Napoleon Plural wrote:
Of course I got it because it's mentioned in a Fleming Bond novel, not sure which one, as I suspect is the reason Mr Potts did too.
Napoleon Plural wrote:
A Hard Day's Night
It's all Lennon and McCartney, no covers perhaps because it was a movie soundtrack and they wanted to maximise profits. Ringo doesn't sing at all, possibly a bonus, as it often feels like they're just trying to do him a favour. Unusually, this LP has the singles of the day on it AND the B-sides such as "You Can't Do That" and "Things We Said Today".
Napoleon Plural wrote:
Just me then...
I listened to the CD of this brilliant and quirky Who album which is not quite a concept album. It is spotted with spoof pirate radio jingles and ads of the day and such stuff, before plunging into a new song. It works really well, the jingles set up the new song really well and it flows great.
But should I get the album on vinyl? You do the research and it seems some like it in mono, others say the psychedelic era is better in stereo. Another says the American single of I Can See for Miles knocks all the others into a cocked hat. Most agree that one track on the mono has an awful bit of mixing or jump cut, but another says a later pressing rectifies this.
Give a man a choice and you give him a dilemma.
Napoleon Plural wrote:
Ah... there was a compilation I was going to recommend for you and never got round to it.
Napoleon Plural wrote:
I bought the Beatles 'comeback' single Free As A Bird on vinyl.
But it really is a dog of a record, I cannot be turned on to it. I'm glad it didn't get to number 1.
It's a dirge.
Well, I did get around to playing my vinyl copy of McCartney III.
It is really rather good. I don't want to talk it up too much... it is on vinyl, which lends it a warmer sound. This particular vinyl sounds brilliant, unlike the other stuff I've been getting.
Macca's voice doesn't sound so bad on this, it's sort of buried in the mix. This is a sunny afternoon second glass of French Malbec sort of record. The vibe is the album Let It Be, though no songs specifically remind you of any of that. It's just natural, acoustic-ish. Macca's now thin voice is not overwhelmed by big modern studio production sounds.
The songs are very natural, nothing contrived in the lyrics, no 'we'll pad this out' middle eights, a common Macca flaw of late. They are also finished, rather than sounding like lazy jams or inspired B-sides or throwaways.
I'll admit that I heard Johnny Cash's cover of Hurt which is brilliant and yet his voice is kind of shot on that, it's just, it works to the song's advantage. Now, I bought McCartney III on the basis that, basically, this guy is still alive while Lennon got shot 40 years ago. Imagine if Lennon were alive suddenly, you'd snap up his album to celebrate the fact. Why not Macca? And there's a song on the first side that sounds to my ears as good as Cash's Hurt, but then you remember of course - McCartney actually wrote this. It's not a cover.
I've only listened to Side 1 of this album. Why? Because after that I'm done. It really does seem that good, likewise I've not listened to Side 2 of The Who Sell Out. Side 1 ends with I Can See For Miles, it peaks really a bit like Side 1 of The White Album.
This is the first McCartney album I've bought since Electric Arguments I think, and while Macca's voice is not really there as in days of yore, it just doesn't really matter. The album has been remade with other vocals on it - St Etienne for instance, and Beck - but it got slightly snippy reviews I think because a) Really the instrumentation on the original is very good, it doesn't need to be remade and b) The project puts me in mind of those Beatle cover albums of Revolver or Sgt Pepper that mags like Mojo used to put out, you'd look forward to it but then realise the Beatles nailed it the first time round really. I can't think of many Beatle covers that improve on the original frankly, be they by Bassey, Monro or Sinatra.
The album is called McCartney III as a kind of sequel to McCartney (1970) and McCartney II (1980) so it's to mark the turn of a decade and also reflect the social distancing of lockdown, the idea being he sort of noodles around and plays everything himself. Ironically, if he produced this himself, as I think he did mostly on Band on the Run, then he seems to do a better job than the producers he gets in.
I recommend this album for Beatle fans, along with the French Malbec you can pick up from Asda for just a fiver.
Beguiled at finding a slew of Beatles singles in my local tat shop, I snapped up a few. I never learn, do I?
