FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 51 THE BEATLES (Part C, List of those on cover of Stg.Pepper’s ) (Feature on artist Raqib Shaw )


The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA

Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010

The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA.

The Beatles:


I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this series we have looked at several areas in life where the Beatles looked for meaning and hope but also we have examined some of the lives of those  writers, artists, poets, painters, scientists, athletes, models, actors,  religious leaders, musicians, comedians, and philosophers  that were put on the cover of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. We have discovered that many of these individuals on the cover have even taken a Kierkegaardian leap into the area of nonreason in order to find meaning for their lives and that is the reason I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.”

 Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Album really did look at every potential answer to meaning in life and to as many people as the Beatles could imagine had the answers to life’s big questions. One of the persons on the cover did have access to those answers and I am saving that person for last in this series on the Beatles. 

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

I got this below off a message board from 2009 and notice how Francis Schaeffer how existentialism is described.  Here is what the message board said below:

I researched existentialism, and I’ll tell you what I learned about its complicated history. I’ll include a serious point as well.

There was a French existential philosopher named Jean Paul Sartre, who’s concept was that a finite point is absurd if it has no infinite reference point. This is best understood in the area of morals. If there is no absolute moral standard, then one cannot say in a final sense that anything is right or wrong. In other words, according to Sartre, he held that in the area of reason everything is absurd, but nonetheless a person can authenticate himself by an act of the will. On this basis of his teaching, you could authenticate yourself either by helping a poor old lady along the road at night or by speeding up your auto and running her down. Reason is not involved.

Martin Heidegger, a German philosopher, was an existentialist who set forth basically the same idea: that answers are separated from reason. Heidegger introduced angst (roughly meaning “anxiety”) as a word defining modern man’s stance before the world. This angst is not to be confused with fear. Angst is the general feeling of anxiety one experiences in the universe. It fear without a definite object. In Heidegger view this mood of anxiety gives people the certainty of existence. However, as an older man he changed his position, concluding that because man is a a being who speaks and verbalizes, one can hope that the universe has meaning. This view, however, is not prevalent today.

Karl Jaspers was another German existentialist. He thought that we may have a final experience . This is a technical term, but by it he meant that even though our mind tells us life is absurd, we may have some huge experience that encourages us to believe that there is a meaning to life. The dilemma of Jaspers existentialism can be understood clearly by the author’s example (my research is based on a volume on Western thought and culture). The author illustrates that a young man whom he knew subscribed to Jasper’s view, and he had an “experience” by watching a play called Green Pastures. This young man couldn’t give words or content to his own experience, for in the existential system reason is excluded from the experience. The young man was so overwhelmed that he was ready to commit suicide.

Aldous Huxley proposed drugs a solution to finding a “final experience.” He proposed that we give healthy people drugs, saying that people can then find truth inside their own heads. He emphasized this theoretical viewpoint in his novel, Brave New World. As a mentally ill person myself, I think that it’s barbarous to give healthy people drugs just so that they can have thrills, because that’s basically what Huxley’s theory amounts to. This emphasis on hallucinogenic drugs brought with it many rock groups, including Cream, who’s former member, Eric Clapton, later laments of losing his fellow band members to drugs. The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band also fits here. This disc is a total unity, not just an isolated series of individual songs, and for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. As a whole, music was the vehicle to carry the drug feeling.

The next accepted version in the West f life in the area of nonreason was the religious experience of Hinduism and Buddhism. This grasping for a nonrational meaning to life and values is the central reason that Eastern religions are so popular in the West today. Goethe, Wagner, and others had opened the door to Eastern thinking with their vague pantheism. But it came floodlike into the West with Huxley and the emphasis on drugs.

Although existentialism is growing less influential, more and more people are adopting this frame of thinking. They talk or act upon the idea that reason leads only to pessimism, saying, “let us try to find an answer in something totally separated from reason.” Humanistic man tried to make himself self-sufficient and demanded that one start from himself and the individual details and build his own universals. His great hope that he could begin from himself and produce a uniformity of knowledge led him, however, to the sad place where his mind told hi that he was only a machine, bundle of molecules. Then he tried desperately to find meaning in the area of non-reason, and flounders in his struggle to this day.

Note that I borrowed heavily from the book How Should We Then Live? by Francis A. Schaeffer, so most of the writing was not my own.

the making of sgt. pepper’s lonely hearts club band

Published on Apr 29, 2013

compiled video of The making of sgt. peppers lonely hearts club band from maccalennon.


