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THE BEATLES

Proto-Prog • United Kingdom


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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 shows & tickets


  • Jarocin Festiwal 2015 on 17 Jul 2015

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 | 281 ratings
Please Please Me
1963
2.84 | 266 ratings
With The Beatles
1963
3.50 | 302 ratings
A Hard Day's Night
1964
2.72 | 261 ratings
Beatles For Sale
1964
3.41 | 320 ratings
Help!
1965
3.87 | 465 ratings
Rubber Soul
1965
4.37 | 621 ratings
Revolver
1966
4.32 | 707 ratings
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
1967
4.13 | 485 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour (US Version)
1967
4.15 | 531 ratings
The Beatles
1968
2.45 | 244 ratings
Yellow Submarine
1969
4.49 | 675 ratings
Abbey Road
1969
3.21 | 358 ratings
Let It Be
1970
3.55 | 131 ratings
Let It Be - Naked
2003

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

2.97 | 24 ratings
The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl
1977
1.81 | 14 ratings
The Beatles Live! at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962
1977
3.14 | 45 ratings
Live at the BBC
1994
2.07 | 6 ratings
Last Night In Hamburg
1999

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

3.56 | 38 ratings
A Hard Day's Night
1964
3.12 | 31 ratings
Help!
1965
3.09 | 4 ratings
The Beatles At The Shea Stadium
1966
3.85 | 54 ratings
Yellow Submarine
1968
3.95 | 24 ratings
Let It Be
1970
2.99 | 29 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour
1978
5.00 | 1 ratings
Ready Steady Go! The Beatles Live
1985
4.88 | 8 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
1.92 | 5 ratings
The Beatles At The Budokan
2008

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

3.67 | 6 ratings
Introducing The Beatles
1963
1.91 | 12 ratings
Meet the Beatles
1964
1.66 | 6 ratings
Something New
1964
1.42 | 5 ratings
The Beatles' Story
1964
4.00 | 7 ratings
Beatles '65
1964
2.61 | 14 ratings
The Beatles' Second Album
1964
2.17 | 25 ratings
A Hard Day's Night (US version)
1964
2.09 | 4 ratings
The Beatles' First
1964
2.59 | 28 ratings
Rubber Soul (US)
1965
2.22 | 26 ratings
Help (US version)
1965
3.50 | 4 ratings
The Early Beatles
1965
3.33 | 3 ratings
Beatles VI
1965
3.20 | 13 ratings
Yesterday and Today
1966
2.32 | 6 ratings
A Collection Of Beatles Oldies (But Goldies !)
1966
3.34 | 21 ratings
Revolver (US)
1966
3.67 | 31 ratings
Hey Jude
1970
3.18 | 72 ratings
1962-1966
1973
3.69 | 84 ratings
1967-1970
1973
3.12 | 11 ratings
Rock 'n' Roll Music
1976
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Tapes (From The David Wigg Interviews)
1976
3.92 | 12 ratings
Love Songs
1977
4.75 | 4 ratings
Rarities
1978
5.00 | 5 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
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Silver Beatles
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
First Movement
1982
2.50 | 2 ratings
Reel Music
1982
4.40 | 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 | 7 ratings
The Early Tapes of The Beatles
1987
3.38 | 55 ratings
Past Masters Volume 1
1988
4.10 | 56 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
2.80 | 51 ratings
Anthology 1
1995
3.87 | 56 ratings
Anthology 2
1996
3.61 | 52 ratings
Anthology 3
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Words Of Love
1998
3.36 | 36 ratings
Yellow Submarine Songtrack
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Magical And Mystical Words
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Things We Said Today
2000
3.80 | 69 ratings
The Beatles '1'
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Big Beat Box
2001
4.38 | 8 ratings
Capitol Albums Vol 1
2004
4.43 | 7 ratings
Capitol Albums Vol 2
2006
2.92 | 65 ratings
Love
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Beatles - 1967-69 - Acoustic Submarine
2006
4.93 | 34 ratings
The Beatles In Mono Box Set
2009
4.70 | 50 ratings
The Beatles Stereo Box Set
2009
4.74 | 34 ratings
Past Masters (Remastered)
2009
4.26 | 26 ratings
The Beatles 1962-1970
2010
1.00 | 1 ratings
Anthology Highlights
2011
4.00 | 3 ratings
Tomorrow Never Knows
2012

