That’s right! The Beatles have got a new one out. Incredible since two of them are not around, but still this is The Beatles. How? Why? Well, allegedly the project started years ago when Georgie Harrison and Guy Laliberté, the head honcho of Cirque du Soleil became firm friends. Laliberté put on his show to the music of The Beatles. The shows were spectacular and have gone round the world several times over with amazing success.
Anyway, let’s get back to the album. What’s it like? Hmm? This is difficult one. If you’re all familiar with The Beatles then you’ll know all of these songs. They came about when production maestro George Martin together with his son Giles Martin was asked to re-work the original master tapes and create a ‘spectacular soundscape’ which would be the backdrop for Cirque du Soleil’s magnificent performance. The result is, I have to say, spectacular. What the two Martins have done is take the original masters and have mixed and mashed certain songs with others so we have a continual cross-referencing of Beatles’ songs.
I found the new intro to Get Back pretty impressive. Ones that also caught my ear were the exquisite Something which seems to have more power in this mix. I’ve never been a fan of Strawberry Fields Forever but ths going-over is great. A really powerful track is Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows with Ringo’s drums at their very best (yes, I know how that sounds, but this track is truly brilliant). My all-time Beatles favourite Hear Come the Sun gets a new ‘mystic’ intro and sounds good. The other track that stands out is George’s While My Guitar Gently Sleeps which has a new string arrangment by George Martin (the only new piece of music on the album).
There are bits and bobs which don’t quite fit, for example, the mix of Ringo’s Good Night and Octopus’s Garden. All in all I think it’s a pretty good exercise in mixing and musical production. I must say the album did give me a lift and brought a smile to my face. However, it is only an exercise in production. Nothing more. But, as we all know many things that seem very artificial and nonsensical on paper are different in the listening. I was actually really surprised at how good it was. Yup, I heartily recommend it.