A few nights ago I was lying in bed listening to Overnights on the ABC and was captivated by Rod Qunin’s interview with Mark Lewisohn the author of a new Beatles biography, The Beatles: Tune In. I lay there completely captivated by the story of the group that like so many others had introduced me to music.
The book is the first part of a trilogy and it’s a healthy 980 pages as I found out when I went into Dymocks to buy it. I accompanied that purchase with the digitally remastered boxed set of The Beatles fourteen album set. Whilst I already owned many of the albums on CD and vinyl, I didn’t have them all, so the purchase was at least partially based on logic!
Abbey Road was the first LP I ever bought. I remember purchasing it with money given to me by my grandparents, who seemed not so much horrified that I was buying a Beatles record but that it cost $5.20. It must have been in late 1969 or early 1970. That started a love affair with music and The Beatles.
I am only a few pages into the book and enjoying learning about their family background and formative years. So many insights.
Walking to work, at work, the gym and at home, I have listened to The Beatles all week focussing on the early years. The joy of it. I started with Please Please Me a couple of listens and then onto With The Beatles, and Beatles For Sale, an album I always realise is better than I remembered. From there it was A Hard Days Night and Help. I’m just loving it.
When I started this post I didn’t plan to write about the individual songs thinking my focus would be on the the complete album. Well at least that was what I was thinking until Yesterday. It’s true classic, in its own way euphoric. Through a week’s listening to these early albums over and over again, enjoying each and everyone of them, Yesterday stands apart.
The Beatles music in this period seems simple and not at all pretentious. Hit after Hit, Love Song after Love Song. A collection of amazing songs driven off the back of the modern era’s greatest writing partnership Lennon and McCartney.
Whether next week is a progression to Rubber Soul and beyond remains an open question. For now it’s back to Help.