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Should "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love" count as canon Beatles Songs?
27 October 2015
11.58pm
Wigwam
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Might be a reference to Lady Madonna 's stockings needing mending?....(that was a joke Ron).

 

As it is, I claim the first song by The Ladders as being 'She Said She Said '.......when Paul went off with the 'ump.

 

In truth I suspect the name may have originated from the words ' The Lads'.......Perhaps a Ringo'ism?

28 October 2015
2.18am
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Mademoiselle Kitty >^..^<
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My answer was, is, and likely will remain yes. 'Generally accepted' canon doesn't mean a lot to me. Accepted by whom? On what basis?

George, Paul, and Ringo released them as Beatles songs. If it had been just Paul and Ringo, I might think differently since they're a lot more sentimental about the whole Beatles thing, but skeptical George with the Beatle-shaped chip on his shoulder participated too - his guitars and vocals are key elements of the songs, not just fillers. He's also the main reason Now And Then never got finished, so his opinion obviously mattered. If he went along with it, chances are John might have done so too. Yoko seems to think he would have liked the songs, so what more do we have to go on? 

I disagree about the BBC recordings not being canon as well. They may not have been intended as an album release, but I think they're very valuable. Most of the songs are covers, but let's not forget that most of the covers the Fabs ever did, are better known than the originals. Those are accepted as 'canon', so why not the ones they did for the BBC? Because they're less known, or not studio quality? It can't be because they aren't Beatles originals. How many people think Twist And Shout is a Beatles original? The same goes for many of their covers: they were either so different or so successful, that the general audience doesn't realise they're covers. Sure, the BBC recordings' covers are generally better known by the original artists, but I think one reason for that is they were never released on a Beatles studio album. If they had, those would have largely been known as Beatles songs too. And then there's the little gem called I'll Be On My Way. I see why the lads didn't like it enough to put on an album, but I love it. They easily could have tweaked the lyrics and it would have been a #1 for sure. I love this album because it offers insight in the lads' musical taste, the dynamics within the group, and how they might have sounded in the early days, playing the clubs. 

In a way, Free As A Bird and Real Love do the same: they can be seen as the epilogue of the Beatles saga. The last hurrah, in which they all play a role. Looking at it from that angle, the BBC recordings can be seen as the prologue, a glimpse of the Beatles' foundations. To me, it's all a part of the whole Beatles package, so to me it's canon. 

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28 October 2015
4.46am
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That's really well expressed JP.

 

I disagree with MMM and Nasty in almost every respect except 1.

Not long ago and well in to this debate MMM said, 'if john had gone on holiday and asked the 'Ladders' to finish off his demo he wouldn't have left them with such a shoddy one'......... Nothing's for certain, it's all conjecture but that rings true.

However, given that he'd left them with what he did I feel he would have come back and loved what they'd done with it. And if they'd have said....'We want it to be our next single.'

He'd have blushed and said, "Oh well alright then'.

28 October 2015
5.54am
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meanmistermustard
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John didnt leave them anything, he left a series of work in progress demos that he had no idea would ever be used for a Beatles recording. Its not like what Freddie Mercury did with songs that were eventually used for the Queen album 'Made In Heaven'.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris)

28 October 2015
8.33am
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meanmistermustard
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No one is saying the BBC recordings aren't valuable (i adore all of that material, some far more than the studio tracks) however the Beatles were very mindful of what they recorded for EMI (regardless of our own tastes and opinions) and what was then officially released (covers and original material), and for whatever reason they decided not to record and release a very large selection of material. To throw out the Beatles wishes for what they wanted to be their lasting body of work and to be measured by when looked back upon is wrong in my opinion. 

All of the BBC material was recorded with no thought of being heard 2 years later never mind being collected together and officially released 24 years after they split. To therefore place it in the same category as the studio albums that were therefore doesnt stand up despite how good the material might be (its a testament to the Beatles as live musicians that the BBC material is so damn good and even worthy of being considered by many). The same goes for outtakes; they were never intended to be part of the official Beatles canon and so not intended to be analysed and held up to the same standards as the 214 (or whatever it is) songs that were. 

