Friday 15 May 2009

News, Views and Music Issue 31 (Intro)

May 15:

Good morrow fair maidens and valiant sirs. Forsooth, it is that time of the week again (can it be seven whole dayes since we saw thou last?) and Alan’s Album Archives celebrates another week by,err, talking weirdly. And covering the best music around, obviously. This week we will be looking at the latest release by the artists formerly known as the wonderful cat Stevens, looking at some George Harrison lyrics that have come to light and working out what the lllooonnngggeeesssttt AAA songs of all time are. No prizes for guessing that Pink Floyd and Neil Young are in the top five! That’s all for now – happy reading!

Beatles news: The only real snippet of interest we have for you this week is the news that lyrics for an unheard and unpublished George Harrison song have been found rattling around in the Abbey Road archives. The song, written in George’s own handwriting, appears to date from the early [part of 1967 and might have been a candidate for inclusion for Sgt Pepper’s at one point (before George came up with first ‘Only A Northern Song’ and then ‘Within You, Without You’). The find was made by Beatles friend and biographer Hunter Davies during preparations for yet another book about the fab four, due to come your way sometime soon. The lyrics, meanwhile, have been donated to the British Museum in London and go on display this week, so keep an eye out next time you’re there!

♫ Anniversaries (May 15th – 21st): Happy Birthday Hi-Fives this week go to: Pete Townshend (guitarist with The Who 1965-82 and several reunions along the way) who turns 64 on May 19th. Anniversaries of events this week include: the Beatles beginning their first ever tour as ‘headliners’ on May 18th 1963, with this milestone of rock and roll history taking place in…Slough!; the Dire Straits release their first single, ‘Sultans of Swing’, on May 19th 1978; three of the Beatles perform together for the first time since the break-up, during a party to celebrate the marriage of Eric Clapton and George’s ex-wife Pattie (only Lennon didn’t show up) on the same day in 1979; the BBC causes a lot of fuss by banning the soon-to-be-released ‘A Day In The Life’ by the Beatles on the grounds that it promotes drug taking on May 20th 1967 (and no it isn’t the lines ‘I’d love to turn you on’, strangely, like everyone assumes – it was actually banned because the ‘holes’ filling up the Albert Hall were equated with needlemarks; perhaps the BBC executives were on drugs instead to come up with that one?!); Stephen Stills’ new band ‘Manassas’ – featuring old friends like the Byrds’ Chris Hillman – release their first eponymous album. And it’s a good one – it’s no 51 on our list, no less! (May 20th 1972); The Who have a busy day on May 21st 1965, releasing their second single ‘Anyway Anyhow Anywhere’ and appearing on TV show ‘Ready Steady Go’ – their first widely-seen television appearance.

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