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Norwegian Wood is a song written and sung by John Lennon, released on the Rubber Soul album in 1965. This track is generally credited as being the first pop recording to use the sitar, an Indian stringed instrument. "Norwegian Wood" sparked a musical craze for the sound of the novel instrument in the mid-Sixties. The song is now acknowledged as one of the cornerstones of what is now usually called "world music" and it was a major landmark in the trend towards incorporating non-Western musical influences into Western popular music.
Featured AlbumPlease Please Me is the first official studio album by The Beatles. It was released on March 22, 1963 and became a number one hit on the same year in the United Kingdom. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked the album number 39 on its list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
In the United States, many of the songs on the album were first issued on Vee-Jay Records' Introducing...The Beatles in 1964, and then subsequently on Capitol Records' The Early Beatles in 1965. In a review, the All Music Guide says "Decades after its release, the album still sounds fresh, precisely because of its intense origins."
The working title was "Here Comes the Sun King", but was shortened to "Sun King" to avoid confusion with the song "Here Comes the Sun". The lyrics to start the song are the same as the title and lyrics of "Here Comes the Sun", but with the word "King" inserted afterwards, although George Harrison wrote the latter and "Sun King" is written by John Lennon. Later, the song, in minor key with an organ in the background, breaks into a faux Romance language mixing English, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. The song is in three-part harmony, sung by Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Harrison. At the end of the song, the music stops abruptly and a Ringo Starr drum fill leads into the next track, "Mean Mr. Mustard". Another noted aspect of the song is its use of cross-channel movement, or stereo panning and fading. The fast guitar line slowly moves from right to left channel and then back. This occurs in the beginning of the song, and then again at the end. In an interview in 1987, Harrison said that the recording was inspired by Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross". "At the time, 'Albatross' (by Fleetwood Mac) was out, with all the reverb on guitar. So we said, 'Let's be Fleetwood Mac doing Albatross, just to get going.' It never really sounded like Fleetwood Mac... but that was the point of origin."
A portion of the vocals was included as a reversed a cappella in the track titled "Gnik Nus" for the 2006 album Love. An instrumental section of "Sun King" was also used at the end of the track "Octopus's Garden" on the compilation.
Did You Know...
The BeatlesThe Beatles have. They were one of the best things to happen in the twentieth century, let alone the Sixties. They were youth personified. They were unmatched innovators who were bigger than both Jesus and rock & roll itself: During the week of April 4, 1964, the Beatles held the first five slots on the Billboard Singles chart; they went on to sell more than a billion records; and 2000's 1 , a compilation of the Beatles Number One hits, hit Number One in 35 countries and went on to become the best-selling album of the 2000s.
Every record was a shock when it came out. Compared to rabid R&B evangelists like the Rolling Stones, the Beatles arrived sounding like nothing else. They had already absorbed Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers and Chuck Berry, but they were also writing their own songs. They made writing your own material expected, rather than exceptional. As musicians, the Beatles proved that rock & roll could embrace a limitless variety of harmonies, structures, and sounds; virtually every rock experiment has some precedent on Beatles records. As a unit the Beatles were a synergistic combination: Paul McCartney's melodic bass lines, Ringo Starr's slaphappy no-rolls drumming, George Harrison's rockabilly-style guitar leads, John Lennon's assertive rhythm guitar — and their four fervent voices. As personalities, they defined and incarnated Sixties style: smart, idealistic, playful, irreverent, eclectic. Their music, from the not-so-simple love songs they started with to their later perfectionistic studio extravaganzas, set new standards for both commercial and artistic success in pop.
"Somebody said to me, 'But the Beatles were anti-materialistic.' That's a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and say, 'Now, let's write a swimming pool.' " - Paul McCartney
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