I've never been a fan of the Beatles.
Sure, I grew up knowing their music (thanks largely to my mother, who always has enjoyed them) and I had a cassette copy of Abbey Road that I listened to back when there were nothing but cassettes, and listened to it until the tape literally disintegrated and snapped. But I never thought I really liked them.
That was until the last couple of weeks, as I've been enjoying a romp through their history thanks to Beatles Rock Band.
When we received it, my little sister Natalee scoffed in disdain. "I don't even know how you can call the Beatles rock music anyway - it's more like manufactured pop band." And I didn't feel any need to correct her, because clearly I didn't know their music as well as I thought I did.
Certainly, much of their early oeuvre was rather poppy, and didn't involve much instrumentation or much of a mind towards intricate songwriting. But if there's one thing to be said about even their early works, their vocal harmonies remain unrivaled by any but perhaps Queen.
However, as I've played the story mode and moved through the Beatles' career, one thing has become painfully apparent - these guys have a lot of talent for rock music that I've ignored over the years.
As a lad, I always loved "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", because I thought it was the closest thing the Beatles ever did to "rocking out". Not so; "Helter Skelter" is a blistering rock track, filled with dissonant guitars and unfriendly melodies. So too is "Back in the USSR"; whereas "Dear Prudence" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" have moments of delicate beauty in them.
So I'm not like a HUGE Beatles fan or anything. But thanks to Rock Band, I can honestly say that I respect them a whole lot more than I used to.