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Lecture 7

MUS321H1 Lecture 7: Coming of Age?
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Department
Music
Course
MUS321H1
Professor
James Kippen
Semester
Winter

Description
MUS321—Lecture 6: 1965-66 The Beatles – Coming of Age? • String of successful #1 hits and albums • Two films marketing band and brand o memorabilia • national/international tours: global adoration • recognition from the UK establishment o June 12, 1965 named recipients of MBE o for contribution to music and British culture award in October • Wider range of influences o Dylan, Marijuana ▪ Listened to Bob Dylan and impress with his music [Lennon] because Dylan talked about themes of greater social and introduced them to Marijuana ▪ Marijuana made them create more personal music like Lennon • Lennon the writer o Second book of poetry and prose ▪ his poetic prose later on found its way increasingly in writing lyrics o A Spaniard in the Works o Published June 24, 1965 o Continues to explore word play in the manner of In His Own Write ▪ Snore Wife and the Seven Dwarfs • twist the humour • Lennon and Harrison were unhappy with the constant touring • Pandemonium wherever they went • Fans had not matured along with them –still screamed as in 1963 • Began exploring LSD in April 1965: further escape? o Given to George Harrison o freed up their imaginations and experiment in music that they haven’t done before o 1965 –LSD, 1964 –Marijuana • Dylan and his music made them take more interest in politics and world issues—Vietnam war and US civil rights • Beatles disobeyed Epstein—political statements in press conferences • Asserted independence: refused another Royal Command Performance, opted out of Christmas shows for 1965 o major TV moment of the era and that tells you something about their unhappiness of the system, that they can be independent and strong without these big shows o wanted a break from Christmas shows US/Canada tour 1965 o August 14-21—11 shows (1 in Canada) o August 15 in Shea Stadium, New York o 55,600 o Revenues: $304,000 o 2,000 security personnel o 30 minute show • Ed Sullivan introduced them o big character and prominent figure so having him on stage was a symbol in many ways of how important Beatles were and connecting of how they invaded America • What effect did the concert at Shea have on the band? o Noise: could not hear themselves think or play o Coordination of the music: it is not as tight as their playing in their earlier days and their recording where they can coordinate better ▪ their musicianship is deteriorating at the point o Lennon’s response to the absurdity of the moment: you hear Lennon start babbling nonsense but was good at meaningful nonsense o he knows he cannot be heard o They’re not really performing the song, just singing it because nobody can hear them anyways: rumbling after this screaming • A turning point o Beatles agreed to tour UK in December 1965 o But told Epstein their touring days were numbered o Increasingly found solace and creative space in the studio ▪ working with George Martin to change the standard ways to doing pop music o began to make decisions as to how things should sound, demanded more from GM and sound technicians o had to get another single/LP ready for Christmas Rubber Soul sessions • October 12 to – November 12, 1965 • Highly productive sessions • Were they finally writing for themselves rather their fans? o A lot of their earlier songs were written to expand their fan base [Yesterday] • Single or double single? o Double A single: We can Work it Out (McCartney) ▪ Day Tripper (Lennon) o Released December 3, same date as Rubber Soul album o all the songs are by the Beatles • “We can work it out” and “Day Tripper” o Heralded a new era? ▪ Is simplicity the key? (previous songs arguably more complex) ▪ Musical maturity: captivating and enduring songs with great depth, beauty and freshness • many of these songs are more timeless and seems to speak just as well to later generations ▪ Studio experimentation apparent: new sounds, new instruments, playing with stereo effects ▪ Not ideal for live performance pieces to be listened to and thought about, not just danced to • they are hard to replicate • music with a greater sense of depth and not music to be danced to • expresses an opinion o These two songs symbolized difference between love songs and message songs on Rubber Soul o Love: from abstract idea to specific obsession ▪ love is treated as an ideal thing ▪ and another is love is manipulation and obsession • “We Can Work it Out” o McCartney—general message: love as a universal, humanitarian issue o Text foreshadows their own problems later on? o Very simple setting, but catchy ▪ Simple chords (emphasis on VII flat = chord in D) and simple melody (NB arpeggiated with appoggiaturas) • appoggiaturas = a note that lies outside of the chord • McCartney breaks up the chord to create a little bit of melodic tension • drop to the flat7 chord ▪ use of harmonium (GM) • an organ [short keyboard], played by George Martin which gives it a different texture • incorporating instruments not in pop ▪ Bridge (Lennon) in relative minor with triplets –“fussing and fighting”—change of meter • change the duple meter into the waltz and back to duple meter ▪ effective word painting (emphasize by good drumming): a simple gesture but causing a great change to come over the listener • matching of music to the actually words • not overwhelming drumming • “Day Tripper” o Lennon –though a “love” song, it has a twist to it: girl being chased was clearly a fraud, a teaser who never made a commitment; singer feels foolish for having taken so long to realize o Risqué? “trip” ▪ repeated patterns ▪ this song has a bluesy moment to it that repeats over o Great riff song: unusual count into first verse ▪ extended blues form [lecture 1] ▪ the riff dominants o simple, very catchy • Concept o Was Rubber Soul the first concept album? ▪ music speaks to a multi-vocal narrative on an issue o United by different perspectives on love and relationship? “Nowhe
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