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THE BEATLES

Proto-Prog • United Kingdom


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The Beatles picture
The Beatles biography
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 the wider-ranging folk-like feeling and more introspective lyrics in many songs reflects the impact of th...
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The Beatles official website

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Buy THE BEATLES Music


Abbey RoadAbbey Road
Remastered
EMI 2012
Vinyl$14.97
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THE BEATLES shows & tickets


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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)

3.01 | 348 ratings
Please Please Me
1963
2.86 | 327 ratings
With The Beatles
1963
3.51 | 377 ratings
A Hard Day's Night
1964
2.71 | 325 ratings
Beatles For Sale
1964
3.42 | 394 ratings
Help!
1965
3.93 | 573 ratings
Rubber Soul
1965
4.38 | 746 ratings
Revolver
1966
4.34 | 853 ratings
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
1967
4.13 | 597 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour (US Version)
1967
4.16 | 654 ratings
The Beatles
1968
2.52 | 315 ratings
Yellow Submarine
1969
4.48 | 820 ratings
Abbey Road
1969
3.27 | 458 ratings
Let It Be
1970
3.52 | 165 ratings
Let It Be - Naked
2003

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

2.83 | 32 ratings
The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl
1977
1.78 | 16 ratings
The Beatles Live! at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962
1977
3.11 | 48 ratings
Live at the BBC
1994
2.05 | 7 ratings
Last Night In Hamburg
1999
2.50 | 4 ratings
On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2
2013

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

3.58 | 44 ratings
A Hard Day's Night
1964
3.12 | 37 ratings
Help!
1965
3.08 | 5 ratings
The Beatles At The Shea Stadium
1966
3.79 | 65 ratings
Yellow Submarine
1968
3.88 | 29 ratings
Let It Be
1970
3.00 | 33 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour
1978
5.00 | 1 ratings
Ready Steady Go! The Beatles Live
1985
4.44 | 9 ratings
The First U.S Visit
1991
5.00 | 2 ratings
Video Collection
2003
4.05 | 3 ratings
A Long And Winding Road
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
In Washington D.C, Feb. 11th, 1964
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles With Tony Sheridan - The Beginnings In Hamburg
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Destination Hamburg
2007
5.00 | 1 ratings
Turn Left At Greenland
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Tomorrow Show With Tom Snyder
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
In Performance
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
Yesterday
2008
1.88 | 6 ratings
The Beatles At The Budokan
2008

