Generally speaking one might assume that producers make an impact far beyond their actual work on a daily basis… I think of famous producers like for instance Stikkan Andersson for ABBA or George Martin for the Beatles. When I heard the other day that George Martin had passed away, I simply thought that such a musician must have been a very important person for the Beatles although
we all know that both John Lennon and Paul McCartney specifically are known for being just the same… I can’t help thinking that there might have been other things but musical arrangements that could have lead the Beatles in one direction or the other.
So many of the Beatles’ tunes are very different from all other current music. They were one of a kind and I’m sure you all agree… My listening starting the day when they reported on TV about the murder of John Lennon in NYC in 1980. I hadn’t even heard about the Beatles before that date. A few years earlier I had the same experience with Elvis Presley… I asked: ”who is he?” just like I did with John Lennon…
I started of a constant listening and a year or so later I had a pretty good idea of the music of the Beatles. I had also had a chance to sing-along in school, just like I guess many other youth at that time. My music teacher at school was a devoted Beatles fan who let us all sing the Beatles almost every music lesson… We also watched the movie ”Help!” and I found out more about Indian religion and all of a sudden I knew who Kali was… The very same way I learnt what the French national anthem sounded like…since that’s possible to hear in the end of All you need is love…
I think music is like that always… I learn completely different things but just the music when I listen to music. I also notice that we are all different… I remember when comparing with some of my friends who focused on the tune, the music, I would more likely focus on the lyrics… Having said that I can make a long list of really good Beatles lyrics that all make a difference for everyone who take the time to listen carefully. My music teacher not only shared his favorite tunes by Beatles, but also his knowledge packed in a youth-friendly way… one detail at the time… We listened to ”Julia” while learning that John Lennon’s mother was the motive for this song.
We listened to Yellow submarine and learnt the word submarine meant ”u-båt” in Swedish… Learning languages through music is such a smart thing to do, really… Every language learner knows that it may be very tricky to know what idioms to translate and use, and what idioms not to use because they don’t make sense in the other language, however sleeping like a log DID… In Swedish a line like ”Sleeping like a log” is ”sova som en stock”. By singing Beatles songs I had found a new and much more fun way of learning, than by reading boring school books… 🙂
Hey Jude… starts off in a very kind and cautious way, but musical instruments are added one on top of the other and finally a whole orchestra plays along with Paul McCartney… The chords and the lyrics, the choir and the way Paul uses his imagination to make variations of the tune, makes this song one of my absolut favorites. At the very end they sing their catchy ”da da da da, Hey Jude!” and you just have to join them…
But interestingly enough as time pass I digged deeper into the music of the Beatles. From just listening just to the most common tunes, such as ”She loves you”, ”Help” and a ”I want to hold your hand” I started to listen to other tunes, not that common. I also decided not just to listen to their ”Greatest hits” however at that time, music was more difficult to access than now. No spotify and no iTunes would be possible for us to use… Instead we had to buy the music on EP:s or LP:s and so I bought ”Abbey Road” since I had completely fallen in love with ”Here Comes the Sun”… It’s such a beautiful tune! I bought the LP for that very tune, just as we had to, back then, but being economically wise…I of course listened to all the other songs on that LP and found new favorites among the other tunes as well.
One of the surprising tunes is the 26 seconds long ”Her Majesty”, that is very interesting since it has a point, at least in my opinion… really, what DO we know about the Queen of England…?
I think there are tunes we need to listen to over and over again, and yet others that we can follow easily right away. With most of the Beatles’ music, they are of the second kind. You don’t just learn the lyrics, but also the catchy melodies and their treasure of songs thus belongs to all of us. Arrangements are more important than one may think… To conclude this blogpost I’d like to add my assumption that George Martin was one of the most important reasons why the Beatleas actually produced so much music of high quality. I think these young boys needed a person that weren’t just ”one of them” to tell them what to do and how… Am I wrong? Maybe, then so be it… but please allow me to send a thought to the memory of George Martin and thank him for what he did for my many joyful moments when consuming music by the Beatles.
One of the most lovely songs in my opinion, was , as I am told, a kind of answer to the huge impact of ”Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Paul Simon… The Beatles wanted to prove that they were still the best:
At Skavlan the other day, the famous pianist Lang Lang was asked to perform something by Beatles to honor George Martin. He played Blackbird. I enjoyed his version very much and thought about what impact the Beatles still have.