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The cast of Fab 4 Free 4 All, Mitch Axelrod, Rob Leonard, and Tony Traguardo, had the opportunity to speak to producer Giles Martin about the upcoming (as of this recording) release of the Beatles' 'Let It Be' album remaster and box set.
The Fab 4 Free 4 All cast (Mitch Axelrod, Rob Leonard & Tony Traguardo) talks about the recent Hulu-exclusive documentary 'McCartney 3, 2, 1'. In the unique six-part presentation, Paul McCartney sits down for an in-depth one-on-one conversation with music producer Rick Rubin and discusses his work with the Beatles, Wings and as a solo artist with an unprecedented level of candor. In this episode, the guys talk about some of the highlights of the series, and whether or not it's a 'must-view' for Beatles fans and popular music historians.
In this very special episode, the Fab 4 Free 4 All cast members are joined by legendary DJ, author and entertainment personality ‘Cousin Brucie’ Morrow for a spirited, entertaining and informative conversation. Cousin Brucie has been a mainstay of New York hit radio for more than 40 years, and he has remained one of its most popular personalities. He has been heard on New York-based stations WINS, WABC-AM, WNBC-AM and at WCBS-FM, once the nation’s No.1 oldies station. It was during Cousin Brucie’s stint at WABC-AM when the station became W-A-BEATLES-C and embraced ‘Beatlemania’ and the Beatles themselves with open arms! The boys trusted Cousin Brucie, and let them into their inner circle. In August 1965 he even had the distinction of joining Ed Sullivan to introduce the Beatles at their legendary Shea Stadium show. Cousin Brucie shares stories with Fab 4 Free 4 All that originate from inside the eye of the incredible hurricane of ’Beatlemania’, offering us a unique perspective of our favorite band.
From 1963 to 1967 Paul McCartney was in a relationship with actress Jane Asher. The young Beatles grew close to Jane's family, and at one point she became his fiance. And of course, during this period that saw the couple go from romance to heartbreak, Paul McCartney was continually writing songs. Fab 4 Free 4 All analyzes the "love songs" composed by Paul McCartney during his time with Jane Asher, and how the relationship as a muse contributed to them.
He is the leader of The Disciples of Soul. He is Bruce's right hand man in the legendary E-Street Band. He is a noted actor who played Sylvio in 'The Sopranos' and is the star of 'Lilyhammer'. And Little Steven Van Zandt is also a first-generation Beatles fan who has a great new live album called 'From Macca To Macca'! Join the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew as they talk with Little Steven about how a Beatles fan from New Jersey ended up Jamming with Paul and recording a set at the Cavern in Liverpool.
In December of 2020, Ringo Starr (and Beatles) fans were treated to an uplifting, catchy, anthem-like new song called 'Here's to the Nights'. The tune came with the promise that it was from a "forthcoming album". In this episode, the Fab 4 Free 4 All cast members 'Zoom In' on the diverse five-song EP (not quite an album ... but that's OK) that Ringo released to fulfill that promise in March of 2021.
In this informative and entertaining episode the guys look at the extensive back story behind the Beatles 1964 North American tour. They also analyze and review the setlist of the bands' touring show, offering up their opinions on the Beatles' choices of songs.
In this episode the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew catch up with author Bruce Spizer. Bruce's latest book covers the Get Back/Let It Be sessions, the unreleased Get Back albums, the Let It Be album and film, the noteworthy Get Back bootlegs, the Anthology tracks from the sessions and Let It Be…Naked. The group also discusses the upcoming 'Get Back' film, which fans have gotten a taste of thanks to director Peter Jackson's incredible 'sample clip'!
