The Beatles - Love
December 4, 2021 12:57 PM   Subscribe

It began as the soundtrack to a Cirque du Soliel Vegas show, but became something much more. With George Martin and son Giles Martin at the helm, The Beatles 2006 album Love became much more than just a rehash of familiar material. It became a massive mashup project covering the entire Beatles career. [George & Giles Martin: Remixing The Beatles Sound On Sound, medium read] Here's the full album on Vimeo [1h20m,], probably the preferred listening experience. But also a YouTube playlist with each track separated. Oh, and here are the original liner notes to the album.

If you want to get a bit deeper into it, here is The Beatles Love podcast on Soundcloud, put out for the 10th anniversary (Ep 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ~20m total, autoplay doesn't play episodes in correct order). Includes interviews with Beatles and others involved. Insightful, nice. Episode 6 includes George Martin's account of writing the first new music for a Beatles album since the Anthology singles.

Here I'll let others do the hard work for you. I'm linking you here to the most recent page of The Beatles Bible discussion about Love and where all its samples come from. It's a page with several entries, some of which are maybe competing with each other, but together they will give you a good idea of how all this was assembled. The knowledge of Beatles arcana on display here is mighty and I love it.

If you really really REALLY want to get into it... this album was released in 5.1 surround (it's presented that way live, too, with each seat having its own 5.1 speaker system), and this page has a lot of channels and cross-channels isolated as individual downloads, so you can examine the complex mix yourself. If you're just that insane.

Honestly the best way to experience this album is just to click play on it and enjoy. It's a feast for the ears with much familiar but also much recontextualized.
posted by hippybear (17 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Hat tip to Thorzdad for suggesting I make this post.
posted by hippybear at 1:02 PM on December 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

This is unexpectedly good on 5.1.

I thought it would suck as I'm not into Cirque du Soleil at all and don't like too much nonsense being done to classic tracks but no, for the most part it is really well done. Yes, there's some corny (carny?) bits but hey, the Beatles could be corny at times, no reason to disrespect this effort.
posted by Kosmob0t at 1:27 PM on December 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

This has been one of my favorite albums for a few years now; it's great to see it getting some love on MeFi.
posted by wanderingmind at 1:36 PM on December 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

I bought the CD when it came out. Some of the songs have become my preferred versions.
posted by Peach at 1:45 PM on December 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

I saw Beatles Love at the Mirage the week I got married in Vegas. I will tell anyone that asks it is the single most entertained I've ever been in my life. I left the show and immediately bought tickets for my Mom and Beatles superfan step-father.

My wife still laughs at how I actually wept when the curtains fall and Cirque performers start at the first big hit in Get Back.
posted by DigDoug at 2:06 PM on December 4, 2021 [9 favorites]

I only recently discovered this album. A friend was playing it in the background at a party, and I was transfixed. I immediately got my own copy so I could take a good listen.

I laughed my ass off the first time I listened to this, but in the most enthusiastic way possible.

The mix really plays with what fans expect. You don’t realize how drilled-in and familiar Beatles music is in your subconscious until you listen to this. You listen to one thing, and you know what comes next, and you’re ready for that next thing to kick in and...something totally different happens. But, it’s something you also know by heart, and it fits perfectly.

For any Beatles fan, the first several listens are a beautiful mind-fuck. Knowing that every single sound on the album is from the band’s recordings, you find yourself listening deep, working to recognize which songs the little bits that are out-of-place are from.

The remastering of the music is gorgeous. I only have the stereo CD, but it sounds amazing on my home system. I can only imagine what the 5.1 mix sounds like. There are radical remixes of a couple of songs that might/will provoke debate between fellow Beatles fans (and I’m still very undecided on the Lucy in the Sky remix. The Octopus’ Garden remix, though, works, imho)

Thank you, hippybear, for working-up this post.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:15 PM on December 4, 2021 [10 favorites]

I was given this album around when it came out and to some extent it became my personal canonical version of the Beatles' oeuvre. I didn't own any of their original albums and certainly had never listened to them in full like I did Love.

(Also I was in, like, middle school)
posted by BungaDunga at 2:16 PM on December 4, 2021

I bought myself a ticket to this on one of the work trips that took me to Vegas. I loved the performance but was absolutely blown away by the sound. It was glorious.
posted by jzb at 2:27 PM on December 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

> I can only imagine what the 5.1 mix sounds like.

Man, it's amazing to be sitting in a chair with speakers behind your ears. You're *IN* the remix. Also, the Show's performed "in the round" and there are beautiful things happening in front of you, and over you, and you keep *hearing* this stuff you know super well, but tweaked, just a bit. Like the same line readings done by actors of different style, but both super talented.

Hell, I wanna go back to Vegas now.
posted by DigDoug at 2:46 PM on December 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

Love was also released as a double vinyl in 2014.
posted by Lanark at 2:48 PM on December 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

There are many glorious medleys in this soundtrack, but one stands out in particular (for me at least).

The 3+ minutes of "For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! / I Want You (She's So Heavy) / Helter Skelter" is an inspired sonic masterpiece that could only have come from George Martin's deep knowledge of the Beatle's catalog and the original recordings. The kaleidoscopic stereo transitions are dizzying when listened to loud, which you should absolutely do.
posted by jeremias at 2:57 PM on December 4, 2021 [3 favorites]

A friend of mine had the multi-channel audio and I did not react well to it in first listen, but then I went to Vegas with friends and this was the most mutually agreeable show. As others have said, it sounds amazing (best amplified sound I’ve heard) and in context I loved the remix much more than I’d disliked it in the abstract.
posted by fedward at 4:23 PM on December 4, 2021

The real Beatles are present as characters in the show, as shadows who interject at times. They also talk, but how do you get the real Beatles to talk during a circus show?

It was all done by François Pérusse, a québécois comedian whose whole thing is playing with voice and who has been a workhorse for decades. He was given access to thousands upon thousands of hours of recordings of The Beatles speaking, and had to assemble conversations for the show.

The Cirque sweated every detail.
posted by papineau at 4:46 PM on December 4, 2021 [3 favorites]

I have the CD for this too. I mostly otherwise listen to songs one at a time, not in albums, so this has very much shaped my expectations for which Beatles songs lead into each other.
posted by one for the books at 5:25 PM on December 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

I bought the CD for my kids when it came out, just because it was a new release and it sounded like fun, but it wasn't until this post that I realized what it is, and am digging it now, so thank you,hippybear.
posted by dubwisened at 5:32 PM on December 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

This album is a terrific original musical work in its own right, one of the great examples of plunderphonics; it's an apotheosis of remixing as compositional technique.

(Also, if you don't know Giles Martin's remasters of the Beatles albums, please put on some headphones and treat yourself today.)
posted by LooseFilter at 8:13 AM on December 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Really makes me appreciate George Martin more. He made sure the very best multitrack recordings were made and everything is clear. It also revealed to me that most of my musical taste: love of harmony, melodic bass, acoustic guitars, beautiful untrained voices, and spare drumming, all came from them. I’m crying…
posted by a humble nudibranch at 6:13 PM on December 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

« Older Putting the Indiana in Indiana Jones   |   The Secretive Prisons That Keep Migrants Out of... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments