Sunday, 19 February 2012

When was the "Love Me Do" master tape lost?

To recap: Two versions of the Beatles' recording of "Love Me Do" for EMI are common (and then there's the Pete Best one on Anthology 1 from June 6th). One of them had Ringo on drums. The other one had Andy White on drums, and Ringo on a tambourine. Whenever you hear "Love Me Do", listen for the tambourine. If you can hear it, you'll know it's the version with Andy White on drums. If there's no tambourine present, you're listening to the one with Ringo Starr on drums. The Ringo version was the first release, it's the original 1962 Parlophone single 45 - R4949.
The initial pressings for the Parlophone “Love Me Do” singles had red labels with silver print. The catalog number for these pressings is listed on the right side of the label (at the 3 o’clock position) as 45-R 4949. The “45-R” designation identifies it as a 45rpm single and not a 78rpm disc, which were still in use in the U.K. at this time. By 1963 EMI no longer manufactured 78rpm records, and this designation was not longer needed. This is why later pressings of the the “Love Me Do” single only have R 4949 as the catalog number.
A promotional single was pressed prior to the release to the public, and it had a misspelling which was corrected before the general release of the single.
McCartney was spelt McArtney on the demo record

When the album "Please Please Me" was released in March, 1963, the song "Love Me Do" was included. However, for the album, producer George Martin elected to use the Andy White version of the song. Or maybe he had to.... More about that later.
If you hear Ringo Starr tell this story in interviews, he is always telling it wrong, he thinks he's on the album and White's on the single, but he's got it backwards. It has later come to light that the master tape of the Ringo version of "Love Me Do" went missing, and it still hasn't been found. Later releases of the Ringo version of the song have all used an original single as source, including the most recent one on the 2009 Beatles remasters collection.
In America, EMI’s subsidiary Capitol records declined the offer to release “Love Me Do,” but Canada released it on their Capitol of Canada label on February 4, 1963 (Capitol of Canada 72076). It would not be until the first few months of 1964, when “Beatlemania” awoke in the U.S., that Americans would become aware of the song. When the Canadian single started charting as an import in America, Vee Jay records issued it as a single on their Tollie subsidiary label on April 27, 1964 (Tollie T-9008). By May 30, 1964, the single topped the U.S. Billboard charts. The Canadian single was the version with Ringo on drums. The Canadians were sent a UK single (probably the misspelled promo) to use as master for their pressing.
The same is true for the Norwegian pressing from 1964, where even the misspelling carried over from the UK promo label to the official Norwegian label.
McArtney reappears
Based on all these pieces of evidence, I have come to the conclusion that the original Love Me Do master tape featuring Ringo on drums is likely to have been destroyed as early as in 1962. This explains why George Martin had to use the Andy White version on the album in 1963. Someone probably thought that the single was never going to be reissued, and ditched the master - or more likely used the tape to record something or other over it. Now, go ahead and prove me wrong!
Recently, all three original "Love Me Do" drummers have rerecorded the song. Ringo made his own version of "Love Me Do" on the album "Vertical Man", and also Pete Best's Band has a version...
To top it off, here's Andy White (81 at the time) drumming on "Love Me Do" all over again in a 2010 video recording:

Saturday, 18 February 2012

McGough & McGear rerelease

McGough & McGear

McGough & McGear is a very rare original 1968 13-track LP on the Parlophone label, from two of the Scaffold guys, Roger McGough and Mike McCartney. Mike used McGear as artist surname, because he didn't want to cash in on his big brother's name and fame. This pop psych classic features uncredited contributions from big brother Paul, Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding, Graham Nash, Dave Mason, Andy Roberts, Jane Asher, John Mayall among others.

The album was produced by Paul McCartney, and mixed poetry, comedy and some solid pop-psychedelic rock. McGough usually took the lead on the parts with spoken word poetry, which featured some pretty decent wordplay, while McGear was featured on the rock songs. This type of thing was pretty popular back in swingin’ Sixties England; if you like the Bonzo Dog Band you’ll like the McGough and McGear stuff. The album was mainly recorded in the summer of 1967 and slated for release on the Beatles new Apple label, but that didn't happen.

The album was rereleased on vinyl and CD in 1989, but all editions are scarce and highly collectable. It is sought after by both Beatles and Hendrix collectors. Until now, because here comes the re-re-release on CD. So in hindsight, I should have sold my CD copy last year...

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Who is Paul McCartney?

Well. At least they say that's a trending topic on Twitter these days, so I'm going with the flow here. But I have to admit, after today those of us who are in the know has another question which goes more like: Who does Paul McCartney think he is?
A couple of days ago, I noticed that someone posted a link to a site where a captured stream of McCartney's recent concert from the Capitol studio, audio and video, could be found. I took no note of it, because in my deluxe edition of "Kisses On The Bottom" there was a card which read: "Download "Paul McCartneys exclusive performance at Capital Studios, Hollywood, California on Thursday 9th February". Included was a code which you could use to redeem this offer. So I didn't bother with the bootlegged stream, I had watched the concert on iTunes on my computer and waited for today to come along, so I could download it an watch it on my TV.

