Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The MJ Show #4 (John Lennon - The Beatles Years Special)

Tonight on #TheMJShow, we'll have John Lennon Special - The Beatles years.
The solo years were covered in the morning in episode #3 :) Hope you all enjoyed that...but this, this is going to be something special :)
I've always loved The Beatles...and some of these songs coming up are some of my favourites! :)

We'll go chronologically through all their albums and have atleast one song per album.


So here we go,
First up, from their 1963 debut album Please Please Me.
The first song for the evening is a song previously recorded by The Shirelles, one of The Beatles' favourite groups. John takes on the lead vocals with Paul and George singing the 'sha la la las' :)
1st Song - The Beatles - Baby Its You #TheMJshow

The second song from this album is my favourite on this album. Its a song I love singing and I think its the strongest song on the album. Originally recorded by The Isley Brothers in 1962 this used to be a show stopper in the early Beatles concerts. Legend says that The Beatles had just a little studio time left after a long day in the studio and so they recorded "Twist And Shout" in just one take!
So here it is
2nd Song - The Beatles - Twist And Shout #TheMJshow


On to album #2 - With The Beatles
John double tracked his vocals on this song and had some very cool harmony backing by Paul and George on this next song. I'm talking about the first song on this album...and its coming up next!
3rd Song - The Beatles - It Won't Be Long #TheMJshow

The second song from this album was originally done by one of my favourite Motown groups. Smokey Robinson and The Miracles originally did this brilliant song that Smokey wrote but it became massive when John did this song with George for The Beatles! Paul joins them both for chorus.
The song I'm talking about is up next:
4th Song - The Beatles - You Really Got A Hold On Me #TheMJshow


On to album #3 - A Hard Day's Night
The first song I've chosen from this album has John's wailing harmonica introducing the song. If you've seen the film, A Hard Day's Night, you'll remember this accompanies a scene where The Beatles are playing cards in a train.
5th Song - The Beatles - I Should Have Known Better #TheMJshow

The other song from this album that I've picked is a song that starts with a solo vocal from John on the first verse and then Paul joins him in a duet for the rest of the song. I LOVE this song.
6th Song - The Beatles - If I Feel #TheMJshow


Album #4 - Beatles For Sale
The first song from this album was a Chuck Berry original. But I honestly think that John sings this one way better than Berry ever did! Get ready...
7th Song - The Beatles - Rock And Roll Music #TheMJshow

The second song from this album starts with John screaming out the opening words of the song. Paul sings harmonies in parts of the song and also plays a Hammond organ. Ringo plays the backing beat on a set of bongos and George supplies the thump on an ancient African drum.
8th Song - The Beatles - Mr.Moonlight #TheMJshow


Now on to album #5 - Help!
John's lead vocals are supported by Paul and George on chorus and backing. Its one of my favourite songs by The Beatles! Here's the title track...
9th Song - The Beatles - Help! #TheMJshow

The second song from the album is sung and written by John. The lyrics of the song show the influence that Bob Dylan had on John.
10th Song - The Beatles - You've Got To Hide Your Love Away #TheMJshow


Album #6 - Rubber Soul 
The introduction to this song reveals George playing a sitar for the very first time. The effect he gets with the sitar is one he gets because he tuned the sitar to western notes. John sings lead on this with Paul giving additional vocals in places.
11th Song - The Beatles - Norwegian Wood #TheMJshow

I remember hearing the next song when I was really young. I loved the song back then and it's still awesome today! The song has John on lead vocals with Paul and George adding a wordless "tit-tit" backing vocal. They also join him on chorus. 
12th Song - The Beatles - Girl #TheMJshow

I had to pick up one more song for this album. I love the music and the way John goes about remembering people and places that play an important part in his younger days. Love the little piano solo in it as well. The piano was played by the man, often considered as the fifth Beatle, Sir George Martin. He produced all but one of the original Beatles records.
13th Song - The Beatles - In My Life #TheMJshow


Album #7 - Revolver
The first song I've chosen from this song is a song that was covered beautifully by The Vines for the brilliant soundtrack of a movie called  I Am Sam. The soundtrack featured songs of The Beatles sung by contemporary artists. Check out John's vocals on this song. Brilliant!
14th Song - The Beatles - I'm Only Sleeping #TheMJshow

The second song I've chosen from Revolver is what is considered to be The Beatles' most experimental recording to date. The lyrics of the song herald the appearance of psychedelia.  Do check this one out. Absolutely incredible stuff in this song.
15th Song - The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows #TheMJshow
Incidentally, the words "Tomorrow Never Knows" don't appear anywhere in the lyrics of the song. The title was invented by Ringo :)


Album #8 - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Now the landmark album cometh! The first song I've chosen from this is quite understandably one that was surrounded by a LOT of controversy. John maintains that the surrealistic lyrics he penned for this were NOT inspired by a LSD trip, but by a painting that his son Julian had brought home.
When John asked Julian what the painting was, he said "Its Lucy in the sky with diamonds" :)
Lucy was Julian's best friend in his school
John sings lead with Paul and George singing on chorus and backing vocals.
16th Song - The Beatles - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds #TheMJshow

The second song I chose was a song that had John and Paul singing lead but I had to choose this one. Its an absolutely astounding track and is considered to be one of their most controversial recordings. Listen to the song...read the lyrics...you'll see why.
17th Song - The Beatles - A Day In The Life #TheMJshow


Album #9 - Magical Mystery Tour
Definitely the most intriguing track The Beatles recorded is my next song :) I'll let the song speak for itself :)

18th Song - The Beatles - I Am The Walrus #TheMJshow

Oh by the way, have you heard Bono singing this is the soundtrack of Across The Universe, another movie that featured tracks of The Beatles! Totally #win :)Check it out :)

With the lyrics of the next song John immortalised Strawberry Fields, a Salvation Army orphanage in Liverpool, not far from Penny Lane.
Two oddities in the recording of this song:
a)There's a Morse code message tapped out just after John sings "Let me take you down". The Morse message consists of two letters - J and L!
and
b)The song sparked off rumours of Paul's death! At the end of the song John can be heard to say "cranberry sauce". Many people thought that John was saying "I buried Paul" :)
19th Song - The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever #TheMJshow

I had to choose one more song from this album. How could we not have this next one eh?
Amongst others, the chorus had Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richard, Eric Clapton and Keith Moon!!
20th Song - The Beatles - All You Need Is Love #TheMJshow


Album #10 - The Beatles (White Album) 
Now this is a double album...so I couldn't just pick 2 or 3 songs. I've got 5!

