Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Artist of the Week: The Beatles


"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see. It's getting hard to be someone, but it all works out. It doesn't matter much to me."

The Beatles are, without a doubt, my favorite band. They have such a diverse catalog, from the fun-loving rock and roll of their early years to their more psychedelic and then pensive sides late in their career. There are so many things I love about this band. They did so much to advance music as a whole, pioneering distorted guitars, orchestras, and other strange sounds and instruments to complement their messages including sitars and harpsichords. 

The Beatles started by mimicking their favorite black American rock musicians and went from there. Although their early music was understandably more shallow than their later stuff, it is still a blast to listen to. They resonate the joys of youth and love.

My favorite dimension of the Beatles is their later years. When they decided to stop touring (a very controversial idea at the time) is when they started doing their best work. It began with Sgt. Pepper and grew from there. Songs from this era of The Beatles penetrates the consciousness in such a way that you don't get from any other musician. Their lyrics became deeply philosophical and sometimes intentionally nonsensical. This music could take you away to another place and make you experience thoughts you never thought possible. Granted, many of this music was the brainchild of a drug-induced stupor, but it still touches the mind in a powerful way. For a person like me who enjoys things that unusual and different, The Beatles really strike a chord with me. It's truly awesome stuff. 

When their psychedelic phase wore off, their deep and philosophical lyrics remained. They wrote a lot more ballads near the end that became standards of their catalog. Like Bob Marley, the Beatles mantra was if only the world would love one another, regardless of race or creed, it would be an amazing place, and that is certainly true. At the heart of all of their music is a spirit of fun and happiness. A spirit that encourages you to be yourself and believe what you believe, no matter what the world says. That's what I love about The Beatles. 

My Top 5 Songs
1. Blackbird
2. Strawberry Fields Forever
3. Come Together 
4. Within You Without You
5. All You Need Is Love

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