In the United Kingdom, the song reached No. 4 in the official chart. In the United States, the song reached No. 2 on the pop charts (only held from number one by “My Love” by Paul McCartney and Wings) and No. 1 on the adult contemporary charts for two weeks in the spring of 1973.
Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics after reading an article in either Time or Newsweek about a Vietnam War veteran who had been wounded, and wanted to get away from the attention he was receiving when he came back home. The last verse in the original draft was cut from the final version, which has led to some speculation on the contents.
Cash Box said that the “fascinating lyrics by Bernie Taupin will make you want to listen over and over again.”Record World called it “a natural smash, and one of [John’s and Taupin’s] best pennings in a while.”
THis is a much improved version of the song Arrow of Time, originally from the Horse Latitudes album. Several UAD plugins have been used, including the Studer Tape, Lexicon, and 1176 compressor, breathing new life into this song.
This song was originally recorded at Roger Carmody’s studio in Beverly by members of Private Lightning. It was written by Paul Van Ness. The original recording had been affected by the ravages of time and improper storage. The version here is my cover version which was recreated in April of 2023.
11This example seems to have a high score because it covers such a wide range of possibilites but the answer given below of grep -r –include=*.txt ‘searchterm’ ./ really explains the essence of the answer – David CasperJan 27, 2017 at 1:44
16why not use double quotes instead of backslash? e.g: grep -r -i --include="*.h" --include="*.cpp" CP_Image – pambdaApr 11, 2017 at 5:15
9You should escape the * using \*.cpp or '*.cpp'. Otherwise it won’t give the expected result when the working directory contains some *.txt files. – MelebiusJan 2, 2017 at 7:17
@Melebius can you explain why it needs escaping – does it have anything to do with the CPP or TXT extensions you mentioned? Or did you just use those as examples? – Simon EastApr 28, 2017 at 3:05
2@SimonEast These extensions are those used in this question and answer, nothing special otherwise. It would probably work without escaping when using --include=<pattern> but it is important to escape * with --include <pattern> (a space instead of =) which feels very similar otherwise. – MelebiusApr 28, 2017 at 6:55
@Melebius adding to what you wrote, it does work with --include=<pattern>. It also works with --include<pattern>, so long as there are no files matching the pattern in the current directory. I.e., it’s safest to escape the pattern when you’re not using the = syntax, but you can live dangerously if you assume there are no files matching the pattern in the current directory. – TooToneNov 4, 2021 at 22:02
Finally I have added lyrics and a vocal track to this original song. @kiwichrys has added harmony vocals on this track. Written, performed, recorded and produced by Steve Keith at Baselines Designs Studio.
Any Twilight Zone fans out there? I know there are. If you are up late on New Year’s, then you have probably been watching either this or the Three Stooges! This song was inspired by one of my favorite episodes.
Here’s the video that goes with this song:
This is Gart Williams, age thirty-eight, a man protected by a suit of armor all held together by one bolt. Just a moment ago, someone removed the bolt, and Mr. Williams’ protection fell away from him, and left him a naked target. He’s been cannonaded this afternoon by all the enemies of his life. His insecurity has shelled him, his sensitivity has straddled him with humiliation, his deep-rooted disquiet about his own worth has zeroed in on him, landed on target, and blown him apart. Mr. Gart Williams, ad agency exec, who in just a moment, will move into the Twilight Zone—in a desperate search for survival.
Gart Williams is a contemporary New York City advertising executive who has grown exasperated with his career. His overbearing boss, Oliver Misrell, angered by the loss of a major account, lectures him about giving the “push-push-push” until Gart insults him. Unable to sleep properly at home, he drifts off for a short nap on the train during his daily commute through the November snow.
He wakes to find the train stopped and that he is now in a 19th-century railway car, deserted except for himself. The sun is bright outside, and as he looks out the window, he discovers that the train is in a town called Willoughby. He eventually learns that it is July 1888. He learns that this is a “peaceful, restful place, where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure.” Being jerked awake into the real world, he asks the railroad conductor if he has ever heard of Willoughby, but the conductor replies, “Not on this run…no Willoughby on the line.”
That night, he has an argument with his shrewish wife Jane. Selfish, cold, and uncaring, she makes him see that he is only a money-machine to her. He tells her about his dream and about Willoughby, only to have her ridicule him as being “born too late”, declaring it her “miserable tragic error” to have married a man “whose big dream in life is to be Huckleberry Finn.”
The next week, Williams again dozes off on the train and returns to Willoughby where everything is the same as before. As he is about to get off the train carrying his briefcase, the train begins to roll, returning him to the present. Williams promises himself to get off at Willoughby next time.
Experiencing a breakdown at work, he calls his wife, who abandons him in his time of need. On his way home, once again he falls asleep to find himself in Willoughby. This time, as the conductor warmly beckons him to the door, Williams intentionally leaves his briefcase on the train. Getting off the train, he is greeted by name by various inhabitants who welcome him while he tells them he’s glad to be there and plans to stay and join their idyllic life.
The swinging pendulum of the station clock fades into the swinging lantern of a railroad engineer, standing over Williams’ body. The 1960 conductor explains to the engineer that Williams “shouted something about Willoughby”, before jumping off the train and being killed instantly. Williams’ body is loaded into a hearse. The back door of the hearse closes to reveal the name of the funeral home: Willoughby & Son.
Willoughby? Maybe it’s wishful thinking nestled in a hidden part of a man’s mind, or maybe it’s the last stop in the vast design of things—or perhaps, for a man like Mr. Gart Williams, who climbed on a world that went by too fast, it’s a place around the bend where he could jump off. Willoughby? Whatever it is, it comes with sunlight and serenity, and is a part of The Twilight Zone.
