Posts Tagged ‘Paul McCartney’

Getting Better, indeed

October 22, 2010

It was never a single, this little slice of Beatles pop circa 1967, and it is never listed as among their greatest achievements. But for me, “Getting Better” sums up the optimism, the unfettered joy that the Beatles represented better than almost anything else they ever did. And, as a bonus, it features the perfect shorthand version of Paul and John’s relationship.

Recorded at Abbey Road in their ground-breaking sessions for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, “Getting Better” really doesn’t break new ground musically or lyrically. It re-uses the almost mechanical, four-beats-per-measure percussion that Paul pioneered with earlier songs like “Got To Get You Into My Life” and “Penny Lane.” But in its metronome beat and soaring vocals, the song perfectly portrays that most elusive of emotions – joy.

And after Paul’s hyper-optimism (“Getting better all the t-i-i-ime”) comes John’s sardonic rejoinder: “Can’t get no worse.” A neater summation of the magic of that partnership can’t be found.

And so, apropos of nothing, I submit “Getting Better,” my personal theme song and the relentlessly perfect portion of joy.

Ringo and Paul take a cha-cha-cha-chance….

July 8, 2010

Ringo gets some help from an old friend on his 70th birthday…..

EMI as the Fool On The Hill?

May 18, 2010

Here is an interesting rant on TechCrunch about the ongoing Apple Corps/Apple/EMI/Beatles scrum that has, so far at least, prevented the Beatles from selling their music on iTunes, or any other digital seller, for that matter.

Thanks to Kurt Greenbaum for pointing this out to me.

Ringo, Paul duet: First listen

December 23, 2009

Ringo Starr’s first song from his upcoming album, “Walk With You,” is already up on iTunes. It features a duet with Paul McCartney, who walked in the studio to play bass and simply asked for a mic to be set up. Then he sang the harmony on the chorus, with a bit of an echo effect. Take a listen:

My take: Nice sound, though Ringo’s vocal never strays from the “safe” zone. The lyrics are a bit trite, but the overall effort seems heartfelt.

How much do you edit a song to fit the visuals?

December 15, 2009

If you’ve ever composed for a movie or video, you’ve found the natural tension between being true to the song and serving the needs of the visuals. How do you handle that tension? How far do you go to customize your art to fit into the movie or video art?

It turns out that’s a question recently faced by none other than Paul McCartney. Paul composed a ballad, “(I Want To) Come Home,” for the new movie “Everybody’s Fine,” directed by Kirk Jones.

As reported by the AP and repeated by the blog, Jones made some “editing suggestions” on Paul’s first draft of the song. The Beatles legend followed some, but not all of them.

Makes you feel a little better about cutting that guitar solo on your masterpiece to suit the visuals, doesn’t it?

Paul McCartney, Good Evening New York City

November 6, 2009

The man still has it….

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Paul McCartney, Good Evening New York…“, posted with vodpod


New Beatles track rumored once again

July 6, 2009

As true Beatles fans know, there were at least four John Lennon songs that Yoko Ono gave the three surviving Beatles in the early 1990s in connection with the Anthology project. Two of the songs — “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love” — were completed by the “Threetles” and producer Jeff Lynne and released. One, “Grow Old With Me,” was apparently deemed too complete for Lennon’s three bandmates to mess with.

But there was a fourth — “Now and Then” — that has been the subject of persistent Internet rumors.

A recording of the raw, low-quality, cassette track is floating around the Internet (it’s pretty easy to find.) It’s a rambling, reflective, minor-key piano ballad that seems to be in mid-birth. Lennon was quite free in his songwriting, often taking bits of songs and moving them to other songs as he saw fit (and completely rewriting lyrics, as he did when he changed “A Child of Nature” into “Jealous Guy.”)

It’s been widely reported that Paul, George and Ringo worked on Lennon’s “Now and Then” recording, but gave up after a time. Lynne told an interviewer in 1995:

“There was one afternoon messing with it, but a lot of words weren’t there. We did a rough backing track. It was a very sweet song and I wish we could have finished it. The decision was made to do something already complete. Also because of the [limited] time frame.”

I remember another report saying that George wasn’t keen on the critical reaction to “Free and a Bird” and resisted finishing work on “Now and Then.”

Whether or not that’s true, now there are fresh rumors about the recording. This report claims that all four Beatles’ work is on the track.

Which brings us to the YouTube video above. This is the quite creative work of someone identified as “Bojon0307”, who has taken the Lennon recording and added instrumentation as well as backing vocals from some Beatles tracks to make what he or she imagines might be a new Beatles track. Well done indeed, though I don’t care for the animated Lennon “singing”the song…

Although I have mixed feelings about the “Threetles”‘ Anthology-era releases, I sort of hope that the rumors are true and that Paul and Ringo will release “Now and Then.” Wouldn’t you love to hear it?

McCartney: No plans for Dylan duet

June 29, 2009


Not so fast…. earlier I reposted some reports suggesting Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and Ringo Starr would record together. Now comes this report in The Daily Telegraph (via quoting McCartney as saying of Dylan “I love him,” but denying they plan to record together.


Jeff Lynne to complete George Harrison’s unfinished tracks

June 18, 2009


Here’s a report confirming that ELO founder/producer/Wilbury Jeff Lynne will finish some tracks that George Harrison started and never completed before his death. Harrison’s widow, Olivia, said in a recent interview that there are many unfinished tracks, and that she would seek help to finish them off.

Harrison’s music, of course, was treated to a career retrospective released this week, “Let it Roll.” I just received a copy and I will be sharing my impressions soon.

Jeff Lynne is an obvious choice. He was a true friend of Harrison’s, and he produced the two “Threatles” songs in the 1990s that were released on Anthology: Free as a Bird and Real Love.

Also, Lynne used admirable restraint in producing Harrison’s posthumous release, 2002’s “Brainwashed.” He did not insist on the prototypical ELO/Lynne drum sound, nor did he ladle on excess strings or synths.

Still, I sure hope he asks Paul and Ringo to play on at least some of the tracks. That would be fitting, wouldn’t it?

New video: The Beatles Rock Band

June 17, 2009


Here’s the latest video promotion for the Beatles Rock Band game. Pretty creative stuff here! Thanks to Lee Glynn of the St. Pete Times for pointing this out. Enjoy!