Thursday, 30 April 2009

New George Harrison CD June 16th


EMI/Capitol has revealed the tracks on the forthcoming "best of" George Harrison CD, Let It Roll
1. Got My Mind Set On You
2. Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)
3. The Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)
4. My Sweet Lord
5. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Live - Concert For Bangladesh Soundtrack)
6. All Things Must Pass
7. Any Road
8. This Is Love
9. All Those Years Ago
10. Marwa Blues
11. What Is Life
12. Rising Sun
13. When We Was Fab
14. Something (Live - Concert For Bangladesh Soundtrack)
15. Blow Away
16. Cheer Down
17. Here Comes The Sun (Live - Concert For Bangladesh Soundtrack)
18. I Don't Want To Do It
19. Isn't It A Pity

Gee, I don't know. It's cool that they found a space for "I Don't Want To Do It", but there are too many good songs missing here. Where are Bangla Desh, You, This Song, Crackerbox Palace, Dark Horse, This Guitar (Can't Keep From Crying), Ding dong ding dong, Sue Me Sue You Blues etc etc? Looks like we still need the old "Best of George Harrison" for Bangla Desh etc. and "The Best of Dark Horse" for Cockamamie Business and Poor Little Girl. And we were thinking EMI/Capitol may have brought us a CD with rarities like Ride Rajbun, I Don't Care Anymore, the remastered Save The World, the Platinum Weird This Guitar and stuff. I guess as fans we are disappointed, but this release is of course aimed at the general public. My bet's they're gonna miss Bangla Desh too.
However, Tower Records in Japan has a slightly different track listing on their site, which may mean there are differences, depending which country's edition you'll be getting. The first four tracks are the same, but then there's:
5. This Song (instead of While My Guitar Gently Weeps)
6. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (instead of All Things Must Pass)
Tracks 7 through 9 are the same.
10. What Is Life (instead of Marwa Blues)
11. Rising Sun (instead of What Is Life)
12. When We Was Fab (instead of Rising Sun)
13. Something (instead of When We Was Fab)
14. Blow Away (instead of Something)
15. Cheer Down (instead of Blow Away)
16. Here Comes the Sun (instead of Cheer Down)
17. I Don't Want to Do It (instead of Here Comes the Sun)
18. All Things Must Pass (instead of I Don't Want to Do It)
Track 19 is the same.
Hey Jude danish 45
This 1968 Hey Jude/Revolution 45 from Denmark used the same picture of George as on the new CD release.


The new CD will be available one day early in the UK, June 15th, and probably even earlier in Germany (as usual).

Monday, 27 April 2009

The Roy Orbison Tour

Advertisement for the Beatles Orbison tour
After the Tommy Roe/Chris Montez tour the Beatles played individual concerts in England, riding high on their hit album, Please Please Me. This does not usually count as a separate tour, but there are collectable tour programmes from these dates. From April 4-27 1963 they played in Stowe, London, Buxton, Portsmouth, London again, Birkenhead, Middleton, Liverpool (the Cavern), Tenbury Wells, Luton, London (Royal Albert Hall), Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington, Wembley (NME Poll Winners Concert), London again, Southport, London again, Croydon, Shrewsbury, Northwich, Nelson, Sunderland, Chester and Norwich.
April 8th John became a dad for the first time when his wife Cynthia gave birth to son John Charles Julian Lennon. John managed to visit the mother and child before the concert in Birkenhead April 10, and told that he was going on holiday to Barcelona with Brian Epstein. At the time Cynthia and Julian were living in the house of John's aunt Mimi. April 11. saw the release of the single From Me To You / Thank You Girl, and on April 13th they were on a TV show on the BBC, "the 625 Show", where they performed the two new songs, as well as "Please Please Me". This evening The Beatles met Cliff Richard for the first time at a private party in the home of The Shadows member Bruce Welsh.
The day after they mimed to "From Me To You" for Thank Your Lucky Stars, and visited the Crawdaddy Club in the evening to see The Rolling Stones, all four Beatles arrived dressed in long suede jackets.
April 16th they mimed their new single hit, this time for the Granada TV program "Scene at 6.30", while the BBC show "The 625 Show" was on simultaneously. After the concert in Royal Albert Hall on April 18th Paul was introduced to Jane Asher. It may be surprising that the Beatles played the NME Poll Winners concert April 21st 1963, as they had not won anything, but they were so well known for their discs now that they were invited to play. They performed "Please Please Me", "From Me To You", "Twist And Shout" and "Long Tall Sally" in front of an audience of 8-10 000, and the reporters believed that the Beatles stole the show from the more established award-winning artists Cliff Richard and The Shadows who went on stage after them to close the show.
On April 28th it's finally a 12-day vacation for our heroes, John and Brian Epstein go to Barcelona, Spain while George, Paul and Ringo go to Klaus Voorman's family's summer house in Santa Cruz, Tenerife.
After the holidays, the boys meet up again and continue to play individual concerts from May 9th until May 17th, only interrupted by a couple more TV recordings.
May 17th, the day before the tourMay 17th, the day before the tour

And so, the stage is set for the Roy Orbison Tour:

May 18 Adelphi, Slough
May 19 Gaumont, Hanley
May 20 Gaumont, Southampton
May 22 Gaumont, Ipswich
May 23 Odeon, Nottingham
May 24 Granada, Walthamstow
May 25 City Hall, Sheffield
May 26 Empire, Liverpool
May 27 Capitol, Cardiff
May 28 Gaumont, Worcester
May 29 Rialto, York
May 30 Odeon, Manchester
May 31 Odeon, Southend-on-Sea
June 1 Granada, Tooting
June 2 Hippodrome, Brighton
June 3 Granada, Woolwich
June 4 Town Hall, Birmingham
June 5 Odeon, Leeds
June 7 Odeon, Glasgow
June 8 City Hall, Newcastle Upon Tyne
June 9 King George's Hall, Blackburn
The castAlso on this tour were Gerry and the Pacemakers, David Marsh, Louise Corder, Tony Marsh, Terry Young Six, Erkey Grant and Ian Crawford.

