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Posts Tagged ‘1967’

At number 32 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Penny Lane”. This song was released in February 1967 on a double-A sided single along with “Strawberry Fields Forever”. “Penny Lane” is a Paul McCartney composition, with “Strawberry Fields Forever” being a John Lennon composition.

McCartney wrote it as a reaction to Lennon’s song, wanting to show that he too could write about their childhood in Liverpool, just as Lennon had done so wonderfully in “Strawberry Fields Forever”. This competitiveness against each other inspired each to greater heights throughout their time in the Beatles.

“Penny Lane” relates scenes from an actual street in Liverpool, a street which McCartney would walk or take a bus along on a regular basis. If you go on the Beatles tour in Liverpool the tour bus will take you along Penny Lane and you see the barber shop and the bank and other landmarks mentioned in the song.

At number 32 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is "Penny Lane".

At number 32 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Penny Lane”.

Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he’s had the pleasure to know.
And all the people that come and go
Stop and say “Hello”.

On the corner is a banker with a motorcar,
And little children laugh at him behind his back.
And the banker never wears a mac
In the pouring rain, very strange.

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes.
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit, and meanwhile back
In Penny Lane there is a fireman with an hourglass,
And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen.
He likes to keep his fire engine clean,
It’s a clean machine.

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes.
A four of fish and finger pies
In summer. Meanwhile back
Behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout
The pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray.
And though she feels as if she’s in a play,
She is anyway.

In Penny Lane the barber shaves another customer,
We see the banker sitting waiting for a trim,
And then the fireman rushes in
From the pouring rain – very strange.

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes.
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit, and meanwhile back.
Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes.
There beneath the blue suburban skies
Penny Lane!

“Penny Lane” is one of my favourite McCartney songs. Its lyrics create a wonderfully vivid image of some of the characters from McCartney’s childhood in Liverpool, and melodically it shows the increasing complexity in the Beatles’ songs.

Here is a video of one of this evocative song. Enjoy!

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At number 33 in  Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “I Am the Walrus”. This song was released as the B-side of the single “Hello Goodbye” in November 1967; that song was the 1967 Christmas  number 1 as I blogged about here. As I said in that blog, I much prefer “I Am the Walrus” to the more commercial “Hello Goodbye”, it is far more inventive and interesting to me.

The title comes from Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter”,  but is really just a series of nonsense imagery and word-play. And, of course, the insertion by producer George Martin of a random part of a radio play which was being broadcast at the time on the BBC.

At number 33 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is "I Am the Walrus".

At number 33 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “I Am the Walrus”.

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.
See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly.
I’m crying.

Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come.
Corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday.
Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long.
I am the egg man, they are the egg men.
I am the walrus, coo coo cachoo

Mister City Policeman sitting
Pretty little policemen in a row.
See how they fly like Lucy in the Sky, see how they run.
I’m crying, I’m crying.
I’m crying, I’m crying.

Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog’s eye.
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess,
Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, coo coo cachoo

Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun.
If the sun don’t come, you get a tan
From standing in the English rain.
I am the egg man, they are the egg men.
I am the walrus, coo coo cachoo ca coo coo cachoo

Expert text pert choking smokers,
Don’t you think the joker laughs at you?
See how they smile like pigs in a sty,
See how they snide.
I’m crying.

Semolina pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower.
Elementary penguin singing Hari Krishna.
Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.
I am the egg man, they are the egg men.
I am the walrus, coo coo cachoo ca coo coo cachoo. Coo coo cachou ca coo.

“I Am the Walrus” featured in the Beatles’ made-for-TV movie The Magical Mystery Tour, which was broadcast for the first time on Boxing Day 1967 (26 December). The movie was initially broadcast on BBC1 in black and white, even though colour played a vital part in the movie’s psychedelic feel. It was broadcast in colour a few days later on BBC2, but most people in the Disunited Kingdom at the time did not have colour TVs. Magical Mystery Tour was universally slated by both the public and professional critics, probably the first time a Beatles release had seen such a negative reception.

“I Am the Walrus” is one  of the highlights of the movie in my opinion, with a wonderfully bizarre video to match the song’s nonsense lyrics. Here is part of that psychedelic video for you. The full video does not seem to be available, presumably it has been removed from YouTube for copyright reasons.

Here is a video of the whole song, with just the lyrics.

 

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In 1967 The Beatles had their fourth and last Xmas no. 1 with “Hello, Goodbye”. The B-side to this single was “I Am The Walrus”, which I personally prefer to the A-side. “Hello, Goodbye” was released on the 24th of November, perfect timing to try to get the Christmas number 1 slot. It is at number 100 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs, but as I started at 50 in the countdown I am currently doing of this list, I have not yet blogged about it separately.

The cover of the Beatles single Hello,Goodbye which was the Christmas number 1 in 1967

The cover of the Beatles single “Hello,Goodbye” which was the Christmas number 1 in 1967

“Hello, Goodbye” spent 7 weeks at the top of the DUK singles charts. Here is a video of this song. Enjoy!

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At number 5 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs is “Respect”. Although this song’s best known version is by Aretha Franklin, which was released in April 1967; it may surprise some to learn that it was actually written by Otis Redding, and released as a single by him in August 1965. As I’ve already mentioned in this blog here, Redding sadly died in December 1967 in a plane crash in Wisconsin; but at least he lived to see the phenomenal success of Franklin’s version of his song. Franklin’s cover got to number 1 in the US and to number 10 in the DUK singles charts.



