Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day 181 and a half: The Beatles...

Today's soundtrack: Everything from Please Please Me up to Let It Be

With the reissue this week of all The Beatles' albums in mono and stereo, I've taken the opportunity to re-listen to the music I grew up with, listening to not only the new versions of the classic albums, but also the 1987 CD versions and the original vinyl LPs.

I have come to a clear conclusion.

The Beatles are the greatest band ever.

No debate about this, it is self-evident. They are so far ahead of the competition as to be untouchable.

My earliest memories centre around The Beatles. She Loves You. The best pop single - ever. Closely followed by 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'.

Was that enough? Oh no. We soon had the Liverpool medley of Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields. The best two tracks to be combined on one single ever? Oh, I think so.

Whatever they did, whatever album they released, it raised the bar. The Stones, The Beach Boys - great bands - but all they could do was follow, not lead. There was only one band to follow - one Beatles.

The new releases - yes, they are fine. But they do not change the fact that the original songs are perfect, whatever the remastering or platform they are released on. The youth of today may choose to revisit the Beatles' legacy by pressing coloured buttons on a plastic toy - but at the end of the's the fucking Beatles, isn't it?

One example. 'For No One'.

Buried on Revolver, overshadowed at the time by Eleanor Rigby, Here, There and Everywhere, And Your Bird Can Sing (another example of a song that would have been any other band's "best song ever").

But despite its lack of profile, one of the most beautiful love songs ever released?

Oh yes.

Their throwaway songs would be better than the best songs their contemporaries could aspire to.

I love all sorts of music - you can see that from the stuff that hits the soundtrack to this blog - but, ultimately - nothing touches the Fabs.

As I type - Macca is singing 'Got To Get You Into My Life'. It gets no better.

The Beatles - probably - prove the existence of a God. If they do, it's a God I choose to believe in.


Stu M said...

But who is the better song writer?

Melodic, acomplished but twee Paul with his "granny music"...

...or cynical, edgy, nasty John. More limited musically but maybe saying something more profound than 'Obladi-Oblada'?


Modest Matt said...

I'd have to say Lennon initially. Although not being that majorly educated on the who-wrote-what side of the band, it could change as i investigate further. All I know is that I Am The Walrus and Ticket to Ride are two of my favourite songs, not just by The Beatles but in general. Maybe not number one favourite, but if I had to write a top ten, both of them would definately be nearer the top than the bottom.