Thursday, 29 July 2010

Live at the Star Club, Hamburg, 1962

From the makers of Unsurpassed Broadcasts comes a new release, based on the recordings from The Beatles' performances at the Star Club in Hamburg in late December, 1962. It's the best version yet of these amateur recordings.

Second Edition of Unsurpassed Broadcasts

A second edition of the all-encompassing collection of the Beatles' BBC performances, Unsurpassed Broadcasts is out now, featuring more clean-ups of the available tracks, some newly discovered better versions and a lot more talking. It's a 13-disc extravaganza (the final disc is a CD-rom with artwork, restoration notes etc), and you'll find it at the usual places.

Norwegian Wood 121

The summer edition of our local Norwegian Beatles fanzine was out in July and I've been neglecting my duties informing you about the contents. Furthermore I've temporarily misplaced my copy, so never mind. Instead, I'm going to publish one of the articles from the mag in English.
The schoolboy who met The Beatles
by Jason Cornthwaite
It is over 40 years since the famous Liverpudlians visited Knole Park to film some of their best known videos and film scenes. One lucky schoolboy was there to witness it. On February 7th 1967, Julian Joseph Sylvester, a 14 year-old schoolboy from Sevenoaks, managed to get hold of a bottle of champagne, last touched by John Lennon. Here is Julian's story of that eventful day:
"It was a games afternoon but I was off games due to some ailment and had the afternoon free. It was rumoured that The Beatles were in Knole Park which the school grounds back onto so I thought I would go and take a look.
"Sure enough, there they were making, as it now turns out, the first promo pop film for their double A-sided single Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields. The Beatles were riding around on horses, pouring paint over a piano and jumping from a branch of dead trees with Lennon singing 'Hey hey we're the Monkees'."
"As can still be seen on the Penny Lane video the bottle was in an ice bucket on a table with a white tablecloth and candelabras. The four rode up on their horses, dismounted and approached the table. Lennon picked up the bottle and poured for the other three. They were brought their instruments by liveried pages. The Beatles then got up from the table which was overturned by Lennon and McCartney, the bottle was thrown to the ground which is where I retrieved it from."
"During breaks in the filming, starting with Lennon I got them to sign the bottle's label which was not to easy as it was still damp from the ice bucket and also on a curved surface but, they seemed happy to oblige me. I was leaving Ringo until last but unfortunately I never got him to sign and all these years later can't remember why he never did. Maybe I just ran out of opportunity."
"They each had a black Mini Cooper S with blacked out windows which they left the park in at the end of the day. Separately as I recall."

The full article with more pictures is available over at the BBC News website.
Jason Cornthwaite is an expert on authenticating Beatles memorabilia and works for memorabilia specialists Tracks in England.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Lennon Box goes into production

Following the success of last year's Beatles Box of Vision, the makers of the box are putting out two more boxes, covering the albums of John Lennon (currently in production) and Bob Dylan (planned). Check out the Box of vision blog for more photos of the new Lennon box.

New CD and DVD from Ringo

July 27 sees the release of Ringo Starr and The All Starr Band (2008 version) in concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. This is two separate releases, one DVD (current Amazon list price:$13.49) with an option to hear the concert in surround sound, and one CD (current Amazon list price:$11.99). The record company releasing the discs is Hip-O/UMe, and the title is "Live At The Greek Theatre 2008".

The 2008 All Starr Band had the following members: Gregg Bissonette, Colin Hay, Billy Squier, Hamish Stuart, Edgar Winter and Gary Wright. And, of course, Ringo Starr. Here are the track lists:

1. Introduction/With A Little Help From My Friends/It Don’t Come Easy
2. What Goes On
3. The Stroke
4. Free Ride
5. Dream Weaver
6. Boys
7. Pick Up The Pieces
8. Act Naturally
9. Yellow Submarine
10. Never Without You
11. I Wanna Be Your Man
12. Who Can It Be Now
13. Photograph
14. Oh My My
15. With A Little Help From My Friends
16. Give Peace A Chance

1. Introduction /With A Little Help From My Friends
2. It Don't Come Easy
3. What Goes On
4. Memphis In Your Mind
5. Ringo And His Drums
6. Lonely Is The Night
7. Free Ride
8. Down Under
9. Dream Weaver
10. Boys
11. Pick Up The Pieces
12. Liverpool 8
13. Act Naturally
14. Yellow Submarine
15. Frankenstein
16. All-Starr Band Introduction
17. Never Without You
18. Choose Love
19. The Stroke
20. Work To Do
21. I Wanna Be Your Man
22. Love Is Alive
23. Who Can It Be Now
24. Photograph
25. Oh My My
26. With A Little Help From My Friends
27. Give Peace A Chance

