well...this is easily my favorite beatle record and one of my all-time favorite records by anyone, anywhere, anytime
from the opening track to the closing notes, it is as artistically sublime an effort as anyone ever made...
wouldn't drop a song, switch the order, add more tracks, lengthen any of them either...nor edit down one itty-bitty moment...
can still remember the first song i heard off this: it was Revolution #9 and it was being played on the radio..the Dj mentioned, at the beginning, that this was yet another version of the song they'd been playing...and then...that came on: i was mesmerized...but they only played about half of it when they realized what they'd done...so they yanked it and put on something else...
i had to search out my brother, knowing he was a beatle fan, just to find out what it was i'd heard...and the rest is history
this is as bountiful a harvest of the beatles at their most creative as one could possibly hope for: they were at or near their pinnacle on each of these songs...and when you consider what the heck was going on through much of its recording, that it comes out so magnificently whole is even more astonishing
the set is so artistically spot on..it is the template for which i use when comparing/thinking about any album by anyone, anywhere, anytime
i cannot contemplate underestimating any of these tracks...there simply are, imho, no blemishes to be found: if you see/hear something that may be not quite right...not up to par...no offense, but it is most likely your own limitations that are getting in the way
this is an album that challenges the listener flat out and says leave your conceptions at the door and follow us
30 diverse tracks of pure musical bliss...does any beatle album start out any better than the rockin' but cheeky Back in the USSR...no...then into the swirling, thoughtful Dear Prudence...the crunch of Glass Onion...the bouncy, oblique Ob-la-di, ob-la-da...the deranged Wild Honey Pie...contemplative wit folk of Bungalow Bill...the proto goth of While My Guitar gently Weeps...bitter comedy of Happiness is a Warm Gun...the warmth of Martha My Dear...the drowsy, bluesy I'm So Tired...folksy Blackbird...political satire in Piggies...western schmaltz of Rocky Racoon...the jangly, punky Don't Pass Me By (my vote for ringos single best turn at the mic)...a sublimely open I Will...finishing with a sublimely contemplative Julia
..and that is just the first half...things get just a little unhinged from here on...wacky, absurdity of Birthday...the isolated screech of Yer Blues...only to turn to the snuggly-warm Mother Natures Son...just in time to leap up into a funky, outlandish, kinda out there Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me an My Monkey...the jagged little pill of Sexy sadie...the bombast and blast of Helter Skelter...georges most underrated song ever: Long, Long, Long...the robust sarcasm of Revolution #1...the naughty nod to the past of Honey Pie...georges snarky tongue-in-cheek Savoy Truffle...the winking jauntiness of Cry baby Cry...
and then there is the song...yeah, y'know the one...the one that seems to divide more beatle fans than just about any song i can think of,...the one that puts it s big, fat, juicy stamp all over the rest and make shtis album what it is: this somng is the real heart and soul of this album...
think of what it took to make this behemoth...think of what it took to get it on the album...no, this ain't in yo mama's selection of favorite beatle songs..yup, it's weird...yep, it's scary...yup, it's lonnnnggggg, yep, it's...odd, quirky, nonsensical...yup, it moves around a sonic landscape like a bloated, blind juggernaut of sound that, even after repeated listenings, still leaves one wondering exactly where the heck you've been...and where the heck you're going
and that is bliss !!
after this.??? there is simply no place to got but to say...good night
nope, this is what albums should be all about: taking you places you've never been...maybe, as with R9...places you never thought you'd go...and bringing you back safely
this is an amusement park of an album...a road trip w/o a map of an album ...it is an adventure like few you've been on of an album...and it exists exactly as such to this day...
had i been around to help name the album...i might've offered up a snarky, witty "enter at your own risk"
but those crafty lads beat me to the best version...because from the first track to the last: it is The Beatles
...just another higher reachin' hillman !