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Thread: The Beatles appraised

  1. #61
    Member Sondersdorf's Avatar
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    I think some people are way more into The Beatles than I am. But, but, you can always learn something, can't you? Does everyone know about the American musicologist Alan W. Pollack? https://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes...notes_on.shtml
    "Music is the electric soil in which the spirit thinks, lives and invents..." -- Beethoven

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  3. #62
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christabel View Post
    I was planning a birthday party earlier this year but for a couple of reasons it was aborted, Covid being one of these. My plan was to have baby boomer friends over and us listening to the Beatles and other music of the 1960s with everybody singing along. A friend was a drummer and he loves popular music; he'd have been in seventh heaven!! (This man and his wife sailed their own yacht around The Horn years ago and he told me he had Wagner playing blaring loud while this was happening!! He has also sailed right around Australia in said yacht with a few friends.) Perhaps I'll do it at Christmas time, if the coast is clear. This is one I'd definitely be having on the menu: their absolute masterpiece.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuS5NuXRb5Y

    This is also an astonishing song and I've used it many times for English teaching in high school (write a letter as the girl to her parents):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaBPY78D88g

    Not great voices (like Dylan) but distinctive and just right for the material.
    I had a regular solo Christmas gig for a few years at this one family's house. At the first one I'd run through a century of Christmas songs, with people singing along. Someone asked if I knew any Beatles. I started with Side 2 of the White Album. From memory. Everybody sang along . . . it's pretty remarkable because it's not loaded with "Hits".

    Martha My Dear
    I'm So Tired
    Blackbird
    Piggies
    Rocky Raccoon . . .

    . . . in that order.

    In the years after that, they expected that the Beatles set would be part of their Christmas celebration.

  4. #63
    Senior Member Haydn70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    Here in the US, their career didn't start until their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Their first album got no traction, especially since Capitol Records "passed" on releasing it. Amazingly, The Beatles released SIX albums (on three different labels) in the US in 1964:

    Introducing . . . The Beatles
    Meet the Beatles!
    The Beatles' Second Album
    A Hard Day's Night
    Something New
    Beatles '65


    . . . and it's seven if you count the the double-LP interview/press conferences album The Beatles Story. The Early Beatles was also released by Capitol, but it was mostly a rehash of "Introducing the Beatles" released by Vee-Jay Records when they managed to get their hands on the distribution rights after Capitol initially declined to release the "Please Please Me" single.

    So . . . 1964 through 1970. Absolutely DOMINATED popular music through 1968, and still major players right through to their last released album as a group in 1970, Let It Be.
    Don't forget this album also released in 1964:

    BFS.JPG

  5. #64
    Senior Member Simon Moon's Avatar
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    I used to be a fan, but as the years have gone by, they become less and less interesting to me.

    Fewer and fewer songs hold even a modicum of my interest. The songs that I don't mind listening to, are the later ones, and the psychedelic ones.

    I can appreciate them for how they helped advance rock music, giving permission, so to speak, to allow more and more experimentation into the rock.

    If there was no Sgt Pepper's, there would probably have been no In The Court of the Crimson King, which would have probably meant, no Genesis, YES, and all the other, even more experimental and avant-garde bands that came from them.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  6. #65
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn70 View Post
    Don't forget this album also released in 1964:

    BFS.JPG
    THAT album is just a repackaged version of "Introducing the Beatles" from Vee-Jay Records. They managed to squander the rights to the album, and mismanaged most of their releases of those early songs. They ended up folding in 1964, leaving behind $3 million in debt.

    By 1961, Vee-Jay was one of America's top labels, with a strong jazz catalog, some top gospel groups, and Jerry Butler, Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker and Betty Everett cranking out hit after hit. AND a slew of other hits and a rich legacy of black American music. The first hint of disaster came in 1962, with their biggest record to date.

    The Four Seasons hit "Sherry" was so big that Vee-Jay's owners found themselves without the money to pay for pressing more copies of the records, although the label stumbled along for a while. The worst thing it could have done would be to sign another hit group, but it did. And what a group: Capitol Records already had passed on the option to release The Beatles in America, but the Brackens jumped at the chance. "Please Please Me" and "From Me to You" both came out on Vee-Jay, followed by an album at the end of 1963. The Four Seasons and the Beatles both went to greener pastures, and Vee-Jay wound up in court, its day in the sun over.

    It sold 2.6 million Beatles records in one month, but Vee-Jay could not keep the records pressed and on the shelves or pay the artist royalties.

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  8. #66
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Moon View Post
    I used to be a fan, but as the years have gone by, they become less and less interesting to me.

    Fewer and fewer songs hold even a modicum of my interest. The songs that I don't mind listening to, are the later ones, and the psychedelic ones.

    I can appreciate them for how they helped advance rock music, giving permission, so to speak, to allow more and more experimentation into the rock.

    If there was no Sgt Pepper's, there would probably have been no In The Court of the Crimson King, which would have probably meant, no Genesis, YES, and all the other, even more experimental and avant-garde bands that came from them.
    I find that almost every damn album they released is filled to the brim with interesting, clever, pioneering music.

    That first album (PLEASE PLEASE ME) is so freaking fresh, full of so much raw energy. The second album (MEET THE BEATLES) was almost as good. Where there's a drop off in jaw dropping inyourfaceness, there's the beginnings of that extraordinary creativity and puzzling and envelope-straining musicality.