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Paris '65 from HIWAX

Currently making the rounds on the internet is the newly discovered master tape from the Beatles concert at the Palais des Sports, Paris France on June 20th, 1965 we mentioned in an earlier post. Transferred from SECAM to NTSC and presented as is, from HIWAX. There's also a "cleaned up" version presented on the more thorough 5 disc (3 CD's and 2 DVD's) compilation by misterclaudel "Salut Les Copains! Palais Des Sports, Paris, France 20th June 1965 afternoon and evening shows & more" (mccd 158-162).

Monday, 19 July 2010

New Lennon DVD from Tony Palmer

In conjunction with the 70th Anniversary of the birth of John Lennon, Tony Palmer (All My Loving TV Special 1968, the seventies "All You Need Is Love" rock history TV-series) has released a brand new DVD with and about the man, John Lennon - Love Is All You Need. Palmer knew John Lennon and has previously credited Lennon for coming up with the idea of making a "history of rock'n'roll" TV-series which eventually became the first TV series devoted to this subject, and was broadcast globally in the mid seventies. Here's a review of the new DVD from 10k bullets:
"This was a very interesting watch, primarily due to the narrative drawing from and informing the archive footage rather than talking heads occasionally cutting to random footage which tends to be the norm for most of the mass-produced documentaries flooding the DVD market these days. Beginning with a detailed look at the claustrophobia inherent in superstardom and the overreactions caused by the slightest political comment – “The Beatles are bigger than Jesus” – for example, one which led to a short period of biblical hysteria in southern US states culminating in the public burning of Beatles records. By the half hour mark however we’ve moved on to John’s life with Yoko and beyond, a number of excellent little bits of archive footage shed further light on their relationship as they are interviewed together for various TV shows. Yoko’s role in John’s life is discussed in depth via a number of candid interviews including with Yoko herself as well as with Cynthia Lennon and a Julian Lennon. The documentary takes a turn for the political in it’s final third with John’s ‘Peace’ activism taking over somewhat and focusing on his departure from the UK and his problems getting a US green card until his tragic end at the age of 40."
"The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer looks excellent. Lots of archive footage however which of course varies in quality. Audio track is clean and clear.

Extras include -

Memorial To John – Cynthia Lennon narrates and presents a look at Cavern Walks in Liverpool with the architect that designed it. (3 minutes).

Interview With Director Tony Palmer – The director chats about meeting Lennon at Cambridge and the subsequent relationship that led to the creation of ‘All You Need Is Love: The Story Of Popular Music’. (4 minutes)

Trailer for Here, There & Everywhere – a new Beatles documentary comprised of archive footage from 1963-70 coming soon from Odeon Entertainment."

Friday, 16 July 2010

Best of Apple Records!

Just announced on the official Apple records website:
Those Were The Days: The Best Of Apple Records (coming out on Oct 26th)

1. Those Were The Days / Mary Hopkin
2. Carolina In My Mind / James Taylor
3. Maybe Tomorrow / The Iveys
4. Thingumybob / The Black Dyke Mills Band
5. King Of Fuh / Brute Force
6. Sour Milk Sea / Jackie Lomax
7. Goodbye / Mary Hopkin
8. That's The Way God Planned It / Billy Preston
9. New Day / Jackie Lomax
10. Golden Slumbers-Carry That Weight / Trash
11. Give Peace A Chance / Hot Chocolate Band
12. Come And Get It / Badfinger
13. Ain't That Cute / Doris Troy
14. My Sweet Lord / Billy Preston
15. Try Some Buy Some / Ronnie Spector
16. Govinda / Radha Krishna Temple
17. We're On Our Way / Chris Hodge
18. Saturday Nite Special / The Sundown Playboys
19. God Save Us / Bill Elliot & The Elastic Oz Band
20. Sweet Music / Lon & Derrek van Eaton
21. Day After Day / Badfinger

At the time of writing, the new website is being put together using the templates from the Beatles website. but we expect it to be done soon:

