“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!

“The Fool on the Hill” (Beatles Cover)

Originally posted 2009-10-15 00:26:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome, all, to a late edition of Jim Fusco Tuesdays here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!

I’m back with my friends Steve and Chris for another Beatles cover song video- tonight, we bring you ‘The Fool On the Hill”.  Chris C. brought this song to our attention because he has an incredible set of recorders (flute-like instruments) that he wanted to play at our practice sessions.  We were going to play “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”, but it looks like Jeff and Chris M. have that market cornered already!

Anyway, when the Acai Berries’ Chris suggested “The Fool On the Hill”, I jumped at the idea- it would give me a chance to do some great Paul McCartney-like singing and Chris a chance to play his recorder in the style of the flutes on the song.  Let me tell you- he got it right on, didn’t he?

And how about the great 12-string guitar playing by Steve off-camera.  That picking style he’s doing on the D6 chord sounds a lot like “Dream On” from Aerosmith and it adds such a mystical feel to this song.  Paul McCartney said he wrote it about people like Maharishi, of whom people said was just a fool standing alone on a hill.  Those nay-sayers to the Maharishi’s principles would just discount his teachings and brush him to the side.

Come to think of it, this is a pretty universal theme.  I mean, I was just listening to my “old” album “My Other Half” from 2002.  I was a senior in high school when I recorded it and high-school “issues” (relationships, etc.) were very fresh on my mind.  I had just met Becky at the time, but we didn’t start officially dating until about two weeks before the album came out, so the songs on “My Other Half” reflect previous people I was (or even wasn’t) involved with.  There’s a song called “Never Taking Your Chances” (which is so weird, because that song was tuck in my head before I even starting thinking about writing this post) and I say, “Just because I’m not what you see, it doesn’t mean you can walk over me, and never taking your chances with me.”

I was complaining about someone who was a friend to someone I was interested in.  Well, looooong story short, she basically prevented me from ever having a chance with that person.  Why?  Who knows!  She knew nothing about me, but just like the “Fool on the Hill”, she assumed things about me and never gave me a chance.

That’s what Paul’s saying in this song: “They never listen to him, they can see what he wants to do.”  No they don’t!  They just think they see what he “wants to do” because of stereotypes, rumors, conjecture, etc.  I’m pretty happy that I made this connection tonight, as it gives “The Fool On the Hill” much greater meaning to me.

And I hope it gives meaning to you, too!  Anyway, I’m excited about an exciting weekend of TNA Wrestling ahead- three hours of iMPACT on Thursday (not to mention a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my main man Jeff Copperthite!!!) and then the biggest pay-per-view of the year on Sunday, Bound For Glory.  Of course, I’ll be pulling for Sting to beat AJ Styles all the way.  Only 15 days left until the house is done, but man, it’s going to be stressful two weeks.  I get sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

Well, have a great one and I promise that next week’s video will be on time!

“Two Of Us” (The Beatles Cover)

Originally posted 2009-09-08 23:52:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

I swear we didn’t plan this… I’m sure by now, if you’re a rock music fan, you’ve heard about the Beatles Rock Band game that’s coming out tomorrow, Wednesday, 9/9/09.  Everyone in the gaming world is excited about this new release, and you better believe I am, too!  You see, it’s very rare we get an official Beatles release (any more “interview” discs floating around?), and it’s great to see the Beatles music brought to a whole new generation of youngsters that are sure to fall in love with it just like the rest of us did.  I’m excited about the new Rock Band video game for Playstation 3, but I’m especially excited about the entire Beatles catalog (including the collection of singles in Past Masters Volumes 1 and 2) being remastered and re-released.  I’ve wanted the Beatles albums remastered for as long as I remember hearing them.  The original tape transfers sound so tinny- the discs they were selling on shelves all the way up until today were made in 1986 and have just been duplicates.  Go ahead- check your CDs- they all say 1986 on them!  That’s back in the time where they had to tell you the “great sound quality and fidelity” you get with CDs…  Anyway, as I am happy that they’ve remastered the original two-track masters of the Beatles albums, I’m a bit disappointed in two things:

First, they’re not remixed.  Not to say that they weren’t mixed great for the time, especially because (next to Brian Wilson, in my personal opinion) George Martin was the best producer ever.  But, now you listen to these songs and many leave a lot to be desired.  Imagine if you heard some of the songs on “HELP!” without all the vocals to the right channel and the music in the left.  Imagine if the drums in the early records were panned more towards center so they don’t cut through the mix (especially the tambourine).  As tacky as the “Love” CD from Cirque de Soleil is, it’s still pretty cool to hear the songs in such lush stereo, as opposed to the duophonic sound that they achieved before the late 60s.

And second, there are no bonus tracks.  My father is quick to point out some key missing tracks that were left off the Anthologies (“The extended version of “Dig It”!”, he always yells) and we’re left with nothing more than the albums that we’ve already bought on LP, 8-track, cassette, and original CD.

So, there’s Beatlemania in the air and I love it.  It’s been WAY too long since the fervor of the Anthology series and it feels great to say, “Oh yeah, well I’m only 25 and I’ve been a fan ALL 25 years!”

Which brings me to tonight’s Beatles cover song video.  Let me tell you, folks- prepare to be blown away.  Along with my mystery guest Steve and other off-camera guest Chris (not Moore) (from my new cover band, the Traveling Acai Berries, also featuring Bill, who couldn’t be at the session), we play a completely effortless version of “Two of Us” from the “Let It Be” album.  Chris appears on-camera in the video I’ll be posting next week, but Steve, by request of his college-age daughter who would commit social suicide if her friends found out her father was on YouTube singing Beatles songs with a 25 year old :-) , decided that he would just show his guitar skills on camera.  Actually, that’s Steve singing with me on this one, too.

And that way I described the performance: effortless.  That’s what makes it different from many of my past collaborations.  Whether it be getting the chords right, remembering the words, or remembering harmony parts, past duets have always been troublesome.  But Steve, Chris, and I play this like we’ve been playing for years, and that’s what I love about this video.  You can barely hear Chris in this video- he’s playing mandolin away from the microphone, but at times, especially late in the chorus, you can hear him plucking away.  His sight reading was impressive.  On next week’s video, you can definitely hear him, though.  Steve’s playing is great, as he took the time to learn all those parts I don’t on guitar, which is just so great knowing that I can just sing and play rhythm.  Steve reminds me a lot of my father- not only in his love for the Beatles music, but in how he can sing harmony parts without having to teach him every note.  Somehow, he just knows.  And that’s where this familiarity comes from- it really shows through in the video.

I sincerely hope you enjoy tonight’s performance- one’s that’s been in the works for months now.  It was a lot of fun and I hope they’ll want to do more, especially when they see all the good reviews we’ll get!  I’ll be back next week and hopefully I’ll be enjoying the new Beatles Rock Band game, too.  I’m going to wait until Christmas for the Beatles remastered albums, though- in stereo, of course.  And don’t even get me started on the new “mono” box set… :-)  Until next week!!