Move over, Ms L!

Hi all, wondering why you are looking at this jumbled up page? This is due to the fact that Facebook didn't like our url since it starts with wog, so we have been forced to move the blog. This was some time ago, and we have placed a script which would automatically send you to our new location. Obviously, this hasn't worked for all of you, since we have just finished moderating some of your comments which appeared on this site recently, and not on our new (and improved!) site. So what we're saying is head on over to our new site, and update your bookmarks!

Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy 2011

There are many Christmas songs but not so many New Year songs. Fortunately for us, George Harrison once made one. In this video clip for the song, Harrison is seen wearing some of his Beatles outfits, including his Sgt Pepper's uniform. He later wore it for one more music video, "When We Was Fab". I wish my blog readers a happy new year, it wil be the tenth since we lost George.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Paul honored in USA again

December 5th, President Obama honored 5 people, Oprah Winfrey, Merle Haggard, Jerry Herman, Bill T. Jones and Paul McCartney as the 2010 recipients of one of Americas greatest awards for the performing arts, the Kennedy Center Awards. Attendees of the star studded gala and tribute concert included Hilary Clinton, both Obamas, James Taylor, various governors, and more. The awards were musical, but also about charity work and morals of these performing artists. The Kennedy Center Awards Gala was broadcast in full with the concert yesterday on CBS. At McCartney's request, Steven Tyler performed the Abbey Road medley at the gala. "I got called up by Paul McCartney and he asked me to sing the last four songs of 'Abbey Road' so I said 'Umm OK.' (I'm) doing it," Tyler told American radio station 95.9 WATD-FM earlier. Here's the result, as broadcast by CBS yesterday.
The 41-year-old singer Gwen Stefani and "No Doubt" performed the Beatles songs "Hello Goodbye" and "Penny Lane" for Sir Paul, Dave Grohl and Norah Jones performed Sir Paul's solo track "Maybe I'm Amazed", while singer-songwriter James Taylor and gospel vocalist Mavis Staples closed the show with "Let It Be" and "Hey Jude", bringing Sir Paul and President Obama to their feet.

I believe the inclusion of "Maybe I'm Amazed" in this concert is what prompted Sir Paul to start performing this song at his own concerts again, starting with the gig at the Apollo Theatre in New York City nine days later. The song was a mainstay in McCartney's live repertoire ever since the first Wings concerts in 1972, but was dropped around five years ago.

Let it snow

With all the reports about heavy snowfall around Europe and New York, I thought you might enjoy watching John Lennon have a bit of fun with the snow.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Best of 2010

The Beatles in Washington DC 1964
For the remaining Beatles, it was a year which started with Ringo performing some small gigs and ended with Paul doing the same. The two also released respective albums and toured. Perhaps the single most treasured moment for those who were there will have been when the two Beatles members came together for Ringo's birthday concert in New York City. For us fans, there were endless releases, official and unofficial, and then there were the Lennon celebrations.

Band On The Run Remaster, Lennon Remasters, Apple Remasters, All Things Must Pass Remaster, Ringo Live CD/DVD, Ringo's Y Not, Red & Blue Remasters, The Beatles on iTunes, the Washington DC 1964 concert film, the Unsurpassed Broadcasts CD series, Paul McCartney's Up and Coming Tour, Ringo's birthday concert, Ringo's All Starr Band Tour, George/Ravi boxed set, the Raga film on DVD, various "50 years of the Beatles" celebrations, including Bambi Kino at the Indra Club, various Lennon 70th birthday celebrations, including the Plastic Ono Band concert in Reykjavik, LennoNYC documentary, Lennon Naked TV-film, Nowhere Boy - film, Paul McCartney's surprise December concerts, Wings leaks, RockBand Multitracks, yes we're trying to sum up 2010. What was your favourite release or event?

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Washington goes big screen

Apple/iTunes' exclusive deal with Apple Corps for use of the Washington DC concert ends in February, after which a DVD release seems likely. February 11th 2011, the full March 1964 concert film, including Lesley Gore and the Beach Boys will also be shown theatrically. Possibly as PR for an upcoming official DVD.
A month after the Beatles' Washington concert, in mid-March 1964, the CBS filming of the Beatles’ live D.C. show – together with separate footage of performances by the Beach Boys and Lesley Gore – was shown in selected U.S. movie theaters as a closed-circuit concert. Billed in advertising as — “The Beatles: Direct From Their First American Concert” — the complete 90-minute film was transmitted over telephone lines to selected U.S. and Canadian theaters in four separate shows — two each day — over the weekend of March 14th and 15th, 1964.

