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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
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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 | 429 ratings
Please Please Me
1963
2.89 | 405 ratings
With The Beatles
1963
3.53 | 470 ratings
A Hard Day's Night
1964
2.77 | 404 ratings
Beatles For Sale
1964
3.44 | 487 ratings
Help!
1965
3.94 | 709 ratings
Rubber Soul
1965
4.37 | 909 ratings
Revolver
1966
4.34 | 1027 ratings
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
1967
4.15 | 726 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour
1967
4.18 | 802 ratings
The Beatles [Aka: The White Album]
1968
2.56 | 387 ratings
Yellow Submarine
1969
4.47 | 989 ratings
Abbey Road
1969
3.29 | 558 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
4.18 | 11 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
4.92 | 33 ratings
Strawberry Fields Forever
1967
3.65 | 22 ratings
All You Need Is Love
1967
3.93 | 22 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
4.29 | 32 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
 Magical Mystery Tour by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.15 | 726 ratings

BUY
Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Great album although created by a double EP to which were added three singles, the last five songs. It doesn't have a compact, linear sequence of songs, like a real album. Even the first six pieces, featured in the film of the same name, are very heterogeneous and don't flow to perfection as in other Beatles LPs, where they managed to create a sequence that works while combining completely different tracks (both Revolver with Love You To-Here, There ...-Yellow Submarine, both Sgt Pepper with Being... ' Within you... ' When I am 64).

In MMT, for example, the sequence from the third to the fifth song is not fluid, and features weak pieces, which make up the least successful part of the album. In practice, the middle part of the first side is weak, similar to the middle part of Sgt. Pepper's second side. Note that in the double Ep the sequence of the 6 tracks of the film is different, and more appropriate. As with Sgt Pepper, it's McCartney who has taken over the reins of the group and in fact of the six songs of the film, three are his own (MMT, The Fool On The Hill, Your Mother Should Know), one is written by the whole group (Flying), one by Lennon (I Am The Walrus) and one by Harrison (Blue Jay Way).

In no other album Macca's dominance over Lennon is so overwhelming. On side B, Lennon partially rebalances the situation as three of the five singles added are his.

The first two songs work and try to replicate the beginning of Sgt Pepper: a free-range song that serves as the beginning of a variety show (the Magical Mystery Tour) and a melodic song that follows to perfection and with excellent results. Then, as mentioned, the sequence of the three weakest songs, and then the first absolute masterpiece, "I Am The Walrus".

Very orchestrated album, winds and violins are decisive in all the major songs, and very psychedelic album, with electronic elements. After the single "Hello Goodbye" came the A and B sides of the two 1967 singles. "Strawberry" is Lennon's other absolute masterpiece always with the help of George Martin. But if we add "Penny Lane" and "The Fool On The Hill" it turns out that on this album there are 4 masterpieces, two each for John and Paul (John's are greater for the sophisticated and avant-garde arrangement).

Two good songs remain, one each, the anthem "All You Need Is Love" and "Hello Goodbye". For the rest, there's a more than decent Harrison song and a Paul vaudeville of the same quality. There are also two songs under tone: "Flying" and "Baby You Are A Rich Man": they don't hold, at the quality level, with the rest of the album.

In detail: 1) Magical Mystery Tour (7+). Song with winds that seems like a landing, a bit repetitive, the structure that imposes that frenetic rhythm leaves little space for digressions, more than anything is the singing that tries to fit in. Refined piano tail.

2) The Fool on The Hill (8.5). McCartney's melodic masterpiece, original arrangement, ocarina and rhythm that looks like a train to support a delicious singing and melody.

3) Flying (6+). Almost instrumental song, it is the third gear in a row, if you consider the rhythmic part of The Fool. The voices are the background, creating a goliardic chorus. Unnecessarily long and eager ending, considering the brevity of the song.

4) Blue Jay Way (7.5). Slow psychedelic, hypnotic, atmospheric song, which makes in music the expectation of which is spoken in the text. It's a kind of psychedelic folk, with violin in evidence. Ending too long and repetitive.

5) Your Mother Should Know (7+). It's the first easy, catchy, vaudeville song with a nice piano turn, which replaces the chorus. McCartney lightens the gloomy atmosphere of the previous two songs.

