Tag Archives: John Lennon

Recollection Volume 33 – Real Love

Recollection is a project to review my record collection. I will listen to an album I own and review it. The album will be chosen randomly by computron. Today computron chooses…

Album: Real Love
Artist: The Beatles
Released: 1996
Format(s) I own it on: CD

Real-love1This four song CD single was released in 1996 along-side The Beatles’ collection of bootlegs and rarities. The Anthology project was huge. My family watched the documentary as it aired on ABC, I bought the VHS box set and watched it over and over and over again. I bought all three double-disc Anthology CD sets. When I was in Vancouver, I saw a record store selling both the CD single for Free As A Bird and Real Love.

Those two songs were recorded from demos made by John Lennon. These unfinished songs were handed to the surviving Beatles by Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono. After Lennon’s murder on December 8, 1980, there was no hope The Beatles could ever reunite. There’s absolutely no way The Beatles could exist without John Lennon. The Beatles were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr and without one of them, it wouldn’t be The Beatles.

This was the next best thing. A home recording of John Lennon’s which surviving The Beatles could clean up and overdub onto. The final result was… okay. It’s a good song. It’s not brilliant, but it’s a good song. Is it as good as the output that made the band legendary, probably not, but it’s enjoyable.

The three B-sides on the record are a live rendition of “Baby’s In Black” which is often overwhelmed by the screaming of teenage girls, a remix of “Yellow Submarine,” and a basic track of “Here, There and Everywhere.”

“Baby’s In Black” was recorded at Hollywood Bowl in 1965, but that song wasn’t included on the American released Live At The Hollywood Bowl. Lennon introduces the song in a very John Lennon fashion.

The remix of “Yellow Submarine” puts the sound effects more prominent. It’s not anything you’d want to listen to when you have the proper release of the song.

“Here, There And Everywhere” is a stripped down recording. Paul McCartney’s guiding vocals really illustrate how sweet his voice is. There’s a few bum notes on the recording, but you can really see what makes McCartney one of the great songwriters and singers. Near the end of the song, the Beatle harmonies come in and prove just how good those Beatles really were.

Men 25.625 (78%) | Women 7.375 (22%)
CD: 18.5 (56%) | Vinyl: 11.5 (35%) | Digital: 0 (0%) | 7″: 2 (6%) | Box: 1 (3%)
1960s: 4 (12%) | 1970s: 2 (6%) | 1980s: 1 (3%) | 1990s: 9 (27%) | 2000s: 16 (48%) | 2010s: 1 (3%)
Canada 9.8 (30%) | USA 14.2 (43%) | UK 7 (21%) | NZ 1 (3%) | FR 1 (3%)
Ontario 4 (40%) | Quebec 1 (10%) | Nova Scotia 3 (30%) | New Brunswick 1 (10%) | Manitoba 0 (0%) | British Columbia 0 (0%) | Prince Edward Island 0 (0%)
Saskatchewan 0 (0%) | Alberta 0 (0%) | Newfoundland and Labrador 1 (10%) | Northwest Territories 0 (0%) | Yukon 0 (0%) | Nunavut 0 (0%)

Music Roundup

Come and Get It:
The Best of Apple Records

In 1968, The Beatles formed Apple Corps. Ltd., a new home for the records, and of the amazing and strange records of their contemporaries.

Recently released is Come And Get It: The Best of Apple Records a record that can only be described as mis-titled. This is definitely not the best of Apple, as it doesn’t feature The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” or Lennon’s “Mother.” Instead it could more aptly be titled “Assorted Single, and such.”

Though The Beatles, as a cohesive unit, do not grace the record, they are still in sight. The album features Lennon/McCartney compositions such as “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight”1, “Thingumybob”2, Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance”3, “God Save Us”4, and more George Harrison songs than you can shake a stick at.

