How my new car helped me get Sirius about the greatness of the Beatles

When the Beatles were taking over the musical world from 1962 to 1970, with tours (ending in 1966) and marathon recording sessions, putting out over 200 songs and some of the highest-selling albums in history, I was a little boy (born in ’61). Sure, I knew some of their huge hits, and when I got a little older, my brother Isaac and I even had the White Album. I’ve still never seen the movies John, Paul, George and Ringo made (well, I vaguely remember watching the psychedelic Yellow Submarine on TV, if you want to count that).

But after three-plus weeks in my new Camry hybrid, listening to hours of the Beatles Channel on the free trial of Sirius XM and being introduced to a bunch of music I’d never heard, I have an even greater appreciation and love for their absolutely undeniable genius. The remarkable songwriting, vocal and instrumental gifts they gave us simply can’t be matched.

There’ll never be another group like them, and although they all went on to nice solo careers, it’s a shame they broke up before they could give us more of themselves as a quartet. No need to get into the reasons for the widely-chronicled breakup here.

One of the great songs I wasn’t familiar with before discovering it on the Beatles Channel.

I’ll also admit they did a lot of stuff, especially later (“Revolution No. 9”?), that was really “out there” (those drugs, man), and many didn’t go for their Eastern- and spiritually-influenced music. I think some of it’s kinda cool.

But the fact that they experimented with so many different approaches wasn’t necessarily a bad thing — I think it speaks more to their brilliance, plus they were trying to evolve with the times. And they still did a lot of fantastic music during those later years. The other day when I heard “The End,” I hadn’t realized that was actually the last piece they recorded together.

As we moved into the new decade, the Beatles Channel had a cool ongoing show hosted by a historian of the group, Kevin Howlett, called #MagicalHistoryTour. It featured every song the Beatles recorded, in chronological order. He gave such interesting snippets of history behind every song, about the recording sessions, how the songs came to be, the instrumentation, etc.

For instance, he talked about how, on an afternoon in June 1965, Paul McCartney belted out the final take of “I’m Down” in studio with the band. You’d think that would’ve wrecked his vocal cords for the day, but he managed to then record the amazing “Yesterday” that evening, both songs for the “Help!” album.

And then they were no more …

If you haven’t and you’re even remotely a fan of the Beatles’ music, you should check out out the Sirius channel (18). Not only does it feature their songs, it also plays recording session takes where they’re talking and carrying on, and has a lot of other audio of them including interviews, songs from their solo careers, and songs from ’50s and early ’60s rock ‘n’ roll performers who inspired them.

It also includes other celebs and musicians talking about their Beatles memories and favorite songs, and weekly Fab Four compilations submitted by listeners, like “Eight Songs a Week.”

A great live performance of “Hey Jude”

I’ve got a lot of personal Beatles favorites — and have gained a few new ones from listening to the channel — but I’m posting this remastered version of “Here, There And Everywhere,” one of the most beautiful melodies and love songs in musical history, from the “Revolver” album in 1966.

The original is Paul singing solo with backup harmonies from John, George and Ringo coming in later in the piece. This version from 2009 is different, and I love how the backup harmonies have been added throughout.

Enjoy … and long live the Beatles!

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