Orbison had a great influence on contemporary artists as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. The Beatles were fans of Roy, and as early as the very first radio program they participated in, Teenagers Turn, recorded on March 8 1962 with Pete Best on drums, the group performed the song "Dream Baby" with Paul on vocals. The song was a brand new single with Roy, released only a month before The Beatles did their version of it. In 1960 the song "Down The Line" (Orbison-Price) was part of The Beatles repertoire. John Lennon mentioned Orbison as the source of inspiration for both "Please Please Me" and "(Just Like) Starting Over", and Roy was his all-time favorite singer.
During the UK tour of 1963, Orbison encouraged The Beatles to come to the States. When they later were on their first U.S. tour in the summer of 1964 they tried to get Orbison as a support act again, but he had other engagements. In 1965 Orbison was touring as support to the Rolling Stones in Australia. He did it so well that the Rolling Stones tried to get him removed from the tour, because he was such a tough act to follow.
Unlike many of the artists that came before the British invasion, Orbison continued to have hits. His single, "Oh, Pretty Woman" in 1964 marked the end of The Beatles' stranglehold on the Billboard Top 10, when it went to No. 1 both there and in the UK. The album sold more copies in it's first ten days than any other single at this time, and eventually sold more than seven million copies.

These photos are from Roy Orbison's birthday party in 1965 at the "La Dolce Vita" restaurant in Soho, London

On the Roy Orbison tour The Beatles performed these songs: "Some Other Guy", "Do You Want To Know A Secret", "Love Me Do", "From Me To You", "Please Please Me", "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Twist And Shout ".
The tour programme
Welcome to the middle of the programme
On The Beatles tour in 1963, Roy was the main artist for a while, before the Beatles took over the closing spot. John Lennon later claimed that he had joked to Orbison that the Beatles were tiring of opening for him so Orbison agreed to switch, but the audience greeted Orbison with such enthusiasm that the Beatles became concerned that they would not get to perform, and called out to him from backstage, "Yankee, go home."
Spencer Leigh cites Roy Orbison:
Roy Orbison had no sooner arrived than he was confronted by Brian Epstein and John Lennon. "Brian said, ‘Who should close the show?’, and John said, ‘You’re getting all the money, so why don’t we close it?’ I don’t know whether that was true or not, whether I was getting that much more than they were. I certainly wasn’t getting that much - and the tour had sold out in one afternoon."
Roy later said that he was paid twice the amount The Beatles were getting, and he also recalled that he had mostly been singing ballads on that tour, while The Beatles played more up-tempo numbers.

Leigh also attended the Liverpool Empire stop of the tour: "I remember the cries for the Beatles as Orbison stepped out on stage. I wondered how he could cope with it, but he simply whispered, "A candy-coloured clown they call the Sandman" and he was away. The audience loved him and forgot the Beatles for thirty minutes. Roy Orbison: "I remember Paul and John grabbing me by my arms and not letting me go back to take my curtain call. The audience was yelling, ‘We want Roy, we want Roy,’ and there I was, being held captive by the Beatles who were saying, ‘Yankee, go home.’ We had a great time."
This was six weeks after The Beatles last appearance in Liverpool, and their visits to the hometown would soon become rarer and rarer as they had outgrown the city.

Roy Orbison had his regular glasses in the tour programme

One of Roy Orbison's trade marks are the dark glasses, and this came to be during the tour with The Beatles. Roy was farsighted and needed glasses for this. He had two pairs, one with regular glass and a pair of prescription sunglasses. During a flight to Alabama he left the regular glasses on the plane and had to go on stage that night wearing his sunglasses instead. When he travelled to England to tour with the Beatles, he still hadn't gotten new regular glasses, and went on stage each night wearing the dark sunglasses. Photos from the tour ended up in newspapers and his management thought this was a great look, so from then on Orbison always appeared in public wearing his dark glasses.
An eyewitness report talks about Orbison's set:
"I am sorry to say that Orbison completely overshadowed the Beatles. Orbison lacked charisma and was one of the few rock stars that you never wanted to be. He stood in the middle of the stage with his guitar and sang such songs such as Only the Lonely, Running Scared, Love Hurts and Crying. It was magical. The quality of his voice was truly amazing. So was his ability to convey raw emotion. At that time I had never experienced a broken love affair. Orbison obviously had and was able to communicate that to his audience. It was like reading a great book. I was taken into a world I knew nothing about."
Actual memories from those concerts are hazy, unless the performance has the impact Roy's act seemed to have on our previous eyewitness. Here's word from a fan of the Beatles: I saw the Beatles on their first tour with Gerry and the Pacemakers and the great Roy Orbison. 'See' is the operative word as I didn't hear much for all the screaming! I remained a fan throughout their carreers. As I grew up, so did their music and that is what kept their fan base.
Here's another: I saw the Beatles live only once - in Blackburn as the main support to Roy Orbison! In those days, George was the only one with any real skill on his instrument. As we know, Blackburn was the last gig on the tour, and this audience member still remembers them as the support act. Strange.
Roy Orbison also brought out the competitive instinct of Lennon and McCartney, because he was a songwriter, and used to sit in the back seat of the tour bus with his guitar, testing out new songs that were written on the way, one of them was "Oh Pretty Woman". Paul and John responded by trying to make even better songs. Paul talked to swedish reporter Klas Burling about writing "She Loves You":
"There's story to this one, how we wrote it. We were on tour with Roy Orbison, and Gerry and the Pacemakers. And we were in Newcastle, up north of England, and we were in a hotel room. We had about three days left in which to write a song. We had a recording date set for three days from this date. So we went to the hotel and we booked in a room, and we just decided that we have to write a song very quickly. So we sat down, no ideas came for a bit. But eventually we got an idea. 'She Loves You' came, you know. It was just lucky."

