Sunday, 31 January 2016

The Beatles and WW II

The soundtrack album, 1976.
All This and World War II is a strange 1976 musical documentary which juxtaposed Beatles songs, performed by a number of contemporary seventies artists, with World War II newsreel footage and 20th Century Fox films from the 1940s. It lasted two weeks in cinemas and was quickly sent into storage. The film has never been officially released on home video or DVD, but bootleg copies of the film are available from several collector-to-collector resources. A fairly high quality transfer is also available as an unofficial DVD release.

The Beatles World War II is the new title of the reedited film.
Now it's being readied for an official DVD release in May, but in edited form and with a new title, "The Beatles World War II". The new edit by Tony Palmer means it's not quite the same film - as great chunks of it is re-edited, but he has used much of the same material, and of course many of the same songs. This is the new song selection:

1. Greensleeves – arr. Vaughan Williams – 2:00
2. The Fool on the Hill – Helen Reddy – 3:37
3. Yesterday – David Essex – 2:44
4. The Long and Winding Road" – Leo Sayer – 4:47
5. I Am the Walrus – Leo Sayer – 3:49
6. Come Together – Tina Turner – 4:08
7. Shostakovich 11th Symphony – 3:00
8. Maxwell's Silver Hammer – Frankie Laine – 3:27
9. She's Leaving Home – Bryan Ferry – 3:07
10. Let It Be – Leo Sayer – 3:43
11. Getting Better – Status Quo – 2:19
12. Help! – Henry Gross – 3:07
13. Nowhere Man – Jeff Lynne – 3:56
14. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – Elton John – 6:15
15. With a Little Help from My Friends – Jeff Lynne – 3:00
16. Strawberry Fields Forever – Peter Gabriel – 2:30
17. Get Back – Rod Stewart – 4:24
18. A Day in the Life – Frankie Valli – 4:04
19. Shostakovich 11th Symphony – 3:00
20. Michelle – Richard Cocciante – 4:00
21. The Long and Winding Road" – Leo Sayer – 4:47
22. When I'm Sixty-Four – Keith Moon – 2:36
23. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight – The Bee Gees – 3:17
24. Hey Jude – The Brothers Johnson – 4:58
25. Shostakovich 4th Symphony – 4:00
26. Fool on the Hill – John Williams – 3:00

The original intention of the filmmakers was to use actual Beatles music in the film. The decision to use other artists covering Beatles music was made by the film's producers after they realised additional money could be made through a soundtrack album. The decision was a sound one, as the soundtrack actually generated more revenue than the film. The vinyl (and cassette) soundtrack album was released in November 1976, and as a limited CD release in 2007. It was re-released on CD last year, still as a limited edition release.

2015 CD re-release

Further reading:

Friday, 29 January 2016

Admiral Grove 10 for sale

The "V for victory" sign was recently replaced with a new one.
Following the death of former resident Margaret Grose, the house where Ringo Starr grew up and lived until The Beatles took off is up for sale. Number 10 Admiral Grove in Toxteth, where the former Beatle lived until he was 21, is up for auction after the housing association gave the okay for the sale to go-ahead.

Ringo the accordionist in the doorway at Admiral Grove 10, with mother Elsie.
The two-bed Victorian terrace property was a regular haunt for the Fab Four in their younger days and other well-known faces on the Merseybeat scene, including the late Cilla Black. The Empress pub at the end of Admiral Grove was also famous for appearing on the front of Ringo’s first solo album, Sentimental Journey. In the film "The Mersey Sound" from 1963, Ringo can be seen leaving the house in Admiral Grove to be picked up by George Harrison, arriving in his car. The scene was also used in the promotional music video for the BBC recording of "Words of Love" in 2013.

Outside Admiral Grove 10: Ringo with his mother Elsie and stepfather Harry.
The property still attracts fans daily as it is part of the official Beatles Tour and Margaret Grose, the tenant who had lived at the property for 37 years, was always happy to invite people in to have a look inside the house until her death last year.

