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Tag: The Beatles (31-40 of 73)

Stars' favorite Beatles songs: Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Diddy, Lady Antebellum and many more reveal their picks for iTunes

BEATLESImage Credit: Popperfoto/Getty ImagesEveryone loves the Beatles — even postmillennial pop stars like Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. iTunes recently asked those two and 30 other present-day artists, many of whom were born long after Abbey Road, to name their favorite Beatles tunes and explain why. The results, posted today on iTunes, are a cool window into Beatles fandom among today’s young and famous.

A few notable examples: Perry picked “Happiness is a Warm Gun,” an edgy choice that instantly raised her in my estimation. Bieber chose the slightly more predictable “Let It Be,” saying that it “has taught me to accept the hard times in my life.” Ke$ha is feeling “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (“It’s what pop music should be”). Coldplay collectively digs “Something,” because “just when you thought Lennon and McCartney couldn’t get any better, Harrison comes along and writes the best song of the lot.” Lady Antebellum feel that “Across the Universe” is “probably the most melodic Beatles song.” The Roots’ ?uestlove pays savvy tribute to “Lovely Rita.” The ladies and gentleman of Diddy-Dirty Money love “Yesterday,” though I am not 100% convinced that they didn’t just say that because their own new album includes an unrelated track also called “Yesterday.” Trey Songz raves about “If I Fell” (“The harmonies are craaaazy!!”). Those jokers in the Lonely Island give top honors to “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road,” calling it “a query, repeated 15-fold, that we like to imagine ended in a beautiful, albeit likely uncomfortable, act of love.” Indeed.

The whole list is well worth reading for insight into these stars’ and others’ favorite Beatles songs. Check it out at iTunes and let us know: Whose favorite Beatles song impressed you the most?

(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com:
What’s the world’s favorite Beatles song? iTunes has the answer
EW ranks the 25 best Beatles songs

Paul McCartney plays NYC's Apollo Theater for Sirius XM: 'I dreamed of playing here for many a year'

Paul-McCartneyImage Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.comPaul McCartney loves to perform. This was evident in every minute of the concert he played last night at Harlem’s storied Apollo Theater to celebrate Sirius XM satellite radio reaching 20 million subscribers. And while he seems to enjoy performing most anywhere and everywhere lately, he was even happier than usual to be at this particular venue. “It’s the Holy Grail,” he told the crowd, which was made up mostly of lucky Sirius XM subscribers. “I dreamed of playing here for many a year.”

Thus began a two-hour tour of McCartney’s incredible back catalog (Beatles and solo years both included). He was in much stronger voice throughout than he was on Saturday Night Live last weekend, and his backing band was in better form, too. Lighthearted quips abounded in between numbers. “Here’s a newer song,” Macca joked before 1963’s “All My Loving.” After that he played “One After 909,” one of the first songs he and John Lennon ever wrote together. As has become usual for McCartney’s live show, this was a nostalgia trip, and a very fine one.

Highlights from the evening included the passage when McCartney switched from electric bass to acoustic guitar for 1965’s “I’m Looking Through You” and 1964’s “And I Love Her,” two personal favorites of mine. Or maybe the best part was when he paid tribute to the Apollo’s history by covering Marvin Gaye’s “Hitch Hike,” complete with shimmying backup dancers — taking it from the top with even more vim after a burst of unintended feedback mussed up his first take. Or was it when he led the audience in a chorus of “Hey Jude” na-na-na-nas? With a full set plus two encores, there were too many stand-outs to list.

Did you tune in to Sirius XM to hear the concert’s live broadcast over satellite radio? Or were you one of the fans in attendance? Let us know what your favorite parts of the show were if so.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix)

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Paul McCartney's divisive 'Saturday Night Live' performance: Why you should cut him some slack

Paul-McCartneyImage Credit: Dana Edelson/NBCPaul McCartney got way more screen time on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live than your average musical guest. In addition to very funny turns on “Weekend Update” and a digital short, the former Beatle performed “Jet” and “Band on the Run” (from the recently reissued Band on the Run album), “A Day in the Life” leading into John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance,” and “Get Back” to close the show. So how did he do?

