Saturday, October 19, 2019
The Red Album
The Red Album by the Beatles?
A "best of" album as the greatest album of all time?
Yes. To my exceedingly minuscule shame, yes!
"But, your choices have been obscenely sophisticated. Dark, mildly obscure Neil Young, the strange internationalism of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Even Kind of Blue came with the humbleness of choosing perfection, classicism. But a best of album, by the Beatles, whose catalog is already practically all greatest albums of all time?"
Look, all I said is that I was going to write about the 100 greatest albums of all time, each being something I thoroughly felt as the single greatest album ever made. It's not objective, it's subjective.
Except, fuck it. It is objective. It is all objective. Everything everywhere is objective. Don't be fooled.
The Red Album is the greatest album ever made.
We have to start at the beginning. This is my fourth album out of a hundred. But we're starting at the beginning. We have to start at the beginning.
For my Bar Mitzvah, I think in 1978, as it slightly lagged my birthday, I received from someone (thank you) a present of the double album 1962-1966 known colloquially as The Red Album.
I listened to it.
I cannot say where other people mark the moment they were no longer a child. I suspect there is no rule for it. Maybe many people don't even have a moment like that. Maybe some people never made a real transition. But I did in a complicated way. And it was at the moment I heard John Lennon sing Nowhere Man.
I did not even know what love was before that, what art was, what it meant to open one'e eyes.
Each of the songs on "The Red Album" were enthralling: Michelle, Girl, Paperback Writer, but I was being primed. Kindled. Stoked. When I hit Nowhere Man everything blew apart- the meaning of love, the wrongness of God, the horrible error and beauty of being.
This is an old memory, but I heard Nowhere Man and I had to go out to the front lawn, to the right of our driveway, at my family house on Paul Revere Drive, and just... deal with it. I had too many feelings. I had way to many feelings. I had to play it in my mind over and over. I never recovered.
I was, in that moment, created and ruined.
I suspect the world was too.