I was reluctant to purchase The Beatles Love CD inspired by the Cirque du Soleil show of the same name. It has taken me sometime since it's release to finally give-it-a-go. I quickly conceded that this latest release surprisingly transcends the recordings from the original Beatles albums. From the opening a cappella notes of Because I knew I was in for an exhilarating thrill ride mixed with magic and realism. George Martin, legendary Beatles producer along with his son Giles Martin deliver a powerful, modern concept album that creates a unique listening adventure.
Crisply reworked and remastered, each of the twenty six tracks are skillfully blended together into a seamless collage of sound. It was like hearing the Beatle's music for the first time all over again. George Martin wrote and mixed a brand new string arrangement on the breathtaking stripped down version of George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Only George Martin (the 5th Beatle) is uniquely qualified to redesign such a classic song. Eleanor Rigby melds hauntingly into a brief moment of John Lennon's Julia and then dramatically transitions into I Am The Walrus. The acoustic guitar intro on Blackbird was deftly married into Yesterday before I even knew what took place, creating a fresh expression of the original work. I know the songs by heart, still I found myself taken off guard several times by these latest interpretations.
My least favorite moment on this recording was the pseudo "live" rendition of I Want Hold Your Hand that includes Mr. Ed Sullivan's introduction of the band. I understand it's historic value, but it drew my attention away from the power of the sonic studio recordings that became George Martin's signature on all of The Beatle's music. Here it came across as a bit forced and clumsy. The record closes in the most fitting fashion with an abbreviated version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band followed by All You Need Is Love. There is not a song to date that so poignantly draws out the all encompassing power of love with such boyish charm. The song ends with one final moment of brilliance that I have chosen to withhold so that you can experience it in your own way.
The element of surprise on this CD was extremely inspiring upon my first listen. By the time I made it to multiple listens I was truly captivated by the achievement of this recording. I strongly recommend that you give this moving work of modern art your sincere attention. The special edition set offers a DVD version of the music in addition to the CD. A special 2 Record Vinyl LP Set has also been released. I am convinced that even Beatles purists will find this record appealing. This collection of works requires a small investment to experience the band that shaped music for an entire generation and started a revolution. If you're an old Beatles relic like myself or looking for a music experience that will give flight to your imagination, you will find this new rendition to be a refreshing joy to your ears.
"Listening again to all these great tracks in such detail you can't help but be knocked out by the band's writing and performances." George Martin