In 1988, Paul McCartney also recalled that the words to "All My Loving" were written on the bus during the Orbison tour.
Collage BirminghamI haven't found any pictures of The Beatles as a band, playing on stage during the Roy Orbison tour, but this collage has been put toghether from individual portraits of them playing at the Town Hall in Birmingham on June the 4th. The photographer is unknown.

The Beatles and Roy Orbison were to perform one more time on the same stage when both acts played at the 1966 NME Poll Winners' Concert. Orbison remained friends with The Beatles, especially George and John, and Roy was to join George Harrison's 80's group, The Traveling Wilburys.

The Roy Orbison lookalike and soundalike, Barry Steele, and the Beatles cover band "The Complete Beatles" have been touring the UK with a "Roy Orbison and The Beatles: Live in Concert" show for a couple of years now.

Friday, 24 April 2009

The story of a photo


The Beatles after a hard day's night at the Indra Club

This picture was taken between August 17. and October 3. at the Indra Club, where the Beatles played the first time they came to Hamburg. It was probably taken one of the first nights, to advertise the band by having a photo in the door of the club. There are 4 more pictures of the band taken at probably the same occasion (wearing the same clothes) but this is the one which looks the most like a publicity still. Notice the early instruments, John with his Höfner Club 40 (he was to buy his Rickenbacker 325 during this visit), George and his trusty Resonet Futurama (hear it on 'Cry For A Shadow'), Paul has his brand new Rosetti Solid 7 plugged into his little green Elpico amp and Stu is of course playing his Höfner 333. All the guitarists are fingering chords - all except Stu. Looks like Lennon has been using a towel (behind him, by the chair) to dry off most of the sweat, but his face and hair still looks moist. Pete Best joined the band just before they left for Hamburg, and wasn't a member when they had their stage jackets made.

The Indra Club (photo from the 50's)The Indra Club (photo from the 50's)

The Indra Club (photo from 2006)The Indra Club (photo from 2006)

The Beatles at the Indra 1The Beatles at the Indra 2
The remaining 4 photos of The Beatles wearing these jackets at the Indra Club

According to George, the jackets they were wearing here were lilac, and according to Paul they had been sown by his next-door neighbour in Forthlin Road, Mr Richards, a tailor by trade. The members of the band had all shown up at Paul's place to be measured up for the jackets. After only a couple of weeks playing at the damp Indra however, the outfits were all but ruined and they had to shop for new stage suits. The remaining photos of the Beatles taken at the Indra Club depict the Beatles wearing leather outfits.
How many of the original copies of this photo that still exist is not known, but I know about four.

THE COLLECTOR'S ITEM

Often when you find this photo on the internet for sale, you can see that it is the same copy. It circulates among collectors and at the time I wrote this article it was up for auction by the company "It's Only Rock'n'Roll".

The company informed us that on the reverse is written in bold green ink "The Beatles...Stew, Paul McCartny, Pete Best, George Harrison, Johnny Lennon, with a "The Beatles" doodle and embellishments. 5.5" x 3.5" with considerable creasing, tape marks.
Collector's itemThe copy circulating among collectors. Click picture to view original.
It looks a bit better when rendered in black and white, click here for a bigger version.

GEORGE'S COPY

George's copy of the same photo is depicted on pages 46-47 in the Beatles' Anthology book, but his copy is a bit worse for wear than the previous one. Considering that they still used it in the book, one could possibly conclude that either Paul hasn't got his copy of the photo, or his may be in an even sorrier state than George's. Maybe Yoko has got John's copy, but she can't have made it available to the makers of the Anthology book. In addition to these, peradventure Stu's copy is in the possession of his family?

PETE'S COPY

Pete Best seems to have a very decent copy of this photograph, and you can buy a copy from his website, petebest.com.
He has made use of the photo in some of his books, but it has always been cropped slightly, when compared with George's and the Collector's item one.

Pete Best's copy
This is Pete's copy of the photo

INDRA'S COPY

The Indra Club in Hamburg is still in existence, and has a website. Here you can also find what looks like a nice copy of this photo.
The Indra's copyThis copy is depicted on the Indra Club website.

In December 2005 I spent several hours painstakingly restoring a copy of this photo. I printed out and framed two of them and one is now hanging on my wall, the other one was given away to a friend as a Christmas gift.
Black and white restoration

Sepia version

I also took the time to do a colourisation job, and the colourised photo was framed and presented to Rory Best, Pete's brother, at the Casbah Club in Liverpool in 2008.

Colourised version, I gave Pete a blue tie

Colourised version 2 was a bit more subdued, and Pete was given a red tie

THE INDRA CLUB

The Indra Club was opened by Bruno Koschmider in 1950. The Beatles played there for the first time on August 17th, 1960 and stayed there as the resident band for 48 nights, before they upgraded to the more popular Kaiserkeller, further down the street. Next door to the Indra Club was another club, called the Blockhütte. In the Blockhütte, the musicians from the Star Club (which opened in the spring of 1962) used to meet for drinks with colleagues and fans, often until the early morning hours. The Blockhütte building was torn down in 1982, and the Indra Club changed it's name to the Blockhütte for a while. This didn't prove very successful, and the club took back it's original name.
In September 2006 I spent a working week in Hamburg, and one night I went to the Indra Club. Although I had been to Hamburg several times earlier, this was the first time that the Indra Club was actually open for business while I was there. I went into the club, finding a rather worn-down but cozy club. The walls were decorated with a few photos of sixties and seventies bands, quite a few of them were photos of the Beatles at the Top Ten Club, taken down the road at the Reeperbahn. Several young german boys and girls aged around their twenties seemed to have made the club their hangout, and a jazz band was playing. After a few beers and a double Havana Club I decided to join the band, there was a vacancy on congas that night. A friend of mine took some photos of the occasion, so I now have proof that I too, was a musician playing at the Indra!

