Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Jeff Lynne

It is a pleasure to say Happy Birthday to one of my favorite musicians, who I listen to just as much as I do The Beatles, Mr. Jeff Lynne.

Young Jeff Lynne (Middle)
Jeffrey Lynne,  or as other may know him as Otis Wilbury/ Clayton Wilbury from the Grammy Award Winning Supergroup, The Traveling Wilburys, was born on 30 Decemeber, 1947 in Shard End, Birmingham, England. Lynne attended Alderlea Boys' Seconday School as a child and recieved his first guitar, an acoustic, from his father when he was sixteen years old - Jeff still plays the £2 guitar today.  His first  music experiences came from his grandparents, who themselves were very musical. With his guitar he formed a band with Robert Reader and David Walsh, calling themselves The Rockin' Hellcats, later to be known The Handicaps, and finally to The Andicaps, based off of Lynne's inspirations from Roy Orbison to The Beatles, who in fact (like many other musicians) once hearing The Beatles wanted to get a guitar.  However The Andicaps didn't last and in 1964 Jeff decided to join another local band called The Chads. it was also in that year that Lynne bought his first electric guitar, a second hand Burns Sonic along with a Vox AC30 amp.

Once again, Lynne had parted with this group and would later join The Nightriders in 1966 after receiving his first studio recording equipment, a Bang & Olufsen Beocord 2000 De Luxe stereo reel-to-reel tape recorder, which as Jeff states, taught him how to be a producer and the previous year receiving a brand new Fender Esquire. Two years after joining The Nightriders, or The Idle Race as they were now known (a name coined from Jeff's grandmother, Evelyn Lynne) released their first album with Liberty Records, The Birthday Party and a year later would released their second album, Idle Race, in which Jeff produced at age twenty-two.

After releasing Idle Race, Lynne had reevaluated himself and his success and decided to join a more successful band, The Move, after being offered a spot from his friend Roy Wood. Lynne helped create The Move's last two albums with Wood and Bev Bevan, creating a sound built around the foundations of mixing the beloved rock music with the melodies of classic; thus Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) was born.
"...pick up where The Beatles left off." -ELO: The Band The Beatles Could Have Been

ELO
The 1970s became a promising year for Lynne as he married Rosemary and unfortunately Roy Wood left the band in 1972 after their first album, No Answer, and after the band's first live show at Fox & Hounds, but lead to Jeff Lynne becoming the dominate force. Lynne, along with other members of ELO, became a beloved and favorite band amongst listeners All Over The World, with memorable works like, "10538 Oveture", "Showdown", "Can't Get It Out of My Head", "Evil Woman", "Strange Magic", "Mr. Blue Sky"... you get the point.

In 1977 Rosemary and Jeff were divorced and two years later Lynne had found himself settling down with Sandi Kapelson  after a secret wedding in California;  that year also was a peek for Electric Light Orchestra earning the title as the biggest selling act in the UK. But as all good things must come to an end, 1983 lead to the disbandment.  Bevan was now drumming for Black Sabbath and the bands bassist, Kelly Groucutt had already departed from the band but Lynne was obligated by contract to create on more album with ELO, this album became known as Balance of Power, released in 1986.

After the end of ELO, Lynne had began to devote more of his time to producing and his own work. Prior to Electirc Light Orchestra's break Jeff released a few of his own recordings, including "Doin' That Crazy Thing"/ "Goin' Down to Rio" in 1977, along with covers of one of his biggest influences, The Beatles with his covers of "With A Little Help From My Friends" - "Nowhere Man"

Post ELO Jeff began working with ex-Beatle and good friend, George Harrison for Harrison's Cloud Nine album. This album not only brought George back into the recording scene after a long absence but was also the start of what would become The Traveling Wilbury's, a supergroup formed with George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan, with drumming talents of Jim Keltner.

After the Wilbury's Volume 1 was released and very well received, Lynne continued to work and produce with Orbison, when they released Orbison's last album, Mystery Girl, containing Orbison's last major hit, "You Got It", co-written by Lynne.  In 1989 he worked with Tom Petty in co-producing Full Moon Fever which also contained songs co-written by Jeff including one of Petty's most recognizable songs, "Free Fallin'" .  Besides working with his fellow Wilbury's, Lynne worked on helping Del Shannon release his last album, Rock On!. Amongst his works with Orbison, Petty and Shannon, Lynne co-wrote and produced Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys "Let It Shine", which can be heard on Wilson's first solo album Brian Wilson, along with other notable contributes.
.

