As a supplement to our sixth episode, Graeme Burk and Rob Jones talk to Erika Ensign about all the singles and B-sides that never made it onto an album during the first half of the Beatles' career. The three talk about the singles that caught their fancy, their favourite B-sides and what surprised them with this well-prepared stew of leftovers.
In the sixth month of our year with the Beatles, Graeme Burk and Rob Jones are joined by NPR Books editor Petra Mayer in a far-ranging conversation about Rubber Soul that covers everything from the Beatles' sudden spike in maturity in songwriting to just what the ending of "Norwegian Wood" was about to how we reconcile the some of the more unpleasant attitudes toward women in the Beatles' songwriting with modern sensibilities. And then Graeme, Rob and Petra get into it about UK vs. US album releases and whether or not Capitol's choice for first song, "I've Just Seen A Face", was better than the band's choice, "Drive My Car".
As a supplement to our fifth episode, Graeme Burk and Rob Jones talk with Shannon Dohar about films that have been about the formation of the Beatles or the relationships between the Beatles, particularly 1979's The Birth of the Beatles, 1990's The Hours and the Times, 1994's Backbeat, 2001's Two of Us and 2009's Nowhere Boy. Graeme, Rob and Shannon discuss what makes a film about the Beatles compelling, how historically accurate does such a film have to be (and how close to the actual musician does a portrayal have to be) and what are the best films about the fab four they've seen.
In the fifth month of our year with the Beatles, Graeme Burk and Rob Jones are joined once again by Shannon Dohar for their discussion of Help! They talk about several songs on the album -- including "Help!", "I Need You" and "I've Just Seen a Face" -- that solidify the direction of the band. They also talk about the Beatles' flexibility with genre and what made "Yesterday" the song that not only changed the trajectory of the Beatles, but that of popular music.
In the fourth month of our year with the Beatles, Graeme Burk and Rob Jones are joined by their High School English teacher and friend Joanna Ashwanden as they discuss Beatles For Sale. They talk about the power of nostalgia, what it was like to be living in the midst of Beatlemania, the band's final use of covers and whether or not "I'll Follow The Sun" announces the arrival of the Beatles we'll know for the rest of the 1960s.
As a supplement to our third episode, Graeme Burk and Rob Jones get together to pay tribute to George Martin, who died in March at the age of 90. George Martin was not only an influential figure to the Beatles but popular music in the second half of the 20th century and Graeme and Rob discuss what George Martin brought to producing the Beatles, some examples of how he revolutionized pop music and what were some of his best moments with the Beatles.
In the third month of our year with the Beatles, Graeme Burk and Rob Jones are talking with Shannon Dohar about A Hard Day's Night, which is the four lads' first album with all original songs as well as the tie-in to their first feature film. There's a small dispute about whether the album innovates, a discussion of Lennon-McCartney's growth as lyricists, a discussion of surprising songs and much more.
In the second month of our year with the Beatles, Graeme Burk and Rob Jones got together with Andrew Flint to talk about With The Beatles and how it managed to avoid being anything but the difficult second album. There's also a discussion of the Beatles' growth in the studio, how they transformed the covers they performed and even a thought or two of how they might have presaged punk music.
In the first month of our year with the Beatles, Graeme Burk and Rob Jones are joined by Bill Evenson to discuss The Beatles debut album Please Please Me. There's a discussion of the Beatles in their earliest form, a conversation about favourite songs and deep cuts and we tackle the question of whether the Beatles' genius can be seen in nascent form even at this point.