Roger at the Indra 1
Roger at the Indra 2Plying the congas at the Indra Club

Monday, 20 April 2009

Paul in Vegas


No surprises in the set list for Paul McCartney's concert in Las Vegas last night. A few songs were juggled about, making Jet yet again find it's usual spot as song number two on the night, a spot which it has occupied for many many years. Honey Hush was reportedly not played (unlike at Coachella), but the two Fireman songs remained, as did Paperback Writer. The Rock Band animated sequences shown at Coachella behind the band at "Got To Get You Into My Life" showed up again, this time acknowledged by Paul McCartney. The concert was filmed by a company hired by McCartney. Perhaps another Blu-Ray disc is forthcoming? Full set list at our updated solo gig guide.

Yesterday - close to the stage

Saturday, 18 April 2009

One Hand Clapping Revisited



A preview clip from the new 'Yellow Cow Records' DVD release of 'One Hand Clapping';

Paul McCartney & Wings

One Hand Clapping (From A Different Angle) NTSC DVD

'Dual Audio 35th Anniversary Collectors' Edition'

98 minutes, dual audio, remastered.

This is far and away the best version of 'One Hand Clapping' you will find anywhere.

This DVD features a previously circulated 35mm transfer of the film with ten of the 17 tracks remastered in stereo and the voice-over commentary removed. Peeling away the chat and restoring Juniors Farm to the running order reveals a superb glimpse of a band at the peak of their powers.

Main Feature;

01 One Hand Clapping
02 Jet
03 Junior's Farm
04 Soily
05 C Moon/Little Woman Love
06 Maybe I'm Amazed
07 My Love
08 Bluebird
09 Piano Medley; Suicide / Let's Love / Sitting At The Piano / All Of You / I'll Give You A Ring
10 Band On The Run
11 Live And Let Die
12 1985
13 Baby Face

Bonus Feature;

Stereo Performance Edit

Easter Egg;

'This Is Your Life' - Edit of show from 6th Nov 1974 featuring Wings.

Pro shot .

For the purists the original mono soundtrack with voice-overs is also included (as audio channel 2), and there is also a bonus edit of just the available stereo musical performances.



With Band On The Run still riding high in the charts, Paul assembled a new lineup for Wings in 1974. He took the band to Nashville in June for a working holiday. The six-week stay resulted in the first new Wings single in several months; "Junior’s Farm/Sally G" was released in November. Wings also worked on several Cold Cuts that Paul stated would be issued after the next proper Wings LP. Pleased with the new lineup, Paul and Wings gathered at EMI’s Studio Two in August to rehearse and record old and new material. MPL videotaped the events with the intent of producing a Television special. Geoff Emerick recorded the sessions for possible commercial release. A tour was also under consideration. The sessions took place over four days in late August with almost forty hours of videotape shot. Directed by David Litchfield, the idea was to shoot on videotape and then edit and transfer the selected footage onto film. Frank Zappa’s film 200 Motels inspired this technique. The film was named One Hand Clapping, and is an interesting Wings documentary. The film takes the viewer right inside Studio 2 as Wings rehearse, record and share their thoughts. The film also gave each Wings member their own spotlight section; Paul’s being a rare piano medley that included several songs never heard before or since.
Let It Be style behind the scenes footage of the group at work and at play is also included, such as Geoff Britton performing a drum solo and practising karate, as well as Paul and Jimmy jamming a version of 'Billy, Don't Be A Hero'.
Joining Wings at the sessions are the orchestral arranger/conductor Del Newman, and the Liverpool saxophone player Howie Casey, a veteran of the Liverpool music scene who first teamed up with Paul when he played in Hamburg with The Beatles in the early Sixties. Following this session, Paul invited Howie to join the group on a more permanent basis and he later appeared on the Wings 1975/1976 and 1979 concert tours. In early 1975, during the Venus And Mars sessions, overdubs for the films finale "Baby Face" were recorded in New Orleans.

From the "easter egg" bonus feature.


In spite of the effort put into the project, One Hand Clapping remains unreleased to this day. The soundtrack to some of the film (and also to some outtakes not included in the finished film) leaked out on vinyl bootlegs, and the film itself later leaked out to video (VHS) collectors some time in the early nineties. It has subsequently also found an audience in the digital domain on DVD. The hitherto best representation of the film was released a few years ago as part of the 2 DVD Wings set "Lightspeed", released by the Picture Perfect bootleg label. That version was the debut of the special from a 35mm print of the film, all earlier versions were derived from a 16mm film print. We understand that the same 35mm film print is the source of this version, although this representation features audio enhancements synched in from the earlier stereo audio bootlegs.

Paul at Coachella


Songs: Jet / Drive My Car / Only Mama Knows / Flaming Pie / Got to Get You Into My Life / Let Me Roll It (with a coda of Purple Haze) / Honey Hush / Highway / The Long and Winding Road / My Love / Blackbird / Here Today / Dance Tonight / Calico Skies / Mrs. Vanderbilt / Eleanor Rigby / Sing the Changes / Band on the Run / Back in the U.S.S.R. / Something / I’ve Got a Feeling / Paperback Writer / A Day in the Life > Give Peace a Chance / Let It Be / Live and Let Die / Hey Jude / Birthday / Can’t Buy Me Love / Lady Madonna / Yesterday / Helter Skelter / Get Back / Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) > The End.
The two Fireman songs, "Highway" and "Sing The Changes" made their live debut with this concert. "Honey Hush" was a surprise from the 1999 concerts, and "Paperback Writer" reappeared from the 1993 set lists.

Highway made it's live debut at this concert.


The Coachella gig was webcast by AT&T, although for many, the webstream stopped after "Here Today".
The crowd at Coachella was friendly, and Paul seemed to get a great reception. The other acts that were appearing at other stages at the same time as Paul, attracted minor audiences. Around 45 000 elected to see Paul, and most of them had to look at the giant screens on both sides of the stage to get a good view. During "Got To Get You Into My Life", film footage from "The Beatles:Rockband" appeared to be shown on the backdrop, according to at least one fan.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Rock Band Bundle


From GameStop: "We've just learned that the Limited Edition Premium Bundle will include The Beatles: Rock Band software; a Höfner Bass controller; The Beatles-inspired and Ludwig-branded Rock Band drums with classic pearl finish, a metal kick pedal and a vintage replica drumhead; plus a microphone with stand, as well as additional special content."
Limited Edition Premium Bundle will be priced at around $250.

