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:: Spotlight :: The Beatles - Brought back to life in LOVE

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Apple Corporation and EMI Music have released The Beatles LOVE album in stereo and 5.1. This will be the first Beatles album available in 5.1. The stereo CD will contain 78 minutes of music. The DVD surround sound version on DVD disc album will be a slightly extended version with 81 minutes of music.

After being asked by the remaining Beatles, Ringo and Paul, along with Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, to make experimental mixes from their master tapes for a collaboration with Cirque du Soleil, Sir George Martin, The Beatles legendary producer, and his son Giles Martin have been working with the entire archive of Beatles recordings to create LOVE. The result is an unprecedented approach to the music. Using the master tapes at Abbey Road Studios, Sir George and Giles have created a unique soundscape. The release of this album, which is also featured in the Cirque du Soleil/Beatles collaborative production of the same name at The Mirage in Las Vegas, has been much anticipated.

“This album puts the Beatles back together again, because suddenly there’s John and George with me and Ringo,” said Paul McCartney. “It’s kind of magical.”

“George and Giles did such a great job combining these tracks. It’s really powerful for me and I even heard things I’d forgotten we’d recorded.” commented Ringo Starr.

“The album has the feeling of love and that’s why the title is Beatles LOVE,“ added Yoko Ono Lennon, "They have let everything that is beautiful and daring come out.”

“The music is stunning. I think the most amazing thing about it is that you can pull it apart and all the elements carry with it the essence of the entire song,” said Olivia Harrison.

Tony Wadsworth, Chairman and CEO of EMI Music UK and Ireland said, “George and Giles’ highly original work in creating the “LOVE” album gives us a genuinely new Beatles album. It makes us respect even more, if that were possible, the creativity and brilliance of the band behind the greatest catalogue in the history of recorded music.”

The 5.1 disc is a DVD-Audio/DVD-Video hybrid. The audio is presented in high-resolution 96/24 5.1 surround on the DVD-Audio part of the disc. The DVD-Video part carries 5.1 surround in DTS and Dolby Digital as well as a PCM stereo mix. This DVD album is designed to be played on DVD video equipment but will carry no video component.

The “LOVE” CD and DVD track listing is:

1. Because
2. Get Back
3. Glass Onion
4. Eleanor Rigby
Julia (Transition)
5. I Am The Walrus
6. I Want To Hold Your Hand
7. Drive My Car/The Word/What You’re Doing
8. Gnik Nus
9. Something
Blue Jay Way (Transition)
10. Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!/I Want You
(She’s So Heavy)/Helter Skelter
11. Help!
12. Blackbird/Yesterday
13. Strawberry Fields Forever
14. Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows
15. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds
16. Octopus’s Garden
17. Lady Madonna
18. Here Comes The Sun
The Inner Light (Transition)
19. Come Together/Dear Prudence
Cry Baby Cry (Transition)
20. Revolution
21. Back In The U.S.S.R.
22. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
23. A Day In The Life
24. Hey Jude
25. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
26. All You Need Is Love

Check out this 4-track sampler provided.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Octopus's Garden

Lady Madonna

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

COMMENTS ON THE ABOVE FOUR TRACKS BY GEORGE & GILES MARTIN

STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER

George - I will never forget the first time I heard “Strawberry Fields Forever”. John began by giving me my usual private performance, standing in front of me, strumming his acoustic guitar and singing those incredible opening lines. I was absolutely captivated, such different material, almost too tender to be recorded. The song went through a few changes, and we recorded it more than once, eventually combining two completely different versions, in different keys and different tempos. I love the song to this day, but John told me many years later that he was never really satisfied with it and I felt that in its recording I had let him down. I hope he has forgiven me.

Giles - Dominic Champagne, the LOVE show director, had wanted us to demonstrate the Beatles experimentation and creativity in the studio. Yoko had brought in some early demos of John singing “Strawberry Fields Forever” so in the spirit of the original we decided to combine the very early takes with the final version. I went on holiday and my poor father spent hours with a vari-speed tape machine putting all the takes in the key of B. I came back and spent about six weeks combing the various tracks to make one long new version of the song. And at the end, with those fantastic drums, we just decided to have a bit of fun…


OCTOPUS’S GARDEN

George - I am glad we were able to use Ringo’s “Octopus’s Garden” in the show. In many ways it’s timeless, a children’s song, easy on the ear and perfect for the LOVE show director’s imaginative undersea scene, with an unexpected beginning.

Giles - I thought it would be great to start the song with Ringo on his own. I first tried to combine his vocal with the end strings from “Glass Onion” and it sounded creepy. Then I tried the strings from “Goodnight” – they had always interested me because they’re in stereo. My dad came in and pointed out if I had doubled up the strings and played the verse twice the vocal would work better, and as usual he was right, and Ringo sounds great.


LADY MADONNA

George - Considering that Paul only played guitar when I first knew him, his piano work with that rolling boogie piano driving this along like a powerhouse had become startlingly good. In the backing we tried using Kazoos, but the old comb and paper did just as good a job.

Giles - I wanted to get the riff from “Hey Bulldog” in the show somewhere and it works great as a middle section to “Lady Madonna”. It took a while to get the track to sit right, Billy Preston’s organ solo from “I Want You/She’s So Heavy” provides the glue between the two and Eric Clapton’s guitar solo from “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” replaces the sax solo.


WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS

George - Most people remember the heavy version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” but an earlier version, almost a demo, was recorded at Abbey Road and discarded until we issued the Anthology albums. I was asked to write a string score to make that early take sound more like an issued master. I was aware of such a responsibility, but thankfully Olivia and everyone approved of the result. “Yesterday” was the first score I had written for a Beatle song way back in 1965 and this score forty one years later is the last. It wraps up an incredible period of my life with those four amazing men who changed the world.

Giles - Dominic Champagne, the LOVE show director, and Olivia had decided that take one, an acoustic version, of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” should be used for the show and asked what we could do with it. The vocal performance on the take is so tender, so the only thing I could think of was for my dad to do a string arrangement. I was surprised to find that he was apprehensive about doing it, there’s no one in the world better at this kind of thing, and even after all this time he still arranges with the same vitality and empathy that has made his work legendary.

For more information, visit

www.thebeatles.com