|21st December, 2000||Shops Selling Six Beatles Albums A Second|
|18th December, 2000||Beatles Album Is Biggest Seller Of 2000|
|23rd November, 2000||Beatles "1" Tops Charts In 19 Countries|
|19th November, 2000||The Beatles "Dead Chuffed" To Be Back At No 1|
|17th November, 2000||Yesterday Tops Poll Of Best Pop Songs|
|16th November, 2000||Beatles Put Oasis In The Shade|
|14th November, 2000||Beatles Winning Album Battle|
|14th November, 2000||The Beatles On Course For New Number One|
|1st November, 2000||Beatles Launch Official Website|
|9th October, 2000||Lennon's Albums Re-Released To Mark 60th Birthday|
|8th October, 2000||Albums Re-issued On 60th Lennon Anniversary|
|5th October, 2000||Beatlemania Greets New Anthology|
|5th October, 2000||Ladies And Gentlemen, The Beatles! -- in their own words|
|4th October, 2000||Japan's Beatles Fans Get First View Of Anthology|
|29th September, 2000||Fab Four's Names Forgotten By Fans|
|13th September, 2000||Beatles Discs "Worthless"|
|10th September, 2000||The Beatles: Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da|
|3rd September, 2000||Beatles Are A Hit Again As 1.5m Order Autobiography|
|22nd August, 2000||Beatles To Release New Album|
|22nd August, 2000||And The Beat Goes On|
|15th August, 2000||The Beatles May Get Back To The Charts|
|31st July, 2000||I Wanna Hold Your Hair!|
|31st July, 2000||"White Album" Soars July Certs|
|1st July, 2000||Ringo Rankled By Jacko's Jingles|
|4th June, 2000||The Diary : Come Together|
|7th May, 2000||What'll Be Left Out of Beatles' Greatest Hits Set?|
|2nd May, 2000||Ringo's On The Road Again|
|1st May, 2000||Revolver Voted Best British Album Ever Made|
|27th April, 2000||Secret The Beatles Hid From The World|
|2nd April, 2000||Autobiography Is A Ticket To 1 Billion Pounds|
|1st April, 2000||Beatles Tell Of Yesterdays|
|1st April, 2000||Ryder Joins Reformed Beatles|
|31st March, 2000||Birthplace Of Beatles Road Sign Unveiled|
|10th February, 2000||Martin Remastering Beatles' CDs|
|9th February, 2000||McCartney Recording New Album|
|2nd February, 2000||Paul McCartney Compiling A "Wings" Anthology|
The Beatles' greatest hits album 1 has been flying off shelves at a rate of six albums a second.
The collection - which will be number one on both sides of the Atlantic for Christmas - has already become the year's biggest seller in the UK, overtaking Moby's Play in just five weeks.
EMI says it has now shipped more than 18 million copies to shops.
The label initially put out eight million copies of 1, but they were quickly snapped up by fans in little over two weeks after the November 13 release. Now EMI has calculated that on average six albums have been bought every second around the world.
The album is tipped to be one of the biggest sellers of all time. The record number of sales by a group is 25 million achieved by The Eagles for Their Greatest Hits 1971-75, while Michael Jackson's Thriller is the biggest of all time at 47 million sales.
Indeed sales in the US - where it is now in its third week at the top of the charts - have been going up in the countdown to Christmas. During its first week on sale there it shifted less than 600,000 copies but this shot up to 823,000 copies this week.
EMI president Ken Berry said: "The incredible success of the album shows that The Beatles are as contemporary as they have always been. EMI is very proud of its long relationship with The Beatles and we are especially proud that the global appeal of their music is clearly as strong now as it ever was.
"The 27 number one hits on 1, which changed the world when they were first released, are still as fresh and vibrant as the day they were first recorded."
The band's official website www.beatles.com has had more than 25 million hits since its launch on the same day as the album.
The Beatles are currently the biggest selling act in the UK album-wise and are destined to hold on to number one when chart placings are announced on Sunday.
As taken from Ananova.com, 21st December, 2000
The greatest hits collection of The Beatles has become 2000's biggest-selling album - in only five weeks.
The album 1 overtook Moby's Play at the weekend by breaking 1.3 million sales.
It is at number one in the UK chart for the fifth consecutive week, the longest run by The Beatles since Abbey Road in 1969.
Their last studio release Let It Be managed a run of only four weeks at the top of the charts.
The 27-track album, which brings their number ones together for the first time on one release, is also one of the fastest albums ever to reach one million sales in the UK. Only Oasis's 1997 album Be Here Now has done so more quickly.
The Beatles 1 is also believed to be the fastest-seller of all time globally and has now topped the charts in 30 countries around the world.
A spokesman for the group said: "Thanks to everyone who appreciates good music. It's a great testament to the songs and the quality of the musicians that created them."
The album has now sold 1.34 million copies in the UK since its release on November 13. Play by Moby, released last year, shifted 1.28 million copies throughout the entire year.
It is also on course to become one of the biggest-selling albums of all time and returned to number one in the US last week.
Last week Sir Paul McCartney was treated to a second wave of Beatlemania, with fans in hysterics at a London signing session for his book Paintings.
As taken from Ananova.com, 18th December, 2000
The latest Beatles album, "1," has hit number one in 19 countries in its first week of release, a spokesman for the British band's surviving members said on Thursday.
The collection of 27 number one singles, which includes the classics "A Hard Day's Night," "Penny Lane" and "Come Together," topped the charts from Britain to Venezuela, Portugal to Japan.
"Although "1" features 27 songs first released between 1962 and 1970, it still beat competition from new bands -- beating the new Oasis album in the UK and topping the new album from Ricky Martin in the USA," the spokesman added. "They're ecstatic."
The Beatles previous best was in November 1995 when "The Beatles Anthology 1" was top of the charts in 10 countries in its first week of release, the spokesman for the legendary quartet's three surviving members, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, said.
The record is the biggest first-week seller this year, outperforming Robbie Williams, who sold 313,000 "Sing When You're Winning" albums earlier this year, by 6,000 albums.
In the United States "1" sold 595,000 copies in its first week, 150,000 more than its nearest competitor "Now That's What I Call Music Vol.5" -- a compilation of recent hits.
But Japan's fans led the way, buying 750,000 copies of the Beatles greatest hits album which spans their recording career from "Love Me Do" to "The Long and Winding Road."
As taken from Reuters, 23rd November, 2000
The Beatles' greatest hits collection 1 has stormed into the number one spot, making it the fastest selling album of the year.
The 27-song album went platinum, selling 319,126 copies within a week of being released.
A spokesman for the Beatles said the remaining members of the band, Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, were "dead chuffed" by the chart success.
He denied the rock stars had become complacent about such pop world triumphs. "We're dead chuffed. It seems like we are passing the audition," he said.
He was referring to John Lennon's comments on passing auditions in the Get Back track on the Let It Be album.
The compilation album 1, which was released on November 13, went head to head with Oasis, who released their album Familiar To Millions on the same day. Liverpool's fab four proved they still have what it takes.
By Friday, Oasis's album had only amassed 40,629 sales, with weekend buys allowing it to enter the chart at number five.
As the highest-selling album of the year so far, 1 has beaten previous chart topper Robbie Williams, whose Sing When You're Winning sold 313,000 copies in its first week.
The Oasis album Standing on the Shoulder of Giants sold 311,000 copies in seven days earlier this year. The Beatles's release is the first to collect together all their US and UK number ones on one album.
The album is also number one in Germany, France, Spain and Canada.
As taken from Ananova.com, 19th November, 2000
Yesterday by The Beatles has been named the greatest pop song ever recorded in a new poll by MTV and Rolling Stone magazine.
However the choice has already met with criticism as the poll only looked at songs recorded after 1963.
The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson and Madonna all have two songs each within the top 25 of the list of 100.
Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones was named at number two while Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit was number three.