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

3.86 | 7 ratings
Introducing The Beatles
1963
2.00 | 18 ratings
Meet the Beatles
1964
1.77 | 10 ratings
Something New
1964
1.45 | 10 ratings
The Beatles' Story
1964
3.75 | 12 ratings
Beatles '65
1964
2.63 | 17 ratings
The Beatles' Second Album
1964
2.20 | 32 ratings
A Hard Day's Night (US version)
1964
2.09 | 4 ratings
The Beatles' First
1964
2.69 | 32 ratings
Rubber Soul (US)
1965
2.27 | 28 ratings
Help (US version)
1965
3.43 | 7 ratings
The Early Beatles
1965
3.83 | 6 ratings
Beatles VI
1965
3.25 | 18 ratings
Yesterday and Today
1966
2.32 | 6 ratings
A Collection Of Beatles Oldies (But Goldies !)
1966
3.35 | 24 ratings
Revolver (US)
1966
3.68 | 35 ratings
Hey Jude
1970
3.23 | 87 ratings
1962-1966
1973
3.72 | 98 ratings
1967-1970
1973
3.17 | 15 ratings
Rock 'n' Roll Music
1976
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Tapes (From The David Wigg Interviews)
1976
3.85 | 18 ratings
Love Songs
1977
4.00 | 7 ratings
Rarities
1978
4.83 | 6 ratings
The Beatles Album Collections
1978
3.13 | 4 ratings
The Beatles Ballads
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Beatles Box
1980
2.27 | 3 ratings
Rarities (US version)
1980
5.00 | 3 ratings
E.P. Collections
1981
5.00 | 1 ratings
Hear The Beatles Tell All
1981
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles Talk Downunder (1964)
1982
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Singles Collections
1982
2.00 | 3 ratings
The Complete Silver Beatles
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
First Movement
1982
2.50 | 2 ratings
Reel Music
1982
3.60 | 5 ratings
20 Greatest Hits
1982
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles Mono Collection
1982
5.00 | 5 ratings
The Collection
1982
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles Original Mono-Record Box
1986
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Beatles On Compact Disc - Help / Rubber Soul / Revolver
1987
2.04 | 8 ratings
The Early Tapes of The Beatles
1987
3.43 | 65 ratings
Past Masters Volume 1
1988
4.13 | 69 ratings
Past Masters Volume 2
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Conversation Disc Series
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Talk Downunder Vol. II
1990
2.50 | 2 ratings
The Silver Beatles - Original Decca Tapes and Cavern Club Rehearsals 1962
1991
2.83 | 58 ratings
Anthology 1
1995
3.88 | 64 ratings
Anthology 2
1996
3.63 | 61 ratings
Anthology 3
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Words Of Love
1998
3.36 | 40 ratings
Yellow Submarine Songtrack
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Magical And Mystical Words
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Things We Said Today
2000
3.90 | 75 ratings
The Beatles '1'
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Big Beat Box
2001
4.44 | 9 ratings
Capitol Albums Vol 1
2004
4.50 | 8 ratings
Capitol Albums Vol 2
2006
2.92 | 71 ratings
Love
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Beatles - 1967-69 - Acoustic Submarine
2006
4.92 | 38 ratings
The Beatles In Mono Box Set
2009
4.67 | 58 ratings
The Beatles Stereo Box Set
2009
4.72 | 39 ratings
Past Masters (Remastered)
2009
4.21 | 29 ratings
The Beatles 1962-1970
2010
3.00 | 2 ratings
Anthology Highlights
2011
2.36 | 5 ratings
Tomorrow Never Knows
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bootleg Recordings 1963
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
The U.S. Albums
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Meet the Beatles! [also known as: The Japan Box]
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
1+
2015

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

1.40 | 6 ratings
My Bonnie
1961
2.87 | 15 ratings
Love Me Do
1962
2.57 | 12 ratings
Please Please Me
1963
2.45 | 11 ratings
From Me To You
1963
3.65 | 14 ratings
She Loves You
1963
2.75 | 11 ratings
I Want To Hold Your Hand
1963
2.67 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Christmas Record
1963
3.64 | 11 ratings
Twist And Shout
1963
3.25 | 4 ratings
The Beatles Hits
1963
3.00 | 3 ratings
The Beatles No. 1
1963
2.72 | 9 ratings
All My Loving
1964
3.08 | 7 ratings
Long Tall Sally
1964
3.96 | 6 ratings
Extracts From The Film A Hard Day's Night
1964
3.00 | 2 ratings
Extracts From The Album A Hard Day's Night
1964
2.59 | 8 ratings
Beatles For Sale
1964
3.00 | 2 ratings
Souvenir of Their Visit to America
1964
3.00 | 2 ratings
Four By The Beatles
1964
3.58 | 12 ratings
Can't Buy Me Love
1964
3.58 | 12 ratings
A Hard Days Night
1964
3.42 | 12 ratings
I Feel Fine
1964
3.00 | 8 ratings
If I Fell
1964
1.50 | 2 ratings
Another Beatles Christmas Record
1964
3.83 | 12 ratings
Ticket To Ride
1965
3.85 | 13 ratings
Help !
1965
3.83 | 12 ratings
Day Tripper
1965
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles Third Christmas Record
1965
2.50 | 2 ratings
4 By The Beatles
1965
2.50 | 2 ratings
Beatles For Sale No. 2
1965
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Million Sellers
1965
3.22 | 8 ratings
Yesterday
1966
4.09 | 11 ratings
Nowhere Man
1966
3.49 | 16 ratings
Paperback Writer
1966
3.63 | 18 ratings
Eleanor Rigby
1966
2.00 | 2 ratings
Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas
1966
4.91 | 27 ratings
Strawberry Fields Forever
1967
3.55 | 18 ratings
All You Need Is Love
1967
4.04 | 17 ratings
Hello Goodbye
1967
2.17 | 4 ratings
Christmas Time (Is Here Again)
1967
4.02 | 24 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour (UK Version)
1967
3.31 | 16 ratings
Lady Madonna
1968
4.27 | 24 ratings
Hey Jude
1968
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles Sixth Christmas Record
1968
4.11 | 18 ratings
Get Back
1969
3.14 | 18 ratings
Ballad Of John And Yoko
1969
3.15 | 16 ratings
Something
1969
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles Seventh Christmas Record
1969
3.06 | 12 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
3.60 | 10 ratings
Back In The U.S.S.R.
1976
3.00 | 5 ratings
Twist And Shout
1977
3.93 | 18 ratings
Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help From My Friends
1978
3.33 | 3 ratings
Movie Medley
1982
2.00 | 5 ratings
Love Me Do
1982
3.00 | 3 ratings
Baby It's You
1995
3.90 | 12 ratings
Free As A Bird
1995
3.96 | 8 ratings
Real Love
1996
3.80 | 5 ratings
Yellow Submarine Songtrack Sampler
1999
3.50 | 2 ratings
Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows (promo)
2006
2.25 | 4 ratings
Love (promo)
2006
3.33 | 3 ratings
Help! (7 Song Radio Sampler)
2007

