Saturday, January 03, 2009

Anthology Again

1995-1996 were very good years for Beatles fans. During that time period the Anthology series was released consisting of 3 double CDs sets plus a 5 DVD set capturing most of the Beatles key developmental moments as they wrote, practiced and fine tuned their most endearing and enduring hits. A few rare live performances and finished alternate version tracks are included.

I’ve written previously about converting our entire CD collection into digital files on our home network so we can easily play them on various laptops and devices around the house, or burn a full album or mix CD quickly if we want a throwaway CD for the car. As a result, our CD collection is ensconced in a series of banker boxes tucked into the back of a closet. The one time any of them are liberated is during Christmas when Michelle wants the actual CDs for Christmas music in the great room during the holidays. While digging through the collection to find the “Christmas CDs” box I had to fight through several “Beatles CDs” boxes. I opened one and saw the Anthology collection and pulled them out to put in the truck.

So over the last few weeks I’ve been going through all 6 CDs over and over again while running about town on errands. As I listen to these in order it absolutely amazes me how The Beatles grew and evolved themselves as artists, and crafted the songs through the development process to be works of art. The greatest example from the Anthology Series would be Strawberry Fields where we get to hear the song progress from a skeleton into a full and lush version similar to the final most people are familiar with.

Its a treat to hear various phrases and words that ended up cut or changed in the final version, and to hear the craftsmanship that went into the lyric and melody writing as a song moved through the writing and rough stages into the final version. Its like “hearing” a house being built, one plank and brick at a time.