Friday, February 01, 2008

Stand By Me

Song: Stand By Me
Artist: John Lennon
Album: Rock ‘n’ Roll

I was raised on the Beatles. My parents, my father specifically, were big fans and thus I became one as well. I suppose it helps that they are arguably the most influential band ever, doing for music what very few have done before and since. How many times have you heard a band or artists work be described as “Beatle-esque?” Since I missed the entire Beatles “thing,” not being born before they split, I heard their work out of sequence, including their solo work. (Though for some reason, this pretty much excluded all the other Beatles except Lennon. I’m not going to argue their individual merits; My father just dug Lennon… so that’s what I know.)

So this holiday season my technically… I don’t want to say challenged, more phobic, father asked me to get him an iPod, which shocked me, and fill it up for him with his favorite stuff. So when I got his wish-list it was a little bit like going down memory lane and a flood of images from my past came to me when I saw Lennon’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll.” This album was in heavy rotation when I was a kid and actually was most likely my first introduction to some of these classic songs (covers from the late 50’s and early 60’s.)

Lennon sounds great on these tracks, and Phil Spector’s production brings them to life sonically. I didn’t know the interesting history of the making of the album until reading the article in Wikipedia. I won’t bother trying to summarize, read it yourself if interested, it’s a good story. (Phil Spector is officially crazy, beyond being like… you know, a killer.)

Lennon’s cover of “Stand By Me” was a top twenty hit when the album was released and probably my favorite on the album. It’s slow, which is not typical for the album as a whole which is pretty upbeat and well… rock ‘n’ roll. The song itself is one of the greatest ever written, and when looking for something to end a party recently I played this. Sometimes you can find the perfect summation of life, love, friendship, and family in a song… and here it be.


Stand By Me

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