MTV and Rolling Stone argued that 1963 saw the emergence of The Beatles in America and so the list was based on songs that had the most influence on popular culture and not necessarily the best songs ever written.
A spokesman for MTV said: "The choice of Yesterday was automatic. Every generation knows Yesterday."
As taken from Ananova.com, 17th November, 2000
The Beatles' greatest hits album, 1, looks set to sell a quarter of a million albums by the weekend.
The 27-song collection shifted 152,000 copies in its first three days in the shops putting it way ahead in the race for this Sunday's number one.
However, Oasis's latest effort, the live album Familiar To Millions which was released on Monday, is in line to chart at just number three after clocking up just 35,000 sales in three days.
The Spice Girls, who lost out to Westlife in a race for the current number one, have seen their sales crumble.
The album is currently at number two but midweek sales figures suggest Forever will tumble to 12.
The Beatles release is the first to collect together all their US and UK number ones on one album and is expected to be a big seller for weeks to come.
Chart expert Gennaro Castaldo of HMV said: "Although some pundits weren't sure what demand was for the greatest hits package we always thought interest was massive.
"Based on sales to date, the album should exceed a quarter of a million sales by the end of the week and may even challenge Robbie Williams as this year's most successful week one release. "
As taken from Ananova.com, 16th November, 2000
The Beatles' first greatest hits album, 1, is outselling the new Oasis live release by almost four to one. Both albums hit the record shops on Monday. According to early sales figures, The Beatles' collection sold more than 58,000 copies.
The Oasis album Familiar To Millions, however, sold just 15,264 copies. Judging by early results, the Fab Four are on track to take the number one spot in this week's album charts, released on Sunday.
A spokesman for music retailer HMV said The Beatles' album was proving sceptics wrong.
"There were some who thought the Beatles would not sell well because it was all old stuff which was available in other formats but this proves that people are responding to it," he said.
The album is also outselling Westlife's number one album Coast To Coast, which sold 34,128 copies on Monday.
The Beatles' greatest hits album is 80 minutes long and features all the group's UK and US number one singles.
The HMV spokesmam added the historic collection had a broad appeal.
"It will have a very strong base level of sales with a wider mainstream audience.
"There is a whole new generation of kids out there who may not be familiar with some of The Beatles' material. This is opening it up for them."
The collection has been predicted to become one of the biggest-selling albums in history.
Excitement was high ahead of Monday's release with eight million copies sent to shops around the world. In the UK, some record stores opened at midnight on Sunday to sell the album.
Outside, in the dark and cold, eager fans - including singer Elvis Costello - queued to be the first through the door.
As taken from BBC News, 14th November, 2000
The Beatles are outselling Oasis by four to one in the album charts.
The Fab Four's 1 album has shifted more than 58,000 copies in its first day, compared to the new Oasis live album Familiar To Millions which sold just 15,264.
The Beatles' first collection of greatest hits since they split three decades ago is certain to clinch the top slot in this week's charts, knocking Westlife's Coast to Coast from number one.
Despite outselling the Spice Girls' album Forever by three copies to one when the two went head to head last week, Westlife have sold just 34,128 copies of their album since Sunday.
Beatles fans young and old rushed out to buy the new collection of classic hits which is widely expected to be one of the year's best-selling albums.
A spokesman for HMV said: "Some thought the Beatles would not sell well because it was all old stuff available in other formats, but this proves that people are responding to it. There is a whole new generation of kids out there who may not be familiar with some of The Beatles material. This is opening it up for them."
Eight million copies of 1 have been shipped to shops around the world to cope with the initial demand with some stores opened at midnight to satisfy the more eager fans .
The HMV spokesman added: "1 has done fantastically well for a greatest hits album. On the strength of Monday's sales figures we'd expect it to have sold about 200,000 copies by the weekend."
As taken from Ananova.com, 14th November, 2000
The Beatles are to launch their first official website with films and archive material after spending an entire year on its creation.
The site is being launched to tie in with the release of the most definitive collection of the Fab Four's biggest hits, called simply 1.
Despite the web being packed with unofficial fan sites, record bosses had resisted setting up a Beatles site until now.
The site, www.thebeatles.com, is based around the 27 tracks on the album - each of which has been a chart-topper in either the UK or US.
In the Get Back area of the site, visitors can see the band's final ever performance on the roof of their company headquarters in Savile Row, London, in 1969, as well as hearing comments from the crowd.
In another, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, fans can take a virtual tour of Studio 2 at the Abbey Road studios which became a second home where they created almost all their finest moments.
Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono have each had an input of ideas into the project.
And a team of cutting-edge website designers was assembled for the task and is currently putting the finishing touches to the site.
The launch will be phased from November 13, the album release date, with new elements being added over time.
Sir Paul already has his own site and has used the internet for live webcasts.
As taken from Ananova.com, 1st November, 2000
Two solo albums by John Lennon were released on Monday to mark what would have been the late Beatle's 60th birthday.
One of the re-issued albums, 'Double Fantasy', has three extra songs including "Walking on Ice," a track Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono were working on hours before he was gunned down outside his New York apartment 20 years ago.
The album will also feature the previously unreleased song "Help me to Help myself."
The second album to be released was Lennon's first post-Beatle work, 'John Lennon/Plastic Ono band.'
Ono supervised the remixing and remastering of the 1970 album which includes the extra tracks "Power to the People" and "Do the Oz."
The first museum dedicated to the murdered music star also opened to the public in Japan on Monday.
On display will be 130 items that belonged to Lennon, including family photos, handwritten lyrics for songs and his trademark wire-rimmed spectacles.
At the official opening last Thursday, Ono said the museum's presence in Japan would have been important to Lennon.
"John had so much love for this country," Ono said. "His son Sean is half-Japanese and we somehow felt we were bridging the gap between east and west."
Last Tuesday Mark Chapman, Lennon's killer, was denied parole by the New York State Board of Parole. It said his release would "deprecate the seriousness of the crime and serve to undermine respect for the law."
As taken from Reuters, 9th October, 2000
Record label bosses will mark what would have been John Lennon's 60th birthday on Monday by re-releasing two of his best known albums - including the track he completed the night he was killed.
He and his wife Yoko Ono were working on new song Walking On Thin Ice shortly they left their New York apartment on December 8 and he was shot dead by Mark Chapman.
The song is one of three new tracks to be added to the reissued version of his final album Double Fantasy, recorded with Ono.
His first post-Beatles solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band from 1970, will also hit the shops.
Lennon's killer - who was turned down for parole last week - was carrying a copy of the Double Fantasy sleeve which he asked the musician to sign shortly before shooting him. Lennon assumed his killer was just a harmless autograph hunter.
Walking On Thin Ice was later a minor hit for Ono when it was released in February 1981, two months after her husband's death.
Ono herself supervised the remixing and remastering of the 1970 album which will include extra tracks Power To The People and obscure B-side Do The Oz.
Extra tracks on Double Fantasy include a previously unreleased Lennon song Help Me To Help Myself and a short dialogue Central Park Stroll recorded as they walked in the park.
On the anniversary of her husband's birthday tomorrow Ono will be opening a museum dedicated to Lennon in Tokyo, Japan.
It will be 20 years in December since his death.
As taken from Ananova.com, 8th October, 2000
Beatles fans are flocking into stores to get their hands on the story of the band told in their own words for the first time.
Many stores threw open their doors at midnight, playing the group's hits to build the sense of occasion as The Beatles Anthology went on sale.
However, in their home city of Liverpool, the publication of the 35 pounds volume did not appear to have been so keenly anticipated.
The Church Street branch of WH Smith held a midnight opening but sold just five copies, with only one man waiting for the doors to open.
Paul Ashcroft, 26, from Old Swan in Liverpool, who was one of the buyers at the store, said: "The people of Liverpool have let us down - it's part of our heritage."
Surviving Beatles Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison give their own versions of the group's history in the book, and worked closely with John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono.
