The original recordings from the Beach Boys legendary Smile sessions (’66-’67) are finally set to be officially released. There will be a double CD version, a double vinyl version, and a 9 disc box set!
I think it’s interesting to see which classic bands/artists continue to reach new listeners (the great majority of Last.FM users weren’t even alive in the 1960s) so in that vein I’m creating this list of the 10 most popular bands/artists of the 1960s on the Last.FM website.
Two notes: (1) I’m only considering bands/artists that released at least three studio albums in the 1960s. (2) I’m basing the rankings on the amount of total listeners (instead of total plays.)
#01 The Rolling Stones – 2.5 million listeners (75 million plays.)
#02 The Beatles – 2.48 million listeners (310 million plays.)
#03 The Doors – 2.12 million listeners (70 million plays.)
#04 Pink Floyd – 1.91 million listeners (155 million plays.)
#05 The Who – 1.89 million listeners (42 million plays.)
#06 Jimi Hendrix – 1.78 million listeners (41 million plays.)
#07 Johnny Cash – 1.75 million listeners (59 million plays.)
#08 Bob Dylan – 1.68 million listeners (87 million plays.)
#09 The Beach Boys – 1.53 million listeners (32 million plays.)
#10 Simon & Garfunkel – 1.52 million listeners (33 million plays.)
It’s interesting to see the differences between the rankings as far as listeners vs. plays; The Stones barely beat The Beatles as far as listener reach (which I’m actually pretty surprised by) but The Beatles have a huge advantage (4X) as far as the amount of plays.
If I were ranking by plays it’d be The Beatles way out in front with Pink Floyd easily in second place (although mostly for their 1970s stuff) and Bob Dylan in 3rd.
Another thing to consider is that long songs hurt bands as far as plays are concerned; Most of Pink Floyd’s songs are very long, most of The Beatles songs are much shorter.
Continuing my new picking whatever I want to do next approach to the Beatles songs series; today’s song is “Rain.”
Yes, I’m really picking up steam. After waiting 9 months between “Hold Me Tight” to “And I Love Her” I’ve waited only 13 days to get to “Rain.” At this rate I may even finish this whole series… by the end of the decade.
I think jumping around like this will help me to get a lot more of these done as I can just do songs that I’m actively interested in at the moment instead of being stuck doing a bunch of songs that I don’t really care for that much.
Anyway, back on topic, “Rain” was the b-side to “Paperback Writer” on a single released on May 30th of 1966 in the US (June 10, 1966 in the UK.) This impressive “Paperback Writer”/”Rain” single came out between 1965′s Rubber Soul and 1966′s Revolver.
Neither of these songs were ever included on an album but they can be found on the second Past Masters CD. The Past Masters CDs include all of the band’s official non-album releases. Continue reading ““Rain” – The Beatles” »
Brian Wilson on the original Smile recordings finally being released: “I’m looking forward to this collection of the original recordings and having fans hear the beautiful angelic voices of the boys in a proper studio release.”
A release date has not been set (only “sometime in 2011″) but it is known that it will be a two CD set titled The Smile Sessions.
After the original Smile album recordings were abandoned in 1967; an album titled Smiley Smile was recorded (and released on September 18, 1967.) It included alternate versions of songs that were set to be on Smile (such as “Heroes & Villains” and “Vegetables”) along with some new songs.
In 2004 a new version of Smile was recorded and released by Brian Wilson.
As someone who wasn’t born yet in 1964 I find watching these shows interesting as a sort of peek into the pop culture of an earlier time. Not only because of The Beatles performances but because of the context of the rest of the program and especially the commercials which I find to be quite strange (everything is included as was originally aired in the 1960s.)
When I see those commercials I think of Mad Men (fantastic show, by the way.)
What’s neat about this 18 track collection is that it is remastered and that it includes songs from his time as leader of Pink Floyd and from his post Floyd solo career.
Looking at the tracklisting now it seems like a pretty nice overview of Barrett’s career although there’s definitely a lot of great songs that are missing. There are only three tracks from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the debut Pink Floyd album ,(“Matilda Mother,” “Chapter 24,” and “Bike”) and one of those (“Matilda Mother”) is an alternate version.
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is a true psychedelic classic and you should definitely listen to the entire thing if you haven’t yet!
There are also a number of cool solo songs missing from this collection. I think both of his solo albums (The Madcap Laughs & Barrett) are definitely worth hearing in their entirety.
That said; as an “introduction” (and that’s all the CD claims to be) it’s very good. And even though I’ve heard of all of these songs before I plan on buying it now (downloading from Amazon MP3) because I want to hear the remastered versions of these songs I’ve heard before. Also I’m carious about what the “alternate version” of “Matilda Mother” sounds like and a number of the songs are not just remastered, but actually remixed so I’m curious to hear what they’ve done with those as well.
There’s a “special collectors edition” of Rolling Stone out now with a list of The Beatles 100 greatest songs (only original songs, no covers.) 100 songs is a lot. What other band/artist can you imagine making a top 100 list for and it not being absolutely ridiculous? What’s even more amazing is that there are quite a few great Beatles songs that didn’t make their list. This is my list of my favorite 11 original Beatles songs that didn’t make their list.
The Beatles were actively recording songs from 1962 through 1969. To be precise; they did record some demos prior to 1962, most of them can be heard on The Beatles Anthology 1, and they finished a single song in 1970, “I Me Mine” on 1/3/70, but obviously choosing the five best songs from the demos on Anthology 1 or from “I Me Mine” doesn’t make any sense so I’m sticking to ’62 through ’69 for this concept.
The concept is that I select the five best original songs, in my opinion, that The Beatles recorded each year as a way to clearly see their progress as a band through the 1960s.
“Please Please Me”
“Love Me Do”
“P.S. I Love You”
“Ask Me Why”
“Like Dreamers Do”
Pretty slim pickings from ’62. Of these five songs, “Please Please Me” is the only one that I think is a real standout. The rest made the list merely because there was nothing else to choose. The only other original song from 1962, that has been released, is “Hello Little Girl” which is pretty dreadful (you can hear it on Anthology 1.) Continue reading “The Best Five Beatles Songs Recorded Each Year ’62 – ’69” »
My final entry in my “Most Valuable Beatle” series (which except for Yellow Submarine could really be called my Lennon vs. McCartney series.) Before I get to the Past Masters 2 disc let me share my previous entries here: