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YouTube - The Beatles - Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Paul McCartney Back in the USSR Live
"Maxwell's Silver Hammer"
YouTube - Girl
let it be
YouTube - The Beatles - Can't Buy Me Love
The Beatles - Michelle
Lady Madonna - The Beatles
Eleanor Rigby (1966)
Something by the beatles
Can't Buy Me Love
Mark DiMartino (East Glenville, New York United States)
See all my reviews
First of all, Bob Spitz wrote a complete (as complete as anyone is ever going to obtain) and comprehensive
biography. Despite some of the criticisms of the many pages spent on their early lives in Liverpool
and honing their musicianship in Hamburg, I found them crucial in better understanding their personalities,
motivation and drive to be successful. I found myself not liking them any more or any less just with
a deeper understanding of them as sons, mates, husbands and fathers as well as musical geniuses.
Just as in previous biographies, we read about the artists who influenced their desire to make music: Little Richard, Buddy Holly, and most importantly, Elvis. What was lacking in the book was an examination of the artists later in their career that influenced the Beatles in shaping their music. For example, what did they think of the other British Invasion groups such as the Rolling Stones and especially the Dave Clark Five who ran neck and neck with the Beatles for much of 1965? Were they supportive of the music or see them as being in direct competition?
It's well known that Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys was a direct influence in the recording of Sgt. Peppers but this is never discussed. Sgt. Peppers semi-officially ushered in the 'Summer of Love' in 1967. I wanted to know what they thought of the groups that came out of San Francisco and Southern California as well as English groups such as The Small Faces, the experimental and evolving Yardbirds and powerful Who. They did go to see Jimi Hendrix when he had to come to England in order to make a name for himself. What was that meeting like? And what about Woodstock? Although by this time they wouldn't have performed there or anywhere, did they have an opinion?
The book is highly recomended however, despite my unfullfillment of the above.
UK Chart: 19
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|Mike Love from the Beach Boys was sitting in a hotel lobby when Paul McCartney came down for breakfast. The two of them chatted for awhile, and Love suggested that The Beatles incorporate a little bit of a Beach Boy sound in a song, "Like we did in California Girls." McCartney was impressed with the idea and used some Beach Boys' elements in this song: Instead of "California Girls" is was "Moscow Girls." Plus, the definitive Beach Boy "Oooeeeeoooo" in the background harmonies. (Thanks to Ron Foster. More from Ron at www.oldiesradioonline.com.)|
|The title was inspired by Chuck Berry's "Back In The U.S.A."|
|Things were tense when they were working on this album, and Ringo walked out during recording, briefly quitting the band. Paul McCartney played drums in his place.|
|The Beatles originally wrote this for wafer-thin actress and model Twiggy.|
|The line "Georgia's always on my mind" in a play on the Ray Charles song "Georgia On My Mind." It has a double meaning, since Georgia was part of the U.S.S.R.|
|Elton John performed this when he toured Russia in 1979. Billy Joel also played it when he toured Moscow in 1987. (thanks, Adrian - Wilmington, DE)|
|Paul McCartney used this as the title to an album he released only in Russia in 1989. In 2002, McCartney called his US tour the "Back In The US" tour.|
|This opens with the sound of an airplane flying from left to right across the speakers. Stereo was relatively new, so this was very innovative for the time.|
|People who dig this song also like "A
Day In The Life" "Eleanor
Rigby" and "Let
Get Artistfacts for The Beatles
More songs by The Beatles
More songs with names of countries in the title
More songs written for a girl
|As a note to Alan from Milwaukee, I think Miami Beach
BOAC is a reference to the airport, but don't quote me on that. This song is so cool!
- Meredith, Wauwatosa, WI
|Well, it obviously was a reference to the song "Georgia
on my Mind" (made famous by Ray Charles). Maybe you knew that already, but I just thought it was
- N.I., Baltimore, MD
|"Georgia's on my mind"-Hah, you'd think this meant the
state Georgia, but I like it how they meant the Georgia that was part of the USSR. (Which is now
its own independent country)
- Peter Griffin, Quahog, RI
|I know Micheal! Its gross. But I would keep that bag even
if i really really hate throw up. Cos you know Its Pauls!
- Bianca Sanchez, Alburquerque, NM
|Katie from Tallahassee, he definitely says the paper BAG
was on his knee, because he had a dreadful flight. It's in the booklet.
- Lissa, Houston, TX
|He isn't saying 'a paper bag was on my knee', he's saying
'a paper back was on my knee'.
- Katie, Tallahassee, FL
|Bianca Sanchez, you're absolutely right about that line.
Disgusting, isn't it?
- Michael, Oxford, -
|Listen to this song and then immediately listen to Dear
Prudence. The airplane in the end carries over to Dear Prudence.
- luke, Camp Hill, PA
|I wanna know what "Oh, the way the paper bag was on my
knee." means. I Think it means he was throwing up all the way cos after he says "Man I had dreadful
flight" -Bianca, Alburquerque, NM
- Bianca Sanchez, Alburquerque, NM
|I LIKE THIS SONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Bianca Sanchez, Alburquerque, NM
|Hellllooooooooooo? Any one gonna answer my question?
- Bianca Sanchez, Alburquerque, NM
|Dear all, Just a few remarks from the Ukraine-2007 (former
U.S.S.R). 1. My name is Mikhail Yurlov, 50. Writing from the city of Sevastopol (way down South).
2. There are so many political-factological-musical - and so on... delusions in the comments around
"Back in the U.S.S.R" song, that a Russian (former Soviet) cannot but step into discussions. 3.
Think it should really surprise: is it 2007 or still 1968 (when this song was composed). Anyway
I can completely back Mr Dirk from Nashville, TN, who underlines that "after three decades it
(this song)still kicks". 4. And the latter is really a reply to all those who name this song as
"ordinary". It might be not the best Beatles song, but the fact that there are so many comments
proves that this song makes us all ponder over. 5. Now, let us go position by position. A. Politics.
Very interesting to come across "Czechoslovakia events, Soviet Federated Socialist Republic of
Georgia (the latter never existed - it was Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic), Stalin and Khruschev
policies, I'm backin Britain" (not U.K. -!) campaign and many more of this type. Personally, I
do not think that Paul or John could even go so deep into politics - there are no any proving
indications of them being involved into politics, except for John's "We are now bigger than Jesus
Christ" (1966, John was only 26). Later in "The Revolution" (1968, students movement in France,
etc) John was singing - "But when you talk about destruction, Don't you know that you can count
me out... But when you want money for people with minds that hate All I can tell is brother you
have to wait... you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao... You better free you mind instead"
- so, no real participation in all that sort of action... It was only after The Betles split,
that John sang about "The Working class hero is something to be..." and Paul reminding "Give Ireland
back to the Irish". So, finally, "Back in the USSR" could hardly be a campaigning song to promote
the USSR, or any deep political hints... rather the Beatles used a catching word-combination (The
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which they NEVER visited) to promote THEIR OWN new
album, and this was quite a normal thing to sustain at the musical market of that time. But
yes, of course, there are some intricate things: remember when Paul stumbles, singing Back in
U.S., Back in U.S.,, Back in U.S.S.R.? Is that not a specific hint? Or as Mr Blake, Kennesaw,
GA, USA pin points: "satirical, poking fun at Western culture/greed, whatever, while emphasizing
the plight of citizens under communism (You don't know how lucky you are, boys.)". Very symbolic
observation of Mr Blake. We can add - as very many things with the Beatles and all the British
humour: ambiguity (like backing Britain - backin' USSR, who knows? By the way why "in", and not
"to"?!). B. Facts. - In the beginning I would definitely omit all that stuff concerning unprintable
words ostensibly used by Paul. Just bs. The Beatles were brilliant enough in expressing themselves
to the world without this kind of lexics. - I do not know whether any of The Beatles songs were
banned in the US, but to be exact - The Beatles were NOT banned officially in the USSR. Still,
one could not find their
music at the shops, only for a few exclusions, like "Girl" (with the indication, that it was
a folklore song!!), or a poor edition of "Can't buy me love" or "Lady Madonna"(the songs that
critisize capitalism). In the late 60s - early 70s there was also a very popular political
TV programme "America in the object-glass", shown at the prime-time on the First Governmental
TV channel. And the opener for the programme was "Can't buy me love" with the most important "Much
for money". (In fact, absolutely correct.). Anyway, The Beatles LPs were not "for sale" officially,
but all those who wanted to get their music - did it. Of course not at the extent the fans would
love to. - One more important fact. I do not know how Paul came to know about all these things
(maybe from Linda, whos distant origin was from Russia), but he was absolutely correct stating
that the Ukrainian girls leave the West behind, and how specific are Moscow babes... I wonder
why he is mentioning Georgian ones - nothing to be compared to the Ukrainian ones... And what
is final: we all can discuss a lot what Paul and his friends thought when composing this song,
but the only truth could come from Paul (Sir Paul McCartney). If he would wish to do so.
