Proving once again that they're as big as ever, the Beatles
won the coveted Grammy Award for "Best Historical Album" last night (February 14th) at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. The Beatles (The Original Studio Recordings
) set containing their entire original catalogue, snagged the prize for the group's acclaimed studio team at Apple and Abbey Road Studios -- Jeff Jones
and Allan Rouse
-- compilation producers; along with Paul Hicks
, Sean Magee
, Guy Massey
, Sam Okell & Steve Rooke
-- mastering engineers.
Paul McCartney also scored his first solo Grammy Awards since 1979 for "Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance" for his live rendition of "Helter Skelter." The track was recorded during the former Beatle's legendary opening stand at New York's Citi Field in July 2009. McCartney's last non-Beatles Grammy award was for "Best Rock Instrumental Performance" for "Rockestra Theme" -- the star-studded rocker featured on Wings' final album, 1979's Back To The Egg.
- Over the years, McCartney has talked about how a review of the Who's 1967 classic "I Can See For Miles" claimed it was the loudest and dirtiest sounding record of all time. McCartney recalled that for the Beatles' 1968 "White Album" classic "Helter Skelter," they wanted to go one step further: "We just tried to get it louder -- "Guitars -- can we have 'em sound louder! The drums louder!' And that was really all that I wanted to do, make a very loud raunchy rock and roll record with the Beatles -- which it is. We did it so long and so often, that on the end of it Ringo (Starr) did have blisters."
- The Beatles (The Original Studio Recordings) is comprised of all 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in the UK, and the U.S. full album release, Magical Mystery Tour, which became part of The Beatles' core catalogue when the CD's were first issued in 1987.
- In addition, to the core original albums, the two "catch-all" collections, Past Masters Vol. I and II, are now combined as one double disc, for a total of 14 titles over 16 discs. The Beatles stereo box set includes these 14 remastered titles and a DVD collection of mini-documentaries about each of the albums.
- Paul McCartney told us that thanks to the Abbey Road technical team, the Beatles' music once again has been restored to how it sounded while in the studio: "I always say that one of the great things about technology is that when we recorded them, there wasn't like a hiss in the room, there wasn't a hum in the room. That was the equipment we recorded onto, (which) was technically substandard to what we've got today. So in actual fact by cleaning it up, you're getting more (of) what was actually what was in the room. You're getting the guitar sound without a hiss, or without a hum. So that's great."
- Legendary engineer Geoff Emerick -- who previously won "Best Engineered Recording, Non Classical" Grammy's for the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road and Paul McCartney and Wings' Band On The Run -- admitted to us that he was never awestruck by the group and that helped them to leave the mania and adulation outside of the studio walls: "It's like a human story of human people making music in a studio. Now they're so iconic, it would be like. . . I don't know how it would be like. How people would sort of feel about that. They'd be in awe; they wouldn't even go near them it's like royalty. I mean some people do treat them as royalty. But because I've known them all these years. . . As I say, we're just making music in the studio, y'know?"
- Also nominated in the "Best Historical Album" category were: Various Artists, Alan Lomax In Haiti: Recordings For The Library Of Congress, 1936-1937; Hank Williams Sr., The Complete Mother's Best Recordings. . .Plus!,; Buddy Holly, Not Fade Away: The Complete Studio Recordings And More; and Various Artists, Where The Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968.
- McCartney's live take on "Helter Skelter" won over Eric Clapton's "Run Back To Your Side," John Mayer's "Crossroads," Robert Plant's "Silver Rider," and Neil Young's "Angry World."
IN OTHER BEATLES-GRAMMY NEWS
Legendary Beatles confidante and solo-era sideman Klaus Voormann was to take part in a press Q&A at L.A.'s Biltmore Hotel on Saturday (February 12th) to talk about his Grammy nom for "Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package" for the deluxe version of his album, A Sideman's Journey. Voormann (who lost to Rob Jones and Jack White's work on Under Great White Northern Lights - Limited Edition Box Set) was recovering from a fall at home in Germany and unable to attend the event, nd instead enlisted friends Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, Van Dyke Parks, and fellow solo Beatle sideman Jim Keltner to talk about his career and the Grammy nominated project.
- Voormann, along with Daniel Reiss, designed the set, which features the artist/bassist's recordings of the music he helped create over the past 40-odd-years, which is also chronicled on the set's accompanying DVD.
- In the documentary, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr separately lay down tracks to Voormann's version of Fats Domino's "I'm In Love Again" -- which was the first song he ever performed on bass while sitting in with the Beatles back in 1961. The track was taped in June 2008 in London with McCartney performing piano, organ, and guitars, Voormann playing bass, and Ringo overdubbing his drums later in Los Angeles.
- Voormann won the 1966 Grammy for "Best Album Cover" for his portrait on the Beatles' Revolver and went on to create the booklet for Ringo's 1973 Ringo album, and paint the covers of all three of The Beatles Anthology sets.
- George Harrison's first wife Pattie Boyd says that Voormann was among the first artists to understand what the Beatles were trying to achieve: "Very talented, Klaus. He had a girlfriend many years ago called Astrid Kirchherr and they lived in Hamburg. And they were the first two to recognize the Beatles' creative potential."
DID YOU KNOW???
- Klaus Voormann played bass on such legendary solo-Beatles hits as "Imagine," "My Sweet Lord," "Jealous Guy," "It Don't Come Easy," "All Things Must Pass," "Cold Turkey," "What Is Life," "Mother," "Back Off Boogaloo," "God," "Bangla Desh," "Instant Karma," "Oh My My," "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night," "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)," "You're Sixteen," "Stand By Me," "Photograph," "#9 Dream," and many more.
- The Beatles' Grammy Awards through the years:
1964: Best New Artist
1964: Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal "A Hard Day's Night" from the film A Hard Day's Night
1967: Album Of The Year for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
1967: Other Pop/Rock & Roll/ Contemporary Awards or Instrumental for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
1970: Best Instrumental Composition Written Specifically For A Motion Picture or for Television for Let It Be
1996: Best Music Video, Short Form for "Free As A Bird"
1996: Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for "Free As A Bird"
1996: Best Music Video, Long Form for The Beatles Anthology (VHS)
2009: Best Long Form Music Video for The Beatles LOVE: All Together Now
CHECK IT OUT: Paul McCartney's Grammy Award-winning performance of "Helter Skelter":
Paul McCartney On Technology Catching Up To The Beatles
Geoff Emerick On Not Being Awestruck By The Beatles
Pattie Boyd On Klaus Voormann And Astrid Kircherr