So I’m in my car with the iPod in it’s “shuffle” mode, driving the 3 hrs it takes to get back home each weekend, and my musical mindset is not jivin’ with what’s shufflin’. I’m fast forwarding so much I almost run off the road and then “Help” by the Beatles comes on and I stop my finger twitching long enough to listen. I mean really listen. I enjoy it so much that I stop the random shuffle and go directly to a Beatles mix that I created when I first got my iPod a couple of years ago that, albeit very edited, lists selected tracks from this amazing group in chronological order. Kind of like my very own “Red” and “Blue” comps.
“MY GOD, was there ever a band that evolved so fast in so little a time frame and will there ever be another?” I ask myself. Everyone reading this knows the answer to that question. If you don’t then you’re either a Menonite or a deaf mute. Just listen to Love Me Do, Paperback Writer, Tomorrow Never Knows, A Day In The Life, Helter Skelter and Hey jude all in a row sometime. It’s freakin’ evil that’s afoot, I’m tellin’ ya! Was it the competition between McCartney and Lennon (and George and Ringo to a lesser extent), or was it something else, that made this band so special? Was it George Martin’s production? A combination of all the above coupled with excellent timing? What did these four lads have to sign over to the devil in order to become…well…what they became? I don’t know and quite frankly I don’t care, but what I do know for certain is that I don’t make a point to listen to them nearly enough. That’s possibly due to the fact that I am so overly familiar with their body of work that it just slips my mind. It’s tough to really appreciate their influence and brilliance when you’ve heard it so many times, but every once in a while I can pretend that I’ve never heard the White Album and be absolutely blown away. Again.
This is why the new remasters are so welcome. The liner notes and additional photos aren’t anything to really write home about, but the improved sound quality is audible and a real treat. I’ve only purchased Revolver, The White Album and Rubber Soul thus far but the that’s enough to get me through a few weeks.