THE Beatles albums are the cornerstones of the popular music canon. Please Please Me, With The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles For Sale, Help!, Rubber Soul… They sold in their millions all over the globe.
In America, however, things were very different. The group’s early material was owned by different labels, leading to an unseemly scramble as different Beatles singles were released in competition with each other.
BACK in 1965 there was only one game in town for a five-year-old with 2d burning a hole in his pocket. It was down to the sweet shop for a wax-paper packet of Battle cards – three lurid paintings accompanied by a flat rectangular strip of Bazooka bubble gum.
AS The Beatles go virtual reality and we get the chance to join the band, Ed Barrett picks 14 tracks of neglected Beatles gems:
Back in the early 1960s, popular music (or “the pops” as it was known) was a singles game. Albums (or “LPs” as they were known) were created by the simple expedient of slapping on a couple of already released hits and padding out the rest with assorted rubbish, often composed by managers and producers in order to earn “song-writing” royalties.
Keith Richards (or “Keith Richard” as he was then known) described them as “two hits and ten pieces of shit”. Then came the Beatles’ first LP: “Please Please Me, Love Me Do and 12 other songs”. But this was different: two hits, some classy covers of other people’s hits, and a bunch of potential hits for other acts to nick. The formula was changed at a stroke, and pop music would never be the same again.
The Beatles continued to release best-selling singles (and how) and their albums set new benchmarks of creativity and quality. So prolific was their output that the LPs often contained no singles at all.
Most groups would have killed for 45s like I Saw Her Standing There, All My Loving, Eight Days A Week, Yesterday, Drive My Car and the rest. Yet the Beatles were happy to use them as album tracks, alongside all the other idiosyncratic and innovative songs with which they delighted their fans and kept the competition guessing.
Now that their catalogue has been re-mastered in mono and stereo, attention is once again focussed on Tomorrow Never Knows, Strawberry Fields Forever, A Day In The Life, and all the usual suspects. So here instead, for your listening pleasure, is a 14-track album’s worth of neglected Beatles gems. As the song says, a splendid time is guaranteed for all.
P.S. I Love You
(Please Please Me, 1963)
Written by Paul McCartney in Hamburg two years earlier, this was chosen for the group’s EMI audition. Created to fit the prevailing pop template, it nevertheless demonstrates the distinctive Lennon-McCartney style that would flower over the next year.
All I’ve Got To Do
(With The Beatles, 1963)
A good example of how, when the Beatles copied other people, they ended up creating something different in the process. Their first two LPs included several R&B and Tamla-Motown covers, and this is a clear attempt by John Lennon to write a song on the style of the writers he admired, such as Smokey Robinson and Arthur Alexander, whose Anna (Go To Him) had appeared on the first album.
Till There Was You
(With The Beatles, 1963)
Paul McCartney’s sense of musical tradition is often seen as evidence of his tendency towards blandness and sentimentality. But this sensibility – when balanced with his many other qualities – was an important part of the Beatles’ appeal. It increased the scope of their music, taking it to places where others feared to tread, and Sgt Pepper would have been impossible without their willingness to experiment with all kinds of musical genres. This beautifully understated interpretation of Meredith Willson’s Broadway show tune sees Paul at his most controlled.
Don’t Bother Me
(With The Beatles, 1963)
The first George Harrison composition to appear on record, and one of the best. His typically deadpan voice is perfectly suited to this idiosyncratic but hypnotic tune.
I’ll Be Back
(A Hard Day’s Night, 1964)
A downbeat ending to the album-of-the-film-of-Beatlemania. Though structurally unconventional, it appears completely natural – a feature of Lennon’s most interesting compositions. Had it appeared a year later, it might have received the attention it deserves.
Every Little Thing
(Beatles For Sale, 1964)
Sung by Lennon, and melodically and lyrically a typical Lennon song. All of which shows how wrong you can be, as it was in fact a McCartney composition, written as a prospective single. Eventually consigned to side two of one of their least regarded albums, it has remained there ever since.