Following her passing away, Plus Dane made the decision to sell the house at auction on 24th March 2016.

Claire Griffiths, Plus Dane’s Executive Director of Property, said:

“Plus Dane has considered all of the options in relation to this property following the sad death of Margaret, who was a well-respected figure in the community. We felt it would be most beneficial to the community for the property to be sold as any profits made will be reinvested back into Plus Dane homes in the L8 area.”

Taking on board the concerns local residents may have, a number of restrictions have been placed on the sale of the house so it cannot become a tourist attraction or museum.

The house is just up the road from Ringo's first childhood home in 9 Madryn Street, which was recently saved from demolition. Ringo moved from Madryn Street to Admiral Grove at age 5.

Like other recently sold former Beatles member's houses, an auction will be held at the Cavern Club. The auction will take place on Thursday 24th March and the house has a guide price of £55,000, but auctioneers Countrywide are hoping it might attract investors with an interest in the Fab Four.

Tony Webber, Auction Surveyor, Countrywide Property Auctions, said:

“We are delighted and excited that Plus Dane Housing has chosen Countrywide to auction this property, which is such a unique part of Liverpool’s history as well as that of The Beatles.  We have auctioned properties lived in by three other members of The Beatles – John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney, and we expect a high level of interest from potential buyers in the UK and internationally.  We would urge all interested parties to register their details as soon as possible to ensure they don’t miss out on this rare opportunity.”

In 2014 and 2015, Beatles fan Jackie Holmes purchased both George Harrison's former home at Upton Green in Speke as well as the former home of Julia Stanley Lennon, John's mother, in Bloomfield Road in Allerton’s Springwood estate. She plans to live in the house in Bloomfield Road, where Julia taught young John to play the banjo and rent out George Harrison’s former home at Upton Green in Speke as a Beatles-themed let. The house in Bloomfield Road was sold for £155,000 in late March 2015, while Upton Green went for £156,000 in October 2014.

In October 2013, John Lennon’s childhood home at 9 Newcastle Road in Wavertree (just off Penny Lane), sold at auction for £480,000 to an undisclosed telephone bidder. Paul McCartney’s childhood home in 72 Western Avenue was sold at a Cavern Club auction in February 2015 for £150,000 to a mystery buyer.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The "Help!" store

Illustration photo: The main HMV store in Oxford Street, London, December 1965.
Twenty years or so ago, a Norwegian gentleman who was partly involved in selecting Beatles songs to release as singles in Norway told me this story.

He happened to be in London, England on the day The Beatles' album "Help!" was released. As he was walking along Qxford Street, London's main shopping street, he noticed that one of the stores there was just selling "Help!" albums. The Norwegian went inside the shop, and the only question he was met with was "mono or stereo?"

Mono or stereo?

I haven't come across any other references to this shop other than the story he told me, and I have no clue as to for how long the store was in operation. It may have been that this was the regular HMV store, fitted out for the occasion, or that HMV, which was EMI's own record store chain, had rented a vacant shop and stocked it up with "Help!" albums only.

Jenny Boyd outside the Help! store?
I had found no photos of their window display either, but after I had initially posted this blog post, Sara S. directed us to one of her stories which had the above photo.

If anyone else was there and can verify the story about this "Help!" store, please comment.


Uncropped photo by Angus McBean
An uncropped and unsmiling version of a photo from this session recently appeared online. For U.S. based readers, you may associate this photo with the one used on the Vee Jay album from early 1964, "Introducing The Beatles", which is similar, but mirror imaged and with the fabs smiling.

Introducing...The Beatles on Vee Jay Records.
Readers elsewhere in the world may associate the photo with the U.K. EP release "The Beatles' Hits", which was out on 6 September 1963. Here, the photo is presented correctly and not mirrored, but with the background airbrushed out. You can also see The Beatles in full figure, down to McCartney's shoes.

