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Tag: The Beatles (11-20 of 67)

How we chose our 100 All-Time Greatest Albums

Hey, “LOL” and “NerdyGirl55″—we heard you. Nonetheless, here comes an explanation of how (and why) we picked our 100 Greatest Albums of All-Time list. Hopefully, Nerdy—do you mind if I call you Nerdy? Your EW.com comment condemning our list suggests some level of comfort and familiarity—you don’t throw your laptop against the wall, like you say you did your All-Time Greatest issue of the magazine, after reading this.

Like you, we love movies and TV and books and music—it’s our passion (and also, of course, our day job). And you know what? Love doesn’t always come easy. For instance, Love’s “psychedelic beauty” Forever Changes landed at No. 65 on our final list, but not without a lot of arguing and back and forth amongst the writers and editors. And that’s how, over time, a list like this takes form and gets made.

Everyone has their personal biases. My own top 100 list would have a few more Bowie records; The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars found itself at No. 34, but I’d happily add Hunky DoryStation to Station, and Scary Monsters. I’d also want to add at least one more from from the Who—Tommy, can you hear me?—in addition to Who’s Next (No. 39). To make room, I’d probably cut an album or two from the Beatles, maybe one from Dylan. (He has two on the list: Blood on the Tracks at No. 6, and Highway 61 Revisited at No. 27.) And, for that, I know more than a few of you would probably want to cut me.

But in order for a list like this to come to life, clearly those personal biases need to be put aside. Professionally, I can’t argue against the Beatles being the most important and significant act of the album era, which we thought would make the best parameters for a definitive Entertainment Weekly music list. (Imagine a greatest songs of all time list in which you had to size up a traditional folk staple like “Greensleeves” against “Eleanor Rigby.”) That’s why our oldest entry (1965’s Rubber Soul, the album the lovely ladies above are packing at the EMI factory in 1965, which ranks No. 46) and our top entry (Revolver, perched at No. 1) belong to the Fab Four: They ushered in and defined the album era, not to mention pop music generally for the past 50 years. (In a recent interview, über-producer Rick Rubin put it thusly: “It’s much bigger than four kids from Liverpool. For me the Beatles are proof of the existence of God. It’s so good and so far beyond everyone else that it’s not them.”)

Not surprisingly, we received a lot of mail about Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band not making our final list; demerits were given for, among other things, “Lovely Rita.” (Not to mention every terrible album featuring a sitar that came after.) But four of our 100 albums are by the Beatles, so the point of their importance is made; they dominate our list. However, we also needed to consider that there have been thousands of albums, and many very, very good to great ones of differing genres. (As much as we love classical and jazz, it made the most sense for us to reflect what we tend to cover in the magazine and what fills our readers’ iPods: pop, rock, and hip-hop.)

Plus, let’s face it:  It’s 2013, and for us to all assume nothing good happened in music after 1970 is just plain silly. So artists like Kayne West (No. 8 for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) and Adele (No. 17 for 21) need to be weighed against the no-brainer entrants such as the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Which also means you need to consider legacy and what’s going on in the culture right now that refocuses the lens: Daft Punk’s Discovery jumped a few spots (to No. 24) from when we started this list several months ago, because there’s a strong argument (of which I am sure some of you will take me up on below) that they’re largely responsible for the global rise of EDM, and even though their recent Random Access Memories has received rave reviews, it’s Discovery that made their current success at all possible. As indispensable as Pearl Jam’s Ten seemed 20 years ago, it’s hard to not take into account every awful Creed album it paved the way for.

We also wish it were possible to cram 500 albums into a top 100 list. It’s not, of course, but hopefully the takeaway from our 100 Greatest Albums list is an accurate snapshot of the landscape, defining artists, and game-changing music moments over the past 50 years. We will certainly argue it is.

Serious question: What was the last truly great rock album?

By now, you’ve probably combed through Entertainment Weekly‘s All Time Greatest issue, which features our humble picks for the 100 best albums ever made. (Within certain paremeters—the lack of jazz or, you know, Beethoven should have tipped you off to the list’s limitations.)

Though I’m proud of the amount of hip-hop, R&B, and pop featured on the final tally of 100, the list is dominated by rock albums. That’s to be expected, as rock music (and particularly the albums made by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan) set the template for what an album was and what it could be, and there have been few variations on that template since the ’60s. (For all its forward-thinking and genre-hopping, Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is structured and paced an awful lot like a Beatles LP.)

Plus, traditional rock music had a few decades’ worth of a jump on other genres we incorporated into our list, so Rubber Soul and Blonde On Blonde have had an extra 20 years to constantly re-entrench themselves, while the legacies of the first wave of great hip-hop albums are only now just being established.

