Tuesday, 22 July 2014

"Let It Be" reels sold

Some of the reels
GBP 287.00 was the winning bid for a recent ebay auction of 3 reels of 16mm Audio Tape plus film frames from Let It Be. The total running time of the tapes is approximately 55 Minutes and included recordings of the following tracks :
  • Get Back
  • Don't Let Me Down
  • I Get A Feeling
  • One After 909
  • Dig A Pony
  • Let It Be
  • Long and Winding Road (3 Versions)
  • Get Back (#2)
  • Don't Let Me Down (#2)
  • Two of Us
  • One After 909 (#2)
  • Let It Be (#2)
  • Sure To Fall (Snippet)

The seller described all tracks as different versions to the ones we've previously heard some very much so and seem to be more like rehearsals, some tracks cut in late or finish early. Throughout the recording there is lots of talking, technical cues and general messing about. Also included in this auction was a strip of 16mm Film that features John Lennon at the piano as Paul McCartney looks on.
Part of the film strip

The seller claimed to have purchased these items from a woman in London, who used to work in the film industry as a sound recordist. One of the films she had worked on was "Let It Be". She explained that in those days sound and film were recorded on separate tapes and then synced together later at the editing stage, she left the project to start work on another film before the sessions ended because she said she was "bored and cold"! she took these tapes home and forgot about them until the mid 1990's when she had them transferred to CD out of curiosity to see what was on them. The CD she had made was included in this auction.

Source: ebay

"Floral Hall" footage - songs puzzle



The earliest known footage of the Beatles in concert is this clip, filmed while Pete Pest was still the drummer, although he is not seen in the actual footage. The footage has been commercially released on Pete Best's DVD, "Best of The Beatles", and has been stabilized in the above YouTube clip by HIWAX. The silent film has had people puzzled about which songs the fabs might be playing, and also where this might have been filmed. The two main theories about the venue has been either Floral Hall, Southport, or St. Paul's Church Hall, Birkenhead, but none of them have been confirmed. According to Mark Lewisohn's "Tune In", the two numbers seen in the film are "Dream" (based on the Cliff Richard version) and "Dance In The Street" (Gene Vincent) or, more likely, the Beatles' short-lived contemporary adaptation, "Twist In The Street".

People are finding it hard to believe that this could be the song, "Dream". A few days ago, brilton1 uploaded his own attempt to duplicate the chords seen in the footage, with an added likely drum beat.



Still, we have no clue as to what this could possibly be. Any lip readers out there, by any chance?

Monday, 21 July 2014

Paul McCartney Q&A with Rolling Stone

Paul McCartney on stage in Kansas City. Photo © RICH SUGG/The Kansas City Star
In a recent Q&A telephone interview session with Rolling Stone, Paul McCartney reminiscs about going to see Bill Hayley and his Comets back in Liverpool when he was a boy. Perhaps he has been reading Tune In and has had his memory jogged? In the interview, he claims that he has "every memory still intact", a bold statement who has an album called "Memory almost full".
He also fills us in on what he's been doing while under the doctor's orders to rest, one of the things was to records some experimental tracks at home, shades of "McCartney II" looming. Go ahead and read the full interview, it's great stuff.

Source: Rolling Stone
More Kansas City Photos

Sgt Pepper as a concept album

The Sgt Pepper crowd - all cardboard cut outs and wax dolls. Photo: Michael Cooper
Music Times has an article about seven half-hearted concept albums, where The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the first one mentioned. The description goes: " In addition to being cited as one of the greatest albums ever made, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is often considered to be one of the very first concept albums, despite the fact that it only half-heartedly commits to its concept. Paul McCartney originally envisioned the album as an evening with the titular band, a concept that's pretty much abandoned after the first two tracks, and revisited once more towards the end. John Lennon even admitted that the concept 'doesn't go anywhere...it works because we said it worked.'"

So much for the Beatles' own judgement of the album as a concept album. However, keen students of the Beatles' ouvre have been able to reinstate the album as a fully fledged concept album, if you see it in the light of one word in the title, "lonely".

Think about it, and you'll find that all the songs are dealing with that particular theme. Either loneliness in itself, the fear of being left alone, or the universal loneliness of any spirit.

1. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The title song, of course, has it in the title. This is a band who are going to speak for the lonely hearts out there - and tells their stories.