6) I Am The Walruss (9.5). Electronic start with string accompaniment, treated voice; Delirious ending with disjointed voices worthy of a horror movie where walking zombies rise up. Absolute masterpiece by Lennon and masterpiece of production by George Martin. Song almost electronic but with an arrangement of violins (and winds at times) fantastic that will inspire Jeff Lynne's ELO. Beautiful, filtered singing.

7) Hello Goodbye (7.5/8). Folk song with very original arrangement, repetitive text, great work on drums and violin, interspersed with sour guitars. Very exuberant tail with Polynesian rhythm. Overall, a song with a too easy melody that is ennobled by the finds of the arrangement.

8) Strawberry Fields Forever (9+). Lennon-Martin's second absolute masterpiece. Start in muted, orchestral arrangement that develops with continuous sound finds, where both the strings and the winds alternate decorating Lennon's voice of very changing and expressive sounds. The final progression of the drums looks like that of a train that increases speed and then fades with the guitar solo. The fade has a psychedelic tail where the train seems to return, transfigured. Great song.

9) Penny Lane (8.5) McCartney's melodic melodic pop masterpiece. Beautiful text, beautiful music, beautiful instrumental pieces with trumpet.

10) Baby You're a Rich Man (6.5). It's a weak piece that's a big hit on the album because of the different sound compared to the other songs. It is a song with a rather strange and unsuccessful arrangement: vocals in the background, intrusive and confusing percussion that cover the melody drawn by the clavioline, the precursor instrument of the synthesizer. Missed opportunity. One of the few Beatles songs ruined by the production. Nice chorus (by McCartney, while the verses are by Lennon).

11) All You Need Is Love (7.5/8). Orchestral pop song in which Lennon's meditative lyrics sung in the verses, with beautiful string melody, strides with the emphasis of the winds in the chorus, very catchy. Anthem piece, detached from rock, a bit rhetorical. Brilliant final queue in which the Beatles take liberties within a song a little cast.

Medium Quality of the songs: 7.82. Rating: 9. Little Masterpiece. Five Stars.

 With The Beatles by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1963
2.89 | 405 ratings

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With The Beatles
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by patrickq

3 stars The Beatles recorded plenty of cover songs, but I think of With the Beatles as their "covers album." In terms of original compositions, it's one of their weakest; John Lennon's "It Won't Be Long" and Paul McCartney's "All My Loving" are OK, but there was nothing like a "She Loves You" or "I Want to Hold Your Hand" here. But what is here is pretty great, including some superb Motown re-makes sung by Lennon: the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman," Barrett Strong's "Money (That's What I Want)," and the Miracles' "You Really Got a Hold on Me," on which he duets with George Harrison. Among the three other cover songs, Harrison turns in a nice performance of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven."

In terms of performance, With the Beatles is one of Lennon's strongest outings, and as much as any LP, this one could have been billed as "John & the Beatles." This is also true of the group's original compositions; it's clear that by the end of 1963, John Lennon was doing most of the proverbial heavy lifting in the songwriting department. It's true that at this early date, both he and McCartney were still contributing to many songs credited to "Lennon-McCartney;" for example, Lennon was apparently not the sole writer of "It Won't Be Long." It's also true that Harrison wrote "Don't Bother Me," meaning that just seven of the fourteen tunes here were written by Lennon and/or McCartney. Nonetheless we can hear the dynamic shifting in Lennon's favor on With the Beatles.

Compared to Please Please Me, With the Beatles also represents an upgrade in sound quality. Although the two LPs were recorded during the same year (the former on February 11, the latter between July and October), With the Beatles has better sound separation (for what it's worth, I'm comparing the 2009 EMI remaster of Please Please Me with the 1987 issue of With the Beatles). There are also more overdubs (e.g., Lennon's harmonica on "Little Child"), signaling a departure, however slight, from the "live" sound of their prior LP.

The group's second album, With the Beatles was released just six months after their promising debut. It's a better album in many respects, but the Beatles' songwriting here fails to match that of Please Please Me. Nonetheless, another good LP.

 Please Please Me by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1963
3.05 | 429 ratings

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Please Please Me
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by patrickq

3 stars Please Please Me opens with one of the two best pre-1965 Beatles songs, 'I Saw Her Standing There' (the other is 'She Loves You,' by the way). 'I Saw Her Standing There' was written by Paul McCartney, and two of his other tunes here, 'Love Me Do' and 'P.S. I Love You' - - which together constituted the group's first UK single - - are pretty good. Nonetheless, the Beatles' debut LP was the last time McCartney's compositions would challenge John Lennon's status as the group's key songwriter until their sixth album.

