John Lennon en Paul McCartney's Top Six Guitar Solos with The Beatles <!--paging_filter--><p>As a musician, Paul McCartney is probably best known for his creative, melodic Beatles and Wings bass lines. But he's always been a guitarist at heart. </p> <p>The guitar was, after all, his first instrument (if you ignore the trumpet his father gave him for his 14th birthday), and it's always been his main songwriting tool.</p> <p>And while George Harrison played the bulk of the Fab Four's lead guitar parts (especially in the band's early years), McCartney occasionally—and understandably—claimed the lead-guitar spotlight, as did rhythm guitarist John Lennon (<a href="">and Cream's Eric Clapton, on one famous occasion</a>). </p> <p>On that note, here are McCartney's top six (yes, six) electric guitar solos as a member of the Beatles. Enjoy!</p> <p>06. <strong>"Back in the USSR," <em>The Beatles</em>, aka the White Album (1968)</strong></p> <p>By the White Album era, the days of the Beatles sticking to their traditional roles were very much over. In this case, McCartney wrote the song, sang it and played drums on it. Why not play lead guitar, too? </p> <p>The solo, which follows the melody line, is simple but effective—and don't forget his fine, fast, alternate picking during the last verse. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> 05. <strong>"Another Girl," <em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>This "solo" is more of a collection of creative, bouncy fills and bends by McCartney—more than enough to make it obvious that he started out as a guitarist. </p> <p>Check out this scene from <em>Help!,</em> below, where Harrison, playing Lennon's black Rickenbacker 325, mimes McCartney's lead parts while McCartney plays bass. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> 04. <strong>"Tomorrow Never Knows," <em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>"People tend to credit John with the backwards recordings, the loops and the weird sound effects, but the tape loops were my thing," McCartney says in Barry Miles' <em><a href="">Many Years From Now.</a></em> "The only thing I ever used them on was 'Tomorrow Never Knows.' It was nice for this to leak into the Beatle stuff as it did.</p> <p>"We ran the loops and then we ran the track of 'Tomorrow Never Knows' and we played the faders, and just before you could tell it was a loop, before it began to repeat a lot, I'd pull in one of the other faders, and so, using the other people, 'You pull that in there,' 'You pull that in,' we did a half random, half orchestrated playing of the things and recorded that to a track on the actual master tape, so that if we got a good one, that would be the solo. We played it through a few times and changed some of the tapes till we got what we thought was a real good one. I think it is a great solo."</p> <p>Rumor has it that McCartney's "Tomorrow Never Knows" guitar parts are actually transplants from "Taxman."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> 03. <strong>"The End," <em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>The extended guitar jam on "The End," the <em>Abbey Road</em> finale (unless you count "Her Majesty"), also could make the list of the best Beatles guitar solos by Harrison and/or Lennon, since all three guitarists take turns soloing for two bars each. </p> <p>McCartney starts it off, followed by Harrison, followed by Lennon—around and around until "the end." And speaking of solos, it's also the only Beatles song to include a Ringo Starr drum solo. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> 02. <strong>"Good Morning Good Morning," <em>Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>Young, guitar-playing Beatles fans are often disappointed when they find out Harrison didn't play this very 1967-sounding, brash, psychedelic, distorted, raga-inspired gem of a guitar solo from <em>Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.</em> It was, in fact, played by McCartney.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> 01. <strong>"Taxman," <em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>On what is clearly one of the most powerful guitar solos to be found on a Beatles song, McCartney channels a bit of Jeff Beck (with descending pull-offs a la "Shapes of Things") and gives a nod to Harrison's current, Indian-inspired frame of mind. </p> <p>"I was pleased to have Paul play that bit on 'Taxman'," Harrison said in 1987. "If you notice, he did like a little Indian bit on it for me."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em><a href="">Damian Fanelli</a> is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em> and </em><a href="">Guitar Aficionado</a><em>. His New York-based band, <a href="">the Blue Meanies,</a> has toured the world and elsewhere. Fanelli, a former member of Brooklyn jump-blues/rockabilly band <a href="">the Gas House Gorillas</a> and New York surf-rock band <a href="">Mister Neutron,</a> writes's <a href="">The Next Bend,</a> a column dedicated to <a href="">B-benders.</a> Follow him on <a href="">Facebook,</a> <a href="">Twitter</a> and/or <a href="">Instagram.</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-mccartney">Paul McCartney</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Damian Fanelli George Harrison John Lennon Paul McCartney Ringo Starr The Beatles Blogs News Features Fri, 19 Jun 2015 11:43:04 +0000 Damian Fanelli 11294 at Free 'Secrets of Great Acoustic Songwriters' Lesson at the Guitar World Lessons Store — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><em><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=songwriters">Secrets of the Great Acoustic Songwriters,</a></em> an impressive compilation of nine instructional video lessons and tabs by Dale Turner, is now available through the Guitar World Lessons <a href="">App</a> and <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=songwriters">Webstore.</a></p> <p>It joins the ranks of the hundreds of lessons already available through <a href="">Guitar World Lessons.</a> </p> <p>To celebrate this new release, <em>Guitar World</em> is offering the first <em>Secrets of the Great Acoustic Songwriters</em> lesson, "The Sound of Simon," as a <strong>FREE</strong> download! Note that all nine <em>Secrets of the Great Acoustic Songwriters</em> lessons are available—as a package—for only $14.99.</p> <p>Below, you can watch the trailer for lesson 4 ("Happiness Is Some Fingerpicking Fun: John Lennon").</p> <p><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=songwriters">This new collection,</a> which was produced by <a href="">Musicians Institute</a> instructor Dale Turner for his <em>Guitar World</em> magazine column, "Hole Notes," offers a gold mine of analysis of the signature playing and songwriting styles of some of the most legendary names in acoustic folk, pop and rock guitar: Paul Simon, John Lennon (see the video below), George Harrison, Elliot Smith, John Frusciante, Jeff Buckley, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Nick Drake and Ani DiFranco. </p> <p><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=songwriters">Each chapter</a> focuses on a particular artist and features several musical examples inspired by his or her most celebrated songs. Techniques covered include fingerpicking and more:</p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 1: The Sound of Simon</strong> This chapter looks at Paul Simon’s signature playing and songwriting elements, such as the use of alternating bass figures, Travis picking, chord arpeggiation and double-stops with hammer-ons and pull-offs. Check out the trailer below.</p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 2: Mr. Melancholy</strong> This lessons looks at Elliot Smith’s distinctive playing and writing style and use of techniques such as fingerpicking, Travis picking, alternating bass figures and finger strumming. </p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 3: The Funky Monk Unplugged</strong> This lesson looks at the acoustic side of John Frusciante’s playing and writing style with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.</p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 4: Happiness Is Some Fingerpicking Fun</strong> This chapter looks at John Lennon’s go-to acoustic playing and songwriting techniques and approaches, such as his use of fingerpicking, Travis picking with alternating bass figures, chord-melody-style strumming and double-stops. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 5: Dream Brother</strong> This lesson looks at Jeff Buckley’s unique stylistic traits on the acoustic guitar, such as his use of open strings in conjunction with notes fretted high up on the neck, strumming in 6/8 meter, unusual and sophisticated chord voicings and shapes and his use of open G tuning.</p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 6: Brazil Nut</strong> This chapter explores the signature “crossover” jazz/bossa nova-style rhythms and sophisticated chord voicings and progressions employed by the legendary Brazilian guitarist-composer Antonio Carlos Jobim.</p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 7: Pink Moon Rising</strong> This lesson explores the unique, original acoustic guitar style of British folk artist Nick Drake and his use of fingerpicking technique, thumb strumming, capo'ing and unusual open tunings.</p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 8: Something In the Way He Grooves</strong> This chapter looks at the signature elements of George Harrison’s acoustic guitar style, with an exploration of his acoustic demo versions of such Beatles classics as “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Something.”</p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 9: Righteous Babe</strong> This final chapter explores Ani DiFranco’s trademark aggressive fingerstyle guitar playing and songwriting, on such songs as “As Is,” “32 Flavors,” “If He Tries Anything” and “Sorry I Am.” </p> <p><strong>For more information, visit the Guitar World Lessons <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=songwriters">Webstore</a> and download the <a href="">App</a> now.</strong></p> <p><em>Besides teaching at Musicians Institute, Turner holds a bachelor’s degree in studio/jazz guitar performance from the University of Southern California. He composed, arranged, produced and recorded all the music on his latest CD, </em>Mannerisms Magnified,<em> and sang and played all the instruments, including guitar, bass, acoustic drums, piano, accordion and mandolin. He's the author of more than 50 instructional books, including </em>Power Plucking—A Rocker's Guide to Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Dale Turner Guitar World Lessons John Lennon Videos News Features Lessons Fri, 12 Jun 2015 15:04:30 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24700 at Top 10 Best (and Worst) Comeback Albums of All Time <!--paging_filter--><p><em>"Don't call it a comeback / I've been here for years."</em> </p> <p>So said LL Cool J in the title track from 1990's <em>Mama Said Knock You Out</em>, which came out when many fans and critics thought his career was just barely limping along. </p> <p>The album turned out to be a massive critical and commercial success. So, with our apologies to Mr. Cool J, we <em>are</em> calling it comeback. </p> <p>Because a comeback—as defined here at <em>Guitar World</em>—is any critically and/or commercially successful or significant album that follows a career-altering absence (breakup, retirement) or low point (death of band members, "dead" careers, being dropped by your label, critical uber-flops, telling a London audience that you're ashamed that George W. Bush is from Texas ...). </p> <p>So, with that in mind, here's our list of the 10 best (and worst) comeback albums of all time. </p> <p><strong>10. U2 — <em>All That You Can’t Leave Behind</em> (2000)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> Sitting-on-top-of-the-world stadium rockers U2 took some chances in the '90s, releasing three adventurous, occasionally bizarre albums. The last of the bunch, 1997's <em>Pop</em>, the techno-, dance- and electronica-influenced culmination of their self-inflicted reinvention, was harshly panned and widely misunderstood. It was as if fans and critics collectively said, "Enough already, guys." </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> <em>All That You Can't Leave Behind</em> was, in every respect, a homecoming. With producers Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno back at the helm, the band returned to its classic sound (although brilliantly updated) with an emphasis on grand melodies and a renewed reliance on guitar, bass and drums. <em>Rolling Stone</em> called it U2's third masterpiece, next to <em>The Joshua Tree</em> and <em>Achtung Baby</em>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>09. Allman Brothers Band — <em>Brothers and Sisters</em> (1973)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> Allman Brothers Band co-founder and slide guitar master Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident in late 1971 while the band was recording <em>Eat A Peach</em>. As if that wasn't terrible enough, bassist Berry Oakley was killed the same way—in the same Georgia town—one year later. Although the band—fortified by talented replacements—forged ahead, it was as if a dark cloud had found them and decided to stick around for a spell. </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> The album that would follow the band's tragedies, <em>Brothers And Sisters</em>, was, by far, their greatest success, settling in for five longs weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. albums chart. It also was a high point for guitarist Dickey Betts, whose composition, "Ramblin' Man," would become the band's only hit single, reaching No. 2 on the charts. The album featured two more eternal FM radio staples, "Southbound" and "Jessica," both written by Betts. Simply put, it was the band's—and Betts'—commercial high point.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>08. Foo Fighters — <em>Foo Fighters</em> (1995)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> There's no doubt that Nirvana changed everything, and that by 1994 they were one of, if not <em>the</em> biggest band in the world. For a few years, all of the United States felt like Seattle, and the sale of thrift-store sweaters was at an all-time high. That is, until the suicide of lead singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain in April of that year. </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> It would take one hell of an effort for anything Dave Grohl released from that point on to not be considered a mere footnote in the history of Nirvana. The fact that we now know Grohl as one of the biggest personalities in rock—who also has shared the stage with the likes of Jimmy Page and plays in a band with John Paul Jones—is a testament to his tenacity and talent for crafting memorable hooks. </p> <p>It could be argued that the second Foo Fighters album (and their first as a real band), <em>The Colour and the Shape,</em> is better suited for this position because it spawned the first mega-hits for the band, but the first Foos album was Dave Grohl playing everything himself, a lone man trying to forge ahead and create something meaningful after the demise of the biggest band on the planet. If that's not the meaning of a comeback, we don't know what is. </p> <object width="620" height="365"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="365" src=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object> <hr /> <p><strong>07. Metallica — <em>Death Magnetic</em> (2008)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> Napster, Tom Cruise film soundtracks, <em>St. Anger.</em> Let's face it, the turn of this century was not kind to Metallica when it came to public opinion. </p> <p>Their latest, guitar-solo-free album had left fans more confused than betrayed, and the follow-up film, <em>Some Kind of Monster</em>, showed the band in a new, vulnerable light that left fans of <em>Ride the Lightning</em> scratching their heads. It would take one hell of an album to get the image of the band in group therapy talking about feelings out of the heads of fans. </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> Enter <em>Death Magnetic</em>. While the album itself was met with some criticism—mainly for its over-compressed sound—there's no doubt that it re-ignited interest in the band's thrashier roots and made people forget about "I Disappear," perhaps for good. One might even venture to say that, had the band made another <em>St. Anger</em> or <em>Load</em>, the Big Four shows might not have ever happened. Can anyone imagine Kerry King, Dave Mustaine, Charlie Benante and others joining James and crew onstage for a rendition of "Tuesday's Gone"? Didn't think so. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </p> <hr /> <p><strong>06. Johnny Cash — <em>American Recordings</em> (1994)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> Although Johnny Cash never really went away (much like LL Cool J), during the 1980s, record sales and support from his longtime label, Columbia, were at all-time lows. After putting out a string of fine yet occasionally overproduced albums (Check out his cheesy cover of CCR's "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" from 1985's <em>Rainbow</em> album), Cash found himself without a label in the early '90s. </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> Enter Rick Rubin. The producer, known for his work with A-list hip-hop artists and heavy metal bands, offered Cash a contract with his label, American Recordings, and got right to work, stripping the Man in Black's sound down to the basics: voice and acoustic guitar. The album, considered his finest release since the late '60s, transformed Cash from museum piece to the ultimate in cool.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>05. Aerosmith — <em>Pump</em> (1989)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> The early Eighties were not kind to Aerosmith. The had band lost both their guitarists by the time of the recording of <em>Rock in a Hard Place</em> (you know, the album with Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay) and were in serious danger of being a footnote of Seventies American rock. </p> <p>Aerosmith in the mid-'Eighties can be summed up as this: When the movie <em>This Is Spinal Tap</em> came out, Steven Tyler actually thought the movie was about Aerosmith. In a 1997 interview, Brad Whitford was quoted as saying, "The first time Steven saw it, he didn't see any humor in it." </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> Sure, Run DMC gave them another taste of the spotlight, and <em>Permanent Vacation</em> gave us "Dude Looks Like a Lady" and "Rag Doll," but if anything is going to be called a comeback album for Aerosmith, it would have to be 1989's <em>Pump</em>. </p> <p>Commercially, <em>Pump</em> does have a slight edge over <em>Permanent Vacation</em>, with the latter going a measely five-times platinum as opposed to <em>Pump</em>'s seven-times, good enough to make it the second-best-selling Aerosmith album of all time behind <em>Toys in the Attic</em>. But beyond numbers, <em>Pump</em> just <em>felt</em> like an Aerosmith album (yes, even the horn section). That's not to knock the strong numbers on <em>Permanent Vacation</em>, but Steven Tyler singing about needing to get away to St. Tropez when the whole world was still wondering "Where were you?" may have been a bit premature. </p> <object width="620" height="365"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="365" src=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object> <hr /> <p><strong>04. John Lennon and Yoko Ono — <em>Double Fantasy</em> (1980)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> The mid-'70s weren't the best of times for John Lennon. He had endured a separation from Yoko Ono and a complicated lawsuit filed by Morris Levy (regarding breach of contract and the messy <em>Roots</em> / <em>Rock 'n' Roll</em> scandal), not to mention the disappointing — by former-Beatle standards — sales of his 1975 greatest-hits album, <em>Shaved Fish</em>. </p> <p>So, after taking part in a recording session for Ringo Starr's 1976 <em>Ringo's Rotogravure</em> album, Lennon made the shift from rock star to house husband, living a private, tame existence at the Dakota in New York City with Ono and their 1-year-old son, Sean. </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> In 1980, after taking several years off, Lennon felt it was time to get back to work. Inspired and/or awakened by new music by Madness, The Pretenders and the B-52s, he decided it was "time to get out the old axe and wake the wife up," as he told <em>Rolling Stone</em>. The album he and Ono made, <em>Double Fantasy,</em> was the perfect comeback, representing a fresh start for a well-rested couple who were ready to greet the world again. The irony is that when Lennon was killed on December 8, 1980, <em>Double Fantasy</em> went from comeback to sad farewell.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>03. Deep Purple — <em>Perfect Strangers</em> (1984)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> After releasing a string of heavy, successful albums between 1969 and 1973, including <em>Deep Purple In Rock, Made In Japan</em> and <em>Machine Head,</em> the classic "Mk II" lineup of Deep Purple — Ian Gillan (vocals), Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Roger Glover (bass), Jon Lord (keyboards) and Ian Paice (drums) — basically just fizzled out. By the mid-'70s, when only Lord and Paice remained (David Coverdale, Tommy Bolin and Glenn Hughes had come onboard), the band was just a shell of its former self. Their lackluster late-1975 album, <em>Come Taste the Band,</em> was sonic proof of that. Deep Purple disbanded in 1976.</p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> In 1984, Deep Purple regrouped — with the Mk II lineup, thankfully — and released <em>Perfect Strangers</em>, a major worldwide hit that went platinum in the U.S. The band reached back and dusted off its classic sound, spotlighting Gillan's ageless vocals and Blackmore's lightning-fast snake-charmer scales. The album spawned several radio hits and a tour that just kept on going — because people just couldn't taste enough of the band.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>02. Ozzy Osbourne — <em>Blizzard of Ozz</em> (1980)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> After two less-than-stellar releases from Black Sabbath — 1975's <em>Technical Ecstasy</em> and 1976's <em>Sabotage</em> — Ozzy Osbourne took a brief break from the band to work on a project he called "Blizzard of Ozz." At the request of the band, Ozzy dropped the project to return to the band for the recording of 1978's <em>Never Say Die!</em>, which brought tensions in the band to a new high. </p> <p>A myriad of drug problems and mounting tensions between Osbourne and Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi led to the group unanimously deciding to fire Ozzy. Within two years, the band had recorded <em>Heaven and Hell</em> with new vocalist Ronnie James Dio, which proved that the band could remain relevant without Osbourne. The question then became, could Ozzy pull himself out of the gutter and remain relevant as well? </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> It turns out all Ozzy needed was new management. Of course, not just any manager would do. It took then-girlfriend Sharon Arden (daughter of Sabbath manager Don Arden) to pull Ozzy out of his haze and set him to work on his "Blizzard of Ozz" project. With the help of bassist/lyricist Bos Daisley and a young guitar prodigy named Randy Rhoads, Ozzy finally finished the album, <em>Blizzard of Ozz</em>, which would re-ignite his career and eventually lead to his being one of the biggest personalities in rock and metal.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>01. AC/DC — <em>Back in Black</em> (1980)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> In late 1979, AC/DC unleashed <em>Highway to Hell</em> on the world. While not a departure in sound from their previous albums, the production efforts and arrangement contributions of producer Mutt Lange, alongside the wry lyricism of lead singer Bon Scott and always-fiery guitar efforts of Angus Young, made <em>Highway to Hell</em> the band's most commercial success to date. Less than six months later, Scott was found dead in the back of a car, having choked to death on his own vomit. </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> Whether or not to continue the band without their charismatic frontman wasn't an easy choice for the remaining members of AC/DC, but after much soul-searching, the band recruited former Geordie singer Brian Johnson to try and fill the void left by Scott's death. </p> <p>Johnson had his own troubles after joining the band, struggling to pen lyrics he felt were up to the lofty standards set by his predecessor. As fate would have it, a storm rolling in one night over the Bahamas, where the band had retreated to in order to write, inspired the opening lyrics to "Hells Bells," the opening track from the ultimate comeback album — not to mention the second-highest-selling album of all time — <em>Back In Black</em>. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Next: Honorable Mentions</strong></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Honorable Mentions</strong> </p> <p>Iron Maiden – <em>Brave New World</em> </p> <p>Eric Clapton – <em>461 Ocean Boulevard</em> </p> <p>Avenged Sevenfold - <em>Nightmare</em> </p> <p>Alice in Chains – <em>Black Gives Way To Blue</em> </p> <p>Van Halen – <em>5150</em> </p> <p>Red Hot Chili Peppers – <em>Californication</em> </p> <p>Celtic Frost - <em>Monotheist</em> </p> <p>Heaven &amp; Hell - <em>The Devil You Know</em> </p> <p>Judas Priest - <em>Painkiller</em> </p> <object width="620" height="365"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="365" src=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object><p> </p> <p><strong>Next: The Top 10 Worst Comeback Albums of All Time</strong></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Top 10 Worst Comeback Albums</strong></p> <p>01. Guns N' Roses - <em>Chinese Democracy</em> </p> <p>02. Iron Maiden - <em>The X Factor</em> </p> <p>03. Kiss - <em>Psycho Circus</em> </p> <p>04. Queen + Paul Rodgers - <em>The Cosmos Rocks</em> </p> <p>05. Aerosmith - <em>Done With Mirrors</em> </p> <p>06. Tony Iommi - <em>Seventh Star</em> </p> <p>07. Motley Crue - <em>Motley Crue</em> </p> <p>08. Poison - <em>Hollyweird</em> </p> <p>09. Ozzy Osbourne - <em>Down to Earth</em> </p> <p>10. Judas Priest - <em>Angel of Retribution</em></p> ACDC Aerosmith Allman Brothers Band Black Sabbath Dave Grohl Deep Purple Foo Fighters John Lennon Johnny Cash Metallica Ozzy Osbourne U2 Guitar World Lists News Features Wed, 13 May 2015 17:42:14 +0000 Damian Fanelli, Josh Hart 11377 at The Fab 50: The Beatles' 50 Greatest Guitar Moments <!--paging_filter--><p>In 2014, on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the United States (and legendary February 1964 appearance on the <em>Ed Sullivan Show</em>), <em>Guitar World</em> celebrated the 50 best guitar moments from the band's hit-making history.</p> <p>The Beatles were such talented songwriters that it’s easy to overlook the fact that their music has some great—and occasionally groundbreaking—guitar work. </p> <p>In assembling this list, we looked beyond our personal favorite songs and reflected on where John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney showed their talents as guitarists, whether in a solo, a riff, a technique or by their astute selection of instrument and arrangement. </p> <p>For some songs, we’ve gone a step further and analyzed the guitar work to give you insights into the magic that makes these moments so special. Enjoy! And be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook!</p> <p><strong>50. Across the Universe</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be… Naked</em> (2003)</strong></p> <p>John Lennon considered the Beatles’ recording of this 1967 composition “a lousy track of a great song,” dismissing even his own work on it. </p> <p>He was too hard on himself: his imperfect acoustic guitar work and vocal delivery effectively work in service of the song’s sincere devotional message, though overdubs of strings, background vocals and electric guitar obscured the delicacy and intimacy of his performance. </p> <p>The release of <em>Let It Be… Naked</em> in 2003 set the record straight, offering a bare-bones acoustic mix of the track that even Lennon might have approved of. </p> <p><strong>49. Flying</strong><br /> <strong><em>Magical Mystery Tour</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>The strongly pulsing tremolo on the rhythm guitar makes the instrument sound as if it’s riding slightly behind the beat, giving the song a druggy languor appropriate to its title. (In the film <em>Magical Mystery Tour</em>, “Flying” accompanies scenes shot high above the clouds). </p> <p>The crystalline acoustic guitar that appears about 13 seconds in lends the song a country vibe, culminating in a tasty double-stop lick that lazily meanders down the fretboard. Heavenly.</p> <p><strong>48. Helter Skelter</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>It’s not a stretch to say the Beatles prefigured heavy metal’s doomier side with this 1968 Paul McCartney track. </p> <p>For this recording, McCartney set aside his bass duties and strapped on his Fender Esquire to deliver the track’s brash rhythm work, while Harrison performed the searing leads on Lucy, the 1957 Les Paul Standard gifted to him by Eric Clapton. </p> <p>But the best work here is performed by Lennon on, of all things, a bass (either a Fender Bass VI). His sloppy but inspired playing propels the song along and provides its main rhythmic interest.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>47. Yesterday</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>McCartney’s melancholy, acoustic guitar–driven ballad marked a symbolic, pivotal point in the Beatles’ career as a band in that it was their first song in which any of the members—three in this case—did not participate in the performance. </p> <p>McCartney tuned his guitar down one whole step for this song (low to high, D G C F A D) and performed it as if it were in the key of G, with the detuning transposing it down to the concert key of F. </p> <p>This may have been made for the sake of putting the vocal melody in a more optimal key for McCartney; it certainly made the bass notes sound deeper and richer, while the slackened string tension contributed to the thicker texture of the chord voicings. </p> <p><strong>46. For You Blue</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>Written by Harrison, this seemingly straightforward blues workout in D stands out as a bouncy oddball in the Beatles’ catalog. </p> <p>Not only is it one of the band’s few forays into 12-bar-blues territory; it also finds Lennon stepping into the uncommon role of lead guitarist, supplying a spirited solo and fills on a Hofner Hawaiian Standard lap-steel guitar in open D tuning. </p> <p>To make things even weirder, he uses a shotgun shell as a slide. In addition, there’s no bass on the recording; McCartney performed on piano and the song received no overdubs. </p> <p><strong>45. Free As a Bird</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>Released in 1995 as a post-mortem Beatles track built upon a John Lennon home demo, “Free As a Bird” makes a valiant attempt to resurrect the spirit of the group’s glory days. </p> <p>While some will quibble about the lackluster songwriting, it’s hard to find fault with Harrison’s stinging slide work. Starting off with a few restrained lines, Harrison lets his playing soar on the solo, the one moment in which the song truly takes flight. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>44. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)</strong><br /> <Strong><em>Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>Recorded quickly in a single session, this rocking reprise of the album’s opening track features some fiery lead guitar work from Harrison. </p> <p>Written as a bookend to the album-opening title track, the reprise is both faster and a whole step lower than the original, although halfway through it modulates up a whole step. (Modulation is a technique rarely found in the Beatles compositions, “And I Love Her” being another example from the group’s catalog [see entry 30].) </p> <p><strong>43. I Will</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>This quiet love song, written by McCartney, features only him on lead and harmony vocals, two acoustic guitars and scat-sung “vocal bass,” with Lennon and Starr providing percussion. </p> <p>McCartney overdubbed, on top of his main, strummed guitar part, a second, melodic part played in a rockabilly lead style reminiscent of Elvis Presley’s lead guitarist Scotty Moore, picking out syncopated, ringing melodies built around a first-position F6 chord shape with decorative, bluesy hammer-ons from the minor third to the major third. </p> <p>Years later, Cars guitarist Elliot Easton played a similar line on the chorus tags to “My Best Friend’s Girlfriend.” </p> <p><strong>42. The Ballad of John and Yoko</strong><br /> <strong><em>1967–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>In this 1969 musical telling of Lennon and Yoko Ono’s wedding and honeymoon, Lennon’s acoustic strumming sets up the song’s infectious rhythm, while his electric guitar fills play call-and-response with his vocals. </p> <p>The track was written and recorded in April of that year, fresh off the sessions for <em>Let It Be</em>, in which the group attempted to get back to their rock and roll roots. That might have inspired Lennon’s musical direction with this track, which he closes with an electric guitar riff reminiscent of Dorsey Burnett’s “Lonesome Tears in My Eyes,” which the Beatles covered early in their career. </p> <p><strong>41. Yer Blues</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Lennon wrote this 1968 song as a rude sendup of the electric blues boom that had taken London by storm, but the suicidal feelings he expresses were a sincere articulation of how he felt trapped both in his unhappy first marriage and in the Beatles. </p> <p>Likewise, his primitive two-note solo could be regarded as mocking disdain for the genre’s slick white imitators, but he plays the riff until it’s as raw as his emotions. He would pursue this protopunk style of guitar playing further on his 1970 solo debut, <em>John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>40. Help!