Saturday, August 29, 2009

Enoch Powell by Paul McCartney – (NR)


Unreleased McCartney tune played during the "Get Back" sessions in 1969.

English Tea by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 2005

McCartney covers The Rutles! Or does he? Certainly seems so. It seems like an outtake from The Rutles reunion album "Archeology", but it is indeed McCartney. Despite all this, it is one of the better tunes from the boring "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard" album. Not released as a single, it was performed live on the accompanying tour, most memorably as a literal wake up call for some astronauts. I bet they wanted to say, “Where’s "Hey Jude", or "Back in the USSR"?” or something. “We got woke up for this? Let us sleep!”

English Garden by Ringo Starr - ***

First released: 2003

A nice closer to a nice album "Ringo Rama", complete with horse foot clops, unless of course you have the "Deluxe Edition" and then there's three more tracks after the mysterious "I Really Love Her".

Endless Days by Linda McCartney – **

First released: 1998

Linda McCartney recording dating from 1987 that eventually appeared on her "Wide Prairie" album.

End of the Line by George Harrison – ****

First released: 1988

The second and final single from George’s popular "Traveling Wilburys, Volume 1" album. This is more of a group singalong. The saddest part was that Roy Orbison had passed away by the time the video was made, so when it’s time for his solo, they cut to an empty rocking chair. Otherwise, it’s a great chugging tune.

End of the End, The by Paul McCartney – ****

First released: 2007

Paul’s song about his own mortality is quite sincere and sweet and easily one of the highlights of the excellent "Memory Almost Full".

End, The by Ringo Starr – **

First released: 1998

No, Ringo doesn’t perform a cover version of The Beatles famous "Abbey Road" tune. It’s just the name of the spoken word track at the end of 1998’s "VH1 Storytellers".

End, The by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1969

Cool ending to "Abbey Road" with each guitar playing Beatle taking turns during the instrumental break and even Ringo doing a simple but great drum solo. A demo version appears on "Anthology 3" in 1996.

Different live versions were performed by Paul on 1990’s "Tripping the Live Fantastic" and 2002/3's "Back in the US/World". The latter version was coupled with "Sgt. Pepper".

Empty Hand by Paul McCartney – (NR)


Unreleased McCartney song dating from 1974. I don't think I've heard this one.

Emotional Wreck by John Lennon – (NR)


Unreleased Lennon track only totaling about 32 seconds.

Elizabeth Reigns by Ringo Starr – ****

First released: 2003

“Well, there goes me knighthood” seems like an off-the-cuff remark by our lovable Ringo who rips into the Royal Family, until one realizes that this was originally uttered by Victor Spinetti in "Help!" I think it was no coincidence. One of the best tracks off of "Ringo Rama". I love the swirly violin part. Very "Strawberry Fields" like. It’s also on 2008’s "5.1".

"Electronic Sound" by George Harrison – **

First released: 1969

George Harrison’s second solo album and to quote Mark Walgren’s "The Beatles on Record", George apparently got “a case of the Lennons”. This is not an album for anyone expecting music. It is truly George noodling about with a moog synthesizer back in the infancy of the instrument. I have listened to this a few times to understand what to make of it. It is challenging listening and has some unintentionally amusing moments due to the strange sounds that can come out of a moog. I read somewhere that on the original LP, the song titles got reversed. Well, now that it’s been corrected on the CD version (released in 1996, but not in the US), it all makes much more sense. It has been rumored that George doesn’t really have anything to do with this at all, but does it matter? Being a fan of Perry-Kingsley makes me rate it higher than most people might.

"Electric Arguments" by Paul McCartney - ***

First released: 2008

Paul’s first album since the highly praised "Memory Almost Full" set is a return to the “Fireman” concept. This time, however, Paul sings vocals on virtually every song and makes basically a new Paul McCartney album. There are hints of the two previous Fireman albums, but the entire project comes across as a more adventurous sounding and actually rocking McCartney album with very little of the former album’s trance roots. For my tastes, I would have put the opening track ("Nothing Too Much Just Out of Sight") and put it after track 10 and eliminated tracks 11-13.

Eleanor’s Dream by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1984

McCartney’s remake of "Eleanor Rigby" leads into the instrumental "Eleanor’s Dream", which like "Corridor Music" led to McCartney’s later dabblings in classical music. The accompanying film sequence is the only highlight of an otherwise dismal film and is featured on the CD version of "Give My Regards to Broad Street".

