beatles - anthology

The Beatles: Anthology (1995)

You couldn’t escape the anticipation for the The Beatles Anthology documentary: everyone was waiting to hear the first “new” music from The Beatles since 1970.  Taking rough demos from John Lennon the rest of the band got together to finish them.  And while you can debate the merits of “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love” the chance to go behind the scenes with the band as they evolved into legends is an undeniable delight. Continue reading “The Beatles: Anthology (1995)”

beatles - past masters

The Beatles: Past Masters (1988)

In my brief (very brief) survey of the current stream-everything, digital rules pop landscape its fascinating to see how the single, non-album track has become prominent.  Fascinating because though a lot of fingers point to streaming and digital as primary reason, you can  go back over 40 years and see the same reliance on singles.  Collected as a two-disc set, Past Masters not only shows how adept The Beatles were at the form, but also boggles the mind with just how many “hits” in the pop consciousness weren’t actually collected on the studio albums. Continue reading “The Beatles: Past Masters (1988)”

beatles - let it be, let it be naked

The Beatles: Let It Be/Let It Be…Naked (1970/2003)

Let It Be feels like the loose, shaggy dog of The Beatles catalog.  Recorded before but released after Abbey Road, the stories behind the album – the acrimony between the band, the various (and rejected) Glyn Johns, the final polish by “wall of sound” producer Phil Spector and eventual release after the Beatles officially broke up – all of this overshadows the original intent: that of four guys getting back to their roots, playing together the kind of rattling rock and roll they loved in the beginning.  Continue reading “The Beatles: Let It Be/Let It Be…Naked (1970/2003)”

beatles - abbey road

The Beatles: Abbey Road (1969)

There’s a sense of the mythic in that opening bassline, the way it connect the drum.  It’s all sex and slink, a dirt revelation of the youth of 1969, 79…2019.  Abbey Road is the true last gospel of The Beatles, and  the true gospel of The Beatles, the last time the band would truly ever “Come Together,” and it’s little wonder it’s so glorious a send off, despite it being released after Let It Be.   Continue reading “The Beatles: Abbey Road (1969)”

white album

The Beatles: The Beatles (1968)

Does anyone really sit through the entirety of The Beatles (hereafter known as The White Album) and think its a work of genius?  Some of my favorite songs are on here, and you also have “Piggies” and “Honey Pie” which are…less than satisfying.  There’s a bold beauty on display that The Beatles (hereafter known as…The Beatles) reached for a much more experimental and shaggy structure, where everything before was so compact and cohesive.  Although it’s a fair point to sat that the fact The White Album is so shaggy is the cohesive point, so I don’t know. Continue reading “The Beatles: The Beatles (1968)”

beatles - magical mystery tour

The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour (1967)

Man, 1967 was a busy year for The Beatles.  Only a few short months after Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band came the ill-advised television special Magical Mystery Tour.  If you’ve ever seen the film, it’s a poorly contrived mess; a huge departure from the fun of A Hard Day’s Night and Help!.  Fortunately, the new songs that accompanied the film were still pretty damn great, and so we can still hold our head high with Magical Mystery Tour the album, even if the second side is filled with previously released singles. Continue reading “The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour (1967)”

beatles - sgt pepper

The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

Retired from touring in 1966 and given the freedom to explore other avenues of creativity, The Beatles regrouped and went into full-on experimental mode, crafting a vaguely conceptual album about a fictitious band with which they could embrace new technologies and make music unfettered (to a point) and untethered (to a point) from the musical zeitgeist their previous work created.  Thus was born Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the only album to ever inspire a film starring Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees.  If that’s not a legacy, I don’t know what is. Continue reading “The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)”