The Beatles | The Word

24 05 2010

“The Word” is one of my favorite Beatles songs, which makes sense given it’s from my favorite album Rubber Soul. This 1965 release is a real turning point for The Beatles. Although there was always growth from one album to the next, I always thought Rubber Soul took the biggest leap. It represents not just a shift in sound but a new take on lyricism, whereby Lennon and McCartney began approaching their songs in a much more abstract fashion. Many of the lyrics from this period are more open to interpretation than prior attempts. “The Word” may seem like a rather straight ahead tune about love but, in actuality, the message is far more subtle than any love song they had written in their early years. Messaging aside, “The Word” is a simple yet powerful song that features an up tempo, syncopated rhythm accentuated by sharp guitar chords on the 2 and the “and” between the 3rd & 4th beat. The effect is a pushing and dragging feel that creates a great groove. That, along with a sweet 3 part harmony and John’s screaming lead on the chorus and it stands out as one of the bands catchiest “in your face” tunes. Rubber Soul is filled with great material that’s similarly listener friendly while pushing the boundaries of form and expression… “Wait” is a fine example of this quality. As a collection of material, they constantly walk the line between experimental and simple pop sensibility and with great success. Despite The Beatles enormous catalog of great music, Rubber Soul and “The Word” will forever stand as some of their best work.

I recently found this funny video of a post-Beatles Paul. It’s from an interview where he plays a seemingly harmless word association game. By the answers he gives to such mundane triggers as “The Beatles” and “Linda”, one would guess the word is not LOVE but actually it’s more physical cousin, SEX. I especially like how unapologetic he is about the whole thing and how can you blame him. I mean, he’s Paul McCartney. I don’t think the guy has ever had trouble in that department, so…


NEW! On The Turntable

11 05 2010

Now that May is in full swing, the On The Turntable page has been updated. This month it’s yet another classic: Stevie Wonder’s 1970 Motown release Signed, Sealed & Delivered.  This one is probably my favorite Stevie LP although it’s really too tough to say for sure. This one, like so many others, has so many great songs that is is a great listen form start to finish. Just the other day I had it on and someone said, “you got to send me this playlist”, as though I had weeded out all the bad songs or something. Well, not the case… this one is just a solid collection of material that doesn’t quit. There are some great videos of Stevie promoting this album back in 1970 (and plenty of later stuff too). I’ve tried to select just one or two but it is so hard to choose. Below is some footage of Stevie performing one of the lesser known hits live, “Heaven Help Us All”. This version is really great. The rap he gives in the intro is amazing and, damn, what a groove…

Here is the title track “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” from the Dick Cavett show. I love when Stevie gets up from the keys and starts groovin’ out with the back-up singers.

The interview from this appearance is very funny as well as informative. It’s pretty neat to see him be so candid. Not only does the man have a ton of talent but he has a great sense of humor too.

Visit the On The Turntable page to listen to the entire album and learn more about it.  If you don’t already own this one, you can follow the links to make a purchase online… it’s a must have.

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