The Beatles' Hits EP release.
The photo session took place 11 February, 1963 - and McBean also took the photos of the Beatles in the staircase of the EMI building in Manchester Square the same day - among these, one ended up gracing the Please Please Me album cover.

The smiling photo was also used on the first French Beatles EP release in October, 1963.
The French "From Me To You" EP, catalogue number SOE 3739 was released in October 1963, ahead of the group's 3 week long residence at "L'Olympia" in Paris. It also featured the smiling photo, more cropped than the "Introducing..." version, but the right way.

Ringo's summer tour

Ringo and his All Starr Band hits the road again this summer. Photo: Rick Glover
Ringo and his All Starr Band Summer tour 2016

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band – featuring Todd Rundgren, Gregg Rolie, Steve Lukather, Richard Page, Warren Ham and Gregg Bissonette – announce another string of North American shows. The tour kicks off on June 3 in Syracuse, New York and ending with two dates in California, the first July 1 at Humphreys in San Diego and concluding the tour July 2 at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.  This current All Starr line up is the 12th and longest running, and as Ringo recently told The Boston Globe, “I love this band – we have a lot of fun together on and offstage, so here we come again.”

June 3 Lakeview Ampitheater, Syracuse, NY
June 4 Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino, Salamanca, NY
June 5 Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY
June 7 Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood, NJ
June 8 Cross Insurance Center, Bangor, ME
June 10 Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, Gilford, NH
June 11 DCU Center, Worcester, MA
June 12 Santander Arena, Reading, PA
June 15 St. George Theatre, Staten Island, NY
June 17 Warner Theatre, Washington DC
June 18 Koka Booth Ampitheatre, Cary, NC
June 19 Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN
June 21 Foellinger Theatre, Fort Wayne, IN
June 22 Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH
June 23 Fox Theatre, Detroit, MI
June 25 Pinewood Bowl Theater, Lincoln, NE
June 26 Hartman Arena, Wichita, KS
June 28 Paramount Theatre, Denver, CO
July 1 Humphreys Concerts, San Diego, CA
July 2 The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA


As Cirque du Soleil is planning a red carpet event in June to mark the tenth anniversary of their Beatles show "Love", we were guessing that one of Ringo's concerts would be in Las Vegas, but not so. Still, there's time off at the end of June for Ringo, so we are guessing the event will be around then. "More dates to be announced soon" is the word from Ringo.

Paul McCartney is also confirmed to be continuing his never ending tour in 2016, but he prefers to announce single dates and not disclose a full tour schedule.

Monday, 25 January 2016

The Fab Four meet The Big Four

The Beatles on the Morecambe and Wise Show, December 2, 1963.
In an in-depth article about The Beatles on TV in the U.K.,  Andrew Hesford-Booth speculates that the replacement of Pete Best with Ringo Starr could have been deliberately timed to coincide with the Granada TV filming of The Beatles in concert at the Cavern Club. The article gives an overview of The Beatles' U.K. television appearances in the sixties and 1970, particularly on the independent channels. The article is illustrated with some quite interesting facsimile pages from the TV Times magazine, as well as stills from the television shows. Good research also details which promo films were shown on which television programmes.

Read the full article on
Thanks to our reader Kevin Clark for alerting us about this article.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Bowie spewing

"Bowie Spewing" 1990, Oil on canvas (51 x 41 cm) by Sir Paul McCartney

David Bowie said "Paul sent me a picture of the painting, together with the question if I would mind the title of it. I answered 'Of course not, but what a coincidence, I am currently working on a song that's called "McCartney Shits".

From a review at a 1999 McCartney exhibition in Siegen, Germany, where the painting was one of many on display: Although entitled "Bowie spewing", this small painting was not planned as a portrait. As so often the case with McCartney, the subject emerged during the painting process. Experimental painting with no other motive than "just to let the paint lead the way" (McCartney) results in a physiognomy which reminds the artist of David Bowie at an early stage in his career, the time of his "Ziggy Stardust" album. This second level of consciousness causes him to include a frame in the composition of the picture, which he then decorates with mystic symbols. Using a picture within a picture, McCartney reflects here on painting as a medium. The paint running down the canvas breaks up the narrative illusion, connects the levels and draws attention to the material nature of painting. Here too McCartney makes use of his mental store of images as he is reminded of a motif similar to "Bowie spewing" on a Polaroid photo which Linda McCartney made of Bowie.

