Sunday, April 28, 2013

Work: We Can Work It Out

Stevie Wonder: We Can Work It Out
[Purchase link]

This selection is a little off the original train of thought for our new theme: work. Still, my choice complies with the theme in that it includes the word <work> in the title.

Whereas I had initially thought this week’s theme would provoke musical ideas about employment, I found myself thinking repeatedly about the Beatles' "We can Work It Out".

By 1965, when Rubber Soul came out, the Beatles:
  • Were an established hit band
  • Had been to the US on tour
  • Appear to have been inclined to alternative sounds (their India contacts start at about this time and I think you can sense it in Rubber Soul)
Two years ago, I was lucky to catch the initial round of “The Beatles Complete on Ukulele”, when Roger Greenawalt and crew were giving away their collection for free (it is still a free listen but no longer a free download). The Beatles' Rubber Soul album is one of my all-time favorite albums. It's an album that contains several personal preferences and seems to me to mark a turning point in pop music (what else was “hot” in ’65?)

There are YouTube versions of the original masters doing their thing: Lennon tickling a (more orless) pre-electric organ in one. But the version that I chose here carries so much more value to me. Without making my voting preferences too blatantly obvious (among the available options, of course), there are several things that caught my attention here:

Mr Obama (and even more so Mrs O) are clearly groovin' on the sounds (with Paul sitting right next to POTUS). More importantly, there is the underlying message that fits with Obama’s message of Hope : We can "work it out.” Throughout this version, I get the feeling that the timing isn’t quite right – but it works out all the same.

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