Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Beatles - "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" (spotlight)

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of The Beatles appearing on The Ed Sullivan show, which basically introduced the band to the US, with approximately 1/3 of the US population watching, a cultural hegemony probably not even possible in today's fractured media market.  Tomorrow, CBS will air a tribute concert in honor of The Ed Sullivan appearance. 

I've mostly ignored The Beatles on this blog, mostly because what could I possibly say that hasn't been said before?  They assimilated the various influences that preceded them, greatly expanded them, and their results have so defined popular music that their music sounds effectively timeless. 

So I thought I had an original thought about The Beatles, but a quick google search suggests otherwise.  Regardless, I'll state it here and you'll have to take my word that I came up with this independently...

I've written about shoegazing many times on this blog, including bands like Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, whose 1991 LP "Loveless" I consider one of the best LPs of all time.   My claim is that the entire genre of shoegazing is in pursuit of the last 3 minutes of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", from The Beatles 1969 LP "Abbey Road".  As far as I know, the sound for this song (or more accurately, the last 3 minutes) is totally unique within The Beatles' canon.  That's cultural impact: the last 3 minutes of one, of over 200 songs you've recorded, spawns an entire musical genre.  Listen to "Some Velvet Morning" or "Come In Alone" and tell me I'm wrong. 

"I Want You (She's So Heavy)", (shortcut to the last 3 minutes)

Edit: After reading this, Danette reminded me (although I had not forgotten) that she doesn't like "I Want You (She's So Heavy)".  Needless to say, she doesn't like shoegazing either. 

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