Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Everybody saw the sunshine

The Beatles

Summary: The Beatles changed my musical life, helped me become more individual, and got me through the awkwardness of adolescence.

A Brief History of the Band: I think we can skip this section for The Beatles.

My History with the Band: My parents were never "Beatlemaniacs," but that is a matter of age. They graduated from high school in 1963, so when the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan at the beginning of 1964, my parents were in college. In general, the Beatlemaniacs were high school-aged when they first saw the Beatles. But obviously I still heard The Beatles a bit growing up, though mostly on the radio.
Then, in the summer between 7th & 8th grade, my music life would change. In middle school, as I have mentioned before, I was all about the Top 40 pop. But I guess I wanted more from my music. That year, a lot of hype arose around The Beatles because their albums were released on cd for the first time, so their music was all over the news, and articles about them abounded.
And I got hooked.
I first bought their two "collection" albums: 1962-1966 and 1967-70. While I liked the pop fun of their early stuff, especially "Help!," "We Can Work it Out," and "Nowhere Man," I was more drawn to their bolder, weirder, more experimental later works.
For the next two years, my best friend at the time--Jennifer--and I collected every Beatles album, and as we transitioned into high school, the two of us were more or less defined by our love for The Beatles. Whenever we wrote notes to each other, which was about four times a day, we would include a homemade "cryptogram" puzzle with lyrics from a Beatles song. So each time I got a note, I had to solve the code, and then of course that song would be in my head until the next note.
As I said, the later music was much more appealing to me, and mostly the songs of John Lennon. I liked songs by Paul McCartney, especially "Hey Jude," "Eleanor Rigby," "Getting Better," "Maxwell's Silver Hammer," "Let it Be," and "The Long and Winding Road." And I like the few songs that George Harrison sang, too: "Here Comes the Sun," "Within You Without You."
But John Lennon's songs spoke to me. I liked the bizarreness of songs like "I am the Walrus" and "Strawberry Fields," and the pure power of "Revolution," and the heart-tugging sentiment of "In My Life." But also, of course, Lennon's songs like "All You Need is Love" and his solo songs like "Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance" spoke to my burgeoning liberal, tree-hugging, peace-loving, baby seal-saving self.
But I also credit the music of The Beatles with expanding my musical tastes and forming the bridge between the Top 40 former self and the alternateen I soon became. The music of the Beatles, especially their more experimental work, made me want more from my music, and so I could no longer be happy listening to cheesey pop nonsense. (I still like a lot of this music, mind you, but it is not what I listen to regularly.) The Beatles, in a distant cause-effect way, led me to New Order, The Smiths, and many others.
I still listen to The Beatles when I am feeling a bit nostalgic. The most awkward time to be alive is 8th and 9th grade, and The Beatles helped me through that time, and also helped make me into the person I am today.

Favorite Beatles Album: Let it Be; Abbey Road

Favorite Beatles Song: "Two of Us"

Other Seminal Beatles Songs: "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown"; "Help!"; "Nowhere Man"; "Tomorrow Never Knows"; "Good Day Sunshine"; "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"; "Getting Better"; "Good Morning, Good Morning"; "She's Leaving Home"; "Happiness is a Warm Gun"; "Rocky Raccoon"; "Revolution," "Hey Jude," "Come Together"; "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window"; "Across the Universe"; "The long and Winding Road"; "I've Got a Feeling" and many others, of course.

Two of us wearing raincoats,
standing solo in the sun.
You and me chasing paper,
getting nowhere on our way back home.

Past Band Posts: New Order / The Smiths / Belle and Sebastian / Underworld / R.E.M.


At 5:16 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

I can't stand the Beatles. That makes me unique, pretty much.

At 6:34 PM, Blogger mayah posited...

hard to write about the beatles. well done, wang.

At 6:53 PM, Blogger *Nicole Elizabeth* posited...

The beatles rock my socks off... basically

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Tom posited...

i only like a few beatles songs, most notably "Eleanor Rigby".

At 8:42 PM, Blogger hannah posited...

i disagree about not needing the history of the band part. i think with the beatles, it's essential.

i think that alot of people never really get into them because they feel they're too late, they've missed out, there's too much backlog to catch up on. and by alot of people, i mean me. but i've heard others agree, which leads me to believe there are others out there.

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Josh posited...

Hannah start with Sgt. Pepper

At 9:13 PM, Blogger *Nicole Elizabeth* posited...

I'm sad... I'm not on your links :(

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Houley posited...

How did the Fab Four do it? I just don't know.

At 1:38 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Hannah -- I decided to not include the history because I thought that anyone who wanted to know could find out. Plus, the history would have taken up ten pages of blogdom.
But since for my other band posts I included links, here is a Yahoo! link:
The Beatles

At 1:40 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Thanks Maya. It was hard.

Nikie: You are now.

At 1:41 AM, Blogger Trent posited...

I was really into The Beatles in like junior high. I agree with Wang that they help you through the awkwardness of 8th and 9th grade, they did so with me. Now though, I dont really listen to them much. I simply have so much music calling out to me to be played that the beatles don't get that much air time in my life. But as a result of reading your post earlier today, I listened through all of my beatles songs that I have, and I enjoyed it greatly. just my 2 cents.

At 3:03 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Johnny V: If you say you don't like the Beatles, at least give "Two of Us" and "I've Got a Feeling" a listen.

Everybody had a good year

Everybody had a hard time

Everybody had a wet dream

Everybody saw the sunshine

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Kid C posited...

I love the Beatles. I have six Beatles CD's and adore every one of them. Most notably "Revolver." Favorite song? In a very close race, I choose "A Day in the Life." I love the hypnotic trance of Lennon's voice immediately after McCartney says "And somebody spoke and I fell into a dream." Good times.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Josh posited...

A Day In The Life is also my favorite

At 10:04 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

I do love "A Day in the Life." For a long period in 9th grade it was my favorite, but I think I overplayed it, so I had to take a step back.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Carson posited...

I was always a big Helter Skelter fan. I also love all the crazy history associated with it. Wikipedia has a great summary of it here:

At 4:30 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

I'll go look through my mom's cds to see if I can find those songs.

At 5:02 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

They are both on Let it Be.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Houley posited...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7:39 AM, Blogger Josh posited...

A Day In The Life is on Sgt. Pepper

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Kid C posited...

Josh, FYI, he was referring to "Two of Us" and "I've Got a Feeling."

I know, the more you know, right?


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