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Tag: The Beatles (41-50 of 66)

Vatican newspaper releases list of top ten albums: Fleetwood Mac! Pink Floyd! ... Oasis?

L’ Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Vatican in Italy, has released its official list of all-time top ten albums, and there is nary a children’s choir nor a Pat Boone best-of to be found.

Amongst the papal state’s surprisingly secular picks? The Beatles’ Revolver (holding the no. 1 spot), Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of The Moon, Oasis’ (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, whose “illuminating simplicity and musical thrust” they hail. Also: U2’s Achtung Baby, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours,  Donald Fagen of Steely Dan fame’s The Nightfly, Carlos Santana’s Supernatural, Paul Simon’s Graceland and David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name.

Even Bob Dylan’s recent Christmas-themed efforts couldn’t get him shortlisted, however; article authors Giuseppe Fiorentino and Gaetano Vallini excluded him on the grounds that generations of less-talented Dylan acolytes have “harshly tested the ears and patience of listeners with their inferior imitations, thinking that their tortured meanderings might interest somebody.” Tough toke, Bobby Zimmerman.

Does 82-tear-old Pope Benedict XVI personally approve? He is nominated alongside Oasis for a Brit music award—he for Classical Brit, they for best album of the last 30 years. Alas, the ceremonies are held separately, so it is unlikely the twain shall physically meet.

What do you think, readers—are the Vatican paper’s picks divinely right, or holy crap? For Santana, we would vote his 1970 classic Abraxas over the Rob Thomas-noodling Supernatural any day; then again, we are but mere heathen mortals. And perhaps the Church does not approve of his Wiccan muse?

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'Yellow Submarine' casting rumors: Darth Maul IS Paul McCartney?

According to the Hollywood Reporter, a quartet of actors are in negotiations to portray The Beatles in director Robert Zemeckis’ planned 3D remake of the 1968 film Yellow Submarine. The four thespians are Princess Bride star Cary Elwes who is apparently in the frame to impersonate George Harrison, Dean Lennox Kelly from the UK dramedy Shameless who will tackle John Lennon, Epic Movie actor Adam Campbell who will negotiate Ringo’s nasal vowels, and Peter Serafinowicz who will take on Paul McCartney. Serafinowicz’s credits include Shaun of the Dead, Couple’s Retreat, and the fantastic fake science show Look Around You, though there is a strong possibility that the words “He was the voice of Darth Maul” may appear on the Brit actor’s gravestone.

All in all, that seems like a line-up capable of handling the Fab Four’s Liverpudlian twang. They’re all Brits and Serafinowicz, in particular, is an accent master and Liverpool-raised to boot. Meanwhile, anyone crying “Foul!” over the idea of people impersonating John, Paul, George and Ringo, may care to note that the Beatles’ animated avatars in the original movie were also voiced by actors, with the Beatles themselves only contributing to a live action sequence at the end (see below).

Are you a big fan of the original movie? What do you think of these rumored casting choices? All together now!

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

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Eminem, Beatles, Shakira top decade-end sales list

Who wins the record-sale wars of the ’00s? The battle comes down to the Real Slim Shady, the Fab Four, and a perhaps less fab boy-band fivesome.

According to Nielsen SoundScan (via USA Today), Eminem garners the top overall prize for album sales over the last ten years with 32.2 million copies sold, despite having a five-year gap in studio albums between 2004′s Encore and this year’s Relapse.

The Beatles, however, come in a close second with 30 million, and earn the single-album ticket to ride; their greatest-hits compilation 1, released in 2000, sold 11.5 million, edging out ‘N Sync’s No Strings Attached from that same year by a mere 400,000. (The latter sold 2.4 million in its first seven days, still a SoundScan record.) Norah Jones’ 2002 debut Come Away With Me wins the bronze, taking third place with 10.5 million.

As for digital music? Shakira “Hips Don’t Lie” is the decade’s most-streamed track by nearly double numbers, with 85.3 million online plays, followed by Kelly Clarkson’s “Because of You,” at 43.5 million, and Chris Brown’s “Run It!”

Cross-format rock and country rule the Aughties’ radio-play records, however; Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me” was the most spun, followed by Train’s “Drops of Jupiter,” Lifehouse’s “Hanging by a Moment,” two Faith Hill songs (“Breathe,” “The Way You Love Me”), 3 Doors Down’s “Kryptonite,” and Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance.”

Readers, who were your artists of the decade? And who did you forget even belonged to this decade? Don’t Lie.

