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Monday, September 17, 2012

The Beatles: So Over?

I was listening to a radio programme about Dame Vivienne Westwood recently (left) in which she disclosed that Malcolm Mclaren had dared her to set fire to the waxworks of The Beatles in Madame Tussaud's.

"I thought it was a good idea," she said. "I mean, they were rubbish. But I was afraid people might get hurt."

Then, a few days later, my mum, a well respected authority on popular music, said she had never liked the Beatles. I would like to say she was more of a Rolling Stones' fan but the truth was she liked the Ray Conniff Singers and Andy Williams.

The Beatles were slightly before my time, but my brother, who's six years older, bequeathed me all his albums.They were played hundreds of times on "Sid," the Alba record player.

I always listened to side 2 of A Hard Day's Night when I was getting ready to go out, age 15. At that time I had perfected the half gold, half green eye lid.

But recently, a lot of Beatles songs make me want to gurn. I can't stand Hey Jude, All You Need is Love, Back in the USSR, Strawberry Fields, Twist and Shout and Lady Madonna. Some of them sound very dated, a sort of cloying sentimentality.

It's not helped by Paul McCartney croaking out Hey Jude at large public gatherings. Really, he should take a lesson from David Bowie who retired in 2003 and has stuck to it (even though I would dearly love to see another album from him).

But The Beatles still have the power to take your breath away. I never liked "A Day in the Life" but when it was played on the radio recently, I was transfixed. It sounded so contemporary. And I still love Eleanor Rigby - that most evocative of songs; Something;. I Feel Fine; Fool on the Hill.

Where are you with the Beatles? Love or loathe?

3 comments:

Young at Heart said...

I think they have their place....where would music be without them.....but I'm a Stones girl!!

Derek J Ripley said...

I must confess to liking them in my youth. I do share your concern at Mr McCartney''s voice these days, though. Perhaps time to gracefully step down from the stage.
I went to see Love Me Do - the Brian Epstein Story on Saturday: highly recommended if it ever travels out of Merseyside.

Maggie May said...

While I agree that Paul should keep his mouth firmly shut now...... I really did love The Beatles and I still do....as they were.
All my favourites seem to be dying off! Andy Williams the latest.
Sigh........
Maggie X

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