"Beatles for Dummies"Written by Sarah Anne Polsinelli
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While recording Abbey Road together in 1969, it became more apparent that band were pursuing their own individual interests (Let It Be was an abandoned album that was recorded earlier in year, but was compiled and released by their record company in 1970). McCartney tried to take over for Epstein, first by involving group with film The Magical Mystery Tour. The film captured their psychedelic period, but was a drastic flop.
While Lennon was busy in love with artist Yoko Ono, and McCartney was off talking to press and ceremoniously leading group, George Harrison was pursuing his own style of artistry. Lennon and McCartney were principal songwriters and Harrison, eager to burst free of his two-song-per-album limitation, released first solo effort from a Beatles band member in 1968, with film soundtrack Wonderwall Music.
There was also a terrible business decision that would plague them for many years. Apple Corps. was originally set out as a company that would give grants to poets, songwriters and fashion designers of late 1960s - in other words, hippies. But what began as a vehicle for tax evasion soon became a financial disaster. Apple was losing money and The Beatles were publicly mocked for their bad business sense. Their public money squabbles soon sent them on a downward spiral.
New manager Allen Klein was hired in 1970 to restructure company, but McCartney disliked him and had wanted to hire his lawyer father-in-law instead. John's insistence on collaborating with Yoko sparked tensions within group. They officially broke up in 1970, before release of their final album, Let It Be.
Each member pursued careers as independent artists. John Lennon proved his talent as an independent artist with albums such as John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, but his career ended abruptly evening of December 8, 1980 when he was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building.
Lennon's assassination marked end of Paul McCartney's new band, The Wings, as well. Formed with wife Linda (and six other members) in 1971, they had toured for almost 10 years, with some hit singles and profitable albums, until Lennon's assassination caused them to stop touring and breakup thereafter. McCartney remains most successful popular music composer and recording artist ever with sales of 100 million singles worldwide. "Yesterday" (from 1965 Help! album) is world's most popular song with over 6 million airplays in US alone.
One of George Harrison's most notable post-breakup achievements was releasing two very successful albums with The Travelling Wilbury's, which included members such as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison. He pursued a solo career until he died of brain cancer in November 2001.
Last and least (in public eye, anyway), Ringo Starr, nicknamed for having always worn lots of rings on his fingers, released a successful self-titled album in 1973, after producing two back-to-back number one hits. He dabbled in television and films, and later formed The All Star Band.
No band has ever come close to mimicking The Beatles' overall success and popularity. The Beatles gave us more than 22 number one singles, and a dozen albums that spanned and exemplified a decade rich with historical achievements. But most importantly, what we got was a "Revolution" (Well, you know).
Student writer, professional daydreamer. Go to www.pumpkin-face.com for a complete list of articles.
Patriotic Music: Surprising Secrets About Those Flag-Waving SoundsWritten by Scott G (The G-Man)
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"America Beautiful," Katharine Lee Bates, 1895, 1904, 1913. Originally a poem that Bates twice revised after its first publication in 1885, "America Beautiful" was sung to several different melodies. The song associated with it today is "Materna," composed by Samuel A. Ward in 1882, but it was also often performed to tune of "Auld Lang Syne."
"Stars and Stripes Forever," John Philip Sousa, 1896. Composed on Christmas Day, "The Stars and Stripes Forever" has become country's official march (US Code, Title 36 Chapter 10). Sousa wrote lyrics to song, but they are little known today (sample: "Let martial note in triumph float / And liberty extend its mighty hand / A flag appears 'mid thunderous cheers, / The banner of Western land.)"
"Yankee Doodle Boy," George M. Cohan, 1904. "You're A Grand Old Flag," George M. Cohan, 1906. "Over There," George M. Cohan, 1917. Known as "the man who owned Broadway," Cohan was a superstar before term was coined. While his film biography is called "Yankee Doodle Dandy," title of his first big tribute to America is actually "The Yankee Doodle Boy." Cohan excited U.S. audiences again in 1906 with "You're a Grand Old Flag," although original line was "You're a Grand Old Rag." It was America's entrance into World War I in 1917 that inspired Cohan to write "Over There," for which he received a congressional medal.
"God Bless America," Irving Berlin, 1938. The prolific Berlin (900+ songs despite being unable to read music) originally wrote this song right after first World War, but did not complete it until just before World War II. Kate Smith first performed it during her radio show on Armistice Day, 1938. An immediate sensation, song was often suggested to replace "Star Spangled Banner" as national anthem.
"Star Spangled Banner," Jimi Hendrix, 1969. The legendary guitarist took stage near dawn on final day of Woodstock Music and Art Fair. The 13th song in his hour-long set was an incendiary rendition of venerable tune. In a performance that was somehow savage and grand at same time, Hendrix wrestled new levels of emotion from song and generations have never heard it quite same way again.
"Apocalypse Now," Francis Ford Coppola, 1979. The music in question is "Ride of Valkyries," from Richard Wagner's opera, "Die Walkure (1854-56). The composition fit perfectly into director Coppola's nightmarish vision of Vietnam War. The sequence, featuring a helicopter attack at dawn, never fails to raise emotions of viewers.
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Scott G owns G-Man Music & Radical Radio (www.gmanmusic.com) where he makes radio commercials for Verizon Wireless, Goodrich, Micron, National Steel, the Auto Club, and many others. He also is recording artist The G-Man, with 4 albums on iTunes and Delvian Records.