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  • [My Gang] Ben Ottewell - Lightbulbs : Reco of the Week 15 Feb 11

    15 Feb 2011, 18:17 by Babs_05

    Track: Lightbulbs [ Soundcloud | Hypem ]
    Artist: Ben Ottewell
    Album: Shapes and Shadows
    (Eat Sleep Records, 7 Feb 11) [ We7 | Spotify | mflow ]
    Tags: , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube, audio upload


    My recommendation this week isn't as obscure as it looks. Ben Ottewell is one of the vocalists with Gomez, he's the gravel-voiced one. The band are still together, this is his solo debut, five years in the making. The track I have chosen is the lead single, Lightbulbs.



    Again, I have chosen an album that will take time to get to know. On first listen it sounds warm, though minimal and sparse, his familiar voice standing out over everything and no song standing out over another. After a while, things start to take shape. Certain instruments come to the fore, as do certain melodies, you recognise Pachelbel's Canon in Chose, Chicago becomes the hardest track, and the album fills out. The acoustic arrangements were co-written with Sam Genders, formerly of Tunng and the album was co-produced with Will Golden.



    It's a long way from the sound of Gomez, though they're still there, echoing in the background. It owes much to alternative folk of recent years, artists such as Arcade Fire and Sufjan Stevens. There is the inevitable comparison to Nick Drake and a fair comparison to Ryan Adams and David Gray. Damien Rice could quite reasonably be added to the list.

    'Lightbulbs' begins slowly, as if the instruments are still being warmed up. It takes its time to peak and plateaus somewhere mellow but jolly when it does. Nothing groundbreaking here. The tone is calm, mature and sedate. There's no rush. Plenty of time.

    The next track, All Brand New, is subtle and gorgeous, burning with a restrained passion for a new love, politely requesting permission to stay a while. Beautiful instrumentation, harmonies and pace. This is followed by the bouncy Blackbird, available right now as a free download on the official site.

    The five years of effort shows. The standard is maintained throughout and editing is well-judged. Lyrics are poetic, painting little vignettes when they're not being abstract. There is a small concession to flourishes, which leap out from the stark minimalism and shimmer. It doesn't so much smack you over the head as beckon you in.

    Fans of Gomez will be familiar with this gravelly-voiced old friend and it shouldn't be too much of a leap to go from their madcap antics to the maturity and sophistication of Shapes and Shadows. This is the second solo work from the band. The first was by Ian Ball, who released his album, Who Goes There, in 2007.

    Put this on when you want the world to stop.


    Further reading

    Official site
    Gomez official site
    MySpace
    Wikipedia - Gomez
    BBC review


    Babs

    - My Gang

    Reco of the Week archives
    My Gang Reco of The Week

    Disclaimer: Mines


    (Source: Bang On PR)


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  • favourite albums of 2010

    26 Dec 2010, 13:45 by changeable

    1. Adam Haworth Stephens – We live on cliffs
    2. The Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt
    3. Joe Pug– Messenger
    4. Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues
    5. The National– high violet
    6. Possessed By Paul James – Feed the Family
    7. Delta Spirit – History from below
    8. Deer Tick– the black dirt sessions
    9. Dylan LeBlanc – pauper's field
    10.The Gaslight Anthem – American Slang

    Almost:

    I am Oak - On Claws
    Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three - Riverboat Soul
    Daniel Norgen - Horrifying Death-eating Spider
    The Fox Hunt - Long way to go
    Pete Molinari - Train Bound for Glory
    The Walkmen - Lisbon
    Beach House - Teen Dream
    Born Ruffians - Say It
    Villagers - Becoming a Jackal
    Dan Mangan - Nice, Nice, Very Nice
    Trampled by Turtles - Palomino
    Giant Sand - Blurry Blue Mountain
    Patrick Park - Come What Will
  • Regret Found

    6 Nov 2010, 19:01 by jimdier



    I used to keep a list of all the shows that I almost went to. The '82-'83 Frank Zappa tour, The Clash at the Aragon Ballroom right before the breakup, The Who's first farewell tour in '82, The Dead Kennedys at the Metro at Midnight on Halloween, Stevie Ray Vaughn's last show at Alpine. I had access to tickets and a ride to every one of those shows and for various stupid reasons I decided against going. The list is much longer that this but, at some point the list just got so long that I stopped keeping track as it became depressing.

    Last month Lucero was coming through Chicago supportingSocial Distortion. I had missed Lucero on their last turn through the midwest so I figured I should catch them this time. Social Distortion is a band that I know pretty well. I have three of their albums and, while I like them all, none really ever grabbed me the way my favorite albums do. To me, they were collections of good songs, played well, but lacking any real serious punch.



    While planning for the show I learned that the Riviera did not allow cameras of any type. I had the thought to drop a note to the pedal steel player from Lucero (Todd Beene, also of Glossary) who I had had the opportunity to meet on a few occasions and ask if he knew of any way I could get an OK to bring my camera in. I did not hear back until I was driving down to the show and an email came across telling me I he had put me on the photo pass list.



    Traffic coming into Chicago combined with a terrible lack of parking options around the Riv to get me to the venue late. I entered, figured out the photo pass thing and headed to the stage just in time to be told that I had missed my chance to take any pictures of Lucero from the front. I could take pics from the crowd, but not from the stage.

    I settled into the crowd about 15 yards from the stage to enjoy the show and snap a few shots but not be too much of a nuisance. Lucero was great. Only real complaint would be that they seemed to keep the house lights down. The lighting was super underwhelming, like a show in someone's basement. Very dim white or red lights with little to no changes throughout. The dim setting made it clear that they were the supporting band. I get it, they are playing first, their set is short, they are set up in front of the other band's stuff. Come on man! At least give them some light.



    The crowd seemed to be spotted with Lucero fans, fists pumped in the air, singing along to Tears Don't Matter Much. There were also a good number of Social D fans who seemed to be interested and getting into them but don't be fooled, this was clearly a crowd of rabid Social Distortion fans. As soon as Lucero was done the already packed floor in front of the stage became even more packed. Just as it was getting truly uncomfortable the security guy who had earlier told me no pictures grabbed the back of my jacket and tugged me into the photo pit. "Now you can come in."



    Being on the photo pass list means that for the first 3 songs of each band's set you are able to get between the stage and the barriers the keep the crowd away from the stage. It is about 4' deep and fills up with photographers about 15 minutes before the bands come on. During those 3 songs you are able to take as many pics as you can, then you have to clear out so the fans can have unobstructed views of the band. I mention this photo pass stuff just to explain how I got the pics I share here.



    As Social Distortion took the stage the big banner lowered from above the stage and the low blue lights started coming up. As soon as the instruments were plugged in the band launched into The Creeps. I am not great at math, but Mike Ness has to be older than me but from the energy on stage you would have thought he was 23. The sound was thick, not blisteringly loud, but full. I had read a few past reviews where people had criticized Mikes voice stating that he had clearly lost something. To my ears his voice sounded more full of life and vigor than any of the albums I had. He moved from one end of the stage to the other between verses, slinging his guitar with authority.

    The first song was followed by Another State Of Mind and Mommy's Little Monster. After that, the security guards flashed their lights and told us to clear out. I moved to the back of the room as the room erupted with Sick Boys. Later in the night they played Machine Gun Blues which I think is going to be the first single off the new record.



