“Honey Don’t” (Beatles and Carl Perkins Cover)

Originally posted 2010-09-30 20:02:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome, everyone, to another new edition of the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco!  I’m sorry the post is a bit later today- I was busy yesterday training for an upcoming 5k race with my Traveling Acai Berries member, Steve.  It’s tough motivating myself to run every other day, but I know it’s healthy for me to do so, and I’m using that as extra motivation.

The other day, I was searching online for Beatles covers and Beatles cover songs, but The Laptop Sessions page didn’t come up in my searches!  Well, that has to change.  I’m going to make it a personal goal of mine to get the Beatles category page up in the search engine rankings!

Tonight, I bring you a Beatles song that Ringo got to sing.  All the members of the Beatles (especially George and Ringo) were big Carl Perkins fans.  So, they took this song, “Honey Don’t”, and gave it the Beatles treatment.  I’m glad they let Ringo sing it, as his voice is perfectly suited for it.  Something about the chords on the verses gets me every time.  This song is pretty easy to play, but it’s got such a great tune.  And hearing Ringo sing it in a way only Ringo Starr can, it makes for a great combination.

Apparently, Carl Perkin’s brother even initially refused to play the song, citing its odd chord progression (for a blues song) in the verses.  I’m glad he finally came around!  The song has such a driving beat, too- I’d love to play this live with a band someday.  One of my favorite parts is the guitar solo.  I actually got to play it pretty spot-on even though it’s a solo acoustic version.  The guitar solo in the Beatles version is basically the E and C chords played as barre chords higher on the neck.  I never get to solo during these videos- it was fun!

I’ve wanted to play this song for the Laptop Sessions ever since I heard Ringo singing the song during his concert at the Mohegan Sun this past June.  He sounds exactly the same and they do such a good job of reproducing the energy and the sound of the recording live.  Actually, if I had my way about it, this would be “The Ringo Sessions with Jim Fusco”- I can’t exactly explain it, but I LOVE Ringo’s music.  I especially like his solo albums starting with 1992’s “Time Takes Time”, but there’s something about Ringo’s songs in general that really resonate with me.  Heck, he even makes “Honey Don’t”, a sad song when you think about it, into a jolly good time. :-)

I hope you enjoy tonight’s video and stay-tuned next week for a very, very special Jim Fusco announcement!  I think you’re going to love it, but you’ll have to keep checking back to see what it is.  See you then!



Music Review: The Beatles’ “Let It Be… Naked” (2003 Remix)

Originally posted 2009-09-14 23:50:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

The chart-topping success of Let It Be is truly a testament to both the heights of Beatlemania and also to the abilities of the four Beatles to consistently top themselves in their songwriting and musicianship.  Even by 1970, amid tensions that caused all four to at least threaten to quit the band, they managed to come together (no pun intended) to finish the principal tracks for a new album.

This was made easier, of course, by the fact that this new album was based primarily on material that had been written and recorded before their previous record, Abbey Road, was released.

The true complication in this process arose when Phil Spector was somehow given the “okay” to add his signature studio treatment to the tracks.  Perhaps with the disagreements between the Fab Four obscuring their collective vision, Spector was allowed to turn these songs — many of them little gems — into overblown, overproduced testaments to the capabilities of a mixing board.  Orchestras aside, the original concept of this album (at least, when it was begun in January 1969) was that there would be no overdubs of any kind.  How the leap was taken from “no overdubs” to “here’s Phil Spector” is a subject of some debate.  The result?  An album that made many fans and sources close to the band wonder what it would have been like without all the accessorizing.

Let It Be… Naked puts an end to that inquiry.

The cover of the 2003 remix of "Let It Be"

The cover of the 2003 remix of “Let It Be”

As the title implies, Naked is a stripped-down, bare bones version of Let It Be that highlights the instruments and original vocals of the four Beatles which, not surprisingly, is more than enough to excite and entertain.  Ringo once pointed out that, despite all their issues and arguments, when the count began and a song was performed live, they transformed back into those four boys from Liverpool who just loved to play music together.  For anyone who thought that may have been an overstatement, this new take on their final album is the proof of its veracity.

Throughout Let It Be… Naked, the Beatles’ harmonies are tight and their instrumentation is simple yet impressive.  The drums and bass are particularly fun to focus on, perhaps imagining Ringo and Paul falling perfectly into the rhythm and putting all their combined experience, personal talent, and emotion into what would be these final released tracks.  Of course, John and George are just as much fun to listen to.  George’s guitar work, for instance, clearly never needed to be and never should have been buried beneath layers of production and overdubs.

Even the track listing is rearranged on this 2003 remix of the album, tossing out “Dig It” and “Maggie Mae,” as well as adding “Don’t Let Me Down,” a track that had made the cut on the earlier Glyn Johns mix of the album, before the project was shelved.  This is hardly a revelation — I don’t imagine many will miss the two deleted tracks and the album is certainly much better for the inclusion of the latter.

In every conceivable way, Let It Be… Naked is a success and finally presents the album as originally intended, making it a must-listen for any Beatles fan as well as any fan of rock music who is interested in hearing the real story of the final album of this legendary band.

