The Beatles

A not half-bad pop band.

* special introductory paragraph!
* 1962 Live at the Star Club in Hamburg
* Introducing The Beatles
* The Early Beatles
* With The Beatles
* Meet The Beatles
* Second Album
* A Hard Day's Night (British)
* Something New
* The Beatles' Story
* For Sale
* '65
* VI
* Help! (American)
* Help! (British)
* Fuck!
* At The Hollywood Bowl
* Rubber Soul (American)
* Rubber Soul (British)
* "Yesterday"...And Today
* Revolver (American)
* Revolver (British)
* Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
* Magical Mystery Tour
* The Beatles
* Peter Sellers Tape
* White Album Demos
* The Esher Tapes
* Yellow Submarine
* Let It Be
* Get Back
* Let It Be...Naked
* The Complete Rooftop Concert
* Hey Jude (The Beatles Again)
* Rock And Roll Music Volume Two
* Rarities
* Abbey Road
* The Christmas Album
* Live At The BBC
* Baby It's You 7"
* Anthology I
* Anthology II
* Anthology III
* Love
* Paul McCartney Really Is Dead: The Last Testament of George Harrison DVD
What? Oh, okay. They were the greatest pop group ever. Unfortunately, reviewing their catalog was difficult since at the time of its writing (1996), I only owned their American vinyl releases, and now most people own the reissued British releases. Thus, most of my initial reviews will be obsolete to the modern music buyer. However, over the years I have come into contact with more and more of the British releases and have worked in reviews of those as well.

Incidentally, if you're not familiar with The Beatles, they pretty much invented modern rock'n'roll by combining the rockabilly of Buddy Holly and Elvis with the crisp vocal harmonies and melodic sensibility of The Everly Brothers. They were around for the duration of the 1960's and continued to experiment and grow and pretty much revolutionize rock music at every stage of their career, unlike...say, The Eagles. When they finally broke up in 1970, they had more than a dozen GREAT albums under their belt. Over 25 years later, their songs still stand up (stand out? whatever.), and regardless of how many flaccid solo albums Paul McCartney insists on throwing at us, their legacy remains; there will never be another Beatles.

Unless, of course, some new band names themselves "The Beatles." But, barring that possibility, there will never be another Beatles.

Reader Comments

hutchilj@aramco.com.sa
I'm English, and I really don't understand the Beatles adoration on the following pages - I've read them all and, unlike on Mark's other band sites, there is no debate here - you all seem to agree that the Beatles could do no wrong, except for the wise man who pointed out that Sgt. Pepper was Paul's attempt to compete with Brian Wilson after Pet Sounds, and it wasn't in the same league! I grew up listening to the Beatles on the radio, from the age of 5 in 1963 to age 12 in 1970, and liked the songs, but never thought the Beatles were amazing - maybe you had to be older when the albums came out to appreciate them now?!? Maybe it's a British-American thing: you envy us the Beatles, Stones, Who, Zeppelin, and the Pistols - we envy you Dylan, Hendrix, the Doors, the Ramones, rock'n'roll, and soul. So, you have maybe too much respect for our bands, and we have too much respect for yours??? Anyway, I can't find a place for the Beatles in my Top 100 Albums Of All Time. I listened to all of them in the 1970's, and I have listened to most of them again in the last 2 years, and I still feel the same.

getrealgeezer@hotmail.com
Right,let's just get one thing straight.Reviewing The Beatles catalogue from the U.S Capitol releases is a complete and utter waste of time and webspace!!!!!These albums bear absolutely no resemblance to what The Beatles intended and are just yet another example of American inward looking arrogance towards anything foreign.Thank goodness The Beatles are NOT American and quite rightly refer people of ALL countries to their ORIGINAL British releases.

smacl@mediaone.net
Your insistence on reviewing these pieces as they were released in America is DISGUSTING. What IS the point of that? The band OK'ed the releases as they appear on the BRIT/EMI LP's. Then Capitol BUTCHERED the ART/WORK PRODUCT with their money grubbing reconfigurations, always cutting a couple tracks out to crank out another release, until the BOYZ became bigger than the US military-industrial complex and hence could tell Capitol to go pound Pacific Ocean sand. The works start with Please Please Me NOT freakin Meet the Haircuts....Revolver is SUPPOSED TO HAVE "I'm Only Sleeping", "And your Bird Can Sing" and "Dr. Robert" as part of the overall musical experience. The fact that Capitol released the American LP without those tunes is on a par with what RKO did to Welles' masterpiece "The Magnificent Ambersons". Or maybe not, but this approach really pisses me off even more than that asinine Who's Next and Quadrophenia sputum of yours Mr P. I'm not even gonna read any further here...well maybe to your Revolver review after all; and since some other jaded loser who visits this site says your White Album review is pretty cool I might stop there too. Love ya Marky Mark!

mbritton@PillsburyWinthrop.com (Mark D. Britton)
never got bettlemania. you think I'm immune? thank god. and who gives a fuck what order which the songs come in and on which record? it's the fuckin' music -- song by song -- that (the substance of the fuckin' music) is what should really matter to a true fan, and not a snob, you uppity british fucks. and, thank you to hutchilj@aramco.com.sa for having the guts to say what everyone's afraid to say -- they really weren't anything special. oh, and did I just misspell their name...twice?

uglytruth@hotmail.com (Hossein Nayebagh)
The album issue does matter and there's nothing snobby about that, the british releases were the way they were intended by the band itself, and that's why they should count.

As for the rest, I spent 4 years listening to all those rock n roll bands out there...since last year I've been bored with all of it...until I realized that this band is the best pop/rock band yet. They WERE indeed something special, and with all the crap out there, I can't believe someone would say that they're not special. My only guess would be that it's for the same reasons that it took this long for me to see this; A. Too diverse for people who still want everything to "rock" B. Often you don't feel like supporting what everyone else are raving about, because it gets overblown.

Himanshu.Arora@unisyswest.com.au
For all those, who want to tie our tongues Mark, just one comment for them:

It’s probably hep you know, to say that against beatles

Hee hee

kevin_tardif@comcast.net
Mark, this is a great site. For me personally The Beatles are not my greatest band ever. Personally I love to listen to U2, Led Zeppelin, Rush & Pink Floyd more than The Beatles. Do not get me wrong. I have a few Beatles CDs and they are one of my favorites, but they are not at the pinacle. But unlike many in this thread, I can live with the adoration that The Beatles receive as the "Best Band Ever." In fact on Rankopedia they are listed as the "Best Band Ever" ahead of the bands I mentioned earlier and ahead of also The Rolling Stones, The Who, Queen and AC/DC. Here is the link: http://www.rankopedia.com/ZoneID=3/25269/Best-Rock-Band-Ever/Step1/25.htm They are all great bands. But I am comfortable with The Beatles being at the very top, because they are at the very top of the list with many music lovers and with many bands themselves.

godemperorjjohnson@gmail.com
Okay, I'll be the first one to admit, we'd be stuck with a bunch of hick-ass garage bands for the next 15-20 years at the very least if the Beatles didn't crack America, but it's fucking debatable to say the least that they "invented" modern rock 'n roll, not the leats of reasons is that it's changed considerably since then. More specifically, artists like the Who at the least and various R&B bands that gave rise to Cream and the Yardbirds would still be doing their thing regardless. Not to mention the Northwest garage bands that predate the time the Beatles hit America.

"....revolutionized the history of rock 'n roll at every step in their career..."

That's a complete load of tripe. All they did was to help focus attention on trends becoming popular at the time. The psychadelic era(Sgt. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour) and the return to "basic rock and roll"(White Album") were already occurring at the time said revolutionary albums were released. Not to say that Abbey Road or any of the other above albums aren't classics, it's just I feel they receive far too much undeserved praise.

Add your thoughts?

1962 Live at the Star Club in Hamburg - Walters 2000
Rating = 2
God almighty, these guys are TERRIBLE! Monophonic black and white mashed-up ugly sheets of poorly recorded garbage, with guitars "Skrank Skrank"-ing like the strings are made of barbed wire, drums nearly completely buried under piles of dust, and three yahoos trying desperately to sing in harmony -- all for the sake of the least interesting batch of soundalike rockabilly covers and novelty dopey B.S. in town. Three Chuck Berrys here, a couple Carl Perkinses there, a Phil Spector here, a Leiber-Stoller there, an Isley Brothers here, a pile a' SHIT there - you call this music? I call this P'ewsic!

The Young Lousy Beatles submit their poor Nazi audience to 23 endless, godless tracks, only THREE of which could be considered less than nauseating (catchy, sick "Hippy Hippy Shake," pretty "To Know Her Is To Love Her," wonderful classic "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby"). Worse yet, they don't even have any original material yet! What do they play here - two? A less-than-admirable attempt at "I Saw Her Standing There" and the ugly slow stinker "Ask Me Why"? Suck my ass it smells! That's my opinion.

Oh, I nearly forgot -- they also play "Hully Gully." Thanks Beatles, but if I wanted to listen to Chubby Checker's excited squealing, I'd hide a microphone in my ass and pretend to fall asleep at the urinal. Okay let's see what I wrote in my notes here. Just a few phrases to give you a 'Bird's Eye View' of what you're missing out on:

"Just a dull song"
"Repetitive as all hell"
"Lopey-dopey novelty-sounding crap"
"Why does he yell 'I'm a roadrunner, honey!' before they go into 'Twist & Shout'?"
"Yawn. Dull song. Generic early r'n'r (rotten'n'rancid)."
"Dull novelty bore. Who the hell's playing the saxophone? Did they dig up Stu?"
"Not for me!"
"More basic early boring r'n'r (rafts'n'ropeswing)"
"Endless guitar solo"
"Too happy. Assholes."
"More novelty shit. What are they, 'Weird Carl' Perkinsvic?"
"Yet again even more early interchangeable r'n'r (rape'n'regurgitation)"
"Ugly harmonica brapping."
"Does he think he's funny when he changes the 'Mr. Moonlight' lyric to 'Here I am on my NOSE'? Okay, he sorta is."
"Dullsville, baby!"
"Sappy ballad, filled with sap from the tree of love."
"Sounds like Buddy Holly sensitive pop to me. Pre-airplane, I mean."

To be fair, the horrible recording is probably the biggest culprit; I know it's unavoidable, but boy is this messy glasses-clinking wind noise hard to sit through for a full hour. Especially when so many of the songs sound the same with no discernible vocal hook. I hope these guys will get better over time, but I just can't see it happening.

Besides, the future of music lies in starring in dumb movies. Guitar music is on the way out.

Best,
Elvis Presley
Talent Scout
Decca Records

Add your thoughts?

Introducing The Beatles - Vee Jay 1963.
Rating = 8

Great songs! I think that this album was supposed to introduce England's fabulous Beatles to America, but it didn't do much. Why not? What the hell was wrong with America back in '63? This is a wonderful record, full of exuberant early guitar rock, beautiful vocal harmonies, and even some lovely ballads every once in a while. Apparently it's the exact same record as their UK debut Please Please Me but without the songs "Ask Me Why" and "Please Please Me," which later showed up on The Early Beatles anyway (see below).

Now see, as I understand it, rock and roll was dying out in the early '60s because, following a powerful start with Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and the like, nobody was bothering to take it anywhere. So the Beatles DID. They added folk music-inspired beauty and diversity to the noise. Oh sure, old-fashioned squares could trash all them scraggly-voiced yahoos jammin' the jinga-jinga from 55-63, but how could anybody deny the inherent aural loveliness of, say, "Love Me Do" or "There's A Place"? I mean, even if you're disturbed by the sounds of an electric guitar and a rock and roll beat, how can you not be moved by those vocal harmonies? John and Paul had amazing voices! Amazing voices and BRAINS too? Wowee. Someone tell Bono.

Now see, I guess you can say, "If the Beatles hadn't saved rock and roll, somebody else would have," but don't. Don't say that, because you have no documentation to back up your case. If not the Beatles, then whom? Rock and roll may very well have just died without the Beatles! And then where the hell would we be??? There'd be no Dwarves, that's for sure!!!!

Now, about this album specifically, my only complaint is that half of the songs are covers. I guess you have to start somewhere, but the six originals are so darn incredible ("I Saw Her Standing There," "Misery," "Love Me Do," "P.S. I Love You," "Do You Want To Know A Secret," and "There's A Place") that it's hard to imagine that they really needed to resort to outside material. At least the covers are cool too. They always put their Beatles stamp on anything they did. In my opinion, the only throwaway track is "Boys," which is generic rock and roll of the sort that would probably have driven me, as a father in 1963, to announce that rock and roll is a big piece of crap.

Of course, if I'd been around in 1963, I probably would have formed DRI and ended the life of rock and roll in a heartbeat. Ha!

Reader Comments

normg@mail.halcyon.com (Norm Gregory)
I had to jump in to give my perspective on Introducing The Beatles. I was a 19 year old college student when the album was released and I was the first in the dorm to buy it. In fact, old dorm mates still remember me as the guy who they remember as first saying "these guys are going to be big."

But the album gave no indication that the group was going to be big and/or revolutionary. It was very typical of albums of the time: a hit or two and then filled out with covers. It was their choice of tunes that caught my attention. Many of them were among my favorites from the early '60s, great pop/R&B hits like the Shirelles "Baby It's You," The Cookies "Chains," The Isley's "Twist & Shout." And probably the strangest cut on the album, a cover of Lenny Welch's hit, from the previous year, "A Taste Of Honey."

At the time nobody knew much about the group. A couple months earlier I first heard the Beatles. Their "From Me To You" on the radio (but as I recall a version by Del Shannon got more airplay) . . I had no idea who they were or that they were British. You gotta remember groups from U.K. very rarely showed up on the U.S. charts at this time. At the time I can only remember two mentions in the general media. A short piece in Time magazine with a small photo ("What's with that hair!") and CBS-TV news did a short report . . . which I missed . . but it's credited as the first appearance of the group on American television.

gstarst@rsuh.ru (George Starostin)
From my early days I was addicted to the British Beatles' catalogue. So when I'm reading these reviews of their first records I'm getting all mixed up. The American catalogue is just HORRIBLE, Mark! It's a good thing the unification process chooses the British catalogue as a standard.

Let's see... this one is a bastard offspring of their REAL first LP, which was Please Please Me and did feature both "Please Please Me" and "Ask Me Why" which, as I understand, were left off this one. The other originals were the same as here. Do you mean they just cut off two songs in the States and released this vivisected LP? BASTARDS!

As for the rating... well, for me ALL of the Beatles' records deserve a 10, but I guess an 8 is probably what you have to get if you want to show this record did not quite stand up to their later standards. And I also love "Boys". I think it's very much Beatlish. I also see you're sometimes too hard on Ringo. Don't hit him so hard, Mark! After all, he did "Octopus's Garden", didn't he?

cliffnorth@localaccess.com (TAD)
"There's a Place" is a stone classic. & apparently a lot of Fab 4 fans have never heard it. It sorta sounds like a rewrite of the Beach Boys' "In My Room," but sheez is it gorgeous. Even if these guys had never done NEthing else, this 1 track woulda gotten em in2 the record books. Least, I think so. Helps that there's other great stuff on the album 2. U wouldn't wanna B without "Saw Her Standing There," "Please Please Me," "Twist and Shout" & "Misery"....

streb@mail.sssnet.com (Dan Streb)
Prindle, man. I am quoting DIRECTLY from your Beatles page:

"Now see I guess you can say, "If the Beatles hadn't saved rock and roll, somebody else would have..."".

What the hell was wrong with rock and roll in the first place?? Everybody says rock died from 1958-1963. And that's just wrong. I mean, sure Elvis was in the army, Little Richard went into a church and retired from music, Buddy Holly died and Chuck Berry was arrested, but there was still really cool music around. There was Lloyd Price's "Stagger Lee", Mark Dinning's "Teen Angel" (the saddest song I've ever heard in my life), Santo and Johnny's "Sleep Walk", Link Wray's "Rumble" (a growling instrumental and the dirtiest meanest guitar ever heard on a rock record, Ray Charles' "Hit the Road, Jack", and The Tornadoes' "Telstar" (one of the all-time greatest instrumentals and the first British number one song). And there was also the rise of girl groups, Motown and surf music. And that's bad rock and roll??

kenyon@mail.netnitco.net
This is one of my favorite Beatles albums. My dad was a Beatles freak, and I've been listening to them since I was born. A really fun thing to do (for me, anyway, I don't know about you) is to listen to the first song on this album and then get out Abbey Road and listen to The End. The difference in styles is amazing. It's like you're listening to two completely different bands. And by the way--if you'll let me brag for just a second, I'd like to share the fact that my copy of this album (vinyl) is a VERY rare edition worth a hell of a lot of money (but I'm not telling how much). :)

BtheW@aol.com
I'm just gonna add a few technical points. Indeed, Norm, Del Shannon did cover 'From Me To You,' and it was the first U.S. cover of a Lennon-McCartney song. It was also done way before anybody had heard of them (in the US, that is). Also, this album does indeed sport twelve tracks while the British album has fourteen. But there's more to it than just that. There were actually two versions of Introducing the Beatles.' The original had 'Love Me Do' and 'P.S. I Love You,' and then later, a different version came out that didn't have those two songs, but had 'Please Please Me' and 'Ask Me Why,' which had both been left off the original. This second version was actually more common, making the 'Love Me Do' version pretty valuable. Of course, this doesn't mean that everybody who has 'Love Me Do' on the album has a valuable album, since a relatively worthless pirate copy of this was on the shelves during the late seventies. That's the one I've got. One more point: Vee Jay may have been planning on releasing this album in July 1963 (the date listed in most books), but they ran into financial problems and shelved the project until Jan. 1964, about a week or so before Meet The Beatles. The second version came out at the beginning of Feb. 1964.

F
I suppose that this one can go for both this album and the later released by Capitol The Early Beatles, since they're essentially the same record (Introducing was also released with Ask Me Why and Please Please Me replacing Love Me Do and P.S. I Love You) and they're both pretty much Please Please Me from UK with the assholishness of the record companies leaving out either one out of the two masterpieces from the UK album--yes, these originals are, holy shit, awesome. People finding out nowadays that Love Me Do has traces of indian modal music! Either way, they write such awesome rockin pop songs, with so much perfection, that you, as a matter of fact, wonder about what's wrong with them Americans in 1963. The covers are the shit, too, man! It just doesn't stop on their awesome songs, but also stuff that they make their own--what about that Twist And Shout, eh? But there's no Please Please Me--the ultimate Roy Orbison tribute, if you ask me; this song is just so wonderful that if you can't enjoy it you better shoot yourself in the head--and no Love Me Do on the later versions of Introducing... and The Early Beatles, so I'll have to give it a seven. A low seven. Record company bastards.

davethefish42@gmail.com
(about the original Please Please Me UK release): Wow, the first Beatles album. I really don't know what to say. Soon after it was released (actually, with the release of their first single), the Beatles were immediately swept up in attention, and this captures the good-natured, clean cut sound they were famous for at the time. There's some rockabilly, R+B, girl group, and ballad work here, showing how eclectic they were from the start. Yeah, what's here is a little dated (how could it not be?) but it's a fun and compulsive listen, not just a historical document. In my opinion, ANY compilation attempting to comprehensively cover the Beatles work is incomplete without "I Saw her Standing There", "Please Please Me", and of course, the most famous single take of all time, "Twist and Shout". The band had one afternoon to record the album, and John's voice was completely shot by the end of the day. Still, they knocked out the cover and it became one of their biggest early hits. Such a great song to sing along to. There are some lesser tracks here too, but you blink and they're gone either way, which makes it perfect for repeated listenings.

mabewa@yahoo.com
Like everyone else, I'll put my comments on “Please Please Me” here, since everyone else is and since this album is “Please Please Me” minus two songs. A lot of critics seem to get a hard-on about this album these days since most of it was recorded in one day. The story goes something like this: the Beatles get together in a recording studio for a single day and knock out a rockin', raw, slab o' vinyl that completely kicks ass over most music released these days. Axl Rose works 15 years on Chi-Dem, and can't even top what the Beatles could do in a single day.

Well, admittedly, this album is way better than Chi-Dem, not that that is hard to do. It's an excellent little album, but not a particularly good Beatles album. Why not? Well, it IS pretty raw and immediate, and when they have a great tune (I Saw Her Standing There, Please Please Me), it's pretty great indeed. The thing is, though, nearly half of it is covers, and while some of the covers work very well (the Motown stuff stands out—obviously the throat-tearing version of Twist and Shout is a classic, and I'm pretty partial to Baby It's You as well), many of them are a bit forgettable. 'Chains'? 'Anna'? 'Boys'? Not the most memorable songs the Beatles chose to cover.

The really interesting thing to me, though, is that by the time they recorded this album, they had obviously written a great song or 3, but they hadn't really started the incredible songwriting streak that would make them the Best Band of All Time. Sure, the two songs I mention above are great, 'Love Me Do' is an interesting and weird little tune, and 'There's a Place' is pretty cool too and hints at the lyrical depth that they would someday find (even if it is a Brian Wilson ripoff). But stuff like 'PS I Love You,' 'Do You Wanna Know a Secret' and 'Ask Me Why' are basically bubblegum pop songs. Luckily, they find the band having much of its melodic genius already developed, but the lyrics are a bit blah (some songs just repeat the same lines endlessly, as if they couldn't think of anything more to write), and overall it doesn't sound that radically different from other early 60's pop stuff.

To me, what was really notable about the Beatles at this stage of their history wasn't their songwriting, but rather how eclectic they were: they mixed rock, Motown, and Tin Pan Alley style pop, along with a lot of weird folky chords and harmonies. When they got more consistent at writing great songs that combined these influences (see the next few singles after this album, much of With the Beatles and especially A Hard Days Night), they would take over the world. Here, they haven't quite gotten there yet.

It almost makes me glad that they took a while to get signed—judging by the Anthology material, if they had made their debut album say, a year earlier, it would have been pretty forgettable, and they might have just disappeared. This album was good enough to establish them in the UK, and then the next few singles made them huge there, and when the Americans finally noticed what was going on, the rest was history.

Ben
I'm more or less on the same page. For 1963, this album might have been a fuckin miracle compared to what else was topping the charts back then... but then again, this album is like 45 years old and sounds pretty dated. There are flashes of brilliance here ("Please Please Me," "Twist and Shout"), but it's mostly just fun pop music. The faster songs on here are --by far-- the better songs on here, but ballads like "Anna" and "There's a Place" are pretty good too, but nothing really spectacular. Even though John and Paul had been writing songs together for a while at this point, they produced pretty mixed results. "I Saw Her Standing There" is fantastic, but "Misery" is painful, and definitely one of the worst songs in the Lennon/McCartney catalogue. The covers produce mixed results as well. Shame you don't like "Boys," cuz I think it rocks. Not an essential album, but everybody has to start somewhere. It's just pure, basic rock & roll.

Add your thoughts?

The Early Beatles - Capitol 1965.
Rating = 8
This is a post-Meet The Beatles (and post-a few others, too) re-release of Introducing The Beatles with a different track order and with "Ask Me Why" and "Please Please Me" replacing "Misery" and "There's A Place," as if those weren't two of the best songs on the original album (and as if "Ask Me Why" isn't pretty much a piece of crap). Also, "I Saw Her Standing There" is gone 'cuz it was on Meet The Beatles. A goody. "Twist And Shout," "Do You Want To Know A Secret?," others.
Reader Comments

BtheW@aol.com
Yeah, this really illustrates the big mess that was the American albums. I had to go out and find the Oldies 45 copy of 'Twist And Shout' because it had 'There's A Place' on the b-side. And I couldn't get my hands on 'Misery' until that late '70s pirate copy of Introducing The Beatles came out. Part of the problem is that there was an industry standard in the U.S. that dictated that albums were to contain between 10 and 12 songs. The U.K. standard was 12 to 14. Here's an interesting fun fact for really hardcore Beatles fans: the mono version of this album actually contains reductions of the stereo mixes. They couldn't even get that right.

victorproserecords@comcast.net (Ryan Maffei)
I'll place my Please Please Me comments here, under its American equivalent. A weak album, but one with much promise and swagger, quite. The Beatles sound like young upstarts, albeit enjoyable ones, on this record. A 7, most likely, is my rating of choice at this particular hour (3:40 AM). Hm, yes.

Add your thoughts?

With The Beatles - Vee Jay 1964.
Rating = 8
Early as shim! We here in America grew up knowing these songs as splintered apart onto Meet (discussed in a moment) and Second Album, and as far as I'm concerned, they can STAY there! What the hell kind of song order is this anyway? Start off with four entirely non-gleeful songs, then seque into like eight gleeful songs in a row? Whatever!!!! I disagree. And what's with cramming five covers into the last eight tracks? What a load of horseshit! Stick with the American releases, I say! Great songs, bad song order.
Reader Comments

daniel@fhsk.skurup.se (Daniel Reichberg)
Maybe you're right about the strange running order of the songs, but on another point you're wrong: The British (and European) releases have always been considered the original ones. The songs couldn't STAY on Meet or Something new, since their original place was on With! Overall, I think it was quite nasty of the american record companies to release the records with fewer songs, thus being able to put in an extra record now and then, to suck up even more dollars from the american fans. Second Album, Something New, '65, VI and Yesterday and Today should never have been there. The original 14-song records gave more music for the money. (Not that I really have to care. I was born in Sweden in '69!)

gstarst@rsuh.ru (George Starostin)
Never mind the song order. Anyway, 'tis not a concept album, ain't it? As for me, I never knew another record but With The Beatles, and I wish it subsists and to all of you American fans (new ones, I mean): eschew the American bastardizations!

As for the album itself, it clearly shows that the Beatles were maturing as fast as they could, faster, indeed, than any other existing rock group - maybe that's what makes them so fantastic in the end!

BtheW@aol.com
I'm a little torn in this argument. While I definately resent the American labels (Capitol, Vee Jay and United Artists) slicing and dicing the UK albums, I still grew up with the US versions, and have a nostalgic fondness for them. Keep in mind that the vast majority of American Beatles fans thought that these were the actual albums. Oh, sure, we could tell that Something New was kind of thrown together, because half the songs were on A Hard Day's Night, but I was convinced that the Beatles went into the studio and recorded Beatles VI, for instance. As far as the song order on the UK album goes, it's fine with me. It seemed odd when I first bought it, but I soon got used to it. And just to nitpick: the British label was Parlophone - not Vee Jay.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Stick to original releases! As for the album itself, it's a great album like everything The Beatles had done. First four songs are the masterpieces, "Till There Was You" has a great vocal perfomance by Paul and great guitar solo by George. "Please Mister Postman", "Roll Over Beethoven" are marvellous covers; "Hold Me Tight", "You Really Got A Hold On Me", "Devil In Her Heart" are very good; "Not A Second Time" is brilliant; Ringo sings "I Wanna Be Your Man" with a big passion, so sings John "Money".

ian.moss@yale.edu (Ian Moss)
Some true classics on here: "It Won't Be Long" with its call-and-response in the chorus; "All My Lovin'," one of the catchiest songs ever written; "Money" with its bluesy cynicism and a great performance from John; and the timeless "You Really Got a Hold On Me." The highlight for me, though, has got to be their cover of "Please Mr. Postman"--what an incredible song!!! Great lyrics, vocal harmonies, and who can beat that "Mr. Po-wo-wostman" and "Deliver de letter, de sonner de better!"? I don't care that many of the best songs are covers, it's still good music right? George's first song, "Don't Bother Me," pretty much sums him up right there. Even the crappy songs like "Little Child" are wonderful in their own crappy way. I don't know, it's like everything the Peatles did somehow became about 50-75% better than it should have been, had it been recorded by any other band ever. How did they do it? And how did they all get so worthless the second the band broke up?

I give it a Beatles 7, a normal-people 9.

davethefish42@gmail.com
I guess you could consider this more of the same, but that means more lovely pop songs and ballads with exquisite vocal melodies, which is never a bad thing. One difference I noticed was the quality of the cover songs. On Please Please Me, the originals kicked the CRAP out of the covers, though both were pleasant. Here, while the originals are still the highlights, the covers are downright terrific, probably the best they ever recorded. It would have been nice to see more originals from the time period here, but that's just the way things were done at the time. If you could write a hit song, they'd whore you around the country for a while, then bring you in and cut an album in one day with half originals and half recognizable songs. Then, hopefully you'd be able to do it one more time before the Christmas season hits to get another product on the shelf in time. Business tactics aside, the songs here are on par with what was found on Please Please Me and there really isn't that great of a reason not to pick up these early records.

Benjamin Burch
This came only 8 months after their first album, and it's a dramatic improvement. Pretty much everything about their first album has been completely overshadowed by this one. No more mercybeat crap, where the first album was more of a hit or miss affair (for a beatles album anyway), this is hit all the way through.

John contributes the best songs here, "It Won't Be Long," "Not a Second Time," "All I've Got to Do," and Paul's "All My Loving" is one of the best songs he's ever did, being a much bigger improvement over songs like "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Love Me Do." The 6 covers on here are great too. Even George has a song here, the highly underrated "Don't Bother Me." Where "Please Please Me" was more of a fresh start for the band, this is really where they got their edge.

Add your thoughts?

Meet The Beatles - Capitol 1964.
Rating = 9
Terrific! No wonder they got so big. I'd have been a screaming teenage girl my own self! Eleven GREAT originals, only ONE cover, and a couple of really cute band photos. Dang! It's just early guitar rock, I suppose, but with some fantastic and unforgettable melodies. And, as before, stunning vocal harmonies. See? What did I tell you about all those covers? Why, those darn Beatles were certainly capable of coming up with a whole album of their own material. The pop sensibilities, hoo boy. Somebody - wow! You know? Most of these songs would really stand out if they were released today! I mean, shit, if everybody's so damn impressed by that stupid "Woo-hoo!" song by Blur, imagine how they'd react to something like "It Won't Be Long"? Or "All My Loving"? Eh? I mean, "All My Loving" isn't even rock and roll! It's like a Spanishy guitar shuffle thing with a pop feel! It's like they've merged two or more different genres of music!!! They must be geniuses like Beck!

Screw '90s youth culture and its sultry ways. If you're looking for the start of diverse and worthwhile pop rock, don't write off these early Beatles records as "yeah yeah yeah" nonsense. They're NOT. Yes, the Beatles liked rockabilly a lot, but the majority of their original material, even at this early point in their career, goes far beyond anything that the rockabilly genre had seen before. At least, I think so. Honestly, I wasn't born until '73 so what the hell do I know? But see that? I'm a youth of today, and even I think these songs are forkin' fab over thirty years later! Stand-outs include "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "All My Loving," "Not A Second Time" and "Papa's Got A Big Fuckin' Bunion."

Reader Comments

mds+ID@netyp.com.au
Rick say's "all my loving" is good.

BtheW@aol.com
As far as the over-abundance of originals goes, the Beatles sure weren't behind this. When Capitol were picking songs for the album, they deliberately excluded those tracks from With The Beatles that were not written by them, because they had the mistaken notion that American teenagers wouldn't want to hear new versions of old hits. Also, if anybody needs another reason to pick up the British releases, here's one: A&R 'genius' Dave Dexter at Capitol thought the George Martin productions weren't good enough, so he 'enhanced' all of the tracks on this and subsequent albums (at least up through Beatles '65 or so). This mainly means that these early songs are swimming in reverb on the American releases - but not on the CDs.

F
Practically the same album as With The Beatles, but with a hit single--it's yer guess, buddy--I Saw Her Standing There and This Boy placed before the With The Beatles tracks. And the complaints--you'll see that very often in these reviews of mine--is the track order. Why leaving the songs from It Won't Be Long onwards exactly like With The Beatles, but without the covers? And Mark complains about the track order on With The Beatles? You're feckin outta your mind, Mark. The UK releases always end up greatly, but in this here release, we're left with Not A Second Time as the last song. More like "Not The Right Song To Finish An Album With" if you ask yours truly. Not a bad song, but not too memorable either considering other songs. Granted, With The Beatles have more cover songs than on this one, but they fit swell there. This album would get a six if not for the inclusion of This Boy. Have you heard that one? What a ballad. Hear these vocals! Heck, hear this album! These guys do their rock/pop deal so perfectly that it's hard to believe that they're humans. It takes listening to the stuff they did when they split to realize that. An obvious seven. They should have put some of the covers contained on With The Beatles and saved originals for the next one.

tnahpellee@yahoo.com.au (Brendan S. McCalmont)
I have this theory that music reviewing isn't just about the music. I think that music reviewing is also abotu understanding ourselves. And with this record I received a greater understanding of myself and human beings in general. I think the thing is there is an oversimplified view of music reviewing. I think that half of it is the music and half of it is the person who responds to it. If I got 80 year olds to review the AC/DC catalogue they'd bash it. If I got 20 year old men to review it it'd be passed of as brilliance.

But one thing I understand about most [but not all] people is we haev a longing for something that isn't part of the ordinary day. And that is why the Beatles succeeded, becuase here they offer an understanding of that. I know these are love songs but it's the way they are done that is impressive. Like 'There's a place', which has this spending time in an imaginary world you created to pretend she's there when she's not. Also, look at the lyrics to 'Ask me why'. "I can't believe this has happened to me", he sounds like some street person who's just been made Mr.Univerese. Then there's the title track, which deals with relationship problems. He is longing for what he never gets, longing fro something that isn't part of his everyday life. Even if it is just his girlfriend being nice to him. And the originality of the melodiesis unbelievable. My second favourite Beatles album this is (Please Please Me). They chose the covers well, too, they have original, unusual melodies.

I recently wathced a docco on John Lennon and he said he didn't know how to write music so he'd put words to 'already' songs and add these other bits in so he'd be original. It works wonders, John. Oh yeah, by the way, my favourite song is 'There's a place', my second favourite is 'Please Please Me' and my third favourite is 'Ask me why', a nice song with great lead guitar work from George.

Ben Burch
Now THIS is a pretty awesome album. The first in a (what it seemed like at the time I'll bet) never ending line of great albums. This is an improvement over Introducing in just about every way. Only the slightly faggy "Till There Was You" (from "The Music Man" --.--) brings this album down. But I agree, the others are fuckin' amazing. Shit, "It Won't Be Long" (my personal favorite Beatles song) and even "All My Loving" would have made better singles than "I Want to Hold Your Hand." The other songs are as underrated as they come. A 9 from me.

Add your thoughts?

Second Album - Capitol 1964.
Rating = 8
Disappointing only in that there are way too many cover tunes on here; in flack, John, Paul, George, and Richard only wrote FIVE of these eleven songs. 'Sup with that? Stupid American record label. You can't knock the record too hard, though, because it's a lot of fun. Much more in the generic rockabilly vein than Beet The Meatles, but that's okay, I guess. If you're gonna tread water, at least do it with songs as timeless as "Thank You Girl," "I'll Get You," and "She Loves You," all three of which are touching odes to Paul's latest girlfriend You Jenkins (that track about the obsessed lesbian is a hoot!). If you're lookin' for genius, look elsewhere, but if you're in the market for a good old-fashioned rock and roll party, go ahead and give this one a spin. And, hey, "Roll over, Beethoven"! Ha ha! Oh yeah.

Reader Comments

leonard@lyco.lycoming.edu (Brian Leonard)
Contrary to Mark, I think this is the best of the "American" versions of Beatles LPs. Each and every cover is amazingly good, especially if you don't know the originals: it may cause you to seek them out (as I did). And it closes with "She Loves You", which is not on any British LP (it's on the Past Masters Vol. 1 CD), and which is simply the greatest rock 'n' roll record ever. Well, I think so.

BtheW@aol.com
I always thought this album was a lot of fun. The avalanche of covers is, of course, due to the fact that they didn't show up on Meet The Beatles.

F
But sometimes the track order gets good. And the excess of cover tunes? They rule, so what's not to like? The 5 cover tunes from With The Beatles--great beginning with Roll Over Beethoven, by the way--two songs from the Long Tall Sally ep from UK, and before the said ep was released, a b-side that ended up on the UK version of Hard Days Night, another b-side, starting the trilogy of songs about You Jenkins, as mentioned by Mark, and finishing the album, the last two songs from that trilogy, I'll Get You and She Loves You, respectively the b-side and a-side from another UK single. It feels weird to have You Can't Do That on the album given its selection of tunes, but you gotta dig this one, mister; great rockin song with those awesome call and response vocals from the boys in the chorus, finishing side one. Four covers and two originals on side one, indeed--you can't help it if you're gonna pick songs from here and there in the UK catalogue, but hey, even with more covers than Meet The Beatles, it's just great--and look what they do with those covers, man! They make em their own, that's what they do. Such is the case with Money, or the side two opener, Long Tall Sally--can that Paul Mc Cartney sing or not? And I love I'll Call Your Name--simple tune, but it feels good to listen to. With a total of two cover tunes on side two, and the aforementioned I Call Your Name, they do the kickass job of putting I'll Get You and the greatest hit of the album, She Loves You. It shows what those guys can do great cover tunes, and delivers you some originals--and what originals! I'll go forward with an 8 and a statement: it's a lot better than Meet The Beatles, and you won't help but want to bang your head to that stuff.

Nicolafrood@aol.com
john wrote ill get you, thank you girl and she loves you:FACT!!!

Ben Burch
Yes, it's just a collection of songs put together by Capitol record executives, but WHAT a collection of songs. Only shitters here are the two b-sides, "Thank You Girl" and "I'll Get You," which are a little too poppy for me (although there are pretty good live versions of both songs on Live at the BBC, and Anthology 1). The others are more or less on the same level as Meet the Beatles (since most of them come from the sessions for that album), but "Please Mr. Posteman," "Long Tall Sally," "Money" and "You Really Got a Hold on Me" are a BIG improvement over the covers on Introducing. The original songs are fuckin' great as well.

Add your thoughts?

A Hard Day's Night (British) - Capitol 1964.
Rating = 9
I don't own the American version of this record, because half of it is instrumental Beatles songs and the other half can be found on Something New. This British version RULES, though! I discuss all the songs in better detail in my reviews of the American albums, but just so you know, it's got "Any Time At All" and "I'll Be Back" and "I Should Have Known Better" and "If I Fell" and all kindsa great stuff. In this CD age where the American releases are obsolete for all but us measly vinyl collectors, you're gonna wanna own this CD. What a phenomenal song list. Fourteen tracks with only ONE ("When I Get Home") even approaching mediocrity.
Reader Comments

arnoldnicholas@hotmail.com
If you are going to buy any Beatles' album make sure it is the british version and not the bastardized American versions. This way you can hear the Fab Four the way they were meant to be heard and the way they recorded their music. Sorry, this doesn't really fit in with A Hard Day's Night (Good early Beatles!) but it is a good general rule.

gstarst@freestamp.com (George Starostin)
Strange enough, my first acquaintance with this record was in its American form. So I still pity the now unavailable instrumental parts, especially one - "Ringo's Theme", which is an excellent instrumental version of "This Boy". Sure it has little to do with the Beatles, but still... quite interesting.

By the way, some of the releases of this album for some reason lack "When I Get Home". So did the Russian version, for example, and probably other ones. A puzzle for me. The song's not the best one here, but this ain't no reason to discard it none.

You forget to mention that this record was a MAJOR breakthrough for the band - with not even a single cover tune. This really starts the seriously self-assured Beatles for the whole world.

hutchilj@aramco.com.sa
My favourite Beatles album, but I still wouldn't give it more than '7'. Of course, I know the British copy rather than the American - 13 songs - and Side A is all good, especially "If I Fell". Side B finishes strongly on "I'll Be Back", but most of the rest of Side 2 is rather ordinary.

kenyon@mail.netnitco.net
If I Fell is an absolutely beautiful song, and in my opinion one of their best. Sure, it's kinda cheesy, but most love songs are. Compare it to any of Paul McCartney's solo crap and it's the greatest love song ever written. (Of course, compared with Paul McCartney's solo crap, "Purple People Eater" is the greatest love song ever written.)

bgreenstein@nctimes.net (Ben Greenstein)
Excellant! The best of their early records (pre-Rubber Soul) by far. But it's really John Lennon's record, don't you think? I mean, he wrote ten out of thirteen songs, and they're all killer! They hover between insecure ballads ("If I Fell" and "I'll Be Back"), bitter, spiteful things ("You Can't Do That" and "Tell Me Why"), and sarcastic naivite ("I Should Have Known Better"). Lyrically, it's so direct, and a real precursor to a lot of his solo work. And I'll agree that "When I Get Home" is the only thing close to filler, but wouldn't you say that "Any Time At All" sounds a little too much like "It Won't Be Long"? Anyway, a nine.

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin
Y'know, it wierd; as I move further back into The Beatles' catalogue, I approach each successive purchase with more and more apprehension, with fears that all the crap I'd always been told and had always thought about the early Beatles stuff, that it's just generic yeah yeah yeah type of stuff, will rear their ugly head, and put a black mark in my mind for what had heretofore been the greatest pop group I had ever heard. And every single time, I listen to my new purchase with absolutely no friggin clue why I had these fears before. Take A Hard Day's Night. DEAR GEORGE HARRISION, THIS ALBUM RULES. Gorgeous ballads, fantastic harmonies, and hooks EVERYWHERE. I give this a 9 with no hesitation at all.

ian.moss@yale.edu
My parents have the American version of this album on vinyl, so I copied it onto tape when I was about 12. It's pretty good--the instrumentals don't add too much to the experience, unfortunately, but they kept a good mix of actual songs on the record. In particular, "And I Love Her" is haunting, and "If I Fell" already shows the maturity that would characterize their later work ("And I know that love is more / than just holding hands"). I also love the ridiculous teeny-bopper "I'm Happy Just to Dance With You". Some of the rest of it does approach mediocrity, especially "Tell Me Why," and even "Can't Buy Me Love" grates on me after a while. Overall, I'd give it a 7.

BtheW@aol.com
Well, here's one where the American release (on United Artists; reissued around 1980 on Capitol) cannot possibly compete with the British (on Parlophone, but released in the US on Capitol in the '80s). You either get 13 Beatles songs, or you get 8. It's that simple. And the George Martin instrumentals cannot hope to make a big enough difference to change one's mind. Here's another fun fact for really hardcore Beatles fans: the stereo version of this is all in fake stereo (high end in one speaker; low end in the other), because United Artists only had mono mixes of these songs. The instrumentals were in true stereo, however. Also, 'I'll Cry Instead' has an extra verse not heard anywhere else. The mix of 'And I Love Her' is also unique to this release.

richbunnell@home.com
They were of course still just British Invasion superstars at this point, but the creme de la creme of their peers. Lots of really great harmonies on this one; not really much else to say. I even like "When I Get Home," pegged by some as the worst Beatles song ever. And why do people peg "Can't Buy Me Love" as a "generic rocker"? The verse melody's too distinctive. 9/10

WebCat1@webtv.net (Robyn)
I have the original(U.S release) album(as in vinyl)of H.D.N and while I was kind of thrilled to get it,listening to it was rather disappointing;to many instrumentals,and they weren't even by the band itself! But I recently purchased the British release(CD) and wow! What a difference,this one rocks! Capitol,you ought to be ashamed of themselves. Just a warning to you all,buy UK Version!

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
This album rules! It surely deserves a 10 as a record rating! The best songs from here are "I Should Have Known Better", "And I Love Her" and "Can't Buy Me Love". These songs are true Beatles classics. While "I Should Have Known Better" shows the beauty and depth of Lennon's vocal, "And I Love Her" shows the beauty and depth of McCartney's vocal and both of them show beauty and depth of Beatles perfomance. Well, all songs on it show that. What else to say? The songwriting has developed and this album sums up the first two. There are no covers here and it's a true rock'n'roll. "Tell Me Why" is a little worse than others (but not a bad song), but that doesn't change the fact, that this album is marvellous great!