    Yeah, I had two different chances to see Social Distortion. I never really regretted that I passed them up. One while still in High School, maybe the Metro, then after High School at the Cubby Bear. I can almost justify missing the Cubby Bear since I lived in Milwaukee by then, but that High School show was missed for no good reason.

    I guess I owe it to Lucero for bringing me down to this show. Thank you, for regret found.
  • Bobby Bare Jr, Chicago Oct 7th, 2010 (or: Maybe I didn't say it first)

    17 Oct 2010, 02:21 by jimdier



    About a year ago my buddy Pete was at our house visiting and, as usual, we were eating, drinking, listening to music, talking about movies, telling lies and generally annoying members of our family unfortunate enough to walk through our conversation. During one of many pointless conversations, Dane Cook came up. Pete had been getting back into stand up and doing some open mics, so perhaps this is how Cook winds up in our discussion.

    I do not have strong feelings for or against Dane Cook. I have seen a special once and had a few chuckles but was not so taken that I wanted to seek out more of his work. Nor was I so offended that I swore off ever watching him again. His bits seemed to be aimed at your traditional, middle of the road, frat type, of which I'm not. So, I make the proclamation that "Dane Cook is the Nickelback of stand up comedy."

    Genius.

    Minimal words used to gently and cleverly mock Cook, Nickelback and fans of either.

    As the conversation wandered through the afternoon in the back of my mind I kept wondering if not only am I the first person to make this incredibly insightful connection between Cook and Nickelback, but also the first to do it so elegantly.

    "Pete, is there any way to find out if I am the first, because if I am, I want to make damn sure I get credit for it."

    Well, with a few finger strokes of the iPhone Pete is able to find an earlier example of that exact phrase on a random blog. Mind you, the original utterance was no more than 3 months old at the time and, as much as he could try, he was unable to find another example of the phrase being used. OK, dream crushed, but not by much.



    On October 7th, 2010 I had the good fortune to see Bobby Bare Jr. play at Schuba's Tavern in Chicago. I love Schuba's. I like that it is an old Schlitz building, I like the size of the room, I like that the performers have to walk through the crowd to get to the stage, I like the beer offerings on tap, I like that I can get right up to the front of the stage without much trouble. It is pretty hard to find something not to like about Schuba's.

    My only other time seeing Bobby Bare Jr. was at the Bloodshot records 15th anniversary party. If I remember correctly the band for that show included bass, drums, trumpet and bari sax. Maybe a keyboard. The band sounded great and the set list was excellent, but the show was basically in a back alley behind the Chicago Department of Sanitation and the set seemed to end as soon as it started. The Schuba's show had Bobby backed by Blue Giant of Portland, a traditional 'rock band' type line up. Many of the same song, but presented with completely different instrumentation.



    At the show I picked up his (fantastic) new record and The Longest Meow and listened to both on my drive out of the city. The next day I found myself switch between his albums all day in the car. All the songs, all the different instrumentation, all the colors that he can conjure up. None of the songs employ terribly complex chords or dramatic changes in rhythms, they are all presented in remarkably simple form. Everything from a full rock sound to an acoustic guitar and voice, are used to get sounds ranging from heavy grooving rock to straight ahead old fashioned country.

    All this listening and thinking brought me to another Dane/Nickelback type revelation. I can't imagine I am the first to say it, and this time I really don't care, so here goes: Bobby Bare Jr is the Tom Waits of Nashville Music.



    Done on the original album version with trumpets, elsewhere on youtube with just acoustic guitar and banjo, here is Valentine, three chords of greatness, done as a rock anthem with Blue Giant at Schuba's.

    (more videos from this night posted to youtube)
  • [My Gang] Neil Young – Angry World : Reco of the Week 21 Sept 2010

    21 Sep 2010, 22:09 by Babs_05

    Track: Angry World
    Artist: Neil Young
    Album: Le Noise (28 Sept 2010)
    Tags: , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube, official video

    Angry world. Got that right. Used to be a Mad World. Now it's an angry one.

    Suitably aggressive, dirgey, sludgy guitar noise that, like Grinderman, is perfectly controlled without seeming so. There are no drums. There's no band either. Production is super-polished with all the jagged edges coming from intense electro/acoustic guitars. Despite the title, it doesn't leave you feeling angry, just fascinated at how they created those sounds.

    The video was shot by visual artist Adam CK Vollick in producer Daniel Lanois's home.

    The album is streaming in full at NPR this week, ahead of release. The distorted guitars feature throughout. The absence of drums calms the music down. Downtempo and contemplative, for noise rock, it's pretty soothing.

    Probably "NSFW" is The Hitchhiker (YouTube official video) with its references to every drug going.


    (Photo: MySpace)


    Old school though he may be, the new album will be available for purchase on iTunes, CD, and vinyl, and later in November it will be available in Blu-ray and as a free iPhone and iPad app which will have an interactive album cover. If this is what Neil Young is doing with his new album, one can only begin to imagine what Radiohead might have up their sleeve for theirs.

    As a side note, apparently he only recorded on nights when there was a full moon. There's a full moon this week. No wonder he wrote about an angry world and was able to take those guitars to another level.

    http://www.neilyoung.com/


    Babs


    - My Gang

    Reco of the Week archives
    My Gang Reco of The Week

    Disclaimer: Mines



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  • Old 97's, July 2010, Milwaukee WI

    5 Aug 2010, 16:33 by jimdier

    Right, I have come to the conclusion that I pretty much stink at blogging. I understand how a computer works, I know how to make posts, I continue to stay involved in the main subject matter of my chosen blog, but it all breaks down after the show. Without something somewhat witty to say or some breakthrough musical or emotional insight to share, I have wound up with a collection of half written entrys that sits in my draft folder for 18th months. (Amy LaVere, Band Of Heathens, Slobberbone...)



    Now, if I tape the show and post the audio somewhere easily accessible, that's an easy post but I have tired of carrying my recording equipment to shows then spending 2 hours turning them into MP3's to post on the internet only to learn someone else has recorded the same show with better equipment from a better location (thanks Morst!)



    Enter new camera. Well, enter 8 year old camera purchased from ebay. After years of really wanting a nice digital SLR camera to replace my trusty Nikon F, I finally took the plung. With minor modifications all my old Nikkor lenses are fitting on the new body and I am off and running.

    First assignment, the Old 97's at the Pabst. Armed with only three lenses my first attempt of shooting in a concert setting was a struggle, but I wound up with some decent shots.



    As for the concert, it was one of the better attended shows I have seen at the Pabst in recent years. The balcony was closed down but the main floor was really filled in well. General admission made it possible for me to get up close to the stage to get some pics.



    The band was really incredible. Just the 4 guys and man did they fill out the sound. Something about that machine gun/train rolling snare drum attack and the perfect blend of guitar sounds makes for an onslaught of sound that I was not convinced they would be able to achieve live. The band was not perfect. They sounded like a very well rehearsed bar band with a small mistake or missed note here or there, but that just added to the excitement and energy for me. The song choices were a veritable cavalcade of hits going all the way back to Hitchhike to Rhome and including at least one song from their upcoming fall release. They even threw in a cover of David Bowie's Five Years... Rhett had some trouble remembering words around the second verse, but we all got the idea.



