Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

THE BEATLES

Proto-Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Beatles picture
The Beatles biography
Founded in Liverpool, UK in 1958 (initially as a trio) - Starr joined in 1962 - Disbanded in 1970

It goes without saying that the Beatles were one of the most important, influential and progressive bands in the history of rock and pop music. There are many places on the Internet where a full biography may be found, and their history has been covered so many times that here we consider only their place as a progressive band.

The music of the Beatles was notable mainly for the songwriting partnership of Lennon/McCartney, which bucked the trend of bands going to songwriting houses for their material and helped to convince other bands to write their own songs. On their earliest albums, it was the quality of the Lennon/McCartney songs that stands out from the covers that were also included.

The other aspect of the Beatles music that remained a constant throughout their carreer as a band is the wide range of influences and styles that they assimilated into their own. Their hunger for experimentation in style and sound was to last and expand right up to their swansong album, "Abbey Road".

A frequent speculation is that it was the Beatles who finally swayed Bob Dylan in 1964/5 to use electric instruments, and in so doing brought about the fusion of folk and rock that would lead to the development of psychedelia, via the Byrd's "Eight Miles High" and the San Francisco music scene, "Swinging London" and other movements. In fact, many other factors led to the rise of those cultures, but the importance of the Beatles' music should not be overlooked.

The influences were mutual; The Beatles and the Byrds particularly not only exchanged a number of ideas, but also met several times - including one notable occasion which included Bob Dylan and Peter Fonda that resulted in the song "She said, she said" ("Revolver"). It was Roger McGuinn of the Byrds who turned George Harrison onto the sound of the sitar and led George to have lessons from Ravi Shankar.

Harrison also adapted the riff from The Byrds' "Bells of Rhymney" to write the song "If I Needed Someone", dedicating the song to Roger McGuinn who wrote it, and used the sitar in "Norwegian Wood", both songs appearing on the "Rubber Soul" album, an album that contains so many song writing styles that it can be difficult to believe that it's all the same band. "The Word" particularly seems to herald the off-beat musical and rhythmic style that would be prevalent in psychedelia, and...
read more

THE BEATLES forum topics / tours, shows & news


THE BEATLES forum topics Create a topic now
THE BEATLES tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "the beatles"
Post an entries now

THE BEATLES Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to THE BEATLES

Buy THE BEATLES Music



More places to buy THE BEATLES music online

THE BEATLES discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE BEATLES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 507 ratings
Please Please Me
1963
2.89 | 475 ratings
With the Beatles
1963
3.51 | 558 ratings
A Hard Day's Night
1964
2.80 | 481 ratings
Beatles for Sale
1964
3.45 | 569 ratings
Help!
1965
3.96 | 828 ratings
Rubber Soul
1965
4.38 | 1050 ratings
Revolver
1966
4.35 | 1170 ratings
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
1967
4.18 | 842 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour
1967
4.16 | 927 ratings
The Beatles [Aka: The White Album]
1968
2.54 | 453 ratings
Yellow Submarine
1969
4.49 | 1130 ratings
Abbey Road
1969
3.33 | 657 ratings
Let It Be
1970
3.47 | 238 ratings
Let It Be - Naked
2003

THE BEATLES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.85 | 46 ratings
The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl
1977
1.82 | 26 ratings
The Beatles Live! at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962
1977
3.24 | 71 ratings
Live at the BBC
1994
2.08 | 11 ratings
Last Night In Hamburg
1999
3.66 | 19 ratings
On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2
2013
3.88 | 5 ratings
Get Back: The Rooftop Performance
2022

THE BEATLES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.88 | 63 ratings
A Hard Day's Night
1964
3.53 | 54 ratings
Help!
1965
3.14 | 9 ratings
The Beatles At The Shea Stadium
1966
3.86 | 82 ratings
Yellow Submarine
1968
3.97 | 43 ratings
Let It Be
1970
3.35 | 44 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour
1978
5.00 | 3 ratings
Ready Steady Go! The Beatles Live
1985
4.42 | 12 ratings
The First U.S Visit
1991
5.00 | 4 ratings
Video Collection
2003
4.08 | 5 ratings
A Long And Winding Road
2003
4.67 | 3 ratings
In Washington D.C, Feb. 11th, 1964
2003
4.67 | 3 ratings
The Beatles With Tony Sheridan - The Beginnings In Hamburg
2004
5.00 | 2 ratings
Destination Hamburg
2007
5.00 | 3 ratings
Turn Left At Greenland
2008
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Tomorrow Show With Tom Snyder
2008
5.00 | 2 ratings
In Performance
2008
5.00 | 2 ratings
Yesterday
2008
2.00 | 8 ratings
The Beatles At The Budokan
2008

