Episode #22: ‘Music That Bleeds – Elvis’s ’68 Comeback Special’.

“There is something magical about watching a man who has lost himself find his way back home,” ‘Eye’ magazine’s John Landau commented when reviewing Elvis’s 1968 ‘Comeback Special’. “He sang with the kind of power that people no longer expect of rock ‘n’ roll singers. He moved his body with a lack of pretension and effort that must have made Jim Morrison green with envy.”

Undertaken by the King as a make-or-break project that would either salvage his career or confine it to the backwaters where it currently resided, the show captured him laying everything on the line – vocally and emotionally. This in spite of manager Colonel Tom Parker’s insistence on an NBC Christmas special that might have appealed to only those still brave enough to watch his legendary client’s lousy films.

Director Steve Binder provided the vision, production partner Bones Howe attended to the music, and the result was a small-screen smash that grabbed viewers’ attention right at the start with a menacing close-up, striking Elvii-filled backdrop and a voice that attacked the songs with raw beauty. Topping the ratings, this show and the accompanying album made Elvis musically relevant for the first time in years.

Binder and Howe are among the interviewees in this 50th anniversary tribute to a timeless TV classic, alongside executive producer Bob Finkel, guitarist Scotty Moore, drummer D.J. Fontana and special guest Allen. J. Wiener, author of ‘Channeling Elvis: How Television Saved the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’.

“It was the finest music of his life,” Greil Marcus wrote in his book, ‘Mystery Train’. “If ever there was music that bleeds, this was it.”

Featured tracks:

  • Trouble/Guitar Man
  • Trying to Get to You
  • Heartbreak Hotel
  • Stuck On You
  • A Little Less Conversation
  • When It Rains, It Really Pours
  • I Got a Woman
  • Lawdy Miss Clawdy
  • One Night
  • That’s All Right
  • Let Yourself Go
  • Blue Christmas
  • Memories
  • Saved
  • If I Can Dream

Episode #21: ‘’The Lennon and McCartney White Albums’ (live at Monmouth University)

This is a new phase STTS episode…

Essential to the concept of the ‘International White Album Symposium’ at Monmouth University, New Jersey, was that we recorded the show in front of an audience, revisiting and merging the much-discussed topics of Episodes #2 and #4 with a couple of our mates: celebrated Beatles author Mark Lewisohn and our resident musicologist Allan Kozinn.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney each contributed 12 songs to the White Album. These could have been justifiably issued as LPs in their own right. And what stunners they would have been; filled with an eclectic array of incredible compositions and unforgettable performances that captured both men—and their bandmates—at the top of their game.

Here we review the Lennon and McCartney White Albums, comparing them with each other as well as with the legendary, recently remixed Beatles opus. In comes the warmth and freshness of a live appearance, captured for you by the STTS team. Featured tracks:

  • Birthday
  • I’m So Tired
  • Julia
  • Dear Prudence
  • Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  • Back in the U.S.S.R.
  • Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?
  • Revolution

Episode #20: ‘White Heaven – Reviewing The Beatles Super Deluxe 50th Anniversary Edition’

A remixed White Album, the complete stereo Esher Demos, a wide array of high-quality, previously unheard outtakes… and the album in 5.1 surround. Need we say more? Actually, we do, according this historic release the attention and analysis it so richly deserves.

Featured tracks:

  • Helter Skelter (Second Version – take 17)
  • Yer Blues
  • While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  • Blue Moon (Studio Jam)
  • (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care (Studio Jam)
  • Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey (Unnunbered Rehearsal)
  • Revolution 1 (Take 18)
  • Good Night (Take 10 with a guitar part from Take 7)
  • Honey Pie (Instrumental Backing Track)
  • Dear Prudence (Esher Demo/Vocal, Guitar and Drums)
  • Let It Be (Unnumbered Rehearsal)
  • I’m So Tired (Take 14)
  • Sour Milk Sear (Esher Demo)

Episode #19: ‘Geoff Emerick – Channeling The Beatles’ Creativity’

A tribute to the recording engineer whose in-studio innovations helped shape The Beatles’ sound—and alter the course of popular music.

Geoffrey Emerick (born 5th December 1945, died 2nd October 2018) was just 16-years-old when, on 6th June 1962, he joined the EMI Studios on Abbey Road as a tape operator. Two days later, he attended the group’s first recording session with Ringo Starr on drums. He subsequently assisted on a number of sessions, including those for ‘She Loves You’ and ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’, before replacing Norman Smith as The Beatles’ chief engineer in early 1966 and diving straight into the deep end with the first track committed to tape for their landmark ‘Revolver’ LP: the revolutionary, now-legendary ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. The following year, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ won him his first of four Grammy Awards.

