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Introducing The Beatles

November 3, 2007
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I wrote an introduction to the Beatles for someone on a forum who confessed that he had just bought Abbey Road and was listening to it for the first time. Another person responded saying they didn’t really know anything about this music.
A peek inside my mind…

White Album – ‘Long Long Long’ a great beautiful Harrison track.

Beatles For Sale
– ‘Words of Love’ and you’ll see just how influenced they were by Buddy Holly if you ever hear Holly’s original recording of this.

A Hard Days Night
– ‘If I Fell’ is 2minutes 24seconds of pop balladry with close harmonies. Attention all boy bands: listen to these harmonies and learn how it’s done.

Help! – ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’ this was mentioned above and rightly so. Lennon does Dylan. Written about Epstein who had to keep his sexuality hidden. A very poignant video montage in the Anthology DVD is used with this track. Sod off with ‘Glad to be Gay’ or any disco because this is the real gay anthem of the 20th century.

Let It Be (Naked) – I can’t recommend anything off the Spector version of the Let It Be album because it didn’t represent the vision of the artists. Get the recently released ‘Naked’ album which is closer to the bootlegs. If you get your hands on any of the original versions of the ‘Get Back’ album they will show you what the band was really trying to do.
‘The Long And Winding Road’ is a killer track without all those fucking strings and choirs. Also check out Harrisons ‘I Me Mine’

‘Magical Mystery Tour’ – although technically not a Beatles album (it was a double EP set that was released on 12″ vinyl because the American pressing plants couldn’t package and distribute a double EP set). Check out the obvious stuff like ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ but also take a listen to the brilliant ‘Fool On The Hill’ and ‘Baby You’re A Rich Man’ which is a good laugh.

Past Masters 1 & 2 – these were compilations of non-album tracks b-sides, EP tracks and obscure releases. You’ll find some of the rock & roll that influenced them (Kansas City, Matchbox) along with Lennon’s attempt at Ska ‘I Call Your Name’) on volume 1. On volume 2 check out ‘Rain’ ‘The Inner Light’ and the original recording of ‘Across The Universe’ which p*sses all over the version hacked together by Spector for Let It Be. ‘You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)’ pure madness featuring Brian Jones on sax. Recorded over 3 years. (Original version is on the Anthology series).

Please Please Me – sit down and listen to this in one sitting. They recorded this in a SINGLE DAY. You hear that ? That’s a proper band. X Factor please note. Mad

‘Revolver’ – released the day after I was born. Where the f**k do I start with this album? It’s just amazing from start to finish. Every time I listen to this album something new jumps out at me. Every f**king time. You listening Noel Gallagher ? This is how to write an ALBUM pal.

‘Rubber Soul’ was released about 6 months before Revolver. How fast were these boys writing and learning ? ‘Norwegian Wood’ is Lennon writing a letter “dear Cynthia I’m having another affair with a well known journalist” and listen to the jangly guitars on “If I Needed Someone”

Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band what hasn’t been said about this album ? Every home should have a copy. If you’re looking for bootleg outtakes there’s not much there but recently some remixes surfaced from what appears to be recent sessions to create a 5.1 version of the album. The track ‘She’s Leaving Home’ has a few edits in it that I hadn’t heard until recently.

With The Beatles – they were still learning their craft with this album but check out ‘All I’ve Got To Do’. They introduced me to the sublime Smokey Robinson with their version of ‘You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me’ and for that I’ll always be grateful.

Yellow Submarine (Songtrack) When the movie was reissued a couple of years ago they remastered and resequenced the album – dumping all the George Martin orchestra pieces. ‘Hey Bulldog’ is brilliant and if you ever see the video for it (it’s on YouTube) they’re having a right laugh.

I first started listening to and collecting their recordings about 35 years ago. I’m still amazed at what they do.

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