</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em></strong> </p> <p>The Beatles’ mix of acoustic rhythms and electric guitar leads from 1964 through the end of 1965 helped greatly to define the sound of folk-rock. </p> <p>Written in the midst of his “Bob Dylan phase,” “Help!” shows Lennon continuing to divulge the vulnerability express on previous songs like “No Reply” and “I’m a Loser,” with the acoustic guitar providing the requisite balladeer instrumentation. </p> <p>Here, Lennon robustly strums out the rhythm on his 1964 Framus Hootenanny 5/024 acoustic 12-string, with Harrison contributing jangly lead lines and three-note descending passages on the choruses with his Gretsch Tennessean. </p> <p><strong>39. Dear Prudence</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>This 1968 composition is arguably one of Lennon’s greatest achievements as a guitarist and demonstrates his development at the time into a bona fide acoustic fingerpicker. </p> <p>Having recently learned a basic eighth-note Travis-picking-like pattern from British pop star Donovan, Lennon put the newly learned pattern to great use in compositions like “Julia,” “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” and, most brilliantly, “Dear Prudence,” applying it to an ethereal modal chord progression he invented, which he performed in drop-D tuning (low to high, D A D G B E), using the two open D strings (the fourth and sixth) as ringing drones, or pedal tones throughout the majority of the song. </p> <p>The thumb-picking pattern goes fifth string, fourth string, sixth string, fourth string and repeats consistently through the changing chords, interrupted briefly at the end of each verse.</p> <p><strong>38. If I Needed Someone</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Although the Beatles were rock’s foremost trendsetters, they still were influenced by other artists. </p> <p>Case in point: George Harrison’s 12-string riff on “If I Needed Someone.” Played in a second-position D-chord shape with a capo on the seventh fret, the line was based on Jim McGuinn’s chiming guitar work in the Byrds’ mesmerizing 1965 track “The Bells of Rhymney.” </p> <p>In the mid Sixties, Harrison and McGuinn had formed a mutual-admiration society: “If I Needed Someone” featured Harrison’s second Rickenbacker 360/12, a rounded-off 1965 model that resembled McGuinn’s 1964 Rickenbacker 360/12, which McGuinn bought after seeing Harrison’s first Rick in the film <em>A Hard Day’s Night.</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>37. Day Tripper</strong><br /> <strong><em>1962–1966</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Lennon and McCartney’s hip-shaking 1965 hit is a thinly veiled ode to “weekend hippies” who embrace the drug counterculture when they’re not pursuing their careers. </p> <p>McCartney referred to this song and “Drive My Car” (recorded just days earlier) as “songs with jokes in” them, but there’s nothing laughable about this track’s swaggering guitar riff, borrowed from the Temptations’ 1964 hit “My Girl” and given a liberal dose of self-assured attitude. </p> <p>Lennon reportedly plays the solo, most likely using his Sonic Blue Fender Strat, while Harrison’s guitar parts were probably recorded with his Gretsch Tennessean. </p> <p><strong>36. Think for Yourself</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>The Beatles had been interested in creating distorted guitar tones since at least 1964, when they attempted unsuccessfully to use a Gibson Maestro Fuzz-Tone on “She Loves You” and “Don’t Bother Me” (see entry 23). </p> <p>They were more successful with Harrison’s excellent 1965 composition “Think for Yourself,” for which McCartney plugged his Hofner bass into an early version of the Tone Bender fuzz pedal, created by electronics designer Gary Hurst and eventually marketed by Vox. The result is the harsh-sounding “lead bass” tone that bobs menacingly—and memorably—alongside Harrison’s lead vocal. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>35. Mother Nature’s Son</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Throughout this song’s verses, McCartney fools you into thinking that he’s playing more than he actually is by filling out the harmony with his vocal melody. </p> <p>For example, while the ear hears a very strong D-to-G movement in the first two bars of the verse, all McCartney is actually playing is D to Dsus4; his vocal melody intimates the G chord by moving to B, that chord’s third. The verse also features, in the third and fourth bars, brilliant oblique motion—where one voice moves up or down while one or more other voices remain stationary. </p> <p>By moving the root of a B minor chord, B, down to the minor seventh, A, and then down to the sixth, Gs, while keeping the notes D and F# constant above this descending line, McCartney implies a slick progression of Bm D (or Bm7) E9. He does the same thing at the very beginning of the song.</p> <p><strong>34. Girl</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Lennon conjures up this song’s dreamy, Gypsy-like reverie by capoing his Gibson J-160E at the eighth fret, making the guitar sound similar to a mandola. </p> <p>Harrison furthers the vibe on the third verse, playing a mandolin-like melody on Lennon’s Framus Hootenanny 12-string acoustic. But the crowning touch comes at the coda, when a third acoustic guitar enters, playing a Greek-style melody that’s plucked at the bridge with sharp strokes, making it sound like a bouzouki and further emphasizing the song’s smoky, old-world aura. </p> <p>The British group the Hollies would copy the effect on their hit “Bus Stop,” recorded at Abbey Road some six months later. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>33. Birthday</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Like “I Feel Fine” and “Day Tripper” (see entries 12 and 37), “Birthday” delivers a classic and memorable guitar riff. Whereas those previous two songs veered from the traditional 12-bar blues formula, “Birthday” hews closely to it during its verses. </p> <p>McCartney and Lennon wrote the song in the studio during an evening session, which included a recess during which the band went back to McCartney’s house to watch a TV broadcast of the 1956 teen film <em>The Girl Can’t Help It</em>. The soundtrack—which included performances by Little Richard, Gene Vincent and other Beatles’ favorites—undoubtedly contributed to the song’s raucous vintage rock-and-roll vibe. </p> <p><strong>32. One After 909</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>This tune had been in the Beatles’ song bag for years, surfacing first as a rickety blues-style shuffle at a March 1963 recording session.</p> <p>By the time they tackled it again during their January 1969 rooftop performance at Apple, the Beatles were nearly finished as a group, but they were at long last able to breathe life into the tune, revving it up with a rock and roll beat and laying into it like the seasoned performers they were. Harrison delivers a stellar country-rock solo, using his rosewood Telecaster. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>31. Norwegian Wood</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>This acoustic-rock masterpiece, written by Lennon, is not unlike “Here Comes the Sun,” in that it’s a folky chord-melody type of accompaniment that could easily stand on its own as a solo instrumental, with the vocal melody conveniently woven into the chords.</p> <p>However, unlike “Here Comes the Sun” (see entry 4), the melody sits in the middle, rather than on top, of the chord voicings, and is performed with more full strumming in a flowing 6/8 meter. Lennon performed “Norwegian Wood” as if the song were in the key of D, the verses being in D major and the bridge sections switching the parallel minor key of D minor, and used a capo at the second fret to transpose everything up a whole step, to E major and E minor, respectively.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>30. And I Love Her</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>It’s overshadowed by the Beatles’ more innovative songs, but “And I Love Her” demonstrates a leap in the group’s harmonic sophistication and musical arrangement skills. </p> <p>Harrison performs delicate arpeggiations on his 1964 Ramírez nylon-string classical acoustic, while McCartney subtly propels the song along with his soul-inflected bass work. A modulation from the key of E to F on the solo ramps up the drama and keeps the song from flagging. The final chord, D major—the relative minor of F—delivers surprise and emotional uplift that allows the song to end hopefully, in keeping with the optimism of the lyrics. </p> <p><strong>29. Not Guilty</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>Recorded for 1968’s White Album but unissued until the release of <em>Anthology 1</em> in 1995, this Harrison track was a lyrical response to his fellow Beatles, who felt that their trip to India at his urging to study transcendental meditation had been a waste of time. </p> <p>It’s hard to understand why this track was abandoned, especially after the group devoted more than 100 attempts to the rhythm track. Harrison’s guitar work is especially superb, from his sinewy lead lines to his sizzling tone, achieved by placing his amp in one of Abbey Road’s echo chambers and cranking it up for maximum effect, while he performed, safe from the volume, in the studio control room. </p> <p>Harrison eventually re-recorded this song for his self-titled 1979 album.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>28. Old Brown Shoe</strong><br /> <strong><em>1967–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Dishonorably relegated to the B-side of the single “The Ballad of John and Yoko” (see entry 42), this 1969 Harrison composition is one of his best. His stinging guitar work is at times reminiscent of Clapton, especially on the solo, where he plays his rosewood Telecaster through a Leslie cabinet, his preferred effect of the period. </p> <p>In addition to guitar, Harrison plays organ and, by his own account, the buoyant bass line. “That was me going nuts,” he said of the bass work in a 1987 interview. “I’m doing exactly what I do on the guitar.” </p> <p><strong>27. Michelle</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Another great example of McCartney’s innate gift for songwriting/composing, “Michelle” features, in its intro and elsewhere throughout the song, the previously mentioned standard “minor-drop” progression heard in “And Your Bird Can Sing” and “All My Loving” (see entries 7 and 16). </p> <p>The song also includes some rather clever and original harmonic twists and turns, such as the use of, in the second bar of the verse progression, the dominant-seven-sharp-nine (7#9) chord pointed out earlier in regard to Harrison’s “Till There Was You” solo, which, in both songs, is voiced “widely,” low to high: 1(root)-5-3(10)-b7-#9. Lennon, by the way, would later also employ this same chord voicing in “Sexy Sadie,” a chord that he, McCartney and Harrison all learned early on from a friend and local guitar-hero in Liverpool named Jim Gretty and dubbed “the Gretty chord.” </p> <p><strong>26. Cry for a Shadow</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>In 1961, unknown and looking for a break, the Beatles supported British rock and roll singer Tony Sheridan on a recording date in Hamburg. While there, they recorded two tracks of their own, including this Harrison-Lennon guitar-instrumental written in the style of U.K. pop group the Shadows (hence, the title). </p> <p>The recording provides early evidence of Lennon’s steady and dynamic rhythm guitar work, as well as McCartney’s melodic skills on the bass, which he had just begun playing. But it’s Harrison who shines, making the most of the trite melody with double-stop licks and generous use of the whammy bar on his Strat-style Futurama electric guitar. </p> <p>He ends the song with a major sixth—C6, specifically—a voicing that would become a signature Beatles coda on songs like “She Loves You,” “No Reply” and “Help!” (see entry 40).</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>25. Hey Bulldog</strong><br /> <strong><em>Yellow Submarine</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>McCartney’s lead guitar work had characterized most of the great solo guitar moments on the Beatles’ records during 1966 and 1967. But with “Hey Bulldog,” recorded in February 1968, Harrison came charging back with a guitar solo that’s heavier and hairier than just about anything in the group’s catalog. </p> <p>For the song, he played his red 1964 SG Standard, using a fuzz box (most likely his Tone Bender) to give his sound a snarl befitting the song’s title. Recalls engineer Geoff Emerick, “His amp was turned up really loud, and he used one of his new fuzz boxes, which made his guitar absolutely scream." Equally outstanding is Paul McCartney’s buoyant bass work, which is practically a lead instrument on its own. </p> <p><strong>24. I’ve Just Seen a Face</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Written by McCartney and musically inspired by the skiffle movement that was popular in the U.K. in the late Fifties and early Sixties, this up-tempo knee-slapper features Lennon, Harrison and McCartney all playing acoustic guitars, with Ringo Starr providing percussion (brushed snare drum and overdubbed maracas). </p> <p>The lyrical instrumental intro features a bass-line chord-melody, played (most likely by Harrison) on a 12-string, which serves to octave-double the bass-line melody, over which McCartney and Lennon flatpick a single-note melody based on double-stops, mostly sixth intervals, played up and down the G and high E strings in a quick, unbroken triplet rhythm, beautifully outlining the underlying chords with ascending and descending note pairs. </p> <p><strong>23. Don’t Bother Me</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s first solo songwriting effort for the Beatles sounds like nothing else in the group’s catalog. With its moody minor chords, propulsive drum beat and tremolo guitar, this 1964 track has more in common with California surf music than it does the American rock and soul that inspired the Beatles’ music at the time. </p> <p>The tremolo—provided by Harrison’s Vox AC30—gives the song an air of menace appropriate to the song’s title, and its use here marks the first time the group used an electronic effect on a finished recording. </p> <p><strong>22. Octopus’s Garden</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>By 1969, George Harrison had put down his sitar to focus on his first love, the guitar. The results are apparent on <em>Abbey Road</em>, which features his most fluid and confident playing to date. </p> <p>On “Octopus’s Garden,” one of Ringo Starr’s rare Beatles-era tunes, Harrison calls on his country/rockabilly influences for the first time since the band’s pre-psychedelic days. The intro is a slick masterpiece in the major pentatonic scale, the same territory Dickey Betts would later visit on “Blue Sky.” The song’s fun, twangy solo could sit snugly among James Burton’s work on Merle Haggard’s late-Sixties albums.