The Traveling Wilbruys
With big success towards the end of 1980s, the following decade flourished for Jeff Lynne, starting with The Traveling Wilbury's working on their second album, Volume 3. Following The Wilbury's success of  there second and last album, Lynne released his first solo album in 1990, Armchair Theatre, which received propitious feedback. The following year Jeff was back producing and co-writing for Tom Petty with The Heartbreakers Into The Great Wide Open, and in 1992 he worked once again in keeping a beloved musician and friend of his music alive, when he produced King of Hearts, the posthumous album of Roy Orbison. But one of Lynne's greatest accomplishments could be well noted when he worked alongside the three surviving members of The Beatles on their project for the Anthology series, which would break The Beatles own record for album sales and became multi-platinum. If you think working with The Fab Four was good enough, Lynne was awarded the Ivor Novello for Outstanding Services to British Music in 1996.  Then Paul McCartney released Flaming Pie in 1997, an album that was co-produced by Jeff Lynne who also can be heard throughout the record. Not only did Lynne continue to work with McCartney and Harrison but producing Ringo Starr's works, making the 1990s a very successful decade.

The early 2000s brought Lynne to successfully buy the full rights of ELO and began working on re-mastering the old band classics; this became known as Flashback. The following year Jeff Lynne put out an album under the name ELO, becoming their first release in fifteen years;  a thirteen track album called Zoom, which featured Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and ELO keyboardist Richard Tandy. Within that same year Jeff and George Harrison worked on another album together, this one however was known that it was going to be the last of Harrison's music contributes. The album became known as Brainwashed and was finished by Jeff Lynne and George's son, Dhani, after George's departure on 29 November, 2001.  In 2006 he worked once again with Tom Petty on Petty's  Highway Companion, and in 2009 joined Tom Petty, and was honored with the Golden Note Award, an award presented to musicians who have conquered milestones in their career. A few years later Lynne would release his second solo album, Long Wave, featuring covers of musicians such as Etta James "At Last" and Roy Orbison's "Running Scared". Lynne also released Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra, featuring re-recorded ELO classics.  In 2012 Lynne and Richard Tandy teamed up to record a live set of ELO tracks which became part of the documentary, Mr Blue Sky. That same year Jeff was nominated as performer/songwriter for the 2013 Songwriters Hall of Fame induction. This past March Jeff was honored with a Star on the Broad Street Walk of Stars, and is to be honored with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

What can we look forward to with Jeff Lynne in the upcoming year? Well Here Is The News; It's been rumored that the brilliant musician is to release a new album soon.



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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award for George Harrison

"This year we pay tribute to exceptional creators who have made prolific contributions to our culture and history. It's an honor and a privilege to recognize such a diverse group of talented trailblazers, whose incomparable bodies of work and timeless legacies will continue to be celebrated for generations to come." -Neil Portnow, Recording Academy President/CEO
If you're a music lover than you already know about The Grammy's and the wonderful awards and celebrations they put on. 2015 marks The Grammy's fifty-seventh annual awards, which brings new nominees and a house full of musicians from old classics to the twenty-first century music icons, all in hopes of wining just one of the symbolic, gold, turn table statues. 

If you watched last year you would of seen Sir James Paul McCartney win the Best Rock Song award with Dave Ghrol, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear for their song "Cut Me Some Slack". McCartney also took home two more awards that night which include, Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package for Wings Over America, and Best Surround Sound Album and Best Music Film for his music documentary "Live Kisses", a film about making McCartney's old classic favorites called Kisses On The Bottom. But any Beatlemaniac who watched the ceremony would know that that wasn't the only highlight of the night. In fact not only did McCartney take home three awards but Ringo Starr performed a song that was sure to please the crowd, "Photograph". The night however did not end there, the two surviving (once) mop-topped legends took the stage together, reuniting, to preform "Queenie Eye", off of McCartney's newest album, New.
Last years Grammy's were almost a Beatle lover's dream when not only McCartney and Starr took the stage together but the boys along with their two deceased friends, John Lennon and George Harrison, were awarded with the Life Time Achievement award, given to the four men for their contributes with the little band, The Beatles. Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, and Olivia Harrison were there to accept the award.  Besides the fifty-sixth annual Grammy's last year, The ceremony also highlighted The Beatles on behalf of their own  event celebrating The Beatles pavement to the British Invasion in America with "The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles"

This year George Harrison alone, will be recognized with The Lifetime Achievement Award, an award that "honors performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance other field of recording," ( Grammy.com ). George Harrison himself  has won Ten Grammy's with The Beatles, Three Grammy's as a solo artist, and one with the Super-group, The Traveling Wilburys. 