2. With A Little Help From My Friends
The singer is afraid to be left alone, "would you stand up and walk out on me?".

3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
The singer so wants to meet this girl, but he only catches a glimpse of her - and then she's gone, leaving him alone again.

4. Getting Better
Desperately wanting to tell himself it's getting better, the truth is "it couldn't get much worse". After all, beating up your woman and keeping her apart from the things she loved is going to make her leave you after a while. Time to change your scene, indeed.

5. Fixing a Hole
The lonely man keeps himself busy, fixing a hole in the roof, so he doesn't just sit and let his mind wander.

6. She's Leaving Home
Of course, the girl in the story feels alone and empty, even if her parents have given her "everything money can buy". Meeting a man from the motor trade gets her company, but now it's her parents who are left alone. "Daddy, our baby's gone".

7. Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
A circus would be quite empty and alone without an audience watching it, so the announcer keeps shouting about the event to bring the people in. Tonight Mr Kite may be topping the bill, but what becomes of him once the "last night" is over?

8. Within You Without You
George Harrison's song is more universal, about the space between us all, which means that basically, we are all alone when it comes down to it.

9. When I'm Sixty-four
The singer is afraid to be left alone and lonely in his old age, so he is pleading with the woman he wants to be there with him.

10. Lovely Rita
Not wanting to be a lonely heart, the singer chats up the parking attendant and gets more company than he bargained for.

11. Good Morning Good Morning
Almost a sequel to "Getting Better", the singer gets up and greets the morning, but he's clearly alone with nothing to do, except watch the current sitcom on the TV. I've got nothing to say, but it's okay, he assures himself.

12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
Speaks for itself, the band singing about all these lonely hearts are leaving us, so even the listener is now left alone. Hadn't it been for

13. A Day in the Life
In the newspaper the singer reads about a guy who is killed in a car accident. A crowd of people gather, the deceased looks familiar, but they can't quite place the lone driver. The audience in the movie theatre is leaving, except the singer. He sits there to watch the film through, all alone. In McCartney's section, he is all by his lonesome, waking up, combs his hair and goes up on the top deck of the bus for a smoke. Someone speaks and he goes into a dream. Meanwhile, the holes in the roads of Blackburn, Lancashire is filling up the Royal Albert Hall - an entire concert hall just filled with a giant void. How lonely does it get?
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - front cover

The narrator could easily be the same person in the songs "With A Little Help From My Friends", "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds", "Getting Better", "Fixing a Hole", "When I'm Sixty-four", "Lovely Rita", "Good Morning, Good Morning" and "A Day In The Life", these could all form parts of the same story about a lonely man. The title song and it's reprise offers the framework of the concept, "Within You Without You" is the philosopher's take on loneliness, "She's Leaving Home" is another kind of loneliness, whereas "Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite!" could be taken as comic relief, being half way into the story. So there you have it - the concept album that wasn't - but was.

Paul McCartney: San Francisco Competition

Your chance to meet and see Paul McCartney
Meet Paul McCartney, attend soundcheck and watch the gig from VIP seats!
Enter HERE: http://www.prizeo.com/paul

The last time Paul McCartney played Candlestick Park he was a Beatle. That concert turned out to be their last together as a band. Fittingly, Paul’s concert in August at The Stick will be its last – Candlestick will be torn down following the event – so this will be a very special show for Paul, for San Francisco, and we hope for you as well.

Paul wants you and a guest to share the whole experience with him - from soundcheck, to visiting backstage, to taking a few photos together, to watching the concert from VIP seats that have been put aside just for you!

And to top it off, we’ll fly both you and your guest in from wherever you are in the world and include hotel accommodations to boot.

All you have to do in exchange for your chance to win is make a small donation (starting at $5 per entry) to one of Sir Paul's favorite charity organizations, Aid Still Required. Paul is helping ASR build a new school in Haiti for kids who have no other means of education, so you’ll be helping a great cause each time you enter!

Thank you - and good luck!!

The Cause:

We've all seen it. Money pours in when a disaster first occurs. But what happens when the world's attention turns to other matters and funding dries up? That's where Aid Still Required steps in, providing expansive awareness campaigns with compassionate artists like Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Bonnie Raitt, Maroon 5, Morgan Freeman, Celine Dion, Kevin Spacey, Hugh Jackman and many, many more, and implementing programs custom-designed to bring self-sufficiency to the most devastated communities.