Ziggy and Paul, “Live and Let Die” film Premiere in July 1973.
It has been thought that at least part of McCartney's lyrics from the song "Jet" are references to Bowie: "I thought the major (a reference to Major Tom) was a lady suffragette (refers to Bowie's song Suffragette city)". Apparently, McCartney thought Bowie's Ziggy persona looked like a woman. The lyrics of Bowie's song "Ziggy Stardust" have been interpreted to be all about Paul McCartney and Wings.

Bowie smoking.
At the 1986 Prince's Trust concert, Paul introduced Mick Jagger and David Bowie who performed "Dancing In The Street", with Paul on acoustic guitar as part of the backing band. The clip was cut out from the concert film before it was televised and put out on video, but exists on YouTube.

After David Bowie's death, Paul released the following statement on January 11:
"Very sad news to wake up to on this raining morning. David was a great star and I treasure the moments we had together. His music played a very strong part in British musical history and I’m proud to think of the huge influence he has had on people all around the world.
"I send my deepest sympathies to his family and will always remember the great laughs we had through the years. His star will shine in the sky forever."
- Paul

Order print (McCartney Art)
Dancing In The Street (Prince's Trust/YouTube)

Friday, 22 January 2016

More music videos emerge

Filming "Hey Jude" at Twickenham Film Studios
In the wake of the officially released promo video collection "Beatles 1" and "Beatles 1+", more videos have emerged on the internet. As you know, only one of the two "Revolution" music videos was included on the official release, the same goes for "Lady Madonna", and for "Hey Jude", one real video was accompanied by another, hybrid version which edited together two of the other "Hey Jude" performances.
On the video platform Dailymotion (similar to YouTube, but another company), both the "Lady Madonna" videos, both the "Revolution" videos as well as all three "Hey Jude" performances have been uploaded lately by by Revolver Records & Video, sans the familiar watermarks associated with this uploader.

The source of the videos is said to be a collection of Beatles promo films remastered by Ron Furmanek for Apple back in the early nineties. The quality is not as good as the videos on the official release, but much better than versions of these films which have circulated earlier. Also, "By George! It's The David Frost Theme" is present in three variations as an intro to the "Hey Jude" videos. For "By George! It's The David Frost Theme", John C Winn have made this list of versions now available to us:

- Takes 1 and 2
(listed erroneously as takes 2 and 3 in Winn's book That Magic Feeling)
First heard in the Japanese Anthology broadcast, and then on the home video version. Ends with applause from the crowd and a reprise of the theme

- Take 3
(listed erroneously as take 1 in That Magic Feeling)
Used on Frost on Sunday, and circulating as a kinescope forever - with a tiny bit extra at the end (Frost says "Try one more, while we're running…") compared to the video source. Video source released on "Beatles 1" DVD. Ends with "It's Now Or Never"

- Take 4 (FS)
Shared by Revolver TV on New Year's Eve, John counts-in the theme, but Frost halts him and Paul asks the orchestra to stand.

- Take 5
First released on the "Beatles 1+" DVD, the orchestra is now standing and joining in
Ends with "You Are My Sunshine".

The David Frost themes were all performed one after the other and not before each take like it appears in the released "Hey Jude" video(s). Winn also noticed that all sorts of audio magic has been applied to the official releases. For instance, on one of the "Hey Jude" takes, Giles Martin has mixed in the tambourine from the record earlier than it appeared in the actual promo. There was something off about the handclaps, too. And on "Revolution" (take 1) from "Anthology", they mixed in John's lead vocal from the record in places where it shouldn't be, so it's double-tracked. So the only versions you can really trust to be untampered with are from Revolver TV.

