Friday, 22 April 2011

Sgt Pepper is not a very good album

(The title alone should spark some debate (and/or hatred directed towards me))

To qualify the title: Sgt Pepper is a good album, but in comparison to the rest of The Beatles output I think its a bit lightweight.  It is however wholly redeemed by the inclusion of 'A Day In The Life'

Today has been 'Beatles Day', albeit in a slightly random order.  First off this morning was Rubber Soul followed by Revolver.  Then Beatles For Sale, and then the rest of the catalogue in chronological order.

Current favourite = Help! (Abbey Road is a close (very close) second)

A quick critique from 'Beatles Day':
Please Please Me - sounds like "just another album" until 'Twist & Shout' come along and places the whole album in context and you then realise the importance of what you've just heard

With The Beatles - More of the same

A Hard Days Night - All Lennon & McCartney originals.  Two immediate brain responses from listening to this album: (1) From the film, the band playing cards in the train carriage singing 'I Should Have Known Better' ("Aye Aye, the Liverpool Shuffle") (2) The Rutles signing 'I Must Be In Love' (as parodies go, The Rutles is exceedingly close to the real thing in terms of personality AND music (see also 'Get Up and Go' which was dropped from the original Rutles soundtrack for being too damned close to 'Get Back'

Beatles For Sale - Different sound (no longer just the 'Happy Mop Tops').  Fantastically moody picture on front cover ("very cool").  Definite sign of development from 'Hard Days Night' to 'Help' (which is probably when it was released when it was!)

Help! - Soundtrack to the film, which is a good film, if somewhat confusing (surreal?).  Contains two George Harrison songs which are pretty much equal to those of Lennon & McCartney.Some The Night Before

Rubber Soul - First album I listened to today because I realised of all the Beatles albums, this is the one I've listened to leaset.  I have no idea why?  Norwegian Wood, Nowhere Man, Girl, In My Life.  That's only 4 tracks - all 14 are great.  Note to self: stop ignoring this album.  Listen more!

Revolver - Free(ish) from touring commitments and live work, this album contains the beginnings of studio experimentation which would form the basis of the Sgt Pepper recording.  Fantastic collection of songs and styles and contains two of my favourite Beatles tracks: 'For No One' & 'And Your Bird Can Sing'

Sgt Pepper - (see above)

The Beatles (White Album) - Heavy Metal was invented with 'Helter Skelter', 'Revolution 9' gets on my tits, and 'Good Night' is a really weak song to end the "White Album Experience"

Yellow Submarine - Nice collection and soundtrack to the animated film.  Needs the animation to properly work but eminently listenable.  You really do have to be in the right mood to listen to the George Martin composed 'Pepperland Suite'

Abbey Road - if it wasn't for 'Her Majesty' the last we'd hear The Beatles say is "... and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love we make" - that's philosophy that is!

Let It Be - If this one had included 'Don't Let Me Down' it wouldn't be so disappointing.  mind you following Abbey Road would make just about anything sound disappointing?

Beatles Day is nearly over - tomorrow I will take a whistle stop tour of the solo years, starting I think with George Harrison's All Things Must Pass

Friday, 15 April 2011

Music and Pictures - The enduring link

Songs tend to be inextricably linked to a memory.
The use of songs in film or TV gives rise to another linked memory.
These are examples of the images immediately conjured up in my head when hearing the songs:

  • Wings - Jet = Alan Partridge jumping around his room at the Linton Travel Tavern
  • Ray Charles - Mess Around = Driving the car in Planes, Trains & Automobiles, before John Candy falls asleep at the wheel
  • Booker T & The MGs - Green Onions = Harry Hill miming playing a pretend organ (possibly on TV Burp, but not 100% sure)
  • Booker T & The MGs - Soul Limbo = BBC Cricket
  • Buddy Holly - Raining In My Heart = Heineken (or Carlsberg?) TV Advert from the 80s
  • Elvis Presley - Wooden Heart = Pledge TV Advert from the 80s

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

April 29th - There is a Wedding on or something

Plans for the end of April:
Thur 28th: CAMRA Beer Festival in Reading
Fri 29th: Day off work - avoid watching TV
Sat 30th: Wedding Anniversary - better buy a bunch of flowers or some such