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The Beatles - Please Please Me CD (album) cover

PLEASE PLEASE ME

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

3.01 | 287 ratings

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3 stars 1962.

A Liverpudlian act that had been putting in some seriously hard graft on the live circuits for nearly 3 years was given a collective polish by their manager - who some sources say was infatuated by John Lennon. With the now famous haircuts and a nice suit apiece, the band was introduced to the highly talented producer George Martin, after a number of record companies turned them down.

Martin was dubious - the guys were OK, but he couldn't really take the music seriously. But they did write their own songs - which was a bit unusual at the time - one might say progressive, in fact: Most bands played the live clubs, secured a reasonable fan base, then tried to have a hit by recording an established song by a big name act. Once they'd had a hit, the record company would condescend to allow them to record an album.

The Beatles changed all of this - "Love Me Do" was not a top 10 hit, but Martin insisted they record the album anyway - which they did, in a single day.

Their second single though, the title track of this album, went straight to number one, and the record company couldn't get the album out of the door fast enough. It stayed at the top of the charts for an incredible 30 weeks.

More than 50% of the album was original material by the McCartney/Lennon songwriting powerhouse (that's how it was originally credited). And those tracks, on the whole, stand out several miles from the cover material also included on the album - although the Beatles had their own unique way of interpreting the classics, notably their version of "Twist and Shout", the material generally pales beside the originals.

Although this album is in no way Progressive Rock, there is much that was progressive about it at the time - and there are lots of interesting details in the instrumentation and the interpretation of the styles being played in 1962; Mainly entrenched in the multi-part harmony rock and roll of Buddy Holly combined with the rhythmic exuberance of Lonnie Donegan to create that easily identifable "Merseybeat" sound.

It's a hugely enjoyable album and well worth owning no matter what your other tastes in music - and it's historical importance to rock music generally is undeniable.

Sadly, the very most I can realistically award it on this site is 3 stars - but it earns every single one!

Certif1ed | 3/5 |

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