Jcjh20@aol.com
Amazing record. Probably the best pre-Rubber Soul album, but Help! comes close. But theres no covers! Only all Lennon/Mccartney compositions and that could never go wrong. Songs like the title track, "If I Fell", "I'll Be Back", "And I Love Her", "Cant Buy Me Love" are some amazing material from here. "Anytime At All" and "When I Get Home" are songs that are usually shunned, but how the hell can you shun a Beatles song? These songs are amazing fun, even if they are inferior to the other tracks. 9/10.

uglytruth@hotmail.com (Hossein Nayebagha)
It is a good album, but you seem to have missed out on what's really good on the album. You're right on "I'll Be Back", but the other good ones are the title track and "Tell Me Why". Also "You Can't Do That", but that one isn't strong enough to last.

And someone else already pointed out that the british versions were released on Parlophone and not on Capitol or VeeJay, how can you miss that!

bdoleac@wesleyan.edu
I second your opinion, dude - easily the best early Beatles album, and chiefly because it's ALL Lennon/McCartney tunes - sure they had flair for outside material, but their own work beats hell out of most others' anyway. This is an essential record, and since I can't say I agree with your system of awarding only one 10/10 to each band this gets a perfect score from me, even if it can't compete with "Rubber Soul" (which is beyond perfection). A rock-and-roll touchstone, and proof that great albums were made before "Rubber Soul" made the album-rock era a reality. It may be only 30 minutes long, but if you don't have "A Hard Day's Night" you're cheating yourself - I defy you to find another record this solid that's NOT by the Beatles....Excepting "Nevermind", of course. Oh, and "Pet Sounds". Fucking essential.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
I was just listening to "I'll Be Back" and I just noticed something extremely cool and clever about it. It's the way it keeps shifting back and forth between major and minor modes IN THE SAME LINE, and these shifts also reflect the upset/hopeful dichotomy in the lyrics. The song opens on an A-major chord for a couple of bars, then for the first line of lyrics "You know/If you break my heart I'll go" it's in A-minor. But then for the line "But I'll be back again" it shifts to a major mode (E major > A major). Then back to minor for the next line, and so forth. It's like there's an internal dialogue going on in the song - a confused guy who just can't make up his mind about this cruel yet irresistable chick. THAT is the kind of thing that goes on in so many Beatles songs that never fails to blow my mind, and that's what makes them so great and unique.

jlunsford@latinschool.org (Jaime)
Finally, a truly perceptive comment. The minor/major -- tentative/ confident device is brilliant, an early confirmation that genius was at work here. Besides the tunefulness, the rockability, the interesting chord progressions, and the exploration of a wider range of subject matter in the song lyrics, I am always amazed at their willingness to experiment. They not only absorbed the musical environment around them, they actively sought out styles that were new and foreign. The musical amalgam that resulted from this searching continues to sound fresh today. The Beatles' willingness to explore uncharted musical territory marks them as true artists, restless souls. From a commercial/economic standpoint, taking such artistic risks was certainly not in their best interest. The quality and the quantity of their output (in less than eight years), along with their metamorphoses are nothing less than remarkable.

I am well aware of the hipness factor that is awarded to those who trash the Beatles' accomplishments, but there is simply not another popular artist that compares with them. I realize that the preceding is all one man's opinion, but I'd like to think my statements are backed up with a little street cred. I hold degrees in music theory, composition, and conducting, and have performed professionally since age fourteen, some forty-one years ago. I have considerable experience playing rock, blues, jazz, r&b, afro-cuban, Mexican, and classical music. And I was sitting in front of the Zenith when Ed Sullivan introduced them to America and the world.

Benjamin Burch
Where "With the Beatles" was a big improvement over "Please Please Me" this one (coming only 7 months after "With the Beatles") makes the both of them irrelevant. Even though the group decided not to rely on covers for this one, John wrote 10 out of the 13 songs here. They're all good, and for that reason it's kind of hard to single them out. "Any Time at All" is my personal favorite, but even I can tell it's a rewrite of "It Won't Be Long." Paul's songs are great too, but his high point didn't come until a couple of years after this. Perfect album... get it today.

Add your thoughts?

Something New - Capitol 1964.
Rating = 9
Ah jees. You wouldn't think an album as stupidly titled as Something New would be so damn good, but sometimes the world can be a surprising place. You do your own little Yahoo search to find out where you can find all these songs on CD, but I've got 'em all right here - the bouncy pop guitar fun of "I'll Cry Instead," "Tell Me Why," and "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You," the dark bitterness of "Things We Said Today" and "Any Time At All" (oh, okay "Things" isn't lyrically bitter, but doesn't the melody sure make it sound like it should be?), and oh boy... oh wow... Don't you DARE just write off early Beatles as "Chuck Berry-esque rock and roll" until after you've heard the incredibly beautiful ballads "And I Love Her" and "If I Fell." Holy cow. Wow wow wow. They rank up there with any Beatles song ever written, as far as I'm concerned, which (obviously) puts them up there with the finest pop songs of all time by anybody ever and that includes Don McLean almost.

Were other bands putting out albums full of songs this consistently memorable back in '64? If so, who? The Stones were still doing pretty much all covers, weren't they? Man overboard. So anyway, five of these tracks were from the A Hard Day's Night movie, but unfortunately the fantastic theme song from that movie didn't make the cut for some reason. Hmm. See, I wish there were more superlatives I could use to describe the feeling of joy that enters my soul when I listen to these songs. Understand, will you, that I can be really bitchy when it comes to rock and roll music. I've just heard so darn much of it in my life that when something new comes along, if it doesn't immediately impress me, I usually just say "screw it," and look for something else. Bad attitude? Of course, but life's too short to waste it on mediocrity.

Anyway, so bearing that in mind, let me now point out that up until about five years ago, I didn't own any Beatles albums earlier than '65. See, I'd always heard that their early work, though groundbreaking at the time, just doesn't sound all that great thirty years later. Well, I hope that whoever told me that lie has a canker sore right now as punishment for keeping me away from such wonderful music for so many years. If the three remaining Beatles were to reform next week and release this album, I swear to you that I would be raving about how age has only made them stronger. Oh sure, there are no strings or acid fantasies or bouncy little piano tunes - this is rock and roll! But oh, sir, oh what rock and roll it is.

Don't hold me to that, though. You might hate it, for some reason.

Reader Comments

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
Truly an awesome record, and I'm speaking of A Hard Day's Night, which I suppose Something New is...kinda sorta...I, too, got into the Beatles at a "late" stage...by constantly being pestered by a friend of mine who was completely absorbed by them...and also by retraceing steps backward through songs by my beloved Ramones and Cheap Trick, among others...you always hear stuff like "every sound you hear on a record today has a precedent in some Beatles recording"...I used to think that was horseshit, but dang if I haven't been able to disprove it...such a great album...

BtheW@aol.com
This album wouldn't have even come out in America if Capitol hadn't lost the Hard Day's Night soundtrack to United Artists. They were free to release the songs, as long as they didn't release them all on one record. So they scrambled to get something 'new' on the market. And this album got stuck at number two behind the UA album. Of course, it's the Beatles, so when you look at it song-for-song, it's really pretty good - but I always preferred The Beatles' Second Album. For non-US citizens of the world who aren't familiar, you can find all but three of these songs on the British Hard Day's Night - and those three are 'Slow Down,' 'Matchbox,' and 'Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand.' But you can't get 'A Hard Day's Night,' 'I Should Have Known Better,' 'Can't Buy Me Love,' 'You Can't Do That' or 'I'll Be Back' on this one. Now which album do you prefer?

F
So this is where the remainder of the Long Tall Sally ep ended up, and, ah-hah!--the songs from A Hard Days Night in UK, but damn, no Hard Days Night! Granted, now we have two covers, and here you can see the originals starting to make things pale in comparison to the originals. You can't help but stay in awe when listening to stuff like Things We've Said Today and If I Fell. Man, what a bunch of great songs. Nice track order too, but no Hard Days Night and Can't Buy Me Love? Screw you, Capitol (or United Artists, which I suspect that are the ones to blame for such a travesty). And I'll Be Back should be here, instead of on '65. More cooler than cool songs? The great ballad And I Love Her. The great--man, here comes those vocals again!--Tell Me Why. Heck, Slow Down is pretty darn good too. All the songs in here rule. But no Hard--aw what the fuck, I won't repeat that again. Oh yeah, What about I Should've Known Better? Don't the US releases always rely on hit singles? So what about From Me To You? From Me To You! A fuckin' masterpiece! This could've gotten an eight because all the originals are great and that german version of I Wanna Hold Your Hand finishing the album is hilarious! But the lack of the songs--especially From Me To You, which took years to appear in a US album--that I've mentioned, whether in here or in any other record before or after, accounts for making this and other albums weaker than they should be. A seven.

Ben
Pretty cool album cover eh? Anyway, this is like a lesser "A Hard Days Night," but with a few extra songs. The German version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" is interesting but rather pointless, but "Slow Down" and "Matchbox" are great. Apparently, if you buy the mono version of this album, you get a version of I'll Cry Instead with an extra verse.

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The Beatles' Story - Capitol 1964.
Rating = 7
It's like spending a very special evening in the company of The Beatles themselves!

Nah, just kidding. It's actually like spending a very overblown and silly evening with a couple of big-voiced radio announcers attempting to explain the phenomenon of Beatlemania in as dull a manner as possible. It's still great fun for an evening's listen, though. Why? Because it's SO dated. Hilariously dated. Paul wants to invest in his brother's hairdressing business? Ringo is the quiet Beatle who never smiles? George is the happy-go-lucky one? John isn't whipping out his pecker for a crappy solo album? Whatever, John Babcock!

Hee hee. "Pecker." Heee!

There are a few majestic moments - the delirious crying teenage girls at the beginning, the bitter old father referring to Beatles fans as "a bunch of monkeys!", the band's repeated claims that they want to make no political or social statement whatsoever - but it's still a weak excuse for a documentary. There's very few soundbites from the actual Beatles, and those that are here are almost impossible to understand because of poor recording. Plus, the album doesn't really say anything at ALL about the band. It's just a document for dopey fans like me. But it's still a great visit into yesteryear, and a real gas to dig, knowing what we now know about how important The Beatles were to the history of Western art and whatnot.

Reader Comments

BtheW@aol.com
I forgot all about this one! This is one of the funniest records without trying to be that ever came out. I think the best parts are when Roger Christian quotes John Lennon. Instead of hearing John's voice, of course, we hear Roger, who's about the cheesiest white-bread American this side of John Tesh. There is one important musical reason to own this album, though. The live excerpt of 'Twist And Shout' is from the 1964 Hollywood Bowl concert. This differs from the version on the Hollywood Bowl album, which is from the '65 show. The instrumental music, incidentally, is by the Hollyridge Strings, who recorded an album (plus several sequels) called The Beatles Song Book, which is advertised, along with the rest of the Beatles' catalogue, on the back covers of their Capitol albums.

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For Sale - Capitol 1965
Rating = 8
It's mid-2010, and somebody recently pointed out that, even though I discussed its songs in my reviews of the American releases '65 and VI below, I never reviewed the British album For Sale. So I decided to give it a whirl, mainly to see if my love for The Beatles has waned at all in the 14 years since I originally wrote this page.

It hasn't. Hearing all these songs together on the correct spot, this feels like much more of an artistic step forward for the band than I'd ever realized. For one thing, the Dylan-inspired acoustic rhythm guitaring I'd always associated with (the American) Rubber Soul actually began here, on sober, somber compositions like "No Reply," "I'll Follow The Sun," "I'm A Loser" and "Every Little Thing." For a second thing, these songs are sad as all hell! Anybody who still thinks of early Beatles as happy, careless moptop music needs to give a listen to "What You're Doing" (reportedly about McCartney's disintegrating relationsthip with Jane Asher), "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" (about being stood up), "I'll Follow The Sun" (about a man reluctantly leaving his lover because he knows she's falling out of love with him) -- not to mention the first three songs, which discuss (a) a girlfriend pretending not to be home when she clearly is, (b) losing a love, and (c) Stuart Sutcliffe's fiancee mourning his death.

Beautiful bridges and lovely vocal armonies persist (I'd never noticed how country-inflected the "Baby's In Black" vocals are! Nor did I ever notice it's in waltz-time.), and John comes across as the band's lead singer, taking lead on five tracks to McCartney's three and Harrison/Starr's one each (the other four feature dual lead vocals). So with all these great original compositions, how dare I award an insulting 8 out of 10? Well, because six of the fourteen tracks are covers -- and three of those covers just stink. "Mr. Moonlight" features the most ham-tongued and ugly vocal harmonies in the band's catalog, "Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey" is a generic early rock'n'roll bore, and Carl Perkins' "Honey Don't" was given to Ringo which should tell you all you need to know. Thankfully, a spirited Mr. John Lennon kicks melodic new life into Chuck Berry's "Rock And Roll Music," gorgeous harmonies elevate Buddy Holly's "Words Of Love" to pop art, and Perkins' "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" is just a cute song, whether or not you like Harrison's nondescript vocals.

I know you've been on the fence about whether or not to purchase this 45-year-old album by the most successful rock band in history, so I'm glad to have provided you with the information you need to make an educated decision. On that note, here are a few other observations I've made that will prove of great assistance to you in your future and coming days:

1. Never call a woman "ma'am." It makes them feel old. Call them "miss." Particularly waitresses and people like that. Calling a waitress "ma'am" is like calling a waiter "old wrinkly bag filled with shit." In fact, they're synonyms; look in the Bible.

2. Don't wear a cat on your head.

3. All neckties should be made of clear plastic, with urine swirling around inside.

4. If you hit a golf ball towards somebody's head, yell "FORE....SKIN!" They'll double over laughing and the ball will soar right over their head and hit their wife.

5. If you smell gas or smoke in your home, it's because you have shit up your nose. Ignore it.

6. Razors are fine for shaving your face, but if you decide to shave your genitals, it's more effective to lie on the floor and gently place a lawnmower on your penis.

7. Most bands are great. Any chance you get to purchase a CD should be taken, no matter the price.

8. 60-story buildings aren't waterslides, even if you put a hose at the top and push people over the side.

9. When a homeless person asks you for money, it's appropriate to ask him to provide a service of some sort. This is a great way to save money on legal counsel and surgical fees.

10. Never call a woman "miss." It makes them feel disrespected. Call them "vagina with all those limbs and shit around it."

Reader Comments

vincerizzosr@earthlink.net
This has always been a favorite of mine. It's definitely the most under rated Beatles LP. But then i'm a bit of a fanatic. I even like Mr. Moonlight for fucks sake. And thank you very much for the 10 tips at the end there. I'll hold them close to my shorts. Later. BTW Howzabout some Mott The Hoople reviews. I think you'd dig 'em. Great stuff, I tells ya.

danielrosenbe@gmail.com
Good review, Mark, though the album’s actual name is “Beatles for Sale,” not “For Sale.” But I knew what you meant.

Some of the band's most enjoyable songs are right here on this under-appreciated disc: “I’m a Loser,” “Every Little Thing,” “Eight Days a Week,” “I Don’t Want to Spoil The Party,” “I’ll Follow the Sun.” And I like the covers, too, even “Mr. Moonlight,” which was a colossal joke on their part. “Honey Don’t" has its charms, especially when Ringo calls out, “All right George, one more time for Ringo!” right before the second guitar solo. Ringo's singing is extremely charming, even if the song itself is no great shakes. And “Kansas City-Hey Hey Hey” is a campy recording featuring Paul’s excellent Little Richard-style vocals – another one-take, live, no-overdub masterpiece. They just picked up their instruments and played and sang. There's a good YouTube video of them doing this song live on the "Shindig" TV show.

Only a couple of songs on this one don't do it for me: "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" and "What You're Doing." And I'm a bit sick of "No Reply," for some reason, but that bridge is pretty wonderful.

It's well known that the Beatles recorded their first LP, Please Please Me, in a single day. It's not as well known that a good portion of the songs on Beatles for Sale were also recorded in a single day (Oct. 18, 1964). They recorded six of the songs that day, along with the single "I Feel Fine," which of course they didn't include on the LP.

I've probably listened to this LP more than some of their most-praised albums (Sgt. Pepper comes to mind). There's a nice mix of strong covers and originals, and you get the sense that it's almost an "odds and ends" kind of album, like Let it Be. At this point, they were tired of the constant touring, and they came in to the studio and just did whatever they happened to have. That's not a bad thing if you're the Beatles.

Ben
Oh, how this is so heavily underrated. The sound here is not as fun or lively as the previous albums, and the group has successfully changed their sound up a little bit. Maturity is evident in the Dylan flavored first three tracks, and then "Rock and Roll Music" (my personal favorite) shows that the group hasn't lost their sense of rocking out. Paul's cheerful self throws in "I'll Follow the Sun" (which was apparently around five years old when this album came out) which has a great but short guitar solo. "Mr. Moonlight" and the "Kansas City" medley are terrific, but "Eight Days a Week" is really where it's at (out of the originals), with a great ringing guitar intro, harmonies and pretty much everything can want in an early Beatles song. "Words of Love" and "Honey Don't" end up sounding better than the originals, and "Every Little Thing" is a cute ballad featuring a nice break. The country "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" and poppy "What You're Doing?" are underrated and undiscovered gems, but George's spotlight, "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" ends the album on an unusually high note, and is probably the hardest rocking track on the album.

I did every song, because I wanted to prove that this is a great album, and so badly underrated. No Beatles fan should be without this (even though a lot of them probably are).

Matthew Ward
I'm glad you like this one. Of all the Beatles albums, it's the one that has risen most in my estimation over the years. A couple of things you notice: this is where the acoustic guitar/folky thang really began in earnest, and it's also where the lyrics got a lot darker, mostly courtesy of Mr. Lennon (who was definitely the dominant songwriter in the group at this point). Yeah, you get "No Reply" followed by "I'm a Loser," followed by "Baby's in Black." Just look at those titles! Not exactly shiny-happy-teen-pop stuff. And along with the folky sound, there is a serious country influence, especially with Harrison's guitar. "Baby's in Black," in particular, sounds like some kind of old country/folk lament, and the rockabilly covers also fit in pretty well with the overall Americana vibe. Steve Earle says that this is his favorite Beatles album, and no wonder, it's the one that sounds most like a Steve Earle record. IMHO, the originals here pretty much all rule--in addition to the ones mentioned above, I particularly like the throwaway janglefest that is "8 Days a Week" and "Every Little Thing," which is not only a great song, but also a good example of how their arrangement skills were really growing. No Reply is another example, actually--the first version on Anthology has a fairly generic rock band arrangement, but by the time they got around to recording the version here, they had dramatic acoustic guitar parts and backing vocals going on. One more thing: this is one of the best-sounding of the 2009 remasters--it has a really beautiful, warm sound (the same goes for Hard Day's Night). By this time, they were working with 4-track, which means that they could spread things out more, rather than the annoying vocals-on-one-side-and-instrumentals-on-the-other mix that makes their first two albums a bad proposition

I guess the reviews of this album were a bit underwhelming when it first came out--their voices were supposed to sound hoarse from being on tour (don't hear that at all), and after doing an all-original album with Hard Day's Night, they were back to the 8-originals, 6-covers pattern. To be fair, the covers do drag it down somewhat. "Rock N' Roll Music" is fantastic and earthy--way better than their cover of "Roll Over Beethoven," and "Words of Love" has some of their best harmonies ever. But the other 4 are all at least a bit underwhelming... though I can appreciate all of them except for "Honey Don't," which is really too repetitious and generic sounding (You might have noticed that Lennon sings the version on the Live at the BBC album--does a better job than Ringo, but still can't quite make the song interesting). I actually don't mind Mr. Moonlight, corny song that it is, since there is a lot of energy and work that went into the arrangement. "Kansas City" is a kind of generic R&B shouter, but Mr. McCartney does a good job w/it, and "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" is pretty fun, if lightweight. Overall, I agree with the 8--it's a strong 8, but the Beatles never made a great album that included covers IMHO.

I noticed that you gave Beatles '65 a 9, and not sure if I agree with that tho... Granted, it adds the fantastic I Feel Fine/She's a Woman single, which was recorded in the same sessions as this album, but it loses "8 Days a Week," "Words of Love" and "Every Little Thing," and it also keeps some of the weaker covers, including "Honey Don't" and "Mr. Moonlight." If they had just removed those last two songs and replaced them with the single (or removed ALL the covers except for Rock n' Roll Music and Words of Love) and replaced them with the single, it would be an easy 9. If not a 10.

Add your thoughts?

'65 - Capitol 1965.
Rating = 9
Masters of their demesne. That special distinctive Beatles style is still glowing and growing, with an impressive batch of diverse originals helping to further separate the mopheads from their far less creative influences. "I'm A Loser," "Baby's In Black," "I'll Follow The Sun," and "I'll Be Back" are four perfect pop songs! Depressing as shit, yeah, but perfect nonethenever. And why not depressing? All you old pieces of crap out there can reminisce about those "old happy early days of rock and roll" all you want, but the Beatles knew pain, dammit. Women leave! Why? Love ends! Why? Why? And what the hell can you do when it happens to you? Why doesn't she feel the same way? Oh sure, it all sounded mindless and meaningless in those sappy old '50s ballads, but the Beatles made it seem so real! Well, to me anyway. They may very well have just been makin' crap up, but it convinced me. Ha! Maybe I'm a loser! Ha! Did I mention yet that it's only been one year since Meet The Beatles came out, and they're already miles beyond where they were even at that point? Did I? Should I?

Nah. As you probably know, "I Feel Fine" boasts the first recorded pop guitar feedback intro in history (as well as one of the most wonderfully magical pop riffs of all time, right up there with the Stones' "The Last Time," which was most likely just a ripoff of "I Feel Fine," unless it was recorded before "I Feel Fine," which would be a very easy fact for me to check, but I'm simply not in the mood to do it right now. Would you mind checking for me?), and "She's A Woman" sounds strangely like an industrial machine trying to play a reggae song (you'd really have to hear it to understand what I mean). Still four cover tunes (four too many, if you ask me), but life goes on. No reason to sit here and bitch about it. But seriously, the greatest songwriters in the world should not have been condescending to covering anybody's songs. Except maybe the Atlanta Rhythm Section. But I guess that goes without saying.

Reader Comments

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
You know what? I've always kind of disagreed with that "I Feel Fine" feedback thing. It always sounded to me like Paul plucked a note on his bass and lightly touched his pick to the vibrating roundwound before they charged in.

I dunno. "I Feel Fine" is one of my top 5 Beatles songs in the whole wide world. The harmonies alone just grab my shoulders and kick my ass repeatedly while asking through grit teeth: "You...want...some...MORE?!?...HUH!!??!!"

And man, I do!! I do!!

nbrandt@wyoming.com (Nathan Brandt)
I checked out that "Last Time" thing. "I feel fine" was released on fall of 64 and "Last Time" was released in spring of 65. So yeah, sounds to me like a complete rip off of the solo in "i feel fine".

gstarst@rsuh.ru (George Starostin)
Hey man, I had this record! A few years ago. Then I dropped it and it broke. Still, I'm not too sad about it. As far as I can remember, the track listing was almost identical to their REAL fourth British LP - Beatles For Sale, 'cept that "I Feel Fine" was a single, backed with "She's A Woman", and "I'll Be Back" was on the British release of Hard Day's Night.

As for the actual songs... No comment. Great as usual. By the way, there is yet another interesting thing about "I Feel Fine" (and never mind the feedback: somewhere else on this site Tim Eimiller was saying it was Pete Townshend who discovered the feedback, and I believe him): right near the end, during the fade-out, you can hear a dog barking! Now THIS is real innovation! Leads straight off into Pepper's "Good Morning".

cliffnorth@localaccess.com (TAD)
I think the Fabs' cover of "Everybody's Trying to be My Baby" is an absolute scream -- these guys were great & they damn well knew it! That's why they got modest ol George up there singin about how the women just can't keep their hands off him. What a laugh!

Plus they sing their asses off all over this record. "I'll Be Back" & "I'm A Loser" are essential (is "No Reply" on this record, or is that somewhere else?), & I'm a sucker 4 "I'll Follow the Sun." Can they get NE better? Oh yeah....

bgreenstein@nctimes.net (Ben Greenstein)
I've got the original brit version, called Beatles For Sale. It rules!

The covers are back, but they're also much better. "Rock An Roll Music" and "Mr. Moonlight," for example, are songs that I seem to hear everywhere, and I really dig Carl Perkins, so I like the two versions of his songs. And the originals! "Every Little Thing" and "What You're Doing," near the end of the album, are every bit as catchy as the great songs that you named. And "No Reply"? That has got to be the definetive Beatles song! What a great sound!

"I Feel Fine" isn't on my version - however, I agree with the above comments about how it is the best song ever. And about the feedback - if I'm not mistaken, The Who didn't do any recording before '65, which would make the song the first recorded use of feedback. So the Beatles win this one, though I'm sure Townshend was the first to use it on purpose.

ian.moss@yale.edu
I'm sorry, but this "early Beatles" is just a little bit TOO early for my tastes. The album does certainly have some classics on it, especially "I'll Follow the Sun" and "I Feel Fine," but the rest of it is a little flaccid, don't you think? I mean, "Honey Don't"? Come on. And "No Reply," "Baby's In Black" and "I'll Be Back" would be fine as one song, but as three variations of the same song they don't work quite as well. That said, the song that used to annoy me the most, "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby," has grown on me considerably in the last few years, for some reason. Anyway, I'd give the whole thing a 6.

BtheW@aol.com
Okay, I'm gonna nitpick a little more. Even though the title says '65, it actually came out at the end of '64. It was definately before 'The Last Time.'

'I Feel Fine' and 'She's A Woman' represent the most blatant examples of Dave Dexter's 'enhancement' of the George Martin productions. Simply put, it's the difference between hearing the Beatles in an empty auditorium, or having them there in your living room with you. And just in case anybody outside the US is keeping count, there are only 11 songs on this. Two were on a single, and 'I'll Be Back' was left over from the British Hard Day's Night. That means a whopping six songs from Beatles For Sale were left off of this.

On the feedback issue: I'm pretty sure the initial pluck is from John's acoustic guitar, which was feeding back because they were using one of those mikes that attaches to the guitar. In the middle solo section, after George does his first few licks, the band stops playing, and there's another guitar playing the riff. This is John's acoustic guitar, surprisingly enough, which is getting an overdriven signal from the miking technique, making it sound electric. How's that for innovation?

KevinMartinell@aol.com
Someone mentioned this earlier on, and I thought I was the only one who noticed it... For those of you who have the stereo versions of the U.S. LP's, listen to the sound quality in these songs:

*"I Want to Hold Your Hand," "This Boy," "She Loves You," "I'll Get You," "You Can't Do That," "Ticket to Ride," and "Yes it Is" ...

It is unusual that all of these songs featured extra "echo" and "reverb" to the vocals and instrumentation. Even if you sat between your two stereo speakers, or put headphones on, you can hear some kind of "synthetic stereo" quality, or to quote from the notes on the back of the U.S. "Rarities" album cover, "fake stereo," to these songs! I look at this issue two ways. The cool thing about it is that the songs have sort of a "live" feel to them, most notably "She's A Woman," and the sound is very powerful. All the same, after hearing the true stereo and/or original mono mixes of these songs, which appear on later releases and CD versions, it's hard to go back to the "synthetic stereo" remixes, on the U.S. compilations. The singles and CD versions feature the way these actual recordings are supposed to sound like. I remember reading somewhere that producer George Martin hadn't mixed some of these songs for stereo until around 1966, when the record company was getting ready to release the "A Collection of Beatles Oldies" compilation, in the U.K. I was lucky to find the stereo version of that one on vinyl. There are good stereo mixes of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "I Feel Fine," on that one (the stereo mixes which appear on the CDs). The sound quality sounds perfectly fine, and the sound is not enhanced by any echo or overdubbing at all. Some of these songs never appeared in true stereo, because they weren't mixed for stereo before, until later years. This seemed to be the case with mostly the single releases, which were all released in mono, until 1969.

As far as Beatles '65 goes, "I'll Follow the Sun" has to be one of my favorite Beatles ballads. -If I had to choose one, this would probably be my favorite ballad. I'm glad it reappears on the "Love Songs" compilation! I also like the rock & roll cover versions, "Rock and Roll Music," "Kansas City," and "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby!" They really rock, and it's cool that they also appear on the "Rock and Roll Music" compilation! Notice that the stereo version of "Kansas City" lasts a few seconds longer than the mono version, before the song fades out! :) (Beatles for Sale or Beatles '65, these are some of my most favorite songs (and cover versions) from The Beatles! :)

Jcjh20@aol.com
I dont know if Beatles For Sale has the same tracklisting as this one, but ill go on reviewing Beatles For Sale, assuming they are similar anyway. This is a incredibly underappreciated record. The guys were tired from touring and just being a band and everything and they had to whip out another album full of material, with pressure from the record company. And it goes to show you how ingenious these Beatles are, cuz the originals on this album are masterful. Hard to believe this was just a last minute type record. "Im A Loser" is a awesome Dylan-esque number, "No Reply", "Babys In Black", "I'll Follow The Sun", "Every Little Thing", "What Your Doing" and the classic "8 Days A Week" are all great as well. There are also covers on here, cuz, it being a last minute album and all, they needed material! So they put together wonderful covers such as "Everybodys Trying To Be My Baby", "Words Of Love" (man is that guitar sound beautiful), "Honey Don't" and despite what many people think, "Mr. Moonlight" is pretty good. Ohh and i dont wanna forget "Dont Wanna Spoil The Party" either. Great self-pitying song. The rest i can honestly care less about though. Ohh and "I Feel Fine" is an obvious classic! That riff and that melody and those harmonys are so infectious. A definate 9/10.

F
Pretty much Beatles For Sale, their Christmas/New Year's album--and it's, as you'd expect, freakin great whether it's a cover tune or an original, only that now the originals start making the cover tunes pale in comparison to the point that they're almost pointless--with a punch in yer face beginning of No Reply, I'm A Loser and Baby's In Black (man, I love this one. Look at those vocals again!), Rock'n'Roll Music seems pretty weak coming right after. Strangely, once again, they put another UK Hard Days Night tune in the middle of it, plus the single I Feel Fine--ain't that one a dang hoot? Plus, She's A Woman--and what about that one?! Man, those guys rule. Even so, the songs don't flow as well as on Second Album and Something New, so I'll give it a seven. Even with She's A Woman and I Feel Fine? Sure, cos Capitol has managed to come with such an amount of reverb on these--and on I'll Be Back too, I suspect--that it's not even funny. They sound as if you had your stereo inside a bathroom, for chrissake!)

davethefish42@gmail.com
(about Beatles For Sale): Beatlemania couldn't last forever, I suppose. This album has been subsequently deemed the weakest of all Beatles work (except by Let It Be critics), but at the time it was just another hit record. All the signs are here. Some people forget that the band were releasing 2+ albums a year, and that doesn't include the endless stream of singles, live performances, interviews, and trips halfway around the world to get it all done. Even the cover shows how weary the band was. Please Please Me showed the group smiling, looking down from a balcony, but here the cover shot is was taken in a bleak, rainy courtyard without a hint of a smile from any of the members. Soon enough the band would take a cover shot for an American release that pictured them all in butcher coats, smiling with doll limbs scattered all about, an unsubtle attempt to show how they felt about their fame. The title, Beatles for Sale, is also an indication, as well as the fact that there are six covers here, a step down from the all-original A Hard Day's Night. There were pretty lazily chosen as well, very basic Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly covers, and two from Carl Perkins which is very perplexing as the covers were usually expertly performed. Most of the original material is lacking the pizzazz of their earlier albums, as the Lennon piece entitled "I'm a Loser" shows. It's not bad work, just surprising to see such a sharp change. There IS some peppier stuff here, mostly through Paul's writing ("Eight Days a Week"), but not even close to the extent of the others. "I know love will never die" might be the lyric, but the flat delivery suggest otherwise. It comes as no surprise that the Beatles would decide to stop touring soon enough, which would give them more time to write (John found Dylan and folk rock around this time, and they were all growing as writers). Soon enough they would enter an entirely new phase of their lives, and their careers, which meant so would the rest of the world.

Add your thoughts?

VI - Capitol 1965.
Rating = 9
I like to call this one "the vocal harmonies album," and I like to play it on my stereo system fifty-two times an hour, which wouldn't pose a problem at all if I could just get this goddamned flux capacitor working. Nonirregardlessly, no surprise that this record is filled with MORE perfect pop songs! The harmonies, the melodies, wow... I can't believe people waste their time listening to Chavez when there's stuff like this out there. "You Like Me Too Much," "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party," "What You're Doing," "Yes It Is," "Tell Me What You See," and "Every Little Thing" say so much more than I or any other critic need bother. Jeez oh Pete, they were talented! And yeah, the other records have tons of cool vocal harmonies too, but on these tracks (which were probably pulled from six or seven different British releases - dumbass American record company!), they really outdid themselves and/or me. Just gorgeous stuff.

All of which only serves to make the cover tunes sound even stupider and more out of place than they did before. Oh, okay, "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" is a cool enough rocker to pass for an original, and the Fab Seven totally recreated Buddy Holly's "Words Of Love" in their own image with some absotively stunning voice harmony mmmms, but "Kansas City" and "Bad Boy" kinda blow. Whoosh! There they go! Catch them, Bing! Jim Hull doesn't like "Tell Me What You See" too much, but I think it's the tops. You don't recognize any of these song titles at all, do you? Isn't that nuts? These songs are honestly among the catchiest and most well-performed guitar pop tunes I will ever hear, and they never ever EVER play them on the radio! Why??? Why, goddammit, why???? Oh yeah, it has "Eight Days A Week," too. You've probably heard that one. Like many other similar Beatles songs, it fucking rules, if I may curse out of sheer admiration and slight jealousy for a moment.

Reader Comments

gstarst@rsuh.ru (George Starostin)
This one I have still. Gathering dust somewhere, I reckon. Most of the songs are from Beatles For Sale ("Kansas City", "What You're Doing", "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party", "Every Little Thing", "Eight Days A Week", "Words Of Love"), some from Help ("Tell Me What You See", "You Like Me Too Much"), some from singles ("Yes It Is"), and one was an American-only release, namely, "Bad Boy". Thanks God, they've all been sorted out now on British CD's. The album cover was cool, though. And "Kansas City" does not blow, since Paul's singing is good, and "Bad Boy" does not blow, since John's singing is even better. Good old rockers. Fine. Don't you like old rockers when 'em Beetles sing 'em?

TecmoFiend@aol.com (Jason Penick)
I agree with your assessments of "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party," "What You're Doing," "Yes It Is," "Tell Me What You See," and "Every Little Thing"... In my opinion the five greatest songs the band did in the pre-Rubber Soul era-- especially "Tell Me" and "Every Little", absolutely gorgeous. To bad they didn't include "No Reply", "I'll Be Back" and "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" on Beatles VI. An album with those 8 songs along with their version of "Words of Love", and maybe "I'm a Loser", "Ticket to Ride" and "Baby's in Black" to fill it out-- man, that might just make the most perfect album of all time... superlatave, even, to Revolver, Pet Sounds or Days of Future Passed. As it is you need to buy Help and Beatles for Sale (or the American versions of Help, Beatles '65 and Beatles VI) if you want to make a mix tape of these tracks... I did! Oh, and tell your friend that doesn't like "Tell Me What You See" to get his ears cleaned out, eh!?

BtheW@aol.com
I'll just throw in my two cents on behalf of 'Bad Boy,' which I think rocks better than virtually anything else from 1965. And you sure as hell can't beat that voice.

F
You know, I'm starting to get these US albums, and the conclusion is that most of em, if compared to the UK versions, do suck. On the other hand, Capitol is smart enough to put tracks out of singles on them, which makes em fun to hear. But this one has just a b-side of a single. And it had songs specially recorded for it, so them four fabs were aware of their US ablums. This one packs the remaining songs from Beatles For Sale with songs that ended up in the UK version of Help--but the Help songs came out before the UK version of the said album. Mark is right in pointing out that this can be called the "vocal harmony" album, cos here you have em a lot, but the good thing here is that along with the slow ones, they put on some great rockers, giving the whole album some nice contrast. I'd call this actually the "man, those guys can sing" album, cos the delivery on Kansas City by Paul and Bad Boy and Dizzy Miss Lizzie by John shows that these two could really tear when they wanted to, in regards to good ole rock'n'roll. My complaints? One complaint, actually: the track order is pretty weird. It starts great, but then it ends with Every Little Thing? Why not Dizzy Miss Lizzie? I suppose that I'm too used to listen to the UK Help. Oh well.

With other US versions, I'd give em a seven or eight, but this one gets a nine.

By the way, the songs that ended up on the UK Help came out firstly in here, not there. This is about the other reason for it to get a nine; it has involvement of the Beatles here. My guess is that they've recorded You Like Me Too Much, Dizzy Miss Lizzie, Bad Boy, and Tell Me What You See as fillers for the album--but go figure, there's no such thing as fillers on Beatles albums.

Add your thoughts?

Help! (American) - Capitol 1965.
Rating = 8
The grade's a little lower than normal because nearly half of the record is made up of instrumentals by our good Ken Thorne (movie music). Ken, as good as he is (and he IS good - he mixes James Bond intrigue with traditional classical-type music, and tosses in some hip Beatles pop melody for good measure!), just ain't rock and roll, baby, and he sure ain't no Beatles! The seven new Beatles tracks are f-in' gear, though. Had they been released as a seven-song EP, that seven-song EP would receive a 9 on my list of joy. You probably know the title track and "Ticket To Ride," both of which feature some stingin' stringin', and I guess you might know John's supercool Dylan imitation "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" (or maybe you know the fine cover by The Beau Brummels - ha! Not a chance in hell!!!). What you don't know, however, is that the East Side Rapist attacked a woman only ONE block from my apartment last night. Dammit, why can't somebody round up people like that and set them on fire? Maybe some day I'll lead the brigade. What you also may possibly not be aware of is that there are these two really great Paul McCartney pop rockers on Help! called "Another Girl" and "The Night Before" that I can't seem to get out of my head. You?

And sure I don't often call my grandmother in the middle of the night to extol the virtues of "I Need You" or "You're Gonna Lose That Girl" (I prefer The Ramones' "I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You" and "You're Gonna Kill That Girl"), but they're aight. Don't bring down the party or nothin'.

Do I seem too Republican when I urge good citizens to set rapists on fire? I don't mean to sound Republican. I just love the idea of revenge. Too bad it's so hard to tell whether someone's guilty or innocent. Oh, for a gentler God. And regarding the Beatles, up until this point, they'd mined the same gold time and time again. It was great gold, too, but I guess they felt it was time to move on. So they started smokin' reefer and dreaming up new ways to challenge themselves and their audiences. Slowly, but surely. Starting with the next record coming up there in a second on my list.

Reader Comments

leonard@lyco.lycoming.edu (Brian Leonard)
Obviously, the British version of Help! is much better since it leaves off the instrumentals. However, those instrumentals (by Ken Thorne) aren't too awful, and one of them--"The Chase"--is pretty lively and was responsible for introducing George Harrison to the sitar (for better AND worse). I used to annoy the hell out of my mother and brother by playing it. Now--since it's not available on CD--it's a rarity!

ddamiani@liberty.uc.wlu.edu (David J. Damiani)
"You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" is my second favorite Beatles song behind "Get Back," and by itself it is almost worth the cost of this album. If anything, the Help! album is far above the experimental garbage of the Apple Records years.

mds+ID@netyp.com.au
"ticket to ride" is great(rick say's) it's Noel Gallagher's favourite tune.

ian.moss@yale.edu
This album represents an interesting middle ground between the early Beatles sound heard on Hard Day's Night et al., and the mature Beatles sound starting with Rubber Soul. We get songs like "Dizzy Miss Lizzie," "You're Going to Lose that Girl," and "Act Naturally," representing the old-school Beatles, and songs like "I Need You," "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," and "It's Only Love" looking more forward. Lots of classics, still a few mediocre selections--overall an 8 from me. Unfortunately, my tape copy turned out to be very sketchy and messes up quite a few songs...so I can't really enjoy this one properly. :-(

That movie was a hoot, though, huh?

BtheW@aol.com
One of those records where I used to repeatedly get up to lift the needle. For some reason, this one was always a favorite of mine when I was young. It's probably the connection to the film, but it also seems to have an intangible summer feeling to it. It's a happy record. I never, by the way, skipped over the James Bond theme that starts off the album - that one's pretty cool.

richbunnell@home.com
Relative to other Beatles albums this gets an 8, on its own merits it gets a 9. It's a bunch of pop songs as usual, but -every one of them- is magnificent. The title track, "The Night Before," "Ticket To Ride," "Another Girl," "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away," even George's two songs. Why does everyone hate George's songs? And his voice? He has that really nifty slinky, sly voice that Paul couldn't pull off even on his best days (as great as Paul's voice was) and at this moment I can't think of a song he wrote with the band that I don't like. I don't seem to have very many innovative things to say, so....great album. Very good. Good good good.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Magnificent album! The title track is one of my favourite songs ever!

Jcjh20@aol.com
Man, i love this early Beatles era. These songs are so amazingly good, no other band can ever hit me the way some of these songs do. "Help!", "Yesterday", "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away", "Ticket To Ride" for instance. "Tell Me What You See" ive been really addicted to lately as well. And what about that "Ive Just Seen A Face"? Man what a song! That acoustic guitar and that Mccartney vocal really turns me on. I agree with Prindle that "I Need You" or "You're Gonna Lose That Girl" dont infect you with the same feeling as the rest of the songs on here, but that rockin' ass "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" makes up for it. A 9 from me.

(a couple weeks later)

Damn what was i thinking! "I Need You" is a great song! I like it way more then i thought i did. Same with "You're Gonna Lose That Girl". But man "If You Got Trouble" or "That Means A Lot", which were outtakes for this album, would of been better on the album then "Act Naturally", but overall this is just an incredible album! I dont get anyones gripe with it either here or at Georges site, these songs are great! Once again, a 9!

Xspex27@aol.com (James Mohr)
"You're Gonna Lose that Girl" and "I Need You" are 2 of my favorite songs on the record and as unlikely as it seems I swear I'm not being spiteful. Those songs are both fantastic!!!

uglytruth@hotmail.com (Hossein Nayebagha)
I was saying, that with the possible exception of "Yesterday", all the good stuff were on both the british and american version. That I can definitely see what you're saying about those two McCartney tunes. But it's funny that while you, regarding "You're Gonna Lose That Girl", mentioned the Ramones' "I Don't Wanna Walk Around with You", you didn't seem to notice that the intro of that song really reminds one of the intro to "The Night Before".

NMcpherson@fac.unc.edu (Earl McPherson)
The Wagner piece that was used as some of the background music was catchy to me. Probably my favorite song is "You're Gonna Lose That Girl". The movie had some pretty good funny Lennon parts in it but the rest of the movie was silly as Hell. An eight.

victorproserecords@comcast.net (Ryan Maffei)
Fixing the American Versions of Albums Up, Vol. 1 by Ryan Maffei
******************************************************************************
First off, the American versions are all well and dandy, expecially if you're an American. But for the records that are hindered with symphonic material, the cure is simple and accessible. If you're burning your own CDs of the American versions just for old time's sake, or merely because you're an obsessive individual like myself, simply add some original EPs to the Beatles discography, instead of those cheap 4-song repackagings that America used to have. And, in order to get "A Hard Day's Night" onto an album, merely add it to the start of the Hey Jude LP along with the other "A Hard Day's Night Symphonic Album" exclusives. Finally, cut out that shitty "Beatles' Story" record, drop "Hey Jude"'s stupid-ass subtitle ("The Beatles Again"), and voila. Your revised American discography should look a little like this, with the Prindle Ratings Guide scores to the right of them.

