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  1. #11
    reading most of maccas lyrics is pretty dire stuff...his Harmony's were on the whole great....
    The only one who can heal you is you.




  2. #12
    If I have to hear Silly Love Songs one more time...




    THE VERY EARLY RECORDINGS




    Now it’s safe to say that these recordings are, at times, rather amateurish, particularly the earliest material., but they are artifacts of the evolution of the Beatles. Some of these tracks you can find on various discs from the Beatles Anthology to various bootlegs. I suspect a lot of it you can get off YouTube. In any event, you’ll be able to hear the progression of the Quarrymen, as they were originally called, to the Silver Beatles, and finally, The Beatles.

    Phillips Sound Recording Service 1958


    These were two tracks that the then three Quarrymen (John, Paul, and George) recorded in a sound booth in Liverpool. It was never meant for release but it more or less opens the Beatles’ Anthology package. The first is a amateurish but not bad cover of Buddy Holly’s That’ll Be the Day. The other track is the only known Paul McCartney- George Harrison collaboration outside of their extra lyrics to Free As a Bird in 1995. In Spite of all the Danger is a nice song and, with a clean recording, I can imagine being it strong enough to chart. They certainly show potential on these recordings

    The Quarrymen Demos 1960



    I hadn’t heard these tracks before to be honest. I found them on YouTube and I’m listening to them for the first time. The first thing I’m noticing is that Paul appears to be the primary vocalist in the early days. It makes sense as, even in 1960, he has a good voice. This is also the introduction of Stu Sutcliffe, the doomed original bassist who would die of a brain hemorrhage in 1962. He was brought in by buddy John Lennon. You’ll notice they still don’t have a drummer though that would change shortly. For the most part, this sounds like a typical garage band, albeit with some talent. I can’t imagine these boys would evolve into the greatest rock band the world would ever know. My favorite song in this group has to be I’ll Always Be In Love With You. Also some kudos to the original recording of I’ll Follow the Sun which, in some ways, is superior to the Beatles For Sale recording. George Harrison sings the cover to Matchbox on this recording though most of it appears to be erased. It’s obvious even this early he’s a big Carl Perkins fan.

    Early Beatles Homemade Recordings May 1960


    You’ll find these three tracks on the Anthology album. Sixteen songs were recorded in all but, alas, only three songs survived, Hallelujah I Love Her So, the Ray Charles cover, the silly You’ll Be Mine, an original recording, and a nice instrumental they called Cayenne. Cayenne is easily the best of these three tracks. It’s very possible the Beatles could have made it as a successful instrumental band had they not reached fame the way they did.

    Tony Sheridan Recordings June 1961



    Released in the US as The Savage Young Beatles, these recordings were basically as a backup band to Tony Sheridan, a British singer who had some limited popularity in Germany. This was recorded in Hamburg where the Beatles were honing their craft. You’ll notice that the Beatles now have a drummer after having recruited Pete Best. Since this is primarily Sheridan and backup band, it’s not an album I’d recommend except, perhaps, for collectors. There are two tracks that are all Beatles, a raucous cover of Ain’t She Sweet and a nice instrumental by Harrison, Cry For a Shadow which, it could be argued, is influenced by the Shadows, the hot British instrumental band at the time. Also note that by now, Stu Sutcliffe is gone and Paul McCartney has taken up the bass.

    The Decca Tapes January 1, 1962




    This was the Beatles original audition for Decca records where they were famously told that guitars were on the way out. Certainly it isn’t especially earthshaking and one can see, while the Beatles are certainly competent, they don’t seem especially energetic, which may be why they were ultimately turned down. Having said that, it’s very professional sounding even if the recording quality isn’t quite up to the standards of EMI later this year. Highlights of these recordings include a raucous version of Money, The Sheik of Araby cover, sung by Harrison, and a raving version of the Coasters’ Searchin. The three Beatles’ originals, Like Dreamers Do, Love of the Loved, and Hello Little Girl, aren’t especially impressive. All three would later become hits for other artists after the Beatles gained stardom.

    EMI Artist Test- June 6, 1962


    Most of these tracks were destroyed and only two appear to have been salvaged. An early version of Love Me Do, and a cover of Besame Mucho. Neither are especially impressive but Love Me Do is interesting for its fast paced instrumental break that McCartney would later say was influenced by Bruce Channel’s Hey Baby. It should also be noted that Best’s drumming doesn’t appear up to par on this take and perhaps influenced producer George Martin to not want to use him which led the Beatles to dump Best for Ringo Starr who, by then, they wanted as their drummer anyway.

