The Beatles had a lot on their plate when the time came to write their third album, A Hard Day’s Night. It would be the first and last album in their catalogue that would feature an all Lennon-McCartney line-up of original compositions. Plus, they had a movie to star in, featuring said songs on the record. And they went on tour to promote both the film and the new record. It would be the year of very tight schedules.
This album would be one of two released that year, with accompanying tours and other personal appearances that would make having days off a rarity. Here we find the Beatles at the height of the earliest phase in their career that would introduce them to the world as four smiling boys in suits playing jangly music, and expanding Beatlemania all over the world while they were at it. But, what lay under the surface of their waggling heads, cheeky smiles, and clever quips? As it turns out, quite a lot when one listens closely to the songs.
Discussing these very issues with my old friend Graeme Burk and me is Shannon Dohar, who’s favourite film as a child was, you guessed it, A Hard Day’s Night. Speaking of that film, we talk about what it meant for the band, and what it means as a film on its own. We also talk about ways that the movie, as great as it is, penned them in as narrowly defined versions of themselves for years after its release, with breaking out of that mould becoming a desparate neccessity by the end of the decade.
Take a listen to the episode right here.
In the second episode of A Year With The Beatles podcast that I am co-chairing with my good friend Graeme Burk (author, podcaster, bon vivant), we talk about the business of following up a smash debut. Even The Beatles had to do that at one time, right? And how difficult was it for them? Is there a progression to be found here? How is this manifest? Have the Beatles grown as recording artists? What are the tracks that blow us away? What about the cover versions? Do they work just as well on this release as they did on Please Please Me?
Joining Graeme and me is master music mix maker Andrew Flint, a guy who’s followed the band almost from the very beginning. We also examine an historic event in the life of the band, the history of television, and the signs of a growing culture unified by a single event: The February 9, 1964 appearance the band made on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Listen to the episode right here.
The Beatles changed my perception of the world and set me on a path that, among other things, inspired me to create The Delete Bin. As it turns out, that’s not the only thing they have inspired.
My friend of four decades (!) Graeme Burk, is an author, podcaster, and speaker who’s Mastermind subject would undoubtedly be Doctor Who. But, he’s also a big Beatles fan. He invited me to participate in a new podcast, one that would have us listen to twelve Beatles albums, one per month (possibly making allowances for two for the White Album!). This is the first episode, and my first ever co-chair gig on a podcast. Be gentle, commenters!
In it, we are joined by Bill Evenson who help Graeme and me zero in on the Fabs’ first ever full length studio album. We discuss our favourite songs, our ideas on where the band was at in terms of their development, and ask the question of whether or not there are any revolutionary traits in the music that would hint at what the band would come to mean to so many. We also discuss the band’s involvement with Tony Sheridan and their recording of “My Bonnie”.
Have a listen right here.