1. Meet the Beatles! (* * * * * * * * *)
2. The Beatles' Second Album (* * * * * * * *)
3. Something New (* * * * * * * * *)
4. Beatles '65 (* * * * * * * * *)
5. The Early Beatles (* * * * * * * *)
6. Beatles VI (* * * * * * * * *)
7. Help! EP (* * * * * * * * *)
8. Rubber Soul (* * * * * * * * *)
9. Yesterday and Today (* * * * * * * * *)
10. Revolver (* * * * * * * * *)
11. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (* * * * * * * * *)
12. Magical Mystery Tour (* * * * * * * * *)
13. The Beatles (* * * * * * * * * *)
14. Abbey Road (* * * * * * * * *)
15. Hey Jude (* * * * * * * * *)
16. Let It Be (* * * * * * * * *)

Wow. Impressive lineup, and all 9-star records except the one with too many covers and the one with all the early stuff. Oh, and the White Album, which kicks my ass. And don't you forget it! OK. Class dismissed.

F
Oh no, this one won't do. Just like the US Hard Days Night ablum--not reviewed in here, by the way, Mark; aren't you reviewing the US albums? So review that one too! And give it a low grade: side one of the UK Hard Days Night--in stinkin rechanneled stereo--with those instrumentals; at least those by Ken Thorne on this one are a bit more interesting, but they ruin the whole thing, especially when you're mixing them up with greatness such as Help, You've Got To Hide Your Love Away and Ticket To Ride. Come to think of it, the songs from VI that ended up on the UK Help weren't just fillers after all--except for Bad Boy, which they've purpotedly, as it's known, recorded for VI. As Mark pointed out, two out of the UK release of Help went to Rubber Soul--not a good idea--Yesterday and Today in the next year, and the rest was on VI. I still enjoy them on VI, but I certainly don't enjoy them scattered around the two albums following this US version of Help. Since this one is one half of the UK version, and given those instrumentals, I'll give it a seven. Damn these fools at Capitol. I should give it a six, but hey, did you notice a certain lyrical and melodical change at VI and on this one? Yes, them boys are progressing, and watch out for what's to come.

Add your thoughts?

Help! (British) - EMI 1965
Rating = 9
I've been politely asked by those in the know to please, EIGHT YEARS AFTER I WROTE THE REST OF THIS PAGE YOU ARE NOW READING, give a firm fresh listen to the original British releases of Help!, Rubber Soul and Revolver as reissued on CD some time in the last ten years or so when I wasn't paying attention. I'm nothing if not a go-dooder, so I've done just that. First up is Help! by The Beetles. Instead of being half-instrumental crap, this original version instead gives you "You Like Me Too Much," "Tell Me What You See," and "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" (which you can find on America's VI album), "Act Naturally" and "Yesterday" (which ended up on America's Yesterday...And Today), and "I've Just Seen A Face" and "It's Only Love," which strangely would end up on Rubber Soul in America. Hmm. You already know something or other about this CD, but let me just note a few things that I'd never known about it, having previously heard these songs neither on crisp digital disc nor all together like this rather than spread across four fucking albums for no reason at all.

First of all, is my dick turning green or was Paul the least creative bass player in the world at this point in their career? Every goddamned line he plays is a variation on the same exact silly little up-down up-down piece of shit! So that's the first thing I noticed. I also noticed that there are a lot of sexy percussion instruments in these songs that I'd never heard before. A cowbell and assloads of cymbal crashing in "Dizzy Miss Lizzie"! A shaky egg thing in "I've Just Seen A Face"! Not only a clackity wood stick but also a "eeeeck-ick-ick eeeck-ick-ick" scrapy wooden fish in "Tell Me What You See"! Tap dance-style drumstick tapping in "Act Naturally"! Latin rhythm bongos in "You're Gonna Lose That Girl"! The only percussion I'd ever heard on my vinyl American releases was a hep little "kiiiihhhhhh" crackling noise through every song. Granted, it was bitchass, but this stuff is even BUTTER!

I imagine I'd noticed this aspect before too, but had just never paid much attention to it -- George sure does like to dick around on lead guitar, doesn't he? Just playing bullshitty stinging licks left and right over the acoustic and electric rhythm guitars. Sometimes melodic, but sometimes just yeech! I think Paul played lead guitar on a few of these though, so don't blame the late Mr. Harrison for all of his mistakes. Elsewise, I of course couldn't help but notice the lads' always gorgeous vocal harmonies, used in nine of these fourteen tracks. And vocal melodies? CHRIST the vocal melodies! "We said our goodbyyy-yy-y--y--yyyes! Love was in your eyy-yy-yy--yyyes!" You know? "Here I stand, head in hand, turn my face to the wall..." You know? "I know you'll never leave me and it's true - 'Cuz you like me too much and I like you!" You know? Uno? Pizza Uno? I eat there a few times a week! Ask for me by name! They call me "The Peanut Man." Well, the guy who got fired for getting drunk during his shift did.

I'm 31 now though, and was ready and geared to hate ANYTHING on this CD that I didn't honestly enjoy for anything but nostalgic reasons. This only happened three times though! I've honestly NEVER been particularly thrilled with George's ugly volume-pedal cocksuckery in "I Need You" (though the middle eight is very lovely) or John's cutesy girl group homage "You're Gonna Lose That Girl," but what I found REALLY surprising was my early-twenty-first-century discovery that "Yesterday" is one boring as shit ballad! Does the government know about this? How on Earth did that thing become the "most covered song in rock and roll history"? Because it was lush and bland enough for Beatles' fans' parents to enjoy? It's just so middle-of-the-road and nondescript! Okay, the middle eight is quite pretty, but the basic motif comes across as emotionless as "Here, There and Everywhere" or "The Long And Winding Road." And where are the blastbeats?

POSTSCRIPT FROM SEVERAL, SEVERAL DAYS LATER: I just listened to Paul McCartney's re-recording of "Yesterday" on the Give My Regards To Broad Street soundtrack and actually found it quite lovely. It must just be the original Beatles recording and George Martin orchestration that I find bland after all these years. So ignore the whole bit about your parents' blastbeats.

So that's my "as of this moment" opinion of the actual as-intended British Help!. I find eleven of the tracks almost ass-blindingly fantastic (did I mention that wicked spy-surf guitar arpeggiation behind the "Won't you please please help me?" lyric? MAN! Somebody should loop that over and over for five minutes and write an insane song about being insane! Or how about that brilliant classical guitar interplay intro to the hardcore folk punker "I've Just Seen A Face"? Where the hell did THAT come from!? And did you notice that the guitar solo in that song just imitates the vocal melody? That's because they were directly plagiarizing "Smells Like Teen Spirit"). And that's my review. Good night!

No wait! One other thing: I hereby declare "You Like Me Too Much" (featuring electric piano and Steinway) to be the most wonderful bubblegum pop song ever written by George Harrison. I don't really have the authority to make declarations like that though, so it's pretty much meaningless.

Oh! One other thing I noticed for the first time -- that wickedass bass+rhythm guitar drone smacking on the root note during the verse of "Ticket To Ride." And what's up with that crazy clunk-clunk-clunk beat Ringo's playing? Was he looking for his cat? Oh, The Beatles. Even today in their old age, they still have so much to offer when you hear them again for the first time!

Reader Comments

the_unofficials@hotmail.com
First off, what's this "middle eight" thing you refer to twice in the review?

Help! is great, but after track 7-8 (is "Act Naturally" as good as the first 7 or is it just really funny? I'm assuming it's about Ringo playing his gloomy self in the A Hard Days Night movie while having a hangover) the whole things goes down a bit... I like "Tell Me What You See", but the rest is kinda boring, at least for being Beatles. "Yesterday", I'll agree on that, but then again I've never been too crazy about it.

No clue who wrote this. I seem to have forgotten to write down their email address.
Don't know how I found it on the Net, but I ended up with an official version (Parlophone label, whatever that is) of Help! from Russia.

Didn't even get screwed using the credit card (which I wondered about when I received the mailer with the Russian script on it).

The first set of tracks are the British version. The second set of tracks are the US/movie version! It also has several Help! (the song) creation tracks and an alternate version of Ticket To Ride.

I had the album growing up, and I was very disappointed when I bought the cd a few years ago, and it was the British version (which started my search for the missing instrumentals).

Crank up the chase music (Introducing Wagner's Overture to Act III of "Lohengrin" Beatles Style) !!!

In a couple of weeks, Capitol Records will issue Volume 2 (1965) of the next 4 US Beatles albums. The movie version of Help! will be on it.

Benjamin Burch
Ooh man, don't agree here. I don't see any filler here (except maybe "It's Only Love") although I think I see where you're going. Where you probably see this album as having nothing new to offer, I see this album as the Beatles in transition mode (another good example of this would be David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World.")

Some songs on here (like "The Night Before," "Another Girl" and "You're Going to Lose That Girl") sound like they belong on one of the earlier albums, but they're not bad songs or anything. The songwriting of John and Paul (but mostly John) has also vastly improved on this album. "Help!," "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," "You're Going to Lose That Girl" and "Ticket to Ride" are all great songs. Paul's got the magnificent (but overplayed) "Yesterday" and the massively underrated "Tell Me What You See" but he wouldn't really hit his stride until the next album or two. Shit, even George contributes his first songs since "With the Beatles" (not that long, but forever in Beatle years). One of them ("I Need You") is kind of lightweight, but the other one "You Like Me Too Much" is excellent and is probably the most piano driven song he ever wrote. The covers are also excellent, and instead of the standard 6, it's been reduced to 2 and I'm surprised to see they're not very popular. It's a shame this album is overlooked, possibly because when "Rubber Soul" came out it completely overshadowed it. Either way, no beatles fan should be without it.

Now it looks like they're picking up on the whole folk/rock thing. They also keep up with the whole mercybeat thing as well. Once again, most of the songs are good, catchy and memorable. Best song is the title track, followed closely by "Ticket to Ride," "You're Gonna Lose That Girl" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy." John also does Dylan better than with "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" (sounds similar to "I Don't Believe You") and "Yesterday" is indeed boring and depressing, not to mention overplayed. I'll give this a solid 9.

Add your thoughts?

Fuck! - Bootleg.
Rating = 8
So I'm down at the old Academy Records store last weekend, doing my best to deal with the incredible heat and the usual gang of smelly idiot jackass piece of shit classical music fan dumbasses who are always clogging up the aisles, and I'm looking there at the new pop arrivals, a dinky little section in the back, and then BING! I laugh heartily a kooky Beatles bootleg called Fuck!, featuring one of the funniest album covers I've ever seen. See, it's just a parody of the Help! album cover, but with the f-word all over it. Featured songs include "The Fuck Before," "You've Got To Fuck Your Hide Away" and "You're Gonna Fuck That Girl". Ha! So I checked it over to and fro and discovered that, obviously, those songs weren't actually featured on the record. Instead, it was a bunch of alternate takes, live versions, interviews and unreleased covers from the early to mid-60s. I paid my 18 dollars and enjoyed it heartily. The sound is mostly pretty good (except for a few REALLY tinny numbers) and the interviews on side four are actually pretty entertaining! I doubt you'll ever find this record but the album cover was just so darned funny, I wanted to do a quick review of it for you.
Reader Comments

BtheW@aol.com
Don't have this one, but have you ever come across The Beatles Vs. Don Ho? It's a parody of a shameless Vee Jay album called The Beatles Vs. The Four Seasons. There's only one Don Ho song, though. There's also a track by the Residents called 'Beyond The Valley Of A Day In The Life' where they make a collage out of little snippets of Beatles songs and bits of their Christmas records. Sort of in the style of 'Revolution 9' but much more entertaining (and not nearly as long).

monkee5th@yahoo.com (Dave Chase)
I can't believe there is someone else with this bootleg. When I saw it I had to buy it. Woooow!!! What a great parody, they went as far as to spell fuck in semaphore, plus the Beatles being naked except for the long scarf to cover their shmeckilas. I too laughed my ass off. Wow again, but the stuff on the album was mediocre at best.

3dsunglasses@gmail.com
i looked up this bootleg and found some interesting info...

Some bootleggers have made a point of making their releases look as legitimate as possible. One bootlegger in particular, a fan from New Zealand, Leon Throf, designed each of his bootlegs to look like legitimate Apple Records releases. Also, each of the elaborate covers parodied the cover of an official Beatles album. Throf's titles include "Reintroducing The Beatles", "Please Release Me", "Withered Beatles", "A Knight's Hard Day", "Beatles For Auction", "Fuck!", "Rabbi Saul", "Revolting", "Dr.Pepper", "Tragical History Tour", "The Little Red Album", "Mellow Yellow", "Broad Road", "Hey Julian", "Let It End", "Lifting Material From The World", "A Nightmare Is Also A Dream" and "Grave Posts".

Add your thoughts?

At The Hollywood Bowl - Capitol 1977.
Rating = 8
Some live stuff from two shows in '64 and '65. Good show! Sure, the girls never stop screaming, but that's part of the fun: acknowledging that George Martin actually did try to clean up these tracks and make them as audible as possible, but those darned wild chicks wouldn't let him! The songs are, of course, great (aside from a couple dull covers), and with the lack of live Beatles material out there on the market, it's kinda neat to hear their cute lil' banter and see pictures of screaming girls with "I Love George" buttons. Not a must-buy, but fun as heck if you see it cheap (I paid a dollar for my copy!).
Reader Comments

BtheW@aol.com
I remember listening to the radio when one of these songs ('Roll Over Beethoven'?) came on the radio. I couldn't believe my ears. Previously unreleased Beatles music? And in concert to boot! People take it for granted now with all the Anthology stuff, but it had been seven years since any new Beatles stuff had come out. The album's not perfect, but it does what it sets out to do. The crowd puts on a great show.

Add your thoughts?

Rubber Soul (American) - Capitol 1965.
Rating = 9

The American release of this album presents the Feetles as acoustic folk lovers, sort of digging that Rob Dylan sound (and marijuana), and staying away from rockabilly covers to stretch out and act more like adults would in that sort of situation. For Mr. Paul McCartney, that meant sharpening up his dippy bouncy pop song skills, and lessening the rock and roll impact to give his ditties a much more pronounced...umm... SISSY groove. I don't mean that in a bad way; I just couldn't think of a better word. On the early Beatles records, Paul and John kinda wrote songs together, so Rockin' John and Poppy Paul could balance each other out and eliminate the minor shortcomings of each other's styles (not that there were much to begin with, understand, but just listen to the solo output of each and you might see what I'm talking about). Around this point, I think they started really developing their own individual styles, which was cool because it made it so obvious that two of these four Beatles were absolute musical geniuses. Hell, THREE if you forgive George his weak voice (and you should).

So like I was getting around to saying at some point, Paul's songs on here are really bouncy and poppy, but only in the greatest possible way. John, on my other hand, approached the record with a Priestleyload of bitterness, expressed beautifully and hatefully in the tracks "Girl" (which features a desperate sigh as an integral part of its refrain), "Norwegian Wood" (in which he burns down a girl's house because she wouldn't have sex with him -- incidentally, Paul claims that this ending was his idea, but who knows), and "Run For Your Life," which is nothing but a two and a half minute threat of violence set to music. So whatever. I'd always heard smokin' the devil's weed made you peaceful and calm, but I guess ol' Jim Lennon was an anomaly. Either that or a complete misogynist. Some people call this the finest Beatles moment, and I don't begrudge those people a nudge. Melodies are notch of the top from start to end, and both "Michelle" and "In My Life" are smooth and silky enough to win over even a hateful old son of a bitch waving his cane at your car. Fuckin' cock.

Douche.

Reader Comments

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
Goddamn the pusher man...this is a great album. This and Revolver are albums to give one pause...then you would have to put a bullet in your head, because they both just make any rock musician say..."Hell...this is it...why even try..." Get it, get it , get it...Cool cover too...

jay44@webtv.net (Jesse McClung)
Their first true masterpiece, really no duds at all in this collection, don't forget "Day Tripper" and "We Can Work It Out" as well. Those were released separately; nowadays all singles are off the album and the artists are lucky to have decent tracks other than their singles.

This record just grows on me more and more every time I listen to it. Does it get any better? Well maybe Revolver even though I feel "Love You To" shouldn't have been included, but Jesus H. Christ there isn't any dead weight here. "Michelle" may be a bit schmaltzy but it's still catchy as hell and "In My Life" is damn near their best work. An essential album for any music fan; if you don't have it you better not WAIT any longer, so RUN FOR YOUR LIFE to get it. Thank you.

mattias@diariodopovo.com.br (Alexandre Linhares Matias)
Even the jacket Noel Gallagher wears is the same Lennon is using on the cover of this album. This is "the" perfect pop album, something that Elton John, The Carpenters and even Oasis have always tried to do, but never beaten. Since the faking "real rock" introduction of "Drive My Car" to the everything-belongs-in-Elvis-country'n'western-guts of "Run For Your Life", Rubber Soul rules!

Justyn909@aol.com (Justyn Dillingham)
This is probably the single best rock album made up to that point, although it was topped by other albums that came in the following year. Also, the British version opens with the ultra-cool "Drive My Car", and includes one of Lennon's best songs "Nowhere Man".

Glenn.Wiener@entex.com
A major step forward for the Fab Gang. The emphasis on the acoustic guitars specifically on "I've Just Seen A Face" and "Norwegian Wood" show some major artistic growth. The songs just keep on getting better!

gclavio@indiana.edu (Galen Clavio)
I always thought "Norwegian Wood" was about a guy who had sex with a girl, then found out she was a lesbian, then smoked a joint in her living room. Just an idea.

rsuarez@bellsouth.net (Randy Suarez)
Pure pop rock doesn't get any better than this. Period. Even the non-hits are terrific. (Paul's "I'm Looking Through You", with it's great acoustic guitar work and organ being a real stand out.)

Nine and a half out of ten because "Run For Your Life" is only okay, (Lennon said in many interviews that he always felt that was one of the worst songs he ever composed) and doesn't make the best use of being the last song on the CD. "In My Life" would have been a master stroke of sequencing there. Shrug.

daniel@fhsk.skurup.se (Daniel Reichberg)
"I've Just Seen A Face" and "It's Only Love" on Rubber Soul??!! Their place is on Help! Do you see what I mean? By making the records shorter and shifting songs with no regard of artistic values, the American record companies sucked extra money from the fans. A record should be released as the artist wants it, simply because it is a piece of art. What would George Orwell think if a chapter of 1984 was cut out and glued into Animal Farm? OK, a silly comparison, but think about it! Long live the original British releases!

arnoldnicholas@hotmail.com
Here is a response to gclavio. "Norwegian Wood" is actually about a guy who goes to this girl's apartment to get laid and then finds out she was just leading him on. When he wakes in the morning he torches the place ("So, I lit a fire. . "). At least according to John. Rubber Soul marks the transition of the Beatles from the bubblegum rockers (albeit good ones) they were prior to '65 to the mind expanding, social conscience musicians they were to become (especially on Revolver and Sgt. Pepper). The cover shot shows a longer haired four in a kind of psychedelic fish-eyed lens shot. Very cool.

hutchilj@aramco.com.sa
What is so great about Rubber Soul??? Mark gives it a '9' - I'd say '6.5'. John's "In My Life", "Girl", "Norwegian Wood", and "Nowhere Man" are very good - I can't get excited about the others.

bish24@erols.com (John Bishop)
The generally accepted story about "Norwegian Wood", according to legend: John was having an affair on his first wife, Cynthia, and this song describes an evenin' of sex, in which 'Ol Johnny torches up a doobie the next morning. I can neither confirm nor deny Glen Clavio's lesbian theory, nor your "John-as-rapist/arsonist" theory, however. Ain't that what it's all about - all good art is open to many interpretations, I guess.

emerald@wolfshire.com (Joe Sadalte)
I always did wonder why "In My Life" wasn't the last song on the record, go fig.

kenyon@mail.netnitco.net
This is definitely one of my favorite Beatles albums. On almost every CD I own, there are a few tracks I skip over, but there aren't any of those on this one. I listen to every single song and love it. :) "In My Life" is a beautiful song, and Joni Mitchell (I think--one of those female folk singers, anyway, possibly Joan Baez) did a really good remake of it. That one and Earth, Wind, and Fire's version of "Got to Get You Into My Life" are the only remakes of Beatles songs I can listen to without wanting to murder the people responsible.

Kevman0001@aol.com
Like every Beatles album from their first to Abbey Road (cutting out Yellow Submarine and certain parts of Let It Be), a masterpiece from start to finish. "Drive My Car" a pop stunner, "Norweigian Wood" a piece of poetry (in fact the lyrics were later used in a British poetry class), "You Won't See Me" a study in perfect timing (what with the cymbals and piano crashing at the same time), "Nowhere Man" a great bitchy comment on the price of fame, "Think For Yourself" an awesome piece of work with the first appearence of a fuzz bass. "The Word" a nice piece of hippie nonsense and "Michelle" a lovely ballad (though it would have sounded better on Help!).

"What Goes On" is a classic piece of country (despite Mark's comments about it in Yesterday and Today), "Girl" is a great Dylan imitation by Lennon (love that "tit, tit, tit, tit background singing), "I"m Looking Through You" is classic Paul; one of my all-time faves, "In My Life" a beautiful, all-too-short masterpiece, "Wait" a nice, if overlooked, gem, "If I Needed Someone" another brilliant contribution from Harrison and "Run For Your Life" a menacing folk song. Essential in any CD collection.

avsouza@webtv.net (Tony Souza)
In the book about McCartney Many Years From Now Paul says it was he who came up with the idea of burnng down the house. He says (in the book) that Lennon came up with the first stanza and then he "picked it up at the second verse". At that time, people decorated their paces in cheap pine, called Norwegian wood and that in Lennon's point of view it was based on an affair he had.

fiber_optiq@yahoo.com (Alex Temple)
I think the American version of Rubber Soul is actually *better* than the British. _It's Only Love_ is too good for Help! And I never liked Drive My Car anyway.

And note to the original commentator: who cares if Lennon is bitter? His music's damn good anyway.

Awake600@aol.com
I've only heard the American version of this album, so I have yet to hear "Drive My Car", "Nowhere Man", "What Goes On" and "If I Needed Someone", but they probably kick serious ass like most of the others do. Man, "Norwegian Wood" and "You Won't See Me" have to be two of the most phenomenal pop songs I've ever heard. I LOVE those melodies! "I'm Looking Through You", "In My Life" and "Girl" are more examples of damn classic songwriting here. I used to be irritated by "Michelle" but like most McCartney stuff that seems incredibly dumb at first, it redeems itself with a priceless melody, and I end up loving it! Everything here is great, even the two "Help" tracks that ain't supposed to be there. I'm pretty much just getting into the Beatles (I've only heard 3 of their other albums), but I already recognize their genius.

ian.moss@yale.edu
Oh my God, this album is so good! How the hell could the boys come up with stuff like this in 1965? Does anyone realize just how many YEARS ahead of the game they were at this point? This is when the Fab Four made the transition from the fab but imperfect band of "Love Me Do" to the best pop group in recorded history. It blows my mind that they could produce an album this good that WASN'T EVEN THEIR BEST ALBUM!!! Anyway, enough superlatives, on to the actual songs: every single one of them, with the possible exception of "What Goes On," is a trancendental experience. I don't even have any faves, really, because every few times I listen I fall in love with a new song or three. Even so, I guess I've always been partial to "You Won't See Me," "Nowhere Man," "Wait," "Girl," and "The Word," among others...aww hell, I can't choose!

It's music like this that makes music worth making. Fuckin' A.

BtheW@aol.com
Even though I strongly feel that the British track listing is the way the album should be, I have to say that 'I've Just Seen A Face' fits in perfectly with the style of this album, and even makes a great opener. And, of course, if you were an American back in the '60s and '70s, you thought that this really was the album. It actually seemed natural. This is one of the first Beatles albums I owned (I think I was about seven), so it has a lot of nostalgic value for me. Not that it needs to, because even without nostalgia, it would still be great.

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
As this page isn't quite a mile long, it's clear that everyone can benefit from my brilliant critique of the Beatles. I know the majority of you won't give them a chance because of their long hair (not a visible ear on the cover of this album except Paul's), and because they invaded our country and took all our groupies. But give this album a chance, I beg of you. They use acoustic guitars here, not unlike Burl Ives! And "In My Life" is about as good as music can possibly get.

Gnabbusate@hotmail.com
silly thing is... sgt. peppers isn't even the best beatles album... Rubber Soul is, because it's the first album on which they started freaking out for a bit... I totaly agree on 'todays active lifestile'... It's one of my favorite albums ever. Don't know why... It touches me more than the first Pavement album, which is about my favorite 90's guitar album...

richbunnell@home.com
This one supposedly contains a load of radio classics, so it comes as a surprise to me that the only song off of here that I hear on the radio somewhat regularly is "Drive My Car," and only during traffic report bumpers. I dunno, I guess I just live in a Sgt. Pepper-obsessed area. That said, great album!! But that goes without saying, because it's a Beatles album. Great Beatles album!! It doesn't quite strike the balance between the earlier "yeah yeah" Beatles and later artsy Beatles that Revolver does, but that's a moot point in the presence of songs like "Nowhere Man," "Run For Your Life" and "If I Needed Someone"(further proof that George rules). I'm not too fond of "What Goes On" or "Michelle," but considering that the other twelve songs are prime Beatles material, they're overshadowed very, very heavily. A pop music 10/10, and a Beatles 9/10. So I'm jumping on the "Beatles were gods" bandwagon. Well, they WERE.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Yeah, it's resplendent great like everything The Beatles did. "Girl" is eternal song, yeah, it's great! The whole album is superb! A must for any good music lover.

Jcjh20@aol.com
Classic album. The epitome of great pop music like this. Great poppy rockers like "Drive My Car", "You Wont See Me", "The Word"... damn just so many great great songs on this record, i love it. "Norwegian Wood" has that nice sounding sitar and great acoustic guitar in it, "Michelle" is very beautiful, "Girl", gotta love those inhales by John, "If i needed someone" great George song. Just great songs. I love the whole thing. Most people think "Wait" is filler, since its a leftover from Help! but i still really like it, and "What Goes On" is an old song that was culled in for lack of songs as well, but its a catchy sing-a-long-able countryish tune that works well. Id love to give this one a ten, but i cant just shrug off Magical Mystery Tour, The White Album, or Abbey Road like that. So a 9 it gets.

fedefer@fibertel.com.ar (Federico Fernández)
I have the British version, which is the one everybody should stick to (Come on, "It's only love" on here???) I love this album. It is just awesome god-crafted pop-rock. I just love it. And for me it is only the fifth best Beatles album so figure out...

Some disagreements though.

George has got a nice voice. He's not Lennon but he sure can sing very well.

Paul is NOT POPPY. When are we all going to stop with all this bullshit eh Mark? I mean; He sure wrote lots of pop songs but that's not any bad, specially when those pop songs are melodic, catchy beyond words like "The Night Before", "You Won't See Me", "For No One" etc. Besides, I think that "Drive my car" and "I'm looking through you" (to name only his cotributions to Rubber Soul) are not just "poppy bouncy, sissy" songs but rocking, awesome pop songs. And don't forget that Paul's contributions are not "poppier" than Lennon's "In my life", "Wait", "Nowhere man", "Run for your life", "If I fell", "This boy", "Please please me", "Eight days a week", "I feel fine"... well I can go on forever. And please note that some of Paul numbers are pretty rocking too: "I saw her standing there", "Paperback writer", "I'm down", "Oh darling!", "Helter skelter", "Back In the USSR", "Get back" and well, many of them. Please stop with all those irritatingly stupid stereotypes. This same commentary can go below the Revolver review where you also fall in the same mistake.

On the other hand this album is excellent. EACH and EVERY song except "What goes on" is a MAJOR highlight. Simply excellent.

uglytruth@hotmail.com (Hossein Nayebagha)
I was saying how it's a shame that "Drive My Car" was excluded from the version that you're reviewing.

I hadn't heard it for a while when I got this CD recently, and I put it in with my eyes on the cover...and then comes that badass rock riff that could as well have been from a band like the Stooges, on the album by a band that has a "wuss" tag over it. And "If I Needed Someone" has THAT melodic riff. "The Word","In My Life","Norwegian Wood" are all great, but why is not "You Won't See Me" considered to be a classic? So this is considered to be the album where the interesting stuff start to happen, while I was thinking how musically it's not a giant step forward from what they were doing on Help! british Rubber Soul: 8/10

moraeusse@epm.net.co
rubber soul is the best beatle album. is very ironic that prindle says that paul is poppy here , when in fact the most rockin track of this album is drive my car a mccartney song. im agree with federico fernadez , prindle stop that stupid stereotype about paul.although im agree with federico fernandez, he made two mistakes,and im gonna correct that. wait and eight days a week are mainly mccartney 's songs not lennon. according to paul he wrote wait in the bahamas during filming(help) and that the late Brandon de Wilde, the child star of "shane", had watched as he composed it. ps:paul also the main vocalist in this song.if you didnt notice paul and john sing together the verses and chorus, and paul sings the middle eight.

john said 1980 that eight days a week was written by paul as a potential title track for the beatles folllow up film to A hard day's night.

victorproserecords@comcast.net (Ryan Maffei)
My opinion is split on whether the American wersion is better than the British wersion or wice wersa. The UK fella might be a little bit weaker just for the fact that it contains "What Goes On". And, surprising as it may sound, I prefer BOTH Help! tracks to the pleasant but anticlimactic Byrdsian meandering of "If I Needed Someone"--"I've Just Seen A Face" proves that Paul had a peerless songwriting sense before he lost his mind over Sgt. Pepper etc., while "It's Only Love" is a heart-wrenching, flawed-yet-misunderstood mini-masterpiece, like, I dunno, a lesser Robert Altman film. Was that clear enough? Maybe. Anyway, my opinion is NOT split as to whether either version is one of the greatest LPs in rock and roll. A 9 or 10, because it's not as good as Revolver but I'm not sure if that constitutes a 10 or not...hm.

Has anyone told the Joni Mitchell guy that he was thinking of Judy Collins' "In My Life"?

F
Capitol records can be very annoying, if you ask me. Two songs from the UK release of Help as side openers? And four songs--three of them darn great masterpieces--removed? Whatever, man. But you can't help being in darned awe, if I may repeat myself, to what the Beatles pulled out on this one. There is Bob Dylan and pot all over it--two examples would be, as a matter of fact, I've Just Seen A Face and The Word. Acoustic guitars. Fuzz basses. Organs. Sitar! All part of a whole that's a lot more refined than your standard Beatles rockers and ballads. But the main thing here is that besides the more refined--or as Mark says, sissy--pop ditties from McCartney (and they're good), is the acoustic guitar use. It's a folky kinda album, but there are some electric ones here and there. And three of em were removed. And It's Only Love just won't fit when you have something like In My Life in the same album. But it's impossible not to give it a nine. And come on, Mark, there's nothing to forgive about George in regards to the three geniuses that you can recognize stretching their chops in here. And they even manage to do their individual thing in a mutual kinda way. What an album. What a douchebag record company. But read on to my next review.

gag05@bigpond.com.au (Louise Gagliardi)
“drive my car”, “norwegian wood”, “michelle”, “in my life” awwwww man the awesome melodies never fukin end on this album, “nowhere man” has got the best vocal harmonies ever recorded on this earth… end of story 10/10

MatthewByrd@hotmail.com
Yeah, this is the only Bealtes album that I'm not totally sick of at this moment. I really like it and give it a 10.

themightygreegor@yahoo.com
I did a two-hour class today with my acoustic guitar. This is a little embarrassing, but the Beatles are pretty well-known here (China). It's the Beatles, the Carpenters and the Eagles' "Hotel California". NICE. So anyway, we did songs, and I helped some 16-year-old Chinese high school students tear apart "Norwegian Wood" until they realized that A) he wanted to fuck the chick, B)he didn't get to, and so C) he torched her place. That was a funny class. The kids thought it was a riot. These kids had heard the song, but had never listened to it THAT close. And their regular teacher was shocked as well. I MAY actually get in a little bit of trouble for that. HA!

Add your thoughts?

Rubber Soul (British) - EMI 1965.
Rating = 8

This supposedly "original" version of the album, on the other hand, doesn't have "I've Just Seen A Face" or "It's Only Love," but instead features "Drive My Car," "Nowhere Man," "If I Needed Someone," and "What Goes On," all of which would end up on Yesterday... And Today in America, again for no clear reason. And I tell you what -- especially with the addition of "If I Needed Someone" and "What Goes On," this Rubber Soul album has some of the ugliest three-part harmonies I've ever heard. "The Word" and "Wait" are to me damn near unlistanable because of those hateful harmonies. When you have the ability to make beauteous harmonies ("And Your Bird Can Sing," "Most Beatles Songs"), why experiment with ones that sound like a pack of angry birds pecking your eyes out? It's for this reason, the bird pecking ordinance, that I can only award the original British version of Rubber Soul an 8. Speaking of which, why is 8 afraid of 7?

A. Because 7 86'd 5! HA HA HA HA HA ! AH ! AH HA HA ! No that's not it. FUCK. If anyone remembers the real punchline to that joke, replace it with mine.

Now, onto the things I noticed here at age 31 late in life that I hadn't noticed before on my scratchy vinyl couch. First of all, this IS still a heavily acoustic album, though not as acoustic as it would become in America. I counted six songs with acoustics. Not acoustic guitars, but actual acoustics. The other songs are trapped in a soundless vacuum.

Many of the electric guitar tones are really soft and lovely too, as in "Girl" and the intro/break to "In My Life," a dull nostalgic song that I've grown over the years to not like very much at all, further adding to my 8not9. Also, Paul's bass lines have gotten 800 billion times better and more interesting than they were on Help!, and I now understand why people say he was actually a really good bass player. He was! He kinda zoomed around and up and down and played really interesting counterparts to the guitar lines. It's just hard to notice because he's usually as low in the mix as a spoon that's really low in a bowl of cookie mix. For examples, enjoy his odd double-thub (th-thub) playing in "Norwegian Bird (This Flown Has Wood)," exciting arpeggios in "See You Won't Me," fuzzy anger in "Your For Thinkself," adorable bounciness in "On What Goes," and busy as a bee walkaround lines in several other tracks. The man can play!

They're also still fiddling around with interesting rhythmic instruments and ideas. I point you to several exhibits, including a "Drive My Car" cowbell, a "You Won't See Me" hi-hat "tit-tit-tit" that doesn't appear to be Ringo (though he does wear a tall hat and have three breasts), a "Think For Yourself" rhythm track built on four maraca shakes, three tambourine hits and a snare tap intersecting with each other, an "I'm Looking Through You" 'drum line' of what sounds like somebody beating on their legs with their hands and occasionally shaking a tambourine, and some noisy "Wait" tambourines and maracas. Those are my examples, and I wish you a fair adieu.

You wouldn't have to look past the CD booklet to notice that Paul plays piano on "Drive My Car," "The Word" and "You Won't See Me," George plays SHITar on "Norwegian Wood," Ringo slashes that ugly screaming Hammond Organ chord during the last line of each "I'm Looking Through You" verse, Mal Evans plays the same instrument to much prettier effect on "You Won't See Me," and good old producer George "Steve" Martin whips his dick out to play some bright, buzzing harmonium at the end of "The Word" and a wonderful piano solo in the otherwise sluggish and tiresome "In My Life," so I'm not even going to mention any of those facts. Instead, I'm going to just say a few final words about non-bass/non-drum-related things that struck me while listening to this clean British CD for the first time. Ahem. Next slide please.

Thank you. #1. I used to find "Think For Yourself" ugly as goop, but now I think it's one of the most interesting tracks on here. Where in the Hell did George find that weird weird WEIRD unnatural note progression? I like it! And you like ME!

#2 "The Word" is supposed to be a soul song, isn't it? I'd never noticed that before.

#3 The Beatles knew "What Goes On" sucked, didn't they? Listen to the way they're playing the song. The rhythm guitar sounds retarded! It sounds like a drunken retarded guitar being played by a dyslexic sloe-eyed Italian grocery store! And the rednecky backup vocals? Nobody does that if they want to make a good song!

#4 Why the Samnation does this CD skip the intro to "I'm Looking Through You"? It's supposed to go "Jing Jing! Jing Jing Jiggy-Jing A Jing Jing! Jing Jing Jiggy-Jing A Jing Jing! Jigga Joom Jigga Joom Jigga Joom Jigga Joom Jigga Joom Jigga Joom Jigga Joom 'I'm looking through you!,' etc," but this so-called 'British version' completely SKIPS the "Jing Jing!" and the first "Jing Jing Jiggy-Jing A Jing Jing!" Why? Why is the word I wanna hear? Why is the word the government fears? Why does the government fucking lie? I'm wondering wondering wondering why!

#5 Knowing how much I hated that volume pedal shit that George did in "I Need You," why did they re-use the same horrid gimmick in "Wait"?

#6 I finally saw the FULL version of the cover photo, and now the album title actually makes sense. Get this: they're all naked and bonery from the waist down, and Isaac Hayes is down there with a box of Trojans trying to cr

(*God slams piano lid*)

Aah!

Reader Comments

davethefish42@gmail.com
It really amazes me how they were able to pull this off. They seem completely reenergized and invigorated. I guess the expanded songwriting allowed their imaginations and creativity (and they were VERY creative, throwing more great musical ideas in one song then ever before) to take the helm. At this point, they were infatuated with folk rock and Bob Dylan. There's some experimentation with pianos, sitars, harpsichords, fuzz, and all kinds of goodies, and the melodies are SOOO GREAT. Half of what's here you can find on a Beatles' Best Of, but everything else easily matches those. I love every song here, and I would say the dreamy melodies collected here are some of the very best ever to be compiled, whether it be the best Beatles album or not. Best album honors would have to go to The White Album, but this one is my personal favorite. The songs are still directed towards boy-girl romance but they are much more mature, revealing solid musicianship and an amazing sense of artistic muscle. "In My Life" is arguably Lennon's best Beatles song, and Paul and George were no slouches either, with amazing contributions ("Drive My Car", and "Think for Yourself") It's interesting how little time the Beatles spend with folk, as they would soon create their pop masterpiece Revolver but that makes this album all the more special and amazing.

danielrosenbe@gmail.com
You ask why the Beatles use the same “gimmick” in “Wait” as they did in “I Need You.” Perhaps you’re unaware, but “Wait” was recorded during the same “Help” sessions that produced “I Need You.” They never used “Wait” on “Help,” and when they needed an extra song for “Rubber Soul,” they pulled “Wait” from the dustbin, changed it hardly at all, and patched it on the new album.

pdermody@twcny.rr.com
I agree with you on how good Paul plays his bass on Rubber Soul. It is probably the first time he is taking the instument seriously. It pays off too on their later career, especially on Abbey Road.

Benjamin Burch
Now we agree here. Although John still had the better songs, this is the first album where Paul contributed a large amount of good ones on his own. He showed hints of becoming a major songwriting force on the previous albums with songs like "Can't Buy Me Love," "All My Loving" and "Yesterday," but this is where he really gets going. The album is a dramatic leap forward for the band, and where the last two albums showed hints of the band coming out of their merseybeat days, this is where it's all over.

The songs are much more mature and diverse than anything they released before, and there's even a little experimenting on a couple of tracks, like a fuzzbox on "Think for Yourself" and a sitar on "Norwegian Wood." Not a weak song (or moment) anywhere. Again, it's hard to single out any songs because they're all excellent.

Now how's this for maturity? Quite a lot of experimenting, doing folk, pop, R&B, country, ballads and acoustic driven things. Yet again, all the songs are great, except "The Word" which is about as lightweight as possible. By process of elimination, I guess "Nowhere Man" is my personal favorite. A 9 or 9.5 from me.

Add your thoughts?

"Yesterday"...And Today - Capitol 1966.
Rating = 9
Can I just say something here for a brief moment? I really feel, listening to these early Beatles records, that Capitol's new improved full dimensional stereo sounds better than stereo has ever sounded before! I mean, I really feel a new "presence" in the vocal passages, new "impact" in the percussion, new "transparency" in the strings and reeds, new "bite" to the brass, and, most importantly, a "really fucking stupid" advertisement on the back of every single album cover. This is another dimwitted yet incredible American release, this time made up of assorted and sundry singles and album tracks that had somehow heretofore missed American release. The initial album cover featured a picture of smiling happy Beatles dressed as butchers and covered in meat and chopped up baby dolls. Apparently they were making some sort of statement about how their catalog had been butchered by Capitol in the U.S. (and right they were!). Capitol pulled it like the wussies they were, and it's now worth Bruce Springsteen if you can find it.

These songs totally rule my arm, by the way. "Drive My Car"??? More like "Kick My Ass"!!! "I'm Only Sleeping"? More like "I'm Only Writing One Of The Greatest Songs Of All Time"! "And Your Bird Can Sing"??? More like "And Paul and I Can Sing Really Damn Well, You Son Of A Gun"!!!! Should I keep doing this? Nah. One more, though. "What Goes On"? More like "This Song Sucks"!!!! It's the only one, though. This is just totally fab guitar rock all over the land. "We Can Work It Out"? "Day Tripper" (featuring the wonderfully obscene lyric "She's a prick teaser")? That catchy ballad "Yesterday"? You know, while we're on the subject, I really hate that shampoo commercial where the woman makes orgasm noises in the airplane bathroom. Funnily, "Nowhere Man," it turns out, was the very first song that the Beatles ever wrote that wasn't about a boy-girl relationship. If you haven't heard the song, it's about this gay guy who keeps doin' it with Richard Simmons. Nice vocals, too. This may just be a collection of unrelated songs, but it's no more a collection of unrelated songs than any of the other bullshit Capitol throw-togethers, so treat it with some respect. These guys were really something else. Such great guitar rock!

Aww screw it. What do I know? They sucked. Why waste your time listening to this crap when we could be throwing some Paul Revere and the Raiders on the ol' disc-go-round?

Reader Comments

arnoldnicholas@hotmail.com
Jeez, pal, "Nowhere Man" is not about a gay guy. it is about the pressures that John was beginning to feel because he was a Beatle. He expands it to include the listener as well though, making the song a more general feeling of alientation. John was in in his self-described, self-pitying "fat Elvis" phase and this song describes his emotions of the time.

ian.moss@yale.edu
By the way, I think this is probably one of your funniest reviews ever; I can't get over "'Drive My Car?' How about 'Kick My Ass'!" etc. Anyway, now we're really getting somewhere with the Liverpool boys--there's still some half-assed stuff like "Act Naturally," but most of this material is top-notch. "Day Tripper" has got to have one of the best riffs that the Beatles ever pulled out of their collective asses. Incidentally, I've never understood why "Yesterday" is, like, the most popular song of all time--what the hell?

BtheW@aol.com
The track listing on this one is so fucked up, they might as well have called it a compilation. But as usual, there's plenty of good material.

DABaker@cadet.vfmac.edu (Daryll Alan Baker)
"Yesterday and Today" is BEAUTIFUL! I made a various-artists compilation tape for a girl which included that song. She loved most of the songs but that song was her favorite.

KevinMartinell@aol.com
Yesterday and Today is one of my favorite U.S. albums! I have the stereo version of this one on vinyl, and the stereo quality is amazing, even with headphones on! An interesting thing to note is that whether you're listening to "Day Tripper" and "We Can Work It Out" on this record, or on the Past Masters Volume Two, Red Album (1962-1966), or 1 compilation Cd's, if you turn the 'balance' switch on your stereo all the way over to the left speaker, the vocals drop way into the background, and it feels like you're listening to instrumental versions of these songs! It's a shame that Please Please Me and With the Beatles weren't released in stereo when the Cd's came out (...as well as A Hard Day's Night and Beatles for Sale), because those records featured most of the songs with The Beatles' voices coming out of the right speaker and most of the music coming from the left! That's what's so good about the vinyl versions of these albums! Also, the sound quality to the actual vinyl records is actually pretty good, base and treble wise, especially for it's time, I think. :)

F
Ha-haa, he-hee, here comes the clever fellas on Capitol releasing a single from the last year, the new single from this year, plus the four songs they've left out of the last album and--aren't they clever?--hoo boy, three songs from the album they're about to release in England! Just like with VI! The problem is that this caused both Rubber Soul and Revolver to lose a lot of what made em good in their UK versions, stealing three great guitar masterpieces from Rubber Soul, the one-that-you-can't-help-tapping your-foot-to Drive My Car, the great vocal-ridden (here we go again, but I can't help it, man!) Nowhere Man and George's If I Needed Someone, and stealing John's great rockers from Revolver, Doctor Robert and And Your Bird Can Sing, and--damn it!--his pot-ridden I'm Only Sleeping. That's not fair. But all these songs are here, in a great track order and hey, you can't go Wrong with that damn catchy riff of Day Tripper and the accordion of We Can Work It Out--not to mention the song itself, of course. This album makes clear to you that you just can't top these guys, but with what it does to the previous and the next albums from the US catalogue, it's a love-hate relationship,the one I have with this here ablum. No, I needn't elaborate on the butcher cover deal. Oh yeah, it has Yesterday. An eight for the love-hate relationship. It's a good thing I have the UK albums to listen to.