Kim Hardie of Waterstone's, which opened many of its shops around the UK for the launch at midnight, was at the opening of the company's London Piccadilly branch.
She said: "We had people hammering on the doors at 11.55pm desperate to get in. People were really getting whipped up into a frenzy. It was a brilliant atmosphere.
"Many of the customers were coming in and grabbing two or more copies at a time. We also noticed there were quite a few overseas customers who might have thought it was easier to buy the book here than at home.
"Our Sauchiehall branch in Glasgow was full of fanatical Beatles fans and they were so pleased to be able to go to a launch party."
As taken from Ananova.com, 5th October, 2000
It weighs more than six pounds. It contains more than 1,300 images and 340,000 words. And it's all by, or authorized by, the Beatles.
It's "The Beatles Anthology," and it promises to be the last word -- or, at least, John, Paul, George, and Ringo's last word -- on the entire Beatles phenomenon.
More than 1.5 million orders have been placed worldwide for the book, which will be printed in eight languages and released in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway, among other countries. George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Yoko Ono Lennon have spent six years compiling the work; the late John Lennon's accounts have been drawn from the hundreds of interviews he conducted over the years.
Also included are Beatles producer George Martin, the late Beatles press officer Derek Taylor, and the group's former road manager Neil Aspinall, who is now head of Apple Corps, the organization that oversees the Beatles' interests.
"The Beatles Anthology" doesn't reveal much new history about the band; the Beatles are already perhaps the most exhaustively chronicled and dissected group in history, and there are books that offer day-by-day diaries of the Beatles' lives and their music. (There's even one book, Mark Shipper's "Paperback Writer," that's a hilarious semi-fictional history, complete with loopy footnotes.)
What "Anthology" does do is offer first-person viewpoints from the four men who sat in the eye of the storm called "Beatlemania" and present their often very different memories of the same events.
One oft-told story claims that the Beatles smoked marijuana in the toilets of Buckingham Palace before receiving their MBEs from the Queen. That was John Lennon's version. In "Anthology," however, George Harrison maintains that Lennon's tale wasn't true.
"We never smoked marijuana at the investiture," he says. "What happened was we were waiting to go through and we were so nervous that we went to the toilet. And in there we smoked a cigarette -- we were all smokers in those days. Years later, I'm sure John was thinking back and remembering, 'Oh yes, we went in the toilet and smoked,' and it turned into a reefer. But we never did."
Starr, however, isn't sure either way. "I'm not sure if we had a joint or not. It's such a strange place to be, anyway, the Palace."
Putting down "Sgt.Pepper"
The band members don't always agree about their music, either. John Lennon disparages 1967's "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," the album that is generally on or near the top of most critics' lists of the greatest album of all time. " 'Sgt. Pepper' is a nice song, 'Getting Better' is a nice song, and George's 'Within You Without You' is beautiful. But what else is on it musically besides the whole concept of having tracks run into each other?"
But, Starr responds, " 'Sgt. Pepper' seemed to capture the mood of that year, and it also allowed a lot of other people to kick off from there and to really go for it. ... It was a monster. Everybody loved it, and they all admitted it was a really fine piece of work. Which it was."
Neither do some long-festering grudges go away. Paul McCartney has gone on record as saying he's never liked producer Phil Spector's version of the "Let It Be" album, particularly the heavy use of strings and choral voices on the song "The Long and Winding Road." He reiterates that stance in "Anthology": "I heard the Spector version (of the album) again recently, and it sounded terrible. I prefer the original sound that's shown on (the album) 'Anthology 3.' "
But Harrison, who often provides cynical counterpoint to McCartney's optimism in the book, disagrees. "I personally thought (Spector's version) was a really good idea," he says.
Fifty pounds a week
Other stories are more humorous. Early in their careers, manager Brian Epstein offered the Beatles a regular salary of 50 pounds a week for life. The group turned him down.
"We thought, 'No, we'll risk it, Brian. We'll risk earning a bit more than fifty pounds a week,' " recalls Harrison.
It was a wise move on the Beatles' part: such a contract would have only paid them about 100,000 pounds (about $160,000) to date.
The book's release comes more than 30 years since the group's breakup. During that time, each band member embarked on varyingly successful solo careers, and also endured an unfathomable tragedy -- the 1980 shooting death of Lennon by a deranged fan. Despite the distance that time has provided from their days as the best band on the world, the living members say they will always be Beatles.
"It was a one-way love affair," says Harrison. "People gave us their love and their hysteria, but the Beatles lost their mental health."
Ringo Starr's thoughts are more poignant. It's "impossible to turn the page and say, I'm no longer a Beatle," he says. "To this day, and for everyone, that's all I am."
As taken from CNN, 5th October, 2000
Hundreds of Japanese Beatles' fans became the first worldwide on Thursday to get their hands on the first book ever written by and about the Fab Four.
British publishers Casell & Co said in London that more than 1.5 million orders had been placed for the Beatles Anthology. The 370-page autobiography is being released globally in 13 languages at midnight in major cities around the world.
But Japan had a head start over the others.
"The publishers have been very strict in embargoing the release date but we got special permission to do it at midnight today,'' said Paul Dezelsky, president of HMV Japan. Due to the difference in time zones, Japan's launch is nearly half a day ahead of Europe and the United States.
Accompanied by a Japanese band playing a string of famous Beatles songs, the 1,000 copies displayed on sale at the HMV shop in Tokyo's trendy Shibuya district vanished within the hour.
Twenty-year old Beatle fan Naoyuki Kamiyama said that, although he had never listened to the Beatles during their heyday, he had to buy the book because he believed the band's music was classic.
"In the classic world, it's Mozart,'' Kamiyama said. "And like Mozart, I strongly believe the Beatles will survive time and fashion.''
The book details how the group's record company paid the band just one old penny between them for each single record sold during the early 1960s and 10 pence for every album.
It also reveals how band members had very different memories of the myriad sensational events surrounding them.
"I am definitely a Beatle-maniac,'' said 50-year-old Takashi Kaneko who attended the Tokyo launch with his wife. ``We grew up with them.''
The release of the Beatles Anthology preceeds next week's opening of Japan's first museum officially dedicated to John Lennon -- the only Beatle who did not survive to see the autobiography's release.
Lennon was gunned down in front of his New York apartment on December 8, 1980. His widow, Yoko Ono, wrote his part of the memoirs in his place.
As taken from Reuters, 4th October, 2000
They still sell millions of albums and consistently top polls as the greatest pop act of all time, but only a little over half the population can remember the names of The Beatles.
In a survey conducted by online retailer Amazon.co.uk, 43% of those questioned could not name all four members of the band that changed the face of pop.
One in five people could not name John Lennon or Sir Paul McCartney as being members of the Fab Four.
However, Beatles guitarist George Harrison, who has long made clear his loathing of fame, may be encouraged by one of the survey's findings - 60% thought he was no longer a celebrity.
Drummer Ringo Starr is better known for providing the voice for the Thomas The Tank Engine television series than being a Beatle by people polled who were teenagers in the late Sixties.
Even though fans might struggle with the names, The Beatles top the list of acts people would like to see reform, with 45% wanting to see the group back in action ahead of The Doors, the Sex Pistols and The Smiths.
Paul Zimmerman, music manager at Amazon.co.uk, said: "The Beatles have a special place in pop culture with people of all ages. We may not all be able to remember their names, but we can all hum along to a Beatles song."
Amazon.co.uk is setting up a dedicated online Beatles store (www.amazon.co.uk/beatles) to cope with expected demand when The Beatles Anthology, the group's autobiography, is published on October 5.
It will sell recordings, memorabilia, films and the book, as well as a doodle by Lennon, signed drumsticks and a Yellow Submarine fruit machine.
As taken from Ananova.com, 29th September, 2000
Customs officers seized 10 gold discs belonging to The Beatles at the height of the band's fame and almost destroyed them, new documents reveal. The discs, awarded to the band in America, were confiscated at Royal Victoria Docks in east London because the band refused to pay import duty.