THE BEATLES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Yesterday by BEATLES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1966
3.22 | 8 ratings

BUY
Yesterday
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Maybe the first time that I listened to anything from THE BEATLES was to a vinyl E.P., released in Mexico, which had almost the same tracks that this British E.P. had, but with "You Like Me too Much" being replaced by "I've Just Seen a Face". All the tracks from this E.P. were taken from their British "Help!" album, but , with all these tracks appearing in the Side Two of that album, none of them appeared in the film of the same name, because only the tracks from the Side One of that album appeared in that film. The cover of the Mexican E.P. also was different, showing individual photo stills from the film of the members of the band, and it was released on the "Discos Capitol" label.

As it is now generally known by the public, "Yesterday" is a song which was composed by Paul McCartney. A song that he wrote after he "listened" to it in a dream while being asleep. So he got up of bed and identified the notes on a guitar and he wrote tentative lyrics under the working title of "Scrambled Eggs", wiht him later changing the lyrics and the title to "Yesterday". After several arrangements were tried playing along with the band, it was decided that the best arrangement for the song could be done with recording it with McCartney playing it with an acoustic guitar and singing it, with the later addition a string quartet arranged by Producer George Martin. As it was really a solo recording from McCartney, the band and George Martin didn't want to release the song as a single in the U.K., but in the U.S. it was released as a single. It became one of the most known and covered songs in the world. It also shows one of the very good contributions that George Martin did with the band, helping the band with his Classical Music trainning, doing very good string arrangements and later more orchestral arrangements for many songs of the band.

"Act Naturally" was a cover of a Country and Western song which was sung by Ringo Starr. It was played very well by the band, and it was recorded more as a humorous gesture to the good commentaries about Ringo's very good acting skills in THE BEATLES' s "A Hard Days Night" film from 1964. He really was the best actor from the members of the band in most of their films. This song was recorded to replace a song called "If You've Got Trouble", composed by Lennon and McCartney for Ringo to sing for the "Help!" album which was recorded but was not really considered as being very good to be released. Anyway, it was released until 1996 in their "Anthology 2" 2-CD Set.

"You Like Me Too Much" is a song composed and sung by George Harrison, with some humour in the lyrics. It was one of his songs that was released in the "Help!" album. The other was "I Need You", which was also included in the "Help!" film.

"It's Only Love" is a song composed and sung by John Lennon, with good lyrics and guitars arrangements.