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

1.29 | 5 ratings
My Bonnie
1961
2.84 | 13 ratings
Love Me Do
1962
2.50 | 11 ratings
Please Please Me
1963
2.37 | 10 ratings
From Me To You
1963
3.64 | 13 ratings
She Loves You
1963
2.68 | 10 ratings
I Want To Hold Your Hand
1963
2.67 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Christmas Record
1963
3.50 | 10 ratings
Twist And Shout
1963
3.00 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Hits
1963
2.50 | 2 ratings
The Beatles No. 1
1963
2.65 | 8 ratings
All My Loving
1964
3.04 | 6 ratings
Long Tall Sally
1964
3.96 | 5 ratings
Extracts From The Film A Hard Day's Night
1964
2.00 | 1 ratings
Extracts From The Album A Hard Day's Night
1964
2.50 | 7 ratings
Beatles For Sale
1964
2.00 | 1 ratings
Souvenir of Their Visit to America
1964
2.00 | 1 ratings
Four By The Beatles
1964
3.40 | 10 ratings
Can't Buy Me Love
1964
3.40 | 10 ratings
A Hard Days Night
1964
3.40 | 10 ratings
I Feel Fine
1964
3.00 | 7 ratings
If I Fell
1964
2.00 | 1 ratings
Another Beatles Christmas Record
1964
3.70 | 10 ratings
Ticket To Ride
1965
3.64 | 11 ratings
Help !
1965
3.70 | 10 ratings
Day Tripper
1965
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles Third Christmas Record
1965
2.00 | 1 ratings
4 By The Beatles
1965
2.00 | 1 ratings
Beatles For Sale No. 2
1965
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles Million Sellers
1965
3.67 | 6 ratings
Yesterday
1966
4.00 | 9 ratings
Nowhere Man
1966
3.45 | 14 ratings
Paperback Writer
1966
3.58 | 15 ratings
Eleanor Rigby
1966
2.00 | 2 ratings
Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas
1966
4.86 | 23 ratings
Strawberry Fields Forever
1967
3.51 | 17 ratings
All You Need Is Love
1967
4.03 | 13 ratings
Hello Goodbye
1967
2.17 | 4 ratings
Christmas Time (Is Here Again)
1967
3.80 | 21 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour (UK Version)
1967
3.29 | 15 ratings
Lady Madonna
1968
4.18 | 21 ratings
Hey Jude
1968
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles Sixth Christmas Record
1968
4.06 | 16 ratings
Get Back
1969
3.09 | 15 ratings
Ballad Of John And Yoko
1969
3.11 | 15 ratings
Something
1969
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles Seventh Christmas Record
1969
3.07 | 11 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
3.67 | 9 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
3.00 | 2 ratings
Movie Medley
1982
2.00 | 5 ratings
Love Me Do
1982
3.00 | 3 ratings
Baby It's You
1995
3.89 | 9 ratings
Free As A Bird
1995
3.92 | 7 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
2.33 | 3 ratings
Love (promo)
2006
3.33 | 3 ratings
Help! (7 Song Radio Sampler)
2007

THE BEATLES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Long Tall Sally by BEATLES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1964
3.04 | 6 ratings

BUY
Long Tall Sally
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The Extended Play (EP) format was a more popular format in the U.K, than in the U.S. In that format some bands released 4 or 5 songs in a little vinyl disc that played at 45 R.P.M. So, bands like The Beatles used it sometimes to release their most popular songs from their British albums, and in two occasions, to release new music which only was released in that format. This EP was the first time they released new music in that format, with the second time being the double EP package of the songs from the "Magical Mystery Tour" film in late 1967.

This EP has 4 songs. Three of them were composed by other musicians, and only one song was composed by Lennon and McCartney.

"Long Tall Sally": composed by Little Richard. Sung by McCartney. It has some piano playing and a lead guitar played by Harrison. An energetic song which they also used many times to finish their concerts.

"I Call Your Name": composed by Lennon and McCartney, and sung by Lennon. A simple good and somewhat slow song which maybe it is not very popular or known as other songs from the band. It also includes a lead guitar by Harrison.

"Slow Down": composed by Larry Williams and sung by Lennon, A very typical Rock and Roll song which also has some piano playing, plus another good lead guitar by Harrison. In other occasions the band also recorded two other songs composed by Williams ("Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and "Bad Boy"). It seems that Lennon was a fan of Williams`s music.

"Matchbox": composed by Carl Perkins, and with double-tracked lead vocals by Ringo Starr. It also includes some piano playing and another lead guitar by Harrison.

The songs in this EP sound like being recorded mostly "live in the studio" with very few overdubs (like most of their early material). But they sound very well, and the band sounds like having a very good time. Four good Rock and Roll songs which were exclusively recorded to be released in this EP. Even the photo in the cover was good and very original. The band not only recorded songs for their British albums, They also recorded some songs to be only released on singles, and as I wrote above, in only two occasions they also recorded some new songs to be exclusively released on EPs like this. They worked very hard, I think.

