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Beatles Recovered: Rubber Soul

December 10th, 2015 8 comments

Rubber Soul Recovered - front

The progression of The Beatles from mop tops making uncomplicated pop music to the innovators who blew the minds of their peers was at its most dramatic in the 14-month period during which they proceeded from the fine pop of You’re Going To Lose That Girl on Help (recorded on 19 February 1965) to the psychedelic workout that was Tomorrow Never Knows on Revolver (recorded on 6 April 1966).

The link between those two very different albums, whose releases were separated by exactly a year, was Rubber Soul, which was released 50 years ago on December 3. Rubber Soul recalls Help in tracks like Wait (which had been recorded for Help) or You Won’t See Me or Michelle, and it presages the future with songs like In My Life, Nowhere Man, Drive My Car or Norwegian Wood. And then there is George’s If You Needed Someone, which seamlessly incorporates the old sound and the new.

Remarkably, The Beatles wrote and recorded Rubber Soul under immense time pressure, still writing some of the songs as they were recording. In an age when thoroughly unoriginal bands take two or three years to bring out an album, it seems impossible to grasp that The Beatles began recording Rubber Soul on 12 October, less than two months before the scheduled release date. The first track recorded that day was Run For Your Life. The Rubber Soul recordings ended on 11 November with a highly pressured marathon session. The last full song to be recorded that day was Girl, which Lennon had hastily written.

On top of that, they were expected to write and record two non-album tracks for a single release. These songs turned out to be We Can Work It Out and Day Tripper. Lennon wrote the latter virtually off-the-cuff in the studio; he and Paul called it a “forced” composition. And in between all that, The Beatles were expected to create the annual Christmas record, for distribution on flexi-disc to fan club members.

The strength of Rubber Soul does not reside so much in the songs but in the album’s feel. Here our boys are high on pot, not freaked out by LSD, and it shows in the sound. It is also the most country of Beatles albums. What Goes On is the only country song on the set, but some of the covers here show just how well suited these tracks are for that genre.

Rubber Soul Recovered - back

The best cover here is Johnny Cash’s take on In My Life. Lennon sang the song when he had just turned 25; the song’s wistfulness is measured against the fact that the singer memories are still pretty young. Cash sung the song a year before his death. The ravages of age are reflected in his voice, and he sounds like the tired old man her is, looking back at a rich life where some places and some people have indeed gone and some have changed. I think the great video for Hurt would have been even more potent for this song, which appears on the same album.

The most radical reworking of Rubber Soul‘s songs featured here comes right at the top, with the bluesy take on Drive My Car by Humble Pie. It appeared on a 1975 LP, Street Rats, with two other Beatles covers, We Can Work It Out and Rain, as well as a cover of a Beatles cover, Chuck Berry’s Rock & Roll Music.

Nancy Sinatra, appearing here with a Lennon song which the composer despised, also recorded more than one Beatles song. On the Boots LP of 1966, on which Run For Your Life appears (as well the hit song which gave the album its title), she also sang Day Tripper.

Naturally the mix fits on a standard CD-R and includes covers. PW in comments.

1. Humble Pie – Drive My Car (1975)
2. Tangerine Dream – Norwegian Wood (2010)
3. Anne Murray – You Won’t See Me (1974)
4. Randy Travis – Nowhere Man (1995)
5. Fran̤ois Fabrice РLes Garcons Sont Fous (Think For Yourself) (1966)
6. Mindy Smith – The Word (2005)
7. King Curtis – Michelle (1966)
8. Charles River Valley Boys – What Goes On (1966)
9. The Brothers Four – Girl (1966)
10. Steve Earle – I’m Looking Through You (1995)
11. Johnny Cash – In My Life (2002)
12. Connie Evingson – Wait (2003)
13. Roger McGuinn – If I Needed Someone (2007)
14. Nancy Sinatra – Run For Your Life (1966)
Bonus tracks:
Dionne Warwick – We Can Work It Out (1968)
Whitesnake – Day Tripper (1978)

GET IT!

More great Beatles stuff:
Beatles Recovered: A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles Recovered: Beatles For Sale
Beatles Recovered: Help!
Beatles Recovered: Rubber Soul
Beatles Recovered: Revolver
Beatles Recovered: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club  Band
Beatles Revovered: Magical Mystery Tour
Beatles Recovered: White Album
Beatles Recovered: Yellow Submarine
Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals
Covered With Soul Vol. 14 – Beatles Edition 1
Covered With Soul Vol. 15 – Beatles Edition 2

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1967-68
Any Major Beatles Covers: 1968-70
Any Bizarre Beatles
Beatles Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 1
Beatles Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 2
Beatles Reunited: Everest (1971)
Beatles Reunited: Live ’72 (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Smile Away (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Photographs (1974)

Categories: Beatles, Covers Mixes Tags:

Help! Recovered

August 6th, 2015 6 comments

Help Recovered front

Today, exactly 50 years ago, The Beatles released their Help! album in Britain . In the US, a different version was issued a week later. It was a great time for music. A month earlier the Beach Boys released their Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) album; Bob Dylan issued his Highway 61 Revisited on August 30, and two weeks later Otis Redding”s Otis Blue came out.

A few years ago I conducted an experiment to discover which Beatles album was the best, song-by-song. That is obviously different to an album”s conceptual, cultural or historical value. By that token, I might instinctively go for Abbey Road, or Sgt Pepper”s, or Revolver, or Rubber Soul. But here I rated each song on an album out of ten and arrived at an average.

Help! won, just ahead of A Hard Day”s Night, followed by Abbey Road. Song for song, Help! is a most satisfying and likeable album. Even the least great songs (You Like Me Too Much, Tell Me What You See, Another Girl) are pretty good. Only Dizzy Miss Lizzy is a regrettable throwback to the first two albums. (Bottom of the table was With The Beatles).

