Wednesday, September 30, 2009
A deluxe edition of the set will feature expanded packaging and a bonus DVD featuring Macca's "Late Show with David Letterman" performance atop the Ed Sullivan Theater marquee from last July.
Monday, September 28, 2009
The piece about the Queen’s Coronation was found among records at the Central Library by Mr Roach as he researched a new book.
It had been stored away for over 50 years in the library’s record office.
Mr Roach said: “It’s unique in its own right.
“It shows his handwriting at that age and shows how Paul was thinking at the time.
“His handwriting is well advanced - you would say it was written by someone who was older than 10-years-old, more like 14 or 15.”
The schoolboy compares the happy scenes expected outside the palace to the coronation of William the Conqueror nine centuries earlier, when a massacre of Saxons took place.
The St Thomas' Lupus Trust charity said O'Donnell had died aged 46 after losing a fight against the autoimmune disease lupus.
It said Julian and his mother Cynthia, Lennon's first wife, were "shocked and saddened by the loss of Lucy".
"It's so sad that she had finally lost the battle she fought so bravely for so long," the Trust's campaign director Angie Davidson said.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Nearly 40 years after breaking up, The Beatles are still breaking records for album sales.
EMI Group PLC says consumers in North America, Japan and the U.K. bought more than 2.25 million copies of the Fab Four's re-mastered albums in the first five days after their Sept. 9 release.
Most of the records were broken for most simultaneous titles in the top-selling charts by a single artist.
On Billboard magazine's pop catalogue chart, for example, the band had 16 titles in the top 50, including all 14 re-mastered CDs and two box sets.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Singer Alison Goldfrapp has announced on her official blog that she'll be a part of the much-anticipated new film, Nowhere Boy.
She writes, "I'm pleased I can now tell you about it (as it is official). we have written the score for a film called Nowhere boy. it's about John Lennon as a boy and stars Aaron Johnson, Kristen Scott-Thomas and Anne Marie Duff. It's Sam Taylor-Wood's first feature film and it's truly amazing that they gave us the opportunity to do this.
"We are all really excited about going to Abbey Road studios soon to record the strings with the full orchestra."
The enamelled steel sign, which was installed near the world-famous St John's Wood zebra crossing six years ago, was removed in 2007 because graffiti messages from Beatles' fans could not be scrubbed off.
...Westminster Council is selling the disused sign on eBay to raise money for transport projects across the city.
It should be noted, however, that the sign is not featured on the cover of the Beatles LP.
See the auction here.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
An orthopedia surgeon at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center had the winning bid Thursday in a 17-day online auction run by RR Auction of Amherst, N.H.
Lennon signed "John C. Lennon" above his photo in the September 1966 "Datebook," even though his middle initial is W. for Winston.
In the magazine, Lennon said: "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity."
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The new and improved Beatles CDs sold 235,000 copies during their first two days in stores, and total first-week sales of the individual CDs and two box sets of the group's recordings were projected to be 500,000 to 600,000 copies, possibly higher.
That's welcome news for a beleaguered music industry, whose last significant uptick in sales came in the wake of Michael Jackson's death in June.
Beatles titles occupy nine spots in the Top 10 of Billboard's Pop Catalog Albums chart, which encompasses albums originally released more than 18 months ago (Jackson's "Number Ones," at No. 6, kept the Fab Four from a clean sweep of the Top 10); of the Top 20, 15 are Beatles albums.
The artist is using her cash to fund a new John Lennon Imagine Awards scheme for Liverpool John Moores students who have been in care or become estranged from their families.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
“The dock is no longer a prime and lively destination but it CAN become one again – it can be turned into a place where people can come to be entertained, to have fun and spend a lot of time with their families."