The name “Willoughby” presumably comes from the Midwestern town of Willoughby, Ohio, now a suburb of Cleveland. There are, however, other places with that name in other parts of the United States, including a Willoughby Creek near Great Valley, New York (however, it is located in the southwest part of the state, nowhere near Connecticut or New York City). Another possible inspiration is Willoughby Avenue, a street only a few miles from the Sony Pictures Studios (formerly MGM) where nearly all Twilight Zone episodes were shot.
Williams’ home phone number, CApital 7-9899, includes what was once a legitimate central office name for Westport.
“Beautiful Dreamer“, a song first published in 1864 and still popular in the 1880s and beyond, can be heard being played by a band. “Oh! Susanna“, published in 1848 and among the most popular American songs ever written, is also heard.
In popular culture
Willoughby, Ohio, calls its annual neighborhood festival “Last Stop: Willoughby” in honor of the episode.
One of the last episodes of Thirtysomething clearly pays homage to this episode. It has the same title, and in it Michael experiences a crisis similar to that of Williams, though it does not end tragically.
In the Rugrats episode “Family Reunion,” the Pickles family takes a train to the town of Willoughby, with the conductor saying, “Next stop Willoughby!”
In the TV series Stargate Atlantis episode, “The Real World“, Dr. Elizabeth Weir awakens in the Acute Care Unit of Willoughby State Hospital, a psychiatric hospital. She is told her memories of the last two years off-world was a fantasy and that she had imagined the Stargate project.
Matthew Weiner, creator of the TV series Mad Men, acknowledged the influence of The Twilight Zone on his work, and how Don Draper‘s life had many superficial similarities to the main character of this episode. Weiner said they also paid homage to the episode in The Sopranos, when Tony Soprano leaves behind his life in his briefcase.
“Eleanor Rigby” continued the transformation of the Beatles from a mainly rock and roll– and pop-oriented act to a more experimental, studio-based band. With a double string quartet arrangement by George Martin and lyrics providing a narrative on loneliness, it broke sharply with popular music conventions, both musically and lyrically. The song topped singles charts in Australia, Belgium, Canada and New Zealand.
Background and inspiration
Paul McCartney came up with the melody for “Eleanor Rigby” as he experimented on his piano.Donovan recalled hearing McCartney play an early version of the song on guitar, where the character was named Ola Na Tungee. At this point, the song reflected an Indian musical influence and its lyrics alluded to drug use, with references to “blowing his mind in the dark” and “a pipe full of clay”.
The name of the protagonist that McCartney initially chose was not Eleanor Rigby, but Miss Daisy Hawkins. In 1966, McCartney told Sunday Times journalist Hunter Davies how he got the idea for his song:
The first few bars just came to me. And I got this name in my head – “Daisy Hawkins picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been.” I don’t know why … I couldn’t think of much more so I put it away for a day. Then the name “Father McCartney” came to me – and “all the lonely people”. But I thought people would think it was supposed to be my dad, sitting knitting his socks. Dad’s a happy lad. So I went through the telephone book and I got the name McKenzie.
In an October 2021 article in The New Yorker, McCartney wrote that his inspiration for “Eleanor Rigby” was an old lady who lived alone and whom he got to know very well. He would go shopping for her and sit in her kitchen listening to stories and her crystal radio set. McCartney said, “just hearing her stories enriched my soul and influenced the songs I would later write.”
McCartney wrote the melody and first verse alone, after which he presented the song to the Beatles when they were gathered in the music room of John Lennon‘s home at Kenwood. Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Lennon’s childhood friend Pete Shotton all listened to McCartney play his song through and contributed ideas. Harrison came up with the “Ah, look at all the lonely people” hook. Starr contributed the line “writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear” and suggested making “Father McCartney” darn his socks, which McCartney liked. It was then that Shotton suggested that McCartney change the name of the priest, in case listeners mistook the fictional character for McCartney’s own father.
McCartney could not decide how to end the song, and Shotton suggested that the two lonely people come together too late as Father McKenzie conducts Eleanor Rigby’s funeral. At the time, Lennon rejected the idea out of hand, but McCartney said nothing and used the idea, later acknowledging Shotton’s help. In Lennon’s recollection, the final touches were applied to the lyrics in the recording studio, at which point McCartney sought input from Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans, the Beatles’ longstanding road managers.
“Eleanor Rigby” serves as a rare example of Lennon subsequently claiming a more substantial role in the creation of a McCartney composition than is supported by others’ recollections. In the early 1970s, Lennon told music journalist Alan Smith that he wrote “about 70 per cent” of the lyrics, and in a letter to Melody Maker complaining about Beatles producer George Martin‘s comments in a recent interview, he said that “Around 50 per cent of the lyrics were written by me at the studios and at Paul’s place.” In 1980, he recalled writing almost everything but the first verse. Shotton remembered Lennon’s contribution as being “virtually nil”, while McCartney said that “John helped me on a few words but I’d put it down 80–20 to me, something like that.” According to McCartney, “In My Life” and “Eleanor Rigby” are the only Lennon–McCartney songs where he and Lennon disagreed over their authorship.
