Album of Beatles Songs
TWIG - A new Beatles tribute album is being released by EMI to help build a memorial to the Fab Four in Hamburg, where they played in various small venues before becoming the biggest band of all time.
"All Together Now - Beatles Songs by Superstars" features 15 classics by the band, plus a medley sung by international pop stars. Elton John performs "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds", Tina Turner interprets "Help" and En Vogue sing "Yesterday". Bryan Ferry, Cheap Trick, Cher and German rock band Die Toten Hosen are also featured.
Up to one euro ($1.30) of each CD sold will go towards the Beatles-Platz (Beatles Square), a memorial to the band in Hamburg, dpa reported on Monday. Originally due to be completed in time to coincide with the kick-off of the World Cup last June, the beginning of its construction has been postponed until spring 2007 due to a lack of funds.
The Beatles-Platz will be built on the Reeperbahn, a broad boulevard that has long served as the heart of Hamburg’s famous St. Pauli red light entertainment district, which draws young crowds to its bars, clubs and concert halls, as well as older folk to cozy cabaret shows and grand musicals.
Fifth Beatle in on the act
The Beatles, including the former "fifth beatle", Stuart Sutcliffe, performed between 1960 and 1962 in clubs along the Reeperbahn and an intersecting street called Große Freiheit (Big Freedom), perhaps most notably in the infamous Kaiserkeller nightclub.
In 2005, local radio station Oldie95 began a campaign to recognize Hamburg as the Beatles’ musical birthplace. The brainchild of station director Stephan Heller, it led to an architectural competition and a plan to construct the Beatles-Platz. Charitable contributions provide the sole source of funding, and 5,000 certificates worth 10 euros each were printed to persuade fans to invest in the memorial. So far 115,000 euros of some €300,000 ($380,370) needed have been raised.
The memorial will depict the four band members, plus Stuart Sutcliffe, atop a giant black record. The statues will be cast in bullet-proof glass that will be illuminated after dark. Beatles lyrics will be etched into the grooves of the record, which will be located on the corner of the Reeperbahn and Große Freiheit.
Double disc of early recordings reveals early genius
A double CD chronicling the Beatles’ early performances in Hamburg was released in 2001. "Beatles Bop: Hamburg Days", on the German Bear Family label, features 40 tracks, including "My Bonnie", "Ain’t She Sweet", "Cry for a Shadow", "Sweet Georgia Brown" and studio cuts of "Swanee River" featuring the band performing with Tony Sheridan. The compilation includes a German intro version of "My Bonnie".
This album received a four stars out of five rating by Rolling Stone magazine in July 2002, with a review making the Hamburg connection: "Even in their rugged infancy, playing for strippers and sailors on the Reeperbahn, the Beatles were the beginning of everything. Bolts of imminent greatness shoot through these bizarre rave-ups of mom-and-pop corn."
Listeners seem to like this early Beatles music too: Amazon.com customer reviews also give the double disc four out of five stars.
The "All Together Now" disc will be available at select
Hamburg stores and at www.oldie95.de, according to the official Beatles-Platz
Links:The Beatles-Platz Oldie95 More about the Beatles in Hamburg (a related article) The new tribute album
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