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Showing posts from January, 2021

Which song broke-up The Beatles?

The B842, Kintyre, Scotland I was a bit flipped out and tripped out at that time. It’s a sad song because it’s all about the unattainable; the door you never quite reach. This is the road that you never get to the end of.   from   Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now, Barry Miles The recording of The Beatles took a physical and psychological toll on all concerned. By late 1968 the group was close to collapse. There were several fault-lines but the most significant was  between Paul — desperate to save the musical marriage — and John and George, who wanted out. The rupture was irreconcilable but nobody was yet ready to break up the group . Personal relations inevitably deteriorated. Most of the animus was directed against McCartney, who, despite his cheery public persona, was deeply affected. He retreated to his remote farm in Scotland to lick his wounds  and - Paul being Paul - write some new material. The conscious intention was  to write a commercial ballad for a mainstream s

First use of sitar on a Beatles track?

Indian restaurant scene from Help! (1965 The first time George Harrison saw a sitar was on the set of Help in April 1965. A group of Indian musicians had been recruited to add an authentic Indian ambience to the restaurant scene. They played a  a Beatles medley ('Another Hard Day’s Night')   using   sitar, flute, tabla, ghunghroo and tanpura.  Listening to session musicians cranking out Beatles covers was a not particularly novel experience for the group. India was, however, one of the few countries that bypassed Beatlemania. It had its own musical traditions and Harrison was fascinated by the instrumentation he heard Rubber Soul Over the next few months Harrison began researching traditional Indian music. He  discussed his new interest with David Crosby, who toured the UK with The Byrds in August 1965.  Crosby told him about Ravi Shankar, then virtually unknown outside India. He also lent Harrison a Shankar LP that he 'carried in his suitcase'.  It was love at first li

Who wrote Those Were the Days?

Even at the height of his fame, Paul McCartney enjoyed writing songs for other artists, especially female singers. Often, he did this unbidden, offering Cilla Black Step Inside Love for her first TV show, for example. He was also the most musically adventurous of The Beatles - and eclectic in his taste.  He first heard Those Were the Days in The Blue Angel club in London. The singer was Gene Raskin, a New York-based folk singer with Russian roots. McCartney liked the song and offered to produce a recording by Mary Hopkins, a young Welsh folk singer recently signed by the new Apple label.  Copyright McCartney assumed that  Those Were the Days  had been written by Raskin. In fact, the copyright situation was complex and would become the subject of a legal battle.  The tune is that of the  Russian romance song "Dorogoi dlinnoyu" [ ru ]("Дорогой длинною" Tr: "By the long road").  This may be considered tradtional, though it is sometimes credited to Boris Fom

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