Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Beatles Remasters and other bits you need to know.

Well, today is the day I have been longing for and talking about for quite a while. The whole Beatles catalog was cleaned up and re-released today--FINALLY! I caved and ordered the Mono set online and bought five Stereo CD's: Revolver, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, White Album, Abbey Road, and Past Masters. I have only listened to the stereo Revolver CD so far. It's definitely better than the 1987 CD, but I wasn't blown away by it. It's a cleaner, more vibrant sound than before, but I still miss the way my old vinyl albums used to sound. There are some things I was used to hearing all while growing up that just hasn't transferred to digital. Even with the high price tag of $229 on the Mono set I am really looking forward to hearing those CD's as the Beatles preferred those mixes over stereo in the sixties.

In other pop culture news of interest Pat over at Silver Age Comics has a cool post about a Superman Imaginary story. DC's imaginary stories used to catch a lot of ridicule from Marvel and Marvel fans back in the 60's. Later Marvel would come up with their own version of Imaginary stories called "What If" so go figure. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I just finished reading The Marvel Masterworks Silver Surfer Vol 1. First: these hard bound bookshelf collections of Masterworks and the DC Archives are outstanding compilations when reading comics from forty years ago. Vibrant colors and quality printing make them hard to put down. I am constantly searching discount web sites or comic shops for used copies. Secondly: about the Silver Surfer stories in this compilation; it collects the first 6 issues of Silver Surfer. The Silver Surfer was the mouthpiece for Stan Lee and this character gave voice to Lee's feelings and thoughts on racism, ignorance, violence, war, politics, and just about all the hot button issues of the late 60's. I have to tell you that Lee's overly preachy soliloquies get old real fast. After Silver Surfer #1 we pretty much get where Stan is coming from and the proselytizing every issue wears on my last nerve.

Even with that criticism it still has some of Lee's finest writing and plotting along with John Buscema. A word about Buscema's art: Awesome! Totally awesome. Issues 1-3 are good but pretty standard Marvel plotting then it takes off...issues 4-6 are as good as any comic I have ever read. However, the more adult themes and higher price of 25 cents failed to reach enough of the older readers it was aiming for and SS only lasted for 18 issues. I also suspect that not including to the humor of Marvel's most successful comics; i.e., Fantastic Four and Spider-man didn't help. But the Silver Surfer making wisecracks certainly would not have worked. It would have been a good idea to give the Surfer a complimentary character, a la; Rick Jones to lighten things up a bit.

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