Cover versions of most songs on Help! are relatively scarce. So I”m rather pleased with this lot. Tim Rose”s version of You”ve Got To Hide Your Love Away especially is quite wonderful, with its organ backing by Gary Wright and the insistent guitar and by rolling drumming by Wright”s fellow Spooky Tooth members Mick Jones and Bryson Graham.

Vanilla Fudge go all Summer-of-Love psychedelic on their version of Ticket To Ride, while The Sunshine Company, also in 1967, slow down Harrison”s jaunty I Need You (The Beatles” original, incidentally, was released as a single in Italy).

You”re Going To Lose That Girl is represented in a French version by an act of which I”ve found out little. Their name, Les Mersey”s, does little to hide their influence. The Quebec foursome issued their first LP in 1964 and their last, of course, in 1970. It seems they frequently covered The Beatles, but they were no cover band.

Help Recovered back

And before the year is out, there”ll be a Recovered version of Rubber Soul to mark that album”s 50th anniversary. But for today, here”s Help! Recovered, with home-made covers, made the night before. PW in comments.

1. Jos̩ Feliciano РHelp (1966)
2. Herbie Mann – The Night Before (1966)
3. Tim Rose – You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (1972)
4. The Sunshine Company – I Need You (1967)
5. George Martin Orchestra – Another Girl (1965)
6. Les Mersey’s – Je lai perdue cette fille (You’re Going To Lose That Girl) (1966)
7. Vanilla Fudge – Ticket To Ride (1967)
8. Leon Russell – Act Naturally (1971)
9. Bryan Ferry – It’s Only Love (1976)
10. Hugo & Osvaldo Fattoruso – Me gustas demasiado (You Like Me Too Much) (1969)
11. Teenage Fanclub – Tell Me What You See (2001)
12. Johnny Rivers and his L. A. Boogie Band – I’ve Just Seen A Face (1973)
13. The Dillards – Yesterday (1970)
14. Flying Lizards – Dizzy Miss Lizzie (1984)

GET IT: https://rapidgator.net/file/a9c3bd4648ce6c08e04e88e643943032/BR-Hlp.rar.html

 

More great Beatles stuff:
A Hard Day”s Night ““ Recovered
Beatles For Sale ““ Recovered

Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals
Any Bizarre Beatles
Covered With Soul Vol. 14 ““ Beatles Edition 1
Covered With Soul Vol. 15 ““ Beatles Edition 2

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1967-68
Any Major Beatles Covers: 1968-70
Beatles ““ Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 1
Beatles ““ Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 2

More Mix-CD-Rs

Categories: Beatles, Covers Mixes Tags:

Beatles For Sale – Recovered

November 27th, 2014 5 comments

BFS Recovered - front

On 4 December 1964 The Beatles released their second LP of the year, just in time for the Christmas. Sandwiched between the masterpieces A Hard Day’s Night (released just six months earlier) and Help!, and released just a year before the game-changer Rubber Soul, the album — titled perhaps not unironically Beatles For Sale — looks like the runt of the litter.

The cover image is emblemic. The guys look tired and irritated. It was a busy year. In 1964 they had recorded A Hard Day’s Night, for which Paul and John had written all the songs, filmed the movie of that name, promoted both, and toured extensively in Europe, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, and the USA, where they had broken big with their appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show (which is recalled HERE, with a great jazz mix of Beatles covers).

Beatles For Sale was recorded over seven days between August and October. For the last time on a Beatles LP, it included covers of songs by the band’s rock & roll heroes: Chuck Berry (Rock and Roll Music), Buddy Holly (Words Of Love), Carl Perkins (Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby), Little Richard (Hey Hey Hey Hey), Wilbert Harrison (Kansas City, also recorded by Little Richard), and Dr. Feelgood and the Interns (the much-maligned Mr Moonlight).

The covers were obvious fillers, but it would be wrong to dismiss Beatles For Sale on their account. There are several underrated gems among the Lennon/McCartney compositions. The opening trio is as good as almost any on Beatles album: No Reply, I’m A Loser and Baby’s In Black. Eight Days A Week, I’ll Follow the Sun and Every Little Thing are stone-cold Beatles classics. The latter is a rare thing: John singing lead on a McCartney song.

The compilation of cover songs of tracks from the album, presented here in the original order, is great fun. I don’t know if I really like the version of Every Little Thing by Yes, but if I approve of Isaac Hayes totally reworking a sing in psychedelic style, then I should at least express my admiration for this 1969 version, recording of which might have involved the use of drugs.

1. Les Lionceaux – Ne Ris Pas (No Reply) (1965)
2. Eels – I’m A Loser (2003)
3. John Doe – Baby’s In Black (2004)
4. Humble Pie – Rock And Roll Music (1975)
5. The Brothers Four – I’ll Follow The Sun (1966)
6. The Hollies – Mr. Moonlight (1964)
7. Little Richard – Kansas City Hey Hey Hey (1959)
8. Alma Cogan – Eight Days A Week (1965)
9. Jeff Lynne – Words Of Love (2011)
10. Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band – Honey Don’t (1990)
11. Yes – Every Little Thing (1969)
12. The Savoys – I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party (1970)
13. The Fantastic Dee Jays – What You’re Doing (1965)
14. Johnny Cash feat. Carl Perkins – Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby (2003)

GET IT: https://rapidgator.net/file/f312aec1d9653c6b0f71ea0cd12a3c11/BR-BFS.rar.html

More great Beatles stuff:
Beatles Recovered: A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles Recovered: Beatles For Sale
Beatles Recovered: Help!
Beatles Recovered: Rubber Soul
Beatles Recovered: Revolver
Beatles Recovered: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club  Band
Beatles Revovered: Magical Mystery Tour
Beatles Recovered: White Album
Beatles Recovered: Yellow Submarine
Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals
Covered With Soul Vol. 14 – Beatles Edition 1
Covered With Soul Vol. 15 – Beatles Edition 2

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1967-68
Any Major Beatles Covers: 1968-70
Any Bizarre Beatles
Beatles Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 1
Beatles Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 2
Beatles Reunited: Everest (1971)
Beatles Reunited: Live ’72 (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Smile Away (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Photographs (1974)

 

Categories: Beatles, Covers Mixes, Mix CD-Rs Tags:

A Hard Day’s Night – Recovered

July 10th, 2014 14 comments

A Hard Day's Night Recovered- front

Today, July 10, it is 50 years since The Beatles released their A Hard Day”s Night LP in the UK (the US version, with a different tracklisting, followed two weeks later). It was a landmark event for pop music, not because the music was especially innovative, but because here a pop group released an album including only own compositions. In 1964, this was very unusual indeed.

And this even more remarkable when one considers just how busy the group was at the time, with all the touring and US television appearances (as documented here), filming the movie and recording even more music that didn”t make it on to the album. In their writing, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were so prolific that they could give away pretty good songs to other artists, such a Peter & Gordon, Cilla Black and Billy J Kramer. The creative pressure showed on the follow-up, Beatles For Sale, which was released later in 1964 and included several covers (and also a few stone-cold Beatles classics).

A Hard Day”s Night was very much Lennon”s work. He wrote the title track, I Should Have Known Better, Tell Me Why, Any Time At All, I”ll Cry Instead, When I Get Home and You Can”t Do That, most of If I Fell and I”ll Be Back, and contributed to McCartney”s I”m Happy Just To Dance With You. But Paul”s three other contributions are probably the strongest: And I Love Her, Things We Said Today and Can”t Buy Me Love.

A Hard Day's Night Recovered- back

A Hard Day”s Night was also the first Beatles album to rely on the Beatles” unique sound. Where the previous two LPs included several covers of rock & roul and R&B songs, and many songs recalled the various influences from which the group drew, this was the first album on which The Beatles totally owned their sound. Nobody sounded like them.

And yet, this is not down to the compositions themselves, but the arrangements they benefited from. Listen to this set of covers, sequenced in the original chronology of the album, to hear just how flexible these songs are. Some of them sound nothing like a Beatles song. I believe that if a song can be covered well in any genre in ways that do not sound like a cover (never mind a pastiche), then it”s a great song. So Ella Fitzgerald can turn Can”t Buy Me Love into a big band number without it sounding like a novelty number, and John Mayall can turn A Hard Day”s Night into a true blues song, no matter how familiar we are with these Beatles standards.

My favourite here, however, is the Holmes Brothers” bluesy version of And I Love Her. Vanilla Fudge”s psychedelic rock take on You Can”t Do That from 1968 is a trip, too.

The covers featured in this post are included in higher resolution. PW in comments.

1. John Mayall – A Hard Day’s Night (1975)
2. Beach Boys – I Should Have Known Better (1965)
3. Keely Smith – If I Fell (1965)
4. Anne Murray – I’m Happy Just To Dance With You (1980)
5. The Holmes Brothers – And I Love Her (1997)
6. April Wine – Tell Me Why (1982)
7. Ella Fitzgerald – Can’t Buy Me Love (1964)
8. Nils Lofgren – Anytime At All (1981)
9. Johnny Rivers – I’ll Cry Instead (1965)
10. Bobby Fuller Four – Things We Said Today (1960s)
11. Yellow Matter Custard – When I Get Home (2003)
12. Vanilla Fudge – You Can’t Do That (1968)
13. Elliott Smith – I’ll Be Back (released 2011)

GET IT: https://rapidgator.net/file/67c4b5ecc9a46c09c9e0dc0c003d1d12/BR-AHDN.rar.html

 

More Beatles stuff:
Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals
Any Bizarre Beatles
Covered With Soul Vol. 14 ““ Beatles Edition 1
Covered With Soul Vol. 15 ““ Beatles Edition 2

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1967-68
Any Major Beatles Covers: 1968-70
Beatles ““ Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 1
Beatles ““ Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 2

More Mix-CD-Rs

Categories: Beatles, Covers Mixes, Mix CD-Rs Tags:

Any Major ABBA covers

March 27th, 2014 10 comments
ABBA are introduced in a pre-performance segment at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. Viewers had no idea what outlandish costumes would greet them when ABBA took the stage.

ABBA are introduced in a pre-performance segment at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. Viewers had no idea what outlandish costumes would greet them when ABBA took the stage.

 

On 6 April it will be 40 years since ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton, England, with “Waterloo”. It was a strange choice of vehicle by which to shoot for international stardom. The Eurovision Song Contest was notorious for its dull offerings of sentimental easy listening ballads, absurd pop fodder and idiosyncratic national folk pop “” which, at its rare best, nevertheless produced such timeless classics as “Volare”, placing third in 1958.

Of course, intermittently the contest revealed a gem, such as Sandie Shaw”s “Puppet On A String” (which she despised), Katja Ebstein”s “Wunder gibt es simmer wieder” or, arguably, France Gall”s “Poupée de cire, poupée de son”. And even among the easy listen ballads there”d be rare gold, such as Vicky Leandros” pair of international hits, “L”amour est bleu” (covered by Paul Mariat as “Love Is Blue”) and “Apres toi”, a UK hit as “Come What May”.