You Won’t See Me
(Rubber Soul, 1965)
The nonchalance of the performance is in marked contrast to the desperation of the subject matter – and the result is wonderful. Classic mid-period Fab Four: the cool “ooh-la-la-las” of the backing singers are a Beatle-ism every bit as recognisable as the enthusiastic “yeah, yeahs” and “ooohs” of two years earlier. Steve Harley would use the same device to profitable effect a decade later on his smash Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me).
I’m Looking Through You
(Rubber Soul, 1965)
A good example of McCartney’s craftsmanship. The original version (available on Anthology 2) was an attractive but slightly ponderous mid-tempo number with a hole at its centre. At the last minute, McCartney added a sprightly middle eight which fits perfectly and leads seamlessly into the following verse. The whole thing was thus invigorated, resulting in a perfectly formed pop song.
(Single, 1966; also Mono Masters, Past Masters)
Recorded with its A-side Paperback Writer during the Revolver sessions, this LSD-drenched sonic assault gave warning of what was to come – backward tapes and all. Lennon’s gratingly harsh vocal provides the template for Liam Gallagher.
Fixing A Hole
(Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967)
This plangent marijuana-fuelled meditation was recorded in the company of a man who had knocked on McCartney’s door hours earlier, claiming to be Jesus Christ. Picks up where Paul’s interlude in A Day In The Life left off. “Somebody spoke and I went into a dream…”
(Magical Mystery Tour, 1967)
Speaking of which, this pleasing instrumental “dream sequence” from the Beatles’ misunderstood movie has undergone various trippy remixes over the years, and now makes a comfortable living as atmospheric TV background music.
It’s All Too Much
(Yellow Submarine, 1969; also Mono Masters, Past Masters)
More drugs. This Harrison epic was recorded in the early summer of 1967 just before All You Need is Love, and features a similar extended fade-out, replete with snatches of other songs (in this case the Merseys’ Sorrow). It would have fitted perfectly on Magical Mystery Tour, but ended up on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack album two years later. “All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece but no too much.” A delicious slice of British psychedelia.
Two Of Us
(Let It Be, 1970)
The bad-tempered sessions for the album that would eventually be known as Let It Be were mainly taken up with dismal Beatle originals and plodding versions of old rock’n’roll standards. This airy, optimistic tune was a welcome exception.
You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
(Single, 1970; also Mono Masters, Past Masters)
An important element of the Beatles’ character was their sense of humour. An early amateur recording featured a girl with a National Health eyeball, and their fan club Christmas records were full of clowning, yet this skit on northern clubs is the only fully-fledged comedy number in their commercial catalogue. It features Brian Jones [well, was he?] of the Rolling Stones, who also helped with the sound effects on the band’s novelty hit Yellow Submarine.
Recorded in 1967, it eventually appeared in truncated form as an incongruous B-side to the group’s portentous final single, Let It Be. By then Jones was dead and the Beatles were history. Listening today, the amusingly incoherent ramblings from around the 3.40 mark bear an uncanny resemblance to the Fast Show’s “I was ve’y ve’y drunk”.
The Beatles albums are released by EMI. They are available individually in stereo, and collectively in mono and stereo box sets
TIL, a bunny rabbit with no ears, has been killed by a cameraman filming it for a news feature. Til had been born at a zoo Limbach-Oberfrohna in Saxony, eastern Germany, a few days ago.
Til had the making of a media darling. Cute. Fury. Edible. But now sadly dead.
Uwe Dempewolf, the director of the zoo, tells Speigel:
“We are all shocked. During the filming, the cameraman took a step back and trod on the bunny. He was immediately dead, he didn’t suffer. It was a direct hit. No one could have foreseen this. Everyone here is upset. The cameraman was distraught.”
