I have mentioned several times here that my brother and I agree that the greatest songwriter of our era was John Lennon. I will admit that his lyrics can be over the top politically, just listen to the ending chorus of “Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)”. Even the title says it going to be political. But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the song. In fact, the Christmas “season” doesn’t start until I hear “Happy X-Mas” playing somewhere randomly. This year it was just last week that it played on the radio while I was not at home that I heard it.
My granddaughters are big fans of the Beatles as well. It’s not all that surprising since their mother has more Beatles stuff than I do. When the girls were infants, I could calm them down just by singing “Yellow Submarine”. So I wasn’t in the least bit surprised when granddaughter-the-elder handed me this little thing she made. I keep it on my desk.
And that’s what I try to keep in my mind at all times; “All You Need Is Love”. I will have the Beatles channel playing today. I hope I hear this song several times.
Some time ago I posted about a discussion between my brother and myself about who was the greatest American songwriter. (Part 1 of that discussion is here, and part 2 here). To sum it up we decided on Paul Simon. Actually, my brother told me it was Paul Simon, I was holding out for Bob Dylan. But we both agreed that John Lennon was the greatest songwriter of our era.
While I was out driving today, I was listening to Peter Asher’s From Me To You show on The Beatles channel (#18 on SiriusXM). I do enjoy this show for two reasons. Not only did Mr. Asher have a great music career as both a member of Peter and Gordon but also as a Grammy winning producer. Not to mention that his sister Jane was a longtime girlfriend of Paul McCartney (before he was Sir Paul). This gives him inside knowledge about almost all things Beatles.
One of the cool things about his show is that he always starts off with a Peter and Gordon song that sets the theme for that particular episode. Today’s opening song was “Nobody I Know”, which was written by Sir Paul, but credited to Lennon and McCartney.
One of The Beatles songs featured today was “I Want to Hold your Hand”. A monster hit in the UK.
With advance orders exceeding one million copies in the United Kingdom, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” would have gone straight to the top of the British record charts on its day of release (29 November 1963) had it not been blocked by the group’s first million-seller “She Loves You“, their previous UK single, which was having a resurgence of popularity following intense media coverage of the group. Taking two weeks to dislodge its predecessor, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” stayed at number one for five weeks and remained in the UK top 50 for 21 weeks in total.
It was also the group’s first American number-one hit, entering the Billboard Hot 100 chart on 18 January 1964 at number 45 and starting the British Invasion of the American music industry. By 1 February it topped the Hot 100, and stayed there for seven weeks before being replaced by “She Loves You”. It remained on the Billboard chart for 15 weeks. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” became the Beatles’ best-selling single worldwide selling more than 12 million copies. In 2018, Billboard magazine named it the 48th biggest hit of all time on the Billboard Hot 100. In the UK, it was the second highest selling single of the 1960s, behind “She Loves You”.