Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
cosmosis

A few questions about The Beatles

Recommended Posts

I've been listening to The Beatles A LOT lately and there's a few things I've been wondering about:

It's obvious that at some point they really took control of their music. To what degree? Did they actually sat behing the consoles and turned knobs and slides around?

Who plays piano on 'Martha My Dear'? Who plays guitar on 'Blackbird'? Did Paul ever released really great music? Could you name the albums?

A friend of mine once played some old George stuff wich sounded really hindu. I'm pretty sure it was from the 70s. Could anybody point me to those albums?

Was John ever addicted to heroin? What's 'Cold Turkey' and 'Happiness is a Warm Gun' about?

Could someone recommend a good book about the musical history of the Beatles? Is there a good site with some kinda analisys on the lyrics?

gotta go now, battery running real low. Thanx in advanced for your expertice and sorry if theres more typos than ussual but its real dark here :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's obvious that at some point they really took control of their music. To what degree? Did they actually sat behing the consoles and turned knobs and slides around?

George Martin was always at the controls (even the original 'Let it Be' tapes) but the lads were quick to learn in the early years, especially the ADT techniques.

Who plays piano on 'Martha My Dear'?

Paul - he also played the bass, drums and whatever else you can think of (except the brass and strings) 'cause none of the other Beatles appears on this recording.

Who plays guitar on 'Blackbird'?

Paul

Did Paul ever released really great music? Could you name the albums?

Band on the Run. A great album. Although Paul has released some great tunes/singles here and there, his other albums are at best mediocre.

Was John ever addicted to heroin? What's 'Cold Turkey' and 'Happiness is a Warm Gun' about?

Yes, John was addicted to H. 'Cold Turkey' explains the withdrawals.

No - 'Happiness' isn't about H. (John) once described the tune as a sort of history of rock 'n' roll.

Could someone recommend a good book about the musical history of the Beatles?

'Revolution in the Head' - The Beatles' Records and the Sixties by Ian MacDonald.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did Paul ever released really great music? Could you name the albums?

If you can get past "Silly Love Songs" and "Let 'Em In" which were pop hits for Paul, there are a few good songs on the Wings At The Speed Of Sound album.

Is there a good site with some kinda analisys on the lyrics?

I can give you at least ten good Beatles sites but I think this site is the best of them all. There is a commentary for just about every song when you view the songs on their lyrics pages. Also note, you will find the lyrics for just about all Beatles songs on this site as well as much more interesting stuff. Enjoy!! I Am The Beatles site

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another vote of approval for "Revolution in the Head" by Ian MacDonald as THE best book about the Beatles and their music.

He goes through each and every one of the songs that they officially released,explaining the background to them and how they were recorded. Although it sometimes strays into jargon that only those familiar with music theory will understand, its a fascinating, very informative book, and absolutely essential for any Beatles fan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This Paul dude became quite the musician and very perfectionist in contrast with John, who was a bit on the sloppy and childish side, yet much more experimental and extremist. I wonder how much John actually loved publicity and how much that influenced in doing many of the things he did.

Anyways, thanx to all for the great info. I'll be chasing those CDs and the book.

oh and about that Martha song, I listened it again last night and came to the conclusion that that's how an enchanted forest must sound like :laughing:

just swinging by as I don't have power yet (insert crying emoticon here)

Farewell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ooooooooo :: I've got a few more!!!

Who decided which songs will become singles? Were they the ones or was the industry? And one more: Which recordings are know to be the very earliest ones?

so many questions, but don't worry, I'll be getting that book and maybe another one or two soon. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ooooooooo :: I've got a few more!!!

Who decided which songs will become singles? Were they the ones or was the industry? And one more: Which recordings are know to be the very earliest ones?

Basically, even from their very first single, "Love Me Do", The Beatles themselves decided which would be their 'official singles'. In the case of "Love Me Do", this was even released at the insistence of The Beatles in place of a non-original "How Do You Do It" which was being foisted upon them. The only occasion I can remember where pressure was placed by the 'industry' was the release of "Strawberry Fields Forever"/"Penny Lane". The Beatles had intended to stick these on the album that became "Sgt Pepper", but Capital wanted some new product (as it had been 6 months since the group's previous release) so they reluctantly put those 2 tracks out as a single.

The other thing in deciding what would be the next Beatles' single was the competitive edge between Lennon & McCartney. Usually, the group acted as a democracy and voted for what they wanted as the next single. Potential singles that were vetoed during this process were "Eight Days A Week" ["I Feel Fine" was released in its place, although "Eight Days A Week" did eventually come out as a single (and was a US No. 1) in various parts of the world [see below]]; "Across The Universe" ["Lady Madonna" was released instead]; and the slow version of "Revolution" [with "Hey Jude" being released instead, with the fast version of "Revolution" on its B-side, much to Lennon's displeasure.]

The policy for releasing singles varied outside of the UK and Ireland, and there were loads of local variations decided upon by the distributers (like Capitol in the US) who seemed to plunder albums at will to release tracks that were not originally intended as singles. Apart from "Eight Days A Week", there was "Do You Want To Know A Secret", "I Saw Her Standing There", "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", "The Long And Winding Road", etc. etc. etc.

For the earliest known recording, you need to check out "Anthology 1" CD, which has all the earliest (pre-Ringo) recordings. The very earliest is a cover of "That'll Be The Day" coupled with the only McCartney/Harrison composition "In Spite Of All The Danger"(1955). This was not an official release, but recorded on a disc in an electrical goods shop in Liverpool. There are a few others pre-"Love Me Do", including the Lennon/Harrison instrumental "Cry For A Shadow", which was made commercially available after the group became famous. As I say, if you're interested, check out the "Anthology" CDs, as the booklet has got all the history about the tracks.

Hope that helps a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other thing in deciding what would be the next Beatles' single was the competitive edge between Lennon & McCartney. Usually, the group acted as a democracy and voted for what they wanted as the next single.

That is true, but not as prevalent in the very early years.

A good example about the band vote was for [color:#990099]Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, with Paul so adamant about it's release only to have the other three turn it down.

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×