The Beatles don’t sit back comfortably only in the role of songwriter. The legendary band also often produce, or perform with their labelmates. The genres are never a pre-defined thing, going from Francophone hillbilly5 to shmaltz6, soul7, gospel8 and much more.

It’s pretty easy to list all the brilliant on this record, “Those Were The Days,” “Carolina In My Mind,” “Maybe Tomorrow,” “Sour Milk Sea,” “New Day,” “Come And Get It,” “Try Some, Buy Some,” “Ain’t That Cute,” “Govinda,” “Saturday Night Special,” and “Day After Day.”

There’s also a lot that can be described best as… interesting. The Lennon/McCartney9 composition “Thingumybob” would not sound out of place as the backing music for a Looney Tunes cartoon. There’s Brute Force’s comedy song “King of Fuh,” who apparently was “called the Fuh King;” Lennon must have chosen this one.

The only thing bad on the record is Hot Chocolate Band’s reggae cover of “Give Peace A Chance.”

While a lot of this appears on other newly remastered Apple discs, it does feature a lot of material only previously available on singles.

Grit
by KUMONgA

While this might only be a three-song demo, I feel I must give it some space on this here blog. KUMONgA is a new band featuring Dan Walters, who used to be in The Brown Hornets, a pretty damn good band. While The Brown Hornets were a lot more punk, KUMONgA is a bit more focused on soul rock; to the point where the opening track has definite Rolling Stones vibes, specifically “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” The other two tracks continue on this theme, creating a rather cohesive and easily digestible three songs. I’m not sure if the title Grit is a reference to their dirty soul sound, or if it’s to display an affection towards the Liberal Party of Canada.

Looking forward to potential live KUMONgA shenanigans.

  1. Performed by Trash []
  2. Performed by The Black Dyke Mills Band []
  3. Performed by Hot Chocolate Band []
  4. Performed by Bill Elliot & The Elastic Oz Band, listeners will hear Lennon count in. []
  5. The Sundown Playboys []
  6. Mary Hopkin’s “Those Were The Days” []
  7. Jackie Lomax []
  8. Billy Preston []
  9. Really Paul. []

“A toast to those who are gone…

… with never a reason why” – Phil Ochs

Lennon Naked

I recently reviewed the film Nowhere Boy, the prequel to Backbeat. In my review I stated:

Now it’s been a long time since I’ve seen Backbeat, but if I recall, the band went on to be rather big, maybe it’s time for a sequel studying that part of their career.

This film did just that. The film starts in 1964, when John Lennon meets his father for the first time in 17 years. While Nowhere Boy examined Lennon’s relationship with his mother, Lennon Naked is about his relationship with his father.

The film follows some key events in the life of Lennon’s up until 1971 when Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono leave the UK for the United States.

Christopher Eccelston (Doctor Who, Gone in 60 Seconds, Heroes) plays the famous Lennon, and it’s slightly awkward having a man who’s face is so well known to me, playing a man who’s face is so well known to me. They intercut archival footage of Lennon, The Beatles, and Yoko Ono through the film, and surprisingly use Beatles and Lennon recordings as the soundtrack.

While Lennon’s relationship with Alfred Lennon, his father, is the main crux of the story, there’s a lot of stuff which doesn’t really relate to the relationship of the Lennons. The main problem with the film is that John Lennon is an adult by the time the film starts, and while he carries a lot of resentment and hatred towards his father, who left him as a child, he’s still an adult. An adult dealing with the betrayal of his parents doesn’t come near the interest of a child. That’s where Nowhere Boy succeeded, and Lennon Naked failed. However, there is a great way to succeed with this same story, and unfortunately, the film makers did the same thing John Lennon did… ignored Julian Lennon. While John was dealing with the hurt caused by his father, he was doing the same thing to his son Julian.

I think the filmmaker was trying to show the parallels, but they failed at it.

If you’re a Beatles/Lennon fan, watch it. Otherwise, meh.

