New Beatles vs. Old Beatles. Some of us are having trouble with this. I have to tell you where I’m coming from. The Beatles were our church of the 1960s. We worshipped them. We tithed our extra cash to them. I still have nearly all of their music. I roll it out on days I feel like an old fart. The survivor Beatles are older than me, and I feel fine.
New Beatles vs. Old Beatles. Some of us are having trouble with this, but who cares? We “wait at the window, wearing a face that we keep in a jar by the door.
“Who is it for?”
I have to tell you where I’m coming from. The Beatles were our church of the 1960s. We worshipped them. We tithed our extra cash to them. I still have nearly all of their music. I roll it out on days I feel like an old fart. The survivor Beatles are older than me, and I feel fine.
So I went a little nuts when I heard it all was coming back, adding three zeros to the Fab Four’s net worth. The Beatles are reprised, if not reborn.
This is 2009, not 1969, so bring your credit cards. The new, old albums list at $19. The anthology is $229. And there’s that "Rock Band" video game where you can play along with the boys for $299.
Interesting, the single concession to us oldsters: The anthology is available in mono, just like it was on our 45 rpm RCA turntables. It costs more than the stereo version. Less costs more, only if it’s old.
Oh, the New Beatles? This is an invention. There are no new Beatles, no new music. There are a bunch of new guys with electronic gear dissecting our Beatles memories, perfecting them into cleaned recordings called “mixes.”
Ground zero for the first New Beatles album — “Love.” Of course, many of us hate it.
“Love” is The Beatles via Las Vegas circus. Songs and sounds merge, such as its “Come Together/Dear Prudence/Cry Baby Cry.”
I spent a rainy Saturday sampling this stuff. I finally rushed back to my original collection. I played some loud, to make sure it had not faded like the snapshots in “Back to the Future.” (Amazing how we are defined by media.)
Listening to the real stuff, we realize, hey, The Beatles are good but not Pink Floyd or Fleetwood Mac. What attracts us now are the memories of where we heard them — rec room make-out parties, furtive sock hops, pensive radio marathons, midnight debates in the back seat.
There’s a guitar distortion in “Revolution.” It reminded us The Beatles were not perfect. Of course, they undistorted it with the surgical New Beatles remix. I waited for it, replayed it and realized it was edited out, gone, forever.
The Beatles now are scrubbed and perfect for their new generation. Talking ’bout my generation, we’re not trading in our memories, yet.
Jim Hillibish writes for the Canton Repository in Canton, Ohio. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org