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Saturday, 13 October 2007

Hip Hop Beatles - first sample approved?

RAPPER Ja Rule has told Billboard magazine that he has permission to use a sample of 'Eleanor Rigby' on the track 'Judas' on his forthcoming album The Mirror, while New York collective Wu Tang Clan have covered 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' as 'The Heart Gently Weeps'.

Here's the Wu Tang track from You Tube, but with no visuals:

And, producer and Wu Tang leader The RZA talks in this interview about the track from the 8 Diagrams album and asking Dhani Harrison to play a 1961 accoustic Gretsch on the track which also features Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante and Erykah Badu.

Dhani Harrison said: "EMI freaked out about this whole thing, but it's less about a major corporation talking to another major corporation, it's more like two friends - RZA and myself - talking about working together."

"He asked me to see if he could use the song, which is owned by us [the Harrison Estate], and we said yes. It's not the original master - they've never been cleared - but the song is used compositionally."

Ja Rule told Billboard: "We got the clearance, that's a win in itself!"

An entirely personal view is that I quite enjoyed the Wu Tang track - it's very laid back and low tempo and Erikah Badu has a beautiful voice. I'm sure Beatles fans will listen out for Mr Rule's effort with great interest.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Oh I say, how tiny!

WHEN the question is "Why has he done that?" the answer is usually "Art!" That's why Philadelphia artist Steve McLaughlin has compressed the Beatles' British albums into a one hour long MP3.

McLaughlin, a sound artist, speeded up the oeuvre 800 times in order to compress it into his one hour sound box, producing a very odd sounding skate through the history of the classic Beatles output called 'Run For Your Life'.

Though the John Lennon who produced 'Revolution Number Nine' would surely have time for this type of manipulation and Paul McCartney enjoyed the work of avant garde composers like Stockhausen and as Fireman has released his own electronica, working with Youth and Super Fury Animals and remixer Freelance Hellraiser.

No sooner had this feat been achieved, then of course people started to slow it down again - like this version of 'Tomorrow Never Knows', with its strangely filtered sound.

Of course the ones who got there first were two puppet pigs. At the height of Beatlemania the BBC's Pinky and Perky raced their warbling way through 'All My Loving'.


ALL four Beatles can now be downloaded with news from Parlophone that nine George Harrison albums are available on-line.

All Things Must Pass in its 2001 remaster adds
five tracks to the 1970 original.

Thirty Three & 1/3 is up in its 2004 remaster with extra track 'Tears Of The World'.

George Harrison is another 2004 remaster, a demo of "Here Comes The Moon" is the bonus.

Somewhere In England, again a 2004 remaster, with George's tribute to John 'All Those Years Ago'. Your bonus track? A demo version of 'Save The World'.

Gone Troppo, 2004 remaster, with a demo version of 'Mystical One'.

Cloud Nine, 2004 remaster, with 'Shanghai Surprise' and 'Zig Zag' as extra tracks.

Live In Japan, a 2004 remaster of this 1991 recording of Tokyo and Osaka dates. Features 'Taxman', 'Something', 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and 'Here Comes The Sun'.

Brainwashed was a posthumous release from 2002.

Living In The Material World in its 2006 remaster is new to itunes.

George's Widow Olivia said: "It is exciting that George's catalogue is finally available for downloading. He had begun the digital remastering of his albums but had no idea how the digital world would change the way we access and listen to music."

ITUNES now has a George section.