Tag Archives: paul mccartney

Music on Mondays (11-27-17)—Lost on a desert island, 1970, part 1

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

My Lost On A Desert Island music collection would have 53 songs from 1970 on it, 8 by The Beatles, all from Let It Be. I’m pretty sure Let It Be ranks as my #2 Beatles album behind Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Original Beatles songs are not available as videos on YouTube so I cannot provide any links to such videos. I leave it to you to search out Beatles videos or simply put on your own music and start singing! Here are the 8 from 1970:

  1. Two Of Us
  2. Across The Universe
  3. Let It Be
  4. I’ve Got A Feeling
  5. One After 909
  6. The Long & Winding Road
  7. For You Blue
  8. Get Back

Following are the next 23 songs from 1970 that I would take with me if there were a possibility of being lost on a desert island. With the breakup of The Beatles, this was the year that I started exploring darker, heavier music, much to the chagrin of my wise old grandmother. She understood Let It Be and The Long & Winding Road. Not so much Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.

25 Or 6 To 4 by Chicago
#4 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Chicago’s first song to reach the Top 5

Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel
#1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Won the 1971 Grammy for “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year”

Cecilia by Simon & Garfunkel
#4 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
I always wanted to date a Cecilia so I could sing this to her.

Colour My World by Chicago
Released twice, both times as the B side to other singles
Make Me Smile in 1970 and Beginnings in 1971
The first non-classical song that I learned on the piano.
video

Easy Come, Easy Go by Bobby Sherman
#9 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

El Condor Pasa (If I Could) by Simon & Garfunkel
#18 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Ma Belle Amie by The Tee Set
#5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Until I went to YouTube for this blog post,
I had no idea that this was a “Gay Tune.”
Should I turn in my Gay Card?

The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel
#7 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Spirit In The Sky by Norman Greenbaum
#3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Forty years later I won a music trivia contest by being able
to name this song after just 3 notes.

Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) by Edison Lighthouse
#5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Come & Get It by Badfinger
#7 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Written by Paul McCartney.

Shilo by Neil Diamond
#24 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
My aunt in Los Angeles introduced me to Neil Diamond in 1968.

Hitchin’ A Ride by Vanity Fare
#5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Add Some Music To Your Day by The Beach Boys
#64 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
One of my favorite songs about music.

Go Back by Crabby Appleton
#36 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Ride Captain Ride by Blues Image
#4 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Gimme Dat Ding by The Pipkins
#9 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Black Knight by Deep Purple
#66 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Evil Woman by Black Sabbath
#19 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Wicked World by Black Sabbath
From their eponymous debut album

Lookin’ Out My Back Door by Creedence Clearwater Revival
#2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Who’ll Stop The Rain? by Creedence Clearwater Revival
#2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Creedence Clearwater Revival
#43  hit on the Billboard Hot 100
The single was 3:50; it’s this 11:11 album version that really turns me on.

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Music on Mondays (6-8-15)—It’s not the first time in my life….

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

I’m pretty sure that in one of my past lives I was a bass guitar player.

I just love a good bass rhythm and riffs that drive the song along.

Probably my four favorite bass guitar players are, in order, Paul McCartney, Peter Cetera (Chicago), Wayne Nelson (Little River Band), and Tiran Porter (The Doobie Brothers).

Paul McCartney, of course, needs no introduction. My favorite Beatles song with his driving bass is “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and my favorite post-Beatles song with that driving bass is “Silly Love Songs.”

I think Peter Cetera and Tiran Porter did the same thing with bass for their groups as McCartney did for The Beatles: good quality bass in virtually every song.

Little River Band had gone through two bass guitar players, Roger McLachlan (1975-1976) and George McArdle (1976-1979), before settling on Wayne Nelson (1980-1996, 1999-present).

I’m currently listening to the year 1983 in my non-classical music collection, the year in which Little River Band released their album “The Net.” I didn’t buy and Little River Band albums when they came out but I now have a complete collection of their music. I think “The Net” by far is their best album. Here it is in its entirety with all the great bass:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The buying public, however, would disagree with me. “The Net” peaked at #61 on the Billboard 200 album chart and, after 32 years, still is not certified gold. That’s alright. It’s not the first time in my life that I’ve liked something that others didn’t………..LOL

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Music on Mondays (10-13-14): The only thing you done was yesterday

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

If you’ve been around rock ‘n’ roll music as long as I have, you’re probably familiar with The Beatles, and if you’re familiar with The Beatles, you probably know that their breakup in 1970 was rather nasty, especially between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. That nastiness continued until Lennon took a break from music when Sean was born on October 9, 1975.

Lennon believed that McCartney’s song “Too Many People,” from 1971’s “Ram” album, reeled off a laundry list of complaints directed at him, including most specifically the line, “too many people preaching practices.” Lennon hit back, and he hit back hard with “How Do You Sleep?” from Lennon’s 1971 masterpiece album, “Imagine.”

Here are the lyrics to “How Do You Sleep?”

So Sgt. pepper took you by surprise
You better see right through that mother’s eyes
Those freaks was right when they said you was dead
The one mistake you made was  in your head
How do you sleep?
Ah how do you sleep at night?
You live with straights who tell you, you was king
Jump when your mamma tell you anything
The only thing you done was yesterday
and since you’ve gone it’s just another day
How do you sleep?
Ah how do you sleep at night?
A pretty face may last a year or two
but pretty soon they’ll see what you can do
The sound you make is Muzak to my ears
You must have learned something all those years
How do you sleep?
Ah how do you sleep at night?

The whole song is one big dig at McCartney.

“Those freaks was right when they said you dead” is a reference to the “Paul is dead” hoax of 1967 (and onward).

“The only thing you done was yesterday [a reference to The Beatles’ 1965 classic “Yesterday,” written and sung by McCartney] and since you’ve gone it’s just another day [a reference to McCartney’s 1971 classic “Another Day”]. Since McCartney’s “sound … is Muzak to my ears,” at least we know he liked “Another Day.”

Here are “Yesterday,” “Another Day,” “Too Many People,” and “How Do You Sleep?”.

“Yesterday” by The Beatles, 1965
One of the most covered songs in history
with over 2,200 cover versions so far.

“Another Day” by Paul McCartney, 1971

“Too Many People” by Paul & Linda McCartney, 1971

“How Do You Sleep?” by John Lennon, 1971

There is much more, with each artist getting in digs at the other up until Lennon’s sabbatical beginning in October 1975.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (8-11-14)—My favorite bass songs

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

I was a mere nine years old when The Beatles invaded America. We were sheltered in Utah, though, so we didn’t know about The Beatles until almost eighteen months later. I was immediately stricken with them when I finally heard their music. Paul was always my favorite Beatles because I found that I liked the way he played bass, often pushing the songs along. I think my favorite McCartney bass is on Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da off of The White Album. McCartney just pushes that song along, and it’s a lot of fun to sing, too.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My favorite post-Beatles bass composition of McCartney’s is “Silly Love Songs” from 1976. Once again, McCartney’s bass drives the song along.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Two of my other favorite bassists from the ’60s and ’70s were Peter Cetera of Chicago, and Tiran Porter of The Doobie Brothers.

When I came to San Diego from Texas in April 1993, I quit collecting music and didn’t listen to it as much. Now, with digital music and the ability to easily buy individual songs and inexpensive collections (previously known as “albums” and “CDs,” I have been catching up on groups that released albums and CDs in the ’90s and up to the present.

One of the groups that I have really grown fond of is Little River Band. I never liked them during the peak of their popularity. Here’s one of my favorite songs of theirs because of the driving bass played by Wayne Nelson.

