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THE BEATLES

Proto-Prog • United Kingdom


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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...
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THE BEATLES Videos (YouTube and more)


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Abbey RoadAbbey Road
Remastered
EMI 2012
$16.99
$14.00 (used)
Rubber SoulRubber Soul
Remastered
Capitol 2012
$19.73
$22.00 (used)
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The Beatles. With The Beatles. Compact Disc. 1963. Made In Australia. USD $12.40 Buy It Now
The Beatles. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Compact Disc. 1967. USD $12.40 Buy It Now
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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 | 425 ratings
Please Please Me
1963
2.89 | 401 ratings
With The Beatles
1963
3.53 | 465 ratings
A Hard Day's Night
1964
2.76 | 402 ratings
Beatles For Sale
1964
3.44 | 484 ratings
Help!
1965
3.92 | 703 ratings
Rubber Soul
1965
4.37 | 902 ratings
Revolver
1966
4.33 | 1021 ratings
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
1967
4.14 | 718 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour
1967
4.17 | 794 ratings
The Beatles [Aka: The White Album]
1968
2.56 | 386 ratings
Yellow Submarine
1969
4.47 | 982 ratings
Abbey Road
1969
3.29 | 556 ratings
Let It Be
1970
3.51 | 200 ratings
Let It Be - Naked
2003

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

2.86 | 39 ratings
The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl
1977
1.86 | 21 ratings
The Beatles Live! at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962
1977
3.29 | 58 ratings
Live at the BBC
1994
2.11 | 9 ratings
Last Night In Hamburg
1999
3.68 | 12 ratings
On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2
2013

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

3.74 | 53 ratings
A Hard Day's Night
1964
3.33 | 45 ratings
Help!
1965
3.15 | 8 ratings
The Beatles At The Shea Stadium
1966
3.82 | 74 ratings
Yellow Submarine
1968
3.93 | 35 ratings
Let It Be
1970
3.20 | 38 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour
1978
5.00 | 2 ratings
Ready Steady Go! The Beatles Live
1985
4.50 | 10 ratings
The First U.S Visit
1991
5.00 | 3 ratings
Video Collection
2003
4.09 | 4 ratings
A Long And Winding Road
2003
4.50 | 2 ratings
In Washington D.C, Feb. 11th, 1964
2003
4.50 | 2 ratings
The Beatles With Tony Sheridan - The Beginnings In Hamburg
2004
5.00 | 1 ratings
Destination Hamburg
2007
5.00 | 2 ratings
Turn Left At Greenland
2008
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Tomorrow Show With Tom Snyder
2008
5.00 | 1 ratings
In Performance
2008
5.00 | 1 ratings
Yesterday
2008
2.00 | 7 ratings
The Beatles At The Budokan
2008

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

3.73 | 11 ratings
Introducing The Beatles
1963
2.18 | 25 ratings
Meet the Beatles
1964
1.92 | 15 ratings
Something New
1964
1.55 | 14 ratings
The Beatles' Story
1964
3.83 | 18 ratings
Beatles '65
1964
2.79 | 23 ratings
The Beatles' Second Album
1964
2.38 | 40 ratings
A Hard Day's Night (US version)
1964
2.16 | 6 ratings
The Beatles' First
1964
2.83 | 38 ratings
Rubber Soul (US)
1965
2.41 | 35 ratings
Help (US version)
1965
3.36 | 11 ratings
The Early Beatles
1965
3.88 | 17 ratings
Beatles VI
1965
3.41 | 26 ratings
Yesterday and Today
1966
2.35 | 10 ratings
A Collection Of Beatles Oldies (But Goldies !)
1966
3.46 | 30 ratings
Revolver (US)
1966
3.71 | 43 ratings
Hey Jude
1970
3.31 | 101 ratings
1962-1966
1973
3.79 | 112 ratings
1967-1970
1973
3.21 | 19 ratings
Rock 'n' Roll Music
1976
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Tapes (From The David Wigg Interviews)
1976
4.00 | 19 ratings
Love Songs
1977
4.10 | 10 ratings
Rarities
1978
4.88 | 8 ratings
The Beatles Album Collections
1978
3.13 | 5 ratings
The Beatles Ballads
1980
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles Box
1980
2.40 | 6 ratings
Rarities (US version)
1980
5.00 | 5 ratings
E.P. Collections
1981
5.00 | 2 ratings
Hear The Beatles Tell All
1981
5.00 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Talk Downunder (1964)
1982
5.00 | 5 ratings
The Beatles Singles Collections
1982
2.13 | 4 ratings
The Complete Silver Beatles
1982
5.00 | 1 ratings
First Movement
1982
3.25 | 4 ratings
Reel Music
1982
2.86 | 9 ratings
20 Greatest Hits
1982
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Mono Collection
1982
5.00 | 6 ratings
The Collection
1982
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Original Mono-Record Box
1986
4.33 | 3 ratings
The Beatles On Compact Disc - Help / Rubber Soul / Revolver
1987
2.11 | 9 ratings
The Early Tapes of The Beatles
1987
3.46 | 73 ratings
Past Masters Volume 1
1988
4.04 | 76 ratings
Past Masters Volume 2
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Conversation Disc Series
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Talk Downunder Vol. II
1990
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Silver Beatles - Original Decca Tapes and Cavern Club Rehearsals 1962
1991
2.90 | 71 ratings
Anthology 1
1995
3.90 | 76 ratings
Anthology 2
1996
3.67 | 73 ratings
Anthology 3
1996
5.00 | 1 ratings
Words Of Love
1998
3.37 | 42 ratings
Yellow Submarine Songtrack
1999
5.00 | 1 ratings
Magical And Mystical Words
1999
5.00 | 1 ratings
Things We Said Today
2000
3.94 | 93 ratings
The Beatles '1'
2000
5.00 | 1 ratings
Big Beat Box
2001
4.36 | 11 ratings
Capitol Albums Vol 1
2004
4.40 | 10 ratings
Capitol Albums Vol 2
2006
3.00 | 83 ratings
Love
2006
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles - 1967-69 - Acoustic Submarine
2006
4.88 | 41 ratings
The Beatles In Mono Box Set
2009
4.64 | 64 ratings
The Beatles Stereo Box Set
2009
4.80 | 42 ratings
Past Masters (Remastered)
2009
4.34 | 34 ratings
The Beatles 1962-1970
2010
3.75 | 4 ratings
Anthology Highlights
2011
2.53 | 6 ratings
Tomorrow Never Knows
2012
5.00 | 1 ratings
Bootleg Recordings 1963
2013
4.50 | 4 ratings
The U.S. Albums
2014
5.00 | 1 ratings
Meet the Beatles! [also known as: The Japan Box]
2014
4.60 | 5 ratings
1+
2015