Music Roundup

I’ve been buying records like crazy over the past month or so, and I haven’t written about any. HERE WE GO…

Belmundo Regal by Radio Radio

This hip-hop trio from Nova Scotia rap in the Chiac dialect of Acadian French. Chiac mixes French with words and phrases of the more prominent English. This leads to lyrics such as:

Canned tuna, caviar ∙ Michelina, superstar ∙
Marcher sur la Main ∙ Ou marcher sur la ∙
I don’t know ∙ Ini mini miny moe ∙ C’est qui
c’qui veut du Jello ? ∙ Si ton sport c’est du vélo ∙
Ben come on baby hello ∙ Saute, danse autour
de la question ∙ Marcher sur la hey ∙ Ok ∙
J’t’explique que ça icitte c’est un cirque ∙
Jet Set dans mon minivan ∙ Dors dans un cot ∙
J’ai ma case in case ∙ Que ma case work pas ∙
Head case ∙ In case ∙ Que mon style work pas ∙
Penny Loafer Deck Shoe ∙ Garde à ça ∙ Garde à
ça ∙ Garde à ça ∙ J’ai ma ∙ Non man ∙ Moi ej work
ma tan ∙ Shopping channel vendre une scam ∙
Copy coller j’su comme damn ∙ Basically so basic

I heard about Radio Radio thanks to the Polaris Music Prize. They were on the shortlist, and when I saw them perform at the awards ceremony I was taken aback at how good they were. The songs are fun, and though I don’t understand the lyrics, it doesn’t matter.

Le Noise by Neil Young

Sigh. Everyone was talking about how amazing this record was. Everyone was saying that the collaboration between Young and Daniel Lanois was something spectacular. It isn’t. It doesn’t have anything to do with Lanois’ production, as that’s really interesting, but instead it’s Neil Young’s songwriting.

Young, who’s considered by many to be the greatest Canadian songwriter, has always been hit or miss, and I believe Le Noise to be an example of the miss category. His lyrics are blasé, and show an artist who seems to be screaming for the sake of screaming.

Next we look at Daniel Lanois. Again, a Canadian at the top of his field, but while Lanois’s production on this album, creating an atmosphere that seems to bring one into a feeling of Young singing in a giant church far off sounds good, but it doesn’t hold the interest throughout the album.

Double Fantasy (Stripped Down) by John Lennon & Yoko Ono

One of Lennon’s greatest albums, Double Fantasy has been repackaged, remastered and remixed as a stripped down version. For those unfamiliar with the album, it features such Lennon classics as “(Just Like) Starting Over,” “Woman,” “I’m Losing You,” “Watching The Wheels,” and I think there’s some Yoko Ono songs on there, too.

Honestly, the Yoko songs aren’t as horrible as most people think. Hell, “Yes, I’m Your Angel” is a downright, adorable song, and anyone who doesn’t like it is plainly wrong.

I’m not sure if these are different takes, or not, I don’t think they are. I’m pretty sure that it’s the main takes, just remixed with the music lower, and the vocals higher. I honestly don’t see the point to it. It comes with a remastered (but not remixed) copy of Double Fantasy which sounds lovely.

Of these remastered, I’m more interested in picking up Lennon’s Walls and Bridges and Sometime In New York as I didn’t pick them up in the last round of remasters. I bought this one as a test, as it wasn’t in the boxset that was released with all the remasters, I used it to judge if I wanted to repurchase all of Lennon’s solo career, again. I won’t.

1,000 Years by The Corin Tucker Band

Have you ever heard of a band called Sleater-Kinney? Well, you should. They were an incredible punk rock/alternative band from the 1990s. Back in 2005, they released their final and best album, The Woods. Since then we’ve waited. Slightly impatiently. Tucker’s the first of the trio to release a solo record, and as she was a principal songwriter, and lead vocalist, it was worth the wait.