Although the band were at the height of their fame, officers considered destroying the records, but baulked at the possible adverse publicity. One officer recommended a quick sale because he felt they would be "worthless" within a couple of years.
According to officials, the haul was not deemed exempt from import duty because the discs were not awarded "for distinction in art, literature... or otherwise as a record of meritorious achievement or conduct". Officials listed the contents of one case as including 10 presentation plaques, five LP facsimiles and five EPs.
The 10 discs are currently owned by the HM Customs and Excise National Museum and would be worth thousands in sold at auction. The company acting for the Beatles, NEMS Enterprises, failed to pay the charges, which were unspecified, despite being regularly contacted by Customs officers.
On 10 March 1967, one officer wrote that the band were a passing fad.
He wrote: "I have no idea of the price we could expect to realise but I understand the Beatles are on their 'way out' (result of quick market research on teenage neighbours!)"
His manager responded by saying a sale of the "golden discs" would need "immediate action - when the Beatle craze is ended, the disc will be valueless".
But it was decided that the department risked embarrassment if it sold the items and decided not to advertise the sale in music papers of the day. Another officer, L Brook, suggested the records be destroyed: "It would probably be undesirable to advertise them in any musical papers as we might be swamped in enquiries from teenagers seeking souvenirs of their idols."
The following year, a valuation was carried out on behalf of the government department, which decided: "The discs have no commercial value."
It added that if the discs were sold, "the Beatles or their managers can scarcely grumble if they fail to answer letters". On 23 May 1968, the items were handed over to the Customs and Excise departmental library for safe keeping. In 1994 the the 10 gold discs were handed over to the HM Customs and Excise National Museum in Liverpool. One is on display at the Albert Dock premises in the city and another is on public show at the Conservation Centre in Liverpool.
A spokesman for the museum said: "We received all of the discs in 1994 and two are currently on display to members of the public in the city.
"The remaining eight are being kept safe in storage."
As taken from BBC News, 13th September, 2000
"I READ the news today, oh boy": if John Lennon, who sang those words in 1967, were alive today, even he might raise a wry eyebrow at the acres of newsprint expended on the Beatles in the week since The Sunday Telegraph began serialisation of the group's autobiography. It is 30 years since the Beatles broke up. But their capacity to spur adoration and controversy alike is undiminished.
To judge from The Sunday Telegraph's sale last week - the biggest of the year - the public is intrigued by the group's decision, finally, to put on record their own side of an extraordinary story. More than 1.5 million advance orders have already been made for the book itself, The Beatles Anthology. The internet traffic on the numerous web sites devoted to the band has been incessant since our serialisation began.
As you might expect, however, there are dissenting voices. Some readers wrote to ask why a newspaper such as ours should devote an entire supplement to the memoirs of an "ephemeral" pop group. "Were the Beatles that great?" a youthful Express columnist added captiously last week. "Their music's not bad but weren't they just a bunch of lads with mop tops strumming guitars?"
Well, yes. But not many mop tops can claim to have become part of history. It is safe to say that, 30 years from now, the Spice Girls' songs will not be treated as legitimate candidates for the classical repertoire. As our extracts last week and in today's Magazine show, the Beatles themselves were four ordinary men from Liverpool who found themselves, to their initial amazement, at the eye of a cultural storm. But the debate about the Beatles, as old as the group itself, is about much more than pop music.
Philip Larkin got to the heart of the matter in his poem Annus Mirabilis: "Sexual intercourse began/ In nineteen sixty-three/(Which was rather late for me) -/Between the end of the Chatterley ban/ And the Beatles' first LP". The Beatles - not least because of their very public fascination with drugs and flirtation with Eastern religion - have indeed come to symbolise that over-praised and over-criticised decade, the Sixties, and it is this symbolic role which so inflames people on both sides of the fence.
In his definitive study of the group's music, Revolution in the Head, Ian MacDonald argues that "the Sixties' soaring optimism was ideally expressed by [pop], and nowhere more perfectly than in the music of the Beatles". According to this view, the Fab Four were apostles of modern liberty, Scouse crusaders against the postwar order of repression, deference and tedium: they did as much to define modern Britain as, say, the pill, John Osborne's Look Back in Anger or the Suez crisis.
In its most extreme form, this idolisation of the Beatles verges on religious belief. In many minds, John, Paul, George and Ringo have indeed replaced Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Hence, when McCartney put old Beatles songs - which he had, after all, written - in his 1984 film Give My Regards to Broad Street he was condemned by some fans for committing the sacrilege of disturbing a holy text. It seems lost on such fundamentalist followers of the group that it was precisely this sort of pomposity which the Beatles sought to prick.
The case against the band is put most powerfully in Christopher Booker's 1969 book The Neophiliacs, which depicted the Beatles as ringleaders of a decade-long cultural atrocity. "There seemed to be no one standing outside the bubble," wrote Booker, "and observing just how odd and shallow and egocentric and even rather horrible it was". According to this Beatle-crushing school of thought, the murder of Sharon Tate by Charles Manson and his "Family" in 1967 was a ghastly revelation of what the Sixties were really about.
The Beatles were, indeed, "more popular than Jesus" - and that was the problem. Their consumption of LSD, shameless promiscuity, and reckless hedonism (according to this view) had made them the most dangerous working-class revolutionaries of all. Welfare dependency, drug-abuse, the break-up of the family unit, pornography: all these features of modern chaos have been laid at the door of Lennon-ism.
For more than 30 years, furthermore, politicians have defined themselves with reference to the Beatles and the decade they stood for. Harold Wilson was criticised in 1965 for awarding the Fab Four MBEs for their "services to exports". Norman Tebbit famously savaged "the insufferable, smug, sanctimonious, naive, guilt-ridden, wet, pink orthodoxy of that sunset home of the third-rate minds of that third-rate decade, the Sixties".
John Major, a terrible advertisement for the greyness of the Fifties, attacked all that the following decade stood for in his disastrous "Back to Basics" campaign. Tony Blair, a terrible advertisement for the self-satisfaction of the Sixties, declared himself "part of the rock'n'roll generation. The Beatles. Colour TV. That's the generation I come from".
And yet, to quote the 1968 song "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", life goes on. The symbolism of the Beatles is much less important than the quality of the music which has ensured their enduring popularity. The cultural meaning of their work - a subjective matter, to say the least - would not be an issue if their melodies and the musical arrangements devised for them by Sir George Martin had not been so brilliant. Like Noel Coward and Irving Berlin before them, Lennon and McCartney made a virtue of their refusal to learn to read music. The genius of their work - as well as its unevenness - flowed from instinct rather than method.
From their early years, authorities on classical music acknowledged the uniqueness of the Beatles' music and the likelihood that it would endure. In the year of Britten's Cello Symphony and Tippett's Concerto for Orchestra, the critic William Mann dared to call Lennon and McCartney "the outstanding composers of 1963". He hailed their "pentatonic clusters" and "Aeolian cadences". Lennon, typically, replied that they were "just chords like any other chords".
Mann, however, was not alone. When the album Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in 1967, the composer Ned Rorem said that the melancholic track "She's Leaving Home" was "equal to any song that Schubert ever wrote". Leonard Bernstein compared the group to Schumann. The Beatles themselves put an image of Stockhausen on the album's famous cover, and - in spite of Lennon's dry denials - made frequent reference to classical music in their songs.
The legendary trumpet solo in "Penny Lane" was based on McCartney's memory of Bach's Second Brandenburg Concerto. Bach is also quoted in the song "All You Need is Love". Helped by George Martin, who encouraged them to "think like Mozart", they raised the genre of American rhythm and blues - which they had first encountered in the dockside record shops of their home town - to something like an art form. Though they lived and worked in the transient world of pop, the Beatles, it is clear, always aspired to be remembered by posterity.
