Monday, January 26, 2015

Beatles County Playlist

The Beatles don't exactly have a huge reputation as a band that recorded a lot of country music but there has been a subtle and sometimes not so subtle country flavor to a lot of their music from the very beginning. Ringo Starr is probably the Beatle who has most embraced the genre, but a country influence has also continued through out the solo careers of all the members of the Beatles. I have collected a few notable examples that I think makes a fun playlist.

Act Naturally

The Beatles covered this Buck Owens song on the UK version of Help! (1965). Ringo takes the lead vocals on this track and even got the chance to take to spotlight and sing it on the Beatles third appearance on Ed Sullivan.

Country Dreamer

This charming tune is performed by Paul McCartney & Wings. It was the B-side to the single "Helen Wheels" released in 1973. It was originally intended to be included on the album Red Rose Speedway.

I Forgot to Remember to Forget

George Harrison takes the lead on this classic tune written by Stan Kesler and Charlie Feathers and made famous by Elvis Presley. The Beatles recorded this song at the BBC Paris Studio, London on 1 May 1964 for their From Us To You radio show.

Sunshine Life For Me (Sail Away Raymond)

George Harrison wrote this song while hanging out with Scottish Folk Singer Donovan in Ireland in 1969. He gave it to his former band mate Ringo who recorded it on his album Ringo, his third solo record. It features musical accompaniment by members of The Band Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson

I Live For You

An Outtake from George Harrison's All Things Must Pass which was later included on the 30th Anniversary reissue. Prior to its offical release it was a popular bootleg.

Rocky Racoon

A memorial track from the Beatles double record known as The White Album. This track also has the influence of Donovan behind it, written mostly by Paul McCartney while hanging out with Donovan while on retreat in India.

Husbands and Wives

Ringo's recorded this Roger Miller song for his 1974 album Goodnight Vienna

Crippled Inside

John Lennon dabbles in Country Rock on this upbeat track from his album Imagine.

Sally G

The B-Side to McCartney's better known "Junior's Farm," this song was recorded with Wings during their 1974 visit to Nashville.

Honey Don't

This song was originally recorded by Carl Perkins as the B-Side of "Blue Suede Shoes." John Lennon performed the song in a version recorded live for the BBC but Ringo takes the lead on the official  album version of the song on Beatles For Sale. In fact, "Honey Don't" is one of the few songs which has been performed by every member of the Beatles.

Life Begins at Forty

John Lennon wrote this song--which takes its title from a best selling, self-help book by Water Pitkin--for Ringo Starr in 1980, the year they both turned forty. The only known performance is a demo recorded in Lennon's home. Ringo planned on recording the song for his Can't Fight Lightening record, but changed his plans after Lennon's untimely death.

Heart of the Country

Recorded for McCartney's 1971 album Ram.

What Goes On

The Beatles resurrected and reinvented this song from their Quarrymen days for their 1965 album Rubber Soul. It is the only song to have song writing credits as Lennon-McCartney-Starkey.

Behind That Locked Door

Recorded for Harrison's All Things Must Pass. This song is said to be written as an encouragement to Bob Dylan who was considering a come back after taking time out of the spot light following a serious motorcycle accident.

Beaucoups of Blues

The title track of Ringo's heavily Country influenced 1970 album.

Maggie Mae

While not strictly a country song, this traditional Liverpool folk song certainly has Country sensibilities.

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