After linking to the excellent Playing The Beatles Backwards review a few days ago, I've been listening to their stuff again with a fresh ear, especially to some of the less famous tracks. And though I've been playing Beatles music in a cover band for over 20 years, they still blow me away.
Think about this: those four lads recorded Rubber Soul in less than a month, releasing it near the end of 1965. Then Revolver followed eight months later. Sgt. Pepper came ten months further on. So they recorded and released not only their three best albums, but three of the best rock albums of all time, encompassing at least a dozen of the greatest songs—all in a year and a half.
Oh, and they managed to put out a few singles you might have heard of during that time too: "We Can Work It Out," "Day Tripper," "Paperback Writer," "Rain," "Yellow Submarine," "Eleanor Rigby," "Penny Lane," and "Strawberry Fields Forever." Several of them didn't even appear on the albums. They were bonus songs.
Forty years on, it's easy to forget the almost thermonuclear burst of musical creativity The Beatles offered the world. Their recording career lasted from "Love Me Do" in mid-1962 until "I Me Mine" (from Let It Be) at the very beginning of 1970, a little over seven years. There's never been anything like it, before or since.
My older daughter watches MuchMusic and has me put on Top 40 radio in the car, but given the chance, she'd rather listen to The Beatles anytime, and their posters adorn her walls. The first few notes of "I Saw Her Standing There" can still bring a crowd to their feet dancing. "A Day in the Life" can make them weepy. "Hey Jude" will get them swaying. The Beatles, who did almost everything before I was born, still make me glad for the existence of music.