The Beatles Sgt Pepper Sessions in Pictures. Check our Pinterest Board

I like everything about sgt pepper era Beatles. Apart from the music, it’s the way they changed. The shorter hair, the sergeant major style clipped moustaches, their outfits & even just the way they looked..they all looked slimmer & wiser somehow. In 1966 The Beatles were donning their out grown mop tops & smart suits. They were cleanly shaven but looking jaded & they left the world with a cliff hanger Tomorrow Never Knows. This track was the highly experimental, possibly eternally timeless final track on their 1966 album Revolver. The Beatles then went eerily quiet for 6 months, unusually so for them, sparking rumours of a break up & prompting sections of the media to report that the band had lost their creative edge & it was all coming to a spluttering, disappointing end.  You can imagine how eager the band must have been, sitting in Abbey Road’s studio 2, anxious to reveal their next single to prove everybody wrong. Then they jump out of their supposed slumber with a big “SSSURPRISE!” and they release the most advanced pop record in history, Strawberry Fields Forever, re-emerging from the shadows, looking like a gay section from the American civil war.

I love to imagine what I would’ve been feeling had I been alive at the time, impatiently waiting to hear what my favourite band were going to do next & then being slapped around the face with Strawberry Fields, a knockout blow! For anyone who wasn’t around at the time of it’s release it’s easy to just accept that song as just, a great song. But I’m guessing in 1967 it was like hearing. ..well basically like hearing nothing you’d ever heard before, or even thought possible of hearing in the future. A huge step forward, a progression, fast forwarding everybody else in popular culture towards new horizons & opportunities. And this was just the first taster of what the band had been up to all those months. The album, Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band was coming next & this was to contain more of the same. Big, new sounds, new song structures & concepts. It’s just a really interesting, intriguing period in The Beatles history, which was the turning point to a completely new approach for the band & every other band around at that time.

We’ve been collecting images of the Pepper sessions for a while & have cross referenced what we found with the “Complete Recording Sessions” book & the “Recording The Beatles” book for dates. We checked on what days they wore what clothes so we know what session they were currently involved in on each picture we found. Check out the collection so far on our Pinterest board.

Our Sgt Pepper Sessions Pinterest Board HERE..

An Ode To Oracle – 60’s Artists that Sound Inspired by The Zombies Odessey & Oracle

1. End of the Day – Kytes
2. Dougal – Bulldog Breed
3. Today is the Day – Ola & the Janglers
4. Somewhere Up High – The Guess Who
5. Lake Hope – Chrysalis
6. Friendly With You – Del Shannon
7. Days Are Only Here & Gone – Gandalf
8. Twenty Ten – Tinkerbell’s Fairydust
9. Eileen’s Haberdashery Store – Bulldog Breed
10. Wendy – Malcolm Holland
11. Lonely Am I – Stained Glass
12. We’re Not Those People Anymore – Rifkin
13. Wintry Morning – Maury Muehleisen
14. Not So Young Today – Five Steps Beyond
15. Pat’s Song – The Peppermint Trolly Company
16. I Don’t Need Love – The Tidal Waves
17. Hear My Lamentation – The Tages
18. Shelly Tell Me Why – River Deep

The Zombies have a lot to answer for. When you read almost any interview with US bands of the 60’s, The Zombies (along with The Beatles & The Stones) are invariably mentioned as a key influence on their sound. They were a huge part of The British invasion, & bands like The Left Banke, or The Turtles may have never existed in the form that they do were it not for The Zombies. Listen to any US Garage compilation & you’ll no doubt hear more than one track that bears a resemblance to “She’s Not There”. And this isn’t just limited to US or UK bands, you could do the same with any European garage compilation too. Swedish bands in particular seem to favour The Zombies minor chord, polite, English baroque style. Jorgen Johansson, the Swede behind the Fading Yellow compilations, kind of opened up a new genre for many 60’s pop fans to delve into; minor chord baroque pop. It kind of has a mood of it’s own, & the term “Fading Yellow” is now frequently used to describe the sound of records on music blogs, or to catch the eye of record collectors on ebay. Would the Fading Yellow series have existed without The Zombies? Not sure. With Rod Argent mimicking the classic baroque style of playing on his Hohner Pianet, did The Zombies help to re-popularise the clavichord & harpsichord too? Suddenly an instrument not utilised in popular music since the late medieval period was appearing on pop records by the coolest bands in the 60’s, used alongside the latest electric musical instruments.