“No More Tears,” 1983

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Recently Julian introduced me to The White Stripes. Here’s a song that really motivates me, driving me along to success with its great bass, played by Jack White, who also happens to play that mean guitar:

“Seven Nation Army,” 2003

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays: Jim Morrison & John Lennon

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This past weekend was a significant one for musicologists. Jim Morrison of The Doors would have been seventy years old had he lived. Morrison had a severe alcohol dependency which many believed led to his death. Others believe he died of a cocaine overdose. Since autopsies were not required in 1971, especially in France where he died. Pursuant to French law at that time, autopsies were only performed if foul play was suspected. Thus the continuing controversy over how he died. Morrison is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, and his gravesite is one of the city’s most visited tourist attractions, although I’m not sure I would call it a “tourist attraction.” Let’s just say it’s well-visited….

I could easily include here any number of famous Doors songs: “Light My Fire,” “L.A. Woman,” “Love Her Madly,” “Hello, I Love You,” “Riders On The Storm,” etc., but those standards have been played billions and billions of times through the years; you’re probably quite familiar with them. Instead, I give you one of my favorite non-standard Doors songs: “The WASP (Texas Radio & The Big Beat)” from their “L.A Woman” album released in 1971, just 2½ months before Morrison’s death.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The other event that happened this past weekend was the 33rd anniversary of the death of John Lennon. Lennon, of course, was one of the Fab Four from The Beatles. Imagine, so to speak, all of the Lennon standards I could include here: “Imagine,” “Whatever Gets You Through The Night,” “Power To The People,” “Give Peace A Chance,” etc., and that doesn’t even include all the songs he wrote with The Beatles.

Again, though, instead of including those standards here, I give you a “How Do You Sleep?” Lennon and McCartney had quite a cantankerous relationship after The Beatles broke up in 1970, and they attacked each other in their songs. Listen to their albums in order from 1970 to 1974….

“McCartney,” McCartney, April 1970
“Ram,” McCartney, May 1971
“Imagine,” Lennon, September 1971
“Wild Life,” Wings (McCartney), December 1971
“Red Rose Speedway,” Paul McCartney & Wings, April 1973
“Mind Games,” Lennon, November 1973
“Band on the Run,” Paul McCartney & Wings, December 1973
“Walls & Bridges,” Lennon, October 1974

Pay attention to the words and titles of songs. They weren’t happy with each other. Once McCartney dropped his name from “Paul McCartney & Wings” to become simply “Wings,” the personal attacks on Lennon through music pretty much came to an end. Lennon retired from music in 1975, choosing to stay home and raise Julian, not returning to the music studio until 1980 to record “Double Fantasy.”

One of Lennon’s songs that is most critical of McCartney is “How Do You Sleep?” from Lennon’s classic 1971 album “Imagine.” Lennon gives McCartney credit for “Yesterday,” but after that he says that McCartney is just “another day” (a reference to McCartney’s first post-Beatles hit “Another Day”) and sounds like Muzak, possibly the ultimate criticism (smile if you remember Muzak). The lyrics, I thought, were quite clever, in classic Lennon style. I have included the lyrics after the video.

So Sgt. Pepper took you by surprise.
You better see right through that mother’s eyes.
Those freaks was right when they said you was dead.
The one mistake you made was  in your head.

Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?

You live with straights who tell you, you was king.
Jump when your mama tell  you anything.
The only thing you done was yesterday.
And since you’ve gone you’re just another day.

Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?
Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?

A pretty face may last a year or two,
but pretty soon they’ll see what you can do.
The sound you make is Muzak to my ears.
You must have learned something in all those years.

Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays (11-11-13)—Singers and songwriters

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Back in the early days, the music industry consisted of singers and songwriters. Songwriters wrote the songs, and singers sang them. If you look at music charts from the 1940s through the 1970s, you will notice that there might be four or five versions of the same song on the charts. Songwriters wrote the songs and then sold them to singers while keeping royalties from music publishing.

