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After the innovative Revolver (1966) and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), the band released the Magical Mystery Tour TV film on Boxing Day ’67.
The BBC it had shown a color film in black-and-white.

As time went by, Magical Mystery Tour’s reputation recovered, with some comparing the Fab Four’s cinematic effort to the work of Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí. Paul McCartney has pointed out how the next generation’s leading filmmakers appreciated the work.

In Anthology, all four Beatles weigh in on the reception of Magical Mystery Tour. To a man, they acknowledge the work has clear flaws. However, they also point out the flaw in the BBC presentation. “We were stupid and they were stupid,” Ringo said.

Ringo also pointed out how the reactions changed once viewers saw it as intended. “It was really [panned] but when people started seeing it in color they realized it was a lot of fun.” Paul said he heard very encouraging feedback from authorities on the subject.

“People like Steven Spielberg have said since, ‘When I was in film school, that was a film we really took notice of,’” Paul said in Anthology. “It was an art film rather than a proper film. […] I defend it on the lines that nowhere else do you see a performance of ‘I Am the Walrus.’”

Paul was being humble in some respects. The video for George Harrison’s “Blue Jay Way” is another great moment in Magical Mystery Tour. And Spielberg wasn’t the only great director to point out the film’s charm.

In a 2012 PBS documentary on Magical Mystery Tour, Paul and The Beatles got another heavyweight endorsement — this time, from Martin Scorsese. Seeing the big picture of the medium (as usual), Scorsese felt the need to stick up for the film’s freewheeling style.

“Of course, the emphasis on professionalism and polish and politeness has come back now with a vengeance,” Scorsese said in the movie’s defense. “It’s expected. And there’s a tendency to forget that really that’s only one choice, one way of going.”



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While George Harrison was working to refine his songwriting craft, he wasn’t getting much help from his bandmates in The Beatles. “I had a little encouragement from time to time, but it was very little,” George said in a 1977 interview.

Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick backs up that account in the book, Here, There and Everywhere. “In general, sessions where we did George Harrison songs were approached differently,” Emerick said. “Everybody would relax — there was a definite sense that it really didn’t matter.”
During the sessions for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), George faced more criticism than usual. It began when he introduced “Only a Northern Song” in the studio. After John Lennon didn’t play on the backing track, The Beatles decided to shelve the song for a later date.

But George still didn’t have a song on Sgt. Pepper. When he brought the excellent “Within You Without You” into the studio, Emerick recalled how no one was impressed (again). What’s worse, Emerick said the other Beatles and producer George Martin actually rolled their eyes at the track.
By the time George debuted “Within You Within You” for his bandmates and producer, they’d already recorded several masterpieces. The Sgt. Pepper sessions began with John’s masterpiece, “Strawberry Fields Forever,” followed by the Paul McCartney classic, “Penny Lane.”

The Beatles had also polished off “A Day in the Life” when George took another crack at getting on the album. In brief, the bar had been raised considerably by March ’67, and George encountered a lackluster reception on all sides.
“At the time ‘Within You Without You’ caused a lot of eye-rolling among the other Beatles and George Martin,” Emerick recalled. “Personally, I thought it was just tedious.” But Emerick did acknowledge that George’s rendition (alone, on acoustic guitar) didn’t do the composition justice.

In the sessions that followed, George’s bandmates would begin to see the magic in the song. Eventually, eight violin players, three cellists, and what John described as “about 400 Indian fellas” filed into the studio to help bring George’s vision to life.
Once the harsh reception was out of the way, George outlined how he wanted to record “Within You Without You.” It began with scrapping the usual Beatles lineup and bringing in a band of Indian musicians to record the backing track.

While his three bandmates were present during the session, George mostly worked on his own with Martin and the Indian players. When Martin scored parts for the Western string instruments late in the Sgt. Pepper sessions, George found himself without any other Beatles once again.

That turned out to be exactly what he needed. Though the song became his sole composition (and by far biggest moment) on the record, it came off as wonderfully as everyone had hoped. Even John fell in love with the song, which has become a highlight of Sgt. Pepper.

“One of George’s best songs,” John told Playboy’s David Sheff in 1980. “One of my favourites of his, too. He’s clear on that song. His mind and his music are clear. There is his innate talent; he brought that sound together.”


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Ron Campbell directed the Beatles cartoon series and was involved in other popular Saturday morning cartoons.

He will offer some of his works for sale from 4 to 8 p.m. Jan. 21 and 22 at Bennetts’ Framing & Art Gallery, 2100 Laurens Road, Greenville.

Campbell’s 50-year career in animation includes work on “Scooby-Doo,” “The Smurfs,” “Rugrats” and more. In addition, he was the animator of the film “Yellow Submarine.”

Campbell was director of the Beatles Cartoon series that aired on ABC from Sept. 25, 1965, through April 20, 1969. The series received huge ratings and continually fueled new music to children as they followed the bouncing drumstick to each Beatles tune. Campbell also wrote the forward to the definitive book on the Beatles cartoon series “Beatletoons.”

In 2018, music fans celebrated the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles classic animated film, “Yellow Submarine.” Since its release, the movie has become a permanent fixture in pop culture, defining the psychedelic 60s for generations. In his book, “Up Periscope,” the movie’s producer Al Brodax gives Campbell a great deal of credit for saving the movie and tying it all together at the last minute.

Other cartoons Campbell has been involved with include “Winnie The Pooh,” “Krazy Kat,” “George of the Jungle” and “The Jetsons,”

Campbell’s former studio was awarded a Peabody and an Emmy for his work in children’s television. Since retiring, he has been painting subjects always based on the animated cartoons he has helped bring to the screen. With emphasis on The Beatles, he shows his Cartoon Pop Art in galleries worldwide.



