Check out our Monkees "mini-episode" and Monkees page!
Including Mitch & Tony's 2011 interview with Micky Dolenz
Click on the show number and/or title to download it.
And visit the earlier archive page to listen to episodes 1-25!
50-The Beatles' Double A-Side 'Penny Lane' b/w 'Strawberry Fields', pt. 2
49-The Beatles' Double A-Side 'Penny Lane' b/w 'Strawberry Fields', pt. 1
By the end of 1966, the Beatles had officially ended their career as a touring live band. Having released the adventurous 'Revolver' in the Fall of 1966, expectations from both the public and the critics were high for the follow-up. Despite this burden, both Lennon and McCartney were able to deliver songs that would be high watermarks in their careers, thanks, in part, to the ability to devote limitless time to studio work. The single was, curiously, the first by the group to not top the charts. Both songs were nostalgic reflections on their mutual birthplace, Liverpool. But the similarities ended there. In this two-part episode, the Fab 4 Free 4 All look at the significance of the Beatles' double A-side single 'Penny Lane'/'Strawberry Fields Forever' (pt 1).
48-'Cloud Nine': Analysis and Review pt. 2 (and a Little Lightning!)
47-'Cloud Nine': Analysis and Review pt. 1
After the commercially disastrous 1982 album 'Gone Troppo', George Harrison seemed to walk away from the music industry. After making a few guest appearances and recording the soundtrack to the (also disastrous) film 'Shanghal Surprise', George decided to go full in with a brand new album. Released in 1987, 'Cloud Nine' became one of George's most critically and commercially successful releases, and re-established him as a significant and important recording artist. The album was also a team effort, created with the help of George's close circle of musical friends. In this two-part episode, the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew analyze and review the final musical achievement of George Harrison's incredible career, the album 'Cloud Nine'.
No more primal screaming. No more Phil Spector. And, at least temporarily … there was no more Yoko. John Lennon’s third solo album ‘Mind Games’ marked a change for John and his music, and came at the beginning of a strange and sometimes troubled period of his life. The Fab 4 Free 4 All crew analyze and review an album that may have been John’s most ‘accessible’ up to this point – but did that make it one of his better musical statements?
In the beginning of 1963, the Beatles hit the number one slot in the NME and Melody Maker charts with the single 'Please Please Me'. And in March of that year, Parlophone Records rush-released the album of the same name that they hoped would capitalize (pun intended!) on that hit single. They could not have imagined what they were starting! Of the album's fourteen songs, eight were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney (originally credited "McCartney–Lennon"). The remaining six tracks were well-chosen covers from their early live stage shows. The album hit the top of the UK album charts in May 1963 and remained there for thirty weeks before being replaced by 'With The Beatles'. In this episode, the guys of Fab 4 Free 4 All tackle the Beatles' remarkable debut album.
In 1966 the Beatles released 'Revolver', an album that many fans and historians consider to be their most solid effort. 'Eleanor Rigby', a track from the album, reflected incredible growth and maturity from Paul McCartney as a composer and lyricist. In the first episode in a new ongoing series - one that will air sporadically - the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew thoughtfully examines and interprets the powerful imagery within the lyric of 'Eleanor Rigby'.
In 1982 Paul McCartney was still suffering from the devastating loss of his longtime musical partner. After two commercially and critically disappointing albums in a row, McCartney was at a crucial point artistically. He rebounded with the hugely successful 'Tug of War', an album that spawned the necessary hit singles, and proved McCartney to be adept in a brave new world of 'music videos' as promotional tools: MTV. In this episode, the guys analyze, and offer their differing opinions on, Paul's 'comeback' album of the early 80s.
42-The Beatles' 'Hey Jude' Single: Side B, 'Revolution' (pt. 2 of 2)
41-The Beatles' 'Hey Jude' Single: Side A (pt. 1 of 2)
At the end of August of 1968, the Beatles released the first single on their newly formed Apple Records - one of the 'first four' to be presented on the label. On the A-side, the monumental epic 'Hey Jude'; undoubtedly one of Paul McCartney's most-beloved songs. The flip side contained John Lennon's 'Revolution'. The two songs were profound statements, and the single charted for many weeks on both sides of the Atlantic, and around the world. Over the course of two episodes, the Fab 4 Free 4 All will examine the musical and cultural significance of (while comparing and contrasting) the two songs featured on this historic Beatles single.
The songs from the Beatles recording session with singer/guitarist Tony Sheridan has been reissued countless times since their initial release in 1961. Dozens of labels - some of dubious origin - jumped on board the Beatle bandwagon after the group hit in 1964 to come up with clever ways to repackage the eight songs that saw the group serve primarily as a backing group to an artist that producer Bert Kaempfert was banking on to be the 'next big thing'. The session yielded John's incredible vocal take on 'Ain't She Sweet', as well as the Harrison-Lennon instrumental 'Cry For A Shadow', but all of the songs with Sheridan are unique and appealing within the Beatles' catalog. A new Time-Life release, reviewed here by the guys, compiles all known variations on these interesting tracks.
39-'Beatles Anthology 3': Analysis and Review (pt. 2)
38-'Beatles Anthology 3': Analysis and Review (pt. 1)
The final installment in the Beatles ‘Anthology’ CD series chronicles a period of time when the ‘four-headed monster’ was starting to look in four different directions. A number of tracks in the collection are derived from two sources; the infamous Kinfauns demos, recorded at George’s home, and the January sessions for the ‘Get Back’ album (and subsequent lawsuit). Were the choices truly the ‘best’ the Beatles could have offered? Were there ‘political’ undercurrents involved in the selection process? In this episode (part one of two), the guys analyze and review this volume. They also debate about what could or should have been included in the set … and what could or should have been left out.
