The Beatles’ 13th Album?

By |2022-11-28T14:25:57-08:00November 28, 2022|1970s|

The glorious team blog Boing Boing linked today to an article on Formidable Mag—their guess as to what a 13th Beatles LP might've sounded like. Their surmises are, to my mind, riddled with errors and misunderstandings—that, for example, the always intellectually restless Fabs would recycle a rejected title for Abbey Road three years later; that they had “basically stopped collaborating on songs after Sgt. Pepper”; that George’s ATMP stuff would somehow be magically unrejected by the others, because we now in 2022, see ATMP as his high-point; that they would’ve used multiple producers (!); that Lennon/McCartney would’ve decoupled the credit; and so [...]

Beatles in the 1970s: Melting and Crying

By |2022-04-18T14:03:34-07:00April 13, 2022|1970s, books, Breakup, Let It Be|

I'm an inveterate haunter of used bookstores. I love the physicality of books, and seeing how publishers chose to present subjects at particular places and times. Today I give you two 1970s finds, both British paperbacks, that feature melting or crying Beatles. This edition of The Beatles Lyrics was published by Omega in 1975 and features an introduction by (cringe) Jimmy Saville. Though the book includes no cover illustration credit, commenter Dan pointed out that it appears in Alan Aldridge's The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics (it's in volume 2, published in 1971), and commenter meaigs further noted that the illustration is by John Holmes. This is [...]

The Beatles, “Let It Be,” and “Get Back”: “Trying to Deceive”?

By |2021-10-22T09:59:45-07:00October 22, 2021|1970s, Abbey Road, Beatles Criticism, Breakup, Let It Be, Movies|

Michael G's post "Let It Be, Get Back, and History as Art" and the comments on the site have raised so many interesting points about Lindsay-Hogg's 1969 film and Peter Jackson's forthcoming one that I wanted to say a bit more about why I'm looking forward to Jackson's film, but also not expecting it to be the whole truth. A lot of that expectation derives from considering historical context, so let's get into the wayback machine for a minute. In 1975, Barclay James Harvest released the song "Titles," taken from their album "Time Honoured Ghosts." The vast majority of the song does consist [...]

Happy 50th Birthday to McCartney’s “Ram”

By |2021-05-17T09:07:42-07:00May 17, 2021|1971, anniversaries, Linda McCartney, Paul McCartney, Ram, Uncategorized|

It was 50 years ago today that Paul and Linda McCartney released Ram, an album that's become more popular over the decades. I've talked at length about my love for the album here, and have often recommended this Jayson Greene Pitchfork review of the album's 2012 reissue. Perhaps because Ram was created at a time in Paul McCartney's life when he had to figure out how to pick up and keep going when everything was falling apart, my affection for the album has increased over the past year and a half. In this second decade of the 21st century, we're all trying to "ram [...]

Dominic Sandbrook on the Early Seventies

By |2020-01-20T14:41:24-08:00January 20, 2020|1973|

Not-so-Great Britain. Today I happened across something I think Dullblog readers might like: "The Weird World of Seventies Britain," a lecture by the Oxford historian Dominic Sandbrook. (You'll also dig it if, like me, you're a fan of "The Crown.") The details Sandbrook relates—cue Paul's "Power Cut”—are interesting and enjoyable. Spurred by our conversations about the British nightclub scene, I've gotten Sandbrook's histories of Britain from 1956-63, and 1964-70. I will read them and report back with Interesting Beatle Facts. Britain in the Seventies is usually considered to be dystopic in the extreme, and it was certainly a rude comedown from a [...]

How “Lost” Was My Weekend?

By |2019-08-07T00:42:48-07:00July 30, 2019|1974|

Lennon and friends, up to no good. Especially that woman up front there, she seems like TROUBLE. :-) Frequent commenter @Hologram Sam provided this comment in one of our earlier threads. I commented, but as is usual these days had enough to say that I'm making a post out of it. Pop over and read it. I'll wait. I feel obliged to point out that May Pang's alleged statement tracks neatly with The Lives of John Lennon: John and Yoko as more a business entity than a couple, fulfilling their sexual/emotional needs elsewhere; May and Julian written out of the history; and [...]

Lennon and McCartney’s “lost reunion,” by David Gambacorta

By |2019-06-25T11:11:23-07:00June 25, 2019|1974, Beatles in LA, bootlegs, Breakup, Chris Carter/Breakfast With the Beatles, Harry NIlsson, John and Paul, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Uncategorized, Unreleased/Outtakes|

Posted at the excellent aggregator and original writing site Longreads is David Gambacorta's exploration of the 1974 California jam session John Lennon and Paul McCartney engaged in -- the last time they would play together. Most Beatles fans will be familiar with the history Gambacorta recounts, but it's nice to see it laid out succinctly. Gambacorta does turn up a few facts that were, at least, new to me: for example, it's not clear what happened to the master tapes made that night. And the piece is well worth reading for the recent comments Gambacorta got from several people, including Elliot Mintz, [...]

“Nobody Loves You When You’re Down and Out” acoustic demo

By |2019-05-10T11:20:06-07:00May 10, 2019|1974|

With a few exceptions, demos are genial curiosities, adding context but little else to the standard version. You don't hear the song any different after. This one is an exception. Like a lot of folks, I've always found this song from Walls and Bridges particularly haunting, given where John Lennon was in his life (and vis a vis the music business); but this version really got me—the break at 3:36 is just amazing. Go listen. (h/t to Stephen Kroninger) (Stray thought: it might be fun to compile a list of truly essential demos, ones like “I'm Looking Through You." Put 'em in [...]

Thoughts on Red and Blue?

By |2019-05-06T21:03:44-07:00April 1, 2018|1973|

Songs from Beatlemania! Photo from 1968! AIEEEE Robert Rodriguez, author of Fab Four FAQ 2.0, popped up on my Facebook feed this evening touting an interesting anniversary: Thirty-five years ago tomorrow, on April 2, 1973, Apple/EMI released the Beatles compilations, 1962-66 and 1967-70. Or, as they were universally called, the Beatles Red and Blue Albums, respectively. Not surprisingly, these two LPs hit like a bomb (they'd sold 1.3 million of both sets by the end of that first year), and for lots of people, they became their introduction to the group. 1962-66 and 1967-1970 were a seminal expression of second phase [...]

With The Beatles: Alistair Taylor

By |2016-03-04T09:13:24-08:00March 3, 2016|1960s, 1970s, Apple/Inner Circle, books|

  Alistair Taylor, 1967 In 1960, Alistair Taylor was a newly married 25-year-old office clerk when he applied for a sales job at NEMS. He had never met Brian Epstein before, but the two men hit it off immediately.  The sales job morphed into an offer to be Epstein’s personal assistant, and Taylor jumped at the chance. If you’re looking for a Lewisohnian-type account of Beatle history, this isn’t the book to read. Taylor is charmingly unsophisticated and his recollections are quirky and hyperbolical (and sometimes a little suspect). But hey-- that’s part of the book’s (and the author’s) charm. [...]

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