Amongst George Harrison, Pierre Boulez, Buddy Guy, the Bee Gees, the Louvin Brothers, and Wayne Shorter will be honored with The Lifetime Achievement Award during a special celebration for invited guest on Saturday 7 February, 2015, while they will be formaly acknowledge at the fifty-seventh annual awards on the following day; to take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ringo Starr Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

"Finally, the four of us are in"- Ringo Starr

It's been twenty years since John Lennon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his music contributions as a solo artist, fifteen years since Sir James Paul McCartney, ten years for George Harrison, and twenty six years since the world phenomenon, The Beatles took there spot in the hall, and now it's time for the "Heart" of the band to take his turn; Ringo Starr (to read about Ringo's life feel free to read "7 Days Of Starr").


Earlier today, Tuesday 16 Decemember, 2014, the loveable drummer talked with Rolling Stone Magazine's Andy Greene, who asked Starr "What was your first reaction?", where Starr admitted he hadn't known that his past band members, Lennon and Harrison, were in it and he's excited for "a very nice evening...".

Ringo first recieved the news that he was being honored with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Award for Musical Excellence two weeks ago when who else but Paul McCartney called his friend and ex-bandmate to tell him the news,
"I didn't think about it much or expect it," said Ringo in the same interview. "This year has been quite busy. I've been touring a lot. I got the humanitarian award from GQ. I became a male model for John Varvatos, so my life is busy anyway. This came out of the blue. I didn't expect it. I got the call from Paul (McCartney) two weeks ago. He said, 'This could happen. Do you want to do it? I said, 'Sure'."
 Amongst calling Starr to give him the big news, McCartney mentioned that other musicians, such as Paul's good friend, Dave Grohl, couldn't believe that the drummer of "the biggest pop group in the land" (Ringo Starr) has yet a spot in the Hall. Paul, however doesn't stop there when it comes to celebrate Starr's success. Andy Greene asks Ringo, "Are you going to preform?" where Ringo simple replies he doesn't have any plans in putting a band together but if Paul will he'll play a Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band favorite, "With A Little Help From My Friends".   Greene then comments, "I  can't think of a better song for the all-star jam at the end of the night."

"That part of it I'm leaving to my producer, Paul [laughs]." -Ringo Starr
The ceremony will also included the following inductees;
  • The "5" Royales
  • The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
  • Green Day
  • Joan Jett & the Blackjacks
  • Lou Reed
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
  • Bill Withers
"As we mark thirty years of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions, we're proud to honor these artist. These inductees epitomize rock and roll's impact over the past fifty years and continuing through today." -Joel Peresman, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame foundation President
 The ceremony will take place in Cleveland on 18 April, 2015, where Paul McCartney will be presenting Ringo the award. Tickets go on sale to the public on 18 December at 10 a.m. ET.

"This means recognition to me. And it means, finally, the four of us are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even though we were the biggest pop group in the land, though now it all looks funny in black and white."- Ringo Starr
It's been well overdue and now this Starr is gonna shine. Peace and Love.



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Read more on the Andy Greene interview here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Remembering John and George in Hollywood

"The public gathering is meant to be more a time of music, celebration and peace than a time for mourning." -Jerry Rubin, Peace activist, Examiner



The end of the year always brings heavy hearts amongst Beatlemaniacs for it was in the last two months of the year that the world parted with John Lennon ( 8 December, 1980) and George Harrison ( 29 November, 2001). This year, 2014, marks the thirty-third anniversary of  Lennon's tragic murder and thirteen years since Harrison's loss to cancer and as usual Hollywood has prepared.

Every year fans from around the world gather towards at 1750 North Vine Street, Hollywood to find both George and John's stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame proudly placed outside of Capitol Records Tower for a free ceremony to, as Rubin stated above, celebrate the lives of these two music heroes.

This past Saturday, 29 November, fans were encouraged by event organizer, Jerry Rubin, to bring flowers, candles, etc. to place on the star. Along with bring items, lighting a vigil, and signing an 'acknowledgement book' stamped with Harrison's Dark Horse logo on the cover brought by fan Mary Martin,  an open mic took place, allowing speakers such as Councilman Tom Labonge who suggested the group of attendees to sing Harrison's Living In The Material World favorite, 'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)", fans like Jewels and Johnny Nation, who shared their original song "When Harrison Hit The Haight", and others to share and sing in memory of the beloved artist.