Monday, September 14, 2009
Don't panic, don't get gouged: Beatles in Mono box set still available for $229.99 from Amazon--stereo box available too
Don't get suckered. Here are links to both sets:
Friday, September 11, 2009
One very interesting tidbit:
Originally what happened was, the albums were going to be released on iTunes but that deal, you know, fell through for whatever reason. Some sort of political reason. So we actually set about creating a mini-documentary for each of the albums, so that when you bought the albums on iTunes, if you bought the whole album, because on iTunes you can pick like one song, right, if you bought the whole album, as an incentive to buy the whole album rather than just to cherry-pick songs, you would get this mini-documentary.
In the UK, the Beatles will dominate this week's album charts based on only one day of sales (plus pre-orders). According to the Official Charts Company, Liverpool's finest will have five albums in the top 20 – and 15 in the top 75 – led by Abbey Road and Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. In their first day on the market, retailers sold more than 6,000 copies of the Beatles stereo box set – helping the expensive package into the UK top 20.
A quick look at Amazon's best-selling CDs shows the Beatles holding the top 9 slots of the top 10. The stereo and mono boxsets are tops, followed by the individual releases of Abbey Road, the "White Album," Sgt. Pepper, Revolver, Rubber Soul, Past Masters and Let it Be in the Top 9 slots, Whitney Houston's comeback album is number 10. The least popular remaster appears to be Yellow Submarine, down at number 22.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Just how limited is the mono box? The Los Angeles Times reports: "Reportedly only 40,000 copies of the mono box have been manufactured for worldwide distribution, with 13,000 of those allocated to the U.S. market."
When the performance finished we walked down the side of the theatre, and found the door open. So we went in — and straight afterwards security locked the door. The Beatles were waiting to make their getaway, but couldn’t get out until the van came round. A lot of girls were banging on the doors, but we were inside — and for an hour so were the Beatles.
They were so friendly and nice, and once they knew we weren’t hysterical they were happy to have us. I don’t think Beatlemania took off until a year later. In some ways, it was a little bit of history lost for ever. They were very ordinary guys, very friendly. Cynthia Lennon was there, standing in the background with a cape on. John kept saying to her “Did you get that?” Nobody realised he was married — he was pretending she was a reporter. You can imagine what it was like the next day in school. My friends were incredibly jealous.
The Beatles ’Alone Together’ would have been an extraordinary album, number one in a parallel universe. We can dream, can’t we?
the Fab Four predicted to take five of the top 20 album places, the Official Charts Company said on Thursday. Digitally remastered versions of the band's albums went on sale on Wednesday, and combined with an interactive video game, it led to a brief return to "Beatlemania" with queues at major music stores in London.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Me? I say you need both. Some tracks simply sound better in one format or the other. And, if you listen to the Beatles a lot (which, I presume most of us here do), it's fun to, um, mix it up mixwise--sometimes putting on Sgt. Pepper in stereo, sometimes in mono.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Achieve a three-star rating, and you'll unlock photos from the group's early days in the Cavern nightclub to sessions in the Abbey Road studio in later years.
Unlock enough photos, and you'll release a mini-movie, such as the band's first Christmas album for fan club members in 1963.
Many other treats abound. Progress far enough into the game, and you'll find recordings of the bandmates chatting between takes.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
With The Beatles: Rock Band and reissues of all their albums hitting stores Sept. 9, it’s time for another Beatles revolution. This week’s Entertainment Weekly offers fans our guide to what’s new — as well as the 50 best songs the world’s greatest band ever wrote and a gallery of rare behind-the-scenes photographs.
Do you find yourself occasionally slipping into a Liverpudlian accent? Hankering after a pair of granny glasses? Arguing with your friends about the best Beatles songs of all time? Then you’ve got a condition called Beatlemania, and if you don’t want it to get worse, then stay in bed on Sept. 9: The eyes and ears of the world will once again be on the Beatles — and now their hands and larynxes will be able to join them.
