Monday, November 22, 2010

Beatles on iTunes...Finally

I think the best quote was from Ringo. When asked what he thought about The Beatles catalog finally being available on iTunes, he said, 'Now people will stop asking me about it.'

I've always preferred the Beatles on vinyl because that's the original format. It's like old comic books. I'd rather read the actual comic than a reproduction in a nice coffee table book. But at the same time, the coffee table is more convenient. Same with iTunes.

But you do lose the organic connection. The cover of Rubber Soul, for example, looks a lot better when it's BIG!

The Sgt. Pepper's cover, gatefold, back cover, psychedelic insert and cut-out 'goodies' were as much a part of the original experience as the music. I know that may be hard to believe in the 21st century when every image known to man is available at the click of a few buttons.

Back in the Summer of Love, 1967, when I was a kid growing up in Portland, Oregon, we only had five TV channels (and one of them was PBS which was LAME!), only a couple of rock and roll radio stations and most rock magazines and books were strictly marketing tools aimed at teenagers. The stories would be silly features and goofy photo ops. You had to dig deep to find an actual important piece of info. And the Beatles were rarely on television. So getting that Pepper album, with all the great graphics, was a really big deal.

And the listening experience was also different. Side One was a different experience than Side Two, and depending on your mood, you would choose which one to play. Or choose both. Or both in reverse order. Whatever.

Yes, I know you can't go home again. But I'm just saying...The Beatles took a lot of time and care into the packaging and sequence and we've lost that now and with CDs on the way out, even the miniture versions will fade away, too. And don't give me that, 'But you can download the images' bullshit. It's not the same as sitting on your couch and listening to the record while you go over every detail of the album cover.

But I'm glad they finally got the music on iTunes. Now people will stop asking me about it!


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