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>21. Till There Was You</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>With this charming early cover of a love song from the popular 1957 Broadway musical play and 1962 feature film <em>The Music Man</em>, the Beatles demonstrated their stylistic versatility as they authoritatively breeze through the song’s harmonically sophisticated, jazz-like chord progression. </p> <p>Harrison’s solo break conveys a musical savvy on par with that of a veteran jazz improviser, as he strongly outlines the underlying chord progression, producing a perfect melodic counterpoint with the bass line by using arpeggios and targeting non-root chord tones, such as the third or ninth, on each chord change. </p> <p>Also impressive is his incorporation of two-, three- and four-note chords into what would otherwise be a predominantly single-note solo to create jazz-guitar-style chord-melody phrases, as well as his superimposition over the five chord, C7, of a daringly dissonant Gb7#9 chord (voiced, low to high, Gb Db Bb E A), a trick known in the language of jazz as a tritone substitution. </p> <hr /> <p><strong>20. Good Morning Good Morning</strong><br /> <strong><em>Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>Let’s face it: There aren’t many ferocious, brash and screaming guitar solos in the Beatles’ catalog. That said, Paul McCartney’s razor-sharp solo on “Good Morning Good Morning” is all that and a bag of chips. </p> <p>The 13-second-long treble fest, played on a Fender Esquire through a Selmer amp, features a strong East Indian vibe, perhaps a nod to George Harrison’s burgeoning fascination with Indian religion and music. </p> <p>Like its stylistic predecessor, McCartney’s “Taxman” guitar solo (see entry 3), “Good Morning Good Morning” incorporates open-string drone notes and rapid-fire descending hammer-pull slides, mostly along one string, in this case, the B string. </p> <p><strong>19. I Need You</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>By 1965, the Beatles were making noticeable strides in their arrangements and instrumentation. A prime example is “I Need You,” one of two George Harrison compositions to appear on <em>Help!</em> </p> <p>The recording represents Harrison’s first use of a volume pedal. The guitar’s dramatic, almost pedal-steel-like volume swells—which frame Harrison’s curt, suspended chords—only add to the song’s wistful lyrical content. </p> <p>The volume pedal was a step up for the band; the guitar swells heard on “Baby’s in Black,” which was tracked the previous summer, were the result of John Lennon turning the volume knob on Harrison’s 1963 Gretsch Tennessean as Harrison played it.</p> <p><strong>18. You Can’t Do That</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>On February 25, 1964, the Beatles entered the studio with an exciting new piece of gear: a Fireglo 1963 Rickenbacker 360/12. George Harrison had received the guitar only 17 days earlier when the band was in New York shooting its initial Ed Sullivan Show appearance.</p> <p>The song’s chiming intro riff, with its middle-finger hammer-ons from a minor third to a major third within the chord, offered a taste of what lay ahead for the guitar, which would see heavy action onstage and in the studio through 1965. John Lennon performed the guitar solo on his new Jetglo 1964 Rickenbacker.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>17. Let It Be</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>As Beatles obsessives know, there are three versions of George Harrison’s solo for this track: the original, recorded in January 1969 with his rosewood Telecaster (available on 2003’s <em>Let It Be… Naked</em>); the second, recorded the following April with his Tele through a Leslie rotary speaker (released on the single “Let It Be” in 1970); and a third version recorded in January 1970 using his “Lucy” Gibson Les Paul through a Tone Bender (released on <em>Let It Be</em>). </p> <p>Nice as the first two are, they have nothing on the third, a blistering performance that raises the song’s drama to a higher level of emotion.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>16. All My Loving</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>For this pop song’s thumping, quasi–jump blues, rockabilly-style groove, Harrison crafted a convincingly authentic Chet Atkins/Carl Perkins–like solo break that clearly demonstrates his familiarity with that Fifties Nashville style of electric guitar soloing. </p> <p>Employing hybrid picking (pick-and-fingers technique), the guitarist acknowledges and gravitates toward the underlying chords in his melodic phrases, employing country-style “walk-ups” and “walk-downs” and plucking double-stops (pairs of notes) to sweetly and effectively outline the chord changes with a pleasing thematic continuity. </p> <p>Lennon contributed an energetic rhythm guitar part, one that he later expressed being rather proud of, which propels the groove with tireless waves of triplet chord strums, similar to those heard in the Crystals’ song “Da Doo Ron Ron.” </p> <p><strong>15. Ticket to Ride</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>This proto-heavy-metal track was the first Beatles recording to feature McCartney on lead guitar and the last on which George Harrison used his Rickenbacker 12-string. McCartney plays the note-bending fills at the end of the bridges and on the outro, while Harrison plays the song’s arpeggiated riff and Lennon handles rhythm guitar. </p> <p>But the heaviest part might just be the droning open-string A notes that Harrison overdubbed on the verses, suggestive of the classical Indian music he would begin to explore later that year. </p> <p><strong>14. Dig a Pony</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>The song’s driving, bluesy riff is as durable as any that Muddy Waters ever wrote, but the 1969 recording is also notable for Harrison’s smoky guitar work on his rosewood Telecaster—from the double-stop licks on the verses to his confident and impeccably developed solo. </p> <p>You can hear Harrison’s signature style beginning to develop here, with the smoothness of his lines pointing toward the fluid slide style he would develop over the following year. His guitar tone is also very similar to that of “Octopus’ Garden” (see entry 22) recorded later that year, for which he may have also used the rosewood Tele.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>13. Nowhere Man</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>According to Harrison, he and Lennon perform the song’s bright, chiming solo together in unison, using their matching Sonic Blue Fender Stratocasters. </p> <p>Lennon also revealed to guitarist Earl Slick, during the making of Lennon’s 1980 album <em>Double Fantasy</em>, that the solo was recorded through a pair of small amps with a single microphone positioned between them. The Strats’ trebly nature was further accentuated on “Nowhere Man” by boosting the high frequencies via the mixing console. </p> <p>“We wanted very trebly guitars,” McCartney says. “They’re among the most trebly guitars I’ve ever heard on record.” </p> <p><strong>12. I Feel Fine</strong><br /> <strong><em>1962–1966</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Audio feedback was just an annoying electronic phenomenon until the Beatles used it as an attention-getting way to start “I Feel Fine.” The song itself is a rather standard riff rocker inspired by Bobby Parker’s 1961 R&amp;B hit, “Watch Your Step,” but its distinctive intro came about by accident when McCartney played a low A note on his bass as Lennon was leaning his Gibson J-160E acoustic-electric against his amp. </p> <p>The note set Lennon’s guitar vibrating, and its proximity to the amp caused the sound to feed back. “We went, ‘What’s that? Voodoo!’ ” McCartney recalls. Yes, that too. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>11. Blackbird</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>McCartney recorded this beautiful song’s gentle, fingerstyle acoustic accompaniment on his Martin D-28. </p> <p>He creates an elegant, classical-guitar-style chord movement by using two-finger chord shapes exclusively, most of which form 10th intervals on the A and B strings, in conjunction with the open G-string note, which he picks in opposition to the chord shapes and employs as a droning common tone. </p> <p>His unique fingerpicking technique relies largely on his thumb, which he uses to pick bass notes, and index finger, which he uses for pretty much everything else, employing brushed downstrokes and upstrokes and often brushing across two or more strings. </p> <p>This often results in notes that are “ghosted,” or barely articulated, a “flaw” that is a testament to his innate musicality—McCartney’s touch is charming and greatly contributes to the overall feel of the song. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>10. “Something”</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Ironically, while the Beatles were breaking apart in 1969, George Harrison was coming into his own as a songwriter and guitarist. </p> <p>His <em>Abbey Road</em> contribution “Something” is among his finest songs, and his guitar playing here and throughout the album is masterful. Harrison’s mellifluous lead lines, in particular, are more expressive than anything he’d done before, demonstrating his newfound confidence and evolving connection to his instrument and creative muse. </p> <p>Performed with his “Lucy” 1957 Gibson Les Paul played through a Leslie speaker, the solo simmers as Harrison turns up the heat on his melody and dynamics, then cools it down with bluesy restraint. </p> <p>“George came into his own on <em>Abbey Road</em>,” says Geoff Emerick, who engineered this and other <em>Abbey Road</em> sessions. “For the first time he was speaking out and doing exactly what he wanted to do. And of course he wrote these beautiful songs and we got a great new guitar sound.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>09. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>John Lennon was composing some of the heaviest rock and roll in the Beatles’ catalog in 1969, and this song—true to its title—is among the most crushing, thanks to an abundance of doubled and overdubbed guitar lines that give it some serious sonic heft. </p> <p>Lennon wrote the song for Yoko Ono, with whom he was newly in love, and the result is a spellbinding exercise in obsessive repetition, from its lyrics—consisting almost entirely of the title and roughly five other words—to the ominous guitar lines that recur throughout it. </p> <p>Clocking in at 7:47, the song is also one of the Beatles’ longest. </p> <p>And although it consists of nothing more than a verse and a chorus repeated several times, it is rhythmically one of their most intricate tunes, switching between 12/8 meter and 4/4 rhythms alternately played bluesy and with a double-time rock beat. Few other artists could have made so much with so little. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>08. I’m Only Sleeping</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s startling backward guitar solo on this Lennon-penned song is one of his greatest guitar moments on 1966’s <em>Revolver</em>.</p> <p>Over the previous year, he had used an expression pedal to create a volume-swelling sound, similar to a reverse-tape effect, on several tracks, including “Yes It Is” and “I Need You” (see entry 19). </p> <p>But for “I’m Only Sleeping,” Harrison wanted to hear his guitar truly in reverse, a decision undoubtedly inspired by Lennon’s own retrograde vocals on “Rain,” recorded earlier the same month, April 1966.</p> <p>Rather than simply improvising guitar lines while the track was played backward, he prepared lead lines and a five-bar solo for the song and had George Martin transcribe them for him in reverse. Harrison then performed the lines while the tape was running back to front.</p> <p>The result is a solo that surges up from the song’s murky depths, suffusing it with a smeared, surreal, dreamlike ambience. Within a year, Harrison’s idea would be copied by such psychedelic rock acts of the day as the Electric Prunes, who employed it on their 1966 hit “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night),” and Jimi Hendrix, who used it to great effect on “Castles Made of Sand.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>07. And Your Bird Can Sing</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>This middle-period Beatles gem, written primarily by Lennon, features Harrison and McCartney on impeccably crafted and performed harmony-lead guitar melodies, a pop-rock arranging approach that was still in its infancy in 1966. (It would later be employed extensively in the southern rock genre by bands such as the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd as well as hard rock and metal acts like Thin Lizzy, Boston and Iron Maiden.) </p> <p>Together, Harrison and McCartney’s individual single-note harmony lead guitar parts form, for the most part, diatonic (scale-based) third intervals in the key of E. (Lennon performed his rhythm guitar part as if the song were in the key of D, using a capo at the second fret to transpose it up a whole step, as he did on “Norwegian Wood,” “Nowhere Man” and “Julia.”) </p> <p>The quick half-step and whole-step bends that Harrison and McCartney incorporate into their parts here and there in lock-step fashion are particularly sweet sounding. Heard together, they have the precise intonation of a country pedal-steel part performed by a seasoned Nashville pro. </p> <p>The harmonized lines that the two guitarists play over the “minor-drop” progression during the song’s bridge section, beginning at 1:05, reveal their musical depth and sophistication and command over harmony beyond the basic “I-IV-V” pop songwriting fodder.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>06. A Hard Day’s Night</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>It lasts all of roughly three seconds, but the sustained opening chord to this classic Beatlemania track is one of rock and roll’s greatest and most recognizable musical moments. </p> <p>Bright and bold as a tolling bell, it loudly announced in 1964 not just the start of the Beatles’ latest album but also the dawning of a cultural transformation that owed nearly everything to the group’s influence. </p> <p>The song was written to order for the Beatles’ feature-length film debut, <em>A Hard Day’s Night</em>. According to George Martin, “We knew it would open both the film and the soundtrack LP, so we wanted a particularly strong and effective beginning.” </p> <p>The dense harmonic cluster that Martin and the group created is the result of four instruments sounding simultaneously: Harrison on his 12-string Rickenbacker and Lennon on his Gibson J-160E acoustic, both strumming an Fadd9 chord (with a G on the high E); McCartney on his Hofner 500/1 bass, plucking a D note (probably at the 12th fret of his D string); and Martin on grand piano, playing low D and G notes. </p> <p>The resulting chord has been described as, technically, G7add9sus4, but to millions of eager listeners in 1964, it was simply the sound of an electrifying new era.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>05. Revolution</strong><br /> <strong><em>1966–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>At the time that this 1968 track was recorded, distortion was well established as an electronic effect for guitarists, but no one had ever used it to the extreme that the Beatles did here. </p> <p>According to Geoff Emerick, Lennon had been attempting to create distortion by cranking up his amp during sessions for “Revolution 1,” the slower version of the song, which the Beatles recorded in May and June of 1968. </p> <p>Emerick had abetted his efforts by overloading the preamp on the microphone used to record Lennon’s guitar, but even this wasn’t enough for Lennon, who told the engineer, “ ‘No, no, I want that guitar to sound dirtier!” </p> <p>By the July recording of “Revolution,” Emerick determined that he could distort the signal even more by patching Lennon and Harrison’s guitars directly into the mixing console via direct boxes, overloading the input preamp and sending the signal into a second overloaded preamp. </p> <p>“I remember walking into the control room when they were cutting that,” recalls Abbey Road engineer Ken Scott, “and there was John, Paul and George, all in the control room, all plugged in—just playing straight through the board. All of the guitar distortion was gotten just by overloading the mic amps in the desk.” </p> <p>As Emerick himself notes in his 2006 memoir <em>Here, There and Everywhere</em>, it was no mean feat: the overloaded preamps could have caused the studio’s tube-powered mixer to overheat. “I couldn’t help but think: If I was the studio manager and saw this going on, I’d fire myself.