BitchBuzz: Obsolete

My latest column for BitchBuzz takes on the latest wave of Beatlemania which has left me profoundly ambivalent. You know I love the Beatles, but I’m distressed a bit by the seemingly endless hype to repackage and resell them. I’m sure there’s a lot to love in this latest version, but I just can’t afford to keep shelling out for new improved versions that will only be of interest to real audiophiles. I loved the Anthology sets: new music! and significantly different versions of familiar songs. They were a gift. This feels like a gimmick.

Everybody on the net seemed to have jumped on board: everywhere you looked, 9/9/09 was Fab Four day, all day! Whether it was iTunes or Musician’s Friend, Amazon or the New York Times, it was the day in which, as the NYTimes put it, “Everybody Reviews the Beatles” and their latest re-release (well, the Guardian got it out of the way earlier in the week so they could avoid looking like part of the pack, but the Times had a whole special section on the band).

Don’t get me wrong: I’m a huge Beatles fan and will doubtless break down at some point and buy this latest extravaganza, but I’m a little put off by the endless reiterations of stuff we must have. While the ‘net seems to be poised to wean us away from the need for ownership and possessions (want it? You can Google it and have it – and then let it go), it also seems to have become the place to spread the desperate zeal to BUY IT NOW! OMG YOU MUST HAVE IT!

[read the rest @ BB]


  1. Todd Mason says:

    Well, as one NPR reviewer noted, EMI is hoping that if you're giving up on CDs, this might be the last CDs you ever buy.I'm old school enough to like having my software on a format that isn't integral to the hardware, but in the era of MP3…

  2. The Queen says:

    I thought the mono remasterings were particularly idiotic….

  3. K. A. Laity says:

    Yeah, it's a hard sell all around: I still have my Beatles vinyl, too. Queen, I'm sure there are audiophiles who could rhapsodise about the mono remasters, but I doubt I am one of them. Considering my fave way of listening to music is screaming down the highway with the windows down, the subtleties and nuance will be lost.

  4. Todd Mason says:

    One small favor…the Beatles reissues have displaced the Rufus Wainwright and similar tosh on the B&N pa system today.

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