- M.Yurlov, Sevastopol, Other
|P.S. I would like to ask your WEB-master why there is
no Russia, Ukraine or at least the USSR (CIS) in the list? If you mark Russia as "other", then
there is not much to say
- M.Yurlov, Sevastopol, Other
|What the heck is a "Miami BOAC"? Something to do with
- Alan, Milwaukee, WI
|The campaign was not "I'm backing the UK", it was "I'm
backing Britain" and there was a Labour (socialist) government at the time, not a Conservative
one. And I've got a feeling that this song was written by the beatles
- John, Grantham, England
|"the Ukraine girls really knock me out, they leave the
West behind" - I am from Ukraine, I fully agree with John Lennon ;))
- Dmytro, Kharkiv, Other - Europe
|I think it's a great song. At first I thought it was the
Beach Boys but then not.
- krissy, Boston, MA
|I had a social studies teacher this past year who loved
the Beatles and Europe. He played this song alot. When I hear this song on my Ipod, I always think
of it as a tribute to my favorite teacher.
- Michelle Harris, Littleton, CO
|Hah.. thats funny I always thought this sounded like a
beach boys song. Anyways, great tune.
- Poop, Poopville, MO
|GREAT SONG I LOVE IT! When they sing about the girls,
it confused me at first. I was listening 2 it on my mp3, and I thought it skipped to a Beach Boy
song! LOL LOL
- Krista, Elyria, OH
|Anyone who interprets this song as pro-Soviet isn't thinking
straight. The Beatles were no friend of the USSR--their music was banned there! The main underlying
point of this song is the absurdity of advertising the USSR using rock 'n' roll, a genre that
would never have been permitted to develop under such a repressive government.
- N.I., Baltimore, MD
|Not one of my favorite songs on a very ordinary album.
History will make it better than it really is.
- Paul, Adelaide, Australia
|One of the basic problems with the drum track on U.S.S.R
was "mannerism". The band sorely missed Ringo's 'feel and soul' for a song, even Paul admits this
in Anthology. All three had to patch together a composite drum track in order to make it 'listenable'.
- Jade, Sacramento, CA
|Maybe you guys should hear this the beatles have never
been to the Ussr so the play on words is the only option for the title
- Ben, Hamilton, Canada
|Hey Austin, CBGB stands for Country, Blue Grass and Blues.
When we walked in to set up, It was so messy looking, I thought the real club was in the back.
It's long and narrow. I remember them having movie theater seats up 2 steps on the left but, of
course that was back in the late 70's. Many great bands got their start there.
- teri, chicago, IL
|This was a big inspiration for David Bowie's "Suffragette
- Chuck, Joppa, MD, MD
|paul doesn't drop the f-bomb at the end of this song.
taking the DE MFSL vinyl bootlegs and doing some clever tricks using FFT and phase reduction...i
removed all the stereo content, leaving the middle..similar to the "remove vocals" effect on many
mp3 players...only reverse. now, yes, it sounds like paul drops the f-bomb at the end..only because
of the way things were mixed. the end of the song is pretty phase-busy (lots of stuff going on
left/right) it drowns out his voice..so..what does he say? "ohhh let me tell you honey. hey i'm
back! back in the ussr. hey it's so good to be here...........back in the ussr" listen to the
original all you want..it'll either fit in or not make sense..but i've got the clip.
- Jay, Manassas, VA
|Paul McCartney wrote this song because he hated the "American
Dream" sugary lyrics used in California Girls
- Philip, Widnes, England
|This was orginally written as "I'm Backing The U.S.S.R.",
Paul's parody of the British PR campaign "I'm Backing the U.K.". But when it became time to record
the song, the orginial campaign had evaporated and Paul was afraid no one would remember it. John
suggested that Paul re-write this as a send-up of Chuck Berry's "Back In The USA", and Paul threw
in the Beach Boys' "California Girls" bit as a freindly shout-out to them (he was quite friendly
with the Wilson brothers and Mike Love).