OK. Girls. Ready? These are the 10 sexist, most suggestive One Direction gifs ever. One Direction are totally checking you out… Liam, Niall, Harry, Louis and Zain are her to say hi*:
RICK Santorum is overcoming his anal issues by adding a silent P to his first name. Rick says that abortion should be illegal under all circumstances – even if his raped wife needed one to dave her life., Rick is all about compassion…
GREG Smith is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Others soon to pen their resignation letters from organisations bent on world domination and a win-at-all-costs mentality:
Rupert Murdoch from News Corp
Ayman_al-Zawahiri from al-Qaeda
Samir Nasri from Manchester City
Tony Blair from Heaven
Phil Mitchell from The Arches
KERRY Katona says her fellow former celebrity mum of the year Stacey Solomon did nothing wrong in smoking throughout her pregnancy because:
“Let’s be honest, Stacey’s smoking Silk Cut – it’s not even a real cigarette.”
It’s a fake ciggie, a toy, if you will.
This is Katona who slurred her words on ITV’s This Morning, made bipolarism the go-ahead celebrity mental illness, lost her job advertising Iceland’s frozen squirrel Boozy Brownies for taking cocaine, was filmed apparently takin cocaine in her en-suite bathroom, was held up in armed robbery at her home, shagged behind a Tesco (allegedly) and featured in the telly show Kerry Katona: Crazy in Love in which she and now ex-husband Number 2 appeared dressed in a straight jacket.
RAQUEL Welch has been speaking with Men’s Health magazine – magzaine obsessed with sex. Welch is number #2 in Men’s Health’s Hottest 100 Women of All Time list, beaten by Hilary Clinton. No, it was Jennifer Aniston, which is only slightly less incredible. Conversation turns to sex and the lack of the erotic mystery:
“I think this era of porn is at least partially responsible for it. Where is the anticipation and the personalization? It’s all pre-fab now. You have these images coming at you unannounced and unsolicited. It just gets to be so plastic and phony to me. Maybe men respond to that. But is it really better than an experience with a real life girl that he cares about? It’s an exploitation of the poor male’s libidos. Poor babies, they can’t control themselves… I just imagine them sitting in front of their computers, completely annihilated. They haven’t done anything, they don’t have a job, they barely have ambition anymore. And it makes for laziness and a not very good sex partner. Do they know how to negotiate something that isn’t pre-fab and injected directly into their brain?”
HAPPY birthday to you. Happy birthday dear [insert pet name here - we go with Hauser], happy birthday to you-uuuuu. Then three cheers. Bumps. Pin the tail on the donkey. If it’s your donkey’s birthday, use a cat. A pinata shaped like Lassie (it’s what she would have wanted) and then the cake…
TRAMPS. They’ve got an awful life. When the weather’s bad, they feel it most. The die in doorways and have septic extremities. And to think, they’ve got the paucity to actually ask you for money while you’re throwing a sandwich in the bin because it was a ‘bit dry’.
Either way, vagrants are being put to good use as a New York ad agency has decided to turn them into walking WiFi aerials.
Bartle, Bogle and Hegarty (BBH) handed out free MiFi gadgets to the panhandlers along with t-shirts sporting their names alongside the words “I’m a 4G hotspot”. The hobos will be bothering people with their excellent connective properties at hipsterfest, SXSW.
These leaders will tell you what is right and what is not. We already know. It;s about fairness. Give credit where credit is due. Try to add value. Use links.
WHITNEY Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina has met with Oprah Winfrey in the kitchen, for obvious reasons. (Milking human suffering is hungry work.)
Says Bobbi Kristina:
“Throughout the house lights turn on and off, and I’m like, ‘Mum, what are you doing?’ I can still laugh with her and still talk to her. I can hear her voice telling me, ‘Keep moving, baby, I got you.’ She’s always with me. I can always feel her with me. She would say at 5am the saints start praying. I wake up now and look at the clock and it’s five o’clock. I start praying. Her spirit is strong. I feel her pass through me all the time.”
Stitch that, Graceland! Does Elvis sing to the tourists as they pass though his mansion? Does he put on light show? No and no.