In musicologist Walter Everett‘s view, the lyric writing “likely was a group effort”. Historiographer Erin Torkelson Weber says that, from all the available accounts, McCartney was the principal author of the song and only Lennon’s post-1970 recollections contradict this.[nb 2] In the same 1980 interview, Lennon expressed his resentment at the way McCartney had sought their bandmates’ and friends’ creative input, rather than collaborate with Lennon directly. Lennon added, “That’s the kind of insensitivity he would have, which upset me in later years.” In addition to citing this emotional hurt, Weber suggests that the song’s critical acclaim may have motivated Lennon’s assertions, as he sought to portray himself as a greater musical genius than McCartney in the years following the Beatles’ break-up.[nb 3]
The song is a prominent example of mode mixture, specifically between the Aeolian mode, also known as natural minor, and the Dorian mode. Set in E minor, the song is based on the chord progression Em–C, typical of the Aeolian mode and utilising notes ?3, ?6, and ?7 in this scale. The verse melody is written in Dorian mode, a minor scale with the natural sixth degree. “Eleanor Rigby” opens with a C-major vocal harmony (“Aah, look at all …”), before shifting to E-minor (on “lonely people”). The Aeolian C-natural note returns later in the verse on the word “dre-eam” (C–B) as the C chord resolves to the tonic Em, giving an urgency to the melody’s mood.
The Dorian mode appears with the C# note (6 in the Em scale) at the beginning of the phrase “in the church”. The chorus beginning “All the lonely people” involves the viola in a chromatic descent to the 5th; from 7 (D natural on “All the lonely peo-“) to 6 (C? on “-ple”) to ?6 (C on “they) to 5 (B on “from”). According to musicologist Dominic Pedler, this adds an “air of inevitability to the flow of the music (and perhaps to the plight of the characters in the song)”.
London may have been swinging in 1966, but in the midst of the Cold War, Britain was also a place where faith in the old religions was fading, and where many feared annihilation in an atomic Third World War. There is a bleak end-times feel to “Eleanor Rigby” …
The lyrics represent a departure from McCartney’s previous songs, in their avoidance of first- and second-person pronouns and by diverging from the themes of a standard love song. The narrator takes the form of a detached onlooker, akin to a novelist or screenwriter. Beatles biographer Steve Turner says that this new approach reflects the likely influence of Ray Davies of the Kinks, specifically the latter’s singles “A Well Respected Man” and “Dedicated Follower of Fashion“.
Author Howard Sounes compares the song’s narrative to “the isolated broken figures” typical of a Samuel Beckett play, as Rigby dies alone, no mourners attend her funeral, and the priest “seems to have lost his congregation and faith”. In Everett’s view, McCartney’s description of Rigby and McKenzie elevates individuals’ loneliness and wasted lives to a universal level in the manner of Lennon’s autobiographical “Nowhere Man“. Everett adds that McCartney’s imagery is “vivid and yet common enough to elicit enormous compassion for these lost souls”.
“Eleanor Rigby” does not have a standard pop backing. None of the Beatles played instruments on it, although Lennon and Harrison did contribute harmony vocals. Like the earlier song “Yesterday“, “Eleanor Rigby” employs a classical string ensemble – in this case, an octet of studio musicians, comprising four violins, two violas and two cellos, all performing a score composed by George Martin. When writing the string arrangement, Martin drew inspiration from Bernard Herrmann‘s work, particularly the latter’s score for the 1960 film Psycho.[nb 4]
Whereas “Yesterday” is played legato, “Eleanor Rigby” is played mainly in staccato chords with melodic embellishments. McCartney, reluctant to repeat what he had done on “Yesterday”, explicitly expressed that he did not want the strings to sound too cloying. For the most part, the instruments “double up” – that is, they serve as a single string quartet but with two instruments playing each of the four parts. Microphones were placed close to the instruments to produce a more biting and raw sound. Engineer Geoff Emerick was admonished by the string players saying “You’re not supposed to do that.” Fearing such close proximity to their instruments would expose the slightest deficiencies in their technique, the players kept moving their chairs away from the microphones until Martin got on the talk-back system and scolded: “Stop moving the chairs!” Martin recorded two versions, one with vibrato and one without, the latter of which was used. Lennon recalled in 1980 that “Eleanor Rigby” was “Paul’s baby, and I helped with the education of the child … The violin backing was Paul’s idea. Jane Asher had turned him on to Vivaldi, and it was very good.”
The octet was recorded on 28 April 1966, in Studio 2 at EMI Studios. The track was completed in Studio 3 on 29 April and on 6 June. Take 15 was selected as the master. The final overdub, on 6 June, was McCartney’s addition of the “Ah, look at all the lonely people” refrain over the song’s final chorus. This was requested by Martin, who said he came up with the idea of the line working contrapuntally to the chorus melody.
The original stereo mix had the lead vocal alone in the right channel during the verses, with the strings mixed to one channel, while the mono single and mono LP featured a more balanced mix. For the track’s inclusion on Yellow Submarine Songtrack in 1999, a new stereo mix was created that centres McCartney’s voice and spreads the string octet across the stereo image.
On 5 August 1966, “Eleanor Rigby” was simultaneously released on a double A-side single, paired with “Yellow Submarine“, and on the album Revolver. In the LP sequencing, it appeared as the second track, between Harrison’s “Taxman” and Lennon’s “I’m Only Sleeping“. The Beatles thereby broke with their policy of ensuring that album tracks were not issued on their UK singles. According to a report in Melody Maker, the reason for this was to thwart sales of cover recordings of “Eleanor Rigby”. Harrison confirmed that they expected “dozens” of artists to have a hit with the song; however, he also said the track would “probably only appeal to Ray Davies types”. Writing in the 1970s, music critics Roy Carr and Tony Tyler described the motivation behind the single as a “growing dodge in the ever-innovative music industry”, building on UK record companies’ policy of reissuing an album’s most popular tracks, particularly those that had been culled for release as a single in the US, on a spin-off extended play.