Proceeds from this contest will be used to build a permanent school for at-risk kids and adults who have been struggling since the earthquake four years ago. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and has been for almost its entire 200+ year history. Please help make a real and lasting difference there.


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Dutch Edition of A Hard Day's Night - details

Dutch edition: Everything on one disc, Dutch subtitles can't be switched off.
We've received a copy of this edition, which so far seems to be the cheapest one. The film and all bonus material is collected on a single Blu-ray disc, which is handy. There's only one soundtrack (apart from the commentary option), and that's multichannel DTS. The book from the USA edition is not included. A major drawback is that the Dutch subtitles on the film itself can't be switched off. However, if you select to play the film with the audio commentaries, the subtitles are gone.

Bonus material:
▪ The Road to A Hard Day's Night - An interview with Mark Lewisohn
▪ Anatomy of a Style - Analysis of a few key scenes in the film
▪ Audio commentary from cast & crew
▪ In their own voices: The Beatles on A Hard Day's Night
▪ Picturewise - about Richard Lester's film, strong AHDN focus.
▪ Things They Said Today - Cast & Crew interviewed (from 2000)
▪ You Can't Do That! The Making of A Hard Day's Night

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Beatles Live Project moves along

Ron Howard with John Lennon, back in those happy days
The Beatles Live Project just had a press release on their website,  Thebeatlesliveproject.com. Says it's a film, directed by Ron Howard and features clips from concerts and interviews with fans. And they are still looking for contributions. Here's a new trailer:



So far, this looks like a project geared towards the American fans, dealing with the concerts in the USA, but WogBlog has been informed that they are also looking at concert footage from other parts of the world. They are making the film about the Beatles concert career from 1963-1966, from the fans' point of view. It is our understanding that they will be interviewing the fans about their experiences, and not Beatles insiders. It's a different approach than The Beatles Anthology, which was the Beatles' own memories, or "unofficial" films (From Liverpool to San Francisco, The Beatles Explosion, The Unseen Beatles, Love Me Do, Rare and Unseen etc) which were based on interviews with people close to the group.

McCartney's Archive series hits the iPad

Screenshots from app
While we were busy awaiting the "Venus and Mars" and "Speed Of Sound" releases in the Paul McCartney Archive series, the previous releases in the series have been reworked as Apple iPad apps.
Band on the Run
McCartney
McCartney II
Ram and
Wings over America – have been turned into iPad apps by label Concord Music Group, and released through Apple's App Store. The above links go to the UK version, substitute "gb" in the url for your own country code (ie "us" for USA).
Each app includes remastered audio tracks, interviews, rare photos, album and single artwork, and videos including rehearsal footage and documentaries. The new apps cost just £5.49 each (UK) or $7.99 (USA) .

Contents:

Band On The Run:
· the original 9 track album audio remastered
· 6 video clips including Behind-the-scenes at the iconic album cover shoot in London’s Osterley Park
· an extensive interview with Paul
· rare photos by Linda McCartney and Clive Arrowsmith
· full album and single artwork and history of the making of the album

McCartney:
· the original 13 track album audio remastered
· 8 video clips including performances of ‘Suicide’ and ‘Hot As Sun’
· an extensive interview with Paul
· rare photos of Paul & Linda
· full album artwork and history of the making of the album

McCartney II:
· the original 11 track album audio remastered
· 8 video clips including rehearsal footage for ‘Coming Up’ and a new video for ‘Blue Sway’
· an extensive interview with Paul
· previously unpublished photos by Linda McCartney
· full album and single artwork plus a full history of the making of the album

Ram:
· the original 12 track album audio remastered
· 5 video clips including a new documentary narrated by Paul
· an extensive interview with Paul
· previously unpublished photos by Linda McCartney plus the small book of sheep
· full album and single artwork plus a full history of the making of the album

Wings Over America:
· the original 28 track live album audio remastered
· the 75 minute documentary Wings over the World and bonus feature Photographers Pass
· David Fricke’s editorial photo book with new interviews and tour photography
· Linda McCartney’s Look photographic journal, chronicling life on the road
· a replica tour book with itineraries, the tour programme, memorabilia and lyrics
· Ocean View – a book of drawings by Humphrey Ocean

All music and video content can be downloaded via the "download content" button within the app. If you click to play a video or listen to a track on the audio player, prior to downloading the content, you will be prompted to make the download.
If you already have the audio within your iTunes library then you can select and play it within iTunes and then return to the app with the music still playing in the background.

