17 Songs, 56 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Four decades after, as The Beatles’ songs continue to waft through the culture like seasonal winds, all that ‘60s hype predicting the Lennon-McCartney canon would endure as readily as Berlin’s and Brahms’ now seems like so much common sense. Yet until Julie Taymor brought her imaginative visual sense to bear on re-imagining them into this ambitious 21st-century-meets-Summer-of-Some-Other-Sixties movie musical, screen adaptations of the Fabs’ music ranged from ludicrous cheese and grossly overly-calculated misfires to the cloning/cloying charms of Beatlemania!. The success of these soundtrack performances are rooted in a gambit as shrewd as it is risky, with Taymor relying on the core strength of the songs’ original performances, yet carried by the unfamiliar, if often glorious voices of her young stars. Jim Sturgess and Evan Rachel Wood immediately echo the charms of early Beatlemania via his plaintive “All My Loving” and her fiery take on “It Won’t Be Long,” yet just as deftly capture the enduring melancholy of “In My Life” and “Blackbird,” respectively. It’s not that Taymor’s sensibilities are immune to the lure of guest stars, but rather that she has her musical/dramatic priorities straight. Bono and Secret Machine attack “I Am the Walrus” with forthright fervor, with the singer later teaming with his U2 axeman Edge to give a suitably Floydian kink to “Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds.” Joe Cocker’s Delta-dank take on “Come Together” ably shows why he’s long been one of the more consistently successful Fabs cover artists, while Dana Fuchs’ “Helter Skelter” channels Janis straight from some sub-basement in Hell. The songs themselves long ago became ubiquitous, but they continue to gratifyingly inspire as many fresh, emotion-charged interpretations as they do pangs of nostalgia.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Four decades after, as The Beatles’ songs continue to waft through the culture like seasonal winds, all that ‘60s hype predicting the Lennon-McCartney canon would endure as readily as Berlin’s and Brahms’ now seems like so much common sense. Yet until Julie Taymor brought her imaginative visual sense to bear on re-imagining them into this ambitious 21st-century-meets-Summer-of-Some-Other-Sixties movie musical, screen adaptations of the Fabs’ music ranged from ludicrous cheese and grossly overly-calculated misfires to the cloning/cloying charms of Beatlemania!. The success of these soundtrack performances are rooted in a gambit as shrewd as it is risky, with Taymor relying on the core strength of the songs’ original performances, yet carried by the unfamiliar, if often glorious voices of her young stars. Jim Sturgess and Evan Rachel Wood immediately echo the charms of early Beatlemania via his plaintive “All My Loving” and her fiery take on “It Won’t Be Long,” yet just as deftly capture the enduring melancholy of “In My Life” and “Blackbird,” respectively. It’s not that Taymor’s sensibilities are immune to the lure of guest stars, but rather that she has her musical/dramatic priorities straight. Bono and Secret Machine attack “I Am the Walrus” with forthright fervor, with the singer later teaming with his U2 axeman Edge to give a suitably Floydian kink to “Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds.” Joe Cocker’s Delta-dank take on “Come Together” ably shows why he’s long been one of the more consistently successful Fabs cover artists, while Dana Fuchs’ “Helter Skelter” channels Janis straight from some sub-basement in Hell. The songs themselves long ago became ubiquitous, but they continue to gratifyingly inspire as many fresh, emotion-charged interpretations as they do pangs of nostalgia.

TITLE TIME
2:31
2:44
2:16
1:50
2:31
4:24
4:45
3:00
2:28
3:37
3:27
3:42
3:08
3:04
4:09
4:23
4:33

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