The Beatles

Sheena

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I do like how they kept singles and albums separate for the most part. But it's difficult to see where they would have fitted. SFF is such a beautifully self-contained meditation on childhood and memory that it would overwhelm whatever you placed on either side of it. Penny Lane would fit well on the album - I can imagine having that instead of Lovely Rita and it working perfectly well (as well as being an improvement).

I always think SFF would fit after Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and, yes, Penny Lane instead of Lovely Rita.

Though you could technically include both, considering 25 mins a side was possible at the time
 

funky

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Another fascination for me is the extent of their legacy. Would psychedelic rock or pop even exist, for instance, without The Beatles? My favourite would be that without “Helter Skelter” we wouldn’t have Heavy Metal, which might be romanticising a little, but even Ozzy Osbourne and Jimmy Page have actually cited that moment on The White Album as either hugely influential or I think even in Ozzy’s case, pushed them to pursue music professionally. @octophone probably knows the story better than me.

I’ve not even mentioned all the technical trickery and innovations they were doing from Revolver onwards, that provided a platform for other bands and artists to experiment with sounds. Nobody had ever heard anything like it before - I can’t imagine what that must have been like at the time. We’re lucky these days if we hear a song every few years that does something original and it stops us in our tracks. They were doing it on every album. Multiple times.
 

octophone

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Another fascination for me is the extent of their legacy. Would psychedelic rock or pop even exist, for instance, without The Beatles? My favourite would be that without “Helter Skelter” we wouldn’t have Heavy Metal, which might be romanticising a little, but even Ozzy Osbourne and Jimmy Page have actually cited that moment on The White Album as either hugely influential or I think even in Ozzy’s case, pushed them to pursue music professionally. @octophone probably knows the story better than me.

It's true that Helter Skelter is often cited by a lot of artists who went into what we call rock or metal but it was the product of The Beatles being blown away by Hendrix and, to a lesser extent, The Who. In the anything-goes environment of the White Album, there was room for the group to push that aspect of their sound. In fact, "The Beatles" has a lot of this - an adlib by McCartney during the 20s flapper number "Honey Pie" gives the game away; he comes straight out and sings "I like this hot kind of, hot kind of music". The single version of "Revolution" prepared their audience's ears for it, however, being equally noisy but earthed in a bluesy shuffle that was more familiar to listeners than the strikingly direct four-to-the-floor rhythm of HS. But perhaps more than that, there is a darkness to "The Beatles". Iain MacDonald was right when he described it as a long slow afternoon, noting that "shadows audibly lengthen" as the album goes on. "Back In The USSR" is an oddly sour jape, "Glass Onion" is Lennon attacking the group's fans, "Wild Honey Pie" is some seriously weird shit", "...Bungalow Bill" flits from pub singalong to character assassination as if it were nothing and "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" is downright sinister. That's just side one. Side 4 is downright creepy. That's what stood out. The sudden switch from bright colours to the plain B&W on "The Beatles" matched the overall feeling of the album; fun time is over. No-one in the summer-bright idiom of 60s pop came out with something a darkly disturbing as "Cry Baby Cry", Side 4's haunting centrepiece.

That's what inspired a lot of artists. The heaviness of "The Beatles" isn't just a matter of sound but of mood.
 

Christian

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Peter Jackson's "The Beatles: Get Back" documentary has hit Disney+ in full covering the making of the Let It Be album (and the concurrent breakup of the band) and I'm curious to give it a go. It's just shy of 8 hours long which seem typically excessive for Jackson but let's see.
 

octophone

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I assume a sell-through DVD/Blu-ray version will be announced before long...I can't imagine it not being made available to buy once Disney have nabbed enough in the way of new subscribers.
 

octophone

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Same. 7 hours of The Beatles getting it together is totally my shit but I wasn't signing up to fecking Disney for it.
 

Sheena

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We’re about halfway through Get Back and it’s fascinating! It’s easy to see they’re about to implode and keeping it together for the camera but there’s also a lot of love there- particularly between the estranged John and Paul.

I also didn’t realise what a fucking DISH McCartney was at the time. Truly a beautiful man.
 

octophone

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We’re about halfway through Get Back and it’s fascinating! It’s easy to see they’re about to implode and keeping it together for the camera but there’s also a lot of love there- particularly between the estranged John and Paul.

I also didn’t realise what a fucking DISH McCartney was at the time. Truly a beautiful man.

George was right, the beard suited him.

A pal shared her Disney+ log-in with me and I'm at the last episode. It's too much and not enough all at the same time. It's worth remembering their ages in January 1969, George was 25, Paul 26, John and Ringo 28. Remarkable, really.
 

Sheena

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George was right, the beard suited him.

A pal shared her Disney+ log-in with me and I'm at the last episode. It's too much and not enough all at the same time. It's worth remembering their ages in January 1969, George was 25, Paul 26, John and Ringo 28. Remarkable, really.

We commented on that as well. Ludicrous how young they were. I never actually contemplated that before- that they broke up before they were 30.

It’s also weird how watching them basically sitting around doing nothing is so compelling!
 

funky

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I haven’t watched it yet, saving it to watch with my fellow music geek cousin but she’s just getting over covid

Someone was telling me about a scene when they were sitting around and Paul starts just jamming on the guitar and muttering, nobody’s paying attention to him, and he comes in the next day and say he’s got it and he just starts playing “Get back”

How does someone just JAM a legendary rock track into existence? :o
 

octophone

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Someone was telling me about a scene when they were sitting around and Paul starts just jamming on the guitar and muttering, nobody’s paying attention to him, and he comes in the next day and say he’s got it and he just starts playing “Get back”

How does someone just JAM a legendary rock track into existence? :o

You literally watch him pull Get Back out of his arse in about 3 minutes. It's wild.
 

Sheena

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You literally watch him pull Get Back out of his arse in about 3 minutes. It's wild.

I wondered if some of that was staged. I mean, when he's "pulling" The Long and Winding Road "out of his arse", it seems remarkably well formed... :D
 

octophone

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I wondered if some of that was staged. I mean, when he's "pulling" The Long and Winding Road "out of his arse", it seems remarkably well formed... :D

Oh he clearly had big chunks of TLAWR, he just hasn't stitched them together and only had the one verse. With Get Back, he's just la-la-la-ing along to two chords when suddenly, he lands on THAT melody and it coheres.
 

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