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The Beatles - With The Beatles CD (album) cover

WITH THE BEATLES

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

2.84 | 266 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

thehallway
Prog Reviewer
4 stars It is unfair that people are giving particularly low scores to the first four Beatles albums just because they aren't progressive; unfair because they are, in actual fact, very innovative, but also unfair because prog rock didn't exist in the early Sixties, so how can a band be criticised for not doing it? It's all to easy to say that With The Beatles isn't as good as Dark Side of the Moon, and therefore that it's a crappy album, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and I wonder: how boring and derivative would all of those Seventies albums be if this very band not taken those brave first few steps?

Rant over.

I like this album slightly more than The Beatles debut, Please Please Me. Even though there is one particular song on here that I hate more than any other Beatles tune (fucking "Please Mr Postman") the rest are really very good. 'It Won't Be Long' is almost a rock song, with some great chords and a shouty hook from Lennon. Then 'All I've Got To Do' takes things down a notch, but we get one of the best and most emotional melodies on the album, and Ringo creates a marvellous R&B beat here. A good start. On side one, I would also like to highlight the first song George Harrison ever wrote, 'Don't Bother Me', which is just as decent as the Lennon/McCartney compositions, and the beautiful 'Till There Was You', a Broadway song that features some of Paul's best ever singing and a great Spanish guitar solo.

The second side has less to offer but there are two excellent songs. Chuck Berry's famous 'Roll Over Beethoven' (and tell Tchaikovsky the news) is a great rock and roll cover, probably quite controversial among lovers of classical music. Also, the album's closer 'Money (That's what I want)' provides a memorable and bluesy ending to this underrated album. I still prefer The Flying Lizards version of that song, however!

With The Beatles is not an essential release from the band, but it is one of their better early records, better still if it had had the coinciding singles on it; 'She Loves You' and 'From Me to You'. The main thing is that there are far fewer 'throwaway' tracks than on Please Please Me and Hard Days Night.

thehallway | 4/5 |

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