Lennon's contributions to Please Please Me include the title track and 'Do You Want to Know a Secret,' sung here by George Harrison. Lennon also belts out the Medley/Russell-penned Isley Brothers classic 'Twist and Shout,' which is one of six cover songs here.

Please Please Me was recorded by a veteran stage act in three 3-hour sessions, all on one day, and it shows. As it stands, the best available recording technology - - a two-track tape machine - - essentially required a live performance with vocals laid down on one track and instruments on the other. On the other hand, the album is not the product of weeks of careful studio work. Although vocal overdubs would have been possible, only 'A Taste of Honey' includes one. The instrumental balance of each song is whatever producer George Martin could come up with. Of course, the relatively low fidelity and lack of polish has been viewed for half a century as an asset on this album, because, after all, it is the Beatles. But to be fair, the fact that Please Please Me sounds as good as it does is a testament to Martin's skills, both technical and musical.

In short, Please Please Me is a good album, but the Beatles were only getting started.

 Hello Goodbye by BEATLES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1967
3.93 | 22 ratings

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Hello Goodbye
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by patrickq

3 stars This is another case where Paul McCartney's song would up on the a-side, and John Lennon's on the reverse. As a business decision this almost certainly the right move insofar as 'Hello Goodbye' was a worldwide #1 song; artistically, though, 'I Am the Walrus' is easily the superior song - - and I say this as someone who ordinarily prefers McCartney's work.

'Hello, Goodbye'

That the b-side is better, however, says little about 'Hello, Goodbye,' which is a nice pop song itself, though not quite a Beatles classic in my opinion. Lyrically it's a little thin; both the verses and the chorus are little more than a repetition of 'you say x, I say not x.' Its lack of a real bridge (I'm not counting the 'why-why-why... do you say goodbye' part) requires a third verse, and winds up being more structurally repetitive than we're used to for a McCartney a-side.

The chorus contains the interesting music, both in terms of melody and chord progression, but for me, this isn't enough to counter the d'j' vu of the verse-chorus-verse-chorus pattern. To be fair, the coda is nearly perfect.

'I Am the Walrus'

With 'Ticket to Ride,' 'Come Together,' and possibly one or two others, 'I Am the Walrus' is one of the very best songs John Lennon ever wrote. While the lyrics to his more straightforward songs - - 'In My Life,' for example, or '(Just Like) Starting Over' or 'Imagine' - - are as good as the average for a pop or rock song, I've always preferred the disjointed impressionism of 'Tomorrow Never Knows,' 'Come Together,' and 'I Am the Walrus.'

Lennon is foremost a great rock-and-roller, and often a good poet. I have no idea, no clue what 'I Am the Walrus' is about, or whether it was ever about anything. But if we assume that it has no meaning beyond an LSD-trip-fractured take on a passage of a poem from Through the Looking Glass, then it's about as deep as 'She Loves You' Or 'I Want to Hold Your Hand.' But even then it provides so many potential tangents - - 'Semolina pilchard,' anyone, 'climbing up the Eiffel Tower?' Or 'yellow matter custard,' perhaps? If it's all crazy, all drug induced, what more fitting chorus than the refrain of 'I am the Walrus?'

In the hands of another band, the words and music of 'I Am the Walrus' would've made for an amusing single for one of the new psychedelic-rock groups popping up in the late 1960s. Maybe it would've been memorable; maybe not. But in the event, Lennon and producer George Martin ensured the song's enduring renown with an arrangement as surreal as the composition itself. The icing, so to speak, was Martin's use of the Mike Sammes Singers.

Summary

In the US, this single was rendered inessential a week after its release, when both sides became available on the Magical Mystery Tour album. In the UK, 'Hello Goodbye' was a non-album single. Nonetheless, given the high quality of both sides, this is a three- star single.

 Hey Jude by BEATLES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1968
4.29 | 32 ratings

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Hey Jude
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by patrickq

4 stars The a-side, written and sung by Paul McCartney, is among the three or four most recognizable songs the Beatles ever recorded. The b-side, written and sung by John Lennon, was less of a hit, but represents a key moment in the group's transformation from a tight band of four entertainers to a loose confederation of individual rock superstars.

