Please come Go With Me – Various – 20 Great Oldies – I’ll Always Remember Vol.10 this error screen to mustang. Roll up, roll up for the Mystery Tour!

If you are deeply offended by criticism, non-worshipping approach to your favourite artist, or opinions that do not match your own, do not read any further. For reading convenience, please open the reader comments section in a parallel browser window. I seem to remember almost perfectly that important moment when I finally and firmly established my ties with music. I was rummaging through my Dad’s record collection one day, mainly just to wonder at the pretty pictures on the sleeves, when suddenly, upon disclosing the gatefold of Magical Mystery Tour and briefly glancing through the printed lyrics, my gaze fell upon a bizarre chorus that went ‘I am the walrus GOO GOO GOO JOOB’.

I suppose practically everyone has got a story like this one to tell, although, of course, not everybody got his musical breakthrough with the Beatles. States and the UK, where rock music has been the norm of the day since God knows when, much and many more in other countries, particularly in the former “second world”, where the Beatles had been one of the main symbols of spiritual resistance since the day they could be first heard on those territories. Oversaturation can do that to a man, yes. And I’m not the only one.

The Beatles are everything” is the kind of approach that tickles the nerves of the backlashers most of all. True enough, art does not grow in a vacuum. The Beatles did open a new page in popular music and did go on to become a major influence on millions of people, musicians as well as non-musicians, but the Beatles did not appear out of nowhere. I am not going to dedicate this introduction to studying the arguments of the first school of thought in detail. Many of them are, technically, quite true. Fact is – it doesn’t matter. The uniqueness and true greatness and innovation of the Beatles does not lie in the technical characteristics of their music.

Yes, lots and lots of these technical elements were already present in music before the Beatles got around to them. But it took the Beatles, and nobody else, to make The People aware of these elements, to bring them home and make them seem generally acceptable where earlier they’d simply look like bizarre elitist novelty. When it comes to discussing art, there are usually two positions. I, however, never liked that theory, despite understanding and respecting the position of those who share it, and far prefer “the golden middle” – the approach that involves combining gradual evolution and innovation with traditional musical values. And no other band in rock history, not to my knowledge at least, symbolized “the golden middle” as perfectly as the Beatles.

They could take traditional forms – rock’n’roll, Tin Pan Alley, lounge muzak even – and imbue them with new content, as well as pour old content into new forms. They could take the psychedelic form and show, in a popular and accessible way, just why this form actually needed to be invented in the first place. And they did this with lots of things. Grandma musical values so as to distract the average Joe from the truly great intellectual happenings of his era. Moving much further into subjective territory, I’d still like to point out one more thing that seems to me to have been overlooked by many: not only were the Beatles among the most inspired and creative artists of their generation – they had the highest amount of quality control I’ve ever witnessed. Whether the Beatles’ music is going to live forever is a question that cannot be answered with certainty, but as far as I’m concerned, their legacy will live as long as rock music is remembered.

Naturally, the audiences will be shrinking, because most casual music listeners normally prefer to digest things of the present instead of things of the past. Ringo Starr – occasional lead vocals, drums. Backing vocals – everybody, also tons of instruments played by almost everybody. Both John and Paul are great piano-lovers, while George is known for his passion for Indian instruments – sitar, sarod, etc. I cannot name even a single uncatchy Beatles song.

This is a band with John Lennon in it, after all. I could only dream of a band embracing more styles and genres than the Beatles did. The Beatles at their lightest – heck, the album seems to be floating five inches above ground all the time. Best song: I SAW HER STANDING THERE. However, just as ‘Twist And Shout’ bookmarks the end of the record, another terrific rocker bookmarks its opening, meaning that, despite having most of the songs recorded in a hurry, the guys did care a lot about careful song sequencing: go in with a bang to captivate the listener, go out with a bang to let the listener know they’re going just as strong towards the end of all things.

The other twelve songs are a rather natural phenomenon of their time, pure shiny pop for the likin’ of the middle class, much in the manner of Roy Orbison, Cliff Richard and company, albeit already peppered with a bit of the hard-to-define Beatle spirit. Hard as it is to define, though, it’s the true pepperoni of this here pizza. Actually, it’s been often noted at this point John still wasn’t much of a songwriter – not only did he become engaged in that business regularly at a later date than Paul, he probably lacked the self-discipline of the latter as well, and wasn’t so quick about learning his stuff. To recompensate, why don’t we sing a little song of praise to the great hidden gem on the first side – the pseudo-tragic love ballad ‘Misery’?