The first round of closed-circuit concerts occurred on Saturday, March 14, 1964, and among the receiving theater locations on that day, for example, were: the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the Hippodrome Theater in Cleveland, Ohio; the El Monte Legion Stadium in El Monte, California; the Public Auditorium in Portland, Oregon, and many others. The following day, on Sunday, March 15, 1964, the show went out again to a number of locations, including: the Norva Theater in Norfolk, Virginia; Lake Theater in Oak Park, Illinois; Fox Theater in San Jose, California; and the Washington Coliseum in Washington, D.C. The Lyric Theater in Indianapolis, Indiana also received the show on March 14th and March 15th, as did a big screen theater at the State Fair Coliseum in Dallas, Texas.
The total audience for the special closed-circuit broad- casts of the Beatles’ concert film was expected to exceed 500,000. The shows were seen in more than 100 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. The promoters – identified in advertising as the National General Corporation, or their subisidiary, Theater Color Vision — made millions. One 1964 estimate placed the take at some $4 million, or roughly $30 million in today’s money. This Beatles’ concert showing was apprarently the first use of closed-circuit broadcasting for a rock concert, as previously this closed-circuit theater network had been used only for championship boxing matches.
 A master tape of the CBS film of the Beatles’ D.C. concert was auctioned off by “It’s Only Rock and Roll” in 2005 to an unnamed bidder for an unspecified price. Here's their description: "A variety of poor quality kinescopes trans- ferred to video versions of the concert have circulated on bootlegs, imports and, most recently, as a commercially released DVD. These versions are missing the on-stage announcements and footage of the Beatles running through the audience en route to the stage. In addition, these inferior copies end abruptly midway through ‘Twist & Shout,’ and are totally missing the finale of ‘Long Tall Sally’ and footage of the Beatles leaving the stage. Even the footage seen by millions on the Beatles Anthology series was far removed in picture and sound quality from what fans saw in their local theaters in March 1964."
"We can unequivocally say that there exists no other videotaped Beatles concert that remotely approaches the quality of this performance by the Beatles at Washington Coliseum."

It now seems likely that the anonymous bidder may have been Apple Corps, and that this master is the source for the recent iTunes download and the forthcoming cinema release.
The information about these closed circuit concerts is excerpted from an article in the Pop History Dig, available here, where you'll also find information about the Lesley Gore and Beach Boys footage.

Buenos Aires Beatles Museum

January third sees the opening of America's first Beatles museum. Guinness record holding Beatles collector Rodolfo Vazquez puts part of his 8500 items collection on permanent display in the museum. The museum will be located in the cultural complex The Plaza, in downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina. A nearby movie theatre will be renamed to the John Lennon cinema, and the complex also houses a replica Cavern Club, also owned by Vazquez. Among the items Vazquez has been collecting are photos and records, clothing, checks signed by members of the Beatles and even a box of condoms with the image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas gifts 2010

Here's a self-indulgent post from me: What Beatles related gifts I got for Christmas this year! For starters, here's the Yellow Submarine Bar Ware gift box.
Pretty nice, eh? I'm currently freezing these cubes. I have a bar in my basement, so that was a thoughtful gift.
Another wonderful present was this:
Yes, it's one of their Christmas singles! I'm a cheapskate collector, so I didn't have any of these beforehand. Trouble is, being a completeist, this means I now have to try and get the other six! Oh well, everything comes to he who waits. Last of the Beatles' gifts is this:
I don't know if I'm ever going to start puzzling this one together, but it was a great gift. On a related note, I got this piece of machinery:
It's a record player with USB out, which means I can record from vinyl to my hard disk drive. I've already set it up and tried it with Audacity, and it works perfectly! Merry Christmas to my readers!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

"Last Play At Shea" DVD

For the final performance at New York's doomed Shea Stadium in July 2008, Sir Paul McCartney joined Billy Joel on stage for a duet on "I Saw Her Standing There". McCartney then performed "Let It Be". A fitting goodbye to the stadium, who's era as a concert arena was started by the Beatles in 1965.As we know, the concert was filmed for a future documentary. We wrote about that documentary, entitled "Last Play at Shea", back in May while it still lacked distribution. The news is that it will be released on DVD on February 8th, 2011. Get it from Amazon.

