Wednesday, January 12, 2005

B, III

The Beatles- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band
The Beatles-The White Album
The Beatles-#1

Lord knows I’m a big Christopher Walken fan (even if the ‘best of’ SNL disc is a little bit disappointing.) There’s that moment in ‘The Dead Zone’ when he explains his powers- he can see the future, but there are times when that future can be changed. The possibilities of the possible alternate reality have yet to be written. In his vision there’s a blind spot of potential.
That’s what the Beatles are like for me.
A bunch of my friends are huge fans, huge, and toss around references freely. The band never factored into my musical development, but I feel like maybe (okay, certainly) they should have, so every now and again I’ll pick up an album, listen to it a bunch, then file it back away.
The record that I listen to the most of the three is the #1 album. The ubiquity of the singles has made them comfortable and familiar. The studio albums still seem a little bit daunting because of the amount of reverence that is heaped upon them- I start to listen and then wonder if I’m going about things the right way, starting at a good point, whatever.
So I listen to the singles once every few months, and find that every time a Beatles LP is played I’ve heard it a million times without realizing that I did- college, the apartment, cars, etc. So the first song or two of my own listening, in such cases, is somewhat colored by the fact that the album that I think I am delving into for the first time has, in fact, been playing in my immediate vicinity on enough occasions so that my brain realizes I have already heard all the songs in questions like twenty times. So that ubiquity makes me feel a little uneasy (oh my God, it’s the Beatles and I should have already added this record to the canon I recognize it but didn’t assign enough import) but the singles are ubiquitous but comfortable. Funny, huh?
Having said that, I’m finally at a point where it’s easy to imagine Brian Wilson going completely out of his mind after hearing Pepper (especially since the ‘Smile’ reissue was on heavy rotation at H3W for a little while.) All of the songwriting and production techniques are completely taken for granted today, but those guys invented all that stuff, you know? They made it up themselves and drove fellow performers to lunacy. An amazing endorsement. Then, over to the double album- more of the same, except more ____________-a freeform sprawl of experiments that mostly work. Insane.

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