REBEKAH Brooks has been arrested in den of knobs Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, reports Sky News. Also arrested is her husband Charlie Brooks, David Cameron’s pal.
David Cameron is out of the country at the moment. Which is convenient.
In all six people have been arrested this morning by officers from Operation Weeting. They are suspected of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
Of course, Rebekah Brooks has already been arrested, In July 2011, Brooks was arrested in July on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and on suspicion of corruption. Back then her lawyer told media:
Her lawyer Stephen Parkinson said: ‘Despite interviewing her for nine hours, the police put no allegations to her. They will in due course have to give an account of their actions.’
ISRAEL is back at the top of the news cycle. Islamists have been firing rockets into Southern Israel. Israeli war planes have attacked Gaza. Adham Abu Selmiya, a spokesman for Hamas emergency services, says “mostly children” have been injured or killed. Israel says this is not so.
An Israeli spokeswoman says the country’s forces “targeted a weapons storage facility and four rocket launching sites in the northern Gaza Strip, as well as a rocket launching site in the southern Gaza Strip”.
Israel says Zuhir al-Qaisi, head of the Popular Resistance Committees, an armed group linked to Hamas, was set to order an attack. In the Israeli offence / response to PRC rockets, 18 Palestinians were killed, 16 of them militants. The Islamists fired 120 rockets into Israel, injuring four.
One side has bunkers. One does not.
The war is ongoing. But what of the media? Can they play a part. Do we treat the news that “mostly children” are injured with caution? Do we know for certain an attack on Israel was planned? Do we belive all we see? Take this in the Times:
And what of this? @KhuloodBadawi tweets a photo:
Only, the Israel Defence Force has seen the photo. The IDF points us towards @avimayer, who spotted that the picture was taken in 2006.
MOURITZ Botha (born in South Africa)was in the England team that beat France in Paris. So too was Manu Tuilagi – he was born in Somoa. Neither of them have been called Plastic Brits by the Daily Mail.
As the Mail says:
Manu Tuilagi set England on their way to a storming victory here yesterday that may confirm Stuart Lancaster in the head coach’s job. The 20-year-old centre scored a sensational long-range try in the 13th minute to ignite a performance that the interim coach claimed has ‘put the pride back’ in the nation’s rugby after the disastrous World Cup.
The Mail then turns to athletics:
Imports take GB to medal record
WHEN teacher Stacie Halas was placed on administrative leave by her employers at the Oxnard School District, California, for allegedly being porn star /actress Tiffany Six, we gave it the sideways eyes. We’ve been here before. The throbbing US porn industry is bound to toss up former employees who go on to earn a crust in another field.
Here’s a quick look at other educators who learned the hard way that porn leaves an indelible stain on your resume:
THE London Olympics of 1908 ran from 27 April to 31 October and featured 22 countries. Rome was meant to host the Fourth Olympiad but Italy did not have the money to pay for it. So, the Games were moved. Great Britain did well, winning 56 gold medals at the White City stadium in west London. Henry Taylor was the hero, winning three swimming golds.
But glory was tempered by cheating.
GB won 146 medals in total. Seven players entered the rackets contest: all British.
All officials came from the host nation. This led to lots of complaints of bias from the Americans. There was, for instance, the time test cricketer Johnny Douglas won gold in the middleweight boxing division. The fight against an American had split the judges. The ref’s decision would be decisive. The ref was Douglas’s dad. Douglas wins!
British athlete Wyndham Halswelle won gold in the 400m when the American who crossed the line first was disqualified for blocking. The race was re-run. The Americans refused to take part. Halswelle was the only runner. Halswelle wins!
MADELEINE McCann: Anorak’s look at Our Maddie in the news…
Daily Mirror (front page): “At last! Maddy Police launch new probe”
“Lawyer: Cops investigate ‘fresh, specific information”
No. They don’t.
Daily Express (front page): “MADELEINE – Parents joys as Portuguese police start fresh hunt”
Daily Star (front page): “MADDIE – Shock as cops reopen case”
A shock because it is not true.
