Sunday, January 2, 2011

Zoo Gang by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1974

For some reason this Wings song didn’t get released as the b-side of "Band on the Run" in the US as it had in the UK. It apparently is a theme song for some show that I’ve never seen, but it’s not a bad little instrumental. When my parents went to Europe in 1984, I asked my mom to pick up the 45 just for this song. When CDs came into vogue, McCartney remembered this and it ended up being included as a bonus track on the "Venus and Mars" CD.

When Paul reissued "Band on the Run" again in 2010, this was added on the deluxe edition.

Zindy Lou by Ringo Starr – (NR)

First released: 1976

Zindy Lou was a track from The Manhattan Transfer album called "Coming Out" in which Ringo played drums.

Zig Zag by George Harrison – ***

First released: 1986

Originally from "Shanghai Surprise" feature film where we actually see George perform it. He later stuck it on the b-side of "When We Was Fab". Finally, it was released on the 2004 CD reissue of "Cloud Nine". A nice jaunty sort of tune that really highlights George’s instrumental capabilities as the lyrics consist of “Zig Zag…oh, Zig Zag, etc.”

Yvonne by Paul McCartney – ***


Harmless song by Paul dating from 1985 that didn't make the final cut for "Press to Play". Co-writer Eric Stewart went on to release a version of it on the 1995 10CC album "Mirror Mirror". There it was retitled "Yvonne's the One".

Your Way by Paul McCartney – *

First released: 2001

Too many dull tracks like this bog down Paul's "Driving Rain". He was too much in the ether of his marriage to Heather Mills.

Your True Love by George Harrison – ***

First released: 1985

During George's retirement years (roughly 1982-87), he came out to play with Carl Perkins on "Blue Suede Shoes: A Rockabilly Session", and does a fabulous job on this cover version.

Your School by Paul McCartney – (NR)


Paul wrote and recorded this song dating from 1990.

Your Mother Should Know by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1967

A highlight of "Magical Mystery Tour" comes this song-and-dance number in which The Beatles descend the stairs in their white tuxedos. The backing vocals by George and John are just fabulous. A demo version appears on 1996's "Anthology 2".

Your Loving Flame by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 2001

Halfway decent song from Paul's "Driving Rain" album, which is probably why it was released as a single. It's almost like the finished version of "From a Lover to a Friend". A live version appears on 2002/3's "Back in the US/World".

Your Love is Forever by George Harrison – **

First released: 1979

One of the weakest tracks on "George Harrison". It just kind of plods along at a snails pace and isn’t sung or performed remarkably well. George should have polished it a bit more before including it on the album.

Your Hands by Yoko Ono – *

First released: 1984

Another Yoko snoozer from John and Yoko’s "Milk and Honey" and I’m a fan of hers.

Your Feets Too Big by The Beatles – ***

First released: 1977

The Beatles performed it live on "Live at the Star-Club, Hamburg 1962" in 1977.

Young Love by John Lennon – (NR); by Paul McCartney – (NR)


Both Lennon and McCartney attempted recording versions of this song in 1979.

Young Boy by Paul McCartney – ****

First released: 1997

The first single (at least in Britain) off of McCartney’s "Flaming Pie" album. The song chugs along, but never gains any real momentum, but is pleasant, nonetheless. The US discarded it in favor of the stronger "The World Tonight".

Young Blood by The Beatles – ***; by Leon Russell – ***

First released: 1971

The second part of Leon Russell’s medley from "The Concert for Bangla Desh". This part features The Coasters’ hit coupled with The Rolling Stones’ "Jumpin’ Jack Flash". A strange pairing that somewhat works due to Russell performing talents. The Beatles recorded a version of this in 1963, but it wasn't released until 1994's "Live at the BBC".

You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1965

Lennon sings Dylan. Problem is, Lennon could never sing as badly as Dylan does, so it comes across as someone doing a Dylan cover, which may have been the intent. It’s from the "Help!" album and film, and in the film there’s a nice performance with The Beatles’ helper contributing a fine flute instrumental while they perform for the lovely Eleanor Bron. Later it appeared on 1973's "1962-1966". A demo version appears on "Anthology 2" in 1996.

You’ve Got Me Thinking by Jackie Lomax – ***

First released: 1969

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

You’ve Got a Nice Way by Ringo Starr – ***

First released: 1981

Stephen Stills helped compose and record this harmless tune from Ringo’s "Stop and Smell the Roses" album.

