Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Beatles - Living In The Material World (1972)




 The Beatles – Living In The Material World
(a soniclovenoize reimagining)

Side A:
1.  Back Off Boogaloo
2.  Hi, Hi, Hi
3.  John Sinclair
4.  Get On The Right Thing
5.  Who Can See It
6.  Woman Is The Nigger Of The World

Side B:
7.  Live and Let Die
8.  New York City
9.  Living In The Material World
10.  Single Pigeon
11.  Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
12.  My Love


This album “reimagining” is the third in a series that ponders the question: What if The Beatles never broke up?  My Living In The Material World album collects together various solo Beatles material from the year 1972 (and approximate) and is sequenced into a cohesive album (as best as can be done with the material at hand, of course).  It’s a follow-up to my two previous reimagined Beatles albums, Imagine Clouds Dripping from 1971 and Instant Karma! from 1970.   

To continue my model of constructing these albums—that each specific year of the 70s should be considered, rather than the best of the decade as a whole—you will undoubtedly reach some rough patches; 1972 was one of them.  Lennon released the extremely forgettable Sometime In New York City and McCartney relied solely on stray single releases, as well as recording the bulk of the sketchy Red Rose Speedway (which wasn’t released until the following year, but is still included here because it is still a product of 1972).  When combined with Harrison’s quaint yet hit-and-miss Living In The Material World (which it’s recording began in 1972 and is thus included here) we are left with a Beatles album that, although an extremely fun listen, would have probably been a critical failure, possibly hailed as the worst album of their career (by “Beatles standards”).    If it wasn’t for McCartney’s hit singles on this album, it probably would have been a commercial failure too. 

But is this really a bad thing?  I chose to leave the cards as they fell because my construction of Living In The Material World reflects the reality of each of The Beatles at that point in time.  Every artist has ups and downs, it only seems natural that The Beatles should put out a bad album, even if it took them until 1972 to do so.  And besides, this turns out to be a really fun listen.  The final touch is the collage cover art that for some reason seems to fit this album itself—scatterbrained and unfocused, yet enjoyable.  Living In The Material World is the underdog we love to root for, even though we know he’ll lose.  It is Magical Mystery Tour’s distant cousin. 

So sit back, relax and imagine if you will:  After The Beatles success of their European Tour in late 1971, they plan a North American in early 1972; early dates of the tour are such an immediate success and so enjoyable for The Beatles, the four members and their families strike up a temporary residence in New York and plan on a continual “never ending” tour of the continent throughout the remainder of the year (Bob Dylan was said to have attended many of these shows and was quite impressed with this concept); The Beatles recognize an immediate desire for new material and quickly draft members of The Elephant Memory Band and record Living In The Material World, again with Phil Spector producing; the demand for product to coincide with their impromptu “never-ending” 1972 American tour forces the label to include many non-LP singles and songs The Beatles already had in the can, as well as the newly recorded material. 

The only single-release of the album’s newer New York songs was Ringo’s “Back Off Boogaloo” b/w the non-LP b-side “Big Bard Bed” which had mixed reviews, many wondering why Paul’s superior “My Love” wasn’t released as a single.  Lennon himself maintained that “Woman Is The Nigger of The World” should have been the lead single, but the rest of the band refused for obvious reasons.  Paul claimed it was commercial suicide and didn’t even want to include it on the album.  A compromise was made when Lennon allowed “Live and Let Die” on the album, a song he loathed and performed on purely for contractual reasons (although he understood it was the album’s chief selling-point and even admitted to rather enjoying James Bond).  Phil Spector suggested sequencing Lennon’s feminist anthem at the end of side A on the LP, so that sensitive listeners could simply stop and flip the record if they were offended; the DJs seemed to do just that. 

The critics were very hard on Living In The Material World, calling it a cash cow and simply an excuse to extend their tour of America (rather than the other way around).  It was even noted that album seemed to be mostly tailor-made for the tour itself, and Lennon’s songs were too politically-driven.  Critics also noted the inclusion of current popular unrelated songs to round out the otherwise weak album, such as “Live and Let Die” and their December 1971 single “Merry Xmas (War is Over)” b/w the non-album b-side “C Moon”.  Rolling Stone even dubbed the album “Filler In The Material World” yet at least commended the band for excluding their single from that February, the well-intended yet hastily written and recorded “Give Ireland Back to The Irish” b/w “Luck of The Irish.”  The Beatles took the criticism of Living In The Material World to heart, through their “never-ending” tour and their purported increasingly excessive back-stage partying and drug use.  Hesitantly wrapping up their North American Tour at the end of 1972, The Beatles pondered their next move, how to keep their band on the run… 


[On 7/15/15 I received a DMCA Takedown Notice that the content of this blog post apparently infringes on the copyright of others!  While I do NOT host any copyrighted material on this blog and hence infringe on no one, I have removed any links to other sites that may possibly contain copyrighted material.]