The reissues alone would be huge news, since the band’s albums haven’t been upgraded since their original CD release in the late ’80s. But if you’ve ever fantasized about actually playing with the Beatles, then Rock Band is equally drool-worthy. This installment of the massively popular franchise (more than $1 billion in sales and counting) lets you jam along with 45 tracks from all stages of the group’s career. It also offers previously unseen photos and never-heard audio clips of the quartet talking in the studio. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, and Olivia Harrison were intimately involved in putting it all together.
“It’s very cool,” McCartney enthused to EW earlier this year. Now Rock Band seems set to turn an even younger generation on to the band. “I see people playing it and they look…completely funny,” says McCartney. “But I like the idea that it introduces kids to music.” Maybe Sept. 9, 2009, will soon be known as the day that the biggest band of the 20th century also became the biggest of the 21st.
The Beatles sound taut, vital and surprisingly brutal. Plenty of 60s British bands covered material by black US artists: they tended to bowdlerise it, but the Beatles made it more visceral. There's something authentically deranged about their covers of Twist and Shout and Money. Smokey Robinson's fabulous You Really Got a Hold On Me has its emotional compass shifted from melancholy to torment, with electrifying results.
09/02/09 UPDATE: The manufacturer has informed us that they will be producing additional mono box sets due to high demand. While the mono box set will still remain a limited production item, it will no longer be limited to 10,000 copies for the U.S. market, as originally reported.
We will soon have more mono box sets back in stock. Sign up here to be notified as soon as they are available for order. We will likely have limited quantities, so check back here often for the latest information, or check your email frequently to make sure that you don’t miss out.
The up side: In most cases this music has dimension and detail that it never had before, and the new packaging reflects each album’s musical and cultural importance. Over all, the new discs sound substantially better than the Beatles’ original CDs, which EMI issued in 1987. The most striking and consistent improvements are a heftier, rounded, three-dimensional bass sound, and drums that now sound like drums, rather than something in the distance being hit. But because each album has its own sonic character, due partly to developments in recording technology during the Beatles’ career, and partly to the growing complexity of their work, some discs are improved more radically than others, and some are hardly improved at all.
Probably the most revelatory of the new transfers is the stereo White Album. From the opening jet engine effects on “Back in the U.S.S.R” to the final orchestral chord on “Good Night,” this album now leaps from the speakers. Gentler songs like “Julia” and “I Will” have a lovely transparency, and hard rockers like “Yer Blues” and “Helter Skelter” — as well as John Lennon’s quirky vision of dystopia, “Revolution 9” — have a power and fullness unheard until now.
Some key excerpts:
Has A Day in the Life been improved, for example, by removing the squeak of the piano stool that punctuates the ultimate chord of doom? Heaven forbid, Rouse says.
"We agreed at the onset we would only remove things that were technically related. If it had anything to do with the Beatles' performance — breaths, coughs, squeaky bass drums, squeaky chairs — they stayed."
..."The Beatles spent upwards of two or three weeks mixing Sgt Pepper in mono. The stereo was done as an afterthought by George (Martin) and (engineer) Geoff Emerick — regrettably forgetting some of the things they had done on the mono mixes," Rouse says.
...one of the things we did agree that we would be very cautious about is limiting, which is where you make them as loud as you can. That's the common process of most recordings today - make 'em as loud as possible so that they're as loud as the last band. We agreed that we would not do that, because these are 40-year-old recordings and they don't deserve to have the dynamics of their songs destroyed. At the same time, we felt, for the stereo master, that a small amount of limiting that didn't destroy the dynamics would be acceptable, so they are a bit louder.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
("She's Leaving Home")
Robin: You can hear the fingertips on the harp. This is a little like watching HDTV.
Bob: I was thinking that, too. Like plasma TV.
Robin: Listen to the falsetto harmonies. It reminds me a little of HD television in that HD reveals the flaws in people's faces. I feel like it's doing that a bit with this music, particularly in the vocals. It's not that they sound flawed. They just sound so naked. Those harmonies on this song have always sounded perfectly clear to me. But hearing it now, it's so clearly a group of guys singing in falsettos. The voices seem very naked. They sound human for the first time.