i’ve finally gotten around to listening to the beatles recently remastered box sets.
i must admit, i was skeptical at first, maybe even a little scared. i’ve been living with the recordings as i know them for so long, how could they be improved upon? or even if they were improved upon, maybe they would be unrecognizably distorted from the entities that have been the soundtrack to such a large number of memories that they no longer have individual attachments to moments, but have fused into a giant lump of festering nostalgia for a time that might be my youth, or could be from last year.
but in listening to the remasters, i have given in. truly, it was time for this to happen. on the whole i am most impressed with the early albums, songs like “do you want to know a secret” and “things we said today” in particular have stood out to me as massively improved by the clarity and depth of this mix. i’ve never been so aware of the reverb behind paul and john’s voices, fading out nicely into the background.
mostly, however, i’ve been struck by the fact that it has been a long time since i’ve actually listened to the beatles. about a year ago, a friend of mind (a fellow beatles fiend, although far more dedicated. his intense love relationship to the beatles makes mine look like a short lived infatuation inspired by a smile in line at a grocery store. he’s got a sgt. pepper’s lonely hearts club band kickdrum tattoed on his arm, fer chrissakes) was completely surprised to discover that i had no beatles at all on my ipod or computer. at the time i said that i didn’t need the recordings. i had all the songs in my head.
listening now to these remasters has made me doubt how well i know them… is this remastering actually that much better? i don’t know, i can’t tell because the originals are gone. it seems that the only thing that exists in my mind is the essence of each song. the melody, the words, the rasp of john’;s voice on the last tracks of an album cut all in one day. i’ve been surprised in listening to the remasters by the complete panning of the drums to one side, and all the vocals to the other… and i’m thinking, “was it always like this and i didn’t notice? wait, this album was in mono, right? er…” and i can’t clearly recall.
but it’s given me something to appreciate. i have been listening to them as a completely new experience. as much as all of these songs are part of my being, i have nothing to compare these new recordings to. so now i have got a lot to listen to. yep. it’s all beatles all the time until my housemates threaten me effectively (only really good threats are going to convince me to stop).
on another note, i’ve taken a (sortof) time lapse of our space here in chicago (just moved here… i’m loving it so far. of course, i haven’t seen a winter yet…). i say sortof because i was limited by a 1gig sd card in a casio exilim digital cam. so, at medium quality, i had to swap the card out & offload every 20 minutes until the camera died (about 3 hours) and then charge it up and start again. and then do it again the next day to fill in the gaps. hm, limitations are fertilizer for creativity, right? yea. well anyway, getting the cards in & out for days (took me three different days to get this) and replacing the cam without a tripod creates some shaky filming in fast forward. er, so, basically what i’m saying is this is a bit janky. i know it. I KNOW, alright already! just watch the video, jeez: