Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hey Jude: Icon Song of the 1960s

“Hey Jude” coverImage via Wikipedia

The Beatles Hey Jude Strikes a Chord 40 Years Later by Vince P Platania

Most people are unfamiliar with the story of the origin of the Beatles Hey Jude. John Lennon, prior to his relationship with Yoko Ono, had been married to Cynthia Lennon. After meeting and having an affair with Yoko, John and Cynthia got divorced. Their son, Julian, was only 5 years old at the time, and Paul McCartney was concerned with how he would be able to deal with the sudden separation.

Having been close to the family, he went to visit the mother and son a few weeks after the divorce became final, and on the way there he began to compose a song that he thought might comfort Julian. Originally titled 'Hey Jules', the song touched Cynthia, who was surprised at how much McCartney cared for their welfare. Young Julian never made the connection that 'Jude' had originally been 'Jules', and didn't find out that the Beatles Hey Jude had been written for him until almost 20 years later.

Interestingly, John Lennon thought that the song had actually been written to comfort him! He heard a similarity between the name Jude and his own name, and given the circumstances he found himself in at that period in time, he asked McCartney if it was indeed supposed to be about him. McCartney, protective of Julian and Cynthia, merely told John that he was singing about himself.

'Hey Jude' was one of the most unlikely Beatles hits, due to the fact that it was quite long. In 1968, the year the song was released, radio was not accustomed to playing songs that lasted much longer than 3 minutes. Due to a very, very long sing-along style fadeout, the Beatles Hey Jude lasted more than 7 minutes. Upon initially hearing the record, some critics at the time felt that McCartney had written the song as a satire of using fadeouts to end a song, but in fact that was never the case. The outro included a 36 piece orchestra, and was painstakingly recorded according to McCartney's instructions.

The first release on the new Beatles-owned Apple records, 'Hey Jude' spent 2 weeks at number 1 in the UK but managed an astonishing 9 week reign at the top of the American charts. 'Hey Jude' held the distinction of being the longest number 1 single in British history until 1993, when it was usurped by Meat Loaf and his revival of the rock epic. is the mystical rehersal studio for rockers DEMON TWEAK. Listen as they prepare for battle with the evil trickster Loki by playing home brewed classic rock direct from Ragnarok. Also read articles on your favorite classic rock band written by resident historian VIRGIL THE STORYTELLER.

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