This week's blog marks my first post about song structure, a recurring topic going forward here on Songcraft. These pieces will attempt to demystify song construction by dismantling popular tunes in various styles, taking a peak under the hood, so to speak, to see what makes them tick.
In The Beatles’ catalog, “Hey Bulldog” is a bridge between the psychedelic excesses of 1967 and the rock and roll revivalism they would pursue on the White Album and Let It Be. Written by John Lennon, the song is a straightahead rocker featuring a seductive boogie-style riff and some excellent aggressive lead guitar work.
Ken Scott—one of a handful of recording engineers to have worked with the Beatles—has stories to tell. And lucky for us, he loves telling them. To emphasize the point, Scott will be publishing a 500-page memoir, Abbey Road To Ziggy Stardust, on June 6 through Alfred Music Publishing. The book recounts the events of what Scott calls his "blessed life" working with innumerable rock legends.
On June 5, EMI will release a 40th anniversary edition of David Bowie’s landmark 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars. The album, which originally was released through RCA Victor on June 6, 1972, was Bowie’s fifth full-length and was written while he was recording 1971’s Hunky Dory album.
On this day in 1965, The Beatles recorded “Help!” -- the song -- during a four-hour session that started around 7 p.m. at Abbey Road Studio Two in London. Twelve takes were recorded; the first eight were of the rhythm tracks only, with vocals appearing for the first time on take nine. John Lennon -- the song's primary writer -- sang lead vocals, backed by Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
It's always nice when members of at least three of the Big Four Bands of British Rock (The Beatles, The Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin) get together to jam on some old tunes -- and that happened last night, when Paul McCartney (Beatles) invited Roger Daltrey (Who) and Ron Wood (Stones) on stage to perform The Beatles' "Get Back" at London's Albert Hall.
It was 45 years ago today that photographer Michael Cooper shot the iconic cover photo of The Beatles' 1967 masterpiece, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. And, like a lot of now-iconic images and ideas, it originally wasn't even supposed to happen. At first, the band had hired their buddies The Fool -- a Dutch design collective -- to create an image for the cover.
From sweet to rippin’, these ladies know how to make a song their own. Here are 15 takes on Beatles classics, plus a laughable hall of shame mention thrown in for good measure. From rockin’ to sublime, The Beatles are universally appealing, and these covers prove it. Got a favorite I missed? Lemme know!
George Harrison played many a classic guitar during the course of his career, popularizing some models so extensively that he is inextricably linked with them. In the Sixties, during his time with the Beatles, he helped make famous the Rickenbacker 360/12 electric 12-string, a rosewood version of the Fender Telecaster, and the Gibson J-160 acoustic/electric, among others, while his solo years saw him in possession of guitars by famed luthier Tony Zemaitis.