Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Arise, Sir Ringo

Still from the film Lisztomania.
Several UK newspapers are reporting that a certain Richard Starkey MBE, is one of the the names on Queen Elizabeth II's New Year's Honours list over who are going to be knighted in 2018. This is something Ringo can't have dreamt about when he recorded the song Elizabeth Reigns for the album Ringo Rama i 2003. After the song finishes, we can hear him say: "Well...there goes me knighthood"!
The news was first published by scandal paper The Sun, but has since been confirmed by The Daily Mail, The Mirror, as well as other, reliable sources.
We have to admit that there has been a bit too many of these knighthoods of late, after Paul McCartney was knighted in 1997 at the age of 55. After that, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart and Ray Davies have all been honoured this way.
Neither John nor George received this honour, but George's friend and teacher Ravi Shankar was knighted in 2001.
Ringo is said to be "chuffed to bits" about the news, but the official announcement will be made on January 1. In the summer of 2018, Ringo and his All Starr Band is undertaking a European Tour, but no British dates have been announced.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Music videos from The Beatles

The Ballad of John & Yoko - now available on the internet
This past weekend, The Beatles uploaded a bunch of music videos to their official Vevo channel, echoed on the YouTube Vevo channel, for regionally challenged people like our good selves.
The videos are:

Something - viewed 418 000 times.
Paperback Writer - viewed 321 000 times
Yellow Submarine - viewed 211 000 times
Rain - viewed 178 000 times
Lady Madonna - viewed 178 000 times
The Ballad of John & Yoko - viewed 153 000 times
Yesterday - viewed 91 000 times

So, if this was a popularity poll, George Harrison takes the lead. And that seems to be the trend among young people, who also prefer the quiet Beatles when it comes to streaming: "Here Comes The Sun" is still the most streamed Beatles song on Spotify, now at 131 329 022 times.

Friday, 15 December 2017

It's the B-Day of Christmas

The boxed set cover features smiling versions of the Beatles portraits from the 1963 disc front cover.
It's B-Day or Beatles day or Boxed set day for the new Beatles boxed set release of their fan club Christmas records. It looks as though there are insufficient numbers available of these boxes here in Europe, whereas in North-America they are fully stocked. This according to reports from U.S.A. as well as Canada.

Amazon UK and Germany are both sold out, as are other online stores in Europe, and record stores are reporting limited supplies and they are not getting as many boxes as they have ordered. I checked my order at Amazon UK, and noticed that they had not yet dispatched my set.
Not dispatched from Amazon UK


So I checked again this morning and since there was no status change, I decided to go out and see if I could secure a copy. If Amazon should fulfill my order later, I could always get rid of it somehow. So I went to my local record store, and they had none. They couldn't even answer if they had ordered any, because the guy who's in charge of ordering was not at work this morning.

So I went to the local affiliate of the biggest record store chain in Norway. Their online shop says the boxed set is unavailable, but there was still hope that the actual mall stores had managed to get what they had ordered. Approaching the counter, I noticed that one of these boxed sets was put on display at the counter top next to the till. So I went to the clerk and asked for "one of those", pointing to the boxed set. He went around to look for it, and was informed by another clerk that the one on the counter was the only one they had. They had ordered plenty and had been alotted just the one copy.

My originals (left) and the new editions.
Back home, I've opened the boxed set and compared to my original flexis. Seems the sleeves are exactly the correct size, but the 1963 one has a regular single sleeve and not the envelope design of the original.

1963 original.

Looking through the booklet, it was also missing some of the so called «superpix» order forms, as well as the poster from the third Christmas record.
 
Foldout poster from the 1965 single.
I haven't yet played the new discs, but I understand that the contents have been mastered from dubs of the originals and safety copy tapes. Freda Kelly supplied the old flexis when the master of the 1970 Christmas LPs was assembled, because the original tapes were long gone already. So it seems, all we are likely to get are needle drops of Freda's flexis anyway.

Kevin Howlett has written a page in the booklet.
Link:
Variety.com

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Ringo's remastered albums

"Goodnight Vienna" - due out in remastered form in January, alongside "Ringo".
We've already mentioned this, but here's the official confirmation. The good news is that these two albums have been remastered for the new vinyl releases.