Years from now, someone may ask you, "What did you do during the 2020 lockdown?" When they ask Paul McCartney he'll be able to say "Well, I went into my home studio and rocked out on an album that I recorded almost completely by myself, and then I released in dozens of color and packaging variations. Oh, and it debuted at #1 on the UK charts!" Such is the story of 'McCartney III', the follow-up ... forty years later ... to his second 'solo' album, 1980's 'McCartney II'. In this episode, the Fab 4 Free 4 All cast reviews and analyzed this diverse new release from Paul McCartney.
On October 9, 2020, the day that would have been John Lennon's 80th birthday, the Lennon estate released a collection of what they consider to be "his most vital and best loved solo recordings ... completely remixed". The set, remixed by Sean Lennon and Paul Hicks, is subtitled 'The Ultimate Mixes'. In this spirited episode, the Fab 4 Free 4 All cast members offer up their opinions about the new set, and whether or not they consider these versions to truly be the 'ultimate' mixes.
In this very special episode of Fab 4 Free 4 All, the cast talks with Paul Saltzman, a two-time Emmy Award-winning, Toronto-based director-producer of over 300 film and television productions. In 1968, he learned meditation at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in India, an experience that changed his life. There, he photographed the Beatles, Jane Asher, Cynthia Lennon, Patti Boyd Harrison, Maureen Starkey, Mia Farrow, Donovan, Mal Evans and Mike Love. His intimate photos are the only record of their time in this sacred retreat; a time when the Beatles were at another peak of their creative power. Paul's experiences are the basis of a new film, 'Meeting the Beatles in India'. In the film, Paul tells his story and returns to India, along with Beatles' historian Mark Lewisohn, to bring himself and viewers even closer to understanding the significance of this historic personal and cultural event.
The Fab 4 Free 4 All cast member talk about their favorite guest appearances by individual Beatles on other people's recordings. There may be some surprises on this list, and perhaps even some gems that you've never heard!
In 1979, after a three year break from the industry, George Harrison, with the help of co-producer Russ Titelman and a number of musical friends, released what some consider to be '33 1/3 part two' ... which is a good thing, by the way. As part of our ongoing 'Analysis and Review' series, the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew discusses the many ways that this album distinguishes itself as a jewel in the Harrison catalog.
In the seventh installment of this recurring feature of Fab 4 Free 4 All the guys take calls from their listeners. In this installment the show's fans lead the guys to a talk about the seeds of the break-up, elusive collectibles, the Beatles' worst recordings, and the pre-EMI recordings.
The cast of the Fab 4 Free 4 All discusses the material deemed 'unworthy' for release for various reasons during the Beatles' career. Many outtakes have been released since on the three Anthology volumes and on various box sets. Did we need to hear it all? Does 'weaker' material harm the Beatles' legacy? Is there more that we want to hear? The ensuing debates lead to some interesting deliberation, conclusions .... and agreements to disagree.
The Beatles were all about love, love, love, right? Well ... that was surely true MOST of the time. But what about those instances when the sentiments reflected in Beatles' songs were not quite so ... loving? On this episode of Fab 4 Free 4 All the guys look at some of what they think are the Beatles' 'Un-Love' songs.
In the sixth installment of this recurring feature of Fab 4 Free 4 All, we take calls from our listeners. In this installment we take on topics like 'Dexterization', Record Store Day, Beatles collaborations, and more!
In 1963, EMI's American distributor, Capitol Records, had refused to pick up the option on a hot British singing group that bore the unusual moniker 'The Beatles'. So, a string of singles came out on labels like Tollie and VJ (or VeeJay) in the U.S. They flopped. But after quite a bit of coaxing from several different sources, Capitol corporate heads finally gave in, and money was put into promoting this supposedly hot new singing group. With the reception to the release of the group's first Capitol single, 'I Want to Hold Your Hand', the label realized it had lightning in a bottle! And so, the album 'Meet the Beatles' would, essentially, become the recorded launching point for 'Beatlemania!' in the U.S. In this unique episode, the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew review and analyze 'Meet the Beatles'. IMPORTANT NOTE: Since we were unable to use our usual studio equipment, the audio on this episode may not be up to our usual standards ... but we think you'll still enjoy it! (Many thanks to our listener and friend Dave Thomas for quality control testing!)