The event was emceed by Harry Bluebond, who filled in for Jerry Rubin, who could not attend, and KLOS-FM 's "Breakfast With The Beatles"'s host, Chris Carter.  All and all the event was said to be a humbling experience.

This coming Monday, 8 Decemeber, a memorial for John Lennon will be held at his star on The Walk Of Fame from 6 p.m - 8 p.m. Once again Jerry Rubin invites all fans to bring memoribilia and share songs, speeches, and/or poetry that honor the inspiring artist.  The event will be emceed by Chris Carter and feature speaker fro Harry Bluebond, Pat Tyson and Nancy Hutchins.



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Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Art of McCartney

“A celebration, not a tribute. A celebration of this man and all his incredible music. I had the privilege of hearing that first playback, two and a half hours of amazing music, which was a very emotional moment for Ralph and me.”- Chris Hutton on The Art of McCartney

Now we all know who Paul McCartney is, if not, then I'm afraid you're on the wrong website. But have no fear, you can simply learn about Sir James Paul McCartney by reading about his life, from young childhood to today's standards by reading 18 Days of McCartney, a tribute to the iconic music legend done this past June. However, 18 Days of McCartney was just a silly little writing piece by an ambitious sixteen year old, another tribute dedicated to a man who defines music will be released this Tuesday (18 November, 2014).

Ralph Sall's has spent twenty years working alongside more than two handfuls, in fact nearly over fort artists, from Billy Joel, Brian Wilson, Barry Gibb and even McCartney's hero, Bob Dylan, whom all paid tribute to Paul in this forty-two track album called, The Art of McCartney.

The Art of McCartney's official website states the following about creating the album;
"It was to be a long and winding road, but here it is at last: the project that testifies to the songwriting genius of Paul McCartney, and gathers together a glittering host of Paul’s peers paying tribute to… The Art Of McCartney."
Ralph Sall's  has built a successful career with his films such as Addams Family Values and Three Kings; not to mention his collaborations with other tribute albums from the Grateful Dead to The Eagles, and even The Doors . A fan of Paul himself, more than just heart, soul, blood, and sweat has gone into this "too good to be true" album. In fact Sall's has been working like a dog for nearly twenty years on perfecting this album working alongside more than forty artist, from rocker Alice Cooper to bluesy B.B. King to having a country flare with Willie Nelson, and many more, all whom have paid tribute to McCartney with their own covers to be featured on this album. Some covers include the early Beatles "Things We Said Today" from A Hard Days Night Album sung by the legendary, Bob Dylan. Another track to look forward to is The Who's Roger Daltrey's take on the speaker breaking "Helter Skelter".


McCartney however is not just known for his work with the mop-topped phenomenon, The Beatles, but with Paul McCartney and Wings, along with his solo work which have not been missed while creating the album. Billy Joel croons through the beloved "Maybe I'm Amazed" while Steve Miller rock's the upbeat "Junior's Farm".

"Anyone who tried to squeeze all that into a single package, would struggle. But Ralph Sall has managed to come through with a genuinely impressive array of artists, matched with a nicely judged choice of songs. With the label Arctic Poppy, they make the multi-format The Art Of McCartney a thoroughly fitting tribute to a truly exceptional body of work." - Patrick Humphries, TheArtOfMcCartney.com
 For more information on the collection and to Pre-Order your copy I encourage you all to visit TheArtOfMcCartney.com.



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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Venus and Mars At The Speed of Sound















It was just after Paul McCartney and Wings had lost two of their members (Henry McCullough Denny Seiwall), Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, and Denny Laine released their third and most successful album, Band on The Run, in December 1973, that Wings started on a new project; Venus and Mars.
"With this new album I did this scroll thing and sat down and put one song there, and another song here. Fiddle about. Fiddle about."- Paul McCartney, Melody Maker, 1975

