Monday, December 26, 2005

'Ello Beatle People!

I don't know about y'all, but this whole iPod/iTunes phenomenon thing is taking me back to the days when I first truly started to get into music. Besides the fact that it's now possible to locate, retrieve and play anything from my collection by simply typing in a few key words (providing that everything is tagged from the get-go!) and the awesomely simple but genius shuffle option, the magic button that turns my mountain of all things audio into a personal "This Is Your Life" jukebox, the iPod is taking me back to the days when I would listen to an album, start to finish, with headphones on, escape and truly experience the concept of stereophonic hi-fi listening.

Albums like Queen' A Night At The Opera, Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon, Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and obviously any Beatles album, starting with Rubber Soul, come to mind as what I call headphone albums. Everyone's both heard and heard of these albums but sadly, few people have ever really listened to them.

If your version of Magical Mystery Tour is a downloaded copy from Kazaa and you've only listened to it via your computer speakers at work, please, don't tell me you're a huge fan of the fab four. Not only are you missing the experience and soul of what I'm talking about, (not to mention stealing music!) you've never really "heard" the Beatles at all. Granted, when the Beatles we're still together and the first time most of us heard their music is was either via a crappy radio or a sub-par turntable, which worked for me - I rather hear a any Beatles song over a mono transistor than most of the kaka that's coming out today, but there is so much going on with George Martin's production and the genius of the boys themselves that it's possible to hear something you've missed or never heard before every time you throw on a Beatles album!

Getting back into to headphone listening has turned my library of stuff into a whole new world of music. A world of left and right panning, nuance and subtlety that's both lost and ignored in today's world of free crappy downloads, computer speakers and quantity over quality. As much as I dig a mono surf song coming out of a single speaker while sitting on the beach drinking a cold one, that same song, in all it's high fidelity glory on some sweet home speakers or headphones transports me to another world. They're both music to my ears.

Anyway, here's the forth and fifth Beatles Christmas recordings I promised. Do yourself a favor and check these out with some decent headphones or speakers. No talking! Just listen to them all the way through and appreciate them for what they are, gifts to their fans (albeit some what obligatory) and you're sure to get a deeper insight and understanding of the fact that sure, the Beatles were f-ing genius, but damn, they were some trippy, interesting and wicked funny dudes!

If you've never heard these before (Lucky!) you're in for a real treat. Both of these are like a Beatles Goon Show meets Monty Python. And they only get better each passing year and a drink or two...

Relax, experience and enjoy!

First, make yourself comfortable and enjoy the genius of The Beatles Fourth Christmas Record Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas. Recorded: November 25, 1966. Released: December 16, 1966 (Lyntone LYN 1145)

Next is The Beatles Fifth Christmas Record Christmas Time Is Here Again! Recorded: November 28, 1967. Released: December 15, 1967 (Lyntone LYN 1360)

The last two'll be up soon, go put your headphones back on and listen to Pantomime again!

O-U-T spells out,