Sunday, December 31, 2000

Kevin Gilbert: The Shaming of the True

First posted 3/11/2011; updated 12/25/2019.

The Shaming of the True

Kevin Gilbert

Buy Here:

Released: 2000

Recorded: 1984-1996

Charted: --

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Genre: neo-progressive rock


Click on a song title for lyrics.

  1. Parade [3:44]
  2. City of the Sun [5:55]
  3. Suit Fugue (Dance of the A&R Men) [2:24]
  4. Imagemaker [3:38]
  5. Water Under the Bridge (Ferris/ Gilbert) [5:29]
  6. The Best Laid Plans [5:38]
  7. Certifiable #1 Smash (D’Virgilio/ Gilbert/ Parish) [7:20]
  8. Staring into Nothing [5:51]
  9. Fun (Baerwald/ Bottrell/ Gilbert/ MacLeod) [5:33]
  10. From Here to There [2:11]
  11. Ghetto of Beautiful Things (Bottrell/ Gilbert/ MacLeod) [4:53]
  12. A Long Day’s Life [7:28]
  13. The Way Back Home [4:55]
  14. Johnny’s Last Song [2:15]

Songs written by Kevin Gilbert unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 67:27

The Players:

  • Kevin Gilbert (vocals/ bass/ keyboards/ piano/ percussion/drum programming)
  • Nick D’Virgilio (drums/ bass/ guitar/ keyboards/ backing vocals)
  • Brian MacLeod (drums)
  • Robert Ferris, Jennifer Gross, Skyler Jett, Claytoven, Sandy Sawyer, Jon Rubin, Tommy Dunbar (backing vocals)
  • Tommy Dunbar, Russ Parish, David Levita, Bill Bottrell (guitar)
  • The Le Petomane Ensemble (horns)


4.551 out of 5.0 (average of 7 ratings)

Quotable: ”An epic, sweeping, complete work…from one of the brightest lights to emerge in the last 15 years” – Matthew Greenwald, All Music Guide


About the Album:

At the time of his death, Kevin was working on “a life-long dream – to record a rock opera” MO-PA “in the style of Tommy by The Who, an album gave him so much enjoyment in his childhood.” KF Even though such animals were “resolutely out…Gilbert clearly didn’t care. He was intent on venting his rage and self-loathing in a carefully circumscribed series of closely connected first-person vignettes.” JS00

“You know the story; it’s been on VH1’s Behind the Music a million times. A star (insert name here) comes out of nowhere and becomes the biggest thing since sliced bread. Everyone lies to him from managers, to agents, to promoters. The people can’t get enough, and the record company continues to push the artist to the limit. Finally, the artist has had enough and takes a break, but with that, the fans move on to the next pre-made star and the industry chews you up and spits you out.” EP

That’s the premise for Gilbert’s “concept/semi-autobiographical project” MO-PA which details “the rise and collapse” IO of Johnny Virgil, “a boy from the sticks who goes to the big city to become a rock star.” RSI “In Johny Virgil, Kevin Gilbert created the perfect vehicle to voice his own frustrations, naivetĂ©, hopes, and lessons learned.” UB He “travels through the music industry sausage grinder” MG and “battles the demons of stardom” MO-PA because “he desperately wants fame” EP and “the quick buck.” IO He “compromises his artistic vision to produce what the record companies and fans want.” EP He “is stripped of his integrity, his passion, his art, and his soul, and so naturally rises to unparalleled heights on the charts” UB before his “rock-star dreams crash on the shoals of A&R men, hangers-on, drugs and the whole Hollywood scene.” JS00 He “finally comes to peace with his life at the end.” MO-PA

Unfortunately, Gilbert died before finishing the album. He left a “brief handwritten note describing the current running order of the songs at the time” SM-S and a “massive collection of tapes with songs in progress, some dating back to the 80’s,” SM-S ”scattered in studio draws and bins with quality ranging from full 24 track masters to cassette tapes.” IO “The story of how this fresh sounding album was, in some cases, literally rescued from the trash can would…make a book in itself.” IO

KG had “worked closely with Nick D’Virgilio on the project.” MO-KG Nick was a “long-time friend” SM-S and the drummer with prog-rock act Spock’s Beard. “At the beginning of their carreer, [Gilbert] was almost considered the sixth member of the band. [He was] a great friend, influence, and producer of their first two albums. The track ‘The Great Nothing’ on their…album V is said to have been inspired by Kevin’s story.” IO

Nick and others catalogued everything for Gilbert’s estate. Blair Lamb and John Cuniberti came in soon after to start work on the opera. D’Virgilio said that then “It was me and John C. going full bore…We re-recorded and mixed at the same time. It just depended on the song and how much it needed.’” SM-S Jon Rubin, KG’s “friend, ex-manager and executor of his estate” JS00 was also instrumental.

