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November 27, 1968 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-11-27

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

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records

The Beatles:

Very

,yveryi
By LITTLE SUZY FUNN
Bad Motorcycle
When you h e a r an album
that's really something for the
first time, you have one of three
reactions to it: you either say
"Wow, that's great!" or "Wow,
that is terrible!" or "Huh?"
When I heard the Beatles al-
bum for the first time I said
"Huh?"
Now, when I tell myself an
album is really great or really
terrible right at first I gener-
ally stick to that opinion for a
long, long time, like, say, four
years. But when I start off say-
ing "H u h?" my evaluations
change almost every time I lis-
ten to it for the first 15 times,
which is why I thought T h e
Beatles first very funny, then
very interesting, then not so
good and now, finally, the best
they've ever done and the most
beautiful.
For those of you who haven't
heard it yet (very few, I trust)
The Beatles is a two-record col-
lage of 28 songs and two non-
songs some of which seem to be
parodies and some celebrations
but all derivatives 'of somebody
or something else.
So, taking the first tack, if
you get yourself set for paro-
dies, you can find them, from a
brutal frontal assault on t h e
Stones in the opening of "Helter
Skelter" to what might be a
gentle ribbing of the Incredible
String Band and Yoko Ono on
the second part of "Blackbird."
And it's all very amusing and
nice.
But there's something more
about these possible parodies -
which is thatthey all t a k e
pleasure and e ve n delight in
what they're imitating and are
good in the way the originals
were good and in their own way
too. (This same thing is going
on on Cruising with Ruben and
the Jets, Verve V65055-X, which
see.) And because they're sort
of incomplete parodies, hover-
ing between amusement and
purposeful imitation, they evoke
a participation in the listener,
even if it's only expressed in
trying to figure out which songs
imitate who.
Finally, of course, this kind
of participatoryperformance is
sterile though - it's only half
of what a piece of art or music
should do - it doesn't put
enough of the artist down for
the listener or looker or what-j
ever - it's a form of cop-out.
OK. But then finally, y o u
have to realize what's there, al-

rich, ve,
though at first it might be so
close that you never see it, like
your nose.
The best of the Beatles tunes
- not songs, tunes - like the
best of all tunes, have a qua]-
ity that's very hard to put your
finger on, but that you know
when you hear it. It's something
like instant familiarity. L i k e
when you hear a song for the
first time and you say "Oh,
yeah. That song." And you don't
listen to it very hard, because
you already know it and know
that it's pleasant, nice to hear.
It's not that the song is actually
just like any other song in a
way you could name - it's the
kind of song that amazes you
because it's so simple and no-
body ever thought of it before.
And it's the kind of song you
can't forget, because it was al-
ways with you - always a part
of you.
There are very few songs like
this. The Beatles have already
had "Penny Lane" and "We Can
Work it Out" and some others.
The Buffalo Springfield has had
"I am a Child" and a few oth-
ers. Nilsson has had "1941."
The Incredible String Band has
had a bunch.
The Beatles has a bunch. In
fact, more than half of their
songs are in that class. (Tenta-
tive Exception List: "Wild Hon-
ey Pie" and "Revolution 9"
which aren't songs at all: "Hap-
piness is a Warm Gun" which
is good, but b u s y; "Piggies,"
"Why Don't We Do It in the
Road," "Birthday," "Yer Blues,"
"Everybody's Got Something to
Hide . . ." "Helter Skelter" be-
cause they sit on you, each in its
own way. "Long, Long. Long"
and "Savoy Truffle" because
George wrote them and two-

I

ryvery
thirds of his songs don't make
it).
The rest of the songs are var-
ied - almost astonishingly var-
ied, but they're all friendly, they
all have that quality, they're all
songs you can live with and love
and listen to. They range from
the syrupy friendliness of "Good
Night" to the almost disquiet-
ingly familiarity of "Ob-La-Di,
Ob-La-Da" and the obscene
proximity of what seems right
now to be the best song (not
performance, song) on the al-.
bum, "I will."
It occurs to me that I may
not be communicating what I'm
trying to say in the simplest
possible terms, which is: Shell
out the eight bucks and buy
this album(s): it's the best al-
bum the Beatles have made; it's
very very rich and very very
beautiful; it's good.
- -- - - -- -- ----
AlIRPORT
LIMOUSINES
for information call
971-3700
Tickets are available
at Travel Bureaus or
the Michigan Union
32 Trips Day

beautiful

Some footnotes a n d irrele-
vant comments:
1. Ringo wrote a song., and
it's a g o o d song. It fits the
stereotype of Ringo's personal-
ity very well, all childish and
simple. Quite nice.
2. George finally stopped writ-
ing those lousy imitations of
Ravi Shankar - Alan Watts
musical comedies. Now he's back
to writing lousy imitations of
Lennon-McCartney. (T h i s is
unfair, because his "While My
Guitar Gently Weeps" is melo-
dically one of the b e s t he's
done.
3. Start telling your parents
and friends wh o don't know
anything that' Ob-La-Di Ob-
La-Da is an underground Brit-
ish word for some kind of dope.