Opinions are divided here at EW headquarters. Most everyone agrees that the sound mix was up (or down) to SNL‘s usual muddy standard, making it difficult at times to hear Macca’s voice over his backing band. Even when he was fully audible, though, some are complaining that he seemed a little hoarse.

To which I say, so what? The man turns 70 the summer after next. Of course his vocal cords aren’t quite as limber as they were in 1966. It’s still a pleasure to see him rocking out as enthusiastically as he did on Saturday night. He was having fun up there running through some all-time classic tunes, which made it a fun show to watch from home. And the “A Day in the Life”/”Give Peace a Chance” medley was just right, a tribute to a late friend that was touching without being heavy-handed.

Over to you now. What did you think of McCartney’s SNL performance? Sound off in the comments.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix)

More from EW.com:
Ken Tucker’s Saturday Night Live recap
Ringo Starr’s 70th birthday concert: Guests galore, and Paul McCartney, too

John Lennon 30 years after his death: Lost interview surfaces, family and fans remember

john-lennon-1980Image Credit: Steve Sands/AP ImagesJohn Lennon‘s life ended far too soon on Dec. 8, 1980. His murder can still be painful to think about, even after so much time has passed. What are we supposed to do when confronted with a crime so senseless, a loss so needless? Today, on the 30th anniversary of Lennon’s death, we might as well remember all the joy he brought into the world while he was still alive. Several newly published pieces might help fans do that.

The latest issue of Rolling Stone features one of Lennon’s final interviews, conducted just three days before he died and never before released in full. The audio excerpts RS has posted online are essential listening. “I’m not claiming divinity,” Lennon said at one point. “I’ve never claimed divinity. I’ve never claimed purity of soul. I’ve never claimed to have the answer to life. I’ve never made any claims. I only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can.” Later he spoke on the ways his philosophy had and hadn’t changed since the idealistic ’60s: “I see the world through different eyes now, [but] I still believe in love, peace and understanding, as Elvis Costello said. What’s so f—ing funny about love, peace, and understanding?READ FULL STORY

Apple Records box set giveaway: Enter now!

Everyone’s talking this week about the Beatles coming to iTunes. But that’s not the only piece of noteworthy news related to the Fab Four, even if it’s the biggest. For instance: EMI recently released a box set featuring reissues of 14 albums originally released on the Beatles’ imprint, Apple Records, including artists like Badfinger, Billy Preston, James Taylor and Jackie Lomax. And today we’re giving the Apple box to one lucky reader.

Prizes are as follows. One grand prize winner will receive the Apple Records box set, which includes the 14 reissues plus Come and Get it: The Best of Apple Records and a two-CD set of unreleased tracks by Apple artists. Three runners up will receive Come and Get It alone.

The prizes are courtesy of EMI, and are available while supplies last. Want to win? Here’s how to enter:

1. Go to our Facebook page.

2. Click “Like” at the top of the page.

3. Find the post on our Wall announcing the giveaway, click Comment, and tell us which Apple Records artist, not including the Beatles or any of its members, is your favorite. (Note: Commenting on this post won’t enter you in the giveaway; see the official rules after the jump.)

4. If you’re a winner, we’ll contact you via Facebook message to request your mailing address.

Get clicking: The giveaway starts NOW! READ FULL STORY

Taylor Swift sets Hot 100 chart records

Taylor-SwiftImage Credit: Joseph Anthony Baker; Apple CorpsTaylor Swift‘s amazing week just keeps getting better. The latest edition of Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart features an incredible 11 appearances from Swift, all songs from her new album, Speak Now. This is a record on three counts.