Add your thoughts?

Revolver (American) - Capitol 1966.
Rating = 9
Lots of those people who don't think Rubber Soul was the best Beatles record tend to rave about this one. Galen Clavio, for example, feels that this is their greatest album. In his opinion, it all went downhill, hit rock bottom w/Yellow Submarine, then came back somewhat for... oh, but I'll let him tell you. By this point, the Beatles were using lysergic acid dysentary, so they were getting a bit more experimental (pardon me while I make a lewd "wanking" motion with my left hand). John in particular was really floating in outer city on this one, turning in two of his greatest ever in "She Said She Said" and the trippy effects-filled "Tomorrow Never Knows." Paul was getting floppier and more moppy-eared like a cute little puppy wagging his tail and barking adorable happy tunes out at the world like a jolly little happy furry guy, yay! Good old Paul! Yay for Mr. Happy! Hooray! Got to get you into MY life, Paul! Hey! Good day sunshine to YOU, Paul! Ha ha! What's that? Hang on....

Oh yeah. Paul also contributed "For No One," the most depressing song I've ever heard in my life.

George hates paying his taxes! Ha! Oh boy. When they recorded this album, George was just entering his "Indian music" phase, which was the most creative phase of his entire life as far as I'm concerned, and here you get to hear it sprout wings with the tabla and oh hell, what's that other instrument he's playing? It's not a sitar. It must be a sarod or something. Anyway, the song is called "Love You To" and it like totally ruckin' kicks the joint. Honestly, it's so damn good. Seriously. What a cool guy. The Beatles wouldn't have been the same without him. And Ringo? They still wouldn't play any of his songs, but they let him sing "Yellow Submarine"!!!!

To sum things up, you'll be happy to hear that each and every one of the Beatles (except Ringo) was continuing to stretch his imagination and drug use on this record, but if you're a big fan of the sound of a guitar, be wary. Paul and fifth Beatle George Martin had started wheeling in the pianos and strings and things (oh hell, I forgot "Eleanor Rigby," didn't I? Ding Dong! Happy floppy-eyed Paul contributed TWO of the most depressing songs I've ever heard!!! What's wrong with that glee-filled minion golden retriever smiley guy?), and guitars were soon to take a back seat to other less rockin' forms of musical expression.

Why do so many musicians have to experiment with non-loud distorted instruments? I wish they wouldn't. Look at how sad I look. :7(

Did you see that? That was a photo of myself that I scanned in!

P.S. Late-breaking news: According to Paul McCartney, "Got To Get You Into My Life" is about marijuana. Isn't that almost monumentally stupid?

Reader Comments

laura@gseal.mdn.com (Galen Clavio)
Their greatest album. From here on, it all went downhill, hit rock bottom w/Yellow Submarine, then came back somewhat for Abbey Road. Once again, we see how much of a weenie Paul McCartney is ("Here, There, Everywhere"; "Good Day Sunshine") and how rocks off John Lennon was ("And Your Bird Can Sing", "Tomorrow Never Knows") before Yoko Ono fucked him up.

I guess I like Revolver because it was the last moment that they still had the fire of their "youth" but had the toys to play with. I dunno if the US version is too different. The UK version of Help is cool, too, was my fave Beatles record until I got Revolver.

letson@mindspring.com (Pete Williams)
Revolver is a fantastic album start to finish; I was just listening to it the other day and it didn't sound a bit dated. "Tomorrow Never Knows" is an amazing piece of three (or four) track engineering. Kudos to George Martin and whoever engineered it. I think this is when the lads lost that teenybopper shit for good and it's the point where I really started digging in and loving every second.

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
No comment needed here. If you have any interest in the Beatles, you must own this record...I'm gonna go put it on now...

ddamiani@liberty.uc.wlu.edu (David J. Damiani)
This is the second last of the truly great Beatles albums. There are few signs of the impending deterioration of Beatle album quality. One fairly obscure song worth noticing is the wryly funny "Doctor Robert," and the first two cuts ("Taxman" and "Eleanor Rigby") are outstanding for openers.

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
Fights with Dark Side Of The Moon for position as the best/most important album of all time. Dark Side is great for making rock a medium for philosophy and intellect like nothing before or since. This is great because it FOREVER altered the sound of rock and roll, more so than Sgt. Pepper. All still amazingly new, all amazingly grrrrreat!

This is the impossibly distant outfield fence that bands like Oasis, Superdrag, Blur, Supergrass, and even Weezer (who I love) are continuously swinging for.

jay44@webtv.net (Jesse McClung)
A start to finish masterpiece kicked off by Harrison's "Taxman" and concluding with Lennon's "Tomorrow Never Knows." In between is the lovely "Here, There and Everywhere," the trippy "She Said, She Said" and the often overlooked "For No One." The Beatles' shining moment thus far.

Justyn909@aol.com (Justyn Dillingham)
Pretty great stuff, very versatile, though in fact Sgt Pepper topped it the next year. 1966 was a great year for rock music- just about every great 60s star released their best album. Then Brian Wilson went off the deep end, Bob Dylan crashed out of the scene after a motorcycle accident, and the Stones were pretty much nowhere. The Beatles were the only ones who actually soared on to greater heights...

jamesd@elink.net (James Vincent Debevec II)
Got to get this album into your life if you don't already have it. 9 stars.

Weigelda@aol.com (Dave Weigel)
This is the Beatles' best album, the best album of 1966 (with Pet Sounds a close second), and one of the 5 best albums of all time. I have the British version, which also includes gems like "I'm Only Sleeping" and "And Your Bird Can Sing". Damn. Every song rules--even "Love You To", goshdarnit! I'm more of a Stones fan than Beatles fan, and I constantly speak up against critics who give all their albums top ratings, but this album is enough to convert me every time.

1965 and 1966 showed the group at the absolute height of their powers, with this album, Rubber Soul, "Yesterday", and the "Paperback Writer/Rain" single coming after each other, each one better than the next. After this the Beatles drifted apart and into excess, sinking before a brief, glorious exit in Abbey Road. Revolver shows the World's Greatest Pop Group at their zenith. Man, if Oasis were 1/10 this good I'd be a fan.

avik@MNSi.Net (Avik Ghosh)
Greatest Beatles album: "Here, there and everywhere", "For no one" and etc. MAN, I agree it was their best. From here although MMT and White Album and of course Abbey were amazing too. But Revolver really stands out.

rsuarez@bellsouth.net (Randy Suarez)
How the hell did these guys do it?!?!? After the personal, critical, and commercial success of RUBBER SOUL, they come back and make an even better album. Easily one of the ten best albums of all time, everything works here.

"Taxman" was Harrison's best song up to that point (thanx to Lennon's assist); "Rigby" explored darker, lonely themes (mostly penned by McCartney, proving that all of you bashing Paul are full of shit); "Sleeping" Lennon's ode to his lazy stoned out phase; and it just goes on and on. The melodies, the harmonies, the guitar on "And Your Bird Can Sing", the horns on "Got To Get You Into My Life". A complete masterpiece of Paul's top notch pop crafmanship peppered with Lennon's gifted vision, and healthy contributions from George and Ringo. WOW!

daniel@fhsk.skurup.se (Daniel Reichberg)
The Beatles' seventh album might be their best and its called Revolver. Yes's seventh album might be their best and it's called Relayer. An astonishing coincidence, or...?

By the way, "Tomorrow Never Knows", "Got to get You into my Life" and "I Want to Tell You" are among the best songs ever from John, Paul and George respectively.

JnJCable@worldnet.att.net (Neptune Salad)
This is the best album of the Beatles that didn't have a theme to it (theme, like the Beatles being our guide through a magical, mystical world or no name or cover art...). But I'm not saying themes are bad. This album is the only Beatles album to have any good Indian mystic songs, says me.

Michael_Eisenkraft@brown.edu
OK, I just wanted to tell the world that "Yellow Submarine" is the only song in the entire world that can make me physically ill.

arnoldnicholas@hotmail.com
From Harrison's gruff "1,2,3,4" count in to the final note on the album this thing rocks hard and long!! Along with Abbey Road, Sgt. Pepper and Let It Be, this is THE essential Beatles album. The first sign of their expanding into psychedelia (except Paul who was still sticking with pot at this point). I can't describe how excellent this album is. Note to prindle, drugs are not always bad, man. They expand the mind and let you see things in ways you never thought possible. Obviously they had tremendous benefits in the songwriting ability of Lennon and McCartney.

rderby@erols.com (Robert Derby)
Mark--------all your little discs should have been colored in for this album. The only album in rock music that earns ten stars.( I am, of course, referring to the Parliphone version NOT the stupid Capitol version!!!!!)

hutchilj@aramco.com.sa
Ditto my comment on Rubber Soul. For me, it contains 2 truly great songs, Paul's "For No One", and "Here, There And Everywhere" - the other songs are good but nothing special. '6.5'

cliffnorth@localaccess.com (TAD)
Cheez, THE album of all time, quite possibly. I'd choose ABBEY ROAD, but that's just me. Heard "Tomorrow Never Knows" & saw Ghod. Who woulda believed feedback/psychedelic/jumbled-backward-tapes rock that actually ROCKED? Who else coulda done it? Gosh, this is sure a swell album. I also like "For No One," an overlooked classic. & "Taxman," wow. & what about "Yellow Submarine"? Yr right, Mark, if words haven't failed ya by now with these guys, they sure do here....

By the way, I plum 4got about "Got to Get You Into My Life," 1 of the all-time screamers, with horns that sound like they're gonna blow Paul right out of the studio. But the great part is, he screams right back at them! Hoo boy, these guys were GOOD.

mjb926@hotmail.com (Jim Blair)
the 2nd best Beatles album:

Revolver deserves the highest of critical praise! This is awesome, surpassed only by Sgt. Pepper within the Beatles catalogue (in my opinion). Heck, it may be even better than Pepper-- New Musical Express thought so, ranking Revolver the 2nd greatest album of all time, behind only Pet Sounds. The wild experimentation (both sonically and lyrically) and frequent unflinching boldness of sound and content make this a must for any true fan of 60's rock/pop. "She Said She Said" and "Tomorrow Never Knows" are two of John's best songs. "Here, There, and Everywhere," and "For No One" are two of Paul's best songs. The rest of the songs are also outstanding. Simply Awesome!

kenyon@mail.netnitco.net
It's always seemed to me as if this album was the transition between the early "boy meets girl" type of songs they were doing before and the later "let's get higher than a kite and write something transcendental" stuff. Especially "Tomorrow Never Knows." Just for the record, George is my favorite Beatle, and "For No One" is the song I bawled my head off to right after a very painful breakup. I'm sure a lot of other people have had this experience too. It's just that kind of song.

paulst@wfs.co.uk (Paul Stewardson)
Fantastic album, apparently more popular here in the UK than over there in the States. Whatever, every true music fan will love this album from start to finish. What I really like is the sequencing, mixing up songs by the three main songwriters so you can really see how they stand up against each other. Best songs? Hard to pick really but my personal faves are "Taxman", "And Your Bird Can Sing", "For No One", "Got To Get You Into My Life" and, of course, "Tommorrow Never Knows" (probably the most mindblowingly brilliant song the Beatles ever recorded).

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
Wow. Wow. Wow. There's not a single bad song on here. There's not a single even medicore song on here. Every song rules. I mean, I bought this, and I couldn't force myself to stop listening to it. I listened to it 4 times in a row, not cos I felt I had to, but cos I had no desire to listen to anything else. Wow.

bgreenstein@nctimes.net (Ben Greenstein)
Grr. I'm truly torn about whether the ten goes here or to Sgt. Pepper. Sure, that one sounds richer, but this stuff is so much darker. Ever hear "Tommorow Never Knows"? Not the crap Phil Collins cover, the original. First techno song ever, seeing as it was built over tape loops. Then again, quite better that techno. I despise drugs, but there's nothing I love more than "zoning out" to that incredible psychadelic piece of music.

And the rest! "Eleanor Rigby" and "Yellow Submarine" are the most famous, and also the most diverse. One is mopey classical pop, the other dopey traditional children's song. (By the way, I once heard a DJ call "Boris The Spider" a better kid's song - which sounded pretty wierd, considering it used to give me nightmares) "She Said She Said" is great use of feedback, whereas "For No One" uses that killer trumpet to just sock you right in the heart. You know? I love every song, except maybe "Dr. Robert," which is still perfectly good. And George's Taxman is the best song he ever wrote - cool and rocky, with that funny intro.

By the way - I also have a tape of this where they totally screw up the running order and put "Good Day Sunshine" right at the beginning, ruining any hope of fluidity. And I can't imagine listening to the American version, which just gets rid of "I'm Only Sleeping," on of the key songs of classic psychadelia. Also skips, "And Your Bird Can Sing," which sounds, fittingly, like the Byrds.

And "Here, There, and Everywhere"? That's beautiful!

fiber_optiq@yahoo.com (Alex Temple)
Those two depressing Paul songs (For No One and Eleanor Rigby), are, in my opinion, two of the best Beatles songs I've heard.

Awake600@aol.com
Shit... people aren't kidding when they say this album's the greatest achievement in pop music history! This has to be one of my 5 favorite albums ever, and for good reason. John, Paul, George and Ringo just throw classic after classic at you, particularly in the album's second half. "Tomorrow Never Knows"... truly astounding. "And Your Bird Can Sing".... breathtaking. "Yellow Submarine".... pure magical fun. "For No One"... emotional and powerful. "I Want To Tell You"... stunning. "Taxman"... pure sarcastic attitude. I could go on forever. This one's a ridiculously easy 10 folks... it's no wonder why the Fab Four are considered the best of all time listening to this and enjoying every minute of it!

ian.moss@yale.edu
Ooh, not in agreement on this one! Sure, like almost all of the Beatles albums, Revolver is very very good--but I just don't think it stands up to the albums that followed, or even Rubber Soul, for that matter. It seems to me that about half of the album works really well, and the other half has the goods but doesn't quite pull it all together. Most of the standouts on here are written by McCartney--"Eleanor Rigby," "Here, There, and Everywhere," "Good Day Sunshine," and "For No One" are all awesome--and "Taxman" is one of Georgie's best, no doubt. But I've never understood why people drool all over John's work here, particularly "Tomorrow Never Knows"--sure it's experimental, but that doesn't make it good! When I first listened to it as a little kid, I thought it was really scary! I'm not kidding! So maybe I'm just traumatized or something, I don't know. And "She Said" doesn't make ANY sense, lyrically or musically. So there. But I'd probably like the Brit version better--"I'm Only Sleeping" is one hell of a song. Ah, well.

swreed@sportg.com (Scott Reed)
Revolver is a classic. Nuff said. A fine piece of work.

InMyEyes82@aol.com
What makes Revolver the Beatles' high point is how damn off the cuff it sounds. There's little of the thematic sweep of Seargent Peppers' or the scatterbrained experimentalism of the White Album, but Revolver is still pop's benchmark, yet to be surpassed and unlikely to ever be so. At it's best, pop is narcotically addictive and just as urgent; it's a RUSH, and all you gotta do is hear the breezy sashays of "She Said" or the refined classicism of "Eleanor Rigby" to learn how gratifying the stuff can be. But what makes Revolver stand up is ultimately how confident the band sounds. They had just begun to experience psychedelics and marijuana, but showed none of the dour mysticism that contemps like the Jefferson Airplane flaunted with their dated drug odes. Never before had the band experimented so thoroughly or flashed their hooks with such panache; never again would they sound so enthused about the idea of being in a rock and roll band. 10/10

Amgreenberg@aol.com
Just wanted to chime in and say "I Want To Tell You" isn't getting quite the respect on this board I think it deserves. George uses a chord on the second half of the verses that is possibly the first intentional use of dissonance in pop/rock. Groundbreaking in its own way and really adds to the song's expressiveness.

BtheW@aol.com
This album's so good that I even used to think the American version was one of their best - and that's without those three Lennon tunes. When I found out about the REAL Revolver, I was profoundly shocked. If they hadn't put out the White Album, this would be my favorite.

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
"Tomorrow Never Knows" creeps my father out, and is more innovative than fifty Chemical Brothers. "For No One", a melancholy look at a disintegrating relationship, doesn't flinch even as it's utterly beautiful from beginning to end. "She Said, She Said" accurately emasculates Peter Fonda. Almost all the other tracks are great, too. Except "Love You To", designed to showcase just how irritating an instrument the sitar can be.

richbunnell@home.com
This is definitely one of the greatest albums ever, though not the Beatles' greatest (which would be Abbey Road in spite of the objections of those "Maxwell"/"I Want You"-bashing freaks). I'd throw out "Yellow Submarine," which annoys me to no end, and keep every single other song and hail each individual one as a top-of-the-line pop music classic. How can one album have this many good songs on it?? Even the dopey horn-spiked R&B song, "Got To Get You Into My Life," is fantastic. Continuing this comment would just mean listing all of the songs followed by a positive description of each one ("Taxman" is wonderful. "Eleanor Rigby" is amazing. etc.), so I'll stop here. Screw the one-ten rule, I mean, it's the friggin' Beatles, for chrissake. Ten ten ten.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Masterpiece! Celestrial album! The songs here are colossal! "Taxman" is one of the best Harrison tunes, it's the excellent song! "Eleanor Rigby" rules; "I'm Only Sleeping" is probably my favourite song from "Revolver", because it's frigging splendid! "Here, there&everywhere" and "For No One" are wonderful charming ballads of Paul. Well, I can go and on...The Beatles are great!

Jcjh20@aol.com
Well of course that this is a absolute classic album. I really love it, but i dont think this deserves a 10. That'd go to White Album or Abbey Road for me personally. But this is a awesome album, where the Beatles first started to take drugs and experiment with sounds and new things and shit, like the freaked out tape loopy "Tommorrow Never Knows". My favorites include every single damn song on the record, although im not very fond of "I want to tell you" though, "Love You To" hardly does a thing for me either, but its OK i guess. But besides that the whole thing is brilliant. 9/10.

Muggwort@aol.com
this is a good album not a great album but still good. but unfortunately it is also the one of the three most overrated albums (behind nirvana's nevermind and there own Sgt. peppers) in history, don't get me wrong i absolutely adore the Beatles but in no way is revolver their best album (to any one who is wondering I'm not talking to the prindster I'm talking to VH-1 and all of the other people who worship revolver). Still it contains my favorite Beatles track of all time "I'm only sleeping" that melody just drives me wild!

8/10

drazy@gatecity.com
Trying to pick your favorite (or 'favourite' as they'd say in G.B.) is next to impossible. But Revolver continues to do battle with "The White Album" as my top pick. Each one is the polar opposite of one another, so don't try to understand my reasoning. With "T.W.A"., you've got a Beatles solo project of sorts, joined together by a name and but enough lingering camaraderie to warrant it. Revolver on the other hand, is probably the last album they made without issues, egos, or agendas distracting them their craft. Here's what gets me: this album was released only three fucking years after they were doing "She Love's You" and filling out their albums with cover versions (not a slam). I'm hard pressed to think of any other band that has documented so much creative growth in such a short amount of time. And, keep in mind, the oldest dude was only 26 years old when Revolver was released. Mind-blowing for 1966 and a perfect ten over thirty fucking five years later.

Xspex27@aol.com (James Mohr)
On MOST days I'd probably put my 10 here, but what mere mortal can make such a decision anyway? Besides with the different American and Brit versions (on this one I'm speaking American), who the fuck knows what albums were all talking about anyway. But anyway, Brit or American, an amazing record: the acid had set in enough to take this album sonically WAY beyond Rubber Soul without the overkill of Sgt. Pepper cutesy-wutesyness. Also amazingly varied ("Elanor", "Here, There", "Tomorrow Never Knows", "I Want to Tell You", "For No One", plus many more where those came from, all great songs) without being the stylistic mess that is the White Album, Abbey Road, etc--it could be their most consistant record. So its a brilliant album, but I'm not telling you anything new.

uglytruth@hotmail.com (Hossein Nayebagha)
They even skipped "And Your Bird Can Sing"?! that song is A+. "Yellow Submarine" is kinda dumb,and I'm still to bored to give "Tomorrow Never Knows" a fair chance, but other than that pretty much every single song is great...oh right "Taxman" is actually a bit weak.

I like and play the guitar myself, but that shouldn't mean you're closeminded, less guitars also meant more diversity, one of the best things about this band. If "Got to Get You Into My life" hadn't been dominated by horns and stuff, that lovely break with the guitars coming in right before the last round wouldn't have meant anything. Original Revolver: 9/10.

antnego@earthlink.net (Anthony Negron)
This is the Beatles at their creative and sonic peak. Power-pop meets psychedelia.

For all the Beatles haters out there: "Dr. Robert." "Taxman." "I Want To Tell You." "She Said She Said." I want to see your favorite shitty "I’m too kewl to like the Bee-uhls" anti-pop band do better than this. It doesn’t get better than this. Period. To say differently would defy the laws of physics.

I don’t care what people say about "And Your Bird Can Sing." Who cares about lyrical shortcomings with a guitar riff like that? When I first mastered it, I felt like a certifiable guitar-god. Okay, it’s not that tough, but let me have my moment in the sun!

Hey, and Acid’s not that bad. Take a listen of "Tomorrow Never Knows" and you’ll discover what frying your brain does for your creativity! Stupid DEA…

10 OUT OF 10!

There’s no way I could be wrong about this one, because I am the God of Rock Music. Feel my wrath, Bruce Springsteen….

The score I gave above in no way represents the American mutilation of Revolver. To cut any track off this album is sheer madness. Buy British…

trend_monger@hotmail.com
***Why do so many musicians have to take drugs? I wish they wouldn't.***

It's even worse when take to singing about them in a nauseatingly "Wow, maaaaaaan; guess what I did?" type way. Lucy In The Sky..... ??? I bet the surviving members CRINGE big-time whenever they recall those lyrics.

Nothing even nearly so embarrassing on Revolver though. While musically (like Sgt. Hippy's) the songs here are mostly, well.... errrrrr... NICE.... they're very well-crafted NICE with great melodies and vocal tunes in abundance. Much to be learned here, both in terms of songwriting and executing said songs to disc.

Marvellous stuff, even for a Brit raised on "punk". My mum went to Beatles' gigs and her original Parlephone albums now reside alongside my Stranglers and Fall ones.

ddickson@rice.edu (David Dickson)
Should I say the word? I don't know if I should. . . some of these commenters are undoubtedly skilled flamers. . . oh what the hell--OVERRATED OVERRATED OVERRATED OVERRATED OVERRATED OVERRATED OVERRATED OVERRATED OVERRATED OVERRATED OVERRATED OVERRATED OVERRATED OVERRATED OVERRATED OVERRATED OVER--gasp--FRICKIN'--rated. . . cough, cargle. . .

Whew! Glad I got that out of my system. All right!! This album gets a 9. A NINE, y'hear? Not a TEN, not a TWO, just a NINE. And that's primarily because the melodies are still so consistently memorable. Apparently the Foursome has some good crap still left in the ol' noggin after the perfect pop masterpiece of Rubber Soul, and so they decided to unload the rest onto their so-called Big Experimentation that would supposedly, once and for all, break down taboos in rock forever and ever. The thingy is, and I'm sorry to bust some bubbles, Revolver is not nearly the WHOA-unbelievable leap forward as some think it is. The musical styles go every which way, true. And "Taxman," "Eleanor Rigby," "I'm Only Sleeping," "Love You To," "She Said She Said," "Good Day Sunshine," "I Want To Tell You," and "Tomorrow Never Knows" are pretty revelatory and groundbreaking for pop in general, in the realms of garage styling, guitar-less tracks, backwards dubbing, Indian music, guitar amplification, bass augmentation, avant-garde structuring, and sampling, respectively. Not "hard rock sound," however--that breakthrough was made on the summer chart-topper "Paperback Writer." ALL THAT SAID, this just amounts to pop-song-based DIVERSIFICATION. Not ART--at least, that is, not as the term was understood in 1966. THAT had to wait until Sgt. Pepper came around. ONLY THEN, at long last, was the album in rock and roll understood as a unified work of art, rather than simply being justified only by the individual songs that happened to be on it. In other words, Revolver is still just a collection of songs (dang short ones, I might add) whereas Sgt. Pepper is a suite divided into movements. Get the difference? Okay, if you want me to be subjective about it, let me just say this: I like dramatic pop music. Even fans of the album have to admit: Revolver is in no way, shape or form dramatic. Sgt. Pepper is. End of story.

Now for the album: My favorite tracks are "Here, There, and Everywhere," "Yellow Submarine," "She Said She Said," "Good Day Sunshine," "Doctor Robert," and "Got to Get You Into My Life," the first, second, and fourth because of the great, catchy melodies, the third and fifth because of the awesome crunchy guitar riffs, and the sixth because I like horns. All the rest of the songs are at least decent, except for "Love You To," (boring) "I'm Only Sleeping," (even more boring) and "Tomorrow Never Knows" (self-indulgent AND boring). In total, this is a solid, catchy, trippy, slightly uneven, and above all, experimental album. It's a tribute to the Beatles' talent that they could record something so unfocused that would still rate a 9. Occasionally, the innovations, just by themselves, are so cool that they just send shivers down my spine: the super-loud guitar lines in "She Said She Said" are prime examples of this--hello, proto-punk sound production! So, all my misgivings aside, this is still one of the best albums I've heard in the last month. Damn good. Great. So great it puts watching "Married With Children" to shame.

Still f***ing overrated, though. . .

NMcpherson@fac.unc.edu (Earl McPherson)
I bought this album on the day that Neil and Buzz landed on the moon. It's not the best one though but it was another breakthrough for them. They were getting hot!

robadobb_2@msn.com (Rob Raymer)
not my favorite beatles album but song for song its the best album ive ever heard anywhere

ddickson@rice.edu
Damn, I'm a jerk.

Okay, ignore that comment above, everybody. It was written two years ago. And it sounds like it was written twenty years ago. When I was TWO. Yuck. Yuck. I can't BELIEVE I wrote that.

Revolver rules. Period.

But they made better albums, they did, mate. Ohhhh yes, they did. Check out everything recorded after Revolver, except for Yellow Sub and Letter B (covered by the Sesame Street Muppet Players).

Add your thoughts?

Revolver (British) - EMI 1966
Rating = 9
I spent my entire life wondering why John Lennon only contributed two tracks to this record. "Was he too drugged up to write songs?" I wondered quietly to those in power. Then whammo! I'll be darned if a long-overdue reissue of the British version didn't answer my question in a nutbeat. For some piece of shit reason, America's Capitol Records removed THREE Lennon compositions from this record to fill out their shitty (yet great) Yesterday...And Today release. Yep, that's right - for its American release, Revolver all of a sudden completely lacked "Dr. Robert," "I'm Only Sleeping," and "And Your Bird Can Sing." Whatever. Better late than never, I suppose. Like a red rubber rose!

As if the album didn't rule stinkycrotch enough, now it TOTALLY rules smellygroin because those three Juan Lennon songs are likeabout the best songs the prik ever wrote! My good GOD they're good, God! "Dr. Robert" moves like a book about drugs, "I'm Only Sleeping" drills darkness like drugs, and "And Your Bird Can Sing" has harmonies as beautiful as a foot! As for the album as a whole, Ringo's snares are sharp as a knife, the piano is warm and reverbed, there are less acoustig cuitars, ugly vocals and rhythmic shizzy-shizzies, and the whole band (three of them) is on FIRE with catchy pop melodies. Strangely, however, I didn't notice anything new when listening to this British CD at age 31 than I've noticed listening to the scratchy American release my whole life. Hmm. Oh well. Incidentally, PLEASE buy the British version of this one, not the American (not that you were debating or anything, but....). Those three Lennon songs are beyond crucial for any fan of hard rocking pop music. In fact, if you're looking at sheer melodic pop enjoyability, this is definitely the best Beatles album by a longshot. Personally, I can't stand Paul's boring "Here, There And Everywhere" piece of slumber crap but every other song on here is fantastic. Here, I'll describe why I love each one in very few words:

"Taxman" - Hilarious lyrics, hilarious intro, classic bass line, unforgettable guitar solo. "If you drive a car, I'll tax the street/If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat/If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat/If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet." That's FUNNY! As a non-taxpaying child, I never realized how fucking annoying taxes can be, but this year I owed like 1500 dollars so this song was on the tip of my brain for about a week. FUCKIN' GOVERNMENT!

"Eleanor Rigby" - A little hokey and overdone lyrically, but the melody has all kinds of notes and it's fun to sing.

"I'm Only Sleeping" - Why on Earth is a song about sleeping so fuckin' DARK!? I mean, this music sounds like it was written by a serial killer! The way John (or George?) jerks his hand UPWARDS across the strings right at the beginning? Immediately, it's like YIKES! Then there's that foreboding bass solo between each verse, and then that scary as shit backwards guitar solo comes in, the bassed/distorted yawn near the end, and the whole thing is just... I mean, is he planning to sleep until it's time to get up and murder somebody?

"Love You To" - GREATEST SONG OF ALL TIME. George made a fuck fuck fuckity fuckin' galloping pop song out of traditional Indian instruments! He plays the sitar (sarod?) like a rock and roll electric guitar! It's an ass-kicker of love! "You don't get time to hang a sign on MEEEEE-EEEEEE-EEEEEEE-EEEEE! (boodiloodilingadingdingBWEENG!BWEENG!BWEENG!BWEENG!)" But why is it called "Love You To"? Because he says "I'll make love to you" near the end? Why not call it "Love To You" then? Intellectual pompous ass(hole).

"Here, There And Everywhere" - I put a ceramic dinner plate on the turntable and it sounded more exciting than this song.

"Yellow Submarine" - Have you ever noticed exactly HOW MANY sound effects are in this song? Listen to it again. It's hilarious!

"She Said She Said" - BRILLIANT. No words for its brilliance. Not even "brilliant." I don't even want to belittle the song by deigning to talk about how brilliant it is.

"Good Day Sunshine" - Warm piano tone, great vocal harmonies in chorus, funny little bouncy piano during the verse

"And Your Bird Can Sing" - Ultra-busy, very smart guitar line intro/recurring break and gorgeous three-part vocal harmonies

"For No One" - By far the most depressing lyrics of any Beatles song. If your girlfriend or wife ever falls out of love with you, listen to this song and bring a rope.

"Doctor Robert" - A rockin' sockin' uptempo good time with fun group vocals. A joy to hear! Rhythmic lick of rulingness and the "Well well well" part is as sparkling as an LSD trip (or "vacation")

"I Want To Tell You" - Warm piano and another great, GREAT guitar intro/recurring break. Also love the loud DING!DING!DING!DING!DING!DING!BOOPADACHOOPADA after each bridge.

"Got To Get You Into My Life" - Horns! Trumpets! Pop horns! And the part right near the end where the guitar arpeggiations come in would make me have an orgasm if my testicles weren't filled with sawdust and spiders.

"Tomorrow Never Knows" - Terrible song, but Phil Collins and David Lee Roth later made it KICK ASS.

Ha! I fooled you on that last one! Today's April 2nd - April Fool's Day!

In conclusion, just let me say, "I just went to Tae Kwon Do and I probably smell foul."

Reader Comments

gag05@bigpond.com.au
Oh plz..Pet Sounds is built on practically the same formula as “Here There and Everywhere” except it has overdone cheesy orchestra. Maybe it’s the lack of guitar and its overall subdued atmosphere like its holding back, but add some loud guitar and it could’ve been one of rocks greatest ballads. You can deny that perfect melody though. Huh?.

spinaltomek@hotmail.com (Thomas)
hi mark!

i just read some of your beatles (british version) revues...a few times you mention something like "these songs are here, but in the american version there somewhere else, god knows why..."...well i do too! maybe you do also by now, or some reader send a comment, i didnt have time to read them all. but anyway, in case your interested: i read an interesting book about pink floyd and there was mentioned that the american record companies always released their albums in a slightly different way, either just dropping some songs or replacing them with some crap, because then they could release the few missing ones with more crap or b sides or what do i know as a new album, to have more albums and make more MONEY! and at these times when music was more single then album orientated anyway it might not upset the fans so much as it would nowadays. i guess they did it the same way with the beatles and i also guess they were they only band (besides the pixies) with which you cant really go too wrong with most of their songs, because even their not so good ones are still good enough. while for example the floyd had a LOT of crap besides their great stuff.

hope to have told you something new! best wishes

ace_kendo
The block of She Said She Said, Good Day Sunshine, And Your Bird Can Sing, and For No One is one of the most incredible 9 minutes of music ever committed to wax cylinder (Edison produced this one, correct?). And just because I know the BALLS of a compliment are in how well it denigrates something else, I take those 4 songs unconnected by anything except the sickly gasoline rainbow acid film covering them over the suites on Abbey Road, 5 days out of the week easy.

And since I don't feel like commenting on Sgt. Pepper, I'll mention here that the guitar solo in Good Morning Good Morning FUCKING COOKS. Keep that song out of the kitchen if you don't want all your food to get cooked and spoil before you can eat it all! Put that song in the kitchen if you've got a big party and need to do a lot of cooking because it will cook all your food for you! Keep that song out of the chicken coop if you don't want your kid to run into the house screaming in the morning when he goes to feed the chickens because he went in and they were all split open and COOKED!

Mcshane123321@aol.com
Why don't I leave a comment for Revolver? I've already left comments for the mucho overrated Sgt. Pepper and the would-rather-be-1.5-sides-or-so White Album. Well, it's overrated, just like everything this band ever put out (thank YOU, Rolling Stone fagazine, George Starostin and America's Obsession With Hype!!), but this one may just be the one that comes closest to actually, um, satisfying its hype.

There's only three songs that I can bring myself to make any negative criticism of: "Eleanor Rigby," "Yellow Shitmarine" and "Here, There and Go Nowhere." The problem with the former is the lyrics -- contrived to the point of despair -- but I generally enjoy the orchestration. "Yellow Submarine" isn't a bad song when taken out of context, but it seems awfully close to being one when compared eleven (or even twelve) of the other songs here. And "Here, There and Everywhere"? 'ice backing vocals!!! Shame you forgot to write a song, Paul? Oh what; you mean to say that yawn-a-thon bit of instrumentation in the background is the music?! Yeah, they were right: the Beatles had a great sense of humour!!! What I'm basically trying to say is that the song's shit and had anyone other than the Fab Snore (ain't I great!!) made it it would have been trounced.

But the rest is really, really excellent. Even the confusingly underrated "Doctor Robert" -- why that snappy little drugathon of a tune gets bashed by uber fanboy George Starostin I'll never understand. You've got your happy, bouncy tunes like "She Said She Said," "Good Day Sunshine" and "And Your Bird Can Sing"; your depressing ballads "For No One" and "Eleanor Rigby" (not excellent; there to make up the numbers); and your druggy drugathons "I'm Only Sleeping," "Love You Too" and "Tomorrow Never Knows." The last song is by far the best. George actually contradicts himself on here: first off he's ragging on the taxman for taking his dough (poor little thing), and then he's preaching the old 'money don't mean jack' philosophy on "Love You Too." This was either a clever attempt at seeing whether anyone was astute enough to notice or...just a lame contradiction.

So no, it's not as strong as a lot of people (*cough* Adrian Denning *cough*) make it out to be (none of the Beatles' albums are), but it's still mostly excellent. Cutting off those two duffs -- I'm OK with "ER" -- and you're looking at excellence rarely matched in pop music. For me that's a very high 9 (9.49 recurring dot over the second nine), and it can round itself up to the 10, if it so happens to be my favourite Beatles album at the time; hell I don't ALWAYS hate "YS" and "HTaE," so I guess it may be a ten afterall. It's a definite step-up after (THE EXCELLENT) Rubber Soul, and it's certainly much, much better than the album that followed it. Now, I'm off to do some research into NEUROSCIENCE!!! YAY!!!

PS I find it odd how I've now commented on three Beatles albums (YES, Mr. Crazy Comment Tracker reading Mark Prindle's Beatles page, this is number TROIS!!) and no Kinks albums, when I've always greatly preferred the Stinks to the Flab Four (THERE I GO AGAIN!!!). Maybe it's to do with my inability to put into words just how strong the emotions I feel are when I hear, well, ANY album they released in old, bald(ing) Prindle's lifetime. Such artistic masterpieces need to be heard to be believed.

OSLANE@student.gvsu.edu
why are people dissing "Eleanor Rigby"? It's really sad and desperate sounding - brings out all kinds of lonely feelings I don't want to have... maybe since I only started actively listening to the Beatles a month ago, I'm not jaded by it. And what's wrong with "Tomorrow Never Knows"?

godemperorjjohnson@gmail.com
I've got to laugh at all of the lavish praise that's being leaped upon this album, probably in essence for no other reason then this being yet another classic Beatles album. Sure, McCartney and Lennon are as adept as usual at writing pop melodies, but this falls short, both when compared with later Beatles albums, and where great hooks in Sixties pop are concerned in general, don't deserve to be elevated above their contemporaries.

"Tommorrow Never Knows" may be entrancing, "Taxman" may have a bouncy beat and tell us Americans have no right to bitch about taxes, "Yellow Submarine" may have a certain nostalgic charm, and blah blah, but they don't really catch my attention probably because I've heard MANY other songs I liked better. My favorite songs on here would have to be "Got to Get You Into My Life"(the extensive use of horns to bolster the up and down rhythm totally rocks!) "Here, There and Everywhere"(I initially thought it worthless garbage for the same reason as Mark, but slowly realized the best songs don't always have to rock,) and "For No One"(this song about a cold woman really tears one up inside). "She Said, She Said" is also cool, but lacking that essential "oomph" factor that puts it over the top. ) But I still hate Doctor Robert(it's blatant throwaway and highly annoying to boot)Mark is just so wrong on that one.

If I was a pop-rock sixties fan, I'd give this an 8. But as a guy whose musical tendencies tend toward shit that rocks and/or is innovative(like Mark) I'd give this a 6.5. 7, if I try to be more objective('cause it seems the Beatles get too much credit. Not as straightforward as their early albums, but ultimately not as classic as Abbey Road or Sgt. Pepper.

Benjamin Burch
As much as I love this album, I really can't bring myself to say a lot of stuff about it. Maybe because so many other things about this album have been said that my opinion will be irrelevant, but I'm putting in a review anyway. The album is PERFECT, not a bad song or moment anywhere. The album flows together perfectly, the songwriting has improved 100% percent since "Rubber Soul" and the group is really on top of their game here.

Wow, where'd this come from? They just keep gettin better and better as they go along... The fab four have improved at just about everything, and every Beatles fan should appreciate this album. Once AGAIN, every song is great, and manages to break even more ground than the previous one. Big experimenting, and as usual, it works wonders. I used to despise "Tomorrow Never Knows" but now I love it. "And Your Bird Can Sing" is one I always loved on the other hand, and lyrically might be my favorite Beatles song. "Got to Get You into My Life" is another terrific one, and easily beats the shit out of Earth Wind and Fire's cover (which a lot of people seem to like better). I guess the weak link here (if there even is one) would be the gruesomely overplayed "Yellow Submarine." 9.5/10.

Add your thoughts?

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Capitol 1967.
Rating = 9
Off the deep end. This isn't rock and roll at all. It's cabaret music! Horns and violins and bouncy little pianos create this crazyass mood of a big band pop explosion parade. Interesting experiment. This isn't a Beatles album, see? It's this band called Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band who dress in old-timey military outfits and have old-timey fancy mustaches and sing happy little tunes like "A Little Help From My Friends" and "When I'm Sixty-Four." Write it off! Bye.

Oops. I forgot about every other song on the record. They all go much much much deeper than the concept, to the point where there's really no concept at all, aside from the album cover and three or four of the more McCartney-esque numbers. There's a hell of a lot of diversity on this record - I mean, there's almost no rock and roll (though "Lovely Rita" and "Good Morning, Good Morning" come pretty close), but there's so much more, including John's strangest songs yet, the dreamy psychedelic love saucer of "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," and a spooky funhouse carnival dipsydoo called "For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite" that manages to out-Syd Pink's Barrett, even without any guitar noise.

And how about George? Why are you ignoring George's contribution? Stop writing off George's contribution. It takes several listens to make sense, but "Within You Without You" is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Swoon all you want at the "Eastern" influences reflected in the work of Led Zeppelin and Polvo, but this is... crap, man, this is like total Indian music slammed entirely inappropriately into a Western pop song format. God, it rules. I just tap my foot and sing along and wonder at the fact that there was once a point in my life when I considered this to be a "weak track." It's honestly probably the greatest song on the record - most creative anyway. And you gotta love the mocking crowd laughter at the end.

Greatest song on the record? No, let me rethink that. "A Day In The Life" is the greatest song on the record and, in the minds of many, the finest moment in the entire Beatles catalog. John created a pop masterpiece here. A genuinely beautiful song about close to nothing. Paul's middle part rules, too. Was this the last song they ever wrote together? Probably. Ah boy, what else to say about Sgt. Pepper's? Let's try this: All of you negative nellies out there who think it's overrated, give it a break. Think about how this must have sounded in 1967. Think about how it compares to everything that came before it in the popular music world. Think about how dramatically they shifted their look and style between Revolver and this one. This isn't even friggin' rock music by a longshot!!!! I'll admit that the "unhindered by guitars" aspect of this record used to really bug me, but I think I've finally matured to the point where I can enjoy a great song no matter what instrument it's being played on. Even if it's a sissyass harp like "She's Leaving Home"! There's not a single weak track on here. I don't think so anyway. It's just a different sort of entertainment maybe than what you're used to. Unless you actually listen to shit like this on a day-to-day basis.

And another thing - this was recorded on a 4-track? A FOUR-TRACK???? HOW???????

Reader Comments

ddamiani@liberty.uc.wlu.edu (David J. Damiani)
The presence of something like "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!" is a forewarning of some of the random crap that the Beatles inexplicably inserted into their final few albums. You can't help but like "Penny Lane," though, smarmy as one may find it.

TSCHILLER@nciinc.com (Tom Schiller)
At risk of being an "old fogie," I was nine when the am radio station I listened to (WMCA in New York) first played Sgt. Pepper after weeks of hype. The first song played was "Good Morning," appropriately enough by the morning DJ. He had no idea what to do with the song (or the album). As for guitars: Re-listen to the theme song and the reprise (and "Good Morning").

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
I understand why this record is hallowed the way it is. I love it myself. However, I consider it to be inferior to Revolver and Abbey Road.

jay44@webtv.net (Jesse McClung)
Hailed as the first concept album, which I really don't buy into other than the first two tracks and the "Pepper" reprise. The best songs are easily Lennon's; "A Day in the Life" is the ultimate album closer, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is a killer and "Good Morning Good Morning" rocks pretty good. That's not to say that the rest of the album is merely filler; "Fixing a Hole" and "Getting Better" are solid McCartney songs, but as a whole I believe it is bettered by albums such as Rubber Soul, Revolver, the White Album, and Abbey Road. The George Harrison Indian crap "Within You Without You" just doesn't belong, same as "Love You To" on Revolver. Still widely regarded as the consummate album in Rock and Roll history, when there isn't too much rock and roll to be found at all. Without "A Day in the Life," I'd probably rate this album at a 7 or possibly lower, but it is such a fucking standout that this album is worthy of an 8.

Weigelda@aol.com (Dave Weigel)
I hate to be a bummer, but I've always thought this album to be extremely over rated. Fuck the tape-loops and experimentation--it's experimental only in the simplest of ways. All I see is a bunch of naive, catchy pop songs (excluding "With or Without You"--I love "Love You To" but hate this one). On the Mark-o-Meter it's a 7. Now, I wouldn't have any bile for this album (but I'd still rate it a 7) if it wasn't so damn overrated. But I resent it when this album is hoisted up as the greatest work of art rock has ever produced. Come on! This is art for stupid people. Listen to Bowie's Low or Scary Monsters, or Stevie Wonder's Innervisions and you'll find that music can be just as arty (or more so) and have better songs, too! And need I even say it, any 60s Frank Zappa album (particularly We're Only in it for the Money) takes Sgt. Pepper's experiments to the 27th dimension.

All that said, it's still loads better than Oasis.

liberty@ptialaska.net (Marc Kovac)
One day I was fidgeting the power input to my Casio keyboard, confusing and overloading the circuits in an effort to produce some really horrific and unholy electronic noises. One of these noises sounded like every pore of every creature on Earth farting at the same time, and that is the only way I can describe how glorious "A Day in the Life" is.

Justyn909@aol.com (Justyn Dillingham)
The greatest rock album ever. McCartney is at his best, writing show tunes and masterminding the project like the musical genius...well, he was. Lennon contributes some gems, and gives us most of the Beatles' greatest song, "A Day In The Life." Harrison gives us the most unreal Beatles track ever, with a powerful sermon replacing the timid experiments of Revolver. Even Ringo gets to sing his best song: no silly "Yellow Submarine" fantasy, but a sincere and touching message of togetherness. This is the work of mature pop geniuses at the height of their powers.

bgoulet@snet.net (Bill Goulet)
let us not forget that in addition to his great songwriting, Paul was playing some KILLER bass lines as well. Also Ringo's drumming complements every tune (as always) plug in any other drummer into his slot and it just wouldn't be right (ala Keith Moon/Kenny Jones)

Glenn.Wiener@entex.com
Whereas the songs are well written, the overall sound is little bit too sappy for me.

markc@javanet.com (Mark Cybulski)
Great album, but far inferior to Rubber Soul and Revolver. Paul says that Pet Sounds was his influence for Sgt. Pepper. In my opinion, the lads didn't even come close.

rsuarez@bellsouth.net (Randy Suarez)
Is it, as Rolling Stone magazine said, the greatest album of all time? It might be. Then again it might not even be the best Beatles album. The concept was McCartney's, and since the band was feeling unfulfilled from touring, they decided to make the album their performance. Ringo once said this album was just great "parts", but oh my what great parts they were eh?

"A Day In The Life", "Getting Better", "She's Leaving Home", "Lucy In The Sky With Diabetes", "With A Little Help From My Friends" are so great that words can not do them justice. "When I'm A Hundred And Four" is McCartney whimsy at its best.

My band does "Sgt. Pepper (Reprise)" at our shows and it always gets a great reaction from the crowd. The greatest album of all time? Hell it might not even be their best, but it was here that they pulled way ahead of the rest of the common mortals (yes including the Stones and the Beach Boys) never to be caught or equaled, and laid (layed?) claim as the greatest band of all time. Period. Shrug.

whatsupbird@compuserve.com (Matthew J. Wellner)
The debate about whether Sgt. Pepper's is the best album ever, or the best Beatles album ever, is a little too subjective for me. Personally, I think Rubber Soul through Let It Be are far too good to make such a distinction. But nothing ever did sound like Sgt. Pepper's, and nothing ever will. It's the creativity (guitars or no guitars) that makes this the standout for me.

And please don't be for or against drugs! Some people use them, some people abuse them. Some people need them, some people don't. Like Wayne Coyne (I think) said, "Don't do drugs, be drugs." The point is that the end result is the key, and that a certain state of mind can be acheived however you wish. Clearly, I think that the course of rock music would have been different if the Beatles hadn't starting experimenting in more ways than one. But I do think it's a mistake to think that doing drugs is either wholly bad or wholly good.

Anyway, yer views on "Within You Without You" and "A Day In The Life" as being possibly the two best songs ever written, I couldn't agree more! Incidentally, I think that "Birthday" from the White Album was the last song Lennon and McCartney wrote together...

JnJCable@worldnet.att.net (Neptune Salad)
Everyone loves "Getting Better" and "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!", and everyone is sick to death of "Lucy in the Sky w/ Diamonds". The first time I heard "Lucy", I thought, "What a pretty song". The next time I heard it, I fell asleep. The third time I heard it, I laughed out loud (it was the William Shatner sings Beatles Marathon on some dumb A.M. station). And what jerks the EMI people are for wanting Ghandi eliminated from the album cover. Just because England can't occupy a country forever, damn...

Hello EMI, goodbye.

mjb926@hotmail.com (Jim Blair)
This is not only the Beatles' masterpiece, it's plain and simply THE single greatest album ever made. O.K., so this is just my opinion, but so what. When I listen to Sgt. Pepper and I'm in the right mood for it, it's absolutely in a class all it's own, a transcendental experience of mysticism and optimism that integrates some of the best of classical music, pop, rock, and Indian music into a majestic magical realm! "Within You Without You" undoubtedly belongs here; it's the spiritual centerpiece: "When you see beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind is waiting there, and the time will come when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you." This is Eastern religion and music at some of its most beautiful, if you can just expand your mind enough to let it into your heart. On a scale of one to ten, I give Sgt. Pepper a TWELVE!!!

RONIN@bellatlantic.net (Dave Weigel)
Ah, Sgt. Pepper's. Is it the most famous, respected, and over-analysed rock album of all time? Definately. Is it the best rock album ever? Hell no. That honor goes now and forever to Pet Sounds. Even Paul McCartney, the preeminent mind behind Sgt. Pepper's, call's Brian Wilson's masterpiece "the album of all-time", and refers to its centerpiece "God Only Knows" as "the greatest pop song ever written". Yeah, I know a nice humble guy like Paul would never refer to one of his own songs that way, but in this case he's right.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band is basically just a collection of fruity pop songs. I'm sorry, but it's true. Look at the track listing; "When I'm Sixty Four", "Being for the Benefit...", "Lovely Rita", "With a Little Help...", "Good Morning Good Morning", "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds". They're fine songs, but they're silly and they don't fit together at all. I definately enjoy "Getting Better" and "She's Leaving Home", and "Within You Without You" is a brilliant and underrated song, but they're not heads and tails above any other Beatles songs.

"A Day in the Life", however, is. Paul was too hard on himself; it's as good as "God Only Knows". But one perfect song does not a great album make. If you were to edit "A Day in the Life" out of Sgt. Pepper's, the album would have no stand-out track, and you'd be left with an unorganised mess of funny little pop songs. The same cannot be said for Pet Sounds. If you got rid of "God Only Knows", "Wouldn't it Be Nice" and "Sloop John B", you'd still have 8 of the best songs ever written and it wouldn't be hard to find another contender for Paul's title.

If you've really bought into the hype surrounding Sgt. Pepper's, you should hear the album Paul was trying to top. The truth is, he didn't come close. Of course, there's a chance that you could still like the Beatles album better. You're entitled to your own point of view. All I'm saying is that it would be a lot easier for me to enjoy Sgt. Pepper's if it didn't acquire such a legend. In my opinion, the critics picked the wrong cow to sanctify.

hutchilj@aramco.com.sa
The most overrated album of all time! Yes, it was clever, but it's a victory for technique over substance - months and months in the studio to try and outdo Brian Wilson after Pet Sounds. McCartney was amazed by Pet Sounds, not just because of songs like "God Only Knows", which he maintains is the greatest song ever written, but because of Wilson's studio techniques. So, the Beatles and George Martin slaved away to produce a revolutionary-sounding album - but they forgot it's the songs that come first! "With A Little Help" is excellent (but improved on By Joe Cocker), and "A Day In The Life" is very good too, but are you guys really telling me that "Lovely Rita", "Mr. Kite", and "Good Morning, Good Morning" are better-than-average pop songs???

Where is the competition for "Sloop John B", "God Only Knows", "You Still Believe In Me", "Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)", "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "Caroline No" - each album has 13 songs and is superbly produced, but I know which one I'd take to my desert island! I think that everybody likes this album because they know all the songs, but they got caught up in the hype of it - everybody wanted to be part of the Sgt. Pepper experience. I'd give it no more than '6.5'.

starostin@geocities.com (George Starostin)
What the hell? Are you guys serious? Comparing Pet Sounds to Sgt. Pepper is a bit like comparing a child's drawing-book to a Picasso! And I know - I have both albums and enjoy both of them, but even a complete jerk could easily explain to you at least the following differences, which you eagerly omit (probably just in order to sound important, like 'oh yeah, I've been through all that and I KNOW, trust me...'):

a) ALL of the PET SOUNDS tunes set absolutely the same mood because of their similar arrangements and topics, while on Sgt. Pepper it is impossible to find even TWO tracks alike (that is, except the reprised title track, of course, but I guess that goes without saying);

b) the actual melodies on PET SOUNDS, even if they are existent, are slowed down, drowned in heavy orchestration and obscured by highly professional, but TOO professional vocal arrangements; in fact, the only melody that is instantly memorable is that of 'Sloop John B.' (which, by the way, is not even a Brian Wilson song);

c) the lyrics, although a big step up from the Beach Boys' earlier efforts, are still incredibly dumb compared to Sgt. Pepper;

d) the few experimental elements found on PET SOUNDS are really nothing when compared to the huge series of innovations on Sgt. Pepper (which, by the way, were not just a bunch of noise, but really added to the sound - Harrison's sitar, John's backwards tapes, his 'musical orgasm' on 'A Day In The Life', etc.).

Also: if you say Sgt. Pepper is silly, you needn't listen to Pet Sounds, friends. You'd better go pick up some Gustav Mahler. And if you think the songs don't fit together, you'd better go pick up Jethro Tull's Passion Play. THERE the songs DO fit together (hah!). That's actually the greatest thing about The Beatles - their incredible diversity.

All said, both of you guys are just fed up with the publicity and overall acclaim of this album. I understand you, of course (actually, I don't remember when I last pulled out Sgt. Pepper from my shelf), but why be so subjective? If public acclaim is what ruins the record for you, go listen to Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich. You'll probably be very happy about it.

Well, sorry for the length, but I'm just too angry. I sometimes wonder how stupid people can sometimes be, when they let themselves be carried away by the 'anti-hype'.

kenyon@mail.netnitco.net
In my opinion, this was probably their most creative album, from the concept to Paul's voice being sped up in "When I'm Sixty-Four" (which is a song I love) so he'd sound like a teenager to "Within You Without You" (which totally doesn't fit on the album but holy shit, I'm glad they threw it in) to the cut-up snips of Mellotron tracks that make up the last bit of "Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite" to the last chord of "A Day In the Life," which was played by 4 people on 3 pianos. Show me another band who thinks they're as creative as the Beatles, and I'll show you Oasis.

jltichenor@earthlink.net (James L. Tichenor)
Ok yes this is a fucking amazing album. "Day In the Life" has to be one of the most haunting pop songs ever. But how the fuck come no one has pointed at the fact that Frank Zappa was an instrumental influence in the experimental sound of this album. Supposedly McCartney got most of these ideas from listening to some Zappa. But unfortunately, i'd have to say in terms of wacky experimentation this album comes nowhere near the crazy perfection of Zappa. Oh well, just trying to point out a new angle to this thang.

michael.blume@gte.net
Between the 2 albums, Close to the Edge and Sgt. Pepper, I say YES' Close to the Edge is far superior than the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper because YES broke new rock 'n' roll ground in the album by creating a more elaborate, yet complicated, but cosmically harmonic sound to their title track. Sgt. Pepper, however, is a tad over-rated, and the songs in the album are a tad too simple to help the Beatles break new ground for rock 'n' roll, thus leaving Close to the Edge under the shadows of Sgt. Pepper, and not letting Close to the Edge get enough appreciation by the whole damn public. Don't get me wrong. Sgt. Pepper is great, and it's the BEST DAMN Beatles album, NOT BEST DAMN album overall! Close to the Edge is without a doubt the ULTIMATELY BEST DAMN ALBUM OF ALL-TIME! I'm telling you this because I get annoyed with Sgt. Pepper being called by billions as the best album of all-time. Even if Close to the Edge only has 3 songs, the point is that the 3 songs are incredibly, artistically atmospheric.

The title track is 18 minutes, and features distinctive styles through 4 movements of that piece. It starts as a fade-in crescendo for a few seconds, and then starts off with some rockin' riffs of the guitar by guitar master of YES, Steve Howe. The rest of the piece is like sending you to another dimension musically, and it all of a sudden paints a Picasso-like picture in your mind. What's more to say?!! The second track is less than 10 minutes, and is regarded as the BEST DAMN YES song of all-time, going from a peaceful happy song for the first few minutes to an orchestral tour de force that will blow your mind in the middle of the piece. Close to the Edge is so damn good, I have nothing more to say about it. Overall, Close to the Edge leaves Sgt. Pepper biting the dust a bit in the level of creativity and originality. For those who've listened to Sgt. Pepper and not listened to Close to the Edge, I suggest you get Close to the Edge, and listen to it in order to appreciate it. You can handle CTTE well enough, right?

paulst@wfs.co.uk (Paul Stewardson)
Wot's that guy all about ??? Yes better than the Beatles ??? Ha Ha Ha !!! Anyway, this album is IMHO a bit of a letdown after the lovely Revolver. Don't get me wrong, there isn't really a bad song on here but the serious lack of 'rock' songs is a tad disturbing. However the title track is ace (excellent gig opener should the Fabs ever reform) and "Getting Better" is Macca at his best.

Cherribomb21@webtv.net
In my humble opinion, the all-time greatest album is, of course, Sgt. Pepper. Headquarters is #2.

fiber_optiq@yahoo.com (Alex Temple)
Those of you who complain about this album's non-conceptuality: I think the conceptual continuity (to borrow a phrase from Frank Zappa, thanks for mentioning him Dave Weigel) is not so much in the lyrics as in the music. (Except for When I'm 64 and She's Leaving Home, which I don't like) All the songs flow into each other very well and they improve each other by their arragement and interrelations. For instance, Good Morning Good Morning is a LOT better if you listen to the whole album then it is by itself. Same with A Little Help From My Friends. Under normal circumstances I would never be caught dead listening to something as dumb as When I'm 64--but they really make it work by putting it in a context. Furthermore, almost all of these songs are "red" in color. (Don't ask.)

And by the way, how are you people defining "rock"? What makes the songs on Sgt. Pepper non-rock songs? What are they? They're certainly not jazz or "classical"...

cynderelli@techline.com (TAD)
SGT. PEPPER vs. CLOSE TO THE EDGE 4 best album of all time?!

No no no no no, U guys got it all wrong. The Go-Go's TALK SHOW is the best album of all time, followed closely by The Bangles' DIFFERENT LIGHT. Or perhaps it's the other way around.

PET SOUNDS is 3rd. ABBEY ROAD is 4th. WHO'S NEXT is 5th. After that things get WAY 2 complicated 4 number-rankings 2 work.

My favorite album 2 do housework by is Fleetwood Mac's TUSK. YESSONGS is best "live" album of all time. Best overlooked album ever is Providence's EVER SENSE THE DAWN. Best album 2 have sex 2? -- PAT METHENY GROUP. Best rock instrumental ever is Gryphon's "Lament." Best rock single ever? Possibly the 5-Man Electrical Band's "Absolutely Right." Or MayB it's Fleetwood Mac's "Silver Springs" (the 1977 version, the original B-side of "Go Your Own Way"). Or MayB its The Stones' "Tumbling Dice."

THIS should start some neat arguments. Let the games Bgin....

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
I've been listening to this album fairly frequently lately (as well as making a point to listen to the guy's albums from the beginning in order to get a feel for their progression), and I've finally realized what the big deal about this album is, and why it really is as important as everyone makes it out to be.

It's not that it's the most experimental album ever, which it certainly isn't. It's not even that it showed that an experimental album could also have good songs. And it's not even that it's an experimental album with good songs done by people who are trying to show that a rock group can do 'serious' music. It's the fact that it's an experimental album with great songs done by THE WORLD'S GREATEST POP GROUP showing that rock can be a serious genre. It was one thing for Pink Floyd or Frank Zappa do do their funky experimental stuff; although their ideas may have been more 'out there' than the Beatles, the fact is that since they were not at the pinnacle of the music world, they could be dismissed as an anomaly. But when THE group put out an album with the experimental trappings, without sacrificing all of their great melodies, the world had no choice but to take notice. This was the 1967 equivalent of Tiger Woods winning the Masters by 12 strokes, the kind of establishment shaking event that only happens once in a generation. Everyone in the music world that hoped that rock and roll would eventually die out when everyone realized that it couldn't be taken seriously suddenly had their hopes dashed to pieces. For there before them was the evidence that rock, pop, and all of it's cousins, was here to stay, and could overwhelm even the snootiest of them all. Indeed, Sgt Pepper took its place among the pantheon of music history as one of those pieces that did not need it's full title revealed to know what it was, ie. the ninth (Beethoven, for those who are culturally illiterate).

I still prefer Revolver to this, but that is not a slap in the face of Sgt Pepper; I prefer Revolver to, well, everything in my music collection. Either way, this album is indeed worthy of its reputation.

ian-moss@yale.edu
OK, like Revolver, this is a great album--but not nearly worthy of the praise that's usually heaped upon it. My main problem with this and certain other "revolutionary" albums that are often cited amongst the greatest of all time (I'm mainly thinking of The Wall here) is that the individual songs just aren't that rapturous. I am a huge fan of the title tracks (both of them), "Fixing a Hole," "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite," and "A Day In the Life"--but otherwise, they're just pretty good (now realize, that when I say "pretty good" I mean "pretty good for the Beatles," which of course is a completely different value scale). Yes, I realize that this album represented an unbelievable step forward in 1967 for the Meatles and for music in general, but I don't think that the fruits of their efforts really showed until later albums, and in the way that later bands were influenced by this album. And I don't buy the whole "concept album" thing AT ALL--granted, it had a concept, which is cool, but the term "concept album" implies a certain coherence between the songs, and the vast majority of the songs have absolutely nothing to do with each other either lyrically or musically. Hell, in a way Abbey Road is more of a concept album than Sgt. Pepper is.

swreed@sportg.com (Scott Reed)
The creativity shown by the Beatles from Rubber Soul to Let It Be was truly remarkable. Remember, these gems were all recorded in a FOUR YEAR PERIOD! Truly amazing.

As for Pepper, it's a masterpiece. It was recorded on a four track machine. Whenever I hear "Within You Without You," I imagine myself listening to the record on one of those primitive stereo record players, in the year 1967. How blown away I would have felt then listening to creativity at it's finest. Heck, I still am blown away every time I put in the CD.

For those Ringo nay-sayers, his drumming during this period was as innovative as the songwriting. Listen to the drum fills on this album. At the time, there were no rock drummers playing the kind of space fills that Ringo played on songs like "A Day In The Life." Moreover, the SOUND of rock drums was defined with this record. Ringo was a master at getting his drums to project and sound different with each record after Rubber Soul(yes, folks, Ringo did tell George Martin what he wanted the drums to sound like).

The Beatles still blow me away.

michael.blume@gte.net
This is my response to TAD, Alex Temple, and Paul Stewardson for sending their own responses about my e-mail comment comparing SGT. PEPPER and CTtE. Thank you very much for it, and no, I had never actually expected that to happen at all. Anyways, yes, there are several contenders (besides SGT. PEPPER and CTtE) that qualify as being THE best album of all-time, and that includes Joni Mitchell's BLUE, The Moody Blues' TO OUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN'S CHILDREN, Carole King's TAPESTRY, Sublime's 40oz. TO FREEDOM (OK, I'm a fairly big alternative dude, so sue me!), Neil Young's AFTER THE GOLD RUSH, The Ramones' HEY HO LET'S GO! 2-CD anthology set, etc. And yes, my comment on SGT. PEPPER was a bit off-topic, but dammit, I'm just pissed off at Rolling Stone magazine for giving the infamous CTtE 2 and a half stars out of 5>:( Sure, SGT. PEPPER is fabulous and very eclectic, but CTtE truly deserves a fair amount of attention that SGT PEPPER deserved. Hell, why can't they (the critics) all agree once and for all that CTtE and SGT. PEPPER are equals? Insane world we live in:P

RRJOSEF@aol.com (Bob)
How was the album recorded on four-track? They used a process known as "reduction" or "bouncing" (or "cheating"!). They would record two tracks, mix them, and copy the combined result onto one track on another tape, thereby freeing another track. The Beatles got quite good with this starting with Revolver, and continues this until Abbey Road, when they actually worked with an honest-to-goodness 16-track recorder!

BtheW@aol.com
So, what's the best album ever made? There isn't one. It's purely subjective. And no matter how much people try to turn words like 'experimental,' 'melodic,' 'innovative,' 'consistent,' etc. into synonyms for 'best,' they're all gonna keep meaning what they actually mean. There's another point I'd like to make about this. Has anybody noticed that this debate consists of a bunch of white guys arguing about which white rock group made the best album of all time? Now, I'm also a white guy who listens mostly to white groups. But I keep it in the back of my mind that it's ridiculous to get too caught up in this 'king of the mountain' game with rock albums. There's just too much damned music I've never even heard out there. How could I possibly think that nothing out there could top whatever album I've put on a pedestal? That being said, I'm not sure whether I like Pet Sounds or Sgt. Pepper the most. But I know that I like the Beatles more than I like the Beach Boys, and that neither of these albums are in my top ten (probably not even my top twenty) of all time. Oh, and about Lennon and McCartney collaborations - the last song that was without question by both of them was 'I've Got A Feeling.' Also, I'm pretty sure none of the Beatles worked with 16 tracks until after the break-up. Up through the second album, they used 2-track, then starting with 'I Want To Hold Your Hand,' they used 4-track. During the White Album sessions, they gradually started using 8-track. In fact, I'm pretty sure 'Hey Jude' was 8-track.

richbunnell@home.com
Nonononononono. Maybe I'm being the predictable "Quit it with the 'overrated' crap" person, but I love this album. You know "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite"? It rules! Take that! You know "the rest of the songs on this album"? They rule too! I agree that the concept falls into oblivion after "With A Little Help From My Friends" and the songs don't flow at all, but neither did the songs on the earlier Beatles albums (except for Revolver) and that didn't stop anyone from decreeing those as gems! Since this is Prindle's site and I can only give one ten, I'll give this a 9/10, because Abbey Road is, always has been, and always will be my favorite Beatles album of all time, but I really wish people would stop ragging on this album just because people like it. Maybe the songs don't rock, but they don't suck either.

eeinhorn@home.com (Eric Einhorn)
Good Morning Good Morning is one of John's best songs when he was with the Beatles. If you don't think so, try and follow the rhythm throughout the song. It is a collage of two and three beat motives, breaking in to swing time for the "People running round..." part. John claimed he knocked it off watching TV, but it nevertheless is one of the most musically creative songs of the 60's.

Thank you for doing justice to Within You Without You. It is easily George's best song ever (with the possible exception of All Things Must Pass). By the way, anyone who enjoys it should check out George's first solo album Wonderwall, the height of his Indian period. It's got some really great music on it.

misterkite@mindspring.com (Adam Bruneau)
I was bored the other day and thought I'd look over some reviews on this fabulous site, taking great interest in mid-era Beatles. So I stop by this one here. I have only written one Beatles review (White Album), but I figured that I needed to say something about Sgt. Pepper, the hype, and the feud between Pet Sounds and this 1967 masterpiece.

I haven't really heard this album in a while. I've been drifting around my indie-pop world for several months and haven't touched any Beatles. But after giving this another listen, it really seems nice and fresh and new! This is one of the most creative, interesting records out there! For one thing, The Beatles' songwriting talents are in full swing and every song bounces and pops along with its own individual momentum. For me, the high points of this album are mostly Johnny Lennon, although you can pretty much point all of the production work at King Macca. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is the psychedelic anthem, and Syd Barrett couldn't have written "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" if he tried. My other big favorite is the incredibly light, old-fashioned "When I'm Sixty Four".

The album is a classic, and there's really no need to identify "weak" points because any of them are but small bumps in a wonderfully smooth road of psychedelic pagentry. As for everyone who complains that The Beatles weren't experimental enough, I really don't see what they're talking about. The production alone (that and the fact that this was recorded ON FOUR TRACK MACHINES!!!!) is in outer space, and there are plenty of "experimental" parts for all you hipster wankers to get excited about. Listen to the harpsichords on "LSD", or that brilliant carousel of sound on "Mr. Kite!", or the reverb-laden stoner vocals in "Lovely Rita". And "A Day in the Life" is just amazing. The juxtaposition of Lennon's dreamy (wet) vocals against Macca's lifeless (dry) vocals is the perfect metaphor for the entire movement that this album was written for. And we also have rock's first ever hidden track! Heck, on original pressings (played on old-school Hi-Fis) the loop of nonsense continued forever! How's that for experimental!

Also, Pet Sounds, as lovely as it is, isn't flawless in any way. The title track and two or three others just bore me to death, and while that may leave 9 or so terrific songs, it certainly doesn't hold up to Pepper's 13 (okay, 12 if you count the theme twice). If The Beatles in the past seemed a little too mainstream for you, give this album (and revolver) another listen. They may not be Frank Zappa or Brian Wilson, but that shouldn't get in the way of the music. Don't be afraid to fall in love with these shimmering songs all over again......

MainetiniD5@aol.com (Dan Reynolds)
Though this may not be the best album of all time it is, as far as I'm concerned, the most enjoyable. Every song on here is great and so incredibly catchy that even now my brain can't contemplate it. These songs would have been hits if they had been played on Kuzoos. And you're right, "Within You Without You" is an awesome song. I think it's George Harrison's best as a Beatle. His most interesting besides. Though, as pointed out before, this is Paul's album and, as again pointed out before, he seems to be the only one who sticks to the "concept" idea. He puts out some of his best material. "Getting Better" "When I"m Sixty Four" "Lovely Rita" "She's leaving home" "Sgt. Pepper's" "With a little help from my friends" and "Fixing a hole" (supposedly as metaphor for drug use) are terrific songs.

I think, by default, John is the one that kinda falls behind his band mates. While his songs are of course enjoyable ("Being for the benefit of Mr. Kite" "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" "GOod MOrning, Good MOrning" ), though they are just as experimental and interesting, often find myself skipping over these in anticipation of another one of Paul's instant classics.

Of course John more then makes up for his earlier attempts with "A day in the life" which is most likely the last Lennon/McCartney song ("Birthday" was infact written by Paul McCartney), and best. Rock and Roll (if you can call it that) at it's most complicated.

This album is My personal favorite Beatles' Album
1.) Sgt. Pepper's
2.) Abbey Road
3.) Revolver
4.) Rubber Soul
5.) The White Album
6.) Help
7.) Let it Be
8.) With The Beatles
9.) Hard Day's NIght
10.) Meet the Beatles
11.) Beatles for Sale
12.) Yellow Submarine
and Rock and Roll Album of all time.
1.) Sgt. Pepper's
2.) Pet Sounds
3.) Led Zepplin IV
5.) Blood on the tracks
6.) Who's Next
7.) Songs in The Key of Life
8.) Beggar's Banquet
9.) Sweet Baby James

JCaulfield@justice.gov.za (John Caulfield)
If Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane and Walrus had been included on this album, there would be no room for a debate on the greatest album of all time - no sane person could argue that any other album could be better.

As much as I gereally hate compilation albums, the first side of the Blue album (The Beatles : 1967 - 1970) must be the best side of vinyl ever pressed : Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane, Friends, Pepper, Lucy, Day in the Life, All you need is love....

What more can one say?

But even without those two songs, Pepper is great!

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
Everyone's now saying this album is overrated, and they're right. Shakespeare's overrated, too. So's Abraham Lincoln and I'll be damned if Elvis ain't. But all those people were great, and this album is too. "A Day In The Life" speaks for itself.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Well, so many things were told about this album, that I surely can't say something original. "Sgt.Pepper" influenced a lot of musical styles and ideas; it served like a point to beginning of three important styles: hard-rock, art-rock and rock-psychedelia. "A Day In The Life" is epic great composition, "She's Leaving Home" is wonderful ballad, title track with its reprise is groovy and "With A Little Help From My Friends" is one of the best Ringo-sung compositions.

Jcjh20@aol.com
I personally dont think that this album is as overrated as people think. Sure, people mention this album a lot when they mention The Beatles, but that doesnt mean they overlook the other awesome albums. This is the album that changed music. It was when The Beatles totally blew off all their early pop stuff that they have been doing and got total artistic freedom to do this kind of shit. Sure, Revolver did that too, but there was still some conventional pop songs on that record too. The album is nothing short of brilliant. The Pet Sounds comparisons are not feasable if you ask me, this is just the better album. "With A Little Help From My Friends" has the best Ringo vocal delivery ive ever heard, what a great song. "Getting Better" still has that Rubber Soul-esque pop guitar sound in there, "Shes Leaving Home" is a beautiful ballad with harps in there, "Within You Without You" is the best Indian influenced song George has ever done, and is absolutely brilliant, like Prindle sai! d. I also love "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds", "Fixing A Hole", "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite", and "Lovely Rita", which are brilliant, unconventional pop songs. "When Im 64" is a 30's music tribute which "Honey Pie" also follows with from The White Album, and both title tracks are awesome rock songs (with horns!). Most people think "Good Morning Good Morning" is the weakest on the record, but the horns and good melody (and those animal sounds at the end!) make it very much a part of the record. And last but definatly not least, "A Day Of The Life", which is definatly the best song on the record, like Prindle said. Just a brilliant song, with the Orchastral build up, the "woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb 'cross my head" part, the piano fade out ending, so many highlights for just one damn song! I couldnt leave any one song out, since they are all totally awesome songs, i do not think this album is overrated. Its not the best Beatles album, not the best album of all time or anything like that, but its a damn brilliant record from the first title track to the ending run out groove of "A Day In The Life". 9/10.

NintendoKillerz@aol.com
George Starostin - "... John's backwards tapes, his 'musical orgasm' on 'A Day In The Life', etc.). " Actually, I read an interview with Paul where he talked about how he wrote that 'musical orgasm' after he was inspired by Stockhausen.

smcquill@home.com (Sean McQuillan)
Have to agree with TAD here, except I think All Over The Place is a better Bangles album. Mark, when are you going to do a Go-Go's or Bangles review? Oh yeah, this one's not bad either.

Muggwort@aol.com
Sgt. pepper is the most overrated album of all time. It is 45 minutes of stupid pretense (it bears a humorous resemblance to spinal tap). A lot like the who's Tommy it takes a stupid plot some stupid music and puts it all together to form a stupid album.

6/10

mdenster@yahoo.com (Adrian Denning)
The Greatest 'Rock' album ever made? Apart from 'Getting Better' it's not even 'Rock' at all. Cabaret Music? Yeah, that fits. John seems pretty much absent from this album. What, I hear you cry? What about 'Day In The Life'. Yeah, it's impressive, OK? But the likes of 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' and i'm gonna get killed here - are just banal stupid rubbish. Lyrics? Let's just get our five year old to write them instead! And people think McCartney was banal! McCartney holds this together to make it respectable. Good performace from him. Especially the OBVIOUSLY Brian Wilson ( Beach Boys ) inspired Bass Lines. Do people have ears? Yes, The Beatles were listening to 'Pet Sounds'. It was pretty much Pauls favourite album. Yes! Reading the other comments it's easy to see the tension between Beach Boys and Beatles fans regarding these two releases. The difference is 'Pet Sounds' is always going to be the Beach Boys best album. In time, people WILL realise Revolver, The White Album, hell, even Rubber Soul are much better Beatles albums than this. When will they realise!? Ignore the hype. Even old grumpy Bob Dylan ( Whom I love Dearly ) said he didn't 'get' Sgt Pepper's. He did though express a love of Revolver which actually had GUITARS on it! Remember them?

CarloMarx22@cs.com
I would definitely say that A Day in the Life is not about "close to nothing," as Mark says. It has a J. Joyce type-existential theme, and even McCartney seemingly unconnected middle part fits into the whole scheme. In the song John sings about various depressing subjects. For example, "he blew his mind out in a car," obviously has hints of suicide. The people stand and stare having read the book, referring to the masses of disconnected and alienated people in society. How many holes does it take to fill the albert hall? Does it really matter? This one has a dule meaning. How can the hall be filled with holes? Our society is filled with holes? And all we went to do is count them all, never really trying to fill them. We all try to "make the grade" in society, but like most of the cd, we wind up a "lonely heart," trying to get help from our friends, and fixing the holes in our lives. I know this all sounds cheesy, but whatever. Oh yeah, and about Paul's middle part, he's writing about the monotony in our lives. The music is monotous and the language is everyday activities, showing the uselessness of our actions. And in the end John pleads to "turn us on" to life, or to something to love and belief in.

gkwood@ozemail.com.au (Kerist Wood)
I am so sorry that I am adding yet ANOTHER review for Sgt Pepper's. It's just that, well, I don't know (I think that yes will be a no...that is I think I disagree). I just feel compelled to say this. I heard this album in year 7 (1st form) and I loved it. I heard it again in year 11 (very into 60's music) and was dissapointed a bit. Now Im in year 12 and the same feeling came over me...but, thats not including Lucy, Sgt Pepper and the reprise, With a little help, DAY IN THE LIFE and Lovely Rita. It was then an evolution to get to love Its Getting Better and FIXING A HOLE (that song is one of the BEST on the album! Why can't you all just love that melody!!!!???). Then Benefit and possibly within without you. I still HATE when Im sixty four and Good morning. But..after all that, I realised, HEY! This IS a great album! I am sorry for my heresy.

Xspex27@aol.com (James Mohr)
What else is there to say about this album? NOTHING, but too bad, I'll put in my two cents anyway since no one else will shut up. Song for song, this album can't really compare with "Revolver", "Rubber Soul", (and, taking Marks dare in the MMT review, "Magical Mystery Tour") etc. For a long time I thought it was a weak album propped up by some terrific songs. But if you listen to it from the perspective that its all about drugs (and I don't care what the Beatles or anyone else says, all the songs ARE about DRUGS because all the Beatles were flying around the studio while it was recorded--John said him and George are fryed on the album cover--so the songs are about drugs even if they aren't tchnically about drugs [or I dunno, maybe I just do too many drugs myself]) its a pretty fascinating listen on its own level. And in retrospect, I think it is a pretty great album thats brought down by a few klunkers (namely "Good Morning", "Mr. Kite", and "When i'm 69ing your Mom", none of which are awful but certainly not the most musically interesting bunch, and most of "She's Leaving Home", which I dont care if its great its boring as fuck). Eveything else is pretty great--"Lovely Rita", "W/in you W/out you", and "Fixing a Hole" are all amazing, underated songs, and I dont care what Prindle or anyone says, "A little Help from My Friends" is one of the best songs on the album and maybe one of their best ever. So all in all a great album by anyone's standards but one with a SERIOUSLY weaker great-to-weak song ratio than the Beatles best.

uglytruth@hotmail.com (Hossein Nayebagha)
This is one of their two best albums. There's so much to be said about it, but since you're the reviewer here, we'll make things short.

The guitars are there really, all the bluesy solo stuff may not be anywhere else than on the both versions of the title track, but that was never their "thing" before this album anyway. "With A Little Help...", "It's Getting Better" and "Fixing A Hole" have that nice pop-style guitarwork that they couldn't be without.

I must mention "Lovely Rita"- the chorus really sounds mechanical and I don't know why but that's a good thing! a structural thing maybe...

My fave track is of course "For The Benefit of Mr.Kite". 10/10.

antnego@earthlink.net (Anthony Negron)
Paul McCartney’s masterpiece turns out to be a big mis-step for the Beatles! Okay, so I’m not the biggest Paul McCartney fan, but how do you go from the orgasmic Revolver to cloying circus music?! Some of the songs could be played on a calliope to entertain and motivate a spider monkey with a fez on his head. Seems like the Beatles forgot something back at the Revolver sessions, feel free to speculate what that is (a few words definitely come to mind). But it’s not that bad, considering the worst Beatles music puts other groups’ best work to shame. And when they did decide to turn up their amps, the results are quite remarkable. "A Day In the Life" along with "Strawberry Fields" proves John was the superior Beatle!

Well… next to the brilliant and prolific Ringo, that is.

For all of you in Paul McCartney’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, I have this to say:

Wings. Enough said.

andy@theleeches.com
What do you call a dead dog with wings?

Linda.
Ha.

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
i remember in high school someone played this and i liked it. i bought it. now i never play it. i began to think pepper was silly but i dont want to listen to mahler like mr. starostin says because i like the idea of rock music much more than classical. now i am dfining myself out of reasonable taste because my favoprite album of 67 is probably piper at the gates, but that makes no sense. i dont really want to explain but several people have given me very interesting academic arguments that do reduce the grounds for my musical taste to ash. as far as the album i like these songs, but the orchestra playing mkes me feel phsyically ill. the same thing happens with the lyrics. the melodies are mostly good, but they are all strangely familiar, like the kinks'. so what gives? i really dont know. i just dont like this album so much anymore. i would give it a 7. there are some great melodies. the same probably goes for magical mystery tour, but i only want to write one email right now.

jim.celer@hhss.state.ne.us
Here's why it's a concept album:

Wipe your memory clean so that you've never heard these songs before (you think). Now listen to just "A Day In The Life." Done? You're probably saying something like "What? Holes? Huh?"

Wipe your memory clean again, and listen to all of Sgt Pepper, so that "A Day In The Life" is heard where it was meant to be heard. What a difference! You're probably saying something like "So THAT'S why speech and music were invented!"

Don't wipe your memory clean any more. Doing so twice is okay, but three times would be dangerous.

ddickson@rice.edu (David Dickson)
Sgt. Pepper is the most influential rock album of all time. Fuck Revolver, anyway.

NMcpherson@fac.unc.edu (Earl McPherson)
This was the first album that I ever bought when I was in the seventh grade. I finally saved up enough money [$4.54] to buy the thing after looking at it in a drug store for almost a year [at least that's what it felt like]. A popular as this album was then you never heard it being played on the radio back home so you can imagine what my ears must have felt when I played it in the same room with my parents.......and they never said a word. A nine.

watta502@yahoo.gr (Akis Katsman)
I can't say anything about this album that hasn't been said already. Pop Heaven at its best. My favourites are 'With A Little Help From My Friends' and 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds'. Get it, or you miss one of the best pop records ever. The vocal harmonies are brilliant. 10/10

dcbrenna@comcast.net (David Brenna)
I'm a freshman in college, a kid down the hall shows up with two new albums: Are you Experienced and Sgt. Pepper. If you want to really understand why Pepper gets such rave reviews imagine yourself a 19 year old (key demographic) plugged into AM radio and you think the Beatles are just another pretty boy pop band, and then, in a single day, you listen to Sgt. Pepper and Are You Experienced. In the same friggin day!! Well, Sgt. Pepper is the best album of all time, no questions asked. Had more influence than ANY piece of music EVER, in ALL time. Not that I wasn't stunned by Hendrix, but I knew I heard the future when I listened to Sgt. Pepper. Period.

robadobb_2@msn.com (Rob Raymer)
is it overrated? maybe , but this is the summer of love with the fab four once again leading the way lol mcartney is obviously the driving force here and it signaled a shift in whos the major contributor. of course lennon carried the early beatles but thats another story, he seemed to hang out on this one and only bothered to contribute the most memorable tunes.

JCRider87@aol.com
Sgt. Pepper was only good because it was 1967. Make the same album today and it will be laughed out of the stores. "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite"? It's horrible, as well as "Within You Without You". Anything the Beatles did was accepted in the 60s. They were high and did whatever came to them at the time. This is not art. This is 4 guys high on LSD making noise and having everyone ooh and ahh over it because it was The Beatles. Everyone has a special group they love and will love ANYTHING that group does, no matter how stupid or childish (Lucy in the Sky) the songs are. Sgt. Pepper is single handedly the most over rated album ever made. A good album, yes. A classic, no way. Abbey Road - that was a classic.

MatthewByrd@hotmail.com
Does anyone know how to communicate George Starsotsin (or whatever the Commy's name is) like maybe an e-mail adress? If so, wanna e-mail me matthewbyrd@hotmail.com. Oh yea, a great album, Sgt. Pepper is, it gets old, though. It's still great. A 10.

davethefish42@gmail.com
1967 was easily the most important year in music for three reasons. One was Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced? which showed what the electric guitar was capable of in hard rock and experimentation. The second was the release of The Velvet Underground's The Velvet Underground and Nico, which while certainly not a commercial success, has become one of the most influential albums of all time due to its use of unrelenting distortion and odd songcraft to expand on the types of music that could be created (the old cliche 'the album that created six genres' may hold true). The third and most important reason was The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", which completely rewrote the rules of what pop music could be.

For the first time with Revolver, the Beatles had ample time to write and record songs, and since they had been experimenting for a good while now on Rubber Soul and Revolver, they had their feet wet and were able to take it to the next level. The band had access to the highly advanced Abbey Road studios, and all kinds of new instruments and techniques, many they developed themselves during the recording sessions, (and a good amount of drugs too). At this point, it was the creativity of the band that dictated how far they could go, not their technological or songwriting limitations.

Sgt. Pepper's is an unabashed concept album, complete with overblown and complicated arrangements involving just about any instrument you care to acknowledge and plenty of sound effects. The album is loosely about Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, the alter-egos of the Beatles members, and how them and other characters created here "step outside themselves". Among some other sound effects found throughout the album, is the reoccurring soundtrack of a cheering crowd. Opening and closing the album are the title track rockers, and on both the crowd cheers unrelentingly. By the time it plays through, you understand what the album was about. Entertaining that crowd, with what I like to call "The Show". Not just making them cheer, but go through a wealth of emotions. You can almost picture the teary faces in Paul's mellon collie "She's Leaving Home", and the shocked looks during oddball "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite", and the boredom during "Within You, Without You" (I kid, I kid!).

At first, I enjoyed the obvious brilliance of the joyful "With a Little Help From My Friends", the cornerstone "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds", the pop masterpiece of "A Day in the Life" and hell, even the bouncy "When I'm Sixty-Four", but the random wanking on the other half of the album left me queasy. After a few listens though, you realize that it is a totally cohesive attempt at emotion. Never before did a group of people attempt to make an album, rather than a collection of songs. Obvious classics like "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" weren't left off here because they weren't good enough, but because they didn't fit. There are some albums where you can say, "Hey, that's pretty cool", or even "That's a truly great record", but there are only a few that force so many people to take a step back and think, in shock, "Wow, that was amazing. A work of genius, and I need to listen to that again just to take it all in".

From then on, there were no rules of what makes a great song or record. Songs didn't have to be three minute pop numbers anymore. Admittedly, this has encouraged a lot of people that have no business making music to release absolute crap, but hey it came with little cut-out badges and stuff, and that's good enough for me.

matthewbyrd@hotmail.com
jeez, all I've been listening to is hip-hop lately, and, for some reason, I just gotta listen to the Beatles!! But all my Beatles songs were lost when I restored my computer...... because it wasn't filled with....... naked...... 5 year olds....... but that's another story. But darn, you just gotta love the Beatles, I'd say this is my favorite Beatles album because it just doesn't have any annoying tracks like Revolver (.... Dr. Robert?, are we supposed to like that song?), it doesn't seem to be as bland as Abbey Road (I still love Abbey Road, a-hem) and not as..... well, poopy as the white album...... and of course it's better than Rubber Soul, everyone knows that. The Beatles lose their charm like everyone else, but ever so once in a while you just gotta hear 'em! Anyone else still infatuated with Kanye West's first album out there? Anyone!? I like Through The Wire, great song.

tom.boyce@gwinc.com
“Sgt. Pepper” is about SOUND. Sounds and sound combinations no one ever heard before. I think what they sacrificed in content they more than made up for in sound. And, they were tripping their brains out in 1967, so come on, people.

