Certain things shouldn’t be messed with— a good steak, the Star Wars films, and of course the music of the Beatles.
With only one real Beatle still alive (sorry, Ringo) it’s my knee-jerk, music snob instinct to assume that any “new releases” from the band are nothing but an attempt to mine their legacy for a few extra bucks. (Hey, Paul’s gotta pay for that divorce somehow.) Messing with the canon of the Beatles just seems like heresy.
That’s why I was so surprised by Love.
If you haven’t heard, Cirque du Soleil have a Beatles-themed show currently playing in Vegas. The soundtrack to the show is a Beatles mash-up, taking some of their greatest hits (I Want to Hold Your Hand) and putting them next to, and sometimes on top of, some of their classic album tracks (Cry Baby Cry). The end result is pretty amazing. The tracks are deconstructed, reassembled, and embellished in the best way possible. It’s beautifully conceived, sonically daring, often poingant, and occasionally overwhelming.
As much as I hate to admit it, it’s downright amazing. In case you don’t believe me, and you certainly shouldn’t, Metacritic has links to all of the reviews.
Oh, did I mention that the whole thing was assembled and mixed by Sir George Martin and his son Giles? If anyone has the right to revisit this work, it’s certainly Martin. As far as I’m concerend, he’s more of a Beatle than Ringo.
At the end of the day, I only have to wonder if John would approve. I think so. George? Maybe not.