Monday, 20 December 2010

The Early Beatles

I was looking for some info on the internet about the 1984 Granada TV special "The Early Beatles", which I got on a video cassette from a trader in the UK shortly after it was broadcast. All of the precious archive material from Granada TV in the 50-minute programme was carefully and expensively reprocessed at a film laboratory to give the maximum quality. The special was shown on TV January 1st, 1984. Unlike narrated documentaries which become dated, this programme started with the legend “Much has been written, even more has been said. This compilation speaks for itself.”, thus gaining somewhat of a timeless quality. Anyway, while looking for info (which you'll find over at Bill Harry's place here), I came across another site; The Beatles in Manchester. Take a look at it if you haven't already. Oh and by the way, a cleaned-up version of "The Early Beatles", coupled together with "The Music of Lennon & McCartney" is currently being made available on a friendly green download torrent site.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Film clips from the 100 Club gig

Courtesy of Associated Press and some of the lucky fans who had tickets, I've put together a bunch of film clips from YouTube to watch for those who weren't there and perhaps also those who were. Tomorrow Paul plays in Liverpool, and there are rumours about an unannounced gig at a "hidden venue", could be a lunchtime session at the Cavern Club? Or how about the Casbah!

Friday, 17 December 2010

McCartney setlist from today

According to the various reports, this was the full setlist from Paul McCartney's lunchtime concert at the 100 Club in London Town:

Magical Mystery Tour
Drive My Car
All My Loving
One After 909
Honey Hush
Let Me Roll It
The Long and Winding Road
Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five (ending with "Band On The Run" coda!)
Let It Snow (brief version)
Maybe I'm Amazed
Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying
Calico Skies
I'm Looking Through You
And I Love Her
Dance Tonight
Eleanor Rigby
Hitch Hike
Band On The Run
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Let It Be
Hey Jude

Get Back
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/The End

Clips are starting to surface on YouTube:

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

McCartney's lunchtime gig tickets

Paul McCartney announced yesterday that he was going to play a lunchtime gig at the 100Club in London Friday. The tickets go on sale at 10 GMT at ticketmaster UK or you can call the tickets hotline: 08442 48 50 77
The tickets are £66.00 (£60.00 Ticket + £6.00 Fees) and are limited to two per person. This is a Paperless Ticket event. Tickets will NOT be mailed out in advance. You MUST bring the original credit/debit card used to purchase the tickets, along with valid state issued photo ID to the venue on the day of the event. The cardholder must be present - no exceptions. Your payment card will be swiped as you enter The 100 Club and your identification must be confirmed to allow entry. The cardholder and his/her guest must enter the venue at the same time. Good luck!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Maybe I'm Amazed

Maybe I'm amazed by the fact that Paul McCartney chose to perform this song again at his Apollo concert in Harlem? But I was definitely amazed when I came home from London on Thursday to find a mail from one of my readers who used foul language to tell me that I shouldn't have posted a Paul McCartney news item on the 30th anniversary of the day John Lennon was murdered.
I wasn't going to dignify that mail with an answer, but as a service to other readers who may have been curious, I thought it best to explain myself.
I've never understood the reason why some Lennon fans feel like they have to completely dismiss McCartney's qualities as a singer, musician and songwriter in order to be real Lennonites. There may be McCartney fans who treat Lennon likewise, but I've not come across it on the same scale.
I'm glad I don't have to choose. Even though I'm a Wings fan who became a Beatles fan, I love John Lennon's songs, both from the Beatles era and later on.  And as an 18 year old Beatles fan at the time, I was saddened by the murder on Lennon. I did cry that day.
But over the years, I have tried not to remind myself of that day or of his killer. Sometimes it can't be helped. I'm watching a Lennon documentary and there, at the end, is that story again. Lennon's life had a tragic and senseless ending, so I'm much happier celebrating his life than focusing on that last day. Whenever there's a documentary about his killer or about the murder, I don't watch it. The jerk of all jerks doesn't need that kind of attention. I avoid writing his name.
So I don't commemorate neither December 8th nor the 9th (which is what the date was here in Europe when it happened).
Furthermore, it's my blog and I write what I want to! Here's One After 909.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

