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342 of 352 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beatles' extravaganza is a magical mystery tour...
Of all the possible posthumous incarnations for the Beatles, here's one of the most unlikely - as soundtrack to a Las Vegas circus.

It isn't any old circus, admittedly, but Canada's arty, super-acrobatic Cirque du Soleil, whose current Las Vegas show, "Love", is modelled on the story of the Beatles and characters from their songs: "Eleanor Rigby", "Sergeant...
Published on November 21, 2006 by jazzmusikeditor

versus
45 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting...to a point
more of a "novelty" than anything else.Interesting for one listening,but that's about all.Absolutely love THE BEATLES,but this is not what I'll be reaching for when I want to hear the best music ever made.
Published on November 23, 2006 by K. Buckholtz


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342 of 352 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beatles' extravaganza is a magical mystery tour..., November 21, 2006
This review is from: Love (Audio CD)
Of all the possible posthumous incarnations for the Beatles, here's one of the most unlikely - as soundtrack to a Las Vegas circus.

It isn't any old circus, admittedly, but Canada's arty, super-acrobatic Cirque du Soleil, whose current Las Vegas show, "Love", is modelled on the story of the Beatles and characters from their songs: "Eleanor Rigby", "Sergeant Pepper" et al.

More importantly, "Love-the-show" - the result of George Harrison's friendship with Cirque founder Guy Laliberte - involved producer George Martin disinterring the group's master tapes from the Abbey Road vault for he and his son Giles to remix and remodel.

The results blast "Love" audiences from a state-of-the-art surround-sound system that includes speakers in individuual seats.

And the first thing "Love-the-album" does, at least in its DVD surround-sound format, is to blow you away with sheer sonic wizardry. Set to a noisy dawn chorus, complete with fluttering wings, the three-part vocal harmonies of 'Because' arrive with the clarity of an ice blue sky. The chugging introduction to 'Get Back' hurtles out of the mix like a train. The pumping fairground organs of 'Mr Kite' reek of steam and sawdust. Hearing many of the familiar tracks is like viewing an old masterpiece after cleaning: the light is brighter, the shadows deeper. Here, the trebles tingle while the bass end booms.

Some of this is painstaking technical restoration. After the Beatles swapped touring for the studio, they and Martin became experts at squeezing a quart of sound into a pint pot, extending the limits of four- and eight-track recordings by 'bouncing down' tracks.

Today's technology has let the Martins reverse the process, giving instruments and voices more autonomy. Ever notice the pizzicato violins on the middle 8 of 'Something'? You will now.

The ambitions of "Love" go beyond renovation, however. Its 26 tracks are set in an ambient flow of sound collages distilled from hours of Beatles tapes and containing fragments and echoes of 130 songs in all. Frequently the effect is ghostly, as the stalking strings of 'Glass Onion' and a snatch of 'Nowhere Man' drift like ectoplasm down a corridor. 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' - one of the few numbers from the moptop days - surfaces from a scratchy haze of screaming.

The most ambitious songs emerge most improved. There is not, after all, much to be done with the rock'n'roll retro of 'Lady Madonna', whereas 'Strawberry Fields' and 'I am the Walrus' sound more than ever like avant-garde masterpieces. Harrison's 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' (the slower version from Anthology 3) is given a sumptuous string setting by Sir George.

Throughout, the McCartney/Starr rhythm section has never sounded so heavy, or the group's vocal harmonies so sharp and affecting.

"Love" vindicates the Beatles' status as master musicians and conceptualists. Not only for the spirit of optimism they embodied but artistically, they remain the act to beat. On this evidence, no one else comes close.

My favourite track is 'Here Comes the Sun/The Inner Light'.