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

2.00 | 10 ratings
My Bonnie
1961
3.04 | 19 ratings
Love Me Do
1962
2.70 | 14 ratings
Please Please Me
1963
2.55 | 13 ratings
From Me To You
1963
3.68 | 16 ratings
She Loves You
1963
3.00 | 14 ratings
I Want To Hold Your Hand
1963
2.80 | 5 ratings
The Beatles Christmas Record
1963
3.62 | 13 ratings
Twist And Shout
1963
3.33 | 6 ratings
The Beatles Hits
1963
3.20 | 5 ratings
The Beatles No. 1
1963
2.84 | 10 ratings
All My Loving
1964
3.14 | 9 ratings
Long Tall Sally
1964
4.00 | 7 ratings
Extracts From The Film A Hard Day's Night
1964
3.67 | 3 ratings
Extracts From The Album A Hard Day's Night
1964
2.68 | 10 ratings
Beatles For Sale
1964
3.67 | 3 ratings
Souvenir of Their Visit to America
1964
3.67 | 3 ratings
Four By The Beatles
1964
3.64 | 14 ratings
Can't Buy Me Love
1964
3.71 | 14 ratings
A Hard Days Night
1964
3.64 | 14 ratings
I Feel Fine
1964
3.10 | 11 ratings
If I Fell
1964
2.67 | 3 ratings
Another Beatles Christmas Record
1964
4.00 | 14 ratings
Ticket To Ride
1965
3.93 | 15 ratings
Help !
1965
4.07 | 15 ratings
Day Tripper
1965
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Third Christmas Record
1965
3.33 | 3 ratings
4 By The Beatles
1965
3.33 | 3 ratings
Beatles For Sale No. 2
1965
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Million Sellers
1965
3.40 | 11 ratings
Yesterday
1966
4.15 | 13 ratings
Nowhere Man
1966
3.53 | 18 ratings
Paperback Writer
1966
3.83 | 24 ratings
Eleanor Rigby
1966
2.14 | 3 ratings
Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas
1966
4.91 | 32 ratings
Strawberry Fields Forever
1967
3.65 | 22 ratings
All You Need Is Love
1967
4.08 | 21 ratings
Hello Goodbye
1967
2.29 | 5 ratings
Christmas Time (Is Here Again)
1967
4.06 | 29 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour (UK Version)
1967
3.42 | 19 ratings
Lady Madonna
1968
4.34 | 31 ratings
Hey Jude
1968
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Sixth Christmas Record
1968
4.26 | 23 ratings
Get Back
1969
3.23 | 20 ratings
Ballad Of John And Yoko
1969
3.33 | 22 ratings
Something
1969
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles Seventh Christmas Record
1969
3.18 | 14 ratings
Let It Be
1970
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Christmas Album
1970
3.50 | 2 ratings
From Then To You
1970
3.68 | 10 ratings
Yesterday
1976
3.83 | 12 ratings
Back In The U.S.S.R.
1976
3.33 | 6 ratings
Twist And Shout
1977
4.00 | 21 ratings
Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help From My Friends
1978
3.75 | 4 ratings
Movie Medley
1982
2.86 | 7 ratings
Love Me Do
1982
3.50 | 4 ratings
Baby It's You
1995
3.97 | 15 ratings
Free As A Bird
1995
4.03 | 11 ratings
Real Love
1996
4.00 | 7 ratings
Yellow Submarine Songtrack Sampler
1999
4.63 | 8 ratings
Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows (promo)
2006
2.80 | 5 ratings
Love (promo)
2006
3.75 | 4 ratings
Help! (7 Song Radio Sampler)
2007

THE BEATLES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.33 | 1021 ratings

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

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars REVIEW n. 100! Background noises and rumors of a variety show, drums and rock guitar, McCartney's gritty voice and begins the intro, a kind of acronym for an entertainment program, of the most famous album in the History of rock. Never the sound of the Beatles had been so hard rock, with distorted guitars, high-amplification drums, vocals almost shouted. Yet the piece is not only a rock, there are the horns (French horns), the applause and laughter of the audience, the choirs of Lennon: It is a magnificent mix of rock, symphonic pop, vocal piece, small town band's track. The words of Macca, on behalf of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, close the song by introducing the singer of the next piece: Billy Shears (Rating 8).

And Ringo arrives, singing a track written specifically for him by Paul and John. A simple piece, marked by drums and bass, with repartee between the voice of Ringo, who sings very well, and the choirs, in which one hears above all the voice of John. It Is a pleasant song, whose melody follows the good feelings that evokes the text (Rating 7,5/8). Lucy ITSWD is a strange song in the production of the Beatles, with beautiful beginning with psychedelic piano, voice-treated, bass in evidence, background with Indian sounds, chorus made by the only words of the title, conceived by McCartney, who helped Lennon. The song is simple, but with great atmospheric effect and engaging chorus (Rating 8+).

Getting Better is another collaboration between Paul and John, sung in large part by both; It is a song exuberant from the rhythm of percussion, and a little repetitive in the chorus, which makes it pounding. The most beautiful and original pieces in the arrangements are those of the verses, highlighting a great work by Ringo and George to create an Indian atmosphere (Rating 7,5/8).

After a very percussive song comes the melodic Fixing a Hole: It is a beautiful ballad written by Paul, with Martin playing the harpsichord, voice in the foreground together with the electric guitar of George that finally performs the first solo of the album, in fact until now there was been no instrumental part. The song is perfect in its progression, the sound is clear, and continues the happy mood and smoothness that emanates from the songs and their sequence that so far is perfect.

But comes an interlocutory moment with She's Leaving Home, which sees Paul for the third time in a row at the main singing. It is a very refined song, symphonic, with harp and string quartet. The rhythm expands, the singing has long pauses on the high notes, creating an atmosphere of expectation where much weight has the text, written in collaboration with Lennon, a text of protest, of rebellion towards the family, but it has for sound context a music Neoclassical. The song can, depending on the mood of the listener, delight or appear a bit ' too sliced and long. Remains a symphonic break from the psychedelic pop listened until this moment (Rating 7,5).

The first side is closed by an absolute masterpiece of production by George Martin, which molds a phenomenal circus arrangement to a surreal text of Lennon, inserted in a pop rhythmic all fireworks. We are at the maximum height of originality (Rating 9). Thus closes a first side of 10/10 score, due not only to the quality of the songs but to their variety and smoothness, which together create a synerloptic effect.