- Ken, Louisville, KY
|"Stereo" was NOT "relatively new" when this song was put
together, in 1968; there were many innovative things done with stereo in the midfifties, for example.
In fact, the technology, itself, was developed, I would assume, long before that (in the 40's
or earlier?). But, this is not to take away from the overall great quality of the song or even
the excellence of the use of stereo in it - it just wasn't that new, that's all. - Pete Pearlman
- Pete, Sherman Oaks, CA
|I think they may be mentioning Georgia as the Georgian
Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (or GSFSR for short) because that's where Stalin came from.
While Khrushchev did try and reverse much of the Stalinization of the USSR during his time, he
was removed from office in 1964 and replaced with Brehznev, a much more ardent supporter of Stalin's
policies. At a time when the USSR was becoming much more outwardly hostile, images of Stalin may
have been in the public psyche (either by association or placement), hence the reference.
- Peter, Calgary, Canada
|cbgb is a bar in NY (i think) where alot of new wave bands
got their start like the talking heads. he is saying u like c/rap music
- Adrian, Kingston, Canada
|A great song by a great band. I believe it as stated elsewhere
that it had a Beachboy influence. Good old Rock and Roll. If the Beatles where trying to do their
best Beachboys imitation..they suceeded. Great song!I play it regularly.
- greg, Victoria, Canada
|Tom, what the hell is CBGB?
- Austin, Boston, MA
|Never mind on my last comment I found it.
- Austin, Boston, MA
|Austin in Boston, define "much better." If "much better"
means barely discernible vocals, guitar solos that make no sense, and overall mediocrity, you're
right, it is "way" better than the original. Go back to CBGB.
- Tom, North Attleboro, MA
|The Dead Kennedy's cover of this song is much better than
- Austin, Boston, MA
|To Hank in NJ... The beatles weren't mocking the beach
boys... in fact Mike Love suggested it...
- Ryan, BFE, MI
|In the end of the song Paul says "Ohhhhh yeah I tell you
honey, I'm back F**k the, S.S.R!"
- Or, Holon, Israel
|that would be funny if all along it was about sex even
though everyone thought it was about the cold war.
- Jeanette, Irvine, CA
|Phish does a cover the White Album on Halloween night.
The album is sick definently look for it
- Jon, Pittsburgh, PA
|The Beatles had a song called "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."
John Fred & His Playboy Band did a lyrical parody with "Judy in Disguise with Glasses." That song
was a double parody b/c musically it was a bubble gum song but the Playboys were not a bubble
gum band. McCartney liked the idea of a double parody: lyrically Back in the USSR mocks communism,
musically it mocks the Beach Boys and surf rock.
- Hank, Hillsborough, NJ
|As the song is ending, you can hear Paul go: "...Back
in the U.S.S.R. Oh let me tell you honey, hey I'm back, f**k yeah (or) that!" I've asked a couple
of people and they agree with me. I'm probably wrong, but it's amusing.
- Lisa, SF Valley, CA
|This ones not he best song in the world, but its OK, not
- Ben, Cheverly, MD
|You guys are missing the most salient point about this
song (other than the fact that after three decades it still kicks). The Beatles were always looking
for an outlet for thumbing their noses at B.S. At the time this song was recorded, there was a
major political campaign in England (sort of like the USA in 2000, only uglier). The British conservatives
had a huge re-take-the-government campaign with the slogan "I'm Backing the UK"... Paul twisted
that into "Im Back In (backin') the USSR." Instead of sounding like the conservative capitalists,
he is mischieviously taunting the right-wingers by praising the "snow-peaked mountains" and beauty
of the great wicked empire and its beautiful women. It's the Beatles tweaking the nose of the
political establishment.... (not to mention the fact that a plane flying from Miami Beach to Russia
in 1968 would have shot out of the sky.) End of history lesson. Sorry to drone on like an old
- dirk, Nashville, TN
|At the time, Russian women had a Babushka--Mrs. Kruschev--image
in the US and perhaps the UK. Sort of the polar opposite of the 'California Girl' stereotype.
We were so, so, misinformed.
- Laura, Santa Fe, NM
|This song is about one thing and one thing only. Sex.
Just sex. I am not joking.
- Ash, cary, NC
|John played a six-string bass on this recording. At this
point in the Beatles John and George would occasionally play bass instead of Paul (while Paul
played keyboards) to break the monotony of studio recoding.
