Solo Beatles single by single thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Haristar, Jun 17, 2016.

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  1. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    It says something about The Beatles when a top 5 single is considered a minor flop

    A few Beatles songs were banned - often for drug references. A Day In The Life for one. Don't think that would have any affect on the solo careers. Cold Turkey after all was anti-drugs and not pro drugs as some of their songs were
     
  2. Chuckee

    Chuckee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Upstate, NY, USA
    Recorded after the Toronto concert.
     
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  3. blutiga

    blutiga Forum Resident

    I thought so.
     
  4. wildstar

    wildstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    ontario, canada
    Well IIRC TBOJ&Y "flopped" at #8 on Billboard - so a Top 10 single. A major accomplishment for most, but definitely not for The Beatles at the time - especially for a non-album single.

    Something being released after the album (rather than ahead of, or simultaneously with) cut into sales since by the time it came out, many people already had the album, and didnt need the single.

    At the time singles almost always did worse when they were extracted from an already released album as compared to being non-album exclusives.


    Not a single. I have a hard time believing that the banning of one album track (on an album that also contains at least a dozen other unbanned songs) is going to cause significant damage to the sales potention of an album.

    The A-side of a single OTOH...


    :confused:

    Again, those songs were not singles, plus if songs could be banned simply for their subtle veiled drug references at the time, I doubt that whether a "drug song" was in fact Pro or Anti was even taken into consideration.

    All that mattered was that drugs were mentioned at all - with no thought whatsoever given to context.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  5. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Then again, when Paul gave an interview about being 'dead' in November 1969, he said:
    "...But the Beatle thing is over. It has been exploded, partly by what we have done, and partly by other people. We are individuals-- all different."
     
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  6. Scott S.

    Scott S. Indie Music Curator

    Location:
    Walmartville PA
    Just being honest, there's a place for that somewhere in this world.
     
  7. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Yes, if anyone knew John, it would be Paul. And Paul certainly knew John meant it when he (John) quit. But I still think that Paul was hoping for some type of change of heart by John. I think the "Instant Karma" single was the musical equivalent of divorce papers though. That was a commercial pop song that Lennon actively promoted on TV and wanted to be a big hit.
     
  8. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    On September 25th, 1969, at EMI Studio 3, "Cold Turkey" was recorded in 26 takes. The final take was considered best but John reconsidered and went to Trident Studios three days later with the band to record a remake. The best take from this session was mixed into stereo and pressed onto an acetate. Before it would see an official release, John would redo his lead vocal again on October 5th.

    The alternate-vocal version from the acetate can be heard here:
    Beatles Rarity of the Week – “Cold Turkey” (raw alternate vocal version) »
     
  9. Haristar

    Haristar Apollo C. Vermouth Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    I was planning to to only include US and UK singles as that already leaves well over 100 singles to discuss, but I'm open to including singles from other markets as long as they still provoke interesting discussions.
     
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  10. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    As long as you include the "Bip Bop/Love Is Strange" 45 from Turkey, then I'm okay with whatever else you do:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Haristar

    Haristar Apollo C. Vermouth Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    John Lennon - "Instant Karma!" (1970)

    [​IMG]
    B-side: Yoko Ono : "Who Has Seen the Wind?" [1970] »
    Released: 6 February 1970 (UK), 20 February 197o (US)
    Charts: #5 (UK), #3 (US)

    Together with his wife, Yoko Ono, John Lennon spent New Year 1970 in Aalborg, Denmark,[1] establishing a relationship with Ono's former husband, artist Tony Cox, and visiting Cox and Ono's daughter Kyoko.[2] The visit coincided with the start of what Lennon termed "Year 1 AP (After Peace)",[3] following his and Ono's much-publicised Bed-Ins and other peace-campaign activities throughout 1969.[4][5]

    To mark the new era,[6] on 20 January 1970, the couple shaved off their shoulder-length hair, an act that Britain's Daily Mirror described as "the most sensational scalpings since the Red Indians went out of business".[7] Lennon and Ono pledged to auction the shorn hair for a charitable cause,[8] having similarly announced on 5 January[2] that they would donate all future royalties from their recordings to the peace movement.[9] Also while in Denmark, the Lennons, Cox and the latter's current partner, Melinde Kendall, discussed the concept of "instant karma",[10] whereby the causality of one's actions is immediate rather than borne out over a lifetime.[11][12] Author Philip Norman writes of the concept's appeal: "The idea was quintessential Lennon – the age-old Buddhist law of cause and effect turned into something as modern and synthetic as instant coffee and, simultaneously, into a bogey under the stairs that can get you if you don't watch out."[13]

    On 27 January 1970, two days after returning to the UK,[7] Lennon woke up with the beginnings of a song inspired by his conversations with Cox and Kendall.[15] Working at home on a piano, Lennon developed the idea and came up with a melody for the composition, which he titled "Instant Karma!"[16][17]

