Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Meet The Beatles
I finally listened to the "new" Beatles album "Love." It's just a glorified mixtape, with not a single moment where the mashing up of the melody from one song merged with the lyrics to another song to make me hear the music anew or think of a tune in a different light. At one point, the French horn (?) from "Penny Lane" pops into another song at a random moment and it served no purpose other than a "Where's Waldo" sort of challenge. Most of the time, the songs were barely recast at all, with entire tunes playing out mostly the way they always did. Sure, some elements were brought to the fore while others were slipped in briefly from other songs, but basically most everything sounded pretty much the way you'd expect. When the ominous intro to "I Am The Walrus" began, I got a little interesteed. That's some truly spooky music and I wondered what they would pair it with. And it led into..."I Am The Walrus." Typical. When they begin the acoustic "Strawberry Fields Forever" and slowly build it up into the version we know, I thought, "That was done better on "Anthology" and works best of all with the video of George Martin talking you through it. Could this have been done better? Probably not, since it was a silly idea in the first place. Would I LOVE to hear just vocal tracks of all their songs and demos and rough mixes that only include some elements and isolated piano and guitar tracks and all the other possibilities that rush through the mind when you think about having access to the Beatles archives? Oh yes. Will I be first in line the day they release the Beatles boxed set with all those elements available for you to isolate and listen to and remix and mull over to your heart's content. You bet. Is "Love" fun to listen to? Of course. It's some of the greatest music of all time and sounds so good you gnash your teeth over the fact that their catalog hasn't been remastered. But no one should buy this until they've already bought and (repeatedly) listened to "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver" and "Sgt. Pepper" and "The White Album" and "Abbey Road." Good lord, they haven't even put out a proper version of "Let It Be" yet and we're getting this mishmashup? Please please please remaster the studio albums. Until then, I'll be pouring over these self-published books by Beatlemaniacs. If the fans had the power, the Beatles catalog would be treated right. Variety says we'll finally get the Beatles catalog remastered in 2007.