    I have a few more concerts on the calendar to wrap up the summer season and I hope to share either audio and/or photos from those show. I am feeling good that I can deliver on decent photos from shows much more consistently that I can musical insight and wit.

    Up next, The Bottle Rockets and Lucero.
  • [My Gang] Joanna Newsom - Easy : Reco of the Week 9 March 2010

    9 Mar 2010, 19:29 by Babs_05

    Track: Easy
    Artist: Joanna Newsom
    Album: Have One on Me (1 Mar 10)
    Tags: , , , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube, audio upload


    If you made your mind up about Joanna Newsom on the release of her first album, The Milk-Eyed Mender, and decided against, you won't be reading this. If, on the other hand, you kept an open mind, particularly after Ys, then, hello. And me, too.

    Ys didn't charm me on first listen. If anything, I listened to form an opinion, made my snap decision - nah - and moved on. It wasn't till a little while later that I found I couldn't get one of the melodies out of my head and, almost against my will, I went back to have a closer listen. I still can't say it's one of my favourite albums but it is one of the most perplexing. Technically, there isn't much that I like about it, except that she plays a harp, the music is clever and the melodies pretty. I was still turned off by her apparent arrogance, her "untrainable" voice, her affected manner. And she seemed to be trying too hard with the overly wordy lyrics.



    My reco this week is the first track, Easy, from her new album, Have One on Me. This is how she opens the door to her new world. It's like the Alice in Wonderland of albums; the beauty is otherworldly. Her voice, damaged by her old style of singing, doesn't catch or squeak like it used to. Now, though still challenging, she's more polished, mature and easier on the ear.

    That sounds damning - it's not. Her voice has moved closer to Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell than anyone else. She sings not from the diaphragm so much as around the chest and throat and very occasionally up through her nose. The pitch and register are still high though thankfully, she doesn't strangle any sounds, which for me would render her unlistenable. She does, however, experiment with how much air she permits, and where. For instance, No Provenance gets quite breathy at times, constricting the air at others, sounding almost traditional Chinese.

    Refined and restrained, she has kept the naif quality she had before of the untrained mediaeval folk singer. It's a little sharp and not the kind of voice that I am usually drawn to. There is also the knowledge her once-free voice is now being forced to be contained, and you can hear it, chomping at the bits, wanting to break free. The effort she exerts to control her power adds a new dimension and you feel sad for her that she even has to; another delicate layer to the others, like millefeuille.

    There is no official video for this track yet. I decided to pick the one with lyrics simply because I enjoyed reading them as I listened.



    She says Have One on Me is “earth and dirt, very grounded”. The 18 songs come in at just over two hours, covering three CDs. Some of the songs are as long as they were on Ys, though most are a minute or two shorter. The harp isn't as prominent or as intricate as it was before, allowing other instruments to come to the fore, and there's a better balance between lyrics and music. The range is varied but in keeping with each other, so the wonderfully moving Esme isn't lost among the newer songs. There is a live version of this track in YouTube, from 2007 which is more baroque in its delivery. The album version is as soft as a lullaby.

    I urge you to sit comfortably, or better still, lie down, before you put the new album on. It's so beautiful, you will sigh, melt then collapse in a heap. Then for the next two hours, you won't move. You won't want to.

    Her love of baroque, colour and detail continues in the cover art for the album - a disorderly jumble with each item deliberately placed.



    We have barely completed the first quarter of the year and already there are a fair number of outstanding, unique albums to listen to and digest, but now I've stumbled down the rabbit hole, I'm kind of reluctant to leave. It's her masterpiece.


    Further reading:
    The Times, 20 Feb 10, The conversation: Joanna Newsom
    The Guardian, 27 Jan 10, Joanna Newsom announces triple album


    Babs My Gang

    Reco of the Week archives

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  • The Beatles Timeline 1962-1966

    26 Feb 2009, 19:01 by RadioheadOasis

    The Beatles Timeline 1962-1966

    1962- The Beatles were the first Liverpool band to get a major record deal

    The Beatles release "Love Me Do" rose to #17 on the UK charts during the autumn on 1962 and is Merseybeat first chart hit.

    The Beatles early sound unlike typical rock and roll, Merseybeat was more likely to incorporate secondary harmony, especially in the middle eight. Example "Love Me Do" suggests folk or skiffle more than rock ‘n’ roll

    Prior to the Beatles' success, northern groups had had no success breaking into the British record business

    The Beatles record "Please Please Me" Right from its very first bars, the song burst with a dynamism that was not just unheard of in British rock & roll, but had rarely been heard in rock music of any sort. Already showing quirky chord changes Critic Roy Carr went as far as to proclaim that "Please Please Me" "was the prototype for the next five years of British music.

    1963-

    The Beatles record the album Please Please Me. An album that broke the Merseybeat sound around Britain and it's first number one album. An
    surprising harmonies, melodic progressions, hard-driving rock & roll, Twist and Shout," the most famous single take in rock history. The album remains number one until it is replaced by their own With The Beatles.

    "Twist and Shout"- With it's clanging guitar sound and pounding drums was the hardest track recorded in Britain at that point. Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn calls it "arguably the most stunning rock and roll vocal performance of all time; two-and-a-half minutes of Lennon shredding his vocal chords to bits."

    "There's a Place"- Uncommon song topic The subject matter anticipates the Beach Boys' "In My Room," which was recorded five months later, though there is no reason to think that its authors, Brian Wilson and Gary Usher, got a chance to hear "There's a Place" before writing it.

    "From Me to You"- In one of many examples of the pair's flair for alternating major and minor chords and keys in captivating ways. That's especially apparent at the beginning of the bridge, in which the song leaps to a totally unexpected and thrillingly different key;

    "I Want to Hold Your Hand"- The song that basically started the British Invasion. The first self penned song to top the American charts by a British Rock Act. The guitar organ like sounds on John Lennon rhythm was achieved by extreme compression. They would experiment more on organ like guitar sounds in years to follow.

    The Beatles release "With the Beatles". An album highly influenced by Motown, sophisticated series of chords, melodies, and harmonies.

    "Not a Second Time"- The unusual chord changes are almost jazz in their nature (though the rhythm and backing are pure rock. One of the first serious appreciative musical criticism in rock William Mann of The Times in London."

    "It Won't Be Long"- A song with chords and harmonies that reaches far beyond standard rock and soul progressions of the time.

    1964-

    The Beatles, Meet the Beatles (1964, Capitol).
    The one record that more than any other awakened young American folk musicians to the possibilities of electric rock music.

    The British Invasion Starts, The Beatles' success, had begun to open the U.S. market for fellow Brits like the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Kinks, and inspired young American groups like the Beau Brummels, Lovin' Spoonful, and others to mount a challenge of their own with self-penned material that owed a great debt to Lennon-McCartney.

    The Beatles release CAN'T BUY ME LOVE and this becomes the first major pop hit Rickenbacker electric 12-String Guitar that would influence countless guitarists.

