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Tag Archives | Paul McCartney

Stevie’s Songs – 40 Years On

Stevie Wonder 'Songs In The Key Of Life' album cover 1976

Rewinding 40 years, a new double-album had just been issued that would provide the black music event of the year. 1976 marked the emergence of Punk, but my attention, as a 16 year old DJ working at local venues, the Chelsea Reach and the Penny Farthing in my hometown of New Brighton, was very much geared towards the Soul, Funk and Disco flavours of the time, and the release of a new Stevie Wonder album, let alone a double album (which also included a bonus 4 track EP), was greatly anticipated. It was the first UK release on the newly designed blue Motown label, which had replaced the classic Tamla Motown label that had issued all Motown output here since the mid-’60s, bringing the company’s various imprints (including Motown, Tamla, Gordy, Soul and V.I.P) under one inimitable umbrella.

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Revolver – 50 Years

Revolver

It was half a century ago today that one of the great albums of the pop era, ‘Revolver’ by The Beatles, was released. It was the 7th Beatles album and their 7th UK #1 (all of The Beatles’ studio albums topped the UK chart). It generally places highly on critic’s best album of all-time lists.

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Their Name Liveth For Evermore

On October 5th 1962 the first single by The Beatles, ‘Love Me Do’ c/w ‘P.S. I Love You’, was released in the UK on the Parlophone label. Principally written by Paul McCartney a few years earlier, when he was 16 (John Lennon added the middle-eight), and based around 3 chords, it was the first of a run of 3 singles that featured John Lennon on harmonica – the others being ‘Please Please Me’ and ‘From Me To You’, both released the following year (the instrument, a signature of the early Beatles sound, was retired by Lennon 1965). The harmonica used had been pinched from a music shop 2 years previously in Arnhem, Holland, whilst The Beatles were on their way to their first stint in Hamburg, Germany (Aug – Dec ’60).  A photograph was also taken of them that day by Barry Chang, the brother-in-law of then manager Allan Williams, as they passed through Arnhem, which would later prove to be somewhat prophetic – the then unknown band, minus Lennon, with their pre-Ringo drummer Pete Best and original bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, Williams and his wife Beryl, along with Williams’ one-time partner Lord Woodbine (aka Harold Phillips), who drove the minibus they were travelling in over from Liverpool. The snapshot was taken in front of the War Memorial, on which the legend ‘Their Name Liveth For Evermore’ was carved. Lennon had stayed in the van, opting out of the photo opportunity, whilst apparently declaring himself, in another portent of the future, a pacifist.

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Living To Music – Stevie Wonder ‘Innervisions’

ARTIST: STEVIE WONDER

ALBUM: INNERVISIONS

LABEL: TAMLA

YEAR: 1973

This Sunday (Feb 6th), at 9pm, you’re invited to share a listening session with some likeminded souls, wherever you might be. This can be experienced either alone or communally, and you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to participate. Full lowdown here:
http://blog.gregwilson.co.uk/2010/06/living-to-music/

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Cover Versions Of Covers

This is Pauline Amos’s re-interpretation of the Wings album sleeve for ‘Band On The Run’ (1973) and Kid Acne’s take on ‘Let It Bleed’ by The Rolling Stones (1969). They’re both part of the ‘Cover Versions’ exhibition that opens at the A Month of Sundays Gallery in Sheffield this Friday (10.09.10). Pauline’s contribution was also filmed as a performance painting, intercut with footage of the personalities on the original cover – James Coburn, John Conteh, Clement Freud, Denny Laine, Christopher Lee, Kenny Lynch, Linda McCartney, Paul McCartney and Michael Parkinson:
http://vimeo.com/14762181

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The One That Got Away

Filmed by Granada TV in 1964, this is a wonderful piece of footage of Liverpool’s The Chants performing on Merseyside  – there’s something very heartfelt about it, especially the close-ups showing some of the girls swooning over them. The song is ‘I Could Write A Book’ and was written by Rodgers & Hart, originally appearing in the 1940 musical ‘Pal Joey’ (later, in 1957, made into a movie, where it was sung by Frank Sinatra). It would be the second single by The Chants, released on PYE records, and famously given the thumbs up by all four Beatles on the TV show Juke Box Jury (Dec 7th 1963), although even the Fabs’ wholehearted endorsement failed to help it break into the charts.

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