Thursday, 2 August 2018

The Beatles


I have always had a strange relationship with The Beatles. On the one hand, aged about five, I owned the plastic Beatles guitar pictured above, so they were the first musical memory I had, along with a vague knowledge of Elvis. A lot of their output was easy for a young child to sing - "she loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah" was probably the first I learnt, to the frustration of my parents, who hated me saying "yeah" instead of "yes". In the mid sixties, The Beatles were simply everywhere, even for five-six year old kids. On the other hand, as the years went by and I started to develop a musical taste, I found the edgy, bad boy, rebellious appeal of The Rolling Stones far more attractive. Even at eight or nine, I viewed The Beatles as "goody-goodies" (despite the flower power garb and later beards) and The Stones as the exact opposite. I knew which side my bread was buttered. Musically too, the riffy, bluesy decadence of The Stones' sound was what I wanted, not what I viewed as twee by 1968, as I did The Beatles' early pre-1965 output.

So, you will have gathered by now that The Beatles are not the holy grail for me. Despite owning everything they recorded (including the much-valued "Beatles In Mono" box set), David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, The Stones, Van Morrison, The Clash and The Jam for starters are far more important to me on a day-to-day basis. There are also parts of their output I do not consider worthy of a supposed "rock group" (mainly McCartney whimsy or "Yellow bloody Submarine"). However, that said, I was lucky enough to develop my musical taste in the sixties and there are some Beatles songs that are indelibly imprinted on my entire consciousness. I could tell you exactly where I was when I first heard them - "Hello Goodbye" (on the top deck of a bus one evening before Christmas in Leicester with my Mother, and it was played by some teenagers on their transistor radio); "Hey Jude" (over the Tannoy before the match at Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion in October 1968); "Lady Madonna" and "Let It Be" (at home at the kitchen table listening to the radio with my Mother). So, like it or not, The Beatles will forever be a part of my life.

Please Please Me (1963)
With The Beatles (1963)
A Hard Day's Night (1964)
Beatles For Sale (1964)
Help! (1965)
Live At The Hollywood Bowl (1965)
Rubber Soul (1965)
Revolver (1966)
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
The Beatles (The White Album) (1968)
Abbey Road (1969)
Let It Be (Naked) (1969)
Let It Be (1970)
Love (2006)
The Beatles In Mono

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