Revisiting the classics: The Beatles

Written by Wes Levi

Where to start a column about music anywhere but The Beatles? That’s what I thought. We are all familiar with the cocktail party question: Which of the Beatles’ records is the best? My answer: Revolver. Why? Forget about the Yellow Tangerine track, and from there on: Trust me.

The record is seen as one of the most influential of The Beatles, because it integrates non-western instruments in their obviously ultra-western rock ‘n’ roll. The fab four met sitar player Ravi Shankar on a trip to India. They fell in love with the sitar, Harrison took lessons by Shankar, resulting in Indian influences on that very record. A revolution.

Ravi Shankar had multiple children with multiple women, but his most famous daughter goes by the name of Geethali Norah Jones Shankar, abbreviated to, yes, Norah Jones – the Norah Jones. She became famous in the early 2000’s with her sweetened chamber soul, which is a bit too to my liking. So when she released a new record this spring I wasn’t very eager on listening, until I saw Brain ‘Danger Mouse’ Burton on the cover. So I listened, and I put it on repeat.

The producer is famous for his work with Gorillaz, Doom, and the Black Keys, and as a member of Gnarls Barkley. But he had his breakthrough by remixing Jay-Z’s Black Album together with, and that completes the circle, The Beatles’ White Album to the infamous Grey Album. The Beatles were angry about this mix tape, and that very anger got Burton his fame. And now he made a great, really terrific record together with Norah Jones (Shankar), Little Broken Hearts. Love it.