rubber soul

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THE BEATLES' ABBEY ROAD IN 2009: A classic from the cover on in

THE BEATLES' ABBEY ROAD IN 2009: A classic from the cover on in

Four decades ago the Beatles released Abbey Road, the album that marked the end of their career even though the inferior Let It Be would appear later, a sad coda to decade which they defined. Producer George Martin loved Abbey Road and considered it “Sgt Pepper, Mark II . . . it was innovatory but in a controlled way, unlike The...

THE BEATLES REMASTERED, 2009 (EMI): Here, there and everywhere

THE BEATLES REMASTERED, 2009 (EMI): Here, there and everywhere

The story behind the extensive and long overdue remastering of the most important music catalogue in pop has been well canvassed. Indeed, I have written this, a Listener article, Getting Better based on my experience of listening through to a large sampling of tracks while in Abbey Road in June. What that article doesn't address is the...

McCartney, Michael Jackson and me: Oh, get a room!

McCartney, Michael Jackson and me: Oh, get a room!

Mostly when I travel I don’t much care about the room I stay in other than hoping for a decent bed and a functioning shower. If you are doing your travel right, you never spend any time in the room anyway. But in Liverpool I set some kind of world record for transience. I’d barely been in the room a minute when the phone...

THE BEATLES AFTER THE REMASTERS (2009): And in the end . . .

THE BEATLES AFTER THE REMASTERS (2009): And in the end . . .

So are the remastered Beatle albums released on 09/09/09 ("number nine, number nine, number") the full-stop on a career which ended almost four decades ago? Maybe not. While at Abbey Road in June listening to the playback of some of these tracks (about which I wrote this), it seemed natural to ask engineers Allan Rouse and...

THE BEATLES ROCK BAND 2009: One, two, a-one-two-three-faaa

THE BEATLES ROCK BAND 2009: One, two, a-one-two-three-faaa

It is one of the many ironies of the Beatles Remastered project (which I have noted in this Listener article) is that these albums might not have even come out at this time were it not for the Beatles Rock Band interactive game. The remasters were finished some years ago and have been sitting around waiting for . . .? Some kind of...

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER PART 4,  2000 - NEW/NOW: Here, there and everywhere

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER PART 4, 2000 - NEW/NOW: Here, there and everywhere

For a man pronounced dead by radio DJs back in the late Sixties, Paul McCartney (or his doppelganger) has has a long and productive life. And musically diverse, as the Nineties proved: classical, pop-rock, balls-out rock'n'roll, acoustic sets, experimental electronica . . . Not a bad track record late in a long career. And in the new...

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY ON DVD (2003): And the songs remain the same?

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY ON DVD (2003): And the songs remain the same?

For a record company it was the cross-marketing opportunity of a lifetime. Well, maybe a lunchtime. But it seemed an uncanny coincidence that Neil Innes -- aka Ron Nasty of the Beatles-parody band the Rutles -- was in Auckland last week just days before the Beatles' remastered, digitally enhanced, but-wait-there's-more Anthology series...

Various Artists: The Lennon and McCartney Songbook (EMI)

Various Artists: The Lennon and McCartney Songbook (EMI)

While there have been quite a number of such compilations in the past interest alights on this one in particular because it has been pulled together by EMI New Zealands in-house memoryman Bruce Ward who does a fine job on such collections -- and here writes the intelligent liner essay. The Lennon and McCartney team were giving away hits in...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009  The Beatles Remasters (EMI)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 The Beatles Remasters (EMI)

Much as it is possible to love every crackle and piece of surface noise on the original vinyl albums which some still have or have inherited, the remastering brought out an energy and vitality in the Beatles catalogue which was undeniable. The music (and the Beatles Rock Band game) was much essayed at Elsewhere on release (I heard the...

TICKET TO RIDE by LARRY KANE: Along for the ride

TICKET TO RIDE by LARRY KANE: Along for the ride

In 1980 presidential candidate Jimmy Carter leaned over to journalist Larry Kane and said, "So I heard you toured with the Beatles. What were they like?" Even the 39th President of the United States wanted to know about those young men who changed the social and musical landscape of the 20th century. And Kane should know - he was...

Norman "Hurricane" Smith: Oh Babe, What Would You Say (1972)

Norman "Hurricane" Smith: Oh Babe, What Would You Say (1972)

Norman Smith was an unlikely chart-topper when he knocked Elton John off the top of the US charts with this, his second single: he was 49 at the time and prior to that his career had been firmly on the other side of the microphone as an engineer and a producer. But what a career he had enjoyed. In his late 30s he'd been taken on as a...

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Monkees; The Original Album Series (Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Monkees; The Original Album Series (Rhino)

By the merest twist of fate, the history of popular American music 50 years ago could well have been very different if just one man had got a different job. Stephen Stills -- a wonderful songwriter but even better guitarist who had his friend Jimi Hendrix on his first solo album -- was a mainspring of Buffalo Springfield and co-founder of...