The first song of the second side is one of the most ambitious of the Lp, wishing to join Indian music and Western classical music. They play two orchestras: an Indian orchestra and the London Philharmonica. Once again the contribution of George Martin is essential in the central instrumental piece where the sitar dialogue with the strings, of which he wrote the notes. The piece, 5 minutes, without a refrain, is challenging, it may soundsy at times heavy or monotonous because it requires a listen from classical music but has delicious sound peaks both in the singing and, above all, in the instrumental part (Rating 8+). His tail ends with laughter that then fade into the swing clarinet of When I'm Sixty-four, piece by Macca style Thirties or Forty, with flawless execution, accelerated speed so that the voice sounds more acute i.e. childish (Rating 7+).

Another masterpiece of arrangement and another record of originality: a swing after an ethnic Indian song. The listener is so continually amazed, but begins to wonder what happened to the psychedelic pop of the first side, because these first two songs are: the first a mix of Indian sounds and classical music, the other a song of pre-war music.

Arrives so Lovely Rita, with Paul once again starring (he is the conductor of the disc, and the author of most of the music). The piece, however cheerful and rhythmic, is rather weak, simple in arrangement than those of the first side, and does not boast a great melody. It refers, however, with the instrumental parts: the Incipit, the piano solo, and the ending with completely original noises (Rating 7).

Another questionable piece follows: Good Morning (twice), by Lennon, at the rate of goliardic marching, with distorted trumpets and sounds from the hen house in the ending (Rating 7). Overall, these last two songs disorient a bit ' the listener because they appear a bit ' unsheathe, over the line, too vaudeville or exaggerated in tones, while in the first side all the pieces were very measured and refined. In fact, the three central songs of the second side, however cute, are considerably inferior, for quality and arrangement, to those of the first side.

When the reprise of Sgt Pepper arrives, with a good solution of continuity between cluck and electric guitars, it seems that the musicians are pulling the bridle of horses that have now dispersed in infinite directions: the song seems to tighten the files, a pull to collect the music that was a bit too frayed, until you get to the chaotic noisy ending of Good Morning. The reprise is good, it succeeds to be different from the intro, and to bring the sound on the rock, which it was missing in the second side, and that moreover it ends immediately because the mix of SGT (Rating 7,5). Pepper Reprise and A Day In The Life takes place under the banner of the acoustic guitar of Lennon, which makes its way between Pepper's rock that fades.

The atmosphere of the last song is different from the rest of the album. The voice of Lennon is of those that pierce, the accompaniment of drums, almost jazz, is a complete novelty, then there are the piano touches, until the threatening tone of the piece takes an orchestral escalation, desired by Macca, and transcribed by George Martin, with a crescendo of strings (cacophonic) that plays the highest notes, until the deafening ends suddenly and it plays an alarm clock on piano background, on the sound of the drums and of the voice of Paul, free-range as the rhythm. But this piece ends soon and part then a spectacular instrumental passage, marked by Ah-ah-ah-ah sung by Lennon, with a mood epic and classic, which arrives at the climax ending in a crescendo of violins that brings back to the original theme music. We're at very high music levels. The song ends by repeating the orchestral crescendo, ending with a percussion of three pianos that hold the note for a long time, with the reverb (Rating 9,5/10). Masterpiece of avantgarde-pop.

Sgt Pepper is definitely a masterpiece of the Sixties pop, for creativity and arrangements. However It is not a masterpiece of the actual rock, because there is very little rock music in Sgt Pepper: the Lp is a condensed of the musical styles of light music of the time: pop, rock, vaudeville, melodic songs, symphonic songs, swing, world music. Indian music, avant-garde. It is a seminal album, because it contains all the seeds and the genres of progressive rock; andi it is a false concept album because the songs are not connected by a musical or textual motif, but by an opening, then, shooting song: Sgt Pepper, which presents them as the beginning of a show, and then the conclusion of the same.

In conclusion, we are faced with a historical album, with a first perfect side, from 10/10 score, and a second from 9/10 thanks to the first and last track, because in the middle the second side shows a drop in creativity and inspiration. The album is representative of an era, it shows an impressive variety of musical genres, which in the first side run very well, in songs as inspired as those originals. In the second side, while witnessing a passage of ambitious opening, which requires a listening from classical music, with the march we lose a bit ' that thread of art- psychedelic-rock that even in the midst of so much variety constituted the backbone of the record. However, before they degenerate into more and more confusing songs, Pepper's reprise brings the second side to the initial mood and prepares it for the final track, A Day in The Life, which mixes pop and avant-garde music, reaches one of the absolute peaks of contemporary pop-rock music.

Average quality of the songs: 7,94. Rating album: 9,5. Five Stars.

 Love by BEATLES, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.00 | 83 ratings

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Love
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by patrickq

2 stars Love is a far cry from the "Beatles Movie Medley." What we have here is mash-ups of well-known and not-so-well-known Beatles songs. And even among the most familiar tunes, some of the source material evidently comes from alternate takes, I assume from the same font from which the Anthology albums were drawn.

I expected more outcry when this came out: messing with history, etc. Maybe George Martin's presence softened the blow. At any rate, I've never been able to see how products like this 'destroy' the original works - - assuming that the originals are still easily available (this is very different from what George Lucas tried to do wit the first Star Wars movie: replace the original with an altered version, and restrict access to the original). But you know what? If the Beatles were at their height today (i.e., during the mashup/remix era), they'd probably release something like this themselves.

Of course, that doesn't mean it would be great.

And Love isn't great. While some projects like this are intended as dance-remix albums, Love apparently exists because part of the Apple Corps contract with Cirque du Soleil required the delivery of a unique soundtrack for the show. As long as the work was being created, why not put it on sale? (Indeed, in the US alone, it has sold more than two million units and hit #4 on the album chart.)

Maybe the music is incomplete without the Cirque du Soleil visuals, but for whatever reason, it strikes me as no more than a pleasant curiosity. I would recommend it for fans only - - and probably remix fans as much as Beatles fans.

 Revolver by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1966
4.37 | 902 ratings

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Revolver
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Revolver" is an extremely well-edited album, with no drop in quality, which alternates a wide variety of musical styles and arrangements, especially in the first side. The songs are still all short, contained between 2 and 3 minutes. Compared to "Rubber Soul", which is the continuation, the sound is much drier, electric and metallic, and the arrangements much more varied and always complete: the average quality of the songs is similar, and "Revolver" contains fewer melodic classics than "Rubber Soul", but on the whole is more compact as an album, the songs together give a synergistic effect. As well, Rubber seems to me to consist of slightly more inspired songs, though less carefully treated as a Revolver arrangement.

The Lp starts with a syncopated rock by Harrison, "Taxman (vote 8), one of his best songs, continues with a symphonic pop of McCartney ("Eleonor Rigby", vote 8,5/9), an absolute melodic masterpiece also thanks to the orchestration by George Martin, who wrote the notes for fabulous string quartet. It continues with a beautiful oriental rock ballad by Lennon (I'm Only Sleeping, vote 8), which includes a backward guitar solo and other sound effects.