Variation 3 of the "Hey Jude" videos is presented in full for the first time. The first two thirds of this performance of the song is new to the video collector community, only bits of the final third has been used as edit pieces in the Smothers Brothers version, in "Anthology" and "Beatles 1+". Before filming "Hey Jude", The Beatles performed a jam session to warm up the audience. In the "Let It Be" film, "Lucille", "Long Tall Sally" and "Jenny Jenny" are mentioned to have been played at that jam session, although the jam was not filmed by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg's crew.

"Lady Madonna" is the two different 1968 edits, and not the "Anthology" version, which flew in bits and pieces unrelated to the main video.

These videos come as an addition to the fan made "18+" collection of Beatles music videos we posted about earlier, and incidentally that collection has now been expanded to a "21+" collection.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Love changes for tenth anniversary

The Beatles show "Love" is about to undergo some changes.
Cirque du Soleil is planning some changes for their Las Vegas shows, including The Beatles' Love. This according to Robin Leach of the Las Vegas Sun, who has spoken with Jerry Nadal, Cirque’s senior VP. Nadal confirmed a major refresh for “The Beatles Love” at the Mirage ahead of its 10th anniversary this year with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr set to attend.

"Love is undergoing a major refresh right now. We’ll go down mid-February and come back at the end of February with a whole refreshed version of the show, then have a grand celebration probably in June," says Nadal.

"We’re going to add elements over the next couple of months, technological stuff, then in June we’ll do another red carpet event around Paul McCartney and Ringo’s schedule for the 10th anniversary. Yoko and Olivia have been quite involved, Paul and Ringo at more of a distance, but the women are very involved in it. They’ve been around all the time running support and adding creative input".

Source: Las Vegas Sun

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Let It Be from HMC

Front and back cover of booklet
Word from the HMC bootleg company is that their release of the 1992 Furmanek restoration of The Beatles' Let It Be movie is going to be out in just a few weeks. They have also made public this image of the front and back cover of the booklet which accompanies the release.

Here's what they are writing on the back cover:
Let It Be is a 1970 documentary film about The Beatles rehearsing and recording songs for the album Let It Be in January 1969. The film features an unannounced rooftop concert by the group, their last performance in public. Released just after the album, it was the final original Beatles release.

The film was originally planned as a television documentary which would accompany a concert broadcast. When plans for a broadcast were dropped, the project became a feature film. Although the film does not dwell on the dissension within the group at the time, it provides some glimpses into the dynamics that would lead to the Beatles' break-up.

The film has not been officially available since the 1980s, although original and bootleg copies of home video releases still circulate (as does bootlegs of various television screenings. WogBlog). The film's director Michael Lindsay-Hogg stated in 2011 that a DVD and Blu-ray was possibly going to be released in 2013, but did not happen due to the film's negative (though accurate) portrayal of The Beatles. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr collectively won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score for the film.

A tracklist is also supplied, referring to both the DVD and CD included in the package, so it seems the film's soundtrack is simply repeated on the CD. Because of the time limit of a CD, we are guessing that some of the dialogue must have been omitted there.

Flyer distributed by HMC vendors.
This is an unofficial release, which qualifies it as a bootleg. At one point in 1997, a U.K. based company revealed plans of releasing this 1992 remastered edition of the film as an official video cassette. As with all later announcements of an impending release of the film, this never happened. The film and outtakes from it have been the subject of several later transfers, restorations and remasters by Apple Corps Ltd, none of which have seen the light of day in full, although clips from the results of these restorations have been shown in documentaries, mini-documentaries and as standalone promotional videos released to television companies only. For a full overview of the history of the Let It Be home video releases and attempts to re-release the film, we refer you to our main Let It Be post.