Paul McCartney: New [Collector's Edition]

Earlier, Japanese "Out There" edition of "New"
It looks like Universal Music Group and Hear Music is all set to milk Paul McCartney's "New" album even further. Listed on Amazon is a "Collector's Edition" of the album, priced to $31.40 at the moment. No further details are known.
Originally, "New" was released on 14 October 2013 in the United Kingdom and in the United States on 15 October 2013. Several editions of the album has been released in various countries and different chain stores.

Until now, the most comprehensive version of the "New" album has been the Japanese "Out There Tour Edition", made to promote the tour that eventually was cancelled due to McCartney's health problems and eventual hospitalisation in Tokyo in May. That edition was released on May 7th, 2014 in Japan, and included an 80 minute DVD as well as a CD with the full album, including the Japan-only track, "Struggle".

So far, McCartney has released music videos for three of the songs from the album, "Queenie Eye", "Appreciate" and "Early Days", in addition to a so-called "lyric video" for the title track and a "fan video" for "Save Us".

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

HMC Shea! - review


The mailman arrived with this baby this weekend and since I've mentioned it as an upcoming release earlier this year, I thought I'd review it. These are the contents of the release I received, a 1DVD and 1CD version (I believe other configurations have already appeared from competing or collaborating bootleggers)

DVD:
SVC TELEVISION, LONDON REMASTERED 1991 with STEREO. This is the gem of the package, it's an upgrade from previous releases of this concert film, but not quite up there with the footage from the Anthology DVD. Here's a quick and dirty comparison.

Shea still photo from Anthology

Shea still photo from the HMC bootleg
Shea still photo from Anthology

Shea still photo from the HMC bootleg
Click on the photos for a closer look. So it appears that the HMC source was a generation away from the master used for Anthology, or they may have discovered a better source or improved the restoration before including it in the Anthology TV series. There were also a few digital artifacts on my screen just as the Beatles went on stage for the show, but those artifacts were gone for the rest of the concert. These may have been imperfections on my disc, though.

This segment of the DVD is divided into these chapters:

01. Opening
02. I’m Down (Last Song)
03. Introduction
04. Discotheque Dancers
05. Ringo (Chatter)
06. King Curtis
07. More Chatter
08. Brenda Holloway
09. Helicopter
10. Sounds Incorporated
11. Chatter 3
12. Sid Bernstein & Ed Sullivan
13. Twist And Shout
14. I Feel Fine
15. Dizzy Miss Lizzy
16. Ticket To Ride
17. Act Naturally
18. Can’t Buy Me Love
19. Baby’s In Black
20. A Hard Day’s Night
21. Help!
22. I’m Down

The audio is good, but not great. Still, it's mostly stereo, and that's a first.
Audio Sources:
Twist And Shout - entirely from the Hollywood Bowl 1965 concert recording (stereo)
I Feel Fine - the CTS recording (fake stereo with reverb added, as in Anthology)
Dizzy Miss Lizzy - live audio (stereo)
Ticket To Ride - CTS recording (mono)
Can't Buy Me Love - live audio (stereo)
Baby's In Black - live audio (stereo)
Act Naturally - live audio spliced with the commercial version, creates a double track effect (mono)
A Hard Day's Night - live audio (stereo, no voiceover)
Help! - CTS recording (mono)
I'm Down - live audio (stereo)


The 1991 restoration was by Ron Furmanek
About the CTS recordings: A secret booking was made for The Beatles to re-record some of the instrument parts on January 5, 1966. The session took place at CTS (Cine Tele Sound) Studios at 49-53 Kensington Gardens Square in London. New bass parts were overdubbed onto "Dizzy Miss Lizzy", "Can’t Buy Me Love", "Baby’s In Black" and "I’m Down", Lennon also recorded a new organ track for that last one. The Beatles then made entirely new recordings for "I Feel Fine" and "Help!", and the group also recorded overdubs for "Ticket To Ride".
It looks like Furmanek has worked on a song-by-song basis, perhaps because using the CTS tracks means losing the stereo, as they were recorded in mono for the then mono-only TV broadcasts. From the CTS recordings, only the two remakes have been used, plus the overdubbed "Ticket To Ride".
The CTS tracks sound much crisper here than on the old film soundtrack.
Ironically, the screaming crowd is very faint on the live audio, so for the film George Martin (or someone) overdubbed extra screaming from the Hollywood Bowl concert. Furmanek has taken a different option and added some crowd noise in between, but not during, the songs. They seem to be taken from a baseball match as it is very obviously a male crowd. I was not too happy with this choice, but it's a minor gripe considering that the audio is generally a huge improvement.