The “magnum opus” JS00 was completed in late 1999 and released in 2000 by KG’s estate and MO-PA To no one’s surprise, it followed in the steps of its predecessor and paired great reviews with poor sales. However, it “won a Grammy for its elaborate packaging (the first issue of 1400 was in a beautiful 40 page hard-bound book).” MO-PA

As for the music, it “isn’t progressive rock per se,” CW but “several tracks feature plenty of meaty instrumental interplay, much that could be called progressive.” CW “There are guitar riffs and solos here that most guitarists can only dream of coming up with.” CW “The album goes a lot of places…pulsing grooves on some tracks bring Pink Floyd to mind, while multi-part harmonies on other tracks would make Freddy Mercury grin.” CW This is “anti-pop [with] grandly produced tracks and polished vocals that recall the prog-rock pop magnificence of…Genesis or Yes.” JS00 “Loaded with both pathos and humor as well as some rock-solid performances,” MG “this tortured masterpiece takes its place alongside other depictions of the cruelty of Hollywood such as Nathanael West’s The Day of the Locust or Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard.”JS00


In the opening song, “Johnny Virgil’s desires are laid out.” EP “Johnny Virgil, perhaps sitting in his bedroom, [is] strumming his acoustic guitar singing a song full of hope and ambition.” IO “After a wash of orchestral keys that fade away, we just get Johnny and his acoustic guitar, a very self assured young man who knows he’s gonna be a star. The concept’s main musical theme is already present in this song.” KF

City of the Sun

“To reach his goal Johnny has to move to The City of the Sun (L.A.?). Here he moves through the regular ‘wanna be rock-star’ circles of dumps, sidewalks, bars to get acknowledgment.” KF There is “an excellent dialogue about meeting a would-be rock star gas station attendant.” EP This “is one of the proggy numbers, moving through a chain of musical ideas, some gently acoustic, others reminding one of King’s X before falling into the kind of sound that Yes might have come up with in their 80s incarnations.” CW

Suit Fugue (Dance of the A&R Men)

The third song “is a hilarious parody on how all these record executives are so phony.” EP This “Gentle Giantish track” CW appeared earlier on a tribute album for them. It “is nothing short of a masterpiece.” CW “The execution of the vocals is amazing,” EP showcasing “enormous talent in the studio, overlapping vocal after vocal to create the (mainly) acapella conglomeration of messages left by PR men, agents, and other musical lowlifes on Johnny’s answering machine.” SM-S “Johnny gets the advice to drop the band (they are in the way) and adopt an IMAGE: ‘No we need a sharper hook – like a scandal. Maybe you can rape a nun, or better still a priest.’” KF


In this song, Johnny “gets a makeover. The song is a punchy guitar driven track” KF with “Pink Floydish moments,” CW or, as Bryan Beller, the bassist of the live performance of TSOTT at Progfest ’02, says, “‘a Peter Gabriel type of tune because a) he inflected his own vocal with that kind of delivery; b) he used a gated delay effect on the vocal that emulated the production perfectly.” BB-JM It is “the first of three songs from Giraffe, Gilbert’s band from the late 80’s,” SM-S recorded here as “more rocky and less percussive (mechanical) than the original.” KF

Water Under the Bridge

Now “we see Johnny making his first compromises. He [asks] ‘What’s a drop of water in an ocean of compromise?’” KF “The song is one of the highlights, a beautiful ballad that brings out the best in Kevin’s voice” KF and “has an ear catching melody.” EP It “captures the type of pseudo progressive sound that allowed Pink Floyd to cross into the mainstream and make a killing.” CW It also “features some excellent drumming by D’Virgilio. Tommy Dunbar contributes a Beatlesque guitar solo to the song, giving it just the right touch.” SM-S

Best Laid Plans

Here “we get a glimpse in the kitchen of the corporate music business. Here careers are made and broken and you can sell your soul for thirty silver pieces.” KF This is “one of the best tracks on the record” EP – “another up-tempo rock song in Who style” KF with “a dose of note perfect Quadrophenia.” UB It could also be a “supercharged Billy Joel” CW or “early ‘70s Elton John.” SM-S Beller concurs that the song “‘sounds like it could be right off of a mid-‘70s Elton John record. Well, that’s because he got the exactly correct piano and electric guitar sounds.” BB-JM It “features a pounding groove that’ll make auto drivers press the pedal to the metal.” CW It ‘has ‘hit’ written all over it.” SM-S

Certifiable #1 Smash

It all pays off for Johnny when he lands the big hit – his certifiable #1 smash. The song is “a wicked look at the way stars will do anything to sell a record and get attention.” EP “Gilbert’s anger and discontent with the music business…is in full bloom here.” SM-S In particular, “the video idea section is quite hilarious,” KF “told from the narrative of a video director selling Johnny Virgil on his ideas.” EP With an obvious “poke at the video ‘Like a Prayer,’” EP “it appears Madonna is the target of Gilbert’s diatribe.” EP

Musically, “Smash” is “another guitar driven punchy track in the prog meets MTV era guitar rock mould.” KF In addition to the “insanely great guitar work, [there is] “a wonderfully nasty funk section the likes of which hasn’t been heard since Sly and the Family Stone’s ‘I Want to Take You Higher’ at Woodstock.” CW “It’s quite spooky with cool use of Mellotron” KF and, “once again, D’Virgilio’s drumming is spectacular.” SM-S Also of note – “since Gilbert died before he was able to lay down a vocal track for the song, his vocals…were lifted from an earlier performance at the Troubadour…You can still hear the crowd in places, but in the end, it just adds more character to the song.” SM-S

