Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A history of the Beatles through their music (part 4) Disintegration and The End

Last week course leader David Harrison left us at artistic peak in Beatle-Land Sergeant Pepper had been released and the group could do no wrong - it was bound to be downhill from here.
In the summer (that famous first summer of Love) the Beatles fronted the UK portion of Our World a technological  coming together of the world using Satellite technology to create a 'one world' broadcast (excluding USSR though) with the unveiling of All you Need is Love.
The album/double EP created after Pepper was the soundtrack to Magical Mystery Tour at the time regarded as a filmic disaster (at least as far as festive  family viewing - being premiered on BBC on Boxing Day 1967) but in terms of music it was judged to be a 'hit'.
After this it was The Beatles usually referred to as The White Album  it was the only double album created by the band and it was likened by David Harrison to that famous 'Curate's Egg' most of the songs were written during the Beatles visit to India and it marks something of a departure in creation as what tended to happen was that John and Paul would arrive with their own completed songs and then other members of the group would act as almost session musicians, the benefits of the 8 Track recording process meant that the group performed less and less as a coherent unit.  George too began to find his Mojo contributing some standout tracks - including the Clapton solo'd While My Guitar...
As usual David has provided a great piece of trivia (new to me but I'm sure many Beatle fans are aware) on Hey Jude there's a f**king hell at 2:57 variously attributed to John or Paul it's an example as far as I'm concerned  of the human failings that great artists sometimes exhibit. After acting as solo artists another theme to try was arrived at as a 'back to their roots' basic group (another project led by Paul)  this was to be called
And in the end...
 Get Back and it was an attempt to create a more 'honest' Album, it was filmed and became the 'Let It Be' project which documented the falling apart of the group dynamic with Paul cajoling a reluctant Lennon and weary Harrison to support him - recognising (perhaps) that the game was up The Boys decided to go out on a more cohesive record and re-assembled the dream team with Geoff Emerick and George Martin in the control room for what some thought the best album Abbey Road (originally planned as Everest).
How cool that the group created a track called The End and then to put a pin prick in their own pomposity added Her Majesty - great stuff.
Don't forget that at the time of the last recordings they were all still in their twenties - quite a body of work to live up to for the remainder of their careers.

I would recommend this CityLit course for students of the 60's it gave me pleasure and insight and a reinvigorated interest with a freshened perspective on  what is called somewhat dismissively 'pop' music.
Here's a video with the Maxwell's Silver Hammer song ...(nice Moog)

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