Apparently Furmanek created the stereo mix by synchronising two different mono mixes, and as such it's more of a subtle stereo spread than a proper stereo recording. One very noticeable problem with the audio is the lack of bass. This can easily be improved by extracting Paul's bass overdubs from the original film soundtrack and add them to this audio. The technology may not have been available for doing this back in 1991. No doubt, future bootleggers may exploit the version presented here and improve on this.
Unless Apple beats them to it, the original 35mm film could easily be rescanned and presented on Blu-ray.

COLLECTOR’S COMPLETE CONCERT VERSION. As good as the idea of just having the Beatles concert segment of the film is, the problem is that the new film source has not been used, nor it's audio. This is filler material, taken from the freely distributed Cathode Ray Tube Collection, which used a VHS recording off BBC Television as film source and has a mono soundtrack from the audio prepared in the CTS studio. "She's A Woman" has footage from the NME Poll Winners Concert, where they were wearing the same stage costumes, but is in black and white. "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" uses footage from unrelated scenes in the Shea film to accompany the song.

01. Introduction
02. Twist And Shout
03. She’s A Woman
04. I Feel Fine
05. Dizzy Miss Lizzy
06. Ticket To Ride
07. Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby
08. Can’t Buy Me Love
09. Baby’s In Black
10. Act Naturally
11. A Hard Day’s Night
12. Help!
13. I’m Down

This segment of the DVD would have benefitted from using the same source as the complete concert film. After all, it's nice to have just the Beatles concert for repeated viewings, and to have "I'm Down" closing the show, not opening it.

NTSC Colour 16:9 / 4:3 LPCM Stereo / mono time approx. 86min. (50min. / 36min.)

CD:
SHEA! – THE BEATLES AT SHEA STADIUM
01. Introduction
02. Twist & Shout
03. She’s A Woman
04. I Feel Fine
05. Dizzy Miss Lizzy
06. Ticket To Ride
07. Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby
08. Can’t Buy Me Love
09. Baby’s In Black
10. Act Naturally
11. A Hard Day’s Night
12. Help!
13. I’m Down

Audio sources are the same as the concert film on the DVD, but also includes
- She's A Woman - from the old HMC Shea cd (mono)
- Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby from the old HMC Shea cd (mono)

THE BEATLES ABROAD – A BBC Radio broadcast during the 1965 tour in the USA
14. Twist And Shout
15. Tell Me What You See
16. I’m Down
17. I’ve Just Seen A Face
18. Sounds Incorporated
19. You Like Me Too Much
20. Act Naturally / The News
21. Yesterday
22. Dizzy Miss Lizzy
23. Help!

The never before bootlegged complete "The Beatles Abroad" was nice to hear. Brian Matthew narrates, and the songs are from the Help LP.

The two discs are housed in a flimsy TMOQ Gazette 24 pages booklet with text and photos from the concert.

To sum it up: yes, this is an essential purchase - but one that can still be improved upon. The visuals are better than the previous "best" versions (the 1967 ABC TV master with ageing colours and the BBC 1979 TV recording sourced from VHS). Audio can be augmented by adding Paul's bass overdubs. And the Anthology footage shows that even crisper visuals exist. This version's visuals are close enough to the Anthology footage that repairs can be made by editing the two together - viewers won't be too disturbed by the changing image quality. For now, this will be my viewing copy of this film.

While waiting for their next major release, the 1972 Neil Aspinall produced film The Long & Winding Road on DVD (which formed the basis of the Beatles "Anthology" TV series, and inspired the Rutles TV show "All You Need Is Cash"), HMC will soon release on their aptly named Copy Cat label a 2 CD set of a concert by Paul McCartney, Rio De Janeiro, Brasil, 2011. This has circulated before on both audio and video, but will be in their gazette style packaging and with real silver CDs.

