This post was originally part of an email conversation. Read here for more details.
From: Stoneman, Chris
Sent: 09 July 2008 17:06
To: Smith, Ben
Subject: Musical journey: The Beatles
SO BEN! I’ve been meaning to do this all week and due to time constraints I have failed miserably. However, I have 10 minutes spare at lunch and am going to write a very swift email full of rubbish about …….
THE BEATLES! Yes. There is no way that you won’t have an opinion on them already. However, I couldn’t possibly dream of beginning to recommend you bands without you first having at least tried to go through the obsession that I thought it was the law for any teenager to go through (until I met Nick Maple that is). This obsession involves listening to every single note of music produced by four friends from Liverpool, who are likely to be the only pop group of the 20th Century to be remembered by the masses in 100 years time. They defined pop music, and nobody has/will ever come close to having the same sense of melody as them (or in particular McCartney). Some tracks to get you started, by memory so I’m probably missing a LOT ……….
If I Fell from A Hard Days Night – Definition of the most perfect melody line ever. Backing vocals…..oh god.
Help/Ticket To Ride/Hide You Love Away from Help – Lennon coming into his own by beating McCartney to writing negatively.
Norwegian Wood/Nowhere Wood/In My Life from Rubber Soul – For a lovely story about shagging groupies, harmonies, and memories, respectively.
Taxman/Eleanor Rigby/Yellow Submarine/Tomorrow Never Knows from Revolver – Harrisons first major contribution at a time when they were paying 99% tax!!, then Rigby will make you cry, then marvel at the biggest leaps in production techniques in the history of the world
A Day in the Life from Sgt Pepper – its obvious, just listen.
We Can Work It Out/Rain from Past Masters 2 – The perfect conflict of characters Maccas optimism and Lennons pessimism in one song, and then Ringo’s INCREDIBLE drumming on Rain. The first ever music video was also made to Rain, FACT.
All of the White Album – its basically solo albums by three 26 year olds at the peak of their careers squeezed into one album. Apart from Ob La Di, and Don’t Pass Me By.
All of Abbey Road – nuff said.
And Harrisons solo ‘While My Guitar Gently Weaps’ demo, and Lennons ‘Strawberry Fields’ demo, and McCartney piecing together Abbey Road’s medley, and the tape where they huddle together in Harrisons living room in june ’68 and play each other all the songs they wrote in India on an out of tune guitar. Wow.
This actually took me another 10 minutes to finish in the afternoon, but its all worth it. I think Jonathon said he liked the idea of your request, so maybe copy him in. Don’t expect all of my recommendations to be this exhaustive, its just that I REALLY like The Beatles.