THE BEATLES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.79 | 14 ratings
Introducing The Beatles
1963
2.37 | 32 ratings
Meet the Beatles
1964
2.29 | 21 ratings
Something New
1964
1.54 | 16 ratings
The Beatles' Story
1964
3.86 | 22 ratings
Beatles '65
1964
2.79 | 26 ratings
The Beatles' Second Album
1964
2.38 | 43 ratings
A Hard Day's Night (US version)
1964
2.14 | 9 ratings
The Beatles' First
1964
2.85 | 42 ratings
Rubber Soul (US)
1965
2.46 | 40 ratings
Help (US version)
1965
3.12 | 14 ratings
The Early Beatles
1965
3.80 | 20 ratings
Beatles VI
1965
3.41 | 33 ratings
Yesterday and Today
1966
2.40 | 13 ratings
A Collection of Beatles Oldies (But Goldies!)
1966
3.51 | 33 ratings
Revolver (US)
1966
3.66 | 57 ratings
Hey Jude
1970
3.37 | 113 ratings
1962-1966
1973
3.85 | 126 ratings
1967-1970
1973
3.25 | 22 ratings
Rock 'n' Roll Music
1976
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Beatles Tapes (From The David Wigg Interviews)
1976
3.97 | 24 ratings
Love Songs
1977
4.14 | 14 ratings
Rarities
1978
4.90 | 10 ratings
The Beatles Album Collections
1978
3.16 | 6 ratings
The Beatles Ballads
1980
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Box
1980
2.48 | 8 ratings
Rarities (US version)
1980
5.00 | 7 ratings
E.P. Collections
1981
5.00 | 3 ratings
Hear The Beatles Tell All
1981
5.00 | 4 ratings
The Beatles Talk Downunder (1964)
1982
5.00 | 7 ratings
The Beatles Singles Collections
1982
2.13 | 5 ratings
The Complete Silver Beatles
1982
5.00 | 2 ratings
First Movement
1982
3.20 | 5 ratings
Reel Music
1982
2.69 | 10 ratings
20 Greatest Hits
1982
5.00 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Mono Collection
1982
5.00 | 7 ratings
The Collection
1982
5.00 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Original Mono-Record Box
1986
4.25 | 4 ratings
The Beatles On Compact Disc - Help / Rubber Soul / Revolver
1987
2.12 | 11 ratings
The Early Tapes of The Beatles
1987
3.49 | 89 ratings
Past Masters Volume 1
1988
4.04 | 92 ratings
Past Masters Volume 2
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Conversation Disc Series
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Talk Downunder Vol. II
1990
3.25 | 4 ratings
The Silver Beatles - Original Decca Tapes and Cavern Club Rehearsals 1962
1991
2.92 | 79 ratings
Anthology 1
1995
3.89 | 86 ratings
Anthology 2
1996
3.68 | 83 ratings
Anthology 3
1996
5.00 | 2 ratings
Words Of Love
1998
3.22 | 49 ratings
Yellow Submarine Songtrack
1999
5.00 | 2 ratings
Magical And Mystical Words
1999
5.00 | 2 ratings
Things We Said Today
2000
3.98 | 109 ratings
The Beatles '1'
2000
5.00 | 2 ratings
Big Beat Box
2001
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Beatles With Tony Sheridan - Beatles Bop: Hamburg Days
2001
4.33 | 12 ratings
Capitol Albums Vol 1
2004
4.42 | 12 ratings
Capitol Albums Vol 2
2006
3.00 | 93 ratings
Love
2006
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Beatles - 1967-69 - Acoustic Submarine
2006
4.88 | 43 ratings
The Beatles In Mono Box Set
2009
4.66 | 72 ratings
The Beatles Stereo Box Set
2009
4.65 | 56 ratings
Past Masters (Remastered)
2009
4.44 | 39 ratings
The Beatles 1962-1970
2010
3.83 | 6 ratings
Anthology Highlights
2011
2.56 | 7 ratings
Tomorrow Never Knows
2012
5.00 | 2 ratings
Bootleg Recordings 1963
2013
4.50 | 6 ratings
The U.S. Albums
2014
5.00 | 2 ratings
Meet the Beatles! [also known as: The Japan Box]
2014
4.73 | 11 ratings
1+
2015

