Here’s something that all my friends in real life know about me but don’t reveal too much on the web:
I love The Beatles. Yes, those four guys (and two of them are dead) with the weird hairdos who sing in harmonies and “She Loves You” and smoke weed and basically what grumpy old men in their 70s listen to.
Finished laughing already? No? Okay!
Ok, so I just bought their new album LOVE, expecting a tired, random “The Beatles, Remixed” package. I knew it was a mashup album, but I still wasn’t expecting too much of it. I knew George Martin and his son Giles produced the 26-track album , but even though George Martin was the original producer of most of the Beatles’ songs, I still thought I wouldn’t be impressed. So why did I buy it in the first place? I’m a big fan (as I stated already), and since this is being touted as “the first Beatles album since 1970”, I just had to listen to it. So how was LOVE?
Let me just tell you this: “The Beatles, Remixed” it was not. It was something else. Totally indescribable.
Unlike my previous reviews, I won’t give you a song-by-song review of the album because the album is just one whole medley and each track being a jumble of sounds from other songs, and breaking down each track and talking about the strengths and weaknesses of each would be an exercise in futility.
So I’ll just say what I like and don’t like about LOVE.
Let me just say that since all the tracks in this album are embedded into everyone’s collective memory, a “best of” would only bore the hell out of me. I already have the original tracks, why bother with the new one?
So mixing and mashing the songs with the Beatles’ other similar songs made it work. The most stunning of these is the usage of the bass and drum line of “Tomorrow Never Knows” as the base of “Within You Without You”. These two songs were both spiritual and the merging felt inevitable.
However, some of these mashups felt awkward, like putting the string section of “Goodnight” into “Octupus’s Garden”. Just because Ringo sang them both doesn’t mean they can be mixed. Each song segues seamlessly into each other, and that means some songs have to be cut down for the sake of fitting 26 songs in one album. It’s such a shame, really, since all the tracks had been remastered and doesn’t sound tinny, unlike the originals. They sound so full and like you were with the Beatles in the studio as they were recording their tracks. So cutting down the songs means we had to miss an extra verse from “Get Back” and “Hey Jude”.
However, they kept “Help!” and “A Day In The Life” intact. And I am thankful that they only remastered “A Day In The Life”, because that song is a masterpiece in itself and can never ever be remixed. However, these songs were arranged so that they would segue seamlessly with the rest of the album.
My favorite track on the album however, has to be the haunting acoustic demo of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, backed by a new string arrangement written by Martin. This could stand as a new single and another possible new #1 for them.
- Get Back
- Glass Onion
- Eleanor Rigby/Julia
- I Am the Walrus
- I Want to Hold Your Hand
- Drive My Car/The Word/What You’re Doing
- Gnik Nus
- Something/Blue Jay Way
- Being for the the Benefit of Mr. Kite!/I Want You (She’s So Heavy)/Helter Skelter
- Strawberry Fields Forever
- Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows
- Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
- Octopus’s Garden
- Lady Madonna
- Here Comes the Sun/The Inner Light
- Come Together/Dear Prudence/Cry Baby Cry
- Back in the U.S.S.R.
- While My Guitar Gently Weeps
- A Day in the Life
- Hey Jude
- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
- All You Need Is Love