The first three songs represent the pinnacle of the album and are emblematic of the style of the three composers. In fact in Revolver Harrison, which contributes with three songs, has a very rhythmic style, and shows off a rock song, an Indian pop- raga, and a blues song, all three very well-timed. McCartney, unique in the Beatles record, writes all retro melodic pop songs, with arrangements alien to rock bands, lapping an incredible range of musical styles; in practice each of his songs is an essay of a musical style, from symphonic pop (Eleonor Rigby) to the slow vocal complexes (Here, There and Everywhere), the piano swing (Good Day Sunshine), the refined melodic song with orchestral arrangement (For No One), to the soulful soul (Got to Get You Into My Life). On the contrary, Lennon writes all rock songs: two refined oriental ballads with sound effects (I'm Only Sleeping and Tomorrow Never Knows), his best compositions, and three rather conventional rock songs; none of his songs have a catchy melody. In no other Beatles album there has ever been, and more there will be, such a clear musical difference between Macca and Lennon, such a marked alternation between retro melodic pop songs by McCartney and contemporary rock songs with oriental or psychedelic effects by Lennon. Both McCartney and Lennon write two masterpieces (Macca almost three), and for the rest minor songs; McCartney still writes the best song on the album (Eleonor Rigby), and the weakest songs (Here, There and Everywhere and Good Day Sunshine), while Lennon writes the most refined from the point of view of the arrangement, but his songs have peaks and falls less conspicuous than those of Paul, they are more homogeneous as a quality, in fact a song by John is missing which stands out for its intrinsic quality.

Returning to the sequence of the songs, after the first three the first side repeats the sequence Harrison-Macca-Lennon: "Love You To" (vote 7,5/8) is an excellent fusion between Indian raga and Mersey-beat; "Here, There and Everywhere" (vote 7) is a slow song - styled vocal complexes of the 50s, a little too honeyed but with some delicious (vaguely French) harmonious passages; "She Said She Said" (vote 7,5) is a very rhythmic psychedelic rock, with great work by Ringo and acid guitars, but it does not take off. Among these there is a classic for children, "Yellow Submarine" (vote 6,5/7), written by McCartney and sung by Ringo, which also introduces sounds and naval noises in this colorful first side of the Beatles, which has seen all four members sing very different songs one from the other and yet the smoothness of the sequence is remarkable.

The second side as often happens is slightly lower, due to quality. It starts with the pre-war swing by McCartney "Good Day Sunshine" (vote 6,5/7), cute but stereotyped and without flashes, perhaps the weakest song on the album; it continues with the very fast rock of "And Your Bird Can Sing" (vote 7+), which slips away without giving time to remain imprinted; it continues with "For No One" (vote 8), beautiful melody and French horn solo (in fact the melody has again something of French), fantastic; it goes to the conventional rock of "Doctor Robert" (vote 7+) , which again lacks a real climax, and to Harrison's piano blues (I Want To Tell You, vote 7+), beautiful but without variations. Finally comes the soul of "Got to Get You Into My Life, vote 7,5/8) original composition of McCartney, which will remain unique as an arrangement in the discography of the Beatles, also this very rhythmic and well executed but missing something to get to be great; and lastly "Tomorrow Never Knows" (vote 8+) which is deliberately set on a single chord, contains all avant-garde sounds, reverse tapes, backward guitar solo, filtered voice, sitar in the distance, lyrics from the Tibetan Book of the Dead ... many compare this ending to the ending of the next album, Sgt Pepper, because even in that case the last song is the most refined. Certainly "Tomorrow" is one of the best pieces of Revolver but it is very far from the absolute masterpiece "A Day in the Life", contained in Sgt Pepper; and for the pleasure of listening, "Tomorrow" is under "Eleonor Rigby".

Overall, "Revolver" is an album that while respecting all the canons of the pop song format of 2-3 minutes, manages to show off the maximum care in the search for refined pop songs, I would say art-pop, both for the variety of the arrangement that of musical styles. Revolver is a great record, the most innovative, constant and edited by the Beatles up to that point; it is not an absolute masterpiece because the average quality of the pieces, both melodic and rock, is slightly less than "Rubber Soul" and less than the levels of the albums that will follow; moreover, so many stylistic and sound ideas need songs less harnessed in the strophe structure and pop refrain of 2 and a half minutes, to be better expressed: left more free to be self-indulgent with their own creativity, the Beatles will produce the masterpieces of the years 1967-69. Anyway, the greatness of the album, as a whole, is equal to that of "Rubber Soul".

Medium quality of the songs: 7,59. Vote album: 8,5. Rating: Four Stars.

 Please Please Me by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1963
3.05 | 425 ratings

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Please Please Me
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by The Anders

3 stars Seeing the Beatles featured on a prog site feels rather odd to be honest. I am of course aware that progressive rock wouldn't sound like it does if it weren't for all the sixties bands, the Beatles included, but as far as I am concerned, only Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road really bear any resemblance to prog. In Sgt. Pepper's case it is mainly due to the conceptual ideas, as well as the musical structure on a song like 'A Day In the Life'. On Abbey Road we have songs such as 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' and perhaps the medley on side 2. But even an album like Revolver, though experimental and containing many psychedelic sounds, contains short and relatively traditional compositions. Then of course there is a song like 'Happiness Is a Warm Gun' from the White Album with its changes in tempo and mood, but overall the White Album sounds more like a foreshadowing of alternative rock to me.

But I am a big admirer of the Beatles, so I'd love to take the opportunity to review their studio albums. Now their music up to, and including the Help album is possibly as far from prog as can be: straight forward dance pop and rock'n roll songs mostly with I-love-you-and-you-love-me lyrics, and it wouldn't make much sense to judge it from a progressive rock point of view.

The early Beatles is clearly not as artistically interesting as their later work. It is pop, and it works on pop premises mostly. However it sounded a lot more honest than some of the pre-fabricated machine pop that came before them in the early 60's (Paul Anka, Del Shannon, Cliff Richard etc.), and in that context the Beatles were clearly a breath of fresh air, and much less streamlined. Also their music had some energy that the above mentioned idols didn't have.

The first LP contains their first two singles and their B-sides. The rest of the album was recorded literally in one day, consisting of songs from their live repertoire. The songs were mostly recorded live in the studio with only a few overdubs (the handclaps on 'I Saw Her Standing There' and the piano on 'Misery'), and the limited amount of time of course means that the performances are not always flawless. It gives the album an aura of freshness and spontanity, but on the other hand some performances sound rather substandard, and even uninspired. This particularly goes for some of the cover versions: 'Chains', 'Boys' and, in particular, 'Baby It's You' (with terribly off-key backing vocals). The one cover version that really shines above the rest is 'Twist And Shout' with its raw energy and raw vocal performance by John Lennon. Probably the highpoint of the album.

