Sunday, November 26, 2006

ALL YOU NEED IS...CA$H... order to keep buying re-hashed BEATLES music...

Well, the last time Beatles fans worldwide were "dinged" because a re-hashed Beatles Album had come out, was back in 2003, when the "Let It Be...Naked" album came out. Basically, it was a re-release of the 1970 "Let It Be" album, without all the strings and extra production that Phil Spector had heaped on "The Long And Winding Road", and other tracks on that album.

Well, now it's 2006, and there's more re-worked Beatles stuff out there. A while back, I began hearing rumors of a Las Vegas "Cirque de Soliel" production titled, "The Beatles...Love". Hmmm, I thot, so I began dialing in to Beatles websites, and found out that, indeed, a NEW BEATLES RECORD was coming out! Oh Boy! So I went and bought it. And what it is, is not only remixed Beatles music, it is re-CONFIGURED Beatles music. Imagine, if you will, the Beatles' song, "Drive My Car", with the words to one of their album tracks, "What You're Doing" coming in over the top, and the guitar solo in the middle is pulled from "Taxman", yet ANOTHER Beatles song. And all of a sudden, you're floating in some weird musical parallel universe...

I cannot help but feel that Apple Corporation (which administers all Beatle product), along with Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney, both of whom don't NEED any more money, are taking advantage of Beatles' fans worldwide, by selling the same stuff over and Over and OVER again, in endless re-packagings. See, I'm a collector, so I've bought every release. That means my "Beatles 1" album, that came out in 2001, has many of the same tracks as the 1976 "Rock And Roll Music" Beatles compilation, and the 1973 double-LPs, "1962-1966" and "1967-1970", both of which are collections of Beatles music. The same stuff, packaged and sequenced differently. And I've got all of those collections, plus MORE collections with the same songs! In addition to all of their original studio albums. Ah, such is the life of a collector...

Only, NOW, with "The Beatles...Love", the engineers are taking the ORIGINAL TAPES, and re-arranging the songs. John Lennon said, "Nothing is real, nothing to get hung about", and he was RIGHT. In short, all you need is a little bit of electronic trickery, and all of a sudden, nothing is the same! This first began happening in 1996, when the 3 "Beatles Anthology" albums came out. In addition to the 3 living Beatles taking John Lennon cassette tapes and recording new backing to 'em (a move that must have sent Lennon spinning in his grave), the "Anthology" albums featured more studio trickery. On those albums, you would hear the making of a Beatles' song "in progress" the 1st verse might be take 24, the second verse might be from take 32, with background harmonies added from track 56. In short, REALITY is being tampered with here. I bought all of the "Anthology" albums, but to this day, I can't help but feel that there was something shady about the whole deal, which continues with "The Beatles...Love", in which the original songs are changed into OTHER songs...

My reaction to "The Beatles...Love"? Well, for about the first 10 or 15 minutes, it was actually pretty interesting; the CD certainly lives up to its advertisement, "You've never heard Beatles' music like THIS before!"...but after a while, all of the re-worked music, with elements of other songs zooming in and out and up and down and all over the place turned into rock and roll OVERKILL, and I actually got physically tired listening to it. And I LOVE The Beatles! To me, tampering with Beatles' music is about like taking "The Star-Spangled Banner", and outfitting it with the lyrics to "Iron Man" or "Let's Go Get Stoned". Or, taking the Gideon Bible and filling it up with pages straight out of "Portnoy's Complaint".

This is the "Beatles...Love" album. Get your copy now and keep Paul McCartney out of the poorhouse!

Listen, if you're NOT a Beatles'collector, and you want all of their music, go out and buy their 10 original albums, released in British form (American and British Beatles albums had different song orders), plus the 2 CD's, "Past Masters", volumes 1 and 2. They're still available, for sale EVERYWHERE. There. That's ALL you need. Don't do what I've done, buying every packaging and re-packaging available.

I look back now, after collecting Beatles' stuff, and wonder, "what's the reason for all of these endless re-issues?", and I've come up with a tangible reason... I suppose Paul McCartney has to get those Beatles re-hashings out there for the public to buy, in addition to him promoting his OWN solo musical efforts, like some desperate newbie trying to market his first album, 'cos he stands to get forked OVER in a nasty divorce settlement. So, all Beatles fans will be paying for his marriage to Heather Mills. I sure wouldn't want Paul McCartney to have to live with a meager bank account of over $50 MILLION dollars, which is about what he'll have after Heather gets her half. I wouldn't want him to suffer, after all.

I'm not done yet. I've got something ELSE to complain about. There is a new DVD by "The Cars", one of my favorite late '70s, early '80s groups...and the DVD also comes with a CD of concert performances, some of which are NOT on the DVD. So it's a pretty good value. Plus, we get to see a good band in action. They really had a lot of great music. A picture of the DVD/CD is below...

MY complaint is about the PACKAGING of this music set. What you're looking at here is the outer box, inside of which is a little hardback book, with Cars' lyrics and pictures. Inside the front and back covers of that little hardback book are little TIGHT SLOTS where you store your discs. ARE THEY KIDDING? That means, every time you slide the discs in and out of their respective storage places, they're liable to get SCRATCHED!!! Maybe this is a good way to sell more music, though. When your discs are too scratchy to play, you just go out and buy another DVD/CD set and start all over again. Me, I took a 2-CD plastic case and put both of the discs in that. THEN, I ripped the outer box (seen above) apart, and lined that plastic case with the box's artwork, so it looks like a more conventional DVD. So, I'm paying additional for artwork which I had to rip apart. Makes sense to me! After all, I gotta do my part to support capitalism and and corporate greed. "Greed is good", right? rrrrrright?

Something about The Cars that I wasn't aware of until of their lead singers, Benjamin Orr, who played bass (you can hear him singing "Just What I Needed"), succumbed to cancer a few years ago. I'm always kinda sad when musicians I've admired pass on. Hopefully he's jamming in Rock and Roll Heaven, if there is such a place.


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