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Abbey Road on the River adds live “LOVE” soundtrack performance.

I have been to those concerts where they completely play an LP live in running order for the duration of  a live show.  I have to say it is impressive to hear Rubber Soul/Revolver live in their entirity.  I really would love to hear The White Album live from start to finish.  It’s a shame that the real Fab Four never did perform those songs live together.  It would have been a great thing to behold.

The Abbey Road on the River Festival in Kentucky is something else boys and girls.  During their event they have an impressive list of faux Fab bands of all shapes and sizes.  It seems that they have added a live performance of the newest addition to the Beatle’s canon.  They will perform the Cirque Du Soleil soundtrack “LOVE” live onstage.  That would be a cool thing to see.  I live remash of favorite Beatle tunes.

If you all folks have not made it out to the Abbey Road on the River Festival, I highly recommend hitting the road and making it out.  It is quite the splendid time.

Here’s my question for you all on this fine Sunday.  Which Beatle-related album would you like to see performed in its entirity live onstage by The Beatles themselves? 

Here’s what we’ve read.

LOVE” is a many splendored thing.

Crafted from no fewer than 130 separate recordings by the Beatles, “LOVE” came into being last November as a soundtrack to accompany a Las Vegas show by Cirque du Soleil. Next weekend the music will get its first live performances, part of the courier-journal.com Abbey Road on the River festival along Louisville’s riverfront — and two Louisville residents are helping make that possible.
The “LOVE” album was co-created by George Martin — renowned for producing the Beatles’ signature recordings from the 1960s and 1970s — and Martin’s son Giles, who is also a music producer. It’s often described more as a “reimagination” of the Beatles’ music than as a remix of their greatest hits, and it has been a significant addition to the group’s seemingly inexhaustible legacy, as well as a commercial success.

“When I first heard it, I thought it was pretty daredevil,” says Mark Beyer, a Louisville keyboard player and recording engineer who, using a combination of investigative skills and imagination, is writing the score for the live performances by more than 30 musicians Saturday and next Sunday.

Beyer, 46, is an unabashed Beatlemaniac. His St. Matthews home is adorned with framed posters of the Fab Four, and in his downstairs editing studio he delights in playing riffs from his re-creation of the “LOVE” album.

You might compare his task to reverse-engineering a piece of computer software to come up with the original source code. All he started with was the “LOVE” CD, the same 78-minute recording anyone can buy. In the past few months, Beyer has listened to the CD more times than he can count, seeking to glean whatever he can about how the Martins made “LOVE” so intriguing.

He’s done easier things in his life.

“We have a very complex musical tapestry of interwoven Beatles songs that took two genius engineers three years to put together,” he says, “… so it’s a lot of detective work and a lot of complicated reproduction.”

The “LOVE” album comprises 26 tracks, beginning with the close vocal harmonies of “Because” and winding up, appropriately enough, with “All You Need Is Love.” In between come such Paul McCartney/John Lennon standards as “Eleanor Rigby,” “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Hey Jude,” plus songs by George Harrison, including “Something” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” The album was approved by McCartney and Ringo Starr — the band’s two surviving members — plus Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, and Harrison’s widow, Olivia Harrison.

Because the album consists of myriad excerpts from the Beatles’ catalog, including several passages that had never been publicly released, Beyer had to research, and in some cases make a best guess, at where the various sounds came from. The Martins, he says, aren’t telling.

“It’s their secret, their recipe,” Beyer says. “Especially for Beatles fans, the engineering is quite brilliant all by itself.”

Still, for all its brilliance, the album “is not set up for a live performance at all,” Beyer says. His arrangement calls for no fewer than 31 musicians on stage: “two full rock-type ensembles, string and brass ensemble, two keyboard players, percussionist and backup singers.”

The brass and string players are being coordinated by Rachel Blanton, a 32-year-old violinist who straddles the musical universes between pop and classical. Trained at the University of Louisville School of Music, she can be found playing Irish tunes one day and the next playing in a local band called the Greekbeats.

“I’m a classically trained musician,” Blanton says. “Any chance to be a rock ‘n’ roll star is great.”

She’s preparing arrangements for her musicians, helped along the way by guitarist and songwriter Paul Dell Aquila, who teaches at U of L.

“Some of the things were out of my league,” Blanton says, “because I had never transcribed anything before. … Overall, the music isn’t difficult for the instruments — what it needs is rehearsal time.”

Indeed, says Beyer, “that might have been the overambitious part.”

But he and Blanton are convinced that in the end, “LOVE” will triumph. It’s the Beatles, after all.

“My interest was so huge, even at 8 years old,” Beyer recalls. “I remember putting a bunch of yarn on my head and playing a broom, trying to be a Beatle.” An alumnus of Seneca High School, he now plays in The Rigbys, which he calls “Louisville’s only Beatles band” (www.therigbysband.com).

“As a musician I don’t just like their music,” Beyer says of the Beatles. “I know how good it is.”

And don’t tell him that either “LOVE” or Abbey Road on the River are simply exercises in imitation. The festival involves considerably more, he says.

“It celebrates and honors the Beatles as people and musicians,” Beyer emphasizes, “and shows that their music is still alive. Their music changes people’s brain chemistry, I’m convinced.”

Source: Courier-Journal


3 Responses

  1. i don’t really like this last album:”love”at all!because songs aren’t separeted one from another one,and seem to be re-mixed,and for this i think sounds,and music are confused and real essence of Beatles songs be flown away.(sorry,but i think this).i would like to reply to the question:Which Beatle-related album would you like to see performed in its entirity live onstage by The Beatles themselves? surely White album!!!!because i love it! and i think i would like to see Abbey road and Let it Be,too!for summing up, every their latest album of which they never made a live show.p.s. i like dreaming watchin on tv that wonderful little Beatles concert on a roof of a building with let it be soundtrack!oh my God ,why those times can’t return,anymore??? 😦

  2. This past Friday I saw Sgt. Pepper performed in its entirety by a band called Abbey Road Live. As their name implies, they typically perform Abbey Road in its entirety, but since the anniversary for Pepper is near, Sgt. Pepper it was. Going to Abbey Road on the River in 2003 is in my top 5 best experiences of my entire life. If you have the chance to go, go. You won’t regret it. If you’re a true Beatles fan, it will blow you mind in a thousand beautiful ways.

  3. for Brianna Moody:thank you for what have you told me about your experience!it’s really interesting!i think to be a good Beatles fan,maybe young, but a good fan.i’d like to see what you told me,unfortunately,i can’t because i live in a country very far from you and now the Beatles becoming my escape from some daily troubles and they giving me an opportunity to feel myself better and dreaming like a child.but i’ll always remember what you told me and maybe(i don’t know when!)one day i’ll coming there for making this experience as you did!but now …..the dream goes on…… 😉

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