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>04. Here Comes the Sun</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s jangly chord-melody playing on this song is exemplary. Using first- and second-position “cowboy” chords with a capo at the seventh fret, the guitarist loosely doubles and supports his catchy, syncopated vocal melody by working it into the top part of his acoustic-guitar accompaniment. </p> <p>He does this by using a “picky-strummy” technique (similar to what Neil Young would later employ in his song “The Needle and the Damage Done”), in which the pick hand gently swings back and forth over the strings in an unbroken down-up-down-up movement, like a pendulum viewed sideways. </p> <p>In doing so, Harrison selectively grazes certain strings on various downbeats and eighth-note upbeats, resulting in a seemingly casual mix of full-chord strums, single notes and two-note clusters that form a pleasing stand-alone guitar part that could easily appeal as a solo instrumental performance. </p> <p>The high register achieved by using the capo so far up the neck—the song is played as if it were in the key of D but sounds in A, a perfect fifth higher—makes the guitar sound almost like a mandolin, an effect similar to that achieved by Bob Dylan on “Blowin’ in the Wind” (also performed capo-7).</p> <p>Also noteworthy are the ringing and musically compelling arpeggio breaks that punctuate the song in various spots, such as after the first verse (immediately following the lyric “It’s all right”) and during the bridge/interlude section, behind the words “sun, sun, sun, here it comes.” </p> <p>Harrison employs a highly syncopated “1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2” phrasing scheme in the first instance and “1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2” in the latter, creating a rhythmic “hiccup” that resets the song’s eighth-note pulse. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>03. Taxman</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>Bassist Paul McCartney had first demonstrated his six-string talents on 1965’s <em>Help!,</em> where he played lead guitar on several tracks and performed on acoustic guitar for his song “Yesterday.” </p> <p>But McCartney would truly come into his own as a guitarist with this cut from 1966’s <em>Revolver</em>. His stinging solo, performed on his 1962 Epiphone Casino through his cream-colored 1964 Bassman amp, is a stunningly sophisticated creation, drawn from an Indian-derived Dorian mode and featuring descending pull-offs that recall Jeff Beck’s work on the Yardbirds’ “Shapes of Things,” released earlier that year. </p> <p>How the solo came to be played by McCartney—and not Harrison, who wrote the song and was the Beatles’ lead guitarist—is a story in itself. </p> <p>According to Geoff Emerick, Harrison struggled for two hours to craft a solo before producer George Martin suggested he let McCartney give it a try. McCartney’s solo, Emerick says, “was so good that George Martin had me fly it in again during the song’s fadeout.” Portions of it, played backward, were also applied to the Revolver track “Tomorrow Never Knows.” </p> <p>Apparently, Harrison didn’t feel slighted. At the time of making <em>Revolver</em>, he was ambivalent about his musical ambitions and pondering Indian mysticism, to which he would eventually convert. </p> <p>“In those days,” he said, “for me to be allowed to do my one song on the album, it was like, ‘Great. I don’t care who plays what. This is my big chance.’ I was pleased to have him play that bit on ‘Taxman.’ If you notice, he did like a little Indian bit on it for me.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>02. While My Guitar Gently Weeps</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has become one of George Harrison’s signature tunes, but when he wrote the song in 1968, he couldn’t get his band mates to take an interest in it. </p> <p>Frustrated, he asked his pal Eric Clapton to sit in on the recording session for the track, hoping his presence would put the group on its best behavior. Clapton accepted the invitation and delivered a performance that remains a high point in the Beatles’ catalog. </p> <p>For the session, Clapton played a 1957 Les Paul “Goldtop” that had been refinished in red. He’d purchased the guitar in New York City sometime in the Sixties and in 1968 gifted it to Harrison, who nicknamed it Lucy. </p> <p>The guitar was already in Harrison’s possession at the time of this recording. When he picked up Clapton to take him to the studio for the Beatles session, the famous guitarist was empty handed. “I didn’t have a guitar,” Clapton recalls. “I just got into the car with him. So he gave me [Lucy] to play.”</p> <p>Harrison was concerned that Clapton’s solo was “not Beatley enough,” as the group was by the time of this recording well known for its sonic innovation. </p> <p>During the song’s mixing stage, the group had engineer Chris Thomas send Clapton’s signal through Abbey Road’s ADT—Automatic Double Tracking—tape-delay system and manually alter the speed of the delay throughout Clapton’s performance, making the pitch sound chorused. (The effect is especially noticeable in the final measure of the second middle-eight, after the line “no one alerted you.”) Ironically, while the solo is one of Clapton’s most famous, he was never credited on the recording. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>01. “The End”</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>A song called “The End” might seem an ironic place to start a list of the Beatles’ 50 greatest guitar moments. But the round-robin solos that bring the track to its exhilarating peak are without question the group’s most powerful statement expressed through the guitar.</p> <p>Here, for a mere 35 seconds, three childhood friends and longtime band mates—Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon—trade licks on a song that represents, musically and literally, the Beatles’ last stand as a rock group before they broke up the following year. “The End” is the grand finale in the medley of tunes that make up much of <em>Abbey Road</em>’s second side. </p> <p>As such, it’s designed to deliver maximum emotional punch, and it succeeds completely, thanks in great part to the sound of McCartney, Harrison and Lennon rocking out on their guitars, as they did in their first, embryonic attempts to make rock and roll some 12 years earlier. </p> <p>“They knew they had to finish the album up with something big,” recalls Geoff Emerick, the famed Abbey Road engineer who worked on the 1969 album. </p> <p>“Originally, they couldn’t decide if John or George would do the solo, and eventually they said, ‘Well, let’s have the three of us do the solo.’ It was Paul’s song, so Paul was gonna go first, followed by George and John. It was unbelievable. And it was all done live and in one take.”</p> <p>Much of the song’s power comes from the sense that the Beatles are making up their solos spontaneously, playing off one another in the heat of the moment. As it turns out, that’s partly accurate. </p> <p>“They’d worked out roughly what they were going to do for the solos,” Emerick says, “but the execution of it was just superb. It sounds spontaneous. When they were done, everyone beamed. I think in their minds they went back to their youths and those great memories of working together.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-mccartney">Paul McCartney</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Articles Damian Fanelli George Harrison GW Archive GWLinotte January 2014 John Lennon Paul McCartney The Beatles Guitar World Lists News Features Magazine Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:36:46 +0000 Christopher Scapelliti, Jimmy Brown, Damian Fanelli 20443 at The Beatles' Secret Weapon: George Harrison’s 1963 Rickenbacker 360/12 <!--paging_filter--><p>Although the last thing the red-hot Beatles needed in early 1964 was a “secret weapon,” that’s exactly what they got when George Harrison received his first Rickenbacker 12-string, in a beautiful Fireglo finish, in February of that year, during the Beatles’ first U.S. tour. </p> <p>The guitar was given to him by Francis C. Hall, owner and president of the California-based Rickenbacker company, which is now celebrating its 80th anniversary.</p> <p>Hall spoke to Brian Epstein before the Beatles arrived in the U.S. and arranged a meeting with the group. On February 8 at the Savoy Hilton in New York City, he showed the band several different models. Lennon tried out the 360/12 but thought it would be better for Harrison, who was sick in bed at the Plaza Hotel. When Harrison finally got to see it, he loved it immediately. </p> <p>“Straight away I liked that you knew exactly which string was which,” Harrison said, referring to how the guitar’s 12 tuners are grouped in top- and side-mounted pairs on the headstock. “[On some] 12-strings, you spend hours trying to tune it.” </p> <p>Harrison’s first 360/12 was the second Rickenbacker 12-string ever made; its serial number—CM107—dates it to December 1963. The main difference between it and the prototype is how they are strung. The first model had a conventional 12-string setup, in which the octave string is the first to be struck in each string pair. On Harrison’s model and subsequent Rickenbacker 12-strings, the octave strings occur second in the string pairs and the lower-pitched string is struck first.</p> <p>Harrison’s guitar has a trapeze tailpiece, triangle inlays, double white pickguards, black control knobs and mono and stereo (Rick-O-Sound) outputs mounted on a chrome plate on the side of the guitar.</p> <p>The guitar, with its unique, chiming sound, can be heard on "You Can't Do That," the bulk of the <em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> album, “I Call Your Name,” “What You’re Doing”—and several other songs, up to and including “Ticket to Ride.” His second 360/12, a 1965 model with rounded cutaways, is heard on “If I Needed Someone.”</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Rickenbacker.JPG" width="620" height="248" alt="Rickenbacker.JPG" /></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Photo: Nigel Osbourne / Redferns / Getty Images</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> 2011 George Harrison GWLinotte Holiday 2011 John Lennon The Beatles Holiday Electric Guitars News Features Gear Magazine Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:25:42 +0000 Damian Fanelli 13691 at Song Facts: The Beatles — "I've Got A Feeling" <!--paging_filter--><p>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. </p> <p>Both happened to have been written around the same period and based on the same two-chord motif built around a first-position A chord (with the high A note fingered with the pinky). It is the last true collaboration by Lennon and McCartney.</p> <p>McCartney's share of the song, called "I've Got A Feeling" from the get-go, includes a verse, chorus and bridge and was inspired by his relationship with his soon-to-be-wife, Linda Eastman. Lennon provides alternate verses inspired by his personal upheavals of 1968. </p> <p>"I've Got A Feeling" is one of three "live" songs to be included on <em>Let It Be</em>, having been performed as part of the January 30, 1969, rooftop concert. It features McCartney on vocals and his 1963 Hofner 500/1 (adorned with the rectangular "Bassman" sticker from his Fender Bassman amp), Lennon on vocals and his Epiphone Casino, George Harrison on backing vocals and his rosewood Fender Telecaster, Ringo Starr on Ludwig Hollywood Maple drums and Billy Preston on Hohner electric piano.</p> <p>The gritty, hard-edged song, which McCartney still performs live today, benefits from McCartney's screaming vocals, creative, octave-infused bass line (especially during Lennon's portion of the song) and Harrison's tasteful bends and double stops during McCartney's raucous bridge. </p> <p>Although the version featured on <em>Let It Be</em> is the result of a single live take, Phil Spector edited together three mixes to come up with the final product.</p> <p>Because actual rooftop footage of the Beatles has become scarce on YouTube (Maybe they're finally working on releasing the <em>Let It Be</em> film on DVD), we've included an audio-only clip of "I've Got A Feeling." However, we did manage to find a live rooftop version of "Don't Let Me Down," which we've included so you can get a feel for the moment.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em> <a href="">Follow him on Twitter</a></em>.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-mccartney">Paul McCartney</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> 2011 Beatles Damian Fanelli George Harrison GWLinotte Holiday 2011 John Lennon Paul McCartney Ringo Starr Holiday Blogs News Features Magazine Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:55:40 +0000 Damian Fanelli 14130 at Guide to the Songs and Instruments Featured on The Beatles' 'A Hard Day's Night' Album <!--paging_filter--><p>There was no mania quite as manic as Beatlemania, and it was at its undisputed height in 1964. </p> <p>In February, the Beatles had conquered the United States, the birthplace of their rock and roll idols, appearing twice on the Ed Sullivan Show and performing pandemonium-inducing shows at the Washington Coliseum and Carnegie Hall. </p> <p>In early April, they owned the top five spots on the Billboard singles charts. To top it all off, they were about to become film stars, and they needed an album — their third — to coincide with the film’s release.</p> <p>Titled <em>A Hard Day’s Night</em>, a 90-minute black-and-white comedy presented a typical day in the life of the Beatles, and took about 50 days to shoot — from March 2 to April 24. Producer Walter Shenson asked the band for “six or seven” songs for the film (It wound up being seven), a mixed bag of ballads and up-tempo numbers. Of course, they’d need twice that number of songs for a full album.</p> <p>“There were times when we honestly thought we’d never get the time to write all the material,” Lennon said. “But we managed to get a couple of [songs] finished while we were in Paris.” While sessions for <em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> started in earnest at Abbey Road Studio Two on February 25 with Lennon’s “You Can’t Do That,” McCartney’s “Can’t Buy Me Love” was recorded January 29 at Pathé Marconi Studios in Paris. </p> <p>The song, a bouncy, jazzy minor blues in C with an eight-bar major chorus, was finished in four takes after notable evolution from the first take to the last. It features a catchy, double-tracked solo break by Harrison, who employs his Gretsch Country Gentleman and his new toy, a 1963 Rickenbacker 360-12, which was overdubbed when he acquired the guitar in February.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Back at Studio Two, Harrison’s 12-string Rickenbacker was put to work on several songs, including “You Can’t Do That,” “I Should Have Known Better,” “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You” and the album’s stunning title track. The jangly 12-string Rickenbacker heralded the dawn of a new Beatles sound for 1964 — as if the chart-topping Fabs needed to reinvent themselves — and influenced a host of other guitarists, most notably Pete Townshend of the Who and Jim McGuinn of the Byrds.</p> <p>In addition to the Rickenbacker 360-12 and Gretsch Country Gentleman, Harrison used his Gibson J-160E and a nylon-stringed José Ramírez Guitarra de Estudio guitar, which he’d probably purchased at a guitar shop in Rathbone Place, London, where imported guitars were among the specialties.</p> <p>Lennon alternated between his own Gibson J-160E, which he and Harrison had bought together in Liverpool in 1962, and his new black, or Jetglo, 1964 Rickenbacker 325 Capri. Lennon received the new guitar while the Beatles were resting in Miami, Florida, in mid-February. It had been sent directly to the Beatles’ hotel from Rickenbacker in California.</p> <p>Lennon’s first appearance with the new Capri was on February 15 during rehearsals for their next appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. When the band rehearsed the day before, Lennon was using his 1958 Capri — but that would be the last public appearance of that guitar in Lennon’s hands. The 1964 model (serial number DB122) had a thinner body than the 1958, a slightly smaller headstock with a white Rickenbacker nameplate, and a Rickenbacker Ac’cent vibrato unit. McCartney played his 1963 Hofner 500/1 bass. Lennon and Harrison played through two Vox AC50 amps while McCartney favored a hefty Vox AC100.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>The quick evolution of songs was common during this period, as evidenced by the progress of McCartney’s gentle ballad “And I Love Her” over the course of three days. As can be heard on <em>Anthology 1</em>, the band originally attempted this tune with their typical <em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> setup — McCartney on his Hofner 500/1 bass, Lennon on his Gibson J-160E acoustic, Harrison on his 12-string Rickenbacker and Starr on drums, including heavy use of the floor tom for accents. Not until the second take from the third day of sessions did they nail this tune — with Harrison switching to his Ramírez Spanish guitar and Ringo forgoing the drums altogether by playing bongos and claves, another first for the band.