(L-R) English, Laine, L. McCartney, McCulloch, P.McCartney
The band began recording at Abbey Road Studios in November, 1974 despite their desire to record the full album in the United States, which wasn't possible after Denny Laine had difficulties acquiring a visa to enter the US. Two months later the group, along with Laine, picked up their work and moved to Allen Toussaint's Sea Studios in New Orleans on 16 January and stayed til 24 February, 1975.  It was during this time that Wings went searching for two new members to replace their lost lead guitarist and drummer, that's when Jimmy McCulloch, a young and extremely gifted guitarist, and Geoff Britton, a former karate expert, joined the band. However, Britton was found fighting with Laine and McCulloch that he left the group half way through recording leaving Wings to find a new drummer. It was Tony Dorsey, Wings trombonist, who recommended a New Yorker who's drummed with names from Joplin to Hendrix; Joe English.
"I completed half the tracks on the album and then a local drummer called Joe English did the rest.
It's a funny band, Wings. From a musician's point of view, it's a privilege to do it. From a career point of view, it's madness! No matter how good you are, you're always in the shadow of Paul."- Geoff Britton, 1975
 The album was released after final recordings and mixing held at Wally Heider Studios in Los Angeles on 27 May, 1975 (US)/ 30 May, 1975 (UK). The album toppled charts, reaching Billboard Top 200 for one week and seventy-seven weeks in US Charts, not to mention the twenty-nine weeks the album spent in UK Charts including one week at number one and only three months later on 1 August, becoming platinum.  The album has sold over 4 million copies featuring the following tracklisting;
Wings in New Orleans, 1975
  1.  Venus and Mars (McCartney)
  2. Rock Show (McCartney)
  3. Love In Song (McCartney)
  4. You Gave Me The Answer (McCartney)
  5. Magneto and Titanium Man (McCartney)
  6. Letting Go (McCartney)
  7. Venus and Mars (Reprise) (McCartney)
  8. Spirits of ANcient Egypt (McCartney) -- Sung by Denny Laine
  9. Medicine Jar (McCulloch-Allen)
  10. Call Me Back Again (McCartney)
  11. Listing To What The Man Said (McCartney)
  12. Treat Her Gently - Lonely Old People (McCartney)
  13. Crossroads Theme (Hatch)

After the album was completed the group took a short break before they began working on Wings fifth studio album, Wings At The Speed Of Sound. Recording took place at EMI Studios starting in September of 1975, however the album was mainly put together in 1976.  During this time Wings had begun preparing for their most recognizable tour, Wings Over The World. It was during the tour that the album was released, on 22 March, 1976 (US) / 26 March, 1976 (UK). The album features a track sung by each band members;
1976
  1.  Let 'Em In (McCartney)
  2. The Note You Never Wrote (Laine)
  3. She's My Baby (McCartney)
  4. Beware My Love (McCartney)
  5. Wino Junko (McCulloch - Allen)
  6. Silly Love Songs (McCartney)
  7. Cook of the House (McCartney)
  8. Time To Hide (Laine)
  9. Must Do Something About It (McCartney) --sung by Joe English
  10. San Ferry Anne (McCartney)
  11. Warm and Beautiful (McCartney)
The album peaked at number two in the UK and became the fourth best selling album of the year, even spending thirty-five weeks on UK charts.  In the US the album reached number one and held the position for seven (non-consecutive) weeks, and placed in US charts for fifty-one weeks. The album has sold 3.5 Million copies worldwide.



Now that you have a bit of history behind the album why not buy them? It was released today, 4 November, 2014, that these two history changing albums have been remastered for the Paul McCartney Archive Collection. The Paul McCartney official website posted this earlier today;
"Venus and Mars and At The Speed Of Sound - the remastered Wings classic albums and latest instalment of the GRAMMY award-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection – are out now!
Wings are one of the most successful acts the UK has ever produced, achieving no less than 14 US Top 10 hits and 12 Top 10 hits in the UK. Following 1973’s Band on the Run the mid ‘70s were a commercial heyday for Wings." PaulMcCartney.com
followed by this statement;
 "As with all the Archive Collection, Paul has personally supervised all aspects of the reissues.  The remastering work was done at Abbey Road by the same team who have worked on all the reissues as well as The Beatles’ catalogue."- PaulMcCartney.com

Each reissued album will contain three discs- two CDs and one DVD.
Venus and Mars will feature;

CD 1 – Remastered Album
1. Venus and Mars              
2. Rock Show                    
3. Love In Song                  
4. You Gave Me The Answer          
5. Magneto and Titanium Man      
6. Letting Go                  
7. Venus and Mars – Reprise          
8. Spirits Of Ancient Egypt          
9. Medicine Jar                  
10. Call Me Back Again              
11. Listen To What The Man Said          
12. Treat Her Gently – Lonely Old People      
13. Crossroads                


CD 2 – Bonus Audio
1. Junior’s Farm                                    
2. Sally G                                                
3. Walking In The Park With Eloise              
4. Bridge On The River Suite                                              
5. My Carnival                                                         
6. Going To New Orleans (My Carnival)              
7. Hey Diddle [Ernie Winfrey Mix]               
8.  Let’s Love                                       
9. Soily [from One Hand Clapping]                         
10. Baby Face [from One Hand Clapping]                                                    
11. Lunch Box/Odd Sox                       
12. 4th Of July                                     
13. Rock Show [Old Version]       
14. Letting Go [Single Edit]                  

DVD – Bonus Film
1. Recording My Carnival                      
2. Bon Voyageur          
3. Wings At Elstree                              
4. Venus and Mars TV Ad

You can purchase Venus and Mars here;

                                                                                                                                 Amazon- Click here.
                                                                                                                                    iTunes -Click here.