"Hey Jude"

McCartney's 'Hey Jude' can be viewed as a reflection, and a major upgrade, of Lennon's 'All You Need is Love.' The narrow debt should be acknowledged, most notably the omniscient commentator reciting global truths about love, the accessible-yet-complex composition, and the sing-along chorus fade. And it seems fair to say that McCartney's songwriting in general owes much to Lennon. But by the summer of 1968, the pupil was surpassing the teacher on a regular basis. I could excuse Lennon for being chagrined at McCartney having a massive hit with this polished, commercialized, boy-meets-girl twist on Lennon's work, especially since his own 'Revolution,' which he felt was equal to 'Hey Jude,' was relegated to the flip side. Nonetheless, Lennon praised the song for the rest of his life.

The differences between 'Hey Jude' and 'All You Need is Love' are as important as the similarities. The message of the former is more focused (i.e., directed at just one person throughout), the vocal melody more sophisticated and more classical, the delivery more plaintive. With these qualities, the hopefulness of 'Hey Jude' rings truer than that of 'All You Need is Love,' whose semantic wordplay (e.g., 'nothing you can sing that can't be sung'), insistence that 'it's easy,' and jokey (though amusing) coda present a confusing message.

"Revolution"

Of course, it can be argued that Lennon intended to confuse the listener, the metanarrative being that 'All You Need is Love' is actually a satire of flower-power oversimplification. While that's not borne out, as far as I know, in Lennon's subsequent statements, we know that Lennon was capable of embodying skepticism in his music, with 'Revolution' being a case in point. Composed by Lennon about a year after 'All You Need is Love,' 'Revolution' must've struck some listeners as a bit of a reversal of position. 'All You Need is Love' was written and performed expressly for a television program promoting world peace, and the song is accordingly inclusive and straightforward. The listener is led gradually into the song, on which the group is accompanied by a small orchestra. It's a gentle tune we can all sing along to.

Conversely 'Revolution' opens with a burst of maximally distorted electric guitar and a scream, and the first verse begins almost immediately. And even if its counterculture-questioning lyrics were perfectly transparent, the message of 'Revolution' appears to be at odds with the Beatles' public stances. Famously, though, Lennon's lyric isn't transparent, especially when delivered with a sneer. For example, I always took lines like 'if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao / you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow' as sarcasm spoken in a voice in opposition to the speaker of lines like 'but when you talk about destruction / don't you know that you can count me out?' And the refrain, 'you know, it's gonna be alright,' doesn't clear anything up. How is it going to be alright? But lyrically, 'Revolution' isn't as confusing or inconsistent as it is ambiguous and thorny- - which is a good thing.

The song itself is catchy, accessible, and appropriately rough, and it would be a gem in the discography of nearly any other musical act; as a Beatles song, it's appropriately placed as a b-side.

Summary

In the U.S., 'Hey Jude'/'Revolution' was a certifiable smash and the Beatles' biggest hit, the a-side spending nine weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the b-side hitting #12 on that same chart. The single was certified quadruple-platinum in 1999. It was also a chart-topper in the UK and at least sixteen other countries. And in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US, it was the #1 song of the year. Massive hits aren't always massively successful works of art, but in this case the commercial attainments were well deserved, especially in the case of 'Hey Jude.'

I'm reluctant to assign more than three stars to a single when, for example, both sides are available on a retrospective compilation (like 1967-1970 or Past Masters, vol. 2). But given the quality of the songs and the fact that 'Hey Jude'/'Revolution' was a non-album single, this one's an exception.

 Strawberry Fields Forever by BEATLES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1967
4.92 | 33 ratings

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Strawberry Fields Forever
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by patrickq

5 stars 'Penny Lane'/'Strawberry Fields Forever' is probably the best 7" 45 RPM single ever. 'I Get Around'/'Don't Worry Baby' is close and 'When Doves Cry'/'17 Days' isn't far behind - - and there are plenty of others. But this one's the best. 'Strawberry Fields' is a great song, but in my opinion 'Penny Lane' is in an entirely different league.