Neil Spencer
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155 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surround yourself with the Beatles!, November 22, 2006
By 
This review is from: Love (CD + Audio DVD) (Audio CD)
For anyone who's a serious die-hard Beatles fan who thought they heard 'every little thing' the group ever did (the hours of 'Get Back' bootlegs, the mono 'White Album', all the 'rarities', Anthologies, and all the original LPs then CDs) will be amazed and impressed at what Sir George Martin & son did for 'Love' -- it must be heard, especially in 5.1 surround sound, to be believed. The original idea that George Harrison and Guy Laliberte (founder of Cirque du Soleil) to make a soundscape of Beatles music for a CDS show has been wonderfully realized. Songs we all heard for decades and hundreds of times over sound new again -- more so, the 'mash-up' concept literally re-invents the songs -- hearing 'Mr Kite!/She's So Heavy/Helter Skelter' yesterday for the first time was astounding -- the riff of 'Hey Bulldog' that makes a brief appearance in 'Lady Madonna', the string arrangment put to the demo of 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps', the newly remastered and remixed 'I am the Walrus' (finally!) -- it's a new day for Beatles fans. Some might view the Beatles' catalog as a sacred cow that should remain fixed and 'as was, as always should be' as they recorded it, and not be 'mashed-up' (all the superimposing of parts of one track onto another, time-shifting and altering the recordings to match tempos and keys). Understandable, since how indeed can really improve upon what they did way back when? But I very much enjoy 'Love' -- and appreciate that in with today's modern recording (Pro Tools was among the credits), Martin & son were able to present the timeless and beloved Beatles tracks in a new light, while making it clear how incredibly gifted the Beatles were -- you can hear all the instruments, vocals, sound effects better than ever before. While 'Love' might not be the best choice for a casual fan (one who has the red and blue best-ofs and/or '1'), it is an aural bonanza for a serious fan, in particular of the 'Revolver' era onwards with a focus on the psychelic years. To paraphrase the dearly departed George Harrison, I dig 'Love'!!
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC-DIFFERENT-IS IT REALLY A BEATLES RECORD? DAMN RIGHT IT IS!, November 21, 2006
By 
Mitchell Cassman (BUFFALO GROVE, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Love (CD + Audio DVD) (Audio CD)
The stereo CD contains 78 minutes of music. The DVD surround sound version on DVD disc album is slightly extended version with 81 minutes of music.

FIRST OF ALL THE SURROUND IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After being asked by the remaining Beatles, Ringo and Paul, along with Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, to make experimental mixes from their master tapes for a collaboration with Cirque du Soleil, Sir George Martin, The Beatles legendary producer, and his son Giles Martin have worked with the entire archive of Beatles recordings to create LOVE. The result is an unprecedented approach to the music. Using the master tapes at Abbey Road Studios, Sir George and Giles have created a unique soundscape. The release of this album, which is also featured in the Cirque du Soleil/Beatles collaborative production of the same name at The Mirage in Las Vegas.

This album puts the Beatles back together again, because suddenly there's John, Paul,George and Ringo.
The music is stunning. I think the most amazing thing about it is that you can pull it apart and all the elements carry with it the essence of the entire song.
George and Giles Martin highly original work in creating the LOVE album gives us a genuinely new Beatles album. It makes us respect even more, if that were possible, the creativity and brilliance of the band behind the greatest catalogue in the history of recorded music.

The 5.1 disc is a DVD-Audio/DVD-Video hybrid. The audio is presented in high-resolution 96/24 5.1 surround on the DVD-Audio part of the disc. The DVD-Video part carries 5.1 surround in DTS and Dolby Digital as well as a PCM stereo mix. This DVD album is designed to be played on DVD video equipment but will carry no video component.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masters remixed by the masters, November 26, 2006
This review is from: Love (CD + Audio DVD) (Audio CD)
This album is a true masterwork. Produced over many months by veteran producer George Martin and his son Giles, this album - especially in the 5.1 DVD-Audio format - reveals both the sheer quality of recording and performance of the original multitrack recordings, and the enormous possibilities of the modern digital recording studio in the hands of true masters of the craft.

Many of the original multitrack masters had a multitude of instruments crammed on to just a few tracks: disentangling them to permit the remixes present on this disc must have taken weeks on its own. Yet here you will find elements from the original songs presented more clearly than ever before, alongside elements lifted from other songs and spun in forwards, backwards and sideways. You'll hear things clearly you could never quite hear before, and some things you simply never knew existed.

Tracks from the early days feature quite traditional mixes while later, more psychedelic offerings are brim full of interesting little features that repay multiple listening, especially in surround. The audio quality is, quite simply, stunning: the DVD-Audio surround content is at 24-bit, 96kHz, which means, essentially, that you're hearing the masters as they were heard by the Martins at Abbey Road when they played them back - no other audio system can offer this. Even the CD is excellent, with none of the over-compression so prevalent on modern recordings.

There is only one new piece of recording here - a poignant new string arrangement for "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" recorded at Air - every other sound you hear is from the original mulitracks. The 26-track album is a more or less continuous segue of songs, some including transitions that contain elements from several different numbers, with a natural flow, development and conclusion.

