We Love The Beatles!

  It was just a few days before Christmas of 1996 that the first autonomous issue of Zoo magazine  made its appearance in the newstands.The history of this greek music edition begun first as a few page insert of the monthly legendary "Pop & Rock" and after seven issues,the time for Zoo to stand alone in the market had come.And it was there!A classic black and white photo of Jim Morrison on cover(with a 12 page tribute to the Lizard King,including a Ray Manzarek interview),red and black lettering and subtitled with "It's only Rock'n'Roll" motto.There were also advertsided articles about Donovan,The Charlatans(the Frisco ones),Joni Mitchell and Jingle Bell Rock(the songs for the last days of the year).

 Through the 148 pages there were news,lot of reviews, special section for album reissues, pages for movies and books and much more.Zoo,during its short living, was a great magazine,focusing mainly on the music of past decades,with detailed info from almost all genres.Especially in times with not wide internet use,without youtube and social networks,magazines like Zoo could make happy almost every music lover.It was also the drachma period for Greece and its price was 2.000 drachmas.The magazine was published every two months.In this first issue,the headline was "extra cd with songs of the Beatles!".

Well, there was a 12 track cd housed in a standard jewel case(the compilation was made by Beetle Eater),the cover was a variation of the "Meet The Beatles" lp and all titles were licenced through Polygram.There were covers of course except one.Inside the magazine, the editor Nikos Petroulakis makes a presentation of the songs that appear in this compilation,talking also about a bunch of other(lot of) tracks that could be presented on the cd but for various reasons they were not,providing also useful infos of every release,catalogue numbers and comments(which will be included in this post in italics).

First track is "Yesterday" sung by Marianne Faithful,taken from her 1965 single  released on Decca(F12268)."Faithful would have a great folk pop career and this is proven by her fragile singing this tune but she chose to spend the decade of 60's with Mick Jagger"


Second track comes also from 1965 and it is performed by Silkie."You've Got To Hide Your Love Away"(Fontana TF 603).
 Recorded only three days after the release of the Beatles' original version, this cover from the Brian Epstein managed quartet was produced by John Lennon, and features Paul on guitar and George on percussion.For the record,Silkie's cover was more succesful in the US than in England.  


Track number three is a taken from The Spooky Tooth and their 1970 album "The Last Puff",released on Island label(ILPS9117)."The band faces a music deadend and their cover on "I'm The Walrus" is a remarkanle sign of this situation but still not comparable to the awful Oasis one"

 Track number four comes from the Motown era."And I Love Her" is presented here by Smokie Robinson & The Miracles,taken from their album "What Love Has...Joined Together"(Tamla 301).Smokie attempted effectively to combine his velvet tenoro with his wild loving falsetto.

    Fifth track is "Let It Be" by Gladys Knight & The Pips, taken from their "If I Were Your Woman" lp,released in 1971 for the Soul label(S731).The album was recorded during the period that the quarte was guided by the producer Johnny Bristol away from blues and gospel influences and was transformed into a sensual,gragile vocal combo.Let It Be was indelibly stamped by Gladys Knight and the figures of Merald "Bubba" Knight,William Guest and Edward Patten.

     Sixth song is "Michelle" by The Four Tops,taken from their album "Four Tops On Top" for the Motown label (M647).Although there were recent succesful covers by David & Jonathan and Overlanders,the Four Tops version was an overmatching one because the Motown ensemble was very generous in using harmonies with the huge displacement of Levi Stubbs.

     Sergio Mendes & Brazil 66 are in the seventh track of the compilation with "Fool On The Hill"(1968,A&M 731).Sergio was one of the first musicians from Brazil who were benefited from the bossa nova explosion.With an amazing comfort he could adapt various pop hits to his smooth latin style.He was involved with Beatles songs a couple of times and "Fool On The Hill" was one of them.

     On number eight, there is "Hey Jude" by The Temptations,a cut from their 1969 lp "Puzzle People"(Gordy,949).At the same period there was also a blues cover by Wilson Pickett but it was fatal to be overtaken by the most succesful band in the black music history, in a record that not only was full by psychedelic soul but also fueled the Motown formula with social and political elements.

    "Eleanor Rigby" is track number nine performed here by Richie Havens.The last of his eleven song album entitled "Mixed Bag" for the Veve Folkways label(released in 1967, FT3006).Richie Havens was always a special case,so special as the cover on this Beatles tune with his soft and hoarse singing.

    Number ten is Billy Preston's version of "Get Back", a single that came out from the soundrack of the 1978 film "Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"(A&M 2071).The movie, inspired from the Beatles album was not succesful but the entire soundtrack was a hit parade.Billy Preston also appeared in the original Beatles vesrion so he had an absolute valid point of view for the song.
     Track number eleven comes from The Supremes and is "A Hard Day's Night" and it is included in their 1964 album "A Bit Of Liverpool"(Motown 623)which was also released with a different title in the UK(With Love-From US To You).

     A great collection of tracks from the iconic soul group, paying tribute to the acts of the contemporary 'British Invasion' featuring many tracks written/performed by the likes of The Beatles, Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Animals and The Dave Clark Five.Diana Ross and her company, sing also "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "Can't Buy Me Love"

    Last but not least,number twelve in this unique promo greek only compilation is "My Bonnie" by Tony Sheridan and The Beatles.A standard tune,very polpylar in Hamburg,Germany that was recorded during the summer of 1961 in a Gene Vincent style by Tony Sheridan and the ...Beat Brothers(John,Paul,Ringo and George of course before changing their name and the global music history).The UK edition of the single came on the Polydor label in early 1962(NH66833).Still uknown at that time even in the UK,the Beat Brothers/Beatles appeared in the other side of Atlantic ocean with Tony Sheridan and My Bonnie of course on a Decca single in April of 1962 with catalogue number 31382.This particular single still is one of the holy grails of the Beatles collectors worldwide.

    A last note before completing this post.The title of this compilation was taken from a 1963 single by The Vernons Girls which was "We Love The Beatles"



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