Look, “Pet Sounds” isn’t my favorite Beach Boys album either, but let’s see Cole Porter come up with what Brian Wilson did. Rock music is the best music of the 20th century. From Elvis to Queen to the Beatles to the Dead, it’s a lot of ground covered, a lot of hidden hallways deep in the brain exposed and vented. Three cheers for pop music!!

jur.snijder@bg-group.com
What is the point? Reviewing Sgt. Pepper is like reviewing Jesus H. Christ himself. So let's just say that it came out of nowhere and left everybody else standing looking pretty dumb. If they hadn't made this we would still all be listening to Cliff Richard. Nuff said.

nicklundbech@rnsmte.com
Just a note regarding RRJosefs@aol.com's explanation of how the Beatles used a four track. Recording two tracks and bouncing them to one is not at all how it works. That would give you a mono mix. They would record four tracks onto one 4-track machine - in all probability the basic band track (bass, drums, guitars, keyboards etc.) When finished, they would mix those four tracks down to two tracks on another 4 track machine maintaining the stereo left and right, and providing them with two additional tracks on the new machine to record vocals / overdubs whatever. They could then mix those four tracks down to two on another machine etc., etc., etc. as many times as needed. This is how they recorded the album. Incidentally, when doing this process it doesn't hurt to have good engineers - one of theirs was Alan Parsons.

cecily@twcny.rr.com
I don't understand how people are saying this is just plain pop crap. It may sound simple now but this 1967 after all. This is the album that built the bridge between psychedelia and art rock. Why are people comparing this to Close To The Edge when if it wasn't for this album, Yes wouldn't exist (or wouldn't be as good as they came to be). And one more thing: Within You Without You RULES!!! its not indian crap! Could anyone else in the western hemisphere create as beautiful and complex as that? NO!!!

Mcshane123321@aol.com
Overrated, in a word. I wouldn't have actually commented on this if it wasn't for the absolute hilarity of some of the comments you posted. I'll start by knocking out a few *misunderstandings* (to put it lightly) that get spouted by fawning Beatles fans the world over:

a) This is not the dawn of "artistic" rock music; that'll go to either ol' Robert Zimmerman or Frank Zappa for (the tremendously underrated, by Monsieur Prindle at least) Blonde on Blonde and Freak Out!, two GREATLY superior albums. In fact, ignoring the utterly pointless studio experimentation, there are large portions of Sgt. Pepper which barely qualify as "art" in my mind ("When I'm Shitting on the Floor" as art? Are people tha stupid?).

This is, as one commentator said, art for stupid people. Really. Art on the most basic level. Art as a commercial entity, if outside the commercial *pressures* most other commercial *artists* experience since the Beatles were raking in so much dough the record label will have just left them to it.

b) This is so far from being the greatest album of all time that it's disturbing how easily people have had and will have the wool pulled over their eyes. The greatest album of all time SHOULD (unless it's some bizarre concept) contain the greatest songs of all time. Now, I consider myself a pretty open-minded kinda guy (I know it's a John Peel rip-off, but whenever I hear something I dislike I always try and appreciate what the artist is doing), but "When I'm Sixty-Four" is such a vile piece of sick I can taste the carrots without even playing the song. Funny how most reviews steer clear of that one, innit?

c) It isn't any of the most revolutionary album ever at all; Trout Mask Replica is (yeah, I got it Mark, and it fucking rules!!!). Really, aside from the dippy studio experimentation, there's nothing here that hadn't already been done (and better at that). Pet Sounds had already featured heavy orchestration (and much better songs overall - did I mention?), and Freak Out! had already heralded the age of artists consciously using the studio as an instrument. And Blonde on Blonde had already shown the world how rock could be artistic; it was just that not enough of the world was willing to listen because they were still dry-heaving violently over four scousers with bushy hair.

d) this album isn't within a mile of Pet Sounds.

Now, the songs:

The title track is a piss-poor attempt at turning this album into a concept. Really, take it away. along with its reprise. and you're left with a batch of barely connected, lower-than-average pop tunes. Then we get "Get High With a Little Help From My Friends," a truly sappy song which rips that staccato bass sound off of the Kinks' "Dead End Street" (an infinitely superior song by all counts). Not that its lyrics are the sappiest on the album...

Then we have "Lucy..." which is a marvellous piece of psychedelia with lyrics that can't have been written by anyone with a mental age above twelve years, max. Oh yeah: John Lennon. Explains it all. After that comes Paul's ferocious anti-establishment rocker "Getting Better," which isn't actually ferocious or rocking or anti-establishment, aside from that cruddy line about school not being cool or whatever it is. An other twee offering form Macca, which my ears totally reject until the droning sitar kicks in to try and save it, which it nearly does. I actually really like "Fixing a Hole." It plods along, and sounds vaguely avant-gardeish to my ears. "She's Leaving Home" could have been a top-ten Macca song if it weren't for it having been drenched in banal orchestration; seriously, it's one of the few examples of Paul "granny pop" that actually pulls off.

"Mr. Kite" is either an absolutely abhorrent song or a brilliant one. I'm not sure. The middle eight bits are really interesting. I'm not sure hw they were made, but my guess would be tape splicing bits of carnival and circus music together. Great sound. "Within You Without You" is an other odd one. It's either a half-arsed "Love You To" rehash or a focused pop song/Indian raga cross-breed. Probably both. I like the exotic rhythm, but those fucking drums irk me every time I listen to it (not regularly).

"When I'm 64," in case you hadn't noticed already from this, is so bad it's funny. It's near indescribable how utterly moronic and banal the song is, from Paul's shitty vocals and lyrics right down to those fucking plinky piano lines. I wish I didn't like "Lovely Rita," but the melody is too pretty. "Good Morning Good Morning" is a lame attempt at pushing this one into rock territory with its crappy two-note riff going on endlessly below those fucking trumpets.

Am I forgetting something? Ah yes: "A Day In the Life." Well, it's easily one of the Beatles top-ten songs, meaning it's about ten times as good as most of the other material on Pepper. John perfectly captures emptiness of the mind in that one. If you don't realise that it's about drugs by the time Paul's vocals kick in, you're an idiot. Although he stuck to good faith by ruining the end of the album with that pointless background noise. Idiot.

Whatever. Maybe you guys like this shit. I like a bit more bite in my music. And a bit more quality song-writing. You know, like on Abbey Road, Rubber Soul, Revolver, Magical Mystery Tour, A Hard Day's Night, The Beatles and a few thousand other albums. Pfft. I honestly could give it nothing more than a low seven, and that'd being generous. And that seven doesn't automatically equal a ten for every other band; it's equal to any seven whatsoever. I'm not one of these idiots who presents a double standard for his favourite bands, as much as I like the Beatles late period music.

Oh yeah, and in regards to Mr. Starostin's comments: that's akin to saying that Picasso was influenced by a child's drawing book. Analogies NEVER EVER work 100% no matter how much prep gets put into them, but this one seems particularly stupid.

Benjamin Burch
Oh how totally different this is from everything else. I guess the "Penny Lane"/"Strawberry Fields Forever" might have hinted at something different, but this must have really shocked the shit out of people. It took me a long time to appreciate this album, but now I love it (especially after hearing it in mono). No filler here again, and yes, "A Day in the Life" is amazing (sounds similar to Elton John's "Madman Across the Water"), and far and away the best track on the album. Yes, there isn't a lot of rock n roll on here, but the melodies are terrific so you'll hardly even know they're gone. 9/10.

Add your thoughts?

Magical Mystery Tour - Capitol 1967.
Rating = 9
It's perfectly possible that, had I been alive and kicking like a weak Simple Minds single at this point in our nation's history, I may have rolled my eyes upon first hearing this album. "Oh boy," I might have said aloud to one or several of my worthless drug addict flag-burning long hippy hair friends, "how long are they gonna be doing this Sgt. Pepper crap? I mean, it was CUTE the first time, but.... jeez, where's the damn rock and roll?" Time heals all wounds, however, and eventually I would have realized (or, as they say in Britain, "realised") that these songs are every darn bit the cabaret pop masterpieces as those on that last album there with the mustaches. Apparently, side one is the soundtrack for a weird TV-movie the Beat Boys did without asking anybody if it was a good idea, and side two is a bunch of singles and whatnot that don't appear on the British EP of the same name, yes sir America is better. Great fookin' songs!

Hey, I just read the Spin story about Oasis and let me just say this - I have no opinion whatsoever about Noel Gallagher. He seems okay, at least in this interview. Liam, on the other hand, is a complete moron. Read it, if you get a chance. Liam is a total idiot. Just a stupid stupid man. And you're giving your money to him!!!! Back to the Beatles. Honestly, there's no distinct difference between these songs and the ones on Sgt. Pepper. There's still lots more piano, organ, strings and horns than guitars, Paul's still writing smashing bouncy pop numbers like "Your Mother Should Know," "Hello Goodbye," and "Penny Lane," John's still riding the psychedelic love vibe with "I Am The Walrus," "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "All You Need Is Love," and George is still freaking out in a big dang way with yet another messed-up masterpiece called "Blue Jay Way" (I insist that Harrison, though not as prolific as John or Paul, nevertheless wrote some of their most intriguing music - this is just yet another example of his amazing and underrated skill as a songstress).

Tops, dude. Top of the pops. Heck, I wouldn't argue with you if you insisted that this album, song for song, is BETTER than Dr. Pepper's Tasty Beverage Can. It may not have the worldwide support of that fine record, but the songs are just wow, if I may use the word "wow" as an adjective for a moment. I'll conclude this short review by stating definitively that nothing bad can be said about this record, unless you're chiefly a heavy metal fan, in which case you can freely say, "These guys are a bunch of pussies."

Reader Comments

laura@gseal.mdn.com (Galen Clavio)
I think I need to listen to Mystery Tour again. I guess my viewpoint was skewed because I've actually seen the movie. EVIL, that's what that movie is!

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
I liked "Your Mother Should Know"...in fact, I REALLY liked it...this was a much better album than I expected..lots of great songs...Mystery Tour isn't weak at all...Martin is the man...!

ddamiani@liberty.uc.wlu.edu (David J. Damiani)
If the Beatles had broken up after 1967 I might have considered them my favorite rock band of all time. Instead, that honor falls to Creedence Clearwater Revival. This album is a good indicator as to why I feel this way. Anyone who confuses "I Am The Walrus" with "rock as art" needs to be heavily sedated. Good bands have got to start staying away from experimentation albums.

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
David, "Walrus" IS art! That's what's awesome about it! Oh, untimely death! I might have been a little kid when he was killed, but I miss John sorely...

This is uneven but the best parts ("Walrus", "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Penny Lane", "Rich Man") are at or above Beatles par. Actually, "SFF" might be Lennon's best song, period. I could, though, do without the rest of side one (the movie songs) and "Hello Goodbye". The video for "Hello", though, is hilarious. (Shown in Anthology show).

Justyn909@aol.com (Justyn Dillingham)
Well, not really that good compared with Sgt Pepper. But Lennon's "I Am The Walrus" may be his best ever. Not silly psychedelic fantasy like "Lucy", but a darkly nonsensical rant with some of the most complicated music behind it ever... "Anyone who confuses "I Am The Walrus" with "rock as art" needs to be heavily sedated." Yeah, that song isn't art. That Lennon freak, what was he thinking? Just like that Picasso nut. No bloody sense at all. "Good bands have got to start staying away from experimentation albums." If the Beatles had followed your advice in the beginning, they'd still be doing imitations of "She Loves You".

jamesd@elink.net (James Vincent Debevec II)
Simultaneously their best and most underrated album. The movie was too incoherent for most people, but their frame of mind was different than most at the time. The songs are simply top notch with the complex melody structure and chord progression and a touch of weirdness thrown in. Art.

rsuarez@bellsouth.net (Randy Suarez)
Since many people associate the album with the, uh...um...rather weak film, this truly fine collection of songs is unfairly judged as lackluster. (Being the album released after Sgt. Pepper might have someting to do with that as well though...) The truth is that Mark is correct in stating that song for song this album actually matches, and occasionally betters, Saint Pepper.

"Magical", "Fool", and "Penny" are instant McCartney classics; "Walrus" and "Strawberry" is Lennon at the top of his game; and the filler(!) is just typically phenomenal. "Your Mother", "Blue Jay", and the mantra "All You Need Is Love" isn't too shabby when you consider it was written in a blink of an eye for a worldwide television event.

Imagine (there's no heaven...but I digress) if their collective heads would have been in the right place and made this was a concept album (and film). With a little more thought and care and a couple of rockers this could have been a crowning achievement, instead it's merely an essential album for any collection. Shrug.

daniel@fhsk.skurup.se (Daniel Reichberg)
... and once again Capitol Records showed their money-hunger by releasing an LP including two singles that all fans already had. In Europe, you just had to buy the double EP plus the "Hello Goodbye" single, with no doubt cheaper than a full album. And you say America is better???!!!

The film music is great. Much better than usually stated. "Walrus" is easily the best tune but I like "Fool on the Hill" and "Blue Jay Way" too. Even that weird twelve bar blues "Flying" is a really entertaining. And the film is quite funny if your expectations aren't too high.

Side 2 isn't supposed to be there. It just fools people into thinking the record is a Beatles album proper. The songs represent other parts of the 66/67 development. "Strawberry Fields" is, like you americans say, awesome and "Baby You're a Rich Man" is great in all its weirdness!

whatsupbird@compuserve.com (Matthew J. Wellner)
Ummmm.... "Good bands have got to start staying away from experimentation albums"!?! What the hell makes them great bands in the first place!? I hope I'm not the only person in the world who wants to hear something *different* every now and then! Music IS art. And art is supposed to be about creating something. And if I were heavily sedated, I'd *still* say that "I Am The Walrus" is music as art, and that Lennon could puke a better song than John Fogerty.

rar516@mail.usask.ca (Ryan Andrew Rennie)
This is an amazing album. The other day I listened to it in my car and I'd accidentally turned off the right channel. Woah trippy. Listen to "Blue Jay Way" like this and all you hear are the vocals and those occasional "Woooah-ahhhh" noises. They sound sooooo wacked out like this. Listen to the whole album through only one channel and then try through the other channel. You can hear so many things that are disguised otherwise. This trick works with a lot of their songs but this album does it the most. "Hello Goodbye" works pretty good too.

gstarst@rsuh.ru (George Starostin)
This album got me into rock music. No kidding. I remember rummaging around my father's albums one day (with absolutely no purpose; I was about eight years old at the time) and stumbled across the title "I Am The Walrus". This, along with those "GOO GOO GOO JOOB" lyrics, got me so hooked that I asked to put it on. And man, I may be exaggerating, but I think I've listened to that song AT LEAST A HUNDRED TIMES before switching to other songs on the album. And thus did the trap close on me.

"I Am The Walrus" is still my favourite Beatles' song. Maybe it's just because it's so tightly connected with my childhood, but I don't think so. What I DO think is that it may be one of the greatest "grooves" ever written. Mind you that this song is no psychodelia: John did not take acid to write it! Sounds to me like Lewis Carroll more than Timothy Leary. The lyrics? Fantastic, if only you do not try to find some encoded deep sense in them. There isn't any: it's just a brilliant exercise in word-combining. The same can be said about the melody. Still can't say what is it that strikes me most of all, but... hell, maybe it is supposed to be that way!

And I'll say it again: "Walrus" is NOT a psychodelic song! Do not confuse it with "Strawberry Fields Forever"! That one's about as far away from "Walrus" as the moon!

bish24@erols.com (John Bishop)
Great album - horrid movie.

Brian Epstein had died, and what little influence he had left over them was gone. Nobody was left to say "Um, lads, that might not be such a jolly idea." By the way, in "Baby, You're A Rich Man" John takes a swipe at Epstien by singing "Baby, you're a rich fag Jew". Listen for it today! Go ahead!

richbunnell@home.com
I practically have this album memorized (I consider it an album because the songs on the second half were unreleased on LP, so why not), and it has a -ton- of great songs on it. Sure, it isn’t a true concept album or anything (except for the title track, but that’s just a catchy theme song) but I can easily say that I like all 11 of these songs. There are a couple that’re less great than the others, but this is, for the most part, the first album I ever liked (with a couple by Supertramp being a possible exception) at the age of around 4 or 5, so I’m a bit biased towards it. "I Am The Walrus" is my favorite Beatles song; it’s a wonderfully-crafted tune with great, meaningless, and hysterical lyrics. I’m perfectly content giving this one a very high 9/10.

paulst@wfs.co.uk (Paul Stewardson)
Yeah, this is more like it. More mainstream sounding than SPLHCB and containing many of their greatest songs including the kickass title track, the gloriously stoned "Strawberry Fields", and the singalong "All You Need Is Love". The highlight is "I Am The Walrus", some of Lennon's best (and funniest) lyrics which fit perfectly with the classical-acid-rock music. But what the hell is a "semolina pilchard" ?

fiber_optiq@yahoo.com (Alex Temple)
A few comments:

1. "Good bands have got to start staying away from experimentation albums" In response to David Damiani's comment, I will quote Frank Zappa as I always do: "Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible." If the Beatles hadn't experimented, they might have still remained at the level of _Help!_

2. I *love* _I Am The Walrus_. The first time I heard that song (alone, at night), it scared me half to death. And for David, who claims it isn't "art," I have two things to say: First of all, I have the score to this song, and it's extremely complex and layered, plus IT SOUNDS GOOD. Secondly, what is "art" anyway? If you view the word "art" as a term of praise, you're just saying you don't like it. But "art" isn't a term of praise, it's an objective term meaning something designed by a sentient being to be perceived by the senses. Even if you think the song is a piece of shit--which you shouldn't--it's still "art." And, in my opinion, it's excellent art too.

3. George Starostin says, ""Walrus" is NOT a psychodelic song! Do not confuse it with "Strawberry Fields Forever"! That one's about as far away from "Walrus" as the moon!" I say: Well of course! The two songs are different, but I'd still say _Walrus_ is psychedelic. I guess it depends on the definition. What do you mean by "psychedelic." It certainly sounds acid-influenced to me, although unlike _Strawberry Fields_ it's not *about* acid.

4. Note for Paul Stewardson, who asked, "But what the hell is a "semolina pilchard" ?" : I heard that at John's school, semolina was often serverd in the cafeteria, and Pilchard was the last name of one of the teachers there. I have no idea if this is true, but apparently it's an inside joke with his classmates.

tribble@integrityonline2.com
So many of your critical remarks are so harsh the music isn't music anymore it becomes football or Rugby. Keep an open mind brothers and sisters the mind hears only what it wants to. The more open it is to see. The more you get from music. If some of you thought Walrus was crap listen to what lennon's got to say about it. That periticular track does the same job as A Day In The Life, it makes the album what it is. Lauren or whatever your name on the first review, why would John Paul George Ringo Mal or who ever else was involved, would make a movie and then release the album with All You Need Is Love on it if it was evil. Nothing's evil, it's just not your bag, and that's fine. But don't be so quick to judge or you know you'll have become one of the many who has helped in depleting what the Beatles stood for.

ian-moss@yale.edu
It's Magical! OK, not really, but pretty close. I have to agree with just about everyone that "I am the Walrus" is simply one of the best damn songs ever written, and it definitely constitutes the "meat" of this album. "Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess, boy you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down"--I'm not much of a "lyrics man," but oh man did Lennon score with this one! Lots of other great songs on here, too: "Blue Jay Way," "Flying," "Baby You're a Rich Man," "Hello Goodbye," "Strawberry Mold Forever," and so on. But unfortunately there are a couple of clunkers, too...for example, I HATE "Your Mother Should Know"--it just repeats the same uncatchy chorus over and over again! It's almost not even a song! Anyway, the album is maybe a little weaker than Sgt. Pepper, but not enough for it to be a letdown of any sort.

albracht@wins.uva.nl (Arthur Albracht)
My father is a major Bealte-fan so I've been played to death with his Beatle-record.

Magical Mystery Tour is maybe my favourite Beatle-album. Not for the album itself, but the eleven separate songs have among them the 8 best tracks the beatles made I think, with the absolute topper: I Am The Walrus.

Many people, my father including, don't like Flying and Blue Jay Way but I think they were and are pretty special moody songs. Well I definitely agree with the nine stars!

BtheW@aol.com
note to Alex: While I agree in essence with your first point, I would like to say that if the Beatles hadn't experimented, they would never have even reached the level of 'Help!' Also, your third point: where is it written that 'Strawberry Fields' is about acid? According to John, his 'tree' is his intellect - his IQ, so to speak, and he was noticing that nobody around him seemed to ever get what he was saying. He makes a reference to Strawberry Fields, a favorite place of his childhood, because this dilemma he had with people goes that far back with him. Of course, I wouldn't argue about the acid influence (which, I agree, makes these songs psychedelic by definition), but they usually didn't directly write about drugs. note to George: I just love your 'Walrus' story. What a way to be initiated into the music of the Beatles.

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
Ever hear old interviews where John Lennon bitched about "Hello Goodbye" being picked for an A-side instead of "I Am The Walrus"? Know what? "Hello Goodbye" is the better song, both musically and lyrically. There's a lot going on behind the poppy veneer there, and you can stand to listen to it a lot more times in a row than Lennon's acid-tinged ramblings (which I also love). As for the album, there's not a dud present among the tracks. Okay, "All You Need Is Love" is just a rewrite of "The Word", but what a lovely sentiment!

fiber_optiq@yahoo.com (Alex Temple)
Of course John said "Strawberry Fields Forever" wasn't about acid. He said the same about "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". That doens't make it true.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Once it was my favourite Beatles album and now it's one of my favourite Beatles albums. It's a 10! The central masterpiece here is "I Am The Walrus" and it's one of the best songs in the world. I also adore "The Fool On The Hill". But the other tracks are also gorgeous.

gkwood@ozemail.com.au (Kerist Wood)
MMT is just the BEST! Everything is good. The weak tracks are good even. Hello Goodbye (for some reason or another) almost makes me cry. The album was almost made weak in my opinion when so many people say that it was just a compliation. BUT THEN I said, 'Hang on! These songs were singles, written in the same vein, that were not released on another album, they were on this one! So, therefore...they are for this album'. And if Penny Lane and SFF were pre-pepper- they obviously werent perfected untill the excellent MMT came along. Ahh, MMT, best album ever.

Jcjh20@aol.com
Wow, this is just as good, if not better then Sgt. Peppers. It contains those complex, tripped out classic songs i love so much, like "I Am The Walrus", "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "All You Need Is Love". You just cannot overlook this album! This is every bit as classic as Revolver, and Sgt. Peppers. 9/10.

antnego@earthlink.net (Anthony Negron)
What are you people talking about?! I love the movie! The part where the bus is chasing them backwards! How ‘bout when they’re taking that picture and the guy turns into a theme-park mascot? John shoveling spaghetti on the fat woman’s plate! This is grade A comedy I tell you, right up there with Family Guy and the Space Ghost show on the Cartoon Network!

SNYB2706@Allstate.com (Jay Ehrlich)
john lennon, the waiter, ( with super-thin fake moustache ) shoveling in pasta into the fat lady"s mouth, I fell on the floor laughing when I saw that....It's been so long, I forgot about that scene, but It came back to me in all's it's glory....hee haa....on another note..I am he as you are he as you are me as we are all together...is the basic teaching of Hinduism, and all gurus recognize the fact that as Mind is infinite, we all actually are individualization's of that Mind...(also referred to as God, Soul, Brahman..) .So I am he etc actually isn't nonsensical at all, and it's a well known fact that the Beatles were studying this stuff at the time...also og goob goob choo is cool....However, four of the worst albums I 've ever had to listen to endlessly, are...(drumroll ) revolver...rubber soul...sgt pecker's lousy hard-on bandage..(available in bulk, also! ) and maggotal menstrual tourguide...Sure, there is a few great songs on each, and, yeah yeah yeah,( where did I get that from? ) some major changes, BUT........IT AIN"T ROCK.......it's my mother's and father's music..I.E.it su uu uckssa....so, to recap...lennon the waiter HAHAHAHAHAHAHA great..beatles in 1966 and 1967 ...SUCK BALLS, and anyone who thinks otherwise is completely entitled to their ( wrong ) opinion....P.S..I was 8 years old when the beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, so I am FULLY aware of the impact they made, and I am FULLY aware of how bored I was listening to the drivel that comprises most of these albums...The white album, and abbey road, however, were much better, and let it be ...pretty yucky

Gerry.Parker@cica.gsi.gov.uk
If this had really been a Beatles album then I would probably rate it their best ever, but it wasn't, it was a double EP containing the songs from the movie soundtrack. Capitol, in their infinite wisdom, saw a way of increasing the profit margin which was basically "Let's add some songs that everyone has already bought, charge the full album price and don't offer an alternative." So they did, and MMT the ablum was born. Meanwhile, Parlophone watched developments Stateside and on hearing an old Ukrainian prover, "If it moves, sell it", withdrew the EP and released the US version, and so musical history was re-written in real time.

The original songs are easily comparable with anything the Fabs had done previously, and had they not been attached to what many saw as an unwatchable film, I'm sure the songs would have been up there as a kind of Pepper Vol 2. "Your Mother Should" lacks substance" - apparently because McCartney had died 2 years earlier and this was compiled from a demo (Paul is Dead is out there on the net, and anyone who wants to see just what sitting alone in a bedroom with a PC can do should google 60IF). Blue Jay Way gets a bit dirgish towards the end, and the phrase "please don't be long" repeated 60 or so times too many. Otherwise everything else is brilliant and showed that the Beatles had mastered psychedelia effortlessly. A good time to move on.

mbleicher1@yahoo.com (Michael Bleicher)
You know what's fun to do with this album? Burn a CD that replaces "Flying" with "Hey Bulldog" and puts "It's All Too Much" before "All You Need Is Love". Since this was basically another butcher-compilation from Capitol, it's OK! (Well, sure, Hey Bulldog wasn't recorded yet, but so what?) This MMT rocks.

tnahpellee@yahoo.com.au (Brendan S. McCalmont)
Mark, this is my favourite record ever, I think. I think the most underrated album of all time is 'Bad Boy' from Ringo Starr and this is the second. Why? I just think it's a masterpiece and I think it is very different from Sergeant Pepper, too. Sergeant Pepper was lyrically introspective, direct and personal. Songs like 'When I'm 64', 'Fixing a hole' and 'Good Morning', among others, had a strogn personal message. And the message was obvious. Even Lucy in the sky and Mr. Kite are direct in what they are about. Lucy is obviously about psychedelia and a place in the imagination, it's a nonexistent world that Lennon came up with. Mr.Ktie is obviously about a circus. The music was pretty much rock n roll show tunes. Like 'With a little help from mym friends' was pretty vaudeville but it still had plenty of electric guitar. Songs like 'Fixing a hole' [my favourite SGT. Pepper song by the way] and 'Getting Better' ahve plenty of rock n roll guitar on them, and the overall fe! el of the albumis vaudeville -rock n roll - bubblegum pop [that's not a bad thing, in my view]. And abotu Sergeant Pepper, for all the rave and for all it's high points, melodically it isn't very orginal. I mean, most of the songs on the album have melodies that are like any other bubblegum pop song. And for whatever reason, Sergeant Pepper is not an album that I find engaging. Magical Mystery Tour, however, is engaging. To me, I think I'd sum Magical Mystery tour up as funky classical music. There's almost no electric guitar and the tone of the electric guitar isn't really rock n roll, it's more like electric classical guitar. The tone of this album itself is WAY ahead of it's time. It sounds more like a 90's tone or something. And the rhythm section is pure, low down funk. It's got sucha groove this album. And yet in the background there's all this classical music. I never warm all that much to classical music because it is melody but it has no rhythm or groove. But this album sets! all that straight. And I agree with your commentary about 'Blue Jay Way' and Harrison in general. He could always write a very original melody. Plus the lyrics are 'magical' [no pun intended]. They are not direct nor do they tell the full story, except for the songs 'Penny Lane' and 'Strawberry Fields Forever'. Take 'Your Mother Should Know', you never really know what's going on. Just for unexplained reasons your dancing to a record that was released before your mother was born and she knows the record. It's all very mystifying. 'Blue Jay Way' and 'Hello, Goodbye' are like that too. None of the songs are direct. It's a very different album to Sergeant Pepper and in my opinion, it's better.

danielrosenbe@gmail.com
Mark greatly overrates this album with 9 stars. To say MMT is as good as Revolver is a serious mistake. There are three tremendous songs on MMT - Walrus, Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane. The rest you can skip. And the fact is, none of the three songs I mentioned were even recorded for an album - they were just singles that got pasted onto a throw-away record so the Beatles could release an LP and meet their contract terms. (Fields and Penny Lane were actually recorded nearly a year before this album came out, and were originally meant for Sgt. Pepper before being released as a single early in 1967 because it had been (horrors!) almost six months since the Beatles had released anything).

MMT is simply not a good album. Its weak moments (Blue Jay Way, Your Mother Should Know, Flying) are extremely weak. The title song is a limp retread of the Sgt. Pepper idea. Fool on the Hill is full of sentimental noodling. All You Need is Love is repetitive and trite. John probably wrote it in his sleep. And while on the subject, Paul probably wrote Hello Goodbye in his sleep.

Basically, the album (if it can seriously be called that considering it was really just a patchwork of old singles and a few movie songs from a film most people disliked), gets a seven, simply because the quality of Fields, Lane and Walrus is so incredible. Any album with those three songs deserves a high rating. But as high as Revolver, the Beatles' masterpiece? I don't know if I should laugh or cry.

Benjamin Burch
I sadly have to tone the rating down for this one because of the mediocre "Your Mother Should Know." The first time since like "Beatles for Sale" where the Beatles have taken a step down rather than up. It might be due to the fact that only seven of these songs are actually new, and it is pretty tough to follow a monster run of albums like "Rubber Soul," "Revolver" and "Sgt. Peppers." Having said that, I still like every other song on this album, but my personal favorite is the majestic "Strawberry Fields Forever."

Add your thoughts?

* The Beatles - Apple 1968. *
Rating = 10
You might know it as "The White Album," as the cover is, quite frankly, awfully white. It gets a 10 mainly because it's longer than the others, and more Beatles is better Beatles. Also, it's weird as a talking pat of butter. The most varied Beatles record, it mostly sounds like three or four solo albums going on at once, alternating between basic goodtime rock and roll ("Back In The U.S.S.R.," "Birthday"), eye-peelin' blues rock ("Revolution 1," "Yer Blues"), silly novelty crap ("The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill," "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?"), really frigged-up experimentation ("Long Long Long," "Revolution 9"), and even a RINGO song!!! And it's very reassuring to hear them returning to the electric guitar rock that was so sorely missing from the last two records. No more reliance on violins and brass; they've returned to the land of rock and roll (and sissy McCartney piano pop).

The major complaint that whiners make about this record is that there are too many dippy little novelty songs on it. I agree with that judgement. However, try this little experiment; next time you put on the record, skip right past "Bungalow Bill" (which sucks) and "Don't Pass Me By" (which is a perfectly good Ringo composition, but sounds awfully weak in the company of genius McCartney schmaltz like "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da," "Martha My Dear," and "Rocky Raccoon."). And whammo! Suddenly, there's NOT too many dippy little novelty songs on it. Suddenly, it's an incredibly well-balanced collection of 28 diverse and eminently interesting pop, rock, and blues songs.

Okay, grab something big because I'm about to say something surprising. Ready? Here we go. "Revolution 9" rules. I wouldn't go out of my way to praise it if I didn't truly believe this. I want everyone around the world to know that "Revolution 9" is my favorite song on this record. John had it going on, plain and simple. What a mind. This is the scariest cut-up sound collage I've ever heard, and oh I've heard 'em wide and far! Every single sound boggles my mind. The crying babies, the creepy horns, the football cheers, the disembodied voices, the piano at the beginning.... Man, admiration drips from my nose every time it honors me with a visit to Turntable Land. Anybody who writes it off as pointless experimental noise needs to learn that there are many, many ways to create aural bliss without conforming to some bullshit Western idea of "accessibility." Go out on a limb, people. Give CREATIVITY a chance.

Rules. The album rules. "Helter Skelter" kicks ass, "Mother Nature's Son" and "Dear Prudence" are harrowingly beautiful, "Back In The USSR" is a great rock and roller, and more! There's more! I don't want to rave about every song. Quit believing the naysayers and go buy the White Album. Never before or since have the Beatles done so many different magical things on one record.

Okay, two records.

Reader Comments

laura@gseal.mdn.com (Galen Clavio)
I can see how you would be attracted to the White Album. I think some of the wacked out stuff is great, but there's a bunch of hokey Paul on there that I really don't like (ESPECIALLY "Obladi-oblada"---my god, McC!). While "My Guitar" is great (even if George had to call in Eric Clapton to play the solo because he couldn't do it himself!), so is "Helter Skelter" (BETTER than "Revolution 1" by far).

One more thing I found out---the Stones were set to release Beggars Banquet in '68, before the Beatles. They had to delay it because of the cover (the urinal stall), then release the plain white album, whereby they were attacked by the press as imitators---again. Well, turns out the Beatles stole the "plain white sleeve" idea from...none other than the STONES, who had been set to release a We Love You LP after TSMR with just that white cover, but ditched the idea. Little turnabout there!

ddamiani@liberty.uc.wlu.edu (David J. Damiani)
I usually agree with your reviews, but I've got to dissent here. While the White Album includes some tremendous material, the presence of songs like "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" and "Revolution #9" automatically preclude this from getting a 10 rating. For me, surreal doesn't translate to artistic; if these weren't the Beatles they would never have gotten away with experimental songs. I wish they didn't.

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
Too uneven for a 10. Or so big and unbelievable it could only get a 10, kind of like Husker Du's Zen Arcade.

I tend to side with the former view for both records. "Rev 9" is too much acid and Yoko for my tastes. "Road", "Honey Pie", "Obla", and "Piggies" are all dispensable for me. (Although "Obla" is notable, if you look at it right, for being the first mainstream application of ska, whether or not you like that genre.)

But "Guitar", "Warm Gun", "Blackbird", "Prudence", "Rev 1", "Julia", "Martha", "Bungalow Bill", "USSR", "Onion", and the oft-overlooked "Savoy Truffle" all are priceless. Trim about one LP side of fat and this stands up to Revolver or Abbey Road. As it is it seems a testimony to the directionless and confused nature of the Beatles at this point.

jay44@webtv.net (Jesse McClung)
I couldn't agree more; the white album is fucking awesome despite some experimental bullshit and over lush McCartney crap.

lbinky@northcoast.com
First, the White Album is great if you "cut out an LP's worth of fat." "Warm Gun" and "I'm So Tired" are my personal faves; most importantly I think rather than an album it is a collection of songs that stand on their own, and the ones that don't are the "fat."

csm101@geocities.com (Caress Of Steel)
Yes. Worth 10 circles or whatever you call those things... What's wrong with these idiot people.."I wish bands would not experiment" damn fuckers... If you don't experiment, nothing new would ever happen! and Jesse McClung..you know McCartney wrote the "lush" "Helter Skelter" didn't you?

JakeDave@webtv.net (John Rordan)
You consider the White Album their masterpiece? This I cannot allow to go unremarked: The Beatles represented a complete regression in their style, in that they returned to the concept of the album as a disparite group of songs, rather than as a unified whole, but then, in the words of William Butler Yeats, who should have earned at least eight figures as a lyricist:

These masterful images, because complete Grew in pure mind, but out of what began?

liberty@ptialaska.net (Marc Kovac)
Too many weak songs to make this their pinnacle; I'm pointing at you, Macca Crappa. "Helter Skelter" would have been even greater if we didn't know he was trying so hard. Ooh! How decadent! How rowdy! Bonus fact: The Who were the motivational factor behind "Helter Skelter". Extra Bonus fact: Paul made Brian Wilson go crazy. What a big loveable asshole!

salvo@cetlink.net (Greg Ellis)
they should've listened to george martin and made this a one-disc collection. that way they could have dispensed with all the weeniesque paul schlock ("martha my dear", etc) and overly-artsy john stuff (YOU know the song i'm talkin' about). a more cohesive album might have been released. it's pretty obvious that by this point they weren't even a functioning band anymore, and considering the contrast between the lennon and mccartney songs, it seems pretty surprising that the beatles stuck it out for another year. hell i would have packed it in the minute i heard paul demo "honey pie". but then again, i wasn't a beatle. in fact i was -6 years old. "yer blues" is my fave.

Justyn909@aol.com (Justyn Dillingham)
Well, maybe not a 10, but darn good. I actually like "Revolution 9". If you don't appreciate it, try listening to John & Yoko's experimental albums. Now, that's frightening. And "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" is a parody of hard rock, not a serious song. No way they could have cut down this album. There's some bad stuff, but listen to it all like an album, not a collection of random songs. That's the problem, I think, most people have with Sgt Pepper. Most of the songs on that are weaker than Revolver's tracks, (although the concepts and lyrics beat it by a mile) but you can't take it as a collection of songs. Look at it as a whole. The White Album is like that, only much longer, and with less direction.

jamesd@elink.net (James Vincent Debevec II)
I was somewhat suprised by the general less than flattering consensus of the White Album as I have harbored those same feelings for years. It is a good album, but overrated. I saw it in one Rolling Stone thing as #8 of all time from 1967 to 1987. That is a bit of a stretch. Good album, but Revolver and Magical Mystery Tour are better.

Glenn.Wiener@entex.com
Sometimes adversity can bring out the best in a band. A perfect 10!

rsuarez@bellsouth.net (Randy Suarez)
Let's see they one up the Beach Boys at their own game with "Back In The U.S.S.R." and then the rest of the album just soars from there. The beginning of the Lennon/McCartney rift began when Paul recorded "Why Don't We Do It..." without him and George. Apparently John loved the bluesy rocker and felt that Paul should have let him try to sing it.

I don't care much for Harrison's contributions 'cept the fine "While My Guitar...", I mean his stuff here is only okay.

Mac just whipped up gem after gem here "Blackbird" is a masterpiece (but I'm not sure about those chirping birds), "Ob-La-Di", "I Will", "Birthday", "Mother Nature's Son"; and "Honey Pie" somehow sounds so damn authentic 1920's and is hauntingly catchy. "Helter" is okay, and suggests to me a desire in Paul's heart to perform live.

Lennon's "Tired", "Yer Blues", "Cry", and "Revolution" are all kick ass numbers. "Julia" was made, in large part, due to the encouragement of Paul who loved the song and thought John should record it alone (and stayed all night with him in the studio to offer his support).

Funny thing is that "Back In The U.S.S.R", "Helter" and "Road" is Paul trying to be John, and "Julia" and "Good Night" is John trying to be Paul.

As far as "Repulsion 9" is concerned, well it's about eight minutes and fifteen seconds too long. Lennon would have served this album better by leaving the whole damn space in an eerie silence and then let the (overly) lush "Good Night" rise from the silence. What do I know...all I do know is that this piece of acid-induced drivel is pure rubbish. Mac, in particular, hated this...thing (hell it's not even a song damn it!) and it should be noted that this was when Lennon and Loco Oh-No! drew first blood in breaking up the band. What a mess.

This is a painful CD for me to listen to because you can see the cracks forming in their bond and that reality is still overwhelmingly sad today. Still, as Mark says, more Beatles is better Beatles.

Good night.

daniel@fhsk.skurup.se (Daniel Reichberg)
How nice to finally find someone who understands the greatness of the White Album! I'm sick and tired of that eternal "it should have been a single album" bullshit. The album's enormous strength lies in the fact that the Beatles dared to make "silly things" like "Me and my Monkey", "Road" and "Wild Honey Pie". I wouldn't for my life want those songs taken away.

This is also the very first time I've seen somone discussing "Revolution 9" as a SONG. Actually the "song" has grown and I kinda like it these days. Synchronise the different rhythms, add a heavy pulsating beat, and there you have it - the world's first Techno song!

Picking a favourite tune is an impossible task, but "Yer Blues", "Dear Prudence", "Sexy Sadie" and "Cry Baby Cry" are all worth mentioning. Oops! Only Lennon songs! We mustn't forget "Helter Skelter", "Birthday" or "Mother Nature's Son" either! And how about those Harrison ones? I love all of them (yes, even "Piggies"!). "Savoy Truffle" is amazing! And how can someone complain about "Don't Pass Me By"?

By the way, quit picking on Yoko!

chunli@exit109.com (Brookelyn)
I must say that the white album is the greatest - "Blackbird" "Rocky Racoon", "Sexy Sadie" and "Yer Blues" have such feeling behind the lyrics. The Beatles are one of the greatest and immortal bands that have ever existed on this planet. This is yet another band I wish I could of saw live!!!

RONIN@BELLATLANTIC.NET (Dave Weigel)
A definite 10/10. The White Album and Revolver take turns being my favorite Beatles album. Pop, rock, blues, country, ska, metal, waltzes and good old weirdnes meet and shake hands to create 30 of the greatest songs ever laid to vinyl.

What is with you naysayers? I agree with Mark 100%. "Revolution 9" may not be pretty, but it's the freakiest, most interesting thing the band ever did. Has there EVER been another song like it? The McCartney ballads, while corny, have some of the most beautiful melodies he ever wrote. "Blackbird", "Martha My Dear", "Rocky Raccoon", "I Will", "Mother Nature's Son", and "Honey Pie", all on the same album? And then the guy turns around and writes "Why Don't We Do it in the Road", "Obla-di, Obla da", "Back in the U.S.S.R" and "Helter Skelter"? ON THE SAME ALBUM!?!?!? This kind of creativity has never been approached.

Lennon contributes some of his best songs, with "I'm So Tired", "Yer Blues", "Happiness is a Warm Gun"...AH! It's useless, I can't name every great song on here. I will say that George's 4 compositions are just a few more reasons that he's my favorite Beatle. Granted, there are a few throwaways, but not as many as in most dobule-lp sets, and not for sheer mediocrity. Every song on here stands out. No two sound alike, and many of the songs are true classics. This is definitely one of the top 10 albums ever. A must-have for any music fan.

whatsupbird@compuserve.com (Matthew J. Wellner)
Okay, I know you said that at least to get some reaction.... You don't like drugs but you like "Revolution 9"???? Here's my theory: Yoko convinced John that he needed to alienate at least *some* Beatles fans, because certainly out of the 100 million or so of them, some of them didn't *deserve* to get it. Get it? I think that track (no, not a song) was put there to piss people off in the days before CD's and people couldn't just skip over it. I saw a post-Beatles film of a show Lennon did with Eric Clapton. They were playing this sweet rock-blues song, then Yoko comes in and for at least five minutes does this unintelligible wail that drowned out the music. I mean, it's hard to describe just how bad it was. It was horrible. She sucks. You could see Clapton looking over at Lennon with this "what the fuck?" look on his face. That's "Revolution 9." What the fuck???

whisson@norcom.net.au (Brett Whisson)
This is without doubt my absolute No.1 Beatles album, beating the critics' favourite (Sgt Peps) and even Abbey Road. It would be one of those "Desert Island" albums 'cause it offers so much variety. I got this album probably more than 10 years ago and I'm still amazed by it. The mix is great. Everything is great, with the exception of "Rev. 9" which is a real pain. Still, probably was important back then.

I sometimes try to tell people the Beatles helped invent Heavy Metal with this album, with "Helter Skelter" and "Birthday". Most people look at me like I'm an idiot, but there you go.

I completely disagree with those who recommend some of the tracks should have been cut. With the exception of "Rev 9", again. More Beatles in the late 60's is generally a great thing.

gstarst@rsuh.ru (George Starostin)
Hey Mark, you've found a good excuse for giving a 10 to this album! "More Beatles is better Beatles"! I appreciate it. I would probably never have thought of such a brilliant solution and given the 10 away to Abbey Road or Sergeant.

But yes - more Beatles is better Beatles. Although I cannot share your opinion on "Revolution 9". But, anyway, these guys who called before me have already discussed the matter.

