Nicely timed just months after a baffled Don Draper listened to the Revolver-capping song on Mad Men, a new Beatles compilation titled Tomorrow Never Knows hits iTunes today. Rolling Stone dubs it a miniature compendium of the Fab Four's "most powerful rock songs," which gives us absolutely no idea what to expect or why this exists at this specific time, considering it sounds identical to the premise of 1976's double LP compilation Rock 'n' Roll Music. But hey, Wiki tells us there are 57 Beatles compilation albums out there, so available themes may be thinning out. iTunes clarifies a wee bit by categorizing Tomorrow Never Knows as the "hardest-rocking, most influential tracks."
One unique facet of the compilation is Dave Grohl's encomium for it. "If it weren't for The Beatles, I would not be a musician. It’s as simple as that," the Foo Fighters frontman writes. "From a very young age I became fascinated with their songs, and over the years have drowned myself in the depth of their catalogue. Their groove and their swagger. Their grace and their beauty. Their dark and their light. The Beatles seemed to be capable of anything. They knew no boundaries, and in that freedom they seemed to define what we now know today as 'Rock and Roll.'"
Grohl goes on to talk about showing his 6-year-old daughter, Violet, the Yellow Submarine film. (Spoiler alert: She loved it — "She wanted to know their names, which instruments they played, who sang what song, etc etc etc....it made me so incredibly happy (and proud!). Within days she knew the verses and choruses to every song on the album.") Violet especially loved "Hey Bulldog," so Grohl goes on to spill a paragraph about that "quintessential Beatles rocker," with iTunes offering a complementary performance video featuring an amazingly sideburned John Lennon and a sweater-vested Paul McCartney cozying up to the microphone, sharing a lyric sheet.
Other artists threw briefer testimonies to iTunes for the compilation, including Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda ("Nearly everything my band knows about how to approach recording a song is attached to the Beatles in some way"—whoa?), Arcade Fire's Will Butler ("There is a straight line from James Brown to death metal, and it runs through 'Helter Skelter'"), and Adam Levine ("Every time we went anywhere The Beatles were playing on the stereo. That seeped into my consciousness and completely shaped my musical style"). Peruse all the love over on iTunes without even buying the admittedly cheap ($7.99) collection.
Not that we're discouraging you from further contributing to the coffers of the deserving Beatles estate, but if you already own the records (particularly the two volumes of Past Masters), you can just, y'know, go ahead and sequence the following tracks into a playlist (although, beware, the folks who put this together were nifty enough to throw in a few semi-off-the-beaten-path tracks like "I've Got a Feeling" from Let It Be…Naked and a remixed version of "The End" from Anthology.) A couple of last comments: We'd be shocked if this wasn't the first compilation "And Your Bird Can Sing" has appeared on, and it's about damned time "It's All Too Much" got recognized for the epically long, fuzzed-out experimental Harrison masterpiece it is.
2. "Paperback Writer"
3. "And Your Bird Can Sing"
4. "Helter Skelter"
5. "Savoy Truffle"
6. "I'm Down"
7. "I've Got a Feeling" (from Let It Be…Naked)
8. "Back in the U.S.S.R."
9. "You Can't Do That"
10. "It's All Too Much"
11. "She Said She Said"
12. "Hey Bulldog"
13. "Tomorrow Never Knows"
14. "The End" (Anthology 3 version)