Still, when ABBA appeared in their gaudy outfits to play their glam pop number “” conducted by a man, the late Sven-Olof Walldoff, dressed as Napoleon instead of the obligatory tux with bowtie “” it was quite unprecedented. That might explain why most national juries didn”t give that year”s best song by far, and I have watched the thing, top marks. This wasn”t in the spirit of the Eurovision. Britain was among the five countries to give ABBA “nil points”. Which was fair enough, since Sweden gave no points to the British entry, one of the favourites, the moderately rousing and religiously vibed “Long Live Love” by Olivia Newton-John, which ended up in fourth place.

ABBA 1974

ABBA react to not getting any points from the Greek jury in round five of scoring. Belgium’s not very good entry got five points from Greece. ABBA was one point behind Italy at the time.

 

1974″s Eurovision had a strange point-scoring system: national juries comprised ten members “” five music insiders and five music-loving fans of all age groups “” who each would award a point to their favourite performance. The highest aggregate bestowed by a jury that year was five points, awarded four times, and twice to “Waterloo”, by Finland and Switzerland. Until the 14th of 17 rounds, the Italian entry “” an all-over the-shop ballad sung by Gigliola Cinquetti titled “Si” “” narrowly led the Swedish entry. Germany”s two points and the Swiss fiver turned it for ABBA, who ended up winning by a healthy six points.

ABBA, as we know, became phenomenally successful, and then, in fairly short order, reviled. I loved them, but when I was 12 or 13 “” the age of “Summer Night City” and the repulsive “I Have A Dream” “” I didn”t anymore. At that age I would reject acts for being aimed at people of my own age group, people like Leif Garrett. But with ABBA it was their visible progression to middle age that caused my rejection of them. It wasn”t that “Summer Night City” itself offended me, though I was, and remain, indifferent to it. It was, to put it symbolically, that Agnetha, my first pop crush, started to dress like my mother. Now, my mother was a very attractive, young woman in her mid-thirties (only a year older than Anni-Frid), who wore tasteful clothes which complemented her sporty figure, and she generally was pretty hip. But I certainly didn”t want to see Mom in my pop music.

The final score board and pink-clad presenter Katie Boyle

The final score board and pink-clad presenter Katie Boyle

 

I was not alone in falling off Planet ABBA. The backlash to the most successful group of the 1970s was vicious. For a long time ABBA were regarded as naff, commercial, corporate, even as lacking in artistic credibility. They might have been a “guilty pleasure”, but not meriting of much admiration “” at least outside the gay scene. To my shame, I was not reawakened to their genius until the mid-“˜90s when ABBA”s rehabilitation was in full swing.

Much has been made of their genius since then, by people who are much better qualified than I am to explain it. But one thing I do pretend to know a few of things about is cover versions. And it is remarkable how few cover versions of ABBA songs there are, never mind good ones.  The big ABBA hits are very great songs, to be sure. But their lifeblood is not the melody, but Benny and Björn”s arrangements and the place of Agnetha”s and Annifrid”s voices in these arrangements. Without these elements, ABBA songs are difficult to pull off.

This mix illustrates the point. Mostly it is pointless to make a straight copy of ABBA songs, unless you do the early numbers in glam rock style, as Dr & the Medics do here with the help of glam legend Roy Wood, or are able to capture the pop essence, as Kylie Minogue does in her live performance or as Sweet Dreams do in one of the earliest covers of an ABBA song. Failing the glam or pop option, the songs require reinterpretation “” and that isn”t easy when you have to work with those lyrics!

Nils Landgren turns “The Name Of The Game” into an acid jazz jam, and Richard Thompson gives “Money Money Money” an unironic folk treatment, as does Evan Dando with “Knowing Me, Knowing You”. Yngwie Malmsteen denudes “Gimme Gimme Gimme” of its disco camp and renders it hair-rock style. Max Raabe does such strange things to “Super Trouper” that one wonders whether he likes the song or utterly despises it. And Mike Oldfield takes a song that sounded like a Mike Oldfield song in the first place, and turns it into a Mike Oldfield song.

coversAs always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes flat-pack home-assembled covers. PW in comments.

1. Doctor & The Medics with Roy Wood – Waterloo (1992)
2. Sweet Dreams – Honey Honey (1974)
3. Kylie Minogue – Dancing Queen (1998)
4. Nils Landgren – Name Of The Game (2004)
5. Go West – One Of Us (1993)
6. Blancmange – The Day Before You Came (1984)
7. Mike Oldfield – Arrival (1980)
8. Sinéad O’Connor – Chiquitita (2003)
9. Evan Dando – Knowing Me, Knowing You (1999)
10. Richard Thompson – Money (2003)
11. Nashville Train РHasta Ma̱ana (1977)
12. Black Sweden – The Winner Takes It All (2001)
13. Yngwie Malmsteen – Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (1999)
14. Ash – Does Your Mother Know? (1996)
15. Lush – Hey Hey Helen (1990)
16. Culture Club – Voulez Vous (1999)
17. Erasure – Lay All Your Love On Me (1990)
18. Men Without Hats – S.O.S. (1989)
19. Palast Orchester Mit Seinem Sänger Max Raabe – Super Trouper (2005)
20. Carpenters – Thank You For The Music (1978)

GET IT!

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More CD-R Mixes

Categories: Covers Mixes, Mix CD-Rs Tags:

Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals

February 13th, 2014 10 comments

wordless

Fifty years ago this month, The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and thereby changed the trajectory of pop music. The first of their three consecutive weekly performances, on February 9, was seen by an estimated 73 million viewers, setting a new record (read Echoes in the Wind’s fine post on watching that show).

Also on that show were impressionist Frank Gorshin (doing a routine about movie stars as politicians), acrobats Wells & the Four Fays, comedians McCall & Brill, and Broadway star Georgia Brown, joined by the cast of Oliver!, including a pre-Monkees Davy Jones singing “I”™d Do Anything”.