Sure enough, the album is brilliant from head to toe. 1968 has been called the "Parody Age" for the Beatles. This is true. No real ground-breaking on this one: no real movement forward, as on most of the earlier LPs, rather some movement backwards. But it still rules nonetheless. Basic rock and roll, hard rock, blues, country, psychodelics, ballads, just plain grooves - everything has been combined here in just the proper amount. Great! Really nothing else to say! Oh, yeah. One more thing. Stop picking on Ringo! He's a good guy! "Don't Pass Me By" sounds great right after "Rocky Raccoon"!

hutchilj@aramco.com.sa
Now this was good, despite it being/because it was really 4 solo albums - everybody did their own thing and most of it worked. I'd still only give it '7' because of the silly little filler songs thrown in, and that dreadful waste of time "Revolution 9", but you've got Lennon's "Dear Prudence" and "Glass Onion" side by side, Harrison's "Guitar", with that wonderful playing by ex-friend Eric Clapton, and, most of all, McCartney. I've always preferred Lennon to McCartney, but here Paul proves that he's a master of musical styles: rocking raw and hard on "Birthday" and "Helter Skelter", going back to the 20's and 30's on the clever pastiche "Honey Pie", and a master of the ballad form on the lovely "Mother Nature's Son" and gorgeous "Good Night".

cgkuhn@voicenet.com (Gitbo)
I've been listening to this album for 30 years or so (not nonstop, mind you) and I have to say this: It is clear from listening to this album why the Beatles had to break up. Simple, really. John and George couldn't bring themselves to perform Paul's very weak material anymore. Listen to the songs that are Paul's. They sound like a goddamn vaudeville music hall. I think Paul forgot how to write rock music during this period, maybe he never knew how. Maybe he just tarted up John's rock sensibility.

After 30 years of listening, George's material (Savoy Truffle, While My Guitar, Long,Long, Long) really holds up well. John is a close second (Warm Gun, Yer Blues, Onion) . Even Ringo acquits himself well, really does a good job on Paul's lullaby. But Paul's material is real crap. And that's the view from 30 years on.

kenyon@mail.netnitco.net
"Revolution 9" is just weird. I can't even listen to the whole thing in one sitting. It's just too weird. "Helter Skelter" has freaked me out to no end ever since I read the book of the same name about the Manson murders. (Ever read about the Beatles' indirect role in those? It's really scary how that man's mind worked.) "Cry Baby Cry" is great, and so are "Martha My Dear," "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" (the version of this on the Anthology is also great), "Mother Nature's Son," "Blackbird," and all kinds of others. If you only could afford one Beatles album, I would definitely recommend this one.

malester@cpuinc.net (Lester)
All these people complain about this McCartney "pop crap", but it's awesome!! "Martha My Dear"? GREAT SONG!!!!! "Honey Pie" - EXTRAORDINARY!!!! every song on this album I like. Even "Bungalow Bill" and that dumb Ringo song. Revolution 9 is okay. one more thing: I think that "Revolution 9" was John trying to do "I am the Walrus" again, except without the whole "songwriting" and "melody" part.

Timothy.Cunningham@washcoll.edu
The White album is probably the Beatles at their best. Ah hell, it is the Beatles at their best. There are only a few songs on this album that I dislike, and they are few and far between. "Helter Skelter" is definitely a great song on this double album. I wouldn't call it metal, but I would definitely call it hard rock, to say the least. Listening to this whole album in one sitting is pretty heavy; it's a lot to take in one listen. It's impossible to list my favorite songs, since I would only be omitting a few songs, at the least. For all those music listeners out there, this is the cd that you should all have in your collection.

Buyer beware, though. The limited edition comes packaged in cardboard (not a jewel case) and is supposedly remastered, but I didn't see anything about it being remastered on the album itself. It comes with four pictures of the fab four. But it's in cardboard for God's sake! I just wish they would have put it in a normal cd case!

jarwood@ui.urban.org (Jay Arwood)
Hi again, Mark!

I can recall my reaction upon first listening to this album upon its release--severe disappointment! Sides 1 & 3 had some good moments--...USSR, ...Guitar..., ...Prudence, and Happines... on one and Birthday and Sexy Sadie (or Maharishi as it was originally titled) on 3. I found the novelty songs of side 2 to be largely forgeable and Revolution 9 on side 4 to render the entire side unlistenable. Not even the presence of Revolution 1 (a pale shadow of the great rocker released as a single and available on Past Masters II) could save it.

I simply cannot imagine giving this of all their efforts the 10 rating, dissing Sgt. Pepper, Revolver, and Abby Road (among whom I'd have great difficulty picking for the 10). This isn't even a Beatles album--its a Paul, John, George, and sometimes Ringo album; with three acting as backing band for whoever's song was being recorded, if even that. Legend has it that John's bringing Yoko to the sessions created a lot of tension within the group and George(?) tried to quit the band during the recording of this album.

Now having vented all that, I'll say this album has grown on me over time. I can appreciate Paul's Martha my dear, John's Cry Baby, and George's Savory Truffle (written for ex-friend Eric Clapton who apparently had some kind of enormous craving for chocolates?). Ringo's contribution, Don't Pass Me By, which I once found embarrassing, is now tolerable, if hardly a rock song. Ditto Harrison's Piggies.

I still program my cd player to skip Rev 9.

At this remove, I'd give the album an 8 on a good day. Maybe a 9 if they'd left out such dreg as wild honey pie, why don't we do it in the road, mother nature's son, good night and of course the horrible revolution 9.

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
In the past couple of months, mostly due to the rave reviews of the Beatles on your site, and in spite of earlier vows in my life that I would never buy anything by the Beatles, I started buying some Beatles albums. I first bought Abbey Road, and of course loved it, sucked right in by Come Together and Something, with the ending suite capping it off. I figured that the Beatles couldn't get any better than that. This was confirmed when I next bought Sgt. Pepper's, which while certainly 9-worthy, did not measure up to Abbey Road in my mind. Then I bought The White Album. HOLY CRAP. THIS ALBUMS RULES. Of course, Bungalow Bill is dumb, but everything else, even Ringo's song, is terrific. And Revolution 9, while it would irritate anyone not willing to give it a chance, is unbelieveably creative, and therefore awesome. I therefore give this fantastic album the distinction of the 10.

What on earth was wrong with me that kept me from liking this group for so long? Man oh man....

misterkite@mindspring.com (Adam Bruneau)
First, in regards to Mr. hutchilj@aramco.com.sa: What are you, numb?

I was gonna write some reviews of their other albums, but found that there really wasn't anything to write. Everything is perfect. Get them all. Even the crappiest Beatles album is better than anything else anybody else ever put out. Maybe except The Doors' Strange Days =)

I would give this album a 10 but that's an understatement. Folks, this IS music. Mark hit the nail on the head when he said "more Beatles is better Beatles". TONS of songs here to be happy about, and everything is something in itself, whatever that means (John would probably know). First off, we've got classics by the dozen. Ever heard of "Back in the USSR"? "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"? "Birthday"? "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey"? "Revolution 1"? That's just the real popular ones, too. This is brimming with marvelous gems of tunage that could only come from The Beatles. And it rocks. Post-psychedelia but pre-cynicism.

For the rockers out there, we have "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "I'm So Tired", "Me and My Monkey", and the brilliant "Happiness is a Warm Gun". For the lovers we have "I Will" (beautiful), "Martha My Dear" (soft but cool), "Julia" (angst-driven haiku-folk music?), and "Good Night".

This is also fistful of great pop songs like the shady "Dear Prudence", the kaliedoscopic "Glass Onion", the angry-yet-childish "Piggies", Ringo's country-and-western love tune "Don't Pass Me By", the mischevous "Sexy Sadie", and George Harrison's sigh of religious faith "Long, Long, Long". What else could you want? Camp-fire classics? Have a heaping helping of "Bungalow Bill" or "Rocky Raccoon". Cream-style blues? Squeeze into the painful "Yer Blues". Insane, pre-punk punk? Take a ride on "Helter Skelter". Nursery rhymes? "Cry Baby Cry". Hippie anthems? "Mother Nature's Son." SOUND COLLAGES? "Revolution 9", baby! Oh, man this has it all! I think the best song on the album is the gorgeous multi-part rocker "Happiness is a Warm Gun" and without a doubt I can say with complete confidence that this is the greatest album of all time!

Kevman0001@aol.com
Finally somebody recongnizes the genius of "Revolution 9"... Mark, you're right on target with those ten records. This is THE Beatles experience. I like to refer to it as a "glorious aural grabag." First off, what the hell is it with you people out there? Yeah, sure, The White Album could have made a kicking single disc, but think about it ... if it was just one instead of two, would it have made as much impact on audiences, critics and music history in general? HELL FUCKING NO!!! All the so-called "filler" is there for a reason because no musician or musicians are capable of creating a perfect set of 30 songs; that just makes it more impressive and brilliant. PLUS IT'S THE BEATLES SO THERE!

"Back In the USSR" is a great opener and, as already stated, a nice Beach Boys parody (Mike Love even helped out on the words). "Dear Prudence" is a beaut from Lennon and "Glass Onion" has got some kickass drum work (but was it Ringo or Paul on this one?). "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" is a charming ska-like singalong (although that fucking TV show "Life Goes On" massacred it by thinking it would be better for the cast to sing the song rather than the Fab Four) but "Wild Honey Pie" is a godawful assault on the ears (but I wouldn't cut it out for the world); thankfully it's only a minute long. "Bungalow Bill" is another great singalong, this time from Lennon, and it's got a great swooping bass line from Paul. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is the best song Harrison ever wrote, either for the Beatles or with his own brilliant solo career (doubt the latter comment? Check out All Things Must Pass and Cloud Nine, naysayers) and Eric Clapton's solo is what puts it over the top. "Happiness Is A Warm Gun"... what can I say? Weird. Funny. Hard-rocking. Cool as hell. The second best cut on the album. "Martha My Dear" is a classic example of Macca's pretty-sounding-but-essentially-nothing work that would overshadow his solo stuff; Lennon's "I'm So Tired" is one of his best; can't believe it's only two minutes long; shoulda been an epic along the lines of "Guitar Weeps!" "Blackbird" is touchingly beautiful, but that goddamn chirping shoulda been nixed. Harrison's "Piggies" is a great piece of black comedy/satire and "Rocky Raccoon" divides me: it really depends on what mood I'm in--either I like it or I hate it. Ringo's "Don't Pass Me By" is a great country carnival hoedown and "Why Don't We Do It In the Road?" is a great blues belter; if the other Beatles had gotten involved, we coulda had a classic on our hands. "I Will" is another "Martha My Dear" (although more down-home) and "Julia" is a gorgeous, incredibly moving Lennon ballad. Shoulda been released as a single.

Disc Two: "Birthday" is a fun spontaneous rocker; I love that piano on the track. Then we get to the most impressive number, "Yer Blues." That grinding riff, the down-deep-in-the-basement sound, the primal scream singing, the countoff--it rules! (Did you see the performance of this song in Rolling Stones' R&R Circus? GOOD GOD!) "Mother Nature's Son" makes a nice landing pad after "Yer Blues"; soft, warm, folky, great McCartney song. "Me and My Monkey" is another fucking awesome Lennon rocker (it sounds even better if you just listen to the left speaker, where the cowbell is prominent; that thing had the life shaken out of it) and the piano-based "Sexy Sadie" is a great, bitter attack on that old horny goat the Maharishi. "Helter Skelter" introduced punk to the general public (all the cooler people listened to the music that would eventually be compiled on the neccessary set Nuggets, which predated The White Album); notice I say "punk" because Lennon would introduce heavy metal on Abbey's "I Want You." "Long Long Long" is an odd but strangely hypnotic piece from Harrison. "Rev 1" sounds like something--if you got rid of the horns--that would have fit perfectly on Let It Be if the "Revolution" single hadn't been released. "Honey Pie" ... uhhh. Totally unbearable 20's imitation piece of shit. "Savoy Truffle" is an underrated gem from Harrison featuring some great drumming and horn work. "Cry Baby Cry" is a disquieting beauty from Lennon; I say disquieting because there's something in those lyrics that are just slightly dangerous. "Rev 9" is FUCKING BRILLIANT, AWESOME, A MASTERPIECE IN EVERY WHICH WAY. DON'T LIKE IT? PISS OFF! THIS IS WHAT JOHN AND YOKO'S UNFINISHED MUSIC SHOULD HAVE BEEN! CREEPY, OFF-KILTER, HYPNOTIC, AMAZING, JARRING, DISTURBING ... THERE AREN'T ENOUGH ADJECTIVES TO DESCRIBE IT. And "Good Night," had it been a bit sparer in production, could have been bearable, but as it is, it helps if you sit though the entire album and accepting it as part of the package instead of taking it on as a single song.

Oh yeah, about that "Anniversary Edition" that came recently? I got fucking duped into buying this expecting something different than what I already had; instead what I got was a minature version of the vinyl edition and an exact-sounding copy of the CD version. They coulda put in the legendary 20-PLUS MINUTE version of "Helter Skelter," outtakes like "Not Guilty" and "What's the New Mary Jane?" (I know, I know, they cropped up on Anthology 3) or used the MONO version, which DOES sound different. Fucking classic example of Capitol once again exploiting the Beatles name by putting an old product in a different package and watching us Beatlemaniacs buy it up like the trusting fools we are. Pisses me off.

paulst@wfs.co.uk (Paul Stewardson)
Wow. This is where they started getting really good. The White Album is probably the most interesting and intriguing album ever recorded. It is very strange and should definitley not be the first Beatles album anyone should listen to (Revolver should be first). However it seems to be the favourite album of many long-time Beatles fans and I tend to agree with this. Some people say it should have been cut down to one record, others say it's perfect as it is. I tend to be in-between these two points-of-view. I could definitely live without "Wild Honey Pie", "Piggies", "Long Long Long", "Revolution #9" and "Good Night" but everything else is wonderful.

My faves are "Back In The USSR" (great Macca vocal & piano), "Glass Onion" (Lennon fan-baiting), "Guitar" (awesome lead guitar from Slowhand), "Gun" (brilliant Lennon pastiche), "Yer Blues" (the only real blues song they ever did), "Monkey" (my personal favourite), "Helter Skelter" (play this to a metal fan and they will love it) and "Savoy Truffle" (very underrated, stupid lyrics but great music). Take it easy!

HKo3425700@aol.com
revolution # 9 is the best song of all time!!! AH HA ! ! ! "i've got blisters on my fingers!..." is what life is all about. yes...we all love the beatles, but just chill out with your words onceinawhile : ) go put on a digable planets record or something...(jeez) peace later... (p.s. - bratmobile rules!!)

cynderelli@techline.com (TAD)
Yes, yes, U guys R right, the WHITE ALBUM will scramble yr brain, it's an even better "warts & all"-style album than LET IT BE.

The strain & tension R here, & clear, from "Why Don't We Do It in the Road" 2 "Helter Skelter," from "Dear Prudence" to "Revolution 9," & let's not 4get John's often-overlooked "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey" -- great guitars and terrific babbling voices saying "come on come on comeoncomeoncomeon" at the end. It's all very human, it's all very honest (well, with a few Xceptions). It's not all artsy-fartsy like PEPPER, or even like my fave ABBEY ROAD, where the production is so perfect at times that it all gets just a little 2 SLICK, if you get my meaning.

No way is this record slick. It's direct, twisted, very intimate, very weird. Thank GHOD 4 experimentation. This is not a collection of hits -- it's bigger than that. & tho not every song's a gem, how can U lose with "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Birthday," "I Will," "Don't Pass Me By," "Happiness is a Warm Gun," "I'm So Tired," "Yer Blues," "Cry Baby Cry," "Back in the USSR," & whatever that Paul fragment is that appears just B4 "Revolution 9"?

& yr right Mark, "#9" is pretty scary in places. Don't know if it's music, don't play it much, but it works. Oh, & "Bungalow Bill" sucks? I don't know, I'd pick "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" or "Honey Pie" (not "Wild Honey Pie," tho) or "Julia," or "Sexy Sadie," or "Good Night." There is some mush on here.

But who cares? This is 1 of the weirdest, most personal & twisted albums 2 ever hit #1. & I read somewhere that the only thing the Fab 4 agreed on about it was NOT 2 cut it down 2 1 album. Glad they didn't....

tribble@integrityonline2.com
REVOLUTION #9 IS GENIUS. (or at least more genius than any two-bit who thought it was crap. If it's Crap than you try to do it. John put a lot of work into it. it makes the album White, without it Goodnight wouldn't what worked).

HowlinTomFan5@aol.com
I honestly don't find fault with any of these tracks.I would have prefered the rock'n'roll version of revolution that they released as a single as opposed to the one on the album though, but that's just me .I'm one big dummy-head I suppose .

ian-moss@yale.edu
More Beatles IS better Beatles; yes, there is a lot of filler on here, but somehow, almost all of it works. And there are SO many outstanding songs on here that you hardly even notice. I guess the point is that the silly songs, unlike most filler, don't detract from what's there--they just don't add much either. But who cares, when you have songs like "Back in the USSR," "Dear Prudence," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Happiness is a Warm Penis," "Me and My Grease-Monkey," "Sexy Sadie," and "Helter Skelter"? I also want to plug three of my favorite underrated songs on the album: "Martha My Dear," which is WONDERFUL despite the fact that it's ridiculously sappy and completely inconsequential; "I'm So Tired," one of John's very very best, with a conciseness that almost goes too far; and "Savoy Truffle," which is maybe my second favorite George tune behind "While My Guitar..."--I love both the lyrics and the music on that one. The only problem I have with this album is that side 4 is somewhat weaker than the others, with the exception of "Savoy Truffle." Other than that, though, this one's an absolute must-have.

InMyEyes82@aol.com
The blatant McCartney-directed animosity here is kinda funny, because for the majority of my life I've considered Macca a cheeseball in the songwriting department but an utter genius when it came to the stuff on this album. "Helter Skelter" remains the most urgent ROCK song the band ever wrote; listen how the guitar drones swirl into the kind of cacophony that made Sonic Youth inevitable and pre-dates Jesus and Mary Chain shoegaze crap by at least twenty years. Great dink-pop stuff, too: "Ob-La-Di", "Martha My Dear", etc. Say what you will about how Paul's happy-all-the-time optimism can grate at times, but these songs are just timelessly exuberant. Great album, but if anyone's a weak link here, it's Harrison; I've always loved his India-tinged songs on Revolver and he was no hook-slouch himself, but "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is so typical of that southern England pomp-wank rock that Pink Floyd would later make so fashionable and today it's as tiresome and dated as anything the Beatles ever put out. My top tune: "Cry Baby Cry"...just beautiful. No way this tops Revolver, though. 9/10

BtheW@aol.com
My favorite Beatles album. Yes, more Beatles is better Beatles, but even still, I find the number of dispensable tracks to be no higher than on other albums, which of course, are half this one's length. While not a big favorite, I enjoy occassionally listening to 'Revolution 9.' I think this track is the ballsiest thing the Beatles ever did. I don't mean it contains the ballsiest music - it's just ballsier than all of the other ballsy things the Beatles did. I mean, they had gotten through 'Tomorrow Never Knows' and 'I Am The Walrus,' with their plethora of weird sounds, and were now pulling the music out from under the blanket of effects, leaving only the blanket. This is the world's most popular entertainment act doing the most uncommercial track in their catalogue, and of course, it doesn't keep the album from spending several weeks at number one, or from being considered one of the greatest works of all time. Incidentally, I'm also quite partial to Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band, so maybe I'm just out of my mind.

michael.blume@gte.net
Man, all my life I never got to listen to the White Album, until recently after I got it off of......... Wait! I'm not telling you! O.K., O.K. Now, what was I gonna say? Oh yeah. About the album, I agree with the perfect score. Jeez, it rules!! Yes I know that I said that Abbey Road is their best album ever, but now I don't even know which of the two Beatles albums is truly the best. I mean, if you could award more than one ten, both the White Album and Abbey Road deserve them without exception. Then again, I still have to give the nod to the god-like Abbey Road. DON'T get me wrong. The White Album still has many of the most marvelous and most infectious songs ever put on four sides of vinyl. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", "Helter Skelter", "Martha My Dear", "Rocky Raccoon", "Birthday", "Glass Onion", "Happiness Is A Warm Gun", "Back In The USSR", "Cry Baby Cry", "Sexy Sadie", "Dear Prudence", "Blackbird", "I'm So Tired", "I Will", "Julia", "Mother Nature's Son", and that Monkey ditty with that really long song title are among my most favorite Beatles songs EVER. George's contribution are damn good too, but I find "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" to be a tad tiresome. It doesn't suck, mind you, but it's not totallly up there with other masterworks he did like "Something" and "Here Comes The Sun". I like "Piggies", though. It's so damn flaky, fun, and charming at the same time! *OINK* *OINK* (Hehehe...) "Long, Long, Long" is good as well. I especially like the end part where the keyboard sound comes in along with some other sound (or noise, whatever), and it sounds like it's already erupting. Cool! "Wild Honey Pie" and "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" are just flat-out dopey, but very interesting. "Good Night", on the other hand, doesn't cut it for me at all. Sorry, but it just doesn't make a good album closer for this double-album of delight. "Revoluiton 9" should have been the album closer, or at least "Mother Nature's Son". Still, it's a solid-enough double-album, with 28 great songs out of a total of 30 making it worth anyone's time, and as you said, "more Beatles is better Beatles". But even so, this doesn't top Abbey Road, mostly thanks to that captivating side-two suite. Enclosing my review, I give this album a 10/10. Oh, and I changed my mind about Sgt. Pepper. It's an 8.5/10.

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
"Revolution #9", pro or con? I usually skip it, but think people are wrong to just dismiss it. It took balls to demand that an apocalyptic experimental audio collage be put on a major Beatles release. Whether the balls in question belong to John or Yoko is disputable. Anyway, how can you listen to the sappy "Good Night" without having just gone through "Revolution #9"? And "Bungalow Bill" is really the worst track on the album. Elsewhere, the music is so innovative that you start to think maybe this band isn't overhyped.

knowstev@med.umich.edu (Steven Knowlton)
You gotta wonder, what possible commercial strategy were the guys pursuing here...imagine hearing "Blackbird" on the radio and thinking, I like that song, think I'll get the album, only to find..."Helter Skelter." Or worse yet, Hey, this has two versions of that groovy "Revolution" song!

I guess if you get bored with your ultra-successful musical formula, you can coast on your fans' gullibility for a while. At least with Abbey Road they made an album that sounds like it was all recorded by the same group.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Yeah, it's so diverse! And it's very difficult to review. Anyway, it's one of the best rock albums of all time. Hard rock, country-western, swing, blues, reggae, traditional rock'n'roll etc.:all this styles are presented in this marvellous wonferful amazing gorgeous magnificent amzing great double album. The best songs on this masterpiece are: "Back in the U.S.S.R.", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" - cool harmonies of George and admirable solo of Clapton, "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" and "Helter Skelter". No need to say some other stuff about "White Album", it's obvious, that it's AWESOME GREAT!

Jcjh20@aol.com
Outstanding platter of brilliant tunes. I agree with the 10. From beautiful, touching balladry that either brings tears to your eyes or goosebumps ("Julia", one of the most beautiful songs ever written, "Mother Natures Son", "Goodnight"), to catchy, rip-roaring Rock 'N Roll ("Birthday", "Back In The USSR", "Revolution" (man, the electric version undeniably blows the acoustic version away), to blues ("Yer Blues") etc. etc. etc. All kinds of genres covered on here. I disagree that this album should of been a single one instead of double, because then we'd be missing out on a shitload of tunes! Only tunes that dont do much for me are the same songs Prindle mentioned ("Dont Pass Me By" is a weak attempt at C/W, and "Bungalow Bill" is a catchy, yet incredibly silly, and is highly overshadowed by the other masterpieces). So, yes, you absolutely cant go wrong with this record. Anything for anybody. Ohh, and contrary to popular belief, "Revolution 9" rules. I wholeheartedly agree with good ol' Prindle. It's so fucking scary. Try playing it at night by yourself! I actually wouldnt mind it being a bit longer, truthfully.

drazy@gatecity.com
Uneven? You Bet! And it's glorious! With The Beatles starting to unravel, you've got John, Paul, and George trying to outdo each other and they've finally started telling George Martin what to do. Paul tries outdoing John at his own game ("Helter Skelter") and throws out the happy horns in favor of distorted guitars ("Birthday," "U.S.S.R.""Monkey"). George gets a nod for throwing out two of the best Beatle tunes ever known to man ("Long Long Long" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps") and makes it clear that he's got more talent than the one or two song per album quota they've given him in the past. But it's John that really shines with some remarkable songwriting ("Dear Prudence," "Julia," "Sexy Sadie," "I'm So Tired," "Cry Baby Cry," Jesus, I could go on!). If this is The Beatles coming apart at the seams, I'm all for it. A perfect 10.

antnego@earthlink.net (Anthony Negron)
The guy who likes the Velvet Underground would certainly like Revolution 9. I guess I’m one of those crazy people…

For the record (no pun intended), this should’ve been a single disc album. Dispense with the dead McCartney weight and you got one hell of a document!

Ok, "Back In the USSR" and "Birthday" are great. For all of John’s reputation as the "rocker" of the Beatles, it was Sgt. Paul himself that wrote the band’s most rocking songs. "Helter Skelter" kicks ass, but I can’t lose the notion that he’s trying WAY too hard. Mr. Charlie in prison sure likes it, though.

Daniel.Rosenberg@dowjones.com
You're wrong about Bungalow Bill - it's one of my favorite tracks on the album - funny and catchy. It certainly fits in well with the other novelty items here. Otherwise, your review is on the ball. I'm glad to hear some support for Revolution 9 - it's a fascinating track and clearly the work of a musical genius, not just a throw-away sound collage. People who instinctively hate it have probably heard it once and dismissed it, or have heard it more than once and have no musical sense. After repeated listening, the track keeps getting better. Each time I listen, I hear something I haven't heard before. And it makes sense musically - there's obviously rhyme and reason behind it. No one without a tremendous musical gift could have put something like this together (most of the credit to John, but George and Yoko also deserve some, as they both worked on it as well. Paul was off in the U.S. when the track was recorded).

carrett@uclink.berkeley.edu (Garrett McLean)
Yeah, "Helter-Skelter" is a great song, if you're CHARLES MANSON.

The White Album is definitely a ten, but so is Abbey Road. Couldn’t you make an exception for The Beatles? I mean, c’mon, greatest band of all time.

Also, John Lennon hated "Ob-La-Di," and so do I.

White: 10

Abbey Road: 11

ddickson@rice.edu (David Dickson)
Ahhhh, the Big Whitie. This is one ambitious hunk o' doo. It's rather anticlimactic listening to at first, then you realize that they recorded it all in--what? Eight weeks? Amazing. It shore wouldn't be the same without all the itty bitty little filler songs, but they do get kinda annoying sometimes. Those filler songs, for the record, are "Wild Honey Pie", "Bungalow Bitch", "Martha My Dear", "Don't Pass Me By", "Why don't We Do It!!" and "Revolution 1"--c'mon, who needs a SECOND version of it?? If you noticed, nearly all those songs are grouped on disc 1. Ironically enough, that's the same disc with all the hits. Weird. Anyway, all the other 24 songs are super-dooper, especially "Back in the USSR", "Dear Prudence", "Ob La Di", "Happiness is a Warm Nuke", "Blackbird", "Julia", "Birthday", "Mother Nature's Son", "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Nixon", "Helter Shelter", "Honey Pie", EVERYTHING by George (he REALLY came into his own on this album, the shyguy) and the last two songs. ESPECIALLY the last two songs. Couldn't ask for a better way to end the album. But let me take the opportunity to point out the hollowness of a near-universally held myth about "Revolution 9": YOKO DID NOT CREATE IT. In fact, it wasn't all John, either; "Revolution 666" is one of the few late-'60's Beatles compositions on which John and Pual actually collaborated. They later claimed to have pulled an all-nighter piecing all the tape fragments together, and were understandably shocked when hippies and intellectuals later proclaimed it a masterpiece--which it is, of course. In my personal opinion, the voice droning "Numbah nine" probably symbolizes the fact that TWA is the Beatles' ninth proper British studio album, and all the jumbled cacophony refers to the fact that "revolution" per se in 1968 was getting pretty darn chaotic. In contrast, the "1" moniker four tracks previous refers to how comparatively peaceful "revolution" was in Western society around 1963, when the Beatles' first proper studio album was released. And all the "shoo-be-doo-wahs" and soul horns and stuff are imitating the music of the era. Also, the original lyrics, which are actually ANTI-revolution, fit in right well with the sentiment of the comparatively placcid radicals of the coffeeshops back then--the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution hadn't happened yet. I actually don't know for sure--that's just MY take on the situation.

Well, to sum up, The Beatles is just about the third-best album they ever did. Rubber Soul is second, and Abbey Road tops the list. No, Revolver is NOT the best. It is not even fourth. In fact, I would stick it way back in FIFTH place, between Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt. Pepper's Weekend in Vegas. THAT should teach them to record a song like "I'm Only Sleeping". GAH. What a piece of turd. Good album overall, though.

robadobb_2@msn.com (Rob Raymer)
a knockout. a double shot of the beatles in their prime. is there a type of music they couldnt play? this one has everything , blues, acoustic, rock, a spanish intro, a little piano, ballads and even metal. happiness is a warm gun is nasty and mindblowing, julia is the antithesis and no less impressive much less meaningful. mother natures son AND helter skelter on the same disc! forget about it, these guys are so easily the greatest group of songwriters to ever come down the pike its almost laughable. and there not even my favorite group lol

David.Moses@odpm.gsi.gov.uk
I find this album far too varied to enjoy it. My suggestion- they could have released a double CD and have one side dedicated to the acoustic numbers, the other, the raw, hard rock, some of these songs are.

I for one, can't listen to 'mother nature's son' followed by 'monkey' followed by 'sexy sadie' followed by 'helter skelter'. I don't mind diversity. This is just too diverse and too long.

I think Harrison sucks big time here. 'Piggies' is nonsense and 'savoy truffle' is tortured. 'While my guitar gently weeps' is great, but I prefer the acoustic version better.

Lennon is hit and miss. 'Revolution 9' is just boring. I don't get it. and I write sound collages, so i do appreciate this genre, just not this specific collage. 'Yer blues' sounds horrible to my ears. And 'cry baby cry' is just as sappy as any MAcca pop on here. And no-one should dig at pool, when Lennon wrote 'Bungalow Bill.'

Macca's songs are genius. Beautiful ballads- I will, Mother nature's son, blackbird. Love them all. And 'martha my dear' is great.

Lennon also has some good ones. 'I'm so tired' is great and I love the romantic 'goodnight', except for Ringo's crappy off key voice. And 'happiness is a warm gun' is a nice group effort.

Not as great as some say, still love it though. a 9.

DrunkCanuckT3@hotmail.com (Chris Szeto)
I love "The White Album" because it's so great and diverse. It proves that the Beatles could do almost any type of style they wanted. The one thing I've noticed is all the flak for Revolution #9 and I don't thing that it was intended to be taken as music. If played backwards you can hear a car crash and some screams I believe which was suppose to add a clue to the whole "Paul is Dead" theory. In away they created two "interactive" albums based on the "Paul is Dead" thing. In Sgt. Pepper you have the album cover clues and in this one you have clues in the music. Well that's just my take on it.

poorroyschieder@hotmail.com (Derek Nicholson)
It is so frickin nice to hear that somebody else thinx # 9 is BRILLIANT!!!!!!!! Frickin amazin that track. Following it with Goodnight was a fantastic idea. Those 2 tracks closing an already bizarre album just inch the nutty factor up above an 11. Great reviews too.

mtlhead@mchsi.com (Adam)
Extremely overrated, just like every other Beatle’s album.

bdoleac@wesleyan.edu
Uh, sorry, but I gotta say that you're flat-out wrong here. I fucking LOVE the Beatles, I really do, but very few bands can pull off a double-album - and if the Beatles couldn't do it, it must be pretty fucking hard. There's a solid 50 or 55 minutes of good-to-great music here, and if they'd been wise enough to trim the fat we wouldn't have to sit through horrors like "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" and "Rocky Racoon", not to mention filler like "Why Don't We Do It In the Road," "Yer Blues," "Don't Pass Me By," and at least one of George's trifles. No question it's an important record, anticipating not just prog-rock (the starting point of which is unquestionably "Sgt. Pepper's", like it or not) but heavy metal, avant-garde etc. Fact is, though, it's not even close to being the strongest Beatles record; it's not just difficult (Prindle, as a Velvets fan you certainly have a lot less to answer for than some other folks) but it also isn't anywhere near as songful or hooky as "Rubber Soul" or "A Hard Day's Night" or even "Abbey Road" (as solid a farewell as any rock band has ever produced). The three albums I just mentioned are five-star records, in my book. "Revolver" comes close. "The Beatles", aka "The White Album" for those who don't know dick about the Beatles, is a solid four-star record, no more and no less. As a matter of fact, I think the Rolling Stones' double album "Exile on Main Street" is a five-star record, easily, and I don't even like the Stones all that much. But you know what? It's also twenty minutes shorter than "The Beatles", which some folks might not think makes that much of a difference but turns out to mean a helluva lot.

mtlhead@mchsi.com
Okay, once again I’m going to have to correct myself. As you can see from my e-mail above, I claimed that the Beatles were extremely overrated. I think basically what happened was that I was just really over hyped, and this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. While I’m still not a huge fan of the Beatle’s music, and I refuse to acknowledge them as the best band ever, I will admit that they are a good band, and were highly influential to many other bands I love.

Hey, has anyone else scratched for so long they forgot what day it was?

gagsa_the_tank@hotmail.com
its got way too many good songs to coment upon really. But to all those people who doubt these guys had talent on theyre instruments, check out Pauls awesome nagging bassline in "Dear Prudence" it's ever so great and it totally makes the song for me. Bill Wyman.... now that guy is an overated bass player!

davethefish42@gmail.com
When the topic of 'best band ever' comes up, everyone gets their feelings hurt. You know what I'm going to say. It all really depends on what certain songs mean to you, where you were and who you were with the first time you heard them, etc. so we'll never all agree. Everyone has their own opinion. Unfortunately, that is all crap. The Beatles are the greatest hands down, and if you disagree you are wrong. Yey!

Lot's of goofy stuff here, but it's The Beatles best which make it pretty much the best album ever. Whenever someone asks me what is the greatest Beatles album, I always quickly say "The White Album" and then sit quietly trying not to think how awesome Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's, and Abbey Road are. Seriously, they were at the top of their game. Paul and John couldn't blink without writing six great songs, and George was proving he could write with the best of them. The variety is astounding, and it really helps add to that 'ramshakle brilliance' feel. I have written some pretty anal reviews for their other albums explaining why they are great, but this one is going to be short, simply because it's just the strongest set of songs they ever released, and because there is so much more than usual. It just doesn't need explaining. There was so much tension at the time, and it's pretty obvious there was a lot of ego involved; look at the size of it. There's some real oddball stuff here, even a Ringo song! Most of the tension was between Yoko (who John wanted to see as a decision making member of the band), and George and John and Paul, who (rightfully) felt like he was a secondary member of the band, even though he was beginning to write some sensational material. Hell, even the dependable Ringo left for two weeks where he wrote both of his songs that would end up on a Beatles record, "Don't Pass Me By", which is here, and "Octupus' Garden" on Abbey Road.

But all the novelty crap aside, Back in the U.S.S.R., Glass Onion, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Happiness Is a Warm Gun, I'm So Tired, Blackbird, Rocky Raccoon, Don't Pass Me By, I Will, Julia, Birthday, Yer Blues, Mother Nature's Son, Sexy Sadie, Helter Skelter, Revolution 1, Honey Pie (Yes, I like Honey Pie), Cry Baby Cry, and Good Night are all flawless and have some of the most insanely memorable melodies I have ever come across. I sometimes avoid listening to this album because I get a jumble of the songs stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Also included is the highly controversial avant-garde Lennon piece "Revolution 9". Many people flat out despise this song, and for many it stands as the perfect example of what Yoko Ono was doing to the band, but I don't mind it one bit.It works well before the lullaby closing of Good Night. Sensational.

Worth every penny you'll be charged for it.

ddickson@rice.edu (David Dickson)
What am I, an ass? Ass it is. Ass ass ass. Having learned a darned bit about history since nine months ago, I NOW have to say that Western civilization was NOT smooth and peaceful in 1963--that's a myth passed down by wild people who are crazy. Like me!!

I mean, jeez! "I Have a Dream"? "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall?" ENGLEBERT HUMPERDINCK, people????

Gah. That's kinda like saying "The progressive movement died in the early 2000's"--right, and I'm Grover Norquist. One look at the webblog of any liberal arts department in Europe or California will tell you otherwise. Those guys are PISSED. And Thomas F. Barton is a lunatic.

tom.boyce@gwinc.com
Mark:

I agree with your thoughts on “The White Album,” but I’d like to address something that I didn’t find in any of your readers’ reviews; the general atmosphere of the album. 1968 was a weird year, a little darker and more menacing than 1967, for sure. The White Album, in its entirety, captures this. Even the “fluff” and “filler” songs are weird in their own way. I grew up with the Beatles, and I wonder now if it’s a handicap reviewing their albums if you were born in the 1980s and have no sense of history. It was just a very strange time.

The lousy McCartney songs are lousier on “Abbey Road” – “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” is worse than “Ob-la-di.” And I can live without “Octopus’ Garden” – so why is “Abbey Road” hailed as their masterpiece, or “better” than the White Album? Sure I like it, but it’s too slick, and almost inconsequential to their output. I guess I’m the type who thinks it was All Over after “Revolver.”

My favorite Beatles’ album is “A Hard Day’s Night.” Pop perfection. I love them all of course but the things is with the Beatles, they didn’t stay put for more than two albums at a time. Like speed-induced rock? The first two. Like pop rock? The two after that. Etc.

Enough. And thanks.

tomgipson@gmail.com
Many people believe that the song "Helter Skelter" was the first metal song ever. Pretty crazy, huh?

rockmanloco@hotmail.com
hello,I'm an obsessed fan of The Beatles since I was 6 (I'm 24),and I've been reading the reviews here and I agree with some and I disagree with others and stuff,and I decided to post my opinion about the white album. oh,almost forgot: the us capitol albums should not exist,the only discography that counts is the official british one,I mean,come on!,not including "drive my car" in rubber soul?. stupid ignorant capitol. anyway,here's what I think about the white album: I like it,but,I had to pick up the arm_&_needle (I don't know how "the thing you place on the LP in order to listen to it" is properly called in english,you see...english is not my natural language) and skip a lot of crappy fillers,so I had this Idea:

I burned a single cd "what if" edition of the white album,removing all the crap and fillers,so the track list of my "what if" white album is as follows:

01 - back in the ussr
02 - dear prudence
03 - glass onion (if you ask an alien that knows nothing about them,it would swear this is grunge from the early 90s,they were far ahead of their time with this one)
04 - not guility (instead of that crime against humanity that is obladi oblada,what the hell were they thinking?,if I was the producer I would have burned the tapes with that piece of shit and I would have made them promise they would never ever were going to perform it,talk about it,or even think about it again. by the way,not guilty was an unreleased song that belonged to the white album sessions,but you can find it now on anthology 3. I wish the mix was a bit more polished and the guitars were louder and the vocals quieter,but it's a good song anyway and fits a lot more with the while album guitar-based mood that the previous 3 set it up to this point,and that obladi oblada destroyed completly)
05 - honey pie (not the screaming funny thing,the "sounds like a 1920s song" funny thing)
06 - while my guitar gently weeps (great song,but I wish george played the solo instead of clapton,george had the skills,he could have done it if he wanted,the clapton thing was unnesesary)
07 - hapiness is a warm gun (awesome)

(now what would have been the B side)
08 - Birthday
09 - Yer blues
10 - Everybody's got something to hide exept me and my monkey
11 - Savoy truffle
12 - Cry baby cry (this song is very good played at 45rpm instead of 33rpm. in fact,if you listen to all of their albums at 45rpm,you'll discover "new stuff" you didn't notice at the right speed. it's a fun and interesting thing to do,try it!)
13 - Helter skelter (again ahead of their time,if you ask the alien that knows nothing about them,it'll think this one is a heavy metal band for sure. besides the ahead of its time factor,it's a great song on its own,very powerful,it's an overdose of electricity and raw rocking power!)
14 - Revolution (the single record version,the fast one,I don't like at all the slow and more acoustic version from the album. it just sucks,that's all,the single version is the only one that should exist).

so,I left out all the yet-another-paul's-acoustic/piano-crap,and the fillers. I totally hate when paul comes up with some of his uninspired dull boring shit like "mother nature's sone" "blackbird",that's not what a Beatles album should contain,I,as a Beatles fan,expect full band performances with electric guitars,bass and drums,just plain rock and roll,and although the album has songs like that,it's harmed by the crappy stuff. I'm not going to write a review for every single crappy filler I left out in my hipotetical single disc white album or an explanation about what's wrong with thouse songs ("they exist" could be a generic answer),so basically use this criteria: if it's not in my single disc home made "what if edition" of the white album,I hate it and I think it's pure shit. period.

anyway,I like the potential album the while album could have been,it has great songs,too bad it has lots of stuff that should have never been recorded,so,if you're like me and just wanted a Beatles album,with songs performed by the band with their typical instruments,(instead of just paul with an acoustic guitar or john's nonsense),try my experiment,burn yourself a 14 songs single disc "what if" white album with the tracks I listed above,listen to it,and you'll se it works a lot better that way,it feels like the solid album it could have been.

ps: if you're wondering how can I be a Beatles fan and say all that negative stuff about some of their work,that's the point: I'm a Beatles fan,not a "paul and his acoustic guitar make everybody die out of boredom again" fan. oh,and ringo's song sounds like performed by that band in the party in "back to the future" part 3.in other words: it shouldn't be in a Beatles record.

pdermody@twcny.rr.com
Although I'm not the biggest fan of Revolution #9, I'm glad someone here praises it. It's just way too experimerimental for me but it is creative. I must say that all the silly novelty songs are hilarious and catchy and do not refuse to be ignored. Obla Di-Obla Da is pure fun.

Dennis.York@va.gov
High ,folks:

Since there is discussion of Lennon’s lyrical genius on these boards re: MMT and White Album and since there is no board for Lennon’s 4th solo LP, (first if you discount the comedy records 1.Two Sturgeons, 2.Unfinished Music: Life w/ Da Lying and 3. The Redding Album);JL and Plastic Ono Band’s “I Found Out” contains the one line that for me sums it all up: “There ain’t no GURU who can see through YOUR eyes.” Lennon used only those 10 words to destroy all religions, (if you want it.) Hands down, his best lyric of them all. IMMHO.

A spark of pure genius arising out of the most severe pain and betrayal anyone could survive.

Even Dylan would have to tip his hat to that lyric.

Piece. ‘08

Mcshane123321@aol.com
Love it, but there's too many throwaways for me to be comfortable giving it a ten. "Wild Honey Pie" is a lame-ass attempt at trumping Captain Beefheart had he been a pop song writer and not the genius that produced Trout Mask Replica, and "Honey Pie" is pure Macca piano sap; "Bungalow Bill" absolutely blows; "Piggies" has to be one of the most patronising songs in existence; "Don't Pass Me By" may just be the best song Ringo Starr ever penned, but it still sucks. That's five relatively crud tunes out of thirty.

But yeah, the rest is brilliant, really brilliant, apart from maybe "Helter Skelter," which wants to be a great rocker, but has too thin a guitar tone; I actually think "Everyone's Got Something..." is better," but that's just me. Highlights for me would have to be Beach Boys parody "Back in the USSR" (trumps the slightly lame Dylan parody of "Rocky Racoon," as nice a melody that one has); "While My Sitar Fucks Off For Just Under Five Minutes"; "Birthday"; "Yer Blues"; the far-too-quiet "Long Long Long"; and the lullaby "Cry Baby Cry." My absolute favourite, however, has to be George's "Savoy Truffle."