    After that their exploratory musical journeys tapered only a little, as their time was divided between touring and films, songwriting and promotional activity, recording and being an American and British phenomenon.

    But by 1965, and the album Rubber Soul and the subsequent ones, their creative juices were in full swing, not really (at least collectively as a group) subsiding until their last recorded album Abbey Road, released in 1969. Their previous album, originally to be called Get Back, wasn't released until 1970 as Let It Be, although a couple of songs from it had been released a year earlier.

    But really, listen to practically ANY random Beatles' song, at a decent volume, and it's still extraordinary, especially the non-singles and more obscure album tracks.

    Here's a random four for your amusement. Listen to them with your freshest ears.

    All You Need Is Love
    Here Comes the Sun
    Hello Goodbye
    Revolution No. 1






    .

    The thing is . . . I could post almost ANY four random Beatles songs, even songs that were filler on albums, or B-sides, and they are all remarkable.
    Last edited by pianozach; Jun-10-2021 at 06:21.

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  10. #67
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    For instance, here's another four . . .

    And four more

    Because
    Paperback writer
    Within You Without You

    Rain





  11. #68
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    This is a great game.

    Listen to four random Beatles songs. I used my iTunes library to choose these four.

    Sun King
    Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite
    Help!
    Ticket to Ride






  12. #69
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Four I listened to recently:

    Two of Us
    Across the Universe
    Strawberry Fields Forever
    Don't Let Me Down

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  14. #70
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    I watched a "reaction video" yesterday from a young English lady listening to the Beatles' debut album PLEASE PLEASE ME for the first time.

    Obviously she's coming from a perspective that is quite different from my own; she'd gloss over things I felt were important, and focused on things I take for granted in the music.

    Of course, 10 of those 14 songs were recorded in a single 11 hour session, and the astonishing FRESHNESS of the practically EVERY track is crazytown.

    She noticed that in the majority of the songs the Beatles utilized 'full stops' frequently, which she enjoyed immensely. She was impressed especially with the vocal talents of them all, and their use of 1950s music idioms ("sha-la-la-la-la" and "bop shoo-bop, bop bop shoo-bop") - of course, she's unaware that almost half the songs on that first album were covers, and that when they recorded it in 1962-1963 they were only really a couple of years beyond the 50s.

    There was only one song she wasn't impressed with (There's a Place), missing the lyrical foreshadowing The Beatles and Bob Dylan spearheaded by singing about things other than the typical boy/girl relationship themes. She was somewhat perplexed by the lyrics of "Boys", not realizing that it was merely a cover of a song first released by The Shirelles, one of two Shirelles covers on the album.

    As she's not really familiar with the music being released at the time, she couldn't fully appreciate how uniquely DIFFERENT the music of The Beatles was comparatively speaking, and how groundbreaking it was for an ENTIRE ALBUM of songs from an artists to be uniformly excellent. In my mind they could have easily released 5 singles (2 songs each) from this album of 14 songs.

    But for a debut album for a Pop/Rock band to actually have more than half the songs on the album WRITTEN by the band themselves is a very notable thing. She missed that.

    She also missed how unusual for a band to have actually PLAYED ALL of the instruments on the album (with only two exceptions; the added piano (those descending piano fills on Misery) and celeste (on Baby It's You) played by producer George Martin).

    I enjoy these reaction videos, as it seems to make songs (or in this case, an entire album) fresh again, as the "reactor" notices things in the songs that I no longer do, due to the overfamiliarity with them I have.

    Here's that video. She had to go back and edit the video several times so that it wouldn't be taken down for copyright issues, so the songs themselves are spliced up quite a bit.


  15. #71
    Senior Member Flamme's Avatar
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    A genial pop-rock musick...
    'Listen, Mister god!
    Isn't it boring
    to dip your puffy eyes,
    every day, into a jelly of clouds?'

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  17. #72
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamme View Post
    A genial pop-rock musick...
    That's true. But the backdrop of the tunes was harsh, the war, drugs, intolerance everywhere in social settings, military expenditures off the charts, the draft, the cold war, draftees leaving their family and friends for Canada, on and on.

    Today, it seems to me, the harshness and grittiness is right in your face, in the movies, in the music, in the up to the minute news. Which do I like better? I can't decide. Do I want all the realities 'hustled' and pushed at me by the skilled creators or do I wish they would be more finessed and lighter and more 'artistic'?
    Last edited by Luchesi; Jul-26-2021 at 19:27.
    Albert Einstein, "I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.

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  19. #73
    Senior Member Chilham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    I watched a "reaction video" yesterday from a young Australian lady listening to the Beatles' debut album PLEASE PLEASE ME for the first time....
    Fixed that up for ya.

  20. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    I watched a "reaction video" yesterday from a young Australian lady from Melbourne listening to the Beatles' debut album PLEASE PLEASE ME for the first time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chilham View Post
    Fixed that up for ya.
    Fixed that up for ya.
    Last edited by Sunburst Finish; Jul-27-2021 at 21:51.

  21. #75
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    Smile

    Back in 1973 I listened to The Beatles Red and Blue Double with my brother (RIP). My favorite as a 11-year old kid was Lady Madonna. Afterwards I found out that The Beatles Red and Blue Double missed several good tracks like Rain but included songs like, eeh, Paperback Writer. With my English I didn't understand what a paperback writer is, I thought it was something like something that returns something with paper
    Last edited by MrNobody; Jul-27-2021 at 14:58.

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