Their claim so to be remembered rests entirely on the impact which songs such as "Yesterday", "Eleanor Rigby" and "Hey Jude" still have on listeners with no interest in the era which spawned them. If their autobiography has a lesson for fans and critics alike, it is that the Beatles deserve neither idolatry nor vilification. Their music is one of the great British success stories of the past 50 years, a legacy for all to enjoy. As to the rest: let it be.
As taken from The SundayTelegraph, 10th September, 2000
THE autobiography of The Beatles, which is exclusively serialised in The Telegraph today and next week, has already attracted advance orders for 1.5 million copies.
The Beatles Anthology, which is published in Britain next month, is to appear in eight different languages. Total sales, once negotiations are completed for the book to be translated into Chinese, are expected to exceed 20 million.
Sir Paul McCartney has been the driving force behind the memoir, persuading his fellow surviving band members Ringo Starr and George Harrison to participate in its writing. He told The Telegraph: "It dispels some of the myths and puts the record straight, as every Tom, Dick and uncle of a friend of the milkman has been writing books on the Beatles since 1963." Geoff Baker, the Beatles' press officer, said: "We have been staggered by the worldwide interest. Since The Telegraph first revealed the book's existence [in April] we have been overwhelmed with inquiries."
The surviving Beatles have spent six years working on the book which provides the fullest and most candid account yet of the group's story. Its highlights include a definitive account of the band's early days, the Beatles' use of drugs and - most controversially - their decision to split up in 1970.
The book is expected to earn them more than 1 billion pounds. Yoko Ono, the widow of John Lennon, the fourth Beatle who was shot dead in New York in 1980, will receive an equal quarter share of the profits, although she has not participated in the project.
Sir Paul has an estimated fortune of 550 million pounds, Harrison 90 million pounds, and Starr more than 70 million pounds. However, the Beatles say that they have written the book in order to put the record straight following the publication of an estimated 400 unauthorised books on the band.
Mr Baker said: "The truth is more important to them than the money." The Beatles, he said, had been happy to co-operate on the book, but there were no plans for them to play together as a band. Derek Johns, of the world's oldest literary agency AP Watt, said that the level of prior interest in the group's official memoir heralded an astonishing publishing event. He said: "This is a large number. In this country sales of 50,000 for a hardback is considered impressive. The Beatles have worldwide appeal that very little fiction or non-fiction has. You need something like the Beatles to accomplish sales like this."
Sir Paul will be making a personal appearance at the Arnolfini Art Gallery in Bristol the week before the book launch to exhibit, for the first time in this country, his work as an abstract artist. Described by the gallery as "emotionally intensive, some abstract, some expressionist, some pop-art influenced" his pictures include a portait of the Queen taken from a magazine photograph and a portrait of Andy Warhol sitting in the former Beatle's Sussex garden.
'The Beatles Anthology' (Cassell and Co) will be published on October 5, 2000.
As taken from Electronic Telegraph, 3rd September, 2000
The Beatles are reportedly set to release a new CD before Christmas in an attempt to produce the biggest selling album of all time.
Record company Parlophone is unable to give details of the tracks on the album, expected to be released in November in time to hit the No 1 spot at Christmas.
Parlophone executives believe it could become the biggest selling album of all time.
That title is currently held by Michael Jackson's Thriller, which has sold over 40 million copies worldwide.
"Record company bosses have been doing thier utmost to keep this top secret," dotmusic quotes one inside source as saying. "At the moment they are still calling the album Project X.
"They think, because of the new technology allowing more tracks to be on the CD, they have got a real winner on their hands."
As taken from Ananova.com, 22nd August, 2000
THE BEATLES will release a new album in November - in plenty of time to dominate the Christmas sales figures.
And record company bosses believe the CD will become the biggestseller of all time.
The most famous band in history are to put out the new "greatest hits" compilation early in Guy Fawkes month.
So Parlophone - the Fab Four's old label - are expecting fireworks well before the festive season from the John, Paul, George and Ringo favourites.
The actual album is shrouded in secrecy. Company executives are even speaking in code to keep the record under wraps.
Amazingly, they have gone to the lengths of calling it PROJECT X in a bid to keep it hush-hush. But they didn't bank on AAA's investigative team.
We have discovered that the album - which will follow up the October 5 publication of The Beatles autobiography which took George, Paul and Ringo six years to write - is not only forecast to break sales records for Christmas.
Execs believe it will become the biggest selling album ever - overtaking Michael Jackson's 1982 release Thriller which has sold more than 40 million copies.
The most famous Beatles singles compilations up to now have have been The Beatles 1962-66 and 1967-70 double albums - known as the Red and Blue albums - which were released in 1973.
But Parlophone are confident that the new CD will easily outperform them. That's because modern technology allows more tracks than ever to be put on to one disc.
Last night a source revealed: "Record company bosses have been doing their upmost to keep this top secret.
"At the moment they are still even calling the album Project X.
"They think, because of the new technology allowing more tracks to be on the CD, they have got a real winner on their hands.
"And they really believe it could become the biggest-selling album of all time."
The Beatles already hold some of the most prestigious records in music.
They have had more No1 singles and albums in both Britain and the United States than anyone else.
And the Fab Four are believed to have sold around ONE BILLION records in total since the release of their first single Love Me Do - which only peaked at No17 - in October 1962.
The last Beatles album to be released was Anthology II which hit the shelves in March 1996.
The album, which included classic tracks from the 1965 to 1968 era, knocked Oasis's (What's The Story) Morning Glory? off the top of the charts.
And the band's previous Anthology album earned the three remaining members 80 million pounds after its release in December 1995.
As taken from MegaStar.com, 22nd August, 2000
The Beatles could be back in the charts again soon with the release of a 'new' track on a compilation album of music from Liverpool.
Sir Paul McCartney put together the psychedelic dub track Free Now from out-takes of 1960s recording sessions with help from Welsh rockers Super Furry Animals.
"It's a new little piece of the Beatles. Free Now is an outbreak from my normal stuff," McCartney told The Sun (www.the-sun.co.uk).
"It's more underground than what you usually hear from me, but I like to be free enough to do this sort of thing," he said.
Free Now, which will appear on a new album Liverpool Sound Collage, features the voice of the late John Lennon. He can be heard saying: "OK Paul, you ready boy? This is it."
Sounds from Liverpool, the Beatles' home city, have been woven into the track. They include the lapping of the River Mersey and a woman at McCartney's local fish and chip shop.
McCartney has been sending the track to disc jockeys and is coming under pressure to release it as a single.
As taken from Ananova.com, 15th August, 2000
RINGO'S mop-top gets its finishing touch, as Madame Tussauds prepares to open its new attraction in Hong Kong.
Liverpool-born Gill Griffith, head of hair for Tussauds, has been working in the Far East for the past month preparing for the opening, and training local staff to look after the exhibit.
The Beatles were selected to feature in the new attraction after market research revealed they are still one of the most pop-ular bands in the Far East.
Tussauds spokeswoman Caroline Packman said: "Part of what Madame Tussauds is all about is showing people who are internationally famous and the Beatles certainly fall into that category.
"They are some of the most popular figures."
The Hong Kong Madame Tussauds museum has 100 wax figures which includes stars like the Fab Four alongside Chinese statesmen and historical figures.
As taken from Liverpool.com, 31st July, 2000
The Beatles' 1968 self-titled double album was certified for sales of 18 million units in the July certifications issued by the Recording Industry Association Of America. The Apple album -- known universally as "The White Album" -- is now tied with Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" as the sixth-highest certified album of all time
Five other Beatles discs earned multi-platinum certifications: "The Beatles 1962-1966" (14 million), "The Beatles 1967-1970" (15 million) on Apple, and "Magical Mystery Tour" (6 million), "Revolver" (5 million), and "Love Songs" (3 million) on Capitol.
