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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."
"Twist and Shout" was the first of a long line of hits for songwriter Bert Berns (aka Bert Russell) who wrote "Twist and Shout" with partner Phil Medley. It was first recoded by the Top Notes but achieved fame the following year when it was recorded by the Isley Brothers in 1962. This was the version that John Lennon was familiar with and the Beatles learned it almost immediately. It was a crowd pleaser, and also closed two of the most important performances of the early Beatles' career when they played at the London Palladium and a month later for the Royal Variety Show.The recording of "Twist and Shout" is well known. It was the evening of February 11, 1963 and the Beatles had spent all day recording their first album Please Please Me. John and George were suffering from a bad cold, having playing all around England in one of the coldest winters on record. Sucking on Zubes throat lozenges all day, John's voice had nearly reached its limit. EMI was preparing to pack up for the night, and the Beatles still had to record the closer for their debut record. Somebody suggested "Twist and Shout", a staple in their live performances since Hamburg. So in one famous go-for-broke take, Lennon gave a throat-tearing performance and the song was captured perfectly; George and Paul sang backing vocals on one microphone. George Martin tried a take two but John's vocal cords were shredded. Even weeks afterwards, John said his throat still felt like sandpaper after the session.
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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