Saturday, March 4, 2017

Pour: Rain, by The Beatles

I’m going to reach a little here. Our theme is “Pour”, as in pouring rain, or a beer, but as is the fashion with SMM, interpretation is an open-ended exercise and itself its own tolerantly loose term.

I thought a lot about pouring and due to my partiality towards spirits and libations, I was thinking on drinking songs to try to fit the theme. But writing about drinking songs gets as old as drinking songs themselves—heard ‘em all a few too many times. Expanding on the theme, there’s rain. Easy. Some great songs have been written about rain. And why not? Rain is as evocative a metaphor on paper as in real-life. And “Rain”, by the Beatles, is not only a fine piece of trippy melodic pop sugar, but it’s a track I never get tired of hearing.

The Beatles “Rain”, released as a B-side to “Paperback Writer”,  remains one of my favorite Fab-Four songs. I always thought it was their first foray into their experimental, psychedelic side, and it came out before their genre-crossing masterwork—and harbinger of things to come, sonically, aesthetically, and otherwise—Revolver.  

It’s a wonderful song, in all the best ways that pop songs are great: the swirling guitar comes close to sounding as if its crunching through the soni-scape, but it’s light enough to seem as if it’s just happily caught in a tilt-a-whirl, lazily going round and around. That fuzzed-out guitar lead by George is as ‘60s as it gets, and the lilting, sing-song vocals by John and Paul’s slippery groove bass line combine with what I think is my favorite drumbeat that Ringo ever laid down, all tripped out gun shot and gently propulsive, to bring 2 minutes and 45 seconds of exactly the kind of song that touches into the best part of your brain that makes you love, love, love music…

Meaning: a song like “Rain” sends the listener scrambling through their onomatopoetic thesaurus looking for tangible words to describe not just the sound, but what the sound feels like, what it does as it works on you and makes you reach for the rewind button again and again. The Beatles will perhaps always serve as the greatest band for drawing a listener into a beautiful interior world, a bubble of sound that, once experienced, colors, literally and metaphorically, all the rest of the music they might ever hear. 

I suppose that’s what makes The Beatles so great (not that the subject nor my instance is necessary at this point): once you’ve heard them, and if you were lucky enough to fall in love with rock music because of them, and to them, the band will color, in brilliant hues, whatever else you listen to, pretty much for life…

As a P.S. of sorts, I wanted to send a shout out to one of my favorite music blogs, Cover Me, which, you can guess, specializes in cover versions of songs we all know, by delivering mp3s of cover versions we don't...Cover Me's write up on "Rain" is pretty cool and the five choices they present as for our tune are just out of this world fun...Five Good Covers: Rain 

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