The Beatles

45 albums, 4 tracks



"The Beatles"

Jun 14, 2019

The White Album, when creativity occurs in clusters

Written by @JorgeDiaz from Electro Arpegio  / 6 mins read

I continue with my review of the official discography of the most beloved rock band in the world, The Beatles. This time I will talk about The White Album, although in reality, I do not know what to say after all that has been said. I could say it is the favorite album of many and that caused a great impact the year of its release, given the generosity of the quartet of Liverpool to give us so many songs in one delivery. Obviously, there are lights and shadows between song and song; nevertheless, it is more than confirmed that the balance it keeps between all that is published on it, makes it a work to be treasured throughout the life. The inclusion of extremely endearing themes, plus the band's attachment to the pure and effective rock of the time, makes it more than irresistible. I do not think that the album could be classified as a work of concept as if it were its predecessors Revolver and Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, because, definitively, it must have been impossible to string together each of the songs to be part of a whole. In that sense, The White Album, is a conventional album, with the great advantage of containing many and varied themes, which makes it unforgettable. It must be recognized that, in order to fulfill that great undertaking, they had to resort to guest musicians who, although they did not obtain the credit on the album, years later and after hundreds of authorized and unauthorized biographies, we have known that this was the case, way it talks about several aspects that the members of the band crossed at that time, and those aspects are the ones that I would like to address. First, the workload. Not only did John Lennon and Paul McCartney would have to fulfill the commitments acquired voluntarily or involuntarily, but they also had to satisfy their needs as composers, trying to create the best songs for the band. The competition was healthy, although sometimes among musicians it is difficult for coexistence to be as good as possible, so, with everything they had to offer, plus the desire to write a better song than their partner the number of topics they wanted imposing for the disk must have been enormous. Imagine everything that was left in the inkwell either for later discs or else, so that they would never be published. If the dumbbell of these two composers had decided to work together on all the recordings of their songs, they would never have finished. So, for the same reason, inviting other musicians for the rehearsal and recording separately of some subjects was a success. Anyway, I do not think there's anyone who can say that the style varied in anything from their other albums. The hallmark of the "Fab Four" is present in all the themes and none of them demerits in quality.

There comes George

For this historic moment of The Beatles, the creative genius of George Harrison was already a reality and after the brilliant songs he composed for Revolver, a place for his songs was mandatory. I think that's one more point to consider about the gigantic workload since things were not like they used to be when almost everything revolved around the compositions of Lennon and McCartney, while Harrison's performances were a little more marginal and organizing work was much simpler. In addition, almost all the songs of The White Album were no longer the simple songs of Rock 'n Roll, its preparation required more time. Continuing with George Harrison and his creations, I'm sure everyone will agree with me that his best contribution to the album is "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", which became a hymn for many, that even our times, a great part of the musical guild, honors it. The sweet and sad melody, accompanied by a supreme arrangement of guitars to end with the solo guitar one that invites us all to close our eyes and watch so many images of our lives pass while their guitar continues to cry, is a religious experience.

A little of everything

In particular, I really like the fact of Lennon's vocation for rock in the songs he included for the record, although "Julia" deserves a special mention because it contrasts with that harsher style of the other songs. It is also to be appreciated Paul's ambition to get the most beautiful passages in some of his tracks. "Blackbird" represents a huge achievement for any artist. With just one guitar and his voice conquers everyone's heart. A letter to which we can give as many meanings as we want and a melody that nests in the heart of those who listen to it forever. How many composers have wanted to reach those levels of excellence and simplicity and have never achieved it. And so, we continue listening to this generous work and we find ourselves with a bit of everything.

The happiness

It will always be a source of happiness for me to dust off the old The White Album and enjoy it as if it were the first time I've heard it. The reason is simple: I always find new things to analyze, to talk with friends or simply to enjoy the experience of rediscovering the band I admire the most. Unlike other albums, I think I can play it from beginning to end and without skipping a single song, even though there is not much connection in many of them. I think it's part of the magic, but above all, of the enormous work they did in those moments and allowed them to conceive an album with abundant songs, all of them with a very particular aesthetic, but at the same time, all with a common denominator: a lot of creativity I do not want to say goodbye without first mentioning the song "Sexy Sadie", which is undoubtedly one of the best compositions from the musical point of view (probably the lyrics does not like to everyone, to me yes) created by John Lennon, I do not get tired to listen to it and play it on my guitar. It is fantastic. Well, actually I could spend whole hours mentioning each of the songs, I like all of them and they provoke me in general, a lot, a lot of happiness.