These four songs were also released in the "Past Masters Volume One" compilation album in 1988.

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 Anthology 3 by BEATLES, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1996
3.61 | 52 ratings

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Anthology 3
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I must admit that it's impossible for me to be objective about The Beatles. I was an impressionable 14 year old when I experienced my personal coming-of-age epiphany whilst witnessing their American debut on Ed Sullivan in early '64 (Yes, I'm an aging boomer but I wouldn't want to be associated with any other generation) and in an instant all my questions about what the future held for me were answered big time. John, Paul, George and Ringo were going to collectively lead not just me but all of us into the musical Promised Land where all the restrictive fences were going to be torn down and ceremoniously torched in a blazing bonfire of revolution. No genre was taboo, no concept too strange and the sky was the limit. The atmosphere was indescribable. I can tell you this much, though. We had a ball reacting to their every move. Each new LP release by the Fab Four was a mind-expanding, celebratory event. Even conservative AM Top 40 radio stations would play EVERY cut on the album for weeks on end. Society at large was gleeful to be engulfed, inundated and influenced by the sounds The Beatles conjured up from their unbridled imaginations and unleashed on the world. It was a magical time to be a teenager in love with life-defining music. If you haven't a clue as to what I'm on about then I'm afraid I can't help you. I doubt that such a widespread phenomenon will ever be repeated on such an enormous scale so I reckon you had to be there. Nothing was ever the same again. Nothing.

The three anthology sets that coincided with the huge celebration of all things Beatles in the mid- 90s (that included the airing of an exhaustive network television documentary) were intended to make available all of the incidental recordings, rare tapes and demos that few had ever heard. The public ate up the packages like free surf and turf. The first collection portrayed them as youthful, eager overachievers who took full advantage of being in the right place in the right era with the right material and the right look. Of course, none of those factors would've made any difference if they hadn't have possessed an unassailable and undeniable talent for tapping into the yearnings and dreams of everyone under the age of 30 and brilliantly expressing them through the highly efficient and accessible vehicle known as rock & roll. Anthology 1 is a testament to their enthusiasm and ambition. #2 shows them to be fearless pioneers who refused to stay in their assigned niche and had no qualms about going wherever their muse led them. When faced with the realization that touring and playing live concerts had become detrimental to their creativity they did what no other entity would've had the guts to do (because of the income involved) and sold all of their luggage. The fully-stocked workshop that was the studio would now be the sole medium through which they'd communicate to the masses. Anthology 2 is an intriguing exploration into how an adventurous, progressive-minded quartet of gifted musicians was able to permanently alter the planet's rotation forevermore.

Anthology 3 completes the triathlon. It generally covers the last two years of the band's existence when the changes they initiated and championed in modern civilization eventually began to change them, as well. Their innocence was long gone and they'd found that the golden crown of adulation was heavier than anticipated. Yet they sensed they had a reputation to uphold and a responsibility to not let their legion of fans down. That constant pressure forced them to work in a tight cocoon together and, as to be expected, they began to cherish their time away from the conclave. These two CDs reveal their own unique personalities and artistic leanings coming to the surface independent of the "group" mentality. They knew what they sounded like as a cohesive unit, now they each wanted to find out what they sounded like as individuals. One of the misconceptions about this final period of The Beatles' career is that they couldn't stand one another's company. The 50 cuts included here dispel that rumor completely. One can't help but hear their boisterous camaraderie seeping into many of the tracks. The fact is, they couldn't have produced the stellar music they did if they'd been preoccupied with conniving ways to stab the guy next to them in the back all the time. Making the best music they could was their reason for living and they took their job quite seriously.

Of course, having George Martin as a mentor and advisor didn't hurt. That's why the opening piece, "A Beginning" is appropriate. It's a lush symphonic instrumental originally intended to serve as an intro to Ringo's goofy "Don't Pass Me By" on the White Album. It's obvious that the two didn't jive as a couple so Martin's score was jettisoned but, fortunately, not destroyed. Its inclusion is a lovely way to begin. Seven of the next eight selections were culled from homemade tapes recorded at George's house in Surrey. Having knocked the residents of the earth for a loop with the ground-breaking masterpiece that is "Sgt. Peppers," one gets the feeling that they were now more comfortable with and confident in their songwriting skills and they were willing to lay down every tune idea they came up with no matter how unorthodox or weird an outsider would've considered it to be. The best of this bunch is John's raw rendition of "Happiness is a Warm Gun." It's a ragged, incomplete outline to be sure but Lennon's raspy vocal riding atop his aggressive acoustic guitar strumming is convicting and real. "Junk," an unfinished melody idea of Paul's, displays a lot of potential but I guess it fell to the wayside. A pity. Harrison's "Piggies" showcases his uncannily mellow vocal style in its unaffected state and it's a treat. McCartney's nostalgic "Honey Pie" shamelessly demonstrates his enjoyment of the creative process that seemed to enrapture him at times. The rest of disc 1 (except for one cut) consists of demos they recorded in rehearsals at Abbey Road. Of special interest is the piano/vocal run-through of "Good Night." Mr. Starr's singing is especially unaffected and the orchestral score is gorgeous. "Sexy Sadie" sports an unexpectedly laid-back aura that surreptitiously underlines John's sarcastic skewering of their once-esteemed Indian guru. But the highlight is George's solo version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." It's an incredibly haunting presentation of his immaculate song that proudly stands on its own two feet without unnecessary decoration. "Not Guilty" is another Harrison-penned number that stayed hidden for eleven more years until he put it on his eponymous LP. It has a proggy slant that's worthy of note.

