Thursday, April 30, 2009

you can see them out for dinner / with their piggy wives / clutching forks and knives / to eat the bacon

Part IV of IV (first three are here, here and here)

All Beatles, all the time. Y’all, I don’t think I can overstate the importance of the Beatles in my life. They were always kind of around at my house, but I didn’t really discover them for myself until I was eleven or so. I’m pretty sure the documentary The Compleat Beatles hipped me to how cute they all were, and then I started bogarting the vinyl from my dad’s stereo cabinet, and then the clipping started (I would buy or steal ANYTHING that had photos of them on it, then slice it to ribbons for collages), and the buying my own reissued vinyl, the calling myself [Firstname] Starr in school, the um … fanfic? I wrote?, the posters that blanketed my bedroom walls, the repeated obsessive viewings of A Hard Day’s Night, the videos I made with my sister in which we jumped around to play all four Fabs, the junior high English accent fakery, the Sgt. Pepper-y jacket I wore throughout high school, the repeated obsessive viewings of the Anthology series (maybe or maybe not with herbal jazz refreshment), the naming of my daughter after the one whose birthday she shares, and of course the time Jessica Blehm and I tried to call Paul McCartney from a pay phone on the Reunion grounds in the middle of the night in July 1987.

So, in no particular order:

Revolver (1966)
This is when the drugs really began to take hold – and it shows. I lost track of how many times I listened to this lying on the floor of my bedroom sophomore year of high school, stereo speakers blasting directly into my ears, lights out and tripping on nothing stronger than Coca-Cola and teen angst. From that cigarette cough on “Taxman” to the last feedback seagull on “Tomorrow Never Knows,” minus Paul’s silly wankings (“For No One” is the worst offender; “Rigby” is only good if you strip out the vocals like on Anthology), this is a goddamn near perfect album.

White Album (1968)
A little something for everyone, and it’s disintegration in action -- all the boys going different directions no matter how much it hurts. You know how large-scale destruction, like a building imploding or a war at night, can be fucking beautiful? It’s like that. Gleemonex Fun Fact: Desmond, Sadie and Julia were all on the baby-name short list because of this album.

Sgt. Pepper (1967)
They invented this shit out of whole cloth – nobody thought of such a king-hell fuckaround before the Beatles did it. I’ve never done acid, but Pepper made me want to. Such weird/downer material wrapped in such a trippy, lovely package. Gleemonex Fun Fact: My little drunken band of friends has tried to play Sgt. Pepper all the way through at the end of the night several times; Mr. Gleemonex, the Drumming Lebowski and I once got as far as “Mr. Kite” before the rest of the band got bored and wandered off.

Abbey Road (1969)
The whole album is like something really awesome happening the day after you’ve had a massive hangover. Your headache is gone, but you’re still a little logy, and you vaguely remember some raging good times and maybe a fight or something – whatever, it’s all good and you have this beautiful thing now. “Mean Mr. Mustard” is like my theme song in life.

A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
The best of the pre-drug best (and I do love me some early Beatles; it’s just that the first few are so full of “standard” covers that they don’t really make the list as full original albums).This one’s where George Martin started to trust the boys, a little bit. I don’t use the word “exuberance” a lot, but Internets? This is it – you can’t listen to this record without dancing around like a maniac, your heart just about lifting out of your goddamn chest.

So that's it, kids -- and it was harder than I thought to pick just five from the Fabs. Sometime soon I'll do a brief overall Honorable Mention post, along with "Goddamn, I can't believe I forgot ____!" Hope you enjoyed this stroll through the back catalog of Gleemonex Records.

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Blogger Uncle Spike said... close! Almost guessed 'em all. A Hard Day's Night just clotheslined me. As for Rubber Soul...too folksy? That's my fave...of course, I've never heard any of the others (save Sgt. Pepper) all the way through. I know, I know...don't unfriend me!

8:04 PM  
Blogger dehumidifier said...

Earlier I was listening to the Sonic Youth cover of "Tomorrow Never Knows" and thinking about what a damn perfect cover it was. Feedback meets feedback.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Karla said...

Apropo of nothing: I saw this and immediately thought of you:

9:28 AM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

I must have this. Now. NOW! The Most High Shatner COMMANDS IT! Let it be so!

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Gleemonex said...

dehumidifier, I hear you. But the most damn perfect cover from Sonic Youth has got to be The Carpenters "Superstar". Super creepy. Super fantastic.

11:23 AM  
Blogger bgirl said...

The jacket. Oh, the jacket.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Spanish Johnny said...

Starr, huh? Sure, it's the coolest word of the eight available (John, Paul, George, Ringo, Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Starr). I get that. But, naming yourself after Ringo? Was that really the statement you wanted to make? On top of the Sgt. Pepper jacket? Ironically, Ringo was probably the next-coolest choice. I mean, calling yourself John, Paul or George would've been downright weird and most likely would've sent the wrong message to any boys you might've been interested in, right? Of course, I'll bet calling yourself Starr attracted its share of winners, too. No offense, Mr. Gleemonex.

7:28 AM  

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