to Hold Your Hand1963
17Penny Lane1967
18She Loves You1963
19All My Loving1964
20Come Together1969
21We Can Work It Out1965
23Free as a Bird1995
24Twist and Shout1964
25The Long and Winding Road1970
26Please Please Me1963
27Real Love1996
28Rock and Roll Music1965
29Strawberry Fields Forever1967
30Love Me Do1962

Monday 11/12/2020 1am ET: Feature LP: Beatles – 1 (2000)

1 is a compilation album by the English rock band the Beatles, originally released on November 13, 2000. The album features virtually every number-one single the band achieved in the United Kingdom and United States from 1962 to 1970. Issued on the 30th anniversary of the band’s break-up, it was their first compilation available on only one CD. 1 was a commercial success and topped the charts worldwide. It has sold over 31 million copies.

In addition, 1 is the fourth best-selling album in the US since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking US album sales in January 1991 and the best-selling album of the 2000s decade in the US, as well as the best-selling album of the decade worldwide. 1 was remastered and reissued in September 2011, and was remixed and reissued again in several different deluxe editions in November 2015, the most comprehensive of which is a three-disc set entitled 1+, which includes video discs of the band’s promotional films.

As of June 2015, 1 is the sixth best-selling album of the 21st century in the UK, having sold over 3.1 million copies.

“Love Me Do” – 2:21
“From Me to You” – 1:55
“She Loves You” – 2:21
“I Want to Hold Your Hand” – 2:24
“Can’t Buy Me Love” – 2:11
“A Hard Day’s Night” – 2:33
“I Feel Fine” – 2:18
“Eight Days a Week” – 2:43
“Ticket to Ride” – 3:08
“Help!” – 2:18
“Yesterday” – 2:05
“Day Tripper” – 2:48
“We Can Work It Out” – 2:15
“Paperback Writer” – 2:16
“Yellow Submarine” – 2:37
“Eleanor Rigby” – 2:06
“Penny Lane” – 3:00
“All You Need Is Love” – 3:46
“Hello, Goodbye” – 3:26
“Lady Madonna” – 2:15
“Hey Jude” – 7:03
“Get Back” – 3:12
“The Ballad of John and Yoko” – 2:57
“Something” – 3:01
“Come Together” – 4:16
“Let It Be” – 3:48
“The Long and Winding Road” – 3:36

Wednesday 6/17/2020 12pm / 9pm ET: Feature Artist – The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With a line-up comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they are regarded as the most influential band of all time. The group were integral to the development of 1960s counterculture and popular music’s recognition as an art form. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, their sound incorporated elements of classical music and traditional pop in innovative ways; the band later explored music styles ranging from ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As pioneers in recording, songwriting and artistic presentation, the group revolutionized many aspects of the music industry and were often publicized as leaders of the era’s youth and sociocultural movements.

Led by primary songwriters Lennon and McCartney, the Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over three years from 1960, initially with Stuart Sutcliffe playing bass. The core trio of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, together since 1958, went through a succession of drummers, including Pete Best, before asking Starr to join them in 1962. Manager Brian Epstein molded them into a professional act and producer George Martin guided and developed their recordings, greatly expanding their domestic success after their first hit, “Love Me Do”, in late 1962. As their popularity grew into the intense fan frenzy dubbed “Beatlemania”, the band acquired the nickname “the Fab Four”, with Epstein, Martin and other members of the band’s entourage sometimes given the informal title of “fifth Beatle”.

The Beatles are the best-selling music act of all time, with certified sales of over 183 million units in the US and estimated sales of 600 million units worldwide. They hold the record for most number-one albums on the UK Albums Chart, most number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and most singles sold in the UK. The group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and all four main members were inducted individually between 1994 and 2015. In 2008, the group topped Billboard’s list of the all-time most successful artists on the Billboard Hot 100. The band received seven Grammy Awards, four Brit Awards, an Academy Award (for Best Original Song Score for the 1970 film Let It Be) and fifteen Ivor Novello Awards. Time magazine named them among the 20th century’s 100 most important people.