Then there are the original compositions, and at this point Lennon and McCartney hadn't yet entirely matured as songwriters. The songs, having been written before the band signed with Parlophone, sound a bit unfocused and unfinished compared to their subsequent work. A good example is 'Ask Me Why' where the 9th to 12th bar of the verse sound like they are leading towards something that doesn't really come. Also the chorus sounds too much like the verse, and the middle eight ('I can't believe...') doesn't really make a contrast either, containing a cadence that ends with the tonic (main chord). As a result, the song sounds rather monotonous overall. Similar things can be said about 'Do You Want To Know a Secret', and even their first big hit, 'Please Please Me' lacks the sense of direction that chacacterizes the best work of the band.

The best original songs are 'There's a Place' which also goes beyond the lyrical cliches of the other songs (though not exactly in a subtle way) and 'I Saw Her Standing There' which is an uplifting and energetic piece of rock'n roll. Kicking the whole album off with the classic 1-2-3-4! it is a perfect opener, just as 'Twist And Shout' is a perfect finale. As for 'There's a Place', however, the verse ends in a rather unelegant way, both harmonically and melodically with 'when I'm alone', but fortunately the intensity of the rest of the song makes it up for that.

Shortly after this album, Lennon and McCartney would improve drastically as songwriters with songs that sound much more accomplished: 'From Me To You', 'She Loves You', 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'. Here at this early stage their genius doesn't really show... yet.

Then there is the musicianship. Clearly the greatest music is not always made by great virtuosos, and it it would be fair to say that the Beatles were not the most virtuose instrumentalists, especially not in the early days. But their abilities work very well for the type of music they are playing, and the energy that they are able to reproduce together is indeed very infective. Judged by their individual playing, however, it is clear that they haven't yet entirely found themselves as instrumentalists. Paul McCartney does little more than keeping the bass note, and Gerorge Harrison has clearly not found his sound yet. The solo on 'I Saw Her Standing There', for instance, while energetic, it is also very unimaginative. Harrison would later develop a very personal and poetic style, perhaps most prominently heard in the solo on 'Something'.

But while the Beatles aren't the greatest instrumentalists in the world, there is no doubt that Lennon and McCartney are excellent singers, and a lot of their special energy and charisma clearly comes from the vocals. 'Twist And Shout' is probably the best vocal performance on the album.

So all in all it is a promising debut that doesn't entirely show off their true force. But you have to start somewhere.

 Rubber Soul by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1965
3.92 | 703 ratings

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Rubber Soul
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Rubber Soul" is a great album, certainly the best of the Beatles until 1965. It represents a great leap forward in the evolution of the music of the Fab4, because the pop of the Beatles here finds various arrangement solutions and it is expressed with great variety of styles . The Beatles with "Rubber Soul" invent a refined art-pop, allowing you to touch many musical styles and to start experimenting with refined sounds in the studio.

The first side in my rating has an exceptional average quality (7.86), making it one of the best in the Beatles discography. In this side, both McCartney and Lennon write 3 songs, plus a Harrison song. Start Macca with a great track rock (Drive My Car, vote 8), nice guitar riff and in the background piano chorus; "Drive my Car" goes alongside the single of Lennon "Day Tripper", just released: they are both songs based on a similar guitar riff. In Drive My Car there is also a very good ironic text, with a chorus "Beep beep yeh". Lennon responds with the dylanian "Norwegian Wood" (vote 8), excellent acoustic melancholy ballad embellished with an ironic text full of double meanings and Harrison's sitar, which for the first time appears on a Beatles album; follows a song of Beatlesian pop of McCartney, "You Wont See Me" (vote 7,5), with time to dance, accompanied by piano, good the melody of the bride: nice song, although it does not constitute anything new, it is comparable to "The Night Before" of the previous album (Help). He resumes Lennon with another folk acoustic ballad, "Nowhere Man" (vote 7,5/8), with many vocal harmonies and an excellent electric interlude. So far there are 3 Beatles classics on 4 songs. In the album the vocal harmonies touch apices never touched so far (which will be almost absent in "Revolver"), which will culminate in the single "Paperback Writer", anticipator of "Revolver".

"Think for Yourself" (vote 7,5) is a lively Harrison song characterized by the distorted bass of McCartney that gives a threatening sense to the whole piece, well structured, with interesting melodic turns, gritty, and again full of vocal harmonies - Macca could have written it. "The Word" (vote 8) is a soulful and choral soul song, a hymn to universal love, which is difficult to consider a minor piece for the energy and the charge it instills. In fact it would have been considered a pearl, as it actually is, if it had not appeared on an album full of classics. It's a contagious song, arrembante, cured a lot in the arrangement, with an excellent organ interlude played by George Martin, who from this album will be more and more present as the fifth musician. The first side closes with the fourth classic, the melodic masterpiece "Michelle" (vote 8+), with text in part French, song of love that has made epoch, bass in evidence and George's guitar solo. It's a song that cites the lenses of the vocal groups of the '50s but that does so with great inspiration and arrangement. Macca had already touched a French atmosphere with the accordion of the single "We Can Work It Out", side A along with "Day Tripper", released simultaneously with "Rubber Soul" and he will return to writing romantic songs with a French atmosphere in "Revolver" and "Magical Mystery Tour".

The second side opens with a country song sung by Ringo (What Goes On, vote 6,5), written by the new trio Lennon-McCartney- Starkey; Harrison, excluded, compensates with an excellent work on the rhythm guitar. The song is carefree, nice, Ringo style, and follows "Act Naturally" of "Help": in both discs the second side opens with a country sung by Ringo, but here are the Beatles to write it, in this case. It is one of the lightest songs on the album, in fact the least significant. Follows "Girl" (vote 8,5), the masterpiece of the album. Lennon writes a melancholy folk song with an acoustic solo of oriental guitar, which resembles the sound of the sitar; the melody, the singing and the guitar solo are beautiful.

Another acoustic folk ballad follows, "I'm Lookin Through You" (vote 6,5), which appears to be as simple as an arrangement, as happened with some of Help's songs, giving the impression of not having completed the instrumental accompaniment. The song is resumed with the insertion of the electric guitar at the end of the verses, which tries to bring it on rock themes. Follows the sixth Beatles classic, "In My Life" (vote 7,5/8), another Lennon ballad, this time with a more structured rhythm, which leaves less space for the expressiveness of the voice, also because it almost always doubled with the choirs. The song is an almost masterpiece, which reaches the climax in George Martin's baroque piano solo. We return to choral acoustics with "Wait, a song sung by both John (who prevails in the verses) and Paul (who sings alone in the bridge), with a synchronous singing in the refrain. The song brings the mood back to enthusiasm, and returns to propose vocal harmonies: the voices compensate for the poor instrumental arrangement. Probably it was written by both, with prevalence of Paul.