You’re the One by Yoko Ono – **

First released: 1984

Another Yoko song that seems to have been added to John and Yoko’s "Milk and Honey" album to fill out the side. Yoko needed six songs to match Lennon’s six and duly recorded something…anything to fulfill this obligation. This one sounds like something traditionally reserved for Yoko’s solo stuff and not in tandem with Lennon.

You’re Sixteen (You’re Beautiful and You’re Mine) by Ringo Starr – ****

First released: 1973

Composers Richard and Robert Sherman may be forever linked with composing everything Disney issued during the 1960s, but their biggest success came from an unexpected source in the 1970s, when Paul McCartney urged Ringo to record and later release this song as the second single off of his "Ringo" album. It was and is one of Ringo’s biggest hits, originally a hit for Johnny Burnette in 1960 and included on Ringo’s "Blast From Your Past" in 1975 and 2007’s "Photograph" compilation. It’s always a concert favorite and Ringo also sang a duet version with Carrie Fisher for his 1978 Ringo TV special that has not been commercially released to record. Another great Ringo tune. Different live versions appear on 1990’s "Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band" (this version reissued on 2000’s "The Anthology…So Far"), "Ringo Starr and His Third All-Starr Band Volume 1" from 1997 and 2002’s "Ringo & His New All-Starr Band".

Ringo has since retired the song from his act, deeming it kind of creepy since he's a 70+ year old man pining for a teenager. It's a shame, because it's still good, despite the lyric.

You’re Gonna Lose That Girl by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1965

This is the song where The Beatles were “buzzing” in "Help!" That version was never released, but as a kid when I first saw "Help!", I was so dumb, I thought that really was the recording session for this song.

You’re a Friend of Mine by Clarence Clemmons – ***


Clarence Clemmons song performed with Ringo during the 1989 All-Starr Tour.

You’re a Bastard by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr – ****


Paul and Ringo fool around while recording the lyric to "Beautiful Night" in 1997. Eventually the lyric falls apart and together they ad-lib this very amusing song and lyric.

You’ll Never Walk Alone by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1985

Another one of those charity songs with a bunch of performers on it. Paul’s on there somewhere. Originally from the musical "Carousel".

You’ll Be Mine by The Beatles – ***

First released: 1995

One of the highlights of "Anthology 1" is this home recording from 1960 of John and Paul mucking about doing their version of an Ink Spots type of tune complete with a silly spoken word section in the center of the song.

You Won’t See Me by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1965

One of my favorite Beatles tracks of all time. I love the guitar changes: “When I call (blamp) you up (blamp) you’re lines engaged,” etc. The middle-8 is great too with “Time after time you refuse to even listen”. Paul was really great (and still is) about meshing two completely different tunes into a useful singularly great song! From both the US and the UK "Rubber Soul".

You Win Again by The Beatles – ***


The Beatles performed a version of this song during their 1969 "Get Back" sessions.

You Want Her Too by Paul McCartney – ****

First released: 1989

One of the better McCartney/Costello collaborations from "Flowers in the Dirt", with Paul and Elvis trading lines back and forth. This strongly confirms my assessment that Paul and Elvis should have done a duet album, instead of how everything was released over the course of four different albums. There’s still a chance to do that!

You Took My Breath Away by Traveling Wilburys – **

First released: 1990

A lackluster track amongst a lackluster album. We’re near the “end of the line” for "The Traveling Wilburys, Volume 3" and George’s career.

You Tell Me by Paul McCartney – ****

First released: 2007

Another winner from Paul's "Memory Almost Full".

You Send Me by John Lennon – (NR)


Lennon did a demo of this Sam Cooke classic around 1979-1980.

You Saved My Soul (With Your True Love) by John Lennon – (NR)


Unreleased Lennon demo dating from 1980. I haven't heard it.

You Really Got a Hold On Me by The Beatles – ***

First released: 1963

For some reason, even though the Smokey Robinson and The Miracles version is called "You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me", The Beatles changed it to "You"… Anyway, I didn’t hear any other version of this song except the Eddie Money version when I heard this Beatles version and I originally thought it was too slow. I have since grown to accept it, but it’s funny how a cover can influence your thoughts on an original. It was originally on "With The Beatles". A radio version from 1963 appeared on 1994's "Live at the BBC". A live version from 1963 appears on "Anthology 1" in 1995.

