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Beatles Beat

March 08, 1987

In assessing the qualities of the Fab Four's initial digital offerings ("Meeting the Beatles . . . on CD," Feb. 23), Robert Hilburn has set new standards in revisionism and balderdash (there's a better term for the latter, but alas, this is a family newspaper).

"Let's pretend," writes Hilburn, boldly suggesting that we ignore 25 years of pop music history and attempt to judge those early Beatles recordings by "today's standards." Which ones? Lionel Richie? Madonna? Or perhaps the Beastie Boys? It's like trying to compare a '62 Thunderbird to this year's model. What, no turbocharger?

Yes, Mr. Hilburn, they were wonderful. And in the context of their time the songs you variously criticize as "marginal," "carelessly performed " or "poorly chosen" were in fact remarkably fresh and invigorating. How else did their performances become an unparalleled pop phenomenon?

If you are to engage us in bouts of revisionism, why not compare Springsteen to the Beatles? Or, better yet, forget about the whole idea.

J. McCULLEY

Van Nuys

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