Thursday, 29 June 2017

Paul Merton's Beatles - 1. An Alternative View Of Beatle History

BBC Radio 2 broadcast: 29th May 2017

The year is 1974. Labour's Harold Wilson is Britain's Prime Minister, and Richard Nixon is in the White House. Abba win Eurovision, Germany win the World Cup and a new writer called Stephen King publishes his first novel.

After 5 years of tension, ill feeling and fraught negotiation the four Beatles have buried their individual hatchets and are moving tentatively towards a full scale reunion, hopefully culminating in their first new album since 1969.

As a warm up for the recording sessions, the Beatles - and some of their famous friends - have come together once more for a surprise concert, their first time live on stage since 1966 when they gave up live appearances after a show at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

Join Paul Merton on the commentator's microphone as the Fab Four take to the boards once more....

Well, kind of. Well, all right, not at all. Not really.

Like all of us, Paul Merton is a huge Beatles fan and like all Beatle fans his mind often turns to the "What if's..." of their career.

What if they'd never broken up? What if they were still playing live? What if they made another album?

This four part series is Paul's attempt to answer those questions, and to put forward a fantastical version of Beatle history.

Based on the known facts, and using the recordings available, he imagines the concert that the Beatles could have given, and follows it up with the album that they could have made.

The result is a fascinating look into an alternative reality, but also a clear eyed examination of the strengths and of the forces that drove - and drove apart - the greatest band of all time.

It never happened, but it could have. Couldn't it?

Plastic Ono Band - Blue Suede Shoes (Live Peace In Toronto) [Apple]
Plastic Ono Band - Money (Live Peace In Toronto) [Apple]
George Harrison - Taxman [Dark Horse]
Paul McCartney - Paperback Writer
Paul McCartney - Things We Said Today
George Harrison - If I Needed Someone [Dark Horse]
Ringo Starr - What Goes On (Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band Live 2006) [Koch]
Ringo Starr - Yellow Submarine (Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band Live 2006) [Koch]
Paul McCartney - Magical Mystery Tour
Elton John - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Feat. John Lennon) (Here And There) [Rocket]
Elton John - I Saw Her Standing There (Feat. John Lennon) (Here And There) [Rocket]
Paul McCartney - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles - Glass Onion (The White Album) [Parlophone]
The Beatles - Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!

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