    Beatles Live at the Star Club Hamburg Germany December 1962





    Originally released by Lingasong Records in 1977, this album would be the subject of lawsuits by the Beatles. The Beatles were ultimately unsuccessful in their bid to block the probably illegal recording. This is also the first introduction of Ringo Starr as the Beatles drummer and you can hear what a complete band they are by this point. This is actually after their first moderately successful single, Love Me Do, but before their breakthrough hit, Please Please Me. As was the norm in the pre-fame Beatles, most of the songs are covers, many of which are quite energetic, but there are two Beatles originals in this mix, notably I Saw Her Standing There which is a good way to open this set. While I’d love to hear a Beatles’ set from their earlier Hamburg days, this could be a good example of how they sounded, albeit with a little more polish.

    And that’s about it for the Beatles’ first chapter. Stay tuned for the Beatles’ first single and album.
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  3. #13
    Pete best brother opened a Beatles museum in Mathew street an it wasn't very good but the footage without sound of the Beatles earliest gig in Liverpool was worth the entrance fee...on YouTube there is a recording of John and the quarrymen at the church fete but recently macca bought back a home recording of him and George made in a home studio....on the label he wrote McCartney and Harrison...
    The only one who can heal you is you.




  4. #14
    I have to admit, they were a little bit before my time, but their energy is undeniable. It's weird, but they weren't born poor, so lack of cash hadn't drained them of life or knocked out their ability to shout back at life, and the toffs who viewed pop music and the likes as the lowest form of art was there to be taken down a peg or two. Attitude. They just brought a load of attitude into UK music, the kind the likes of Oasis could only ever imitate. In reality you'd have thought they wouldn't have hit a note with lower-class England, but they did, mostly because of all that attitude: it gave the youth some driving power to be something, and the toffs a lot of envy over their freedom. I always loved the Liverpudlian accents more than Manchester anyway, and people in general just really warmed to the Beatles back then and how they spoke too. It was never just about the music with them. I can think of no other group who had this impact. Although I still feel I came too late to the party, because I can't say their music is memorable for me (please don't shout at me for that, mrm.!!).
    "You don't wanna ride the bus like this,"

    Mike Posner.



  5. #15
    each generation seems to find something new in us...para george
    The only one who can heal you is you.




  6. #16
    They were still pretty rough when they signed their early recording contracts, so that is why they toured with Sheridan. Tony Sheridan had been around the block, and they were intended to learn the ropes from him.
    Once they got their spurs, they went off on their own.

  7. #17
    Member Irwin's Avatar
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    I sometimes wonder what they would have been without the guidance and musical expertise of George Martin. They had some really great arrangements and harmonies.

    I was listening to This Boy earlier and the "took my love away" melody is very similar to the introductory lick in Harlem Nocturne. Was that just coincidence or an actual influence? I don't know if that would have been George Martin or not. John was into jazz, and that was his song.

    After 1966, they were purely studio musicians and especially with the White Album, it was kind of a co-op working relationship. For some songs, John or Paul would come up with a song and then the other three would work out parts to support that song. Some of the songs were complete group efforts. I think what made them great was their sound--especially from John and Paul's vocals and how they worked together and harmonized. In some of their songs, they'd switch lead vocals in the middle of the song and sometimes in the middle of a line. It was magic how they sang together and individually, in their solo careers, while they had some good songs, they never had the magic they had in the Beatles.

    And then there was Ringo's unique style and George's playing the complemented the songs perfectly (most of the time) and helped create their sound.

  8. #18
    PLEASE PLEASE ME






    And here we are to the beginning of the Beatle legend as we know it. This first album was something of a potboiler, essentially recorded as if they were doing a live set. Fourteen songs were recorded in a span of about fourteen hours. The Beatles were certainly destined for better albums but this is a good start and probably one of their two most energetic albums along with the album, With the Beatles. I’m going to start this review off by reviewing the debut single and then we’ll dissect the album track by track.



    Single: Love Me Do/ PS I Love You: We’ll cover the flip side when I review the album, but the recording of Love Me Do is different than the one on the album. The single version is notorious for George Martin benching Ringo Starr for session drummer Alan White. Despite this, it is Ringo that is on the released track and he’s fine as are the other instrumentalists. Vocally, and this is where the single track differs from the album track along with some noticeable clapping in the instrumental break. It seems McCartney’s voice seems to crack on the single version. It wouldn’t be the first time his voice would crack on a recording but it would be the most noticeable. Somebody should have given Paul a cough drop. Anyway, it’s a simple tune for the most part. It was successful enough to make the British Top twenty.



    I Saw Her Standing There: And the album opens with one of McCartney’s potboilers. The song rocks throughout and could have easily been as big a hit as Please Please Me would be. I especially like the lead guitar bits on this one. This would be released by Capitol records as the flip side of I Want To Hold Your Hand in the US.

