Saturday, December 04, 2010

One, Two, Three, Four, Cough.

Then came Revolver. I got it for my birthday the year after the three 45's that started my collection. This was obviously a different proposition entirely from the Tommy soundtrack. Here was an album that took you through moods and past musical milestones you didn't know existed, ending with the ever-astonishing Tomorrow Never Knows. TNK, as the Beatle geeks call it, is built on a rhythm Ringo must have heard in a dream, as there was no precedent for that beat in rock & roll. Jerry-rigged on top are all sorts of drones and backward instruments. Then comes Lennon's voice, sounding (as he requested) like the Dalai Lama preaching from a mountain top, singing about the end of the beginning. For me, it was the beginning of the end...a large part of my life became devoted to music.

A couple of other things I love about this record are that outrageous countdown and cough that lead into Taxman--talk about cojones. That song also features one of the most blistering guitar solos in the Beatles catalog. The solo is so brilliant they simply repeat it on the outro, as if to give you another chance to hear it. How amazing to learn that Paul was behind that stinging lead! And how generous of George to give him the spotlight the first and last time he was given the lead track on a Beatles album. It could have been Paul exercising his droit de seigneur but I like my idea better.

It would be many years before I would discover the British version of Revolver, which ups the factor of greatness by many times (Doctor Robert, I'm Only Sleeping - killer!), but nonetheless I was hooked on music and records forever. As soon as I was old enough, I began going to record stores as often as possible and amassing records at a torrid pace. Now I have hundreds of pieces of black plastic, shiny silver discs and mp3 files. Let's just say that my wife is VERY understanding!

What record sucked you in and made you a music fanatic? Does that music still fascinate you?

Next time: The year in disappointments.

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