Upcoming audio release

Monday, 14 July 2014

Life after Apple Records

George Harrison's Dark Horse Records label
The rise and fall of Apple Records didn't discourage the individual Beatles from founding record labels of their own, in order to release records by other artists. Ringo Starr started Ring O' Records, Paul McCartney started his own MPL label and George Harrison started Dark Horse Records. John Lennon was the only ex-Beatle not to start his own record label.

Dark Horse Records

The record label was founded by George in 1974. The label's formation coincided with the winding down of Apple Records and allowed Harrison to continue supporting other artists' projects while maintaining his solo career.

The initial signings were Indian musician Ravi Shankar and Splinter, the last of whom provided the label with its only significant commercial success until Harrison himself signed with Dark Horse in 1976. The label was distributed internationally by A&M Records for the first two years of its operation. Following a highly publicised split with A&M, Harrison and Dark Horse formed a long-term partnership with Warner Bros. Records that lasted until his retirement from the music industry in 1992.

Attitudes, Stairsteps and Keni Burke were among the other artists who recorded for Dark Horse, although it increasingly became a vehicle for Harrison's solo releases once Warner's had taken over distribution.

After a ten-year period of inactivity, the label returned in 2002 with the posthumous release of Harrison's final studio album, Brainwashed, followed by his Dark Horse Years box set in 2004. More recently, Dark Horse Records issued the Ravi Shankar–George Harrison, Collaborations box set in 2010. Apart from Harrison's own releases, the following albums were released on the Dark Horse label.


Splinter - The Place I Love

1974 Splinter - The Place I Love SP 22001
Not released on CD, just the old Dark Horse vinyl LP.

Ravi Shankar - Shankar Family & Friends

1974 Ravi Shankar - Shankar Family & Friends SP 22002
The tracks are available in the Collaborations box set CD, but the single is not on a CD.


Jiva - Jiva

1974 Jiva - Jiva SP 22003
Not released on CD, just the old Dark Horse vinyl LP.

Stairsteps - 2nd Resurrection

1975 Stairsteps - 2nd Resurrection SP 22004
These days available on a Solaris CD, the single is still only available on vinyl.

Henry McCullough - Mind Your Own Business!

1975 Henry McCullough - Mind Your Own Business! SP 22005
These days available on a Bigpink CD.

Splinter - Harder To Live

1975 Splinter - Harder To Live SP 22006
Not released on CD, just the old Dark Horse vinyl LP.

Ravi Shankar - Ravi Shankar's Music Festival from India

1976 Ravi Shankar - Ravi Shankar's Music Festival From India SP 22007
The tracks are available in the Collaborations box set CD.

Attitudes - Attitudes

1976 Attitudes - Attitudes SP 22008
Not released on CD, just the old Dark Horse vinyl LP.

Attitudes - Good News

1977 Attitudes - Good News DH 3021
Not released on CD, just the old Dark Horse vinyl LP.

Keni Burke - Keni Burke

1977 Keni Burke - Keni Burke DH 3022
Available on a Solaris CD, the single tracks still only available on vinyl.

Splinter - Two Man Band

1977 Splinter - Two Man Band DH 3073
Not released on CD, just the old Dark Horse vinyl LP.

Ravi Shankar/George Harrison - Collaborations

2010 Ravi Shankar/George Harrison - Collaborations released on Dark Horse Records, in collaboration with Rhino Records. The CD collection includes the 1974 album Shankar Family & Friends, 1976's The Ravi Shankar Music Festival From India and the 1997 album Chants Of India. Also included is a DVD featuring a concert performance of Ravi Shankar's Music Festival From India recorded at London's Royal Albert Hall in 1974.

For a more comprehensive discography of Dark Horse Records, including singles and international releases, we direct you to this page.


Billy Preston - Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music

Honourable mention: Billy Preston - Everybody Likes Some Kind Of Music
Even if this LP was originally issued on A&M in 1973, there were definite plans to (re)issue this on Dark Horse as well, judging by the existence of test pressings on the Dark Horse label.
These days, this record can be found as an A&M CD.