'Strawberry Fields Forever'

To my ears, in mid-2019, 'Strawberry Fields Forever' sounds like an old record. It's evident in retrospect that the Beatles were attempting something for which they didn't possess the technology. But on the other hand it's amazing that this record was made by splicing two different takes, each of which was made using only a four-track tape recorder. It's equally amazing that these takes were recorded in different keys at different speeds. We usually remember to credit Beatles producer George Martin for the group's successes - - and rightfully so. But here engineer/technician Geoff Emerick is also responsible for some studio magic that most would've thought was impossible in December 1966.

If there's a 'proto-prog' side of this single, it's 'Strawberry Fields.' While 'Penny Lane' has some progressive lyrical, structural, and sonic elements, 'Strawberry Fields' is archetypal British psychedelic rock. In terms of sound, it has it all, from instrumentation like backwards percussion, the Mellotron and a swarmandal (I had to look that up; it's an Indian harp-like instrument used to mark the transitions into the verses) to sound effects like phased vocals and tape loops. The lyrics are also classic psychedelia. Especially with the knowledge that Strawberry Fields was a place songwriter and singer John Lennon enjoyed as a youngster, the song exemplifies the balance of nostalgia: the happiness of remembering a past which, sadly, can never return. Even without this knowledge, the three words of the title speak volumes. There are also more than a few turns of phrase suggesting that the singer is tripping, which only adds to the psychedelic feel.

In my opinion, the major weakness of 'Strawberry Fields' is the repetition of the tedious transition from chorus to verse. At the end of each of the first three choruses, after Lennon sings the song's title, the song moves from melodic and rhythmic to dreary and static. While this makes a lot of sense artistically, it already sounds monotonous the second time, never mind the third. The Beatles were early adopters of the bridge in pop-music structure; here's a song that would've benefited immensely from such a device. On the other hand, 'Strawberry Fields' reflects Lennon's attempts to bring a very specific vision to sonic fruition. Lennon was famous for being what we'd now call 'technologically challenged' (a rare similarity between him and Nixon) and thus relied on Martin to realize his vision. It seems that, during the creation of this song, adherence to Lennon's ideal took precedence over other concerns. Creating a bridge or having a constant beat would have made the song more radio-friendly, but as it stands, 'Strawberry Fields' would've fit perfectly on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, for which it was initially intended. Despite the group's decision not to prioritize commerciality in the creation of 'Strawberry Fields,' it reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 and hit #2 in the UK as part of this double a-side single

'Penny Lane'

I'm sure that there have been thousands of musings on the ways in which 'Strawberry Fields Forever' and 'Penny Lane' are polar opposites. To begin with, Lennon and 'Penny Lane' writer and singer Paul McCartney have themselves long been viewed as opposites, and each of these songs seems to exemplify the contrasting qualities of its originator.

Compared to Lennon, McCartney is seen as more down-to-earth, organized, commercial, and comprehensible, and these same contrasts exist between the sides of 'Penny Lane'/'Strawberry Fields Forever.' For example, the nostalgia of 'Penny Lane' is less pronounced, yet clearer. The literal nostalgia in 'Strawberry Fields' (i.e., that which is not inferred by the listener knowledgeable about the Strawberry Fields of Lennon's youth) is in the introspective verses in which Lennon is intentionally unclear. In 'Penny Lane,' McCartney's chronology is circular; the punctuated transition 'and meanwhile back' occurs three times to remind the listener that while time does pass in Penny Lane, Penny Lane never really changes. McCartney expertly creates the impression that the scenes are being viewed by youth, and we interpret these remembrances as McCartney's own. Thus, when McCartney says that 'Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes / there beneath the blue suburban skies,' we understand that McCartney is reminiscing.

In the final seconds of the song, McCartney's last recitation of 'Penny Lane' is followed by something like a terminal fermata, perhaps invoking a sense of suspension in accordance with the song's nostalgia. While some songs end with a stop, and other fade, 'Penny Lane' somehow does both.

But generally, musical symbolism doesn't get in the way of the commerciality of 'Penny Lane.' Yes, a bell is played to remind us of the fireman and his engine. Some might regard this as so literal as to be childish; if so, it's all the more symbolic because the scene is a childhood memory. A toe-tapping beat throughout helps ensure radio friendliness.

Summary As someone who prefers McCartney to Lennon, I (unsurprisingly) prefer 'Penny Lane' to 'Strawberry Fields Forever.' I do enjoy Lennon's experimental, progressive, and psychedelic music, beginning with 'Tomorrow Never Knows,' which was among the most important landmarks in Beatles history. And as good as 'Strawberry Fields' is, two of Lennon's other 1967 songs, 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,' and especially 'I Am the Walrus,' are just as psychedelic, but are, in my opinion, better compositions and better recordings.

