Wednesday, July 8, 2009

let me bounce this off you

The Beatles - Rubber Soul
(UK Version on YouTube Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) I was overcome with an immediate need to listen to Rubber Soul this morning, one that was neither satisfied by iTunes, my usually comprehensive college library (they only have Help! and A Hard Day's Night) or any of my online sources. Frustrating. I am a remarked-upon Beatles-disdainer in my circle, so when I'm in the mood, I'd think the shit should be around, ready to change my mind. It seems strange how digitally inaccessible the world's most popular band is.

Thankfully YouTube, being the jumbled K-Mart of audio-visual culture, has a bargain bin version in stock that scratches the itch nicely. Some kids at the pool recently successfully talked their dad into buying a USB turntable so that they can digitize his old Beatles albums for their iPods. Sure, one could suggest they go buy the CD's, or check them out from the public library, but the mindset of the youth is that it is a more logical problem-resolution path to buy a special device and go through an arduous process to listen to these records rather than just buy them.

This led me to think: if the Beatles are that ridiculously important to culture, which they are, why not make the albums available streaming on the web? Ad revenue would be astronomical. Change the game. Let it stream on smartphones just as this YouTube version does and cash in? People will buy an app just to listen to Beatles songs. Hell, people will buy an iPhone just to buy an app to listen to Beatles songs. The YouTube ad demonstrating a Beatles app for the iPhone would be a huge hit.

@yokoono is one of my Twitter friends; now that one of that catalog's owners has, erm, stepped down, maybe I'll suggest it to her.

All that aside, Rubber Soul is magic, maybe their best, the cusp of rock'n'roll and beyond, etc etc. "I'm Looking Through You" is a three-minute encyclopedia on popular music. And despite having spent some serious time with this album in my formative years, though I must say, at the time I was more of a Revolver guy, somehow I'd forgotten completely about "What Goes On", their proto-country-rock dalliance that starts at 2:43 in the video below. The local country-rock providers should start covering that one.

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