Sources used:
All The Best! (original 1987 master)
Living In The Material World (2006 remaster)
Red Rose Speedway (1996 Steve Hoffman remaster)
Photograph – The Very Best of Ringo Starr (original 2007 master)
Sometime In New York City (2005 remaster)


flac --> wav --> editing in Audacity and Goldwave --> flac encoding via TLH lv8
*md5, artwork and tracknotes included

38 comments:

  1. Thanks! This time I think it's John who benefits from context, while Paul is Paul. I bet they'd have made George better; and nice touch to open with Ringo. How long can you keep this up?

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    Replies
    1. Possibly in the 80s when poor John died...

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    2. Come to think of it, The Threatles did squeeze yet another decade out of him.

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    3. Plus they could also have used Julian Lennon...

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    4. ...and later, Sean, Zach, Dhani. And Yoko!

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    5. The links are completely gone...

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  2. What owuld eb great would be Red Rose Speedway triple-LP! It has been discussed at the time, but reduced to a double-LP, then a a single-LPé

    There's more than enough material for a triple-LP. :)

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  3. Hi,
    Any chance you could update the links for this one please?
    Thanks.

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  4. Flac links dead here too.....

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    Replies
    1. Links updated.

      If you know of a good alternative to zippyshare, let me know...

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  5. Zippyshare is best for downloaders, but I can see how it must be a nuisance renewing all the time....

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  6. share me the link, send me the link.... comparte el enlace por favor....

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  7. Hey SLN, just recently discovered your blog. I really enjoy the work you are posting here, and was sad to find you had to remove the links on this page. Having downloaded the other four Beatles albums in this fantasy project, it would be a real treat to have this one also, Any possible way you can email me a link for the files.

    Thanks for all that you have shared here,
    Schooner333

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  8. I really like this blog, and those Beatles reimagination works are totally cool! All the other reimagined albums work so well, The Beatles members really seem to elevate each other's work. The sum makes it stronger than the parts. There is any chance of putting these "Living in The Material World" download links up again? Can't find it anywhere on the web...

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  9. Is there a chance that I could get this link or it could be floating around somewhere else? I picked up the other imagined albums and they're very interesting. If not, I understand. Really enjoy this site after stumbling upon it. You do great work

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  10. Is there any chance to upload it again? Thank you very much

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  11. I wonder if the issue is that you didn't use original vinyl sources instead recent remasters. Original vinyl and the songs in that audio format is definitely not in print anymore.

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. You made a great playlist to go by at least. I never would have thought of pulling these songs together as an imagined Beatles album.

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  14. Any idea where this can be found now?

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  15. Really admire your work, soniclovenoize. Let me know if these links ever get re-upped, I'm hooked.

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    Replies
    1. Your work is awesome. Thank you for all of your hard work. Is a link available for this one anywhere?

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  16. Would you be so kind as to re-up this mix? I listened to the other mixes and I'm just stunned. I don't know if I can sleep now. hahaha
    I want to hear this one too.

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  17. Does anyone have a copy of this album that they could upload on mega?

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  18. Does anyone have a copy of this album that they could upload on mega?

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  19. Outstanding jobs done on the Beatles albums. Also the Who, Pink Floyd stuff is great! Job well done!

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  20. You can find this collection on Youtube under the same title (Living in the Material World). However, it replaces "Woman is the N*gger of the World" with "The Luck of the Irish." I kind of like the change, as it adds a bit of theme to the album and lets you contrast Lennon and McCartney on the same political topic.

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  21. unfortunately John was the only one to release an album in 1972. Google it. Living In The Material World was 1973. Wildlife 1971, Red Rose Speedway 1973.

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  22. do you still have a link for this? mp3 or flac?

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  23. Thanks for your work.
    It's possible to listen your work on "Living in the Material World" on mp3 ?

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  24. Amazing work! throughout your blog, thank you for doing this. I found you via Floyd and I loved all of those then I started on the Beatles, I have done similar to this for years (albeit at a much lower standard) and have created a few CD's along the way, I wish I had your abilities and facilities.

    I also like to do things in chronological order but I have just finished ICD (brilliant by the way) and cant continue aghhhh, I would love to hear this album as I have enjoyed everything I have heard so far, you seem to understand the way I hear :) I will leave my email here for a little while in the hope that someone might be kind enough to share a link.. yungrexy@yahoo.co.uk many thanks in advance.

    The issue with copywrite here is because of the title as it already exists as a beatles album.

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  25. Any chance of getting a link for this? Would love to hear the complete set of Beatles albums. My email is reubenhm1@gmail.com if anyone has the link or the files. Cheers

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  26. Can I join the requests for a link? Ideally FLAC if that's not being too greedy... If possible my email address is mspendl828@gmail.com

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  27. Didn't know about this fantastic blog until you got mentioned in last episode of the Fabcast (the Blue episode). Now I spent my last days reading and listening, and I will keep on doing the same for many days. Please keep up the good work. I very much like to listen to this album. If you still have the mp3 version I would be very happy to receive a link for download.

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