First: Swift is the only female artist to have that many songs on the Hot 100 at once. Her only competition, per Billboard, comes from David Cook, who also notched 11 charting singles right after he won American Idol in May 2008, and the Beatles, who had 12 songs on the Hot 100 for two weeks in April 1964 and 14 charting songs for another week in the same month.

Second: The Beatles’ charting singles came from multiple projects (Please Please Me, With the Beatles, and the soon-to-be-released A Hard Day’s Night). Cook’s were individually sold tunes that he had sung on Idol. This makes Swift the first artist ever to have this many simultaneously charting singles all drawn from a single album.

Third: Cook didn’t write his Idol songs, and the Beatles’ record-setting weeks included a number of covers like “Twist and Shout” and “Roll Over Beethoven.” Swift famously wrote all the songs on Speak Now by herself. So she’s also the only artist to have this many Hot 100 appearances all of which were written by the artist in question.

Pretty impressive, no? Let us know what you think of Swift’s latest accomplishment.

(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More on the Music Mix:
Taylor Swift’s amazing sales: Who else sold a million in a week?
Taylor Swift’s Speak Now: The 10 best lines from her new album

Taylor Swift's amazing sales: Who else has sold a million in a week?

Taylor-Swift-million-in-a-weekWhat do Lil Wayne, the Backstreet Boys, and Garth Brooks have in common? They’ve all released albums that sold over one million copies domestically in their respective first weeks on shelves. If industry projections are accurate, Taylor Swift is about to join that elite group thanks to Speak Now‘s spectacular debut week.

The instant-million club is a strange place. The very first member was Garth Brooks, whose Live Garth set sold 1.08 million copies when it debuted back in 1998. At the time, no album had ever sold that many copies in its first sales frame. (The soundtrack for The Bodyguard had previously sold 1.06 million during one week in 1993, a few months after its release.) Swift’s victory this week brings things full circle in a couple of ways, then — not only is she the first country artist since Brooks to join the club, but she’s joining at a time when moving a million is similarly unheard of. In 1998 and 2010 alike, this is a rare accomplishment worth noting.

Things were different for a brief, wild period around the turn of the century. Brooks ushered in an era where pop stars routinely broke the million mark. It started in May 1999, when the Backstreet BoysMillenium sold 1.13 million in a week, but the following year was the really crazy one. In March 2000, *NSYNC shattered the previous record with an astounding 2.42 million-copy opening week for No Strings Attached. (*NSYNC’s record still holds today, by the way.) Britney Spears joined the club that May by selling 1.32 million copies of Oops!…I Did It Again. Eminem followed suit in June with 1.76 million copies of The Marshall Mathers LP, the first rap album in this category. Limp Bizkit became the club’s first (and last) hard-rock members that October, selling just over 1 million copies of Chocolate Starfish & the Hot Dog Flavored Water. In November, BSB lapped everyone else, scoring a second instant-million badge for Black & Blue (1.6 million). Finally, the Beatles rounded out the busy year by selling 1.26 million copies of their compilation 1 during Christmas week (again, somewhat after the week of release). READ FULL STORY

'Glee' cast breezes past Beatles' 'Billboard' record

glee-castImage Credit: Miranda Penn Turin/FoxThe cast of Fox’s Glee is officially bigger than the Beatles. That’s per Billboard, which notes that the TV cast will score six new entries on this week’s Hot 100 singles chart, bringing their career total up to 75 charting singles. The Fab Four made it onto the Hot 100 a mere 71 times back in the day. Still comfortably ahead of Glee (for now) are James Brown, with 91 charting singles, and all-time record-holder Elvis Presley, with 108.

Cynical types might observe that by sending all those cover versions to iTunes after each show airs, Glee has already released more “singles” than the Beatles did in their entire career. Also, it’s hard to compare the the many actor/singers who make up the Glee cast to a discrete band or solo artist like the Beatles or Elvis.