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1966

The original single version and album version from "Revolver" are the preferred versions of this song, even though McCartney has made many attempts with this to rerecord it, most notably in his "Give My Regards to BroadStreet" film and album from 1984. Nothing can beat the original. It was also included in the "Yellow Submarine" film and on many albums including "1", "1962-1966", and 1999's "Yellow Submarine Songtrack", and is a double a-side with "Yellow Submarine". A demo version appears on "Anthology 2" in 1996 featuring only the instrumental backing and sporting the title "(strings only)". It is also used for 2006's "Love".

Different live versions performed by Paul appear on 1990’s "Tripping the Live Fantastic" and 2002/3's "Back in the US/World".

1822! by The Beatles – ***

First released: 1994

More spoken word nonsense from 1963 appears on 1994's "Live at the BBC".

1882 by Paul McCartney – **


I'm not entirely sure if a studio version of this exists, but there are live versions dating as far back as early 1972. That doesn't mean much. It's kind of an average song by Paul and Wings.

Eight Days a Week by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1964

I like that neat fade up at the beginning. As for the song itself, it is marvelously crafted, but I have to say that by this point in 1964-1965 The Beatles made songwriting look easy, and the entire effort seems deceptively simple. It became yet another #1 single in the US, and so found a home later on on "1". Originally, it was just another album track in the UK on "Beatles For Sale", but became a highlight on the US "Beatles VI". Later it appeared on 1973's "1962-1966". Two different demo versions appear on "Anthology 1" in 1995, one called "(sequence)" and the other called "(complete)".

Eddie the Dog by The Beatles – (NC)


Unreleased Beatles track dating from 1969.

"Ed Sullivan Show, The" (series) by The Beatles – ****

First released: 2003

Though the date above refers to The Beatles appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show’s" DVD release, Ed Sullivan was on TV from 1948-1971. The Beatles made four appearances on the show during 1964 and 1965 and all of them are contained in their entirety. Of course, Ed Sullivan is known for bringing a number of other acts to the air like Elvis Presley and The Jackson 5. Ed himself is extraordinarily stiff and it’s amazing this show stayed on that long. After a couple more TV appearances in 1972-1973, Ed died in 1974.

"Ecce Cor Meum" by Paul McCartney – **

First released: 2006

Yet another classical music album from Paul.

Ecce Cor Meum by Paul McCartney – **

First released: 2006

Another track from Paul's classical "Ecce Cor Meum" album.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ebony and Ivory by Paul McCartney – **

First released: 1982

Paul and Stevie Wonder dueted on this sappy hit, that was also released in a solo McCartney version (on the b-side of the "Ebony and Ivory" 12"). It also appears on "Tug of War" and 1987’s "All The Best". A live version was performed on 1990’s "Tripping the Live Fantastic" sans Wonder.

Eat at Home by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1971

Pleasant rocker from the McCartneys that was an album track from "Ram", and also released as a single in many countries other than the US or UK. The US got "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" and the UK got "The Back Seat of My Car". I think that we got the best end of the deal, because as much as I admire this song, the lyrics are quite silly, despite the obvious sexual overtones. This song was added to the Japanese version of 2001’s "Wingspan".

Easy for Me by Ringo Starr – **

First released: 1974

Ringo warbles through this Harry Nilsson ballad amiably, but it almost comes across as smarmy. Only "Good Night" from the “White Album” is worse. This is the closer from Ringo’s "Goodnight Vienna", (unless you count the "Vienna Reprise".)

Easy Beat (series) by TheBeatles – ****

First released: 1994

This was the title of yet another radio series to feature The Beatles and ended up on "Live at the BBC".

Early 1970 by Ringo Starr – ****

First released: 1970

Ringo’s plea for The Beatles to reform obviously was ignored, but this is a very good tune. Ringo must have thought so, too, as not only did it appear on the b-side of "It Don’t Come Easy", it also appeared on Ringo’s first greatest hits compilation "Blast From Your Past" in 1975 and later as a bonus track on the 1991 CD issue of "Ringo", and 2007’s "Photograph" compilation.

Early in the Morning by The Beatles – **


The Beatles run through this song during their "Get Back" sessions in 1969.

"Early Beatles, The" by The Beatles – **

First released: 1965

After these tracks had been released in umpteen different configurations by Vee-Jay Records, it was finally Capitol’s turn. Capitol reverted to the original track line-up with "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You", but by this point, anyone interested in The Beatles earlier catalog would have purchased it already. It finally went gold about 20 years later or so, being a consistent catalog seller over the years. However, the British "Please Please Me" is much better.