TWO ESSENTIAL RINGO STARR ALBUMS REMASTERED FOR WORLDWIDE REISSUE ON 180-GRAM VINYL LPS BY CAPITOL/UMe

‘Ringo’ and ‘Goodnight Vienna’ Available January 19


Los Angeles – December 11, 2017 – Two essential Ringo Starr albums, 1973’s Ringo and 1974’s Goodnight Vienna, have been remastered by Ron McMaster (that's his real name, folks!) at Capitol Mastering for worldwide reissue on heavyweight, 180-gram vinyl LPs. Both albums are available now for preorder and will be released by Capitol/UMe on January 19, 2018.

Preorder Ringo: https://UMe.lnk.to/RingoLP
Preorder Goodnight Vienna: https://UMe.lnk.to/GoodnightViennaLP

In 1973, Ringo released his self-titled Ringo, which yielded three Top 5 Billboard Pop singles, including the No. 1 hits “Photograph” and “You’re Sixteen (You’re Beautiful And You’re Mine),” and the No. 5 hit “Oh My My.” Platinum-certified in the U.S., the Ringo album peaked at No. 1 in Canada, at No. 2 in the U.S., and at No. 7 in the UK. All of Ringo’s Beatles bandmates joined him to participate in the album; Richard Perry produced and its notable guest players also include Billy Preston on organ, Harry Nilsson background vocals, Klaus Voormann on bass and sax, and Robbie Robertson on guitar.

Ringo released his fourth solo album, Goodnight Vienna in 1974, racking up more hits, including the Top 5 Billboard Pop singles “Snookeroo,” written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and “No No Song.” The album also features Ringo’s cover of the Platters’ “Only You,” which peaked at No. 6 on the Pop chart, and the title track, written by John Lennon. Perry, Preston, Voormann, Nilsson, and Robertson once again joined Ringo to collaborate in the studio, among others.

Finally out on vinyl: Ringo's Christmas album.

For the holiday season, Ringo’s beloved 1999 Christmas album I Wanna Be Santa Claus has been released on vinyl for the first time ever.

Ringo's latest album is available on CD and vinyl, as well as downloads and streaming.

In September this year, Ringo released his 19th solo album, Give More Love, before he hit the road again in October and November with his All Starrs. Ringo Starr and His All Starrs have confirmed several European tour dates for June and July 2018. Visit ringostarr.com/tour for more information.


We don't know if the remastered LP will have this Capitol anniversary logo.

RINGO STARR:  Ringo
1. I'm the Greatest (John Lennon)
2. Have You Seen My Baby (Randy Newman)
3. Photograph (Richard Starkey, George Harrison)
4. Sunshine Life for Me (Sail Away Raymond) (George Harrison)
5. You're Sixteen (You’re Beautiful And You’re Mine)" (Bob Sherman, Dick Sherman)
6. Oh My My (Richard Starkey, Vini Poncia)
7. Step Lightly (Richard Starkey)
8. Six O'Clock (Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney)
9. Devil Woman (Richard Starkey, Vini Poncia)
10. You and Me (Babe) (George Harrison, Mal Evans)

RINGO STARR:  Goodnight Vienna
1. (It's All Down to) Goodnight Vienna (John Lennon)
2. Occapella (Allen Toussaint)
3. Oo-Wee (Richard Starkey, Vini Poncia)
4. Husbands and Wives (Roger Miller)
5. Snookeroo (Elton John, Bernie Taupin)
6. All by Myself (Richard Starkey, Vini Poncia)
7. Call Me (Richard Starkey)
8. No No Song (Hoyt Axton, David Jackson)
9. Only You (Buck Ram, Ande Rand)
10. Easy for Me (Harry Nilsson)
11. Goodnight Vienna (Reprise) (John Lennon)

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Christmas boxed set sold out already?

Update: From what we have experienced, it looks like there are plenty of these boxes in USA but supplies in Europe have been insufficient. Record stores are reporting that they have only been alotted half the quantites they ordered of these boxes. And Amazon UK is sold out again.
The HMV Store: Sold out!

The Beatles Store: Sorry sold out!.
The official Beatles store in Europe displays a "Sold out" message, and the set hasn't even been released yet. The HMV store also says "sold out". Over at Amazon UK and US the set has been unavailable for some time, but it's been activated again. So perhaps a new run has been pressed? At the US Beatles store, it seems to be available as well. As late as yesterday, the Beatles tweeted an ad for the upcoming set.