    As with "Give Peace a Chance" and "Power to the People"[25] – Lennon singles from 1969 and 1971 respectively – the chorus has an anthem-like quality, as he sings: "We all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun."[23] Norman describes the chorus as Lennon restating his message of "peace campaigning and non-violent, optimistic togetherness".[13] Lennon biographer John Blaney writes that the song is an appeal "for mankind to take responsibility for its fate" and that it was "Lennon developing his own brand of egalitarianism".[10]

    Lennon completed the writing of "Instant Karma!" in an hour.[2] He then telephoned bandmate George Harrison[15] and American producer Phil Spector,[17] who was in London at the invitation of the Beatles' Apple Corps manager, Allen Klein.[26][27] According to Lennon's recollection, he told Spector: "Come over to Apple quick, I've just written a monster."[17]
     
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  12. Haristar

    Haristar Apollo C. Vermouth Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    This is a song that I feel could have easily been a Beatles song, especially with George's contribution and Phil Spector's production. Spector's work on this song could be the reason why John was so keen for him to bring the Get Back project to life.
     
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  13. Paper Wizard

    Paper Wizard Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Totally agree with you. Cold Turkey is a good song but I don't think it is one of John's best.
     
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  14. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    HariStar, great idea for a thread and I would have loved to do it as well. I hope you hang in there because there's a lot of Macca singles...well a lot of Macca fans here, but the numbers do add up. Not sure how many total singles have been released but this may take the rest of the year.
    --------------
    "Give Peace a Chance" is great despite the odd nature of the recording. Most people don't even know the prominent percussion sound-that thwap sound is one of the guests opening and closing a door. Took me forever to find that tidbit but it's so loud on the recording I had to know. I don't think it needed to last 5 minutes but having it as an edit on the Live NYC album and Shaved Fish was unfortunate. It's a great singalong and to this day everyone still references it-always as a pun or joke or memory. The album cover was really worked on. It's a Yoko Ono installation where everything involved is clear/transparent made of glass, and x-ray machine, etc. I forget all the details but it took a long time for John and Yoko to get it together for a photo.


    "Cold Turkey"
    I would think many would be turned off by how aggressive it is in comparison with Beatles material. I was surprised it made top 40 but not surprised it wasn't a Beatles song. I like that people enjoy some "let it loose rock" nowadays as this forum and others do like the song overall. It's not one of my favorite singles of Lennon or 1969, but it's a pleasure to hear some ear splitting, screaming, go-crazy rock.

    I have a question for everyone? This song was released a few times live-anybody have a favorite? For me, I'm not sure. I know I didn't like the other studio version found on "Anthology" and "Acoustic". Needs the rock to send the message.
     
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  15. Paper Wizard

    Paper Wizard Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Instant Karma is a classic. I think one of his absolute top solo songs.
     
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  16. anthontherun

    anthontherun Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    "Give Peace a Chance": I think I was introduced to this via an episode of The Wonder Years, where they kids cut class and went outside to sing it or something. It's definitely a memorable melody, but I'd probably enjoy it more if the verses had some more substance and the recording were of higher quality.

    "Cold Turkey": Love this one. What a badass riff, and John's vocals fit the mood of the song perfectly. It's not one that I need to listen to all the time, but it's definitely one of the highlights of his solo career.

    "Instant Karma!": This was the first solo John song I really liked. I heard it on the radio probably not too long after I'd gotten Wingspan and was open to discovering the solo Beatles. My family is super-religious, and "Imagine" was always a controversial track, so after hearing "Instant Karma!" I remember getting Lennon Legend and hiding it from my dad because I thought he'd disapprove. In hindsight, he wouldn't have cared, but that's how I was at the time. But yeah, this is the song that convinced me I had to dive into his post-Beatles catalog. I love the story about John writing and recording and releasing it so swiftly too.

    The Live Jam version on Some Time in New York City is probably my favorite, even compared to the studio version. Just the right amount of sloppiness and sludge and power.
     
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  17. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    I'm all for Lennon doing that quick release of 'Instant Karma!', but still think the timing was very interesting that McCartney was not included in that recording and then all of a sudden the whole 'McCartney' album release issue comes into play.

    I truly think Paul has never admitted that it hurt him that John did not ask him to come play or help at all with such a great and relevant song. When we get to the single, I'll write more. Oh I see we did.

    Well, "Instant Karma!", is many people's favorite, I heard it on the Coca-Cola commercial in '88 or whenever and it was one of my first Beatle experiences. I loved it, the voice sounded incredible whoever it was-of course it was Lennon, but I loved the positivity of that song. It will always be a beloved song because it embraces the listener on an emotional level that make one feel great inside and capable of making dreams come true.