Beatles on Sullivan

They all were, it is safe to say, thoroughly overshadowed by the Beatles, who played All My Loving, Till There Was You (presumably for all the Moms), She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There and I Want To Hold Your Hand.
The following Sunday’s show, on February 16, was broadcast from Miami Beach and tied to the first heavyweight title bout between Sonny Liston and Cassius Clay – another decade-defining event. Only the champion was present. Also in the audience was boxing legend Joe Louis.
Brought to you by Lipton Tea, which was punted poolside by TV announcer George Fenneman, the line-up also included singing actress Mitzi Gaynor (performing a rousing version of Too Darn Hot and a medley of blues songs), comedians Marty Allen & Steve Rossi (riffing only mildly amusingly, at least by modern standards, on the theme of boxing), the affable comedian Myron Cohen, Swiss way-pole acrobats The Nerveless Nocks, and unicyclist act The Volantes. Allen, now 91, Rossi, 81, and Gaynor, 82, are still alive.

 

The Feb. 16 show: Title card from Miami Beach; George Fenneman and random woman punt Lipton Tea; Ed Sullivan and his shadow; The Beatles in full song (note John's wide-apart legs); Beatles fan controls her hysteria; today she probably tells her grandchildren about seeing the Beatles.

The Feb. 16 show: Title card from Miami Beach; George Fenneman and random woman punt Lipton Tea; Ed Sullivan and his shadow; The Beatles in full song (note John’s wide-apart legs); Beatles fan controls her hysteria; today she probably tells her grandchildren about seeing the Beatles. (Right-click and open in new window/tab for larger version of the pics)

 

The Beatles played She Loves You, This Boy, All My Loving, I Saw Her Standing There, From Me to You and I Want To Hold Your Hand (“A song,” according to Paul, “that was recorded by one of our favourite American groups, Sophie Tucker”).

The performance which was broadcast on February 23 was pre-recorded. In fact, it was really the first Beatles performance for Sullivan since it was recorded before the first show. By then Beatlemania was in full swing in America. The Beatles played Twist and Shout, Please Please Me and I Want to Hold Your Hand. Also on the show were jazz singer Cab Calloway (singing St James Infirmary and Old Man River), English clarinettist Acker Bilk, English comedy duo Morecambe & Wise, comedians Dave Barry and Morty Gunty, comedy duo Gordon & Sheila MacRae, singer Gloria Bleezarde (no, me neither), and marionettes Pinky & Perky.

The Beatles returned to The Ed Sullivan Show on September 12, 1965. A week later, the show began broadcasting in colour.

On the Feb 16 show: Heavyweight champ Sonny Liston is introduced; comics Steve Rossi & Marty Allen; Mitzi Gaynor and pals; comedian Myron Cohen; Ed Sullivan greets the Fab Four.

On the Feb 16 show: Heavyweight champ Sonny Liston is introduced; comics Steve Rossi & Marty Allen; Mitzi Gaynor and pals; comedian Myron Cohen; Ed Sullivan greets the Fab Four.

 

We’ve been through a lot of Beatles covers in the past (and the links are live again). To mark the 50th anniversary of the pivotal Sullivan shows, here is something a little different: a mix of jazz and soul (and early fusion) instrumental covers.

There might be jazz, but there’s very little jazzy noodling going on. Arif Mardin might go a bit psychedelic during Glass Onions, as does Steve Marcus on Rain, Mongo Santamaria might go on a trip halfway through his song, and Jim Caravan might take some serious liberties with A Day In The Life after a faithful start, but Jonah Jones de-cheeses Michelle, and Shirley Scott’s version of Get Back has enough energy to light up New York City during one of its famous powercuts. It’s all great stuff.

As always, the whole thing is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-fabbed covers. PW in comments.

1. Steve Cropper – With A Little Help From My Friends (1969)
2. Shirley Scott & The Soul Saxes – Get Back (1969)
3. Cal Tjader – Lady Madonna (1969)
4. Jimmy Ponder – While My Guitar Gently Weeps (1974)
5. Arif Mardin – Glass Onion (1969)
6. Buddy Rich Big Band – Norwegian Wood (1967)
7. Count Basie – Come Together (1969)
8. Harvey Averne Dozen – The Word (1968)
9. Jimmy Caravan – A Day In the Life (1968)
10. Jonah Jones – Michelle (1968)
11. Booker T. & The MG’s – Eleanor Rigby (1968)
12. Gabor Szabo – In My Life (1969)
13. Wade Marcus – Something (1971)
14. The Mar-Keys – Let It Be (1971)
15. Mongo Santamaria – Day Tripper (1970)
16. Steve Marcus – Rain (1968)
17. Bobby Bryant – Happiness Is A Warm Gun (1969)
18. Freddy McCoy – I Am A Walrus (1968)
19. Ramsey Lewis – Julia (1968)
20. Bud Shank – Yesterday (1966)
21. The Soulful Strings – Within You Without You (1967)
22. Don Randi Trio – Tomorrow Never Knows (1966)

GET IT: https://rapidgator.net/file/1693f37563d5d6ef197c7a20e81ded2a/Wordless.rar.html

More great Beatles stuff:
Beatles Recovered: A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles Recovered: Beatles For Sale
Beatles Recovered: Help!
Beatles Recovered: Rubber Soul
Beatles Recovered: Revolver
Beatles Recovered: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club  Band
Beatles Revovered: Magical Mystery Tour
Beatles Recovered: White Album
Beatles Recovered: Yellow Submarine
Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals
Covered With Soul Vol. 14 – Beatles Edition 1
Covered With Soul Vol. 15 – Beatles Edition 2

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1967-68
Any Major Beatles Covers: 1968-70
Any Bizarre Beatles
Beatles Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 1
Beatles Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 2
Beatles Reunited: Everest (1971)
Beatles Reunited: Live ’72 (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Smile Away (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Photographs (1974)

 

Categories: Beatles, Covers Mixes, Mix CD-Rs Tags:

Tapestry Recovered

June 21st, 2012 10 comments

It is one of the defining LPs of the early 1970s, and for me one of the go-to albums, perhaps the go-to album, if I do not know what else to play.