The pairing of a ballad devoid of any instrumentation played by a Beatle and a novelty song marked a significant departure from the content of the band’s previous singles.[nb 5] Writing in his 1977 book The Beatles Forever, Nicholas Schaffner recalled that not only did the two sides have little in common with one another, but “‘Yellow Submarine’ was the most flippant and outrageous piece the Beatles would ever produce, [and] ‘Eleanor Rigby’ remains the most relentlessly tragic song the group attempted.” Unusually for their post-1965 singles also, the Beatles did not make a promotional film for either of the songs. Music historian David Simonelli groups “Eleanor Rigby” with “Taxman” and the band’s May 1966 single tracks “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” as examples of the Beatles’ “pointed social commentary” that consolidated their “dominance of London’s social scene”.[nb 6]
In the United States, the record’s release coincided with the group’s final tour and a public furore over the publication of Lennon’s remarks that the Beatles had become “more popular than Jesus Christ“; he also predicted the downfall of Christianity and described Christ’s disciples as “thick and ordinary”. In the US South, particularly, some radio stations refused to play the band’s music and organised public bonfires to burn Beatles records and memorabilia.Capitol Records were therefore wary of the religious references in “Eleanor Rigby” and promoted “Yellow Submarine” as the lead side. During the band’s first tour press conference, on 11 August, one reporter suggested that Father McKenzie’s sermons going unheard referred to the decline of religion in society. McCartney replied that the song was about lonely individuals, one of whom happened to be a priest.[nb 7]
The double A-side topped the Record Retailer chart (subsequently adopted as the UK Singles Chart) for four weeks, becoming their eleventh number-one single on the chart, and Melody Maker‘s chart for three weeks. It was also number 1 in Australia. The single topped charts in many other countries around the world, although “Yellow Submarine” was usually the listed side. In the US, disc jockeys began flipping the single midway through the tour as the radio boycotts were lifted. With each song eligible to chart separately there, “Eleanor Rigby” entered the Billboard Hot 100 in late August and peaked at number 11 for two weeks, and “Yellow Submarine” reached number 2.[nb 8]
[In “Eleanor Rigby”, the Beatles are] asking where all the lonely people come from and where they all belong as if they really want to know. Their capacity for fun has been evident since the beginning; their capacity for pity is something new and is a major reason for calling them artists.
In Melody Maker‘s appraisal of Revolver, the writer described “Eleanor Rigby” as a “charming song” and one of the album’s best tracks. Derek Johnson, reviewing the single for the NME, said it lacked the immediate appeal of “Yellow Submarine” but “possess[ed] lasting value” and was “beautifully handled by Paul, with baroque-type strings”. Although he praised the string arrangement, Peter Jones of Record Mirror found the song “Pleasant enough but rather disjointed”, saying, “it’s commercial, but I like more meat from the Beatles.” Ray Davies offered an unfavourable view when invited to give a song-by-song rundown of Revolver in Disc and Music Echo. He dismissed “Eleanor Rigby” as a song designed “to please music teachers in primary schools”, adding: “I can imagine John saying, ‘I’m going to write this for my old schoolmistress.’ Still it’s very commercial.”
Reporting from London for The Village Voice, Richard Goldstein stated that Revolver was ubiquitous around the city, as if Londoners were uniting behind the Beatles in response to the antagonism shown towards the band in the US. He wrote: “As a commentary on the state of modern religion, this song will hardly be appreciated by those who see John Lennon as an anti-Christ. But ‘Eleanor Rigby’ is really about the unloved and un-cared-for.” Commenting on the lyrics, Edward Greenfield of The Guardian wrote, “There you have a quality rare in pop music, compassion, born of an artist’s ability to project himself into other situations.” He found this “Specific understanding of emotion” evident also in McCartney’s new love songs and described him as “the Beatle with the strongest musical staying power”. While bemoaning that Americans’ attention was overly focused on the band’s image and non-musical activities, KRLA Beat‘s album reviewer predicted that “Eleanor Rigby” would “become a contemporary classic”, adding that, aside from the quality of the string arrangement, “the haunting melody is one of the most beautiful to be found in our current pop music” and the lyrics “[are] both accurate and unforgettable”.Cash Box found the single’s pairing “unique” and described “Eleanor Rigby” as “a powerfully arranged, haunting story of sorrow and frustration”.
Appearance in Yellow Submarine film and subsequent releases
“Eleanor Rigby” appears in the Beatles’ 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine as the band’s submarine drifts over the desolate streets of Liverpool. Its poignancy ties in quite well with Starr (the first member of the group to encounter the submarine), who is represented as quietly bored and depressed. Starr’s character states: “Compared with my life, Eleanor Rigby’s was a gay, mad world.”Media theorist Stephanie Fremaux groups the song with “Only a Northern Song” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” as a scene that most clearly conveys the Beatles’ “aims as musicians”. In her description, the segment depicts “moments of color and hope in a land of conformity and loneliness”. With special effects directed by Charlie Jenkins, the animation incorporates photographs of silhouetted people; bankers with bowler hats and umbrellas are seen on rooftops, overlooking the streets.[nb 10]
The track also appears on several of the band’s greatest-hits compilations, including A Collection of Beatles Oldies, The Beatles 1962–1966 and 1. In 1986, “Yellow Submarine” / “Eleanor Rigby” was reissued in the UK as part of EMI’s twentieth anniversary of each of the Beatles’ singles and peaked at number 63 on the UK Singles Chart. The 2015 edition of 1 and the expanded 1+ box set includes a video clip for the song, taken from the Yellow Submarine film.