Wings at The Speed of Sound will feature;

CD 1 – Remastered Album
1. Let 'Em In                   
2. The Note You Never Wrote          
3. She’s My Baby                  
4. Beware My Love              
5. Wino Junko                  
6. Silly Love Songs              
7. Cook Of The House              
8. Time To Hide              
9. Must Do Something About It  
10. San Ferry Anne              
11. Warm And Beautiful          
              
CD 2 – Bonus Audio
1. Silly Love Songs [Demo]                  
2. She’s My Baby [Demo]                                    
3. Message To Joe                      
4. Beware My Love [John Bonham Version]          
5. Must Do Something About It [Paul’s Version]          
6. Let ‘Em In [Demo]                                         
7. Warm And Beautiful [Instrumental Demo]                   
              
DVD – Bonus Film
1. Silly Love Songs Music Video                  
2. Wings Over Wembley          
3. Wings In Venice


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Back in the C.H.A.R.T.S?

It's been forty four years since The Beatles had released their last studio album as a group, Let It Be. An album that topped UK album chart on 23 May, 1970 and unfortunately  an album that ended an unforgettable reign. However, just because The Beatles broke up in 1970 doesn't mean their music has stopped toppling charts with new releases such as The Beatles Live At The BBC Volume II, which was released last November, peaking number seven in US Billboard 20, or even Beatles covers by various artists and bands like Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Tom Jones,  Joe Cocker, and so forth,  who have all placed on charts, ranging from as high as first position and staying as long as twenty weeks (Source; The Tastiest UK Cover; Beatles Covers in The UK Charts).  Once again, a beloved Beatles classic returns back to the charts on Billboard's Top 10.



It was 25 June, 1967 when a message of peace and love clung to every word John Lennon crooned as The Beatles performed on the first ever live television satellite debut, Our World.  The iconic song was heard by millions (a four-hundred million estimate) across five continents becoming an anthem of the late 1960s, topping the charts at number one in eleven different charts, from Billboard Hot 100 to Cashbox staying at number one in US charts for up to thirteen weeks (Source; The Guardian The Beatles: Every album and Single With Chart Position).

The song was released as the last track on The Beatles ninth studio album, Magical Mystery Tour, during the height of The Summer of Love. The Song itself was re-released in 1987, but placed the highest at spot number nineteen in the Irish Singles Chart. As of yesterday, 24 October 2014, that all changed as "All You Need Is Love" returns back to Billboards Top 10 chart thanks to a well-known Jazz artist, Dave Koz  who joined other renowned names, from Eric Benét, Jonathan Butler, Gloria Estefan, Heather Hadley, Richard Marx, Johnny Mathis, Maysa, BeBe Winans and Stevie Wonder to record the iconic classic, making it Koz's second Beatles cover, after recording "Got To Get You Into My Life" last year.

Earlier this month Dave Koz released Dave Koz & Friends: The 25th of December, which peaked number 2 on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Albums Chart, containing classics from "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" to "Let It Snow!  Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" and yes, even to "All You Need Is Love", a song that's never thought of as a Christmas or holiday song, so why put it in?
 
"It was important to me, as an artist to say, 'Here [is] a song that you've never heard before [sequenced among holiday classics] that we're going to throw into the mix.'" - Dave Koz

 
"This album was made with that spirit in mind…an abundance of love and joy went into every single note. For me, making it was like hosting the best holiday party ever! I invited some wonderfully talented friends over…we ate, we drank, we reminisced, and then we retired to the living room, sat around the piano, and sang some songs—first, each duet partner and me; then before the party was over, we all came together for one last song: the Beatles gem 'All You Need Is Love.' Though not a Christmas song, it truly holds the message of the holidays (and really, of life) for me." -Dave Koz, DaveKoz.com


 
The Dave Koz & Friends Beatles cover has reached Number eight in Billboard charts, making in the last time any recording of the song has place in top ten in the last forty-seven years.
 
