In my post from a few days ago I linked to a recent London Times article about the break-up of The Beatles and mentioned how their music seems to span generations.
Here’s confirmation of that fact: “The Beatles: Rock Band” video games has come out to great reviews, and tomorrow the entire Beatles’ catalog, remastered, will be released. You can buy the entire boxed set for $250, and if this review is any indication it will be a bargain. This review also makes the mono boxed set seem like a must-have.
The staying power of the Beatles is nothing short of astonishing. The Beatles began recording their records in the early ’60s and came to the U.S. in early 1964, more than 45 years ago. When the group first came to America’s attention, it was shortly after LBJ took office, when the Vietnam War was still in its early, conceivably winnable stages. The country has changed enormously since then, but the Beatles’ records nevertheless remain popular. In this sense, they are unlike the vast majority of musical acts known to American culture. In the 45 years from 1900 to 1945, musical tastes went from ragtime to jazz to big band; in the 45 years from 1945 to 1990 popular music shifted from big band to rock ‘n’ roll to disco to ’80s rock to grunge. For Beatles songs to stay popular for 45 years, during an era where popular culture has been volatile and ever-changing, is an extraordinary testament to the enduring quality of their music.
Will I spend the $250 for the boxed set? I’m not sure, but it will be hard to resist the lure of hearing the second side of Abbey Road — which I consider to be the single most perfect side of music ever produced in a record album — in the way the Beatles intended, without technological limitations standing in the way.