Harrison returns with "If I Needed Someone" (vote 7,5), which begins with Byrds-style electric guitars, an explicit country-rock quote; the song is a fine electric ballad, with choirs in the verses and a more beautiful melancholic bridge. Lennon closes the second side (where he writes 3 songs, against Paul's two songs) with another song with acoustic base (Run for Your Life, vote 7,5) but at a good pace, which shows off a rock guitar solo. Also this song gives the impression that it could have been more accurate in the arrangement. Overall the second side is more qualitatively alternate than the first, and it does not close in crescendo, however it holds very well, the whole album is marked by songs that, despite being mostly mid-tempo ballads, are very flowing, and alternate exuberance and extroversion to melancholy.

Rubber Soul is the album of the Beatles masterpiece ballads, all signed Lennon (four by Lennon plus "The Word" by both John and Paul), while McCartney contributes with a rock masterpiece ("Drive My Car") and a romantic melodic masterpiece in French style ("Michelle"). Harrison writes two very respectable songs, much better than those of "Help", which keep the average quality of the album high. It is a great album, with only two weak songs, both on the second side (What Goes On, I'm Looking Through You), which manages to revive the enthusiastic pop of the Beatles embellishing it with rock, folk, country, soul arrangement (often melancholy and acoustic) and introspective lyrics.

Medium Quality of the Songs: 7,625. Vote: 8,5. Rating: Four Stars.

 Help! by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1965
3.44 | 484 ratings

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Help!
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

3 stars "Help!" is a transition album with highs and lows, which has some innovations that will develop better in the major albums. Compared to three previous Lp, "Help!" has a good number (five) of quality peaks (like "A Hard..."), but it is less homogeneous, having also several weak songs, and in general the Beatles musical style is halfway between the art-rock of the following years and the melodic vocal rock, the exuberant "Mersey beat" that dominated their music until 1964.

In "Help!" McCartney begins to have an importance close to that of Lennon (they write respectively 5 songs, but Lennon sings even in a classic rock and roll and in the film Lennon has 4 songs against 2 of Macca), and Harrison appears with two songs, one on each side, frequency that he will keep, more or less unchanged, for the rest of the Beatles discography.

The first side contains the songs of the film "Help!", which are (if we exclude "I Need you") clearly better for arrangement of those of the second side (while similar is the qualitative level), which also include two covers. The song "Help!" (vote 8) inaugurates the album making us immediately understand that the mood of the disc is much more cheerful than the previous one, and returns to be the exuberant of the debut. The lyrics of the song stride with the mood of the music, in fact, originally, "Help" was a slow song, but Lennon, in order to make a single, accelerated it. Anyway, it's a great melodic rock song in perfect Beatles style, plus a reflective text.

"The Night Before" (vote 7,5) is a beautiful song by Paul in the style of Mersey Beat, with long strophes and bridges, with the choruses in response, without a real catchy refrain. Nothing innovative but it remains a pleasant song, full of enthusiasm, which continues the rhythm and the mood of the previous (also in this case the exuberant music does not go hand in hand with the text). "You've Got To Hide your Love Away" (vote 7,5/8) is a folk song that shows Dylan's influence on Lennon, here even more evident than in some ballads of "Beatles for Sale". The song has a beautiful melody and a great sung, and it does not reach excellence only because it is too short (Dylan would have put at least 5 stanzas and would have expanded the refrain); in the final, for the first and only time in their career, a flute solo appears. "I Need You" (vote 5,5) is a song that suffers from an inappropriate arrangement. The melody does not take off, the song of Harrison is stunted and all combined with the skinny arrangement makes the track at times (in verse) unpleasant and embarrassing: it seems almost miss the music, the melody. The sound is strange: the guitar with the pedal looks like a distorted keyboard, and there is nothing left to the song, like sound, that the voice and the percussions are very much in the background. The piece recovers a bit 'in the bridge, as for rhythm, but the arrangement does not improve. It is definitely one of the least successful songs in the entire discography. "Another Girl" (vote 6,5/7) is a minor, carefree and very light song by McCartney, which brings up the rhythm of the first side but does not add anything to the beat music of the album; it highlights the Macca solo guitar, which added it by removing that of Harrison. Lennon closes the A side with two songs that raise the quality of the album. "You're Gonna Lose that Girl" (vote 7,5) is a beautiful song enthusiast with the choirs in response to the singing, a great bridge and a beautiful guitar solo. Perfect Mersey beat style but with a medium rhythm, supported by the percussions added to the drums. "Ticket to Ride" (vote 8,5), the last song of the first side, is a masterpiece rock ballad. Dry sound, great Ringo work, delicious harmonic rounds, beautiful chord sequence, excellent vocal interpretation.

The second side, quickly cohered to complete the album, presents mostly minor songs with arrangement holes but also two large pieces by McCartney. It starts with the cover country of Ringo (Act Naturally, vote 6,5/7), which all in all is pleasant in its freshness; good guitar work by Harrison, to support the rhythm. It continues with a slow song by Lennon (It's Only Love, vote 7), good melody and singing, but it is a decidedly minor piece, arranged in a discreet manner. "You Like Me Too Much" (vote 7+) is a sliding piano song by Harrison, with poor arrangement (vocals, drums, piano) and a good rhythm, but you miss the guitars, audible in the instrumental interlude, which in fact is with the bridge the best part. At this point follow, something completely unpublished so far in the discography of the Beatles, but destined to be repeated by Sgt Pepper on: three consecutive songs signed by McCartney. The first, "Tell Me What You See" (vote 6) is after "I Need You" the weakest song on the album. Blurred melody, choruses in response, poor arrangement, remember only for the instrumental piece of piano and drums that closes the verses. Just sufficient. "I've just Seen a Face" (vote 8) is an anomalous acoustic song in the Beatles production, with an intro of three guitars, a frenzied rhythm, a bluegrass style arrangement. McCartney is starting his revival work to actualize every musical style according to the Beatles pop, and here he does it with great inspiration and attitude.

