AUDIO: Hear world-wide exclusive Beatles’ LOVE on radio premiere.

If you haven’t heard the 4-track sampler of The Beatles’ LOVE on their website you are missing out.  To me, three out of the four a good.  I have read tons of things about this release and there is no middle ground with it.  Either you love (no pun intended) or hate the mashups.

Yes, yes we would all like to see a remastered catalog, but haven’t we all learned patience as Beatle fans?  It will come eventually.  For now Love is all we need for our latest Beatle fix. Check out the radio premiere and decide for yourself.   Here’s what we’ve read.

Legendary Beatles producer George Martin and his son have been working with the entire archive of Beatles recordings to create LOVE, due for release on the 20th November, but before it’s available to buy, Virgin Radio have a very exciting world exclusive to reveal…

Although we already have four tracks available to hear right now, from 11pm on Wednesday 15th November we will have the entire LOVE album, to play ahead of any other radio station in the world! Virgin Radio’s authority on The Beatles: Geoff Lloyd was invited to the Abbey Road studios recently for an exclusive hearing of the new album, read his account below…

The ‘Love’ album preview at Abbey Road

Thirty six years after The Beatles recorded their last session here (overdubs on George Harrison’s ‘I Me Mine’, fact geeks) the long, low wall outside the famous EMI recording studios in London’s Abbey Road is still covered in fans’ graffiti.

Like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, as soon as they finish painting it, they have to start all over again. In the peak tourist months, London’s already heaving traffic congestion is exacerbated by a constant stream of pilgrims posing for photographs on the nearby zebra crossing, emulating the iconic album cover. At the height of Beatlemania, interviewers would regularly ask what would happen when the general public lost interest. John and George bought a chain of supermarkets. Ringo mused about becoming a hairdresser. Paul talked about writing songs for other people. As it turns out, they needn’t have bothered.

It is a crisp October afternoon, and one quarter of The Beatles, as for much of this year, dominates the day’s tabloid headlines. Regrettable though the circumstances are, it shows the the public’s appetite for all things Fab remains as insatiable as ever. They are about to be served a far more nutritious feast.

We are at Abbey Road to listen to the new Beatles album, ‘Love’. It is the soundtrack to a Cirque du Soleil production of the same name, currently playing in Las Vegas. In the nineties, after years of legal wrangles, trauma and deep, old wounds, the three surviving Beatles (Harrison, McCartney,Starr) began to repair their friendships whilst working on the ‘Anthology’ project.

For the first time in years, they would socialise, and whenever Cirque du Soleil were in town, they would go along together to take in the show. Harrison, in particular was a great fan of the movement and spectacle performances, and became close friends with one of Cirque du Soleil’s founders, Guy Laliberté. Out of this friendship was born the idea of a Beatles-inspired Cirque production.

The playback of the ‘Love’ album is in Abbey Road’s studio three. The whole building is steeped in popular music history, and The Beatles occasionally used this studio, especially when working more individually such as on ‘The Beatles’ (a.k.a ‘The White Album’.) Unlike Studio Two, which was home to most of The Beatles recording career, and to this day still smells like an old, musty, church hall, Studio Three is modern and intimate. Before entering the studio we are given strict instructions regarding privacy. All mobile phones have to be left inside a locked cloakroom, we have to sign disclaimers, and we are frisked for secret tape recorders by a security guard on the way in.

The studio is on two levels; there is a comfortable control room on a mezzanine floor, and downstairs, the studio floor has been furnished with comfortable armchairs for us to sit and listen. We are told that once the playback commences, we are free to move between the two, and to help ourselves to refreshments. I’ve been to many album playbacks which have turned out to be fairly sociable affairs, with people chatting and stuffing their faces with vol-au-vents while the music plays in the background. This time, we sit in in our armchairs and stay there is silent wonderment from start to finish. Despite a lovely spread of hummous, crisps and triangular sandwiches.

The album has been put together by veteran Beatles producer George Martin, and his son Giles, also in the knob-twiddling game. The concept is to provide a soundtrack to the Cirque De Soleil show using well-loved Beatles songs, but presented in a fresh way. Martin and son painstakingly went through every studio session The Beatles ever recorded, and built layers and layers of elements from different takes of different tracks into the fabric of some of the best loved songs in the band’s canon. For example, a first listen to the new version of “Strawberry Field Forever’ yields up a composite of various takes of the song, augmented with vocals and/or instrumentation from ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, ‘Piggies’, ‘In My Life’, ‘Hello, Goodbye’ and ‘Penny Lane’. There are doubtlessly many others in there too.

As with all latter-day Beatles releases, care has been taken to present each Beatle’s material proportionately. Although the track listing looks slightly Lennon-heavy, McCartney is almost equally represented. George Harrison’s ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ is the only song to feature new instrumentation; a George Martin-scored string section sensitively added to the beautiful ‘Anthology’ demo version, this being one of the stand-out tracks. Whereas Ringo-sung songs were sometimes throwaway fillers on The Beatles’ studio albums, a great deal of attention has been lavished on the hybrid of ‘Goodnight’ and ‘Octopus’s Garden’ included here, and the marrying of this track with the drum track from ‘Lovely Rita’ is another of the highlights.

I am always impressed by the way that Apple Corps, The Beatles company, is aware of protecting the band’s legacy. They rarely licence the recordings out, and carefully drip-feed selected product onto the market every few years, taking care not to cheapen the band’s reputation. There are bound to be Beatles fans who consider the ‘Love’ album to be little short of heresy, taking the bands recordings and re-editing them to create something removed from the already perfect original releases. I tend to disagree, though. The original releases are still there, and always will be. The definitive Beatles releases are those from 1962 to 1970 and, of course, if you want to take a dip at the high tide mark of popular music, that’s the place to do it.

For those of us who love and savour those original recordings, but crave more, ‘Love’ is very exciting. It’s those magical songs in a parallel universe, given new dimension. Instead of each song being its own cake, it’s the whole lot melted down, stirred up together and made into new ones. I know it’s not strictly possible to melt a cake, but you know what I mean.

There’s probably a better analogy involving coloured strips of Plasticine, perhaps you could go away and work on it yourself…

As we left Abbey Road and walked through St John’s Wood, my head was, predictably, full of The Beatles. It so often is, in that part of London. I thought about four nervous and excited young boys arriving from Liverpool to record their first album. Of the hours in the studio when a great beat-pop band started to discover super-powers recording ‘Rubber Soul’ and ‘Revolver’. Of the strains and fissures that grew between four friends in the eye of the hurricane. Of the arrival and omnipresence of Yoko Ono into the previously hallowed and unaugmented band dynamic. Of the incredible studio photographs of Linda McCartney, taken when the rot had set in and spread, but capturing moments of warmth and magic. The ‘Love’ album is the soundtrack to that incredible story, eschewing chronology for essence.

I was born after The Beatles split up. If I could have lived at any time in history, I would love to have been a thirteen year old in 1962, and spent my adolescence hearing those incredible records with fresh ears, in context with the culture of the time. Taking an album home from the shop, removing the record from the packaging, placing it on the turntable and putting the needle onto the disk, and hearing it for the first time must have been mind-blowing. I’ve heard stories about the week ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ was released, when people would throw parties just to sit and listen to this astonishing album, and pirate radio DJs played the whole thing, uninterrupted from start to finish.

Tony, Annabel and myself were talking about how my generation missed out on having that experience of absorbing new Beatles material for the first time, and we had an idea. The new Beatles album ‘Love’ is a journey from start to finish, and that’s the best way to listen to it: To treat it like you might a DVD or a book, and devote a whole evening to it being your entertainment, with no other distractions. We’re going to try and recreate that excitement on Virgin Radio. We’re going to play ‘Love’, uninterrupted, in its entirety.

Since the album is stunning, we already know it’s going to be a very special experience, so we hope you can set aside an hour and a half of your time, to enjoy a world exclusive, the new Beatles release ‘Love’ on Wednesday 15th November at 11pm.

Source: Virgin Radio UK


One Response

  1. I live in Mexico City and I have just returned from Las Vegas. I went there only to see the Love show…
    Amazing! I screamed, sang and cried along the show.
    When it finished I only thought about seeing it again next night and that is the way it was… It is worth every penny you might spend to travel to that cardboard city.

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