    APRIL 6
    BILLBOARD CHARTS - Places Beatles songs in top five slots:
    1) CAN'T BUY ME LOVE
    2) TWIST AND SHOUT
    3) SHE LOVES YOU
    4) I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND
    5) PLEASE PLEASE ME

    The Beatles release the song “A Hard Day’s Night,” features an opening chord so revolutionary that people are still trying to figure out. "A Hard Day's Night" Starts with 12-string guitar chord that opens "A Hard Day's Night or the George Harrison chord. The song has the unison imaginative keyboards by producer George Martin and 12 string guitar solo, and the fade closed on a series of an eerie unaccompanied circular 12-string guitar notes by Harrison that would be similar in the future style of Roger McGuinn.

    The Beatles release the album "A Hard Day's Night" The Beatles first all original album of songs with it's jangly guitars influenced such future genres power pop, jangle pop, electric 12 string rock, and folk rock. George Harrison's resonant 12-string electric guitar leads were hugely influential; the movie helped persuade the Byrds, then folksingers, to plunge all out into rock & roll.

    "Things We Said Today"- Introduced by and speckled with rapidly strummed triplets of acoustic guitar chords, it is also one of their folkier early outings, and if only in hindsight waved somewhat in the direction of folk-rock. Minor-keyed sad melodies set the tone in the verses, brightened briefly by a couple of lines which move up to sunnier climes, and then dip down again into melancholy territory. The group's genius for contrasting moods in their verses and bridges blooms especially strongly in "Things We Said Today," as the main body of the song segues into a bridge with a far brighter and more uplifting melody. All Music Guide Review

    "I Call Your Name"- An early rock attempt to introduce ska The song's midsection is the Beatles' first attempt to introduce ska (which was then known as "bluebeat" and later "Reggae") to European and American audiences. The change of signature and a middle 8 guitar melody not related, derivative or variation of the main melody is one of many progressive aspects in this early 1964 song.

    "I Feel Fine"- Rock music first major hit with intentional guitar feedback and it's first song that uses it as recording effect or intentional to be part of a composition on record. Feedback was so common on stage unintentionally that someone had to start using it creatively The song starts with feedback distortion on an acoustic guitar, followed by a riff-driven guitar song.

    Typical of the Beatles "Pop-R&B" synthesis Verse follows blues progressions, uses blues flats etc., but chorus/refrain shifts gears: new chords introduced, level of rhythmic activity changes

    "She's a Woman"- Some consider "She's A Woman" an important early Ska song, due to its heavy accented back-beat, or a rare Beatles stab at "garage rock," due to its rough nature
    and three-chord structure.

    The Beatles release Beatles For Sale considered by many the Beatles worst album. It resembles “A Hard Day’s Night” in it's acoustic based rhythm guitars with jangly guitars. However it’s important as it brings rock music closer to folk rock in songs like “I’m A Loser” and country rock “I Don’t Want to Spoil The Party. The opening three songs, along with "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party," are implicitly confessional and all quite bleak

    "I'm A Loser" Musically, "I'm a Loser" is strongly influenced by folk music thus nudging folk and rock a little closer together toward the folk-rock explosion of the following year.

    "I Don't Want To Spoil Party" a song overtly influenced by Country music.

    "Every Little Thing”- This song is one of the first precursors of the group's famed "middle period," featuring all of that period's stylistic hallmarks: folk-rock guitars, a fadeout instead of an ending, and unusual instrumentation -- in this case tympani drums, which Ringo added to take 8 to make the finished take 9.

    "What You're Doing"- A huge influence on the folk-rock movement, coming a full six months before the Byrds recorded "Mr. Tambourine Man." There were other stylistic innovations in this recording, including a very heavy (for the time) bass sound and a piano track by George Martin that produced strange chordal effects when laid against the lead guitar. The home key and chord changes would also show up prominently in Paul's songs of the "middle period," particularly "Drive My Car

    1965-

    "Ticket To Ride"- Noted for it's massive chiming and droning bass guitar sound. The raga-rock drum pattern would be followed the next year on "Tomorrow Never Knows". The track uses varispeeding and its use of unrelated coda in the form of a tempo change.

    "Yes It Is"- The unusual dissonance in vocal harmonies. The guitar sounds are created with the use of volume swells with guitar harmonics on two guitar parts.

    The Beatles release the album Help. The Beatles start to show eclecticism that started to reach beyond the bounds of what had previously been considered rock music. Styles like chamber pop, Bluegrass, folk rock, country, and baroque influence start to surface.

    "You Like Me Too Much"- Though a minor George Harrison song it is one of the earliest examples of this technique, the Beatles run the Steinway through a Hammond B-3's rotating Leslie speaker, a trick they would come back to over and over again. When the intro ends, you can actually hear the Leslie being switched off"!

    "Yesterday"- Is the Beatles most covered song is a Chamber Pop instrumental backing consists entirely of acoustic guitar and a string quartet (two violins, viola, and cello), with the two elements mixed 100% apart from each other onto separate stereo channels and the vocal split down the middle.

    "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away"- A very folksy song two-bridge pop song that is in 3/4 time signature in Mixolydian Mode. The fade out with flutes has a baroque styled ending.

    "I've Just Seen a Face"- An acoustic arrangement which integrates R&B, pop-rock, and folk in a bluegrass pace.

    The Shea Stadium concert on August 15. It was the first concert to be held at a major outdoor stadium of over 55,000 people and it starts Arena Rock.

    "We Can Work It Out"- The harmonium swell-pedal crescendos on thee verses are the, textural washes added in the studio, the first of their kind on a Beatles record and signposts to the enriched sound-palette of Revolver. Rock music first major hit using harmonium.

    "Day Tripper"- Riff/ starts the ostinato riff and then with just double-tracked guitar, second with bass guitar added, third with rhythm guitar and. Modified blues progression with harmonic surprises
    Unusual melody: only vaguely blues-related with distinctive use of "dissonant" notes
    Instrumental solo section more complex than usual with multiple layers of activity, increasing tension before breaking back into original ostinato.

    The Beatles (Rubber Soul) 1965 Brian Wilson sited it as an inspiration for "Pet Sounds." This was where rock became a true art form? They incorporated different time signatures, new instruments, European influences, and other musical styles. This album also uses the studio as an instrument before Pet Sounds. "Think for Yourself" and "If I Needed Someone" has guitar tones and vocal harmonies closer to what would be the standard in the psychedelic movement.

    October,(1965) The BEATLES record "Norwegian Wood", which contains elements close to psychedelia. At least two of the band members had taken LSD at this point. The track appears on "Rubber Soul", released in December.The Beatles - Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) [Take 2] sounds very Psychedelic.

    "Norwegian Wood"- George Harrison becomes the first rock guitarist to play the sitar in a pop recording. The Beatles use non-blues modality ‘; in this song the verse is written in E Mixolydian while the bridge is written in E Dorian. They experimented with non-blues modality even further on Revolver.

    "The Word"- This John Lennon song is known for its pre "All You Need Is Love" hippie anthem by almost two years. The funky bass playing by Paul, odd rhythm by Ringo on what might be the first organ solo (technically harmonium) in a psychedelic rock context, on the Beatles’

    "Think For Yourself"- Is a tour de force in altered scales with lyrics that is political in nature. The song is well known for its use of a double bass style one lead fuzz bass through a fuzz box and the other regular tone.

