The Beatles

April 12, 2007

When their shared love of car racing brought together Guy Laliberté (founder of Cirque du Soleil) and George Harrison (producer of Shanghai Surprise and occasional guitarist) several years ago, it set in motion the discussions, meetings, and brainstorming that would give rise to this collection of reworked Beatles classics that make up this Cirque soundtrack. Taking raw tracks from the original tapes, Beatles producer George Martin and his son Giles rethink, remix, and mash up Fab Four tunes in an absolutely brilliant fashion. Picture the opening chord of “A Hard Day’s Night” leading into the drum break from “The End,” which then transitions seamlessly into the chugging guitars of “Get Back.” How about blending “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Within You Without You”? Did you ever notice that George’s solo to “Drive My Car” kind of sounds like Paul’s in “Taxman”? So did Giles Martin, and he has married the two parts so perfectly that you hardly

realize he made a change. A lot of tunes have been stripped down so the guitars really stand out, and the resulting string detail and amp clarity will provide plenty of chills. Other guitar highlights include “Blackbird/Yesterday” (now magically in the same key), “Strawberry Fields Forever” (driven by John’s acoustic demo), the awesome descending single-note run in “Lady Madonna” into the “Hey Bulldog” riff, and the ringing 12-string of “What You’re Doing.” Beatles freaks will have hours of fun trying to identify every sound that flies at them (which, aside from George Martin’s string arrangement for the demo of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” are all taken from Beatles recordings). It’s at once totally familiar and completely brand new. Nothing will ever be cooler than the original Beatles records, but damn does this come close.

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