Paul McCartney said at the 16:45 mark in the above video concerning the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s:

Everything about the album will be imagined from the perspective of these people. It doesn’t have to be us. It doesn’t have to be the kind of song you want to write. It can be the kind of song they would like to write.

What Paul was saying is very simple. There was a calculated effort to put  people on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Album for certain reasons and they wanted to address their concerns in the music.

List of images on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Beatles‘ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has a widely-recognized album cover which depicts several dozen celebrities and other images.

This album cover was created by Jann Haworth and Peter Blake. They won the Grammy Award for Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts in 1967 for their work on this cover.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.jpg

People on the cover[edit]

Top row[edit]

Second row[edit]

Third row[edit]

Front row[edit]

Props on the cover[edit]

People excluded from the cover[edit]

  • Leo Gorcey – was modelled and originally included to the left of Huntz Hall, but was subsequently removed when a fee of $400 was requested for the use of the actor’s likeness.[3][4]
  • Mohandas Gandhi – was modelled and originally included to the right of Lewis Carroll, but was subsequently removed.[3][4] According to McCartney, “Gandhi also had to go because the head of EMI, Sir Joe Lockwood, said that in India they wouldn’t allow the record to be printed”.[1]
  • Jesus Christ – was requested by Lennon,[1] but not modelled because the LP would be released only a few months after Lennon‘s Jesus statement.[5]
  • Adolf Hitler – was modelled and was visible in early photographs of the montage, positioned to the right of Larry Bell, but was eventually removed.[6][7]
  • Germán Valdés “Tin Tan”, Mexican comedian, was originally intended to appear on the cover, but at the last moment he declined and instead he gave the Metepec tree of life seen in the picture after Ringo Starr accepted the offer.[8][9]

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:


Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” , episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted,Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not that of a cautious academic who labors for exhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? There is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.


The Beatles are featured in this episode below and Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world.”

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

The best album ever?

Great Album

The Beatles- A Day in the Life

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles

Getting Better- The Beatles

Uploaded on Jan 18, 2009

Getting Better
The Beatles
Sgt Peppers

It’s getting better all the time
I used to get mad at my school
The teachers who taught me weren’t cool
You’re holding me down, turning me round
Filling me up with your rules.
I’ve got to admit it’s getting better
A little better all the time
I have to admit it’s getting better
It’s getting better since you’ve been mine.
Me used to be a angry young man
Me hiding me head in the sand
You gave me the word
I finally heard
I’m doing the best that I can.
I’ve got to admit it’s getting better
I used to be cruel to my woman
I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved
Man I was mean but I’m changing my scene
And I’m doing the best that I can.
I admit it’s getting better
A little better all the time
Yes I admit it’s getting better
It’s getting better since you’ve been mine

the making of sgt. pepper’s lonely hearts club band

Published on Apr 29, 2013

compiled video of The making of sgt. peppers lonely hearts club band from maccalennon.

September 19, 2011

By Elvis Costello

I first heard of the Beatles when I was nine years old. I spent most of my holidays on Merseyside then, and a local girl gave me a bad publicity shot of them with their names scrawled on the back.

This was 1962 or ’63, before they came to America. The photo was badly lit, and they didn’t quite have their look down; Ringo had his hair slightly swept back, as if he wasn’t quite sold on the Beatles haircut yet.

I didn’t care about that; they were the band for me. The funny thing is that parents and all their friends from Liverpool were also curious and proud about this local group. Prior to that, the people in show business from the north of England had all been comedians. The Beatles even recorded for Parlophone, which was a comedy label, as if they believed they might be a passing novelty act.

I was exactly the right age to be hit by them full-on. My experience — seizing on every picture, saving money for singles and EPs, catching them on a local news show — was repeated over and over again around the world. It wasn’t the first time anything like this had happened, but the Beatles achieved a level of fame and recognition known previously only to Charlie Chaplin, Brigitte Bardot and Elvis Presley, along with a little of the airless exclusivity of astronauts, former presidents and other heavyweight champions.

Every record was a shock. Compared to rabid R&B evangelists like the Rolling Stones, the Beatles arrived sounding like nothing else. They had already absorbed Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers and Chuck Berry, but they were also writing their own songs. They made writing your own material expected, rather than exceptional.