You Never Know by Ringo Starr – ***

First released: 1992

This song probably should have been on Ringo’s "Time Takes Time" album, but instead got issued as one of those “closing credits” songs at the end of "Curly Sue" and it’s accompanying soundtrack album.

You Never Give Me Your Money by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1969

Part of the side two medley from "Abbey Road". Strangely, Paul performed this tune during his 2005 tour with a consistently botched lyric line. Seems like he could have listened to "Abbey Road" between shows to get the words right. He acts like he was trying to be funny. He wasn’t. When Ringo forgot the words to "It Don’t Come Easy" at "The Concert for Bangla Desh", it was charming. Paul wasn’t.

You Must Write Every Day by The Beatles – **


Unreleased Lennon/McCartney song dating from the 1960 home recordings.

You Like Me Too Much by The Beatles – ***

First released: 1965

George is still trying. Even though he did get a song in the "Help!" film ("I Need You"), he still was not on the composing level of Lennon and McCartney. He would do substantially better next time. I do like the “I really do…” part because of the minor key changes. It is from the non-soundtrack side of the UK "Help!" album.

You Know What to Do by The Beatles – **

First released: 1995

Unreleased George song from 1964 until the "Anthology 1" in 1995. It was even thought lost as it had been misfiled. The song’s not much and it seems that George reworked it until it became the more acceptable "You Like Me Too Much" in 1965.

You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1970

This is one of my favorite Beatles tracks. I especially like the still unreleased full stereo version. The longest version available is on 1996's "Anthology 2", and even this one is cut short! Most Beatles fans are either unaware or hate this track thinking it is too silly. Of course, it is, but I still can’t fail to laugh everytime I hear Lennon do his mumbling shtick on the latter half of the record, complete with belches and burps. It somehow eluded inclusion on any album until 1980’s "Rarities" and originally was the b-side to "Let It Be". Lennon toyed with the idea of putting it out as a Plastic Ono Band single, but it was finally issued as a Beatles track. It first appeared on CD on 1988's "Past Masters, Volume Two".

You Know It Makes Sense by Ringo Starr – **

First released: 1986

One of two tracks featuring Ringo from "It's a Live-In World-The Anti-Heroin Project", the other apparently being "Naughty Atom Bomb". I say, apparently as I cannot detect Ringo on that track. As far as this track goes, Ringo makes an impassioned plea to stay off the drugs. Paul also appears on this album (see "Simple As That").

You Know I’ll Get You Baby by Paul McCartney – **


Undistinguished recording made for "McCartney II", but still unreleased.

You Got Me Going by The Beatles – ***


Unreleased song by McCartney and performed by The Beatles during their 1969 "Get Back" sessions.

You Got It by Roy Orbison – ****

First released: 1989

George plays on this hit single from Roy Orbison’s final studio album.

You Gave Me the Answer by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1975

A bouncy tune from Paul that was a highlight from "Venus and Mars" and is strongly reminiscent of songs like "Honey Pie" from the “White Album”. It was also the b-side to "Letting Go". A live version was performed and released on "Wings Over America" in 1976.

You Don’t Know Me at All by Ringo Starr – **

First released: 1976

This song was actually single in Germany of all places and there was a music video as well! It’s from "Ringo’s Rotogravure" and it’s nothing spectacular.

You Can’t Fight Lightning by Ringo Starr – **

First released: 1994

Originally recorded and left off of Ringo’s "Stop and Smell the Roses" album in 1981, but added to the 1994 CD reissue. This is Ringo’s "What the News Mary Jane" and it’s easy to see why this didn’t make it on to Ringo’s crucial career comeback album. This was to be the original title of the "Roses" album, but when the track was left off, a title change was in order.

You Can’t Do That by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1964

Although this song originally appeared on the non-soundtrack side of "A Hard Day’s Night", later on a live version was unearthed and added as an extra on the DVD of the film making it now an official soundtrack song. Great guitar playing appears throughout. A demo version appears on "Anthology 1" from 1995.

It was also the b-side to "Can't Buy Me Love".