In other certifications. Sting's "Brand New Day" (A&M/Interscope) earned a double platinum award, which brought his total sales as a solo artist to 14 million, more than the entire catalog of his former band, the Police. Santana reached the 13 million level with "Supernatural" (Arista) and Backstreet Boys' "Millennium" (Jive) was certified for sales of 12 million.
Will Smith's "Big Willie Style" (Columbia), the "Top Gun" soundtrack (Columbia), and Kid Rock's "Devil Without A Cause" (Lava/Atlantic) each reached the 9 million mark.
As taken from Billboard.com, 31st July, 2000
Former Beatle Ringo Starr wants Michael Jackson to stop making money off the backs of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The Gloved One owns the rights to music by Lennon and McCartney and has licensed classics like Revolution and Getting Better for use in commercials. But the former drummer, 60, wants him to Beat It.
"Ringo and Paul are upset that what the band wrote and recorded as serious compositions get turned into mere jingles," a friend told the American magazine the National Enquirer. "Ringo told me, 'John and Paul wrote some of the greatest songs in the history of recorded music. But if it's left to the ad-men they'll go down as a couple of jingle writers and The Beatles will be known as hacks. I respect Michael Jackson. I just wish he'd show us some respect and not license our songs for ads'."
Lennon and McCartney sold their music catalogue, including massive hits like She Loves You, Yesterday and Help, in the late 1960s. It was bought by a company called ATV music, which Jackson bought in 1985.
As taken from South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, 1st July, 2000
Beatles to get back in studio after 30 years. THE three surviving Beatles are set to return to the studio to work on new material for the first time in 30 years, the diary can reveal.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have agreed to play on George Harrison's latest solo album George - currently travelling the world to aid his recovery after being stabbed at his countryside mansion - is delighted to be "getting it on" with his former bandmates.
The recording sessions for the album will be held in the studio at George's home. A friend said: "The project is in its early stages so don't expect any material to be released before 2001 at the earliest.
"It is in the planning phase - the album does not have a title yet."
Meanwhile, my spies in the publishing industry tell me that the Beatles' autobiography - in the shops on October 5 costing pounds 35 - has already had an incredible 250,000 orders.
The book includes all the main interviews given by John Lennon up until he was killed by a crazed fan outside his New York home in 1980.
Edited by the Beatles' late Press officer Derek Taylor as the last major project before he died in 1997, it is expected to break publishing records.
"It is a huge book - 350,000 words and 1,200 photographs," said George's friend. "It will be truly unique."
As taken from Sunday Mirror, 4th June, 2000
With all the albums of Beatles music released over nearly 40 years, one thing remains missing -- a definitive, career-spanning "greatest hits" collection. That's going to change, probably before Christmas. Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, are supervising the track selection for what is expected to be at least a two-CD set.
Executives of Capitol Records have been meeting with their EMI counterparts in London about the project, with former Virgin America and Work Group label head Jeff Ayeroff reportedly hired to oversee the marketing strategy.
The set will likely be released in conjunction with the book that McCartney, Harrison and Starr recently announced they are writing to tell the group's story from the inside. The CD set and book follow the 1994 two-CD set of recordings of the band on BBC radio and the three collections of archival recordings that accompanied the 1995 "Anthology" TV documentary.
Unlike those sets, however, the new collection apparently will not include any previously unreleased material, sticking to the band's catalog of hits. Is that enough to sell it, given the number of fans who already have at least a few Beatles records in their collections, including the two double-album compilations released in 1973 and popularly known as the red and blue albums?
"There's a need for a straight-ahead Beatles greatest-hits package," says Pete Howard, editor of the ICE monthly CD publication and a Beatles authority. "The red and blue albums served a purpose, but at four CDs in two separate packages, they're somewhat cumbersome or even intimidating for the general consumer who wants just a good, solid overview of the hits."
What would that overview be, exactly? Pop Eye asked Howard to compile his dream disc of Beatles greatest hits, restricting his program to the maximum 78-minute length available on a single compact disc.
Howard came up with 26 tracks -- barely more than half of the Beatles' 51 Top 40 U.S. singles. His list, which clocks in at 77 minutes, 30 seconds, includes 18 No. 1 singles. The only chart-toppers not to make the cut were "Eight Days a Week" and "The Long and Winding Road." Howard says he left them off because they weren't released as singles in the U.K., a factor that also kept "Nowhere Man" off the album. (Howard made an executive exception for "Yesterday," because "there's no way you could leave that song off.")
Conversely, Howard includes "From Me to You," which didn't even make the U.S. Top 40 in 1964. "It was just a blip on the radar screen here," notes Howard, "but a very important No. 1 record for the Beatles in England."
His most painful omissions? "Big hits with simply no room, like 'She's a Woman' and 'Eleanor Rigby,' and lower-charting single sides --'I Saw Her Standing There' peaked at No. 14, and 'I Am the Walrus' at No. 56."
Here's the track listing for Howard's "Beatles' Greatest Hits," programmed chronologically:
"Love Me Do," "Please Please Me," "From Me to You," "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Can't Buy Me Love," "A Hard Day's Night," "I Feel Fine," "Ticket to Ride," "Help!," "Yesterday," "We Can Work It Out," "Day Tripper," "Paperback Writer," "Yellow Submarine," "Penny Lane," "Strawberry Fields Forever," "All You Need Is Love," "Hello Goodbye," "Lady Madonna," "Hey Jude," "Get Back," "The Ballad of John and Yoko," "Come Together," "Something," "Let It Be."
As taken from Los Angeles Times, 7th May, 2000
Ringo Starr is getting a little help from his friends as he prepares to go back on the road.
Former Cream bassist Jack Bruce, singer Eric Carmen from the Raspberries and guitarist Dave Edmunds are to join the former Beatle on stage for a US tour.
Ringo, 59, can't wait for the upcoming tour of his All-Starr Band, but he's not looking forward to the rehearsals.
"I love the show but rehearsal for me is always the worst," the former Beatle says.
"We have to get to know each other. We have to rehearse long hours. It takes that in my case, so you're really comfortable when we're doing the show. I don't think people should pay money to come watch us rehearse."
And Ringo, whose fellow ex-Beatle John Lennon was shot dead in 1980, adds: "We're blessed we're still alive. Blessed people would like to come and see us."
As taken from Press Association, 2nd May, 2000
Revolver by The Beatles has been voted by music writers as the best British album ever made.
The 1966 album contains a string of classic tracks, including Eleanor Rigby, Paperback Writer and Good Day Sunshine.
It tops the list of 100 LPs in the Q magazine survey. Second is Radiohead's OK Computer; third is The Rolling Stones's Exile On Main Street; fourth is The Clash with London Calling; and fifth is The Beatles again with A Hard Day's Night.
Van Morrison is sixth with Astral Weeks; The Beatles White Album is seventh; Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory? is eighth; Massive Attack - Blue Lines is ninth; and Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks is tenth.
The Beatles have six albums in the chart, David Bowie has four entries, followed by The Rolling Stones, who have three.
The chart is restricted to performers or bands predominantly from the UK. It features only two female artists - Kate Bush at number 20 with Hounds of Love and Dusty Springfield, whose 1965 Everything's Coming Up Dusty appears at number 64.
The list is dominated by albums from the 90s, with 34 entries from that decade.
As taken from Press Association, 1st May, 2000
During a 12-month span in 1995 and 1996, The Beatles sold 44 million CDs -- more than the number of records they sold during any year in the '60s. The Beatles secretly broke up more than six months before Paul McCartney finally announced it to the world -- issuing a press release that turned John Lennon livid.
In an exclusive interview that will rock the rock world, the surviving members of the world's greatest band have finally revealed the truth about their sensational breakup.
"Everyone who has ever met The Beatles has told The Beatles' story, and a lot of people who have never met us have told it, too," declared Paul with a boyish grin.
"We decided to get together and put the record straight."
