Saturday, October 12, 2002

The Beatles

This morning, like most every morning, I woke up, did my ablutions, put up a pot of coffee, and hit the two buttons that turn on my computer and radio. On the radio there was an announcement that, due to the 62nd birthday of John Lennon, they would be playing every single song recorded by the fab five, in alphabetical order by song title. This would not impinge upon their program "Breakfast with the Beatles," which is two hours every Sunday (which I rarely miss). Sitting here, after hearing a few hours of Beatle music, their best mixed with their less good material, I started wondering if there is any other canon of musical work, with the same writer and performers, that would not have become dry and old years, even decades ago. Could you do the same thing with, say, Bach, or Beetoven, or Wagner? The Rolling Stones or Elvis or Frank Sinatra? I don't think so. Maybe a fan could sit thorough every Elvis or Frank album, but every song, in alphabetical order, robbed of complement or context that having the music grouped in some intelligent order would supply? But am I a fan? Definitely not. I have more CDs from any of the other artists I listed above than my ONE Beatles record, which I rarely play, and then never for myself. Their music still has the sort of ubiquity that I get my weekly dosage of it without effort.

The Beatles are a musical phenomenon without peer. Their music is universal and unique at the same time. And it never seems to get old. At least not yet.

UpdateCouldn't handle the commercials, and went out and bought the damn set. Yoko must need the money, the way they price this thing. But at least I can hear the whole thing, and start from the "A"s as well. Just put the first five discs on the tray. It's gonna be a great weekend.