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The Beatles - Please Please Me CD (album) cover


The Beatles



3.05 | 466 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars She was just seventeen, you know what I mean? ;)

This explosive debut was recorded and mixed in less than 24 hours, that's the time it takes Yes to record a single note (only to discard it again a week later, probably). Well, the quality is still there. This is basically a live show done in a studio, what we would call a "session" nowadays. Of the fourteen songs, only a few do not sound dated in 2011; it's not an issue with the sound quality (which is surprisingly good on the stereo remasters) but just the cliché compositional style that adorned most early sixties pop records. Despite the predictable nature of these tracks however, several of them are very good tunes, such as the two singles 'Love Me Do' and 'Please Please Me', as well as 'Boys', 'Twist and Shout', and my personal favourite 'I Saw Her Standing There', which opens the album with a bang.

Please Please Me blends blues numbers with mini-ballads, and some early 'surf rock' standards, all characterised with that sixties twang on George's guitar. The vocal harmonies are perhaps the most impressive element though. They aren't complicated, but just the fact that four barely-twenty Liverpudlian boys could sing in harmony is a feat in itself. They all sing lead on this album as well, although Lennon takes the lion's share. My main complaint is that every song falls short of three minutes. This is fine in most cases, but there are a few tracks that feel under-developed, just because someone had to touch that fader at 2 minutes 50 seconds, probably because of the rule at the time that all LPs had to contain fourteen songs.

This music isn't totally to my taste, but it is very charming, and I can't ignore how bold a move it was, and how innovative The Beatles were in the way they did things. The musical innovation would come later, but the fact that they were writing their own songs at all was innovative in 1963. Other people are rating this with regard to progressive rock, which wouldn't exist for another six years, so it's pointless to make comparisons. This is a three star album for me, on any website.

thehallway | 3/5 |


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