Also the largest online record store in our native Norway displays a message that the item is no longer available to order.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Funny photo

Clipping from French newspaper.
This photo of a somewhat crosseyed George Harrison taking a selfie with Paul McCartney showed up in one of the Beatles related Facebook groups I belong to. The caption mentions British newspaper The Sun as originating source. However, I can't find this photo in the famous October 3, 1995 issue, which broke the reunion story with the first picture of the three of them together since Ringo's wedding in 1981.
Newspaper "The Sun" published the first reunion photo.
The photos were taken by photographer Tom Hanley at the Apple Office in London on March 31, 1995. Inside this newspaper is another photo from that same roll of film:
The headline parodies "We'll Meet Again" of Vera Lynn fame.
Most other press photos of Paul, George and Ringo together, taken in conjunction with the Beatles Anthology project were taken by Linda McCartney.
Here's a photoshop enhanced version of the funny one at the top of this story:

Is this a movie camera George is holding?
Both George and Ringo posed with these these cameras at the photo session.
Another photo from this occasion.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

RIP, Johnny Hallyday

Embed from Getty Images
French rocker Johnny Hallyday has passed at the age of 74. He was born June 15, 1943 and died on December 6, 2017. Johnny met the Beatles when the Beatles hit France, And as they became popular, he also recorded French language versions of some of their songs.

The above photo is from when Paul McCartney and Johnny Hallyday had a chance encounter in 2012, as they were both rehearsing with their respective touring bands in Burbank, California. Standing by, you can see members of McCartney's touring band, Abe Laboriel Jr. and Brian Ray - those two were actually also members of Johnny Hallyday's touring band back in 1998.

Back in the day: Johnny Hallyday and Paul McCartney
More: Read a review of Johnny Hallyday's concert debut in Great Britain in 2012.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Paul's Christmas album


During Christmas 1965, Paul McCartney went to music publisher Dick James' studio to transfer a tape onto disc as a present for his fellow Beatles. Only four copies were ever pressed, with many - including McCartney - believing they were lost in the mists of time. On December 1, Simon Wells uploaded Paul McCartney's 1965 Christmas album (or what's left of it) to YouTube. In 2011, a vinyl bootleg with this material appeared. Apparently one tape which used to contain the album was taped over by John and Ringo, but 18:33 of the original 26 minute tape has been restored. Paul is acting as a DJ here, with a heavy American accent, announcing the songs.

Friday, 1 December 2017

"Ringo" to be re-released


Last November, we mentioned that Capitol Records would celebrate their 75th anniversary this year, by re-releasing quite a numer of their classic records. Among these, quite a few Beatles related ones.
One of these, James Taylor's debut LP from 1968 on Apple Records is now available - and like we hoped, it has an Apple label. However, there seems to be a mistake here.

The Apple label, side 2. Photo: Jeff S. Levy.
Track #2 on side 2 is missing. It's mentioned on the label, but the song "Brighten Your Night With My Day" is just not there.

One album that we have just seen a mock-up of the cover of, is Ringo Starr's triumphant "Ringo" from 1973. Capitol has released this image:

"Ringo" with the Capitol Records 75th Anniversary logo.
According to the album's page on Amazon, it will be released on January 19, 2018. And the next album in Ringo's catalogue, "Goodnight Vienna" will also be made available on the same day.

Goodnight Vienna will be out at the same day as "Ringo". 
The image above is from a recent listing of the upcoming pressing of the album.
Like we have mentioned earlier, this year has seen both "Bad Boy" and "I Wanna Be Santa Claus" re-released on vinyl. Or, in the instance of the latter, this is actually it's first outing on vinyl.

And that's a good thing. For a number of years, Ringo's albums were only released digitally. It would be nice if they would make an appearance on LP for those who prefer that listening format.

So if anybody involved with the records are listening, the following Ringo albums are the ones we would like to see on the vinyl format:

1998: Vertical Man (only available on CD, cassette and download)
2003: Ringo Rama (only available on CD, cassette and download)
2005: Choose Love (only available on CD and download)
2007: Photograph: The Very Best of Ringo Starr (collection, only available on CD and download)
2008: Liverpool 8 (only available on CD, USB-bracelet and download)
2014: Icon (collection, only available on CD)

Of course, there's also a bunch of live albums from Ringo and his various All Starr Bands which are only available digitally.

Meanwhile, "Bad Boy" has been made available on black, champagne and blue vinyl. The champagne one is on 180 gram vinyl and includes a poster. It will be released today, December 1.