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The Beatles – With The Beatles (1963)

July 18, 2012

[Album 72/1001]

After the relatively unsettling listen that was Lady in Satin, I needed a dose of cockeyed optimism.  I opted for With The Beatles, as it was later revised & repackaged as Meet The Beatles! in the US.  The theory being, although absent from the UK release, an exclamation mark in the album title would lead me to some of the relentless cheerfulness I was seeking.

There’s something charming about the early recordings of any eventual supergroup.  There’s no stadium grandiosity, the songs are typically concise, often somewhat hastily recorded.  Much like how Billie Holiday’s defeated vocals were authentic, there’s a youthful energy on With The Beatles that is equally genuine. 

Are the songs on par with their later anthems?  It’s a case of apples and oranges.  These are toe-tapping two-minute wonders, not really in the same vein as later classics A Day in the Life or Hey Jude.

There were certainly signs of greatness to come.  All My Loving is a gem, Till There Was You is a nice take on the Meredith Wilson original, and the hand-clapping appeal of songs like It Won’t Be Long is undeniable.

The danceability factor is really what makes these early records so fun.  The personal highlight of this one was attempting to do ‘the mashed potato’ along to Please Mr. Postman with my 2-year old daughter.

From → 1960s

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