PET SOUNDS: LOVE

The Beatles get remixed by George Martin to a rather wonderful effect.

The Beatles.
Eyes to the front, Paul.

Love

The Beatles

2006

Apple/Capitol/Parlophone



Dreamy and much more interesting than the keepers of the flame anticipated when George Martin revealed that he (and his son) were going to re-work The Beatles.


Even typing the above words feels at best disrespectful and, at worse, likely to tip the clouds from the skies, but here we are, years after Love was released onto a sceptical (nay, fearful) market, and the clouds continue to roll on by.


With its genesis in the French performance nonsense of Cirque de Soleil and anchored as a concept in its Las Vegas show, Love was crafted as a soundtrack to Gallic fatuousness and the well-oiled clapping of over-tanned vacationers.


Not getting any better, is it?


Which makes the actual product of this "difficult" gestation so much more interesting.


George Martin may not have "done a Jive Bunny" or a Stars on 45 on The Beatles (though, if memory serves, Stars on 45 did actually do a Stars on 45 on The Beatles), but he has – clutch those pearls – remixed the band's most fondly regarded and critically acclaimed songs - and bits of songs - and Love is the result of all that knob-twiddling.


Listed as 26 tracks (though if you include the snippets, echoes and gags, the tracklisting is somewhat longer), Love is a winding, wandering journey through some of the greatest, most affecting pop songs ever written. From adrenaline-pumper Get Back to the warming and affecting Something as well as the majesty of Hey Jude, it’s all here, lovingly polished and (re)arranged, with a free, and at times daring, application of Martin’s skill, the result of which is entirely unexpected.


Verses and choruses run backwards, songs start as one thing and then end up as another (a touch of Eurovision there), teenagers scream, Beatles banter, melodies collide. There is a huge amount of affection and dedication on Love, but very little reverence. Imagination and playfulness here replace the calcifying greatification that has, over the years, weighed down The Beatles creative legacy.


It’s mop-top punk and all the better for it.


Help! still sounds as over-excited as it always did, however, and Back In The U.S.S.R. feels distinctly bolted onto Revolution (well, not all jokes quite hit the mark, do they?), but it doesn’t matter. Great pop art should fail in parts, as does this. Besides, anything that takes the whimsy of Octopus’s Garden (Ringo’s finest achievement after marrying Barbara Bach) and wraps it up in such delicate fun can’t be seriously knocked.


George Martin and his son remixed The Beatles and the result is fantastic.

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