Hello and welcome to a very special occasion for us at Alan’s Album Archives. David Cameron’s got the sack!!! Err, no sorry, we got a bit carried away there but it can only be a matter of time given his dodgy views about cuts, multi-culturalism and Egypt’s democracy this week – no we mean it’s our 200th article! Well, OK, I know what you’re thinking, it says ‘news and views no 92’ up there – but bear with us because we’ve had 101 reviews, five ‘specials’ reviewing new releases and two April Fool’s Day articles which by my reckoning makes this article 200! As a result, we’re looking back to both the distant past (as far as this site’s concerned anyway) and the future this week. 200 Issues eh? Who’d’ve thought it?! Well, us, actually, after all we really wanted to get as far with this project as we could – but I must admit the road ahead looks rocky and short rather than long and winding like we’d hoped. We only have two weeks’ worth of test trading now and we’ve not made anything like the amount of money we wanted to keep us afloat as a fully functioning viable business (please keep helping us out by buying from our Amazon links if you’re in a shopping mood!), but on the plus side we have a much bigger following now than before and hope to keep plugging away at this site for the foreseeable future. In the meantime we’re on 4700 odd hits, with Rolling Stones albums and Who albums still our most popular searches and have had around 200 hits for our YouTube videos. Oh and we’ve now lost our Sims disc, just as The Beatles were getting on quite well (we never did quite turn John Lennon into a five-star star but, never mind, did I ever tell you how well we’re doing on TV Tycoon with our Beatles and Monkees re-runs?!) It must be those CD pixies stealing my things again, only they’re branching out into CD-roms (weirdly enough, I’ve been reading a lot recently about invisible goblins who live only in my current home country of Lancashire and follow people around to steal things from them – if so, hoi! Stop it and give me my disc back! Well, you never know, there must be some reason why my things keep disappearing...) Alright, enough plugs for the ‘Haunted Liverpool’ books, on with the proper news now...
♫ Beatles News: Last issue we went to press a day too soon to tell you about the ITV programme ‘I Was There...When The Beatles Played The Cavern’ (broadcast last Wednesday, but probably available on some technological monstrosity out there somewhere on the internet for another month). It was the usual kind of thing but well put together, with contributions from Pete Best and the great merseybeat group Undertakers as well as some nice bits from the archives featuring those sadly no longer with us such as Alaistar Taylor, Bob Wooler and the Cavern doorman. The production team used more of the famous Beatles Cavern performance of ‘Some Other Guy’ from 1962 than we’ve seen in some years (though the superlative 1980s doc ‘The Early Beatles’ is still the only place where you can see the footage complete) as well as some great footage of Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Kinks playing their own sets at the Cavern. Well worth looking out for.
♫ Lindisfarne News: I’ve finally seen a copy of the Lindisfarne set ‘The Charisma Years’ which came out at the tail end of last year. It’s a four CD set containing the first three Studio Lindisfarne albums (before the 1972 break-up), the ‘Lindisfarne Live’ album and ‘Roll On Ruby’, the first album by Lindisfarne Mark II (although strangely the follow-up, the superior ‘Happy Daze’, is missing). Apart from the bonus of getting these albums – all of them quite rare nowadays, barring ‘Nicely Out Of Tune’ and ‘Fog On The Tyne’ – collectors get the bonus of a few extra bonus tracks on each album, including the 1970 outtake ‘My Window’ and a few alternate mixes of the ‘Ruby’ tracks, as well as the usual bonus tracks from the 1990s CD re-issues. All in all, a nice set if you don’t own these albums already (and if you have any interest in any of the artists on our site you should own it, the first three albums at least!)
ANNIVERSARIES: Happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear the-following-list-names, happy birthday to you all (February 16th-22nd): Yoko Ono who turns 78 on February 18th and Alan Hull (singer-songwriter with Lindisfarne 1970-74 and 1978-95) who would have been 66 on February 20th. Anniversaries of events include: The Beatles leave the cold winter weather of Britain to fly out to India to study transcendental meditation under the Maharishi (albeit only John, Cynthia, George and Patti fly out on this day, February 16th 1968); The Beatles release their first recordings after an unprecedented six-month gap, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and ‘Penny Lane’ (February 17th 1967); Pink Floyd premiere their new live show ‘Eclipse: Songs for Assorted Lunatics’ which, after a few changes, becomes the album ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ (February 17th 1972); The Beach Boys release their last album for four years ‘Holland’ (February 17th 1972); John Lennon releases his last album before his four-year sabbatical, the covers album ‘Rock and Roll’ (February 17th 1975); The Who release their first single (under that name at least) ‘I Can’t Explain’ (February 18th 1965); David Gilmour officially joins Pink Floyd, appearing alongside an ailing Syd Barrett for a few shows before taking over the role completely (February 18th 1968); Lulu marries Bee Gee Maurice Gibb in a Buckinghamshire Church at the age of just 20! (February 18th 1969); Otis Redding releases his best-selling album ‘Otis Blue’ (AAA album no 4, remember!; February 19th 1966); Paul McCartney and Wings have their single ‘Give Ireland Back To The Irish’ banned by the BBC (February 19th 1972); George Harrison is found guilty of plagiarising The Chiffons’ ‘He’s So Fine’ on ‘My Sweet Lord’ in one of the silliest court cases that has ever been held (February 19th 1976); The Hollies release their ‘breakthrough’ hit ‘Just One Look’ (February 21st 1963); Simon and Garfunkel release their last album as a duo ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ (February 21st 1964); The Beatles start filming their second movie ‘Help!’ in London (February 22nd 1965); 10cc sign to their second label ‘Mercury’ after a two-album deal with the UK label (February 22nd 1975) and finally, John Lennon scores his last hit record for six years with ‘No 9 Dream’ (February 22nd 1975).