- Ken, Louisville, KY
|This is a cool song, one of my favs by the Beatles, "im
back in the USSR, you don't know how lucky you are boy" is this anti- USSR? or promoting it, i
guess it goes both ways. The lyrics are the typical 60's stuff i guess.
- Mistik, Sydney, Australia
|I saw Paul McCartney parform this on a special he did
in Moscow a few years ago, and when he did the line "And Moscow girls make me sing and shout,"
rhere were a bunch of screams from the audience. It was pretty funny.
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
|Blake, you're right.
- Nessie, Sapporo, Japan
|Communism is awesome. CLASS MOT KLASS! "Workingmen of
all countries, unite!" - Marxx & Engels
- Joseph, Manteca, CA
|Oooooh! Promoting communism! What a terrible thing to
do! I sometimes wonder if there are any Americans who realize why the powers that be in their
country were (and probably still are) so afraid of communism?
- Martijn, Helmond, Netherlands
|At first I thought the song was about the devil, because
when he said Georgia, I thought he was talking referring it to "The Devil Went Down To Georgia"
by Charlie Daniels
- Roy, Little Rock, AR
|Strangely enough my dentist (at the UMKC dental college
is from the Ukraine, and yes, she did, literally "knock me out"! Rudy....
- Rudolpho, Waverly, MO
|In approach it's really a cross between 'California Girls'
and 'Help Me Rhonda' (with Mike Love-style bass-note "doh-doh-doh-doh"s -- and so it's ironic
it's the favorite of a lot of Beatle fans!
- Gary, Auckland, New Zealand
|I was under the assumption that this song was sort of
satirical, poking fun at Western culture/greed, whatever, while emphasizing the plight of citizens
under communism (You don't know how lucky you are, boys.)
- blake, Kennesaw, GA, USA
|love this song!russia is great
- melania, moscow, Other - Europe
|Actually Paul never said Ringo wasn't the best drummer
in the beatles. It was John who said it when he was asked in an interview is Ringo the greatest
rock drummer in the world. In which he replied, "He's not even the best drummer in the Beatles."
- JASON, MESA, AZ
|I would really like to go to Russia one of these days.
- Scott Baldwin, Edmonton, Canada
|Whenever I see a Moscow girl, I sing and shout. Whenever
I see a Ukranian girl I pass out. This can make tourism in Russia rather conspicuous.
- Don, Philadelphia, PA
|Nice Monty Python allusion with "wafer thin"!!
- Michael, GSO, NC
|The Beatles never were in the USSR, but their plane flew
over it during one of their tours. McCartney didn't write about "all the girls he met in the USSR".
Just the country was talked about so much, and the band wanted to do a rebellious song. -Jamieree,Edmond,OK
|Because this was recorded when Ringo had walked out of
the sessions for a while, Paul played drums on it. When he heard himself on the recording he bragged:
"Ringo can't be the best drummer in the world, he's not even the best drummer in the Beatles!"
A real rock classic, topical and cleverly satirical. The Beatles' humour and subtle wit is often
underrated. During the "Get Back" sessions when George walked out for a while, the rest of the
band started to play the Who's 20 minute classic, "A Quick One While He's Away," which can be
found on certain bootlegs.
- Mike, London, England
|LOVE THIS SONG!!! This is one of paul's most famous songs,
and rightfully so. The song is a wonderful parody of the beach boys that incorperates a little
beatles texture. The song is amazing and if you don't already have the white album, it is worth
buting if not just for this song. It also helps this song that is is on the same album as "while
my gitar gently weeps.
|Originally titled 'I'm Backing the UK' as a response to
a pro-British industry ad campaign. Song was recorded as Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia.
- Charles, Charlotte, NC
|The song not only immitated the Beach Boys, it was written
in part by a Beach Boy!! While in India at a retreat with the Maharishi, Paul McCartney was strumming
a few chords while writing the song. Mike Love, one of the Beach Boys, told Paul to write about
all the girls he met in the USSR, just like the Beach Boys would write. Together, the wrote the
"Ukraine Girls Really Knock Me Out.." section as if it was a Beach Boys song.
- Matthew, New York, NY
|This song was banned from many radio stations upon the
release of The White Album. People thought the lyric 'U.S.S.R' promoted communism.
- Tyler, Murfreesboro, TN
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