Tag Archives: John lennon

Let It Be: Redux

let-it-be-album-cover copy

Author’s Note: In the Oscar nominated film Boyhood, Mason Senior, played by Ethan Hawke, gives his son a mix CD entitled The Black Album. On it, he explains, is a mix of all the best songs recorded by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr in the decades that followed the band’s break-up. Hearing this explanation frustrated me because for over a year I’ve been planning to create a similar list (although much more specific), and I realized that my idea wasn’t quite as original as I had once thought. I decided I’d better write this post before Boyhood takes the “Best Film” award this weekend and everyone and their mother goes and sees the film.

Let’s make something clear form the outset – Let It Be is not a classic album. Heck, it’s not even a great album. Songs like “Across the Universe,” “Get Back,” “The Long and Winding Road,” and “Let It Be” are certainly excellent songs that belong in the pantheon of the band’s biggest hits, but once you get beyond these classics, you’re left with an album of filler. The members of the band would probably have agreed with this assertion. Lennon himself described the recordings as “the shittiest load of badly recorded shit with a lousy feeling to it ever.”

Despite their reservations, the band, which happened to be on the verge of breaking up, were forced to gather leftover material from their botched documentary, Get Back, and piece together an album in order to relieve contractual obligations. As a result, you get two tracks that clock in under a minute and a handful of sloppy blues songs. Even the songs that live on in infamy are swathed in unnecessary orchestral swells as a result of Lennon asking Phil Spector to come in and try to rescue the shambolic tapes that remained.

The Get Back Sessions, or Lennon called them, "The shittiest load of badly recorded shit with a lousy feeling to it ever.”

The Get Back Sessions, or as Lennon called them, “The shittiest load of badly recorded shit with a lousy feeling to it ever.”

What bothers me more than the lackluster songs on Let It Be is the fact that John, Paul, George and Ringo all released solo albums that same year – 42 original songs that could have been used on Let It Be instead of their own projects (at this time, the members of the band had become very territorial with their songwriting, and the one-time collaborative spirit was all but dead).
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BDWPS Podcast #11: That 70s Show (1970)

2011-12-11__podcast-copy copy

What started as simply a stroll down 70s lane turns into an obsessive look at the year 1970 and the albums that defined it. You’ll hear classics from artists like Black Sabbath, The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, Rodriguez, John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and of course, another classic from Bob Dylan. Check it out here or subscribe to it on iTunes by searching “BDWPS.”

 

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Tame Impala “Lonerism”

Tame Imala

Lonerism

[Modular; 2012]

Rating: 8.5

There are a lot of bands out there today trying to recreate sounds from decades past. Whether it be aiming to recreate the stilted synth of the 80s, the lo-fi simplicity of the late 50s and early 60s, or the early 90s indie rock distortion.  One of the most common victims of this resuscitation of rock Gods is the psychedelic rock of the late 60s with bands like Olivia Tremor Control, The Amazing, and Brightback Morning Light relying heavily upon ancient equipment scoured from pawn shops and auction houses.  While bands like these have been able to recreate a sound from the past, Tame Impala have taken the psychedelic genre and flipped it on its head.

On their first album Innerspeaker it seemed like they were just another band that was into the hobby of refurbishing old sounds, but with their latest release, Lonerism, the band has found a way to cut from the same psychedelic fabric while still creating something completely original and exhilarating. Many of the instruments used on Lonerism are lifted from that same mystical pawn shop mentioned earlier, yet they manipulate these amps and instruments in ways that bands like The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane couldn’t have ever imagined.

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Audio Clip of the Week: John Lennon’s Final Rolling Stone Interview

This past week the world commemorated the death of John Lennon 30 years ago, which has never really made sense to me. Why are we celebrating the day he was mercilessly killed by a selfish douche? Why aren’t we celebrating his birth?

To capitalize on the memorial of this tragedy, Rolling Stone magazine decided to finally release the audio of an interview from  three days prior to his death. The clips are definitely refreshing with Lennon talking down the delusions of youth and ripping into his fans saying, “What they want is dead heroes, like Sid Vicious and James Dean. I’m not interested in being a dead fucking hero.” Touché.

He also talks about punk rock, Bruce Springsteen, and even quotes Elvis Costello, all of which is strange for me because I forget that he was alive during this fertile, innovative time in music.  I guess we’ll always be left wondering what Lennon’s post-punk album would have sounded like.

Hear some of the interview here:

Lennon

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