Results for Beatles

interviews

Glyn Johns

soundman One day in February 1969, engineer and producer Glyn Johns disembarked a flight from Los Angeles to London. He went straight to a studio to work with the Beatles on what would eventually become Let It Be. That was followed by an all-night session with the Rolling Stones for Let It Bleed. And after that, he rejoined the Beatles and jutted on over to Royal Albert Hall to record Jimi Hendrix live. Just“a day in the life,”eh? Those legendary recordings are just beginning of Johns tremendous list of credits which includes Led Zeppelin, the Faces, the Kinks, The Who, the Eagles and more recently Band of Horses and Ryan Adams. He relays this life spent recording in a new book called Sound Man. And he is as candid in his conversation with Jim and Greg, as he is in print. The aforementioned Let It Be? Johns remarks that Phil Spector“puked”all over it. Of Eric Clapton, Johns admits he initially refused to bring him into a session with Pete Townshend due to his drug-addled personality. And he talks about parting ways with the Eagles after they wanted to go in a more rock ‘n’ roll direction—something Johns says the band wouldn't know if they fell over it.

For more behind-the-booth conversations, check out Jim and Greg's interviews in the Footnotes section with Stephen Street, Butch Vig, Bob Ezrin, Tony Visconti, Mark Howard, Giorgio Moroder, Joe Boyd and of course, Brian Eno.

Go to episode 528
reviews
Kanye

Kanye West Jesus Is King

Kanye West is back with the highly anticipated album, Jesus Is King. According to Greg, lately Kanye has been making more headlines for his proclamations than his music. This album has been the subject of scrutiny, however, because it marks a stylistic turn. A gospel and hip hop hybrid, Greg notes that Kanye is "very earnest in his use of the gospel signifiers on this record, the gospel choirs, the churchy keyboard chords." Even contemporary gospel legend Fred Hammond features on the track "Hands On." Jim agrees that the gospel production and even messaging in this album seems to be coming from an authentic place. They both are quick to acknowledge that Kanye has a long history of folding gospel sensibilities into his music (particularly on tracks like "Jesus Walks" and "Ultralight Beam.") Though both Jim and Greg acknowledge that“only Kanye”could come up with the idea to merge The Clipse and Kenny G on the same track "(Use This Gospel)," Greg laments that the album seems unfinished and asks "where is the work of art like My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy?" Jim suggests that Kanye, like John Lennon in his early Plastic Ono Band period, "not thinking about Beatles perfection… letting it blurt." Ultimately, Jim thinks that this album is the best Kanye has given us in some time, while Greg thinks that though Kanye is on the“Road To Damascus,”(an allusion to the prophet Paul's religious conversion on the Road To Damascus) "… he hasn't gotten there yet."

JimGreg
Go to episode 727
dijs

Greg

“Hideway”Olivia Tremor Control

In honor of Olivia Tremor Control co-founder Bill Doss, Greg drops "Hideway" from the band's second album, Black Foliage, into the Desert Island Jukebox. Doss died this week at age 43 of unknown causes. Doss was a founding member of the Elephant 6 recording collective, a group of friends from Ruston, Louisiana whose bands Neutral Milk Hotel, The Apples in Stereo, and The Olivia Tremor Control left a potent legacy in the nineties. Using cheap boom boxes and four track recorders, the friends sought to replicate the lush pop sounds of the Beach Boys and the Beatles on a budget. Greg calls The Olivia Tremor Control the trippiest and most psychedelic of the Elephant 6 bands. They were known for their layering of avant-garde sounds and pop melody. The band reunited in 2009 and played a terrific set at the Pitchfork music festival shortly before Doss's death.

Go to episode 349
lists

Lennon & McCartney Solo Careers

This week, Jim and Greg reevaluate the post-Beatles careers of Paul McCartney and John Lennon. According to Greg, it is“wrong headed”to simply label John as“the rocker”and Paul as the melodic one. The conversation is particularly timely because of the recent release of a fresh box set of Lennon's 1971 classic recording Imagine, as well as the recent release of McCartney's latest album, Egypt Station. Rather than setting this up as a clash of the titans, Jim and Greg shine a light on lesser known corners of Lennon and McCartney's respective catalogs. Jim noted the value of“digging into a catalog that we think we know”to uncover“new nuggets of revelation.”In that digging they uncover the good, and the bad…

Go to episode 676
news

Music News

Even decades after their heyday, there continues to be new, fun factoids in Beatles history. One of their old concert contracts from 1965 recently sold at auction for $23,000. But the contents were even more amazing. The Fab Four state that they will“not be required to perform in front of a segregated audience.”That was pretty radical for the time, and confirms the band's feelings about civil rights. Incidentally, Ringo also was contractually obligated to receive a special drumming platform.

In other Beatles news, Abbey Road, the famed British studio where they recorded, is making attempts to stay vital in this age of laptop studios. For $800 you can send your own tracks into Abbey Road to have them mixed by professionals. All they require is a little guidance - are you going for The Clash? Or Barbra Streisand? In addition, they've launched an Abbey Road board game centered around the iconic zebra stripe road crossing.

Go to episode 304

Music News

These days it's not unusual for pop stars to simultaneously be topping the charts and filling the court dockets (T.I., Lil Wayne). But it is unusual for a commercial, family-friendly star to have such infamy. Singer/songwriter Bruno Mars has the #1 song in the country, "Grenade," and he's been all over mainstream TV this year with appearances on The Today Show, Saturday Night Live, Ellen and Glee. Now he's pleading guilty to cocaine possession charges, so Jim and Greg are interested to see if this affects his popularity. Our guess? It won't.