In this episode, Richard, Erik, Allan and Craig examine how, together with producer George Martin, Geoff helped realize The Beatles’ most far-flung creative ambitions. And there is also an enlightening interview with multi-award-winning engineer John Kurlander, who assisted Geoff on the group’s final album, ‘Abbey Road’.

Featured Tracks

  • Tomorrow Never Knows (STTS remix)
  • Yer Blues
  • Good Day Sunshine
  • Good Morning Good Morning
  • Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End (STTS remix)
  • I’m Only Sleeping
  • A Day in the Life (STTS remix)

Episode #18: ‘The Beatles – Politically (In)Correct’

The cripple impersonations, the Nazi salutes, the MBEs (received and returned), the groupies, the ‘Butcher cover’, the ‘bigger than Jesus’ controversy, the drugs, the love anthem, the naked album cover, the politically-charged lyrics, the peace campaign, the erotic artwork… However we slice and dice The Beatles’ story, it’s never boring,. What they said, sang and did still incites heated debates and disagreements five decades later. And what was deemed acceptable or unimportant back in the 1960s is often judged far more harshly today—as well as the other way around. So, diving into this often amusing, sometimes disturbing topic, we appraise things according to not only current mores, but also the era in which they took place—guaranteeing an action-packed episode… and a splendid time for all.

The Music

  • I Saw Her Standing There
  • Day Tripper
  • The Word
  • Girl
  • Run for Your Life
  • Got to Get You into My Life
  • Tomorrow Never Knows
  • Doctor Robert
  • Penny Lane
  • Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
  • A Day in the Life
  • All You Need is Love
  • Revolution 1
  • Blackbird
  • Piggies
  • No Pakistanis
  • Maggie Mae
  • I’ve Got a Feeling
  • Don’t Let Me Down
  • Give Peace a Chance
  • Come Together
  • You Can’t Do That
  • Across the Universe
  • Piggies
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
  • Revolution
  • Commonwealth

Episode #17: ‘The Monkees – Fake or Real?’

They’ve been labeled the Prefab Four, America’s answer to The Beatles; a manufactured group performing songs on TV and in concert that were written by accomplished composers and recorded by crack session musicians. All of which is true—up to a point. Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork boasted assorted pedigrees as actors and/or musicians, and they eventuially exerted greater control over their own career. But, as fast as they became superstars on both sides of the Atlantic, they flamed out, and to this day the debate continues regarding their musical validity and credibility. Which is where Richard, Erik, Allan and Craig enter the picture…

The music featured on this show comprises a wide array of singles, session tapes, outtakes and tracks from the albums ‘The Monkees’ (1966), ‘More of The Monkees’, ‘Headquarters’, ‘Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.’ (all 1967), ‘The Birds, The Bees and The Monkees’ and ‘Head’ (both 1968).

Featured Tracks:

  • (Theme from) The Monkees
  • Mary, Mary
  • Goin’ Down
  • (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone
  • Cuddly Toy
  • Daydream Believer
  • Your Auntie Grizelda
  • Ladies Aid Society
  • Saturday’s Child
  • Papa Gene’s Blues
  • Take a Giant Step
  • Last Train to Clarksville
  • I Wanna Be Free
  • She
  • When Love Comes Knockin’ (at Your Door)
  • Sometime in the Morning
  • The Day We Fall in Love
  • Porpoise Song (Theme from Head)
  • Laugh
  • I’m a Believer
  • Gonna Buy Me a Dog
  • For Pete’s Sake
  • Randy Scouse Git
  • Shades of Gray
  • A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You
  • Salesman
  • The Door into Summer
  • Words
  • What Am I Doing Hangin’ ’Round?
  • Star Collector
  • Love is Only Sleeping
  • Peter Percival Patterson’s Pet Pig Porky
  • Valleri
  • Ditty Diego – War Chant
  • Pleasant Valley Sunday

Episode #16: ‘The Beatles’ Superstarr Drummer’

Rock-solid and understated, subtle yet ballsy, inventive and full of feel—these are just some of the descriptions that have been applied to the artistry and iconic, highly influential drumming of Sir Richard Starkey, M.B.E. Now, hot on the heels of Ringo’s 78th birthday, Richard, Erik, Allan, and Craig analyse and appraise his Beatles-related contributions behind the kit—both onstage and in the studio—while discussing his musical evolution, comparing him to his contemporaries, and assessing if he was indeed the man best suited to drum for the world’s greatest rock group.