You can order Dave Koz & Friends: The 25th of December on either of the following;
 
iTunes- by clicking here
Amazon- by clicking here
 
 


Enjoy the following video of Dave Koz & Friends' "All You Need Is Love" via Youtube;
 
 
 
Love Is All You Need
 
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

John Lennon on Spotify

Yes, you read it correctly, the moment most of us Spotify listeners have been waiting for, John Lennon joins the other Beatles by coming to the music media site with a catalogue of his solo albums - Paul and Ringo who has already had their full discographies and George who has a few selected songs available.

A week ago today we celebrated what would of been John Lennon's 74th birthday, and what better way to remember the inspirational musician than having eight, yes eight of your favorite John Lennon and Plaistic Ono Band, albums streaming from your very own phone or computer. As part of the Spotify movement the following albums were added;

Albums;
  1. Milk and Honey
  2. Plastic Ono Band
  3. Rock 'N' Roll
  4. Imagine
  5. Mind Games
  6. Sometime In New York City
  7. Walls and Bridges
  8. Double Fantasy
Compilations;
  1. Gimme Some Truth
  2. Signature Box
  3. Power To The People: The Hits

Although eight of John Lennon's albums starting from the 1970s to 1980 are available to stream, his work while experimenting with Yoko Ono in Unfinished Music No 1: Two Virgins, Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With The Lions and Wedding Album are not yet part of the Spotify collection.

The following was post via Twitter by John Lennon verified account (@JohnLennon) on 7 October, 2014.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Macca helps save The Bombed Out Church

The interior of St. Luke's; 1941
St Luke's Church stands proudly at 41 meters (133 feet) tall, 18 meters (60 feet) wide, and 54 meters (177 feet 6 inches) long on the corner of Berry Street and Leece Street in the heart of Liverpool. Designed by John Foster Sr and John Foster Jr in the early 1800s, the building was complete in 1832 becoming an Anglican Parish church becoming known as "the doctor's church", being near Rodney Street, home of many local doctors. Through 1832 St Luke's was not only used for religious purposes but as a venue of celebrations as well as a concert hall until 1849 when the Philhamronic Hall opened on Hope Street.  To many Liverpudlians this church is known as 'The Bombed Out Church', due to the Liverpool Blitz on 6 May, 1941. During this brutal bombings St. Luke's suffered from an incendiary device causing a rapid fire. As fire spread, the interior turned to ash while the exterior and shell still stand today. In 1952 the church became known as a Grade II building, being defined as "particularly important buildings of more than special interest" (English Heritage, Listed Buildings).

Yes, yes, I know, the name of this website is "The Fab Four Blog", so why am I telling you about a church?
Two days ago, Sunday 5 October, 2014, it was announced that Sir James Paul McCartney is helping  the Bombed Out Church's Crowdfunder campaign and Club Freeze to preserve this "international legend" (says Curator of St Luke's, Ambrose Reynolds). After Crowdfunder raised over £20,000 towards the church, Club Freeze dance music promoter's turned to one of Liverpool's most iconic productions, Paul McCartney, who was delighted to help;
"St Luke's Church - better known as 'The Bombed - Out Church' to the people of Liverpool- is a place that encourages people to express themselves. The people of Liverpool should do everything possible to keep this venue open for the use of the people and run by the people. It is a place that is regularly staffed by students from LIPA and every-day people of all ages, religions and backgrounds. It would be a terrible shame if we lost this cultural icon." -Sir James Paul McCartney via PaulMcCartney.com
Not only has Paul McCartney taken a step towards helping a Liverpool treasure, but John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, who had taken a keen interest in the church, even making it part of her "Skyladder" art work this past March. As part of her work she stated that the idea was for her husband John, Lennon that is, who was "very proud of Liverpool". After her husbands passing she had the urge to visit Liverpool and start a public art display of stepping ladders inside The Bombed-Out church for anyone to bring a ladder that "takes you a bit closer to the sky." (Yoko Ono, Yoko Ono: Skyladders ).
Skyladders

Along with her art display Yoko Ono takes her own part in spreading awareness to raise money for the struggling church via Twitter where she wrote
"Seven reasons why we should cherish Liverpool's St Luke's Bombed Out Church http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/seven-reasons-should-cherish-liverpools-6860932 "

If you're interested in taking part in the progression to save The Bombed-Out Church here are some ways;

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Meat Free Monday Fan Video



Yesterday, 22 September, 2014, Paul McCartney and Crew released a new video celebrating Meat Free Monday's fifth Anniversary. What is Meat Free Monday? I encourage you to read all about Meat Free Monday's history and Paul McCartney's part in the campaign by clicking here.

