Journal: News & Comment

Thursday, April 14, 2005
# 3:04:00 PM:

Reasons for fabness

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For various reasons, I've been listening to a whole bunch of Beatles music recently. Last year, Spin music critic Chuck Klosterman wrote an article about ten rock artists who are neither overrated nor underrated, but precisely accurately rated. About the Beatles, he wrote:

The Beatles are generally seen as the single most important rock band of all time, because they wrote all the best songs. Since both of these facts are true, the Beatles are rated properly.

It may be stating the obvious, but he's right. You can listen to the entire Beatles catalogue, from beginning to end, and the amount of middling-to-crappy music is quite tiny. That's true even if you include the stuff they didn't think worth releasing at the time: the highest proportion of junk was in the aimless jams and lame covers they recorded during the Let It Be sessions, when they were holed up in an empty theatre and hated each others' guts. But then they went on to record Abbey Road before breaking up, so you can forgive them.

Conversely, the amount of trascendent, booty-shaking, innovative, and astounding music in their recordings is just way too high to be realistic, but there it is. That four kids from a decaying English port city could pull all that off before any of them turned 30 is nearly a miracle.


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