What were the favorite songs of the Beatles
Ludwigshafen / Mannheim A music magician: On John Lennon's birthday, musicians present their favorite Beatles song
On October 9, 1940, a child was born in the English port city of Liverpool who was to make music history: John Winston Lennon. 80 years later, people all over the world remember the singer, composer, guitarist, peace activist and co-founder of the Beatles. We asked musicians from Ludwigshafen and Mannheim about their favorite Lennon or Beatles song.
“John Lennon has touched generations with his talent and work. He was not only a pioneer and mouthpiece of his generation, no, his works are still performed today and can be used timelessly. I have just completed a short trip to Cyprus. I came across an Irish family whose mother greeted them with 'Sieg Heil'. That made me so incredibly sad because racial statements like this are so disrespectful and discriminatory. The question then arises: who is the racist now? John Lennon described it all so beautifully in Imagine. It couldn't be more to the point. That's why he's one of my heroes. "
"My favorite John Lennon song is 'Woman'. I discovered the record, Double Fantasy ’, on which it was published, on my friend's shelves, and I listen to it a lot - mostly to clean it. (Laughs.) The song is so accessible and poppy and actually very simple. And I like the text very much. After reading John Lennon's biography, I was able to understand its contents. His mother had left him very early and he had grown up with his aunt Mimi. He was upset about women and often did not treat them well. In the song he apologizes, and at the same time it is a declaration of love to Yoko Ono. I can always hear that. "
“Musically, I found access to John Lennon and of course the Beatles relatively late. But then all the more intensely. There is something magical and engaging about music. One is immediately seized and put under a spell. This 'simple' clarity. All of this fascinates me very much, and I try to incorporate this magic and this spirit into my own musical work. One of my favorite pieces by John Lennon is 'Come together', which I have already had several times in the concert program. Due to its modal form, this piece is extremely well suited to be interpreted in a jazz context. Thanks to the ostinato figure in the bass, Come Together ’has huge potential to solo over it in the Miles Davis tradition. This piece has always fascinated me because it has a clarity and an unbelievable presence and for a jazz musician it is a godsend to play over it. "
From me to you
"Even as a child, I was fascinated by rock'n'roll of the 1950s - things by Elvis and all that. That's why my favorite song by the Beatles is their third single, From me to you". On the one hand, they have created something completely new. And on the other hand, it sounds like a further development of rock'n'roll. This is due to the mono recording. The fact that you mix songs in stereo only came up in the sixties, and they did that later too. I like the mono sound. How to create atmosphere with it and with the two-part singing is a very great art. The Beatles were a real studio band and tinkered around a lot with their producer George Martin. At that time there were only a few musicians on the artistic level. Actually playing live wasn't possible - you couldn't even hear the singing because of the loud screeching. The Beatles have already set milestones, very extraordinary milestones. "
Working Class Hero
"I'm a big John Lennon fan and my favorite song is Working Class Hero." The anger, the frustration - that is the call for social change of an 'Angry Young Man'. In some songs the artist becomes the listener's best friend. For me, as a child of a guest worker family, that happened in this song. In general, John Lennon was always the political Beatle and the 'bad guy' for me - in contrast to Paul McCartney, who was responsible for the love songs. Lennon transformed anger into music, and he made a movement out of music: against war, for peace. It shouldn't sound presumptuous - but this attitude has also been a Söhne issue for 25 years. We are perhaps dreamers of a better world, but as musicians we feel the responsibility and take it upon ourselves to sing not only love songs, but also sad songs ... "
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite
"In addition to his clear political formulations in later years, for example in 'Imagine', John Lennon was an important source of inspiration in the experimental phase of the Beatles. He has used and further developed a number of production techniques that were new in this form in popular music and were essentially borrowed from the experimental kitchen of contemporary electronic music or, conversely, taken up by it. To be heard in compositions like "I am the Walrus" or "Strawberry Fields Forever" and the compositions on the album "Revolver" or "Sergeant Pepper". This track, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite ’from the Sergeant Pepper album, composed and sung by John Lennon, is a circus story, the text of which is based on an old circus poster from the 19th century. Therefore, in addition to a Hammond organ, an original circus steam organ from the 19th century and early synthesizers are used in the song. William Kite was a circus performer. The song was recorded between February 17 and March 31, 1967, which means that a considerable number of studio sessions were necessary to give the title its final form and unmistakable sound. The complex, interesting arrangement uses elements from vaudeville music of the late 19th century as well as rock'n'roll piano or electronic sounds. The song is a successful collage of different stylistic devices, which at that time could only be composed and produced in the studio in this way. To this day, John Lennon is a role model as a courageous innovator in popular music. "
Instant karma! (We all shine on)