It's all the Beatles and all contributes to our understanding of how they existed and operated (and to that I am damn thankful and cannot get enough of the material) but its not what their legacy was intended to be to the general record buying public.

 

If the requirement is that if the Beatles say it is so it is then whats to stop Paul from digging out a jam from the 1973 'I'm The Greatest' sessions, add vocals and a bass track and release as the last last Beatles track as long as Yoko, Olivia and Ringo (or his estate depending on future happenings) agree (or dont object). It might seem a daft point taken to excess but then again suggest in 1982 that Paul, George and Ringo would take a Lennon demo, write new lyrics, overdub new instruments and release it they'd think you were mad.

To then raise it immediately to the same position as 'Hold Me Tight ' or 'The Night Before ' or even 'Revolution 9 ' in the Beatles history is insane to me.

 

Coming to think of it there has been unofficial talk and rumours that Paul and Ringo were/had been working on 'Now and Then' (the unreleased, unfinished third reunion track) and were hoping for it one day to see the light. If that were to happen where would that sit considering we all know George vetoed its release at the time?

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris)

28 October 2015
10.35am
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Zig
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The word canon, depending upon the context in which it is used, has several definitions. For our purpose, the definition that fits best is:

  • "the works of a particular author or artist that are recognized as genuine"

I am trying to figure out how any official genuine release recorded by genuine Beatles under the name The Beatles does not fit this definition - regardless of who the members of The Beatles are/were at the time of the official genuine release. 

I have no problem whatsoever in segmenting their works as "canon" (all official genuine releases) or "core canon" as defined by mmm, RN and even me. But to disregard parts the entire official genuine canon (the 2 songs in question, LATBBC, etc...) makes no sense to me whatsoever. It never will, no matter how it is spun.

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28 October 2015
6.42pm
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Bongo
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Are all 4 Beatles on "Free As A Bird " and "Real Love ”? 

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28 October 2015
8.06pm
Wigwam
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MMM said: "Coming to think of it there has been unofficial talk and rumours that Paul and Ringo were/had been working on 'Now and Then' (the unreleased, unfinished third reunion track) and were hoping for it one day to see the light. If that were to happen where would that sit considering we all know George vetoed its release at the time?"

As the rest is a re-hash of your absolutely valid position............I won't waste more time on trying to change your mind from 'shouldn't' to 'should'.

However the quoted passage above poses  a new and interesting question.

Where would it sit?

For me it would sit a little apart from FAAB and RL.......But I for 1 would consider: if it's written and sang by John and all three other Beatles were on it..And Paul and Ringo released it under the group's name, then it's Beatles. If any of that could not be agreed upon, then it isn't.

It may all boil down to why George 'vetoed' it. It could have been for any number of reasons.

If it's 'crap', as George is reported to have said, then why do Paul, (and in your scenario Ringo), think it's good enough to return to? Perhaps Paul is being sentimental, wanting to live in his past, or more charitably not wanting his mates' work to be left un-done?

Maybe George's real reason for his 'veto' was that he'd had enough of working with Paul again and the equality established between them at the start was breaking down?........Quit while they were ahead? His exit strategy and a display of his power.

Maybe Paul was getting too chummy with George's ally Jeff Lynne.....Or George was feeling that Paul's creative and musical merits were overshadowing his own and it was happening in front of a fellow Wilbury, a group in which he had found proper respect amongst stellar peers and didn't want that to be undermined...   Maybe George.....???? Who knows?

 

It's a good question, we'd have to see........But it begs another.

If George's vetoing of  'Now and Then' is to be considered the acid test of that songs validity in any future arguments...... why is it then, that the fact he DIDN'T veto FAAB and RL but instead enthusiastically recorded and allowed both songs to represent The Beatles as singles releases and album tracks....Why does his absolute blessing not count in those tracks favour when it comes to canonisation? 

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