NWR The "What are we listening to?" Thread

Watched the movie Yesterday recently and that got me into a bit of a beatles binge. Haven’t listened to them much in probably 40 years. Really astonishing when you take the time to go through their catalogue from 62 onwards. The sheer genius of lennon and mccartney seems to have been almost forgotten in recent years.
 
With a heavy heart, I'm going to attempt the Stones over the next few weeks, having been finally piqued by the death of Charlie Watts to see if they can escape being the musical equivalent of Portuguese wines.

I did the same with the Beatles a few years back (with perhaps New Zealand levels of hope that time) and found them to be much as I expected: good enough, but overplayed - any "genius" all but ground into the dust by familiarity. Interestingly the performance of the title song in the film mentioned by Dan made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and like my first forays into wine, what wouldn't I give to hear some of this stuff again for the first time.

Yesterday's easily their best song though, and it was McCartney alone. Still don't get why Lennon is the prized one, though admittedly he didn't make the mistake of living long enough to produce The Frog Chorus, and his voice in the early days was great.
 
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Really? you'd know better than me but my daughter and her friends seem to be as familiar with the Beatles as they are with today's popular singing groups, which always surprises me.
Glad to hear at least some younger folk are alive to their music. My 2 daughters seem oblivious to it - "yesterday's a bit sad"... I guess I was also piqued by the comment in the movie when the singer refers to them as equivalent to da vinci in artistic brilliance/importance. They certainly don't enjoy that kind of reverence and perhaps they should.

Rob - agree completely re the performance of yesterday in the movie but the same is true for several of the other songs where he just does them with his guitar (In My Life) or piano (Let it be and the Long and Winding Road). It made me think that somebody should do exactly that ie do a cover album without all the overproduction that the original versions had (eg orchestras, brass bands etc etc etc!).
 
Rob - agree completely re the performance of yesterday in the movie but the same is true for several of the other songs where he just does them with his guitar (In My Life) or piano (Let it be and the Long and Winding Road). It made me think that somebody should do exactly that ie do a cover album without all the overproduction that the original versions had (eg orchestras, brass bands etc etc etc!).
Dan, you might enjoy 'Let It Be .......Naked', if you haven't heard it already. My least favourite Beatles album is Let It Be, which suffer IMHO from Phil Spector's totally inappropriate production so I was really pleased when 'Let It Be.....Naked' was released. This is a remixed version of the album stripped of most of the originals enhancements and frills and for me at least, all the better for it.
I am firmly in the camp that thinks that The Beatles are one of the best pop groups (which is how they started)/rock bands (which is how they were labeled at the end of their journey) ever. Their output was practically non-stop from 1962 until the release of Let It Be in 1970 and the quality of those songs, which were consistently high for the most part (yes, there were occasional dips) combined with George Martin's production, was a significant factor in the evolution of pop/rock music as we know it today. In addition The Beatles were the first modern pop act to write their own material, something which is taken for granted today but at the time was revolutionary and the influence of that has pervaded popular music ever since. The Beatles were the first significant pop group to break the mold of acts performing songs being written by professional songwriters contracted to publishers and thus enabled performers to take important steps in owning their own copyrights and financial futures. It is true that this didn't end the abuse of artists royalties and copyright but it more than aided the process.
 
Dan, you might enjoy 'Let It Be .......Naked', if you haven't heard it already. My least favourite Beatles album is Let It Be, which suffer IMHO from Phil Spector's totally inappropriate production so I was really pleased when 'Let It Be.....Naked' was released. This is a remixed version of the album stripped of most of the originals enhancements and frills and for me at least, all the better for it.
I am firmly in the camp that thinks that The Beatles are one of the best pop groups (which is how they started)/rock bands (which is how they were labeled at the end of their journey) ever. Their output was practically non-stop from 1962 until the release of Let It Be in 1970 and the quality of those songs, which were consistently high for the most part (yes, there were occasional dips) combined with George Martin's production, was a significant factor in the evolution of pop/rock music as we know it today. In addition The Beatles were the first modern pop act to write their own material, something which is taken for granted today but at the time was revolutionary and the influence of that has pervaded popular music ever since. The Beatles were the first significant pop group to break the mold of acts performing songs being written by professional songwriters contracted to publishers and thus enabled performers to take important steps in owning their own copyrights and financial futures. It is true that this didn't end the abuse of artists royalties and copyright but it more than aided the process.
Jonathan,

Thanks for the tip. Duly lined up to listen to in the car tonight!

