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The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

Music Feature: Beatlemania Toronto Style

Music Feature: Beatlemania Toronto Style
The Beatles changed the world in countless ways, but they also dramatically changed Toronto over three consecutive years of performances (1964 to 1966) at Maple Leaf Gardens. Almost overnight, the city was hit with a cultural shift of seismic proportions: Boys grew Beatle-bangs, girls pinned photos of John, Paul, George and Ringo on their walls and parents worried about the sanity of their teenaged children. Canada’s folk darlings, Ian & Sylvia, had ruled up to that point, but as the male half of that duo, Ian Tyson, remembers, “the minute the Beatles arrived, it was over – well and truly over.” The folk boom slowed, as every kid on the block rushed to form rock bands. Toronto’s music sc...
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Music Review: Yoko Ono - Yes, I'm a Witch Too

Music Review: Yoko Ono - Yes, I'm a Witch Too
Yoko Ono has long been misunderstood. Blamed for the Beatles’ breakup and criticized for her influence over husband John Lennon, she has never been accepted outside of avant-garde circles. That may be changing. Last year, New York’s Museum of Modern Art mounted an extensive exhibition of her paintings, drawings, sculptures, films and music. Now everyone from Sonic Youth to Lady Gaga is calling the controversial 83-year-old an influence. A new album of collaborations sees contemporary musicians reinterpreting her music. Alt-rockers Death Cab for Cutie provide new synth backing to Yoko’s “Forgive Me My Love,” while Sweden’s pop-rock trio Peter, Bjorn & John offer dramatic accompaniment to ...
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Various artists - The Art of McCartney

There have been many Beatles tributes. This one stands out for its vast range of major artists covering songs by McCartneyl, who ranks alongside Cole Porter and George Gershwin as the most successful composer of all time. “Yesterday” is the world’s most covered song, with over 2,200 versions. It’s sung here, with accordion backing, by Willie Nelson. Among the other 41 tracks are two contributions each from Heart, Billy Joel, Steve Miller and Alice Cooper. There are also fine renditions of “Helter Skelter” by Roger Daltry, “Let It Be” by Chrissie Hynde and “Things We Said Today” by Bob Dylan. Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love sing early classics, while Wanda Jackson tackles Sir Paul’s Chuck Ber...
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The Beatles - On Air: Live at the BBC Volume 2

It’s hard to believe, but there’s still more Beatles gold in the mine. This 2-CD set, a sequel to 1994’s bestselling predecessor, features an astonishing 63 new tracks, including two previously unreleased songs. Recorded between 1962 and 1965, these raw performances capture the band at the peak of its stage power. The sound quality, unhampered by screaming fans, is a revelation. “There’s a lot of energy and spirit,” Paul McCartney admits. “We are going for it, not holding back at all, trying to put in the best performances of our lifetimes.” And they do. Along with many of the Fab Four’s biggest hits, the 39 music tracks include never-before-released rollicking versions of Chuck Berry’s “I’m...
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Julian Lennon - Everything Changes

Living in the shadow of his famous Beatle father can’t be easy—which may be why Julian has released so few recordings. His first album in 15 years is filled with plenty of Beatlesque flourishes, especially on the piano ballad “Lookin’ 4 Luv” and the eastern-tinged “Someday,” a duet with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.
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Paul McCartney & Wings - Wings Over America

The year was 1976 and arena rock was in its heyday. Paul McCartney, who had not performed in North America since the Beatles’ last tour a decade earlier, took his band Wings on the road in Canada and the United States. The concerts sparked scenes reminiscent of Beatlemania and the resulting live album, Wings Over America , became an instant bestseller. Now reissued as a two-CD set (an expanded deluxe edition also includes a bonus CD, DVD and several souvenir books), Wings Over America is McCartney at his post-Beatles best. Along with Fab Four favorites like “Yesterday” and “Lady Madonna,” he performs thrilling renditions of “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Live and Let Die” and “Band on the Run” that fa...
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Paul and Linda McCartney - Ram

Time has been kind to Ram . When the McCartneys first released the album in 1971, critics savaged it as lightweight and inconsequential. It certainly offered no big artistic statement of the Sgt. Pepper’s variety. Instead, it reflected Paul’s embrace of a simpler life away from the Beatles. Written during his and Linda’s extended holiday in Scotland’s Mull of Kintyre, while the band was in the midst of a bitter legal break up, the songs offer a sense of unbridled joy. Now available in several formats, including a Deluxe Edition Box Set featuring bonus CDs, a DVD and a 112-page book, the reissued Ram is a revelation. Along with hits like “Another Day” and “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” the so...
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