But another pattern emerged as we were putting the list together: As we considered newer albums to incorporate into the conversation, fewer and fewer of them were rock albums. READ FULL STORY

Courtney Love 'not amused' by Paul McCartney hooking up with Nirvana

As we noted in our on-the-scene report, there was a lot to be unamused by at the 12-12-12 concert in Madison Square Garden last night. Courtney Love thought so too — even before the show began.

According to a TMZ report, Love was “not amused” by the thought of Paul McCartney sitting in with her late husband’s band, Nirvana. And while her concerns regarding “Beatlevana” — Macca playing with Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear — were shared by many, her solution was a little less solid.

TMZ noted that Love was “upset at Krist and Dave for calling tonight’s show a Nirvana reunion because she says Kurt was the heart and soul of the legendary band,” which we totally get. But she also told them, “Look, if John were alive it would be cool,” referring of course to the late Lennon. Which, like, yeah — if we’re playing that game, it would also be cool if Kurt Cobain were alive.

At any rate, she and other Nirvana fans should be relieved to know that Paul’s little experiment with Grohl last night involved neither the music of Nirvana or of the Beatles, but rather an inoffensive, Led Zeppelin-y number titled, appropriately enough, “Cut Me Some Slack.” (We’ve reached out to Love for her thoughts, but her team declined to comment.)

READ FULL STORY

On the scene: SiriusXM Town Hall with Soundgarden

Image Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Soundgarden just released King Animal, their first album in 16 years. So what better way to celebrate than with a Q&A session that moderator and Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins called “the raddest garage party ever”??

Last night, at an event hosted by SiriusXM at the legendary Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village, the reunited Seattle rockers took part in an informal Q&A session, moderated by Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. The venue is microscopic; there were maybe fifty people there, so needless to say, there wasn’t an un-close seat in the house.

Now, most musicians don’t go into the business for the press circuit. They’re usually roped into these events by their publicists in order to promote an album or a tour, and they tend to answer questions — nearly all of which they have been asked countless times — with marginal, rehearsed enthusiasm. You could tell there was an element of forced publicity in last night’s session, but the discussion was surprisingly lively and informative.  READ FULL STORY

Someone made a Beatles/Ke$ha mashup, and it's surprisingly good

“Ke$ha” and “The Beatles” don’t really belong in the same sentence, unless that sentence is the one I just wrote. But like Miley Cyrus and Biggie or Christina Aguilera and The Strokes, these two vastly different artists can be two great tastes that taste great together — provided an ace mashup artist is pulling the strings.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that yes, someone named doctordude combined “Tik Tok” with “Come Together,” and yes, the result works much better than you thought it would. (At least, until the dollar-signed-one’s vocals come in.) Hear for yourself:

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Paul McCartney will close Olympic opening ceremony

Paul McCartney has confirmed an Olympic-sized rumor, saying he’ll be the closing act at the London 2012 opening ceremony.

Earlier this year the former Beatle disclosed that he was in talks to play a role in the celebrations.

On Monday, he confirmed: “I’ve been booked.”

He told BBC radio station 5 Live that he would be “closing the opening” of the games.

The lineup for the ceremony, overseen by Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle and themed “Isles of Wonder,” is a closely guarded secret, but many had suspected McCartney would be involved.

The Olympic Games take place July 27 to Aug. 12.

James McCartney says the children of the Beatles could form a band

Being the child of a famous person can make for a rough life, despite its obvious privileges. And for children pursuing careers in the footsteps of their parents, it’s even more complicated.

That said, you have to wonder what James McCartney is thinking. In a recent interview with the BBC, he mentioned that he would be up for the idea of forming a band with three other children of Beatles and calling themselves — wait for it — The Beatles: The Next Generation. (Not to be confused with Captain Picard, of course.)

Granted, all four are in fact already musical: McCartney recently put out a collection of his strummy, Macca-redolent songs, Sean Lennon (son of John) has released a series of inventive solo and Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger albums; Dhani Harrison (son of George) drops pretty good rock records with his band thenewno2; and Zak Starkey (son of Ringo Starr) has hit skins for Oasis, the Who, and a host of others.

“I’d be up for it,” the 34-year-old McCartney told the BBC. “Sean seemed to be into it, Dhani seemed to be into it.” He noted that Starkey seemed to be the holdout, though he also suggested the idea of recruiting one of Starr’s other sons.

Though he ultimately said the whole thing was a big “maybe,” it’s still strange to think he would even consider such a thing. In the interview, he talks about wanting to be better than the Beatles, or at least their equivalent.

Oh, James. That’s a tough statement to get out from under.