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

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Robert Pattinson thinks 'Twilight' mania is 'perhaps close' to what the Beatles went through

Oh, there’s no business like quote business. Last night, swoopy-haired Twilight star Robert Pattinson spoke to EW’s Carrie Bell at the New Moon premiere in Los Angeles—and linked the name of his vampire franchise with arguably the biggest four-pronged pop landmark of the last 50 years: John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

“You can’t prepare for this. It is just insane,” he said of the well-documented, culture-saturating Twi-frenzy. “I don’t know how the Beatles felt, but I imagine it was perhaps close to this. I think very few human beings will ever get to experience the same feelings and love we feel at Twilight events.”

Though his undoubtedly innocent (and not without merit) comparison is guaranteed to be reduced to breathless “Rob P sayz Twilight = Beatles OMGEEE!!” pull quotes out there in the LOL-osphere, it’s good to remember that John Lennon himself once got into pretty hot soup (record burnings, show cancellations, even death threats) for his infamous “We’re more popular than Jesus” quote back in 1966, at the height of Beatlemania.

Like nearly all pop cultural phenomena, the reign of Edward and Bella et al. will surely wane eventually, though not before a few more sequels—and a few million references in press outlets (this one included). But does it saturate our media and engage young people in part because there’s a dearth of that kind of lightning-rod star power in music now, or even the type of pop-radio mono-culture to support it?

Can a Beyonce or Lady Gaga, let alone a four-piece rock band, ever hope to be as culturally paramount as the Fab Four were (and one could argue, continue to be), and Twilight is today? And years from now, how will the Twi-team be judged by history—Pet Rock or Beatles-level monolith?

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

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The Beatles: Christmas comes early for fans with Fab Four USB

Beatles-USB_lEMI and Apple Corps have announced that the Beatles recently remastered back catalog will be available as a limited-edition USB on December 8. The drive will feature the quartet’s 14 stereo titles as well as 13 mini-documentaries. Apple has famously been in no rush to release the Beatles’ music in digital form, despite the desire on the part of Paul McCartney that the Fab Four’s tunes be available on iTunes. “It’s bit of a sticky issue,” the music icon told EW earlier this year. “I’d like to make it happen. Though I am not part of the negotiations.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for EMI has confirmed to EW that yesterday the company launched a lawsuit against Santa Cruz-based website BlueBeat.com, which has been selling the Beatles music digitally without permission, and providing free streams as well. According to the spokesperson, “EMI has not authorized content to be sold on BlueBeat.”

Will you be USBing come December, Beatlemaniacs, or better that their Fab catalog “Get Back” to where it once belonged—in regular physical form?

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Album sales in 2009: How hard is it to go platinum today?

Despite the impressive showings of pop-industry giants — Michael Jackson and the Beatles sold a combined 6.3 million albums this quarter alone — album sales are down 13.9% so far from last year. And that’s after a 14% dip in 2008 from 2007′s numbers, according to Reuters (via Rolling Stone).

Part of the problem? Dependable marquee acts aren’t holding up like they used to; Eminem’s Relapse has hit a respectable 1.4 million, but U2’s No Line on the Horizon only reached platinum two weeks ago, seven months after its release; neither Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown nor the Dave Matthews Band’s Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King have hit the million-copies mark yet.

Of course, 2009 isn’t over yet; we’ve got the Simon Cowell Army — Carrie Underwood, Kris Allen,  Adam Lambert, Susan Boyle and Leona Lewis — all releasing albums in the next six weeks, along with Shakira, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Alicia Keys, and John Mayer.

Either way, it’s a tough market out there. According to the Chicago Tribune, more than 115,000 albums were released last year; out of those, only 110 sold more than 250,000 copies.

This is just album sales, of course; it doesn’t account for touring, merch, ring tones, etc. But what do you think, readers — who or what can reverse the record industry’s steady downswing, in which sales have decreased in eight of the past nine years?

Is the future in digital singles? Reduced record prices? All Glambert, all the time?  Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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Paul McCartney to document Citi Field shows with 'Good Evening New York City'

Paul McCartney was having a pretty cool 2009 even before the latest wave of Beatlemania kicked in early this month. Perhaps you recall his three-night stand at NYC’s newly built Citi Field this summer, echoing the Beatles’ historic 1965 gig at the demolished Shea Stadium next door? I know I do — I was there for the first show on July 17 (pictured), easily one of the most fun concerts I’ve seen in the past few years.

