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Posts Tagged ‘1965’

At number 4 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Yesterday”. This Paul McCartney ballad, recorded in 1965, has gone on to become the most recorded song in history, with thousands of versions in existence. “Yesterday” was never released as a single in the Disunited Kingdom during the time that The Beatles were together (it was later released in the mid-1970s). It features on their album Help as the penultimate track on the second side (in the DUK release of the album). In the USA, “Yesterday” was released as a single in September 1965 and got to number 1 in the US singles charts.

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At number 4 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Yesterday”

The story of the composition of “Yesterday” is, by now, well documented. Apparently McCartney woke up one morning with this tune in his head, and when he played it to the other band members he felt sure that they would recognise it, feeling that it was not an original tune but rather a tune which was in his head from hearing it somewhere. It turned out that it was an original tune, which had somehow come to him during his sleep.

For quite a while, McCartney used the words “scrambled eggs” to stand in for the lyrics that he would eventually write, as he doodled, developed and played around with the song. Some of this was during the period that The Beatles were filming Help!, with Dick Lester directing the movie. Apparently, at one point Lester got so annoyed at hearing McCartney doodling on the piano at the back of the sound stage and humming the words “scrambled eggs” that he said to him “If you play that song any bloody longer I’ll have the piano taken off stage. Either finish it or give it up!”

When “Yesterday” was recorded, none of the other Beatles was present in the recording studio, just McCartney and a string quartet. When The Beatles played “Yesterday” in concerts, the other band members would usually leave the stage and leave McCartney to perform it on his own on his acoustic guitar. It was the closest thing to a solo McCartney song that The Beatles ever did.

Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly I’m not half the man I used to be.
There’s a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say.
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

Yesterday love was such an easy game to play.
Now I need a place to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say.
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

Yesterday love was such an easy game to play.
Now I need a place to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Mm mm mm mm mm mm mm

There has been considerable discussion as to whether McCartney is referring to his mother, who died when he was 14, in the line “Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say”, even McCartney himself has said that it may have unconsciously been about her. The song is sufficiently vague that it has universal appeal; there is not one of us who does not long, at some point, to go back to a simpler time for some reason or another.

Here is  video of this most recorded song. I have no idea how long this link will stay active, so if it stops working my apologies. Enjoy!

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At number 5 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “In My Life”. This 1965 John Lennon composed song is one of my favourite Beatles songs of any period. It is the 4th track on the second side of their 1965 album Rubber Soul. It reflects a departure for Lennon, in that the song is more personal and introspective in an obvious and direct way than his previous songs. For me the song is simply perfect, Lennon at his best. In addition to being number 5 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs, “In My Life” is also ranked by them at number 23 in the 500 greatest songs (by anyone) of all time.

“In My Life” was recorded in October 1965 and was never released as a single, so came out with the release of Rubber Soul in December 1965. As I have commented before (but in case there are new readers of this blog), The Beatles rarely released album tracks as singles, and they tended to not include their already released on their albums. None of the tracks on Rubber Soul was released as a single in the Disunited Kingdom, although some were in other countries.

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At number 5 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “In My Life”

One of the beautiful features of “In My Life” is, for me, the exquisite ‘harpsichord’ sounding solo. In fact, it is a piano solo, sped up. George Martin, The Beatles’ producer, wrote a piece  of music for this song with Bach influences, but found that he could not get it to match the tempo of the song. So, he played it on a piano, then sped it up to match the song’s tempo, the resulting sped-up piano sounding more like a harpsichord. It adds to the majestic feel of this wonderful song.

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

In my life I love you more

Here is a video of this beautiful song. Apologies if the link stops working, Beatles songs on YouTube are often removed for copyright reasons, but as of my writing this the link works.

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At number 12 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”. This is one of my favourite Beatles songs, not just of 1965 but of any period. I simply adore this song. It is, in  my opinion, pure perfection. Instrumentally, if features the first use of a sitar on a Beatles’ song (and probably on any western pop music song). Lyrically, it is both profound and light; leaving the listener wondering at the end of the song – what happens next?

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At number 12 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”

As the screen capture above to the Rolling Stone blurb says, “Norwegian Wood” was John Lennon writing about an affair, but in a way to try and hide it from his wife. The song is only ten lines long, but it is ten lines of perfection. It is a mainly Lennon composition, with Paul McCartney claiming that he contributed the two lines “She told me…..”, and the title. But, in an interview just before his death, Lennon claimed it was his song entirely, with no contribution from McCartney.

I suspect McCartney’s version of events is more true; even when a song was nearly entirely a creation of one of them, the other would often suggest ideas or word changes in the studio, as they were recording the song. This went on even right up until the end, when they were barely speaking to each other outside of the studio. So, with this song, I suspect that McCartney did indeed suggest a line or two and a word here and there.

I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me…
She showed me her room, isn’t it good, norwegian wood?

She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere,
So I looked around and I noticed there wasn’t a chair.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
We talked until two and then she said, “It’s time for bed”

She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh.
I told her I didn’t and crawled off to sleep in the bath

And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown
So I lit a fire, isn’t it good, norwegian wood.

Here is a video of this mesmerising song. Enjoy!

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Today I thought I would share this pretty famous song by The Mamas & the Papas – “California Dreaming'”. This is a hippy dippy song, released in December 1965. Actually, before I looked up when it was released, I would have guessed it was 1967, as it seems to fit perfectly with that year/summer of love. But not, it was the end of 1965, so ahead of its time in many ways.