The first song from the first cd that I've chosen is a song that John wrote for Prudence Farrow, Mia Farrow's sister, while The Beatles were in India. Prudence spent most of her day meditating in spite of John's attempts to persuade her to do other wise.
I also LOVE the way the cast of Across The Universe used this song in the film. I've put up both videos here. The original and the movie soundtrack video. :)
21st Song - The Beatles - Dear Prudence #TheMJshow



The second song from disc 1 is  a song that starts with a Spanish/Mexican guitar solo and goes straight into the chorus of the song. This was the first and only time on a Beatles record that Yoko Ono provided harmony vocals. Ringo's wife Maureen also sings in the song.
22nd Song -The Beatles - The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill #TheMJshow

The final song that I chose from disc 1 was a song that John wrote about his love for his dead mother. He did this with the help of Yoko Ono and a reference to her is also included in the song with the words "Ocean Child". An English translation of Yoko is 'child of the ocean'. On this song John sang solo vocal and backed himself with two acoustic guitars. The rest of the Beatles were not present on this song!!
23rd Song - The Beatles (or John Lennon if you have to be precise) - Julia #TheMJshow


Now for the 1st selection from disc 2 I picked a song that is John's parody of the flourishing British electric blues scene of the late 60s. Full on song. Check it out. Also check out George Harrison's guitar playing!

24th Song - The Beatles - Yer Blues #TheMJshow

Oh!! I also remembered watching John play this on a show organized by The Rolling Stones! He formed a supergroup for the show called "The Dirty Mac"! The supergroup consisted of:
    * John Lennon (as "Winston Leg-Thigh") - vocals, rhythm guitar (from The Beatles) 
    * Eric Clapton - lead guitar (from Cream and a billion other bands :)
    * Mitch Mitchell - drums (from The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
    * Keith Richards - bass (from The Rolling Stones)
Here have a look:


And the final song I chose from The White Album is called Revolution 1!
Why? I just love this song. That's why :) "Sho bee doo wop!" "Ohhhh yeah!!" :)
25th Song - The Beatles - Revolution 1 #TheMJshow


Album #11 -Yellow Submarine
I'm taking just one song from this album because the only other song that John sings is already on the list (All You Need Is Love.) He described this song, his sole contribution to the album as a "filler track". He insisted on this titles for the song rather than the more obvious "You Can Talk To Me" although nowhere in his original lyrics was there any reference to a bulldog :)
He decided to include the words "Hey Bulldog" right at the end of the song :)
26th Song - The Beatles - Hey Bulldog #TheMJshow


Album # 12 - Abbey Road
This is one of my all time favourite albums by The Beatles!
I chose two tracks from this album that are OH SO John Lennon!
Here's the first track from Abbey Road. I'm giving you guys an awesome live version of the song done by John Lennon with George on the guitars :)
Did you know, the BBC banned the song back then because of the reference to Coca Cola because they thought it was advertising for the product :)
27th Song - The Beatles - Come Together #TheMJshow


The second track I chose is one of the longest songs recorded by The Beatles. The only other song they did that was longer was 'Revolution 9'. The track is really two separate songs joined together without a link.
I LOVE this song and I've got to add. I LOVED the way this one was done in Across The Universe too.
Again...you get two videos for the price of one! :)
28th Song - The Beatles - I Want You (She's So Heavy) #TheMJshow



Album #13 - Let It Be
Man! What a night this has been :)
Final two songs coming up.
First choice for their last studio album is the first of four live recordings taken from the 30th January 1969 rooftop concert that The Beatles did. John makes references in this song to the Rolling Stones and Johnny And The Moondogs (one of the earlier names that The Beatles went by).
At the end of the recording you can hear John complaining that his hands are cold :) I love they'd keep stuff like this on their songs :) There ain't no one like The Beatles!! Oh yeah!! :D
Btw, this is one of those songs...you hear them...and its stuck in your head. Listen to the line "I..I..I..dig a pony". Once it gets in my head...its there for a good day or two :)
29th Song - The Beatles - Dig A Pony #TheMJshow

And the final song for this most awesome tribute to John Lennon is a song that is SO awesome that they made a movie with that name! I LOVE this track!
30th Song - The Beatles - Across The Universe #TheMJshow

Here's something special for you all. If you read everything here...and like what you read...I know you'll love this: :)


Here are the lyrics to Across The Universe.
Sing along!
Words are flying out like
endless rain into a paper cup
They slither while they pass
They slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
are drifting thorough my open mind
Possessing and caressing me

Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Images of broken light which
dance before me like a million eyes
That call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a
restless wind inside a letter box
they tumble blindly as
they make their way across the universe

Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Sounds of laughter shades of life
are ringing through my open ears
exciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love which
shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on across the universe

Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Jai guru deva
Jai guru deva

John Lennon...you will live on through these songs...for ever and ever :)
And that folks, as they say, is a wrap! :)

Do comment here and let me know how you found this episode of The MJ Show :)
Good night and take care :)









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