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Sue Baker and The Beatles

The Daily Mail has an interesting story about 15 year old Beatles fan Sue Baker who took her younger brother, went to see the Beatles' homes and even met them. The first Beatle she visited was Paul McCartney at his new home in Cavendish Avenue. He was very friendly and gave her the addresses of the other Beatles. She kept visiting the guys for around two years time around 1965, 1966 and 1967. Her brother was about the same age as Julian Lennon, so the two would some times play together during Sue's visits at Kenwood. Pictures and article: Daily Mail.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

International Beatles Day

Three years ago, Liverpool City Counsil and friends decided to make the 10th of July Beatles Day in Liverpool. This year, Beatles Day went global, and is celebrated in the following cities (the list may be incomplete): Liverpool - England, New York - USA, Moscow - Russia, Tokyo - Japan, Sydney - Australia and Kraków - Poland.
Here's what's going on in Kraków:
Kraków’s Beatles Day will begin at 10am in the Żaczek students’ club. Out of consideration for the youngest guests, there’ll be creative workshops based on the Yellow Submarine animated film, while at 1pm in the nearby Jagiellonian Library hall the movies A Hard Day's Night (1964) and Magical Mystery Tour (1967) are shown. After the screenings, there's a panel discussion scheduled for 5pm. Guests discussing the Fab Four are Piotr Metz (a well known radio journalist who can boast a postcard with greetings from John Lennon himself) and Jerzy Tolak (author of a book about The Beatles and one of the greatest collectors in Poland of records and other items relating to the group). At the end of this special day there’ll be plenty of the greatest hits. At 8pm in Żaczek a concert begins by the winners of a best Beatles cover band competition. The evening’s stars will be The Beatlmen and The Postman.
More information on: in Polish

Events in Liverpool:
11.00 – 6.00 Beatles Artworks, Beatles Day Merchandise and book sale including a chance to get your copy signed by authors Peter Grant and David Bedford
11.00 Grand opening of Beatles Day events by Julia Baird (John Lennon’s sister) and special celeb guest
11.10-11.35 The Liverpool Ukelele Orchestra
11.45- 12.15 The Hang Project
12.30 – 1.00 TJ & Murphy
1.15-1.45 The Dockers
2.00-2.30 The Jives
2.45-3.15 Cavern Sixties Tribute Band
3.30-4.00 Lemon Echo
4.15 – 4.35 Dave Flynn
4.45- 5.15 Tripper
5.30 -6.00 Asa Muphy
10.30 – late VIP Aftershow party – Competition winners or by invitation only

Cavern club entrance is £2 after 5pm and £3 after 8pm with £1 of entrance fee going to Beatles Day Foundation.
12.00 – 2.00 Tim Shaw
2.30pm – 3.15 Jon Keats (Lennon Show)
3.30 – 4.15 The Shakers (Merseybeat)
4.15 – 4.30 The Jives
4.30 - 5.00 Jon Keats
5.15 – 6.00 The Shakers
6.30 – 8.30 Ronnie Hughes
9.00 – 12.00 The Cave Dwellers
( Cavern Resident Band – Guest Singers & Musicians Welcome!)
12am – 2am Jay Murray

9.30pm – Midnight - Tripper

1.00 – 3.00 Richard Batty
3.00 – 5.00 Ronnie Hughes
5.00 – 9.00 The Kappa Band

11.00 – 5.00 Family Fun including face-painting, DJ, and fancy dress competitions.

11.00- 5.00 Family Fun including face-painting, children’s entertainer, DJ, musicians, fancy dress and disco dancing competitions.

9.00 – 7.00 Charity Abseiling event

The proceeds of one tour on the day will go to the Beatles Day Foundation.

7.00 BEATLES DAY - THE CONCERT – SGT. PEPPER SHOW featuring the Backbeat Beatles, Liverpool Signing Choir and special guests.
Further information at

We haven't been able to find out what's happening in the other cities where Beatles Day is being arranged today, so if you know something about it, please report to us!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Ringo turned 70

Of course there were norwegians among the fans who wanted to pay tribute to Ringo on his big day (notice the norwegian flag in the corner)
Ringo's birthday party took place both at the concert in Radio City Music hall and at Hard Rock Cafe. Here are some highlights:
Ringo interviewed on CBS News
Sir Paul singing Birthday:

Yoko Ono dances to With A Little Help From My Friends:

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Apple launches remasters

Launched by The Beatles in 1968, as the new outlet for their own recordings as well as the music of an eclectic roster of artists - James Taylor, Badfinger, Billy Preston, Mary Hopkin, Doris Troy, and Jackie Lomax among them - who were all personally brought to the label by The Beatles (individually and/or collectively), Apple Records made popular music history from the very moment it opened its doors.