Staring into Nothing

This “brings us to the place where Virgil is now successful but is feeling totally empty.” EP “This sudden fame and continuous touring wears our hero out” KF “Success has not brought him happiness, and fame has made him miserable. He is just going through the motions, not caring about what is going on around him.” EP “It’s at this point in the story where we find that Johnny’s quitting the music business, due to exhaustion;” SM-S Virgil “is staring into the bright lights and feels lonely and empty.” KF

The song was “originally recorded with [KG’s] pre-Giraffe band, NRG. Parts…sound like your typical 80’s fare, but Kevin turns in a great, flanged bass line on the song.” SM-S It also “harkens back to the hypnotic sounds of early Genesis” UB and “there’s an obvious Yes influence permeating throughout the song, due in part to the use of the acoustic guitar and mellotron.” SM-S


At this point, “Johnny has a lot of time on his hand and a lot of dispensable cash. He dives heavily into the good life of coke, sex and other earthly pleasures. All he wants to do is have some fun. In passing, we get introduced to several celebrities Johnny meets on his partying, like Arsenio and Sheryl,” KF “all fictional, according to D’Virgilio.” SM-S It “is probably the darkest song on the album,” KF with “a groovy bass driven tune that’s very funky” KF and “an ultra cool arrangement, making it one of the best tracks on the CD.” SM-S

From Here to There

Then “Johnny has a moment of clarity, realizes what he has become.” UB He knows “that his lifestyle will lead to his destruction and he needs a way back home.” KF He is “in an emotional state where he feels like a robot” KF so he “withdraws from the machine that made him a star.” UB It is “a genuinely unsettling ballad” UB as “things get a bit eerie at the end of the song as you hear someone quietly say, ‘my mind is quiet and still.’” SM-S This “is Gilbert at his emotive best as he builds walls of lush orchestral sound that seem to come crumbling down around him, all set to a rhythm track of eerie footsteps.” UB “This is another Giraffe tune from the second album and fits in perfect with the concept.” KF The song also “is a sort of prelude to ‘The Way Back Home.’” SM-S

Ghetto of Beautiful Things

“The pure anger…gets its point across.” EP It “is an aggressive manic track that [is a] preview of…the Kaviar project,” KF which Kevin was also working on when he died.

A Long Day’s Life

Here we get a glimpse of Johnny as “a vulnerable character” KF “in a much more reflective state of mind, detailing recent dreams he’s had.” SM-S He “takes a look back at his life so far and finds that at the end of a long day’s life he is lost and all alone.” KF It is “the longest song on the album” CW and “one of the most complex songs on the album.” SM-S It “is another proggy number that moves from great pop melodies into Pink Floydish territory.” CW and “will be a treat for any fans of Genesis’ Duke album.” UB “It starts…behind the piano and leads us through the track with tortured vocals” KF and “builds to a climax with some great guitar work.” KF It is “one of the…most beautiful” SM-S and “best-penned songs” KF “Gilbert has ever written.” SM-S

The Way Back Home

“You can tell the end is near.” SM-S “The story shows us Johnny, who sad and disillusioned, crosses the path of a man who claims to be ‘Jesus’; he finally shows Johnny ‘The way back home’: it’s love.” KF This, “the final tune…from Kevin’s back-catalogue…is quite different from the original” KF Giraffe tune. “It’s a percussive track reminding [one] of Peter Gabriel’s later work” KF or “Tears For Fears alterna-pop.” UB”According to Cuniberti, the only things they had to work with on this track were ‘drums, piano and a guide vocal’…Knowing the importance of the song in the opera, D’Virgilio took it upon himself to finish the track. David Levita was called in to lay down the guitar solo at the end of the song, and did a superb job.” SM-S

Johnny’s Last Song

This wraps up the tale. As John Cuniberti says, “Kevin wanted this last song to sound as down and out as Johnny Virgil must have felt” JC-KG so he “recorded it outside the studio…onto a portable cassette player” JC-KG “with an old, beat up guitar; effectively capturing Johnny’s desperation at this point in his career.” SM-S “Old and wise, he gives his advice to young wanna-be-musicians: Believe in what you’re doing, remember who you are. And who knows where you’ll go.” KF “The wash of orchestral keys returns before it’s drowned by” KF “the sound of falling rain and train whistles in the distance [that make] the song that much more poignant.” SM-S As Cuniberti says, “Kevin recorded the wonderful rain track himself. The faraway train whistle…was another stroke of brilliance on Kevin’s part.” JC-KG

“When you consider the brilliance of Shaming as a whole, it makes you appreciate the insight that D’Virgilio and Cuniberti had into the mind of Gilbert. But first and foremost, it shows Kevin’s potential in no uncertain terms” SM-S – it is “a flawless work of musical art.” CW “This is one of those rare albums that grabs you the first time you hear it, and then keeps getting better with each listen.” SM-S “Stellar musicianship. Passionate vocals. First class compositions. Top-notch production. This album has absolutely everything.” CW Former bandmate Chris Beveridge says, “Kevin went through some intense personal and professional struggles after he moved to LA, and it sounds like he was able to capture the essence of his experiences and lessons in music and lyric.” CB-KG “While he may be describing his personal nightmare, Gilbert never falters in his assurance, his belief in his own talent, and The Shaming of the True is his testament,”JS00 his “reigning masterpiece.” SM-S It is “a bittersweet farewell from one of the brightest lights to emerge in the last 15 years.” MG


Some of these songs appeared in other forms on earlier Gilbert projects, including the groups NRG (“Staring into Nothing” - 1984), Giraffe (“Imagemaker” – 1987, “From Here to There” – 1988, “The Way Back Home” – 1988), Toy Matinee (“Best Laid Plans” – 1992), and Kaviar (“Ghetto of Beautiful Things” – 1996).