And John Lennon and Paul McCartney were exceptional songwriters; McCartney was, and is, a truly virtuoso musician; George Harrison wasn’t the kind of guitar player who tore off wild, unpredictable solos, but you can sing the melodies of nearly all of his breaks. Most important, they always fit right into the arrangement. Ringo Starr played the drums with an incredibly unique feel that nobody can really copy, although many fine drummers have tried and failed. Most of all, John and Paul were fantastic singers.

Lennon, McCartney and Harrison had stunningly high standards as writers. Imagine releasing a song like “Ask Me Why” or “Things We Said Today” as a B side. They made such fantastic records as “Paperback Writer” b/w “Rain” or “Penny Lane” b/w “Strawberry Fields Forever” and only put them out as singles. These records were events, and not just advance notice of an album. Then they started to really grow up: simple love lyrics to adult stories like “Norwegian Wood,” which spoke of the sour side of love, and on to bigger ideas than you would expect to find in catchy pop lyrics.

They were the first group to mess with the aural perspective of their recordings and have it be more than just a gimmick. Engineers like Geoff Emerick invented techniques that we now take for granted, in response to the group’s imagination. Before the Beatles, you had guys in lab coats doing recording experiments, but you didn’t have rockers deliberately putting things out of balance, like a quiet vocal in front of a loud track on “Strawberry Fields Forever.” You can’t exaggerate the license that this gave to everyone from Motown to Jimi Hendrix.

My absolute favorite albums are Rubber Soul and Revolver. On both records you can hear references to other music — R&B, Dylan, psychedelia — but it’s not done in a way that is obvious or dates the records. When you picked up Revolver, you knew it was something different. Heck, they are wearing sunglasses indoors in the picture on the back of the cover and not even looking at the camera . . . and the music was so strange and yet so vivid. If I had to pick a favorite song from those albums, it would be “And Your Bird Can Sing” . . . no, “Girl” . . . no, “For No One” . . . and so on, and so on. . . .

Their breakup album, Let It Be, contains songs both gorgeous and jagged. I suppose ambition and human frailty creeps into every group, but they delivered some incredible performances. I remember going to Leicester Square and seeing the film of Let It Be in 1970. I left with a melancholy feeling.

Someone recently gave me an assembly of newsreel footage, which illustrates how swiftly the band was drained of the bright and joyful wit presented as a public face.

In one early sequence, McCartney tells reporters that they will soon appear on The Ed Sullivan Show and then points into the camera: “There he is, hi, Ed, and Mrs. Ed” — “and Mr. Ed,” chimes Ringo. It might have been practiced, but it plays entirely off-the-cuff.

Just a year later, they are seen at a press conference in Los Angeles for their final tour. Suits and ties are a thing of the past. Staring down a series of dismal attempts at provocation from the press corps, they look exhausted and disenchanted.

When probed by one blowhard to respond to a Time magazine critique that “Day Tripper” was about a prostitute and “Norwegian Wood” about a lesbian, McCartney responds, “We were just trying to write songs about prostitutes and lesbians.” In the laughter that follows, he mutters, “Cut.” They were giving the impression that the game was up, but in truth, they were just getting started.

The word “Beatlesque” has been in the dictionary for quite a while now. You hear them in Harry Nilsson’s melodies; in Prince’s Around the World in a Day; in the hits of ELO and Crowded House and in Ron Sexsmith’s ballads. You can hear that Kurt Cobain listened to the Beatles and mixed their ideas with punk and metal. They can be heard in all sorts of one-off wonders from the Knickerbockers’ “Lies” and the Flamin’ Groovies’ “Shake Some Action.” The scope and license of the White Album has permitted everyone from OutKast to Radiohead to Green Day to Joanna Newsom to roll their picture out on a broader, bolder canvas.

Now, I’ll admit that I’ve stolen my share of Beatles licks, but around the turn of the Nineties, I got to co-write 12 songs with Paul McCartney and even dared to propose that he too reference some of the Beatles’ harmonic signatures — as, astonishingly, he had made up another musical vocabulary for Wings and during his solo career.

In 1999, a little time after Linda McCartney’s passing, Paul performed at the Concert for Linda, organized by Chrissie Hynde. During the rehearsal, I was singing harmony on a Ricky Nelson song with him, and Paul called out the next tune: “All My Loving.”