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The handwritten lyrics to The Beatles classic song While My Guitar Gently Weeps, off their legendary self-titled double album, also known as The White Album, are up for auction through the memorabilia company Moments in Time for $195,000.

George Harrison and bandmate Ringo Starr both took turns writing the words to the tune out on the back of a studio recording sheet.
The duo were fleshing out the lyrics to one of Harrison’s most iconic songs while the band was recording at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in London back in 1968.

‘I Look at You all see the love there that’s sleeping — While my guitar gently weeps,’ Harrison began at the top of the sheet.
He continued at the bottom with, ‘While my Guitar Gently weeps as I’m sitting here doing nothing but aging still my guitar G W.’

Starr scribbled all the lyrics in between, which included his effort to work out a misspelling of the side of the paper.
Hand-writing expert Frank Caizzo authenticated the lyric sheet.

‘It is complete with his misspellings, a Ringo trademark, and shows him working out one of the misspelled words on the side,’ Caizzo wrote in a letter of authenticity posted to the auction website

The lyric sheet represents a working draft used during the recording of The White Album, The Beatles’ ninth studio album.

It has since gone on to be regarded as the most diverse and eclectic group of songs the band released during their wildly successful career (1960-1970).

Beatle song lyrics, such as this artifact, are rarely put up for auction.



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Nielsen Music’s report on U.S. music sales in the ’10s confirmed the BeatlesAbbey Road as the best-selling vinyl album of the decade.

Year-to-year album sales increased nearly 15 percent in 2019, up to 18.8 million sold. But new releases made up only 33 percent of total vinyl sales last year, with catalog LPs accounting for the rest.

The decade’s Top 10 is likewise dominated by older releases, including classic vinyl from Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac and Miles Davis. You can see the complete list, with sales figures, below.
The Beatles bested Floyd’s second-place finisher The Dark Side of the Moon by nearly 200,000 units. Only one original album from the ’10s appears in the decade-ending tally: Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die. The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, though issued in 2014, is comprised of songs from the ’60s and ’70s.

Abbey Road returned as an expanded box-set reissue last year in commemoration of its 50th year. That helped the Beatles to the No. 1 spot in U.S. vinyl sales for 2019; Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was runner up.

The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band, which also saw a massive reissue in 2017, made the decade-ending Top 10, as well. Queen rode interest in the Bohemian Rhapsody biopic to two spots on the year-end sales list: Greatest Hits 1 finished third in 2019, and the film’s soundtrack ended up at No. 5.

Top 10 Best-Selling Vinyl Albums of the ’10s
1. The Beatles – Abbey Road (558,000)
2. Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon (376,00)
3. Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (367,000)
4. Bob Marley and the Wailers – Legend (364,000)
5. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (351,000)
6. Michael Jackson – Thriller (334,000)
7. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (313,000)
8. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (304,000)
9. Miles Davis – Kind of Blue (286,000)
10. Lana Del Rey – Born to Die (283,000)



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In 1965, The Beatles started on a new path. After racking up No. 1 hits with songs like “She Loves You” , the Fab Four began digging deeper. John Lennon, resolving to turn the lens on himself, had his most introspective moment to that point with “Help.”

Though he charted a path in a different direction, Paul McCartney was also growing rapidly as a songwriter. After delivering the masterpiece “Yesterday,” he followed with more like “Drive My Car” and “You Won’t See” me on Rubber Soul (released later in ’65).

By then, John was turning out classics like the sitar-infused “Norwegian Wood”.
On the track “If I Needed Someone,” George incorporated two new influences: Indian music and the Los Angeles band, The Byrds.

When The Byrds’ cover of “Mr. Tambourine Man” hit No. 1 on the U.S. and UK charts in ’65, “folk rock” or the “California sound” became known by everyone on the music scene. A year earlier, the group had formed when L.A. musicians wanted to combine the depth of folk with the energy of The Beatles.

After watching A Hard Day’s Night, Roger McGuinn went out and bought the 12-string Rickenbacker guitar George played. On their first album (Mr. Tambourine Man, 1965), The Byrds played three more Bob Dylan covers along with a track by Pete Seeger called “The Bells of Rhymney.”

While The Byrds freely acknowledged the influence of The Beatles on their early sound, this track would go on to influence George’s “If I Needed Someone” on Rubber Soul. George made sure to let McGuinn and his bandmates know about it.

When Derek Taylor (a Beatles press officer) moved to California in ’65, he brought a recording of “If I Needed Someone” and a message from George for McGuinn. “[Taylor] said George wanted me to know that he had written the song based on [“The Bells of Rhymney”],” McGuinn said in 2004. “It was a great honor.”

In ’65, The Byrds went to London to play some shows and capitalize on the success of their top-10 UK hits. Even though the tour wasn’t an overwhelming success, at least McGuinn, David Crosby, and the rest of the band got to meet both The Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

It wasn’t only a musical exchange. After seeing McGuinn’s signature rectangular “granny” glasses, George got himself a pair, which you see him wearing in photos from that era. (McGuinn claimed John’s small round glasses were based on these, too.)

At one point during these years, The Beatles even called The Byrds their favorite new band. So there was a lot of mutual respect between the two. As McGuinn said in ’04, “It was kind of a cool cross-pollination in a way.”

For George, that period stood as a high point for him in The Beatles. He called Rubber Soul his favorite album. “The most important thing about it was that we were suddenly hearing sounds we weren’t able to hear before,” he said in the ’90s. “Everything was blossoming at that time — including us.”