"'Instant Karma!" Is my favorite number from John Lennon. The term instant interests me anyway, musically, instant composing plays an important role for me. The music of 'Instant Karma!' Is okay, but for me the song is more about the lyrics in which Lennon says that you always get what you deserve. I also believe in that, it is also my philosophy of life. I came to the Beatles through my big brother, who was six years older than me and unfortunately has already passed away. I still remember the four portrait photos that were in the 'White Album', and the photo of John Lennon impressed me the most. Later I got excited about the actions John Lennon did with Yoko Ono. To lie in bed for a week in front of the public and demonstrate for peace, that was just great. Back then, when I was 18, I bought a factory in Worms with 25 other people and founded a municipality. For us people like John Lennon were gods. "
A day in the life
“The way John Lennon sings A Day in the Life, as if he were lying in bed, a little sleepy, a little dreamy - that's timelessly good. Also because of the songwriting structure, this song is a masterpiece for me. The Beatles were an incredibly innovative band whose sound influenced generations of musicians. They were geniuses. A Day in the Life was released in 1967, one year after I was born. I heard this music as a child without understanding the words. Music also has such a message. When I started school, I received intensive music lessons. My first record was 'Revolver' when I was seven or eight years old, and I was totally blown away by it. It was so simple and at the same time so demanding. By the time I was 14 or 15 I got all the records. I have a very old version of the 'Sergeant Pepper' LP, which I am very fond of. Because I wanted to be a musician myself, I analyzed the music of the Beatles. How they portrayed the choirs, for example - that was perfect. I remember very well the moment I received the news of Lennon's death from my English teacher, Dr. Farmer in today's Heinrich-Böll-Gymnasium. I couldn't get out of the crying and was sent home. A genius died there. "
In my life
“As a child I kept getting the records that my relatives wanted to get rid of, probably because cassettes or CDs were suddenly popular. In any case, at some point the 'Red Album' of the Beatles landed on me, which I then heard up and down on the fiddly record player of my compact department store system. I especially enjoyed and often heard and sang the song 'In my Life'. I also like the story of 'In my Life': 15-year-old John Lennon takes the bus through his home town and writes down the names of the places he remembers. At first he finds this too boring and puts the idea aside. Much later he continues to work on it and connects the places with personal stories and love affairs from the past. I really like the melancholy of this piece! Paul McCartney claims that the music for the piece is his and Lennon's just the lyrics. Lennon, in turn, said that Paul only helped with the middle section. Whoever is right - I think the John Lennon story about the piece is so beautiful that I suspect that he was the composer. "
“It is very difficult to choose a favorite song from this huge amount of songs. There's nothing from the Beatles that I don't like. Since I have to choose, I choose 'Eleanor Rigby'. The song sounds so happy and is musically very demanding. And in two minutes it tells so much about society and loneliness. It's from 1966 - horrifying how up-to-date it is. I was born in 1964 myself, the year that Beatlemania was huge. I recently had a fun experience. Our daughter moved to Hamburg, and we removed a bad carpet from her room, under which the floorboards were hidden. In between I found a newspaper called "Welt am Sonntag" from May 31, 1964 - 30 days after my birth. 'The Secret of the Beatles' was the headline. Even though the Beatles were very present in my childhood, it wasn't until later that I dealt with the formative character John Lennon was. His story shows: if you have talent, you can become something. His death was a shock. "
With a little help from my friends
“Eight years ago my brother and I were on a trip through India and had a lot of contact with Indian musical culture. Maybe that's why the Yellow Submarine album appeals to me in particular. Today it is no longer exotic to use a sitar in a song. It was something completely new then. What I particularly like about 'With a little help from my Friends' is the beautiful text and the message. I've just written a children's book myself, 'Hurray, we're going to play a concert'. This is exactly about: helping one another. I have processed my own experiences there. (Laughs) The Beatles weren't very present in my childhood and youth. But of course I know that they wrote a lot of great songs. And there are also many classical music colleagues who keep building on that. "
All you need is love
“The Beatles were my favorite band from an early age. For my sixth birthday I got the "Rote Album", 2 LPs with their greatest hits from 1962 to 1966, which I listened to non-stop and which still form my musical foundation today. The Beatles and especially John Lennon showed me what musically everything is possible within a pop song. And Lennon then combined that with great content, which he always expressed simply and directly, as in 'All you need is Love'. A song full of crazy ideas and musical quotes, full of time changes, but so clear and catchy that nobody notices. Characterized by the seemingly naive hippie spirit and yet full of seriousness. John Lennon was always complex, sometimes disturbing to me as a child, but always fascinating. I still remember the radio report about his murder. Years later he had just re-recorded a record that I of course bought immediately with my pocket money. He felt more creative than ever, and then suddenly he was dead. I was 13 years old and devastated for weeks. And somehow my naive childhood ended with it ... "
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