Beatles Books – Hardcover….and Electronic

The general consensus from Beatle fans so far is unanimous: the cover art for Mark Lewisohn’s first volume in his series of three books is really quite amateur-looking, and I agree:lewisohn Beatles book

This is a very disappointing cover, one that doesn’t do justice to the high expectations surrounding the release of this long-awaited Beatles book. Someone of Lewisohn’s standing should get better than this. It comes out later this year.

Meanwhile, the Linda McCartney book Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs has been released in electronic/digital form on iTunes.


Linda McCartney – Life in Photographs features:

  • over 170 photographs selected from Linda’s archive of over 200,000 images—most of which users can pinch to zoom
  • forewords by Paul, Stella, and Mary McCartney, texts by Annie Leibovitz and Martin Harrison, and excerpts from interviews with Linda from BBC’s highly acclaimed 1994 “Behind the Lens” profile
  • a bonus video interview with Paul McCartney and his daughters, Stella and Mary

The collection was produced in close collaboration with Paul McCartney and his children. When it first came out in hard copy the McCartney family released a YouTube video talking about the book.

Linda McCartney Remembered – Well Sort Of

Back on 16 January WogBlog posted about a mysterious new animation which had appeared overnight on YouTube on a newly-created Linda McCartney channel. He was tipped off to it by a Tweet from Paul McCartney:

The video cartoon has Paul singing a new arrangement the song “Heart of The Country” from the Ram album. So….what was this? A belated effort to promote the Ram remaster? Or the start of something new? Perhaps another of McCartney’s forrays into animation? Then a week later the same video appeared, this time with a voice-over by Elvis Costello:

Turns out it’s an advertisement for Linda McCartney Foods.  The theme of the campaign is #Love Linda, and it’s the first time in 15 years that the vegetarian brand has done television advertising. The thirty second ad shows the McCartney family in animated form and is produced by Passion Pictures, whose other work includes projects for the Beatles and the Gorillaz. It went to air for the first time on 28 January as part of a campaign to launch a new range of chilled meat free foods.

Then I get home yesterday and find an email from a PR company letting me know about “…..a new 30 minute film called Love Linda in which members of the McCartney family speak about Linda McCartney, her influence on them and how they are continuing her legacy. It also includes commentary from people who knew Linda including Elvis Costello and Chrissie Hynde. The film is a very personal look at how Linda touched the lives of people she knew, interspersed with beautiful photography of her and the McCartney family.”  Here’s the three-and-a-half minute trailer:

And here is the full thirty minutes.

All this kind of reminds me of Paul and Advertising and The Beatles and Advertising.

“Take It Away” – 30 Years Old

The song “Take It Away” was released 30 years ago on 21 June.

Paul McCartney’s official site has all the details. You can check out the video for the song there – or you can view it on YouTube below. It features some very well-known faces:

Steve Gadd and Ringo on drums, Eric Stewart on guitar, George Martin producing and on piano, Linda on vocals, and actor John Hurt as the “lonely driver”…

The song was a single lifted from the album 1982 album “Tug of War”:

It came out as a 45rpm 7-inch single backed with a non-album track called “I’ll Give You a Ring”, and as a 12″ extended play with an additional song – “Dress Me Up as a Robber” (which was also from the LP). Both the 7″ and the 12″ were released in cover sleeves:

Here are some label variations. Click the labels to see larger versions:

The Beatles with Records – Part Six

Some further photographs of the Beatles being photographed with records have been sent in – and so it’s time to add a Part Six to the series.

These photographs are all great and they come from Claude Defer, co-author of a recent book about all the French Beatles record releases. Claude’s first pic is of Paul, Linda and Denny Laine in the back of a limo and for some reason they have with them a copy of John and Yoko’s rather controversial 1968 release Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins. Paul might simply be re-acquainting himself with the quote he provided for the cover of the album: “When two great saints meet it is a humbling experience. The long battles to prove he was a Saint“….

As you can see below, John also quotes Genesis 2: 21-25:

Of course there are lots of photos available of the Beatles being presented with gold records in honour of their huge sales – but in this one for his work on Band on the Run with his new band Wings, Paul looks particularly pleased:

In this series on the Beatles with records we’ve had a lot of hastily-taken fan photographs sent in. These have been when the band members have stopped to talk and to autograph copies of their LPs and singles for waiting fans. This is another one of those, this time with John Lennon signing a copy of the single ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’/’Penny Lane’:

In the recent Martin Scorsese documentary on the life and times of George Harrison (called Living in the Material World) there’s a fantastic photograph featured of George holding up a copy of All Things Must Pass, his 1970 triple-LP box set. I remember sitting in the cinema watching the film and thinking “Hmmm. Must get that photograph and upload it to the Beatles with Records series!”