The Misterclaudel Shea

Misterclaudel restored "She's A Woman" from Shea stadium, using NME Poll Winners footage mixed with Shea footage. The soundtrack is from Shea. This is one of two missing songs from the Beatles' set in the Shea Stadium concert film. The other one was "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby", which hasn't been restored on this new Misterclaudel release.
I've been viewing this DVD (MCDVD-24), and it contains two versions of the Beatles' most famous concert. One from the new source, and one with mixed in footage from Anthology. Neither version has the documentary footage, they are just the concert. Colourwise, this is an upgrade to the Darthdisc-based versions, which all has a reddish hue. Picturewise, the new Misterclaudel version may be a little bit less clear than the Darthdisc version, and there are video tape artifacts here and there. The drop-outs on the audio tape has been fixed by using the muffled concert soundtrack for the appropriate part. The version with mixed in footage from Anthology is a nice try, but there are some mistakes made during the video editing process which should have been removed before release. Still, I'd call it an upgrade - but one which will no doubt soon be outdone again.

Friday, 10 December 2010

The Story of Apple Records

Tickets for McCartney in London and Liverpool

If you didn't get any tickets for Paul McCartney's upcoming concerts in London or Liverpool, you could always try Worldtickets, if you are prepared to pay some money to go see Paul! Currently, they are offering tickets for both concert dates, but they're priced from about £ 250 ...

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Paul McCartney: Surprise Concerts in England

Yesterday it was announced that Paul McCartney will give two concerts in England just before Christmas: December 18th at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo London and December 20th O2 Academy Liverpool. Ticket information.
Following a year of massive international-headline-grabbing sell out stadium shows, Paul McCartney today announces he will bring 2010 to a close with two very special intimate and personal homecoming shows.
Paul and his band are planning two spectacular nights of celebrating and rock n roll, the first of which will see Paul return to Londons HMV Hammersmith Apollo for his first full solo show there in 35 years, his last appearance being with Wings in September 1975; Paul first appeared there with The Beatles on December 24th, 1964 for The Beatles Christmas Show.
The second concert will be in Liverpool at the O2 Academy.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

In My Life: John Lennon Remembered

Right now, BBC6 is running "In My Life: John Lennon Remembered" a multi-part series originally broadcast in 1990 which is as much about The Beatles as Lennon.
The BBC radio shows are archived online for seven days so that people can listen when they choose to. Unlike BBC TV, BBC Radio programming can be heard anywhere in the world. The series started on November 28, so hurry up if you want to hear it all. Here's a link to help.

Also, there was a book released in 1990 as a tie-in with the series: In My Life: Lennon Remembered by Kevin Howlett and Mark Lewisohn(BBC Books)
Thanks to John Chuhran for reminding us about this radio series!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Sample from Unsurpassed Promos

Here's a great sample from the current bootleg DVD series "Unsurpassed Promos", which I've discussed in earlier blog posts:

Best viewed in HQ and full frame.
Most of my updates seem to be in the form of YouTube-clips lately. Sorry for that, but I've been keeping busy with other projects, including a very different work situation. Monday I'm travelling to London, so don't expect updates until late next week.

Friday, 3 December 2010

New tape source for Decca Audition

Here's a promo film that heralds the emergence of a hitherto uncirculated tape containing The Beatles' audition for Decca Records, January 1st, 1962. It's due out as a download before Christmas, we are promised. It's not the same tapes that were used by Joe Pope and Circuit Records in the 70's, and as such - there could be surprises... Not new songs, but perhaps more chat or better quality.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The McCartney Christmas Album

Back in 1965, Paul McCartney ended a very busy Beatles year by recording an album of his own, and releasing it as a Christmas present to John, George and Ringo. The album was only pressed in four copies, he kept one for himself. The album is probably made up of experiments in sound which Paul had conducted at home. The bootleg company "His Master´s Choice" has now announced the following titles for release in January 2011:
HMC 011 - Unforgettable - The McCartney Christmas Album (LP + CD)
HMC 012 - The Beatles: Christmas Album (LP + CD with 26 minutes of new Christmas outtakes)
HMC 013 - The Beatles: Get Back Continued (LP + CD with unreleased studio outtakes)
It's tempting to speculate that the first of these titles could be the elusive 1965 LP, but from where could that one have leaked? Perhaps the "Lost Lennon Tapes" archives? Or maybe someone involved in the ongoing "Paul McCartney Archive" series? We're looking forward to the new year...