In many cases, singers got a monetary advance from the record company. When the record was released, and you bought it, you actually were supporting the record company and the music publishing company more than you were the recording group. Debut groups sometimes had recording contracts that paid them a mere penny per record sold. That included The Beatles, whose initial recording contract gave the group one penny for each record sold. That penny, though, was split between John, Paul, George, and Ringo. The royalty rate was further reduced for singles sold outside the United Kingdom, for which The Beatles received half of one penny per record sold, again split between John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

Although songwriters also made money with the release of the record, they made additional money from royalties from the sale of sheet music, public performances, cover versions twenty years later by a different artist, etc.

When Whitney Houston died a few years ago, it was revealed that she basically died penniless, mostly due to her apparent drug addiction but also due to the fact that she wrote very few, if any, of her hit songs. They were written by songwriters. The public felt sorry for her in her death and started buying all of her music posthumously, wrongly believing that they were supporting her estate. They were not. They were supporting the record company, the music publishing company, and the songwriters. Many songwriters got extraordinarily rich when her hits became hits again after her death.

For example, “I Will Always Love You,” Whitney’s #1 hit from 1992, was written by Dolly Parton and was a hit for her in 1974. Dolly made a lot of money from that song in 1974, in 1992 when Whitney released it, and again after Whitney’s death in 2012 when the public started buying it again.

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The Beatles were the first to recognize that songwriters didn’t get the glory but got a hefty part of the money. They became singer-songwriters, and the John Lennon-Paul McCartney partnership is recognized as the most prolific in the history of music, even outshining Rodgers & Hammerstein of musical fame (“Oklahoma,” “South Pacific,” etc.).

How lucrative are publishing rights? Very. When Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson were recording “Say, Say, Say” in 1983, McCartney introduced Jackson to the world of music publishing, telling Jackson that he was earning $30 million per year from royalties on the songs of other people that he owned. For example, McCartney owns the publishing rights to all the music by Buddy Holly.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Jackson followed up on that knowledge when he bought the catalog of Beatles music from 1962 to mid-1967. The Beatles’ early music was owned not by them but by their publishing company at the time, Northern Songs. When the Northern Songs music catalog was sold in the early 1980s, Jackson acquired The Beatles music for $40 million. Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono initially had bid for The Beatles music, but ultimately Yoko Ono apparently thought the price was too high.

Publishing rights to Lennon-McCartney music from mid-1967 on belongs to Apple Corps, a multimedia corporation that The Beatles founded in mid-1967 partially to manage their publishing rights and royalties.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays — #8: She’s a rainbow

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

#8
She’s a rainbow

 

The Beatles are my #1 singing group of all time, so I’ve necessarily not been a big fan of The Rolling Stones. lol

However, once I got to college at Texas A&M University, I was introduced to more music than what the American radio stations presented to me. Now I also have World Music — The Music Journey right here at WordPress to help me expand my tastes in music.

I currently have 53,114 digital music files, exceeded only by my 73,071 photographs.

I started collecting music in 1965 when I got a reel-to-reel tape recorder and recorded music off the radio. For my sixteenth birthday, while all my friends were getting cars, I got a stereo and my first vinyl records: Black Sabbath Vol. 4, The White Album by The Beatles, All Things Must Pass by George Harrison, and Wings Wild Life by Paul McCartney.

I eventually had over 15,000 vinyl records which I sold to a record store in Austin, Texas, in 1993 when I moved to San Diego. That allowed me to start collecting CDs, eventually growing it to over 5,000 CDs, which I stripped and sold in 2007 when I moved yet again. Now I’m just a digital file person. I’ll make CDs for long road trips, or to listen to when I’m gardening or at the beach but that’s it. Once I listen to them, they get thrown away.

One of the groups that I caught up on, beginning in 2007, is The Rolling Stones. My favorite song of theirs is “She’s A Rainbow.” It took me forever to finally find out that this song was by The Rolling Stones, off of their fantastic album (and my favorite of theirs) “Their Satanic Majesties Request.” I have no idea what the lyrics mean; maybe they were just a decade or two ahead of their time in describing today’s young women with all their weird hair colors, jewelry, piercings, tattoos……….

 

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