Jun 14, 2019

Magical Mystery Tour, a trip to a different destination

Written by @JorgeDiaz from Electro Arpegio  / 6 mins read

After many years of dreaming of the day when I could visit the land of my adolescence heroes, The Beatles, I was finally able to schedule a trip to see all those places that are mentioned in many of their songs but, above all, in the album Magical Mystery Tour. So passionate I am, that in a space of three years, I went twice to Liverpool, a place that gave birth to all this madness and, to the greatest popular music composers of the twentieth century. I was so careful when planning this trip, buying tickets online for my trips and other things, that I ended up being a friend of the tour guide who organizes the tour that is called Magical Mystery Tour. Uploaded on a bus that is the replica of the one used by The Beatles for the filming of the movie or whatever it was (remember that all their films are very bad, sorry), and listening to a lot of their music in an old cassette player, for be in tune with the vintage concept, the tour takes you through the most emblematic points and that come to be mentioned in the songs of the Fab Four. I must say that I had very good company in my two trips to Liverpool, and for being the person who loves me the most, she allowed me to buy everything I wanted. It was like a child (both times) and that was probably what was happening to me since as a child it would never have been possible for me to visit that place. And because of that, I went back and felt the fascination I felt when I read his story while listening to one of his albums. When I realized that there was a clock with the image of The Beatles, I wanted it. And if around the corner there was another clock, with another image of them, I wanted it too! And all my wishes were fulfilled by the one who loves me the most. Obliged to buy all his discography on CDs, shirts, posters, wallets, cufflinks, cup holders and ... more watches. The truth is that the guide guy was always very nice and, truthfully or not, told anecdotes related to the Fab Four that made the journey just fun. In fact, passing near the Liverpool train station, he said that one of those streets was where "Maggie Mae" worked, which is totally inaccurate, because the song performed in Let It Be, is nothing more than the interpretation of a subject of the public domain in England and that speaks originally of the port of London. That never really happened in the life of The Beatles who only sang an old song that was heard in the bars of Liverpool in past eras. But who cares? We were fun and the two trips were a success.

The places I visited

Actually, on the first trip, I had other expectations about how I would see the places I visited. I was probably very naive, I must admit, but I also think that being a reason for many tourists go to their city, the Liverpool authorities could make an effort and put more care to the places that The Beatles fans are going to visit obligatorily It is a simple business logic, and love to preserve points of interest. But unfortunately, the world of politics and government do not respond to logic on many occasions. Therefore, I saw Penny Lane a little careless and with no reference to the song that has made it one of the most famous streets in the world. A little gratitude from the authorities, seeing all the economic resources that come from the visit of so many tourists a year and who dream of being on that street, would not hurt. The same for Strawberry Field, not a single care to the old gate that inspired one of the most popular songs of the twentieth century. In fact, very close to there and as mentioned in the song, you can reach the old house where John Lennon lived in his childhood. Someone in your family still lives there and the views inside the house are by appointment and I understand that it is almost impossible to get a place to enter. One of the funniest things about the tour was the fact of going arbitrarily to the house where Paul McCartney lived until his youth. The house belongs to people who are not of his family because his parents sold it. Nobody has the opportunity to enter since it is not a museum and, nevertheless, all the tourists flood the small street to take pictures no matter that there are people living there who have nothing to do with this. It must be unbearable. The Cavern, Mathew Street, Albert Dock, and many other places, plus a little imagination and tolerance for the state of some of these places and the city in general, made me spend unforgettable moments and for that and in spite of everything, I decided to go for a second time. When you love something so much, there are things that you overlook, and I think that's fine.

I will never say goodbye

One of the things that surprised me the most because I did not expect it to be seen on the tour, was having gone through the place where John Lennon supposedly found inspiration to write my favorite song of all time: "In My Life" (I already talked about that in another Narrative). As I said before, true or not, that moves many feelings within you and you return to places in your mind and your heart that you have not been going to for many years. It was just great to go to Liverpool twice to soak up all that I could only imagine in my childhood and youth. Walking through these streets and surrounding myself with so many people who were visiting the place at that time and who shared their love for The Beatles music, gave me the assurance that I could return for the third time, a fourth or forever. I am sure that to relive all these moments and memories, I will never say goodbye to Liverpool and, of course, to the music of the Fab Four.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, setting the pace

It is necessary to say that the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is brilliant and ahead of its time? No, all music lovers know and confirm it. But, it's fair to say that it's The Beatles' best album, maybe not. It has been cataloged as his masterpiece, as the most what any pop artist wants to aspire to, and maybe they are right. Much of the album represents the maximum point that has been reached by composers of the genre pop and rock in the past century and what is going on this millennium, taking into account the time and technological resources with which it was made. It is not only about the intricacies of the compositions in the musical part, it also has to do with the lyrics and everything they mean for many and all their hidden signs, it also has to do with the ability that the songs have to reach a huge number of people in the world, which is not easy when it comes to works of art. However, listening one by one to the songs on the album, trying to find a connection between them and picking up all of them to keep them in one's heart, could be difficult. When you have a disk in your hands, several things can happen: that you hate it, that you love it all or that you like only part of it. You may also like the whole album, but you may not find that all the themes fit into the concept. In my case, this last is what happens to me. I think that when listening to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band I inevitably skip some songs included and at other times I do not find a connection between them. I'm not saying they're bad, I'm just saying that it would not be a musical work that I could hear fully even when I'm in the right frame of mind to do it. Maybe the purpose of The Beatles was that the work was appreciated as a whole, I can not assimilate it that way. It's not from my time, I was barely a year old when it was launched, however, I consider myself a big enough fan of the "Fab Four" to be able to say that there are things I understand and things I do not understand in their discography. I can say freely and feel really calm to say that there are things that I like and others that I do not. I'm not like many who only see things in black and white, I like to see all the grayscale and so I have formed the musical criteria that I have, good or bad, but it is my way of thinking. That's why I think that closing our eyes and listening to this complete album, we will come to the conclusion that, although it has brilliant and sublime moments, it lacks connection, which, in my opinion, do have Revolver and also Abbey Road.

