Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby / Yellow Submarine

(Capitol, 1966)

Another year down the ol’ tubes. Stats? In 2007, I acquired 1,019 records at a cost of $6,399.84. Of these, 273 were new, 746 were used. Breaking down by format, 436 were CDs or CDRs, 569 were vinyl (342 LPs, 178 7”s, 46 12”s, and three 10”s), six were cassettes, and eight were mixed formats or “other.” I bought the most records in January (131), the least in June (47). I completed discographies for the Dave Clark Five, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Moose, Loop, Killdozer, Appliance, the Animals (except for the reunion albums), and the Monkees (except for Justus). I saw exactly 100 movies; only seven were repeat viewings. July and December were the months in which I watched the most films (15), May the fewest (1). The best movies were Death Race 2000, Children of Men, and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, while the worst were Little Man and Women’s Camp 119. I read 32 books in the last year, a total of 8,773 pages. I attended 43 concerts, where I witnessed 99 sets. I was seeing 62 of those bands for the first time. My weight dipped and is consistently below 130 these days; this is not a problem, as I’m still a hearty lad who can scrap with the best of them. I also charted which pants and shirts I wore each day over the last 12 months, but that information is not easily summarized.

Well. I’m glad I got that off my chest. Especially since it used up a lot of space that I would have otherwise had to fill with thoughts about two songs that are both famous enough to make me feel silly offering much commentary. On “Eleanor Rigby,” Paul’s at it again with those strings (this is Great McCartney Ballad #2), they’re all a-pluckin’ and a-sawin’ away behind him as he lays out his gloomy tale of loneliness and death. Boy, the Beatles sure did have a lot of glum songs on their singles from 1965 onward. What’s the story there? Everybody everywhere should be happy all the time. Didn’t drugs teach them that? Things are much sunnier on the other side, though, thanks to that bouncy hunk of Ringo-crooned kiddie psychedelia, “Yellow Submarine.” Like the “Paperback Writer” single, neither song here deals in the sort of vague mass-appeal “I/you” lyrics of earlier days: these are specific, imagined selves (“Paperback Writer,” “Yellow Submarine”); character sketches (“Eleanor Rigby”); or idiosyncratic – chemically-aided? – flights o’ fancy (“Rain”). It’s also worth noting that guitars are barely present on this disc. While this is very much a POP single, it’s the first Beatles 45 that can’t accurately be called a ROCK ’N’ ROLL single. Cuz it just ain’t.

1 comment:

Donald Brown said...

I'm stymied by the sheer numbers. Remind to pay a visit sometime to this shrine of aged vinyl and forgotten classics. Do you charge admission?