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LOVE, is a fascinating reworking of numerous classic Beatles recordings by the band's original producer, Sir George Martin and his son Giles. LOVE, is also the title of the highly successful Cirque du Soleil show, a co-production with Apple Corps, featuring the music of The Beatles, currently wowing audiences in Las Vegas. In creating the music for the show and for the album, George and Giles have created a continuous "soundscape" - a series of well-known Beatles songs augmented by additional instrumentation and vocals taken from their vast bank of original multi-track tapes. If you can imagine "Strawberry Fields Forever" beginning with John's original demo before going into an early take of the song and then climaxing in a musical collage including the piano solo from "in My Life" and the harpsichord pattern from "Piggies" and lots, lots more - or "Get Back", prefaced by the "Hard Day's Night" opening guitar chord, the guitar and drum solos from "The End" and segued into "Glass Onion", you will begin to get the picture. But hearing is believing! The guys have pushed back the boundaries and come up with a brand new work that will add to the enduring legacy of the band. The result is an amazing album that not only reinforces the timeless quality of the group's recordings - the fans will have fun enjoying the roller coaster experience of the album whilst trying to spot where all the pieces come from. It is also destined to open up a new legion of fans to The Beatles experience.
It begins with a twittering of birdsong lifted from "Across the Universe." And once the triple-tracked a capella harmonies of "Because" enter, followed by snatches from "A Hard Day's Night" and "The End," leading into a fired-up "Get Back," it becomes obvious that this is far more than just another Beatles compilation. This is Love, conceived by the Fabs' former producer George Martin and son Giles as a stageshow soundtrack to Cirque de Soleil's Las Vegas spectacular of the same name, but appears to have taken on a life of its own. Whereas the Beatles' last release, 1, delivered the (over?) familiar hits in a nice, simple package, Love is a mélange of the familiar and obscure, all literally mixed together in one 78-minute audio collage which succeeds in reminding the listener just why the Beatles truly are, as Lennon put it, "toppermost of the poppermost." There's no new Beatles material per se, but the songs are all approached differently--some are cut together in a flawlessly mixed medley (check out "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!/I Want You/Helter Skelter"), some reassemble different backing tracks and vocal performances to create new spins on old classics; but all the songs are revitalized considerably. Even in its weakest moments (which probably work better in the context of the show itself), Love is still a formidable prospect, and one has to admire Martin's willingness to go out on a limb with such a project. While purists may complain that the cut 'n' paste nature of the project is simply tampering with perfection, at the very least it'll make them reach for the originals and enjoy them all over again. For newcomers and everyone else, it makes a fine listen, both in its sonic clarity (the actual tracks are the best they've sounded on CD) and audacious nature. --Thom Allott
More from the Fab Four
The Capitol Albums, Vol. 2
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
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"Because" is re-mixed a cappella, "Sun King" is played a cappella and backwards!
"Drive My Car" is mashed up with "What You're Doing" and "The Word", and in a stroke of genius, the guitar solo from "Taxman" miraculously synches into the mix.
The famous opening chord of "A Hard Day's Night" introduces "Get Back" instead (with a little help from Ringo's "Abbey Road" drum solo), then transforms into a medley including excerpts from "Hello Hello" and "Glass Onion". "Within You Without You" is mixed perfectly with the rhythm track of "Tomorrow Never Knows". Wild!
The Cirque Du Soleil show is fantastic - I've seen it twice - but this album is more than just soundtrack filler for a Las Vegas show. This album stands on it's own as a fresh approach to the music of the greatest band ever. A must-have for Beatles fans.
The sound is incredible. George & Niles used any recorded Beatles whether on the released version of a song or whether on an alternate take in the vaults e.g Martin used an alternate bass line for Hey Jude. The only song where something new was added was While My Guitar Gently Weeps. This was the original demo that George introduced to them with just him singing and playing acoustic guitar. It is very beautiful and personal but George Martin felt somehting was missing so he asked Olivia Harrison (wife) if he could add strings. She agreed but had the final say. She loved it.
Some of the standouts are:
Because: Just the voices.
Eleanor Rigby: Re edited and makes it more beautiful.
I Want To Hold Your Hand: They way the intro is set up makes you feel them in the room.
Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows: WOW. Spliced and must hear it to believe it!
and every other song which has too many details to discribe.
This is as good an album as any of their others!
Now the topper.....I got to see the Love show in Las Vegas and it was on the same level of excitment as seeing Paul McCartney live for the first time. Really. Each seat has two speakers in the arms, behind your head, and in the back of the seat in front of you. INCREDIBLE! It was a very moving show having grown up with The Beatles. I went with my wife and adult children who also learned to appreciate The Beatles with them paving the way for new and different things. This was a very emotional experience hearing this album with a visual. It was so good I went back 6 months later.
I would dare say I like some of these more than the originals.
One favorite is an demo done by George on acoustic guitar of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with added orchestra strings.
Most recent customer reviews
I would rate the recording 1 star, though.