There are two other songs that may have been part of the rock opera but were pulled at the last minute by Kevin. They are The Best of Everything and Miss Broadway.” JC-KG The former wouldn’t officially surface until 2009, when the Nuts and Bolts collections were released. The latter showed up on the 1999 Live at the Troubadour release, recorded in 1995.

Review Sources:

Related DMDB Link(s):

Saturday, December 16, 2000

Patti Page hit #1 for first of 13 weeks with “Tennessee Waltz” fifty years ago today (12/16/1950)

First posted 11/18/2011; updated 1/22/2020.

Tennessee Waltz

Patti Page

Writer(s):Pee Wee King/ Redd Stewart (see lyrics here)

First Charted: November 18, 1950

Peak: 113 US, 16 HP, 16 CB, 2 CW, 19 UK, 13 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, -- UK, 10.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 3.0 radio, -- video, -- streaming



Pee Wee King and Redd Stewart played in a band called the Golden West Cowboys. Stewart was a singer and fiddler while King, who was born Julius Frank Kuczynski, brought accordion and brass into his music, which helped shape the merger of country and jazz in what has been called Western swing. While riding in Stewart’s truck one day in 1947, the pair scribbled out “Tennessee Waltz”, LW-91 modeling it after “Kentucky Waltz” by Bill Monroe.

In 1948, King’s recording of the song hit #3 on the country charts. Cowboy Copas’ recording hit the same peak and a version by Roy Acuff went to #12. However, when Patti Page, the best-selling female singer of the ‘50s, JA-190 put her stamp on the song, it marked the moment when country went mainstream. LW-91 With 13 weeks at #1 on the pop charts and sales of six million, it was the biggest hit of 1950 and one of the ten best sellers of the first half of the century. PM

At the end of World War II, the “Swing Era” of big-band-oriented music had given way to the “Sing Era”, which was more dominated by individual vocalists. However, record companies didn’t generally entrust the singers to find their own material. They enlisted A&R men for the task. It was Jerry Wexler, the man who later produced Aretha Franklin, who saw the song’s potential. Page was a dance band singer with a voice reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald. LW-91 Page’s recording was significant for the use of multi-tracking. Even though audiotape wasn’t used yet in recording, Page sang four-part harmony with herself. SA

The song’s success encouraged other performers to turn to country for cover material as well. In addition, the song inspired more state waltzes. JA-190 King and Stewart’s composition became the official Tennessee state song in 1965. LW-91

Resources and Related Links:

  • Patti Page’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
  • JA David A. Jasen. (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 190.
  • LW Alan Lewens (2001). Popular Song – Soundtrack of the Century. Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 91.
  • SA David Sadowski (1999). Haven’t Named It Yet: A Rock ‘N’ Roll Prehistory, 1926-55.
  • TY Don Tyler (1985). Hit Parade 1920-1955. New York, NY: Quill. Pages 136 and 148-9.
  • PM Joel Whitburn (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 631.

Friday, November 24, 2000

November 24, 1950: Guys and Dolls opened on Broadway

Originally posted August 11, 2008. Last updated September 4, 2018.

Guys and Dolls (cast/soundtrack)

Frank Loesser (composers)

Opened on Broadway: November 24, 1950

Cast Album Recorded: December 3, 1950

Cast Album Released: January 8, 1951

Soundtrack Released: November 3, 1955

Sales (in millions):
US: --
UK: --
IFPI: --
World (estimated): --

US: 1 1-C
UK: --
Canada: --
Australia: --

C cast album
S soundtrack

Quotable: --

Genre: show tunes

Album Tracks – Cast Album:

  1. Runyonland Music/ Fugue for Tinhorns/ Follow the Fold
  2. The Oldest Established
  3. I’ll Know
  4. A Bushel and a Peck
  5. Adelaide’s Lament
  6. Guys and Dolls
  7. If I Were a Bell
  8. My Time of Day
  9. I’ve Never Been in Love Before
  10. Take Back Your Mink
  11. More I Cannot Wish You
  12. Luck Be a Lady
  13. Sue Me
  14. Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat
  15. Reprise: Guys and Dolls

Album Tracks – Cast Album:

  1. Overture (JACK BLACKTON)
  2. Fugue for Tinhorns (STUBBY KAYE / FRANK SINATRA)
  3. Follow the Fold (JEAN SIMMONS)
  4. The Oldest Established Floating Crap Game in New York (STUBBY KAYE / JOHNNY SILVER / FRANK SINATRA)
  6. Pet Me Poppa (VIVIAN BLAINE)
  7. Adelaide’s Lament (VIVIAN BLAINE)
  9. Adelaide (FRANK SINATRA)
  11. A Woman in Love (MARLON BRANDO / JEAN SIMMONS)
  12. Take Back Your Mink (VIVIAN BLAINE)
  13. Luck Be a Lady (MARLON BRANDO)
  15. Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat (STUBBY KAYE)
  16. Guys and Dolls Finale (JACK BLACKTON)

