Monday, December 28, 2020

"McCartney III" debuts at number 1 on Billboard album chart

Paul's new album has topped Billboard's chart, aided by being available in so many different formats (around 25, including many shades of vinyl and even on cassette), which encouraged fans to buy multiple copies.

Via Billboard:

McCartney III sold 104,000 copies in the U.S. in the week ending Dec. 24, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The last solo rock album to log a larger sales week was McCartney’s own Egypt Station, which opened at No. 1 on the list dated Sept. 22, 2018 with 147,000 copies sold. 

...McCartney III’s robust sales were aided by its availability across many CD and vinyl LP formats, including editions with alternative cover art or colored vinyl. The album sold 53,000 copies on CD; nearly 32,000 on vinyl LP, 18,000 as a digital download and 1,000 on cassette.

The album was available in more than 10 vinyl variants, which combined to sell nearly 32,000 copies in its first week – the third-largest sales week for a vinyl album since Nielsen Music/MRC Data began electronically tracking music sales in 1991. Only the debut weeks of Jack White’s Lazaretto (40,000) and Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy (34,000) were larger.

"Whole Lotta Yoko" violinist Ivry Gitllis passes away

Israeli classical violinist Irvry Gitlis, who played with the makeshift Dirty Mac band (John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell) on the Rolling Stones' "Rock and Roll Circus" TV special, died on Dec. 24 at age 98, The Associated Press reports.

Gitlis appears with the band backing a vocal performance by Yoko Ono in the film and was widely known in the world of classical music.

Via AP:

France’s culture minister [hailed Gitlis] as “a magnificent performer, a generous musician” who dedicated his life “to serving all kinds of music.” 

...Recognizable in recent decades by his long white hair and distinctive caps and scarves, Gitlis began playing in the 1920s and performed into the 2010s. The Paris Philharmonic celebrated “one of the longest and most prolific careers in the history of music.”

Stay through the Dirty Mac playing the Beatles' "Yer Blues" and you'll see Gitlis' "Rock and Roll Circus" performance with Yoko and the band below:

Vintage Beatles pic: Paul


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Read Beatlefan #247!

The new issue of world's best Beatles mag includes a whole lotta Lennon from yours truly. Good stuff all around. Order a copy - you won't regret it!


Beatlefan #247 takes note of a number of anniversaries — 25 years since “The Beatles Anthology” debuted, 40 years without John Lennon, and the 50th anniversary of the release of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” and “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.” Al Sussman retraces the long and winding road to the “Anthology,” as covered in the pages of Beatlefan, and Allan Kozinn provides an entertaining look at what it was like to cover the “Anthology” and conduct interviews with Paul, Ringo and more. Bruce Spizer recounts the making of “All Things Must Pass,” while Brad Hundt provides an assessment of the album, and ranks Harrison’s solo albums. John Firehammer writes about the “Plastic Ono Band” album, and Lennon’s solo output. And, Robert Rodriguez looks at Lennon the man vs. the myth. Also, Bill King and Kenneth Womack both offer reviews of Paul McCartney’s “McCartney III” album. Plus, of course, we have the latest news, media reports, and reviews of new books and U.K. media offerings. For more information on how you can get this issue, or subscribe to Beatlefan, email or go to the relaunched

Vintage pic: The Beatles with Neil Aspinall