They just don't sound right.
were these singles on the Parlophone label or Capitol?
the early Capitol releases (ie the American versions) were remixed by an employee named Dave Dexter, to give them a more American pop music sound, typically more reverb like the Motown records of the time. That could explain the difference in sound you hear. Also the records may have been well played by teenagers long ago, worn out grooves would have lost information.
They were UK singles. The whole Capital thing is odd - the albums weren't the same as the UK ones, were they - different tracks on them.
What is odd that older Beatle fans may prefer the 'messed about' singles if that's what they came to know and love. I think these just were played too much but there's hardly ever a time when I hear one and think. 'That's it!' I've had that with some of the early Beatle LPs in mono - in particular A Hard Day's Night, though some like Beatles for Sale and Help! are said to be largely better in stereo.
if you ever want to see nerds swearing bloodfeuds over popculture detritus, check out some of the threads on the Steve Hoffman Forum where they argue if the Beatles' Capitol albums actually qualify as albums. We are such well behaved nerds compared to some of the other nerd communities online. These poor people: the standardised ceedee catalog revealed their entire childhood memories were a lie! but wait, the reason we still remember the Beatles is because of their success in America, therefor its the UK catalog that's not valid! oh yeh? yeh! oh yeh? yeh! oh yeh? yeh! etc...
I know George Martin did crude stereo mixes for the first couple albums: voices hardpanned to one speaker, instruments hardpanned to the other. He did proper stereo mixes for the next couple, then went back to the crude mixes for one or two when you'd expect them to sound better, before getting serious again with Revolver. I don't remember exactly which is which, but Beatles for Sale (a lesser loved album) has a very lush detailed stereo sound, especially the opening guitars in Words of Love. Whereas Rubber Soul (one of their best regarded albums) is back to the crude voices/instruments split. I don't think there even are stereo mixes for the first couple singles.
I wonder if any Capital albums are actually better than the Parlophone ones? Possibly Meet the Beatles - renamed from With the Beatles as the Fabs had only just broken America then? It kicks off with I Want to Hold Your Hand then I Saw Her Standing There before going with It Won't Be Long, the original debut track.
I also wonder if there were any Capital Odds and S*ds releases around 65 or 66 that might hold up?
One reason that Sgt Pepper may have blown them away was that it was the first time any Beatles' LP had gone straight to shelves without this kind of chlorinated chicken watering down that the Americans did back then. What's odd is that even Do You Want to Know a Secret? - a simple decent track off the first album - was made a single in the US where it climbed to No 2. Okay, it was covered and Top Tenned in the UK so it had legs but even so. No quality control.
being on the wrong side of the pond, I started with the Capitol discography, so heard them all the "wrong" way for years. I did pick up a UK Revolver, because that was an obvious upgrade (3 extra Lennon songs, and no substitutions to complicate things) but it was over a decade before I got the "real" Rubber Soul and another decade before I got the rest of the early ones (plus the British Rarities for the b-sides). I used to try to make cassette dubs with the songs in the "correct" order, but that was a lot of work. Thankfully we now have playlists to do that sort of thing in a matter of seconds.
Capitol albums that are arguably better?
Meet the Beatles as you say is a good one: by adding the a and b side of the current single and removing most of the cover versions, it presents an album of almost all originals including one George song, thus proving the case they were songwriters not just performers (and was the album that fueled Beatlemania in the States, thus arguably the foundation of their long-term legacy) . Then the leftovers form most of the Beatles Second Album, almost all fast noisy rocknroll covers, a good consistent listen on its own.
similarly Beatles 65 strips Beatles for Sale down to the very best bits plus once again including both sides of the current single. (Though personally I never appreciated this era until I heard Beatles for Sale.)
Best of all is the American Rubber Soul, which replaces some of the more up-tempo numbers with mostly acoustic leftovers from Help!, resulting in a more consistent folk rock album truly worthy of the cover.
The Odds n Sods release from round 66 is Yesterday and Today. All those singles and leftover album tracks from Help!, Rubber Soul, and Revolver sound very good together like that. Though I think there's two(!) Ringo toons so its not perfect.
Magical Mystery Tour is of course an American album that got added to the British catalog sometime in the 70s. Those songs were all originally released as ep's or singles in the UK. I think it actually adds up to a better psychedelic album than Sgt Pepper.