Ringo Starr: Early 1970 (1970)

Ringo Starr: Early 1970 (1970)

It was one of the great ironies that after the Beatles broke up the solo careers of the songwriters Lennon and McCartney languished for a while, and that George Harrison unleashed the phenomenally successful All Things Must Pass triple album (with the chart-topper My Sweet Lord) But the most succesful solo Beatle was -- and here's the real...

Paul McCartney and Wings; Band on the Run Remastered. (Universal)

Paul McCartney and Wings; Band on the Run Remastered. (Universal)

It's sad in a way, but great albums often are a result of bad situations: death, divorce, betrayal, litigation and debilitating substance abuse seem to make for better and more interesting music than cheery times with the family on holiday. Think about it: Neil Young's Tonight's the Night (death, drugs); John Martyn's Grace and Danger...

THE HOLLIES. TONY HICKS INTERVIEWED (2010): The road is long . . .

THE HOLLIES. TONY HICKS INTERVIEWED (2010): The road is long . . .

A couple of years Noel Gallagher of Oasis saw Tony Hicks of the Hollies in a local supermarket and felt compelled to yell, "Love yer band, man. You've got the songs". And the Hollies certainly did. Pop-rock classics among them. So when in March 2010, the Hollies out of Manchester, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...

The Woofers and Tweeters Ensemble: Daytripper (1983)

The Woofers and Tweeters Ensemble: Daytripper (1983)

And you thought YouTube threw up fly-by-night stars and oddities? This one puts the surfing cat and dancing pig into perspective. In the early Eighties a couple of Australians -- over a few wines -- fiddled with computer technology to simulate the sound of dogs barking and used it to have the "dogs" "sing" a Beatles song....

George Harrison: Bye Bye Love (1974)

George Harrison: Bye Bye Love (1974)

And it's happy birthday to the former British model Pattie Boyd who turns 67 today, March 17 2011. Boyd is something more than a footnote in pop culture – she was only a model for a few years – because she inspired a remarkable number of songs from her two husbands, George Harrison and Eric Clapton. She first met George...

THE BEATLES Vs THE ROLLING STONES by JIM DeROGATIS and GREG KOT

THE BEATLES Vs THE ROLLING STONES by JIM DeROGATIS and GREG KOT

At a first glance this lavishly illustrated and beautifully presented book -- with dozens of relevant, interesting and never before seen photos of the bands, and of period-piece memorabilia, movie posters and the like -- looks fairly lightweight. But fun. A quick read and you've got it: the two authors posit a rivalry between these two...

PAUL McCARTNEY 1970 AND 1980 (2011): Lowkey at each end of his first post-Beatles decade

PAUL McCARTNEY 1970 AND 1980 (2011): Lowkey at each end of his first post-Beatles decade

In a few months Sir James Paul McCartney, age 68, will premier his new work, a major orchestral piece for the New York City Ballet entitled Oceans Kingdom, written in conjunction with American composer John Wilson. This ambitious career move in the classical world follows his Liverpool Oratorio, Standing Stone and Working Classical with...

Various Artists: Paul McCartney's Jukebox (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

Various Artists: Paul McCartney's Jukebox (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

With the current reassessment of Paul McCartney's career immediately post-Beatles -- driven by the reissue of Band on the Run and the McCartney and McCartney II albums -- Mojo magazine offered a 15 track cover CD of "The Roots of Paul McCartney" which was a collection of songs which had influenced him. This 29 song collection...

The Smithereens: 2011 (eone)

The Smithereens: 2011 (eone)

It was probably helpful for the long-running power-pop/rock Smithereens out of New Jersey to remind themselves what year they are in with this album's title. Their most recent outings have been covers of the Beatles' first US album Meet the Beatles! (Meet the Smithereens!), one of Beatle b-sides then a truncated run through the Who's...

Green Pajamas: Just a Breath Away (2000)

Green Pajamas: Just a Breath Away (2000)

Although many tried -- especially in the Britpop era -- to bottle the essence of the Beatles' music at the cusp of marijuana and LSD (Rubber Soul and Revolver), few managed it with as much maturity, sensibility and persuasive power of the song as Green Pajamas out of Seattle, and they frequently did it at the time when grunge affection was...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Jeff Kelly of Green Pajamas

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Jeff Kelly of Green Pajamas

Jeff Kelly from Seattle has made some of the most eerily beautiful and economic psychedelic pop-rock with his long-running band Green Pajamas although his reputation travels below the radar and usually by word of mouth between loyal fans. Kelly/Green Pajamas have released a couple of dozen albums since 1984 (which includes the handsome box...

Green Pajamas: Green Pajamas Country! (Green Monkey Records)

Green Pajamas: Green Pajamas Country! (Green Monkey Records)

Although we have learned that Jeff Kelly of Seattle's Green Pajamas -- a band which has consistently delivers seductive and intelligent paisley-pop grounded in the spirit of the mid-Sixties, see here -- grew up playing country music with his father, this new album is something of a surprise. But a surprise in a good way. With...

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