Finally, The Beatles are on Spotify

On December 24th, The Beatles music was finally added to the library of my streaming service of choice, Spotify. Finally, I can listen to arguably (one of) the best artist’s music with ease.

I love The Beatles. I grew up with my dad playing them, and me singing along. Their music is a part of me. But now, as a Music Production student, I’m starting to listen to them in a completely different way. I’ve noticed the panning to is very heavy in a lot of their song. I found this to be intriguing. I feel like, if The Beatles were making new music to cater to the portable music players and in ear headphones we see so much of today, where its easy to slip one out for a minute while still listening, the way they panned would be different.

I also noticed that I was drawn to their slow, simple songs, with lovely lyrics. Being a songwriter, it makes sense, but this wasn’t an intentional songwriter move.

Anyways, since I’ve been yearning to stream The Beatles ever since I started using the application in about March of 2013, I felt the need to look through through the entire library, so I could add the songs I love to my library. The Beatles have about 250 unique tracks available on Spotify. Of that, I choose about 70 favorites to add to my library of music. See what songs I choose, and follow the playlist by clicking here. 

People always ask me, “what’s your favorite Beatles song?” So, I took the playlist of 70, and started narrowing down to decide a favorite. I couldn’t pick just one. There are 6 songs that I could not live without. In alphabetical order, the The 6 Beatles Songs I Cannot Live Without, and why are:

 

  1. Across The Universe
    1. This song just makes me so happy. Turning it on turns my lips into a grin. All my worries seem to leave my body, and I feel at home with myself. It’s so simple, yet so well crafted.
  2. Blackbird
    1. Once again, such a simple song that makes all my anxiety disappear. The guitar is so beautiful, and the vocals are soft and lovely. I just want to sip tea and be happy while listening to blackbird.
  3. Carry That Weight
    1. Part of Abbey Road, Carry That is the middle song in the 3 song medley (Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, The End). The way it seamlessly weaves from Carry That Weight amazes me, two different songs melded together with such craft in 1969 boggles my mind! The song sounds so full to me, it truly fills all the frequency ranges in the perfect way. The drums are so well crafted and well played, the bass is perfect, the trumpet comes in with the melody of “You Never Gave Me Your Money,” the 9th song of this album (Carry That Weight is 15th) and just gives me chill. It’s perfectly slow and soothing with enough movement in. There’s so much continuity to prove that it’s one song, but it’s ever changing. It’s such a well crafted and beautiful song.
  4. Eleanor Rigby
    1. To begin, the strings in this song are absolutely spectacular. The strings make this an atypical Beatles song, but it’s still extremely recognizable. This song doesn’t have drums, guitar, bass, or most of the instrumental things you’d expect to hear. It’s just strings, and vocals. In this song there are 4 violins, 2 violas, 4 cellos, and 3 vocalists (Paul, John, and George). The strings are so well crafted, you would think they’re part of a classical song, but they you layer in the vocals, layers and layers of amazing harmonies, and above all that, beautiful lyrics. Eleanor Ridgy took my heart as a pop song that wasn’t just cheery and happy. It was one of the first pop songs to deal with loneliness and death. It just hits you in the feels.
  5. In My Life
    1. This song has been a favorite of mine. Every summer, In My Life would be sang at at least one of our weekly campfires. It was part of my childhood, my favorite place on earth, and how I spent my childhood. When I became a counselor and was the Choral Director of our camp’s choir, I began to analyze the harmonies. Simples oos in the background, and vocal doubling over the beautiful guitar, bass, and percussion. A song so simple, yet so powerful musically. But the music is second to my love for the lyrics. All I can think about are how powerful memories are and how important it is to be grateful for the people surrounding you. Every day is important, every person influences you, and what you do with that is what matters. "All these places have their moments / With lovers and friends I still can recall  / Some are dead and some are living / In my life I've loved them all” These lyrics are so powerful to me. Everyone has the good moments in all different places, with all different people, and although they won’t all be in your life, it’s so important to appreciate them, how they shaped you, and what you learned from them. Such simple lyrics, yet such powerful meaning.
  6. Strawberry Fields Forever
    1. I have no idea what drew me to Strawberry Fields Forever, but it has always been one of my favorite Beatles song. It drops out perfectly to grab the attention of the listener. It has strings, horns, music that just sounds spiritual sounding music, weird effects, and it’s just full. There’s no holes, it’s all filled, it’s all beautiful, it makes me content with whatever I’m doing, wherever I am.

So, what are your favorite Beatles songs?

Women in the Music Industry

Music is the most important thing in my life. I feel that I was put on this planet to write songs that give my audience joy, which is why I decided to study Music Production at Full Sail University. It feels like, most of the time, Full Sail is almost a scale model of the music industry, yet it’s a college.

One thing I find very interesting about Full Sail is the male to female ratio. Of my class of 9, I am the only female. Out of the 21 head professors I’ve had, only 5 have been women, and 4 of the 5 teachers taught more general classes, and not the ones specific to Music Production. Since Full Sail mimics the music industry, I decided to do some research. That’s when I found that, according to an article published in June of 2013 by Huffington Post, only 32.2% of all music industry related jobs are held by females. That means males hold 67.8% of jobs in the music industry. Although males dominate the labor force of the U.S., the numbers are more even. Across the U.S., 47% of workers are women. Men dominate the general work force by 6%, but in the music industry, it’s 35.6%. 

Women are also expected to do more work, are subject to sexual harassment, and are constantly exploited for their bodies and beauty. Clearly, these are all issues in every work force, but it’s even more prevalent in the music industry, and everyone knows it. Artists are constantly starving themselves to live up to the beauty standards given to them by the labels, and it affects more women than men. Ke$ha, for example, had gotten so much pressure from the label to be skinny that she was put into rehab for becoming bulimic.

As women striving to be a pop artist, and if not, a songwriter, I am already trying to perfect my body because I know the industry judges people on their appearance. For this, I think it’s for the best, but I definitely know that I want to be skinnier for my music, and I know that my music will not be the only thing that matters to a label. I am already the center of many jokes in class, although I do believe that it’s because people know my personality is ready to take it and I play along with the games, but it still happens.

The music industry is still stuck in the 50’s when it comes to business. Just like in shows like Mad Men, women are not treated the same, and it’s just how it is right now, and going into the industry, I understand and accept this as a fact, but I’m hoping to be part of the change. I am hoping to be a strong women who provides guidance to listeners and peers, like artists such as Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga. I refuse to be someone that is disrespected. I am equal to, if not better, than any man in the industry, and I am willing to work to prove it. Although these facts do scare me minimally, I am ready to take them on head first and make a change for the better. I want the music industry, internally and towards the audience, to be one that embraces equality in every way, and I will be one of the people that makes it happen. 

I am ready for the challenge of not only being in the industry, but also being a women who makes it better for the future.

 

ARTICLES REFERENCES AND MORE ON THIS SUBJECT

http://www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/Qf-laborforce-10.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/lara-baker/women-in-the-music-business_b_3472612.html

http://freemuse.org/archives/475

http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/blogs/547787/is-music-still-a-male-dominated-industry-we-ask-the-women-working-in-it.html