In this highly spirited episode, the guys address 'Tomorrow Never Knows'. This recent compilation from iTunes claims to offer up the Beatles' most powerful and - allegedly - most influential rockers. Is this really the case? The guys, predictably, raise a few questions. Just who, exactly, made these decisions? And why is a compilation of this nature being introduced into the Beatles' official catalog? Is this an acceptable way for Apple to approach introducing the music of the Beatles' to the 'download generation'? These and many more challenging ... and possibly controversial ... ideas are casually tossed about in an episode that just may get the guys banned!
In 2012 the BBC co-produced, with their 'Arena' show team, a documentary about one of the most successful producers in the history of recorded music, Sir George Martiin. Eagle Rock Entertainment has recently released DVD and blu-ray editions of the documentary, featuring over fifty minutes of un-broadcast material. The guys of Fab 4 Free 4 All review this exciting new release in what will certainly not be the only episode to focus on the man who many truly consider to be the 'fifth Beatle'.
John Lennon’s voice has touched us all. And whether you thrill to John’s rave-ups, wallow in the thoughtful, melodic singing in John’s ballads, or dig the anthems that he put out during his ‘militant’ phase, most Beatle fans can cite their favorite Lennon vocal performances. But are there times when we, as Beatle fans, sometimes think ‘Well … THAT could have been better! If you are a fan who has ever experienced this line of thought, then we at Fab 4 Free 4 All can stand with ya! So in this highly spirited episode the guys each select their favorite, and least favorite, of John Lennon’s solo vocal performances.
There is little doubt that the Beatles' single (45) releases were an important part of their success story. The group's members, George Martin and EMI Records were all partly responsible for selecting which of the Beatles' compositions were going to be their 'next number one'. Of course, in some cases, the songs were written by the main composer with that very thought in mind. ('Whatcha doin', Paul?' 'Writing myself a new swimming pool, John!') In this episode, the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew talk about the Beatles singles that 'never were' - the songs from the group's incredible canon that could have ... and maybe even should have ... been released as singles.
In this unique episode, the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew pay homage to both 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' and 'Magical Mystery Tour'. In this 'live as it happens' episode, the guys offer running commentary behind the newly remastered 'Magical Mystery Tour' DVD and Blu-ray, being released worldwide on October 8th and 9th, 2012. NOTE FROM FAB 4 FREE 4 ALL: This episode is uncensored, and does contain the occasional expletive. The conversation is also peppered with some off-handed comments that could be considered 'un-P.C.'. We ask that you please take this commentary with the lighthearted sense of fun ... peppered with our usual sarcasm ... in which it was intended. We will back to our 'regular' style of shows next week!
32-'Beatles Anthology 2': Analysis and Review (pt. 2)
31-'Beatles Anthology 2': Analysis and Review (pt. 1)
The collective critical eye of the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew zeroes in on the volume of the Beatles Anthology CD series that chronicles the Beatles during what many fans and critics feel is their most creative and dynamic period. 'Anthology 2' opens with the second of two 'new' songs recorded by the three surviving members, and continues by taking listeners on a journey that begins in February of 1965 ('Yes It Is') through February of 1968 ('Across the Universe'). Our Fab 4 Free 4 All hosts offer up their opinions on what they feel are the significant ... and the trivial ... stops along the way on disc one of this 2 CD set.
It's a 'given' that the Beatles are four of the finest musicians that have ever made popular music. And each of the group's members have their shining moments in the Beatles canon, instrumentally, vocally and as composers. In the first of what promises to be a recurring show theme, the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew debate and vote on their 'best' and 'worst' moments (perhaps better expressed as their 'favorite' and 'least favorite') of each of the Beatles as - you guessed it - instrumentalists, vocalists and composers. In this first installment, the guys talk about George Harrison's 'best' performances as the Beatles' lead guitarist.
Paul McCartney returned to form with the 1997 album 'Flaming Pie'. After a few consecutive releases that saw Paul experimenting with different production trends and working with a number of co-writers, he turned to old friends and 'family' during an emotional period to create what some consider to be one of his finest solo works. In this thoughtful episode the Fab4Free4All crew take a close look at this album and time period - one that served as something of a turning point - in Paul McCartney's career.
All of the UK Beatle albums are, undeniably, 'classics' of the rock genre. But which of the group's LPs represented their biggest leap forward artistically? Many fans agree with author Robert Rodgriguez that the album 'Revolver' holds that honor. Some consider it to be the band's crowning achievement - the ultimate result of the 'four-headed monster' firing on all cylinders. Join the Fab4Free4All crew as they talk with Robert Rodriguez about the Beatles' masterpiece that just "didn't seem to get the breaks" that its follow-up did.
In 1991 Eric Clapton persuaded George Harrison to tour with him in Japan. With the issues of the problematic 1974 tour still in the back of his mind, George relented. The result was a series of concerts that were well-received by both critics and fans, during which George seemed to delight in digging into his solo and Beatles catalogs, and offered some highly spirited vocal performances. In this episode the Fab4Free4All crew analyze and review the 1992 CD release documenting the tour.
The Fab4Free4All go where few Beatle shows have ever dared venture. In an episode that you all KNEW had to come along at some point, this brave cast spends (what some may feel is too much) time critiquing, and boldly attempting to make sense of, the Beatles' 1967 TV special 'Magical Mystery Tour'. Some of the points pondered include: What could this project have become if clearer minds had been at work? Why are the DVD prints such miserable quality? Do the 'music videos' save the film? Tune in to this spirited episode to find out what the guys think about this ... unique ... project in the Beatles' canon.