COMING LATER THIS WEEK:  In addition to our regular Beatles cover songs, a review of the new Let It Be 2009 remaster.  How does it compare?…

“This Is Love” (George Harrison Cover)

Originally posted 2008-02-12 19:37:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Hello all, and welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog! It’s me, Jim Fusco, back here again with another cover song video.

This one is from one of my favorite albums ever- “Cloud 9” by George Harrison. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but something about the albums from this late-80s period is just so great to me. It’s probably because I grew up listening to them and it’s nice to think of a time I was alive AND people like George Harrison were still really popular. Plus, I think listening to rock music at such an early age (I was three years old when “Cloud Nine” came out) like this really sticks with you. There have been some songs that I heard back in the late 80s and I haven’t really listened to since. When I finally hear them again, somehow I know all the words! It’s really incredible to think that those lyrics stuck with me over all those years and that I learned them when I was so young. I guess that’s why they try to teach a second language to kids that are under ten years old- it really does stay with you! Of course, instead of a foreign language, I learned a ton of rock music lyrics. :-)

For my iTunes, I have a song rating system I devised. Basically, it’s a way of sorting through all of my music and categorizing the ones I truly love. It also helps me weed-out all the songs I don’t like but have in my music library just to complete an album. Anyway, my 5-star songs are my favorite songs of all time- these are the classics like “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys and “You Just May Be the One” by the Monkees that I just can’t live without. The next category down, 4-stars, is for songs that, when they come on, I say to myself, “Oh man, I love this song.” This category is reserved for songs that make my eyes widen and my ears perk up as soon as the first chords kick in. “This Is Love” by George Harrison is one of those songs. As soon as the song starts, you’re hooked in- the great chord progression and the wonderful late-80s guitar sound get me every time. I can only hope that my acoustic cover song version I’ve done here for the music video blog does the song justice.

This song, “This Is Love”, is a classic. It’s got that unmistakable George Harrison sound. If you don’t know it, get ready to have a new favorite song, because this song has a great melody and, of course, great chords and style- George all the way! Of course, there will be many more George Harrison songs done here for the music blog in the future. I recently got into listening to all of his solo albums and was blown-away…no pun to another George Harrison song… In the meantime, I hope you enjoy today’s video and will come back for more great cover songs from The Laptop Sessions music blog!

“Crackerbox Palace” (George Harrison Cover)

Originally posted 2010-05-20 00:07:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

So, can you tell I’m on a George Harrison kick? :-)  It’s another edition of the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco!

One small piece of business before we get started: From now on, I’m going to try to post my videos at midnight on Thursday morning so you can wake up on Thursdays and see a new cover song music video or read an article.  Lately, I’ve been staying up late on Thursdays and posting at like 1 am on Friday…that’s not really what I was going for with Jim Fusco Thursdays!  So, make sure to grab a cup of coffee every Thursday morning and head on over to the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog for a great post each week.  Now, onto tonight’s video!

On my way back from the Mets game I went to two Fridays ago, my friend John was flipping around to different radio stations in the car.  He came across one station and I said, “Wow, I really think that’s George Harrison singing, but I’ve never heard this song before!”  So, I whipped-out the Shazam app on my iPhone and it found the song: “It’s What You Value” from George Harrison’s solo album, 33 1/3.  The song sounded great, so I decided to listen to the album.  Well, I loved it and now I’m going to listen to all of his solo albums!  I’m onto “George Harrison” (self-titled) now and I’m enjoying that one very much, as well.

“33 1/3” is not only an interesting title because of the RPMs of a vinyl LP on the turntable, but (as my father informed me) is also how old George was when he released the album!  How cool!  I guess I’ll have to come out with a vinyl single when I turn 45… :-)

I’ve known “Crackerbox Palace’ since I was little.  Back in the early 90s, I believe, they came out with George Harrison’s “Best of the Dark Horse Years” CD, which chronicled his greatest solo hits while on the Dark Horse label he created.  So my father played it in the car all the time.  That’s probably why I love George’s “Cloud 9” album more than any person should love an album: it’s embedded in my mind from when I was four!  Getting back to the “Best Of” album, songs like “Crackerbox Palace” have been with me for a long time and it feels great to finally perform it.

I was surprised to learn that “Crackerbox Palace” is one of my brother Mike’s favorite George Harrison songs, as well.  Plus, Becky seems to really love it, too.  If you haven’t seen the original music video (that he did with the help of the folks from Monty Python), then you should really check it out.  I think that’s why Becky likes the song so much now- it’s so lighthearted and fun.

On that note, I always look so serious when recording these songs- I just want them to sound right, so I forget to smile a lot of the time.  On a lighthearted song like this, I hope it doesn’t detract from the general mood.

Okay, that’s all for me this week- make sure to stop back next Thursday for a great Moody Blues “Best Albums Ranked In Order” list my father came up with.  Which album is the best?  Or, maybe even more importantly, which album is the WORST?  Find out next Thursday here on the music blog.  Have a great week and see you then!