Well, Claude Defer found it and sent it in:

Finally, a fairly early publicity photograph of the Beatles in front of a display of some of their  releases, including A Hard Days Night, Please Please Me and With the Beatles:

If you have any other photographs you’d like to share please send them to:

Oh, and I almost forgot…..of course there’s also this video of John and Yoko putting their Plastic Ono Band Live Peace in Toronto 1969 onto the turntable and playing it. It’s only the very first couple of seconds of this YouTube video – but it’s worth it.You can see the other parts in “The Beatles with Records” series here:

Parts 123478910111213141516 and 17.

The McCartney Family Talk About “Life in Photographs”

Paul McCartney has just posted a new YouTube clip of him and daughters Mary and Stella talking about the book and exhibition project “Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs“:

The music used in the clip is Linda’s “Love’s Full Glory” from the album “Wide Prairie” (1998).

Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs

I wrote in March about a new book about to be released which is dedicated to the photographic work of Linda McCartney. Last Saturday my local paper (The Sydney Morning Herald) published a four-page article about it and dedicated the front cover of its Good Weekend magazine to the book. Here’s the promotion of the paper’s weekend magazine article on the front page masthead of the newspaper:

They used a great shot of Paul, Mary and Heather on their farm in Scotland in 1970 for the front cover of the magazine itself:

Inside is an article by journalist Janice Turner detailing a flip through the book – with Paul McCartney at her side. Turner asks: “So how does McCartney feel, looking again at these private moments, captured by his soul mate of those years, now long gone? “It’s funny. I think when you have a bit of distance from someone you have lost, you can just look at it with pleasure. Because they were great times. It is tinged with sadness because you lost that person, but the main feeling for me looking at these is joy. Mostly, these pictures are uplifting.”

Here are a few more of Linda’s photos which appear in the book, published by Taschen:

Of course the Sydney Morning Herald’s weekend article has been syndicated around the world and comes from a London Times Magazine which was published last month – but it was a nice surprise last Saturday morning to find it in my local Sydney paper…

UPDATE:  “Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs,” a New York exhibition of photos by Linda McCartney, opened last Thursday and runs through to July 29 at the Bonni Benrubi Gallery, Level 13, 41 East 57th St., New York City. The gallery has posted lots more photographs here (check out the prices, too). This is the poster for the exhibit:

UPDATE 2:  Paul McCartney has posted a YouTube clip of he and daughters Mary and Stella talking about the project.

Two New Websites: Linda McCartney and Badfinger

News this week about not one but two interesting new Beatles-related websites – one celebrating the life and work of Linda McCartney, the other for the band Badfinger.

Steve Marinucci on his Beatles Examiner page reports there’s a new Linda site been launched documenting her life and career and authorized by Paul McCartney and the McCartney family. This comprehensive new site is populated with Linda McCartney photographs spanning four decades and contains a wealth of text information on her career as a photographer and musician. As an advocate for animal rights Linda also spearheaded the promotion of vegetarianism, created her own vegetarian frozen food line, and authored a series of cookbooks.

The new site includes a biography, a study archive and some of Linda McCartney’s films. It comes ahead of the publication of a new book called “Linda McCartney – Life in Photographs”, published by Taschen Books. Click on the book cover below to take you through to a detailed page with more information about the book:

The book features a selection from Linda McCartney’s huge photographic archive – again made in collaboration with Paul McCartney and their children. The first run is a collector’s edition limited to 750 copies, numbered and signed by Paul McCartney himself ….but with a US$1,000 price tag that’s probably out of the grasp of you and me. However, you can click here to leaf through 100 pages of that special limited edition for free.

Now to Badfinger:

I was contacted this week by the creators of a new website dedicated to the original band. is a new official site made in collaboration with band member Joey Molland. It went live on Friday, 25 March. On the site you can learn about upcoming tour dates, read the history and news about the group and their journey, and you can ask Joey questions personally. The “Original Badfinger” website pays tribute to the ‘classic lineup’ of the power pop pioneer band and is live now. It has band bios, lyrics, and details of the groups interactions with the Beatles themselves. Images and videos from Molland’s personal collection will be uploaded soon.