The bootleg company is also bringing back some of their older releases.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Book projects

New George Harrison book due in March
John Blaney: George Harrison Soul Man Vol. 1
Hardback ISBN 978-0-9544528-7-2
Publication date 25/03/2016

To celebrate what would have been George Harrison’s 73rd birthday, Paper Jukebox publishes the first volume of a new career spanning discography – George Harrison Soul Man Vol. 1. Compiled by author and Beatles expert John Blaney, it’s the first in-depth illustrated critical review of Harrison’s remarkable solo career.

Vol. 1 maps his career as songwriter, producer and reluctant star from Wonderwall Music in 1968 to George Harrison in 1979. It places his songs in their historical, cultural and crucially spiritual context while also mapping his stylistic changes, which saw him reject Phil Spector’s turgid Wall of Sound in favour something altogether more anodyne and modest.

John Blaney is a passionate fan of The Beatles who brings to his writing the experience and rigour of a professional historian. His previous books include Paul McCartney: The Songs He Was Singing, John Lennon: Listen To This Book, Beatles For Sale: How Everything They Touched Turned To Gold and A Howlin’ Wind: Pub Rock and The Birth of New Wave.
Blaney studied at Camberwell College of Arts and Goldsmiths College (both in London) before taking up a post as a curator at a museum of technology.

George Harrison Soul Man Vol. 1 is available as a 8-inch x 8-inch 416 page hardback book illustrated with over 400 colour images that include UK and US label variations, album sleeves, picture sleeves, trade advertisements and more.

Meanwhile, the people behind last year's excellent "Eight Arms To Hold You" book about the filming of "Help!", Archivum Publishing have two new book projects on the way.
Early design idea.
One of these is called "Performance" - which they intend to release in time for Christmas 2016. It will concentrate on the Beatles concert performances, which ties nicely in with Ron Howard's film, working title "The Beatles Live Project", also due out around Christmas.

"All You Need Is Love" - due out this spring.
The other one, "All You Need Is Love" will be a photo book concentrating solely on The Beatles' song and performance on the "Our World" satellite TV Special in 1967. It's available for pre-ordering at, where you'll also find details about the book and it's various editions.

The Hamburg Days
Also in the making is a new graphic novel from John Timmons called "The Hamburg Days", all about The Beatles in Hamburg.
It lets the fans see visually what happened to The Beatles as they played in the clubs in Germany, and is not very expensive to buy. The aim of the book is also to help younger kids understand the fab four. This is the first of four Beatles products from Timmons. If your are interested in viewing the first 20 pages of the graphic novel online, check out this link. You may enquire the author directly about this book by emailing him at

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Completing Beatles 1

The first music video: "Help!" was filmed in black and white but not included on Beatles 1.
Currently circulating among Beatles video collectors is a collection called "18+", which has been made to accompany the official Beatles 1+ release, compiling some of the videos missing from the official release, including B-sides and alternate versions. Here are the videos featured in this compilation:

I'll Get You - from Ready Steady Go
This Boy - from Late Scene Extra
You Can't Do That - from Ready Steady Go
Things We Said Today - from the Hollywood Bowl
She's A Woman - from Ready Steady Go
Help! - the Twickenham clip filmed by Richard Lester, with original audio
I'm Down - from Blackpool Night Out
We Can Work It Out - from The Music Of Lennon & McCartney
We Can Work It Out - Intertel "version 1"
Paperback Writer - Intertel take 2
Paperback Writer - Intertel take 3
Paperback Writer - Intertel take 4
Rain - Intertel take 1 (edited with take 2 on 1+)
Rain - Intertel take 2
Rain - Intertel colour "Ed Sullivan" version
I Am The Walrus - from Magical Mystery Tour
Revolution - Intertel edit of takes 1 and 2 (with take 1 audio)
Revolution - Intertel take 2 (interspersed with take 1 on Beatles 1+)
Hey Jude - Intertel take 3 "David Frost" version (interspersed with take 2 on Beatles 1+)