THE BEATLES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

1.63 | 12 ratings
My Bonnie
1961
3.07 | 22 ratings
Love Me Do
1962
2.85 | 17 ratings
Please Please Me
1963
2.77 | 17 ratings
From Me To You
1963
3.45 | 23 ratings
She Loves You
1963
3.19 | 18 ratings
I Want To Hold Your Hand
1963
2.83 | 6 ratings
The Beatles Christmas Record
1963
3.81 | 16 ratings
Twist And Shout
1963
3.29 | 7 ratings
The Beatles Hits
1963
3.17 | 6 ratings
The Beatles No. 1
1963
3.05 | 13 ratings
All My Loving
1964
3.23 | 12 ratings
Long Tall Sally
1964
4.04 | 9 ratings
Extracts From The Film A Hard Day's Night
1964
4.00 | 5 ratings
Extracts From The Album A Hard Day's Night
1964
2.81 | 12 ratings
Beatles for Sale
1964
3.75 | 4 ratings
Souvenir of Their Visit to America
1964
3.75 | 4 ratings
Four By The Beatles
1964
4.00 | 2 ratings
Beatles for Sale No. 2
1964
3.82 | 17 ratings
Can't Buy Me Love
1964
3.92 | 19 ratings
A Hard Days Night
1964
3.82 | 17 ratings
I Feel Fine
1964
3.16 | 13 ratings
If I Fell
1964
2.75 | 4 ratings
Another Beatles Christmas Record
1964
4.17 | 18 ratings
Ticket To Ride
1965
4.11 | 19 ratings
Help !
1965
4.17 | 18 ratings
Day Tripper
1965
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Third Christmas Record
1965
3.25 | 4 ratings
4 By The Beatles
1965
3.80 | 5 ratings
Beatles For Sale No. 2
1965
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Beatles Million Sellers
1965
3.57 | 16 ratings
Yesterday
1966
4.28 | 18 ratings
Nowhere Man
1966
3.63 | 21 ratings
Paperback Writer
1966
3.87 | 30 ratings
Eleanor Rigby
1966
2.13 | 5 ratings
Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas
1966
4.79 | 46 ratings
Strawberry Fields Forever
1967
3.72 | 26 ratings
All You Need Is Love
1967
3.83 | 25 ratings
Hello Goodbye
1967
2.38 | 7 ratings
Christmas Time (Is Here Again)
1967
4.08 | 33 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour (UK Version)
1967
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
1968
3.43 | 23 ratings
Lady Madonna
1968
4.27 | 38 ratings
Hey Jude
1968
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Sixth Christmas Record
1968
4.13 | 29 ratings
Get Back
1969
3.24 | 22 ratings
Ballad Of John And Yoko
1969
3.42 | 27 ratings
Something
1969
2.50 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Seventh Christmas Record
1969
3.36 | 20 ratings
Let It Be
1970
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Beatles Christmas Album
1970
3.67 | 3 ratings
From Then To You
1970
3.83 | 14 ratings
Yesterday
1976
4.00 | 15 ratings
Back In The U.S.S.R.
1976
3.78 | 9 ratings
Twist And Shout
1977
4.02 | 24 ratings
Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help From My Friends
1978
4.00 | 6 ratings
Movie Medley
1982
3.11 | 9 ratings
Love Me Do
1982
3.86 | 7 ratings
Baby It's You
1995
4.05 | 20 ratings
Free as a Bird
1995
4.03 | 15 ratings
Real Love
1996
4.11 | 9 ratings
Yellow Submarine Songtrack Sampler
1999
4.67 | 9 ratings
Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows (promo)
2006
2.83 | 6 ratings
Love (promo)
2006
3.80 | 5 ratings
Help! (7 Song Radio Sampler)
2007
1.00 | 3 ratings
Spooky Songs
2020