    Misery: Not really one of my favorites. It’s sounds rather workmanlike and doesn’t especially stand out in my opinion. I first heard it on Introducing the Beatles in the US. I got lucky and bought the album in the cutout bin around 1975. Pity I lost it somewhere; it’s probably worth about fifty dollars now.

    Anna (Go To Him): The Beatles were really into Arthur Alexander at this time. They also covered three of his other songs including his big hit, You Better Move On as well as Where Have You Been All My Life and Soldier of Love, which the Beatles do great justice to on their Live at the BBC collection. In some ways, I prefer this version to the original. It’s well crafted and it’s an especially good vocal by Lennon.

    Chains: A workable cover originally recorded by the Cookies, but nothing especially outstanding about it. I can say the same thing for the Cookies’ version to be honest. Nice harmonica though.

    Boys: This is essentially Ringo’s debut as a singer as he rips through an energetic cover of a very solid Shirelles’ tune. I do find it odd that he’s talking bout’ boys though

    Another great guitar break by Harrison on this one.

    Ask Me Why: I call this one PS I Love You, Jr. It’s essentially the same acoustic based style. Not an especially stand out Lennon-McCartney original, but not especially bad either. This was the flip side to Please Please Me.



    Please Please Me: And now we’ve come to the title track and the big hit of the album. Folklore has it that George Martin wanted the Beatles to record How Do You Do You as their second single. And the Beatles did record a workmanlike version of the song. They didn’t like it though and Martin allowed them to record Please Please Me instead. Ironically, How Do You Do It would be recorded by Gerry and the Pacemakers and they would keep Please Please Me out of the number one spot.

    As it is though, this is a very catchy tune with a cool double entendre. It’s influenced by Roy Orbison and Lennon in fact wanted to record it at a slower pace. Not my favorite song on the album, but pretty damned good.

    Love Me Do: This is the album version and the version most heard in the US where it went all the way to number one in 1964. Of course this was a period where the Beatles could sneeze and they’d have a number one smash in the States. This recording is a bit cleaner than the single version. The clapping isn’t as noticeable but at least McCartney sings without his voice breaking.

    PS I Love You: Listening to this again, I think you can feel an Elvis vibe on this one. This was the type of thing Elvis might have recorded circa 1963. It’s pleasant if not especially inspired. This was, of course, the flip to Love Me Do.

    Baby It’s You: Another Shirelles’ cover (and one of my favorites from that girl group), this version does the girls justice. I especially like Lennon’s rhythm guitar that seems to change chords effortlessly. It has a certain moodiness that the other tracks on the album don’t seem to have.

    Do You Want To Know a Secret: George gets the vocals on this Lennon-McCartney original. Lennon actually wrote this one and based it, I believe , on something related to Disney’s Peter Pan. It’s a simple tune really, clocking in at less than two minutes, but it’s one of my two favorite tracks on the album.

    A Taste of Honey: This is where the album seems to tail off a little. McCartney would soon become notorious for recording, then writing, schmaltzy tunes. Originally written as a pop standard by Bobby Scott and Rick Marlow, the Beatles’ adopted Lenny Welch’s version and turned the song into their own. While not exactly a rock and roller, the song is quite melodic and it proves that, at the very least, McCartney has some good taste.

    There’s a Place: Sort of a cross between Please Please Me and Misery and nowhere near as good as the former. Some nice harmonica work but not an especially inspirational tune. I guess I would rate it okay by Beatles standards.

    Twist and Shout: At least the Beatles end it with a bang. This was the last song recorded on this marathon day and Lennon’s voice had had it by this time. It seems to add to the song as Lennon’s raspy voice dominates this great Isley Brothers’ cover. This is usually looked at as the Beatles’ greatest cover and it would be hard for me to disagree. It’s the best song on the album and only Do You Want To Know a Secret comes even close for me.

    And there you go. A solid start to what will be an amazing catalog. Stay tuned as we next cover some non-album tracks from 1963.
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  9. #19
    Member Irwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmustard615 View Post

    Single: Love Me Do/ PS I Love You: We’ll cover the flip side when I review the album, but the recording of Love Me Do is different than the one on the album. The single version is notorious for George Martin benching Ringo Starr for session drummer Alan White. Despite this, it is Ringo that is on the released track and he’s fine as are the other instrumentalists. Vocally, and this is where the single track differs from the album track along with some noticeable clapping in the instrumental break. It seems McCartney’s voice seems to crack on the single version. It wouldn’t be the first time his voice would crack on a recording but it would be the most noticeable. Somebody should have given Paul a cough drop. Anyway, it’s a simple tune for the most part. It was successful enough to make the British Top twenty.
    This must be the version with Alan White. It doesn't sound like Ringo's style.


  10. #20
    It could be. After I wrote this I read somewhere that it was the Alan White version. Ringo had claimed in Anthology that it was him.
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