Maybe we can get it banned
somewhere or something. Oh
well
4. By my estimation. the peo-
ple who influenced this album
the most are T h e Incredible
String Band. Nilsson and the
Beach B o y s in thatorder. At
least thai's a rough approxima-
tion1).
5. Mayoe you'll like "Revolu-
tion 9." but I've already got a
habit of getting a beer from the
kitchen while it's playing --
all more-than-eight-minutes of
it.
Seeond cam pr'stage paid at Ann
Aron Miehigan 420 Maynard St., Ann
Arbor. MNiciugan 48104
i)aii exf(ptM nday during regular

academic ~chooi year.

R. H. Philipp, Owner
1031 E. Ann, near the hospitals
DELICIOUS SANDWICHES, SALADS, SOUPS
95c DAILY SPECIAL

I,,

4

Open Daily I 1 :00 a.m. 'til 6:00 p.m.
CLOSED SATURDAY and SUNDAY
Use Daily Classifieds

A

The Ronglinso what

By W. REXFORD BENOIT
A, stone rolling backward gathers no acclaim.
The Stones' new album on London, Beggar's
Banquet, is here. Zappeee-dooo. So what.
Not much in it recommends itself to casual
listeners, and even less to aficionados.
After a month-long hassle with uptight
record moguls over the album cover (originally
scheduled to depict a john with lots of graffiti;
I think the problem was a scrawl reading "John
loves Yoko'), the record became available to
those who fondly remembered "Satisfaction" and
"Hitch-hike."
And here we still are, with plenty of mem-
ories, and little else.
Since this newspaper doesn't print basic lan-
guage, see the Grove Press Edition of the de Sade
piece, "Philosophy in the Bedroom," page 261,
fifth line down from the bottom, last word, to
indicate how let down we feel.
Not that the Stones didn't come close.
Deep, down in my unexcited heart, I suspect
diehard Stones fans will buy and dig parts of
this album, and it grows on you. At the fourth
listening, my foot began to tap and I forgot my
dog wanted to go out.
The effusive (read as offensive) quality of
Their Statanic Majesties Request is happily
absent, but;
"Sympathy for the Devil" is a pick up on Dr.
John, the night tripper, an unknown who sings
about Cajun black magic.
The Stones do Dr. John nicely, but Dr. John
did it first.
The meanie rock band of the year circa

1962 turns copycat again with a Dylan-type
thing on "Jig-saw Puzzle."
"Dear Doctor" and "No Expectations" are
mournful country-western, whining-fiddle-type
songs blandly done,
"Street Fighting Man," however, is both a
prophecy and the salvation of this album, if
that's possible.
Also, I liked "Stray Cat Blues" very much,
though I can't say why. Maybe, if you dig it it
doesn't matter why. At least it sounds like the
Stones of yore, like a bunch of ruffians playing
rough-edged blues.
Somewhere the Stones lost their concept of
music as raw feeling, rather than notes nicely
put together, and when they ask us to listen
to only notes and'weird lyrics, all the magic goes
out the window.
Furthermore, much of Beggar's Banquet isn't
together. It's a pastiche of one style here, an-
other there..
My wife's uncluttered ears heard it as a
"cluttered" album, and only by "Street Fight-
ing Man" and "Stray Cat Blues" could I identify
it as the Stones.
"Jig-saw Puzzle," for example, sounds like
something Bob Dylan might have composed on
ithe way to the hospital after his motorcycle
accident.
Few people, if any, will knock over furniture
trying to get across the room to turn up the
radio when this album is played,
We'll wait patiently for another try, but two
-baddies in a row is a huge handicap.

ORGAN] 7ATION
NOTICES
University Lutheran Chapel, 1511
Washtenaw. weds, evening mid-week,
devotions on Nov. 27th at 10:00 p.m.
Speaker: Pastor Arthur Sponer. Plan to
attend.
UM Scottish Country Dance Society:
Dance meeting, weds., 8:00 to 10:30 p.m.
W.A.B. lounge, instruction given, be-
ginners welcome.
Bach Club meeting, Weds., Nov. 27th,
'Guild House, 802 Monroe St., 8:00 p.m.
John Harvith speaks on "Out of Des-
peration". Jelly donuts and fun fol-
lowing.

"A joyous comedy."-Newsweek. "*f*i **'
(Highest Rating)."-N.Y. Daily News. "A gem."
-Washington Post. "This film is a smash.
Wonderfully humorous."-Chicago Tribune."A
warm, funny comedy."-Philadelphia Inquirer.
"One of the year's outstanding pictures.
Should not be missed."-Boston Globe. "An
impeccable work of art."-Pittsburgh Post
Gazette. "One of the best of this year or any
year."-The Christian, Science Monitor. "Go
see this movie."-The National Observer.
Judith Crist, NBC: "I love 'The Two Of Us'."

4i

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ANNOUNCING
GRAND OPENING of
the Nissen Hut Coffee House
HAMBURG, MICHIGAN
(15 minutes north of Ann Arbor)
10555 Hall Road, one Block off M-36
FRIDAY, Nov. 29, 8:00 P.M. "The Goldfinger"
(bring your youth)
SATURDAY, Nov. 30, 8:00 P.M. Miss Gayle Pemberton
(bring "soul")

SHOWS AT
1 -3-5-1&9

PARAMOUNT PICTURES presents
A LINO DE LAURENIIS PRODUCTION 1

SEE bAREI A OOHER THING!

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