READ FULL STORY

Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, Ringo Starr, and more remember Davy Jones

The sad news that the Monkees singer Davy Jones has died at the age of 66 after suffering a heart attack has fans and those in the music industry remembering the star. Jones’ Monkees bandmate Peter Tork has released the following statement on his Facebook fan page, about the late singer: “It is with great sadness that I reflect on the sudden passing of my long-time friend and fellow-adventurer, David Jones. His talent will be much missed; his gifts will be with us always. My deepest sympathy to Jessica and the rest of his family. Adios, to the Manchester Cowboy. Peace and love, Peter T.”

Fellow Monkee Micky Dolenz has also released a statement: “I am in a state of shock; Davy and I grew up together and shared in the unique success of what became The Monkees phenomena. The time we worked together and had together is something I’ll never forget. He was the brother I never had and this leaves a gigantic hole in my heart. The memories have and will last a lifetime. My condolences go out to his family.”

In a statement to EW, the Beatles drummer Ringo Starr said of Jones’ passing, “God bless Davy. Peace & Love to his family.” (The Monkees and the Beatles were friendly rivals; the Monkees’ “Randy Scouse Git” song was even inspired by a party the Beatles hosted for the “Daydream Believer” band.)

Andy Kim, who sang “Rock Me Gently” and wrote the Archies’ “Sugar, Sugar,” said in a statement about his contemporary Jones: “Everybody loved Davy’s smile, the way he came across, his incredible presence and [he] was a phenomenal ambassador for a band that didn’t really start off a band, but quickly became a force. The girls thought Davy’s sex appeal mirrors Paul McCartney’s was in the Beatles. I wrote ‘Oh My My’ for Davy and Mickey’s joint album after the Monkees broke up and it was an honor to know him.”

Maureen McCormick, whose Marcia Brady famously asked her crush, Jones,  to sing at her high school prom in a classic episode of The Brady Bunch, said in a statement to EW, “Davy was a beautiful soul who spread love and goodness around the world. He filled our lives with happiness, music and joy.  He will live on in our hearts forever. May he rest in peace.”

(Additional reporting by Mandi Bierly)

Read more:
Davy Jones dies at 66

Happy Birthday, George Harrison! Celebrate with Evan Rachel Wood's cover of his classic Bob Dylan collab 'I'd Have You Anytime' -- EXCLUSIVE

Had he not sadly passed away in 2001, today would have been George Harrison’s 69th birthday.

Though he was always overshadowed by the overwhelming songwriting prowess of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, his post-Beatles work was, in a lot of ways, the most varied and eclectic of his former bandmates’ work. (That’s not to put down his contributions to the Beatles, as many of his songs — including “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Something,” and “Taxman” — are among the greatest rock tunes of the era.)

Perhaps because he always had to navigate the choppy waters of his old band, Harrison always played well with others away from the Beatles. Some of his best work came in the context of collaborations, from his work with the Traveling Wilburys to his sit-down with Bob Dylan in 1968.

Over the course of a Thanksgiving weekend, Harrison visited Dylan at his home in Woodstock, New York, to write a handful of tunes. One of the results was “I’d Have You Anytime,” which became the opening track on Harrison’s landmark 1970 solo album All Things Must Pass.

That song was recently re-recorded by actress Evan Rachel Wood for the just-released Amnesty International benefit compilation Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan. (Wood has a previous Beatles connection, having also starred in Julie Taymor’s big-screen fever dream Across the Universe in 2007.)

According to Dylan, the creation of “I’d Have You Anytime” was one of the more rewarding experiences of his long and winding career. “[Harrison] was a giant, a great, great soul, with all of the humanity, all of the wit and humor, all of the wisdom, the spirituality, the common sense of a man and compassion for people,” Dylan said. “He inspired love and had the strength of a hundred men. He was like the sun, the flowers and the moon, and we will miss him enormously. The world is a profoundly emptier place without him.”

In honor of Harrison’s birthday, check out the exclusive video of Wood performing “I’d Have You Anytime,” filmed especially for the occasion. READ FULL STORY

Sir Paul McCartney gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame. Finally!

No, that headline is not from 1997. Or 1989. Or 1975. Today, Sir Paul McCartney, at 69 years old, finally received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Even more astoundingly, McCartney is the last of the Beatles to earn this honor. John Lennon posthumously got his star in 1988; The Beatles as a band got their star in 1998; George Harrison got his star posthumously in 2009; and Ringo Starr got his star in 2010. Like their respective stars, McCartney’s was placed today in front of the famed Capitol Records building.

Reportedly, McCartney was nominated for a star in 1993, but scheduling issues kept the ceremony from happening until 19 years later, the same week McCartney releases an album of standards, Kisses on the Bottom. Which somehow reminds us: Axl Rose doesn’t have a Hollywood Walk of Fame star either.

Check out a photo of McCartney at today’s ceremony below:  READ FULL STORY

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