Singles/Hit Songs *:

A Bushel and a Peck
- Perry Como/Betty Hutton (1950) #3
- Margaret Whiting/Jimmy Wakely (1950) #6
- Doris Day (1950) #16
- Andrews Sisters (1950) #22
- Johnny Desmond (1950) #29

If I Were a Bell
- Frankie Laine (1950) #30

Luck Be a Lady
- Frank Sinatra (1965) --

* In the pre-rock era, it was common for multiple versions of Broadway songs to chart instead of the originals from the show itself. By 1964, musicals didn’t dominate the charts, but it was still more likely for a cover of a Broadway tune to chart than for the original.


Guys and Dolls, based on the stories of Damon Runyon about New York gamblers, became a stunning success upon its Broadway opening in 1950. While Abe Burrows’ libretto was much praised, the show's main asset is Frank Loesser’s songs, which are unfailingly tuneful and which accurately represent the vernacular of Runyon’s characters, from Fugue for Tinhorns, a trio song full of horse racing slang, to Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat, a revival meeting pastiche in which a gambler claims to have found salvation. Luck Be a Lady, a gambler’s ode to good fortune, became a standard.” WR

“Winning as these are, love songs such as I’ll Know and I’ve Never Been in Love Before are equally affecting. And that isn’t even to mention the songs that became contemporary hits, If I Were a Bell and A Bushel and a Peck.” WR

The show premiered on Broadway on November 24, 1950 and ran for 1200 performances. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical. It was selected as the winner of the 1951 Pulitzer Prize, but got vetoed because Abe Burrows had problems with the House Un-American Activities Committee. WK-C WR

The 1955 film adaptation starred Blaine along with Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, and Jean Simmons. Five songs from the stage musical were omitted from the movie and Loesser wrote three new songs for the film: Pet Me Poppa, Your Eyes Are the Eyes of a Woman in Love, and Adelaide. The last was written specifically with Sinatra in mind. WK-S

Review Sources:


Tuesday, November 21, 2000

Eminem charts with “Stan”

Last updated 3/22/2020.


Eminem with Dido

Writer(s): Eminem, Dido, Paul Herman (see lyrics here)

Released: November 21, 2000

First Charted: October 7, 2000

Peak: 51 US, 31 RR, 36 RB, 11 UK, 27 CN, 11 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 1.47 UK, 5.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 412.4 video, -- streaming


About the Song:

“There are few songs as blindly fascinating and striking as this” SY “compelling look at the pitfalls of fame, and the the danger of becoming obsessed with our heroes.” PD “Rapper Eminem cemented his artistic standing” AB’00 with this “fictional…but frighteningly real” PD story of a deranged fan who sends “a series of unhinged letters.” RS’09

This “creepy hit… encapsulated the dramatic flair that made Eminem so impossible to ignore in 2000.” RS’09 “Even now…[it is] funnier and more shocking than 99 percent of mainstream hip-hop.” MX It is a “raw, beautiful…tragedy without melodrama.” SY It was “instantly fascinating…on first listen [in] how it could take such a cute, pedestrian verse to symbolize an obsessive fan’s descent into madness and self-destruction [and] how Eminem’s rap could sound so realistic, like he’s a friend telling you this story.” SY

Malcolm McLaren’s 1984 song “Fans” appears to be the basis of “Stan” in both its structure and story, complete with an opera aria excerpt instead of the samples pulled from Dido’s song “Thank You,” a song which then became a hit in its own right. SF Em also references his own work when Stan says, “I drank a fifth of vodka, dare me to drive?,” a line from “My Name Is.” Stan also references an untrue rumor that Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” was written by Collins when he witnessed a man stand by and do nothing while someone drowned. The legend says Collins invited the man to one of his concerts and sang it to him. SF

Eminem had to deal with charges of being anti-gay because in one of Stan’s letters, he writes about wanting to be with Eminem, who replies that it makes him not want to meet Stan. In response, Eminem enlisted the openly gay Elton John to play piano and sing Dido’s part at the 2001 Grammys. SF

Resources and Related Links:

Tuesday, November 14, 2000

A Beatles Retrospective: 1962-1970

First posted 3/27/2008; last updated 9/19/2020.

A Retrospective: 1962-1970

The Beatles

The Players:
  • John Lennon (vocals, guitar)
  • Paul McCartney (vocals, bass)
  • George Harrison (guitar, vocals)
  • Ringo Starr (drums, vocals)

A Brief History: They were the greatest and most influential act of the rock era, and introduced more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century. The group’s beginnings go back to 1957 when Lennon formed the Quarrymen, which McCartney and George Harrison later joined. After some fluctuation in names and lineups, they settled in with Ringo Starr as their drummer in 1962.

They established the prototype for the self-contained rock group that wrote, mostly by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and performed their own material. They were the first British rock group to achieve worldwide prominence, launching a British Invasion that made rock truly an international phenomenon. When they gave up touring, they became instrumental in pioneering advanced techniques and multi-layered arrangements.