    Rubber Soul might be the first great rock album and other highlights include the mature "In My Life" and "Michelle"

    1966

    January, (1966) John Lennon writes "Tomorrow Never Knows" The lyrics refer to the same source as Leary's The Psychedelic Experience

    March, (1966) John Lennon records demos for what was to become "She Said, She Said", a clearly LSD-influenced song.

    May 27
    PAPERBACK WRITER / RAIN (single) is released (Capitol Records)

    "Rain"- With its hazy, droning guitars and backwards vocals on the fade. The heavy sonic texture was achieved by recording the music fast then playing the tape normally, "the music had a radically different tonal quality. The bass boosted sound was by using a loudspeaker as a microphone. The guitar sound is hazy drone sound with Paul bass and Ringo drums playing basically lead off each other.

    "Paperback Writer"- Partly influenced by the Who. Paperback Writer is known for its boosted bass sound, soaring vocal harmonies, and fat heavy distorted guitar sound.

    June 6
    "Ed Sullivan Show" - Beatles "Paperback Writer" & "Rain" Promo Videos aired for television

    Revolver (1966) The Beatles (Revolver) 1966 Revolutionary in early preoccupation with "psychedelic" effects as a studio instrument, including electronic/tape effects, sound distortion, influence of Indian music, and avant-garde. New recording technique inclued Automatic Double Tracking, layered tape looped effects, many kinds of reserve tape effects, and vocals through leslie amps.

    "Love You To"- In "Love You To", we find a genuinely Indian-styled usage of mode, melody, rhythm and instrumentation. Even the form, which otherwise maintains a "neo-classical" boxy rock form preserves the Indian convention of an out-of-tempo improvised slow intro". Also considered the first pop song to emulate a non western form in instrumentation and form.

    "Tomorrow Never Knows"- The Beatles, particularly McCartney, became heavily influenced by experimental German composer, Karlheinz Stockhausen. Beginning with Tomorrow Never Knows they began experimenting with tape loops, musique-concrète, backward music, repetition drum & bass sound, and effects which were crucial to the development of modern electronica.

    "Eleanor Rigby"- The song unusual arrangement of a double octet and vocal harmonies marked a departure for pop music. "Eleanor Rigby’ also experiments with mode, though more of an English folk-like approach to modality than an eastern approach.

    "Taxman"- George Harrison song "Taxman". It features a distorted sounding funk riff featuring the dominant 7th/ sharp 9 chord (often called "The Jimi Hendrix Chord") ironically the Beatles used this chord many times before Hendrix THOUGH NEVER OF THEM OF COURSE INVENTED THE CHORD. The song features Indian melody incorporating some ingenious key changes and some unison riffing in the last verse. Of course all underpinned by McCartney funky bass playing. "The Word" from Rubber Soul a year earlier has sort of similar funk groove. I think it's interesting the Beatles compared to their British blues-rock brothers were experimenting with early funk influences and no one really talks about that in their music.

    Revolver has many great songs including the dual guitar harmonies of "And Your Bird Can Sing" and the backward guitar riffs of "I'm Only Sleeping". Along , imbued with churning, distorted guitars, references to drug trips.

    November 24 "Strawberry Fields Forever" recording starts.

    "Strawberry Fields Forever"- A psychedelic classic complete with electronic music and tape- reversed effects, in a maze of odd time signatures. Two different takes were recorded and spliced together using variable tape speed techniques that uses different tempos, in different keys, different instrumental backing. Then the song ends, and then fades back in backwards then in it fades out again. George Harrison plays an exotic Indian instrument swarmandal. Some of the other interesting aspects are reversed cymbals and the fade-out/ false ending/fade-in/ extended jam was a new wrinkle in song form in pop music.

    "Penny Lane"- Uses classical string interludes along with brass instruments for a big production psychedelic pop-rock song. The piano and harmonium were both played through Vox guitar amps and miked to create reverb, feedback that crops up from time to time It's has a wonderful melody, rich chord sequences, and brilliant key changes.

    The Beatles influence on Modern Music

    Beatles' ability to marry studio experimentation with a strong pop song structure is such a profound influence that it's taken for granted. I'd say it's their most important contribution. It's the very foundation of how music is still made, so I'd say their influence is very much evident today, even if not everybody knows it. I still say to this day the most prophetic record of the Sixties wasn't "Yesterday" or "Satisfaction" but "Tomorrow Never Knows," which sums up most of where music has gone. Minus the vocals, it's virtually an early hip-hop record that's as much Public Enemy as it is Philip Glass. Today's music is mostly about sound texture and the group that got us thinking about it the most is the Beatles. Some love to dismiss "Sgt. Peppers," and especially "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite," if all that random splicing up of tape and punching it into a song for sound effects can't be found in Kanye West or many hip-hop crews of the last 25 years or so.

    Whether we're talking Radiohead, Coldplay, U2, L.A. Reid or Raphel Saadiq, to mention a few, they still mention or show the Beatles' influence. The Smithereens recently covered the entire "Meet the Beatles" album. Phish has performed all of the "White Album" in concert.

    The influence they had on some of their peers.

    Mick Jagger

    "Keith liked the Beatles because he was quite interested in their chord sequences. He also liked their harmonies, which were always a slight problem to the Rolling Stones. Keith always tried to get the harmonies off the ground but they always seemed messy. What we never really got together were Keith and Brian singing backup vocals. It didn't work, because Keith was a better singer and had to keep going, oooh, ooh ooh (laughs). Brian liked all those oohs, which Keith had to put up with. Keith was always capable of much stronger vocals than ooh ooh ooh".

    Keith Richards,

    "The Beatles) were perfect for opening doors... When they went to America they made it wide open for us. We could never have gone there without them. They're so fucking good at what they did. If they'd kept it together and realized what they were doing, instead of now doing Power to the People and disintegrating like that in such a tatty way. It's a shame. The Stones seem to have done much better in just handling success".

    -
    Roger McGuinn

    "When the Beatles had come out, the folk boom had already peaked," McGuinn notes. "The people who had been into it were getting kind of burned out. It just wasn't very gratifying, and it had become so commercial that it had lost its meaning for a lot of people. So the Beatles kind of re-energized it for me. I thought it was natural to put the Beatles' beat and the energy of the Beatles into folk music. And in fact, I heard folk chord changes in the Beatles' music when I listened to their early stuff like 'She Loves You' and 'I Want To Hold Your Hand.' I could hear the passing chords that we always use in folk music: the G-Em-Am-B kind of stuff. So I really think the Beatles invented folk-rock".

    Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead

    "The Beatles were why we turned from a jug band into a rock 'n' roll band," said Bob Weir. "What we saw them doing was impossibly attractive. I couldn't think of anything else more worth doing"

    Bob Dylan

    "They were doing things nobody was doing. Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid. They were pointing the direction music had to go.

    What sparked that original creative spark that
    became prog rock?

    Bill Buford:

    The Beatles. They broke down every barrier that ever existed. Suddenly you could do anything after The Beatles. You could write your own music, make it ninety yards long, put it in 7/4, whatever you wanted.