THE BEATLES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Beatles for Sale by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1964
2.80 | 481 ratings

BUY
Beatles for Sale
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by sgtpepper

2 stars This is the weakest Beatles album after Yellow Submarine. Don't get me wrong, it's still better than many other 60's bands best album. The execution is solid, in particular vocals. Musically, songwriting is not at the usual top level and there isn't any progress comparing to the previous album. We actually have to wait till the second half of the album to hear an outstanding song, if we ignore the great melody of the simple "I'll follow the sun". The covers are well executed but songs are inferior to the original material. "Kansas city" is a particularly weak song but balanced by great powerful McCartney vocal. Better time are started with the classic "Eight days a week" followed later by the strong triumvirat of "Every little thing", "I don't want to spoil the party" and "What you're doing" that stand on its own. Harrison contributes with a monotone cover of "Everybody's trying to be my baby" and Starr does not anything new to the already good "Honey don't".

"Beatles for sale" feels a bit like a wasted opportunity but the next album would raise the bar again.

 Help! by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1965
3.45 | 569 ratings

BUY
Help!
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars After making a step step with "Beatles for Sale", the band stepped 2 steps forward on "Help!". The last traditional early Beatles album and the last one without drugs/alcohol I suppose. The band is not willing to rest on their laurels and open themselves up to folk/country. There's actually only one rock'n'roll number (well played and sung) for which you have to wait till the end. McCartney, Harrison and Starkey make a leap forward with their contribution to the album. McCartney offers fantastic vocals on "The night before" and writes an unforgettable revolutionary "Yesterday" + provides great harmonies to Lennon's vocals. Harrison finally writes his first outstanding compositions "I need you". He contributes with diverse guitar playing (country, folk). Starr will be mainly remembered for his "Ticket to ride" beat. Lennon is traditionally strong on vocals and delivers several strong compositions. The weakest songs here are the two covers but the band did a good job on executing them, though.
 A Hard Day's Night by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1964
3.51 | 558 ratings

BUY
A Hard Day's Night
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars On their third album, Beatles shifted a bit away from their raw rock'n'roll & mersey-beat style to put excellent pop songwriting into focus. This album features the best melodies and vocal harmonies so far. All songs are affectionate, well performed. Harrison remains more in the background than before as he only sings solo vocals on one song and his guitar playing is more restrained, however he shows tasty jazzy guitar licks on "I'm happy just to dance with you". Lennon and McCartney are in the top shape, McCartney delivered unforgettable and one of the most frequently covered Beatles song - "And I love her" plus the swinging "Can't buy me love". Lennon starts showing more depressive side of mood with a handful of heartbroken songs. While Beatles become more diversified to show multiple styles on their albums, it won't be until 1965 when they venture into studio experimentation and join the proto-prog league. This is a sweet romantic and infectious pop album.
 With the Beatles by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1963
2.89 | 475 ratings

BUY
With the Beatles
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by sgtpepper

2 stars What have Beatles improved in comparison with their first album? 1. Lennon's voice has grown in power and energy. He sweeps other vocals away with his high-octane delivery. 2. Harrison improved his guitar playing and compositional skills. "Don't bother me" is his first decent song. 3. Overall instrumental playing improved.

Has overall songwriting improved? Arguably not as the songs are somewhat less catchy, in fact, only "All my loving" was a hit of the first "calibre". After repeated listening, you'll find another beauty in other original songs such as "It won't be long" or "Little child". Starr sung "I wanna be your man" is so infectious thanks to the joined vocals, it's easy to imagine all four fabs being at stage. Covers are hits and misses and their strongest common denominator is fantastic Lennon's voice. "Please Mr. postman" is a bit static (already by its nature) and "Roll over Beethoven" doesn't stand out among dozens of other covers of this song. Beatles here were still miles away from lasting a long-standing impact albeit they executed their job nicely.