I said, “Do you want me to take the harmony line the second time round?” And he said, “Yeah, give it a try.” I’d only had 35 years to learn the part. There was inevitably a poignant feeling to this song, written long before he had even met Linda:

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you
Tomorrow I’ll miss you
Remember I’ll always be true.

At the show, it was very different. The second Paul sang the opening lines, the crowd’s reaction was so intense that it all but drowned the song out. It was very thrilling, but also disconcerting.

Perhaps I understood in that moment one of the reasons why the Beatles had to stop performing. The songs weren’t theirs anymore. They belonged to everybody.

This is an updated version of an essay that appeared in RS 946.

The Ballad of John and Yoko – The Beatles

Uploaded on May 29, 2009

The Ballad of John and Yoko est une chanson des Beatles, composée par John Lennon, publiée en single le 30 mai 1969 avec Old Brown Shoe de George Harrison en face B. Elle fut enregistrée par John Lennon et Paul McCartney seuls et en un temps record, le 14 avril 1969. Rapidement propulsée en tête des charts britanniques, elle y succéda à Get Back.

Standing in the dock at Southampton,
Trying to get to Holland or France.
The man in the mac said, “You’ve got to turn back”.
You know they didn’t even give us a chance.

[Refrain] :
Christ you know it ain’t easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They’re going to crucify me.

Finally made the plane into Paris,
Honey mooning down by the Seine.
Peter Brown called to say,
“You can make it O.K.,
You can get married in Gibraltar, near Spain”.


Drove from Paris to the Amsterdam Hilton,
Talking in our beds for a week.
The newspapers said, “Say what you doing in bed?”
I said, “We’re only trying to get us some peace”.


Saving up your money for a rainy day,
Giving all your clothes to charity.
Last night the wife said,
“Oh boy, when you’re dead
You don’t take nothing with you
But your soul – think!”

Made a lightning trip to Vienna,
eating chocolate cake in a bag.
The newspapers said, “She’s gone to his head,
They look just like two gurus in drag”.


Caught an early plane back to London.
Fifty acorns tied in a sack.
The men from the press said, “We wish you success,
It’s good to have the both of you back”.


The way things are going
They’re going to crucify me.


‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
John Rodgers/Redferns

Main Writer: Lennon
Recorded: April 14, 1969
Released: June 4, 1969
9 weeks; No. 8

On March 16th, 1969, Lennon and Yoko Ono flew to Paris to get married, the first stop on a two-week odyssey that included visits to Gibraltar (where they had the ceremony), Amsterdam (where they held the first “Bed-In” for peace) and Vienna (where they gave a press conference from inside a white bag as a peace protest). Hostile reporters accused the couple of co-opting the peace movement as a publicity stunt. “The press came expecting to see us fucking in bed,” Lennon told Rolling Stone. “We were just sitting in our pajamas saying, ‘Peace, brother.'” The trip became the heart of “The Ballad of John and Yoko.” “We were having a very hard time,” said Ono, “but he made [the song] into a comedy rather than a tragedy.”

Lennon was in a hurry to release it, so he and McCartney overdubbed all of the instruments on April 14th. (Starr and Harrison were away.) “Paul knew that people were being nasty to John, and he just wanted to make it well for him,” said Ono. “Paul has a very brotherly side to him.”

Appears On: Past Masters

Lennon’s Music: A Range of Genius
Photos: John Lennon and Yoko Ono in New York, The Last Years
Special Tribute: John Lennon’s Last Days


‘Things We Said Today’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
SSPL/Getty Images

Main Writer: McCartney
Recorded: June 2, 1964
Released: July 20, 1964
Not released as a single

In May 1964, McCartney and Jane Asher went yachting in the Virgin Islands along with Starr and his girlfriend, Maureen Cox. One day, McCartney wandered away from the rest of the group and wrote “Things We Said Today” about his relationship with the 18-year-old Asher, whom he had been seeing for a year.

“It was a slightly nostalgic thing already, a future nostalgia,” he said of the song, an uptempo track whose moody, minor-key melody sets it apart from other McCartney love songs of the era. “We’ll remember the things we said today sometime in the future, so the song projects itself into the future and then is nostalgic about the moment we’re living in now, which is quite a good trick.”

Though McCartney promises his love that “we’ll go on and on,” it wasn’t to be: McCartney and Asher were engaged in 1967 but broke up the next year. “We see each other, and we love each other, but it hasn’t worked out,” she told the London Evening Standard in October 1968. “Perhaps we’ll be childhood sweethearts and meet and get married when we’re about 70.”

