Friday, November 21, 2008

Musical Roots

So Paul McCartney is now saying that The Beatles might finally release “Carnival of Light,” the much-hyped, fourteen minute avant garde audio experiment from early 1967.

The track wasn’t good enough to include in the Anthology set, which should tell us something. The “new” songs there, the embarrassingly mixed “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love,” were mind-numbingly bland and served as a warning that we’ve already heard the best of The Beatles.

But because anything John, Paul, George, and Ringo touched in the 1960s has a mythical aura, fans say this "Carnival of Light"—with its lack of rhythm and melody and random shouts like “Barcelona!” and “electricity!”—proves The Beatles were improvisational pioneers. Just as “Helter Skelter” anticipated heavy metal and the “White Album” laid the foundations for progressive rock, so they say, this song shows how much psychedelic and art music owes to the Fab Four.

Don’t be surprised if Paul also starts pushing to release these other “missing” Beatles tracks that had a huge influence on future music:

“Staircase to Paradise”: This missing Beatles track built up from an acoustic guitar intro to a dramatic crescendo of riff-heavy electric guitar and pounding drums, providing the template for hard rock bands from England.

“Remainin’ Alive": With its disco beat—years before we even knew what a disco beat was—this hidden single (which the band cryptically recorded under the name “The Beatle-Gees”) revolutionized dance music in the late 1970s.

“Every Inhale You Take”: A simple yet elegant song, the likes of which other bands couldn’t achieve until the mid-1980s.

“The Odor Resembles Adolescent Spirit”: The Beatles were so groundbreaking that they invented alternative rock before rock itself has solidified. Whiny, angst-heavy lyrics and distorted electric sounds from Liverpool wouldn’t take off again until two decades later in Seattle.

“Sensual Back": The Beatles not only invented pop, but apparently also hip-hop. And wow, they could dance. Only in recent years has another skinny white guy been able to parallel their work.


At November 21, 2008 8:02 PM, Blogger The Mad Hatter replied to my musings ...

For fear of sounding like a broken record, I won't go too crazy over this. But this is getting tiring. My personal feeling about the Beatles is that they had one or two solid albums, and were more or less hoisted into this ridiculous stratosphere from which they always seem to live. Hell, people can say "Fuck America" and be less criticised than if you take a pot-shot at the masterful Beatles. Why people continue to drool over their obvious butt-scrapings from yesteryear is beyond me.

At November 22, 2008 2:39 AM, Blogger Jim replied to my musings ...

Dear Homeland Security:

The "Expletive America" in the previous post does not reflect the views of David Amulet as far as we know. You can slap David around a little but for the most part he's a really good guy.

/s/ Jim, who pays his taxes and has a giant American flag.

peratin<--not code, merely a hand in poker (wherever legal and does not involve children)

At November 22, 2008 8:20 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

MH: I largely agree with you--hence my sarcasm here. The Beatles did break ground in many ways, but it's not like they won the cold war or invented the Internet.

Jim: MH is solely responsible for his commentary. Except for the blame we will put on you, of course.

At November 23, 2008 12:54 AM, Blogger The Mad Hatter replied to my musings ...


They may not have ended the cold war, but they were bigger than Jesus!


I was prepared to be carried home from Iraq draped in a flag. Thankfully I came home via other means (100% intact no less). Still, what's great about this country is that we can even be tolerant for people who say such things and truly mean them; that's not to say I still don't get extremely irate.

At November 24, 2008 9:45 PM, Blogger dmarks replied to my musings ...

Pretty funny. If this collection had a "Tubular Bells" pastiche, the sad thing is that I would buy it.

At November 25, 2008 12:06 AM, Blogger Barbara(aka Layla) replied to my musings ...

A classic Amulet post!

At November 25, 2008 9:56 AM, Blogger LisaBinDaCity replied to my musings ...

Hey, Paul needs money to buy back the Beatles catalogue!

At November 25, 2008 11:09 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

MH: I am tolerant toward everything but intolerance.

DMarks: I'm sure The Beatles somehow "discovered" the tubular bells sound, too.

Barbara: I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Lisa: He didn't give THAT much to Heather Mills. He could still buy most countries!

At November 25, 2008 11:55 AM, Blogger Jeff replied to my musings ...

I'm one of the people who hoists the Beatles up, and will typically cite them as the greatest band of all time (not my personal favorite, but I do think they are the best band of all time.) I think every album from Rubber Soul on are equal in terms of their greatness.

Anyway, I'm not at all excited to hear this "new" track. It sounds like it's going to be overly avant garde and have absolutely no direction what so ever. I like artsy music but not when it doesn't make any sense or is just random noises pieced together and stamped with the title of a "song."

At November 25, 2008 6:05 PM, Blogger dmarks replied to my musings ...

What about the "Rubber Souljah" black nationalist rap album? And "The White Keyes Album" featuring James Bond theme duets?

At November 25, 2008 10:36 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

I've not been a fan of post break-up Beatles rarities. Other than Let It Be... Naked they've not lived up to the standards of the rest of the Beatles repertoire. There's a reason much of the material didn't make it onto their albums back in the 60s.

At November 25, 2008 11:37 PM, Blogger Jim replied to my musings ...

MH -- I did a silly post last year using a pix of the Mr. Switzerland contestants saying they were an Army cloning experiment gone bad -- the post drew a visit to my site from Homeland Security, which oddly does not block it's server ID -- even more oddly, David was one of the Mr. Switzerland contestants! :) Jim

calcali<==Much more oddly, Mr. Cal Cali ran for a seat in the Colorado House but lost! TRUE!

At November 26, 2008 7:46 AM, Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. replied to my musings ...

and I didn't even check in to see this post and was drowning myself in The White Album, particularly "Julia" after watching Sean Lennon do a beautifully accurate cover on the Come Together tribute DVD...cosmos or something

At November 29, 2008 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous replied to my musings ...

Actually, The Beatles did win the cold war and while they didn't invent the internet, 'All You Need is Love' was the first global satellite broadcast. The cultural impact of Beatlemania was felt all the way though the Iron Curtain, and it is arguable that their cultural influence played a large part in the destabilization of the Eastern Block. The Beatles were way big in Germany.

Further, I think you're being naive or just plain mean in not realizing and recognizing to the enormous contribution The Beatles made to the creation of the modern pop song.

That said, I look at these lost releases as more of a historical curiosity as opposed to new great music.

At December 01, 2008 9:19 PM, Blogger The Mad Hatter replied to my musings ...


Wow, that's funny. I can't believe they didn't mask their ID, but I guess it makes sense why you said what you said originally, what with Big Brother really truly possibly watching and all.


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