Finally, the Most Important Band of All Time™ are on Spotify. About bloody time.
As my easy answer to the “favourite band” question (complicated answer: “Well, it varies. I’m listening to a lot of Beck and Bruce Springsteen at the moment, but I couldn’t honesty say they were my favourite EVER. I’ve probably listened to Kanye the most over the last couple of years, but zzzzzz”) I already own pretty much every Beatles album (and who would even want to own Beatles for Sale or Yellow Submarine?). So, in theory, this shouldn’t matter all that much.
The reason that it does is that Spotify has essentially devoured every form of music-listening that I have. Spotify is a fantastic way of finding new things, but it has a tendency to render anything that isn’t on there irrelevant. Unfortunately, The Beatles came under this umbrella as well. Kind of an undignified way for possibly the greatest band of all time to fall out of my listening habits.
Without being able to listen to them on a regular basis, I’ve actually started to consider if my “I’m a Beatles man” stance in regards to The Rolling Stones was correct. The Stones have A LOT of pretty amazing songs. Things like Wild Horses and Miss You kind of dominate the space when what you remember from The Beatles is Love Me Do and Hey Jude (or That F*cking Song, as it’s starting to become known).
But The Beatles always have been more than their most famous songs have indicated. Typically, when I think of The Beatles I don’t think of Yellow Submarine, and if you’re a fan, I doubt you do either. The release of The Beatles on to Spotify has brought back a whole host of songs that had unfairly disappeared from my library.
I’ve Got a Feeling, Across The Universe, I’ve Just Found A Face, You Never Give Me Your Money, I Me Mine, Cry Baby Cry; these are all such wonderful songs that so easily go under the radar. How many people think to listen to the Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End epic series of songs on Abbey Road? Even tunes like In My Life and Strawberry Fields are at risk of being forgotten. While the move to Spotify may not seem like that big a deal to many, the fact this incredible back catalogue has become accessible again really is something to celebrate.
A personal hope of mine is that this will introduce a new generation of music fans to find the solo work of John, Paul, George and even Ringo. Common parlance seems to say that the Fab Four became noticeably less-Fab after they split. Frankly, this just isn’t true.
Paul McCartney’s position as the go-to-guy to end a concert may have turned him in to something of a has-been, a guy for Twitter to laugh at when his 73 year old voice inevitably fails him. It seems impossible for a man with his success to be underrated, (he’s a God-damn Knight of the Realm!) but it’s actually true of him. By no means Lennon’s second-in-command, Band on the Run is one of the greatest albums of the 20th Century in my book, and even some of the stuff he’s done in the last 20 years (Calico Skies is a beautiful song, and even a fairly unknown tune like Sing The Changes is worth a listen).
This is to say nothing of the careers of John and George, who are so much more than the guys who did Imagine and My Sweet Lord it’s laughable. Hell, even Ringo had his moments with It Don’t Come Easy and Photograph.
Selling the quality of The Beatles may seem like a pointless task, but it stands true. In an era where digital-inaccessibility means irrelevance, the natural order of things has been readdressed.
Its good to to have you back, old friend.
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