The group officially broke up in 1970 when McCartney announced his departure in a press release for his first album. The group continued to be a major seller over the years with the 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 compilations in 1973, CD reissues in the late ‘80s, the anthology series in the ‘90s, and the 1 collection in 2000.

This page covers the span of the Beatles’ recording history from 1962 to 1970, which comprises a dozen studio albums. Each of these has a dedicated DMDB page, but are covered in snapshots here.

The Studio Albums:


These three compilations are spotlighted on this page. The snapshots of the studio albums will indicate all songs featured on any of the three compilations, noted with the codes 66, 70, and 1. Appearing after song titles are the songwriters in italicized parentheses, running times in brackets, and when relevant, the date the song was released as a single and its peaks on various charts. Click for codes to singles charts.

You can check out the Beatles’ complete singles discography here.

Please Please Me (1963):

The Beatles’ first UK album spent a whopping 30 weeks atop the chart. Variations of the album were released twice in the United States – first as Vee-Jay Records’ Introducing the Beatles and later as Capitol Records’ The Early Beatles. There are several notably absent songs from the collections cited on this page – “Twist and Shout” (a #2 hit in the U.S.), “Do You Want to Know a Secret?” (another #2 in the U.S.), and “I Saw Her Standing There” (a #1 in Canada and Australia).

  • Love Me Do [2:21] (10/5/62, 1 US, 17 UK, 8 CN, 1 AU) 66, 1
  • Please Please Me [1:59] (1/11/63, 3 US, 2 UK, 5 CN, 36 AU) 66

With the Beatles (1963):

The Beatles’ second UK album didn’t sport as many chart-ready hits, but in the U.S. most of the songs were released on Meet the Beatles!, the album that introduced Beatlemania in the states. It included the huge #1 hit “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” which had only been released as a single in the UK. The next U.S. release, The Beatles’ Second Album, would round up the rest of the songs from With the Beatles as well as a few leftover songs, most notably the #1 hit “She Loves You,” also previously available only as a single in the UK.

  • All My Loving [2:07] (3/28/64, 45 US, 1 CN, 1 AU) 66

A Hard Day’s Night (1964):

The soundtrack for the Beatles’ first film sported two chart-topping songs in the UK and U.S. with the title cut and Can’t Buy Me Love. In the UK, it was fleshed out as a full studio album, while only about half the cuts appeared on the U.S. soundtrack alongside instrumentals.

  • Can’t Buy Me Love [2:12] (3/26/64, 1 US, 1 UK, 3 CN, 1 AU, 3x platinum single) 66, 1
  • A Hard Day’s Night [2:34] (7/16/64, 1 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, gold single) 66, 1
  • And I Love Her [2:30] (7/20/64, 12 US, 15 CN) 66

Beatles for Sale (1964):

Once again, the original UK album was chopped up and spread out over two American releases, Beatles ‘65 and Beatles VI. The former album included the #1 single “I Feel Fine” and its B-side “She’s a Woman.”

  • Eight Days a Week [2:43] (2/15/65, 1 US, 1 CN, gold single) 66, 1

Help! (1965):

Like A Hard Day’s Night, this was released in the UK as a full-fledged studio album and in the U.S. as a soundtrack with instrumentals alongside about half the songs from the UK release. Both albums, however, included the #1 songs Ticket to Ride and Help! The UK release also included the U.S. #1 hit Yesterday, but that song wouldn’t appear on an American album until 1966’s Yesterday…and Today.

  • Ticket to Ride [3:12] (4/15/65, 1 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU) 66, 1
  • Help! [2:21] (7/29/65, 1 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, gold single) 66, 1
  • Yesterday [2:07] (9/25/65, 1 US, 8 UK, 4 CN, 2 AU, gold single) 66, 1
  • You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away [2:11] 66

Rubber Soul (1965):

The UK release may have had only one hit single with Nowhere Man, but a healthy chunk of the songs have become as well known as many of the band’s hits. The U.S. album excised “Nowhere Man,” Drive My Car, and others, later collecting them on the Yesterday…and Today album.

  • Nowhere Man [2:44] (3/5/66, 3 US, 1 CN, 1 AU, gold single) 66
  • Drive My Car [2:30] 66
  • Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) [2:05] 66
  • Michelle [2:42] 66
  • In My Life [2:27] 66
  • Girl [2:33] 66

Revolver (1966):

For an album some rave about as the best Beatles’ album and, in some cases the best album of all time, it gets little representation on the compilations highlighted on this page. In addition to the double-sided Yellow Submarine / Eleanor Rigby single, the album featured “Here, There and Everywhere,” a song which garnered 3 million radio airplays despite never being released as a single, and “Got to Get You into My Life,” a song released a decade later which hit the top 10 in the U.S. and went to #1 in Canada.