Dan
 
I am firmly in the camp that thinks that The Beatles are one of the best pop groups (which is how they started)/rock bands (which is how they were labeled at the end of their journey) ever. Their output was practically non-stop from 1962 until the release of Let It Be in 1970 and the quality of those songs, which were consistently high for the most part (yes, there were occasional dips) combined with George Martin's production, was a significant factor in the evolution of pop/rock music as we know it today. In addition The Beatles were the first modern pop act to write their own material, something which is taken for granted today but at the time was revolutionary and the influence of that has pervaded popular music ever since. The Beatles were the first significant pop group to break the mold of acts performing songs being written by professional songwriters contracted to publishers and thus enabled performers to take important steps in owning their own copyrights and financial futures. It is true that this didn't end the abuse of artists royalties and copyright but it more than aided the process.
Yes, what surprised me when I did an end-to-end listen of the Beatles albums was how good they were as an Everlys-alike pop harmony band in the early days, with both Lennon and McCartney's voices raw and new. So they were probably a great pop band and then a great rock/art band later - I'd come to them through the cap-doffing/worthy/legend lens so was surprised how light and fun it was in the beginning.

I was also reminded (and am gobsmacked) that the Stones became household names pretty much before they wrote a note themselves, through covers of Buddy Holly, Howling Wolf et al. And actual covers too, not songs written specfically for them. So the early Stones fans were buying records they probably knew in the original but which carried enough of a thwack of something new to launch a cover band to stardom. 90% of the early stuff should probably fit nicely in the "cover versions superior to the originals" thread then :)
 
Yes, what surprised me when I did an end-to-end listen of the Beatles albums was how good they were as an Everlys-alike pop harmony band in the early days, with both Lennon and McCartney's voices raw and new. So they were probably a great pop band and then a great rock/art band later - I'd come to them through the cap-doffing/worthy/legend lens so was surprised how light and fun it was in the beginning.

I was also reminded (and am gobsmacked) that the Stones became household names pretty much before they wrote a note themselves, through covers of Buddy Holly, Howling Wolf et al. And actual covers too, not songs written specfically for them. So the early Stones fans were buying records they probably knew in the original but which carried enough of a thwack of something new to launch a cover band to stardom. 90% of the early stuff should probably fit nicely in the "cover versions superior to the originals" thread then :)
Rob, that you are gobsmacked at the thought of a band becoming a household name before writing their own material shows how much The Beatles changed pop music. In fact the Stones second single (and first top 20 hit) was I Wanna Be Your Man, which was written by Lennon - McCartney. I seriously doubt that most early Stones fans knew the original versions of the songs they recorded. Musicians like Howling Wolf and Muddy Waters (but not Buddy Holly) were completely obscure in the UK (and white USA) in the early 1960's and it is almost solely as a result of bands like the Stones popularising these and other musicians that they have taken their rightful place in the pantheon of musicians and composers and, no less important, started to see some money. One of the great differences between the Stones and Led Zeppelin 7 years later, was that the Stones gave credit to these great blues performers and promoted them to the extent of getting them onto TV shows and live bills with them, whereas for Zeppelin those sources were plagiarized and mined for personal profit.
 
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Yes Jonathan - I guess there wasn't the kind of musical underground there was later on, where hardcore fans would be sharing the latest American releases (although of course the Stones got hold of them somewhere), so perhaps apart from Buddy Holly, the songs would be perceived as the Stones' songs on release.

If the question was asked at all - I didn't notice myself most were covers - I'd always had "It's All Over Now" and "Time is on My Side" for instance as "Stones songs". As you say though, the public weren't concerned where the songs came from in those days, and the performance/look/vibe of the Stones was definitely "new".

Obviously I'm drawing a distinction here between bands like the Everlys whose songs (mainly the Bryants?) hadn't been released before (I don't think), so were to all intents and purposes, "Everlys songs", whereas Not Fade Away would have been "Buddy Holly's song".
 
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Yes Jonathan - I guess there wasn't the kind of musical underground there was later on, where hardcore fans would be sharing the latest American releases (although of course the Stones got hold of them somewhere), so perhaps apart from Buddy Holly, the songs would be perceived as the Stones' songs on release.

If the question was asked at all - I didn't notice myself most were covers - I'd always had "It's All Over Now" and "Time is on My Side" for instance as "Stones songs". As you say though, the public weren't concerned where the songs came from in those days, and the performance/look/vibe of the Stones was definitely "new".

Obviously I'm drawing a distinction here between bands like the Everlys whose songs (mainly the Bryants?) hadn't been released before (I don't think), so were to all intents and purposes, "Everlys songs", whereas Not Fade Away would have been "Buddy Holly's song".
Not to split hairs Rob but there was a 'musical underground', it was just very small in number.
 
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