Disc 2 is a mixture of demos captured at the Abbey Road and Apple Studios. Most of the tracks are rough test runs but it's the screw-up moments that demonstrate their wit and nonchalant attitude that I've always found endearing. They knew that amazing tunes often grew from small ideas if they were only given the chance to sprout so little hiccups along the way didn't faze them in the least. It was all part of the process. Honorable mentions go out to Lennon's poignant rendition of "I'm So Tired," the group's loose but upbeat take on "I've Got a Feeling" that exudes pure elation, George's smooth-as-silk offering of "All Things Must Pass" that demonstrates his ongoing maturation as a composer of merit and the edgy vocal performance John delivers on "Come Together" that coats it with a truckload of grit. I've always loved Badfinger's breakthrough single, "Come and Get It," and it's a sweet bonus to get to hear Paul's original version that's almost as irresistible. The most astounding cut is the isolated, vocals-only track of "Because." Arranged by the master George Martin (and employed later on to raise the curtain on the engaging "Love" soundtrack), it's a marvel to behold. Their awesome blend of voices is ethereal and wholly captivating. I also appreciate the no-frills demo of "Let It Be" and it makes me wonder what it was like to hear one of the greatest songs of the modern age being unveiled for the first time ever. Lennon's complimentary remarks uttered when they finish the take says volumes. Even he was stunned by his partner's accomplishment. It's only fitting that they decided to exit with "The End" but the tacking on of a backwards rendering of the climactic piano chord on "A Day in the Life" was a stroke of absolute genius. Can't ask for more.

Like its predecessors, Anthology 3 went straight to #1 and didn't stop selling until it reached triple platinum status. Hard to believe that folks would gladly pay top dollar to have in their grasp an assortment of outtakes, coarse demos and snippets of tomfoolery from four lads from Liverpool, England but they weren't just anybody. These cuts had emanated from the one-and-only Beatles who rattled the universe with regularity throughout the turbulent but marvelous 60s. My humble opinion is that prog rock was destined to be an inevitable offshoot in the evolution of rock & roll but it would've been delayed in being nurtured, investigated and expanded by years if not for this spectacular band blowing the doors off the establishment's fortress. I make no apologies for indulging in every tidbit of Beatlemania I can wallow in because they did what other artists only dream of doing. Making an indelible mark in history that will never be duplicated. I was lucky enough to get to watch it happen before my very eyes. Perhaps no one's ever rocked you and your peers' world down to its core. My condolences. This group thoroughly transformed my life. Therefore I'll always be in their debt.

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 Lady Madonna by BEATLES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1968
3.29 | 15 ratings

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Lady Madonna
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Both songs of this single were recorded before the band went to India in 1968 to study Meditation. It was their last single which was released in the Parlophone label because by late 1968 their albums and singles became released also by Parlophone but in their Apple Records label.

"Lady Madonna", mainly composed by McCartney, is a Rock song with good backing vocals and a sax solo (played by a session musician) and with some "vocal imitations" of some horn instruments done by Lennon, McCartney and Harrison. It also has two different drum tracks recorded by Ringo Starr each played in a different way.

"The Inner Light" is an Indian Music song composed by Harrison, but recorded by him in India in late 1967 and in early 1968 while he was recording a soundtrack album for a British film called "Wonderwall", in an album which was the first album released as soloist by any member of the band and also was the first album released in their Apple Records label. The instrumentation in this song was played by Indian musicians (like in most of the "Wonderwall Music" album) playing instruments of that country, but with Harrison adding lead vocals in London later and also with brief backing vocals by Lennon and McCartney in the last lyrics line of the song. It was the last song of this style of music which Harrison recorded to be released by the band.