</p> <p>Recording of the movie songs chugged along at Studio Two throughout the winter, including Lennon’s ballad, “If I Fell.” With its intricate chord structure and complex harmonies sung by Lennon and McCartney — recorded together at one microphone — the song was completed in 15 takes, all on February 27. </p> <p>It is noted for being the most chord-intensive song the band had recorded so far, with changes taking place with almost every note sung, and also for its inclusion of a rare studio error: McCartney’s cracking voice on the second verse, at the end of the line “would be sad if our new love was in vain” (stereo mix only).</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> was the first Beatles album to contain only original songs, all of which are credited to Lennon/McCartney, and the only Beatles album on which Lennon is the dominant songwriter, having written 10 of the 13 songs. McCartney wrote “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “And I Love Her” and “Things We Said Today.” </p> <p>Whether you’re talking about the film, the album or the song, <em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> was another massive hit that further fueled the fire of Beatlemania.</p> <p><strong>A HARD DAY'S NIGHT: EXTRA FACTS</strong></p> <p><strong>Recorded:</strong> January 29, February 25–27, March 1, April 16 and June 1 &amp; 2, 1964</p> <p><strong>Location:</strong> Abbey Road Studio Two and EMI Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris</p> <p><strong>Released:</strong> July 10, 1964</p> <p><strong>Track Listing:</strong></p> <p>A Hard Day’s Night<br /> I Should Have Known Better<br /> If I Fell<br /> I’m Happy Just to Dance with You<br /> And I Love Her<br /> Tell Me Why<br /> Can’t Buy Me Love<br /> Any Time at All<br /> I’ll Cry Instead<br /> Things We Said Today<br /> When I Get Home<br /> You Can’t Do That<br /> I’ll Be Back</p> <p><strong>Related Singles and EPs:</strong> “Can’t Buy Me Love” / “You Can’t Do That” (released March 20, 1964, Parlophone); “A Hard Day’s Night” / “Things We Said Today” (released July 10, 1964, Parlophone); <em>Long Tall Sally</em> EP, featuring “Long Tall Sally,” “I Call Your Name,” “Slow Down” and “Matchbox” (released June 19, 1964) </p> <p><strong>Yeah, Yeah …</strong></p> <p><em>"I'll Cry Instead"</em>: This catchy Lennon song, recorded in two parts on June 1 and edited together, rarely gets credit for being one of the first country-rock songs. </p> <p><strong>… No</strong></p> <p><em>"I Should Have Known Better":</em> Lyrically and musically, this is one of the band's least-distinguished songs of the period, and its ultra-simple-even-for-1964 12-string Rickenbacker solo represents a wasted opportunity.</p> <p><em>Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em>.</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-mccartney">Paul McCartney</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> 2011 Damian Fanelli George Harrison GWLinotte Holiday 2011 John Lennon Paul McCartney Ringo Starr The Beatles Holiday News Features Magazine Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:54:33 +0000 Damian Fanelli 14135 at A Very Beatles Christmas: The Beatles' Annual Christmas Messages, "Happy Xmas," "Wonderful Christmastime" and More <!--paging_filter--><p>Christmas time is here again! </p> <p>So sang the Beatles on their 1967 Christmas record of the same name, one of several now-collectable flexi-discs issued annually to members of the band's official fan clubs in the U.K. and U.S.</p> <p>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. They started in 1963, when all four band members recorded the message in the same studio at the same time, and ended in 1969, when each Beatle basically phoned in his part from who knows where. </p> <p>As a final holiday gift to the fans, a Christmas compilation album—<em>From Them to You</em> in the U.K., <em>The Beatles' Christmas Album</em> in the U.S.—was issued in December 1970, a few months after the band had officially called it a day.</p> <p>Below, we've gathered all seven Beatles Christmas records—plus Christmas and/or holiday tunes by all four solo Beatles from 1971 to 2012, plus a bonus track of sorts. </p> <p>By the way, the only Beatle to record an entire Christmas album is Ringo Starr, who released <em>I Wanna Be Santa Claus</em> in 1999. To keep things simple (and generally pleasing for everyone involved), we've included only the title track.</p> <p>Below, you have the makings of a very Beatles Christmas. Use it with caution!</p> <p><strong>1963: <em>The Beatles' Christmas Record</em></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>1964: <em>Another Beatles Christmas Record</em></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>1965: <em>The Beatles' Third Christmas Record</em></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>1966: <em>The Beatles' Fourth Christmas Record — Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas</em></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>1967: <em>Christmas Time Is Here Again!</em></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>1968: <em>The Beatles' 1968 Christmas Record</em></strong></p> <p>This one features Tiny Tim.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>1969: <em>The Beatles' Seventh Christmas Record: Happy Christmas 1969</em></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>1971: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><br /><br /> <strong>1974: George Harrison, "Ding Dong, Ding Dong"</strong></p> <p>This one features Ringo Starr on drums and Alvin Lee of Ten Years After on guitar. Although it's not exactly a Christmas song, it's a holiday tune that was released as a single in December 1974. It's also on Harrison's <em>Dark Horse</em> album.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><br /><br /> <strong>1979: Paul McCartney, "Wonderful Christmastime"</strong></p> <p>Even though this single was attributed to Paul McCartney, the <em>Back to the Egg</em> lineup of Wings can be seen in the video — including master fingerstyle guitarist Laurence Juber.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><br /><br /> <strong>1999: Ringo Starr, "I Wanna Be Santa Claus"</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><br /><br /> <strong>2012: Paul McCartney, "The Christmas Song"</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><br /></p> <p><strong>2014: Richard Cruz Jr., "Wish You a Merry Merry Christmas"</strong></p> <p>Earlier this year, Richard Cruz Jr. of Wolftrane (and Carvin Guitars) took a 45-year-old unfinished Beatles Christmas song idea and added lyrics and a bridge, making a complete song out of McCartney's off-the-cuff lyrics (which can heard in the Beatles' 1969 Christmas message above). This track was recorded at Attic Recording in Escondido, California, in November. Enjoy!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-mccartney">Paul McCartney</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Damian Fanelli George Harrison John Lennon Paul McCartney Ringo Starr The Beatles Blogs Features Tue, 23 Dec 2014 15:54:59 +0000 Damian Fanelli 17437 at Guide to The Beatles' White Album: the Recording Equipment, the Songs, the Conflicts <!--paging_filter--><p>Having opened a Pandora's box with their critically acclaimed and commercially successful album <em>Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,</em> the Beatles faced serious competition from a variety of open-minded artists who were expanding rock music's barriers. </p> <p>Newcomers like Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and the Doors, and even contemporaries like the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys and Bob Dylan were challenging the Beatles' role as innovators. But rather than continue to pursue the psychedelic excesses of the previous year, the Beatles went in the opposite direction. </p> <p>The result was a double-album that found the group returning to a more stripped-down rock and roll sound and often eschewing electric guitars for acoustics. Popularly known as the White Album for its stark white sleeve, <em>The Beatles</em> was made during a particularly tumultuous period for the band. </p> <p>In the wake of manager Brian Epstein's death in August 1967, Paul McCartney had begun to assume more of a leadership role, creating an imbalance in the group's seemingly democratic power structure. At the same time, John Lennon, newly in love with Yoko Ono, was beginning to lose interest in the Beatles. </p> <p>George Harrison had grown tired of having his creativity quashed by Lennon and McCartney and began pushing back against their authority. Starr, meanwhile, was becoming fed up with sitting around in the studio and waiting for the others to finish writing their songs. Ironically, the group's disintegration occurred after a fruitful period of togetherness, when the four Beatles traveled to India in spring 1968 to study transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.</p> <p>While in India they wrote more than 30 songs, many of which became the basis for the White Album, including "Dear Prudence," "Julia" and "Mother Nature's Son." Upon returning to England, the group convened at Kinfauns, George Harrison's house in Esher, to record four-track demos for the new album. By some accounts, neither Lennon nor McCartney was willing to sacrifice some of his songs to make room for others, and thus <em>The Beatles</em> became a double album.</p> <p>According to Harrison, "The rot had already set in."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>But it's also true that the Beatles' creative energy could no longer be confined to a single album—nor a single studio. As a result, when it came time to record the album, the Beatles essentially took over Abbey Road, occupying several studios at once while they recorded their new songs, often working on them individually rather than as a group.</p> <p>Anyone who walked down the halls of the facility on a June evening in 1968 probably would have been shocked by the contrast between McCartney recording the wistful "Blackbird" on an acoustic guitar in Studio Two while Lennon was in Studio Three manipulating and mutilating tape loops for "Revolution 9," his and Ono's musique concrete tape experiment.</p> <p>After McCartney's dominant role on <em>Sgt. Pepper's</em>, Lennon was eager to assert more control on the White Album. His song "Revolution 1" was the very first tune the group tackled for the record when the sessions began on May 30. </p> <p>Though Lennon insisted the Beatles release the track as their next single—the first release on their new Apple label—McCartney convinced him that the tempo was too slow and unlikely to make the song a Number One hit. Lennon relented, but on July 10, he led the group through a faster, rocking version of the tune, called simply "Revolution," which was ultimately selected as the flipside for "Hey Jude," the Beatles' debut Apple single. </p> <p>As on <em>Revolver</em> and <em>Sgt. Pepper's</em>, engineer Geoff Emerick was responsible for the song's innovative sound, most notably the heavily fuzzed-out guitar tones. To create them, Emerick plugged Lennon and Harrison's guitars (probably their Epiphone Casino and Gibson SG, respectively) directly into Studio Two's mixing console, overdriving two REDD.4 7 mic preamps to create the warm distorted tones.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>"I had an idea that I wanted to try," Emerick recalled of the session in his 2006 memoir, <em>Here, There and Everywhere</em>, "one that I thought might satisfy John, even though it was equipment abuse of the most severe kind. Because no amount of mic preamp overload had been good enough for him, I decided to try to overload two of them patched together, one into the other. As I knelt down beside the console, turning knobs that I was expressly forbidden from touching because they could literally cause the console to overheat and blow up, I couldn't help but think, If I was the studio manager and saw this going on, I'd fire myself."</p> <p>Emerick didn't have to worry about being fired—on July 16, just six days after the "Revolution" session, he quit. The day before, he'd worked on a particularly grueling vocal session for the McCartney track "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," and the tension had simply become too much for him. "I was on the verge of a breakdown during the making of the White Album," Emerick says. "It was because of the emotional stress for me. I was just not into it." </p> <p>The conflicts only became worse as the work continued through the summer and into autumn. Ringo Starr was next to leave. Feeling unappreciated by his bandmates, he quit the band in the middle of recording "Back in the U.S.S.R." on August 22. In his absence, McCartney (and possibly Lennon and Harrison as well) handled drum duties on the song, as he did when the threesome recorded "Dear Prudence" on August 28. (As these are the first two songs on <em>The Beatles</em>, Starr isn't heard on the album until "Glass Onion.") </p> <p>Starr returned on September 5, but his brief exit demonstrates how strained The Beatles' relations were becoming. Even though the band members spent a considerable amount of time working separately on the album, they recorded most of the backing tracks for its 30 songs live as a group. Typically, the writer of each song would then work on overdubs alone or with another Beatie or two assisting. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>As several tracks were being worked on at once, George Martin was unable to oversee all of the sessions. In his absence, the individual band members or Martin's assistant Chris Thomas took over. Harrison in particular seemed more empowered than he had been on previous albums. In addition to often working on his own songs in a separate studio, he made decisions without consulting anyone else, such as when he brought in Eric Clapton to play lead guitar on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."</p> <p>Harrison recalled that Clapton's presence made his bandmates "try a bit harder; they were all on their best behavior." Harrison was also becoming less inclined to defer to Martin's authority. Once while Harrison was working on the mix for his song "Savoy Truffle," Martin said he thought it sounded too shrill and trebly. "I like it like that," Harrison said, turning his back on Martin and continuing his work.</p> <p>But amid the enmity, the Beatles were, as always, breaking new ground in the studio. By 1968, they had recorded in each of Abbey Road's three studios, but for the taping of "Yer Blues" on August 13, they found a spot that they had not used yet—a small utility closet known as the Studio Two "annexe." The tight quarters gave the recording an especially "live" sound, thanks to microphone leakage and sound-wave reflections off the walls.</p> <p>From a technological standpoint, the White Album is significant for marking the Beatles' transition to eight-track recording. In this respect, Ken Scott, who replaced Emerick in the engineer's seat, played an instrumental role. Abbey Road had purchased several 3M eight-track recorders in May 1968, but the machines required numerous modifications before George Martin would approve their use on Beatles sessions. However, during an evening of work on ''While My Guitar Gently Weeps," Scott removed one of the unmodified eight-track machines from storage when he could no longer tolerate being limited to four tracks. </p> <p>Although only 10 of the album's songs were recorded entirely on eight-track machines, by the time the album was finished, the Beatles' four-track era reached its end. Despite having more tracks at their disposal, the Beatles kept the album's music surprisingly straightforward and stripped down. </p> <p>They made up for the recordings' simplicity by offering listeners an impressively eclectic 90-minute musical journey that included acoustic folk, rock and roll, blues, country, acid rock, music-hall schmaltz, avant-garde experimentalism and smartly crafted electric pop rock. Few artists cover as much stylistic ground in their careers—the Beatles pulled off this monumental feat in a mere four and a half months.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>In the end, even the double-album format was not enough to contain all of their creative ambitions, and several of the songs they wrote during this period were put aside for later release. Some, like Harrison's "Not Guilty" and Lennon's "What's the New Mary Jane," were recorded during the White Album sessions but not issued. </p> <p>And while George Martin has always believed that the group should have trimmed the collection down to a single disk, even the most casual Beatles fan would have trouble picking five songs to cut from the White Album, let alone 15.