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The end of 2018 was a VERY busy period for the Beatles organization … and a potentially costly time for Beatles fans! Paul McCartney released a new album, ‘Egypt Station’ (which is reviewed in Episodes 195 & 196) and added two more titles to his ongoing Archive Collection. The expanded editions of ‘Red Rose Speedway’ and ‘Wild Life’ were released in multiple formats and configurations. For the first time, two titles were combined to make a ‘Super Deluxe’ box. In these two episodes, the guys review and analyze the audio and video discs included in the ‘Red Rose Speedway’ deluxe edition.
It was apropos when John Lennon said it in 1964, and, interestingly enough, it still applies 54 years on ... "It's been a busy year Beatle peadles, one way and another. But it's been a great year, too. You fans have seen to that." In this episode the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew take a look back at a very interesting year in Beatles history; there were knighthoods, box sets, postage stamps and more in 2018!
This episode of Fab 4 Free 4 All was recorded before a live audience at ‘The Beatles: The White Album Symposium’, held at Monmouth University in Long Branch, New Jersey on November 9th through 11th, 2018. Our presentation for the event presented the following question: “If the songs on the album ‘The Beatles’ had been released in an alternative format or formats, would it have possibly meant the end of the Beatles?” Fab 4 Free 4 All would like to thank event coordinator, Dr. Ken Womack, and, of course, our live audience of listeners, friends, and our extended Beatles family. During the course of the episode, we make reference to a number of visual images of fantasy album covers and singles. Links to these images can be found on the Fab 4 Free 4 All website.
On September 7, 2018, Paul McCartney released 'Egypt Station', his eighteenth solo studio album. The release quickly became his first number one album in the United States since 1982's 'Tug of War' and ... believe it or not ... his first to debut atop the Billboard 200. Of course, with a new Beatles solo release comes a review and analysis by the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew! Join the guys for a trip to 'Egypt Station' ... a place filled with musical diversity and interesting 'twists' for a Paul McCartney album. They promise it will be a fun trip 'Fuh You'!
On Wednesday, September 26th, 2018, the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew had the pleasure of attending a ‘listening event’ for the upcoming re-release of the deluxe reissue of ‘The Beatles’ … better known by all of us as ‘The White Album’ (but NEVER after Labor Day … sorry). After experiencing fifteen select tracks from the upcoming box set, the guys got to spend some time speaking with someone who has become a friend of the show - the project’s producer, Giles Martin. You’ve heard them in a car. You’ve heard them in a bed. Now … you get to hear Fab 4 Free 4 All in their natural habitat … a diner! But they’re hoping to share this tasty morsel, a sampling of the Beatles and Apple’s latest offering, with all of you. And it comes to you on the very same day that they experienced it.
If you all think this episode is great after you listen to it, you can pat yourselves on the back. (And well, if it’s not great, we still love you all anyway!) And why do we say that? We say that because this episode is the 4th entry in the ‘F4F4A Answers Your Calls’ series. The guys really do enjoy answering your questions and being given the opportunity to consider and cover topics and ideas that they probably would not have thought of on their own, There are, of course, more questions ‘in the bank’ than the guys could ever answer in just one show, so a 5th entry is sure to be on the way some time soon. For now, the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew hopes that you’ll all enjoy … well … YOURSELVES! As for us … you’ll have to excuse us while we check our messages.
On a July day in 1968, Tom Murray was asked by his photographer friend to be a driver for a photo shoot that he had scheduled with a 'rock band'. Murray, also a photographer, was told to bring HIS camera to the shoot as well. Armed with that single camera and only two rolls of color film, Tom soon discovered that the 'rock band' was none other than The Beatles. The group members were taking a break from the White Album sessions, and they were in a playful mood. The photos that Murray took on that Summer day - dubbed a “Mad Day Out” - are considered to be some of the best color images of The Beatles from 1968. Join the F4F4A for a lively discussion with Tom Murray about that fateful day
“Once upon a time … or maybe twice …” or maybe it’s been three times at this point, the Beatles, Apple and United Artists released … and re-released, and re-released … the 1968 animated film ‘Yellow Submarine’. Featuring twelve Beatles songs, and segments of three more, the film is considered a delightfully entertaining example of ground-breaking animation. But is it a classic? Maybe. In this episode the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew applies their analytical eye to the wild and colorful world of Pepperland, Sgt. Pepper, The Boob, the Sea of Holes and the (misunderstood?) Blue Meanies to review the movie ‘Yellow Submarine.’
