Thursday, November 23, 2006

We don't love Love

We're old. We ran out this week and got that Beatles CD, Love, the “mash-up” soundtrack to the Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil show that’s been hailed as a sonic and artistic breakthrough by the Beatles’ producer George Martin and his son.

Sorry. Love may be a wild sonic experience when you're in a surround-sound seat in a Vegas showroom, but on an Ipod or a stereo, but it's old, just an old man’s version of a “mash-up,” not far removed from the Beatles "Stars-on 45” medley of 25 years ago, in which snippets of Beatles songs play out along the same rhythm track, and not much more than a souvenir that contains a number of nipped and tucked dance numbers linked by short sonic bits to give time for applause and set changes. What’s missing is the dancer shaped like an egg with a bowler hat and umbrella. The music, chopped up, remixed and overlapped, often crashes into noise that must work when there are people flying around and bending into pretzel shapes. But on its own, it’s more frustrating than listenable (though the driving version of the Beatles' best song, I Am the Walrus, is almost as good as Oasis’ version).

The main problem: They let 80-year-old George Martin get his hands on it. And George Martin's the one responsible for the 20 minute mono-only CDs of the early LPs, and he’s the one behind the “outfakes’ of the Anthology series-- songs created from multiple takes rather than letting us hear the original alternative versions of songs we’d already collected on bootleg LPs. The Twotles and EMI should have done the right thing and handed the project over to Danger Mouse or some kid with imagination.

And instead of dumping stunt packages like anniversary White Albums and CD versions of the inferior early American elpees, they ought to clean up and remaster the original albums for state-of-the-art modern CDs before they get too deep into Elvis RCA country.

Meanwhile, the brothers of Oasis, with a greatest hits album that’s fighting ‘Love’ for the Number 1 spot on the UK charts, have slagged off their idols’ new product.

Said Noel Gallagher: "It's a pointless exercise. I turned it off after five songs."

Liam added: "It's rubbish! If you haven't got The Beatles by now you're not going to get it. I'm all Beatled-up!"

As of this morning… Oasis is neck-and-neck on the charts… with the Irish boy band, Westlife.

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