</p> <p><strong>THE BEATLES: EXTRA FACTS</strong></p> <p><strong>Recorded</strong>: May 30 to October 13<br /> <strong>Location:</strong> Abbey Road One, Two and Three; Trident Studios<br /> <strong>Released:</strong> November 2, 1968</p> <p><strong>TRACKLISTING</strong></p> <p>Back In the U.S.S.R<br /> Dear Prudence<br /> Glass Onion<br /> Ob-La-Dt, Ob-La-Da<br /> Wild Honey Pie<br /> The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill<br /> While My Guitar Gently Weeps<br /> Happiness Is a Warm Gun<br /> Martha My Dear<br /> I'm So Tired<br /> Blackbird<br /> Piggies<br /> Rocky Raccoon<br /> Don't Pass Me By<br /> Why Don't We Do It in the Road?<br /> I Will<br /> Julia<br /> Birthday<br /> Yer Blues<br /> Mother Nature's Son<br /> Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey<br /> Sexy Sadie<br /> Helter Skelter<br /> Long, Long, Long<br /> Revolution 1<br /> Honey Pie<br /> Savoy Truffle<br /> Cry Baby Cry<br /> Revolution 9<br /> Good Night</p> <p><strong>RELATED SINGLES</strong></p> <p>• "Hey Jude" / "Revolution," August 30,1968 (Apple)</p> <p><strong>THE 3M M23</strong></p> <p>Abbey Road's first eight-track, the M23 was rejected by George Martin for various technical issues. The tape deck remained out of use for months while the studio's technicians modified it to his specifications. Fed up with recording on four-track, The Beatles "liberated" the M23 on September 3, 1968, and used it to record 10 tracks on the White Album.</p> <p><em>Photo: The Beatles, 1968—</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-mccartney">Paul McCartney</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> 2011 George Harrison Holiday 2011 John Lennon Paul McCartney Ringo Starr The Beatles Holiday News Features Magazine Sat, 22 Nov 2014 21:14:58 +0000 Chris Gill 15212 at Guide to the Songs and Instruments Featured on The Beatles' 'Rubber Soul' Album <!--paging_filter--><p>Just as an overworked John Lennon and Paul 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 <em>Rubber Soul</em>.</p> <p>When the band finished recording <em>Help!</em> in mid-June (after filming yet another feature film), they took off on a tour of Spain, France and Italy that lasted till early July, followed by a show in Blackpool and another tour of the U.S. and Canada in August. </p> <p>Their U.S. trip included another Ed Sullivan Show appearance, their first Shea Stadium show and a return to the Hollywood Bowl — not to mention mingling with Bob Dylan, the Supremes, Elvis Presley — and LSD (although McCartney waited another year before giving in to the drug). The band returned to England in September and had about a month to prepare material for a new album, which had to hit the record shops in time for Christmas.</p> <p>They had help from several new instruments that had found their way into The Beatles' camp. These included Harrison's new 1965 Rickenbacker 360-12 with updated, rounded-edge cutaways, which he had acquired during a tour stop in Minneapolis and used on "If I Needed Someone," and George Harrison and Lennon's matching Sonic Blue 1961 Fender Stratocasters with rosewood fretboards. These two Strats marked the Beatles' entry into the world of Fender. </p> <p>"I decided I'd get a Strat, and John decided he'd get one too," Harrison said. "So we sent out our roadie, Mal Evans … and he came back with two of them, pale blue ones. Straight away we used them on the album we were making at the time, <em>Rubber Soul</em>." Although the Strats can be heard throughout the album, they are most noticeable on "Nowhere Man." The serial number on Harrison's Strat is 83840, which dates it to late 1961.</p> <p>McCartney had turned to his latest acquisition, a Rickenbacker 4001S bass, as his main bass for the <em>Rubber Soul</em> sessions. He had received the bass when Rickenbacker's Francis C. Hall, who had visited the band in New York in 1964 with several models for the band to choose from, visited the band in Los Angeles in August 1965 with his son John and only one model — a left-handed Fireglo 4001S for McCartney.</p> <p>Other instruments included a cheap sitar Harrison bought at a London shop after being intrigued by the Indian musicians on the set of "Help!"; it is most famously heard on "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)." Harrison and Lennon's Gibson J-160E models returned, as did Lennon's 1964 Rickenbacker 325 Capri, Lennon's Framus Hootenanny acoustic (which was mostly played by Harrison at this point) and Harrison's Gretsch Tennessean. </p> <p>McCartney used his 1962 Epiphone Casino and Epiphone Texan acoustic, both of which he still performs with today, and his 1963 Hofner 500/1 bass. McCartney played through a Vox AC100 amp and a Fender Bassman while Lennon and Harrison played through Vox AC30 and AC100 guitar amps.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>As it turned out, the song-hungry band already had one song in the can, "Wait," a leftover from the <em>Help!</em> sessions that was recorded on June 17. Actual sessions for <em>Rubber Soul</em> began October 12 with "Run For Your Life," a hastily written rockabilly number by Lennon, which borrows two lines from Presley's "Baby Let's Play House" and features at least one out-of-tune guitar.</p> <p>Things improved the next day with McCartney's "Drive My Car," the product of the first Beatles session to extend past midnight. The song's bottom-heavy American R&amp;B feel is the result of Harrison's infatuation with Otis Redding's 1965 hit single, "Respect" (later covered by Aretha Franklin). Harrison plays a Donald "Duck" Dunn-esque bass line on his Strat while McCartney doubles him on the Rickenbacker bass. McCartney also plays his first lead guitar break as a Beatle, delivering a funky slide solo via his Epiphone Casino.</p> <p>Just as he did on <em>Help!</em>, Harrison contributed two songs to <em>Rubber Soul</em> — "If I Needed Someone" and "Think For Yourself." The former features Harrison playing his 1965 Rickenbacker 360-12 with a capo on the seventh fret, with Harrison borrowing heavily from Jim McGuinn, who played a similar figure on the Byrds' "The Bells of Rhymney" and "She Don't Care About Time," although such a figure also gives the song a droning effect, common to Indian music, which Harrison was discovering. </p> <p>McCartney's bass line foreshadows his brilliant bass work on <em>Revolver</em> and "Rain"; the composition leaves the door open to many bass possibilities, but McCartney chooses to arpeggiate upward through a twelfth, as heard on the verses. The bass' solid maple body gives it a punchier, clearer tone, which can be heard on this song and the rest of the album. </p> <p>"Think For Yourself" is notable for its two bass parts, both played by McCartney. One is played through the Vox AC100 bass amp; the other — credited as a "fuzz bass" on the album sleeve — was recorded direct through a distortion box. Ken Townsend, a former Abbey Road technician, has stated that EMI, which owned the studio, built their own distortion devices, which the Beatles would often use. However, it is possible McCartney was using a prototype Vox Tone Bender, which Dick Denney of Vox said were delivered to the Beatles in early 1965.</p> <p>With <em>Rubber Soul</em>, the Beatles seriously broadened their sound, responding to their diverse influences and thinking well outside the box instrumentally. </p> <p>The album also featured homespun recording innovations, including George Martin recording the "harpsichord" solo on "In My Life" at half speed — on a piano, then speeding it up when mixing. Other innovations include the use of electronic sound processing, especially the compressed and heavily equalized piano part on "The Word."</p> <p><strong>RUBBER SOUL: EXTRA INFO</strong></p> <p><strong>Recorded</strong>: June 17, October 12-13, 16, 18, 21-22, November 3-4, 8, 10-11, 1965</p> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Abbey Road Studio Two</p> <p><strong>Released</strong>: December 3, 1965</p> <p><strong>Track Listing:</strong></p> <p>Drive My Car<br /> Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)<br /> You Won't See Me<br /> Nowhere Man<br /> Think For Yourself<br /> The Word<br /> Michelle<br /> What Goes On<br /> Girl<br /> I'm Looking Through You<br /> In My Life<br /> Wait<br /> If I Needed Someone<br /> Run for Your Life</p> <p><strong>Yeah, Yeah ...</strong></p> <p><em>"Girl"</em>: This beautiful, continental-sounding track (Lennon's answer to "Michelle," perhaps?) features Lennon's Gibson J-160E capoed at the eighth fret to make it sound like a bazuki, thus adding to the song's European flavor.</p> <p><strong>… No</strong></p> <p><em>"Run For Your Life"</em>: This simple — in almost all respects — and hastily written Lennon tune would've been more at home on <em>Beatles For Sale</em> or <em>Help!</em> Lennon wasn't exactly fond of it, either.</p> <p><em>Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em>. </em></p> <p><em>Photo:</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-mccartney">Paul McCartney</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Damian Fanelli George Harrison GW Archive GWLinotte Holiday 2011 John Lennon Paul McCartney Ringo Starr The Beatles News Features Magazine Tue, 11 Nov 2014 15:11:20 +0000 Damian Fanelli 14104 at Five Fine John Lennon Covers by Ozzy Osbourne, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and More <!--paging_filter--><p>Over the decades, John Lennon's songs have been covered by thousands of artists. Just think of all the people — from unknown Lithuanian bar bands to Lada Gaga — who have had a crack at "Imagine."</p> <p>Today, the 74th anniversary of his birth on October 9, 1940, I'm paying tribute to Lennon by rounding up five of what I feel are the best performances of his solo songs by other artists.</p> <p>You'll notice Paul Weller on this list; Weller, the former frontman of UK hitmakers the Jam, is a huge Lennon disciple who has covered several of his songs, usually as B-sides. And then there's Pearl Jam's live version of "Gimme Some Truth;" its only flaw is that it lacks anything even close to George Harrison's goosebump-inducing slide-guitar solo on the original 1971 Lennon version.</p> <p>Video-wise, my favorite of the bunch is "How?" by Ozzy Osbourne, in which Ozzy hits the streets of New York City — <a href="">old-school Lennon-style</a> — en route to pay his respects to the man himself. </p> <p>Enjoy these five covers — and power to the people!</p> <p><strong>OZZY OSBOURNE</strong><br /> <strong><em>How?</em></strong> (Originally from <em>Imagine</em>, 1971) </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>PEARL JAM</strong><br /> <strong><em>Gimme Some Truth</em></strong> (Originally from <em>Imagine</em>, 1971)</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS</strong><br /> <strong><em>I Found Out</em></strong> (Originally from <em>John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band</em>, 1970)</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>PAUL WELLER</strong><br /> <strong><em>Instant Karma</em></strong> (Originally released as a single in early 1970)</p> <p><iframe width="640" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>NEIL YOUNG</strong><br /> <strong><em>Imagine</em></strong> (Originally from <em>Imagine</em>, 1971)</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World.<em> He eats food.</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/neil-young">Neil Young</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/pearl-jam">Pearl Jam</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ozzy-osbourne">Ozzy Osbourne</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Damian Fanelli John Lennon Neil Young Ozzy Osbourne Paul Weller Pearl Jam Blogs Features Thu, 09 Oct 2014 14:00:50 +0000 Damian Fanelli 13102 at John Lennon “Imagine” Live Acoustic — Video Finds <!--paging_filter--><p>In honor of what would have been his 74th birthday, here’s a rare clip of John Lennon performing “Imagine” live. </p> <p>The performance was filmed at New York City's Apollo Theater December 17, 1971. </p> <p>Rather than playing the piano, which the song was composed on, Lennon plays an acoustic guitar and is accompanied by a group of acoustic players. </p> <p>Several poems from Yoko Ono's 1964 book <em>Grapefruit</em> are said to have influenced Lennon's lyrics for "Imagine."</p> <p>The song can be found on Lennon's 1971 LP of the same name. The album features a more heavily produced sound when compared to the simple arrangements of his previous album, <em>Plastic Ono Band</em>. </p> <p>"Imagine" is the best-selling single of Lennon’s solo career; it peaked at Number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Since its release, it has been performed by a number of artists, including Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Cee Lo Green and Train. </p> <p>Enjoy the performance below and take a second to remember the brilliance of John Lennon! You can find out more at <a href=""></a>. This version of "Imagine" is available on Lennon's <em>Acoustic</em> album, which was released in 2004. </p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" width="620" height="365" src="//" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /><a href="" target="_blank">John Lennon Imagine Live (Acoustic Guitar)</a> <i>by <a href="" target="_blank">Bodhisattva1956</a></i></p> <p>Here's another video showing Lennon in the studio recording "Imagine":</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Acoustic Nation John Lennon Videos Blogs Videos News Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:51:18 +0000 Acoustic Nation 22542 at Yoko Ono Brings John Lennon Education Tour Bus to New York City <!--paging_filter--><p>The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus (Lennon Bus), the premier, non-profit 501(c)(3) mobile Pro-Audio, Video and Broadcast studio providing hands-on experiences for students of all ages since 1998, comes to New York City for stops at public schools in each of the five boroughs culminating on Lennon’s birthday, October 9. The legendary songwriter, poet, artist and activist would have been 74. </p> <p>“This project would have made John so proud. It was born from John's love and the strong wishes of kids all over the world. I am very happy!” - Yoko Ono Lennon</p> <p>The Lennon Bus is made possible by the generosity and support of Yoko Ono Lennon who was present on September 15, 2014, when the mobile studio arrived at Manhattan’s PS 171 to kick off the New York City residency. </p> <p>The bus’ tour of New York is presented in association with the NAMM Foundation and the Amp Up NYC initiative, which is a partnership between The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), national nonprofit Little Kids Rock and Berklee College of Music.</p> <p>Students onboard the Lennon Bus will receive an exclusive look into the latest in music products, audio, video and broadcast technologies, and hear first hand from the engineers who live and work on board the multi-million dollar facility that travels 10 months a year throughout the U.S. Participants will spend a full day developing an original project, creating the music, video, and images needed to take their ideas from concept to delivery. </p> <p>"Yoko and the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus exemplify an extraordinary passion and devotion to providing children and young adults with opportunities to explore their creativity, musical expression and artistic freedom,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation. “We are grateful for our long standing partnership as we work to assure that every child has the chance to learn and grow and make this world a place we imagine it to be - one of peace, and full of music.”</p> <p>The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a non-profit state-of-the-art mobile Pro Audio and HD video recording facility that provides hands-on experiences for students of all ages. In its 17th year of touring, the Lennon Bus features the latest audio and video technology, gear and products. </p> <p>The concept began as an offshoot of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, dedicated to providing opportunities for both professional and amateur songwriters around the world. The Lennon Bus travels across the U.S. and Canada year-round, providing free tours and workshops at schools, retailers, festivals, on tours with headlining artists, and at major industry conferences. Lennon Bus Europe began providing these same opportunities to the young people of Europe when it launched in Liverpool, UK in May 2013. </p> <p>The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is made possible by Yoko Ono Lennon and the following sponsors and contributors: Apple, Montblanc, Sony, NAMM, Adobe, Yamaha, Neutrik, Musician’s Friend, Gibson Guitars, Epiphone, Avid, AudioTechnica, Digital Media Academy, SESAC, Genelec, SSL, NewTek, True Religion, Thomann, TodoCast by Globecomm, 
Vox Amps, SAE Institute, Reflecmedia, Baker &amp; McKenzie, JamHub, Sonicbids, Litepanels, Manfrotto, Clear-Com, 