 Please Please Me by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1963
3.05 | 507 ratings

BUY
Please Please Me
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by sgtpepper

2 stars The first Beatles album surprises by the maturity of the band despite using a lot of covers. Their own material is often equal if not better than the covers with the exception of "Twist and shout". Playing is OK if not distinguishable from other bands at the time and the biggest magnet are their vocals and harmonies. Let's forget the sheer joy that is typical for their first 4 albums. McCartney has a great range and passion while Lennon shows dexterity on songs like "Twist and shout". The three classics are "I saw her standing there", "Love me do" and "Please please me". Harrison does a decent job on the guitar; his vocals are pretty restrained but have interesting colour as heard on "Do you want to know a secret". "Boys" is a perfect song for matching Ringo's weak vocal especially in the beginning of the verse with a very simple melody. There's nothing particular for a progger to enjoy, so two stars, although it's a four-star pop/rock album.
 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.35 | 1170 ratings

BUY
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars This is another fine album by the Beatles, filled with non-conventional pop experiments (progressive for 1967).

Lennon delivers strong vocals, semi-progressive attempts and one filler song ("Good morning good morning"). McCartney balances between safe pop ("When I'm 64"), experimental pop ("Lovely Rita", "Fixing a hole"), his bass is quite audible and adds to the good feeling. His voice and overall contribution to the album are overwhelming. Harrison feels most distant than on any other Beatles album - only one contribution that seems to be out of place albeit good in its own merits; guitar playing is more in the background in favour of studio experimenting and other instruments such as organs or brass instruments. Starr, who delivered very decent drumming on Revolver, seems to be going through the motions here; obsolete drumming with little creativity; yet there is the "Day in the life" standout and his drive makes the reprise of the title track more bearable.

Let's review each song now. The first, title song, is a great melody and proto-hard-rock number with distinct McCartney voice. "With a little help from my friends" suits Starr's voice, bass playing is another highlight here as are vocal harmonies. The baroque and psychedelic pop is launched by "Lucy in the sky with diamonds". The 3/4 rhythm during the verse is seductive, otherwise there aren't that many more musical selling points. McCartney's mini-suite of 3 distinct songs starts with the optimistic "Getting better", organ-supported "Fixing a hole" with heart-felt singing and the best and only ballad on the album "She's leaving home" featuring a mini orchestra of violins and cellos. "Being for the benefit of Mr.Kite" is certainly less accessible than a usual Beatles song but contains excellent rhythm changes and psychedelic experimentation. Several keyboard instruments like Hammond, piano, Wurlitzer organ are featured to a great effect. "Within you without you" is the only Harrison's contribution and feels like out of a different unrelated world. Also, no other band members participated on its recording. Indian music was quite in a conflict with the psychedelic experimentation of the Sgtpepper however it can stand on its own. "Lovely Rita" feels first like a throwaway track until you hear McCartney bass during the chorus, the splendid piano solo and progressive instrumental outro. Sadly the good impression is ruined by the two next tracks of little ambition - the lightweight "Good morning good morning" and a short less formal version of the title track. The last track is probably the best one - the highly admired "A day in the life". The track consists of 3 parts in my opinion - sung by Lennon (main verse), then the typical melodic and charming McCartney's to be followed by the symphonic part with crescendo that sounded so avantgarde at that time. In the end, we hear the famous 40-second chord on three pianos which sound as majestic as some of the prog-rock outros a few year later. A major music achievement in 1967 and a solid/memorable album in the 21st century.

 The Beatles [Aka: The White Album] by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.16 | 927 ratings

BUY
The Beatles [Aka: The White Album]
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars For those familiar with the previous Beatles output, White Album may come as a negative surprise. The typical psychedelia/Merseybeat elements and studio experiments are gone to go down to Earth. Also, we have a collection of four individuals rather than a band which displays ambitions of the four members. At this point, McCartney was the only one with clearly commercial output like "Ob-la-di". He still has the strong sense of melody, grants acoustic guitar more prominence (I will, Blackbird) and explodes with "Helter Skelter/Birthday/Why don't we do it in the road" showcasing his great raw vocal skills. Not willing to rest on laurels, he also dabbles in country ("Rocky Raccoon"), Beach Boys territory ("Back in the USSR").

Lennon goes more alternative, feeling have a complete freedom over his songs without band's initial involvement. There are crown jewels like the complicated "Happiness is a warm gun", great blues number (for Beatles skills) "Yer blues", experimental "Glass onion", melancholic too short "Sexy Sadie" and the hard-rocking "Everybody's got..". "Cry baby cry" has the most typical Beatles chords sequence on the album. Even though not all his number are strong, strong melody and charm saves them ("The continuing story...")