For 30 years rock fans have believed that The Beatles ended on April 10, 1970, when Paul issued a bombshell statement that he was leaving the band. But, in fact, the split was initiated by John in a hush-hush meeting, their manager urged them to keep it quiet -- and Paul actually tried to save the group.
During a recent no-holds-barred interview in Paul's London office, Paul, Ringo Starr and George Harrison provided a sneak peek at bombshells they'll be dropping in their tell-all autobio, to be published in October. Although John struck the death blow, he wasn't the first Beatle who tried to quit.
The 400-page book will disclose how George and Ringo walked out during the late '60s -- but were each persuaded to rejoin. A determined John resigned from The Beatles after performing in Toronto with the Plastic Ono Band in September 1969 -- but his decision was kept under wraps.
"After the Plastic Ono Band's debut in Toronto, we had a meeting in Savile Row (in London) where John finally brought it to a head," Ringo revealed.
"He said, 'Well, that's it lads, let's end it.' And though I said 'yes' because it was ending, I don't know if I would have said, 'End it.' I would probably have lingered another couple of years."
Paul revealed that he tried to save The Beatles. "I said, 'I think we should go back to little gigs -- I really think we're a great little band.'
"John looked me in the eye and said: 'Well, I think you're daft . . . I'm leaving the group!' "
Confided Ringo, "We didn't go public about the breakup immediately. Allen Klein (their manager) had this thing: 'Split up, boys, if you want to -- but don't tell anybody.' "
For awhile three of the Beatles lived in hope that John would change his mind. But after awhile Paul decided to take charge. "I said, 'I can't just let John control the situation and dump us as if we're the jilted girlfriends.' "
So he made it a clean break by going public -- which outraged John. "I think he wanted to be the one to tell anyone -- or not to tell them," said McCartney.
Added George: "Paul had that press release, but everybody else had already left the band. That was what pissed John off at the time."
Although The Beatles are gone as a group, they certainly aren't forgotten. Paul is amazed at the resurgence of popularity.
A recent reissue of their famous "Yellow Submarine" album sold better than first time out in 1968!
"It's one of the biggest surprises in my life that young people like our music," Paul confessed.
"When my kids were younger, I used to dread them getting into music because I thought they would tell me, 'We like rap music, your music's crap.' But that hasn't happened. My kids get off on the '60s stuff like I do."
McCartney, who turns 58 in June, also revealed that the public's fantasies about the group's glitzy life during the height of Beatlemania were dead wrong. Even when they were raking in millions, they remained regular guys from Liverpool.
To escape the public eye, the Fab Four stayed at a safe house in the middle of London. George puttered with gardening, Paul did the laundry, Ringo put out the milk empties and John made tea.
"You have to remember that we were just four working-class lads," said Paul. "We had ordinary values and tastes and we still wanted to lead lives as normal as we could."
The Beatles recount their rocket ride to fame in the hotly awaited "The Beatles Anthology," which will be published by Chronicle Books. It will feature the Beatles' recollections -- including John's, culled from hundreds of interviews -- and 1,300 photos, many of them never published before. But the book doesn't mean the lads are ringing down the curtain on their musical careers.
Still bubbling with energy and plans, Paul says, "My thoughts are still young thoughts. I guess it's rock 'n' roll thinking that keeps me young!"
As taken from The National Enquirer, 27th April, 2000
THE three surviving members of the Beatles have got together to write the first "autobiography" of the world's most famous band, The Telegraph can disclose today.
Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr have spent six years working on the Beatles' Anthology, which will provide the fullest and frankest account yet of how the band ruled rock 'n' roll throughout the 1960s, and which is expected to make them more than 1 billion pounds.
Yoko Ono, the widow of John Lennon, the fourth Beatle who was shot dead in New York in 1980, will receive an equal quarter share of the profits, although she has not been actively involved in the project. The 360-page book, which will be published worldwide this autumn and sell for about 50 pounds, will disclose new information about the group's drug taking and the arguments and eventual break-up in 1970.
McCartney, 57, Harrison, 57, and Starr, 59, have amassed 1,200 photographs - most of them unpublished - for the glossy hardback, described as "the size of an edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica". The project, effectively the joint autobiographies of the three men, provides an insight into how closely the surviving members have been working together in the last few years. The split was announced by McCartney 30 years ago next Monday.
The book will be published in Britain and America, and there are plans to have it translated into dozens of languages, including Chinese. With worldwide sales expected to be more than 20 million, the book is expected to be a billion-pound earner. Sir Paul has got an estimated fortune of 550 million pounds, Harrison 90 million pounds, and Starr more than 70 million pounds.
The book will disclose that in 1996 the three surviving Beatles turned down an offer of $175 million (113 million pounds) to perform 17 concerts in the USA, Germany and Japan. Researchers have meticulously recorded hundreds of statements that Lennon made and woven them into the picture provided by the other band members.
The book will give credit to the role of Brian Epstein, the band's manager and affectionately known as the "fifth Beatle", who died from a drugs' overdose in 1967 at the age of 32. The group fell apart in April 1970, although it did not officially announce its break-up until the following year. One official at Apple Corps, the band's company, said: "Most Beatles biographies have been based on press cuttings and ill-informed perceptions, while the men involved have hitherto said almost nothing."
Those close to the three surviving Beatles say that they have primarily written the book in order to put the record straight following the publication worldwide of an estimated 400 unauthorised books on the band. One friend said: "The truth is more important to them than the money".
As taken from Electronic Telegraph, 2nd April, 2000
The three surviving Beatles have reunited to write the story of their extraordinary years with the band.
Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are collaborating on the book, which will take the form of a joint autobiography giving a faithful account of the legendary band.
"It will dispel some of the myths and put the record straight, as every Tom, Dick and uncle of a friend has been writing books on the Beatles since 1963," Sir Paul told the Sunday Telegraph.
Hundreds of statements made by John Lennon will be woven in to the three men's accounts, to complete the picture.
His widow, Yoko Ono, will also get a quarter share of the expected 1billion pounds profits, the paper says.
The book, 360 pages long, has taken six years to write and is predicted to go on sale in the autumn.
The three surviving Beatles, now in their late 50s, are said to have provided 1,200 photographs, many of them previously unpublished.
Sir Paul McCartney's spokesman, Geoff Baker, said: "There have been around 300-400 books about the Beatles written, and in all but a few exceptions, the authors have never even met any of them."
He said the book, the Beatles Anthology, was "the last word" on the Beatles.
"We're talking a huge volume of work, it's encyclopaedic - it weighs something like two kilos," he said.
Mr Baker added: "They hope it will put the record straight on a few things, for example the break-up of the band, that Paul was actually the last to leave."
The autobiography will also disclose new information about the group's drug-taking, their sexual exploits and rivalries.
And Yoko Ono's influence will come under the spotlight. Many fans blamed her for luring Lennon away from the band.
The book will speak about more recent pressures, according to the Telegraph, disclosing that, four years ago, the three Beatles turned down an offer of 113m pounds to perform 17 concerts.
The Beatles Anthology is said to be due for publication in the UK and the USA, with translations into dozens of languages, including Chinese.
Worldwide sales projections are put at more than 20 million.
As taken from BBC News, 1st April, 2000
THE BEATLES are planning a comeback with HAPPY MONDAYS vocalist SHAUN RYDER taking the place of the late JOHN LENNON, nme.com can reveal.
The plan was apparently hatched at February's NME Premier Awards, after Sir Paul McCartney picked up the gong on behalf of The Beatles for Best Band Ever and Shaun Ryder received the Godlike Genius Award.
The pair, something of a mutual admiration club, posed for photos together and afterwards Ryder offered his services as a stand-in Lennon.
Later during the awards party, McCartney and Ryder approached Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis to play the event. Eavis told nme.com that nothing had been confirmed yet, but that he was "very interested" in the proposition.
Since then, McCartney has contacted the other remaining Beatles, Harrison and Starr; both are said to be interested in a reunion.
This amazing story came to light over the weekend when Ryder rang nme.com to announce the plans.