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

iTunes sales of Beatles albums and songs

From Apple Insider: A week after adding the Beatles to iTunes, Apple has sold 450,000 albums and 2 million songs.

According to a report by Billboard, Apple sold 119,000 albums in the US, including 13,000 digital box sales (which count as a single album in the US figures; the global sales numbers appear to count each box set component as an individual album sale).

The Beatles' best selling album on iTunes in the US was 1969's "Abbey Road," while the top selling song was that album's track, "Here Comes the Sun."

The report compared the Beatles' sales favorably against first-week digital track sales for superstar acts, which "this year typically ranged from 100,000 to 300,000 per title, while digital album sales ranged anywhere from 40,000 to 278,000 for Taylor Swift’s blockbuster third album 'Speak Now.'"

Meanwhile in the UK, "Music Week" reported:

32 Beatles recordings make the Top 200, with four of them in the published Top 75. Hey Jude leads the way at number 40 (7,006 sales), followed by Let It Be (number 46, 5,801 sales), Twist And Shout (number 48, 5,633 sales, and Here Comes The Sun (number 64, 4,195 sales).

The least popular Beatles track? Surprisingly, not the extremely lengthy, avant garde Revolution Number 9, which sold 48 copies, but the Rubber Soul song What Goes On?. Written by Lennon, McCartney and Starr, it was one of drummer Ringo’s rare lead vocals, and attracted just 14 downloads last week.

Overall, some 132,649 Beatles tracks (singles) were sold. 12,268 Beatles albums were also downloaded, against 19,256 Beatles physical CDs and 97 LPs.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Pro-shot Argentina Concert

Apparantly, Paul McCartney's concert on the second night in Argentina (November 10th) was professionally filmed, as evidenced by these YouTube samples.

More free DVD goodies

Beatles bootleg DVD collectors are having a swell time these days. Not only did The Beatles and Apple "let loose" the Washington DC 1964 concert film, the Unsurpassed Promos have started to appear and Misterclaudel released all the outtakes from "The Beatles Come To Town", but the "Magical Mystery Tour Revisited" DVD set has been announced to start to appear next week. There's also an all new series, "The Full RockBand Series Videos - in HD", and volume 1, "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is already out. The download package contains a 16:9 NTSC DVD in much improved picture quality, artwork and disc artwork, a folder with a video in MP4 and 720p resolution, and a bonus Sgt. Pepper documentary. So now you can sit back and enjoy the RockBand cartoon Beatles perform the entire album in great audio and video quality, without interruptive gameplay graphics. The series goes on with Rubber Soul and Abbey Road, and eventually the rest of the Beatles:RockBand tracks. This series is released by the new "Beatles TV" enterprise, which was also behind a few of the Washington concert DVD's that popped up last week and during the weekend.

Friday, 19 November 2010

The Beatles on YouTube

The Beatles have had a YouTube channel before, but it's been empty for a while. Yesterday it was reopened, and today it was relaunched. Purely by coincidence I became their first viewer. Yesterday I was looking for a replacement video for the "Through the years" film for my Apple Beatles iTunes ad list, and I stumbled upon it on The Beatles' own channel, with 0 views.

New concert videos

A mock-up DVD cover for the Washington DC concert film
With the recent free streaming version of the Washington DC concert film from 1964, and the downloadable version you get if you buy the entire Beatles Box from iTunes, people are voicing opinions about making it available on DVD. Maybe that's Apple's (or Apple's) plan for the future, but in the mean time I made this DVD cover. Use it if you manage to convert your download, or find someone who has already done it. And what a great and exciting concert film it is!
The Pathe news film from the year before, "The Beatles Come To Town", filmed in Manchester in 1963,  has already been featured three times in this column in the past year. Last time was November 1st, before that it was August 25th, and it was first mentioned on the 8th of June. This time we're mentioning it because a new DVD has been announced from Misterclaudel. The front cover is shown below, and it will be released in November. OK, back to sit and wait for the delayed Unsurpassed Promos. Thanks to The Beatles for entertaining us while we're waiting!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

iTunes video adverts

McCartney at Apollo Theatre

Paul McCartney will perform at an invitation-only exclusive concert for Sirius/XM satellite radio at Harlem’s Apollo Theater on December 13th. The concert will be broadcast live on the radio. In reward, McCartney gets his own "Band on the Run" 24/7 commercial free radio station, which will be playing McCartney's solo output for a month, commencing November 29th.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

