Friday, 20 January 2012
News, Views and Music Issue 130 (Intro)
Hello and welcome once again to ‘News, Views and Music’. It’s been another trying week with health issues which nearly led to this issue never actually making it out of our laptop. But we’re here and raring to go for another review and having got my new year’s resolution of doing more for our neglected artists the past two weeks we’re back to the biggest band of them all this issue and an under-rated farewell that might not rate as the fab four’s best but does contain plenty of their best music (more than on the better regarded Sgt Peppers and Abbey Road anyway!) Amazingly the anniversary of that last performance is up again this week and it is now an astonishing 43 years since that last event. In the meantime, thankyou for all your ‘shorty’ nominations – and if you don’t know what they are then visit http://shortyawards.com/alansarchives now and vote for us! We’ll be telling you more about that next issue, when our ‘top five’ will be the ‘Shorty’ questionnaire form filled in by max, Bingo, EwokNinja and myself, but if you want to get a sneak preview of what we’ve been saying about our twitter feeds then have a click on this link and keep scrolling down the page! I’m pleased to say that our site has now soared past 13,000 hits and that word about our work here at the AAA is slowly reaching people, so let’s hope that 2012 is a good year for our site. In the meantime, peace and prosperity to you all (as much as you can have with a Coalition Government in power) and thankyou for the help you have given us all so far. Now then, unlike last week we actually have some news stories to tell you about so without any more delays read on...
♫ Beatles News: More on the new McCartney album, out in early February. Despite early reports that this album of standards would be called ‘My Valentine’ (after the name of the surprisingly good new Macca composition released just before Christmas), it will actually be called ‘Kisses On The Bottom’, a line from a Fats Waller cover in case you’re wondering! There will be a second new Macca song ‘Only Our Hearts’ too, making this album the sort of oldies/newsies hybrid as the rock and roll album ‘Run Devil Run’, although alarmingly the CD versions of the new album are set to feature ‘Baby’s Request’ from the last Wings album ‘Back To The Egg’ as a bonus track, one often referred to here as the worst track any Beatles was ever involved in! Guests on the album include old friend Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder – the first time the latter has worked with Macca since ‘Ebony and Ivory’ became a #2 hit in 1982! Cover songs include some unusual choices, even more so than on ‘Run Devil Run’, and include ‘I’m Gonna Sit Down And Write Myself A Letter’, ‘The Glory Of Love’ and ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’, a song Macca actually arranged for Ringo’s similar set of standards ‘Sentimental Journey’ back in 1970! Let’s hope Macca’s in better voice than Ringo was on that set...
♫ Paul Simon News: It’s been a whole since said this, after months of endless theme nights dedicated to quizzes, smoking, travelogues and hippos (and that was just the night dedicated to the Spice Girls boom! Boom!) BBC4 are back with a whole night dedicated to Paul Simon. As well as a repeat for the ‘Harmony Game’ documentary on the making of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ there’s a first UK screening for the superlative ‘Songs Of America’ TV special from 1970 (the one that’s more a political manifesto than a music programme, but one that’s all the better for it and outlines my argument for politics and music last issue rather better than anything I could say) and two brand new concerts: one from New York recorded last June and an even more recent BBC ‘In Session’ at, erm, Shoreditch (the UK’s answer to New York perhaps?) The night starts at 9pm on Friday, January 20th and continues until 1am (with repeats until 4:05am!) Doubtless there’ll be more info next week when we’ve seen it! Incidentally, I’ve just managed to track down a copy of the rare book ‘Paul Simon: Lyrics’ from 2008 and very lovely it is too, especially Paul’s neat handwritten first drafts carefully filed in notebooks (contrast to George Harrison’s ‘I Me Mine’, which mainly featured lyrics scribbled over envelopes) and the inclusion of some unreleased early drafts for songs like ‘Oh, Marion’ and ‘Hearts and Bones’ (aka ‘Shelter Of Your Arms’) that were changed beyond recognition for the final product.
ANNIVERSARIES: We’re back up to a full list of AAA birthdays this week, for stars born between January 17th and 23rd: Mick Taylor (guitarist with the Rolling Stones 1968-74) who turns 64 on January 17th, Janis Joplin, who would have turned 69 on January 19th and Eric Stewart (guitarist, keyboardist and engineer with 10cc 1972-83, 1992 and 1995) who turns 67 on January 22nd. Anniversaries of events include: JohnandYoko open their ‘Bag One’ lithograph collection in the London Art Gallery (January 17th 1970); Dire Straits finally score a second successful single three years after ‘Sultans Of Swing’ when ‘Romeo and Juliet’ hits the chart (January 17th 1981), Pink Floyd officially wrap up sessions on their new record ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ (January 18th 1973); The Beatles are offered $30 million to reform by promoter Bill Sergeant – a ridiculous amount for a one-off gig at the time and one that Lennon and McCartney at least seriously considered before saying no (January 19th 1976); The Beatles’ first proper American LP ‘Meet The Beatles’ is released, combining tracks from the first two UK releases (January 20th 1964); George Harrison becomes the second Beatle to get hitched, marrying Patti Boyd at Epsom Registry Office after a courtship involving filming on ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ (January 21st 1965); John Lennon’s first posthumous single – the unfinished ‘Nobody Told Me’ – hits the American charts (January 21st 1984) and finally, Those bad boys The Rolling Stones are at it again – this time getting into trouble for refusing to join the other guests at the finale of ‘Sunday Night At The London Palladium’ (January 22nd 1967).