In 1996, a stereo remix of Martin’s isolated string arrangement was released on the Beatles’ Anthology 2 outtakes compilation. For the song’s inclusion on the Love album in 2006, a new mix was created that adds a strings-only portion at the start of the track and closes with a transition featuring part of Lennon’s acoustic guitar from the 1968 song “Julia“.
The real-life Eleanor Rigby
The gravestone of Eleanor Rigby (1895–1939) in St Peter’s Parish Church, Woolton
McCartney’s recollection of how he chose the name of his protagonist came under scrutiny in the 1980s, after a headstone engraved with the name “Eleanor Rigby” was discovered in the graveyard of St Peter’s Parish Church in Woolton, in Liverpool. Part of a well-known local family, Rigby had died in 1939 at the age of 44. Close by was a headstone bearing the name McKenzie. St Peter’s was where Lennon attended Sunday school as a boy, and he and McCartney first met at the church fete there in July 1957. McCartney has said that while he often walked through the churchyard, he had no recollection of ever seeing Rigby’s grave. He attributed the coincidence to a product of his subconscious. McCartney has also dismissed claims by people who, because of their name and a tenuous association with the Beatles, believed they were the real Father McKenzie.
In 1990, McCartney responded to a request from Sunbeams Music Trust by donating a historical document that listed the wages paid by Liverpool City Hospital; among the employees listed was Eleanor Rigby, who worked as a scullery maid at the hospital. Dating from 1911 and signed by the 16-year-old Rigby, the document attracted interest from collectors because of what it seemingly revealed about the inspiration behind the Beatles song. It sold at auction in November 2008 for £115,000. McCartney stated at the time: “Eleanor Rigby is a totally fictitious character that I made up … If someone wants to spend money buying a document to prove a fictitious character exists, that’s fine with me.”
Rigby’s grave in Woolton became a landmark for Beatles fans visiting Liverpool. A digitised image of the headstone was added to the 1995 music video for the Beatles’ reunion song “Free as a Bird“. Continued interest in a possible connection between the real-life Eleanor Rigby and the 1966 song led to the deeds for the grave being put up for auction in 2017, along with a Bible that once belonged to Rigby and a handwritten score for the track (subsequently withdrawn) and other items of Beatles memorabilia.
Sociocultural impact and literary appreciation
Although “Eleanor Rigby” was far from the first pop song to deal with death and loneliness, according to Ian MacDonald it “came as quite a shock to pop listeners in 1966”. It took a bleak message of depression and desolation, written by a famous pop group, with a sombre, almost funeral-like backing, to the number one spot of the pop charts.Richie Unterberger of AllMusic cites the song’s focus on “the neglected concerns and fates of the elderly” as “just one example of why the Beatles’ appeal reached so far beyond the traditional rock audience”.
In its inclusion of compositions that departed from the format of standard love songs, Revolver marked the start of a change in the Beatles’ core audience, as their young, female-dominated fanbase gave way to a following that increasingly comprised more serious-minded, male listeners. Commenting on the preponderance of young people who, under the influence of drugs such as marijuana and LSD, increasingly afforded films and rock music exhaustive analysis, Mark Kurlansky writes: “Beatles songs were examined like Tennyson’s poems. Who was Eleanor Rigby?”[nb 11]
The song’s lyrics became the subject of study by sociologists, who from 1966 began to view the band as spokesmen for their generation. In 2018, Colin Campbell, professor of sociology at the University of York, published a book-length analysis of the lyrics, titled The Continuing Story of Eleanor Rigby. Writing in the 1970s, however, Roy Carr and Tony Tyler dismissed the song’s sociological relevance as academics “rear[ing] a mis-shapen skull”, adding: “Though much praised at the time (by sociologists), ‘Eleanor Rigby’ was sentimental, melodramatic and a blind alley.”[nb 12]
According to author and satirist Craig Brown, the lyrics to “Eleanor Rigby” have been “the most extravagantly praised” of all the Beatles’ songs, “and by all the right people”. These include poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Thom Gunn, the last of whom likened the song to W.H. Auden‘s poem “Miss Gee”, and literary critic Karl Miller, who included the lyrics in his 1968 anthology Writing in England Today.[nb 13]
In his 1970 book Revolt in Style, Liverpudlian musician and critic George Melly admired the “imaginative truth of ‘Eleanor Rigby'”, likening it to author James Joyce‘s treatment of his own hometown in Dubliners. Novelist and poet A.S. Byatt recognised the song as having the “minimalist perfection” of a Samuel Beckett story. In a talk on BBC Radio 3 in 1993, Byatt said that “Wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door” – a line that MacDonald deems “the single most memorable image in The Beatles’ output” – conveys a level of despair unacceptable to English middle-class sensibilities and, rather than being a reference to make-up, suggests that Rigby “is faceless, is nothing” once alone in her home.
In 1982, the Eleanor Rigby statue was unveiled on Stanley Street in Liverpool as a donation from Tommy Steele in tribute to the Beatles. The plaque carries a dedication to “All the Lonely People”.
In 2004, Revolver appeared second in The Observer‘s list of “The 100 Greatest British Albums”, compiled by a panel of 100 contributors. In his commentary for the newspaper, John Harris highlighted “Eleanor Rigby” as arguably the album’s “single greatest achievement”, saying that it “perfectly evokes an England of bomb sites and spinsters, where in the darkest moments it does indeed seem that ‘no one was saved'”. Harris concluded: “Most pop songwriters have always wrapped up Englishness in camp and irony – here, in a rare moment for British rock, post-war Britain is portrayed in terms of its truly grave aspects.”