Apple recently announced the title and release date ... along with some preliminary details ... of 'The Beatles: Get Back', Peter Jackson's upcoming film culled from over 55 hours of footage of the Beatles from January of 1969. As fate would have it, the Fab 4 Free 4 All were in the studio a few days earlier recording a show that found them speculating about the film and the related 'Let It Be' box set. What does each cast member want to ... or not want to ... see in the film? How should the film be formatted? What will be in the audio box set and how will it be arranged? These are just some of the 'Get Back' and 'Let It Be'-related mysteries that will not be solved until the film is released in September of 2020, but for now, have fun with the Fab 4 Free 4 All as they speculate on the possible answers!
Record sales and chart action certainly didn't stop after the final Beatles single of new music was released in 1970. In the mid-70s, the folks at Capitol Records began developing new tie-ins, anniversary celebrations and thematic album releases that helped keep the Beatles on the charts. In this spirited episode of Fab 4 Free 4 All the guys look at the many ways since the group's break-up that songs from the Beatles catalog ... along with some previously released songs ... have been combined, released, and marketed to fans new and old on 7" singles.
In October of 2019 Ringo Starr released his 20th studio album, 'What's My Name'. The title is familiar to fans as the first half of a call-and response that ends with the crowd shouting 'RINGO!'. And in this episode, the Fab4Free4All answer the question: Does the new album give fans something to shout about? Ringo and Bruce Sugar have assembled an album that includes guest appearances by Paul McCartney and members of the All-Starrs, with songs written by or co-written by folks like Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Dave Stewart and Joe Walsh. Throw in a cover of a John Lennon song and a Motown classic and you have an interesting mix of material. But how well does it all work together?
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF YOU,
OUR WONDERFUL LISTENERS AND FRIENDS!
Here's a little audio 'Greeting Card' ... 'From Us To You'!
OUR WONDERFUL LISTENERS AND FRIENDS!
Here's a little audio 'Greeting Card' ... 'From Us To You'!
In the Fall of 2019, the Beatles and our friends at Apple and Universal Music released a boxed set collection of Beatles 45s that take fans 'around the world in 7 inches'. (Yes. There are too many jokes there ... so we shall acknowledge that and move on.) This fascinating package compiles replicas of the twenty-two Beatles singles released in the UK during the group's career, and a bonus, unique coupling of 'Free as a Bird' and 'Real Love'. Incredibly, twenty-two countries are represented! In this episode the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew take a look at this creative release, and talk about some of their other favorite 7" releases from around the world.
On September 27, 2019 the Beatles and Apple Corp. celebrated the 50th anniversary of the legendary album 'Abbey Road' with a number of different releases, including a deluxe boxed set with three audio discs and a blu-ray, and a special 2 double-CD edition. Both versions include a new 2019 stereo remix of the album by Giles Martin. In episode 209, the Fab 4 Free 4 All cast analyze and review the new mix. In episode 210, the guys take a close look at the two sessions discs that are included in the deluxe edition.
Mark Hudson rose to stardom in the 1970s as a member of The Hudson Brothers. When the trio disbanded, Hudson began making a name for himself as a producer. His roster of hit records includes tracks by groups as diverse as Aerosmith and Hanson. Between 1998 and 2007, Hudson produced five studio albums for Ringo Starr. Many fans considered this something of a renaissance for Ringo as a solo artist, and the albums received fairly positive critical reviews. In this episode, each of the guys talk about their favorite Mark Hudson-produced Ringo tracks. After you've listened to the episode, please check out the Spotify playlist to hear the tunes the guys have selected!
