Friday, November 17, 2023

It's Just Like the Sixties to Me.

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones are in the charts. Last time I looked, Now and Then was number one on the singles charts, while Hackney Diamonds topped the album charts. Who would have ever believed that sixty years ago.

I've already written about how much I love the new Beatles single, and now I've had a chance to listen to the Stones. I like it, but I don't love it.

Remember when Voodoo Lounge was released, and everyone said it was the best thing since Some Girls? This is what they're saying here. And when was the last time Voodoo Lounge was mentioned? It's not hard to be "the best since" when everything else has been average.

The songs, for the most part, are fine. It's the album that is very overproduced, a wall of guitars. It's easy to get sucked in by the gospel infused Sweet Sounds of Heaven, but listen to it a couple of times and it's lyrically lightweight.  Their last great album was Some Girls, partly for the great songs, but also because it was just the band.  Space between the instruments, rough edges, and the guitars playng off each other.

I will listen to it from time to time, but I wish they had gone with an older sound. But we all have different tastes, and I know some will love it.


Monday, November 6, 2023

Now and Then.

I was in Liverpool last week for a work-related conference when I heard the new Beatles' song for the first time. I sat in my hotel room with a glass of red wine, and listened to it, as did many other fans around the world. 

And I wept.

I first heard this song more than 20 years ago on a bootleg.  Just John banging away on a piano, singing an unfinished bridge, and the TV on in the background. But hearing it with George's guitar (recorded during the anthology sessions before they abandoned it), and with Paul and Ringo's contribution, hit me emotionally. Likely the last time I would hear a brand new Beatles song.  It's not a masterpiece - it's not Strawberry Fields Forever, but I like it. And I like it a lot.

The next day, I watched the video and fell in love with it too. More tears, seeing the four of them together from different eras. I actually watched it just as it was released, standing outisde a train station, waiting for the minibus to take me to John and Paul's childhood homes for a tour. And so there was double triple meaning there for me.

But that's it. Let it be. Unless they find a reel of unreleased music from the 60s, we don't need anything new. This has been the bookend we needed.

Thanks Paul, Ringo, George and John.