I am having my own personal Beatles Revolution.
Yes, I’ve begun getting Beatle albums on vinyl. Again, I suppose you can say. I had a few in my younger years. So to give this whole period in my life perspective, it seems a brief history would be a good start.
I was born in 1964, and I grew up hearing The Beatles on the radio. I didn’t really focus on them or their music though. They were no different from any other music I was hearing at the time. I certainly didn’t know them individually.
There were 2 incidents I recall from my childhood that introduced me to The Beatles in one form or another that really stuck with me. The first was my time in the school portable back in Indiana grade school. Swanson if I recall. One of my classes which I went to outside in a portable (think giant double wide mobile home converted to a classroom) had the 4 portraits of each individual Beatles on the wall. I remember asking someone who they were. That was my first knowledge that The Beatles were 4 guys. A seemingly small step, but an important one.
The second was the story I have told several times on this blog of my grandmother buying me a garage sale case of 45’s. In the collection was Beatle 45’s and Paul McCartney and Wings 45’s. On Apple I recall. Sigh. It was my first Beatles. From then on I paid more attention when Beatles were on the radio or discussed by my friends.
The first album of The Beatles I heard was my half-brother Mark’s “Abbey Road” album. He stayed with us for a brief period and he introduced me to Alice Cooper and Pink Floyd and to “Abbey Road”.
He loved “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” the oddly poppy dark story. He played it for me and made hammering motions during all the Bang Bang portions. Later though we listened to the whole album. I was struck by the different moods and tempos and vocals on the album. It was the first time I began to notice the influence of the individual members.
The turning point for me was when I met Jeff.
Jeff as I likely have described before was a Beatle Collector. He had tons of Beatles and solo stuff and he played them often. I’ve covered specifics of Jeff’s phase of Beatle collection before, but let me suffice to say that it rubbed off on me. I bought “Abbey Road” and “Magical Mystery Tour”
and I think a few others and really had a period of Beatle love. I was no collector though. I bought what I loved and what was cheap. So yeah, I had a Ringo album, and a George album and even some Wings, but it was just because they were cutouts.
“Let It Be” came into my life from Jeff of course, and was solidified as a fixture when Jeff and I and another friend whom I can’t recall right now, went to see “Let It Be” at a campus theater. This solidified my perception of Beatles as individuals.
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band” was another that I owned. It didn’t really strike me then as a game changer album. I just thought it was good. As album covers go, even now, this one is a great one.
This was my phase. My Beatle era preference. Jeff loved them all though. I recall one day I was over at his place and he was excited to have gotten “Something New” and we listened to it. For me it was like a whole other band. The early Beatle stuff was not my favorite of their cannon. I thought about this day when I was standing in the basement of Strictly Discs with a copy in my had. I bought it with a smile.
Of course I loved the “Yellow Submarine” cartoon movie. Sorry, animated film. That album was my first discovery that not every Beatle album is what you expect. I recall getting “Yellow Submarine” and wondering what the hell happened to side 2. Music from the film? I wasn’t prepared.
I also didn’t realize that the plethora of Beatle albums were the result of what I refer to now as comps and or greatest hits packages. Not every Beatle album you see is worth buying. I bought the Blue double album before I realized this.
The only song on this one I didn’t already have was “Old Brown Shoe”.
It didn’t matter that much though, because in a few years I was selling all my vinyl with the intention of buying them all on CD. What a chump.
That was the Beatle drought period. It was a long phase.
Fast forward to several years ago. I was deep in a phase of music blog searching for boots and rare stuff and came across the Blog Strawberry Fields. Strawberry Fields was an all Beatle bootleg blog. It blew my mind slightly that there was so much stuff out there. I got a ton of stuff to give to Jeff as a fun reminder of the old days. I listened to one of them to see what the quality was and dug it. Then I listened to more. And more. I didn’t save the site name in my favorites and after a while was unable to find it anymore. Sad face.
It did respark my interest in The Beatles though.
Then came the era when Abbey purchased a USB record player and the nostalgia and upsurge in availability of records fell upon me once again. One of the first brand new albums I purchased was “Abbey Road”. I have yet to open it.
A few more have come my way. “The Beatles 65” came from Josh in the big donation of records he gave me. There was also a cover of “A Hard Day’s Night” with “Meet The Beatles” actually inside. That one became a clock for Jeff.
I also came across a huge cache of Paul McCartney and Wings at Frugal Muse and liberated them. Even finding “Wild Life” at Preplayed in Madison to finish off the Wings collection. I also came across some Beatle 45’s on Apple and bought those.
When Dalton passed this year I was surprised to find a brand new remastered copy of “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” in his collection.
I never knew he even listened to Beatles!
The turning point came in my Beatle collection phase came recently. I had a few obscure 45’s that Dalton had received from record companies, presumably as review copies or giveaways in his stuff. I made some awesome clocks out of the colored vinyl ones. The black vinyl ones then I had no idea what to do with. It was nothing I was into that I intended to keep forever. I went to Discogs to see if any of them were worth anything. A couple were selling surprisingly for up to $10. So I posted them on E-bay. They sold! All of them. Apparently the Death Metal 45 market, which most of them were, is booming. The pinnacle of success came when Sleep Vol 2 sold for $59 bucks. The second copy sold for $39. I saturated the market. There will be a separate post on Sleep. So… almost a hundred bucks for 2 45’s. I was both flabbergasted and overjoyed.
I had recently purchased “Hey Jude” and “Magical Mystery Tour” (both on Apple) on vinyl from Frugal Muse in a “right place at the right time” coup and I was high on Beatles again and I decided that it was only fitting to use the money from the sale of Dalton’s records to buy more. I think he would have been cool with that.
My first purchase with the money became my personal Beatle revolution. The White Album(s). ?
Yeah, in an overzealous bidding frenzy… I won 2 copies. More on that later.