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 Paperback Writer by BEATLES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1966
3.45 | 14 ratings

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Paperback Writer
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars By 1965 the music by The Beatles became increasingly more interesting and complex. From 1963 to 1965 they released two albums of new music per year plus some extra tracks which were not released in the albums but in singles. But by 1966 they became tired of all this hard work, which also included doing several tours and making two films, and also writting (in the case of Lennon and McCartney) some songs for other artists to record. So, in 1966 they released only one new album ("Revolver") and this single with two tracks which were not included in that album. By the end of 1966 they released a compilation called "A Collection of Oldies...but Goldies" and they have toured for the last time in their career.

"Paperback Writter", mainly composed by McCartney, has very good lead and backing vocals which were overdubbed several times making them hard to sing in concert. Despite this, the band played this song during their last tours in 1966, and also during their last concert at the Candlestick Park in San Francisco in August 1966. During the nineties McCartney played the song in some of his solo tours with the help of some modern technology to reproduce well the vocals arrangements, doing a very good job.

"Rain", mainly composed by Lennon, is a more interesting song with very good guitars in sound and also very good but less complicated vocals arrangements. It also includes at the end of the song a lead vocal which was recorded backwards. This recording technique was very useful and exciting for them in those years and they used it in several other songs.

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 Help! by BEATLES, THE album cover DVD/Video, 1965
3.12 | 31 ratings

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Help!
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars If the "A Hard Day`s Night" film showed The Beatles during a hard day of work, mostly being themselves and really not acting characters and even improvising their parts, this "Help!" film showed them in a film with a story and with them trying to act their parts in a more fixed way in that story. A story which is like a parody from the James Bond film series of the sixties, with some funny scenes, and really showing the acting limitations of the members of the band. Not as good as their first film, but made with much more budget (a film in colour, this time, and filmed in several locations in Europe and in the Bahamas), it even shows some of their wit and charisma, and only by this this film is somewhat funny, but it is maybe their less interesting film, in my opinion, even than their very underrated "Magical Mystery Tour" film from 1967.

I never have seen the films made by Elvis Presley in those years (and I really don`t want to see them), but I have read some reviews about them and they were considered as very bad in quality. I also read in a book written about The Beatles that they even did not like this "Help!" film very much, even calling it as "cardboard". I agree with them. I think that for them making this film was like doing another job that their manager had for them. So, even if they were working very hard composing songs, playing concerts, doing interviews, etc., they still had to make this film. It was the high time of the "Beatlemania" and they were working very hard recording two albums per year from 1963 to 1965, and also recording songs which only were released on singles. It is also very known now that by 1965 they have met Bob Dylan in the U.S., , who introduced them to the use of a herbal substance which they used to have some fun while doing this film. Even they mentioned it, they joked and laughed about this use in the "Anthology" video series.

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 Please Please Me by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1963
3.01 | 281 ratings

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Please Please Me
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Novri Leonard

4 stars Although I'm not surprised to find The Beatles is mentioned in this site but it is a bit surprise for me to find Please Please Me is included here. We may call this album is the entry point and The Beatles breakthrough to the the world of Rock n' Roll and certainly the dawn of their marvellous year. But I believe it's not their "dawn", since they had been around way before Please Please Me. They had joined forces with Tony Sheridan recording My Bonnie and done some of their recordings: Ain't She Sweet and Cry For A Shadow for instance back in 1960-1961.

From the musical side Please Please Me may be viewed as a simple straight rock n' roll/pop rock album but The Beatles never got stucked with it as they kept evolved musically to become more mature and more complex with every release they offered. So for me this album is very important if we want to see the whole picture of The Beatles and how their music grew from one album to another and another and so on until they called it a day in 1970.

I give it 4 stars, becuase eventhough it's not a materpiece but it's essential at least to myself.

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 Please Please Me by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1963
3.01 | 281 ratings

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Please Please Me
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy

3 stars Despite sounding late 50s / early 60s pop this is really an extremely important album in music history. By playing the musical game and scoring pop hits on the charts THE BEATLES found instant popularity in their native UK before conquering the rest of the world soon thereafter. This is the first step in their conquest of the music charts which allowed them the financial freedom to explore music to their hearts desire just a few years down the road which would jump start the entire musical world and allowing free-form creativity to blossom in myriad directions including progressive rock.

Despite being the debut this album has virtually zero indicators of what was to come as THE BEATLES themselves probably had zero clues of what they were to become. This album finds the band with a brand new drummer by the name of Ringo Starr fresh in the seat of the recently booted Pete Best while the famous John Lennon / Paul McCartney songwriting team was only beginning to get their engines greased and their mojo running with George Harrison in their shadow but still sneaking in a contribution or two.

