Thursday 7th June
The Beatles – continued
The film and EP – Magical Mystery Tour came out in late 1967. But it was a few years later when it became available on an album . The 1976 album had the film songs on side 1 and five other ‘hits’ on the B side; Hello Goodbye, Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields and All You Need is Love – and the best track on the whole album was originally a B side ‘Baby You’re A Rich Man’. A nice addition to the collection.
Brian, their manager had agreed (before he died) for a Beatles cartoon film to be made. The Beatles were barely involved at all. But a great film emerged. The boys had to write a handful of new songs for the film, and they made a cameo appearance in it. The album of the Soundtrack came out in 1968. Yellow Submarine (39 minutes)– the album opened with the title song from Revolver. The new songs are great – ‘Only a Northern Song’, ‘the snippet ‘All Together Now’, ‘Hey Bulldog’ and ‘It’s All Too Much’. Although maybe hurriedly written, they provide a nice post Pepper coda to their completely psychedelic period. But turning the album over is the real treasure; George Martin was asked to write some instrumental music for a few of the films sequences. And he did a brilliant job. I really love this stuff, but I suspect that many ‘fans’ simply played side 1. This record actually came out in January 1969 but the songs were written in early ’68 before recording started for another Masterpiece.
In 1999 Yellow Submarine Songtrack was released. This features ALL the songs in the film. A nice collection, but most fans like me already had every song on it. Not that that stopped me buying it of course….hahaha.
But back in real time The Beatles had a problem – how to follow Sgt. Peppper. It had been so lauded, so feted that it would be almost impossible to duplicate. So, they didn’t. Instead they simply gave themselves the space and recording time to produce what I think is one of their best records. Simply titled The Beatles, it became known as The White Album, a double album. It seemed that anything goes, and yet in a way they also managed to return to the band they originally were. There are plenty of rockers; ‘Why Don’t We So It In The Road’, ‘Birthday’ and ‘Back in The USSR’. There were ballads ‘Mother Nature’s Son’, ‘Blackbird’ and ‘Julia’. There were weirder songs ‘Glass Onion’ and ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’. And there were some silly songs which somehow worked too; ‘Ooh Bla Di, Ooh Bla Da’ and ‘Rocky Racoon’. There was great songs from George – by now at least an equal to John and Paul; ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ and ‘Piggies’. And there was Revolution No. 9 of course. I cannot really say which are my favourite songs, they all seem brilliant, even after all these years. I think it is probably my very favourite Beatles Album. But then again when I am listening to one of the others I find I usually like that one best, but if I had to choose…..but then why would you when you can have them all. A double album and still only 78 minutes long, the length of many CDs these days.