On the other hand, McCartney never surpassed 'Penny Lane,' before or after. He's perhaps the greatest pop songwriter, and - - again, in my opinion - - this is his masterpiece.

To me, even the best singles shouldn't qualify for five stars on the Prog Archives scale, simply because singles and albums are on equal footing otherwise. But, as the clich' goes, there's an exception to every rule. If that's true, the exception in this case has to be 'Penny Lane'/'Strawberry Fields Forever.'

 The Beatles [Aka: The White Album] by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.18 | 802 ratings

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

Review by Kaelka

5 stars Let there be no doubt about it : the white is very high in my musical pantheon and if I were to spend a few years on the ever proverbial desert island it'd probably be there with me alongside Red or Rock Bottom. Which means I'm going to give it five stars ? Not so simple. I've always had my doubts about the filing of the Beatles in the prog drawer. For sure, 'Sergeant Pepper" is invariably listed among the first prog albums (the excellent BBC4 series "Prog Rock Britannia" has the whole movement launched by it and Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade Of Pale", both in 67), which has never really satisfied me. "Sergeant Pepper" is certainly a masterpiece, but apart from "A Day In The Life" (and the pack of the two first tracks and the final reprise which honestly don't deserve the name of 'concept album' sometimes given to the album), there's not a lot of prog to be heard in it. Nor is there, I should add, in "Magical Mystery Tour". In '67, The Nice, Soft Machine, Procol Harum, The Moody Blues or Pink Floyd were already on the road, and the true roots of prog are with them. If I were pushed to choose a true prog album among the Beatles' output, "Abbey Road" would certainly be the one, although of course it doesn't sound at all like any of the well-established prog releases of '69 and remains, to the core, a true Beatles' album.

And thus I'm ready to concede, with no small amount of reluctance however, that the Beatles are welcome on these pages.

The problem is : not the white !

The white is, in my extremely humble opinion, the most "unprog" album of the whole post-"Rubber Soul" Beatles output. It contains the germs of almost everything that will be done in English pop for the following 30 years, but it has no prog. It's a pure pop album, it might even be the greatest pop album of all times, but it has no prog : no classical, baroque or jazzy influences, no long and well-developped pieces of music, no weird chords or time signatures, no "noodling" or virtuoso improvisation. Only pop songs, verse, chorus, bridge if there's enough time for it, verse, final chorus. And even if some of those pop songs are weird or can be considered avant-garde ("Wild Honey Pie" or "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" come to mind), they're still nothing but pop songs (sometimes several pop songs glued together like "Happiness Is A Warm Gun").

If you're familiar with those pages, you know that another alien dwells here : the captain Van Vliet. Well, there's much more in common between the white and "Trout Mask Replica" than with any other band or album listed on PA. And their first common point is this : they're pop albums, not prog.

I've would have very much liked to close this review without giving any stars, but it doesn't seem to be an option. So I'll give five after all, but I'll edit the ratings guide line : ESSENTIAL : A MASTERPIECE OF POP MUSIC.

The astute reader will have noticed that I haven't written a word about Yoko and John's "Revolution 9". I'll keep it that way.

 Rubber Soul by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1965
3.94 | 709 ratings

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Rubber Soul
The Beatles Proto-Prog

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

5 stars It's certainly mind-blowing in the 21st century, an age when artists take several years to craft the next album, that in the 1960s artists would crank out new products at an astonishing speed and no other act more than THE BEATLES displayed not only how prolific they were with a seemingly endless supply of infectious melodic pop rock tunes feeding a ravenous music scene but in how they crafted one of rock music's most inventive canon's of product within the span of a mere decade. It was only 1963 when Beatlemania captured North America when the band instantly took the world by storm and found itself as the top dog of complete pop rock domination so it's utterly amazing to ponder the fact that within only a short two year run, the band that caused utter hysteria for the female fanbase with banal tracks such as "She Loves You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was proving by 1965 that the Fab Four had a much deeper and more profound nature to their genius that was not allowed to express itself in the beginning.

