Seeing Is Hearing

There is some critical concern vis-à-vis the Love album that contains music by the Beatles that has been re-realized by the group’s producer George Martin (and son Giles). One could argue that the sounds that we hear from the Beatles have as much to what Martin did at the mixing board as the boys in the studio, so it is in some ways “his” music as well as theirs. Although this remastering and mash-up of various of the songs—the prime example being a combination of “Drive My Car,” “What You’re Doing,” “The Word,” and “Savoy Truffle”—is released as a free-standing disc, what is not as evident as it should be is the fact that Love is a show that is being performed at the Mirage casino in Las Vegas by an extraordinary cast of Cirque de Soleil members. Those people are to acrobatics what the Beatles were to music. The music of Love is a soundtrack more than an independent work, and while it can more than ably stand on its own merits, the show’s the thing. Having had the opportunity to see the show, which could cause an adjectival avalanche of gob-smacked praise, the music takes on an entirely different context than it would through just listening. Some of the music is there in the form that it is in order to support what is going on on stage (e.g., “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Lady Madonna” include screaming fans and running mop-tops in the former, and Busby Berkeley-like dancing in the latter). It is as much about flipping and soaring and swooping and a nearly inexplicable number of other things that the performers are doing as it is the music itself. Yet this is all integrated in a way that is far more intimate than the current predilection in Hollywood, for both movies and TV shows, to put popular tracks on top of scenes because, in effect, using the message and mood of the music to pick up where the writing has not done its job. Which is to say that the only way to really hear Love is to see Love.

2 thoughts on “Seeing Is Hearing”

  1. Well I’m heading out to vegas in March, hopefully I can get tix for the show. It would be fun to see NASCAR during the day and Cirque at night. Are tickets gonna be a bitch to come by?

  2. I’ve seen some things on tv about the show, and although it looks very colorful and creative, it doesn’t interest me to be honest. There was a show in NYC a few years ago that did that type of dance/acrobatic performance and it wasn’t my cup of tea.

    I think the BEATLES LOVE cd works great as a stand alone musical experience, just like all their other cds.

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