Saturday, February 9, 2008

Is The Music of The Beatles Still Relevant?

Several times over the past nine years we've addressed the on-going debate as to just how relevant the music of THE BEATLES has been (with the benefit of 40+ years hindsight.) There seem to be many on the list who feel that, were it not for all the hype and the $1,000,000 investment made by CAPITOL RECORDS to let The United States know about them, THE BEATLES may have just been "another band from the '60's" ... if they EVER got airplay here in America at all. (Keep in mind that their first four British releases were virtually ignored here in The States until CAPITOL RECORDS organized the push behind I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND!!!)

WHY this debate continues is beyond me ... all one has to do is turn on the radio ... you'll STILL hear at least 20 BEATLES song every single day, spread out ALL over the radio dial, regardless of format. Their music has lived on and often seems to grow in stature ... how these SAME four musicians and song writers went from the simplicity of LOVE ME DO to RUBBER SOUL and REVOLVER to SGT. PEPPER and LET IT BE is a music journey unparralleled by any artist of our generation.

And no greater proof of this may be evident than on tomorrow night's GRAMMY AWARDS Program ... where the music of THE BEATLES will be spotlighted (and honored) once again. PAUL McCARTNEY is up for THREE awards for his MEMORY ALMOST FULL album ... the LP is nominated for BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM, the song ONLY MAMA KNOWS got a nod for BEST SOLO ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE and the album's catchy opening cut DANCE TONIGHT is up for THE BEST MALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE Award.

Meanwhile, two compositions by PAUL's former writing partner, JOHN LENNON, are ALSO up for significant awards. Incredibly the GREEN DAY version of WORKING CLASS HERO and the U2 version of INSTANT KARMA are competing against EACH OTHER in THE BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCALS category!!! (We recently featured BOTH of these LENNON classics in our UNEXPECTEDLY aborted PHIL SPECTOR Series .... thanks AOL!!!)

And, to top things off, the cast of the film ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (which uses BEATLES music exclusively in its soundtrack) will team with the cast of CIRQUE DU SOLEIL (who perform the INCREDIBLE BEATLES' LOVE musical to sold out audiences every single night in Las Vegas) for a live performance of a special BEATLES song medley on the program.

THE BEATLES were NEVER properly honored to their truly deserved potential by THE GRAMMYS in the past (one report I read stated that collectively, THE BEATLES had won a total of 12 GRAMMYS overall ... however, I was able to find a total of SEVENTEEN awards spread out over all of the group members. This includes best new artist of 1964 ... jeez, imagine them losing THAT one!!!)

This is a fitting hindsight tribute to the timeless music that JOHN, PAUL, GEORGE and RINGO have created over the years. MUST SEE viewing to be sure!!! (Sunday Evening, February 10th, at 8 PM Eastern, 7 PM Central on CBS Television.)

1964 - Best New Artist
1964 - Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Group: A Hard Day's Night
1966 - Best Contemporary Solo Vocal Performance: Paul McCartney -

Eleanor Rigby
1966 - Song of the Year: Michelle (John Lennon & Paul McCartney)
1967 - Best Contemporary Album by a Group Vocal:

1970 - Best Original Score for a Motion Picture: LET IT BE
1971 - Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocals: Paul McCartney -

Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey
1972 - Album of the Year: THE CONCERT FOR BANGLA DESH

(George Harrison and Friends)
1974 - Best Pop Vocal by a Group: Band On The Run (Paul McCartney & Wings)
1979 - Best Rock Instrumental by a Group: Rockestra Theme

(Paul McCartney & Rockestra)
1981 - Album of the Year: DOUBLE FANTASY (John Lennon & Yoko Ono)
1989 - Best Rock Performance Vocal by a Group: The Traveling Wilburys

(including George Harrison)
1996 - Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Group: Free As A Bird
1996 - Best Music Video by a Group: Free As A Bird
1996 - Best Long-Form Music Video: THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY SERIES
2003 - Best Pop Instrumental: Marwa Blues (George Harrison)