January 30, 2015
It had been eight weeks since the Beatles had a number one single but that streak ended on August 1, 1964, when “A Hard Day’s Night” reached the top of the charts for the first of two weeks.
The film of the same name premiered July 6, 1964, to favorable reviews. The cream of high society turned out and over 10,000 people gathered around the theater.
One of the highlights of filming was George Harrison meeting Patti Boyd, his (and Eric Clapton’s) future wife, on set.
“A Hard Day’s Night” entered the BILLBOARD Hot 100 at number 21 and two weeks later it was number one.
December 29, 2014
“Love Me Do” was a track that was recorded before their signing with the Capital label in America, similar to “She Loves You” and Twist And Shout.” Released on Vee Jay’s Tollie label it became the group’s fourth number one single when it spent the week of May 30, 1964 at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
There has always been controversy surrounding the song. Originally released in the U.K. October 5, 1962, it reached number 17 on their pop chart. Ringo Starr was the drummer on that recording. “Love Me Do” was re-recorded for release in the USA with studio musician Andy White on drums and that is the version that topped the charts in the United States.
While the song is rarely mentioned among the Beatles best works, John Lennon’s harmonica play is memorable.
December 4, 2014
The Beatles had ruled the American music world for nine straight weeks. What could they possibly do for an encore? The answer was a third number one hit in a row.
“Can’t Buy Me Love” became the number one song in the United States, April 4, 1964, and would remain in that position for five weeks but that was only the tip of the iceberg.
On December 9, 1956, Elvis Presley set a record with nine singles on the BILLBOARD Hot 100. The Beatles smashed that record on April 11, 1964, when 14 of their singles occupied positions in the Hot 100.
1) Can’t Buy Me Love
2) Twist and Shout
4) She Loves You
7) I Want To Hold Your Hand
9) Please Please Me
14) Do You Want To Know A Secret
38) I Saw Her Standing There
48) You Can’t Do That
50) All My Loving
52) From Me To You
61) Thank You Girl
74) There’s A Place
78) Roll Over Beethoven
81) Love Me Do
And so it was with Beatlemania in 1964.
November 13, 2014
The Capital label hit the jack pot when it signed the Beatles to an American contract. Their only mistake was declining to release the Beatles first four singles before striking gold with “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”
“She Loves You” was one of the songs turned down by Capital. It was issued in early January of 1964 on the Swan label but received little notice. When “I Want To Hold Your Hand” became a mega-hit Swan reissued “She Loves You” and it eventually replaced “I Want To Hold Your Hand” as the number one single in America on March 21, 1964. It remained at the top of the charts for two weeks.
Oddly it was their producer George Martin who suggested they add “Yeah Yeah Yeah” to the song. which became instantly identifiable with the early Beatles sound.
Considering what the Beatles would produce, “She Loves You” is many times lost in their vast catalogue but near the end of March, 1964, it ruled the American music world.
November 11, 2014
Just as “Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley and The Comets changed the course of American music in 1955, so “I Want To Hold Your Hand” Hand” by The Beatles changed it again in 1964.
The song was released in the United States on December 26, 1963, with an initial press run of one-million copies. On February 1, 1963, it became the number one song in America and remained at the top for seven weeks. It sold over 15 million copies world wide and remains their biggest selling single.
George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon became instant stars and their first two performances on the ED SULLIVAN Show were watched by 100 million people. On that February first, 1964, the course of music was changed forever. Their influence in still felt today.
Fifty years after its release, “I Want To Hold Your Hand” is still instantly recognizable as one of the most important songs of the 20th century.
December 3, 2013
Almost 20 years after volume one, The Beatles – On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2 has just been released. The Beatles appeared 52 times on the BBC and 37 performances are now available. Some of the songs are the same as the first volume but the performances are different. Also included are 23 short tracks of group banter.
The Beatles were always impeccable in the studio, all of which makes this release so interesting. There are no overdubs and the sound is a little raw as what they played is what you get.
It may not be on a par with their best studio material but there is a lot to like here, plus it fills in a lot of gaps for fans who want everything. George’s guitar on “Boys” and Lennon’s vocal on “Money” are both revelations without any studio trickery. “And I Love Her” finds Harrison using an electric guitar instead of an acoustic performance that appeared on the finished product. “Do You Want To Know A Secret” is performed at a faster tempo than the usual. McCartney rocks on “Beautiful Dreamer” and Ringo gives a good vocal performance on “Honey Don’t.”
Their well-known songs appear next to some unusual covers. “Please Please Me.” “She Loves You,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “I’ll Follow The Sun,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “I Feel Fine” share space with “Glad All Over,” “I Got A Woman,” and “Hippy Hippy Shake.”
The Beatles – On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2 is a nice journey through the often overlooked early part of their career. A must for any fan of The Beatles.
August 2, 2013
“The Ballad Of John And Yoko” was written by John Lennon to chronicle his relationship and marriage to Yoko Ono. It was a unique Beatles song in that George Harrison and Ringo Starr were not present when it was recorded. Lennon and McCartney played all the instruments.
It was a rare major Beatles single not to reach number one as it peaked at number eight on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 during the summer of 1969. It had a lot more success in their home country where it became their 17th number one single.