After Wilco's first label, Reprise, refused to put out their critically acclaimed 2002 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, many people thought they should abandon the major label system. Now, almost a decade later, they're doing it. Wilco is leaving the Warner subsidiaries to form dBpm Records. It will be run by the band's manager, with distribution provided by ANTI-.

Oscar-winning composer John Barry died last week at age 77. The Guardian claims he's as "pop as the Beatles," and Jim and Greg agree. It's hard to imagine the '60s without Barry's brassy, melodic orchestrations. He was not only the man behind the iconic Bond music, but his compositions were critical to many other films. So to honor Barry, Jim and Greg play the theme to Midnight Cowboy.

Go to episode 271

Music News

With Black Friday kicking off the official holiday shopping season, Jim and Greg offer gift recommendations for the music lover in your life. Jim's been known to rail against Capitol records' flagrant re-issuing and re-re-issuing of the Beatles catalogue. But even he's been seduced by the label's new Beatles Stereo Vinyl Box Set. If your giftee is more of a Pink Floyd type, consider the band's Reflections and Echoes DVD box set, chock full of rare interview footage. Greg goes literary with his first pick. In a year that saw big rock biographies from Neil Young and Pete Townshend, he recommends David Bryne's under-the-radar How Music Works - a book that's part memoir, part meditation on the musician's craft. As for music, he recommends the new Bill Withers box set, The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums.

Go to episode 365

Music News

The Grammy Awards are usually, let's face it, kind of a snooze, and often a head-scratcher. But this year our hosts are excited about Arcade Fire winning Album of the Year. Most people, Greg included, were certain Eminem would take home the award. It was an upset, and for once, the Grammy voters honored excellence over sales. In fact, indie bands won 45 out of 108 categories, but that isn't reflected in the market. Greg also applauds the Grammys for shedding light on artists like Janelle Monáe and Esperanza Spaulding.

Guitar Hero has played its swan song. Or should we say swan riff? After a huge five year run, Activision has decided to pull the plug on the video game. This signals a decline for the music video game genre, including Rock Band, whose Beatles game didn‘t perform as well as expected. What’s the next trend? Dance!

Go to episode 273

Music News

Greg begins this week's news segment by complimenting Jim's use of the word“Blitzkrieg”in reference to The Strokes' quick tour of North America. Our first news story deals with the top 20 grossing concerts of 2005. The saggy-butted Rolling Stones led the list with a gross total of $162 million, followed by Jim's favorite band, U2. Two "artists", Celine Dion and Barry Manilow, didn't even have to tour to make the list—they simply took residency in one of Las Vegas's gaudy venues and raked in the cash.

A favorite of Sound Opinions, Courtney Love, returned to the headlines recently in a New York Post story detailing her financial woes, and more importantly, contemplating the sale of the Nirvana catalogue. Jim believes this would be a disaster, akin to Michael Jackson bringing the Beatles to Nike.

A sad story rounds out our news segment: the death of legendary Chicago singer Lou Rawls. The velvety-voiced singer died of cancer in Los Angeles. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, he referred to the the cold Chicago wind as the“Hawk,”and introduced the monologue to music, leading the way for hip-hop as an art-form. He was neighbors with another Chicago legend, Sam Cooke, and traded lines with him in the soul classic "Bring it on Home". Lou's final public appearance was a stirring rendition of God Bless America during the World Series.

Go to episode 6

Music News

For the third time defendant Jammie Thomas-Rasset has been ordered by a jury to pay damages for making 24 songs illegally available on her computer. First, the RIAA offered Thomas-Rasset the option to settle for a couple thousand dollars. Then it went up to $222,000, $1.9 million and now $1.5 million. The recording industry has wanted to make an example out of the Minnesota mom, and it has succeeded.

The music industry has been eyeing video games as a potential source of revenue for the past couple of years. But since exploding onto the gaming scene, titles like Rock Band and Guitar Hero have actually declined in sales and popularity. They can't count on marketing tie-ins with the Beatles forever, and so they turn to where it all began: music. The new Rock Band 3 can actually begin to teach you to play guitar, bass and keyboards with real instruments. This is great news to Jim and Greg who have long feared that thumbing controls would surpass strumming guitars for today's kid.

Go to episode 259

Music News

Jay Z just launched his music streaming service, Tidal, to the public. Kanye West, Madonna and Daft Punk were just a few of the artists who attended a press conference to announce their support for the service. According to emphatic speaker Alicia Keys, Tidal's mission is to give artists more control over how their music is distributed while taking some of the authority out of the hands of tech companies. The basic monthly fee is $9.99, while the premium, hi-fi subscription is $19.99. It will be interesting to see how the service will compete with giants like Spotify and Beats, or fellow artist Garth Brooks' brand Ghost Tunes.

This year Lollapalooza Festival is being anchored by a Beatle. Paul McCartney is one of the Lolla 2015 headliners, which also includes Metallica, Florence + the Machine, Sam Smith, Alabama Shakes and The Weeknd. This will be McCartney's first stint at Lollapalooza, though he previously played at Bonnaroo in 2013.

In other festival news, if you're planning on getting a pass, don't bring your selfie stick. Lollapalooza and Coachella have banned the photographic aids from the grounds as the monopods often block the views of other concertgoers and could be potentially dangerous. However rest assured, you can still take pictures and selfies as long as you use your arms like a normal person.

Go to episode 488