Musical influence and further recognition
David Simonelli cites the chamber-orchestrated “Eleanor Rigby” as an example of the Beatles’ influence being such that, whatever the style of song, their progressiveness defined the parameters of rock music. Music academics Michael Campbell and James Brody highlight the track’s melodic shape and imaginative backing to illustrate how, paired with similarly synergistic elements in “A Day in the Life“, the Beatles’ use of music and lyrics made them one of the two acts in 1960s rock, along with Bob Dylan, who were “most responsible for elevating its level of discourse and expanding its horizons”.
Soon after its release, Melly stated that “Pop has come of age” with “Eleanor Rigby”, while songwriter Jerry Leiber said, “I don’t think there’s ever been a better song written.” In a 1967 interview, Pete Townshend of the Who commented on the Beatles: “They are basically my main source of inspiration – and everyone else’s for that matter. I think ‘Eleanor Rigby’ was a very important musical move forward. It certainly inspired me to write and listen to things in that vein.” In his television show Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution, which aired in April 1967, American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein championed the Beatles’ talents among contemporary pop acts and highlighted the song’s string arrangement as an example of the eclectic qualities that made 1960s pop music worthy of recognition as art.Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees said that their 1969 song “Melody Fair” was influenced by “Eleanor Rigby”.America‘s single “Lonely People” was written by Dan Peek in 1973 as an optimistic response to the Beatles track.
The song was also popular with soul artists seeking to widen their stylistic range.Ray Charles recorded a version that was released as a single in 1968 and peaked at number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 36 in the UK. Lennon highlighted it as a “fantastic” cover.Aretha Franklin‘s version of “Eleanor Rigby” charted at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1969. Music journalist Chris Ingham recognises the Charles and Franklin recordings as notable progressive soul interpretations of the song.
Here’s a new song by Jeremy Abbott that I thought was really great. I made a video with ProjectM visualization software. Subscribe to my YouTube site here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpUkiUa9sGKXijUsYav_fzQ
JAM is a Pacific Northwest reggae fusion band. Blending reggae, rock, blues and electronic tones, Jeremy Abbott delivers genuine vocals and finds a unique sound. “It matters what you put in your ears. Music should make you think, make you celebrate, it should have something to say. I’m on a mission to connect people together , dig deeper into the heart, reveal what’s important and stand together.” – Jeremy Abbott
projectM is the most advanced music visualizer available on the Android Market. It has the smoothest graphics, the most presets, and is the most responsive to music. It can be used as a Live Wallpaper or standalone app.
projectM will visualize any sound playing on your phone. If there is no audio playing, projectM will visualize your microphone input!
projectM is essentially a rewrite of MilkDrop with modern technologies. It is compatible with MilkDrop (.milk)
Check out all of my posts listed here for more music and sparkling conversation – https://baselines.com/?page_id=6649
This is a cover of the live version of the song recorded back in the 1970s. Darren Garrett is on vocals on this version.
“Use Me” is a song, composed and originally recorded by Bill Withers, which was included on his 1972 album Still Bill. It was his second-biggest hit in the United States, released in September 1972 and later reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was kept from No. 1 by both “Ben” by Michael Jackson and “My Ding-a-Ling” by Chuck Berry. “Use Me” also peaked at No. 2 on the soul chart for two weeks. Withers performed the song on Soul Train on November 4, 1972.Billboard ranked it as the No. 78 song for 1972. The song was certified Gold by the RIAA. It is noted for its repeated bass figure which is heard alongside a complex rhythm in the percussion.
Music critic Robert Christgau called “Use Me” “one of the few knowledgeable songs about sex our supposedly sexy music has ever produced”, featuring a “cross-class attraction” in its narrative.
Grace Jones covered the song – with a reggae-influenced arrangement – on her 1981 album Nightclubbing and subsequently released the track as a single.
Withers, the youngest of six children, was born in the small coal-mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia, on July 4, 1938. He was the son of Mattie (née Galloway), a maid, and William Withers, a miner. He was born with a stutter and later said he had a hard time fitting in. His parents divorced when he was three, and he was raised by his mother’s family in nearby Beckley, West Virginia. He was 13 years old when his father died. Withers enlisted in the United States Navy at the age of 17, and served for nine years, during which time he became interested in singing and writing songs.
He left the Navy in 1965, relocating to Los Angeles in 1967 to start a music career. His debut release was “Three Nights and a Morning” in 1967. Arranged by Mort Garson, the song went unnoticed at the time but was later reworked by Withers as the track “Harlem”.
Withers worked as an assembler for several different companies, including Douglas Aircraft Corporation, IBM and Ford, while recording demo tapes with his own money, shopping them around and performing in clubs at night. When he returned with the song “Ain’t No Sunshine” in 1971, he refused to resign from his job because he believed the music business was a fickle industry.
Withers continued to work on his musicianship, learning guitar.
During a hiatus from touring, Withers recorded his second album, Still Bill. The single, “Lean on Me” went to number one the week of July 8, 1972. It was Withers’s second gold single with confirmed sales in excess of three million. His follow-up, “Use Me,” released in August 1972, became his third million-seller, with the R.I.A.A. gold disc award taking place on October 12, 1972. His performance at Carnegie Hall on October 6, 1972, was recorded, and released as the live album Bill Withers, Live at Carnegie Hall on November 30, 1972. In 1974, Withers recorded the album +’Justments. Due to a legal dispute with the Sussex company, Withers was unable to record for some time thereafter.