This British E.P. shows each member of the band singing a song from their "Help!" album. An album on which the band started to show new musical influences which were later more developed in their "Rubber Soul" (1965) and "Revolver" (1966) albums.

R.I.P. George Martin (3 January 1926 / 8 March 2016).

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 Magical Mystery Tour (UK Version) by BEATLES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1967
4.02 | 24 ratings

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Magical Mystery Tour (UK Version)
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

5 stars A two EP set from THE BEATLES, which was released in November 1967. It was a bit unusual for a Rock band to release their songs in this way. But I have to say that I once saw and listened to a two EP set which had some of Beethoven's piano pieces (with "Moonlight Serenade", among them) in the house of a relative. That two EP set looked like it was released years before THE BEATLES released this two EP set with the songs they included in their "Magical Mystery Tour" film from 1967. So, maybe the idea was not very new, but the band released these songs this way because there were few songs to be released in a LP, and too many to be released in just one EP. So, they took the decision to release the six songs from the film in this 2 EP set, also including a booklet with photos from the film. (The Beethoven's 2 EP set also had a gatefold cover with notes about the musical pieces, but not a full booklet). This two EP set was available in the U.K. until 1976, I think, when EMI finally decided to release in the U.K. the U.S. version of the "Magical Mystery Tour" album (which for a time also included the booklet), which in Side One included the six songs from the film, but in the Side Two included other songs that the band released on singles during 1967, making that LP a very good collection of songs from that period of time. I don't know if this two EP set is still available in the U.K. to purchase, but I doubt it. So, this two EP set is now more a collector's item, a rarity. I never have seen a copy of this two EP set in my country. I only have seen scans of it in some websites like discogs.com and others. The two EP set was also available in Mono and Stereo versions. I only have listened to the Mono version of the U.S. "Magical Mystery Tour" LP, and it obviously has some mixing and editing differences in the songs, but not other significant differences.

The film was very criticized when it was shown on British TV (first in Black and White, on Boxing Day 1967, and then in Colour, in early 1968) due to the lack of a proper script and due to their very "surrealistic" and "psychedelic" nature. After all, it was one of the first projects that the band did without their manager Brian Epstein (who died in August 1967), with Paul McCartney having the idea to do the film, and also with him and the other members of the band trying to direct a film without being film directors. So, the film (which was done in September 1967) was mostly an amateur project that with the passing of time has been better appreciated by some people. At least I consider it as a film done with the idea to be not taken very seriously. In fact, I think that the film has some very funny moments.

The music which was included in the film is in fact very good, even if by late 1967 it was becoming clear that the quality of the music was not as good as before. Maybe 1967 was the peak of THE BEATLES as an unified band. By 1968 the band started to have some personal problems among the members and also some bussiness problems which finally led them to split in 1970. Anyway, the band say farewell in 1970 when they still were producing good albums. Anyway, the whole "Magical Mystery Tour" project, despite having some "flaws", is still very good.

Now, a song by song review from the songs included in the film and in this 2 EP set:

"Magical Mystery Tour": a good song with some orchestral arrangments which worked as the first song in the film. Composed by McCartney, it has been played in concert by him in some of his tours since the nineties.

"Your Mother Should Know": another song composed by McCartney, with him on piano and with John Lennon on organ. A song which sounds a bit similar in style (an "oldie" from previous decades, maybe from the Forties!) to "When I'm Sixty Four" from the "Sgt. Pepper's..." album. This is the last song the band included in the film (apart from a very brief reprise of the title track in the closing credits of the film) with the band appearing in the film dancing and "singing" with dancers in a very outdated way. (It even was "outdated" for 1967, I think!).

"I Am The Walrus": a song composed by Lennon which also was previously released on the Side "B" of their "Hello, Goodbye" single, but which maybe was considered as "too good" to be left out of the film. This song is maybe the best part of the two EP set and maybe the best part of the film.

"The Fool On The Hill": a very good song composed by McCartney, with recorders and harmonicas, and very good lyrics. It is also a highlight from the film. It also has been played by McCartney in his concerts since the late eighties using some videos and speeches of Martin Luther King.