Imagine my surprise when all I got was a zip file containing four mp3's! I felt my hero had let me down for once. And for no reason. Those who paid for the deluxe because they wanted to do this the legal way felt betrayed. While the ones who never pay for anything except for their broadband subscriptions are downloading both the album and the full concert performance video. And those who aren't computer savy are buying the concert video bootleg on DVD. So go ahead Paul, you may fire your advisors. Again.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Musicares set list

Paul, Joe Walsh, Dave Grohl
Paul McCartney was honored as MusiCares Man of the Year on Friday night at the Los Angeles Convention Center with a cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner and a star-studded tribute. Here's a tentative set list, assembled by Vintage Vinyl News.
  • Performance by Cirque du Soleil from Love
  • Magical Mystery Tour - Paul McCartney
  • Junior's Farm - Paul McCartney
  • Jet - Foo Fighters
  • Blackbird - Alicia Keys
  • No More Lonely Nights - Alison Krauss
  • Here, There and Everywhere - Tony Bennett
  • And I Love Her - Duane Eddy
  • Oh Darling - Norah Jones
  • Hey Jude - Katy Perry
  • I Saw Her Standing There - Neil Young & Crazy Horse
  • Fool On the Hill - Sergio Mendes
  • We Can Work It Out - Coldplay
  • Yesterday - James Taylor with Diana Krall
  • For No One - Diana Krall with James Taylor
  • I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter - Paul McCartney with Diana Krall & John Pizzarelli
  • My Valentine - Paul McCartney
  • Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End - Paul McCartney with Joe Walsh, Dave Grohl
Ringo Starr has been absent from the McCartney events recently, and has been represented by his wife and his brother-in-law. During his speech at the Walk of Fame ceremony, Paul excused his friend, saying he has felt a bit "under the weather". Let's hope Ringo is well enough to be a presenter during the Grammy Gala... If he is, all four Beatles will be represented there, as Paul will be performing and Yoko Ono is likely to be in the audience. The Harrison family will be represented by George's older sister Louise.

Friday, 10 February 2012

On The Run - tour dates added

Paul McCartney has confirmed three new tour dates on his ongoing "On The Run" tour, the first ones in 2012. All are in March: 24: Ahoy, Rotterdam, 26: Hallenstadion, Zurich and 28: Sports Paleis Antwerp, Belgium. Tickets go on sale Tuesday Feb 14th to Zurich and the Antwerp and Wednesday the 15th to Rotterdam. 

McCartney's star and concert

Paul McCartney got his "Walk of fame" star yesterday, and later streamed a concert from the Capitol recording studio. Set list:

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
Home (When Shadows Fall)
It's Only a Paper Moon
More I Cannot Wish You
The Glory of Love
We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)
Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive
My Valentine
My Very Good Friend the Milkman
Bye Bye Blackbird
Get Yourself Another Fool
My One and Only Love

Paul was just singing, while Diana Krall and her band provided the backing. People who watched online talks about false starts, out of tune whistling and some voice problems. This will probably be cleaned up for those with download cards.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Buyer beware

US blog readers: if you are going to buy the Deluxe edition of Paul McCartney's latest album "Kisses on The Bottom", go to Target Stores. There are two Deluxe versions of "Kisses on The Bottom", one has 14 tracks, the other 16. According to the sticker on the shrink, the 16 track (the one with "Baby's Request") is a Target Exclusive. Both the 14 and 16 tracks Deluxes have the download card for the upcoming Capitol performance. So, unless you want to buy the album twice, it looks like Target, in the US, is the way to go. Good luck.

This thing with making editions exclusive to certain chain stores has been going on for a while. It used to be specific countries. Like you could only get the 2 disc version of "Flowers in the dirt" in Japan. And the 2 disc "Off The Ground - the complete works" was available in Japan and Germany only. I remember when "Flaming Pie" was out, you would get an exclusive "Oobujoobu" CD for free, only if you bought "Flaming Pie" at a Best Buy store in the USA. Anywhere else in the world, it just wasn't available. And if you want the current Ringo album in it's deluxe edition, that's an exclusive.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that the vinyl edition 2LP version of "Kisses on The Bottom" only has fourteen tracks. 4 on each side of LP 1, three on each side of LP 2. Which means that even vinyl buffs will have to fork out for the deluxe edition on CD (16 tracks version) in order to keep their collection complete. I smell dollars.

Paul McCartney will commemorate the release of his "Kisses On The Bottom" with a once in a lifetime free streaming performance taking place live at 7:00 p.m. PST Thursday 9th February, from the famed Capitol Studios in Los Angeles where much of the new album was created. Fans can watch the intimate concert through iTunes on their Mac or PC. That's four in the morning on the tenth, my time.... yawn.

Here's a good read, an article which couples together the two single song releases "My Valentine" and "Wings" and makes it into a good old-fashioned Beatles single.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Beatle Week 2012 brochure available

The Beatle Week in Liverpool, is THE annual event for Beatles fans here in Europe, with bands from over 20 countries and fans from over 40. As well as live gigs, there are exhibitions, memorabilia sales, guest speakers, video shows, sightseeing tours and a convention. Festival venues have included the Cavern Club and Cavern Pub in Mathew Street, the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool Cathedral and the Philharmonic Hall. One of the most popular events is the Beatles memorabilia auction at LIPA.
This year's brochure has now been made available, and can be downloaded from here (PDF). Read updates on the Cavern Club site.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

A conversation with Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney is interviewed for Brazilian TV about his new album. Two of the Beatles are releasing albums the same week, and there's a media blitz going on. Who will win?