Appears On: A Hard Day’s Night

The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: ‘A Hard Day’s Night’
Photos: Invasion of the Beatles
Paul McCartney on ‘Beatles 1,’ Losing Linda and Being in New York on September 11th


‘Don’t Let Me Down’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
Tom Hanley/Redferns

Main Writer: Lennon
Recorded: January 22, 28 and 30, 1969
Released: May 5, 1969
4 weeks; No. 35 (B side)

When the “Get Back”/”Don’t Let Me Down” single came out in May 1969, it was advertised as “The Beatles as nature intended . . . the first Beatles record which is as live as can be, in this electronic age. There’s no electronic whatchamacallit.” Both sides of the single were recorded live at Apple Studios, with the Beatles joined only by keyboardist Billy Preston, who was taking a break from Ray Charles’ band.

In 1980, Lennon summed up the inspiration for the song tersely: “That’s me, singing about Yoko.” McCartney later went into more detail: “It was a very tense period. John was with Yoko and had escalated to heroin and all the accompanying paranoias, and he was putting himself out on a limb. I think that as much as it excited and amused him, at the same time it secretly terrified him. So ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ was a genuine plea.”

Summoning the emotional intensity to sing it was also difficult for Lennon, who asked Starr to provide a cymbal crash just before his vocals to “give me the courage to come screaming in.”

Appears On: Past Masters

Ringo Starr, Confident and Sober: Rolling Stone’s 1992 Feature Story
Video: John and Yoko Scene from Beatles Documentary
Paul McCartney and Billy Joel Rock Out at Yankee Stadium


‘No Reply’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Main Writer: Lennon
Recorded: September 30, 1964
Released: December 15, 1964
not released as a single

The second Beatles album of 1964, Beatles for Sale, was a rush job, recorded in seven days scattered between August and October 1964, when the Beatles were also busy touring North America and the U.K. Amid the whirlwind of Beatlemania, somehow Lennon found time to push his songwriting forward. “No Reply” was at first written for Tommy Quickly, who was also managed by Brian Epstein; a demo was made in June 1964. Luckily, the Beatles kept the song for themselves and recorded it the same day they finished “Every Little Thing.”

The germ of “No Reply” was a 1957 doo-wop song, “Silhouettes,” by the Rays, in which the singer sees a couple shadowed at a window and mistakenly thinks his girl is cheating on him. In “No Reply,” the girl is cheating. “I had that image of walking down the street and seeing her silhouetted in the window and not answering the phone,” Lennon said. “Although I never called a girl in my life — phones weren’t part of an English child’s life.”

Appears On: Beatles for Sale


‘All My Loving’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
Max Scheler/ K&K/Redferns

Main Writer: McCartney
Recorded: July 30, 1963
Released: January 20, 1964
not released as a single

“It was the first song I’d ever written the words first,” said McCartney of “All My Loving,” one of the Beatles’ most irresistible early rockers. He sketched out the lyrics one day on the bus while the band was touring with Roy Orbison. When they reached the venue, he didn’t have his guitar, so he found a piano backstage and set the words to music. “I had in my mind a little country & western song,” McCartney later said.

The sweet tale of yearning does have a bit of Nashville flair, especially evident in Harrison’s twangy, Carl Perkins-flavored guitar solo. Harrison was such a fan of the man who wrote “Blue Suede Shoes” that on one early Beatles tour, he took the stage name “Carl Harrison.” The band covered more Perkins songs than those of any other writer.

“All My Loving” became a staple of the Beatles’ live set and the first song they performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. “It’s a damn good piece of work,” Lennon once said in admiration of McCartney’s songwriting, “but I play a pretty mean guitar in back.”

Appears On: With the Beatles

The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: ‘With the Beatles’
Paul McCartney Revisits Beatles Classics, Solo Gems at Hollywood Bowl Marathon
Fifty Years Ago Today: The Beatles First Played Liverpool’s Cavern Club


‘Drive My Car’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Writers: McCartney-Lennon
Recorded: October 13, 1965
Released: June 15, 1966
Not released as a single

On his way to a writing session with Lennon in 1965, McCartney came up with a melody he liked — but lyrics that merely recycled the idea of buying a girl a diamond ring from “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Lennon suggested a sexual metaphor — “drive my car” — and the two devised a lyric about a fame-hungry wanna-be. “To me it was L.A. chicks — ‘You can be my chauffeur,'” said McCartney, who supplied the twist ending, when the girl admits she doesn’t have a car.