Harrison steps out to be a force on his own with the legendary "While my guitar gently weeps" and pedestrian "Piggies" which has a use of harpsichord. "Savoy truffle" features interesting chord progression and reveals some of Harrison arrangement preference in the future career while "Long, long, long" is a competent sublime ballad.

Starr finally manages writing a solo song "Don't pass me by" which is decent but sub-par for the Beatles standards.

The strength of this Beatles album lies in its diversity, amount of talent that the three composing members put together. No other group could possibly try so many directions in 1968 with such good results. The only throwaway tracks are the two last "Good Night" and the annoying "Revolution 9". Also, it is questionable how much added value brings the bluesed "Revolution 1" comparing to the single.

 Let It Be by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.33 | 657 ratings

BUY
Let It Be
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by OctopusFive

4 stars Here we address the question of whether The Beatles were a prog or proto-prog band in their latest albums. The first time I listened to Let it be may date back to the 2000s, 'long time ago for me. I was always captivated by the melodious rock tunes the band lined up on this ill-fated album, with a sort of mourning crape that was highly premonitory.

Most of my memories of this opus were dark, lacrimal, or grim. It's true to remember that a few songs, and not the least significant, are a truly sore to the heart, a pure beauty musically tho I mean Across the universe, I me mine and Let it be. Those 3 songs make this record quite dismal.

But it is no way to forget some vivid tracks that are actually the ultimate heights of the Fab Four. I think of Dig a Pony, I've got a feeling, One after 909 and of course Get Back!

It is often said, and I was sharing the popular belief, that Let it be sessions were a tough moment for the band, only that. But it can't be that true, at least we tended to give too many credits to this version of the history (most probably because of the documentary film of Michael Lindsay logan), the sessions (named the GET BACK SESSIONS) were aside from these real moments of pain a period of great emulation for the band also, with sometimes moments of togetherness.

We also forget that 12 songs got out from these sessions whilst The Beatles rehearsed and played HUNDREDS! Some covers, some outtakes of previous Beatles songs, some originals. And I think that in this vast set of records (probably more than a hundred hours of records in January and February 1969), there were some jam sessions, improvisations, or demos that took after a progressive structure or jazzy records, to some extent.

Hence, Let it be is not the best extract of the full catalog of songs recorded by The Beatles at that time according to rock prog standards, many of them are pure rock and roll songs, but if you take a look at the list of songs played during those sessions and look them up on Youtube, I'm sure you can kinda compose your own Let It Be that will sound a bit more progressive. (i think of The Castle of the king of birds in particular).

LET IT BE cannot be considered as a prog album per se, I rate it "only" 4 stars for that purpose, it's a magnificent swan song, an unfairly underrated album of The Beatles, a classic of the '70s (released in May 1970), an energic and final back to the root's rock, but not a prog album or proto-prog album in the way I define it. To rate it clearly as a proto-prog album, one would need to pick some of the improvisations and numerous outtakes rehearsed during the productive GET BACK SESSIONS, the original release ain't representative of a "prog mood".

I can get the idea it is on this forum because somewhat, a band of such a magnitude, who contributed so much to the History of Music throughout all its albums, brought rock and pop (and prog as well) to a new stage of modernity. Only for that reason, I accept Let it be as a prog-related album.

 Revolver by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1966
4.38 | 1050 ratings

BUY
Revolver
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by sgtpepper

5 stars This is my most favourite Beatles album even though Rubber Soul and Abbey Road influenced my music direction more. The Beatles were evolving rapidly since embarking on their drug use journey starting with Rubber Soul. What we hear is the last really rocking album until "White Album" where substance is still created by lively instrument without overwhelming studio experimentation. McCartney leads with great melodies and accessible numbers although I would wish for more experimentation rather than diversity. Lennon excels in all directions such as compositions, surreal moods and vocal execution. Starr adds impressive drumming and Harrison has the best songwriting credits up to this point with 3 appearances.