"Flying": an instrumental musical piece (apart from some wordless vocals sung as chorus) credited to all the members of the band. It also has some very good images in the film.

"Blue Jay Way": a song composed by George Harrison, with a "mysterious" organ part played by him. This song has some clear differences between the Stereo and Mono mixes. It also has some very good psychedelic scenes in the film.

There were other incidental instrumental musical pieces which only were included in the film, also being psychedelic in sound, and that were not released on vinyl or in any other format.

1967. A very psychedelic year for THE BEATLES and other bands. A time when psychedelia was a fad, and maybe when it was at its peak.

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 Hello Goodbye by BEATLES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1967
4.04 | 17 ratings

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Hello Goodbye
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I think that 1967 was a great musical year for THE BEATLES, having previously released two great singles ("Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane", "All You Need is Love" / "Baby, You're a Rich Man") and a great album ("Sgt. Pepper's...."). In late 1967 they also were going to release in the U.K. a double-EP project with the songs from their "Magical Mystery Tour" film (with the film being very criticized, but at least the music of the film was better for some critics) and this "Hello, Goodbye" / "I Am the Walrus" single. In the U.S., all the songs from these singles and the double-EP were released in an LP titled "Magical Mystery Tour", with it being one of their best U.S. releases. All these songs have some Psychedelic influences, so they worked very well being released together in that LP in the U.S.

"Hello, Goodbye", composed by McCartney, is more accessible than "I Am The Walrus". It has a string arrangement done by George Martin. This song is a very clear example of how some songs from the band were mixed in Stereo by Martin, with the string arrangements apperaring in one channel, and the band's instruments in the other channel.

"I Am the Walrus", composed by Lennon, is more Psychedelic, more "dark" in lyrical content, more "mysterious", more heavy, and more elaborated in its recording. I prefer this song more than "Hello, Goodbye", being a very good example of Psychedelic music, even if the lyrics have no apparent sense, at least for me. It also has an orchestral arrangement done by Martin, plus some strange sound effects and other experiments used in its recording. It also became an influential song for other bands, with SPOOKY TOOTH recording their own heavy version of the song for their "The Last Puff" album in 1970, and with TEARS FOR FEARS's "Sowing the Seeds of Love" song from 1989 being very infuenced in style by "I Am the Walrus".

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 Strawberry Fields Forever by BEATLES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1967
4.91 | 27 ratings

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Strawberry Fields Forever
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This Psychedelic single is maybe one of the most important singles in THE BEATLES's musical career, one of their best singles, and one of the most influential singles in the later development of Progressive Rock music, in my opinion.

Both songs of this single (which was released in February 1967) were recorded in late 1966, during the early recording sessions for their "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", which was released until June 1967. If their "Revolver" album from 1966 gave some indications about some changes in their music, which became more elaborated, this single also gave more indications for a new and more influential musical style from the band which was going to appear more in their "Sgt. Pepper's..." album. Both songs are "Nostalgical Psychedelic musical trips" to two places in Liverpool.

"Strawberry Fields Forever", composed by John Lennon, has a Mellotron part played by Paul McCartney, plus some use of backwards tapes and effects and an orchestral arrangement by Producer George Martin. As it is very known today, the song has two parts of two different recording takes put together in edition later by Martin, because Lennon liked a part from one take and another part from another take. This caused that the second part of the song has a bit of changes to Lennon's vocals, due to the slowing of the speed of the second part to match both parts because both parts had different tempos. This gave to the song an additional "psychedelic" effect. The song also has a "false ending" after which the "real ending" happens after a brief silence. The lyrics are not very clear to understand or to make some sense. Only the words "...living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see..." could have some sense, at least for me.