“Drive My Car” is one of the most overtly R&B-flavored songs in the Beatles’ catalog, thanks mostly to Harrison, who based the taut guitar lines and funky bass part on Otis Redding’s “Respect.”

“Drive My Car” was removed from the U.S. version of Rubber Soul: With the folk-rock craze at its height, Capitol Records tweaked the American album to focus more on acoustic songs. “Drive My Car” would show up six months later on the compilation LP Yesterday and Today, but for a whole generation of Americans, Rubber Soul was missing its most soulful cut.

Appears On: Rubber Soul

The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: ‘Rubber Soul’
Photos: Rare Beatles Pictures
Photos: Rolling Stone Readers Pick the Top 10 Beatles Albums


‘I Feel Fine’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
Ron Case/Getty Images

Main Writer: Lennon
Recorded: October 18, 1964
Released: November 23, 1964
11 weeks; No. 1

“I Feel Fine” opens with a brief, throaty growl from Lennon’s amplifier. The clipped distortion sounds polite next to the noise Pete Townshend and Jimi Hendrix would soon put on record, but the Beatles got there first. “I defy anybody to find a record — unless it’s some old blues record in 1922 — that uses feedback that way,” said Lennon. “I claim it for the Beatles.”

According to George Martin, feedback was a routine nuisance at Beatles sessions. “John always turned the [volume] knob up full,” the producer said. “It became kind of a joke. But he realized that he could do this to advantage.” The feedback on “I Feel Fine” was very much on purpose, existing on the master tapes from the first take.

“I Feel Fine” also showcased the Beatles’ evolving musicianship, with Starr chipping in a calypso-flavored dialogue between cymbal and tom-tom. “Ringo developed from a straight rock drummer into quite a musical thinker,” said Martin. “He was always trying out different ideas.”

Appears On: Past Masters


Featured artist today is Raqib Shaw

The Desublimation Of Modern Art: A Theological Task – Professor Ben Quash



Raqib Shaw

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Raqib Shaw (born 1974) is an Indian-born, London-based artist who shot to fame in the international art world at the age of just 33.[1] He is known for his opulent and intricately detailed paintings of imagined paradises, inlaid with vibrantly coloured jewels and enamel.[2] His paintings and sculptures evoke the work of Old Masters such as Holbein and Bosch,[1] whilst drawing on multifarious sources, from mythology and religion to poetry, literature, art history, textiles and decorative arts from both eastern and western traditions, all infused with the artist’s unique imagination.[3]

Raqib Shaw, 2010


Early life

Raqib Shaw was born in Calcutta on 4th February 1974, but spent his formative years in Kashmir where his family worked as merchants. [4]

In 1989 political unrest began to grow in Kashmir, eventually driving the Shaw family to relocate to New Delhi in 1992. [5] From 1992-1998 Shaw worked for his maternal uncle in the family business, an activity that ranged from interior design, architecture, to selling jewellery, antiques, carpets and fabrics. This opportunity brought him into contact with the many beautiful things that were being made in India. [5]

Family business brought Shaw to London in 1993, where he was able to see the paintings at the National Gallery for the first time. This encounter convinced him to spend the rest of his life in England as a practising artist. [6]

In 1998, Shaw moved to London where he studied for both his BA and MA at Central Saint Martins School of Art.[7] Having already worked as a professional for a number of years, Shaw was a very disciplined student. ‘…I was the first person to arrive in the morning, everyday, as soon as the doors opened, and the last person to leave in the evening.’ [5]

At the end of the 90’s, painting was not a fashionable pursuit at Central Saint Martins, but Shaw ignored his tutors’ and fellow students’ attempts to convert him to conceptual art. Though Shaw initially struggled with painting, his early experiments with a number of materials,[5] namely enamel, household and car paint, bought from a local branch of Leyland, were to set the foundation for his now infamous technique of manipulating pools of industrial paint with a porcupine quill. [8]

