April 3, 2016
The Beatles returned to the top of the American Charts for the ninth time on September 4, 1965, for the first of three weeks.
“Help” was the title song of their second film and had a quick journey to the top. It entered the charts at number 41 on August 7, and four weeks later it arrived at number one.
John Lennon once stated that “Help” and “Strawberry Fields” were his favorite songs.
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.
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.
February 5, 2013
The Beatles had broken up and John Lennon was now on his own. “Mother” reached the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart during early 1971. If ever there was a song that showed how different his solo music was going to be from that of Paul McCartney’s, this was it.
The song was a raw plea as Lennon’s vocal strained to present the words. While he would have a number of solo hits, this one was just too difficult a listen for AM singles radio at the time. It peaked at number 43 during its six weeks on the chart.
Much of Lennon’s solo work would be melodic and poetical. “Mother,” however, was Lennon at his stark best.
January 16, 2013
When The Beatles disbanded everyone figured John Lennon and Paul McCartney would do just fine. George Harrison quickly released ALL THINGS MUST PASS, which was one of the best albums of the decade. But what about Ringo?
Ringo started out by releasing the commercially unsuccessful sentimental journey and followed that with the very good but moderate selling country album BEAUCOUP OF BLUES.
During the spring of 1971 he hit his pop stride. “It Don’t Come Easy” was a light mid-tempo pop song that was perfect for AM radio. It reached number four on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart, which was the first solo hit of his career. A lot more would follow.
December 20, 2012
“Get Back” is a Beatles song that ranks as their third biggest single hit in the United States, yet sometimes is over looked in the vast catalogue of music.
It was the only Beatles single to include another artist in the main creits as it states The Beatles with Billy Preston. In addition, it was the first Beatles single to be released in true stereo in the United States.
Released during April of 1969, it would spend five weeks in the number one position on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart in the USA and six weeks on top of the U.K. Singles Chart.
The flip side, “Don’t Let Me Down,” was a primal scream love song to Yoko Ono by John Lennon. It would also receive chart action in the USA, topping out at number 35.
This is one of those singles that has grown on me down through the years and remains one of their best 45 rpm releases.
December 10, 2012
The Beatles were about to be no more. The most popular and influential band in rock history split during early 1970. Their last album, LET IT BE, produced a series of hit singles including the last number one of their active career.
“The Long And Winding Road” was a fitting end to their career. It was a poignant ballad created by Paul McCartney, who was not pleased with the post-production orchestration added by producer Phil Spector. The song has sense been released without Spector’s additions.
Released during early 1970, it became their 20th number one single in the United States topping the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart for two weeks.
It is a song that has grown on me over the years as it has a sad quality to it, which looks back to a time that can never be again.
August 27, 2012
I was never a real fan of John Lennon’s first two solo singles, “Give Peace A Chance” and “Cold Turkey.” The third remains one of my favorite Lennon songs.
“Instant Karma (We All Shine On)” was released during early 1970 and was his first solo single to crack the top ten. It reached number three on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart.
It was a rocker with George Harrison contributing the guitar work and Billy Preston on keyboards. The music had a raw feel to it and was different from much of what he would produce during his all too short solo career.