Eagle Laughs at You, The by Jackie Lomax – **

First released: 1969

George produces and plays on this Jackie Lomax tune from "Is This What You Want?"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

"Dynamite Chicken" (feature) by John Lennon – (NR)

First released: 1972

Generally disjointed film featuring a small cameo by John and Yoko. The film was briefly reissued to theaters in 1982 to capitalize on Lennon's death and the fact that Richard Pryor was a hot film star. It was released to VHS in 1994 and on DVD in 2006. I haven’t officially seen although I may have seen the Lennon segment, but can’t remember enough to comment on it.

Dustin Hoffman (dialogue) by Dustin Hoffman – ***

First released: 1998

Dustin reveals McCartney’s creative process reminiscing about the time he showed him a clipping about the death of Picasso, and McCartney instantly strumming out a lyric and a tune. It’s from the 25th Anniversary version of "Band on the Run". Incidentally, Dustin originally provided the narration on Harry Nilsson's "The Point" cartoon, but it was subsequently replaced with Ringo's narration on the home video version.

Drumming is My Madness by Ringo Starr – ***

First released: 1981

The b-side of "Wrack My Brain" and a fine showcase for Ringo’s drumming from "Stop and Smell the Roses", this was also included on a later compilation by Max Weinberg ("Late Night With Conan O’Brien" and now "The Tonight Show" and Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band) called "Let There Be Drums" from 1994.

Drowning in the Sea of Love by Ringo Starr – **

First released: 1977

When Ringo sings “I’ve been down one time”, I think of "A Dose of Rock ‘n’ Roll". Then when he sings “I’ve been down two times”, I think of "Hey Baby". And when Ringo sings “But now I’m drowning, drowning in the sea of love”, I think of this song or "Wings". Ringo really hit his nadir here, singles-wise, from "Ringo the 4th". He has recorded worse tunes, but not so bad to release them as potential hit singles. Joe Simon had a hit with this in 1972.

Drop In by The Beatles – **

First released: 1995

The Beatles sing along to the theme song of this Swedish pop music show in 1963 and it appears on "The Beatles Anthology" videos.

"Driving Rain" by Paul McCartney – *

First released: 2001

Of the studio rock and roll albums McCartney has released during his solo career, this one has got to be the worst. Even though I am not a fan of its follow up "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard", it’s better than this. The songs tried out as singles ("From a Lover to a Friend", "Your Loving Flame", "Freedom") rank as among some of McCartney’s worst. I’m not usually a lyrics person and do come to the defense of some of McCartney’s more inane ones, but the lyric of “One, two, three, four, five, let’s go for a drive” is awful as far as McCartney’s released material goes. (He has done worse on some unreleased tracks.) An album to be avoided. Listen to "Flaming Pie" instead.

Driving Rain by Paul McCartney – **

First released: 2001

The song "Driving Rain" isn’t one of the best lyrically, but musically it has a little more punch to it than the other drivel off the album of the same name. Paul has done much better. A live version appears on 2002/3's "Back in the US/World".

Drive My Car by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1965

Strangely, even though this song was written for the UK "Rubber Soul" album, it seems much more at home on the US "Yesterday and Today" compilation, as it rocks a little too hard for the remainder of "Rubber Soul". This might be because of the way I first heard it. I’m used to it now since the UK version of "Rubber Soul" has been considered the “official” version of the LP since the 1987 CD release. Later it appeared on 1973's "1962-1966". It is also used for 2006's "Love".

Paul performs a live version for 1993’s "Paul is Live". Another live version appears on the "Memory Almost Full Deluxe Edition" from 2007.

Drinking Song, The by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1991

Single released from Paul's "Liverpool Oratorio". It was the b-side to "Save the Child". Actually, the best song on the album.

Drilling a Home by George Harrison – ****

First released: 1968

Another track from George’s "Wonderwall Music". My favorite on the album. It is a very bouncy, catchy instrumental.

Drift Away by Ringo Starr – ***

First released: 1998

I’ve never been a huge fan of this song originally recorded by Dobie Gray in 1973, but Ringo seemed to like it and recorded a version with Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith) and Alanis Morrisette taking lead vocals on a couple of verses. Greedy Columbia Records said “no no” to Tyler’s performance and so after a promotional only release of Ringo’s "Vertical Man", Tom Petty was recruited to replace Tyler’s vocal. Petty replaced most of it, but there’s a little bit of Tyler’s laugh left off of the final released version.

Dress Me Up As a Robber by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1982

Spirited performing on guitar and synthesizer highlights this album track from Paul's "Tug of War".

Dream Scene by George Harrison - **

First released: 1968

Another track from George’s "Wonderwall Music". Not bad. Not great. Lots of backwards masking with a little whiny singing mixed in. I think Yoko sings on it. (joke)

Dream Lover by John Lennon - ***


Lennon made an attempt at this Bobby Darin song while working on the "Rock ‘n’ Roll" album in 1975.