Yes, it's the soundtrack to a show; yes, you have literally heard it all (almost) before; but in another way no, you have never heard this before - and you should take a listen. Congratulations to everyone concerned.

Be sure to buy the DVD version if you have a halfway-decent surround system (especially a DVD-Audio player, though any DVD player will play this disc in surround or stereo), though the CD sounds fine - and leave your preconceptions at the door.
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100 of 114 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A musical landslide of Beatleology., November 26, 2006
By 
This review is from: Love (Audio CD)
Along with the Amazonian rainforest, there can be few natural resources which have been ransacked like the Beatles back catalogue. Anthologised, lobotomised, and generally pillaged in the pursuit of commercial gain, public demand appeared to have finally exhausted itself with the middling response to 2003's unfortunately titled "Let It Be... Naked".

Until now. Prompted by a long-term friendship between George Harrison and Cirque De Soleil's founder Guy Laliberté, and given the blessing of the Axis Powers (Paul, Ringo and Yoko), Love is the latest addition to that bulging catalogue.

Essentially the soundtrack to the Cirque show launched in Las Vegas last July, "Love" is a jaw-dropping 80- minute mash-up of The Beatles' more accessible tunes, slavishly compiled by Giles Martin and overseen by father George, all delivered in sumptuous 5.1 surround sound.

Those fearing a train-wreck along the lines of Twin Freaks - The Freelance Hellraiser's remix assault on the Wings back catalogue - can rest easy.

Starting off with "Because", it segues into the drum solo from "The End", hammers into the opening riff from "Hard Day's Night" and then lurches straight into "Get Back" before you can splutter "Stars On 45".

From there it's a musical landslide of Beatleology ( "Eleanor Rigby", "A Day In The Life", "Here Comes The Sun" ), all overlaid with snippets from every nook and cranny of their back catalogue.

So we get "Drive My Car/The Word/What You're Doing" as one continuous ebb'n'flow of mid-period drugginess, "Come Together/Dear Prudence" as an acid-fried soundscape and - best of all - the cosmic drones of "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Within You Without You" fitted together like a glove.

Wherever a song is allowed to stand alone ("Back In The USSR", "Revolution"), it arrives with double-tracked vocals, stripped back instrumentation or - why not? - the faint tinge of sitar.

If the scale is almost beyond comprehension, "Love" also represents a sonic Da Vinci Code for Beatles trainspotters, who could spend the rest of their lives arguing over whether the snare sound is derived from "No Reply" or "Paperback Writer".

Completists will enjoy a newly unearthed demo version of "Strawberry Fields Forever", but it is the Martins' obsessive quest for innovation which deserves the garlands.

Paul Moody
[...]
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219 of 256 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT RELEASE to that will please all generations of BEATLES FANS!, November 21, 2006
By 
Paulo Leite (Lisbon, Portugal) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Love (Audio CD)
In the Music Industry, few releases generate the controversy among fans as the release of a new Beatles album. There are those who welcome it and those who, for some justifiable reason, reject it. This is my take: The Beatles have an extensive catalogue of great songs (perhaps the greatest catalogue in Music History...) anyway, we all know that half of them are dead and we will never hear a new recording from them ever again. They are gone. Deffinately gone.

And yet, we fans never get tired of them. We always listem to their songs as if they were here. For us, they are not a band with half their members dead. They are very real and living. And deep inside I believe we never really think we'll never hear from them again.

LOVE is an album where several of the Fab Four's greatest songs were remixed, remade and adapted for a great show put on stage by Le Cirque du Soleil. Wisely, this soundtrack was made by George Martin himself... with Paul, George, Ringo and Yoko's blessing. I am sure that, like in everything regarding The Beatles' releases, all the people involved with this are hard working and serious people commited to give us nothing but the best treatment of the greatest material ever composed in pop music.

So, for me, this is a great thing and we'll never have anything better than this. People (like myself) may prefer the original songs... it's ok. But we must also understand that this new album is not meant to replace the older, original recordings. They are a just the soundtrack for a stage show... made by the best people we could think of... and made with the blessing of those could bless it. I was lucky evough to get a copy of this today... and after listening to it back to back... I was very very pleased to hear the great work they made.

All the songs sound beautiful with lots of new insights and several propositions that must work very well on the stage. This album gives a new view at these classic songs. For example... joining ELEANOR RIGBY (my favorite Beatles song) with a transitional use of JULIA is a very interesting proposition that the Beatles never thought of doing, obviously. Or the putting together of BLACKBIRD and YESTERDAY is another example of the experimentations made here.