Featured tracks:

  • Rain
  • Long Tall Sally
  • I Call Your Name
  • I Want to Hold Your Hand
  • She Loves You
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Please Please Me
  • Thank You Girl
  • I Feel Fine
  • You Can’t Do That
  • You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me
  • A Day in the Life
  • Long Long Long
  • The End
  • Good Morning Good Morning
  • Here Comes the Sun
  • I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)

Episode #15: ‘An Acidic SMiLE’

Arguably the most famous of all unfinished albums, at the center of an infamous showdown between Brian Wilson and his fellow Beach Boys, SMiLE was envisaged as a means of elevating the standard pop opus to unprecedented artistic heights. Commercial considerations, a copious intake of drugs and Brian’s rapidly deteriorating mental health put paid to that—especially after he heard The Beatles’ landmark Sgt. Pepper. For years it was alleged that he had destroyed the session tapes, yet these eventually emerged intact and a rejuvenated Brian has since performed the entire set live. So, how would SMiLE have fared if released as intended at the start of 1967? And what kind of impact might it have had on the contemporary music scene? Erik, Richard, Allan and Craig dive into this intriguing, part-tragic, ultimately inspirational topic along with special guest John Anderson, the Emmy-winning, Grammy-nominated director of numerous films featuring Brian, The Beach Boys and assorted other rock luminaries.

Check out John’s credits here: http://www.thisisandersonproductions.com/AboutUs.html

Featured tracks:

  • Our Prayer/Gee
  • Heroes and Villains
  • Do You Like Worms? (Roll Plymouth Rock)
  • I’m In Great Shape/Barnyard
  • You Are My Sunshine/Old Master Painter
  • Cabin Essence
  • Wonderful
  • Look (Song for Children)
  • Child is Father of the Man
  • Surf’s Up
  • I Wanna Be Around/Workshop
  • Vega-tables
  • Holidays
  • Wind Chimes
  • Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow
  • Love to Say Dada (In Blue Hawaii)
  • Good Vibrations

Episode #14: ‘Jesus and the Mob – The Beatles in the Windy City’

The Beatles played five shows in Chicago between 1964 and 1966—more than any other American city—and there was no little drama: from the total hysteria of their first gig at the International Amphitheater and staying at a Mob-run hotel during their second visit to kicking off their third and final tour with press conferences defending John’s “more popular than Jesus” remarks.

Re-live the excitement of those years via live Windy City performances by the Fab Four and on-the-spot interviews with fans, deejays, reporters, a concert promoter and a security guard, as well as the analysis of special guest Chuck Gunderson, author of the definitive two-volume ‘Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How The Beatles Rocked America: The Historic Tours of 1964 – 1966’.

Episode #13: ‘Swinging Decade Guilty Pleasures’

The things we loved back in the 1960s that we’re now embarrassed about, as well as the things we still love from the 1960s that we should be embarrassed about: the music, movies, TV shows, products, fashions, you name it.

The musical content on this show includes:

  • Ian Bernard – ‘Inquistive Tango’ (theme from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In)
  • Bikini Beach cast – ‘Bikini Beach’
  • Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs – ‘Wooly Bully’
  • Elvis Presley – ‘Kissin’ Cousins’
  • The Flintstones – ‘The Way-Outs’
  • The Jetsons – ‘Jet Screamer’
  • Gary Miller – ‘Aqua Marina’
  • The Flower Pot Men – ‘Let’s Go to San Francisco’
  • Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch – ‘The Legend of Xanadu’
  • Paper Dolls – ‘Something Here in My Heart’
  • The Glitterhouse – ‘Barbarella’
  • Elvis Presley – ‘Wolf Call’
  • Ricky Nelson – ‘Hello Mary Lou’
  • Napoleon XIV – ‘They’re Coming to Take Me Away’
  • Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs – ‘Little Red Riding Hood’
  • The Royal Guardsmen – ‘Snoopy vs. the Red Baron’
  • The Swingin’ Medallions – ‘Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love)’
  • Sopwith Camel – ‘Hello Hello’
  • The T-Bones – ‘No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)’
  • Tony Hatch/Wings –Crossroads theme
  • Ann-Margret – ‘Bye Bye Birdie’
  • Doris Day – ‘Move Over Darling’