MPL

1980 Zoot Money - Mr Money LUNE1

Zoot Money - Mr Money (MPL)

1980 UK 10-track LP released by Paul McCartney's MPL Communications on the label "Magic Moon Records".  The Magic Moon Records Ltd company was probably Zoot Money's own, as it had a Bournemouth address. It was dissolved in 2010. Zoot Money (George Bruno Money, born 17 July 1942, Bournemouth) signed to Paul McCartney's record label MPL Communications in 1980 and recorded Mr. Money, produced by Jim Diamond. The record has not been re-released on CD. There was a single from the album, "Your Feet's Too Big" c/w "Ain't Nothin' Shakin But The Bacon" (Magic Moon Mach 3.S)

Magic Moon Records label
One of the songs, "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" was recorded and released by Paul McCartney on his "Kisses On The Bottom" album in 2012.

The Cimarons - Reggaebility (Pickwick)

1982 The Cimarons - Reggaebility was released and published in the UK by Paul McCartney's company MPL Communications, and the record was pressed on the Pickwick Records label, catalogue no. SHM 3106. The album features reggae versions of Beatles and Paul McCartney compositions plus other songs from the MPL publishing catalogue, including; 'With A Little Luck', Mull Of Kintyre', 'Love Me Do', 'C Moon', 'That'll Be The Day' and others. The sleeve photograph was taken by Linda McCartney. The Cimarons was a UK reggae band formed in 1967.

Little is known about any other releases by MPL, if you have more information about other record releases by MPL Communications, please leave a commentary.

Ring O' Records

Ring O' Records
For records on Ringo Starr's Ring O' label, we kindly direct you to this excellent page.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Dutch A Hard Day's Night

Dutch Blu-ray edition of A Hard Day's Night with 4,5 hours worth of bonus material
back
Thanks to Dirk Bock for sharing these. The Dutch edition has subtitles in Dutch, but unlike the German edition, the film's soundtrack has not been dubbed.

You never will hear me answer the historical question if The Beatles are the best band of all time or not. Who can anyway? Fact is that you’ll never find one band about whom so much has been written. There are books penned down about every phrase or musical note that is made by the Fab Four. Some even made Beatlemania a science, and it probably is. If you’re fan or not, you absolutely have to agree that the four lads from Liverpool were always first. That’s one of the reasons why A Hard Day’s Night is considered as revolutionary. Without really wanting it, director Richard Lester who previously worked with Peter Sellers became the inventor of today’s video clip. That is also why the movie was made for: getting fans to the theatre and hoping that afterwards they run to the record shop to buy the album. It’s a trick producers from across the Atlantic Ocean already did with Elvis Presley, but there’s a huge difference between them.
When the film saw its premiere on 6th July 1941 the band stood at the verge to conquer the whole world. At that moment the four lads had two albums out. Their manager Brian Epstein thought it’d be a good idea if their third album would contain only selfwritten tunes. It was of course important that the world could hear them. Nothing better than present them in a movie and so the band were put in touch with Richard Lester. A success as the movie gained two Oscar-nominations and one for a Grammy too. It looked like the filmmaker was pleased too as a year later, he teamed up with them for Help!
The story itself isn’t important and rather silly. But so what? The four guys just played themselves. We follow Paul, John, George and Ringo from Liverpool to London. On their journey they meet Paul’s (fictional) grandpa (Wilfrid Brambell) who causes chaos. The four are awaited in a television studio, but they are involved in so many adventures that it seems like they will miss their goal.
The funniest thing about the movie is that The Beatles never take themselves seriously. Something you can’t say from Elvis whose rock musicals are at times quite silly. No, those guys from Liverpool are just the lads who they really are: four youngsters who still can’t understand that British teenage girls faint when they see their faces. You really can’t say that the four pop stars can act, but they’re born to parade in front of a camera. The funniest of them all is, strangely enough, drummer Ringo Starr. The producers were so smart to make this production black and white that gives it a more authentic look. The movie also has influenced many others. Not only is the movie seen as the birth of the modern video clip, but it was also the great example for what later would be known as Monty Phyton.
And of course you have the songs. First of all there’s the legendary title sing that’s been written in one night, but you can also hear classics like Can’t Buy Me Love, And I Love Her , I Should Have Known Better and If I Fell.