Four decades later, Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music raise the curtain on remastered CD and digital download releases of 15 key albums from the Apple Records catalog. All 15 titles will be released on October 26th. Most of the physical CDs will include bonus material. Together, the 15 albums represent the first ever Apple Records releases to be available via digital download.

In the revolutionary spirit of 1968, The Beatles' explosive musical output (characterised by their double-LP White Album) was only exceeded by their fascination with what they saw and heard going on around them. Five years into The Beatles' reign, Apple Records afforded them the unique opportunity to sign new (and established) artists who appealed to each of them. In turn, the introduction of an artist on The Beatles' record label was an imprimatur taken very seriously by fans across the universe.

Apple Records' utopian artist-orientated mission immediately set it apart, as the first operation of its kind in the major-label sphere. Diversity was celebrated, and artists were encouraged to record and release their music in a friendly creative environment. Apple developed a distinctive graphic aesthetic, from its legendary 'apple-core' logo to its advertising and merchandising, in the process setting a subtle new benchmark for the industry to follow.

From 1968 to 1973, Apple Records bedazzled the world with a rainbow spectrum of releases - and fans were unusually well-informed about individual involvements of The Beatles with nearly every project. 1968's self-titled debut album by Boston-based singer-songwriter James Taylor, for example, features Paul McCartney and George Harrison on "Carolina In My Mind." Paul was instrumental in bringing the Welsh chanteuse Mary Hopkin to Apple, and produced her debut single, "Those Were The Days." Badfinger, also from Wales, was still known as The Iveys when they recorded "Come And Get It," written and produced by Paul (for The Magic Christian movie soundtrack).

The Beatles had been fans of Billy Preston ever since seeing him in Little Richard's band in Hamburg in 1962. George went on to produce and play on Preston's Apple debut, That's the Way God Planned It. Harrison was one of the producers and played (along with Ringo Starr) on Doris Troy's self-titled Apple album. And George also produced and played (with Paul and Ringo) on Jackie Lomax's debut album, Is This What You Want? featuring the Harrison composition, "Sour Milk Sea."

John was much taken with the music of The Modern Jazz Quartet, who released the only two jazz albums in the Apple catalogue. Ringo was intrigued by the music of contemporary British classical composer John Tavener, and his Apple album, The Whale has become one of the most sought-after Apple collectibles of all time.

Each of the 15 albums in this bumper batch of Apple Records releases has been digitally remastered at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London by the same dedicated team of engineers behind The Beatles' recent remastered catalogue releases of 2009.

The Apple Records albums reissued in the campaign are:

JAMES TAYLOR (1968) by James Taylor

James' debut album was recorded in London in 1968 and remains the hidden gem in his extensive catalogue. A distinctive English sensibility informs this beautiful early work, notable for its original versions of James' signature tunes 'Something In The Way She Moves' and 'Carolina In My Mind'.

MAGIC CHRISTIAN MUSIC (1970) by Badfinger

Magic Christian Music rejoices in sweet, colourful pop and prefigures the songwriting powerhouse that Badfinger would become. Featuring the worldwide smash hit 'Come And Get It', written and produced by Paul McCartney, alongside two other songs created for the 1969 Peter Sellers / Ringo Starr movie The Magic Christian, based on the satirical novel by Terry Southern.

NO DICE (1970) by Badfinger

The first album with guitarist Joey Molland, No Dice is a watershed collection of power pop that bridges the band's commercial instincts with the classic, no-frills rock that became their trademark. Includes the Top 10 single, 'No Matter What', and the original version of the Ivor Novello and Grammy Award winning ‘Without You’, made famous by Harry Nilsson, and later Mariah Carey.

STRAIGHT UP (1972) by Badfinger

Long considered to be the group's finest album, Straight Up is a glorious collection of strong melodies, insightful lyrics and deep emotion. Produced in part by George Harrison and containing the U.S. hit, 'Baby Blue', plus the worldwide smash 'Day After Day' — featuring George and the group's Pete Ham joining forces on the superb synchronized slide guitar solo.

ASS (1974) by Badfinger

Joey Molland assumes half the songwriting on this, the group's heaviest and most serious album. Ass is solid gold Badfinger, partly recorded at the then state-of-the-art Apple Studios at 3 Savile Row, London, and contains the group's valedictory 'Apple Of My Eye', written by Pete Ham.

