As a young child I naturally rebelled against music my parents would play me. Like every other brat, listening to a strangely eclectic mix of Oasis, Michael Jackson, the Spice Girls, Steps, and Sash!, I refused outright to be burdened by the rubbish that my parents would listen to.
By eleven or twelve, I succumbed to what had been a long time coming. I remember one Sunday afternoon when I knew my parents would be out for the afternoon. I watched them take the car down to the end of the drive, and away they went. I hurried downstairs, watching over my shoulder, and, in complete embarrassment, took the first 10 Bob Dylan C.D.’s I could grab, and all the Beatles C.D.’s. I ran upstairs and began copying them to my computer, finished and got them back downstairs before my parents were home. They’d never know they’d been right for all these years; there is just some natural inkling to listen to these artists.
On September 9th, The Beatles are set to have their entire studio discography re-released in brand new stereo mixes. I’m not much of a Beatles fan anymore; I still have the utmost respect for them as musicians, and as pioneers, but I just don’t listen to them anymore. The stereo remasters, and indeed the mono remasters, are quite an occasion. I haven’t listened to every album in detail, but I will admit, with my comparatively untrained Beatles ear, I haven’t noticed a difference I can explain. I’ve read reviews from people all over the internet exclaiming that the bass is crisper or warmer, and the strings mixing on Golden Slumbers is perfect, but truth be told all I can notice is that these sound better. I know as a music journalist that isn’t really fulfilling my job description, but its more that I don’t know the Beatles well enough.
Instead, I’d like to leave the comparative critiques up to those who have dedicated months of their lives to listening to this band; I haven’t. Instead, my re-listening has made me remember this beautiful b-side; the first recorded song ever to have a sample played backwards. Paperback Writer’s b-side “Rain” is still a song that has me hooked, and while personally I’ve exhausted most of their back catalog, this song still sounds as fresh as the first time I heard it, and considering the song is forty-three years old that’s quite an accomplished feat.