This year alone, McCartney has released six music videos. From his lyric video for "New" to his official videos for "Queenie Eye", "Appreciate" and "Early Days", and two fan videos including "Meat Free Monday" and "Save Us". All songs, with the exception of "Meat Free Monday", came from Sir Paul's New album, released this past October.  For those who don't know what a Fan Video is, it simple involved Paul McCartney asking his fans to send in a picture of themselves displaying a line from one of his selected songs, such as the following Fan Video (via Youtube) for "Save Us";


With great success and participation in "Save Us", The McCartney crew along with the musician himself, had decided to continue to spread Meat-Free Monday awareness by asking fans to submit pictures for another Fan Video, this time for Paul's campaign song.  In celebration of the fifth anniversary of the organization, Paul, his daughters, Mary and Stella, along with others have been asking around for people to pledge to join Meat- Free Monday and save not only animals lives but the planets. During his attempts to get others to join, Sir Paul released a video of himself rapping;


I now ask you all to join not only myself, The McCartney's, and many others in joining Meat-Free Mondays, one day can save thousands of lives. Please enjoy the following "Meat Free Monday" Fan video;


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Peace, Love, Meditation, and Men of The Year

I know this is a little late, but it's never too late to talk about Ringo Starr now is it?


New York based magazine, the Gentlemen's Quarterly, also known as GQ, is well known for their articles on men's style, culture, through various thoughts from food to fitness, movies to music, films to books, and much more. Amongst these articles are the annual GQ Men Of the Year Awards. Many celebrities such as Ozzy Osbourne, David Beckham, Keith Richards, even to Simon Cowell hold their place in GQ Men Of the Year Hall of Fame,  now as GQ nears their 17th annual release of the issue who better to feature on the cover along with the title of "Men of The Year" than Ringo Starr?

Starr recieving the Lifetime of Peace and Love award by Lynch

On Tuesday, 2 September, 2014, Starr along with many others gathered in London's Royal Opera House as guest by GQ, to accept their awards. During the ceremony Ringo was recognized for his effort and support towards the David Lynch Foundation, a non-profit organization to "fund the implemention of scientifically proven stress-reducing modalities" ( as stated on DavidLynchFoundation.org). The charity was started by David Lynch himself in 2005 calling it the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness- Based Education and World Peace to help those "who suffer the living hell of post-traumatic stress disorder and women and girls who are victims of terrible violence." (-David Lynch, DavidLynchFoundation.org). The foundation reaches out to inner-city students, veterans with PTSD and their families, American Indians suffering with various diseases, the homeless who are trying to overcome various addictions, juveniles, anyone who needs help, by using a Transcendental Meditation program, said to be scientifically proven to reduce stress and have received much support from leading medical schools such as Harvard Medical School, Stanford Medical School, and Yale Medical School.  Ringo Starr, who himself had started mediation in 1967 with The Beatles (read all about it here), was awarded with the Lifetime of Peace and Love Award in L.A's El Rey Theater this past January,
"We want to generate the electricity of peace through music, and it's a thrill to know that the super-creative, enthusiastic musician of our world are with us to achieve this goal."- David Lynch, Rolling Stone Magazine, Andy Greene.
On accepting the award Ringo stated;
"I truly believe in the David Lynch Foundation. They started to bring meditation into inner-city schools and now it's a fact that those schools and neighborhoods violence has gone down. Meditation brings people back to being human again."

 Ringo is proudly displayed (thanks to John Varvatos) on the cover of GQ's autumn/winter 2014 campaign. Starr will be donating his profits to the David Lynch Foundation.

If you would like to help Ringo donate to the David Lynch Foundation, it's simple! For Ringo's 74th birthday (this past 7 July), he started a trend called "Peace Rocks" with John Varvatos, who created a Peace Rocks fall fashion collection to be featured in the autumn/winter 2014 GQ magazine. But how can you help?  Just tweet a picture via Twitter, of yourself flashing the peace symbol using the hashtag #PeaceRocks. By doing so Varvato's company will donate a dollar to every tweet sent to the Ringo Starr Peace & Love Fund supporting the David Lynch Foundation.


"It's amazing how this thing has grown from when I started seven years ago on the streets of New York, just asking people to say 'Peace and Love'."- Ringo Starr