By the time Carole King released Tapestry she already was a veteran in the music business, having been a teenage songwriter for Aldon Music at 1650 Broadway (and the subject of Neil Sedaka’s hit Oh Carol; she responded with an answer record titled Oh Neil). She was 18 when she had her first #1 as a songwriter, with The Shirelles’ version of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow in 1961. In the ten years between that and the release of Tapestry she had a prolific songwriting career, but as a recording artist she had only a minor hit with It Might As Well Rain Till September. Her uneven 1970 debut album, Writer, was a commercial disappointment; it has many bright spots, but cannot nearly compare with the sublime perfection of Tapestry.

So when Tapestry became a critical triumph and a mammoth hit after its release in February 1971, topping the US album charts for 15 weeks, it was something of a surprise.

Jim McCrary in 1978

The cover photo was taken by Jim McCrary (who died in 2012) in the living room of her house at 8815 Appian Way in Laurel Canyon (McCrary’s website says it was at Wonderland Avenue; he also took the photo of the cover for Music, the location of which he identified as being on Appian Way). At first sight it is an unremarkable shot. A woman in her late 20s sits on a windowsill. The photo is in soft focus. And yet, the image is compelling. Viewing it feels like an intrusion into an intimate moment, a woman feeling at peace in her domain. Her bare feet suggest that we are not really invited into this domestic scene; if we came knocking at her door, she might put on footwear and her serene body language might change. And the cat would scram and hide.

The feline, who went by the name of Telemachus, was not there by accident, as it would appear. It may spoil the enjoyment of the cover a little to know that the tabby was a spontaneously employed prop. McCrary later recalled seeing Telemachus sleeping on his pillow across the room. Recalling a Kodak survey which revealed that after children, cats were the most popular photo subject, he asked King whether he could use the cat in a photo. “I saw a cat, and I wanted to get something good,” he remembered. Having ascertained that the cat was tame, he carried Telemachus on his pillow to the window ledge. He managed to take three photos before the cat, no doubt annoyed at having been awoken, had enough and made tracks. But McCrary had the perfect shot: the barefoot Carole with sunlight filtering upon her, holding a tapestry that she was busy creating, and her cat sitting in front of her, as if guarding the singer.

A remastered version of Tapestry was re-released in 2008 with a bonus CD featuring all but one of the tracks of the album in live versions, recorded between 1973 and 1976. It is highly recommended. The back-cover of it (pictured above) features another photo from the McCrary session. For more photos of Carole King and others by the late Jim McCreary see www.jimmccrary.com.

Here’s a mix of cover versions of the songs of Tapestry, with an appearance by Carole King from that bonus CD, in their original tracklisting order. Given my bias for soul covers, many of them are of that genre. Most were recorded soon after the release of Tapestry. One of the exceptions is the cover of Way Over Yonder by David Roe, a New Orleans street musician (see royalrounders.com). Fans of The Originals will be interested in Kate Taylor’s version of Home Again, which was released shortly before Tapestry came out. Finally, the vocals on the Quincy Jones version of Smackwater Jack are by, unusually, Quincy himself.

TRACKLISTING
1. Carole King – I Feel The Earth Move (live) (1973)
2. Marlena Shaw – So Far Away (1972)
3. Mike James Kirkland – It’s Too Late (1972)
4. Kate Taylor – Home Again (1971)
5. Barbra Streisand – Beautiful (1971)
6. David Roe – Way Over Yonder (2004)
7. Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway – You’ve Got A Friend (1972)
8. Faith Hill – Where You Lead (1995)
9. Zulema – Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (1972)
10. Quincy Jones – Smackwater Jack (1971)
11. Jackie & Roy – Tapestry (1972)
12. Laura Nyro & Labelle – (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Live) (1971)
BONUS TRACK: The Isley Brothers – It’s Too Late (1972)

GET IT!

 “¦

Previous great covers

Categories: Album cover art, Covers Mixes, Mix CD-Rs Tags:

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1968-70

April 23rd, 2010 12 comments

The third mix of Beatles covers, covering the period between the White Album (partly covered in the second mix) to the final album. The most significant song here is the Beach Boys’ live recording of Back In The USSR, with Ringo Starr guesting. The song was, of course, Paul McCartney’s satire of the Beach Boys. One imagines it was a find piss-take, because by 1968 the Beach Boys had long left the girs-cars-surf scene behine (well, except Mike Love, who never really got past it).

Two songs here, by George Benson and by Booker T & the MGs, come from full reworkings of Abbey Road, while Count Basie comes from a tribute album to the Beatles, and the I Am Sam soundtrack, which consisted of Beatles covers, has been represented on all three mixes. Knowing how a succession of easy listening merchants have sucked the soul out of Something with cheesy arrangements and over-arrangement (yes, Sinatra, too), the notion of Shirley Bassey giving the song a go seems discouraging. Despite a lavish arrangement and moments of enthusiastic emoting, it is a quite splendid interpretation which segues nicely into Nina Simone’s much sparser, and utterly beautiful take of the other Harrison masterpiece on Abbey Road. Simone’s 1971 Here Comes The Sun LP, an album of covers, is well worth seeking out.

More than on the previous compilation of Beatles covers, the 1990s are well represented. It wasn’t planned that way, but Dionne Farris’ version of Blackbird is rather lovely, and Alison Krauss’ tender bluegrass interpretation of I Will, with that sweet voice, is angelic.