At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of all Time' is "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash.

At number 5 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’ is “Respect” by Aretha Franklin.



There are small lyrical differences between the Redding and Franklin versions of this song; but the main difference is that Franklin was singing the song from a woman’s perspective, demanding respect from her man. Redding, however, had written the song from a very different perspective; a man who liked to womanise when he was on the road with his band, but was demanding faithfulness from his wife. The incredible power and passion of Franklin’s version is one of the reasons this song is at number 5 in this list.


(oo) What you want
(oo) Baby, I got
(oo) What you need
(oo) Do you know I got it?
(oo) All I’m askin’
(oo) Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Hey baby (just a little bit) when you get home
(just a little bit) mister (just a little bit)

I ain’t gonna do you wrong while you’re gone
Ain’t gonna do you wrong (oo) ’cause I don’t wanna (oo)
All I’m askin’ (oo)
Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Baby (just a little bit) when you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

I’m about to give you all of my money
And all I’m askin’ in return, honey
Is to give me my propers
When you get home (just a, just a, just a, just a)
Yeah baby (just a, just a, just a, just a)
When you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

[instrumental break]

Ooo, your kisses (oo)
Sweeter than honey (oo)
And guess what? (oo)
So is my money (oo)
All I want you to do (oo) for me
Is give it to me when you get home (re, re, re ,re)
Yeah baby (re, re, re ,re)
Whip it to me (respect, just a little bit)
When you get home, now (just a little bit)

R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Find out what it means to me
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Take care, TCB

Oh (sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me)
A little respect (sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me)
Whoa, babe (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)
I get tired (just a little bit)
Keep on tryin’ (just a little bit)
You’re runnin’ out of foolin’ (just a little bit)
And I ain’t lyin’ (just a little bit)
(re, re, re, re) ‘spect
When you come home (re, re, re ,re)
Or you might walk in (respect, just a little bit)
And find out I’m gone (just a little bit)
I got to have (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)


Here is a video of this great song. Enjoy!





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At number 17 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time is “Purple Haze” by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. This song was released in March 1967, and features one of the greatest guitar riffs you will hear. It got to number 3 in the Disunited Kingdom singles charts, but only 65 in the US charts.



At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of all Time' is "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash.

At number 17 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’ is “Purple Haze” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.



The song’s lyrics are not particularly sophisticated, although they are psychedelic. But, this song is all about Hendrix’ incomparable guitar playing.


Purple Haze all in my brain,
lately things don’t seem the same,
actin’ funny but I don’t know why
‘scuse me while I kiss the sky.

Purple Haze all around,
don’t know if I’m coming up or down.
Am I happy or in misery?
Whatever it is, that girl put a spell on me.

Help me
Help me
Oh no, oh

Yeah, Purple Haze all in my eyes,
don’t know if it’s day or night,
you’ve got me blowing, blowing my mind
is it tomorrow or just the end of time?

Help me, yeah, Purple Haze !


Here is a video of Jimi Hendrix and the Jimi Hendrix Experience playing “Purple Haze” live. Enjoy!






Which is your favourite Jimi Hendrix song?

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At number 26 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time is “(Sitin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding. This song was recorded on the 22nd of November and the 7th of December 1967, and sadly on the 10th of December Redding tragically died in a private ‘plane crash in Wisconsin. He was 26 years old. “Dock of the Bay” was released in January 1968 and got to number 3 in the Disunited Kingdom singles charts, and to number 1 in the US.

This is my favourite Otis Redding song. I first heard it as a teenager, I found its wonderful soulful vocals and plaintive sound mesmerising. Redding also wrote “Respect”, the song made more famous by Aretha Franklin (which is also in this list). Possibly his other best-known songs are a more bluesy version of The Temptation’s song “My Girl”, and “Try a Little Tenderness”; but “Dock of the Bay” is, for me, his best song.



At number 26 in Rolling Stone Magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of all Time' is "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash.

At number 26 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’ is “(Sitin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding.




Sittin’ in the morning sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evening comes
Watching the ships roll in
Then I watch them roll away again, yeah

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh
I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the Frisco Bay
Cuz I’ve had nothing to live for
And look like nothing’s gonna come my way

So, I’m just gon’ sit on the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh
I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

Looks like nothing’s gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can’t do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I’ll remain the same, listen

Sittin’ here resting my bones
And this loneliness won’t leave me alone, listen
Two thousand miles I roam
Just to make this dock my home, now

I’m just gon’ sit at the dock of a bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh
Sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time


Here is the official video of this wonderful song. Enjoy!





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At number 28 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time is “A Day in the Life” by The Beatles. This song ends the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” album which, as I blogged about here, is consistently rated the best album of all time.



At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of all Time' is "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash.

At number 28 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’ is “A Day in the Life” by The Beatles.



This is a remarkable song, and one of my favourite Beatles songs. Lennon took much of the lyrics from newspaper articles, so the reference to “4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire” was, in fact, a story about potholes in the roads in that part of England! The song’s climax is the build-up of orchestral instruments all playing from low notes to high notes, and then a long piano note to end it all, which slowly fades into silence. The song is a masterpiece, simple as that.

Although I’ve shared a video of this song before, here it is again, as you can’t get too much of a good thing! Enjoy!





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