Anton/Bauer, AJA, DJI Innovations, Copperpeace, Aphex Systems, Applied Acoustics Systems, Mobile Roadie, McDSP, Native Instruments, 
IK Multimedia, Noise Industries, JDI, iZotope, Mad Mimi, Ableton, Ampeg, Mackie, Apogee, Boingo, Glyph, 
Guitar Player, Bass Player, Electronic Musician, Keyboard Magazine, Digital Rapids, SKB, Sonnet Technologies, OWC and LiveU.<br /> For additional information about the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus and to check on the tour dates and locations, visit <a href=""> </a></p> Acoustic Nation John Lennon News Yoko Ono Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:34:25 +0000 Acoustic Nation 22373 at August 8, 1966: "Hundreds of Beatles Records Are to Be Pulverized in a Giant Municipal Tree-Grinding Machine ..." <!--paging_filter--><p>Forty-eight years ago this summer — in late July and August 1966 — the Beatles found themselves in a touchy situation. </p> <p>On July 29 of that year, a teen magazine called <em>Datebook</em> published segments of a nearly 5-month-old interview with John Lennon. Among the republished segments was this quote by Lennon: </p> <p>"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with 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. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."</p> <p>The quote, which originally appeared in a March 1966 <a href="">London Evening Standard</a> story by Maureen Cleave (a reporter who was friendly with Lennon and the other Beatles), didn't cause much of a stir in the UK or the rest of the world when it was originally published. After all, the Jesus line was just a tiny part of a lengthy piece full of tidbits like:</p> <p><em>In the sitting room are eight little green boxes with winking red lights; (Lennon) bought them as Christmas presents but never got round to giving them away. They wink for a year; one imagines him sitting there till next Christmas, surrounded by the little winking boxes.</em></p> <p>However, with its publication in <em>Datebook</em>, the quote reached a wider audience — including the American South. On Sunday, July 31, a disc jockey in Birmingham, Alabama, kicked off a drive to ban the Beatles from the airways. He said their radio station would no longer play records by the Beatles, who "grew wealthy as the music idols of the younger generation."</p> <p>By early August, deranged knuckleheads began hoisting "Ban The Beatles" signs and burning Beatles albums, even establishing pickup points where "Beatles trash" (including records, photos and other memorabilia that would've been worth a lot of money today had they not been destroyed by deranged knuckleheads) could be dropped off, stomped on — and burned, of course. </p> <p>Forty-eight years ago today (August 8, 1966), <em>The Daily Gleaner</em> of Birmingham published the following notice:</p> <p>"Hundreds of Beatles records are to be pulverized in a giant municipal tree-grinding machine here because of what Beatle John Lennon said about Christ, a disc jockey revealed today. 'After going through the "Beatle-grinder" borrowed from Birmingham City Council, all that will be left of the records will be fine dust.' A box full of the dust will be presented to the British pop stars when they arrive in Memphis, Tennessee, not far from here, for a concert Aug. 19, said local disc jockey Rex Roach." </p> <p>That summer, the <em>London Evening Standard</em> piece and its <em>Datebook</em> excerpt grew more notorious as the storm of controversy escalated. Lennon was forced to apologize, which he did at a Beatles press conference during the band's final tour in August. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>EPILOGUE:</strong> With its nearly 42 million fans, <a href="">the Beatles' Facebook page</a> is much more popular than any single Jesus-related Facebook page. Hey, I'm just pointing it out! Please don't pulverize this website in a giant municipal tree-grinding machine! </p> <p>As you contemplate all this nonsense, check out a spoof of this interesting slice of the Beatles' history. It's a scene from <em>All You Need Is Cash,</em> a 1978 made-for-TV film about a fictional band called the Rutles. The film was written and narrated by Eric Idle of Monty Python:</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World.<em> He uses big words with uncertainty.</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Damian Fanelli John Lennon Monty Python Neil Innes The Beatles The Rutles Blogs News Features Fri, 08 Aug 2014 15:56:09 +0000 Damian Fanelli 14869 at Ten Easy Acoustic Guitar Love Songs <!--paging_filter--><p>It's that time of year when some of us might start dotting our I's with little hearts and thinking of ways to impress. </p> <p>And for that I am here to help! Here are ten wonderful love songs that you can work out with ease. In fact, most of them only have three or four chords. </p> <p>These may be simpler versions than the original, but trust me, the object of your affection will not care. </p> <p>So pull out that guitar and take a few minutes to strum along and then let the serenading begin!!</p> <p><Strong>1. "I’m Yours" - Jason Mraz</strong></p> <p>"I'm Yours" was nominated for Grammy Award for Song of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 51st Grammy Awards. It has the honor of holding the record for the most weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 at 76 weeks.</p> <p>I love the easy, breezy feel of this song. Capo up if you want some easier fingerings.</p> <p><em>With your capo on the 4th fret: G, D, Em, C<br /> With no capo: B, F#, Gm, E</em></p> <p>CHORUS<br /> B..................F#<br /> I won't hesitate no more,<br /> .....G#m...................E<br /> no more, it cannot wait i'm yours</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><Strong>2. "More Than Words" - Extreme</strong></p> <p>This one's a little more tricky, but even if you do simple strums, the melody and lyrics are so lovely, I know you can pull it off!</p> <p>Nuno Bettancourt's acoustic guitar work coupled with Gary Cherone's vocals made this 1991 release shoot to number one. </p> <p>Remember, actions matter too, like playing your sweetheart a love song!</p> <p>G...............Cadd9........Am7..............C...........D..............G<br /> Saying I love you, is not the words I want to hear from you<br /> G...............Cadd9........Am7..............C...........D.......Em<br /> It's not that I want you, not to say but if you only knew<br /> Bm7..........Am7......D.....................G...........D/F#.........Em<br /> How, ea – sy, it would be to show me how you feel<br /> Bm7............Am7............D7 ..................G7................C<br /> More than words, is all you have to do to make it real<br /> ................Cm...................... G....................Em7<br /> Then you wouldn't have to say, that you love me,<br /> ............Am7 ............D7<br /> 'Cos I'd al - ready know</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>3. "Let Her Go " - Passenger</strong></p> <p>This song has been all over the airways, but I don't care. It's topped 20 charts worldwide...and counting!</p> <p>So, so pretty and such a well-written sentiment. </p> <p>Michael David Rosenberg, aka Passenger, sure has a way with a turn of phrase.</p> <p>Rosenberg plays this way up high on the neck with a capo on the 7th fret. </p> <p>So here it is if you follow suit, and also a version if you don't! Enjoy!</p> <p><em>With capo at 7</em></p> <p>........................F............................C<br /> Well you only need the light when it s burning low<br /> .......................G.............................Am<br /> Only miss the sun when it s starts to snow<br /> ...................F.............................C .........G<br /> Only know you love her when you let her go<br /> ..............................F............................ C<br /> Only know you've been high when you're feeling low<br /> .......................G............................Am<br /> Only hate the road when you re missing home<br /> .........................F ............................C<br /> Only know you love her when you've let her go<br /> G<br /> And you let her go</p> <p><em>Without capo</em></p> <p>..............................C .........................G<br /> Well you only need the light when its burning low<br /> ....................D ........................Em<br /> Only miss the sun when its starts to snow<br /> ......................C ............................G..........D(sus4)<br /> Only know you love her when you let her go<br /> ..............................C...............................G<br /> Only know you’ve been high when you're feeling low<br /> ........................D.........................Em<br /> Only hate the road when you're missing home<br /> ........................C .............................. G.........D(sus4)<br /> Only know you love her when you've let her go<br /> D<br /> And you let her go</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>4. "Just The Way Your Are" - Bruno Mars </strong> <p>This is the perfect love song. </p> <p>I don't care if the original has oodles of piano and is fully orchestrated. </p> <p>This one stands up on acoustic.</p> <p>The verse sets up the awesomeness and then Bruno hits you with a kicker of a chorus. </p> <p>What more can you say after you say, "You're Amazing Just The Way You Are?" </p> <p>It's a shoe-in for the start of a perfect romantic evening.</p> <p><em>Capo at third fret</em></p> <p>D, Bm, G, D in that order, for the whole song! </p> <p>Chorus:<br /> ..........................D..............................Bm<br /> When I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change<br /> .........................G ....................... D<br /> Cause you're amazing, just the way you are<br /> .......................D ...................................Bm<br /> And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for awhile<br /> ...............................G...................................D<br /> Cause girl you're amazing, just the way you are</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>5. "The Only Exception" - Paramore</strong></p> <p>I've been singing this song in my band for years and it does have a great sing-along quality. </p> <p>The idea that everyone else in the world isn't worth opening your heart for except this one special person is...well...special! </p> <p>"The Only Exception" was release in 2010 as a single from the album <em>Brand New Eyes</em> The song received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.</p> <p>Don't look to Paramore for a large selection of love songs, but this one fits the bill just right!</p> <p><em>Capo at 4th fret: G, Dm, Cmaj7 (with an Am in the bridge)</em></p> <p>VERSE1<br /> G..................................Dm.......................... Cmaj7<br /> When I was younger I saw my daddy cry and curse at the wind<br /> ........ G ..................................................Dm................ Cmaj7<br /> He broke his own heart and I watched as he tried to re-assemble it<br /> .......G.........................................Dm.................Cmaj7<br /> And my mama swore that she would never let herself forget<br /> ...........G.............................................................. Dm<br /> And that was the day that I promised I'd never sing of love<br /> .................... Cmaj7<br /> if it does not exist, but darling</p> <p>CHORUS<br /> G<br /> You are the only exception<br /> Dm............. Cmaj7<br /> You are the only exception<br /> G<br /> You are the only exception<br /> Dm ............. Cmaj7......... G...<br /> You are the only exception</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>6. "She Will Be Loved" – Maroon 5</strong></p> <p>I always sing harmony to this one when it comes on the radio. </p> <p>Can you believe it was on Maroon 5's debut album, <em>Songs About Jane</em> way back in 2002? </p> <p>This song made it to number 4 on the U.S. charts and I still hear it all over the place.</p> <p>Who doesn't want to be told that she will be loved? And the idea that you'd stand out in the pouring rain waiting for your love, well, that's gotta be love!</p> <p><em>Capo at first fret</em></p> <p>D5..............................A<br /> I don't mind spending everyday<br /> Bm...................................G5<br /> Out on your corner in the pouring rain<br /> D5................................... A<br /> Look for the girl with the broken smile<br /> Bm...............................G5<br /> Ask her if she wants to stay awhile<br /> .............. D5......... A<br /> And she will be loved<br /> Bm.............G<br /> She will be loved</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>7. "Your Body Is A Wonderland" - John Mayer</strong></p> <p>Sing this one after you've played through one or two of the other mushy ones here. </p> <p>You don't want to jump into the hot stuff too soon!</p> <p>Whatever you think about John Mayer's own love life, he sure can churn out a tune. </p> <p>This one was released in October 2002 as the second single from his debut studio album, <em>Room for Squares</em>. </p> <p>Mayer has claimed that he wrote the song about his first girlfriend at age 14. A wonderland indeed!</p> <p><em>Capo at third fret</em></p> <p>Chorus:<br /> ........ Asus4 ......D.........Asus4...G<br /> Your body Is a wonderland<br /> .........Asus4.........D<br /> Your body is a wonder<br /> ....... Asus4......G<br /> (I'll use my hands)<br /> .......Asus4......... D...........Asus4 ...G ....Asus4<br /> Your body Is a wonderland </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>8. "You Are so Beautiful to Me" - Joe Cocker<strong></strong></strong></p> <p>The simplest lyric woven into one of the most beautiful love songs of all time. </p> <p>You shouldn't have any trouble remembering the words!</p> <p>This song was first recorded by Billy Preston, but it's Joe Cocker who delivered it in the most amazing way possible. </p> <p>Released as a single, it peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts in 1975.</p> <p>I have always admired the way this song can mesmerize with its lovely simplicity. Try it!</p> <p>G ...................Csus2<br /> ..You are so beautiful to me<br /> G..................Csus2<br /> ..You are so beautiful to me<br /> Dm<br /> ..Can't you see<br /> C............................B7<br /> ..You're everything I've hoped for<br /> Em.................... A7<br /> ..You're everything I need<br /> G................ Csus2<br /> ..You are so beautiful to me</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>9. <strong>"And I Love Her" - The Beatles </strong></p> <p>The Beatles have a lot of great love songs! This one is fairly simple to play and don't be afraid to change the key to easier fingerings if it suits you!</p> <p>The fifth track on their third album, <em>A Hard Day's Night</em>, it was released on July 20, 1964.</p> <p>It's rumored that McCartney wrote the majority of the song, while Lennon contributed the middle section, which I personally consider to be the most romantic part of the song. </p> <p>I dare you to sit down and sing this song to your lady (or guy!). Who knows what that might lead to!</p> <p>F#m...........C#m<br /> I give her all my love<br /> F#m...........C#m<br /> That's all I do<br /> F#m...........C#m<br /> And if you saw my love<br /> A....................B7<br /> You'd love her too</p> <p>........E<br /> And I love her</p> <p>Middle:<br /> C#m............B<br /> A love like ours<br /> C#m.............G#m<br /> could never die<br /> C#m.......... G#m............B7<br /> As long as I have you near me</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>10. "My Love" – Paul McCartney</strong></p> <p>I couldn't help it. One more Beatles-related song is in order.</p> <p>McCartney wrote this for his wife, Linda, and it was released in 1973 on the album <em> Red Rose Speedway</em>.</p> <p>Released as a single in 1973, it reached number one.</p> <p>McCartney is a master at saying I love you in a way that makes other songwriters think, "Why didn't I come up with that?" Luckily he did it for all of us!</p> <p>My love does it good, indeed!</p> <p>Bbmaj7<br /> And when I go away<br /> ................................................ Am7<br /> I know my heart can stay with my love<br /> ...................D9<br /> It?s understood<br /> .................................Gm7<br /> It's in the hands of my love</p> <p>.........Am7....... Bbmaj7.... Dm6(B)<br /> And my love does it good<br /> ............ F..................... Gm7<br /> Wo wo-wo wo, wo wo-wo wo,<br /> Bb6......................F<br /> My love does it good</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> acoustic guitar Acoustic Nation Bruno Mars Extreme Jason Mraz Joe Cocker John Lennon Maroon 5 Paramore Passenger Paul McCartney The Beatles Lessons Blogs Wed, 12 Feb 2014 06:09:22 +0000 Laura B. Whitmore 20474 at