Omissions: "Day Tripper", "Paperback Writer" and "Revolution" takes 1 are not circulating, neither is the complete take 2 of "Hey Jude". Takes 1 and 2 of "Hey Jude" were edited together for The Smothers Brothers comedy hour - other snippets can be seen in Anthology and on Beatles 1+. Take 2 is recognisable as the one where the guy in blue is on the redhead's left. Of course there are other clips but they were not number ones and so don't conform to the 1+ theme. Other videos like "Yes It Is" and "Eight Days A Week" no longer exist.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Improving Beatles 1 videos

Penny Lane - colour improvement
Whenever Apple/The Beatles are releasing new products for the home video market, Beatles video collectors are going to complain about some of the production decisions. This holds true for all the Beatles movies, including the recent blu-ray releases which are the current versions, and also for the recent Beatles 1 and 1+ video compilations.
One example is the Penny Lane video. The two main sources of the film is a two inch video tape made for The Hollywood Palace screening of the film in 1967 in USA, and a badly faded Ektachrome dub which the two inch tape was made from. Both these copies of the film were saved by one, now deceased, member of the production team of The Hollywood Palace television show. The two inch tape was the version used for the Anthology TV/Video/DVD series, and also distributed to television companies for screening on music video programmes. It had vivid colours, but was not up to scratch in the resolution department when the video was slated for inclusion on the Beatles 1 blu-ray. So they went to the other source, the 35mm colour positive film. Unfortunately, time had taken it's toll on that film, and the colours were badly faded. The production team took some measures to restore the colours, but they were still quite more dull than the previous, video-sourced version.

Sample 2
In steps the afore mentioned Beatles video collectors. Some of these are professionals when it comes to video restoration, and a new version is circulating which is a clear improvement on the version shown on the Beatles 1 blu-ray. What the restorers have been able to do, is take the colour information from the video source and apply it to the Beatles 1 version.

Sample 3
Unfortunately, the video source was cropped smaller than the Beatles 1 version, so the edges of the film still has the duller colours of that version. As you'll recall from our earlier review of the new version Penny Lane, some short scenes from an outtake reel had been spliced into the film. These scenes have been kept, because they did not have any colour fading issues.

Another problem with the official Beatles 1 and 1+ release was that certain videos had been transferred at the wrong frame rate. On the first disc, all are 29.970fps except the following are 23.976:

Eight Days a Week
Eleanor Rigby
Get Back
I Feel Fine
Lady Madonna
Let It Be
Penny Lane
The Long and Winding Road
Ticket To Ride
I Feel Fine
We Can Work It Out
Yellow Submarine

On the second disc, all are 29.970fps except the following, which are 23.976:

A Day In The Life
Day Tripper 3 (Ringo sawing)
Hello Goodbye 3 (the fun one)
I Feel Fine 2 (eating fish & chips)
Strawberry Fields Forever
We Can Work It Out 2 (Paul laughing hysterically at the end)

So it looks as though they had deinterlaced all the 65 Intertel videos and slowed them down to 24fps. This did of course cause problems with these videos, with jittering and other unwanted effects. Then along came the iTunes Beatles 1+ version, where all frame rates were 25fps. So half the clips look better than the blu-ray, whereas the other half look worse. This lead to high end Beatles video collectors having to create their own Beatles 1 and 1+, by substituting the offending tracks from the physical release with their iTunes counterparts. Once again, Apple had released a product with flaws, making the diehard video collectors having to take matters into their own hands, to improve upon the commercial release.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

The least popular Beatles tracks

The Beatles' "Long Tall Sally" EP, featuring a photo of The Beatles in Sweden.
Ok, so we brougth you a survey of the most popular Beatles tracks streamed by the leading streaming service Spotify, and here are the least popular ones from the same provider:

10. Honey Don't
Ringo's one song from the 1964 "Beatles For Sale" album, aimed at the Christmas market. Originally sung by John Lennon when the Beatles played it live, it was given to Ringo as his token song on The Beatles' fourth album. A version of the song with Lennon handling the lead vocals can be found on the "Beatles Live at the BBC" compilation from 1994. Ringo has performed the song live on several occasions, and even a John Lennon solo version exists, taped at the sessions for "Plastic Ono Band" (1970) and eventually released as part of the John Lennon Signature Box in 2010.

