Get Back

I watched the last part of Get Back on Sunday, after working through the others during the week an hour or two at a time. By then I’d already reached the point where I didn’t want it to end, and an eight-hour cut felt too short. The first instalment at Twickenham was sometimes uncomfortable (seeing Paul belittle George without realising he had, and what followed), but the second restored the balance, with moments of pure joy in its final hour: the sense of what good friends they really were, and what good people they all, at the bottom of it, even on the cusp of the band’s dissolution, were, was profoundly moving. The full rooftop performance in Part Three only cemented that impression.

I spent the summer that I turned twenty-one obsessed with Mark Lewisohn’s newly released The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, and this has taken me right back to it: somehow all of their genius and personalities have been captured in these few weeks of fly-on-the-wall recordings and what Peter Jackson has been able to do with them. A wonderful artifact.

Get Back reviewed. On the trail of Get Back. Paul McCartney on the Beatles’ farewell. Why we’ll keep watching it forever.

7 December 2021

Quiet is the New Loud

Now that I’ve got 2020’s sounds out of the way, time for a post about 2021’s (so far).

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26 August 2021

The Soundtrack of Silence

After a reasonable start at tracking my listening in the first few months of 2020, things tailed off in lockdown, mostly because my opportunities for music-listening were more limited when I wasn’t riding back and forth to work every day. (As for podcasts, I’m impossibly behind.) For the months of the first lockdown and the summer school holidays I was sharing the flat with everyone else all day and not wanting to impose my tunes on them all the time. After school went back I hadn’t wanted too many musical distractions while working from home.

Still, I managed to keep up with some of the big releases of the pandemic, and made a few deep dives into artists I’d never given enough time before. So before I turn to my favourite music of this year, here’s the best of (the rest of) last year’s. Hey, if Tokyo 2020 can be held in August 2021, so can 2020 Best Ofs.

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26 August 2021

Metal Gods

The other day I mentioned randomly selecting Angel of Retribution on my iPhone and playing it to my daughter, and realising that I had a fellow head-banger in the family. After diving into online writing about Judas Priest and discovering That Hashtag Show’s Judas-Priest-a-thon from last year, sampling their old and new albums as I went, I reminded myself of the extraordinary opening title track of Painkiller, which sounded as fresh as ever; from there, YouTube’s algorithm revealed its standing as one of the best First Listen/Reaction video prompts of all. If anything warranted a Metafilter post, it was this.

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16 April 2021