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Beatles reunion
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8 August 2013
12.31pm
sinco
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Im kinda glad that they didn't get back together, because it secured their legacy as the greatest band of all time, and made their history so legendary because pretty much all of their albums are so good.

A comparison I often think of when thinking about the Beatles' legacy is Michael Jordan's career. He could've left off on such a good note with his last shot being a championship-winning shot in Chicago (the equivalent of the Beatles' Abbey Road ), but instead he attempted a comeback with the Wizards  where he was only a shadow of his former self (which is probably how the Beatles reunion probably might have turned out like, although basketball is obviously not the same as making music).

8 August 2013
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meanmistermustard
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VB, I wouldn't want the Beatles to look to any band from the 80's to beat, more do their own thing whilst being aware of what was out there a la the 60's when they knew what was going on but never sought to replicate it ( I hope you get what I mean).

Who knows what area of the music genre's they would have moved into, probably everything and anything. John liked bands like Madness and The B-52's so maybe we would have gotten a bit more of a ska flavour whereas Paul was interested in doodling with the electronic scene (see Macca II). I haven't heard what Ringo was doing at the time, Stop and Smell the Roses is meant to be better than what came before but I don't have the desire to find out. George was kind of doing his thing touching a few different things (what would I Really Love You be classed as?) and getting more and more bored with music making and the industry, maybe a reunion would have given him a jolt.

 

[As an aside I grew up loving Ringo's Rotogravure but have only heard A Dose of Rock and Roll in the last few years and it sounded badly dated. Should really investigate that album a bit more but only have it on cassette and who plays those.]

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8 August 2013
3.21pm
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The Walrus
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Couldn't the Beatles have reunited without recording albums, at least until the time was right? The Stones and the Who, neither of whom have released a decent album for decades (The Who have stopped trying) are both currently playing massive shows. Ok, Jagger's voice is gone, and the Who are having to pipe in old performances from John Entwistle and Keith Moon, but they're still amazing, as are Paul's shows. Now how much more amazing would concerts from the whole of the Beatles be?

They wouldn't need to release albums, so they could do so only when they had something they thought had artistic merit.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time

8 August 2013
3.26pm
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meanmistermustard
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It would have been interesting to hear Beatle versions of solo-Beatles tracks and if they would have been improved and/or reworked before the performances. It would have been great to see them together whatever they sang but it would be far more interesting to see Whatever Gets You Thru The Night over another standard performance of She Loves You .

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of 'self' to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

14 August 2013
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Sky999
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I agree I would hate for them to be one of those bands that you say "I love the older stuff better or now they are shit".  Speaking of the Stones, Mick Jagger brought up a good point in a joking way a while back on David Letterman. He said nobody wants to hear your new stuff or something like that. I think its true for like bands like the Stones, nobody really wants to hear their new stuff, they want to hear the old classics. It has pass through my brain, of course, what it would have been like for a reunion for The Beatles, but as you said I'm glad they did not. 

Beatle disco = NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

14 August 2013
5.14pm
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Von Bontee
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"Whatever Gets You Through The Night" with John/Paul/George harmonies would be superlative Beatles proto-disco! ("With A Little Luck", only so-so. But it'd certainly be better.) I think that probably ANY of the albums would be improved with those timeless Beatles harmonies (well, maybe not Plastic Ono Band.)

If they did make an album after several years apart, and it was bad, I'd simply go into denial and rationalize to myself that it's not a "real" Beatles album. Just the way I dismiss the existence of "Free As A Bird " and "Real Love ."

And there's a reason that nobody wants to hear the Stones' new stuff: it's just not as good as their old stuff! They go through the motions of writing and recording a new album whenever they need something new for sale to promote their latest huge tour.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
-- Paul McCartney

14 August 2013
5.28pm
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meanmistermustard
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I have Grrrr (the dreadful name of the latest Stones compilation) and there is no doubt in my head that the earlier stuff (up to the early mid-70's at a push) is far superior to what came after (at least on that). If that's the best of what they did later I have no interest in investigating a little deeper.