    Karl Bartos of Kraftwerk

    "Sampling has been around since the Beatles they did it all. There is no difference between using tapes and digital machinery." Yawn again

    Robert Fripp on hearing the Beatles Sgt Pepper

    Robert Fripp- "When I was 20, I worked at a hotel in a dance orchestra, playing weddings, bar-mitzvahs, dancing, cabaret. I drove home and I was also at college at the time. Then I put on the radio (Radio Luxemburg) and I heard this music. It was terrifying. I had no idea what it was. Then it kept going. Then there was this enormous whine note of strings. Then there was this colossal piano chord. I discovered later that I'd come in half-way through Sgt. Pepper, played continuously. My life was never the same again".

    Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys

    "Upon first hearing Rubber Soul in December of 1965, Brian Wilson said, “I really wasn’t quite ready for the unity. It felt like it all belonged together. Rubber Soul was a collection of songs…that somehow went together like no album ever made before".

    Pete Townshend of the Who

    "In a 1967 interview Pete Townshend of the Who commented "I think "Eleanor Rigby" was a very important musical move forward. It certainly inspired me to write and listen to things in that vein"

    BARRY McGUIRE

    What were the key motivations behind your switch from the commercial folk you were doing with the New Christy Minstrels to folk-rock?

    "But times changed, and I changed, and I didn't feel that way anymore. The Beatles were happening. I think that was probably the main thing. The Beatles just changed the whole world of music".
  • The Beatles timeline 1967-1969

    12 Mar 2009, 04:41 by RadioheadOasis

    The Beatles 1967-1969

    The Beatles timeline 1967-1969

    1967

    January 5, 1967- “Carnival of Light" is an unreleased avant-garde experimental piece by The Beatles. It was recorded on January 5, 1967; musically it "resembles "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet" from Frank Zappa’s Freak Out! Album, except there is no rhythm and the music ... is more fragmented, abstract and serious according to Barry Miles. Length 13:48 (approximately

    January 19, 20, 1967- “A Day in the Life" recording starts Paul Grushkin in his book Rockin' Down the Highway: The Cars and People That Made Rock Roll, called the song "one of the most ambitious, influential, and groundbreaking works in pop music history". A five minute song composed of two suites - one by Lennon, one by Paul McCartney - that are totally different in sound and texture, yet complement each other perfectly. The song features two cacophonous crescendos from an orchestra, the final one climaxing in a single E major piano chord that lasts 42 seconds The song has been described as an important song in the Progressive Rock movement.

    March 11 - The band is awarded three Grammy awards for "Michelle", "Eleanor Rigby", and the LP Revolver

    pril 2 - the LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is completed

    June - The Beatles release Sgt Pepper. A landmark of successful and influential experimentation: spawns innumerable (largely unsuccessful) concept albums and a great deal of experimentation with electronic and tape collage effects.

    The album concept is about an imaginary band. The imaginary band could write imaginary songs about imaginary people and situations. Only three songs stay with this concept: the title track, the next track that is segued in, and the Reprise song.

    Avant-garde techniques—particularly in the aleatoric (chance) orchestral section of the last song. A tape looped ending of voices on Sgt Pepper Inner Groove.

    ""Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite"- Includes randomly spliced sections of tapes of organ sounds.

    "Good Morning, Good Morning"- Lennon's lyrics typically dark, and biting. It’s also
    known for its fluctuations in meter and rhythmic patterns. Superficial" use of taped animal sounds.

    ""Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"- Was one of the first rock songs ever to employ an audio phase shifter or phasing. The sound was originally known as "flanging" because of the way it was first implemented, i.e. by laying your finger against the flange of a tape reel. It came about accidentally when engineer Geoff Emerick, while using the automatic double-tracking system (an electronic looping of one track over to another. The chorus section is more typical shouted rock style and changing time signatures of 3/4 and 4/4 in sections. The complicated underlying arrangement which features a tamboura, played by George Harrison and a Lowrey organ played by Paul McCartney being taped with a special organ stop to give it a sound like a celeste.

    "Within You Without You"- The song, originally written as a 30-minute piece and trimmed down into a mini-version for the album, is in Mixolydian mode. The laughter at the end was Harrison's idea to lighten the mood and follow the theme of the album. It is the second of Harrison's songs to be explicitly influenced by Indian classical music, after "Love You To", and Harrison's only composition on Sgt. Pepper. "Within You Without You" was written on a harmonium and many of the lyrics are influenced by Hindu ideas.

    "She's Leaving Home"- McCartney wrote and sang the verse and Lennon the chorus. This was one of a handful of songs of the Beatles in which the members did not play any instruments. Others include "Eleanor Rigby," "Good Night" and "The Inner Light". The song is about a young girl who'd left home and not been found. The song the string arrangement was done by Mike Leander.

    "A Day in the Life"- A trippy John Lennon song and a peppy Paul McCartney song and linked together with 90 seconds of cacophonous sonic netting. Perhaps the first industrial bridge in a song.

    “All You Need Is Love"- It was first performed by The Beatles on Our World, the first live global television link. Broadcast to 26 countries and watched by 400 million, “All You Need Is Love" remains one of only two songs (along with Pink Floyd's "Money" from 1973) written in 7/4 time to reach the top 20 in the United States.

    “I Am the Walrus”- Lennon composed the avant-garde song by combining three songs he had been working. The songs lyrics were about people who analyzed Beatles' lyrics, he added a verse of nonsense words. The song featured a choir, an orchestra, highly distorted vocals, and the fadeout features sampling of a few lines of Shakespeare's King Lear (Act IV, Scene VI), which were added to the song direct from an AM radio receiving the broadcast of the play on the BBC Home Service.

    "Blue Jay Way"- A song based on Indian raga's with some of the techniques used on previous Psychedelic Records. The use of organ drones, vocals through leslie speakers, diminished 7th chords, backward vocals, raga mode, and phasing create an exotic Indian sound without the use of Indian instruments or guitars.

    "Hello Goodbye"- Maybe one of most Bubblegum of all the Beatles songs does have it's interesting is noted in which the song ends in a cold ending followed by an unrelated coda with an Maori influenced fade-out.

    Magical Mystery Tour is released November 27, 1967 (EP)
    December 8, 1967 (LP)

    1968

    March 15 - the UK single "Lady Madonna" is released (March 18 in the US), hitting #1 in both countries.

    March 9 - the LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band wins four Grammy Awards including Album of the Year which was the first time a rock band won that award.

    April - Apple Corps Ltd. begin operations in London along with Apple Publicity.

    May 30 - demos of the songs written in India are recorded at George's home in Esher.

    May - sessions begin for The Beatles

    May - "Revolution 9”- The track was built on the unused portion of "Revolution #1” in which they added on top of that to create "Revolution #9". They added spoken words, and music sound clips, tape loops, reverse sound/music and sound effects. The song is followed by the unaccredited "Can You Take Me Back."). The track Revolution 9" are recordings of other music (from bits of Sibelius, Schumann's "Carnaval" and Beethoven, to a backward snippet of a tuning orchestra, culled from the session tapes for A Day in the Life), the piece can be seen as an early example of sampling.

    July- The single version of "Revolution” is recorded. The song has very political overtones? (Album and single versions differ). The distorted guitar sound was produced by putting the guitars through the recording console and overloading the channel to create a fuzz sound.

    "Hey Jude"- Features a long vocal jam fade-out by Paul, and a 36-piece orchestra for the song's long refrain. The song has two entirely different sections basically a two for one song in the same song. "Hey Jude" remained the longest number one hit for nearly a quarter of a century, until it was surpassed in 1993 by Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)", which ran seven minutes fifty-eight seconds as a single.

    November 1968- The White Album (The Beatles; 1968) .Beatles as individuals rather than members of a group. Stylistically, extremely eclectic: a variety of styles and influences evident. The album contained no singles and became the first double album to hit number one in Britain.

    "Cry Baby Cry"- In an interesting way to assemble a song they added a totally unrelated fragment or outtake of another song "Can you take me back?" which is not listed on the White Album to the end of "Cry Baby Cry"

    "Mother Nature's Son"- McCartney utilized bass drums halfway down a corridor to achieve a staccato sound in “Mother Nature’s Son

    "Yer Blues”- A parody of British Progressive Blues style with some Beatlesque elements of using a bridge and using odd meters.

    "Blackbird”- Folk-like but more "artistic" in its deviations from earlier pop-folk style. The lyrics deal with oppression and civil rights.

    "Helter Skelter"- A song that helped shaped early Heavy Metal. The rock-inflected, ominous melody and words of the song were imposing enough on their own, but it was the unique textures the Beatles devised via their studio arrangement that truly made it into an extraordinary, even apocalyptic song.

    "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"- The track is actually a combination of no less than five different sections, and various musical styles in a track that is less than 3 minutes. The track is noted for its use of odd meters and at one point using a polyrhythm which at the time was unusual for rock music.

    1969

    January, 26 1969 recording “The Long and Winding Road”. It became The Beatles' last #1 song in the United States on 23 May 1970[1], and was their last real single. "The Long and Winding Road" was listed with "For You Blue" as a double-sided hit when the single hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1970.

    January 30 - The band and organ player Billy Preston perform four songs from the roof of the Apple business offices. Because it is in a business district, the police are called to end the mini-concert. The event is recorded for the "Let It Be" film

    February 1969- “I Want You (She's So Heavy) recording starts. The song has limited number of words, two different sections one very bluesy and very angst type vocals from Lennon. The other section is a instrumental built on proto metal type of guitar sound with repeated guitar figures, jazzy and Latin drum influence, avant white noise from a synthesizer, and abrupt cut-off ending.

    February 1969- "Something" written by George Harrison is the Beatles second most covered song. Frank Sinatra called Something "the greatest love song ever written," he sang it hundreds of times at various concerts.

    April 11 - The single "Get Back/Don't Let Me Down" is released and hits #1 in the US and UK.

    May - "The Ballad of John and Yoko/Old Brown Shoe" is released, reaching #1 in the UK, but stalling at #8 in the US because of objection to the use of "Christ" in the chorus

    June - John and Yoko hold another "bed-in" at a Montreal hotel, where they record "Give Peace a Chance" (credited to Lennon/McCartney). The song is released by The Plastic Ono Band in July and hits US #14 and UK #2. It features Timothy Leary and Tommy Smothers, among others, clapping in the background.

    August 1- the Beatles start recording the classically influenced Art- Rock song “Because”. It features a 3-part harmony vocal performance between Lennon, McCartney and George Harrison, overdubbed three times to make nine voices in all. The song is actually influenced by "Moonlight Sonata" by Ludwig van Beethoven but the song structure is not "Moonlight Sonata" backwards as some have said. It includes an analog synthesizer arrangement by George Harrison

    August 8 - The cover photo for the LP Abbey Road is taken at 11:35 AM.

    August 20 - The last recording session in which all four Beatles are present

    September - LP Abbey Road is released and hits UK and US #1, going on to become the best-selling Beatles album of all time. It was the Beatles last album to be recorded although Let It Be is last to be released.

    The Abbey Road Medleys- McCartney & Martin agree to try to link the last 8 songs on side two into a larger integrated formal unit. Uses song fragments from both McCartney and Lennon; repeats some melodies at strategic points. Starting with "You Never Give Me Your Money" "McCartney was playing with loops again and assembled a collection of Moog and other sounds for use on the album. “Paul took a plastic bag containing a dozen loose strands of mono tape into Abbey Road,” The effects—sounding like bells, birds, bubbles and crickets chirping allowed for a perfect cross fade in the medley from "Sun King" into "You Never Give Me Your Money". The melodies are repeated it flows, and it’s progressive rock like

    October 14 - University of Michigan graduate Fred LaBour writes a very lengthy and detailed article in The Michigan Daily about the hidden clues on the band's LPs and songs that Paul is dead, inspired by the infamous discovery of backmasking in several songs by Detroit DJ Russ Gibb.

    October 24 - Following John's request that the Beatles call it quits, Paul states in an Life magazine interview that the band has broken up. He states that the "Beatles thing is over", but it is debated whether he was talking about the band as a whole or the 'Paul is Dead' rumors.

    November 7 - Publication of Paul's interview with Life magazine, in which he goes into the hinted breakup of the band more in depth.

    December - the Beatles donate a new song, "Across the Universe", to the World Wildlife Fund for inclusion on the benefit album No One's Gonna Change Our World.

    The Beatles influence on Modern Music

    Beatles' ability to marry studio experimentation with a strong pop song structure is such a profound influence that it's taken for granted. I'd say it's their most important contribution. It's the very foundation of how music is still made, so I'd say their influence is very much evident today, even if not everybody knows it. I still say to this day the most prophetic record of the Sixties wasn't "Yesterday" or "Satisfaction" but "Tomorrow Never Knows," which sums up most of where music has gone. Minus the vocals, it's virtually an early hip-hop record that's as much Public Enemy as it is Philip Glass. Today's music is mostly about sound texture and the group that got us thinking about it the most is the Beatles. Some love to dismiss "Sgt. Peppers," and especially "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite," if all that random splicing up of tape and punching it into a song for sound effects can't be found in Kanye West or many hip-hop crews of the last 25 years or so.

    Whether we're talking Radiohead, Coldplay, U2, L.A. Reid or Raphel Saadiq, to mention a few, they still mention or show the Beatles' influence. The Smithereens recently covered the entire "Meet the Beatles" album. Phish has performed all of the "White Album" in concert.

    The influence they had on some of their peers.

    - Mick Jagger

    "Keith liked the Beatles because he was quite interested in their chord sequences. He also liked their harmonies, which were always a slight problem to the Rolling Stones. Keith always tried to get the harmonies off the ground but they always seemed messy. What we never really got together were Keith and Brian singing backup vocals. It didn't work, because Keith was a better singer and had to keep going, oooh, ooh ooh (laughs). Brian liked all those oohs, which Keith had to put up with. Keith was always capable of much stronger vocals than ooh ooh ooh".

    Keith Richards,

    "The Beatles) were perfect for opening doors... When they went to America they made it wide open for us. We could never have gone there without them. They're so fucking good at what they did. If they'd kept it together and realized what they were doing, instead of now doing Power to the People and disintegrating like that in such a tatty way. It's a shame. The Stones seem to have done much better in just handling success".

