So. A couple of weeks back was my mum's birthday. When I asked her what I could get for her, she suggested that she'd quite like one or more of the new Beatles CDs. I thought this sounded reasonable, and picked her up A hard day's night. I also mentioned that I remembered she still had loads of Beatles albums on vinyl, and suggested that maybe I could borrow them and burn them to CD for her, as well as buying her some of the official releases. She was up for that, so I borrowed them.
And found that they're mono (well, technically, the first five are mono. She's also got Abbey Road, which was never released in mono, but *heh*). Which given that the Mono CDs are really really expensive and apparently hard to come by (although I note that they're still listed as available on Amazon*), piqued my interest quite considerably**, so I spent a few days importing the albums to my computer, and running them through some noise removal software and they've come up sounding really good. With the rather pleasant side effect that, as well as making some nice neat CD copies for my mum, I've also now got copies of the Beatles first five albums, as well as Abbey Road, for myself, and...
Well, here's the thing. I wouldn't call myself a massive Beatles fan. I'm well aware of their importance in the history of pop music and of wider British culture, and I like some of their early singles, but I've never really bothered to get massively into them. So I've had quite an awakening, really. I think I can quite honestly say, I've really enjoyed listening to the albums. It's kind of weird - I'd never heard the song Please Please Me before I listened to the album. (If I'm honest, I don't think it's quite as strong as some of the other singles, but there y'go.) I'd forgotten that I saw her standing there was one of theirs. Cracking song, full of bounce and joy and cheer. Anna (go to him) is a gorgeous little song. I still adore Eight days a week but hearing it in the full context of Beatles for Sale is...almost a revelation. And Abbey Road...not a single duff track, and - as I blogged earlier in the week - Here comes the sun is a thing of beauty. As is Somewhere, for that matter (George Harrison was only 26 when he wrote these? I could get insanely jealous, y'know?). I've always had this rather naive view that their early stuff was good, and their later stuff was all trippy weirded out stuff, but heck, Oh, darling and I want her (she's so heavy) are just fantastic, and I fell in love with Maxwell's Silver Hammer when I was 13 and I still don't tire of it (even if the Beatles themselves didn't have much time for it).
And did John Lennon have a great voice or what?
*So if anyone feels generous...
**Sadly Please Please Me didn't have the gold and black label. I checked. Twice.