John Lennon and Yoko Ono moved to New York City in September 1971. Within weeks, they were contacted by ‘Yippie’ activists Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, who persuaded them to appear at a rally for left-wing writer John Sinclair, who was jailed for possession of two marijuana joints. John performed a song he had written for the occasion, appropriately titled ‘John Sinclair’. Was it Sinclair’s release only a few days after the rally that politically charged John and Yoko up enough to join forces with the N.Y-based band Elephant’s Memory and producer Phil Spector to record John’s third (musical) post-Beatles album ‘Some Time in New York City’? In this two-art episode, the guys analyze and review an album that fared poorly both critically and commercially, but still managed to help amp up the U.S. government’s attempt to get Lennon out of the U.S.
Laurence Juber is an incredible guitar virtuoso who has released twenty-five albums featuring his diverse musical talents. You've heard his work in films, on some of the most popular television shows of the past thirty years, as a session player on hit songs by artists like Eric Carmen and The Monkees, and on albums by classic vocalists like Cleo Laine and Charles Aznavour. Oh, and did we mention that he was also a member of Paul McCartney's band, Wings? In this fascinating and fun hour-long episode, 'LJ' opens up about his career in music, as well as his “new” digital release, Standard Time.” Listen to the episode ... listen to the stories ... and then go listen to the album on iTunes, Spotify or Amazon! And, if Laurence is coming to your town, do yourself a favor and go see him perform live. Tell him Fab 4 Free 4 All sent you! Visit www.laurencejuber.com for more information about Laurence's releases and upcoming shows.
On December 3, 1965, the Beatles released their sixth UK studio album, 'Rubber Soul'. Three days later, an altered version was released in North America. Capitol Records' Xmas present to the Beatles' U.S. fans - their tenth album on the label - was seven minutes shorter, with two fewer songs, and two different songs that had appeared on the UK 'Help!' album. Though the final track listing may have been a happy accident, the U.S. version remains one of the most interesting of the Capitol variations, as it presents a 'folkier' version of 'Rubber Soul'. The U.S. album inspired musicians in the States, and for some fans here it has remained their favorite version of this important Beatles release. In this two-part episode The Fab 4 Free 4 All review and analyze the U.S. 'Rubber Soul', and discuss the musical and conceptual differences between the Capitol version and the Beatles' authorized U.K. release.
See description below for Episode 183, 'No Seven-Inch for Beatle Paul (pt. 1)'
Randy Bachman is a legendary musician who has written and co-written songs that have become part of the DNA of rock and roll. He is also a hard-core Beatles fan, who has been performing and recording covers of their music since the mid-60s, when Randy and his bandmates were making a name for themselves in Canada. Throughout his career with The Guess Who, with Bachman Turner Overdrive, and as a solo artist, Randy’s love for the Beatles never diminished. His 2018 solo album, ‘By George – By Bachman’ features eleven adventurous reinventions of George Harrison compositions, book-ended by a lovely original tribute song written for ‘the quiet Beatle’ called ‘Between Two Mountains’. Join Fab 4 Free 4 All on the event of the release of ‘By George – By Bachman’ for a fun and informative talk with Randy Bachman.
In 1969, the Beatles released four songs on two consecutive singles (aka 45s) that did not feature a Paul McCartney lead vocal. At this point in the Beatles' career, the song's lead singer was also presumably the author, which meant that none of Paul's compositions were featured. This was unprecedented! George Harrison, the 'baby brother' of the group, managed to land a B-side with 'Old Brown Shoe', and a coveted A-side with the beautiful song, 'Something'. For his part, on one single John Lennon told the story of his recent exploits with 'Ballad of John and Yoko', a song recorded without George and Ringo's involvement. And his funky rocker 'Come Together', backed George's ballad on the next. Over two episodes, The Fab 4 Free 4 All look at the significance of this unique period in the history of the Beatles' recording career (pt. 1 of 2).
In this two-part episode the guys explore a historic Beatles reissue, and what it may portend for the future. For many fans and collectors, 2017 will go down in the record books as ‘The Year They Got It Right!’ On May 26, fifty years to the day after its initial release, The Beatles, Apple, Capitol, Universal, and producer Giles Martin unveiled the ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition’ box set. It marked the first time in twenty years that an entire Beatles’ album had been remixed, and the set also included a slew of never-before-heard outtakes and alternates. This episode was recorded a number of months after the set’s release, surely long after the immediate post-release-shock has worn off … or has it?
All he needed was ears. Well, perhaps he needed that and a head for business, dogged determination, a bit of an ego, skill as an arranger and composer, a tremendous sense of humor, a stroke of luck and happenstance ... and the finest crew of co-conspirators and collaborators that the world of music has ever know. The late Sir George Martin was, to most people, the true 'Fifth Beatle'. He helped them to shape their music and hone their incredible songwriting skills. Author Ken Womack has written the first biography - and remember that past books about Martin were self-penned - about this fascinating and talented man. In this episode, Dr. Womack joins the Fab 4 Free 4 All to talk about his book, 'Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, The Early Years, 19261966'.
In 1973 Paul McCartney was placed in a terrible position. Two members of his group Wings left shortly before they were due to depart for Lagos, Nigeria to record their next album. Under such intense pressure, Paul, Linda and Denny Laine managed to produced the classic album 'Band on the Run'. The album would soon gain the reputation as being Paul's solo 'masterpiece'. But, 44 years after its release, is 'Band on the Run' still the 'go-to' album in Paul's catalog? Considering that McCartney has released over a dozen studio albums since 'band on the Run', is that album's masterpiece status still justifiable? In this unique episode, the cast members of Fab 4 Free 4 All take a close look at Macca's solo career, and offer up their opinions.
The Beatles’ history is a rich and storied one, filled with hundred – if not thousands – of “moments”. So much of the story was captured on film or recorded on audio tape. But there are many, many points in the Beatles history that we only know about through anecdotes; stories told either by the Beatles themselves, or by ‘insiders’ offering second-hand accounts of moments that were important to the story as a whole. In this animated episode, the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew reveal the moments during the Beatles timeline when they wish they could have been a fly on the wall.
On September 15, 2017 Ringo Starr released his nineteenth studio album. Titled ‘Give More Love’ … a phrase that also seems to be a lifelong motto of the Beatles’ drummer… the LP contains ten brand new songs that stylistically go from country to rockabilly to straight ahead rock’n’roll. In this episode of Fab 4 Free 4 All, the guys review and analyze the CD edition of ‘Give More Love’, which includes four ‘bonus tracks’ of re-recordings of early Ringo songs. They also look at how audiences have perceived Ringo’s work throughout the years, and how that image may have an impact on the sales of his more recent releases.
On the eve of the release of Ringo Starr’s nineteenth studio album, ‘Give More Love’, the Fab 4 Free 4 All was offered the opportunity to talk with Ringo’s engineer / mixer Bruce Sugar. Mr. Sugar has worked with an interesting assortment of people, but he has been an integral part of Ringo’s production team since 2005’s ‘Choose Love’. Ringo’s 2017 offering features guest appearances by old friends like Paul McCartney and Peter Frampton, and new friends like the group Vandeveer and singer Amy Keys. Bruce Sugar’s anecdotes provide unique insight into Ringo’s recording habits, and the ‘family spirit’ that surrounds his work. It’s also a ‘testament’ to a beloved and influential drummer who is still going strong at 77 years young.