Yellow Submarine Week, Eleanor Rigby

When the Yellow Submarine movie came out in 1968, the Beatles were already edging away from the psychedelic movement they helped flower across the world.  In 68, the Beatles were recording the “White Album,” a record more psychedelic in the abstract than the literal.  All and all they were inching back towards their rock and roll roots, so a movie which was basically a celebration of the Beatles psychedelic mastery was already a bit passe in the fast moving world of Beatle progress.  Still, their psychedelic work, which had no real visual outlet as the Beatles had no way of seriously replicating that sort of music live, to say nothing of the fact they had quit touring anyway, was not harmed by being enshrined in a glorious piece of pop art that was Yellow Submarine.  Just because the Beatles had left behind the days of Revolver, didn’t mean the world had.  Songs like “Eleanor Rigby” were still being played countless times by people the world over, transmogrified by its perfection.  As the Beatles, and the world would discover, the shelf life on Beatle music wouldn’t be a mere flash in the pan, but rather the songs would enjoy decades of endless relevance, seemingly increasing in power and myth as the years rolled by.  So, while its easy to imagine that the Beatles were nonplussed when informed that the majority of songs used for the movie would be culled from the Sgt. Pepper era, for the rest of us, its a privilege beyond words to enjoy these wizard like songs embossed forever in a film like Yellow Submarine.  The clip of “Eleanor Rigby” below, couldn’t be better.  It’s a stunning piece of post modern animated pathos, featuring the sad tired, black and white world of Liverpool, colorized by a Paul McCartney song of unlimited creativity.  There are no platitudes capable of summarizing its genius, so just watch it below as we continue to sail through Yellow Submarine week.

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