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One of America's Greatest Imports

Since as a five-year-old sitting on my grandmother’s lap watching the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, I have been an unabashed Beatles fan.  I should be embarrassed (but I’m not) to admit that I never tire of listening to their music.  I listen to it daily.  (I have a slight preference for the early Beatles over the later Beatles, but only very slight: I love it all.  And now, too, so does my son, Thomas.)

This op-ed by Daniel Levitin in today’s Washington Post commemorates the 40th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper — and it does a splendid job.  Reading this essay will raise your appreciation for the Beatles and teach you some neuroscience.

H.L. Mencken somewhere wrote that music was fundamentally changed forever when the opening two notes of Beethoven’s third (Eroica) symphony were first played.  He had a point.  I would mark as another similar point the recording, in 1962, of the Beatles’ song "Please Please Me."