Monday, March 16, 2009

Daltrey Makes a lot of sense, Re-working old U2, Remembering Alan Livingston

Roger Daltrey has taken a swipe against animal rights activists saying that cancer research should take precedence when it comes to charity. Daltrey, whose is a patron of Britain's Teenage Cancer Trust charity, told, "It is a blot on our society when, if these teenagers had four legs and fur or feathers we would raise the money in one year. It's tragic and it makes me want to fight even harder."

He explained that the British government is "no help whatsoever" for the teenage cancer patients, adding, "this charity is all they've got and we're fighting for every unit we get . . . Teenagers are the hardest age group to talk to and they tend to withdraw within themselves. . . . Cancer is the number one killer of teenagers and they get the most aggressive and the rarest forms, and because they're growing so fast and they're doing sports and things, late diagnosis is quite common."


U2 singer Bono told a crowd in Somerville, Massachusetts that the band would like to re-record some of its early work, according to Reuters. Playing a private set of five songs for 950 fans and taking questions afterward, Bono said about the band's 1980 debut Boy, "I would love to sing that album again and finish that," adding that back in those days, they "couldn't afford another hour" in the studio. Bono also said about the band's first few records, "There's some beautiful songs that feel a little bit unfinished to us."

The vocalist did not indicate whether the Irish supergroup had any plans to actually undertake such a project.

Guitarist The Edge added to possible speculation about re-recordings when asked if there are any U2 songs he never wanted to play again, saying, "There are so many U2 songs that I am quite happy not to play. But the thing is we still want to rewrite some of them, and who knows, we may at some point re-release a few of our early albums with a few changes."
Former Capitol Records president Alan Livingston, the man who signed the Beatles to their American label, died at 91 of age-related causes on Friday (March 13th) at his home in Beverly Hills, The Associated Press reports.

In 1963, despite heavy pressure from Capitol's parent company, the British owned EMI Records, Livingston originally passed on signing the Fab Four deeming their music unsuitable for the American market. Later that year, after rejecting the Beatles' first album Please Please Me -- along with their first four singles "Love Me Do," "Please Please Me," "From Me To You," and "She Loves You" -- Livingston finally signed the group for U.S. distribution and released their groundbreaking single "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and their American album debut Meet The Beatles.

Meet The Beatles, which topped the album charts for 11 weeks, collected tracks from their second UK album With The Beatles along with assorted single tracks.

Beatles fans have long criticized Capitol for altering the group's British albums for their American release. Renowned Beatles author Bruce Spizer, who wrote the liner notes for the group's The Capitol Albums box sets, told us that the label has gotten a bad rap over the years when it comes to the Beatles' early '60s albums: "The old party line of 'Capitol butchered the Beatles' is really not true. Capitol marketed the Beatles, they had a feel of what would sell well in America and they knew that you needed hit singles on the albums to sell the albums. So, they would deliberately pull a song off to save it as a single such as 'Eight Days A Week,' or 'Nowhere Man.' And this was their strategy and it worked really well."

Alan Livingston began his career at Capitol in the creative department, writing and producing children's albums for the label, including creating the legendary "Bozo the Clown" character for the 1946 album Bozo At The Circus. During his tenure as head of Capitol, he signed such legendary acts as Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, the Steve Miller Band, Nat "King" Cole, Al Martino, among many others. Livingston is survived by his wife, a son, a daughter and a stepdaughter.

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