The treatment of WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS is, I am sure, the thing that would end up happening with the song if the Beatles (in the end) did not go for the well know "heavier" approach we listen to on The White Album... and I'm glad George Martin did it here... because, since the Anthology, I'm sure we all thought of that.

This album is the closest thing we'll ever get to a new Beatles album... and it will certainly bring new fans into our club. I am very happy with it... and I am thankful that more than 35 years after these recordings were all made, people are still fiding in them new sources of inspiration. This album should NOT be mistaken for those hundreds of lousy cover/homage albums made by third rate people (The Beatles Salsa... or the Beatles go Reagge... etc)... or those bootleg albums whose sound quality leaves a lot to be desired.

Like the great Anthology series, the Capitol box sets, the "one" album, and the "Naked" album, Love is an obvious labour of passion, care, taste and love. It is a great celebration of the music we all love... from four musicians who are eternal.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Stereo Soundscapes Ever Created, November 23, 2006
By 
This review is from: Love (Audio CD)
My first two listens where of he 5.1 mix and the sound was great. The vocals are emphasized in this mix but at times I thought the instrumentation was too buried. Maybe it is the fault of my set-up. I then put on the phones and listened to the stereo mix. These are the best stereo soundscape I have ever heard and I've been listening to recordings before stereo was released. The stereo sound is so clean, well balanced with each sound being distinct and perfectly placed. Start with I am the Walrus to see what I mean.

I classify the songs on this album into three categories: Bascially intact (usually only minor changes to entrances and exits), Slightly re-invented, or Re-invented. Here's the breakdown by song:

Basically intact

Eleanor Rigby

I Am the Walrus (best stereo remix ever)

Something

Help!

Yesterday

Come Together

Revolution

A Day in the Life

Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (least effective stereo remix)

All You Need is Love

Slightly re-invented

Get Back

I Want to Hold Your Hand (shortened, background screams)

Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds

Hey Jude (vocals and base freed up in the shortened ending course, beautiful base line)

Re-invented

Glass Onion

Drive My Car (great driving beat and blending with What You're Doing and The Word)

Sun King (Knik Nus) (suprisingly effective)

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite (most experimental, one song where the 5.1 mix is better)

Strawberry Fields Forever

Within You and Without You (most effectve combination)

Octopus's Garden (real fun and entertaining)

Lady Madonna (a better version than the original)

Here Come's the Sun (not better than the original but a masterpiece on its own)

Back in the USSR (different vocals, more casual fun)

While My Guitar Gently Weeps (undescribably beautiful, another masterpiece reinvention)

Lastly, many of the transitions are remarkably, inventive and some will blow your mind. Starting with Because to Get Back will lift you out of your seat. Glass Onion to Eleanor Rigby, Something/Inner Light to Being for the Benefit Mr. Kite, Within You and Without You to Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (the most subtle and best), Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds to Octobus's Garden, Lady Madonna to Here Comes the Sun, Revolution to Back to the USSR (so smooth and flawless), Hey Jude to Sgt. Pepper's Club Band.

