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#askNat – concerning why The Beatles released so many albums

It’s time for another week’s #askNat and I have an interesting question this week that comes from Michael Mincey of Texas. He says:

Nat,

While I’m grateful for The Beatles releasing so many albums, I’ve always wondered why they (and other bands) recorded so frequently.  Was it in their contracts with record companies, the artistic flow of the group, or some other factors?

I often question whether or not the Beatles were burned out from recording together. Maybe they could have taken vacations away from each other?

I’m sorry for my ignorance, but I grew up at a time when bands would release one album per year, or even several years apart. What has changed?

 

Please Please Me With The Beatles A Hard Day's Night Beatles For Sale
Help! Rubber Soul Revolver Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles (White Album) Yellow Submarine Abbey Road Let It Be

 

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17 people think this is FAB!

Beatles Rarity Of The Week – “Love Me Do” (unreleased Pop Go The Beatles performance)

Hello and welcome to this week’s Beatles Rarity of the Week, affectionately known as the BROW in more familiar circles. What a big year 1963 was for The Beatles. It was the first year that the British Isles discovered that they had a hot new group on their hands. By May of that year, the BBC made the unbelievable decision to give this new group their own weekly 30-minute radio series. At this point, they had only released three singles, and their first album, Please Please Me was only just reaching the top of the charts. Of course, The Beatles had already made friends with the BBC and appeared on several earlier programs – but their very own show? That was something! The series was called Pop Go The Beatles and like other radio appearances The Beatles had made, included their own humorous brand of chat and lots of fresh new music that was different than what was heard on their records. The first 4 shows were hosted by Lee Peters who was succeeded by Rodney Burke for another 11 shows before the series wrapped up with a final episode on September 24, 1963.

 

The Beatles, 1963

The Beatles, 1963

 

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21 people think this is FAB!

#askNat – concerning if The Beatles referenced Hamburg in any of their songs

Hello and welcome to the next in the #askNat series. David Attar from Toronto, Canada is the source of this week’s message which goes like this:

Hey Nat,

I’ve always wondered why the Beatles didn’t reference Hamburg in any of their songs, especially since it was a very influential part of their lives and career.

Thanks,

David Attar
Toronto

 

The Beatles at the Indra Club in Hamburg, 1960.

The Beatles at the Indra Club in Hamburg, 1960. (L-R: George Harrison, John Lennon, Pete Best, Paul McCartney, Stuart Sutcliffe)

 

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9 people think this is FAB!

Beatles Rarity Of The Week – “Wrack My Brain” (alternate mix)

Welcome to The Beatles Rarity of the Week. In 1980, our two oldest Beatles turned forty years of age. To honor the occasion John Lennon, who had only recently began recording again after a five-year break, wrote a song for Ringo Starr called “Life Begins At 40.” Remembering songs Ringo had sang with The Beatles such as “What Goes On,” “Act Naturally” and “Don’t Pass Me By,” it’s no secret to Beatles fans that Ringo had a penchant for country-flavored music and so John wrote the song in that style, not only in hopes that he would like it, but also knowing it would suit his vocal style and be a good candidate for him to record on his next album. Of course we know what happened shortly afterwards.

Less than two weeks before John’s murder, he handed Ringo demo tapes for another song called “Nobody Told Me.” John and Ringo planned to have some studio time together and record these songs – but those plans were unfortunately and permanently interrupted.

 

George Harrison and Ringo Starr, 1981

George Harrison and Ringo Starr, 1981

 

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17 people think this is FAB!

#askNat – concerning The Beatles Christmas Shows of 1963-64

For this time around on #askNat I’ve pulled up another email message from Phil Boylett in the U.K. who has this to say:

Hi Nat. Many thanks for answering my question about Billy Preston’s involvement in the Abbey Road album a little while ago. My new questions concerns the special Christmas shows that The Beatles were made to take part in by Brian Epstein in December 1963 and 1964. Are there any known recordings or film footage of either of these shows available? Virtually everything by The Beatles has been recorded by someone and as there were numerous performances, I can’t believe there isn’t anything from these shows available on bootleg? Can you give me any help with this? Many thanks Nat.

Hello Phil and thanks for writing in again. The Beatles Christmas Show was a stage production that was conceived entirely by Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

 

The Beatles in a comedy skit for The Beatles Christmas Show in December 1963.

The Beatles in a comedy skit for The Beatles Christmas Show in December 1963.

 

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6 people think this is FAB!

Next in line for Paul McCartney’s Archive Collection – Venus and Mars & Wings At The Speed Of Sound

On June 17th, 2014 the next two installments in the remaster series The Paul McCartney Archive Collection will be arriving. Continuing with the Wings period in the seventies, Concord Music Group will issue both the 1975 album Venus And Mars (click here for original track listing) and the 1976 album Wings At The Speed Of Sound (click here for original track listing). As before, there will be special and deluxe packaging editions of the sets available in both vinyl, CD and digital formats. In the seventies these were both single-disc LPs that preceded the triple-LP set Wings Over America that was the last to receive the Archive Collection treatment back in May 2013.

 

Venus And Mars

Venus And Mars cover art (click to enlarge)

Wings At The Speed Of Sound

Wings At The Speed Of Sound cover art (click to enlarge)

 

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30 people think this is FAB!