So! It was probably pretty obvious my first “In Honor of…” EP would be the Beatles. I can’t say enough how much I love them and their music, and it can’t be overstated how influential it’s been on me. I might not be a musician at all if it weren’t for the Beatles. The first time I ever heard anything by the Beatles was their live set before the Queen of England from the Beatles Anthology. They played “She Loves You”, “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “‘Till There Was You”, and “Twist and Shout”, and it isstillthe most impressive live set I have ever heard.
My 12 year old brain couldn’t even begin to understand how and why they were so awesome, I just knew I loved it. The Beatles weren’t just incredible songwriters – they didn’t even write two of the songs in that set – although they were that. They were near flawless performers, knowing how to work the crowd, whether it was a bunch of sweaty youths in an underground bar or the elite of Britain at a high class event. Their performances were so in sync, so tight, so energetic. You can tell that they’ve already played literally hundreds of shows together and they’ve gotten better with each and every one.
Anyway, the three songs I’ve chosen to cover in honor of the Beatles are: “Revolution”, “I Should Have Known Better”, and “I Will”. You might notice that I’ve only chosen songs written by Lennon/McCartney. I only had three slots to work with and, come on, who are we kidding? If John Lennon and Paul McCartney went off on their own and George and Ringo went off on their own and both duos recorded their own music, whose do you think would be most like The Beatles’? George and Ringo were integral to the Beatles, but John and Paul were the Beatles.
The Beatles’ songs were about a lot of things. Their first few dozen were about love, then they branched out into things like politics, drugs, religion, all that jazz. I feel like the core theme that resonates through nearly every song though, is love.
“Revolution” is a song that says “Yes, we need a better world, it sucks the way it is, but hurting other people isn’t the way to make it better, we need peace and love”.
“I Should Have Known Better” works on a really superficial level as a song about young love, being surprised how deeply in love you’ve fallen with a girl who was just a crush. Maybe the author thought it would be a short relationship, a one-night stand even. But he’s surprised to find he can’t pull himself away. For a long time that’s all the song meant to me. It’s pretty versatile though; my wife and I just had our first child, a little girl. And when I think of this song in relation to her, well, I never knew I could love a girl as much as I love my daughter. I love everything that she does, and even though it’s so vastly different from the romantic love the song was probably written about, it fits perfectly.
“I Will” really embodies Paul McCartney’s style of songwriting. It’s in the same vein as things like “Yesterday”, “Blackbird”, “Some Days”… It’s simple, sweet, and absolutely gorgeous. Paul McCartney has a way with melody, I don’t know how or why it works the way it does, but his melodies, even if there were no words, just sound like love.
So those are the three songs you can download for free on the music page – music.lorenradis.com – right now, I hope you like my take on them. Check back next month on the 15th for your next batch of covers, and thanks a ton!