This album is only half originals with the remaining being covers of various artists. This is a mixed bag. Songs I like include.... "I Saw Her Standing There", "Chains", title track, "Love Me Do", "P.S. I Love You", "Do You Want To Know A Secret", "Twist And Shout." The rest I don't like. That means half this album is good and the rest I could live without. If the album was as good as the half I like I would rate this higher but because a few of these good songs are really great early 60s pop songs and this is THE BEATLES, it seems like 3 stars is a perfect fit for this debut album even though I can't imagine not having it as a part of my greater musical collection. Only good but still very essential for me.

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 Anthology 2 by BEATLES, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1996
3.87 | 56 ratings

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Anthology 2
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The overwhelming success of the "Anthology 1" compilation probably surprised even die-hard Beatle fans who, while still not being able to understand how someone could be blasť about them, may have thought that such an eclectic collection of rarities, live performances and outtakes would only appeal to those of their own obsessed ilk. But the reality was that even a quarter of a century after their breakup their legacy had only grown larger in size and stature, due mainly to the fact that no artist or group had even come close to having the earth-shaking impact that the Fab Four had on civilization. Whether it was fate or incredibly fortunate timing or God's will that made the doors of fame open wide for the quartet from Liverpool they still to this day stand head and shoulders above all musical entities that have come and gone in the history of music. I suspect that they'll continue to be dissected and talked about a thousand years from now with the same reverence and admiration that they're granted today.

The first edition of the anthology centered on presenting the aural history of how they rose from the humblest of beginnings (via crude home recordings and amateurish demos) to become a solid, tight and cohesive combo of dedicated musicians and singer/songwriters who worked like the devil to constantly improve their skills. That they had raw talent and irresistible charisma is beyond debate but that double CD set illustrated clearly their indefatigable collective drive to push themselves to not only reach but exceed their potential. Few can say they changed the world they lived in as much as they did. "Anthology 2" is a continuation of the same method, uncovering and exposing the inner workings of their genius by allowing us to hear more of the behind-the-scenes stuff that led up to what we experienced as the final product eventually released on their heralded LPs. Roughly covering the time period from the "Help" soundtrack sessions to around the time of their infamous trip to India in February of 1968, the listener gets to hear how some of their most beloved compositions evolved out of incomplete and sometimes hazy outlines of song ideas as well as pointing out by default the huge contributions made by their producer extraordinaire, George Martin, and the courageous engineering crew of Abbey Road Studios that helped to turn their skimpy sketches into full-fledged masterpieces.

They open with the second new Beatles tune to be released since the band's demise, "Real Love." This one, even more than the stunning "Free as a Bird," has John Lennon's fingerprints all over it because on this one they really didn't have to add to the number's chord structure or alter the arrangement very much. Credit the phenomenal Jeff Lynne for doing another outstanding job of taking John's unadorned cassette recording and making it palatable so that the surviving threesome could embellish it and bestow upon it the indefinable Beatle magic that sets it apart from all others. Following that impressive curtain-raiser you're treated to studio run-throughs of seven of their songs. "Yes It Is" is presented in a stripped-down form that I actually prefer to the muddled final version that featured their sometimes off-key 3-part harmonies. Two of these numbers never saw the light of day until '96 and with good reason. "If You've Got Trouble" with Ringo singing the lead is weak and "That Means a Lot" sounds like they were aiming at erecting a Phil Spector-like wall of sound. Both provide proof that they were human after all and not every one of their compositions was a keeper. On "Yesterday" it's like you're sitting right there in the room with McCartney as he teaches Harrison and Lennon the chords and then sings it like it'd been around for decades. Next comes five live cuts, four of which were taped at the ABC Theatre in Blackpool for a TV show in August of '65. The most intriguing is Paul's debut of "Yesterday" for the rapt audience sans the group, complete with a string quartet behind him. The fifth live selection features George crooning "Everybody's Trying to be my Baby" from their historic Shea Stadium concert later that same month. The next ten tracks are more rough renditions of some of their most famous tunes. One is an instrumental called "12 Bar Original" that carries a palpable Booker T. and the MGs vibe but it's really not much more than an in-studio jam. I found "Tomorrow Never Knows" to be a standout because it demonstrates how adventurously progressive they were starting to get by experimenting with unique effects and radical recording techniques. On "And Your Bird Can Sing" the vocalists have the giggles so badly that one must suspect that they'd been smoking funny cigarettes at the time. A knockout is the string quartet-only accompanying track for "Eleanor Rigby" that shines a light on Martin's invaluable ability to take something merely good and turn it into something ground-breaking. I also found "I'm Only Sleeping" with stripped-down vocal, acoustic guitars and bongos to be very cool.