George gets a star and an album

George Harrison got his own Walk-Of-Fame star outside the Capitol Records building today, and Paul McCartney was present, to dust off some invisible dust from his mate's star. George's widow Olivia Harrison was also there, together with their son, Dhani, as well as a few of George's friends from the industry, actor Tom Hanks, two Traveling Wilburys: Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, and a Rutle! Eric Idle of Monty Python fame was a good friend of George, and played several characters in the Beatles spoof, among them Dirk McQuickly, the Rutles equivalent of The Beatles' Paul McCartney.
No, those are not two Paul's that's Dirk and Paul! And Olivia, Tom Hanks and Dhani.

Capitol / EMI used the occasion to announce a forthcoming album of George's songs, "Let It Roll: Songs By George Harrison", due out June 16th. the new title will feature digitally remastered tracks in deluxe packaging, including an extensive booklet featuring previously unseen and rare photos. The collection will also be available for download from all major digital service providers.

Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison is the first release that will span his entire solo recording career, including the hit singles "My Sweet Lord," "Isn't It A Pity," "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)," and the surprise 1987 Billboard #1 hit "Got My Mind Set On You." Like his seventies collection, "The Best of George Harrison", the new title will also feature his best known Beatles compositions, but only three of them, "Something," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and "Here Comes The Sun". These will not be the versions recorded by the Beatles, but concert versions from the Concert For Bangladesh benefit at Madison Square Garden back in 1971. The complete track list will be announced later.
George Harrison left Capitol / EMI in the mid-seventies and released his later albums on his own Dark Horse Records label, distributed by A&M Records and later Warner. Shortly before his death, George reverted to the old Beatles label, Parlophone Records, who released his posthumous studio album, "Brainwashed". We miss George a lot.

Change Begins Within on Piccadilly Circus

Hot on the heels of the home made CD-R from Nowhere Man Records which we recommended the other day, comes the announcement of another representation of the same concert, this time from the Japanese bootleg label Piccadilly Circus. This is said to be a hitherto uncirculated audience recording in high quality and is due out April 23. I've come to expect a bonus DVD with these Piccadilly Circus records, but compiling the video from the numerous YouTube recordings is a heavy job, and perhaps time is of importance?

Tracklist

DISC ONE

MOBY
01. Natural Blues (with BETTYE LAVETTE)
02. We Are All Made Of Stars (with TM KIDS CHOIR)

BETTYE LAVETTE
03. As Close As I'll Get To Heaven (with MOBY)

SHERYL CROW
04. Riverwide
05. My Sweet Lord (with BEN HARPER)

EDDIE VEDDER
06. Guaranteed
07. Rise
08. Arc

BEN HARPER
09. Indifference (with EDDIE VEDDER)
10. Fly One Time
11. Under Pressure (with EDDIE VEDDER)

DONOVAN
12. Hurdy Gurdy Man (with JIM JAMES)
13. Wear Your Love Like Heaven (with JIM JAMES)
14. Season Of The Witch (with SHERYL CROW and MOBY)
15. Isle of Islay (with PAUL HORN)

PAUL HORN
16. Meditation


DISC TWO

RINGO STARR
01. It Don't Come Easy (with BEN HARPER)
02. Boys
03. Yellow Submarine (with SHERYL CROW and EDDIE VEDDER)

PAUL McCARTNEY
04. Drive My Car
05. Jet
06. Got to Get You Into My Life
07. Let It Be
08. Lady Madonna
09. Blackbird
10. Here Today
11. Band on the Run
12. Can't Buy Me Love

PAUL McCARTNEY and RINGO STARR
13. With a Little Help From My Friends
14. Cosmically Conscious (with ALL PERFORMERS)
15. I Saw Her Standing There (with ALL PERFORMERS)

The Piccadilly Circus records are mainly available in Japan, but some copies tend to find their way to collectors worldwide.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Change begins within - film compilation


Contains part of the press conference, as well as clips (complete and incomplete) of the following songs: My Sweet Lord (Sheryl Crow), It Don't Come Easy, Boys, Yellow Submarine (Ringo), Drive My Car, Got To Get You Into My Life, Let It Be, Lady Madonna, Blackbird, Here Today, Band On The Run, Can't Buy Me Love (Paul), With A Little Help From My Friends, Cosmically Conscious, I Saw Her Standing There (Paul and Ringo). The pre-concert film of The Beatles and fans / The Beatles in India are included.
50 minutes. Available in the neighbourhood!

More remaster rumours

Word about stuff compiled for the audio part of some of the mini-documentaries on the 09/09/09 remasters:
Sgt Pepper: Outtakes and studio chat excerpts from sessions, includes a 10 minute remix/remaster of "Carnival Of Light".
Revolver: an unreleased instrumental rehearsal of "Dr Robert" and an acoustic guitar take of George's "Love You To" along with studio talk from sessions.
Magical Mystery Tour: will be the dullest documentary audio-wise, just "highlights" from mostly mellotron instrumental jams from the sessions. Fortunately, Apple has a lot of film outtakes from the TV-movie.
Other info: 5.1 mixes of the remasters of all the albums are being held over till 2012 for the 50th anniversary, so it can be determined if the Blu-ray discs will become the industry standard for surround sound audio releases.
These are tantalizing "leaks", especially if "Carnival of Lights" make it all the way through to the finished product. At least now we know it's part of the package in the planning stages, and for Beatles aficionados, the inclusion of this piece of sound will make the new remasters a must-have. I promise you: there will be a steady stream of rumours coming our way right up to the release date. At some point I'm sure Apple will be sending out promo samplers, and maybe some compilation of stuff from the mini-documentaries on their official YouTube channel and MySpace profile.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Paul & Ringo at Radio City CD

A little treat from our friendly neighbourhood homebrew company, Nowhere Man Records, this. Collected from dozens of youtube-clips and edited together to make a complete audience recording of the most Beatle-relevant portions of the recent "Concert for TM" gig over at Radio City Music Hall in New York, this CD should provide you with a great souvenir from this event, whether you were there, or wish you were. At least until some major company decides either to broadcast it or to release a concert DVD.
"Ladies And Gentlemen...Billy Shears!" by The Twotles is available for download on one of our neighbourhood blogs.
After this release, Nowhere Man Records have already released another fine CD: "Sexy Sadie's Summer School", a BBC documentary about The Beatles In Bangor, Wales.

