Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This Boy (isolated vocals)

It was 50 years ago this week that this was released:


And sure, all it did was change rock-n-roll forever. Along with a good chunk of 20th century culture. The most important band to ever exist let loose with (almost inarguably) their greatest single, and thus launched a career that would crazily keep reaching new heights over the six years that followed. Heights that even the greatest of rock-n-roll bands to follow never really were able to equal.

That's what "I Want To Hold Your Hand," the A-side, did.

What the waltzy B-side, "This Boy," did? Was display for the first time the harmony calisthenics the Beatles were capable of delivering. Listen to this (mostly) isolated vocal track of John, Paul and George creating something so intricate, so deftly layered it's damn near impossible to tell who is singing what part. Or for that matter where the melody starts and the harmony ends. Astounding.

They would do the three-part harmony thing again, of course. And do it to perfection. On tracks like "Nowhere Man" and "Yes It Is" and, at the very very end of their career as a band, the lush splendor of "Because." But it bears remembering just how many different arrows the Fab Four had in their collective quiver. Harmonies this spectacular? And from guys this young (John was 23, Paul 21, George 20)?

This boy remains impressed. He surely does.

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