Still, numbers don’t lie, so let’s be happy for the Glee gang. What do you think of their latest chart accomplishment? Let us know in the comments.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Kenny Chesney tops the ‘Billboard’ 200 album sales chart
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Pink unveils new song for greatest hits collection
Taylor Swift releases ‘Speak Now’ single: Like it?
Kanye West announces album title: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

John Lennon's killer denied parole again: Will he ever be released?

Mark-David-ChapmanImage Credit: NYC PD/AFP/Getty ImagesThe man who murdered John Lennon nearly 30 years ago was denied parole for the sixth time today, CNN reports.

Mark David Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in New York’s Attica Correctional Facility after pleading guilty to shooting the former Beatle to death in December 1980. He has previously applied for parole and been denied in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008. He will have another opportunity to go before the parole board in 2012. Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, has repeatedly said that she would fear for her safety and that of Lennon’s two sons if Chapman were released.

In its written decision, the New York State Parole Board acknowledged Chapman’s generally good behavior record behind bars. “This panel remains concerned, however, about the disregard you displayed for the norms of our society and the sanctity of human life when, after careful planning, you traveled to New York for the sole purpose of killing John Lennon,” the board’s decision went on. “This premeditated, senseless and selfish act of tragic consequence, when considered with required and relevant factors, leads to the conclusion that your discretionary release remains inappropriate at this time and incompatible with the welfare of the community. To hold otherwise would so deprecate the seriousness of your crime as to undermine respect for the law.”

New York State Parole Board spokesperson Marc Violette says the board released nine percent of the violent felony offenders appearing before it in the most recent fiscal year. While explaining that parole commissioners make these decisions based on factors including the inmate’s own statements and communications from the victim’s family, Violette acknowledges that Lennon’s status as a beloved cultural figure might also be playing some role in Chapman’s repeated failure. “At a purely theoretical level, the parole commissioners would probably just look at the facts as presented,” he says. “The notoriety of the crime or the fame of the victim, at a theoretical level, would not play into it. But they’re humans.”

(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Ringo Starr's 70th birthday concert: Guests galore, and Paul McCartney, too!

Ringo-Starrs-70th-birthdayImage Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.comThe cake had been served, the candles had been blown out, and Ringo Starr had all but told the sold-out crowd at NYC’s Radio City Music Hall to go home, but the most exciting part of his 70th birthday show last night was still to come. That was the exact moment, right around 10 p.m., that none other than Paul McCartney bounded on stage in his skinny tie and fitted suit. The art-deco hall filled with 1964-style squeals as Sir Paul tore through the Beatles’ “Birthday” with the wild-eyed drive of someone decades younger.

McCartney’s unannounced appearance was the perfect end to an evening of festive collaboration. Ringo calls his touring act the All-Starr Band for a reason: They’re all handpicked veterans of bands from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. In between his solo hits (“Photograph,” “It Don’t Come Easy”) and Beatles classics (“Yellow Submarine,” “Act Naturally,” “Boys”), he gave each of his bandmates ample time to demonstrate their own claims to fame. Keyboardist/saxophonist Edgar Winter led electrifying renditions of “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride.” Guitarist Rick Derringer of the McCoys rocked “Hang On Sloopy.” The Romantics’ Wally Palmar told us “What I Like About You.” Mr. Mister’s Richard Page spread his “Broken Wings.” Gary Wright crooned “Dreamweaver,” which he said was inspired by a book on Eastern philosophy that George Harrison once gave him. (“George Harrison never gave me no damn book,” cracked Ringo.) I’m not sure I’d sit through an entire concert by any of those guys’ original groups, but seeing them run through their hits with Ringo was fun — a classic-rock radio revue with one of history’s greatest beat-keepers behind the kit. Starr himself was as energetic as any 70-year-old I’ve ever encountered, grooving gamely at front stage or drumming with that familiar head-bobbing enthusiasm. READ FULL STORY

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