"Penny Lane", composed by McCartney, is a more melodic Pop Rock song and it is also more accessible than "Strawberry Fields Forever", but also being very Psychedelic. I like this song a bit more than "Strawberry Fields Forever". It has a very good bass guitar part played by McCartney plus a very good orchestral arrangement (also done by Martin) which has some trumpet melodies apparently inspired by one of J.S. Bach's "Bradenburg Concertos" which McCartney watched to on TV one night (as he said in the "The Beatles Anthology" TV documentary in 1995). The lyrics are a description of some places and persons in Liverpool and make more sense than the lyrics of "Strawberry Fields Forever", in my opinion.

Having a very good Producer like George Martin really helped THE BEATLES's as a band to have more freedom to make experiments in the studio. His more formal musical knowledge and trainning also helped them to "translate" their musical ideas to very good orchestral arrangements.

One of the best and most influential singles of the Sixties.

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 Rubber Soul by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1965
3.93 | 573 ratings

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Rubber Soul
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

5 stars As bands progress in their career, it's usually inevitable for their sound to mature in the process. Even teenage adolescent punk groups and bubblegum pop artists have a time when they throw away at least SOME of their young touch behind in favor for something new (even though there ARE some exceptions)... and what better band is there to represent that than The Beatles?

Since 1962's famous Please Please Me, The Beatles rose to superstardom, already becoming one of the most formidable forces of their era. Their simple pop/rock songs were addictive and fascinating to the point that they still see a great deal of airplay even today. By 1965, however, things were changing for the band. They started taking different influences than they had in the past, two of the most important during this time being Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys. This all resulted in a serious reduction in live performances and one of the most controversial Beatles releases, 1965's Rubber Soul.

This is most commonly seen as The Beatles' "transitional album, but in their case, is that really a bad thing? This album collects almost all the styles that the band were famous for, and drops them in a mixing pot. What would come of this is a unique musical concoction and a streak of brilliance. In here, you'll find rock, jazz, folk, blues, Indian music (hear the sitar on "Norwegian Wood), and even Greek music in spots! This caused a bit of a debate on whether it could be considered the first progressive rock album, but who cares? The quality is more important, as well as the old question: does this album stand the test of time? It does in SPADES.

One thing that stands out is the musical innovation at work here. You'll hear then-inventive instrumentation like using a sitar, a fuzzbox (a bass fuzzbox, I might add), and a classical harpsichord-esque piano. Sounds like these were quite uncommon to rock music (other than some sitar use on Rolling Stones' "Paint it, Black") and only gave The Beatles more free reign to work their experimental magic in the studio. The complexity of the music was also a standout during this era, as the album was among the first to have such varying tempos and to step away from the original confines of what pop music was back then.

However, what is it that really elevates this album to such a high pedestal in the music world. Really, it's because of how well the band combined their tastes and influences into a cohesive whole. Unlike their previous albums, The Beatles seemed to finally be in this together despite now have multiple different musical identities to work with. Thus Rubber Soul, despite the title, shows a more pure, emotional aspect that most bands could only hope to achieve in the pop realm of the 60's.

When the album opens with "Drive My Car", it's a little bit of a tease as you can hear many glimpses of old Beatles pop magic, of course with an extra rock edge this time around; When you're greeted with "Norwegian Wood", though, everything totally takes a shift in pace. Now sitar and acoustic guitar work take the reins as John Lennon sings of an affair away from his wife Cynthia, and the consequences regarding it all. It seems so surreal that a band talking about young love less than a year before this is now taking on such mature subject matter, but it works perfectly with the somber songwriting.

Speaking of somber, listen to "Michelle" and "Girl" as well. These are a few of the songs that utilize that Greek sound mentioned above, as well as some lyrical innovations such as Paul McCartney singing in French on "Michelle", which led to it being one of their most successful songs in said country (very similar to Queen's "Teo Torriatte" in Japan). Both songs are done in a pretty contrasting style, being in a "melancholy swing" if you will. Both utilize astounding vocal harmonies that would make The Beach Boys proud, and the acoustic lines were beyond their time, but what really stood out is how dark and depressing the songs were in terms of pop culture back then. The Beatles knew their audience weren't stupid, and they could take what the band threw back at them, so this became a plus for the band in future years with songs like "Eleanor Rigby."

