Friday, February 11, 2011

Mr. Moonlight

Richard Furnstein: Here's my impersonation of an idiot Beatles fan: "Eh, the early stuff is so dumb. They would just go yeah yeah and then pad the records with total crap covers like Mr Moonlight." Hold on a second there, buster. Where's your head at? I'm here to tell you: "Mr Moonlight" is the total tits and possibly the highlight of Beatles For Sale.

The early covers were basically an excuse for John to rip the hell out of his throat. He clearly takes a certain delight in claiming his favorite rock sides for his own. The sweet organ comes in like cold moonlight rising on your bedroom wall. George is the invisible solid here, all muted tube sickness. Plus, "from your beam you made my dream" is a damned perfect lyric. Take back anything you've ever said about this song: have a heart and feel the cha cha cha.

Robert Bunter: Cha Cha Cha? More of a mambo, I’d say. But forget about that: something absolutely wonderful happens on this song. Put it on now and listen to the very beginning. The voice that belts out “MISTAAAAAAAAAAAAH” in the opening seconds sounds unmistakably like wonderful Paul McCartney. But, huh? What’s this? When it gets to “Mooooooonlight,” you realize that it was actually the amazing John Lennon. We are thus able to imagine the superhuman combo Beatle Paul Lennon. Contemplate this beast: all the beguiling romanticism of loveable Paul without the facile sentimentality and shallow showbiz phoniness … all the restless intelligence and soulful honesty of Saint John without the demented hallucinations, painful screaming and sardonic self-regard that makes me have nightmares sometimes. Alas, we can only ponder how differently the pages of history would have been written had such a divine avatar been born unto human woman. And yet: every time the needle drops on the beginning of Mr. Moonlight, the haunting voice of this best-of-all-worlds uber-Beatle calls to us from beyond the curtain of possibility.

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