September 9, 2009

Revolution 09/09/09

It comes as no surprise that a Beatles review would appear on this blog as well as everywhere else on the internet today. It has been about 40 years since the Beatles split and the world still has yet to get over it. Today the entire catalog is being reissued and The Beatles: Rock Band is also being released. So why exactly is all of this so relevant? Well in a time when people don't buy music any more it is hard to imagine a time when a band changed the world. Yet it is even harder to imagine that nearly four decades after the band's demise the world is still changing. The Beatles are impossible to escape. A day like today may make that more clear then ever when everyone from Rolling Stone, The New York Times, CNN, and Pitchfork are all talking about and reviewing the classic albums, but really it is nothing new. Today just happens to be a day when all the attention is making headlines. When the Beatles Anthologies were released in the 90's the song "Free As a Bird" was released as the first new Beatles song in twenty-five years and it won a grammy. In 2008, Abbey Road was the second best selling vinyl album of the year. 39 years after is was released. The Beatles 1 is the best selling album of the decade. The Mirage hotel in Las Vegas is home the the Cirque Du Soleil show Love which is inspired entirely by the Fab Four. Entertainment Weekly claims "Forty-five years after this single hit the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, it's still nearly impossible to get any two people to agree on what chord that famous opening clang! actually is." The Paul is dead rumors circulated long before the help of the internet. How many bands inspired a whole generation of hair styles? And correct me if I'm wrong, but can anyone name another band to have all five of the top songs on Billboard at once? Nearly everywhere you look the Beatles literally are here, there, and everywhere. I know everyone regards the band as the most important in the history of music, but it is still impressive that they are still as big as ever. Jesus is getting tired in their shadow. Yet to me the most impressive aspect of the band is not that they are still legends after all these years, but in fact how many years they were actually a band. In less then a decade they produced thirteen full length albums, a feat that is unimaginable for any other band or solo artist. What makes it even more remarkable is that every one of those albums received rave reviews. Even the haters at Pitchfork, who must be pissing themselves at the chance to finally give the albums their beloved 10.0, gave an 8.8 as the lowest review to With the Beatles. In today's world we're lucky if a band releases an album every other year, let alone multiple albums in a single year. However the Beatles were masters in the studio. Sometimes I forget that all of their best work came after they stopped touring and hid away in the studio. The three back to back to back classics of Rubber Soul, Revolver, and Sgt. Pepper's all came about after they stopped performing and the latter two were released within ten months of each other. In fact the only year in which the band was active that they only released one album was 1968, and that album was the self-titled "White Album" which is arguably the best double album ever recorded. That alone is unthinkable. Also how many bands today wish they were psychedelic enough to record "Tomorrow Never Knows", "Within You Without You" and anything off of Magical Mystery Tour? (Animal Collective please raise your hand here.) Perhaps it was all the time in the studio which ultimately led to the break-up as was hinted in the film version of Let it Be, but it was probably worth it. The Beatles re-invented music forty years ago and are still at it today. How much more can be said that has not been said before? Not much.

So I'll leave you with this, EW just did a list of their top 50 Beatles songs and in return he are some of mine:

25. "Within You, Without You"
24. "Can't Buy Me Love"
23. "Paperback Writer"
22. "Revolution"
21. "I am the Walrus"
20. "Here, There, and Everywhere"
19. "Rain"
18. "Tell Me Why"
17. "Come Together"
16. "Eleanor Rigby"
15. "In My Life"
14. "If I Needed Someone"
13. "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)"
12. "Happiness is a Warm Gun"
11. "Dear Prudence"
10. "Don't Let Me Down"
09. "Something"
08. "Let It Be"
07. "Strawberry Fields Forever"
06. "I Need You"
05. "A Day in the Life"
04. "Hey Jude"
03. "Across the Universe"
02. "And Your Bird Can Sing"
01. "Tomorrow Never Knows"

Thank you Beatles, for 21 years I've been happy just to dance with you!

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