Apr 27, 2012

Y is for: Yesterday

I'm not a big Beatles fan. As a Gen Xer, I've spent my entire life waiting for them to go away. And it's finally dawning on me that it's just not going to happen. For my kids and grandkids, maybe....but not for me.

Now before you get all indignant on me, there are a few songs that I like  - Twist and Shout, Imagine, Yesterday.

So here's a 1965 Paul McCartney singing Yesterday. Sweat is literally pouring off of him, he rushes the lyrics, he's got zero stage presence. He's so raw, so honest and unpolished that if he gave this performance in 2012's American Idol, I doubt he'd get picked to go to Hollywood.

Now, here's Toni Braxton's version of Yesterday. It's mixed to perfection; she's airbrushed, wears about 10,000 Victoria's Secret outfits and sits at a piano supposedly playing in a song that has zero piano melodies. No sweat, no camera shot longer than five seconds, lots of lip syncing and fake foreplay. Nothing in this video is real.

How far we've come, no?
Remember what I said about my kids and grandkids not knowing who the Beatles were?
That's too bad.
I'd take Paul's yesterday over Toni's any day.


Sandra Almazan said...

I'm a Gen Xer too, but I became a Beatles fan when The Anthology aired in 1995. I prefer John over Paul, but I'm sure the fans in 1965 thought Paul had plenty of stage presence. ;)

Incidentally, "Imagine" is a solo Lennon work, not a Beatles song.

M.J. Fifield said...

Another Gen Xer. I'm not a huge Beatles but I really love "Yesterday"... it's funny. I did a musical post for today too and "Yesterday" never crossed my mind.

Grover said...

My dad always complained that my generation's music (I was born in 88 so grew up with The Backstreet Boys and The Spice Girls) wasn't music at all - it was just people miming and 'pansying around on stage'. I always thought he was just saying it to annoy me, but I can see now that he was absolutely right.

Carrie-Anne said...

I've been a second-generation Beatlemaniac since the spring of '93, when I was in 7th grade, but I never cared for "Yesterday." I always preferred music from before my time, the same way I far prefer silents and early sound films to the stuff being churned out today. It shouldn't surprise anyone to learn my genre is historical.

Lynn Proctor said...

oh yeah it's perfection!

Andrew Leon said...

I've never been a big Beatles fan, either. I don't dislike them, just think they were a bit overrated. Give me U2 any day.

Ricardo Miñana said...

Hello Melodie beautiful space, a pleasure to read your letters,
if you like the poetry I invite you to my spaces,
Happy Sunday.
a greeting.

Liv said...

I like the Beatles & I like Tony Braxton too. I mostly just think it's sad that the standard for performance these days is so close to perfection that real human beings have to be edited and airbrushed into something that's not real in order to meet it.

Daisy Carter said...

I like the Beatles the way I like Jane Austen. Not an author I re-read often or at all, but still the standard I hold others up to.

I like the early Beatles when they were still poppy and less...stoned sounding. When I Saw Her Standing There is one of my favorites.