    It's also another totally different recording than Beatles stuff because of all the voices on the chorus, all the pianos - it's got a different sound than most records from any of the Beatles.
    ___________
    These 3 Lennon singles and each one either incredibly positive or negative. The extremes of Lennon-his emotions and thoughts were all over the map. But all 3 are so different from one another in sound.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
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  18. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    But it wasn't - the 'thumping' seems to be a later overdub added at Trident in London (along with other percussion and vocals, acoustic guitar and a second Lennon vocal). Before that, other overdubs - a better 'choir' - were overdubbed in Canada after the original recording. While double-checking, I came across this, which appears to be extracts from the original undubbed recording. It sounds quite different, but John's vocal indicates it's the same basic take. All in all, it was heavily overdubbed:

     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  19. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    We're on Instant Karma. Write more! :D
     
  20. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Ha! Cool, I edited my post.
     
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  21. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I agree - but maybe not just metaphorically. For a long time, I've heard the lyrics as possibly being a subtle dig at Paul being the 'outsider'. Does anyone else see that?

    Instant karma's gonna get YOU...
    Better recognise your brothers...
    Who on earth do you think you are - a superstar? Well, alright you are!!...
    Pretty soon you're GONNA be dead...
    Why on earth are you there?... come and get your share...
     
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  22. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Hard to say Slane. I mean we know that their was additional percussion work due to Lennon commenting that the beat was off at it had to be adjusted. From extracts or a 'rehearsal' like it says we can't tell. I do hear that the group singing was not in sync yet with the counter part so it does sound like a rehearsal and not the completed take used to overdub. I have the door as one of the percussion instruments from 2 books but it would take time to find it and I don't have them with me at the moment. The door may have been an overdub but I remember it being the hotel room door.
     
  23. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    I really love your imagination on that theory, interesting, but the song is just to joyous and life affirming. Lennon does kind of warn and threaten in the way he sounds a little aggressive, but nah. Cool theory.
     
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  24. apple-richard

    apple-richard Overnight Sensation

    The Ballad Of John and Yoko sold more than any other single in the US the week it was #8. The reason for the chart position was attributed to radio play. In the US charts were based on sales and radio play. A lot of stations refused to play it due to the Christ you know it ain't easy line. So if we go by sales alone it should have been a #1 single. Referenced from the Bruce Spizer Beatles singles book.
     
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  25. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I don't think many of the 'facts' about this recording are actually correct. As I said earlier, listen to the centre channel of the Lennon Legend 5.1 mix if you can - the Trident overdubs (thumping, percussion, vocals including a second Lennon vocal doing some interjections, plus acoustic guitar are plain as day. Also, he doesn't really go out of time (he does skip two beats at one point, but that doesn't alter the on/off beats) and Ken Scott (who mixed it) says that the echo on the thumping was just an effect that Lennon wanted, nothing about 'correcting' anything. Also, most of the background singing was overdubbed after the session at Andre Perry's studio (he recorded the initial bedroom session - though even he mistakenly thought that his overdubs were the final version, he didn't seem to know about the later Trident overdubs).

    I can't say I'm 100% correct on everything, but believe me, I've done a lot of work trying to get to the bottom of this :cool:

    FWIW, one of the reviews at the time said something about the thumping 'sounding like someone opening and closing a wardrobe door'.

    PS. That 'rehearsal' version is in fact the basic master recording - it's just been edited for some reason. Lennon's vocals are exactly the same, same ad-libs etc.
     
  26. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    I love getting into the details like this. Found this quote on Beatles Bible about 'Give Peace a Chance'. We'll figure this out. Couldn't find Lennon's quote yet about the rhythm being off.

    Because of the condition of the room being bad, it's as if you put big speakers in such a small enclosure. Too much noise and in a small environment, and what was going on was the tape picking this up. So it wouldn't have been usable. Originally there were no intentions to have any over-dubs done. But when I left John, he looked at me and I said, 'Well, I'll go back to the studio and listen to this and see what it's like.' And then I decided upon myself that the background was a bit too noisy and needed a little 'sweeping.' By this I mean, we kept all the original stuff, we just kind of like, improved it a bit by adding if you like, some voices. So we called a bunch of people in the studio that night, I did, actually that was my decision. And that's probably why John gave me such a credit on the single because I think he thought I took the incentive of doing that. And since it was multi-track I dubbed the original 4-track to an 8-track machine and then used the other 4-track to overdub some voices.

    The next day I went back to John, made a mix of that I went back to him and they moved everybody out of the room and it was just the three of us, with Yoko, and I played it for him and he thought it was wonderful. Kept it 'as is.' There's another story going around about overdubbing in London, England. Nothing was overdubbed in England. The actual 45 that existed originally is the actual recording. There was also in certain books, references to overdubbing in England, that's not true. The only thing that was overdubbed, like I said, is some of these people, and the reason why I did it, is I wanted to give him some kind of option. You see the point of the matter, it's not that we wanted to cheat anything, it was a question of like, not usable, the condition was absolutely terrible. What we did is by taking the original stuff that was there, and just adding a few voices in a cleaner environment, cleaner recording environment.

    So Andre says only voices but doesn't mention Lennon's issue with the rhythm. Hmm...
     
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