We then get two more live cuts from Nippon Budokan Hall in Japan from June of '66 that, to my ears, belie their fatigue and frustration with trying to perform on stage. (I still think their "Live at the Hollywood Bowl" LP offers a fantastic as well as the best encapsulation of their energetic and exciting in-person presence. See my review of that disc on this site for more info.) It's at this juncture that a new, freer mindset becomes evident as they've made the decision to no longer do concerts but concentrate on taking modern music where no other rock & roll entities have ever dared to take it. We're treated to three different looks at the formation of the psychedelic "Strawberry Fields Forever" that includes upright bass, slide guitar and some of the earliest use of the Mellotron. They obviously weren't afraid of taking risks. Another perk is hearing "A Day in the Life" with John counting aloud where the ascending orchestral mayhem will later be inserted. The instrumental take of Harrison's "Within You, Without You" demonstrates how comfortable he'd become in a relatively short time at manipulating the ungainly sitar while their loose demo of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is stunningly aggressive and rockin'. I've always liked their goofy "You Know My Name (Look up my number)" and the alternate version included here is just as engaging in its own silly way. All of the other tracks included in this 20-song stretch share a common characteristic. Taken at face value you'll often wonder how they managed to turn disjointed, unrefined melody ideas into the classics that we know and love. It's not unlike witnessing the awkward, crude initial studio takes of some of Yes' prog gems that were added as bonuses on some of their digitally remastered re-releases. It's a miracle they didn't give up on them before they had a chance to fill out. In the case of the Beatles it was no doubt their ability, learned from experience, to see beyond the shaky chord progressions and unfinished lyric lines to what they heard in their heads. Not to mention George Martin's uncanny knack for letting them venture into places that no one had ever dreamed of venturing before and making their aural fantasies become a reality. The album ends with John singing "Across the Universe," a beautiful tune that comes off as being much more accessible without the overproduced distractions that marred it on "Let It Be."

Put out on March 18, 1996, almost four months after its predecessor, "Anthology 2" went straight to the #1 spot on the charts despite being another double CD package. It seemed that the public's appetite for anything Beatle-related was still insatiable. Serious musicologists of all ages will find this collection intriguing and informative because it so honestly portrays John, Paul, George and Ringo as fearless explorers that set no limits on what was possible for them to create together. If you're a fledgling songwriter you owe it to yourself to give this a listen and learn from the masters how to never be scared of sticking with a composition that you know has potential even when it sounds fragmented and unfocused. The Beatles always seemed to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and they knew that getting there was an exhilarating challenge that made it all worthwhile. Check it out.

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 Anthology 1 by BEATLES, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1995
2.80 | 51 ratings

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Anthology 1
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There are certain dates in history that mankind will never forget. December 7, 1941; November 22, 1963 and September 11, 2001 come to mind. But, on a personal level, I'd add February 9, 1964 to that list for that was the day my world was shaken to its core. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was 14, sitting in my den watching the Ed Sullivan Show with my mom and dad. Unless you'd been living in a cave you knew that the main attraction that night was to be the American television debut of The Beatles. Six or seven weeks earlier I'd first heard "I Want To Hold Your Hand" on KLIF when the "Weird Beard" introduced his loyal listeners to what he said was a band from England that were going to be big. The song was different from anything I'd ever heard and it was so irresistible I was immediately mesmerized. After that their tunes seemed to multiply on the airwaves like rabbits so I and 70 million other viewers couldn't wait to get a gander at the Fab Four. I could scarcely take it in. They were spectacular in every sense. They looked fantastic with their radical long hair, snazzy suits and cool guitars. Their confident attitude streamed right out of the screen and, to top it all off, they looked like they were enjoying the best time of their lives. When they finished playing they bowed gallantly to their audience while I tried to pick my lower jaw up off the floor. All questions about what I was going to do when I grew up had been answered. I wanted to do what John, Paul, George and Ringo were doing. I was never the same.

If you're under 40 years of age try to imagine what life was like before microwave ovens, cell phones, laptops and the internet. That's what music was like before The Beatles. Elvis had been a rebel eight years earlier but he'd long since sold out to be a movie star and his songs were crap. The Beach Boys had brought something new to the table but they were singing about a lifestyle that was foreign to most of us. To a kid in Dallas surfing was about as relatable as snow skiing. The Beatles didn't just open a door to a universe of new sounds and possibilities; they blew it off its hinges. I felt like Dorothy waking up in Oz. As I write this it's been almost 50 years since they turned my little world upside down and, whether you acknowledge it or not, there will never be another group that'll come close to having the planetary impact they had on civilization. Their music and influence will literally live on for as long as the earth orbits the sun.

