Wednesday, August 23, 2006
by Hector Diego
You have already heard Hector Diego (that's me) rail against the "official" Beatles website, Beatles.com. Anything that is insulting, demeaning, minimizing, or even just poorly representative of the Beatles PUTS ME IN A BAD MOOD. And since the goal of life is to get in a good mood and stay there, I'm writing this review of a review by someone who obviously is not a Beatles person.
There's a foolish interpreter of the Beatles at Epinions.com (http://www.epinions.com/content_186330287748), "t-the kid". Since we don't know t-the kid's gender, we'll just call the kid the kid. T-the kid certainly thinks like one.
Here's one of the kid's classic blunders: "The Beatles were not brilliant musicians or singers, but boy could they write great songs and come up with great ideas!" Let's give the kid the benefit of the doubt here, and say that perhaps the kid doesn't know how to express the kid very well. If they were not brilliant musicians or singers, how could they write great songs and come up with great ideas? If the kid wants to say that, as a matter of opinion, their musicianship (defined as how they play their instruments) was not at the highest level of perfection, that might be allowed so long as all understand they were very good with their musical instruments. After all, how many covers (and they have inspired more than any other group) of the Beatles sound better than the Beatles? The kid seems to want to say that the Beatles were innovative, but the kid has no finesse. The kid is, well, a kid.
Here's another gem: " But for some reason or another, no one could see that at first." The kid is referring to their great songs and great ideas. But what is the negative reception the kid is talking about, "at first". Even with that bumbling manager of their's (Brian Epstein---I'll take him apart some other time) it was only a matter of months before their efforts at finding a record label paid off, once they really tried. And it's not that most of these producers did not see the Beatles' talent, it was their myopic vision of the market they thought they knew. That's a far cry from the kid's misinformed prose.
There's worse: " The Beatles were at first as much a product of their time as anything, because, let’s face it; a lot of what they did their first 2 years was not really anything special, and sounded like what was hot in the music scene at the time." Methinks the kid does not understand what was hot in the music scene at the time. In no way did the Beatles sound like anyone else in the early 60s, even before signing with George Martin at Parlophone. And what does the kid mean by "their first two years"? John and Paul started playing together in July, 1957, and George joined them soon after. So is the kid talking about 1957-1959, perhaps? Let's say the kid is referring to 1962-1964, the time of their first albums. Does Please, Please Me sound remotely like ANYTHING on the airwaves at that time? It is a fact that the kid was not alive then, and is guessing. Bad guess, kid. Why does the kid think the Beatles smashed all records within less than a month of their American radio debut? Because they were good at imitating others?
Here's the kid on the album Hard Day's Night. "It wasn’t a perfect album, but it showed a HUGE improvement artistically as a band." OK, kid, what's a "perfect album"? And what was the HUGE improvement in the Beatles' artistry? Is the kid mimicking something heard from someone else who is not really a Beatles person? Like maybe...Pat Boone? Or a hack writer for the Reader's Digest?
The kid on Rubber Soul: " It was a record of change and some experimentation, but most importantly, quality, which it brought in spades. " As if their previous recordings lacked quality? The Beatles would not have let anything out that was not of the highest quality, nor would Martin. And neither would the suits at EMI!
One more comment from the kid: "Before Revolver, they were already the most famous band on the planet, but afterwards, they were known as both the most famous and most interesting band on the planet. And maybe the best as well." Does the kid think that any other band was in the running for the most interesting, even with the release of their very first album? If so, which band would that be? "And maybe the best as well"...that kills me.
After this, the kid goes off on his views of Sgt. Pepper's, which he thinks is the Beatles best effort, and the real subject of his review---the other stuff being preparatory to the main course. I have no problem with an opinion about which Beatles album is the best, but by God and Goddess, no one like the kid should be reviewing the Beatles! The kid does not do his research, the kid does not know how to express the kid's self (although it is obvious that the kid thinks the kid does), but above all the kid does not understand that the Beatles ARE SACRED and that some old bastard like myself is likely TO TAKE THE DUMB KID'S HEAD OFF FOR SUCH BLASPHEMY. I'm fairly sure the kid does not realize that he has committed blasphemy, and that's why the kid is...a kid.
I have written this for my own satisfaction, and I implore our good readers: do not hesitate to do something similar when you read a stupid review of the Beatles. There is more than music at stake here, there is the issue of historical revisionism and its consequences. If future generations do not grok the Beatles, the world is screwed.
And this is just one more reason for another Beatles blog.
at 3:51 PM
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