He said: "I'd do fookin' anything for money me, but this ain't about that. It's about a meeting of minds. I always fancied being in The Beatles too, they were top."
See nme.com later today for more updates on this story.
As taken from NME, 1st April, 2000
John Lennon's half-sister has unveiled the first road sign to brand Liverpool as the "birthplace of the Beatles". Julia Baird, Lennon's half-sister, was launching the heritage sign which also features the band members' faces.
It is the first of six signs on major routes into Liverpool which greets drivers with: "Liverpool Welcomes You To The Birthplace of the Beatles." Transport officials had blocked proposals for a motorway version because it was deemed to show too much information which would distract drivers. But Liverpool City Council asked Culture Secretary Chris Smith to intervene and formal approval by Transport Minister Lord Whitty is expected next week.
Unveiling the sign on Derby Road, north of Liverpool city centre, schoolteacher Julia says her brother would have been "amused" with the sign.
"I am delighted on behalf of my sisters to be able to unveil this sign," Julia, 54, said.
"I have very fond memories of John and everyone in my family is understandably very proud of him.
"I think John would have been highly amused with the sign but also proud.
"People come to Liverpool from all over the world because of the Beatles.
"I think it's a fabulous idea that the city council has sought to remember and celebrate its famous sons in this way.
"I am sure Beatles fans everywhere will be delighted to see these signs every time they visit Liverpool."
As taken from Press Association, 31st March, 2000
A remixed version of former Beatle John Lennon's 1971 critically acclaimed "Imagine" album will be reissued in Canada on Tuesday (Feb. 15), and JAM! has learned that the entire Beatles back catalogue is currently being remastered for release -- though EMI admits that process could "take years" due to the use of complicated "surround sound" production.
EMI Canada spokesperson Beth Waldman told JAM! that former Beatles producer Sir George Martin is "as we speak, working on the entire Beatles catalogue," and that we could "quite possibly" see more 5-1 remastered Beatles product this year.
As for "Imagine", the new version was remixed and remastered under the supervision of Yoko Ono at Abbey Road Studios in London late last year. The CD features a 16-page booklet with full lyrics -- including a reproduction of part of Lennon's handwritten words for "How Do You Sleep?", Lennon's biting retort to Paul McCartney's "Dear Friend" -- and 18 "rare photographs from the Lennon/Ono archives."
Meanwhile, Lennon fans who were expecting CD bonus tracks are in for a disappointment: There are none. However, the companion DVD release, "Gimme Some Truth -- The making Of John Lennon's Imagine Album," is a different story. (The DVD comes out in Canada on March 28.)
The 103-minute DVD employs the same Dolby 5-1 surround sound mix used in last year's reissue of the "Yellow Submarine" movie. The interactive DVD will also feature completely different mixes of "Imagine" songs, as well as "unique audio/visual interview material recorded at the time of the album sessions."
The DVD will also contain a Lennon discography, which will allow the listener to hear a sample of one track per album.
Of special note to Lennon fans will be footage shot in and around his Ascot, England, home where the recording of "Imagine" took place. Among other scenes, Lennon is shown playing basketball with jazz legend Miles Davis and hanging out with Jack Nicholson and Andy Warhol.
In addition, an edited 56-minute version of "Gimme Some Truth", similar to the version that will be available on VHS, will air on MuchMoreMusic in Canada in April.
According to Jan Cees ter Brugge, an employee at European television network RTL who has seen the film, Ono, acting as executive producer on "Gimme Some Truth", has already tinkered with the original remix she delivered to the network in December, and re-arranged some of the voice-overs and vocal/music mix.
"(It's) a complete new soundtrack ... lots of things are changed," said ter Brugge on the AbbeyRd website.
For her part, Ono is "so grateful that EMI Records and Abbey Road Studios took so much time and care to bring this project to fruition," she said in a statement. "In Abbey Road Studios, I found the engineers top-notch, and the studios were the latest and the best."
As taken from Jam! Music, 10th February, 2000
Paul McCartney is in his home studio in the U.K. preparing an album for a fourth-quarter release, Billboard has learned. The album will be released on Capitol in the U.S. and EMI in other markets. The collection of self-penned songs follows last year's "Run Devil Run," a set of rock'n'roll oldies.
"Run Devil Run" peaked at No. 27 on The Billboard 200. Last December, McCartney returned to Liverpool's Cavern Club -- the site of many of The Beatles' classic early shows -- to perform selections from the album. The artist is also reportedly compiling a video anthology of his post-Beatles band Wings.
As taken from Billboard, 9th February, 2000
Paul McCartney is compiling a video anthology and a companion CD devoted to his "other band", Wings.
According to "Beatles Monthly" magazine, McCartney has put his son-in-law, Alistair Donald, in charge of the project -- aptly entitled "Wingspan" -- which began last year with an appeal through McCartney's Website for any material related to Wings in the possession of private collectors. The response has been impressive.
Recently, one contributor received the following communication from McCartney Productions Limited, posted on the Beatles Abbey Road Website: "Thank you for providing MPL audio and/or video material on the band Wings. The documentary 'Wingspan' has been completed for distribution worldwide in perpetuity on all form of media known or hereafter created and we are delighted to have included some material you provided." Contributors will not be paid for their material.
No release date for "Wingspan" has been announced.
Steve Marinucci, Webmaster for Abbey Road, told JAM! that "Paul mentioned during the VH1 webchat (last year) that it (the anthology) was in the works. I do not know a release date."
A spokesperson at EMI Music Canada said that "Wingspan" was not on their release sheet as of yet, but conceded that it could be issued first in England. EMI is historically tight-lipped when it comes to anything Beatle not yet officially announced.
Meanwhile, McCartney told the "The Record Collector" last year that Donald was "getting all the unseen footage of Wings doing interviews. He's got a nice little thing we did when I was busted in Japan." (Sir Paul, wife Linda and band member Denny Laine performed an impromptu version of "Blackbird" for the cameras while Paul was cooling his heels in jail for possession of marijuana, which led to the cancellation of Wings' 1980 sold-out Japanese tour.)
Since the 1976 "Wings Over America" tour was extensively chronicled with an album, video and much publicity, it is assumed that "Wingspan" may concentrate on the band's beginnings. Before hitting number one in 1973 with the "Red Rose Speedway" album, Wings toiled in relative obscurity. McCartney road-tested the band at small venues in England beginning in 1971, some times showing up unannounced at small halls and clubs.
By 1972, Wings -- which along with ex-Moody Blues member Laine, included former Joe Cocker Grease Band guitarist Henry McCullough -- began a UK and European tour of universities and band halls. Much of that tour was recorded, and one band favourite, "The Mess," was released in 1973 a B-side of the hit single, "My Love." (It re-surfaced in 1988 on the expanded CD remaster of "Red Rose Speedway".)
Reviews of those concerts were generally positive, commending McCartney for delivering spirited rock 'n' roll with no gimmicks. Live tracks from that era include "Give Ireland Back To The Irish", Little Richard's "Lucille" and "Long Tall Sally" (the latter also recorded by The Beatles), "Wild Life" and "Bip Bop". McCullough would quit the band in mid-1973 just prior to the "Band On The Run" sessions, due to a "musical difference" with McCartney.
Wings would go on to tremendous popular, if not critical, success throughout the '70's, with top selling albums like "Band On The Run", "Venus And Mars" and "Wings At The Speed Of Sound".
McCartney, always sensitive about wife Linda's contributions as a "musician," in Wings, may seek to spotlight her place in the band in the anthology.
Critics of Linda's talents had a field day about 10 years ago when a bootleg recording surfaced of her soundboard vocal-only track in which she sounded badly out of tune.
In any event, the "Wingspan" project, which is also expected to include a CD soundtrack along with the video, should provide McCartney completists with many missing pieces to the Wings musical puzzle.
As taken from Jam! Music, 2nd February, 2000