Once upon a time (or maybe twice) there were four magicians; and they made wonderful music, and called themselves The Beatles.
In BDJ's Cellar, their spirits roam freely, they play and mix with other music, young and old.
Abbey Road Medley NAKED
The so-called Medley occupies most the Beatles' final album, Abbey Road. It is collection of Lennon and McCartney songettes, artfully strung together by arrangements of McCartney and George Martin.The whole album Abbey Road stands out for its beautiful and complex vocal harmonies, sometimes extending into 3-part harmony.We were treated to a 'vocal isolation' of Because on the Anthology CD, and teased by a reversed vocal of Sun King. But there is so much more to enjoy in the vocals of the Medley. Therefore, BDJ's engineers set to work to isolate the vocals from the complete Medley, starting with Because. Where possible, they created (world premiere!) stereo versions of the vocals, and emphasized the harmonies and backing vocals.So here you, 18 minutes of harmony singing by our favourite American vocal group!
May 4 Quasi-Fantasie
The 'Moonlight Sonata' by van Beethoven was made famous by John Lennon, when he said that his song 'Because' was inspired by Yoko Ono playing this sonata backwards. While debunking this myth, I found that van Beethoven himself never referred to this composition as the 'Moonlight Sonata"; for him, it was a 'quasi-fantasie'. After van Beethoven's death, a music critic wrote an article in a newspaper in which the critic said that the sonata reminded him of moonlight, shining on a lake. The label has stuck ever since.
However, listening to the sonata, I'm not reminded of moonlight on a lake at all; instead, it is as if I hear a bell tolling, and a procession of people slowly passing by. On their way to a funeral?
I tried to mash the sonata with a church bell, and found that the big bell at the Waalsdorpervlakte matched the sonata (in Cminor) perfectly. A coincidence?
The Waalsdorpervlakte is an open place in the dunes in the Netherlands, where more than 250 prisoners were executed by the Germans in World War II.
It is one of the main locations where on 4 May "Remembrance of the Dead", a yearly commemoration of victims of World War II and other victims of war, is held by tolling the bell at 8 PM.
Maxwell's Silver Rap
“Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” is a rock song with dark, eccentric lyrics about a person named Maxwell who commits murders with a hammer, although the lyrics are disguised by the upbeat, catchy, and rather “childlike” sound of the song. Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert. However.....McCartney read the lyrics as a poem, once. Enough for the BDJ engineers to construct this 'Avant-garde' version.
Come Together (original version)
We all know Come Together, it is one of the most popular tracks on Abbey Road. Due in no small part to the tremendous bass line, the riffs on the electronic piano....all McCartney contributions to a Lennon song.
We know that Lennon started out with Come Together as a much faster song, inspired by a Chuck Berry Song: You Can't Catch Me.
We have no recordings or demos of this Ur version of Come Together, but that didn't stop the BDJ engineers to produce such an Outfake. A very different Come Together resulted.......
It's Goodbye from Them (2020)
It is the time of the year to remember those who escaped from this virus ridden Earth. We present a few of those departed who played a role in the Beatles history. Paul McCartney improvises on the piano on a theme by Samuel Barber, "Adagio for Strings'.
Peter Green, guitarist of Fleetwood Mac and composer of 'Albatross' is remembered by Mac Fleetwood. Albatross was the inspiration for the Beatles song 'Sun King'.
Simon Posthuma: co-founder of 'The Fool', the small group of artists who designed the clothes for the Beatles (and many others) in the Sgt Pepper era, decorated the Apple Store, George Harrison's house, Lennon's Rolls Royce and McCartney's piano. The name the Fool inspired McCartney to write Fool on the Hill.
Spencer Davis: Leader of British band that scored with the Steve Winwood-sung “Gimme Some Lovin'” and “I’m a Man”. He befriended the Beatles and made a cameo appearance in The Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour” film.” He played Norwegian Wood in memory of his friend Lennon.
Terry Doran. Doran first met the Beatles in Liverpool, through Epstein, and sold the band their first car, as well as the van in which they travelled to gigs around the North of England. He went on to work at Apple. He is often cited as the inspiration behind the line "Meeting a man from the motor trade" in the Beatles' 1967 song "She's Leaving Home".
Ivry Gitlis. Israeli classical violinist who played with Yoko Ono on The Rolling Stones Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus.
Astrid Kirchherr. Photographer known for early Beatles images.
Little Richard. Rock n’ roll pioneer whose influence spanned generations. The Beatles covered many of his songs.
Chad Stuart. Half of the British Invasion-era duo Chad and Jeremy: scored a hit with the McCartney composition From a Window.
Sean Connery. Bond; James Bond.
Louis van Dijk. Dutch pianist. In 1970 he recorded 'Louis van Dyke plays Lennon-McCartney' in one day on the church organ of the Reformed Church in Loenen. Listen on Spotify.
Tom Mulder: Dutch radio show host (Veronica, TROS, Radio 10 Gold) of long running documentary series about the Beatles, such as Poster and the Beatles Story.
Woman ft. Yorick van Norden
It was forty years ago today (more or less), so a good moment to commemorate Lennon's final single. Woman was chosen by Lennon to be the second single released from the Double Fantasy album.
The lyrics are not among Lennon's best, but it is nicely Beatlesque that the last words are "I love you, yeah, yeah".....
The lyrics seem to be inspired by McCartney's song 'Woman', which was made a hit by Peter and Gordon. In particular, each sentence beginning with the word 'Woman' comes straight out of McCartney's lyrics.
'Woman' is a catchy tune, but musically, it is not one his most original compositions. It 'borrows' its chord progression from McCartney's 'Here, There and Everywhere'. And it contains the "truck driver's modulation": shifting up a half-step in key half way through gives the song a badly needed push. The truck driver's modulation has been a pop music cliché since the 1950s.........
We are therefore very pleased with the excellent cover version, sung by Dutch singer/songwriter Yorick van Norden, performed 'live' on Dutch radio:
The BDJ engineers set to work to convert his simple rendition into a real cover song. Yorick just made his first number one!
NB for more van Norden, order his latest album here: