Between the ages of 12 and 25 we connect with music in as we never will again in our lives. It gets us in the gut, and no matter how much our tastes develop, I am sure we all carry a weakness for the music of our youth all our lives, even for the songs which we didn’t particularly like at the time. Past a certain age we will never get the music of the young (Cue memories of grandparents moaning about the lack of lyrics, or lack of melody), and the young will never understand our music, unless, like us, they hear it when they are young enough.
Would I love Frank Sinatra if I approached music rationally, carefully analysing performers for objective merit? Or am I doomed to love it, having grown up in a house that was always full of the sound of Frank’s voice. At 18, I was not a fan. At 40, he gets me like no-one else, and I can talk for hours about the skill of his phrasing, and the respect he shows the songs he performs. But rationality or fashion have no place in my heart. I love it because I can’t help it: it is part of me.
A generation of young people are now growing up without ever having owned a piece of physical music media. Yet that is the only way to legally acquire the music of what was once the biggest band of them all. The only hope The Beatles have of maintaining their influence in the future is to get the music out there, as quickly as possible. Perhaps all this iTunes stuff is a ruse, Paul McCartney feels that he already has enough money and he is secretly hoping that The Pirate Bay is planting the seeds of the love of his music. But I doubt it.