9. Thank You Girl
B-side to the single A side "From Me To You" from 1963, The Beatles' third single. At one point the song was going to be the A side, until they came up with "From Me To You".

8. I'll Get You
The B-side to the considerably more popular fourth single A-side, "She Loves You". Only briefly revisited by Paul McCartney on his 2005 US tour, the song opens with the word "Imagine". A live recording of the song, taken from their performance at the London Palladium in 1963 is available on "Anthology 1".

7. Long Tall Sally
The main track of The Beatles' stand alone four track EP of the same name, the Little Richard song was a mainstay in the Beatles' live repertoire, and often used as the final song during their concerts, including their final one, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966. Lead vocalist Paul McCartney took the song with him to use as final concert song for Wings' 1972 tour, and also performed it during his appearance at the Prince's Trust concert in 1986.

6. I Call Your Name
Another track from the same EP, the only one composed by members of the Beatles, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Originally "given away" to Billy J. Kramer, it is believed that Lennon was unhappy with Kramer's version and wanted to show it's full potential by recording it with The Beatles. Ringo revived the track as a video performance to be shown at a 1990 three hour "John Lennon Scholarship concert".

5. The Inner Light
Yet another B-side, this one was found on the back of the "Lady Madonna" single in 1968 and became the final George Harrison track for the Beatles to dabble in Indian instrumentation. It was also the first time a Harrison composition was chosen for a UK single release, and the only Beatles track recorded outside Europe, in India. Famously, the only line featuring backing vocals from Lennon & McCartney during the song was "do all without doing".

4. Slow Down
Another return to the four track EP "Long Tall Sally", this was one of the three Larry Williams songs recorded by The Beatles.

3. Bad Boy
Another Larry Williams track follows the fate of the previous one. This was originally released on an American album only, "Beatles VI" back in 1965 and didn't appear on a UK release until it was included on the 1966 compilation "A Collection of Beatles Oldies" - the only Beatles UK album from the sixties that has been discontinued since the seventies.

2. Matchbox
A Carl Perkins track sung by Ringo, which appeared on The Beatles "Long Tall Sally" EP, thus making all four tracks from this EP appear on this list. Even though the EP may show poor streaming popularity, when it was rereleased on vinyl for "Black Friday" in 2014, it made it to no. 1 on the UK vinyl charts and even appeared in Billboard's Top 200 albums charts! Still popular among vinyl aficionados, then.

1. Her Majesty
That final burst of creativity on the "Abbey Road" album, a Paul McCartney track that was tacked onto the album as an afterthought, it comes crashing in just after you thought the album had ended with the majestic "The End". McCartney took the opportunity to revive the light hearted ditty at Queen Elizabeth's Gold Jubilee concert, "Party at the Palace" in 2002.

The list was compiled by In our countdown, each track has been linked to the song's Wikipedia entry for your convenience.

One interesting anecdote about the song "Long Tall Sally": When The Beatles played two concerts (with Jimmie Nicol as their temporary drummer) at KB Hallen venue in Denmark on Thursday, June 4, 1964, they were going to feature the song last in their concert, announcing it's availability as a single the next day. However, they were upstaged when Danish support act The Hitmakers performed the song as part of their own set. The Beatles elected to substitute the song for "Twist and Shout" in their set list, and between the two concerts they had a word with The Hitmakers to make them drop the song from their second performance.
After having arrived at an agreement, the Beatles were able to finish with "Long Tall Sally" at the last show and go through with their PR announcement. The next day, "Long Tall Sally", coupled with "I Call Your Name" was indeed available in record stores in Denmark. Another fortnight would go by until the songs were made available in the UK on the "Long Tall Sally" EP. Of course, both songs were already out in USA in April, as part of "The Beatles' Second Album".

The Danish "Long Tall Sally" single.