3 October 2012
All of the Beatles albums are indeed unique and quite wonderful, and all of them occupy a unique space in musical history.
I will share some thoughts on a few of them…
Like millions of other Americans, I first saw the Beatles on the 'Ed Sullivan Show' in early 1964, while the country was still realing from the murder of JFK…Like those other millions of people, I was overjoyed and amazed by these four guys from Liverpool bringing some bright sunshine into a very bleak winter.
In the Us, of course, we got the Capitol Records American versions of the albums…After seeing them on the Sullivan show, I went out and bought 'Meet the Beatles' and it was on my turntable a whole lot…I especially like 'All My Loving' with it's driving and uplifting rhythm and 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' plus 'I Saw Her Standing There'…Believe me, this music was something very different from th AM radio tin pan alley stuff that I used to listen to on my little 9 volt transistor radio…Something new had arrived.
We all saw 'A Hard Day's Night' and everyone loved it…The energy was fantastic, and from George's mystical guitar chord at the beginning through 'Can't Buy Me Love' and 'I Should Have Known Better', everybody could see that these guys had something special…Please remember that this was before FM 'underground' or 'album oriented radio', so we used to hear the Beatles followed up by the Supremes, Roy Orbison or maybe a C & W tune on commercial radio!
About the time 'Beatles For Sale' came out,ABC TV in America came out with a weekly Beatles cartoon series that featured most of the songs from that period…It was a bit corny, but it was the real Beatles recordings…I used to watch it: This was a litlle image from 'I'll Follow The Sun', which was actually a nice little cartoon….
Then came 'Help' (with 'Beatles 65 & Beatles VI' tucked in there someplace)…Of course I saw it, and it was pretty done, but the cinematography was brilliant, and, of course, the music: 'Help', 'Yesterday' (not on US album, but released as a single around same time) 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away'…What came next was really exciting though…
About this time, I was in 7th grade, and was really into sports and getting into, ahem, girls…One of my football buddies invited me over to his house (name of Tommy)…He played accordion!…When I got to his place, he was playing 'Rubber Soul' songs from a sheet music book, and spinning the album on his record player…He said 'Frank, you gotta hear this new Beatles album!'…I listened and was impressed, but not impressed enough to buy it immediately…I was thinking about a couple of girl buddies and discussing the 'facts of life with them'…I remember 'You Won't See Me' and 'Michelle'.
When 'Revolver' came out, I was starting to get really heavily interested in music, although I was not yet playing an instrument.
Groups with funny names like 'Jefferson Airplane', 'Mothers of Invention' and such were starting to appear, and I had a buddy who had a bunch of records and also played a crazy piano whose house I would go over to where we would listen to some of the new records…'Revolver' was always on the turntable…I loved 'Taxman', the strange 'Eleanor Rigby', and that funny sounding thing called the sitar…My buddy's mom told us about some fellow called Ravi Shankar.
Of course, 'Yellow Submarine' could be heard about 10 times a day on the AM radio, and we REALLY loved 'Paperback Writer; & 'Rain' which I also bough with the picture sleeve….We saw the videos on 'Ed Sullivan'.
More to come…
14 December 2009
12 January 2013
1 November 2012
I never thought about it this way, but there are basically three perspectives on a Beatles "coming of age" experience in terms of time lines:
1) experiencing the Beatles at the time, as it was happening
2) experiencing the Beatles in direct aftermath -- right after the break-up: in those unique "70s" (remember disco, the Bee Gees, John Travolta, all those cheesy (and also great -- MASH, All in the Family etc.) TV shows
3) experiencing the Beatles at a long time distance -- whether growing up in the 80s, or 90s or born in 2000, it's all the same in terms of the distance from the Beatles.
The original poster above, frankdialogue, is a #1 guy: he was there to see and hear history in the making.
A lot of the people on this site seem to to be #3 young 'uns.
I'm definitely a #2: My decade was the 70s. Most of the music I love is from that era: James Taylor, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Santana, Chicago. I discovered the Beatles in an oddly roundabout way: I first heard the Ram album in about 1971 and I was amazed. I immediately bought it, then bought the first McCartney album. Then I slowly got into the Beatles. (It helped that my older sister was more of a #1: when she was 14, the Beatles made their splash, and in 1968 she was living with a hippie and doing acid in Haight-Ashbury -- the EPICENTER of the 60s Counter Culture! (you young whippersnappers, Google it … Anyway, I remember my older sister talking about something called "the White Album" and, belatedly, in about 1976, I finally delved into it, and me and my friends at the time were blown away -- that's all we could talk about: but think about it: we were like a few years away from the event.)
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