fri 19/07/2019

Beatles

Yesterday review - Beatlemania in a parallel universe

The price of fame and the value of artistic truth are among the topics probed in Danny Boyle’s irresistible comedy, a beguiling magical mystery tour of an upside-down world where The Beatles suddenly never existed. Richard Curtis’s screenplay...

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La Damnation de Faust, Glyndebourne review – bleak and compelling makeover

Mid-career, moving ever further away from composing for concert platform and church towards the stage, Berlioz found himself unsure where his take on Faust belonged. In the end he hedged his bets and titled it a "dramatic legend". Staging it as an...

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Rock Island Line: The Song That Made Britain Rock, BBC Four review - the early dawn of Britpop

If you were a fan of “Rock Island Line” when it became a pop hit, you’d have to be at least in your mid-70s now. In 1956, Paul McCartney heard Lonnie Donegan perform it live in Liverpool, and Paul’s rising 77. How many below that age know it is moot...

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The Beatles: Made on Merseyside, BBC Four review - when the Fab Four were five

Documentaries about the 20th century’s most fabled quartet keep coming. There’s no special call for The Beatles: Made on Merseyside (BBC Four), which looked at the group’s Liverpool beginnings, though at a stretch it could be argued that in the 50th...

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On Drums... Stewart Copeland!, BBC Four review - no drummer, no rock'n'roll

On Drums was inhabited by a parade of fine-looking young and middle aged multi-ethnic anglophone drummers, all introduced by Stewart Copeland, the American drummer of the Police. In vintage film and contemporary interviews his chosen musicians...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Beatles

 “…all four [Beatles] worked tirelessly together in the studio, they carved out a sound and a ‘feel’ for each song. On the many tapes that have been carefully preserved from the sessions there is extraordinary inspiration – mixed with plenty of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Janáček, George Martin, Dmitry Masleev

 Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas, Janáček: Sonata (arr. Brill) Shirley Brill, Jonathan Aner (piano) (Hänssler Classic)Brahms's pair of clarinet sonatas are the epitome of autumnosity, were such a word to exist. Pipe-and-slippers music, which isn't...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Beatles

The official reissue of The Beatles’ Christmas records is a major event. Since Live at the BBC was issued in 1994, archive Beatles’ releases have fallen into two categories. There have been releases devoted to or drawing from archive disinterments:...

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CD: Django Bates - Saluting Sgt. Pepper

Sgt. Pepper is a popular choice for a tribute but also a dangerous one. How to say anything meaningful about a work widely agreed to be the most influential in rock history? How to approach a work that is already a multi-layered pastiche, in places...

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Summer of Love: How Hippies Changed the World review - the weird and wonderful roots of the Sixties counterculture

As the accompanying music reminded us, it's the time of the season for looking back in languor at the psychedelic daze that descended on America's West Coast in 1967. It was an era when one was enjoined, if going to San Francisco, to "be sure to...

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Sgt Pepper's Musical Revolution, BBC Two review - how the Fab Four changed pop music forever

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the triumphant vindication of the Beatles' decision to quit touring and instead exploit the possibilities of the...

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Billy Bragg: Roots, Radicals and Rockers review - riffing on skiffle, and more besides

Wow! An unconventional opening for a book review maybe, but ‘“wow!” nonetheless. Subtitled "How Skiffle Changed the World", this is an impressive work of popular scholarship by the singer, songwriter and social activist whose 40-year (and counting)...

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