    -
    Roger McGuinn

    "When the Beatles had come out, the folk boom had already peaked," McGuinn notes. "The people who had been into it were getting kind of burned out. It just wasn't very gratifying, and it had become so commercial that it had lost its meaning for a lot of people. So the Beatles kind of re-energized it for me. I thought it was natural to put the Beatles' beat and the energy of the Beatles into folk music. And in fact, I heard folk chord changes in the Beatles' music when I listened to their early stuff like 'She Loves You' and 'I Want To Hold Your Hand.' I could hear the passing chords that we always use in folk music: the G-Em-Am-B kind of stuff. So I really think the Beatles invented folk-rock".

    Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead

    "The Beatles were why we turned from a jug band into a rock 'n' roll band," said Bob Weir. "What we saw them doing was impossibly attractive. I couldn't think of anything else more worth doing"

    Bob Dylan

    "They were doing things nobody was doing. Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid. They were pointing the direction music had to go.

    What sparked that original creative spark that
    became prog rock?

    Bill Buford:

    The Beatles. They broke down every barrier that ever existed. Suddenly you could do anything after The Beatles. You could write your own music, make it ninety yards long, put it in 7/4, whatever you wanted.

    Karl Bartos of Kraftwerk

    "Sampling has been around since the Beatles they did it all. There is no difference between using tapes and digital machinery." Yawn again

    Robert Fripp on hearing the Beatles Sgt Pepper

    Robert Fripp- "When I was 20, I worked at a hotel in a dance orchestra, playing weddings, bar-mitzvahs, dancing, cabaret. I drove home and I was also at college at the time. Then I put on the radio (Radio Luxemburg) and I heard this music. It was terrifying. I had no idea what it was. Then it kept going. Then there was this enormous whine note of strings. Then there was this colossal piano chord. I discovered later that I'd come in half-way through Sgt. Pepper, played continuously. My life was never the same again".

    Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys

    "Upon first hearing Rubber Soul in December of 1965, Brian Wilson said, “I really wasn’t quite ready for the unity. It felt like it all belonged together. Rubber Soul was a collection of songs…that somehow went together like no album ever made before".

    Pete Townshend of the Who

    "In a 1967 interview Pete Townshend of the Who commented "I think "Eleanor Rigby" was a very important musical move forward. It certainly inspired me to write and listen to things in that vein"

    BARRY McGUIRE

    What were the key motivations behind your switch from the commercial folk you were doing with the New Christy Minstrels to folk-rock?

    "But times changed, and I changed, and I didn't feel that way anymore. The Beatles were happening. I think that was probably the main thing. The Beatles just changed the whole world of music".
  • [My Gang] The Strangeloves - I Want Candy : Reco of the Week 09 Feb 2010

    9 Feb 2010, 01:43 by Babs_05

    Track: I Want Candy
    Artist: The Strangeloves
    Album: I Want Candy (1965)
    Tags: , , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...


    YouTube original footage, Sammy Davis, Jr. at 0.38, Sonny & Cher seated to the left of the stage

    So how's the new year diet going?

    It's St Valentine's Day this weekend, I imagine we will all take a day off from this particular resolution and either celebrate or commiserate. Candy is dandy, as they say. (They also say liquor is quicker, but that's another matter)*.



    I Want Candy was written by Bert Berns and The Strangeloves - Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer - in 1965, although if we dig a little deeper, we find the original music was by the great master Bo Diddley himself.


    Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley 1955

    The biography created for The Strangeloves reads like a comedy: (from Wikipedia)

    Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer (FGG Productions) had already scored big hits for other artists, including "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Angels, when they decided to invent The Strangeloves.

    According to the press releases, The Strangeloves were three brothers named Giles, Miles and Niles Strange who had grown up on an Australian sheep farm. The brothers' faked backstory involved getting rich with the invention of a new form of sheep crossbreeding (the long-haired "Gottehrer" sheep, allegedly registered with the Feldman-Goldstein Company of Australia), allowing them the time and financial freedom to form a band. The story did not exactly capture the public's imagination, but the music still performed respectably on the charts.

    When "I Want Candy" became a hit single in mid-1965, the producers found themselves in the unfamiliar and uncomfortable position of performing as live artists. This short-lived experience was followed by a road group composed of four of the studio musicians who had actually recorded these songs. The musicians in the initial road group were bass player / vocalist John Shine, guitarist Jack Raczka, drummer Tom Kobus and sax player / vocalist Richie Lauro. This group was replaced in early 1966 by a trio of FGG studio musicians that more closely adhered to the founding concept of the Brothers Strange: guitarist Jack Raczka (Giles Strange), drummer / vocalist Joe Piazza (Miles Strange), and keyboardist / vocalist Ken Jones (Niles Strange).



    The Strangeloves


    There are numerous covers of this song, many of which can be found in Last.fm. The most famous, of course, is by Bow Wow Wow, who swapped the Bo Diddley beat for Burundi beat. I was going to recommend their version this week before I got sidetracked by all this wonderful information.
    I Want Candy

    I haven't heard all those covers but of the ones I have, my favourite is by Howe Gelb and Scout Niblett - I Want Candy/I Know What Boys Want/Who Do You Love/Not Fade Away (Album). It's slightly alt-country meets very loose and casual punk, complete with discordant notes and the unexpected sweet sound of small children.

    It was Brian Poole & the Tremeloes who brought the song to the UK charts in 1965 and the version we in Britain grew up listening to.
    I Want Candy

    Aside from the unintentionally hilarious ebm cover by Pouppée Fabrikk - I want candy - the next cover worth listening to is the electronic indie version by White Williams - I Want Candy.

    I think in one Valentine's Day edition of this series, I was anti the whole thing and miserable. This time, I say: never mind if you don't have candy in a sweater, treat yourself well and do something nice anyway. I have my eye on new perfume.


    Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!





    * "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker" by Ogden Nash


    Disclaimer: mine, all mine



    Babs My Gang

    Reco of the Week archives



    Admin: Stats as of today:

    The Strangeloves
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 10,701
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 30,238
    Position in Last 7 Days: 1 / 162
    Position in Last 6 Months: 1 / 2,473

    Howe Gelb & Scout Niblett
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 64
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 232
    Position in Last 7 Days: 1 / 1
    Position in Last 6 Months: 1 / 24

    White Williams
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 5,922
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 16,789
    Position in Last 7 Days: 11 / 26
    Position in Last 6 Months: 11 / 863


    Video - The Strangeloves
    Date Added: August 03, 2009
    Views: 4,633, Ratings: 15, Comments: 6, Favourited: 54 times

    Video - Bo Diddley
    Date Added: November 26, 2009
    Views: 4,071, Ratings: 23, Comments: 9, Favourited: 45 times


    Stats after 7 days:

    The Strangeloves
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 10,786
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 30,458
    Position in Last 7 Days: 1 / 191
    Position in Last 6 Months: 1 / 2,473

    Howe Gelb & Scout Niblett
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 66
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 235
    Position in Last 7 Days: 1 / 3
    Position in Last 6 Months: 1 / 24

    White Williams
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 5,933
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 16,899
    Position in Last 7 Days: 11 / 45
    Position in Last 6 Months: 11 / 863


    Video - The Strangeloves
    Views: 4,989, Ratings: 15, Comments: 8, Favourited: 56 times

    Video - Bo Diddley
    Views: 4,845, Ratings: 28, Comments: 9, Favourited: 57 times

    272 Unique Visitors
    318 Page Views




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