OK, I'll just come right out and say it: I've never been a big Beatles fan. Or even a little one. I do realize the huge weight of their game-changing influence, but the music itself, with a few exceptions, never really resonated with me. The Beatles exploded onto the scene, transformed and vanished during the time span when the little boy version of me was more interested in playing baseball at all hours of the day. My first record player hadn't arrived yet, though it's tough to say that this is an issue of mere timing.
For many years, the only Beatles albums in my possession were Magical Mystery Tour and The White Album. They were from the small cache of records my sister left behind when she left the house at the age of eighteen. Magical Mystery Tour was fun because it was so odd. The same can be said of the latter record, though the straight-ahead rockers ("Back in the U.S.S.R.," "Helter Skelter," "Yer Blues," "Birthday") made more sense to me at the time than oddities like "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" or "Revolution #9." Over the years, I grew to like most of the other tunes as well. Some people (including George Martin) think this should have been a single album. Yeah sure, did we really need "Don't Pass Me By"? Personally, I could do without "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" but my thinking on the whole matter aligns more with McCartney: The White Album is a document of the times and is fine just the way it is.
Oh right, I do have Revolver on CD. Yeah, "Taxman" is a great tune and I'll gladly put up with "Yellow Submarine" to get to "Tomorrow Never Knows."
Now that the entire Beatles catalog has been remastered, there's a whole lot of bluster going on. This is indeed big news in the music world, just not in mine. A few years ago, during the big resurgence of Brian Wilson, I read (for what seemed like the 50,000th time) that he came up with Pet Sounds because of the cohesive nature of Rubber Soul. So I went out and bought that CD, as well as Abbey Road, Let It Be, and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. They're all pretty interesting, but they've pretty much remained on the shelf. I'm still sort of amazed that people think of Sgt Pepper's as the best rock album of all time. It's easily my least favorite Beatles record. Maybe you just had to be there.
The audiophile in me sort of wants to check out the mono remasters (yes, 'audiophile' and 'mono' in the same sentence does seem odd, but you'll have to trust me when I tell you that it makes sense) but that probably won't happen either because I'd have to shell out cash for the whole set. I'm not that curious.
The White Album fan in me is indeed interested in the stereo remaster so I'll have to make that happen soon. As for the rest of the catalog? I know all about unrestrained fan juice, so don't think that I'm trying to spoil the fun here (well OK, except for that Rock Band thing…yeesh, don't get me started). The Beatles were huge and their influence is undeniable. They just weren't for me.Powered by Sidelines