Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I read the news today, oh boy...

I realize I'm 41 years late to the party, but has anyone noticed that Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is fucking astounding? You grow up with these songs floating around and you know the melodies but good God. We're up to our titties today in avant-guarde art rock, with carefully coiffed hipsters banging on shit out of tempo and shouting incoherently in an attempt to display enough creativity to get laid. But this is the grandaddy. This was the wild sonic drug trip so memorable we're still working in its shadow.

Also, now that I am a Genuine Amateur Recording Artist, I can appreciate much more of this kaleidoscopic opus, from the ingenuity in wresting innovative recording techniques from big heavy tube gear and analog tape to the sizeable brass willies it must have taken to present a "rock n' roll" song orchestrated like a straight-up classical Indian raga. "Remember Hard Day's Night, folks? Well, fuck you!"

I can't even figure out what some of those instruments are. And God bless George Martin - lest we forget, he arranged all those string parts and played the fancy keyboard shit Paul couldn't manage.

Must be something about the intimacy of headphones, but it's like I'm hearing it all for the first time again tonight. Also, long live the album, even in the age of MP3s and ringtones. That is all.

1 comment:

Sydney MacLean said...

Sgt. Pepper's is a great album, it's true, but I have a special affinity for Magical Mystery Tour. It's the one Beatles album we didn't have growing up. Fool on the Hill was a personal favorite.

About two years ago I was listening to Baby Your A Rich Man on my iPod and I had a similar realization. I had a sort of auditory double-take where even though I knew it was a Beatles song, I couldn't believe it. I was thinking Cake or some other skinny, white Americanadian band.