DVD edition has 2 hours worth of bonus material
The version that you find on this 50th anniversary edition is a special one as it is the same restored version that was released on Criterion. The sound is remastered by Giles Martin (the son from Beatles producer George Martin) in the Abbey Road Studios.
There are lots of extra’s included on here with a total length from about four hours! First of all there is You Can’t Do That: a sort of making of-documentary that is presented by Phil Collins. The frontman from Genesis has all the right to do this as he was as a young boy one of the figurants of A Hard Day’s Night!
In Things They Said Today you can see some conversations with director Richard Lester, producer George Martin, writer Alun Owen and filmmaker Gilbert Taylor. Anatomy Of Style is about the methods Richard Lester is using: a typical British director who had lots of Hollywoodfame during the 70’s with Superman.
Fifty years after its release, A Hard Day’s Night still has a fresh cinematographic look. It’s certainly not a coincidence that the legendary critic Roger Ebert put him in the list from best rock movies ever.
A Hard Day’s Night is out on DVD and Blu-ray.
Didier BECU, Peek-a-Boo

Thursday, 10 July 2014

A Hard Day's Night - German edition (pictures)

Front cover of the German Special Edition
The back of the outer sleeve

Standing tall
Inside the sleeve is this folded package, containing the discs
The back of the inner package
The discs 1 (blu ray) and 2 (DVD) - both containing the film itself plus a few extras
Bonus discs 1 and 2, both DVD - containing bonus material
The contents of the German Special Edition "A Hard Day's Night" are as follows:
Main disc Blu Ray - also included on a standard DVD): A Hard Day's Night film + trailers (English and German), Photo gallery, Audio commentairies by cast & crew.

Then there are two discs of further bonus material. The first of these contains previously announced material, the second has some hitherto unlisted stuff.

Bonus disc 1:
- "You Can’t Do That - The Making of A Hard Day's Night" (59 mins)
- "Things They Said Today" (35 mins)
- "In Their Own Voices" (18 mins)
- "The Road To A Hard Day’s Night" - Lewisohn interview (27 mins)
- "Anatomy Of A Style" (17 mins)
- "Picturewise" (26 mins)

Bonus disc 2:
- "The Running, Jumping & Standing Still film" (14 mins)
- Featurette: “Such a clean old man!” - memories by Wilfrid Brambell (5 mins)
- Featurette: “I Lost My Little Girl” - Interview with Isla Blair (4 mins)
- Featurette: "Taking Testimonial Pictures" - About Robert Freeman (10 mins)
- Featurette: “Dressed To The Hilt” About the costumes (8 mins)
- Featurette: “Dealing With The Men From The Press” - Interview with Tony Barrow (18 mins)
- Featurette: “They And I Have Memories” - Interview with Klaus Voormann (8 mins)
- Featurette: “Hitting The Big Time In The USA” Interview with promoter Sid Berman (Bernstein, presumably?) (4 mins)
- Various interviews with cast & crew (102 mins)
The menu displaying the "Various interviews" portion of bonus disc 2

George Martin reminiscs in a 16 page booklet, accompanying the discs. Thanks to Dirk Bock for providing photos of this release. Of course, the German edition is region coded for Europe. It's available from German Amazon (who are mistakenly listing it as a 3 disc version and fails to list the bonus material).

In the latest edition of their podcast, Fab 4 Free For All features Giles Martin, talking about his involvement in the remastering of the audio for A Hard Day's Night: Link.

Monday, 7 July 2014

New McCartney music video



Watch "Early Days" today, exclusively on Rolling Stone.

South Bank Show retrospective

Paul McCartney and Melvyn Bragg
In the UK, the Sky Arts Channel is doing a retrospective on the South Bank Show. The subject of the first episode of the South Bank Show was Paul McCartney & Wings, the band was down to a trio at the moment, and was captured doing some vocals for Mull of Kintyre. The clip below from the show was published on YouTube by Sky Arts.


The full show, courtesy of a broadcast in Norway, has been circulating among collectors since then - with subtitles in Norwegian. It'd be good to get a good quality version. The listing of the show says: Melvyn Bragg looks back at the first ever episode of The South Bank Show in 1978, in which he met Beatles singer-songwriter Paul McCartney. (S1, ep 1). Sky Arts listing.

The South Bank Show was a television arts magazine show that was produced by ITV between 1978 and 2010. Conceived, written and presented by former BBC arts broadcaster Melvyn Bragg, the show aimed to bring both high art and popular culture to a mass audience. In 2012, Bragg brought the series to Sky Arts, hence their retrospective. Several of the show's original episodes were Beatles related, including The Making of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, from 1992.