The award for the best song, however, goes to the extraordinary "I'm Looking Through You;" where the hell do I begin with this one? It starts out with another acoustic guitar line, one that might have influenced Queen's "39." When the drums and vocals come in, though, it's pure magic. The lyrics speak of Paul McCartney's unhappy relationship with then-girlfriend Jane Asher, but he reflects then in a very unique way. He doesn't spew out anger or act mopey in any way, he simply acknowledges it in a deep thoughtful way. Emotion is where this song really shines, and is shows that you don't have to be insanely complex with your sound to make a fantastic, flowing piece of musical heaven.

This is the album that really elevated The Beatles to a higher plane in their career, as well as opening up so many possibilities for their sound to open up and branch out. A higher level of experimentation would be the next plan for the group, but with that said, this is the album that made it all happen. If you haven't given Rubber Soul a listen lately, dust it off and give it a try; you may really be surprised.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

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 The Complete Silver Beatles by BEATLES, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1982
2.00 | 3 ratings

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The Complete Silver Beatles
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I don`t have this album, but I have listened to all the songs from this album from other sources. in fact, they were broadcasted in a FM radio station in my city in a series of programmes dedicated to the history of the band. It was in late 1982, I think.

This album has 12 of the 15 songs that THE BEATLES (George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and then drummer Pete Best) recorded at the Decca Studios in London on the first day of January 1962. These recordings are as a whole also known as "The Decca Audition Tape". and as the very known old story says, they were rejected by Decca Records after this audition. But manager Brian Epstein anyway paid for the audition tapes to be owned by them, and he spent some months trying to get a recording contract for the band using these tapes with several record labels, until one day he was lucky and met a person who suggested to him to visit Parlophone Records to meet Producer George Martin, a then small record label which was part of the EMI Records label and that was mostly dedicated to the release of Comedy albums (which were also produced by Martin) . In fact, EMI also have rejected the band before that, but despite this Epstein tried again with Parlophone, and was lucky enough to find that Martin was interested to give the band a chance for an audition in June 1962. The rest is history.

These mono recordings from this "Decca Audition Tape" are well recorded and mixed but they sound really old, still showing the band playing well but not very well. In fact, they travelled all night from Liverpool to London for the audition with Decca. So, they sound a bit tired and maybe more after the New Year`s party (even the Decca producer and record executives arrived late to the audition). But anyway, the band tried to sound well. It is also known that Epstein selected the songs for the audition to try to show "their musical versatility". So, the songs show a variety of music styles, from ballads ("Till There Was You"), rockers ("Money", "Memphis"), Country and Western music ("Sure To Fall"), music more appropiate for Night Clubs ("Besame Mucho", a song which they also played in Hamburg in places like the "Star Club"), and even some theatre music ("Three Cool Cats", "The Sheik of Araby"). The band also recorded that day three original Lennon-McCartney songs (the unreleased "Love of the Loved", plus "Like Dreamers Do" and "Hello, Little Girl", with both of them being released in their "Anthology 1" two CD set compilation in 1995). It seems that these three Lennon-McCartney songs were not released in albums like this "The Complete Silver Beatles" compilation for some legal considerations. But these three original songs are the best from this "Decca Audition Tape". I think that due to his lack of experience managing bands Brian Epstein did not have the right vision to promote the band in the right way. He did it the best he could then, but obviously most of the material from this "Decca Audition Tape" did not show the real potential of the band as songwriters. Maybe it could have been better to include more songs from Lennon and McCartney as part of the repertoire for the audition. Also the lack of a better drummer showed the band still with some limitations. Pete Best was not the right drummer for the band, but fortunately the band later met Ringo Starr and the band became a much better band with him on the drums.

The title of this album "The Complete Silver Beatles" is not really good. The band at that time did no use that name. They were known then as The Beatles in Liverpool and in Hamburg. I don`t know why the record label used a title like that for this album. Maybe the rights for the use of the recordings were not very clear then, but I really don`t know the whole story behind the release of this album. But I saw it being sold in well established record shops and in supermarkets in my city in the early eighties, being sold with reduced prices.