Only, the Portuguese police have not re-opened the case. As we reported yesterday,
It is understood that the team from Portugal’s investigative Policia Judiciaria (PJ), headed by senior officer Helena Monteiro, has been looking at the Madeleine case for some weeks now.
A team of detectives based in Oporto in northern Portugal has been appointed to re-examine the original investigation into the little girl’s disappearance from the Algarve in 2007, the Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias reported.
ONCE upon a time, football mascots were men like Ken Baily, who dressed as John Bull, helped restore Erica Roe’s modesty after her Twickenham streak, and followed the Queen and the England and Bournemouth football teams across the world. Subbuteo even honoured him with his own model.
TIFFANY Porter is the Daily Mail’s “Plastic Brit“. She’s the captain of Team GB at the World Indoor Championships in Turkey.
The Mail says she’s “plastic” because she was born and raised in Michigan. Tiffany Porter represented the United States as a junior. And now she represents Britain because her mother was born in London (her father is Nigerian).
This is a great country, where we welcome talent. But the Daily Mail does not share those values. Its reporter asks Porter to recite the opening liese to God Save The Queen, you know, like the Scots and Welsh don’t do at international sporting events. She can’t or won’t. She should, of course, have asked the reporter to sing the second verse. It’s that ability that marks you as an authentic Briton.
“A ROYAL BABY”
Can it be that Kate is pregnant? Kate is touching her stomach in the way pregnant women do in the tabloids. And that headline does crete the impression that Middleton is up the duff. Only the smaller print informs us:
“How having a baby will transform her life”.
GEMMA McCluskie appeared in 34 episodes os EastEnders between 2000 and 2001. She’s dead. Well, so police believe. A body has been dragged form the Regent’s Canal in Hackney, London. It has no head. It has no limbs.
Miss McCluskie’s brother Tony has been arrested. He had been living in Bethnal Green, east London, with his sister.
That’s all we know. Police have released no more facts.
It’s a grim tale. A woman appears to have been murdered and dismembered. We know what the order of her ordeal. But the media see a dead star.
Daily Star (front page): “EastEnders murder girl in noisy row”
EastEnders… Noisy row… The Star seems to be blurring fact with fiction. What is EastEnders but a series of noisy rows?
Channel 5 Celebrity Big Brother star Natalie [Cassidy] said: “She’s a lovely girl.”
The Daily Star is owned by Richard Desmond, who also owns Big Brother on Channel 5. Best not to let the BBC and EastEnders get all the free plugs, eh?
The Sun: “Murdered Gemma McCluskie was ‘in fear of a man’ - EastEnders girl told pals of terror”
Another life-long friend said Gemma, 29, would have “fought for her life” against an attacker. The woman pal said: “She was feisty and bubbly, like her character on EastEnders. Gemma is not the sort of girl who would have wandered off.”
STACIE Halas (aka Tiffany Six?) is a 31-year-old science teacher at Richard B. Haydock Intermediate School in Oxnard, California, removed from her job and placed on administrative leave after her alleged porn past came to light.
Said Jeff Chancer, superintendent of the Oxnard school district:
“Maybe it’s not a crime as far as the penal code is concerned, but we feel it’s a crime as far as moral turpitude is concerned.”
GLEN Johnson, the Liverpool defender is talking to the Daily Mail where he is billed as “Liverpool’s only black first-team player“. That’s an odd thing to state, given that Liverpool is not a racist club, operating no colour bar to players nor fans.
It duly falls upon Johnson’s shoulders to be the spokesman for the entire black community (and where are those meetings held?).
Johnson was in the line up when unlovely Luis Suarez declined to shake the hand of Manchester United’s unlovely Patrice Evra.
“Evra was clever at Old Trafford,’ said Johnson, extending his hand directly towards me. ‘Because – I’m not being funny – but if I wanted to shake your hand I would stick it right out in front of me like that. But if my hand is down here, almost by my side, then it’s because I really don’t want to shake your hand.”