Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Beatles - don't you just hate them?

The new Beatles digitally remastered anthology and video game have been attracting a lot of media attention. But I won't be putting my hand in my pocket. For one thing I've already got all the original albums, having eventually succumbed to buying them not long ago (at a knock down price) from a second hand shop. And for another, I'm one of those people who are ambivalent, at best, towards them. I still haven't forgiven them for murdering some of the classic soul and rock and roll 45s of the early 60s, including Anna, Chains, Baby It's You, Twist and Shout, Roll Over Beethoven, You Really Gotta Hold on Me, Money, Rock and Roll Music and Kansas City.
To be fair, the Beatles did play a role in popularising the music, but so too did the Stones and a whole lot of lesser British bands like Freddie and the Dreamers, the Swinging Blue Jeans and the Searchers, and there's no way I can think of anything positive to say about that lot. But despite my in built prejudice against British beat music of the sixties I have to admit that many of the Beatles albums are still worth the occasional play. When my sons visit the music they want to listen to is primarily the Beatles. Obviously I didn't bring them up very well, but when forced to listen to their later LPs there is a certain appeal, in the tunes, the backing and the vocals. Compared with most of the dross that passes for pop music today it's sheer brilliance. Did anyone hear Speech Debelle, or whatever she calls herself, who won the Mercury prize for an album that sold 3000 copies? I rest my case.
The BBC website today ran a story about what it's like to be fully paid up Beatles hater. Such paragons of musical taste include James Bond (in Goldfinger) and Robert Elms. Even though I don't fully subscribe to their views they have my full support. Here's the article:


At 11:23 pm , Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

I realize that the times we live in are just too damned weird to focus any degree of attention on a rock 'n' roll band that released its final recording forty-years-ago last month - two of whose members are gone from our midst. Think about it. In 1969, at the height of all that was going on then, any columnist who would have devoted a entire page to the greatness of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra would have been laughed out of the business. But this isn't just any band we're talking about here. With the exception of the President's address to a joint session of Congress last night, I didn't spend much time yesterday focusing on affairs of state. September 9, 2009 belonged to the Beatles.

Yesterday marked the long-awaited release of a box set containing all fourteen albums recorded by the Fab Four between the years 1962 and 1970. What makes this package different from what has previously been available is the fact that the engineers at EMI (the studio in London where they did most of their work) have digitally remastered the recordings from the original multi-track tapes. It was like listening to them for the first time all over again. The Beatles have never sounded better - I didn't even think that was possible!

Let me attempt the impossible and sum up the Beatles' message in one sentence: We are the makers of our own dreams. That works for me.

Dream. Dream away.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


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