After many cry wolves

...and the good thing about it is that they've put together a full concert film of the Washington DC concert from February 11th, 1964 and made it available to watch for free on iTunes. With the full "Twist and Shout" and credits!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Baby's in black

Arne Bellstorf: "Baby's in black - The story of Astrid Kirchherr & Stuart Sutcliffe"
216 pages, b/w, Softcover, ISBN 978-3-941099-12-8
Reprodukt, Berlin 2010.
"How does one tell the story as it was? … You have to consider the whole background of that time: what was Germany, how did we feel about our parents and what they had done? … The strongest influence for young Germans at this time was the desire - the need - to be different from our parent’s generation. We were struggling to find a new way, to escape the past and the burden of guilt we all carried.
Our philosophy then, because we were only little kids, was wearing black clothes and going around looking moody. Of course, we had a clue who Jean Paul Sartre was. We got inspired by all the French artists and writers, because that was the closest we could get. England was so far away, and America was out of the question. France was the nearest. So we got all the information from France, and we tried to dress like the French existentialists."
— Astrid Kirchherr

This is a comic book! The official site is here. Anyone read it?

Thursday, 11 November 2010

London Photo Exhibition

John Lennon by Tom Hanley
Imagine:John Lennon is many things, and now it's an exhibition of photos by Tom Hanley, due to open at the Proud Chelsea gallery in London on the 24th of November. Hanley was introduced to the Beatles while working as staff photographer at Today Magazine in the early sixties, so there's a chance some of the photos on display will be of the whole band. The gallery has prints for sale, and the exhibition runs until January 16th next year.
Proud Chelsea is located at 161 King’s Road, London SW1. Hey, that's where Apple tailoring used to be, isn't it? Maybe I'll pop by when I'm in London in December..
Website: Proud

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Bluebird from Brazil

From Paul McCartney's rehearsals before the Brazil concert: "And I Love Her" and yet another song from the "Band On The Run" album, "Bluebird". The latter has not been performed live by Paul for many years.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Best Buy Band on the Run extra DVD

If you buy the new remastered edition of "Band On The Run" at the American chain store "Best Buy", you get an extra DVD not available if you should happen to be such a miserable creature that you unfortunately live somewhere in the world where you don't just happen to have a "Best Buy" store to pop in and buy it from.
1) "Band on the Run" 2010 EPK (8:31)
2) "Jet" (5:36)
3) "Mrs. Vandebilt" (5:13)
4) "Band on the Run" (5:36)

The three extra tracks are recent concert versions of these songs.
This tradition of favouritism of people in a single one of the world's countries heralds back to the releases of the japanese 2-disc version of "Flowers in the Dirt", the German 2-disc release "Off The Ground - The Complete Works" and the release of "Flaming Pie" in 1998, when customers at "Best Buy" in the USA got an extra CD featuring an episode of Paul McCartney's Oobujoobu radio show. For us die-hard collectors, all this means is that we have to go on ebay and buy it from an American at an inflated price. WogBlog hates this practice. It's funny that Concorde Records (and formerly Capitol/EMI with earlier releases) haven't realised that making a disc available in just one country (or chain store) is the best way to ensure that the disc will become a worldwide popular illegal upload and download on internet blogs and torrent sites.

Japan-only release, the 2-disc Flowers In The Dirt from 1989

Germany-only release, 1993

USA-only release, 1998

Spain-only release, 2005, the only disc that contains the song 'Whole Life' with Paul McCartney & Dave Stewart

USA-only release, 2005. A live version of "The Long and Winding Road" is exclusive to this disc.

Friday, 5 November 2010

I Feel Fine Quad

Here's another combo from video magician HIWAX, four different semi-mimed performances of "I Feel Fine", synched. Clockwise from upper left: "Intertel promo no. 1", "Ready Steady Go", "Thank Your Lucky Stars" and "Intertel promo no. 3 (eating fish&chips)".