 

My view of FAAB and RL is complicated as I do see them as an official part of the cannon but deem them to be strictly under the Anthology banner, so I suppose an offshooting branch.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of 'self' to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

15 August 2014
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paulramon1962
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John was set to go to England a week after he was shot, reportedly to discuss the documentary project still then called "The Long And Winding Road ." Would there have been new material? Would it have even happened? Thoughts?

Favorite Beatle of the moment: Paul McCartney

15 August 2014
1.54pm
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meanmistermustard
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@paulramon1962, i've moved your post to this more generic thread for the reunion which you might want to look thru. Additionally there is some discussion on Johns Playboy comments as well as others from the mid-70's relating to a reunion here.

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"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of 'self' to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

15 August 2014
2.37pm
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Zig
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Sky999 said

I agree I would hate for them to be one of those bands that you say "I love the older stuff better or now they are shit".  Speaking of the Stones, Mick Jagger brought up a good point in a joking way a while back on David Letterman. He said nobody wants to hear your new stuff or something like that. I think its true for like bands like the Stones, nobody really wants to hear their new stuff, they want to hear the old classics. It has pass through my brain, of course, what it would have been like for a reunion for The Beatles, but as you said I'm glad they did not. 

Beatle disco = NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of all the concerts I've seen, Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney best played into the thoughts you laid down, Sky. The Clapton show was in April 1990 on the tour for the Journeyman album. I love this album and was jazzed when he played songs from it during the first half of the show. Zag and I could not understand why the general audience was not getting into the show as much as we were. Then, he dove into the classics in earnest and the place erupted. As for the Paul show last month, I noticed the same thing. I was thrilled when he played songs from NEW and wished he played more from it. Again, the general audience were not as enthusiatic as I for the latest songs. So, it appears I don't fit into the category of those who go to these shows from rock icons just to hear the classics.

I can't help feeling that some of this can be attributed to the high cost of concert tickets. Looking back at both shows, especailly Macca's, I recall the audience mostly made up of older folk with their children. These parents are established Beatles or Wings fans, love the classics and have careers now which allow them the luxury of taking the kiddies to the high priced show. Those same kiddies love the classics because their parents raised them on those songs. I can certainly understand both generations not caring for NEW as much as they do the classics or loving the album as much as I. This was borne out during my ride to the show. My brother and I went to the show together. My sister-in-law drove us to and from the show and my 14 year old nephew came along for the ride. I asked them to pop NEW into the CD player in order to get myself psyched up for the show (as if I needed it, eh Ahhh Girl?). To my dissapointment, I was the only one in the car who had ever heard the album. The good news is, they all loved it and we listened to it again when they picked us up after the show. But I wonder how many people in the audience had not heard it either - you know, the folks that can afford to bring the whole family to the show.

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28 April 2018
5.42am
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ABBA have reunited in the studio, recording new material (two songs) for the first time since 1982. I mention this as a BBC article on their return wonders if it will live up to expectations and, amongst other artists, covers the Beatles reunion in 1995. 

"I'm half-thrilled and half-terrified," says Kitty Empire, pop critic for The Observer.

"No matter what they produce, can it ever live up to this weight of expectation? But I'm cautiously optimistic."

And herein lies the problem. Can any band reform 35 years after their peak and recapture what fans loved about them?

"I think a good parallel is when the surviving Beatles got back together to do Free As A Bird [in 1995]," says music writer Pete Paphides.

"Some people were sniffy about it at the beginning, when they first heard it, and I was one of them.

"I was in my early 20s and had that 20-something arrogance that you sometimes have. But, actually, I can barely get to the end of Free As A Bird  now without my eyes watering.

"I think it's just a beautiful song and I've lived with it over the years. My youngest daughter plays it on the piano. And that feels as valid and important a part of their legacy as any other Beatles songs."

The Beatles aren't the only ones who got it right, says Paphides, listing Blur, New Order and Take That as bands who bounced back from a break-up.