The early years of THE BEATLES is a true headache for databases with different albums emerging on each side of the Atlantic that included different track listings, some the same, some completely different but by the time Beatlemania began to subside from its initial impact, the band was maturing into more sophisticated musical expressions and at last a convergence of marketing strategies that allowed the same album to be released everywhere was allowed. RUBBER SOUL was the beginning of the next step of THE BEATLES' musical reign that dominated until the band's ultimate demise in 1970. The only difference between the UK and US versions is that the former opened the album with the more suitable "Drive My Car" whereas the American versions for some reason started the album with "I've Just Seen A Face" which appeared on the UK version of "Help." This review is about the only true RUBBER SOUL album in my book, the UK version of course.

While later albums such as "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" often get credit for the innovative experimentation that allowed catchy pop hooks to insert themselves into bouts of psychedelia, folk music, R&B and rock music, the trend actually began on RUBBER SOUL. The title was a play on on the term "plastic soul" which alluded to the tongue-in-cheek admission by the band that their music was devoid of soul compared to the African-American music of the era. RUBBER SOUL along with the following album "Revolver" were sort of the second phase of the band that were transitional albums between the Beatlemania years that preceded and the full-blown mind bending experimental albums that followed. Despite "Sgt. Pepper's" and "Magic Mystery Tour" finding the band at the peak of their creative free-for-all experimentalism, RUBBER SOUL initiated the process by augmenting the mostly folk inspired feel of the album to incorporate various new guitar tones, musical ideas such as ska syncopation as well as new instruments such as harmonium, sitar and fuzz bass.

The experimental touches proved to be a gateway drug for the band to continue this approach until the climactic thunderous roar of "Sgt. Pepper's" but at this stage the band kept the pop infused tracks less cluttered with experiments since they were still touring and performing the songs to live audiences. Despite the inchoate experimental touches, RUBBER SOUL successfully managed to display another batch of 14 instantly infectious pop tracks that found the songwriting triumvirate prowess of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison ratcheting up a few notches in sophistication and while Harrison's contributions had been extremely limited up until this point, on RUBBER SOUL his two contributions "Think For Yourself" and "If I Needed Someone" showed his songwriting techniques to be on par and (in my opinion) even better than the powerhouse team of Lennon-McCartney penned tracks. At this point, it was practically a tradition to include on lighthearted tension breaking track by Ringo Starr who cowrote and sings on "What Goes On"

RUBBER SOUL was also the first BEATLES album to shift the focus away from singles and focus the attention of a complete album experience was has been cited as one of the most innovative moves in all of pop music. Of course singles were still a big part of THE BEATLES experience but this was the first time non-album singles were released, a trait that THE BEATLES would continue for much of their remaining years, therefore while the non-album double single "Day Tripper" / "We Can Work It Out" was hitting #1 on the singles charts, the album RUBBER SOUL was set apart from it in terms of musical experiences thus creating a newly uncharted duality that more serious rock bands would adopt. Of course RUBBER SOUL itself hit #1 and contained 14 well crafted pop tunes that were all worthy of singles consideration in their own right and both "Michelle" and "Girl" were ultimately released as such. While the whole idea of a concept album hadn't gelled yet, RUBBER SOUL took the first steps in that direction with an overarching cohesiveness to the album even if not in lyrical content.

RUBBER SOUL may get buried beneath the phenomenal leaps of musical maturity that follow but if accepted on its own merits, that being a well crafted folk music inspired pop rock album, then it's hard to find any flaws in this album whatsoever. It was clear by this point that THE BEATLES were no one trick pony and had the musical chops to reinvent themselves as the musical sophistication reached new heights. By taking the crab walk approach of gradually transitioning into the proto-progressive and psychedelically infused albums that followed, RUBBER SOUL was more than an extraordinarily strong album of ingenious pop hooks supplied by inventive instrumental interplay and soulful harmonic interactions but also served as an invitation into a much richer musical universe that even THE BEATLES themselves were not sure as to where it would lead. The remarkable success of RUBBER SOUL that outsold all the albums before was an affirmation that the public was ready to follow anywhere THE BEATLES were willing to go and as such RUBBER SOUL was that musical portal that gave permission to the entire explorative nature of all the creativity that followed to blossom like a million flowers in spring time and therefore RUBBER SOUL should never be forgotten for this amazingly underappreciated significance.

4.5 but i'm rounding this sucka UP!

 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.34 | 1027 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

BUY
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.

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

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