Well, we kind of had a feeling last year that this was going to happen, didn’t we? But it didn’t make it any less fun or exciting! On September 27, 2019, the Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd. and Universal Music will release a boxed set deluxe anniversary edition of ‘Abbey Road’. On Tuesday, August 20, 2019, The Fab 4 Free 4 All crew was invited to a New York studio to hear choice pieces from the upcoming release. And, as we’ve been with the last two releases, we were psyched! We couldn’t get to a diner afterwards, but while the experience was still fresh in our minds, we managed (despite some interesting interruptions from Mitch’s GPS!) to record a show about our experience, and our thoughts on some of the new remixes and bonus material, on the car ride back to our secret underground lair. We would like to thank our friends at Universal Music for the incredible opportunity to get a sneak peek at what will definitely be a fantastic year-end package, the 50th anniversary deluxe box set edition of ‘Abbey Road’.
In July of 2019, Paul McCartney released a newly remastered and expanded edition of his 2007 performance at Amoeba Records in California … a ‘secret gig’ at the time. This ‘definitive’ version includes the complete show, performed by an energetic band and a vocalist at the top of his game in an intimate setting – a record store! In this episode, the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew analyzes and reviews this exciting new addition to Paul McCartney’s catalog.
A world WITHOUT The Beatles? Wait. What?! That could never be! Or could it? The recently released movie 'Yesterday' proposes that a quick dimensional shift could just possibly leave us with a world where no one remembers The Beatles. No one, that is, except for Jack Malik. In this fun 'review and analysis' type episode the guys take a close look at 'Yesterday'. In this spirited, speculative conversation the guys discuss the perspective hardcore as opposed to casual fans might have on the film, where the ending left us, other possible plot lines, and more. But rest easy and press 'play', since they warn you before ANY spoilers are revealed!
Being a member of the most famous band in history sets you up for having one of the most identifiable voices in music. But what makes George Harrison's voice unique is that it is interesting, expressive, soulful, playful, charming, biting, and ... wait ... why are we telling you this? Chances are you agree. But will you agree with the selections that the Fab 4 Free 4 All co-hosts choose as their (individual) favorite George Harrison solo vocal performances? Join the Fab 4 Free 4 All as they explore the many facets of the voice of 'the quiet one'.
-- And for AFTER you've listened, check out our Spotify playlist of the songs we chose --
On November 9th, 2018, the second Beatles deluxe box set was released to great fanfare. Despite the heavy press and positive pre-reviews, the six-disc edition of 'The Beatles' ... a.k.a. 'The White Album' did not sell as well as its recent predecessor, the 'Sgt. Pepper' expanded box. Rumor is rampant that an 'Abbey Road' box is now in the works. But there are some questions about these post-'Pepper' deluxe editions, particularly with regards to the remixes themselves: Are they 'necessary'? Do they improve upon the originals? And if not ... well ... are they at least as interesting as the originals? In this episode, the guys take a close look at remixes (only!) of 'The Beatles' deluxe box, and try to answer some of these questions.
“ … And we are back!” And so are YOU! The Fab 4 Free 4 All crew always enjoys hearing from you, our listeners, and since the first four installments of our ‘Answers Your Calls’ series were a lot of fun, we figured that it’s time to do it again. Five of the (many) questions that have been coming in to our Google phone line were randomly selected for this episode and, as always, the guys hear the questions for the first time at the recording session. We hope you have as much fun as we did as your fellow fans lay the groundwork for this episode of Fab 4 Free 4 All.
What makes a song a ‘classic’? What makes a song a ‘standard’? Perhaps the answers to these questions are totally subjective! And when the three co-hosts of Fab 4 Free 4 All try to figure out the answers, wouldn’t it make sense for them to bring the music of the Beatles and solo Beatles into the question?! In this VERY spirited episode – based on a question posed by Mitch to Facebook – the guys try to apply the guidelines of ‘standard’ and ‘classic’ to the Beatles’ catalog. The guys’ comments … and the additional questions that the conversation promotes … may surprise you!
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.