The Mamas & the Papas were made up of John Phillips and Michelle Phillips (husband and wife), and Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot. “California Dreaming'” was written in 1963 by the husband and wife songwriting team when they were living in New York. “California Dreamin'” was only a moderate hit when it was released;  reaching number 4 in the USA but only number 27 in the UK. However, it has since gone on to become one of the best known songs of the mid-1960s.

All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey
I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day
I’d be safe and warm if I was in L.A.
California dreaming on such a winter’s day

Stepped into a church I passed along the way
Well, I got down on my knees and I pretend to pray
You know the preacher, like the cold, he knows I’m gonna stay
California dreaming on such a winter’s day

All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey
I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day
If I didn’t tell her I could leave today
California dreaming on such a winter’s day
On such a winter’s day, on such a winter’s day

The song is number 89 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs. Here is a video of this great song. Enjoy!

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At number 15 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Help!”. This John Lennon song is literally that, a cry for help. Lennon wrote it when he was depressed over the winter of 1964/65. It was recorded in April 1965, and was released as a single in July of the same year. It is also the opening track of their album Help!, which was released in August of 1965, a week or so after the movie of the same name was released.

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At number 15 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Help!”

Not surprisingly, Help! got to number 1 in many countries around the World, including the USA and Disunited Kingdom, but also Canada, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Help, I need somebody
Help, not just anybody
Help, you know I need someone, help

When I was younger (So much younger than) so much younger than today
(I never needed) I never needed anybody’s help in any way
(Now) But now these days are gone (These days are gone), I’m not so self assured
(I know I’ve found) Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me

(Now) And now my life has changed in oh so many ways
(My independence) My independence seems to vanish in the haze
(But) But every now (Every now and then) and then I feel so insecure
(I know that I) I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me

When I was younger so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
(But) But now these days are gone (These days are gone), I’m not so self assured
(I know I’ve found) Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me, get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me, help me, help me, ooh

Here is a live version of Help!, performed on a British TV programme some two weeks before the famous concert at Shea Stadium. Enjoy!

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At number 27 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is their 1965 song “You’re Going to Lose That Girl”. This song was a John Lennon & Paul McCartney collaboration, which was pretty rare by 1965. It was the last song composed for their album Help! before they started filming for the movie of the same name.

“You’re Going to Lose that Girl” features wonderful harmonies. Lennon takes the lead vocal with McCartney and George Harrison harmonising in the responses to Lennon’s vocals. It was recorded in February of 1965, and appears as the 6th track on the first side of the album Help!, which was released in August 1965.

In the USA, the song was originally entitled “You’re Gonna Lose That Girl”, which is what the band actually say; but this was later changed to the same title as its British release. Incidentally, as far back as 1963 the Beatles were using “americanisms” in their songs, with “yeah, yeah, yeah” in their 1963 song “Please Please Me” being an obvious example. This was just following the American music to which they had listened whilst growing up, but at the time McCartney’s father remarked on this, suggesting that they should sing “yes, yes, yes” instead!

At number 27 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is "You're Going to Lose That Girl".

At number 27 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “You’re Going to Lose That Girl”.

You’re going to lose that girl
You’re going to lose that girl
If you don’t take her out tonight
She’s going to change her mind
And I will take her out tonight
And I will treat her kind

You’re going to lose that girl
You’re going to lose that girl
If you don’t treat her right, my friend
You’re going to find her gone
Cos I will treat her right, and then
You’ll be the lonely one

You’re going to lose that girl
You’re going to lose that girl
I’ll make a point
Of taking her away from you, yeah
The way you treat her what else can I do?

You’re going to lose that girl
You’re going to lose that girl
I’ll make a point
Of taking her away from you, yeah
The way you treat her what else can I do?

If you don’t take her out tonight
She’s going to change her mind
And I will take her out tonight
And I will treat her kind
You’re going to lose that girl
You’re going to lose that girl
You’re going to lose that girl

Here is a video of this lovely song. Enjoy!

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At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is their 1965 song “We Can Work It Out”. I previously blogged about this song here, as part of my series of blogs about the 4 Christmas number 1s the Beatles had in the Disunited Kingdom during their time together (1963, 1964, 1965 and 1967); this song was number 1 for Christmas 1965. As I mentioned in that blog, “We Can Work It Out” was the first double-A sided single to be released, along with the flip-side “Day Tripper”.

“We Can Work It Out” was a true collaboration between John Lennon and Paul McCartney, at a time when they were collaborating less and less. McCartney wrote the verses and the chorus, but Lennon wrote the lyrics and melody of middle part “Life is very short…..”.

At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is "We Can Work it Out".

At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “We Can Work it Out”.

Try to see it my way,
Do I have to keep on talking till I can’t go on?
While you see it your way,
Run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone
We can work it out,
We can work it out

Think of what you’re saying
You can get it wrong and still you think that it’s alright
Think of what I’m saying,
We can work it out and get it straight, or say good night
We can work it out,
We can work it out

Life is very short, and there’s no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend
I have always thought that it’s a crime,
So I will ask you once again
Try to see it my way,
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong
While you see it your way
There’s a chance that we may fall apart before too long
We can work it out,
We can work it out

Life is very short, and there’s no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend
I have always thought that it’s a crime,
So I will ask you once again
Try to see it my way,
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong
While you see it your way
There’s a chance that we may fall apart before too long
We can work it out,
We can work it out

Here is the official video of this song, from the Beatles vevo account. Enjoy!

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