After forty years, Abba are back with an album and a huge virtual concert. But is the gig worth all the fuss around it?
What’s the Concert?Abba Voyage
What’s It All About, JG? Well, without going through the full history of Abba recording music again after forty years, basically they’ve built a bloody big stadium in the east end of London and filled it with a band and a whole heap of technology and lighting. And in this Abba Arena is a show that really isn’t quite like any other. The band members did a motion-capture concert which allowed projections – Abbatars, if you will – of them to be generated as if it were the real thing. These are, naturally, de-aged so we get a view of the band in their prime. But in using mo-cap to get a genuine performance it means you’re not just watching a CGI version of the band. You’re watching them give an actual performance, but then with a bunch of technical jiggery-pokery used to generate the show.
Till There Was You is up for discussion this week, as JG and Andrew delve into another one of the cover versions on With The Beatles. Is the track as chintzy as its reputation? Do the band make a good fist of a complicated number? Plus we return to one of the podcast’s favourite subjects – The Rutles and Neil Innes – and excitement ahoy! We delve into the postbag for the first time to cover a listener’s email.
This episode, JG and Andrew turn their attention to “Little Child”, which turns out to be a Lennon/McCartney Original and not a cover version at all! What difference does knowing how something was recorded make to appreciating a song? Should this have been a Ringo song, as was originally intended? And what on Earth is “brumbeat”?
We turn to George’s first Beatles song on an album this episode as JG and Andrew cover “Don’t Bother Me”. How does George’s first attempt at songwriting stack up against Lennon and McCartney? Is his solo output worth bothering (ho ho) with? And how contentious will the final score be?
It’s something of a classic that’s getting covered this episode as “All My Loving” falls under the spotlight. Does it deserve to be such a popular live number? Why is JG pulled up for speaking French? And how on-topic will things stay before the inevitable score?
The second song on With The Beatles goes under the JG/Andrew microscope today with All I’ve Got To Do. Does it continue the album’s run of quality after the terrific opener? How go Lennon’s vocals? And for how long can two people prevaricate over picking a score for the song while essentially working out format points on the fly?
We kick off the second Beatles album this episode with “It Won’t Be Long”. How does the song work as an opening track to the album? Does it deserve its somewhat-neglected reputation? Plus there’s a discussion of Across The Universe, a film neither JG nor Andrew have actually, at any point, seen. And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s the introduction of a new format point! But what will it be? There’s only one way to find out…
We flip She Loves You over to cover its B-side this episode with the largely-forgotten I’ll Get You. Does the song deserve to languish in obscurity? How does it fare stylistically? And just how long can JG vamp for while Andrew desperately tries to find some statistics?
It’s the mighty She Loves You this week on Stuffology, the biggest-selling Beatles single of them all. Does the song deservie its totemic reputation? How does Brian Epstein factor into this? And when discussing production, just how pretentious can JG get? (hint: fairly!)
We flip the disc for our song choice this week and discuss the B-side “Thank You Girl”. Did the song deserve to be an A-side as originally intended? What was going on in the charts at this time? And why the diversion into Cliff Richard talk? (to be honest, the last of those questions may not be answered after listening). Thanks, “Thank You Girl”!