The six-part television event, "The Beatles Anthology," was a superb documentary that aired in November 1995 and this double CD set, "Volume 1," came out at the same time. The clamor for anything that hadn't been previously released by The Beatles was through the roof so it went straight to #1 on the album charts and stayed there for 3 solid weeks. Beatlemania was alive and well again. The sixty tracks it contains is a comprehensive mix of primitive home recordings, short interview quips from the band members (as well as manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin), historic live performances caught on tape and in-the-studio demos and alternate takes. If you're not a Beatle fan or don't understand why they're so revered by baby boomers then this might be nothing more than a curiosity piece. But for guys like me who were changed into "altered boys" by their music and their mien it's a treasure chest full of rare gems.

It starts with the first new Beatle song we'd heard in 25 years, "Free as a Bird." All I can say is that it lived up to its hype (see my review of the single for more info) and climbed to #6 on Billboard. Then you're taken as far back as you can go with some rustic recordings of Lennon's "Quarrymen" skiffle outfit, followed by some home tapings of John and Paul with bassist Stuart Sutcliffe practicing at McCartney's house. (Their hilarious fooling around on "You'll Be Mine" is priceless.) Next comes their Hamburg studio sessions with Pete Best on drums when they made their first record, "My Bonnie/Ain't She Sweet." The audition sessions for Decca have rough edges but it's obvious that John and Paul were maturing as vocalists and that the all night gigs in Germany had made them tighter. Their energetic version of "Searchin'" is a standout. Their first EMI session includes their initial stab at "Love Me Do" but they sound timid and unsure of themselves. One can hear why Martin suggested they needed a better drummer going forward. An assortment of inferior takes on various numbers ensues, the most interesting of them being "One After 909"due to the chatter overheard while working out the arrangement. Their appearance on a British TV show in October '63 playing "I'll Get You" is included and while you can hear girls screaming in the background they don't take away from the band's bold delivery of that great song.

Five of the tunes off their debut LP were preserved from an intimate Swedish radio simulcast where they performed them live in a studio. Ringo's drums are punchy and the foursome sound crisp and self-assured. Their famous gig for the queen at the Prince of Wales Theatre is included when they charmed the pants off all in attendance with their cheeky wit and confident attitude. "I Want To Hold Your Hand" from an English TV variety show is a highlight because they kill it. A Paris studio take of "Can't Buy Me Love" is remarkable because they were trying unsuccessfully to put harmony lines on the chorus. I never get tired of hearing "All My Loving" from the aforementioned Sullivan show and I'm glad it's been saved for posterity's sake. Except for a block of 4 numbers performed live at IBC studios in London for a TV broadcast (including their rendition of the R&B classic, "Shout") the rest of the album consists of demos and outtakes of some of their most memorable early material. Of note is their attempt to play "I'll Be Back" in 6/4 time, George's "You Know What To Do" that shows he still had a long way to go in fine-tuning his composing skills, and a loose "No Reply" run-through that proves they weren't all work and no play. They end with a raw but torrid performance of "Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey" that takes you out on a high note.

What I find most intriguing about this compilation is that it presents The Beatles as fallible but determined songwriter/musicians who toiled tirelessly to push themselves ever harder to achieve the apex of their talents. They certainly possessed loads of potential but they weren't prodigies like Mozart who wrote concertos at age 5. No, they were four normal guys in love with rock & roll who didn't want to do anything else but see how good they could be. That's why so many teens like me were drawn to them on that February night. They were just a quartet of regular fellas chasing a dream together and having a ball doing it. It made each one of us, me included, realize that if we could find other like-minded rock & roll fanatics to form a combo with and if we worked like the devil to steadily improve our instrument-playing and singing skills then the sky was the limit. The 60 tracks on this CD show how the greatest band in history started at the rock bottom and, by patient trial-and-error, worked their way up to the peak of the industry where they made an indelible mark on the world that will never fade.

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 The Beatles by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.15 | 531 ratings

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The Beatles
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by thebig_E

5 stars Some of this album is classic, and some of it not so much. I chose to go with a 5-star rating however because of one reason: The Beatles (White Album) is the most diverse collection of songs ever created. Period. Almost every style of music is explored in the album's 30 songs. Rock n' roll ("Back in the U.S.S.R."), children's music ("Piggies"), country ("Rocky Raccoon"), blues ("Yer Blues"), hard rock/heavy metal ("Helter Skelter"), and even sound collage ("Revolution 9"). That's just to name a few; there's probably several that I'm missing.

This could have been altered in some way to make a single album, but that would have just taken away most of its charm. It is not perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it represents the Beatles at their most creative. This is raw, untouched talent.

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