Monday, February 28, 2011

1967 - 1970 - The Beatles

1967 - 1970
The Beatles
Apple SKBO-3404 

This is the companion volume to "1962 - 1966."  It was the second Beatles album that I bought and my fourth album in my collection.  Again, I wore out my original copy and replaced it with this copy.  This era is even more poorly represented by the "1" compilation than the earlier era is.  There is nothing from "Sgt. Pepper" and it does not include "Strawberry Fields Forever."  In my opinion "Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane" is the greatest single in the history of rock music so its exclusion from "1" just proves the foolishness of the concept behind that comp.  "1" also omits such essential classic cuts as "I Am The Walrus," "While My Guitar Gently Sleeps" and "Here Comes The Sun."  I prefer "1962 - 1966" to this album simply because it is more perfect.  "Old Brown Shoe" and "Octopus's Garden" do not belong on a best of record and while "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and "The Long and Winding Road" do belong there, I don't like them very much.  On the other hand, side 1 of record 1 is probably my favorite slab of Beatles vinyl in existence.  I played it more than any other side of either of these comps.  It is a relentless stream of classic psychedelia.  It was not the first time I had heard psychedelic music, there were a few cuts on my "Get It Together" comp like "White Rabbit" and the Vanilla Fudge's cover of "You Keep Me Hangin' On," but this was when I really took notice that this was a different sort of music and that I really liked it a lot.  "A Day In The Life" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" in particular blew me away.  I'd never heard anything like them and I've basically spent the rest of my record collecting life looking for songs that good, without much success.  These albums came with lyric sheets on the inner sleeves and this was the first time I can remember actually studying lyrics trying to figure songs out.  "1967 - 1970" was also the first time I realized that rock music could be complicated, even serious, it was not just the kids' stuff they played on top 40 radio.  This record enslaved me to the Beatles.  To start out one's collection with these two albums, is to start upon the very apex of rock music.  It was all downhill from here, ha-ha.  That is not literally true, I've heard lots of great pop music after this, but I've never heard anything better.  No record has ever thrilled and fascinated me the way these two albums did.  I played them more than any record I have ever owned.  They literally changed my life.  Like "1962 - 1966" this is essential music that every pop fan should own.  Recommended to anyone who has ever wanted to be turned on.

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