Withers sang for a black nouveau middle class that didn’t yet understand how precarious its status was. Warm, raunchy, secular, common, he never strove for Ashford & Simpson-style sophistication, which hardly rendered him immune to the temptations of sudden wealth—cross-class attraction is what gives ‘Use Me‘ its kick. He didn’t accept that there had to be winners and losers, that fellowship was a luxury the newly successful couldn’t afford. Soon sudden wealth took its toll on him while economic clampdown took its toll on his social context.
In 1982, Withers was a featured vocalist on the album Dreams in Stone by French singer Michel Berger. This record included one composition co-written and sung by Withers, an upbeat disco song about New York City titled “Apple Pie.”
In 1985 came Watching You, Watching Me, which featured the Top 40-rated R&B single Oh Yeah! and ended Withers’s business association with Columbia Records. Withers stated in interviews that a lot of the songs approved for the album, in particular, two of the first three singles released, were the same songs that had been rejected in 1982, hence contributing significantly to the eight-year hiatus between albums. Withers also stated it was frustrating seeing his record label release an album for Mr. T, an actor, when they were preventing him, an actual singer, from releasing his own. He toured with Jennifer Holliday in 1985 to promote what would be his final studio album.
His disdain for Columbia’s A&R executives or “blaxperts”, as he termed them, trying to exert control over how he should sound if he wanted to sell more albums, played a part in his decision to not record or re-sign to a record label after 1985, effectively ending his performing career, even though remixes of his previously recorded music were released well after his “retirement.” Finding musical success later in life than most, at 32, he said he was socialized as a “regular guy” who had a life before the music, so he did not feel an inherent need to keep recording once he fell out of love with the industry. After he left the music industry he said that he did not miss touring and performing live and did not regret leaving music behind.
In 1988, a new version of “Lovely Day” from the 1977 Menagerie album, entitled “Lovely Day (Sunshine Mix)” and remixed by Ben Liebrand was released. The original release had reached number 7 in the UK in early 1978, and the re-release climbed higher to number 4.
In 2005, Withers was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In April 2015, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Stevie Wonder. He described the honor as “an award of attrition” and said: “What few songs I wrote during my brief career, there ain’t a genre that somebody didn’t record them in. I’m not a virtuoso, but I was able to write songs that people could identify with. I don’t think I’ve done bad for a guy from Slab Fork, West Virginia.” Later that year, a tribute concert in his honor was held at Carnegie Hall featuring Aloe Blacc, Ed Sheeran, Dr. John, Michael McDonald, and Anthony Hamilton. The concert recreated Withers’s 1973 concert album, Live at Carnegie Hall, along with some of his other material. Withers was in attendance and spoke briefly onstage.
In February 2017, he made an appearance on Joy Reid‘s MSNBC show to talk about the refugee crisis as well as the political climate in America.
Withers was known for his “smooth” baritone vocals and “sumptuous” soul arrangements. He wrote some of the most covered songs of the 1970s, including “Lean on Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine”. The former entered the Hot 100 chart through multiple versions, including Club Nouveau‘s 1987 cover, which made the composition one of nine songs to have led the chart via different acts. With “Lovely Day”, he set the record for the longest sustained note on a chart hit on American charts, holding a high E for 18 seconds. Editors from The Guardian considered that Withers’s songs are “some of the most beloved in the American songbook,” citing, “‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ is regarded as one of the all-time great breakup tracks, while ‘Lean on Me’, an ode to the supportive power of friendship …” For the same newspaper, Alex Petridis noticed “[he] laid pain and paranoia under his deceptively gentle songs, and retired early having conquered gospel, funk, blues, disco and more.” In Rolling Stone, writer Andy Greene noted that several of his songs “are embedded in the culture and have been covered countless times.”
Writing for The New York Times, Giovanni Russonello considered Withers “[a] soulful singer with a gift for writing understated classics”, adding, “the ultimate homespun hitmaker, he had an innate sense of what might make a song memorable, and little interest in excess attitude or accoutrements. Ultimately Withers reminded us that it’s the everyday that is the most meaningful: work, family, love, loss.” A Billboard article considered that Withers “stands as one of R&B/soul music’s most revered singer-songwriters.” In the same magazine, writer Gail Mitchell acknowledged “Withers’ legacy has flourished in the decades since, thanks to a cross-section of artists who have covered/sampled his songs or cited him as a major influence.” Musician and music journalist Questlove referred to Withers’s post-breakup 1974 album +’Justments as “a diary […] [it] was a pre-reality-show look at his life. Keep in mind this was years before Marvin Gaye did it with Here, My Dear.” The Beach Boys‘ Brian Wilson deemed him “a songwriter’s songwriter”. Musicians Sade,D’Angelo,Justin Timberlake,John Legend and Ed Sheeran have credited Withers as a music inspiration.
In 1976, Withers married Marcia Johnson. They had two children, Todd and Kori. Marcia eventually assumed the direct management of his publishing companies, in which his children also became involved as they became adults.
Withers died from heart complications in a Los Angeles hospital on March 30, 2020, at age 81; his family announced his death four days later. He is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
This is a scan of the press release that A&M Records sent out for the Private Lightning debut album. Well, things didn’t work out quite like everyone thought, but that is life – unpredictable. You can find some of the album songs in the blog section of https://baselines.com. You can find some really old videos of private lightning on my YouTube account. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpUkiUa9sGKXijUsYav_fzQ
Here is a new release of the great old Warren Zevon song I love it. – this one with @kiwichrys on backing vocals.
About the Song
Like many of Zevon’s songs about love and relationships, this song is a mournful ballad about romantic loss. The song mostly consists of the singer lamenting about opportunities lost and times long gone. Along with its original release on Excitable Boy, an early rendition of this song appears on the 2007 compilation album Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings. The version included there has a variety of alternate lyrics, changing the song’s focus from romantic loss to the singer lamenting how he fell for a cruel heartbreaking woman, against the advice of his friends.
A strong contender for the title of Bob Dylan‘s 1997 album Time Out of Mind is this song, which is coincidentally heavily influenced by Dylan as its title suggests. The phrase is featured in the last line of the second verse. Furthermore, when it was revealed in 2002 that Zevon was dying from cancer, Dylan added for weeks in his concert setlists songs by Zevon. “Accidentally Like A Martyr” was the second most performed song, with 22 performances during October and November.
This release was performed, recorded and produced by Steve Keith at Baselines Designs studio. Special thanks to @kiwichrys for backing vocals.
Note: the text of this song’s lyrics is not under the same copyright license as the wiki’s encyclopedic text, it is used under fair use/dealing.
Coppola commissioned Sebastian to write music for the film, and for one scene wanted a song with a similar mood and tempo to “Monday, Monday” by the Mamas and the Papas. Sebastian said that he wrote the song as “pleas for a partner to spend a few minutes talking before leaving…. [but] you never knew if the other person was actually there listening or was already gone”. Coppola approved the song. The arrangement was by Artie Schroeck. After the recording was completed and the musicians left, the producer, Erik Jacobsen, discovered that an engineer had mistakenly erased Sebastian’s vocal track, so he had to re-record it the next day. Sebastian said: “What you hear on the record is me, a half hour after learning that my original vocal track had been erased. You can even hear my voice quiver a little at the end. That was me thinking about the vocal we lost and wanting to kill someone.” It has been described as “…one of the most heartfelt songs about being away from a loved one, written from the point of view of a musician on the road writing a letter.”
Billboard described the song as a “medium-paced rock ballad given that ‘extra special’ Lovin’ Spoonful treatment” and should be a “smash” on the Billboard Hot 100.
This is Final Remainder, an original song I wrote. The music was done a while back, the lyrics and vocals are new. Production was done during September 2022. Performed, recorded, arranged and produced by Steve Keith at Baselines Designs Studio.
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Here is an image from my stash that I am working on scanning in and downsizing. This is from around 1975 when we were very young. Taken at Gordon College where we used to practice. At the time we had Carl Smith on vocals and Gary Snyder on drums. The rest of the people were founding members who were with the band throughout the whole time we were together. We started as Quick and became Private Lightning.
From left to right – Carl Smith Vocals, Eric Kaufman Keyboards, Patty Van Ness Violin, Paul Van Ness Guitar, Gary Snyder Drums, Steve Keith Bass.
“Blue Sky” is a song by the American rock band the Allman Brothers Band from their third studio album, Eat a Peach (1972), released on Capricorn Records. The song was written and sung by guitarist Dickey Betts, who penned it about his girlfriend (and later wife), Sandy “Bluesky” Wabegijig. The track is also notable as one of guitarist Duane Allman‘s final recorded performances with the group. The band’s two guitarists, Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, alternate playing the song’s lead: Allman’s solo beginning 1:07 in, Betts joining in a shared melody line at 2:28, followed by Betts’s solo at 2:37. The song is notably more country-inspired than many songs in the band’s catalogue.
Performed, Recorded and Produced by Steve Keith at Baselines Designs Studio.
I recently re-read a book called the Joy of X. One of the chapters dealt with Möbius strips. There was information about somebody who put together a strip where they punched in a song, like they do with those music boxes. When the strip came around and flipped (as Möbius strips do), the holes were inverted leading to another melody where the lower notes were now higher and the higher notes lower. This of course intrigued me, and I found a site online where you could invert midi.
A recent song I wrote, ‘A Minuet to Three’ seemed a prime candidate. I took several inverted sections and used them as a prelude to the song. The first 58 seconds of this song are the verses of the original song inverted. I put some bass guitar and violin/cello over the top and voila (pun totally not intended) – this is how it came out.
Performed, recorded and produced by Steve Keith at Baselines Designs Studio in Boston, MA.
This song was a coming of age song for me – I remember waking up on sunny summer days and hearing it play on the top 40 radio station in my area. Rock music changed my young life!
“Summer in the City” is a song by the American pop band the Lovin’ Spoonful, written by John Sebastian, Mark Sebastian and Steve Boone. It was released as a single in July 1966 and was included on the album Hums of the Lovin’ Spoonful later that year. The single was the Lovin’ Spoonful’s fifth to break the top ten in the US and their only to reach No.?1. A departure from the band’s lighter sound, the recording features a harder rock style. The lyrics differ from most songs about the summer by lamenting the heat, contrasting the unpleasant warmth and noise of the daytime with the relief offered by the cool night, which allows for the nightlife to begin.
“Summer in the City” has since received praise from several music critics and musicologists for its changing major-minor keys and its inventive use of sound effects. The song has been covered by several artists, including Quincy Jones, whose 1973 version won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement and has since been sampled by numerous hip hop artists.
This is my cover of a single released in 1974 by Steely Dan and the opening track of their third album Pretzel Logic. It was the most successful single of the group’s career, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1974.
A song from 1979. Elvis Costello, from his 3rd album ‘Armed Forces’. Inspired by the rise of the National Front and the Quisling Clinic in Wisconsin. Elvis recorded his vocal after a “night of carousing”. Original Produced by Nick Lowe. This version performed and produced by Steve Keith at Baselines Designs Studio.