Nowhere Man Records

Friday, 10 April 2009

The Remasters - First reports


The Blue Box: Still holds up

Some lossless tracks from the new Remastered CD series of The Beatles have been made available to people in the industry. The tracks in question are from the Sgt Pepper album. One person has been comparing the new remastered version to the fan made vinyl rip from the Blue box by Dr Ebbett's. Here are his conclusions:
"I've been doing some A/B/C comparisons and have found that the DESS Blue Box Pepper is rather close indeed to the clarity of the '09 Remaster... if one were to clean off the inherent vinyl noise. In fact, the DESS version probably sounds warmer than the new release. [There's also, however, an odd stereo separation issue.] Of course, that lands us squarely into the "which do YOUR ears prefer: vinyl or CD" debate and as we all know, there's no right answer to that one. At least, now we have a GOOD CD version to choose from. And, as I've said before, the good Doctor has nothing to be ashamed of: the Blue Box release holds up pretty well in the face of unfairly stiff competition."
And, from the same person:
"I'm listening to the samples again. Right now. As I'm typing this."
"Look: this is the best (stereo) copy of the Pepper album I've ever heard (a portion of). It's the UHQR on steroids. Another shining example: Paul's "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" at the beginning of Lovely Rita is just... ethereal. It breathes. It's ALIVE. It's not like you're standing in the studio with him, but only because if you were his voice would be coming from straight in front of you and not transitioning across your ears like he were floating by on a cloud."
"There are voices and sounds that were buried in the mix and inaudible during A Day In The Life that I can now hear clear as day."

The Mono black box The Mono red box
The vinyl mono box was available in black or red

Thursday, 9 April 2009

New Past Masters tracklist


© Apple Corps Ltd.
The new remastered Past Masters will look a little different than the earlier Past Masters Vol. 1 & 2 from 1988. Here are the tracks as described by the official Beatles store:

Each of the CDs is packaged with replicated original UK album art, including expanded booklets containing original and newly written liner notes and rare photos. Within each CD's new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes.

The albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London. The result of this painstaking process is the highest fidelity the catalogue has seen since its original release.

Past Masters 1 & 2 are now combined as one title.

Tracklisting

1. Love Me Do
2. From Me To You
3. Thank You Girl
4. She Loves You
5. I'll Get You
6. I Want To Hold Your Hand
7. This Boy
8. Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand
9. Sie Liebt Dich
10. Day Tripper
11. We Can Work It Out
12. Paperback Writer
13. Rain
14. Lady Madonna
15. Inner Light
16. Hey Jude
17. Revolution
18. Get Back
19. Don't Let Me Down
20. Ballad Of John And Yoko
21. Old Brown Shoe
22. Across The Universe
23. Let It Be
24. You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

Curiouser and curiouser..
Source: The Official Beatles Store

UPDATE! Amazon.com lists the Past Masters Collection thus:

Disc: 1
1. Love Me Do (Single Version)
2. From Me To You
3. Thank You Girl
4. She Loves You
5. I'll Get You
6. I Want To Hold Your Hand
7. This Boy
8. Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand (I Want To Hold Your Hand)
9. Sie Liebt Dich (She Loves You)
10. Long Tall Sally
11. I Call Your Name
12. Slow Down
13. Matchbox
14. I Feel Fine
15. She's a Woman
16. Bad Boy
17. Yes It Is
18. I'm Down
Disc: 2
1. Day Tripper
2. We Can Work It Out
3. Paperback Writer
4. Rain
5. Lady Madonna
6. The Inner Light
7. Hey Jude
8. Revolution
9. Get Back
10. Don't Let Me Down
11. The Ballad Of John And Yoko
12. Old Brown Shoe
13. Across The Universe
14. Let It Be
15. You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

So, no difference there.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Beatles priced lower


Amazon.co.uk who blew the whistle on The Beatles remastered CD's two days ago by putting the individual CD's up on their site for pre-ordering has today priced down the CD's. The price was set at £11.69 for single and £17.59 for double CD's ("White album" and Past Masters), but has now been priced at £8.98 for single CD's and £15.98 for the double ones.
Meanwhile, fans of the way The Beatles songs were mixed on Yellow Submarine Songtrack and the Anthology DVD's are frustrated by the fact that the new releases are merely remasters of the old familiar sound picture of the 1960's and not remixed from the original studio multitracks, like they did for those two releases. The stereo mixes of the sixties were made while stereo was still an experiment, and the stereo mixing sessions were never attended by The Beatles themselves, or even George Martin. The Beatles latter day chief engineer Geoff Emerick sticks by the mono mixes, those were the ones they put a lot of care and work into. The stereo mixes of the sixties have a lot of what today's ears find ridiculous, like vocals in one speaker and instruments in another. Yellow Submarine Songtrack proved that by mixing the multitracks like one would have done today, better sounding songs are the results.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The Beatles CD Remasters


Finally retired - the 1987-88 editions of The Beatles CD's.
© Apple Corps Ltd.


This just in: all the Beatles albums will be released in remastered editions September 9th, same day as The Beatles Rock Band video game is released by Harmonix. These are the original albums included:
- Please Please Me
- With The Beatles
- A Hard Day's Night
- Beatles For Sale
- Help!
- Rubber Soul
- Revolver
- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
- Magical Mystery Tour
- The Beatles (aka White album)
- Yellow Submarine
- Abbey Road
- Let It Be
- Past Masters Vol 1 & 2 (now as a double CD)


The new remaster of Please Please Me. Click on the cover to go to the pre-order site.
© Apple Corps Ltd.