Anyway, Odessey & Oracle is obviously one of the finest albums ever made. Not exactly psychedelic but welcomed into the genre because of it’s mood, inventiveness, lyrical content & its use of echo & mellotron throughout. We really wanted to find the essence of that album in other artists music so we put a compilation together of what we could find. It’s been hard to find anything close to being as good as any of the tracks on Odessey, but this compilation should be an interesting listen for fans. We would have loved to have unearthed more tracks with a mellotron, but searching for tracks sounding specific to Odessey & Oracle was challenge enough, without finding ones that also contained a mellotron. Maybe we’ll find some for a future volume. Again, as always, we’ve done our best to steer away from anything too obvious, & maybe some songs you’ll listen & think “nothing like the Zombies” yet listen again & you might go “ah yeah”.

 

Listen to “An Ode to Oracle” on Mixcloud

 

Electric Eden – Unearthing Britains Visionary Music (Rob Young) – Our Review

Just finished reading the Kindle edition of this captivating book by Rob Young.
Electric Eden tells the historical story of British Folk music, a mystical, magical journey through time introducing us to, apart from the music, some fascinating, eccentrically colourful characters, some deep thinking, troubled souls & primitive ideas & Religion. Taking us along a dirt track out of the City & into the wild, painting a sepia tinted picture in your mind of the British countryside & all that evokes it.
It tells the story from the beginning, a similar tale to the beginnings of the US folk music scene. It took a handful of dedicated, obsessive personalities to unearth the songs of the people, the country folk & the working classes. These people scoured the length & breadth of the country, out to the sticks, collecting songs, poems & folklore tales from the few people that had them handed down to them.
The story then shifts from these dusty narratives to explain how these original unaccompanied songs then became the folk music we know so well from the early 1960s. Music by artists such as Davy Graham, Bert Jansch, The Watersons.
We are then turned onto how the genre developed through that decade & beyond, to incorporate psychedelia, the Occult & the fuse of other musical genres, such as Jazz & US country music & how this in turn inspired the mainstream to contrive some of the classics of our time. Sgt pepper, Piper at the Gates of Dawn et al.

The book gives us in depth write ups of recommended albums, a track by track guide by picking out the instruments used, the conflicts between band members, and the significant lyrics & what they could have meant to it’s authors. All presented in a very welcome, finicky fashion.

Author Rob Young. has written for Uncut & The Wire

It tells of the inspiration behind a lot of these albums & of the places where the songs were conceived & recorded. Throwing you right into the Studios & country retreats alongside the artists, or in the case of 1970s band Heron (shown on the cover above) out in the fields & plonked on a log by their makeshift open-air recording studio.
The book is a hefty companion & a recommended read, even for those who don’t particularly like some of the artists or albums featured within. The stories are all educational & interesting none the less. Not too sure why the book swings dramatically towards the end to include in depth chapters on Kate Bush, Talk Talk, David Sylvian. You can’t help but feel that the author was looking for an excuse to force in a few personal favourite bands of his generation. Despite having little to do with Folk music as we know it & wandering off & away from the general feel of the book, these pages still make for interesting reading.
If you can’t afford a Holiday this year, then just stay home & read this. You’ll be transported away from work & the stresses of everyday life & into the carefree countryside as often as you like. And all for the price of a book.
Review by fuZZdandy

Available from Amazon