"The Take That album was really clever because they weren't trying to be the band that they were before," he says. "It was like they'd stepped back and asked themselves, 'Who are we as people, and how can we credibly do this?'

"It was an album that honoured the fact that both their fans and they as people were older. So there was a bittersweet aspect to that record, which I think sort of touched people."

I think this is the first article I have read where a critic is highly positive not only towards the reunion but also to 'FAAB' to the point where it lives up to anything that the Beatles did in the 60's. Maybe I missed it.

 

Whilst I am here, it should be noted in this thread that in 2015 remixed versions of the two reunion tracks 'FAAB' and 'RL' with very notable differences to their original versions were included on the '1+' Blu-ray/DVD. Anyone who hasn't heard these should do so as they significantly improve both songs.

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29 April 2018
10.16am
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Billy Rhythm
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paulramon1962 said
John was set to go to England a week after he was shot, reportedly to discuss the documentary project still then called "The Long And Winding Road ." Would there have been new material? Would it have even happened? Thoughts?  

I haven't heard about this until today, is there more information on the England trip?  John was preparing to go back out on the road for 1981 and finishing up the 'Milk & Honey' album...  I believe that if he was looking to reunite with the other three back then, it would've been for a live performance on his upcoming 'One World, One People' tour...  One of the shows (Madison Square Gardens, I believe) was targeted to be broadcast worldwide via satellite (ala 'All You Need Is Love ') and there are some who say that John was looking to make the reunion happen on this night...  Unfortunately, this was not to be...:-)

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Vera Chuckandave
30 April 2018
5.29am
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Vera Chuckandave
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Can't help but think that the world had shifted so much politically, culturally and musically (and not necessarily to a good place!!) in the early 80's and society was generally not "feeling the love" so much anymore.
It also has to be said that John's eagerly awaited music at this time was pretty average, contrived and reeked of "days gone by". Paul was, arguably, also past his best and I feel that, regardless of how much the world wanted it, no fire would have reignited. The thought of them being a second rate parody of themselves is a sad one indeed. The magic will forever stay truly magical....paul-mccartney-thumb_gif

And my bird can't sing......!!

30 April 2018
7.31am
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Timothy
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sinco said
Im kinda glad that they didn't get back together, because it secured their legacy as the greatest band of all time, and made their history so legendary because pretty much all of their albums are so good.

A comparison I often think of when thinking about the Beatles' legacy is Michael Jordan's career. He could've left off on such a good note with his last shot being a championship-winning shot in Chicago (the equivalent of the Beatles' Abbey Road ), but instead he attempted a comeback with the Wizards  where he was only a shadow of his former self (which is probably how the Beatles reunion probably might have turned out like, although basketball is obviously not the same as making music).  

Completely agree with all of this.

1.The Beatles 2.Sgt. Pepper 3.Abbey Road 4.Magical Mystery Tour 5.Rubber Soul 6.Revolver 7.Help! 8.Let It Be
9.A Hard Day’s Night 10.Please Please Me 11.Beatles For Sale 12.With The Beatles 13.Yellow Submarine

30 April 2018
1.06pm
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SunKing
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I think even a band such as the Beatles was impacted by the trajectory of rock music fame.  They were obviously top of the world during the 60s, and there was curiosity, goodwill and fans' sense of loss that buoyed them during the early to mid-70s but by the late 70s early 80s I believe there probably would have been more downsides for them getting together.  I have this gut sense that even the best bands go through a middle period where they're no longer as revered, only to emerge later as eminent statespeople who then are received more warmly again.  

I'm obviously generalizing and if anyone could overcome this the Beatles could.  But I do believe that had they gotten together during the early 80s (assuming John living ) there may not have been unlimited goodwill toward whatever they did.  They would have had to overcome a wave of skepticism rather than riding a wave of anticipation.

People smarter than me have noted that the Beatles were perfect for and defined a particular era in the world's history and their very finite timeline contributes to their distinctiveness.

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