You heard it first here.
WogBlog understands that the recently announced Beatles Box of Vision to be released in August has been built with the new remastered CD's and booklets in mind, although they were unable to announce this before today's official statement by The Beatles and Apple.

The Beatles has released this official statement:


Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music are delighted to announce the release of the original Beatles catalogue, which has been digitally re-mastered for the first time, for worldwide CD release on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 (9-9-09), the same date as the release of the widely anticipated "The Beatles: Rock Band" video game. Each of the CDs is packaged with replicated original UK album art, including expanded booklets containing original and newly written liner notes and rare photos. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. On the same date, two new Beatles boxed CD collections will also be released.

The albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London over a four year period utilising state of the art recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The result of this painstaking process is the highest fidelity the catalogue has seen since its original release.

The collection comprises all 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in the UK, and 'Magical Mystery Tour,' which became part of The Beatles' core catalogue when the CDs were first released in 1987. In addition, the collections 'Past Masters Vol. I and II' are now combined as one title, for a total of 14 titles over 16 discs. This will mark the first time that the first four Beatles albums will be available in stereo in their entirety on compact disc. These 14 albums, along with a DVD collection of the documentaries, will also be available for purchase together in a stereo boxed set.

© Apple Corps Ltd.

Within each CD's new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes. With the exception of the 'Past Masters' set, newly produced mini-documentaries on the making of each album, directed by Bob Smeaton, are included as QuickTime files on each album. The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-heard studio chat from The Beatles, offering a unique and very personal insight into the studio atmosphere.

A second boxed set has been created with the collector in mind. 'The Beatles in Mono' gathers together, in one place, all of the Beatles recordings that were mixed for a mono release. It will contain 10 of the albums with their original mono mixes, plus two further discs of mono masters (covering similar ground to the stereo tracks on 'Past Masters'). As an added bonus, the mono "Help!" and "Rubber Soul" discs also include the original 1965 stereo mixes, which have not been previously released on CD. These albums will be packaged in mini-vinyl CD replicas of the original sleeves with all original inserts and label designs retained.

Discussions regarding the digital distribution of the catalogue will continue. There is no further information available at this time.

The Stereo Albums (available individually and collected in a stereo boxed set)
The stereo albums have been remastered by Guy Massey, Steve Rooke, Sam Okell with Paul Hicks and Sean Magee
All CD packages contain original vinyl artwork and liner notes
Extensive archival photos
Additional historical notes by Kevin Howlett and Mike Heatley
Additional recording notes by Allan Rouse and Kevin Howlett

* = CD includes QuickTime mini-doc about the album

Please Please Me* (CD debut in stereo)
With The Beatles* (CD debut in stereo)
A Hard Day's Night* (CD debut in stereo)
Beatles For Sale* (CD debut in stereo)
Help!*
Rubber Soul*
Revolver*
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band* (also includes 1987 notes, updated, and new intro by Paul McCartney)
Magical Mystery Tour*
The Beatles*
Yellow Submarine* (also includes original US liner notes)
Abbey Road*
Let It Be*
Past Masters (contains new liner notes written by Kevin Howlett)

‘The Beatles in Mono’ (boxed set only)
The mono albums have been remastered by Paul Hicks, Sean Magee with Guy Massey and Steve Rooke
Presented together in box with an essay written by Kevin Howlett
+ = mono mix CD debut

Please Please Me
With The Beatles
A Hard Day's Night
Beatles For Sale
Help! (CD also includes original 1965 stereo mix)+
Rubber Soul (CD also include original 1965 stereo mix)+
Revolver+
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band+
Magical Mystery Tour+
The Beatles+
Mono Masters


© Apple Corps Ltd.

Re-mastering the Beatles catalogue

The re-mastering process commenced with an extensive period conducting tests before finally copying the analogue master tapes into the digital medium. When this was completed, the transfer was achieved using a Pro Tools workstation operating at 24 bit 192 kHz resolution via a Prism A-D converter. Transferring was a lengthy procedure done a track at a time. Although EMI tape does not suffer the oxide loss associated with some later analogue tapes, there was nevertheless a slight build up of dust, which was removed from the tape machine heads between each title.

From the onset, considerable thought was given to what audio restorative processes were going to be allowed. It was agreed that electrical clicks, microphone vocal pops, excessive sibilance and bad edits should be improved where possible, so long as it didn’t impact on the original integrity of the songs.

In addition, de-noising technology, which is often associated with re-mastering, was to be used, but subtly and sparingly. Eventually, less than five of the 525 minutes of Beatles music was subjected to this process. Finally, as is common with today’s music, overall limiting - to increase the volume level of the CD - has been used, but on the stereo versions only. However, it was unanimously agreed that because of the importance of The Beatles’ music, limiting would be used moderately, so as to retain the original dynamics of the recordings.

When all of the albums had been transferred, each song was then listened to several times to locate any of the agreed imperfections. These were then addressed by Guy Massey, working with Audio Restoration engineer Simon Gibson.

Mastering could now take place, once the earliest vinyl pressings, along with the existing CDs, were loaded into Pro Tools, thus allowing comparisons to be made with the original master tapes during the equalization process. When an album had been completed, it was auditioned the next day in studio three – a room familiar to the engineers, as all of the recent Beatles mixing projects had taken place in there – and any further alteration of EQ could be addressed back in the mastering room. Following the initial satisfaction of Guy and Steve, Allan Rouse and Mike Heatley then checked each new re-master in yet another location and offered any further suggestions. This continued until all 13 albums were completed to the team’s satisfaction.

New Notes/Documentaries Team

Kevin Howlett
(Historical and Recording Notes)

Kevin Howlett’s career as an award-winning radio producer spans three decades. His music programmes for the BBC have included many documentaries about The Beatles, including 'The Beeb's Lost Beatles Tapes.' He received a Grammy nomination for his involvement with The Beatles’ album 'Live At The BBC' and, in 2003, produced the 'Fly On The Wall' bonus disc for 'Let It Be… Naked.'

