Saturday, November 25, 2006

Strange days indeed / most peculiar mama

I guess I wanted to dislike it. The concept stinks. I’m happy, and it gives me pleasure, to say that I dislike Cirque De Soleil quite a lot. I was dragged along to it in Auckland some years ago and didn’t enjoy it one little bit. Very clever and all, but the latent Cornishman (even if the whanau moved south 150 years hence) in me thought it utterly pretentious twaddle masquerading as some sort of art for the masses. The rest of The Beatles have admitted that Johnny probably would have too. But then we know that from listening to the song he wrote about the sort of circus he liked. And the preview on their website of the actual show is truly gruesome watching. So with that in mind, well, I didn’t want Love to work.

But sad to say, it does. And as loathe as I am to quote Mojo Magazine, Jim Irvin puts it so well in his album review when he says that The Beatles taught our minds to play. And so they did. Perhaps that is only essentially true for my generation and the one before, but I don’t think so. My twelve year old daughter and others I know of her age have had the same response to this music as I did all those years back. I love so much diverse music (the killer Agoria remix of Big Fun is playing now…now that’s a tune), there are so many records, bits of vinyl, CDs, MP3s, whatever, that I adore beyond any reason. But, despite all that, there is only one Beatles, only one act that has that power, that majesty, that epoch defining magic.

And yet every release (the bi-annual Christmas release that Apple and EMI manage to wrest out of the catalogue without finally releasing the remastered issues of the actual albums that everyone is really craving, but more of that soon) brings out the predicable moans of “The Beatles were shite, overated”, “I’d rather listen to Abba” and the like. So can I be arrogant and say that I feel really sorry for these silly bleaters. Regardless of anything else, and no matter where you come from, The Beatles were most definitely not rubbish. Its not really an arguable point...I’ve already been there…so I won’t bother again, and it’s a point usually made by the bleater under the duress of fashion, perceived self cool, or ignorance, so I’ll dispense with it and say no more.

I’m not going to try to do anything like review this record. There are already dozens of reviews out there, most rather exuberant in their praise. I don’t need to and I don’t ever see myself as a reviewer, more a commentator…you want a the bloody record because its all about you anyway; I can’t tell you if you’d like a bit of music and neither can anyone else.

However, coming back to my comment earlier about what people really want, there is little doubt that this album is for many, simply a filler, an album to listen to until EMI finally get their act together to issue the original 13 albums in a contemporary form. We are listening to Love, and the critics are getting all frothy, because this sounds, unlike the 1980’s CDs still on offer at full price, so damn good. No other reason. There is a novelty aspect to this album that will soon pass, and indeed for me is already doing so. But I’ll keep on listening simply because I love the way these sound and I love the fact that at last I can hear these tracks like this. They sound incredible. Whether I, or many others would keep on listening to Love if the other albums were released in 5.1 or even mindfuck stereo is a reasonably easily answered question. No, of course not. This would then become what it really is, a beautifully crafted Beatles podcast friendly sampler.

And there is something strangely wrong about the Cirque de Soleil concept too. I don’t want to hear this music in the company of hundreds of others who don’t understand this music. You see, that’s the thing that separates The Beatles from almost everybody else. Almost everyone thinks that they have an exclusive understanding of these guys, an understanding that no-one else can approach…which takes us back to the Jim Irwin line above. You guys might think you like The Beatles, might think you understand but really, I’m the only one who truly does. Really, really, truly. And I’m not going to sit in a theatre with a bunch of charlatans and pretenders.

But I guess it will keep the wolf away from Jacko’s door for a while too.

Oh…can we have the double white album in mono as well, my vinyl copy is totally rooted…..

Actually what truly scares me are those damned floodgates I can now hear creaking open…

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