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.
Jackie Lomax was born on this date (May 10) in 1944. I'd like to celebrate this seemingly arbitrary milestone by discussing the most famous thing Lomax has ever been involved in — the recording of a song called "Sour Milk Sea." The song is legendary because it is very nearly a Beatles recording.
The Beatles' 19th single in Britain — "Get Back," backed with "Don't Let Me Down" — was released April 11, 1969, so the song was already well known when the Let It Be album was released more than a year later. However, the single version (available on Past Masters) was recorded January 28, 1969 (as was "Don't Let Me Down"), while the album version was recorded the previous day — and it shows.
Today, July 7, is Ringo Starr's birthday. Here's a look at five songs from Ringo's solo career that feature great guitar work by big-name guitarists. From 1970's Sentimental Journey through 2012's Ringo 2012, Ringo's albums have featured guest appearances by several top-shelf guitarists, including George Harrison, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour and more.
The powerful and bluesy "I've Got A Feeling," which John Lennon jokingly called "I've Got A Fever," is a true Lennon/McCartney composition. It blends — via alternation and superimposition — two incomplete songs, one by Paul McCartney, one by Lennon.
Filming A Hard Day's Night was often a brutal, seven-days-a-week affair that took a lot out of the band and crew. So one can imagine how Walter Shenson, the film's producer, felt when he pulled John Lennon aside during filming and said, "I'm afraid we're going to need a song called 'A Hard Day's Night,' something up-tempo that can be played over the main titles."