"Yesterday" (vote 8,5/9) is the masterpiece of the album. For the first time the Beatles record an acoustic melodic song with accompaniment of string quartet (thanks to George Martin): sings and plays only McCartney. For the time, Yesterday is an exception, because the Beatles were a rock band, as organic, and arranged the songs as a rock band. Yesterday creates a precedent that will have great impact for the future of the group, in fact Macca since Revolver will write often retrņ songs with symphonic arrangement that does not need drums, bass and guitar, thus creating musical sessions where he performs alone or with external musicians. This, along with the fact that the Beatles since 1966 will no longer play live, will help to create division in the group. Harrison and Lennon, on the contrary, with a few exceptions, will continue to compose music for a typical rock complex, drums, bass, two guitars, as were the Beatles in the beginning. Only in 1969, with "Let It Be" and "Abbey Road" McCartney will return to composing music, however melodic, suitable to play for a rock band.

"Dizzy Missy Lizzy" (vote 7) is a rock and roll divertissement, very exuberant for singing and guitar, but also quite repetitive. Concludes the album with energy, in crescendo. "Help" on the whole is not a homogeneous album, having many songs that repeat the worn-out Mersy beat of the beginnings, all minor or discreet, except for "Help" and the masterpiece "Ticket To Ride"; other songs are very good and add new styles or arrangements to the Beatles pieces ("You've Got ...", I've Seen ....", Yesterday), while the two covers are insignificant, placed only to add material to the album. The artistic value of the LP is affected by this lack of homogeneity, and for what counts two Beatles absolute masterpieces like "Ticket To Ride" and "Yesterday", the overall level of the album is comparable to the rock and roll of the LP of debut (average quality slightly higher) . Compared to "A Hard Day's Night", instead, I consider the album for its heterogeneity and abundance of weakest pieces, inferior in a visible way (although it has more originality of musical styles and arrangements).

Medium quality of the songs: 7,30. Vote album: 7+. Rating: Three stars.

 Beatles For Sale by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1964
2.76 | 402 ratings

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Beatles For Sale
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Fourth Beatles album, from the critics considered their worst because without a big hit ("Eight Days A Week" in America will be hit, coming out as a single); from the predominantly acoustic tone (as for A Hard ...), but also in various cases discharged, melancholic; without any substantial change compared to the previous one, if not the step back to go back to the formula of the first two albums: 8 original pieces and 6 rock and roll covers.

Beatles for Sale starts with a minor, subdued song, "No Reply" (vote 6,5), whose progress in the verse is stunted and lacking is the arrangement; as much as they follow more variations of tone and volume, up to constitute a harmoniously rather rich piece and with a good bridge, on the whole the piece is rather split, not fluent, without a great melody and with arrangement too much in the background. "I'm a Loser" (vote 8) is the best original song of the album (Dylan inspirated?), with excellent catchy folk melody, John's beautiful singing, beautiful chorus, beautiful harmonica solo and guitar, everything flows smooth and pleasant. In practice, the album seems to start with this song, after a false start. "Baby's in Black" (vote 7,5/8) is another inspired song, with beautiful vocal harmonies between John and Paul and an excellent bridge where the melody goes on high notes. Lennon sings the fourth song in a row with "Rock And Roll Music", Chuck Berry's cover (vote 8), at a whimsical pace, where the piano and the drums support a remarkable singing, completely involved in the piece, without any instrumental pause until the end; Lennon seems twisted in the song, coming to a performance similar to that of "Twist and Shout".

The sequence I'm in Loser, Baby's in Black and Rock And Roll Music is the best of the album. There follows a slow, romantic song by Macca (I'll Follow the Sun, vote 7), with a good melody, but very short and not very developed in the arrangement. The second cover, "Mr. Moonlight (vote 7+), for a long time in the Beatles repertoire, is a semi-unknown song (a B side of a 45 rpm) from the summer weather, sea and beach, with a beautiful interpretation of Lennon, an amateur organ solo of Paul. Cute. Closes the first side Paul singing a classic of Little Richard (Kansas City/ Hey Hey Hey Hey, vote 7,5), with the right grit. It is a good cover of the Beatles for the conviction of the song and arrangements.

The second side opens with "Eight Days A Week" (vote 7,5), the most famous song of the LP, written mainly by Paul but with the contribution of John. It is a song typical of their 1964 Mersey beat, cheerful, with great rhythm, acoustic rhythm guitars. Also in this case, as in some "A Hard" rock songs ... it would have helped a greater electric sound to impress the rock rhythm to the album. Note that the first voice is John's. "Words of Love" (vote 6) is a cover of Buddy Holly, and unfortunately it is neither well chosen (Holly has written many better songs) nor well arranged. Lennon sings, in a choir is not known whether with Paul or George. The song sounds rather monotonous and unconvinced. "Honey Dont" (vote 6,5) by Carl Perkins, also in this case a minor piece by its author, is sung with taste by Ringo who repeatedly calls George to perform the solo. Compared to the previous one has the merit of being more rhythmic but remains discharged as a rock and roll song. These two covers below represent the worst sequence of the album.

Here comes a song by Paul, "Every Little Thing" (vote 6,5/7), sung, however, once again by Lennon. It is not a particularly inspired song but the refrain is good, and has an interesting sound of drums, which together with the piano solo is the musical novelty of the piece. "I Do not Want To Spoil The Party" (vote 7,5/8) is the best song on the second side, a rock ballad with country influences written and sung by John, with a beautiful refrain with a double voice, a beautiful guitar solo. "What You're Doing" (vote 6,5/7) is a rock ballad mainly by McCartney supported by good rhythm and good vocal conviction; also presents two electric instrumental pieces. Pretty, but definitely minor and not very original. "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" (vote 7), a famous piece by Carl Perkins, played by the Beatles since the early days, is left to sing to George (usually John), who loves Perkins and takes two electric solos; as a cover, however, it sounds scholastic, unconvinced and gritty in execution, to be a very good rock and roll in the composition (in the live at the BBC is played and sung better, it results more engaged).

Overall, John wrote four songs, and sings as a regular nine-piece voice (his four, two of Paul's plus three covers, one of which, Words Of Love accompanied by Paul or George); Paul wrote four songs but sings as the first voice only in three (two of his and a cover); George and Ringo sing in a cover.

The album has some steps in the first side at the height of the previous albums, while in the second side, apart from two original songs, the average quality is also lower than "With The Beatles". BfSale can not be considered a wrong step or a very different Lp from the others, such as compositions, sounds or qualities (apart from "A Hard", which is much better); the acoustic arrangements were already present in "A Hard Day's Night", and the melancholy is not present in all the songs, besides there are at least three good original pieces and two good covers. In short, yes, It is the Beatles' less beautiful album, because it lacks a true masterpiece and only an original song is definitely good, but overall it differs little, in structure and quality, from the first two Lp.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,16; Vote: 6,5/7. Two Stars.

