FIFTY years on from its release, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is widely — and rightly — recognised as one of the most trailblazing albums in music history.
And while the Fab Four — John, Paul, George and Ringo — and their long-time producer and father-figure George Martin are largely credited with its freewheeling experimentation and astonishingly broad palette of styles and sounds, there was another key figure who was charged with transforming their wild thoughts into sonic reality.
Sound engineer Geoff Emerick was Martin’s right hand man at the famous Abbey Road studios in London and was instrumental in creating the sounds that would define Sgt. Pepper’sas arguably the most important album in the rock music canon
He knew from the very beginning that he was going to have his work cut out for him.
“John just said that for the next album they were just going to concentrate on sounds and make different sounding songs because they were never, ever going to perform again,” Emerick recalls half a century later.
“And George Martin was open-mouthed because every band performed and John said they were going to create stuff on these records that no one has ever heard before. And then everyone looked at me.”
Emerick was just 20 years old when he worked on The Beatles’ 1967 masterpiece, for which he would later win a Grammy.
By: James Wigney
Source: The Mercury
On February 28, 1967, The Beatles were hunkered down in Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios working on a new track called Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds. Premiering over at NPR, we’ve just been gifted with the band’s first attempt at recording it.
As one might imagine for a piece of music so ahead of its time, quite a lot of takes went into creating Lucy In The Sky. But The Beatles, basically having free reign over their studio time at Abbey Road, we able to chip away at the song as they pleased.
“Take one” is completely stripped back. John’s voice is left relatively unaltered, bar some echo in the bridge, and the chorus is missing the all important “Lucy in the sky with diamonds” hook. Harrison’s Leslie-swirled lead guitar is nowhere to be seen. Nor is the subtle sheen of his tanpura playing.
But, from the moment the kaleidoscopic Lowrey organ in the song’s opening moments is struck, it’s clear the band knew what they were trying to achieve from the start.
This special release is set to feature on the 50th anniversary edition of Sgt. Pepper, which will include a six-disc super deluxe box set packed with a whopping 33 rare, unreleased outtakes from the Sgt. Pepper sessions, much like this one.
The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which Rolling Stone named as the best album of all time, turns 50 on June 1st. In honor of the anniversary, and coinciding with a new deluxe reissue of Sgt. Pepper, we present a series of in-depth pieces – one for each of the album's tracks, excluding the brief "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" reprise on Side Two – that explore the background of this revolutionary and beloved record. Today's installment looks back on the night John Lennon accidentally dosed himself with acid before a recording session for "Getting Better."
It could be argued that "Getting Better" is the most perfect of all latter-day John Lennon and Paul McCartney collaborations. Sure, "A Day in the Life" gets the prestige, but the fourth track on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band beautifully illustrates their very different characters. While the song was being recorded that spring, an odd incident would further fuse their souls on a psychedelic level.
McCartney devised the title while walking his sheepdog Martha through London's Regent's Park in early 1967. He was joined by journalist Hunter Davies, then shadowing the Beatles while working on their official biography. "It was the first spring-like morning of that year, and as we got to the top of the hill, the sun came up," Davies relayed to Steve Turner in his book, A Hard Day's Write. "[Paul] turned to me and said, 'It's getting better,' meaning that spring was here. Then, he started laughing and I asked him what he was laughing about." McCartney recounted a story about Jimmie Nichol, a drummer who played with the band for 10 concert dates on their 1964 world tour while Ringo Starr recovered from tonsillitis and pharyngitis. When asked how he was adapting to the insanity of Beatlemania, the good-natured Nichol would reply, "It's getting better!" The phrase, and all its earnestness, became something of an in-joke among the band.
By: Jordan Runtagh
Source: Rolling Stone
The film's bosses were initially keen to secure Rolling Stones' Keith Richards to play a pirate rocker in the latest instalment of the adventure movie but when he was unable to film the part, the team were thrilled to secure the Beatles star.
Co-director Espen Sandberg said: "So we needed another rocker and on top of our list was Paul McCartney. And Johnny said, 'Well, I have his number.' And of course Johnny has Paul McCartney's number. So he started texting him. And it went back and forth. And then [Paul] said yes. So we were super happy."
Whilst co-director Joachim Ronning added to USA Today: "It was fun. And there we went."
Keith - who was unable to make a cameo in the most recent film due to "touring commitments" - had previously made an appearance as Captain Jack Sparrow's (Johnny Depp) father Captain Teague in 2007's 'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End'.
Sir Paul McCartney's involvement in the fifth installment of the pirate franchise was revealed in March 2016 when a source said bosses had approached the musician about the role and directors Ronning and Sandberg had decided to add an extra scene just for him.
Source: Sunday World
The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which Rolling Stone named as the best album of all time, turns 50 on June 1st. In honor of the anniversary, and coinciding with a new deluxe reissue of Sgt. Pepper, we present a series of in-depth pieces – one for each of the album's tracks, excluding the brief "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" reprise on Side Two – that explore the background of this revolutionary and beloved record. Today's installment tells the story of how a school drawing by a three-year-old Julian Lennon inspired "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds."
"I swear to God, or swear to Mao, or to anybody you like, I had no idea it spelt LSD," John Lennon insisted to Rolling Stone in 1970 of the title of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." In interview after interview, Lennon begged listeners to accept that the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band standout was "not an acid song." The public, for their part, merely rolled their eyes.
Until the end of his life, Lennon maintained that the song was actually inspired by a painting that his three-year-old son Julian had made of Lucy O'Donnell, his classmate at Heath House nursery school. "This is the truth: My son came home with a drawing and showed me this strange-looking woman flying around," he explained during an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show in 1971. "I said, 'What is it?' and he said, 'It's Lucy in the sky with diamonds,' and I thought, 'That's beautiful.' I immediately wrote a song about it. After the album had come out and the album had been published, someone noticed that the letters spelt out LSD and I had no idea about it. ... But nobody believes me."
By: Jordan Runtagh
Source: Rolling Stone
We're just eight days away from the release of the 50th anniversary edition of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band which was painstakingly remastered and expanded by Giles Martin, the son of the Fab Four's original producer, George Martin.
Giles has now revealed (and retracted somewhat) that he is ready to move on to his next project, the Beatles' 1968 album The Beatles (aka The White Album)
The White Album was an oddity for the band. It was their only double album and the only one where a single was never released to radio; however, you would never know it from listening to classic rock stations who still play a wide selection from the set as if they had been chart toppers including Back in the U.S.S.R., Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Blackbird, Rocky Raccoon, Birthday and Helter Skelter. The album also contains a trio of songs that could be placed among the most beautiful from the Beatles catalog, Julia, Good Night and I Will.
Martin told the BBC on Thursday morning "The White Album, which is the next release – that is where they started becoming indulgent. There are 70 takes of Sexy Sadie, for instance. The efficiency went slightly out the window. There’s a lot of stuff. So, it’s getting the balance right.
Source: Vintage Vinyl