“If I Fell” (The Beatles Cover)

Originally posted 2009-09-22 21:32:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome, welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions featuring myself and the Traveling Acai Berries!  We’re continuing our month-long tribute to Beatles cover songs tonight (have you seen the great posts by Chris and Jeff these past two weeks?) with one of their finest early songs in “If I Fell”.

“A Hard Day’s Night” is an interesting film.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s really worth your while.  If you haven’t yet fallen in love with the Beatles, then this movie will seal the deal.  If you’re someone who wasn’t fortunate enough to live through Beatlemania, then this movie will show you what it was really like.  The fact that the boys could be so fun loving and charming during all that craziness proves why they were such a special group.

But, throughout the hype, they remained relevant and cool.  You might write-off some of their early hits like “She Loves You” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” as early-sixties fluff (you’d be an idiot, by the way), but there were some really introspective gems throughout their first few albums.  Go ahead and listen to “Things We Said Today” or “No Reply” and you’ll hear what I’m talking about.  These guys were not only great musicians and songwriters, but they were “deep, man”.  John Lennon and Paul McCartney (and even George Harrison on his early work like “Don’t Bother Me”) were ahead of their time in so many ways that I can think of 50 more songs I want to record for the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog.

“If I Fell” is one of those songs that just “gets you”.  I, for one, cannot stop singing it in my head.  The tune is one that goes back into itself constantly and is on permanent loop up there.  Couple that amazing tune with the harmonies of John and Paul (with Paul’s amazingly high vocals that I think I nailed pretty well) and you’ve got a classic Beatles song, indeed.  Both my father and my fellow Acai Berry Steve said that this song stood out to them when they watched “A Hard Day’s Night” and to me, that says it all.  When you’re up against the heavyweight singles on that album (like the title track) and the response is, “If I Fell really stood out to me,” then you know it’s a great song.

We couldn’t get Steve on camera again this week and Chris C. was busy studying sheet music (you can finally hear him this week!), so he was off-camera.  We had our fourth member, Bill, there for the session, but he had to leave early and we couldn’t get his guitar playing on the video.  I’m hoping that Bill can coax Steve on camera, as four people on camera makes you stand-out much less as an individual than when there’s only two people.  Anyway, I hope to record some more songs in two weeks, so maybe I’ll soften him up by then.  Next week is the last of our Beatles quatrain (like that little music term there?) and we’ve got a whole bag of tricks that should keep things fresh and interesting here on the best music blog ever created!

That’s right, I said, “Best EVER!”  Believe me?  Then comment about it!  We’d love to hear from you and, yes, each comment you leave brings Steve one more inch closer to appearing on camera!  So, get commentin’ and we’ll see you next week for another installment of Jim Fusco Tuesdays.  Stay-tuned for an all-new video by Jeff Copperthite, coming up Thursday!

“You’re Sixteen” (Ringo Starr Cover)

Originally posted 2008-09-29 00:42:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to a slightly-belated Monday, Monday edition of the Laptop Sessions!  Due to Rosh Hashanna celebrations, Jeff asked if Mike could step in.  When that didn’t work out, it was left up to me to fill the space so the Laptop Session a day project can continue!  I’ll have tonight’s video and tomorrow’s, as well, so Jeff will replace my regularly-scheduled acoustic cover song on Friday.  Whippee- no video for me until Monday!

Tonight, you get Ringo Starr’s only Number One Billboard Hot 100 hit in “You’re Sixteen”.  This has to be one of the most fun videos I’ve ever done and if you watch it, you’ll know why.  My version even features the famous kazoo solo, originally played by one Sir Paul McCartney!

I love listening to random mode on my iPod (the “old” 80 gig model).  I heard this song again (I’ve known it for years- who hasn’t?) and then decided to listen to the entire “Ringo” album.  What a great one, including (no pun intended) the song “I’m The Greatest”, which I believe was written by John Lennon.  Ringo always did collaborations well.  Fans will hopefully remember “Never Without You” that he did for George Harrison with a guitar solo by the great Eric Clapton.

I suppose I should give Ringo songs a rest for a while, as I’ve done two recently.  Which one, you ask?  Well, the best way to find out these things is to visit the Laptop Sessions music video blog every single day, but if you missed it, you can just go to the Categories menu in the left bar and click on “Ringo Starr songs”.  Until tomorrow, have a great one!

“Thank You Girl” (Beatles Cover)

Originally posted 2008-11-27 23:55:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!  I hope you had a joyous Turkey Day, “stuffing” yourself in the company of friends and “spuds” — I mean, buds.  If you have tomorrow off, then that’s just “gravy”…

Okay, that’s enough of that.

Seriously, I hope you had a positive day, filled with family members and friends, enjoying a day off from work.  As for me, I woke up late (almost afternoon) to a phone call from my sister.  Knowing me all too well, my mother asked her to call me and tell me that dinner would take place a half hour before it would actually start.

At least I got there on time!

My day essentially started as soon as I got out of bed (at the early hour of noon) and went to my parents’ house.  I had a nice, relaxing time talking with my parents and grandparents, as well as hanging out with my sister and talking about music.  I brought my laptop over so I could finally finish the “2008 Essentials” mix CD I’ve been wanting to make for weeks.  Some highlights were…

– “Living Well is the Best Revenge” (REM)

– “Valley of the Low Sun” (Jakob Dylan)

– “7 8 9” (Barenaked Ladies)

– “Cowboys” (Counting Crows)

and, of course,

– “These Streets” (MoU)

I’m not biased about that last one, I swear!  :-)

After dinner, I spent a long time talking with my parents and grandparents. Then, once the company had gone, my father and I watched the Tom Selleck movie The Shadow Riders.  It was based on a Louis L’Amour novel, so it was pretty cheesy at times, but overall, it was a fun film.  Once the movie ended, the day was still long from over.  I went over Jim’s parents’ house to watch this week’s special Turkey Bowl edition of TNA Impact! (the highlight of which was, without a doubt, Mick Foley “dealing with” Alex Shelley of the Motor City Machine Guns).

A half hour after TNA was over, Jim and I were back home recording this great Beatles cover song, “Thank You Girl.”  Why did I pick this song, you ask?  Is it a favorite?  Well, no.  In fact, I didn’t even know it until yesterday.  The reason is that it goes along with the theme of today — giving thanks!

I actually posted this video late because Jim and I ended up playing great Beatles and Christmas songs for another hour and a half before going downstairs to snack, watch a Jack Johnson DVD, and do research for our Black Friday adventure.

And, yeah, I’m going to bed at 4am, prepared to wake up at 5am…

May the Christmas shopping season begin!!

See you next session!

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?…