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The Beatles - The Beatles CD (album) cover

THE BEATLES

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

4.15 | 544 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

chopper
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Effectively 4 solo albums (ok, 3 solo albums and a solo single), this is the work of a disintegrating unit. Ringo actually left the group at one point during the making of this double album, leaving McCartney to play the drums on a number of tracks including Back In The USSR.

Having said that, it is one of their best works, also possibly the least known by the general public. The Fabs went back to basics here, starting with the minimalist cover, and this album features the rawest rock they ever recorded (Helter Skelter). There is a dazzling array of styles here - from rock'n'roll to country to jazz to avant garde to bedtime lullaby.A number of these songs were written in India during their time with the Maharishi.

McCartney contributes some solo work (Blackbird, Martha My Dear, I Will, Mother Nature's Son) which is amongst his finest and also some bizarre ones (Wild Honey Pie, Why Don't We and the uncredited Can You Take Me Back?).

Lennon's work includes the biting Sexy Sadie, aimed at the Marahishi who apparently had an eye for the ladies, the multi-section Happiness is A Warm Gun which features the most time signature changes in a Beatles song, a number of stark rock'n'rollers (I'm So Tired, Everybody's got something to hide, Yer Blues) and Goodbye, sung by Ringo but written by John for Julian. Glass Onion was deliberately written for those who like to find hidden meanings in Beatle songs ("The Walrus was Paul").

Harrison contributes the classic While My Guitar Gently Weeps, with Clapton on slide guitar, the underrated Long, Long, Long, the average Savoy Truffle and the not so good Piggies. Starr's contribution is his first solo credit on a Beatles record - the country-tinged Don't Pass Me By, which he had been writing for the previous 5 years.

On top of all this lot (and George Martin begged them to make it a single LP) we get two of the three versions of Revolution (the Lennon/Ono avant garde one which is probably best forgotten and the acoustic version), Lennon's funniest line ("I'll have another cigarette and curse Sir Walter Raleigh, he was such a stupid git") and a hit for Siouxise and the Banshees (Dear Prudence). The best Beatles album? Possibly.

chopper | 4/5 |

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