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The Beatles - With The Beatles CD (album) cover

WITH THE BEATLES

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

2.84 | 267 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The Beatles second album, titled With the Beatles, was released shortly after the release of Please Please Me. This time they had a little success riding on their backs so they were able to do some more extravagent things for this record. Unfortunately, though, this record just doesn't really have that kick and that spark that the first album had. There are some very good pop tracks and some budding creativity to go along with it, but for the most part, this album isn't very memorable and it doesn't really hold up against their early albums like Help!, Please Please Me, and A Hard Day's Night. This album would also mark the album debut of George Harrison's first solo penned track in Don't Bother Me. Although the song itself isn't terribly great, it marks the beginning of a great songwriting career for Harrison. Once again like the first album, With the Beatles is about half and half with original compositions and covers.

Anyway, like I did with my review for Please Please Me, I'll review the tracks that really stand out from the bunch. All My Loving has some great chord work from Lennon and Harrison and some heartfelt vocals from McCartney during the chorus. Roll Over Beethoven is a rollicking cover of the Chuck Berry song of the same name, with some great riffing and leads from Harrison as well as a nice vocal performance from him. The Beatles always did good covers of Chuck Berry songs for some reason. Till There Was You is a soft spoken acoustic ballad with some majestic guitar work as well as a spectacular vocal performance from McCartney who really shines on this track brighter than any other on the album. I Wanna Be Your Man was originally a song Lennon and McCartney wrote for the Rolling Stones and Ringo gets a shot at it on this track with a nice vocal performance from him as well. Money ends the album with another top notch cover and some great vocals from Lennon (the same can be said about Please Mr. Postman).

Overall, With the Beatles would be the "sophomore slump" of the group. Although, like Please Please Me, this is in no way shape or form a progressive rock album, you can see the overall progression of the group, as well as the start of a great songwriting career in George Harrison (read the opening paragraph for more). The main problem I believe lies with this album is that it isn't very memorable and despite it being of such a short length (the early Beatles albums were reall really short) it is a bit boring. Fortunately, A Hard Day's Night would rectify the problems that this album was wrought with, and while that album isn't progressive either, it's another step towards what the Beatles would become. As for With the Beatles, fans of the Beatles probably own this, and unless you like non-progressive oldies, you probably won't need this. 2.5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 2/5 |

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