You Can’t Catch Me by John Lennon – ****

First released: 1975

This is the Chuck Berry song circa 1956 that got Lennon in all that trouble as he swiped some lyrics for his own "Come Together". Lennon made amends by recording this for his "Rock ‘n’ Roll" album. It was also on "Instant Karma" from 2001.

You Better Move On by Ringo Starr – ***


Ringo recorded a competent version of this Rolling Stones hit in 1987. It was originally by Arthur Alexander.

You Belong to Me by Ringo Starr – ***

First released: 1981

This was a #1 hit for Jo Stafford in 1952 and later a #7 hit for The Duprees in 1962. George Harrison produced and performed on this version that appeared on Ringo’s "Stop and Smell the Roses". The song was also included on "Starr Struck: Best of Ringo Starr, Vol. 2" in 1989. This is the type of stuff that Ringo should have put on "Beaucoups of Blues". I’m still waiting for that “country songs I know and love” album.

You Are Still Here by Paul McCartney – (NR)


Unreleased McCartney track dating from 2001. I haven't heard it.

You Are My Sunshine by The Beatles – ***


The Beatles performed a version of this song during their 1969 "Get Back" sessions.

You Are Here by John Lennon – **

First released: 1973

Another one of the duller tunes from John Lennon’s "Mind Games" album. It’s also on "Working Class Hero" from 2005. There’s also a demo version released on 1998’s "The John Lennon Anthology".

You and Me (Babe) by Ringo Starr – ***

First released: 1973

George Harrison returns again on Ringo’s Ringo with this final sign-off song co-composed with Beatles’ roadie Mal Evans, that’s sole purpose seems to say thanks to everyone who helped out on the album. It’s a very Harry Nilsson thing to do and why not, Richard Perry produced this and Nilsson’s early albums from around this time, and everyone probably thought it was a great idea. It’s kind of silly and limits airplay on the radio. I wonder if Ringo would consider performing this in concert? Probably not, since "With a Little Help From My Friends" is utilized for the same purpose.

You Always Hurt the One You Love by Ringo Starr – ***

First released: 1970

This 1944 hit for The Mills Brothers was written by Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher. Ringo recorded it for his "Sentimental Journey" album.

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet by Randy Bachman – ***

First released: 1997

A live version by Randy Bachman appears on "Ringo Starr and His Third All-Starr Band Volume 1" from 1997 (this version reissued on 2000’s "The Anthology…So Far").

You by George Harrison – ***

First released: 1975

This was a song floating around since the "All Things Must Pass" days as an instrumental, but now George added some lyrics to it for his next single. It probably should have charted higher, but the bad taste of his previous album "Dark Horse" most assuredly prevented a higher ascent on the charts, though I really like the song. The song appears on "Extra Texture" and the following year on "The Best of George Harrison".

"Yesterday and Today" by The Beatles – ***

First released: 1966

This is the album with the infamous “butcher” cover. And it was a hack job taking leftover singles tracks and material that originally appeared on the UK "Help!", "Rubber Soul" and even the upcoming "Revolver" album! This was not the last time Capitol would tamper with The Beatles and their song lineup, but it was probably the most blatant. To date, it has never been re-released to CD legitimately.

Yesterday by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1965

Originally with a working title of "Scrambled Egg", "Yesterday" has gone on to be the most recorded song of all time. Very simple and very nice. It was a major hit single in the US and appeared on the UK version of "Help!", but didn’t make it to a US LP until 1966’s "Yesterday and Today". Later it appeared on 1973's "1962-1966". It's also on 2000's "1". A demo version and a live version appear on "Anthology 2" in 1996. It is also used for 2006's "Love".

This is one of the songs McCartney chose to remake in an inferior version for "Give My Regards to Broad Street" in 1984. There’s also a parody version dating from 1971 released on 1998’s "The John Lennon Anthology". Different live versions were performed by Paul and released on "Wings Over America" in 1976, 1990’s "Tripping the Live Fantastic", 2002/3's "Back in the US/World" and on 2009’s "Good Evening New York City".

Yes It Is by The Beatles – ***

First released: 1965

When I first heard this, I wasn’t too crazy about it. It was also one of those songs that Capitol in the US decided to overdo it on the echo, making it sound like The Beatles recorded it at the bottom of a well. The UK version is much better, sounding quite a bit like "This Boy". It was the b-side to "Ticket to Ride" and included on the US "Beatles VI" album. For the UK, it was unavailable on album until "Beatles Rarities" in 1980 and later it was released on "Past Masters, Volume One" when issued to CD in 1988. A demo version appears on "Anthology 2" in 1996.