While it’s not as ear-shattering, bold, or strong as The Woods, 1,000 Years is fantastic. The best I’ve been able to describe this record is with “It sounds like a Sleater-Kinney record, and it sounds nothing like a Sleater-Kinney record.” While parts of it will remind you of pre-The Woods SK, it really is something of its own, and it’s not because of what it lacks.

Sure it lacks the screaming backing vocals of Carrie Brownstein or the pounding drums of Janet Weiss, it’s not that which characterizes the record. The record starts off slowly, and then suddenly with “Doubt” it gets heavy, and the listener starts to hear the similarities to SK. It’s an awesome song that’ll make you want you want to dance.

“BREAK UP WITH THE BOOGIE, BREAK UP WITH THE BEAT!”

Okay, I think four records is enough to review in one go. I still have lots more, like Women, Apples In Stereo, Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan, Dum Dum Girls, Deerhunter, Dan Mangan, Laetita Sadier, and Amy Millan.

Nowhere Boy

On the plane ride home from Vancouver, I decided to have a go at their in-seat entertainment system. I found in there a film called Nowhere Boy. It’s apparently a prequel to Backbeat, which is about the friendship of a young musician named John Lennon and a painter named Stuart Sutcliffe. Who would’ve thought that mostly unnoticed film would need a prequel was a bit nuts, but it was surprisingly good.

Nowhere Boy instead focuses on Lennon and his broken home. Raised by his Uncle George and Aunt Mimi. Mimi is strict, while George is fun loving. George dies an untimely death, and this affects Lennon and puts him into the rage we see later in Backbeat. Lennon also reconnects with his mother Julia and learns more about the disappearance of his father Alf1. Lennon is enamoured with his mother, and the image of Elvis Presley, who together inspire him to become a rock and roller.

Lennon starts The Quarrymen, an skiffle group, with his friends from school. Eventually he meets a younger boy named Paul McCartney, who impresses him with his performance of “20 Flight Rock,” and eventually in a brief scene we see George Harrison join the band. Thus most of the cast of Backbeat is together by the end of the film.

One of my favourite points in the film is an interchange between Paul, John, and Julia after they find out McCartney’s mother died.

Julia to Paul: So awful, your mother being taken away from you.
John: She had cancer, what’s your excuse?

The film overall is really about Lennon’s unhealthy relationship with his mother. The two are more like friends at best and lovers at worst than a mother-son relationship.

Overall it’s not a bad film, and adds some damn good backstory for Backbeat, and might even be better than Backbeat itself. Now it’s been a long time since I’ve seen Backbeat, but if I recall, the band went on to be rather big, maybe it’s time for a sequel studying that part of their career.

  1. Who names a character after an alien-muppet from an ’80s sitcom? []

Music Monday

Compare and Contrast

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Lyrics volume 3

For volume 1, click here.
For volume 2, click here.

On Friday night I went to see $100 at the Horseshoe Tavern, and I knew right then that I should include them in this ongoing series of awesome lyrics.

With only one album, one EP, and two seven inch records in their limited catalogue, there’s not much to choose from, but the it seems nearly every song has something worth talking about. Whether it’s songs about the hostile relationship between mother and her transexual son, self-righteous men who impose their beliefs on a lesbian couple, suicide on the TTC, or sloppy lovers, it’s easy to find something to talk about.

Instead of these, I chose the song “Fourteen Hour Day,” which is a tale of a woman and her husband, a miner in Timmins. Wishing to be able to lay down with her husband, when he’s busy working a fourteen day as the foreman in the mine. They spend their years toiling away, hoping for something better, until the end.

There’s a dip here in the mattress,
Beside me where you lay.
I can’t bear to lie here, oh I weep my night away,
You know I weep my night away.

I’ll grab that shovel darling,
March up to your grave.
Dig a hole right next to yours and next to you I’ll stay,
Yeah, next to you I’ll stay.

The pure sadness and desperation of hers is heartbreaking.


How does one end an era? John Lennon did it with a simple statement.

I don’t believe in Beatles