The album starts relentlessly by "Taxman" and features aggressive psychedelic guitar solo and great lyrics. Starr provides good drums. "Eleanor Rigby" is one of the most often covered Beatles songs especially in jazz and soul. The unusual great melody and arrangements were very influential to baroque and psychedelic pop. You don't need rock guitar and drums to make an impressive pop track. "I'm only sleeping" is more about loose psychedelia feeling and lyrics than a strong melody but has traditionally strong harmonies. "Love you to" adds another dimension with its Indian elements and Harrison suiting vocal. "Here, there and everywhere" is one of the most beloved harmony vocals song but I find it overrated in general. Now we're finally coming to strong Lennon's experimental numbers - "She said she said" is one of the most progressive pieces thanks to rhythmical shifts and Starr drumming - this is Lennon at his best, flying in the clouds and kicking away all barriers "Good day sunshine" is another baroque pop track by McCartney with dominating piano and typical McCartney sense of melody. "And your bird can sing" is again on another side of things with extremely strong triple harmonies a la Byrds and inventive Harrison solo. Lennon vocal is so strong here. McCartney is no worse with muscular bass playing. "For no one" shows McCartney's flair for brass instruments with a great trumpet solo. "Doctor Robert" sounds more like it could stem from previous albums due to its old fashioned rhythm side but vocal harmonies save it. "I want to tell you" is another great Harrison's heart-broken bitter song and also employs piano. "Got to get you into my life" showcases high vocal range and soul inspiration. McCartney's vocal at its best. "Tomorrow never knows" has a fascinating beat, a simple melody and tons of psychedelia with its atmosphere. It has been covered by countless styles ranging from progressive rock to jazz.

 Get Back: The Rooftop Performance by BEATLES, THE album cover Live, 2022
3.88 | 5 ratings

BUY
Get Back: The Rooftop Performance
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars After years of releasing ridiculously contrived compilations of music that every BEATLES fan already owns in abundance, finally in 2022 fans are getting something that is actually worth shelling out some hard earned hyper-inflated currency to obtain and that would be the official audio release of THE BEATLES symbolic farewell tour that ended on 30 January 1969 on the rooftop of their Apple Corps headquarters at 3 Savile Row in London. While this particular moment is legendary as the unofficial disbanding of one of pop music's greatest acts, this particular event has never seen an official release. Until now! It is head scratching as to why the record execs didn't take advantage of this live show's 50th anniversary in 2019 but who knows and who cares. Here it is at last.

True that many have heard most of the material here and seen the videos but there is something satisfying about having all the material presented on a single official release that can sit proudly in the company of official studio albums and other BEATLES releases. While hardly a world tour, this spontaneous sounding jam session features the great John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr playing their first public performance in several years. Joining in as keyboardist was Billy Preston who luckily joined the Fab Four at this magic moment that everyone alive surely remembers and for those who weren't exists as one of those mythical turning points in 60s pop culture as the 1970s were lurking around the corner.

While intended to be a box set, the record company wisely decided to keep things simple and release this concert of nearly 40 minutes as a stand alone however the ten tracks have all been lovingly remastered and spruced up to sit comfortably in our technologically advanced modern era. The results are quite satisfying as not only are we reminded exactly why THE BEATLES were so magical and had a charisma unlike any other artist in all of history but the sound quality from engineer Alan Parsons and producer Glyn Johns sparkles like a precious gemstone displayed in full sunlight. For those not familiar with THE BEATLES at a deeper level, these tracks had never been played live due to the fact THE BEATLES stopped touring and playing live gigs as far back as 29 August 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco meaning any of the albums of the more production years of THE BEATLES were studio gems only.

Officially titled GET BACK: THE ROOFTOP PERFORMANCE, this live archival release is a nice surprise in the crowded musical world of 2022 when micro-niches have usurped any industry standard and the world is radically different than in 1969 when this performance took place. Given that there are three takes of "Get Back" and two of "Don't Let Me Down" and "I've Got A Feeling," it does feel like one of those forced compilations that under normal circumstances wouldn't warrant all the attention it has received however this is THE BEATLES and any lost artifacts of previously unreleased material is well worthy of the hype surrounding it. The tracks presented here may not be substantially different than the studio versions on their respective albums of origin however this album perfectly evokes the zeitgeist of the era and for that reason alone this album's worth of rooftop performances is well worth the tracking down simply to revive those long lost sounds of half a century ago.

Thanks to Certif1ed for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.