POST CARD (1969) by Mary Hopkin

Mary Hopkin's debut is a treasury of popular song. Produced by Paul McCartney and featuring especially-written numbers from Donovan, Harry Nilsson and, in rare songwriting mode, George Martin; plus classics from the Gershwins and Irving Berlin. Mary's pure, folk-inspired vocals make for a beguiling, dreamy album. Also includes her global smash hit ‘Those Were The Days’.

EARTH SONG, OCEAN SONG (1971) by Mary Hopkin

Issued in 1971, this is Mary Hopkin's coming-of-age collection, packed with socially-conscious, lyrically-aware anthems from the cream of the era's folk protagonists: Ralph McTell, Gallagher & Lyle, Tom Paxton and Cat Stevens. Mary defines her art on this album, co-ordinated by legendary producer and Mary's husband-to-be at the time, Tony Visconti.

THAT'S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT (1969) by Billy Preston

Billy's Apple debut, on which he expanded his palette of gospel and R&B to embrace rock themes, features guest players Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Keith Richards. Produced by George Harrison, after Billy was invited to The Beatles' Get Back sessions, That's The Way… is a cross-over masterwork that includes Billy's breakthrough chart hit, for which this album is named.

ENCOURAGING WORDS (1970) by Billy Preston

Encouraging Words is steeped in exemplary playing and songwriting… and pure soul. Produced by George Harrison and packed with originals and inspired covers, including 'My Sweet Lord' and 'All Things (Must) Pass' — donated by George before he released them himself — and the little-heard Harrison-Preston gospel hymn 'Sing One For The Lord'. This is Billy on the launch pad just before he rocketed to U.S. No.2 success with 'Outta Space' for A&M Records.

DORIS TROY (1970) by Doris Troy

The self-titled Apple album from the legendary Doris Troy, nicknamed ‘Mama Soul’ by her British fans, is an exciting union of R&B, gospel and rock. It showcases four little-known songs Doris co-wrote with George Harrison, two of which also credit Stephen Stills and Ringo Starr. Other guests include Billy Preston, Peter Frampton and Eric Clapton.

IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT? (1968) by Jackie Lomax

Yes! This is a cracking album of powerful late-Sixties rock and blue-eyed soul by Liverpool vocalist Jackie Lomax. Among the many highlights is George Harrison's 'White Album'-era song 'Sour Milk Sea', given to Jackie and featuring guest players including George, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Keith Richards and Eric Clapton.

UNDER THE JASMIN TREE (1968) & SPACE (1969) by the Modern Jazz Quartet (a 2-on-1 CD)

Two albums of high-class improvisational bebop recorded by Atlantic Records legends the MJQ while on secondment to Apple. With their unique line-up of piano, vibes, bass and drums, the Quartet brought old-style tuxedo excellence and cool organic jazz to the Apple catalogue.

THE WHALE (1970) & CELTIC REQUIEM (1971) by John Tavener (a 2-on-1 CD)

Sir John Tavener was knighted by The Queen in 2000 for his services to music, and he remains one of Britain’s most popular classical composers. Apple's recordings of ‘The Whale’, his avant-garde oratorio, and ‘Celtic Requiem’, written for soprano, orchestra and children’s choir, were his first ever full-length releases. He was championed by John & Yoko, and befriended by Ringo Starr.

Apple Records has also launched a new website:

Friday, 2 July 2010

Back To The Egg (Again)

Wings is in the wind this year, what with the recently leaked Trevor Jones tapes, Paul McCartney's inclusion of a few more Wings songs in his concert set lists and the upcoming remasters and deluxe versions of McCartney's back catalogue set for release in a few months. But unless Paul has plans for releasing the Back To The Egg TV special as a bonus with the new edition of the album, Yellow Cow has produced a definite version of the special for DVD. Also included is the Wings and Rockestra performances from the Rock for Kampuchea TV special, as well as some bonus videos: Wonderful Christmastime, Rockestra Theme, Arrow Through Me (brass stab guide vocal) and Goodnight Tonight (30's version). As it's a UK based company, the Yellow Cow releases are in the PAL format, and the catalogue no. for this DVD is YCDVD108.

Lord Woodbine: The forgotten sixth Beatle

Lord Woodbine taught the Fab Four the blues– but was written out of pop history. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and James McGrath pay tribute.

The Independent