  • Yellow Submarine [2:40] (8/11/66, 2 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, gold single, airplay: 1 million) 66, 1
  • Eleanor Rigby [2:11] (8/11/66, B-side of “Yellow Submarine,” 11 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, gold single, airplay: 2 million) 66, 1


The Beatles

Released: April 2, 1973

Recorded: 1962-1966

Peak: 3 US, 3 UK, 4 CN, 9 AU

Sales (in millions): 15.0 US, 0.6 UK, 30.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop/classic rock

Tracks, Disc 1: (1) Love Me Do (2) Please Please Me (3) From Me to You (4) She Loves You (5) I Want to Hold Your Hand (6) All My Loving (7) Can’t Buy Me Love (8) A Hard Day’s Night (9) And I Love Her (10) Eight Days a Week (11) I Feel Fine (12) Ticket to Ride (13) Yesterday

Tracks, Disc 2: (1) Help! (2) You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away (3) We Can Work It Out (4) Day Tripper (5) Drive My Car (6) Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (7) Nowhere Man (8) Michelle (9) In My Life (10) Girl (11) Paperback Writer (12) Eleanor Rigby (13) Yellow Submarine

Total Running Time: 62:34


4.487 out of 5.00 (average of 17 ratings)


About the 1962-1966 Album:

“Assembling a compilation of the Beatles is a difficult task, not only because they had an enormous number of hits, but also because singles didn’t tell the full story; many of their album tracks were as important as the singles, if not more so.” E-R Of course, there’s also the matter that all of the Beatles individual albums are essential enough that once you’ve gathered them up, is there any need for a compilation?

Well, yes. Compilations are targeted at the more casual fan. Of course, when the Beatles released not one, but two double-album compilations on the same day in 1973, it was hard to guess who it was for. A four-album greatest hits is a bit hefty for a casual fan. However, at that time, many of these songs had not been released on any Beatles’ albums, so the two sets were pretty near must haves.

“The double-album 1962-1966, commonly called The Red Album, does…surprisingly well [at] hitting most of the group’s major early hits and adding important album tracks like You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, Drive My Car, Norwegian Wood, and In My Life. Naturally, there are many great songs missing from the 26-track 1962-1966, and perhaps it would have made more sense to include the Revolver cuts on its companion volume, 1967-1970, yet The Red Album captures the essence of the Beatles’ pre-Sgt. Pepper records.” E-R

  • From Me to You (4/18/63, 41 US, 1 UK, 6 CN, 9 AU) 66, 1
  • She Loves You (8/29/63, 1 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 3 AU) 66, 1
  • I Want to Hold Your Hand (11/29/63, 1 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, sales: 4 million) 66, 1
  • I Feel Fine (12/3/64, 1 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, gold single) 66, 1
  • We Can Work It Out (12/9/65, 1 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, gold single) 66, 1
  • Day Tripper (12/9/65, 5 US, 1 UK, B-side of “We Can Work It Out”) 66, 1
  • Paperback Writer (6/11/66, 1 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, gold single) 66, 1

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967):

Often called the best album of all time, Sgt. Pepper’s wasn’t supported by any singles at the time, although the title cut paired with With a Little Help from My Friends and A Day in the Life as a B-side, was released as a single more than a decade later.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/ [2:02] (9/16/78, 78 US, 63 UK) 70
  • /With a Little Help from My Friends [2:44] (9/16/78, 78 US, 63 UK) 70
  • Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds [3:28] 70
  • A Day in the Life [5:33] (9/16/78, B-side of “Sgt. Pepper’s…/With a Little Help…”) 70

Magical Mystery Tour (1967):

This wasn’t an official album release in the UK. In the U.S., however, the six songs comprising the Magical Mystery Tour EP in the UK were combined with a couple of singles and B-sides to make up an album. The set included three #1 hits in the U.S.: Penny Lane, All You Need Is Love, and Hello, Goodbye. In addition, Strawberry Fields Forever, the B-side of “Penny Lane,” is one of the most celebrated songs in the Beatles’ impressive catalog.

  • Strawberry Fields Forever [4:10] (2/23/67, B-side of “Penny Lane,” 8 US, 1 CN, 2 UK) 70
  • Penny Lane [3:03] (2/23/67, 1 US, 2 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, gold single) 70, 1
  • All You Need Is Love [3:48] (7/12/67, 1 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, gold single) 70, 1
  • Hello, Goodbye [3:31] (11/29/67, 1 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, gold single) 70, 1
  • I Am the Walrus [4:37] (11/29/67, B-side of “Hello, Goodbye,” 56 US, 2 UK - EP) 70
  • Magical Mystery Tour [2:51] (12/13/67, 2 UK - EP) 70
  • The Fool on the Hill [3:00] (12/13/67, 2 UK - EP) 70

The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968):

The Beatles’ self-titled double album wasn’t supported by any singles at the time, but did introduce some radio staples, well-known fare like “Birthday,” “Blackbird,” and “Rocky Raccoon” that are not included on any of the compilations on this page.

  • Back in the U.S.S.R. [2:43] (7/10/76, 19 UK) 70
  • Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (11/20/76, 49 US, 39 AC, 19 CN, 1 AU) 70
  • While My Guitar Gently Weeps 70

Abbey Road (1969):

Come Together and Something was a double-sided single in which both songs hit #1 in different markets. While Here Comes the Sun wasn’t a single, its 3 million radio airplays lift it up amongst some of the Beatles’ best-known songs.

  • Come Together [4:20] (10/18/69, 1 US, 4 UK, 25 AR. 2x platinum single) 70, 1
  • Something (Harrison) [3:03] (10/18/69, B-side of “Come Together,” 3 US, 17 AC, 4 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, 2x platinum single) 70, 1
  • Here Comes the Sun (Harrison) [3:05] (airplay: 3 million) 70
  • Octopus’s Garden (Starr) [2:51] 70 70, 1

Let It Be (1970):

It was the Beatles’ last official album, although it was recorded before Abbey Road. Get Back, Let It Be, and The Long and Winding Road were all #1 hits in the U.S., making for a pretty decent swan song for the most celebrated group in rock and roll history.