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Beatles in Weston-super-Mare

The Beatles performed a week of concerts at the Odeon Cinema in Weston-super-Mare between Monday 22 to Saturday 27 July 1963. They also made some unreleased recordings with Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers at the Royal Pier Hotel.
On the Saturday, photographer Dezo Hoffman filmed the Beatles at Weston beach, on go-carts and fooling around during photo shoots.
BBC One's Inside Out West are making a feature on the Beatles' week in Weston-super-Mare, and have unearthed some unknown fan photos. Read more on BBC's tabbed page here.
Norwegian Wood's page about the week in Weston

The Wings Albums

Regular readers of my blog will know that before I became a Beatles fan, I was a Wings fan. Of course, I still am. My family never had a record player, we had a cassette player, but when I got my first record player in my teens, I inherited a collection of singles and albums left behind by my neighbours' hippie daughter who had moved out. Some of those were by The Beatles and Apple artists, but the very first Beatles related album I actually went out and bought was "Venus and Mars" by Wings. I had heard "Band on the Run" earlier, courtesy of a relative's cassette, but "Venus and Mars" was the record that made me a fan. And for me, it still ranks above "Band on the Run" as an album.
I was thrilled and delighted when McCartney added the "Venus and Mars/Rockshow" medley (albeit way too short a version) and "Letting Go" to his live set this year, and I travelled all the way to Dublin, Ireland to see him perform them.
Back to my teenage years, Wings became a fixture and I bought all their albums. Americans may not realize this, and recent raves in the media about "Band on the Run" reflects it, but the biggest Wings success here was not that one but the single hit "Mull of Kintyre" from 1977. Standing out like an alien being in the middle of the punk rock era, the scottish flavoured ballad became the biggest selling single of all time in the UK, knocking the previous biggest seller "She Loves You" by The Beatles off the throne.

Unlike The Plastic Ono Band, Wings was more than just a backing band for an ex-Beatle. Paul McCartney was unquestionably the band's leader and star, but both Denny Laine and Jimmy McCulloch wrote songs for the group, and Laine, McCulloch, Joe English, and Linda McCartney all performed lead vocals on Wings songs. In concert, Henry McCullough as well as Denny Laine and later, Jimmy McCulloch performed their own songs during the Wings tours. And with the recruitment of new and younger Wings members Laurence Juber and Steve Holly, these guys had Wings fans of their own.

In my native Norway, Wings was also a tremendous success. "Venus and Mars" spent fourteen weeks at the number one spot in the charts over here. All in all it spent 26 weeks in the Top 40 album charts, while "Band on the Run" was a slower seller with only seven weeks as number one, but stayed in the Top 40 for 38 weeks. And even though "Venus and Mars" was to be the last Wings album to reach the top spot in the album charts, the remaining Wings albums also did rather well, with "Wings At The Speed Of Sound" reaching number 2 and staying 19 weeks, the triple concert album "Wings Over America" spent 11 weeks with #7 as best (not bad for such an expensive album), "London Town" reached the number two spot and had a 20 weeks run in the charts. I remember a lot of songs from that album being played on the radio and coming out from all open windows and cars in the neighbourhood that year. The final Wings album, "Back To The Egg" featured a Norwegian radio voice on the intro, but was the least successful one in Norway, not having a hit single on it. But it still spent 11 weeks in the Top 40, reaching number 5. If it had been promoted on TV by the "Back To The Egg" TV special at the time, maybe it would have fared better and perhaps Wings would have remained a band for a longer while. But we all know what happened: the Wings tour of Japan in January 1980 was cancelled when McCartney was busted at the airport, McCartney released a solo album and Wings had a slow disbanding following that event.
For me, these are the Wings albums:

1971 Wings Wild Life
1973 Red Rose Speedway
1973 Band On The Run
1974 McGear
1975 Venus And Mars
1976 Wings At The Speed of Sound
1977 Wings Over America
1977 Holly Days
1978 London Town
1979 Back To The Egg

I don't regard neither Wings' Greatest (1978) nor Wingspan Hits And History as true Wings releases, they are compilation albums made from both Wings tracks as well as McCartney solo songs and Paul and Linda McCartney releases. But two of the Wings albums in the list are worth tracking down if you don't have them, "McGear" is Wings anno 1974 used as a backing band for Paul McCartney's brother, Mike McGear. And "Holly Days" is a collection of Buddy Holly songs recorded by the Paul-Denny-Linda Wings trio (as they were on Band on The Run and upon the release of London Town) featuring Denny Laine on lead vocals. The album has still not been released on an official CD, as far as I know.