Tag: The Beatles

Billboard Time Capsule — August 14, 1965

Billboard Time Capsule — August 14, 1965

Music, Retrotisements
In Billboard Time Capsule, we journey through an old issue of Billboard to see what the most popular and advertised albums of the day were. Not through charts, but rather through advertisements. In each capsule you'll see ads for classic songs and albums, both promoting new recordings and trumpeting ones that had already gained traction. Enjoy! For those who dig Spotify playlists, here is one that contains about half of these songs. I suspect the rest are either not permitted or may have just been lost to the mists of time...
Dig This Beatles Help! Motorized Promotional Display (Capitol, 1965)

Dig This Beatles Help! Motorized Promotional Display (Capitol, 1965)

Auction Finds
From the heady days of Beatlemania comes this outstanding piece of music retail history. It's a motorized display produced by Capitol Records to promote the Beatles' new Help! album and movie. It's basically nothing more than a two-foot by two-foot box with a set of cardboard hands that pops out, but because it's the Beatles it automatically becomes cool. Let's check it out: If you want to see this neat little promo item in action, check out this video:
Listening Booth — Wings, “Magneto and Titanium Man” (live, 1976)

Listening Booth — Wings, “Magneto and Titanium Man” (live, 1976)

Listening Booth, Music
Today is Sir Paul McCartney's 70th birthday, so in tribute I want to share one of my favorite tunes from Macca's post-Beatles career. It's a live version of "Magneto and Titanium Man," from a 1976 concert at the Kingdome in Seattle. The original cut can be heard on the excellent Venus and Mars album from Wings. This take made it onto a 1980 McCartney home video release, Rockshow, which hasn't seen a proper DVD issue as far as I know. Related articles Madame Tussauds Unveils Beatles Waxworks In Honor Of McCartney's 70th (wcbsfm.cbslocal.com) Weller records McCartney tribute (bbc.co.uk) Happy Birthday Macca! 70 classic pictures to mark Sir Paul McCartney's 70th birthday (mirror.co.uk)
The Best of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit — 2011

The Best of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit — 2011

Blogstuff
It's been another fun and challenging year heading up my little internet concern, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. As always, I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who stop by regularly and even share my content with others. This is not a money-making operation for me, so it's gratifying to know that if my site went poof tomorrow there'd at least be a few of you who would notice for a few minutes. The biggest happening around these parts is that I finally launched a more permanent site, of which this blog is now but a section. If you haven't done so yet, please stop by the home site, browse around, and tell your friends and enemies! OK, enough schmaltz and plugs. I wrote a lot of stuff this past year, some of which was actually pretty popular. Here are the ten mo...
Road Trip! — Ten Songs Inspired by Real Places

Road Trip! — Ten Songs Inspired by Real Places

Featured Posts, Listcruft, Music
Many people are inspired by their favorite songs about places to visit the locations that inspired them. But don't bother looking for 22 Acacia Avenue or Xanadu on Google Maps -- they don't exist anywhere but in their songwriters' minds. Elsewhere, however, there are plenty of songs that were inspired by real places. Here are ten of them, should you feel the urge to make a pilgrimage. (You can also check out this list on my Spotify playlist.) #1. "Lakeside Park" -- Rush Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart grew up in Port Dalhousie, Ontario and spent many youthful summers on the village's most popular beach -- Lakeside Park. Peart paid tribute in an atypically nostalgic song on Rush's third album, 1975's Caress of Steel. Peart later reminisced about his Lakeside Park experience
Pop Culture Capsule: The Evolution of the Beatles

Pop Culture Capsule: The Evolution of the Beatles

Capsules, Featured Posts, History
You've probably seen the neat infograph depicting the evolution of the Beatles, as told by their hair. If not, here it is: (credit for this goes to DeviantArt user mozzarellapoppy) But I thought it might be equally as neat to take a look at the growth of the Fab Four with actual photographs. So here we go! 1960 In Hamburg, Germany, 1960. The band had just dropped the name The Silver Beatles. (left to right: Pete Best, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Stuart Sutcliffe) 1961 Performing in the famous Cavern Club, 1961. Dig the leather! (left to right: Harrison, McCartney, Best, Lennon) 1962 The classic lineup is now complete. Sorry Pete Best. (left to right: McCartney, Ringo Starr, Lennon, Harrison) 1963 The band was so tight at point, they e
So fresh — 10 Billy Joel songs that will never get old

So fresh — 10 Billy Joel songs that will never get old

Music
If you came here expecting or hoping to find an article bashing Billy Joel as an overrated, mediocre pop songwriter, you've come to the wrong place friend. I happen to love the man's music -- most of it anyway -- and think he takes an unfair slagging from hipper-than-thou music critics and fans. Sure, he hasn't exactly helped his case with his less-than-stellar later material and his troubled personal life. But buried in 13 studio releases are some of the best pop music of the '70s and '80s. I've gone through those albums -- having listened to them for years -- and picked ten songs that represent Joel at his best. I've tried to avoid including his biggest hits, although in some cases those are his best songs. Enjoy! 1 -- "Don't Ask Me Why" (from Glass Houses, 1980) This is the tune...
Gray Flannel Mixtape: Power Pop for Now People

Gray Flannel Mixtape: Power Pop for Now People

Music
Ask a dozen people to define the term "power pop" and you'll likely get a dozen variations of the same concept. For my part, any music with killer melodies, crisp songwriting and arranging, and (usually) big guitars probably qualifies. Or to get more specific, here's what the All Music Guide says: Power Pop is a cross between the crunching hard rock of the Who and the sweet melodicism of the Beatles and Beach Boys, with the ringing guitars of the Byrds thrown in for good measure. Yeah, that's about it. So anyway, power pop probably offers more value for your listening dollar than any other style I can think of. Here is but a handful of some of the most choice power pop ever committed to tape. 1. Nick Lowe, "So It Goes" (from Jesus of Cool, 1978) — Power pop aficionados will recogn
Listening booth — Mary Wells, “Two Lovers”

Listening booth — Mary Wells, “Two Lovers”

Listening Booth, Music
Over at Popdose we're cooking up an exciting new project — a comprehensive overview of the famous Time-Life AM Gold series. Up first is the 1962 entry, which features a whopping 22 songs. One of the early standouts in our discussion seems to be "Two Lovers" by the late, great Mary Wells. It was written and produced by Smokey Robinson, who was well on his way to superstar status with Motown Records. A 17-year-old Wells signed with Berry Gordy's Motown in 1960 and had her biggest hit in 1964 with the immortal "My Guy." She scored one more Top 20 hit the same year and became the first Motown act to perform in the U.K. (opening for an obscure act called the Beatles). Label battles and health problems cut her career short, and she retired from the music business in 1974. She returned later i