Mike Heatley (Historical Notes)

Mike entered the music business via HMV Record Stores in 1970, transferring to EMI Records' International Division three years later. He eventually headed up that division in the early Eighties before joining the company's newly created Strategic Marketing Division in 1984. In 1988, he returned to International, where he undertook a number of catalogue marketing roles until he retired in December 2008.

During his career he worked with many of EMI's major artists, including Pink Floyd, Queen, Kate Bush and Iron Maiden. However, during the last 30 years he has formed a particularly strong relationship with Apple, and has been closely involved in the origination and promotion of the Beatles catalogue, besides solo releases from John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Bob Smeaton (Director, Mini-Documentaries)

Bob Smeaton was series director and writer on the Grammy award winning 'Beatles Anthology' TV series which aired in the UK and the USA in 1995. In 1998 he received his second Grammy for his ‘Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys’ documentary. In 2004 he gained his first feature film credit, as director on the feature documentary ‘Festival Express.' He subsequently went on to direct documentaries on many of the world's biggest music acts including The Who, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Elton John, Nirvana and the Spice Girls.

Julian Caiden (Editor, Mini-Documentaries)

Julian has worked with Bob Smeaton on numerous music documentaries including 'Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys' and the 'Classic Albums' series, featuring The Who, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Elton John and Nirvana among others. He has worked on documentary profiles from Richard Pryor to Dr. John to Sir Ian McKellen, Herbie Hancock and Damien Hirst and on live music shows including the New York Dolls and Club Tropicana.

The Abbey Road Team

Allan Rouse (Project Coordinator)

Allan joined EMI straight from school in 1971 at their Manchester Square head office, working as an assistant engineer in the demo studio. During this time he frequently worked with Norman (Hurricane) Smith, The Beatles’ first recording engineer.

In 1991, he had his first involvement with The Beatles, copy­ing all of their master tapes (mono, stereo, 4-track and 8-track) to digital tape as a safety backup. This was followed by four years working with Sir George Martin as assistant and project coordinator on the TV documentary 'The Making of Sgt. Pepper's' and the CDs 'Live at the BBC' and 'The Anthol­ogy.'

In 1997, MGM/UA were preparing to reissue the film 'Yellow Submarine' and, with the permission of Apple, asked that all of The Beatles’ music be mixed for the film in 5.1 surround and stereo. Allan requested the services of Abbey Road’s senior engineer Peter Cobbin and assistant Guy Massey and, along with them, produced the new mixes.

Two years later, he proposed an experimental stereo and surround mix of John Lennon's song 'Imagine' engineered by Peter Cobbin. Following lengthy consultations with Yoko Ono, the album 'Imagine' was re-mixed in stereo and the Grammy award-winning film 'Gimme Some Truth' in surround and new stereo. This led to a further five of John’s albums being re-mastered with new stereo mixes and the DVD release of 'Lennon Legend' being re-mixed in 5.1 surround and new stereo.

Further projects followed, including The Beatles ‘Anthol­ogy', 'The First US Visit' and ‘Help’ DVD and the albums ‘Let It Be…Naked’ and ‘Love’ along with George Harrison’s 'Concert for Bangladesh' DVD and album.
For a number of years now, Allan has worked exclusively on Beatles and related projects.

Guy Massey (Recording Engineer)

Guy joined Abbey Road in 1994, and five years later assisted on the surround remix for The Beatles film 'Yellow Submarine.' This led to The Beatles’ 'Anthology' DVD and later, along with Paul Hicks and Allan Rouse, they mixed and produced 'Let It Be… Naked.' In 2004 he left the studios to become freelance and has engineered The Divine Comedy: 'Victory for the Comic Muse,' Air Traffic: 'Fractured Life,' James Dean Bradfield: 'The Great Western' and Stephen Fretwell’s 'Magpie,' co-producing the last two. Since leaving, Guy is still a vital member of the team, and has been the senior engineer for the re-mastering project and was responsible for surround and new stereo mixes for the DVD release of 'Help!'

Steve Rooke (Mastering Engineer)

Steve joined Abbey Road in 1983 and is now the studio’s senior mastering engineer. He has been involved on all The Beatles’ projects since 1999. He has also been responsible for mastering releases by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

Paul Hicks (Recording Engineer)

Paul started at Abbey Road in 1994, and his first involvement with The Beatles was assisting engineer Geoff Emerick on the Anthology albums. This was followed by 'Yellow Submarine Songtrack,' 'Anthology' DVD and 'Let It Be… Naked.' Like Guy Massey, he has also become a freelance engineer and since leaving the studios he has been responsible for the surround mixing of Paul McCartney’s DVD 'The McCartney Years' and The Beatles' 'Love.' Paul has been in charge of the mono re-masters.

Sean Magee (Mastering Engineer)

Sean began working at Abbey Road in 1995 with a diploma in sound engineering. With a wealth of knowledge in analog and digital mastering, he has worked alongside Paul Hicks on the mono re-masters.

Sam Okell (Recording Engineer)

Sam’s first job as a member of the team was in 2006, assisting Paul Hicks on Paul McCartney’s DVD 'The McCartney Years,' and during that same year he was responsible for the re-mastering of George Harrison’s 'Living In The Material World' CD along with Steve Rooke. This led to him restoring the soundtrack to the Beatles film 'Help!' in surround and stereo, in addition to assisting Guy Massey with the song remixes.

Sam has re-mastered 'With The Beatles' and 'Let It Be.'

Simon Gibson (Audio Restoration Engineer)

Simon joined Abbey Road in 1990. He has progressed from mastering mostly classical recordings to include a much wider range of music, including pop and rock, with his specialized role as an audio restoration engineer. Apart from the re-mastering project, his other work includes George Harrison’s 'Living In The Material World,' John Lennon’s 'Lennon Legend,' The Beatles’ 'Love' and the 'Help!' DVD soundtrack.

Pre-order the new remasters