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Tag: The Beatles (11-20 of 66)

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.)

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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.

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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

Who is the greatest guitarist of all time? Prepare to be unsurprised!

For decades, the question of who exactly is the greatest guitarist of all-time has occupied countless music fans — if not drummers, like myself, who are usually too exhausted from doing all the real work to debate such an inconsequential matter.

Regardless, Rolling Stone has just released a new list which ranks history’s top 100 fretmeisters and which was voted on by a veritable army of guitarists including Billy Corgan, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Lifeson, Ritchie Blackmore, Mick Mars, Robbie Robertson, Melissa Etheridge, and Kirk Hammett.

The list is packed with what can only be described as the usual, legendary, suspects. Jimi Hendrix tops the 100 and he is very much not the only featured musician currently jamming at the great gig in the sky.

Indeed, while such young-ish turks as Slash, Jack White, Derek Trucks, and Radiohead‘s Jonny Greeenwood are included, the entire top ten is made up of either the deceased or guitarists who, with the arguable exception of Jeff Beck, haven’t recorded anything of real note in a long time.

Take a look at the list yourself by clicking here and tell us what you think. Does the 100 merely reflect the electorate’s own often very “venerable” nature or is the golden age of the great, innovative, guitar hero now just a distant memory? And who is your pick for the best guitarist of all-time?

Read more:
The best bassline of all time? One (silly) poll gives Muse’s ‘Hysteria’ the top spot
Our take on this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees: Should the Beastie Boys, Guns ‘N Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and others get in?
Slash talks about his tour with Ozzy, the search for Velvet Revolver’s singer, and Axl’s latest accolade
Keith Richards: Music’s most influential character?

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