The Beatles hit streaming services today.
the digital revolution shooed me away from The Beatles. their best albums were made without track breaks; i can confirm that the break imposed in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/A Little Help from my Friends still makes me scream and curse. between that and the way releases dribbled out over time and under various restrictions it was easier to enjoy all the other music out there.
i have all the feels.
once upon a time, videodiscs
competed with VCR for the home video market. my family lived beyond the reach of cable tv lines, could get a whopping four tv channels over the air (and ABC was always snowy), and couldn't afford one of the giant satellite dishes of the day. it took an hour+ round trip to get to a video rental place. enter Columbia House
we developed a pretty extensive collection of those heavy plastic-cased discs.* and the club thing meant that occasionally they would throw in random documentaries for free. so The Compleat Beatles
arrived at our house unbidden. no one in my family was particularly into The Beatles (mom was too old, dad was into new folk, my brothers loved heavy metal, and while my sister owned The White Album
and the red & blue compilations, she passed them to me without a backward look.) the doc hooked me with its exhaustive soundtrack and excellent storytelling. i watched it over and over, and in retrospect i can credit it (and another freebie, Girl Groups: the Story of a Sound
) with both the formation of an independent taste in music and my love of documentary film.
The Beatles, with their evolving sound and differing writing styles, set me up for appreciating a variety of music. they had songs for when i was happy, songs for when i was depressed, songs for when i was angry, songs for whimsy, and songs for being rebellious and horny. songs that were basic, songs that were baroque. Sgt Pepper on my walkman was the soundtrack of the constant car trips to care for my declining grandmother. i wrote lyrics from White Album songs all over school notebook covers. the soundtrack of my first kiss was American Pie
, but that boy used to sing Michelle
so i played Sgt Pepper this morning when Rhapsody offered it to me. how it aches. i raged against that stupid track break. i shed a tear in memory of fellow fan markbourne
. and i thought about how She's Leaving Home
set me on the road away from the farm.
*we even got a custom cabinet for them. my parents still have them, although i don't know that they hook up the player much since my niece and nephew have outgrown Thunderbirds and Goofy Sports. i still know exactly where to get up and flip over Raiders of the Lost Ark.