Do we REALLY need more Beatles re-issues?

Do we REALLY need more Beatles re-issues?

It seems like The Beatles get their albums re-issued, re-formatted, remastered, or put out in box set form every time I so much as go to change my pants (don’t take that too literally, incidentally. I don’t want you thinking I only change my pants once every two years…).

Revolver is the latest such long player to have received this treatment, having been unleashed – in a “newly mixed and expanded edition” on the public at the end of October. Let’s be honest though, do we need it? Do we REALLY need it?

Actually, the answer is yes. Whether you like them or not is immaterial (though I do feel you have to acknowledge how important they were in shaping the music of many years to come and breaking boundaries that opened doors for countless others along the way) – the truth is that these re-issues and variously repackaged items STILL, 60 years after the band first charted with ‘Love Me Do‘, bring an insane amount of revenue in to the music industry. Without that revenue, many of your ‘smaller’ artists would simply self-combust before they’d even set foot on the treadmill, but with it, they have the chance to at least get their pinky toe on the bottom rung of the ladder and maybe even haul themselves up to the top.

Few bands, if any, are as collectable as The Beatles, so these items, whenever they come out, are pretty much guaranteed to sell money-spinners. For those folk such as myself, who ARE fans of the band, despite the fact that they effectively split up before I was born, they are a continual source of delight.

Little needs to be said about the tracks on Revolver. I mean, I doubt I need to tell you what ‘Eleanor Rigby‘ or ‘Taxman‘ sound like, now do I? I’d say it’s possibly their greatest work, and I’d wrestle you for that. But the intrigue here isn’t so much the remastered original track listing (although I must confess, that does make a big difference as each track sounds somehow warmer). No, what makes THIS particular release so interesting is the never-before-released session recordings and demos. John Lennon singing ‘Yellow Submarine‘ anyone? Who WOULDN’T want to hear that? Especially when the realisation hits you that this childlike sixties anthem was originally a somewhat dark lament about loneliness: “In the town where I come from, no one cared, no one cared.” And the recording of the discussion leading up to getting ‘Eleanor Rigby‘ down on tape is just fascinating.

Equally interesting is the dirtier sound on the stripped back ‘Got To Get You Into My Life (Second Version) Unnumbered Mix‘. It really is fascinating to hear the germs of an idea we know only too well in its final version, and there are LOADS of little curios to boggle your brain with here.

So yes, we DO need it. And we LOVE it.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.