Sunday, March 9, 2014

Russia/Ukraine: Back in the USSR

[ The original TBCOU version -  Back in the USSR]
[ Purchase: Paul McCartney-Back in the USSR]
[ Purchase: current TBCOU version- Back in the USSR]

We've got both covered in the post: Russia and the Ukraine.

I'm crazy about Creative Commons. Create something and share it with the world while you keep the rights you want to keep. For 185 weeks, from 2009 to 2012, every Tuesday the Beatles Complete on Ukelele project released a new Beatles song under a Creative Commons license. Each "cover" included a ukelele among the instruments. I think it was via BoingBoing that I must have first learned about this and then religiously visited the site and downloaded each new [legally] free addition to the collection.

Some were better than others, but it is a collection that I am glad to "own". One of them, of course, was "Back in the USSR". "Own" is in quotes for two reasons: at the conclusion of the stated project wrapup date, the link to the online files became purchase files. That's their perogative I guess, but it leaves me wondering if the files I once-upon-a-time legally collected are now illicit. The second issue that leaves me wondering is that the original Back in the USSR version has been replaced with another that - I'm sorry - is nowhere near as good as the first.

Although I have my own copy of the first, I assume that whatever rights I was given when I saved my own copy back in 2009 do not confer "sharing online rights". However, I scoured the web and found a way to link to the relics of the TBCOU project in the form of an mp3 version they left active but not visible in their "podcasts". Not only have they left it online, but there are links to the "liner notes" from the original posting. They are worth reading. Let me tantalize you with an excerpt:

Presciently, the song begins with the sound of an approaching jet engine, prefiguring 9/11, the 21st Century, and calamity in general. The entire song has jet engine Doppler effect sound design throughout. It’s Scary up there on the Scareplane.
Another drastic disaster occurred the day this song was recorded. Ringo quit the Beatles, left the studio in huff, and went home. Paul’s reaction? He played the drums on Back In The USSR himself.
I cant begin to do justice to those notes: the relationship between the ukelele and the balalaika ...  just follow the link.

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