From the frosting of last week’s blog (“The Power of Love,” final paragraph), the focus is on the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.” I have listened to this song countless times and am struck by the simple words and the complex music which accompanies. Were John and Paul conveying that the simple chorus belies the counterpoint of the musical message? The demonstration of love is supported by intricacy, so that what seems simple is grounded in the intricate.
Lennon – a revolutionary artist – wanted to move people through this song. The music is radical, innovative, even rebellious. During the soundtrack, the beginning influences are French; during the elongated phase out we hear what is classical (J.S. Bach), Big Band USA (“In The Mood”), and the Beatles’ own hit “She Loves You.” The Beatles employ asymmetrical time signatures and make compound changes in the recording. With Lennon as lead singer, McCartney sang (backup), played bass, and double bass, adding his influence over the other instruments. Ringo Starr played drums and percussion. George Harrison played a guitar solo, violin and sang backup,…Keith Moon,…brush drums…George Martin,…piano and more,…David Mason, piccolo trumpet. The Beatles were also supported by a studio orchestra conducted by Mike Vickers with hand clappers, and friends the likes of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Keith Moon, Graham Nash, among others. They get by with a little help from their friends (pun intended) Wikipedia®, 2013. Creating love takes a village, shall we say, takes a critical mass?
Even though Lennon focused on world love and peace, it is our individual, small acts of kindness which create the foundation to carry worldwide change. Think of the phrase “Think globally, act locally. The multifaceted presentation of “All You Need Is Love” respects and follows this philosophy.
Lennon had his pulse on where he wanted to move us, and he was spot on when he declared that love is everything. Spiritually, love is all there is! The Lennon-McCartney team uses lyric and music, the universal language, to urge us to love each other, in a local and global sense. I’ll buy that.