I know The Beatles: Rock Band is all the rage, but when was the last time you actually listened to their music? If it’s been a while you should treat yourself , and particularly to their later (post-George Martin) work.
The Beatles aren’t just the historical sum of their hits songs. They’re the origin of an entire way of thinking about and enjoying music that didn’t exist until they came along. Part poetry, part soundscape, part unfettered genius and part storytelling, the studio work of The Beatles ranks as the single most definitive musical advance in my lifetime.
I put it on a par with Cubism, Impressionism, Expressionism, and any other Art-ism you care to mention. It’s that impressive, that important, and that influential, even today.
When I hear I Am The Walrus or A Day In The Life I hear Beck, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, and on and on. And I mean I really hear them: the connection is visceral.
What does this have to do with storytelling in the digital age? Nothing…and everything. Computers and the internet have changed the world forever. Yet Abbey Road still sounds current.
An interesting conundrum.
Update: A week later I’m listening to I Am The Walrus again and it’s just genius. It’s over forty years old and it’s as relevant and good and insane and perfect as anything anyone is doing today. It’s not just holding up. You can’t name a better song. There are no better songs. Goo goo gajoob.
— Mark Barrett
Eli James says
I found the Beatles way after their prime. But I loved their music, especially the lesser known, more experimental songs in their latter years. I admire their ability. Those guys were geniuses.