Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Beatles For Sale and I'm A Loser

Plenty of publicity surrounds the release today of a new music-based video game and a new digital remastering of all the Beatles albums, and publicity (and lots of it) has been a constant for the Band Heard 'Round the World since they launched their careers.

I don't know if I'll ever play the video game based on The Beatles, though the game controller set made to look like their actual guitars, bass and drums sure look tempting.

So yeah, I'm way past 40 years of age, pining for the new CDs of albums from the early to late 1960s. Of course that also means I was one of millions of people who would actually be there waiting when new albums from The Beatles were released and that was a stunning time to live my friends. Stunning. Their music seemed to take light-year leaps and the mood they set surely changed the world.

I was about 6 years old when I sat and listened to my first full Beatles album (the hysteria of their arrival in the U.S. in 1963 was already a legend in my home by then) and while it was not the first of their music I heard, it was the first time I sat down and just listened. What I heard made me a True Believer and I've been a fan ever since.

The album was called "Beatles VI" here in the U.S. but was called "Beatles For Sale" when the U.K. version hit the shelves and had more songs too -- I did not get to hear that full version until I was around 13 or 14 thanks to some audiophile friends who had gotten their hands on the UK import.

That album - as I learned over the years - was really a major point in their music, showing where they came from, as they covered songs by Chuck Berry ("Rock and Roll Music"), Carl Perkins ("Honey Don't) and Buddy Holly ("Words of Love") and other already iconic rockers and the album also had their own new take on rock music and pointed the way they were going in both style and substance with plenty of wit and romanticism for the last half of the 20th century.

The first three songs were the same on both releases and it was those three which blew my tiny mind (and one of the many cover songs on the album, "Mr. Moonlight", which has John Lennon howling away). Thanks to Grooveshark, I can share those songs with you -- and now I am going to the store and buy (yes, pay actual cash money) a couple of newly remastered Beatles CDs.

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