I had hopes of putting together a sequence of covers of the Abbey Road side 2 medley. I had enough covers, but not consistently the quality I was looking for. Other songs presented me with dilemmas: Amen Corner’s Get Back, or the Main Ingredient? Randy Crawford’s Don’t Let Me Down or Phoebe Snow’s? Aretha Franklin’ Let It Be or Clarence Carter’s? I hope I’ve made good choices. Incidentally, when I set out to put together the three mixes I set myself a rule not to have any artist represented twice.

TRACKLISTING
1. Beach Boys – Back In The USSR (live) (1984)
2. Tuck & Patti – Honey Pie (1990)
3. Dionne Farris – Blackbird (1994)
4. Alison Krauss – I Will (1995)
5. Micah P. Hinson – While My Guitar Gently Weeps (2009)
6. Phoebe Snow – Don’t Let Me Down (1976)
7. Billy Bragg – Revolution (1997)
8. The Main Ingredient – Get Back (1970)
9. Count Basie – Come Together (1970)
10. Shirley Bassey – Something (1970)
11. Nina Simone – Here Comes The Sun (1971)
12. George Benson – Oh Darling (1970)
13. Booker T and the MGs – I Want You (1970)
14. Elliott Smith – Because (1999)
15. Joe Cocker – She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (1969)
16. Ben Folds – Golden Slumbers (2002)
17. Dobby Dobson – You Never Give Me Your Money/Carry The Weight (1971)
18. Loose Salute – The End (2009)
19. Rufus Wainwright – Across The Universe (2002)
20. Neil Finn & Liam Finn – Two Of Us (2002)
21. Clarence Carter – Let It Be (1970)
22. Gladys Knight & The Pips – The Long And Winding Road (1971)

GET IT!  (PW in comments)

.

More great Beatles stuff:
Beatles Recovered: A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles Recovered: Beatles For Sale
Beatles Recovered: Help!
Beatles Recovered: Rubber Soul
Beatles Recovered: Revolver
Beatles Recovered: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club  Band
Beatles Revovered: Magical Mystery Tour
Beatles Recovered: White Album
Beatles Recovered: Yellow Submarine
Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals
Covered With Soul Vol. 14 – Beatles Edition 1
Covered With Soul Vol. 15 – Beatles Edition 2

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1967-68
Any Major Beatles Covers: 1968-70
Any Bizarre Beatles
Beatles Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 1
Beatles Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 2
Beatles Reunited: Everest (1971)
Beatles Reunited: Live ’72 (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Smile Away (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Photographs (1974)

Categories: Beatles, Covers Mixes, Mix CD-Rs Tags:

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1967-68

April 16th, 2010 14 comments

The second mix of Beatles covers comprises songs from the group’s 1967-68 period, ending rather abruptly in the middle of the White Album selection. So the third mix will carry on with songs from that double album (leading with the Beach Boys doing Back In The USSR).

There are some quite unexpected covers. Ella Fitzgerald singing Savoy Truffle? Soul group The Moments singing Rocky Racoon, of all songs? Some performers are also surprising. Bill Cosby, for example. The stand-up comic did an album of covers in 1969, including Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It’s not mugging for comedic effect either, though it is fairly bizarre. Backing Cosby is the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band.

Elvis Costello’s performance of “an English folk song” was a minor highlight at Wembley’s Live Aid, not because Costello is doing it very well, but because the crowd is filling in the horn bits, thereby proving Costello’s introduction right. McCartney has attributed inspiration for the sound of Lady Madonna, particularly the piano, to Fats Domino, so it is apt that Domino’s cover, recorded soon after the Beatles released it, should feature here.

Some inclusions are entirely obvious: Pickett’s Hey Jude is the best version of that song, and Spooky Tooth’s cover of I Am The Walrus is masterful. I also particularly like Richie Haven’s take on Strawberry Fields and John Denver’s Mother Nature’s Son.

Part 3, covering 1968-70 will be posted next week.

TRACKLISTING
1. Richie Havens – Strawberry Fields Forever (1969)
2. Kenny Rankin – Penny Lane (1970)
3. Bill Cosby – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1968)
4. The Undisputed Truth – With A Little Help From My Friends (1973)
5. Syreeta – She’s Leaving Home (1972)
6. Gabor Szabo – Lucy In The Sky With Diamond (1967)
7. The Wedding Present – Getting Better (1988)
8. Big Daddy – Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite (1992)
9. Claudine Longet – When I’m Sixty-Four (1967)
10. Jos̩ Feliciano РA Day In The Life (live) (1969)
11. Elvis Costello – All You Need Is Love (live) (1985)
12. The Impressions – Fool On The Hill (1969)
13. Spooky Tooth – I Am The Walrus (1970)
14. Ambrosia – Magical Mystery Tour (1976)
15. Fats Domino – Lady Madonna (1968)
16. Wilson Pickett – Hey Jude (1969)
17. Bobby Bryant – Happiness Is A Warm Gun (1969)
18. The Moments – Rocky Raccoon (1970)
19. The Five Stairsteps – Dear Prudence (1970)
20. Ella Fitzgerald – Savoy Truffle (1969)
21. John Denver – Mother Nature’s Son (1972)
22. Paul Weller – Sexy Sadie (1994)
23. Siouxsie & the Banshees – Helter Skelter (1978)

GET IT!  (PW in comments)

 

More great Beatles stuff:
Beatles Recovered: A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles Recovered: Beatles For Sale
Beatles Recovered: Help!
Beatles Recovered: Rubber Soul
Beatles Recovered: Revolver
Beatles Recovered: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club  Band
Beatles Revovered: Magical Mystery Tour
Beatles Recovered: White Album
Beatles Recovered: Yellow Submarine
Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals
Covered With Soul Vol. 14 – Beatles Edition 1
Covered With Soul Vol. 15 – Beatles Edition 2

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1967-68
Any Major Beatles Covers: 1968-70
Any Bizarre Beatles
Beatles Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 1
Beatles Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 2
Beatles Reunited: Everest (1971)
Beatles Reunited: Live ’72 (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Smile Away (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Photographs (1974)ff

Categories: Beatles, Covers Mixes, Mix CD-Rs Tags:

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66

April 9th, 2010 14 comments

The last ever photo of the Beatles together, as far as I know. Ringo and Paul wave goodbye, George looks exceedingly pleased, and John looks for Yoko (or perhaps Allen Klein).