Yes, I’m Your Angel by Yoko Ono – ****

First released: 1980

One of Yoko’s best productions, complete with gratuitous sound effects and some of Yoko’s best singing. It was the b-side of Lennon’s "Watching the Wheels" and a highlight of John and Yoko’s "Double Fantasy". Yoko was accused of stealing her tune from "Makin’ Whoopee". Sound more like "He’s So Fine" to me.

Yer Blues by The Beatles – ***

First released: 1968

Considered a "White Album" classic by Lennon, he must have thought so as well as it’s the only contemporary Beatles track performed on John’s "The Plastic Ono Band – Live Peace in Toronto 1969" album released in l970. It was also on 1990’s "Lennon". It was also performed live at "The Rolling Stones’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus" in 1968, but not released until 1995.

"Yellow Submarine Songtrack" by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1999

A redone version of the "Yellow Submarine" soundtrack featuring only The Beatles songs that were featured in the film. Amazingly, even songs like "Love You To" and "I Want to Tell You" are included when they actually appear in the briefest of forms in the film. The entire effort was remixed making for an excellent sounding album. Too bad they won’t go back and remaster the entire catalog like this. UPDATE: 2009 Of course they did...finally!

Yellow Submarine in Pepperland by George Martin – ***

First released: 1969

Instrumental by the George Martin Orchestra from the second side of "Yellow Submarine".

"Yellow Submarine" (feature) by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1968

For years, this was the usual way that kids were introduced to Beatles music, and then they stopped playing the film on television. For a long time, you couldn’t even view the film, then finally in the 80s it was issued on tape, and later on on DVD. Now it is commonly available and is essential viewing for any Beatles or animation fan. There’s even a small cameo by the fabs at the end.

They always act like this was a flop and maybe it was in England, but it wasn’t in America. It was a big hit here!

"Yellow Submarine" by The Beatles – ***

First released: 1969

The belated soundtrack by about since months finally appeared in early 1969. Originally supposed to have more older Beatles songs, instead this album featured only two older songs ("Yellow Submarine" and "All You Need is Love") and four new tracks. The remainder of the album was the movie’s instrumental score by George Martin. The original vision was released years later as the "Yellow Submarine Soundtrack".

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Yellow Submarine by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1966

Ringo needed another tune and John and Paul came up with a good one. This is probably the first Beatles-penned Ringo tune that could be considered an all-time classic. The sound effects are what make this song work. Originally appearing on "Revolver", it became the title tune and featured on the soundtrack to the "Yellow Submarine" movie and 1999's "Yellow Submarine Songtrack". It was also part of a double a-side single with "Eleanor Rigby". It also appears on 1973's "1962-1966". It's also on 2000's "1". A demo version appears on the b-side of the "Real Love" CD single in 1996 with different sound effects and a spoken word intro by Ringo.

Different live versions appear on "Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band Volume 2 Live From Montreux" in 1993, "Ringo Starr and His Third All-Starr Band Volume 1" from 1997, 2000’s "The Anthology…So Far", 2002’s "Ringo & His New All-Starr Band", 2003’s Extended Versions", 2004’s "Live 2003", 2007's "Live at Soundstage", the "Live 2006" album from 2008 and "Live at the Greek Theatre 2008" from 2010.

Ya Ya by John Lennon – ***

First released: 1974

The first of two Lennon releases of this song first appeared on his "Walls and Bridges" album in which son Julian Lennon (in his recording debut) keeps time on the drum with pop as he quickly sings a half-hearted version of "Ya Ya" in order to accommodate lawyers requests for Lennon to record a song written by M. Robinson, L. Dorsey, and C.L. Lewis, due to a lyric infringement on "Come Together" in 1969. See, George wasn’t the only one to get into copyright problems (see "My Sweet Lord"). The lawyers weren’t impressed, so Lennon re-recorded a proper version for the following year’s "Rock ‘n’ Roll" album. Lee Dorsey had the original hit in 1961.

"Y Not" by Ringo Starr – ****

First released: 2010

Ringo produces himself for the first time and the results are great. This is easily the best Ringo album since "Ringo Rama".