For collectors and fans of the band.

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 Magical Mystery Tour (US Version) by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.13 | 597 ratings

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Magical Mystery Tour (US Version)
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by ridemyfacetochicago

5 stars I don't remember me listen to music and don't knowing Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane, in those days The Fab Four were the best, the most innovative and everybody listen to them. And they remained the best till today. For sure Magical Mystery Tour is belonging to this site of Prog, it is a Prog Music record, or at least Psychedelia record, which is the same. They have here some masterpieces that are way away of their time like Strawberry Fields, I am the walrus and All you need is love, well known songs by everybody that, really, deals with prog. Like all their albums of that era there is groundbreaking, there is influence on the others to come but, again, there is music that will stay with us a long, long time. Music is what counts, no? You don't have to be complicated to do music, and also, if you make complicated music it has to have melody, no? Else why do you write music, for the sake of writing it ?

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 Revolver by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1966
4.38 | 746 ratings

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Revolver
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by ridemyfacetochicago

5 stars I don't understand why in the first 100 records of all time there is no single LP by the Beatles ! Not Revolver, Sgt Pepper, Abbey Road or the White. Revolver is the first record that brings The Beatles to another level of composition and expression. We have here a passage to Psychedelic Rock (which is for the 60's what is Progressive Rock for the 70's, and of course, the father of the Prog), but this move, to another level, is made using the main gift that The Beatles had : the power to write beautiful songs, eternal songs. And songs they wrote : from Taxman to Tomorrow Never Ends everything is perfect. Really perfect. There is no need to pass song by song and describe them...The record as a whole is perfect. I think also of the impact they made in 66' on the whole industry, on the artists and the huge influence they had on music yet to come... Viva the psychedelia and The Beatles !! Highly recommended, in fact I think that these are the very basic stones that someone must listen and know by heart before entering the gate of the Prog, it makes the understanding of this phenomena of Prog much easier. And one more thing : I have and know by heart every record by Yes, Genesis, Van Der Graaf, King Crimson, Floyd and so on, but I love Yellow Submarine....It makes me feel forever young...

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 Rubber Soul by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1965
3.93 | 573 ratings

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Rubber Soul
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by ridemyfacetochicago

5 stars Rubber Soul-Drive my car, Norwegian wood, Nowhere man, Michelle, Girl, In my life are songs for ever. And the rest are also beautiful songs. I still look at this site and don't understand how The Beatles are so underrated, although I noticed their ratings are climbing steadily. Maybe in the end there will be justice done and they will be recognized as the Masters. They where not progressive music in their first period (1963-1965) as we understand today progressive music (Yes, Van der Graaf, King Crimson, Genesis, Pink Floyd and so on), but they made records for ever. As to say more : I think that many people will say about Beethoven : no, not Beethoven he is not progressive... But to stick to Rubber Soul, another fine one on the long strike of 12-13 records of geniality by the Beatles.

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 Love Songs by BEATLES, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1977
3.85 | 18 ratings

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Love Songs
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by thwok

4 stars If this album was released on CD at a reasonable price (not the absurd, almost $20 you have to pay these days), I would snatch it up in a minute. It contains many of my favorite Beatles songs, scattered throughout the band's original albums. The fact that this album does span the band's less-than 10 year recording career is one of its selling points. I think the inclusion of "I Will", a great song that I didn't even know existed until Alison Krauss' brilliant cover version, alone earns this album an extra star.

We all know the music, so discussing individual songs is mostly unnecessary. I think the deciding factor in rating Love Songs is the choice of songs. I don't own all of The Beatles' original albums, and I wouldn't want to. So, I think this is a great gathering of their songs in one place. The only suggestion (it's not exactly a complaint) I would make for Love Songs is to include more music. "Hey Jude", for instance, would fit here with a lot of breathing room left over.

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