Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hey, more Beatles worship!

...this time from Houston Chronicle music critic Andrew Dansby:

The Beatles’ discography is a time capsule of a band that had the good sense to call it quits. They’re forever youthful and full of beans and ideas. Their body of work — reissued today in brightly remastered editions — was inventive, influential and finite. The band’s allure persists because the members never reconvened to cheapen it.
More than a Paul McCartney show, the highly anticipated remasters are the Beatles’ reunion tour.
Nobody has written a guide to how rockers should age. The Rolling Stones remain energetic onstage even as they’ve grown banal on recordings. ...
Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy recently spoke about aging as a rock musician while discussing his band’s arc with Rolling Stone.
“Grown-up records are usually really, really bad,” he said. “That’s why people are happy when you die or your band breaks up, you’re locked in time. As long as those records stay static, you can go back to them and relive that glorious time in your life without having to look in the mirror.”
Man, so much material here I don't even know where to begin. I've said before that the Stones made the Beatles sound like a boy band in comparison, so I can't deny that I see the "forever youthful" remark through that prism -- i.e., part of the reason, if not the whole enchilada, is that the Beatles were the '60s equivalent of a boy band, just going by their sound. I hesitate to say that the Beatles' catalog was banal as Dansby describes the Rolling Stones' later catalog as being, but a lot of what I've heard strikes me as exactly that. As for Tweedy's "grown-up records" remark, I can sort of see where he's coming from with that. I've heard it said that people go to those legends' shows to hear the old hits as opposed to the newer stuff, but still I don't see why those "grown-up records" are seen as bad by so many. Hell, some bands can go 25-30 years and rock, even if they have this really long time between good recordings. The band I speak of here, Metallica: their new album Death Magnetic, while not quite in the league of the grand trifecta -- 1984's Ride the Lightning, 1986's Master of Puppets, and 1988's ...And Justice for All -- is the first record worthy of the Metallica name and legacy arguably since Justice. But as for bands breaking up at the right me crazy, but that strikes me as no good reason to lionize them or to make their music out to be any more than what it was as has been done with the Beatles. I find it difficult to believe their music isn't seen differently because of their breaking up and John Lennon's being murdered. Call me crazy, but that's just what I think...

...and I've also been thinking, that "Imagine" is just begging for a good fisking...