 On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2 by BEATLES, THE album cover Live, 2013
3.68 | 12 ratings

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On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Beatles: On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2" is a live double compilation album with 40 previously unreleased musical tracks and 23 speach pieces from the Beatles' 1963?1965 BBC Radio broadcasts. It was released on 11 November 2013, along with a remastered and repackaged Live at the BBC Volume 1.

The songs are essentially "live in studio" performances. Most of the tracks are songs taken from the Beatles production of 1963-64, plus cover versions of famous songs from the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Beatles performed for 52 BBC Radio programmes, since an appearance on the series Teenager's Turn?Here We Go, recorded on 7 March 1962, till a special "The Beatles Invite You to Take a Ticket to Ride", recorded on 26 May 1965. Total: 275 performances of 88 different songs, of which 36 songs never appeared on their studio albums.

Most of the songs performed on the compilation are taken from the Beatles' first four LPs "Please Please Me", "With the Beatles", "A Hard Day's Night" and "Beatles for Sale". Many of the other songs performed are the band's covers of early rock and roll classics by American artists such as Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, many of which were never recorded in a studio or released on a Beatles album.

The tracks for "Live at the BBC" were selected by George Martin who used two criteria: the quality of the sound and of the Beatles' performance. "I'm Talking About You" (Chuck Berry), "The Hippy Hippy Shake" (Romero), "Sure To Fall (In Love With You)", "Memphis Tennessee" (Chuck Berry), "Happy Birthday Dear Saturday Cluband" (Hill, Hill), and Beautiful Dreamer" (Foster-Keller-Goffin) had never been on a previous Beatles release. There are some irreverent and funny moments among the 23 speech tracks of in-studio conversation and banter with the late Brian Matthews presenter of radio's 'Saturday Club' and 'Easy Beat'.

This compilation replaces the production of the Beatles' bootlegs (even a 13-album bootleg series), very widespread in the seventies and eighties, and "The Complete BBC Sessions" (1993), a nine-CD box set released in Italy, where copyright protection for the broadcasts had expired (this set contained performances from 44 of the Beatles' 52 BBC appearances). ,

There are a lot of excellent performance, overall: "Boys", "Till There Was You", "Roll Over Beethoven", "I'll Get You" (better than the studio version), "Money", "This Boy" "Honey Dont" (much better than the studio version), "I'll Follow The Sun". In these recordings you can feel the grit, the energy, the enthusiasm of these four guys, who express themselves as the rock and roll rebels of the Fifties, with the experience consumed playing all night in Hamburg nightclubs.

Historical find. Rating: 8+. Four Stars.

 Live at the BBC by BEATLES, THE album cover Live, 1994
3.29 | 58 ratings

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Live at the BBC
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Beatles - Live at the BBC" is a 1994 double compilation album (remastered in 2013 with the addiction of three extra tracks: two speach pieces, one for George and one for Ringo, and one musical piece: "From Us to You"[Closing] ) featuring performances by the Beatles that were originally broadcast on various BBC Light Programme radio shows from 1963 to 1965.

The songs are essentially "live in studio" performances. Most of the tracks are cover versions of famous songs from the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Beatles performed for 52 BBC Radio programmes, since an appearance on the series Teenager's Turn?Here We Go, recorded on 7 March 1962, till a special "The Beatles Invite You to Take a Ticket to Ride", recorded on 26 May 1965. Total: 275 performances of 88 different songs, of which 36 songs never appeared on their studio albums.

This compilation replaces the production of the Beatles' bootlegs (even a 13-album bootleg series), very widespread in the seventies and eighties, and "The Complete BBC Sessions" (1993), a nine-CD box set released in Italy, where copyright protection for the broadcasts had expired (this set contained performances from 44 of the Beatles' 52 BBC appearances).

The tracks for "Live at the BBC" were selected by George Martin who used two criteria: the quality of the sound and of the Beatles' performance. In this album there are 30 songs that they have never performed on their official releases. The selection includes "I'll Be on My Way", the only Lennon?McCartney song no available in their studio albums (it was given to Billy J. Kramer, another artist managed by Brian Epstein). It's a unripe mid-tempo ballad with a rambling solo guitar (rating 6,5).

The album (two-CD, 1994) consists of 56 songs and 12 tracks of dialogue (thirty of the songs had never been issued previously). It was the first official release by the Beatles of previously unreleased performances since "The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl" in 1977.

There are a lot of excellent performance, overall: "Thank You Girl", "Baby It's You" (better than the studio version), "You Really Got A Hold On Me", "Roll Over Bethoven" (much better than the studio version), "I'm a Loser". In these recordings you can feel the grit, the energy, the enthusiasm of these four guys, who express themselves as the rock and roll rebels of the Fifties, with the experience consumed playing all night in Hamburg nightclubs.

Historical find. Rating: 8+. Four Stars.

 Magical Mystery Tour by BEATLES, THE album cover DVD/Video, 1978
3.20 | 38 ratings

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Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Created by McCartney after Sgt Pepper (and after the death of Epstein), the opera is a medium-length film that sees the Beatles as authors, performers and directors. The film, like the double Ep that makes up the soundtrack, is a container of songs unrelated to each other for sound or lyrics, but held together by an idea (as was already Sgt Pepper): the "Magical Mystery Tour" (author McCartney) that gives the title to the incipit (first song). In an amateurish, unconscious way, the Beatles produce a film that recalls American and French avant-garde, that is a surreal dreamlike stream without plot where Paul and Ringo (and in the background John and George), provide an excellent contribution in the form of sketch, comic situations, visionary sequences, psychedelic inventions, video clips of their songs - exceptional that of "I Am The Walrus", climax of the film and the album (Lennon's only song). "Blue Jay Way" (Harrison's only song) was made at Ringo's Weybridge residence, "The Fool on the Hill" (McCartney's melodic masterpiece) was filmed in Nice, France. "Your Mother Should Know" (McCartney's vaudeville) is the one best integrated into the film, in fact it sees the Beatles descend the scale style television program variety.

Three are the most beautiful scenes of the film: - The love story between Ringo's aunt and a bus man - Dinner, with Lennon pouring spaghetti to Ringo's aunt using a shovel - The streaptease (with lots of censorship).

The film was screened in London on December 17, 1967, during a party at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, where the Beatles themselves and their respective partners intervened. The film, given its short duration - 55 minutes - was not intended for screening in cinemas, but was broadcast directly on television, the first time by the BBC in black and white, which contributed to the negative judgments it received. Public and criticism decreed the failure of the film, which brought much to McCartney's displeasure. The American critics were more benevolent and with time directors like Spielberg talked about it as a cult film, notable for its improvised and surreal spirit. And indeed this is: a historical, surreal, psychedelic film, unconsciously avant-garde. Cult film.

Vote: 9. Five Stars.

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

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