Christmas time is here again! So sang the Beatles on their 1967 Christmas record, one of several now-collectable flexi-discs issued annually to members of the band's official fan clubs in the UK and the US. The records, which often were mini-masterpieces in their own right (1966 and 1967 in particular), featured spoken and musical messages from all four members of the band.
Having opened a Pandora's box with their critically acclaimed and commercially successful album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles faced serious competition from a variety of openminded artists who were expanding rock music's barriers.
Just as an overworked Lennon and McCartney came up with an overnight masterpiece in 1964 with "A Hard Day's Night" amid a stressful filming and recording schedule, the Beatles responded to time constraints in 1965 with another monumental step forward called Rubber Soul.
What, exactly, is a headphone album? Well, the definition changes depending on who you are. For audiophiles, a headphone album is a work that is so exquisitely recorded that it demands that you have to listen to each beautifully recorded note under a sonic microscope. Something like Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue fits that bill.
Forty-eight years ago this summer — in late July and August 1966 — the Beatles found themselves in a touchy situation. On July 29 of that year, a teen magazine called Datebook published segments of a nearly 5-month-old interview with John Lennon. Among the republished segments was this quote by Lennon: "We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first — rock 'n' roll or Christianity."
“The idea was inspired by the chance meeting in 1957 that would change Paul, John, George, and Ringo's lives forever,” explains L.A. director Vincent Haycock. The proposal Haycock wrote for “Early Days” simply begins, “This film is a poetic homage to the legendary beginnings of Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s relationship.”
Paul McCartney turns 72 on June 18, so you probably can expect to come across some online tributes that laud his achievements, longevity and best-loved songs. But while everyone else will most likely praise "Band on the Run," "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "Silly Love Songs," I'd like to draw attention to 10 tracks from McCartney's solo career — a career that started 44 years ago — that just don't get the love they deserve in 2014.
The studio experimentation that had begun with Revolver advanced to the next level on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. As 1966 came to a conclusion, the Beatles were officially a studio group, and with Sgt. Pepper’s they would indulge their newfound freedom in ways that made other artists begin to think of the recording studio as a creative tool in and of itself.