Written by JorgeDiaz from Electro Arpegio / Jun 14, 2019

Revolver, the best of all?

Summer of 1966, I think few were waiting to hear something like "Eleanor Rigby", "Taxman", "For No One", "I'm Only Sleeping", "I Want To Tell You" and the huge "Got To Get You Into My Life”, The Beatles left everyone amazed, there were those in the world who still had the idea that it was those innocent guys playing "She Loves You" and "Twist and Shout.” In fact, there were many who felt uncomfortable with the change. After definitively canceling their tours to concentrate on what any musician wants to concentrate on and make a way of life: to compose and be in the recording studio, the group's metamorphosis was great, serious and determined to demonstrate everything they were capable of. Yes, a worm that finally becomes a butterfly. Two brilliant minds (Lennon-McCartney) composing together to make impressive songs, and a solo mind (George Harrison) that made his way between those two giants to claim his place in history and be taken into account as a composer with the most great skills and capable of creating hits that would become part of the referents of the band. Even though the 3 previous albums ("Rubber Soul", "Help!" And "Beatles For Sale") are the bridge that somehow connects their evolution and prepares fans for something like Revolver, the differences surprise and highlight the love of the four from Liverpool for personal, spiritual and professional growth. Although the pop that characterized them in previous albums is present in Revolver, the band becomes once and for all a rock band. Everything in this album reflects maturity and a lot of attention to detail, you can see that they are dedicated and very concerned about shaking off the image of the past and delivering smart and well-finished songs. By then, the recording studios had improved their techniques and the benefit that the Fab Four and the other genius, George Martin, derived from that, put them at the head of the composers around the world. One of the things that most amaze many is the fact that for the sake of doing the artistically correct, they sacrificed guitars and drums in several themes. In Revolver, what matters is the artistic concept that was in the mind and inspiration of the band and as of that moment, it would not matter anymore. The discussion always causes annoyance, but I think it's worth it: is it the best The Beatles' album? Then comes Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that is mentioned as their masterpiece. Which one do you prefer? What do you think? I recommend listening to both albums, close your eyes, feel everything that they transmit, not concentrate on a single theme, assimilate each album as a whole and then ... draw conclusions.

Written by JorgeDiaz from Electro Arpegio / Jun 14, 2019

Help! A trip without return

Summer of 1965, the world was already aware of the existence of an English band that was capable of everything. One of the things that made this possible was the album Help! which contained several of the songs that later would be referents to identify the band everywhere, and in future generations. On a previous occasion, and with the reason for my Narrative of the album A Hard Day's Night, I had already commented on the unfortunateness of his films. For Help! a film was also released that, although many want to defend it with exotic arguments, was very bad, in fact, the only thing I can see in that film is a group of crazy people who do things without sense but, when the time comes to sing, they become serious and bright. I still do not understand the reason why many people like to put musicians and singers in this serious image risk, since in most cases they are very bad actors and, in addition, they choose very bad stories that make them look ridiculous. I know that, if we want to see it with good eyes, we could speak marvelously about this and other films of musicians and singers; however, the truth is that they are not worth it, no matter how much we want to defend them. But following the important thing, music, for which the Fab Four lived and gave all their creativity, things are much more kind and lucky for all. On another occasion, I spoke of the album Beatles For Sale as the bridge in the history of the band, a before and an after. Well, I think Help! represents the second third of the bridge traveled by the boys of Liverpool towards that trip without return, where they would become the majesties of international music and would be preparing the ground for their masterpiece. We still have to talk about the last part of the journey through that bridge that will be the next album: Rubber Soul, but that will be in charge in the next Narrative. In the moments when the world listened to Help! it became clear that the British group was separated from the rest of the musicians and singers of the English wave that had flooded the world, The Rolling Stones were even astray from the scene and it would not be until 1967 that they would reappear. In the United States, the world of rock and pop was in effervescence and, although there were great representatives of those genres on radio and concerts, The Beatles eclipsed everything. There was no way to stop the madness that unleashed in the big record-buying market as it was and still is the American Union. The album still had some of the English folk that had been used in their first albums and so they were particularly unique in the United States (their accents and rhythms caused much attraction among Americans) however, the appearance of more sophisticated compositions and orchestral arrangements ended up conquering even those who remained skeptical about the excellence and transcendence of the band. The pure rock songs could not miss, and all this mix made of Help! a legend in the history of twentieth-century music.

Written by JorgeDiaz from Electro Arpegio / Jun 08, 2019

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The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became regarded as the foremost and most influential music band in history. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to pop music's evolution into an art form and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated classical elements, older pop forms and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and later experimented with several musical styles ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As the members continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they were seen as an embodiment of the era's sociocultural movements.
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