The Beatles (Mike review)

Yes, I am fully down with the Beatlemania at the moment, I preordered the Stereo box something like a month or so before it finally came in the mail, and I am quite glad seeing some of the waiting times for the next production run. It came in a week or so ago and I'm all the way through Yellow Submarine and can barely wait to get Abbey Road in the player, in fact it would have been today but I left it at home, alas.

So some quick thoughts. I think everything sounds fantastic. While I've been afforded with copies of Dr Ebbets work and various mono versions and this and that I think I heard about the remaster project long enough ago that I was never in a hurry to hear the unofficial stuff and was kind of glad I waited. These all have the clarity and three dimensionality I was always hoping to hear and I'm still virtually stunned that the artists and so on managed to record so many of these classics on 4 and 8 track machines. But I suppose calling the Beatles remarkable is pretty obvious these days, it's not only true but fairly redundant.

I'll admit, I can easily give the first five albums very little attention. I do love songs throughout all five but I think when you take this part of their canon and realize that so much of this stuff really never became icons like so much of the post Rubber Soul material, that they weaken a little with time. Of course the great remastering did indeed pull me through listens of all of them and I'll probably give them another couple for respect, but Rubber Soul is where it starts for me, even if it's clearly the transitional record into Revolver. Things just get better and better. Putting on Magical Mystery Tour on mix with some other things with friends one night last week, late night, was just powerful, it's truly like looking a magnificent work of art from all sides, as if not only the songs, but the effects and production stand out in crystalline clarity. It's really hard not to envision the whole wide world of psychedelia and spirituality bubbling up from this well, not entirely true of course, but perhaps enough to be true. On Mystery and, naturally, Sgt Peppers there's a sense of innocence, wonder and timelessness that age just won't fade, it's just so redolent with the splendor of human creativity. Frankly I felt some pain readjusting Gnosis numbers after listens as albums like Peppers, the White Album and Abbey Road are just objective 15s in every way, they define shifts in the musical paradigm as clearly as anything possibly could. But at least I know I'm on my way with these.

So yes, in the thralls of Beatlemania I am.

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