Tomorrow, 10 April, marks the 40th anniversary of Paul McCartney announcing the official disbandment of The Beatles. Of course, the Beatles were finished long before that. The final session for the Abbey Road album was, as the song had it, The End. And the guys knew it. Still, nothing was announced until 10 April 1970, when Paul unilaterally declared the Beatles kaputt. There was one post-Abbey Road recording: Harrison’s I Me Mine, which was finished in January 1970 and appeared on Let It Be (which therefore is correctly identified as the Beatles’ final album, even if almost all of it was recorded before Abbey Road, and the end of the group’s activity is accurately dated 1970, and even if John’s final contribution was in 1969).

Here is the first of three compilations of good covers of Beatles songs. The first takes the songs of the 1962-66 period, up to Revolver. The tracklisting runs in a rough order in which the Beatles released these songs; I hope that despite the eclectic mix the sequencing is smooth.

Some of the featured songs are fairly rare. The Supremes’ version of I Saw Her Standing There, with the lovely and tragic Florence Ballard taking lead vocals, was recorded for their 1964 A Bit Of Liverpool album, but was not used for it. It was finally released in 2008. Likewise, the Carpenters’ splendid cover of Can’t Buy Me Love never was an album release. It appeared on a 1970 interview recording which also includes live-in-the-studio takes of 12 songs (including Can’t Buy Me Love, Help, Ticket To Ride and Come Together). The Bee Gee’s version of You Won’t See Me apparently was recorded in Australia (possibly for the Spicks And Specks sessions), shortly before the future purveyors of toothy hirsuteness broke through internationally.

Some songs presented an obvious problem: to select one of several great covers. The choice was the hardest between Jackie Wilson’s and Ray Charles’ versions of Eleanor Rigby, from 1969 and ’68 respectively. I have often cited the latter as a great example of a cover eclipsing the Beatles (the other, featured here, is Earth, Wind & Fire’s Got To Get You Into My Life). In the end I opted for Wilson’s lesser known version. Likewise, I was torn between Grady Tate’s version of And I Love Her and Esther Philips And I Love Him. Tate’s voice is one of my favourites in popular music, so he got in. It seems appropriate to close the set with a track from a song-for-song covers album, Taxman from the Don Randi Trio’s 1966 jazz-rock re-imagining of Revolver.

I have tried to keep the length of this mix to the standard CD-R length. Here, however, I had no choice but to exceed that length. It was a question of leaving out Deep Purple’s excellent 6-minute version of Help. I have left it in, so the running time is about 1h25min.

TRACKLISTING
1. Keely Smith – Do You Want To Know A Secret (1965)
2. The Supremes – I Saw Him Standing There (1964)
3. The Mamas & The Papas – I Call Your Name (1966)
4. Nils Lofgren – Anytime At All (1981)
5. Carpenters – Can’t Buy Me Love (1970)
6. Ramsey Lewis Trio – A Hard Day’s Night (1965)
7. Rosanne Cash – I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party (1989)
8. Grady Tate – And I Love Her (1974)
9. Marianne Faithfull – I’m A Loser (1965)
10. Pearl Jam – You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (2003)
11. The Dillards – I’ve Just Seen A Face (1968)
12. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – Yesterday (1968)
13. ‘Wee’ Willie Walker – Ticket To Ride (1967)
14. Deep Purple – Help (1968)
15. Stevie Wonder – We Can Work It Out (1970)
16. Cheap Trick – Day Tripper (1982)
17. Johnny Rivers – Run For Your Life (1966)
18. Bee Gees – You Won’t See Me (1966)
19. Paul Westerberg – Nowhere Man (2001)
20. Miriam Makeba – In My Life (1970)
21. Bud Shank – Girl (1966)
22. Jonah Jones – Michelle (1969)
23. Earth, Wind & Fire – Got To Get You Into My Life (1978)
24. Jackie Wilson – Eleanor Rigby (1969)
25. Emmylou Harris – Here There And Everywhere (1975)
26. The Vines – I’m Only Sleeping (2001)
27. Don Randi Trio – Taxman (1966)

GET IT! (PW in comments)

.More great Beatles stuff:
Beatles Recovered: A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles Recovered: Beatles For Sale
Beatles Recovered: Help!
Beatles Recovered: Rubber Soul
Beatles Recovered: Revolver
Beatles Recovered: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club  Band
Beatles Revovered: Magical Mystery Tour
Beatles Recovered: White Album
Beatles Recovered: Yellow Submarine
Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals
Covered With Soul Vol. 14 – Beatles Edition 1
Covered With Soul Vol. 15 – Beatles Edition 2

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1967-68
Any Major Beatles Covers: 1968-70
Any Bizarre Beatles
Beatles Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 1
Beatles Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 2
Beatles Reunited: Everest (1971)
Beatles Reunited: Live ’72 (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Smile Away (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Photographs (1974)

Categories: Beatles, Covers Mixes, Mix CD-Rs Tags: