All You Need Is “Love”
(This article was originally published sometime in November 2006 in The Plant, the student newspaper of Dawson College. It opened a door for me as a journalist, as it was the first time I put time and effort into writing.)
There comes a time in everyone’s life where we come across a book we can’t put down, or a CD we can’t stop listening to. Something so addictive it clutches our soul and doesn’t let go until we’ve experienced it completely. I’ve known this feeling before; first with the Harry Potter series and then upon each new discovery of a Beatles Album.
The Beatles capture the true essence of what “good music” is, kicking away every band that claws at their feet. Upon discovering LSD and Marijuana, they went from teenage girl-pleasing albums like Please Please Me and Help! to the more elaborate, psychedelic epics, Revolver and Rubber Soul. Discovering the drugs and quitting touring transformed the Beatles. No longer victims of grueling schedules, they were able to spend days, even weeks, in the studio, pouring out all their creativity into a giant pool, making some of the greatest albums ever released. Aside from the two listed before, Sgt. Pepper’s, The White Album, and Abbey Road were some of the products of their endless flow of creative genius. After hearing these albums, I declared myself a lifelong Beatles fan, even though I knew nothing better could be released by them.
The Beatles released a triple album in 1996 (with the help of producer George Martin). Five years later, when George Harrison tragically passed away, many were sure nothing of greatness could ever come out of them. Once again, we were all proven wrong, this time by the November 21 release of Love, the soundtrack to the Beatles Cirque Du Soleil show that George Martin and his son produced. I downloaded (illegally) this album a night before its release and listened to it from beginning to end. Continuously. Four times. I spent almost five hours of my night listening to this new edition of Beatles music, and couldn’t have been happier. Screw studying for Economics, I was living the dream. I was listening to a then unreleased album of Beatles genius.
The album includes some of their classic hits, like “Drive My Car” and “Strawberry Fields Forever”, but with a twist. “Drive My Car” continues with the beat after a verse but merges into two other songs, “What You’re Doing” and “The Word.” “Strawberry Fields Forever” includes parts of “Hello, Goodbye”, “Baby You’re a Rich Man”, “Penny Lane”, and “Piggies.”
Even the lesser known Beatles songs, such as “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite,” are used (with Kite merging into I Want You and Helter Skelter.) A nice touch, however, is the flawless merging of the vocals of Harrisson’s “Within You Without You” to the drum beat of “Tomorrow Never Knows.” That song is the greatest artisic work this side of “A Day In The Life.” To quote their song “Across The Universe,”(which sadly, does not appear on the album,) “Words are flying out like endless rain into a paper cup.” Throughout this album, words are coming from everywhere: from the same song but different parts, and from completely different songs, joined by random instrumentals as well. It’s like a remix of The Beatles underrated hits, but without any rap to spoil the work of legends. The two surviving Beatles, along with the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison, have given both the album and the show it accompanies praise. Paul McCartney even said, “This album puts The Beatles back together again, because suddenly there’s John and George with me and Ringo.”
The first time this album was played publicly was on Virgin Radio’s “The Geoff Show,” by a DJ humorously born on April 20 (wink, wink.) It was his great choice of allowing the entire album to play uninterrupted that gave young Beatles fans (anyone born later than the 60’s) a chance to experience a Beatles album premier.
“I don’t really want to stop the show, but I thought that you might like to know, that the singer’s going to sing a song, and he wants you all to sing along”(from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”) Peace out, take it easy, and remember: Love (the album) is all you need.