Whether you attended one of those dates or just wished you could, you’ll have a chance to re-live them when McCartney releases Good Evening New York City through Starbucks’ Hear Music on Nov. 17. The live album, culled from footage of all three Citi Field shows, will be available both as a 2-CD/1-DVD set or a deluxe 2-CD/2-DVD package which will also include McCartney’s July 15 outdoor performance for The Late Show. The compilers had plenty of material to work with: Those Citi Field shows were marathons, drawing heavily on McCartney’s Beatles years for set lists that stretched to nearly three hours each night. Though I haven’t heard or seen the finished product, I feel safe saying that if you’re a Macca fan, you might want to pick one of these up with your pre-Thanksgiving latte.

Anyone else looking forward to Good Evening New York City? If you’ve witnessed McCartney in concert this year, which songs are you most excited about seeing/hearing again?

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Photo credit: Kevin Mazur

The Beatles' 'Lucy' dies at age 46

Another chapter was written in the history of the Beatles this month with the re-release of their albums and the debut of The Beatles: Rock Band. But there is a very sad footnote: Lucy Vodden, the childhood friend of Julian Lennon and the inspiration for the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” has died from lupus in London at the age of just 46 according to the Associated Press.

Vodden became the inspiration for the track when the then four-year-old Julian came home one day with a painting. Ringo Starr would later recall how that piece of art became one of the most famous psychedelic rock tracks of all-time: “I was actually with John when Julian came in with this a crazy little painting, and John said, ‘Oh, what’s that?’ and Julian said, ‘It’s Lucy in the sky with diamonds.’ And then John got busy.”

To mark Lucy Vodden’s passing, and as a reminder of how “busy” John Lennon got, we’ve embedded the “Lucy” sequence from the movie Yellow Submarine below.

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Q&A with Rock Band boss Alex Rigopulos

The Beatles remasters: EW’s review

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Jay-Z tops the albums chart; 'Abbey Road' is the best-selling Beatles remaster

Looks like he’s still got it. Jay-Z took the top spot in the new Billboard 200 albums chart after selling 476,000 copies of The Blueprint 3, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

That’s not super-huge, but it’s a nice opening number for a guy who’s been in the rap game as long as Jay. In fact, he’s been making hit records for so long that this is his 11th trip to No. 1 on this chart, breaking his tie with Elvis Presley for the most No. 1 albums of any solo artist. The only person or band with more chart-toppers to its name is the Beatles, who’ve racked up 19 No. 1s on Billboard‘s flagship albums chart over the years. More on them later!

Elsewhere on the Billboard 200, Whitney Houston fell to No. 3, selling another 88,000 copies of her comeback disc. Raekwon came in at No. 4 with 68,000 copies sold of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II. The long-awaited sequel to his 1995 classic of similar name, OB4CL2 is a deep dose of head-knocking hip-hop the old-fashioned Wu-Tang way. A week after its release hasn’t been close to enough time for this fan to digest all of Rae’s complex crime narratives, and I’m glad to see his hard work rewarded with decent sales.

One spot below at No. 5 are Brooks & Dunn, who announced their imminent breakup last month. A solid 55,000 fans said goodbye by purchasing #1s…and Then Some, the long-running country duo’s latest best-of set. Boys Like Girls, meanwhile, found 41,000 people who liked Love Drunk, their second pop-punk album, for a No. 8 finish.

Two other entries of note came from those aforementioned Beatles, whose new box set releases both went on sale this past week: Their Stereo Box Set bowed at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 with 26,000 copies sold, while the limited-edition The Beatles in Mono made it to No. 40 with 12,000. I’m impressed so many fans were willing to plunk down the $200-range price for either one.

The real sales action for the Beatles, however, was on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart, which tracks releases that are 18 months and older. The Fab Four’s individual remastered albums, unshockingly, dominated the Top 10 of that chart. No. 1 went to 1969′s Abbey Road, with 89,000 CDs sold. Next came Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (No. 2; 74,000), The Beatles a.k.a. The White Album (No. 3; 60,000), Rubber Soul (No. 4; 58,000), and Revolver (No. 5; 46,000).

After a brief pause at No. 6 for Michael Jackson’s Number Ones, still selling well (45,000) two and a half months after his untimely death, the Beatles’ inexorable march continued. Help! took No. 7 with 39,000, followed by Let It Be (No. 8; 32,000), Past Masters Vol. 1 and 2 (No. 9; 31,000), and Magical Mystery Tour (No. 10; 30,000).

What do you think of this week’s results? Did Jay-Z do as well as you expected? Are you surprised by the order in which the Beatles’ remasters charted? Weigh in below.

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The Best Beatles Songs, 25-1

25. I’M A LOSER (1964, Beatles for Sale)

One of the jolliest — and saddest — cries for help ever.

24-1 after the jump…

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