  • Get Back [3:07] (4/23/69, 1 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, 2x platinum single) 70, 1
  • Let It Be [4:03] (3/14/70, 1 US, 1 AC, 2 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, 2x platinum single) 70, 1
  • The Long and Winding Road [3:37] (5/23/70, 1 US, 2 AC, 1 CN, 7 AU, platinum single) 70, 1
  • Across the Universe 70


The Beatles

Released: April 2, 1973

Recorded: 1966-1970

Peak: 11 US, 2 UK, 3 CN, 8 AU

Sales (in millions): 16.0 US, 0.6 UK, 29.8 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop/classic rock

Tracks, Disc 1: (1) Strawberry Fields Forever (2) Penny Lane (3) Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (4) With a Little Help from My Friends (5) Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (6) A Day in the Life (7) All You Need Is Love (8) I Am the Walrus (9) Hello Goodbye (10) The Fool on the Hill (11) Magical Mystery Tour (12) Lady Madonna (13) Hey Jude (14) Revolution

Tracks, Disc 2: (1) Back in the U.S.S.R. (2) While My Guitar Gently Weeps (3) Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (4) Get Back (5) Don’t Let Me Down (6) The Ballad of John and Yoko (7) Old Brown Shoe (8) Here Comes the Sun (9) Come Together (10) Something (11) Octopus’s Garden (12) Let It Be (13) Across the Universe (14) The Long and Winding Road

Total Running Time: 99:40


4.574 out of 5.00 (average of 17 ratings)


About the 1967-1970 Album:

“Picking up where 1962-1966 left off, the double-album compilation 1967-1970, commonly called The Blue Album, covers the Beatles’ later records, from Sgt. Pepper through Let It Be. Like The Red Album, The Blue Album contains a mixture of hits, including singles like Lady Madonna, Hey Jude, and Revolution that were never included on an LP, plus important album tracks like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, A Day in the Life, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and Come Together. Like its predecessor, 1967-1970 misses several great songs, but the compilation nevertheless does capture the essence of the Beatles’ later recordings.” E-B

  • Lady Madonna (3/20/68, 4 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, platinum single) 70, 1
  • Hey Jude (9/4/68, 1 US, 41 AR, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, 4x platinum single) 70, 1
  • Revolution (9/4/68, B-side of “Hey Jude,” 12 US, 1 CN) 70
  • Don’t Let Me Down (5/10/69, B-side of “Get Back,” 35 US, 2x platinum single) 70
  • The Ballad of John and Yoko (6/4/69, 8 US, 1 UK, 1 AU, gold single) 70, 1
  • Old Brown Shoe (6/4/1969, B-side of “The Ballad of John and Yoko”) 70


The Beatles

Released: November 14, 2000

Recorded: 1962-1970

Peak: 18 US, 19 UK, 15 CN, 19 AU

Sales (in millions): 12.41 US, 3.23 UK, 31.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop/classic rock

Tracks: (1)

Total Running Time: 78:39


4.564 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)


About the 1 Album:

1962-1966 and 1967-1970 effectively serve as the Beatles’ box set, albeit focusing on the big hits and single-only releases and not rarities or alternate recordings (that would come on the three-volume, six-disc Anthology series). However, “there was [still] a gap in the Beatles’ catalog…all the big hits weren’t on one tidy, single-disc compilation. It’s not the kind of gap you’d necessarily notice – it’s kind of like realizing you don’t have a pair of navy blue dress socks – but it was a gap all the same, so the group released The Beatles 1 late in 2000, coinciding with the publication of their official autobiography, the puzzlingly titled Anthology.” E-1

“The idea behind this compilation is to have all the number one singles the Beatles had, either in the U.K. or U.S., on one disc, and that's pretty much what this generous 27-track collection is.” E-1 Of course, one can’t help but notice that 27 cuts makes for exactly half of the output on the 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 compilations – and yet those collections were spread out over a total of four discs.

“It’s easy, nay, necessary, to quibble with a couple of the judgment calls” E-1 not only in how the Beatles compilations were packaged, but what songs made it and what didn’t. “Please Please Me should be here…and it’s unforgivable to bypass Strawberry Fields Forever.” E-1 Besides, there’s been a long standing debate about whether or not “Please Please Me” may have, in fact, deserved #1 status in the U.K. and “Strawberry Fields Forever” was the B-side of a #1 hit (Penny Lane) and this collection included other B-sides of #1 hits (Something and Eleanor Rigby) that technically were B-sides and didn’t achieve #1 status on their own. Still, “there’s still no question that this is all great music.” E-1

After all, “there is a bit of a rush hearing all these dazzling songs follow one after another. If there’s any complaint, it’s that even if it’s nice to have something like this, it’s not really essential. There’s really no reason for anyone who owns all the records to get this too – if you’ve lived happily without the red or blue albums, you’ll live without this. But, if you give this to any six or seven year old, they’ll be a pop fan, even fanatic, for life. And that’s reason enough for it to exist.” E-1

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