Artistic practice

Shaw’s gloriously opulent paintings suggest a fantastical world full of intricate detail, rich colour and jewel-like surfaces, all masking a collection of intensely violent and sexual images. Fused with an eco-system of vibrantly painted flora and fauna, half human/half animal creatures, with screaming mouths and engorged or bleeding eyes are characters in a dizzying scene of erotic hedonism, both explosive and gruesome in its debauchery. [9]

Shaw says these fantastical worlds are laden with satire and irony, and can be read ‘as a commentary on my own experience of living in this society, and of being alive’. [9]

A typical painting consists of many stages. Shaw starts with small drawings on paper, featuring characters, flora and fauna. These are then transferred to acetate, as individual elements. Shaw begins the composition of the painting by projecting these drawings onto the panel, starting from the centre and working outwards. Once the composition has been drawn out in pen, the panel is taken down from the wall and laid flat. Stained-glass liner is then applied, following the contours of the pen, to create tiny cofferdams. Using small plastic tubes with fine nozzles, paint is then poured into these dams and manipulated by a porcupine quill to suggest form. Glitter is added to specific parts providing extra ornamentation. Lastly, crystals are glued to highlight other areas. [10]

Selected works

Garden of Earthly Delights (2002-2006)

The inspiration for Shaw’s first major exhibition was Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights (1480-90). [11] In a fantastical, hedonistic, phantasmagoria, populated by creatures, part aquatic/part animal/part human, [12] Shaw describes an erotic underwater world clenched in perpetual orgasm. [13]

Jane, 2006

Holbein (2007)

In part a response to the Holbein in England exhibition held in 2006-2007 at Tate Britain, Shaw reinterprets some of German artist Hans Holbein the Younger’s (ca.1497-1543) English sitters. [14] Creatures both natural and fantastic in medieval dress, romp amid architectural settings based on Holbein’s designs for jewellery, stained glass, and book illustrations. [15]

Adam (2008)

A bird-headed man is engaged in an erotic battle with a giant blue lobster. With limbs frozen in a spasm of pain or ecstasy, bulbous toads swim in the slime contained in the bird-man’s open beak. The coupling of love and death in Adam, reference the German romantic idea of Liebestod, literally ‘love death’. [16]

Absence Of God (2007-2009)

Inspired by the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Shaw’s anthropomorphic creatures are framed within architectural renderings that are falling to ruin. [14] Winged warriors simultaneously perform acts of bondage, flagellation and ritual disembowelment, while screaming hominid faces explode mid-air and regal monkeys survey, from under parasols, a mutant striving to catch flocks of glittering butterflies with a broken net.[17]

Paradise Lost, 2001-2011

Paradise Lost (2001-2011)

An homage to John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost is a visionary ode to the artist’s own childhood memories and imaginary paradise. Each painting depicts a lone or contemplative character attempting an impossible feat. One waits attentively for moonbeams to drop into an ornate chalice, while another swings from the trees randomly catching the falling blossoms. All these figures appear literally bound to a futile task while the wildlife actively seek and attack their prey. [18]

Narcissus (2011)

A bestial coupling of a swan and a bat-headed human, [19] Narcissus preserves post-Romantic art and literatures representation of the solitary, contemplative artist or poet, whilst referencing the classical myth of Leda seduced by Zeus disguised as a swan. It also alludes to the theme of Prometheus, who was bound to a rock, and had his liver pecked at each day by an eagle, an exemplar of the heroically suffering artist. [20]

Of Beasts and Super-Beasts (2012)

Inspired by the satirical short stories of Saki, from which the exhibition title was borrowed, lascivious and vengeful monkeys, enthusiastically indulge in games of S&M in boudoirs sumptuously furnished in Napoleonic Imperial Paris style. [21] Shaw’s accompanying bestiary, Whimsy Beasties, is a phantasmagoria of strange inventions. The exercise, akin to the Surrealist game of the exquisite corpse, entails splicing together familiar animals to create bizarre hybrids. [22]

After George Stubbs ‘Cheetah and Stag with Two Indians’ (2013)

For Manchester Art Gallery, Shaw re-activates George Stubb’s Cheetah and Stag with Two Indians (1765), as a site of personal fantasy. [9] Preserving the exact dimensions of the original, Shaw’s painting is a faithful mirroring. A leopard-headed man wearing Ludwig of Bavaria’s crown, and wielding Queen Victoria’s sceptre [23] rides the majestic cheetah like a regal huntsman, while cherubic monkeys torment the deer with parasols and nets inlaid with precious stones. [24]

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