George is 80 years old and not likely going to have time to do much more re-invention (and he is probably the only that should be allowed) but let's hope they immediately put him on cleaning up the sound and creating the stereo soundscapes on the rest of the catalog.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All You Need Is "Love", December 2, 2006
By 
Steven Housman "SHARK" (West Hollywood, CA & Miami, FL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Love (CD + Audio DVD) (Audio CD)
The Beatles new album Love, which stems from the hit Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas extravaganza of the same name, is out of this world. If you think you've heard everything there is to hear from the Beatles, think again. This remix project, that's been subtitled a mash-up of the Fab Four's music, is just that. More than one hundred of their songs have been mashed up into twenty-six tracks clocking in at seventy-eight minutes. Originally, the idea of doing something similar to this came from George Harrison a few years before his untimely death in November 2001. In the mid-90's, he became fast friends with Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté and the two of them had discussed a visual production set to the Beatles' music. Unfortunately, it wasn't until a year after Harrison's death that Laliberté put his head together with the Beatles' producer George Martin, and the ideas started to flow. The thought of this production was so exciting it actually brought Martin out of a decade-long retirement. Martin recruited his son, Giles Martin, a record producer in his own right, and together they worked diligently for over two years to create the most exciting "new" Beatles album since the entire band last laid down tracks in 1969. All in all, the 26 cuts on this collection is one trip back to the psychedelic age of the late 1960's but carries a sound that is as pristine as any new recording is for 2006. The album kicks off with an a cappella rendition of "Because" taken from the Abbey Road set. From there the journey turns into a trip that makes the Magical Mystery Tour seem dated. "Get Back" is treated to an introduction that begins with the familiar one-chord opening of "A Hard Days Night" which then is mixed seamlessly into the White Album gem "Glass Onion," all the while sampling "Hello, Goodbye" and "Strawberry Fields Forever." Speaking of Lennon's "Strawberry" masterpiece, that particular track is one of the many highlights among highlights, as the Martin's chose an alternate take that will take your breath away. The track "Yesterday" was tricky because it may be the one song that George and Giles thought might be overplayed and not welcome. What to do? What they did was an ingenious thirty-second introduction of "Blackbird" before hearing Paul's vocal on the first notes of the aforementioned landmark recording. Problem solved, beautifully. Other tracks that literally gave me goosebumps were Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (which was superbly remixed with a new string arrangement by the elder Martin that adds a certain vulnerability to the classic) and "Eleanor Rigby" (which also samples Lennon's "Julia"), while "Something" transitioned into "Blue Jay Way" which melts into the next track, "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite," which blew me away. "Octopus's Garden," which sampled "Sun King" in its delivery, was sublime. Speaking of "Sun King," you may notice that track #8 is one you don't recognize by name, but you'll recognize the sound. Its title is "Gnik Nus," which is actually the anagram for "Sun King." Giles turned the cymbal backwards on "King" and in turn also reversed the vocals for a fabulous innovative reinvention of the composition. I could list all twenty-six tracks and tell you how very unique each one is, but I'm afraid I would have to write three parts of this review to fully explain the genius of this entire album. The Beatles changed the course of pop music. This album respectfully extends their legacy. And in the end, like the last song says, "All You Need Is Love."

Footnote: If you want the full experience of Love, I implore you to purchase the special edition that includes the audio DVD disc. The sound on this 5.1 DVD is so extraordinary that you'll hear these songs like you've never heard them before. The slightest instrument and vocals come alive as if they never before existed. This audio DVD gives the familiarity of these songs something that's new and vibrant.
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45 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting...to a point, November 23, 2006
By 
K. Buckholtz (Shreveport, Louisiana USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Love (Audio CD)
more of a "novelty" than anything else.Interesting for one listening,but that's about all.Absolutely love THE BEATLES,but this is not what I'll be reaching for when I want to hear the best music ever made.
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197 of 248 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mildly Interesting Beatles Medley Redux, November 21, 2006
This review is from: Love (Audio CD)
Ok I guess I have to be the first one to crash this "Love"-fest of gushing reviews. First off, let me say that I am a huge Beatles fan and have the utmost respect for their revolutionary body of music, and for what they stood for: peace and love and community-- which is in short supply these days! That being said, let's take a look at the creation of this work. Cirque du Soleil, via the director's long-time friendship with George Harrison, got the rights from Apple to use Beatles music in their production of Love, and more power to them. I have not seen the show but I can imagine it is an incredible aural and visual sensory experience. This is a review of the music on the album only, in the context of a home listening experience. And besides the fact that it contains snippets and remixes and interspliced "mash-ups" of Beatles songs, it really is not a "revelation", "innovation", "reimagining", "reinvention", or as some people are calling it, a new Beatles work. It was created by the Martins for the show. In fact, the Beatles Medley from a few years back [note: not Stars On 45; there was a true Beatles Medley released] was not much different, with LOVE having the added embellishment of some mixing/segueing of different song parts and instrumental/vocal tracks into mash-ups by Sir George Martin and his son Giles. It's mildly interesting, with excellent sound quality, but honestly, DJs such as Go Home Productions do better Beatles mash-ups, if we are to use that as the criteria here. God bless the Martins, but the Beatles really should have thought outside the box on this one, if in fact it was to go forward at all.

This is not to negate the fact that it surely works incredibly well in its intended milieu- as the soundscape to the stage production. But as a purely listening experience, less so.

Not to mention the fact that I am getting tired of the frankly crass and tacky marketing ploys the Beatles have had lately, Let It Be.. Naked for one. It all started with the Anthology goldmine...

HOW ABOUT REMASTERING THE ORIGINAL ALBUMS, GUYS?? What's the big wait? Enough of the silly remixed stuff, mmmmmkayyy??
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Love (CD + Audio DVD)
Love (CD + Audio DVD) by The Beatles (Audio CD - 2006)
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