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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Beatles Experiment 1: Please Please Me 1963

In general, I have always enjoyed The Beatles earlier, love inspired pop tunes to their later experimental work. Of ocurse, I haven't yet heard all of them, so I don't want to jump the gun.

Their first album has its bright spots, and also a couple of places where it appears they were running out of time in the studio (apparently this was recorded in just ten hours) and had to fill the album. Of course, this is just my opinion, and this album is now 43 years old.

The Good:
The opening track I Saw Her Standing There is typical of my favourite Beatles tracks - upbeat, easy to sing along to, and you can swing with a partner to it. The other best known tracks on the album are in a similar vein, the title track Please Please Me, Love Me Do, Do You Want To Know A Secret and Twist And Shout.
I was pleasantly surprised by tracks like Misery and Chains, which immediately brought back memories of the cartoon Series called "The Beatles", which was always on Sunday mornings on Channel 10 during my childhood. I could almost see the episodes when these songs started.
These tunes are still the catchy ones, the songs that grab you as they begin, and encourage you to sing along. To find I still knew all the words to these songs is indicative of their success.

The Average:
Probably not through any great mystery, the songs I find least accesible on the album are not written by Lennon/McCartney. Anna (Go To Him), A Taste Of Honey and Boys are not in the same class as those written by the bands major contributors.

This is, overall, a solid debut album. Half of the album is well known by most of the music listening world, a major accomplishment on any level. The signs were already there that the song writing team was quite extraordinary, and that the sharing of lead vocals, along with the backing vocals, was an inspired solution.

Rating: 3/5

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