I was in my grandmother's kitchen, playing with some toys, when I heard the announcer on the radio talk about the beetles which will now 'crawl under your door and infest your room'. I remember vividly how I literally thought that somehow some bugs are going to appear from underneath the kitchen door. Instead, I was jolted into a sort of early childhood awakening by that dastardly opening chord in "A Hard Day's Night"!
And that's how it all began, for me. Ever since that day, I was a fully converted Beatle maniac, or should I say, Beatle fundamentalist. I remember how I rushed out of the kitchen when the song ended, and went outside, to the back yard. I wanted to burn that beautiful melody into my brain, so I kept repeating it until I got nauseous.
And now, four decades later, I've finally lived to see the day when the Beatles were given the long overdue proper treatment of their catalog. Finally today, we have the Wholly Grail, the perennial fountain of youth, available to all of us for a meagre couple of hundred bucks. Things cannot get any more beautiful than that.
The purpose of this mini blog is to delve head first into the newly remastered Beatles catalog. There are copious amounts of Beatles-related material published online or in print, and I will certainly attempt to derive some interesting tidbits from that treasure throve, but my intention is primarily to provide my own, subjective, and hopefully unique view of the Fab Four catalog.
Before we jump in, a few general purpose remarks:
Ever since my childhood days, I've always had this impression that the Beatles music is somehow different from any other mainstream music out there. Despite the fact that they've earned enormous and unprecedented popularity and fame on account of their music alone, none of their songs strike me as being middle-of-the-road, safe and sanitized products that the music business is so keen on. Every song the Beatles ever released sounded totally daring, edgy, unexpected, coming out of the left field. And, of course, these songs sound equally edgy, odd, unusual today.
It is therefore very hard to explain their mainstream success. Upon entering the spotlight, the Beatles were, right out of the gate, totally and unapologetically disruptive. They basically turned everything upside down, most notably the music and the music business itself. In other words, they redefined everything. And if that's not disruptive to the core, I don't know what is.
Now, as we all know, the crowds intensely dislike disruptive things. The crowds crave safe, familiar stuff. How is it, then, that the crowds all of a sudden opened up, and allowed for the total anarchy, that was the Beatles, to penetrate every pore of the society and of the Western Civilization?
It is absolutely impossible for me to answer this question. If anyone has an answer, please send it over here.
It is my opinion that the Beatles took music as their starting point, and then worked with all their might on transcending it, going beyond music. Now I haven't got a slightest clue what would this thing that would be 'beyond music' sound like, but I offer to you my hunch that, if you listen to the Beatles catalog, and especially to this latest remastered version, you'll be able to hear this transcendent, 'beyond music' phenomena.
The above is as bombastic as I'm going to get in my reviews. Now that I've shaken these issues off my chest, time to dig into the meat of the Beatles recorded music.