Also, I love "Revolution 9," but it's so fucking blatant that if ANYONE other than a Beatle had made it, it would have been dismissed completely -- that'll be part of why so many dismiss it, because Yoko (who wasn't responsible for the Beatles splitting, as much of a bitch she was) had a blatant hand in its creation. "Unbelievably creative," Mr. McFerrin? No, it's a nice little Varese tribute/rip off that isn't even a tenth of the real thing. And yes, Mr. Weigel, there had been songs like it beforehand; try "Poeme Electronique" in case you were interested. I know it may seem weird referencing other comments, but I'm hardly the first to do so.

So yeah, great album overall. I don't think it's the best of '68, since I prefer We're Only In It For the Money, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society and Beggars Banquet, but I wouldn't have any qualms if anyone DID claim that it is the best of its year. A nine, a pretty high one too.

Benjamin Burch
"Revolution 9" is the best song eh? To each is own I guess... Anyway, this is yet another album that took me ages to appreciate (doesn't appeal to well to eight year olds), but I actually DO appreciate one of those "sissy Paul songs" (or whatever you and your other reader commenters called them), and that song is "Martha My Dear": beautiful melody, great singing, use of horns, everything. "I Will" (pun intended) take it over the "Honey Pie"'s any day, even though I also love (to a lesser extent) "Obladi, Oblada." Neither one of them are as good as "Helter Skelter," which might be my personal favorite here.

John meanwhile, was going through a big transition in his life that seemed to reflect on the music as well. Soft heartfelt acoustic tunes to avant garde experimentation to balls out head banging rockers. Most of them working wonders. George is coming up as well, but as much as I love "While My Guitar Gently Wheeps" and the horribly underrated "Savoy Truffle," they're really not as good as what would happen pretty soon... Ringo's song is good, but doesn't really compare to the material from the other three. I'll give this an 8.5, definitely too long at 31 songs (I count "Can You Take Me Back") but still great nonetheless.

Alainna Earl
Yoko does not suck but Revolution 9 does. Goodnight is such a sweet, sad song actually. I like it better than 'Beautiful Boy' for Sean. Wild Honey Pie, Bungalow Bill, Piggies and Honey Pie deeply annoys me but all of the other white album songs, I truly dig.

Add your thoughts?

Peter Sellers Tape - Bootleg 1968.
Rating = 8
This is about the most pointless bootleg I've ever heard. I can't even hear the differences between these tracks and the final White Album versions! Does anyone know the origins of this tape? Did they record it for Peter Sellers or something? Here's what it is: 12 songs from the White Album sessions in versions so similar to the final that they make Rarities sound like a bunch of actual rarities.

"Back In The USSR" doesn't have the "whoo!"s during the guitar solo.(Twirls index finger excitedly). John's voice is louder in "Wild Honey Pie." (Rolls eyes, pulls out penis and tugs on it unenthusiastically). "Don't Pass Me By" has louder bass presence. (Takes a swig of Diet Sprite, visits shopping mall). "Yer Blues" have some boring Indian Hindu chanting at the beginning. (Gets excited and runs around in circle with big smile on mug, drops mug). "Ob-La-Di" has a false intro. (Listens to Shooby Taylor, stuffs mouth full of mashed potatoes and says self is a zit like John Belushi) "Me And My Monkey" has loud yelling at the end. (Notices vase is crooked, throws it at Mexican) "Good Night" appears to have louder, less bassy vocals. (Takes picture of Abominable Snowman, gets killed and eaten by Abominable Snowman) And best of all - about halfway through, the Beatles clown around and say "If you want more, you have to turn the tape over!" (Turns CDR over, discovers secret JFK files)

(Doesn't like this review at all, turns it in anyway because of utter loathing for readers).

Reader Comments

Ben Dweck
Agreed. This is one of the most commonly-found items in the Beatles' bootleg discography, but it is unclear why. The Peter Sellers tape is essentially a rough mix of the White Album which Ringo gave as a gift to Peter Sellers before the album was released. While this bootleg would have been amazing BEFORE cleaner-but-otherwise-nearly-identical versions of the songs were released on the White Album, afterwards it is basically pointless. The only two tracks worth a damn are "Sexy Sadie," which contains about 45 seconds of new material at the end and "Don't Pass Me By" which, sadistically enough, contains an additional verse.

Add your thoughts?

White Album Demos - Bootleg 1968.
Rating = 9
Now see, this is s White Album bootleg I can throw my support behind. These are ALL rare versions -- early versions, yet different from the early versions that you'll find on Anthology III and all presented in artist-blocks to make it even more clear where everybody's head was at. Starts with "Julia," then into 7 McCartney songs ("Junk"!, acoustic "Back In The U.S.S.R."!, "Ob-La-Di" with double-tracked vocals that keep falling out of time with each other!), 10 more Lennon songs ("Dear Prudence" with a goofy ending about an insane girl that they all sing to!," "Jealous Guy" with its shitty original lyrics about being "One Of Nature's Children!," "I'm So Tired" with the embedded rhyme "When I hold you in my arms/And you show me all your charms/I wonder if I should go to the Funny Farm"," an acoustic demo of "Yer Blues" wherein Dylan's Mr. Jones is only "insecure" and not yet "suicidal"! That awful song "What's The New Mary Jane?"!, a really loose totally-different acoustic jam version of "Me And My Monkey!" An acoustic guitar + handclaps version of "Revolution" played as fast as the single version!) and then five George songs (three of which weren't included on the album! One is "Not Guilty," but I don't know enough about George's career to tell you whether he ended up using them on solo albums or not - one seems to be saying "Life comes and love grows" and the other is a Chuck Berry chuggler that may or may not say something about "the silent sea."). Then my version of CD skips all to hell and won't play whatever the last two songs are. Which is awful! What if it's two 25-minute versions of "Wild Honey Pie"? Like I had convinced John to do right before Mark David Chapman gave him the gun? He SHOT him!

My opinion is this: These crudimentary recordings only firmer up my belief that the White Album is the best thing they ever did. It's long, it's full of great, diverse experiences and most of the melodies are unforgettable (sometimes annoyingly so -- I'm lookin' at you, "Rocky Raccoon"!). I know people will make fun of Paul for sing-songy sissy stuff like "Honey Pie" and "Ob-La-Di," but (A) both those songs are super-catchy in a bubblegum--happy--music way and (B) if you think Paul's no thing but a sissy happy guy, explain the majesty, beauty and carnage of "Mother Nature's Son," "Helter Skelter," "Blackbird," "Back In The USSR" and "Junk" (why the Flip Wilson was that left off of the album? It's SO evocative! I can't imagine any person alive who is not reminded of snapshots from their lost childhood when that thing comes on). Yes, there are certain White Album tracks that should not be listened to one after the other for fear of novelty overdose, but spread out across the two albums of tough rough and sad mad songs, they serve as just another brick in the wall of universal pop and rock music of which The Beatles were so very capable.

Ha ha! A clever reader just pointed out that I inadvertently made reference to a popular Pink Floyd song in that last sentence!

The word "but" appears in "The Final Cut." Right near the end. Listen close -- THERE IT IS!!!!!

Add your thoughts?

The Esher Tapes - Bootleg 1968.
Rating = 9
NOTE: IN A HILARIOUS TURN OF EVENTS, I REVIEWED THIS ALBUM TODAY WITHOUT REALIZING THAT I'D ALREADY REVIEWED IT - UNDER THE TITLE 'WHITE HOUSE DEMOS' - SEVERAL YEARS AGO!!! SO LET'S ALL CHUCKLE TOGETHER AND THINK OF THE TIME I WASTED. COMPARE THE LAST REVIEW TO THIS ONE TO SEE HOW NOTHING CHANGES OVER TIME BUT MY BALD SPOT!

When John Lenon said to Raul Mccartnery in 1966, "Hay, we should form a band so people can do the Rutles later," nobody knew they'd turn out to be the most popular band in Liverpoop. But they WUR!

As a result, in 1968 they all gathered at the home of their piano player Gorge Harrison and each recorded their hottest, latest compositions. They one by one went over to the tape recorder thingy and recorded their songs mostly with just an acoustic guitar and an overdubbed vocal so there's two vocals on it. Then, finally, they later released this album as The White Album, and it is now available on bootleg as The Esher Tapes.

Okay, enough of the kiddin' aroun'. I'm sick of playing the hilarious comedy character, and am ready to move on to a more challenging dramatic role.

In a devastating turn of events, John Lennon performs 11 of his songs while Paul presents 7 and George a mere 5. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! 17 of the tracks wound up being re-recorded for the White Album proper, and the other 6 were heartbreakingly rejected. GIVE ME BACK MY SON!!!!! Some of these original demo recordings were later released on Anthology III though. YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!

I hope you enjoyed my presentation of A Few Good Ransoms. Have a good shight.

This next sentence goes out to the members of my Hungarian Fan Club, located online at http://forum.index.hu/Article/showArticle?t=9138018:

"Hola! Como Esta?"

If you would like information on joining the Hungarian Mark Prindle Fan Club so you too can receive special messages like that one, please contact "Walkmann," some guy in Hungary.

Say! All this talk about Hungary is making me HUNG-A-RY! (*eats sandwich*)

Say! All this talk about Turkey, Greece and Mayonnaisetown is m

I'm nervous. Got a big Tae Kwon Do test tonight. Going for the high red belt (only one level below black!). Wish me luck!

Actually by the time I post this it will be over. Wish I had luck!

Rare delicacies and morsels of The Esher Tapes include:

- "Junk" (McCartney)

- "Child Of Nature," later rewritten as "Jealous Guy" for Imagine

- that godawful "What's The New Mary Jane" novelty song that wound up on Anthology III

- the truly awesome yet cruelly rejected George Harrison compositions "Circles" (Gone Troppo), "Not Guilty" (Self-Titled Solo Album) and "Sour Milk Sea" (Covered By Jackie Lomax In 1969). Why did John and Paul reject these songs? "Circles" too melancholy with its haunting organ chords? "Not Guilty" too bitter with its angry chord changes, notey twiddles and fiery lyrics? "Sour Milk Sea" too Chuck Berry-strummy, oddly chorded and disgustingly titled? Yeah, I can definitely see why you'd want to nix such substandard material in light of your own brilliant compositions "Bungalow Bill" and "Fifteen Other Cutesy Novelty Songs." Up your ass, Lennon/McCartney!

Oh my bad - McCartney/Lennon. I forgot who died first.

Let me explain why I use bullet points so often. I sometimes, especially in a situation like this where I'm discussing a CD mainly comprised of alternate versions of well-known material, want to quickly point out a few things about individual songs. However, if I do that in paragraph form, it gets REALLY messy with all the quotation marks and commas (or semi-colons if I'm thinking about my anus) I tend to favor. Bullet points, on the other hand, are cleaner, clearer and crappier.

Yes that's right, crappier. If you can think of another word that starts with a c, start your own fucking web site asshole.

Fans of The BeaTISMles' White Albunm will also enjoy such demo recording ephemera herein as:

- Double-tracked tuneless whistling at the end of "Julia"

- A lead guitar line in "Rocky Raccoon"

- "Back In The USSR" failing as an acoustic number

- Fun 'Oh yeah!'s and background shouting in "Honey Pie"

- Acoustic "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da" with bad Jamaican accent and no bouncy piano or bass

- Paul cracking up at the beginning of his melancholy rumination "Junk"

- John explaining the origins of "Dear Prudence" over the final chords

- "Sexy Sadie" with no piano or falsetto back-up vox

- "Bungalow Bill" with John singing Yoko's line and making lion noises

- "I'm So Tired" with a goofy children's rhyme in the middle

- "Yer Blues" ruling as an acoustic song too, complete with squealing bent notes that sound exactly like Henry The Dog when he cries to go out on the terrace so he can bark at the neighbors' cat

- acoustic "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey" with an entirely different guitar line! No vocal melody yet though.

- a bouncy uptempo acoustic version of "Revolution #1"

- John joking around in the background of pretty much every one of his songs

- "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" played with a different guitar style

If any of these descriptions sound familiar, then those versions are probably on Anthology III. But the others? Bootleg-only, my main motherfuckin' man, motherfucker! (cocksucker!)

In conclusion, The Beatles may be only a minor footnote in the history of pop music, but if they were around today, who knows if they wouldn't be every bit as popular as Rihanna, Daniel Powter and Sean Paul? And don't even get me STARTED about Chamillionaire Featuring Krayzie Bone!

Alright enough of this old bag shit, it's time to review some T.I., Bubba Sparxxx Featuring Ying Yang Twins & Mr. Collipark, and Natasha Bedingfield. And don't even get me STARTED about James Blunt!

Hold that tiger! Did somebody say "Dem Franchise Boyz Featuring Lil Peanut & Charlay"? Or perhaps I just DREAMT that I heard somebody say "Fort Minor Featuring Holly Brook"! Yes, we truly are in a Golden Age of Pop when the charts are filled with such timeless artistic visionaries as The Fray, Rascal Flatts, and Ne-Yo. And don't even get me STARTED about The Pussycat Dolls Featuring will.i.am!

Oh -- and don't even get me STARTED about T-Pain Featuring Mike Jones!

You can get me started about Cascada though, if you want.

No wait! I changed my mind!

Best,
Mark Prindle
President, Chris Brown Featuring Lil' Wayne Fan Club

P.S. And don't even get me STARTED about my ten favorite artists Ashley Parker Angel, Daddy Yankee, Teddy Geiger, Three 6 Mafia, Saving Jane, Paul Wall, Shawnna, Keyshia Cole, Taking Back Sunday and Yung Joc!

P.P.S. Led Zeppelin? Who dat?

P.P.P.S. And don't even get me STARTED about Dierks Bentley! "Dierks Bentley"? More like "RULES FOREVERLY" if you ask me!!!!

Reader Comments

Billdude
HAY! You forgot "GET OFF MY PLANE!!!!"

Add your thoughts?

Yellow Submarine - Apple 1969.
Rating = 5
Sorry about the low grade, but this soundtrack to the psychedelic cartoon movie of the same name features only FOUR previously unreleased Beatles songs. The rest of the thang is slopped up with a couple of old Beatles classics and a whole goddamned side of George Martin's classical music crap. I'm all for George Martin in the photo booth, but his soundtrack music is wussy, boring and overall amazingly irritating.

But the four new Beatles songs are great! Had they been released as a four-song EP, I would have given that EP a 9 (surprised?) The songs, if you care, are "Hey Bulldog," "It's All Too Much," "Only A Northern Song," and "All Together Now," all of which sound like they were recorded during the Magical Mystery Tour era, but everything I've read says that this record came out after the White Album, so whatever. Anyway, George's songs are the real highlights here - "Only A Northern Song" is either a parody of or a tribute to all the wildass psychedelic music that was going down at the time (and it's hilarious), and "It's All Too Much" points the way OUT of psychedelia (oh, okay, he'd started creeping out during the White Album, but this furthers that progression, yee), and sounds a lot like the poorly sung but decently written guitar rock you might find on one of his solo records. John's "Hey Bulldog" is pretty damn great too. Paul's "All Together Now" sounds like something you might hear on Mr. Rogers, but then again, this is Paul McCartney we're talking about. Somebody knocking on the door? Somebody ringing the bell? Do me a favor! Ah me. How's the motor home?

Reader Comments

leonard@lyco.lycoming.edu (Brian Leonard)
Some people think this is the worst Beatles album since it was the only one released in both Britain and the US with "filler" soundtrack music, and it includes two songs from other albums (the title track and "All You Need Is Love"). They may be right, but like most soundtrack albums, it's meant to be a souvenir of the film, and taken from that perspective, it succeeds. The two repeat songs are key songs in the film, so it's hard to imagine a soundtrack without them; and the George Martin movie music is absolutely perfect for the childlike cartoon. I think it stands on its own and actually enjoy listening to it as much as the songs.

Having said all that: it probably IS the last of the original Beatles albums you'd want to buy.

dbailey@rci.rogers.com (Derek Bailey)
I agree with Brian. The soundtrack "filler" is really very good and I also enjoy listening to it. The two GH songs are fantastic. They are worth the price of the record all by themselves.

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
I have never heard this! And the Beatles have always been my favorite purveyors of music. Go figure. I do have to say that the version of "Northern Song" on the Anthology is pretty neat, though.

tsawyer@lfpress.com (Tom Sawyer)
If the White Album is a double that would have made a great single, this is an LP that would have made a great EP. But it's worth owning if only for "Hey Bulldog", which Lennon regarded as an utter throwaway. He must have been talking about the lyrics. The riff ranks with Lennon's great ones in "Day Tripper" and "I Feel Fine", and it features one of his rare recorded guitar solos. Great stuff.

daniel@fhsk.skurup.se (Daniel Reichberg)
I hate to break the illusion, but "Only a Northern Song" was recorded and intended for Sgt Pepper, "All Together Now" and "Its All Too Much" were both recorded in May -67, and "Hey Bulldog" was recorded in February -68. Which leaves Yellow Submarine with - NO NEW SONGS!

About the music: "Hey Bulldog" is definitely one of the Beatles "forgotten classics". "Northern Song" and "Too Much" are a bit over-psychedelic, but good anyway. "All Together Now" is one of the very very few Beatles songs I could actually live without!

starostin@geocities.com (George Starostin)
I may be dumb, but I don't find the Martin instrumentals boring. I even find some kind of Beatles spirit in them - which isn't at all surprising, since he was the fifth Beatle. But I'd advise everybody to watch the cartoon: these instrumentals work much better in the context of specific scenes. Maybe they are not at all essential, but I would strongly disagree with the proposal to add the 4 tracks as bonuses to different releases and destroy this album. I would like to have it preserved. So I agree with Brian Leonard on this one.

By the way, 'Hey Bulldog' is in my top 10 Beatles' songlist. Can anybody imitate dog barking as well as the guys did on here? 'What'd you say?' 'I said: Wow'. 'D'ya know any more?' 'Wow-wa!' It's HILARIOUS!

DABaker@cadet.vfmac.edu (Darryl Alan Baker)
I LOVE "Hey Bulldog." GREAT song! The whole album is good. I even enjoy the cheesy symphonies.

religiousgerbil@earthlink.net (Timothy Cunningham)
Well, the George Martin songs are utter crap to my rock and roll ears. But "Hey Bulldog" is superb. You can really tell how much a part drugs played in the four new Beatles song. They are still great, and by far worth the price of the entire cd.

tribble@integrityonline2.com
It's all too much is The Harrison equivilent to any Lennon/McCartney #1. It is my all time favorite Harrison Beatle song.

ian-moss@yale.edu
I never listen to the George Martin side of this album, but the Beatles side is awesome. "It's All Too Much" and "Hey Bulldog" RULE, and the other songs (even the previously released ones) more than hold their own. I don't really consider this a full album, though, so I don't think it's worth fans' time to bash it the way they do--give the boys a break, huh? If you want to have every Beatles song, then buy it; if you don't care that much, then don't. It's as simple as that.

BtheW@aol.com
Of course, now we have The Yellow Submarine Songtrack, which omits the George Martin stuff and adds the other songs from the film. Even though this gives us a lot more duplications of the songs from the other albums, it still kind of salvages this album.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
"Hey Bulldog" is one of the best Beatles songs ever! Awesome song! What a riff, what a harmonies! In one word, it's along the best works of The Beatles. "Only A Northern Song" is also VERY good. "All Together Now" is funny. "It's All Too Much" is trippy and groovy.

One mustn't ignore this album, it's another Beatles album after all. And all The Beatles are GENIUSES, they can do nothing bad.

Jcjh20@aol.com
They just made a new version (1999? i forget when) where they dumped the Martin instrumental pieces and remastered other outstanding Beatles songs ("Eleanor Rigby", "Lucy in the sky with diamonds", etc.) along with the 6 songs (im counting "All You Need Is Love" and the title track) from the original soundtrack album. So, its a NEW soundtrack album! Which looks more like a Beatles compilation CD. That id give a 9. But anyway, those 5 songs (besides the title track, the title track is silly, albeit utter classic of course) are absolute classics. "Hey Bulldog" being my favorite, although "Its All Too Much" is an outstanding noisy George song. I never heard the George Martin instrumental pieces though.

mabewa@yahoo.com
Yeah, this would have made a great 4-song EP. Then they could have put it on the Past Masters CD and people could listen to it without having to pay full-price for a whole side of Martin instrumentals and two songs that they already have (anyone who bought this before they bought Revolver and Sgt. Pepper is on serious crack!). Better yet, they could have included the extra songs as bonus tracks on The White Album or Magical Mystery Tour or something like that.

I've never heard the Yellow Submarine LP that they issued in '99, but that basically replaces the Martin instrumentals with more tracks that you should already have. It does kinda intrigue me, though, because the tracks are apparently not only remastered, but also remixed.

Here in Japan, there is a simple way of getting around this kind of situation: they have these DVD/CD rental shops, so you can rent the CD for 3 bucks and put it on yer computer before you bring it back to the store. That's how I got the 4-songs-that-should-have-been-an-EP. Sure, it cost 3 bucks, but that's a lot cheaper than buying the entire album! I'll have to try doing that with the remixed LP someday...

Anyway, as for the 4 songs on the "EP"--Hey Bulldog and It's All Too Much are great, Only a Northern Song is pretty good and spacy, and I even like It's All Together Now--it's idiotic, but it seems like it knows it's idiotic, and it has a kind of a creepy charm. I like the way all these songs sound tossed off: even when the Beatles were clearly dicking around, they were great.

Ben
One of those albums that should have been an EP, and that was the original idea too. Not that the George Martin instrumentals suck, but they're pretty unnecessary. Concerning the beatles side, the songs are great (except for "All Together Now" which is kinda lame), and it's a shame they had to be wasted for this album. Again, not much to say about it, only for hardcore fans, get the Songtrack instead.

Add your thoughts?

Let It Be - Apple 1970.
Rating = 9
I hated it as a youngster cuz it was so country-western. Now I love it cuz it's so raw. Like a good hamburger. Sounds more like The Band than the Beatles, but The Band were never anywhere near this good. It's got Billy Preston playing lots of piano on it, and it's a real rhythm-and-bluesy 70's-sounding album (much of it recorded live!). PLUS, THERE'S A FART JOKE AT THE BEGINNING OF "I DIG A PONY!!!!!!!" AND HOW CAN YOU BEAT A DAMN FART JOKE???????? Even though The Beatles themselves claim to not like this album, I think it's great - for once, it sounds like they didn't re-record every song until it was just right (and of course, they didn't; Phil Spector just picked out the stuff he liked best, and added stupid strings and choruses as he saw fit for no good reason). Instead, it's a really cool dichotomy between overproduced slick anthems ("Across The Universe," "Let It Be," and "The Long And Winding Road") and incomplete little himmy-jimmies (most of the rest of the album, especially the uproarious "Dig It" and "Maggie Mae").

This stuff was originally recorded for a movie, see. Bright old Paul thought it would be a good idea to film a Beatles album session for a movie because it would force them to all work together as a band again, instead of doing everything alone like on the White Album. Welllll, apparently all they did was fight, and this album is the result of that fighting.

FINE WITH ME! I wish every fighting band could record an album this good! This is probably the least liked album in the Beatles catalog, but I don't subscribe to that point of view. It'd be such an ignorant thing to do if the Russians love The Beatles too. How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer's deadly toy? There's not even an ounce of psychedelia on Let It Be, but it's not a return to their early guitar sound either. It's something new. Something scuzzy and raw and long-haired and pot-smoking and dirty - again, more like The Band than The Beatles, except that I really don't like The Band at all. There's beauty here. Good songwriting, too! Come on, buy it.

Buy it!

Reader Comments

ddamiani@liberty.uc.wlu.edu (David J. Damiani)
"Get Back" is an exceptional song, and the Beatles tone down the surrealism a bit this time around, thank goodness. It's easy to get addicted to "Don't Let Me Down," too. Billy Preston is critical to the enjoyability of this album.

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
Oh, to have been wandering down Savile Row that day in 1969...

Weigelda@aol.com (Dave Weigel)
No way. This album is a disgrace to the Beatles' name--and I'm not even a big fan! Sure, the title track, "Across the Universe" and "Get Back" are classics, but they should have been released as singles (I think they were anyway). The rest is bootleg quality--half-finished songs, mediocre (for them) pop, boring blues. I can't believe you gave this a 9/10--do you really think this record is "truly great"? The Beatles were one of the greatest bands ever, but not everything they did was golden. 5/10.

Justyn909@aol.com (Justyn Dillingham)
"Get Back" was released as a single, though it's a different (better) version that you can get on the Rarities album, I think, or the Past Masters CD. "Across The Universe" was never released as a single, but there's a version on Anthology 2 that's much better than the one on here. This is definitely not their best, but "The Long & Winding Road" and the title song are great ballads, and "I've Got A Feeling" is great rock'n'roll, period.

rsuarez@bellsouth.net (Randy Suarez)
Call me crazy but this is one of my favorite Beatle albums. Mac's "Two Of Us" sung together with Lennon is one of those lost gems the Beatles have so many of. Same thing applies for "I've Got A Feeling".

The singles are truly great. "Get Back" (the original title for the project) has a serious groove; "Let It Be" is inspirational- try hearing it and not singing along with it- that song has lifted me out of many doldrums; "Across The Universe" is one of Lennon's best efforts, very pensive.

"The Long And Winding Road" is almost perfect. I believe that Spector went too far (doesn't everybody), but eventually this song would've needed some over-dubbing.

I love the organic sound of the album, very real and lots of acoustic stuff. The rest of the songs "909", "For You Blue", etc. are all fine.

One of the plans of the original concept was to re-record old Beatle standards like "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and so on. They were thinking about unplugged stuff a generation before it became trendy. Cool. Shrug.

jvarner@injersey.com
Since Rubber Soul and Revolver are my favorites, and I was only familiar with the murky sounding or Spector-ruined hits from Let It Be, I wasn't too keen on ever buying it. However, once I heard the Anthology 3 versions of "I've Got a Feeling," "Dig a Pony," and especially "Two of Us," I realized that this is the most underrated album I've ever underrated.

If any other band but the Beatles had released "Two of Us" as a single, people would call it a masterpiece and you'd hear it on those classic rock stations every day. But after you've released singles like, say, "We Can Work It Out," the fans won't accept anytrhing less than perfection. I guess that's the only downside of being the best pop group ever.

arnoldnicholas@hotmail.com
Let it Be is good but if you want to hear the songs the way they were meant to be heard, before Phil Spector fucked them up, check out the bootleg As Nature Intended. It includes original cut of Let it Be (titled Get Back) and the entire rooftop concert. truly down and dirty and hard rocking. The best part, when playing live they actually sound like they are still having fun!

ronin2@email.msn.com (Dave Weigel)
Sweet candy Jesus, will you people lighten up on Phil Spector! The guy is one of the pre-eminent rock producers of all time. Sure, if you like stripped down, acoustic music, you'll write him off. Do you realise that Phil produced every song on the album? That includes "Two of Us" and "Don't Let Me Down", you know. Did he "ruin" these songs with over-lush production? Hell, no. He perfected them. John Lennon praised Spector's production on Let it Be, and how he turned what was essentially a bunch of raw, prenatal demos into complete songs. "I Me Mine" was originally 90 seconds long; Spector looped it to give it some more weight. His "Get Back" is far superior to the single version. This album would never have been made without Phil Spector, so if I hear ONE MORE DISPARIGING WORD about him, I will come to your house and beat you to death with my car.

Thanks for listening.

kenyon@mail.netnitco.net
Just in case anyone cares, my marching band did a Beatles show my junior year. Songs were "Because," "Come Together," "Magical Mystery Tour," "The Long and Winding Road," "Get Back," and "The End." Being a Beatles freak, I loved the concept. Being a Beatles freak, I wanted to murder our arranger for doing such a shitty job. Playing parts of that show was PAINFUL. Especially in "The Long and Winding Road." His arrangement of "Magical Mystery Tour" was actually pretty good, but not good enough to make up for that one.

jarwood@ui.urban.org (Jay Arwood)
Sorry Mark, last time tonite, promise!

Just a couple of thoughts on the Let it Be album. First-you're quite correct that what saves this effort is the "live feel," understandably present because Paul's idea was to "get back" to the Beatles roots and this project was originally to have concluded with a live concert somewhere (to which John's apocryphal response to Paul floating this idea was "are you f-cking stupid" or words to that effect).

Phil Spector. He was brought in after all the tracks had been "laid down" and left to make some sense of it all. Now I like (hold onto those stones) Phil's "wall of sound" efforts, but he just f-cking ruined Paul's Long & Winding Road with all those strings. I understand there's a better version on one of the anthologies. I can't recall right now if it was on the album or the single he screwed up George's great guitar solo on Let it Be but whichever, it was sacrilege!

The songs. This is a very uneven album (even more so than The Beatles). Good to great stuff like Get Back, Let it Be, Long & Winding Road (if you can ignore Spector's embellishments), worth-a-listen but not great stuff like Two of Us, I, Me, Mine, I got a Feeling, and Revolution-9-level stuff like maggie mae, one after 909, and For You Blue.

I liked Yellow Submarine (for the Beatles-side material) a lot better than this.

Maybe its just that I associate this music with the film, which is a very depressing chronicle of the band's obvious splintering.

Melodie83@aol.com (Joe)
One of my favorities from my Beatles collection.Most people think Sgt.Pepper was a masterpiece it was close but a record that could of been a masterpiece is this one.If John could of kept Yoko out of the studio and the boys could of gotten back to work they would of perfected these songs but most of the stuff is great anyway.I Dig a Pony is a great rocker John said it was a nonsense song that made no sense it's great anyway that vocal smokes, I Got A Feeling a sample of heavymetal's future how wasn't this song a hit I don't know ?this proves Paul wasn't only a ballad writer a classic, Paul shows how great a singer he was then those notes when he screams amazing! Two Of Us it should of been a single great harmony Let It Be is great of course I Me Mine is one of Georges best songs ever One After 909 is great to considering it's one of the first songs The Beatles ever did.Get Back is good Across the Universe is a classic i wish they would of added drums to this song like in the film Let It Be it would of been even better.the only bad thing about this album Don't Let Me Down is not included a ripoff to fans cause the song was recorded during the making of the lp they should of included this song instead of Maggie Mae or Dig It wboth of which are incomplete ,at only 35min in length Capitol could re release the album with extra tracks a must for any Beatles fan don't listen to music critics there all idiots anyway.I give this album an 8

ian-moss@yale.edu
Another album that doesn't deserve the venom so often spewed at it; this is one of my favorite "comfort" albums that I listen to when I'm down. All of the songs are so soothing and warm, even the rockers and the jams, somehow...well, except maybe for "I Me Mine," which is a great song nonetheless. I think "Across the Universe" is the best song on here--what lyrics! what a chorus! It epitomizes that mood that I was talking about earlier...like clothes fresh from the dryer. I do hate "One After 909," though--the song was bad to begin with, and then they "updated" it to make it even worse.

BtheW@aol.com
Speaking technically, the sessions for this album were produced by Glyn Johns (who also worked for the Stones). George Martin was fed up with all the bickering and only showed up once in a while. Phil Spector wasn't involved until early 1970, and was strictly 'post-production.' Not counting the fruity orchestrations, he did a pretty good job, but this was mainly an editing job, and a matter of selecting which take of each song would end up on the album. Also, they DID re-record every song ad nauseum during these sessions, because they initially refused to do overdubs. This meant redoing a song as many times as it took before getting a perfect take. It's funny, though, that's the same thing they did with 'Twist And Shout,' but they didn't have to go any further than take two, and ended up using take one. With these sessions, though, something nasty was in the air, and they were having a hell of a time getting good takes on anything. That's why Spector's editing and what-not was needed. But, I'll never come to the conclusion that his style of orchestration was appropriate for Beatles music.

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
Poor Phil Specter. I'm sure he didn't mean to become the object of hatred for thousands of Beatles fans just because he added seriously tacky strings and choruses to some of the otherwise great songs here. I'm sure he has to swim in a pool full of gold coins a la Scrooge McDuck to cheer himself up. Poor Phil Specter.

Amgreenberg@aol.com
Years ago, when I was unfortunate enough to be working in a supermarket as a part time job, they played the same tape over and over again over the PA system as background music. It was truly godawful, but every hour or so, I got a brief respite when "Let It Be" was played, the one song I liked in the entire rotation. It was like a brief moment of salvation and to this day, that song is one of my all time favorites.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Why do you people ignore "I Me Mine"?! It's a masterpiece! I admire this glorious song, it's one of the best Harrison's songs! Well, the other stuff also rules: "Across The Universe", "Let It Be", "I've Got A Feeling", "The Long And Winding Road" are awesome and the remaining tracks are very decent. Critics tend to bash this album, but I like it.

Muggwort@aol.com
I really don't like let it be, first of all I don't like country and also bringing Phil specter to produce the Beatles was just a bad idea second of all of the songs sound completely lackluster, also the dialogue is stupid and unnecessary and most importantly isn't Maggie Mae a rod Stewart song!?! Why the hell are the Beatles covering rod Stewart?!?

6/10

Jcjh20@aol.com
Great stuff! Believe it or not, there ARE classics on here. What about the title track? Or "Ive Got A Feeling" ? Or "Two Of Us"? Or "Across The Universe"? Or "The Long And Winding Road"? Or "Get Back"? Or....Ok ok ok ill stop. But... yeah i think you get the point. Some great songs on this, even though people think its lackluster for some reason. Not a very good follow up to Abbey Road (It was done before that album anyway!) but great! A 9!

nikus80@hotmail.com (Aprentice)
Easily the worst of the late period beatles, I used to despise it but I really love it now. I mean, look at this songs:

Two of Us

Dig A Pony

I Me Mine

Let It Be

I've Got A Feeling

All of these are WONDERFUL songs! And now look at these:

Across The Universe

The Long And Winding Road

Get Back

They're quite good. Across the Universe and The Long And Winding Road are spoiled by Spector production. Then again, maybe not. See, he made an album from demos and unfinished songs, I don't belive anyone could have made it better except for The Beatles theirselves. I really don't like how Across the Universe sounds, John didn't like it either, but he said he had to go on with music, to not look back, and that's why he never did it again. I belive that Fiona Apple's cover is much better than the Let It Be original.

The Long And Winding Road is good, but I don't like it that much. The orchestation is ok, maybe is Paul singing that doesn't fits in. There is an acoustic version on Anthologies, but I haven't heard it. (And that naked version, which I haven't heard either)

Get Back, I mean, is too generic and underproduced to my ears. It's cool nonetheless.

Ok, then you have:

For You Blue

One After 909

Which are good. The first is a nice blues song, but it pales in comparison to the other song. The later is a very old song which is a generic good rocker, and I like it.

Then you have Maggie Mae and Dig It, which are silly throwaways, but they're short, and I guess you could spect a post-mortem record to have some filler. But had Phil taken both out and added Don't Let Me Down, and this would have rocked much more than it did. In fact, had the Beatles taken those songs with the same care as any other album, and this album would have been on the same pedestal (or higher) as the others. You'll never know. Buy it anyways.

uglytruth@hotmail.com (Hossein Nayebagha)
I think this album is a good reason why they quit. It's not bad at all, but they're doing something that is comparable to what other bands were doing at the same time - they were moving away from the typical Beatles sound, so a few more records would have made their discography look less impressive than it is.

I just don't find a rootsy country/blues sound too much to get wild about. "I've Got A Feeling" is a great song, and so is "Two Of Us"..."For Your Blue" has some wicked guitars, but that's it. None of the others are great, just good. For instance, why is "Get Back" a classic ? Because it's been (and possibly is?) suggested to be Paul's message to Yoko ? Because it's easy for sing-alongs ? I don't know, but I could name about 50 Beatles songs, presently not considered to be amongst the true classics, better than this one.

I'll never forgive Phil Spector for ruining "The Long and Winding Road" (I've read somewhere that Paul wasn't pleased with it). The one on Anthology 3 is brilliant...Even Paul's vocals are better on that one - which is obviously not Spectro's fault.

And the alternate version of "Let It Be" on Past Masters has a much, much, better guitar solo.

If these two had been fixed the way they are on other sessions, I could possibly have given it a 9, but the way it is now, it gets a weak 8.

battisti.7@osu.edu (Bobby)
Man, nobody on here gets this album. I wasn't born until 1985... I didn't even live during the time they were a group.. not even close. But knowing (their) history pretty well I can break down this album for you... It's them doing a concert for everyone who buys the album. That's the whole point of the damn album... its a concert that they felt they couldn't actually do, since the last time they had to leave candlestick park in a damn armored car. That's why it's so damn great... its a live studio album. I love it, buy the damn album and listen to it.

Spector didn't ruin anything... he turned something too raw into a great album... I've listened to Let it Be Naked and was not that impressed.

If there's one reason the Beatles are the best band ever it is because of their ability to do new things, and create new concepts. This was an experiment... their last released experiment, which I think is beautiful.

David.Moses@odpm.gsi.gov.uk
If this wasn't the beatles, it is possible most of this stuff would not have been released. 'The long and winding road' is one of my favourite Beatles songs, but we never get to hear a version of it, as it should have sounded, even though I like the orchestration. Same goes for 'across the universe.' A great song, but so badly produced and dishonest to the originl recording.

As for 'dig it' and 'maggie mae', these are crap, whether by the beatles or anyone.

'I me mine' is another nice one, but it was only 1:34 originally, and is also touched up in the studio, so is also not really 'the beatles'.

'One after 909' is a song that demonstrates just how poor this album, as a whole is. Written back in 1962, to have to resurrect such a pedestrian sounding rocker, shows how little new material Lennon had at the time. His contributions on this are far less noteable than McCartney.

That leaves the other songs- 'two of us', sounds like a live recording, and, while a great song, just sounds so simplistic.

'Dig a pony' is just garbage. No direction, beginning, middle or end, and no melody or lyrics to speak of. Just meandering filler.

'Let it be' is always going to be an exceptional song, but is overplayed now. Still shows Macca had become leader of the group and could churn out a standard, at will.

I like 'for you blue', but 'get back' was never really one of my faves.

A lot of people give 'I've got a feeling' as the last 50-50 collaboration of Lennon and McCartney, but this is nonsense. The whole song is by McCartney, with a middle eight added by Lennon, that acts as a counterpoint for the main melody. The heaviest song on the album, it is also one of the best. Energy packed, with great vocals and loads of good guitar work.

I have been overtly critical, but I do like the album, just think it should be realised what a stichced up job was actually done here.

mbleicher1@yahoo.com (Michael Bleicher)
I agree with the 9. The first 5 or 10 times I listened to it, it seemed really uneven to me, sure "Two of Us" and all those ballads I knew from the Blue Album (Greatest Hits 1967-70), but everything else seemed kind of...incomplete, in some way or another-lyrics that didn't hold up, boring playing, etc. Also, Spector's strings kind of got to me-I personally like them on "The Long and Winding Road" and "Across the Universe" (but that could just be cause I grew up with the Spector versions of these songs) cause I think they heighten the emotional climaxes of the songs. However, they're totally out of place on "I Me Mine" and Spector completely fucks up "Let It Be", save his decision to use George's second, and vastly superior, solo. That has to be the best guitar solo he ever played with the Beatles. Anyway, back to my earlier thing about not liking most of the album, as I listened to it more I grew to enjoy the off-the-cuffness to it, all of Lennon's jokes, etc. Plus, "I've Got a Feeling" and "Dig a Pony" are great relaxed rock and roll numbers. (Am I the only one who sees some references to Paul from John in both of these songs, both in "Everybody put the fool down" in I've Got A Feeling and "All I want is you/But everything has got to be just like you want it to" in Dig A Pony? Sure, Dig A Pony is probably to Yoko, but it's possible.). ANYway.yeah. This is a good album. I'm still undecided about whether the new Let It Be Naked album is better, though (besides the stupid title and cover shot). Most of the songs sound basically the same, except for the Spectorised ones. Of those, I Me Mine is definitely better, Across the Universe is totally different but equally amazing (a bit trippier, I suppose), and The Long and Winding Road is finally the way Paul wanted it, so that's good, I suppose. It's certainly less overproduced. My only real quibble is with Let It Be. Why not just use the Martin mix of the song, delete the horns (cause it's naked, eh?), and fly in the George solo the Spector used? The take, or creation, whatever it is, on LIBN is kind of underwhelming. Other points of dissent: the talking, "Dig It" and "Maggie Mae" is gone, which makes the album more "professional", but part of the original Let It Be/Get Back concept was to show the Beatles at work in the studio. Of course, the Beatles were mainly just bitching at each other in the studio by that point, and the conversation was just tacked on by Spector, and "Dig It" and "Maggie Mae" don't really merit being tracks on the album, as fun as they are.so it's kind of a toss up, I guess. Neither album is really closer to the Beatles' original vision when they went into the studio to cut the tracks, anyway (partly cause the Beatles didn't KNOW what their artistic vision was at that point)-Let It Be Naked sounds, overall, more stripped down, like they wanted it to but lacks the other elements (mentioned above) that were to be part of the album. Let It Be has John's quips and the musical asides, but the whole concept of the record is ruined by his layering of orchestras and singing ladies onto four of the songs. Oh well, it's just a fucking rock and roll album, anyway. And not even the Beatles best, or really close to it! Wow! Most groups would be mighty pleased to release Let It Be, as their best album, y'know? Alright, I'll shut up now. Just one more thing: what's the deal with the version(s) of Get Back on both Let It Be albums? Why did they use the single version? Why not use the kickass rooftop version on Anthology 3? That one's great.

tim@populus.com (Tim Berry)
I have read for so many years about Phil Spector overproducing this album. Bunk. I think at the time, the Beatles were all abut split up as a group. Each member was out doing their own material and trying new things on their own. For them to come together and put together these songs and present it as well as they did, attests to their professionalism and their enduring ability to create something superior to what many other bands would have to work their behinds off to produce.

alexmortland@hotmail.com
Bah. Phil didn't ruin "The Long & Winding Road". It was a boring, sappy piece of MOR shit to begin with, and what do you do with a song like that? Why, you pile a bunch of sappy MOR strings on it!

Phil didn't ruin this record, either. He did the best he could with some uninspired performances and compositions. No producer could've turned this into a great album, nevermind a great BEATLES album.

Tim Blake - Staticnz@gmail.com
I didn't come to this one with any preconceptions...and...listening, wtf are some people on? There's nary a dip in quality of song-writing to be heard, and it's an ass-hair's (a horse's one, that's pretty long) more consistent than the White Album. I adore 'Two Of Us' cos it sounds like an awesome musical collaboration between Paul and John. It's the only Beatles track I can recall in which they basically sing to each other, the message being 'this farkin asshole pisses me off and I can't wait to not be near him'. John since renounced 'Dig A Pony', which makes me think the guy has crappy taste because it's a wicked song, with a particularly fun and caustic vocal performance. 'Across The Universe' is nice mystical fodder, which reminds me of Oasis, which is a backwards way to put things. If he wanted to renounce a track it should have been this one, but it's still good.

Meanwhile George Harrison is flying high with the wonderful 'I Me Mine' and the particularly farkin' oarsum 'For You Blue' which is the best. John has a stinker in the dreadful 'Dig It', which is to say it's Phil Spector's fault for including it. And 'Maggae Mae' is crap, with Paul thinking Phil put it in to mock him and considering how shite the song is I wouldn't say I doubt this. 'One After 909' is typical bluesy shuffle...not good...not bad. Who cares. 'The Long And Winding Road' is controversial in that Paul flipped out over the arrangement, but it's a reasonably shitty song in any form, in my opinion, and the strings fit ok.

Then you got the final two epics. 'Let It Be' is indeed an awesome classic but with time can be quite annoying and one-dimensional, and then 'Get Back' which rocks down the casbah and trips the light-fandango. The bomb!

Anyways I put down almost half this album but it's still great. It's mostly a fine album, most CERTAINLY underrated, and not NEAR the worst of the Beatles. It's better than the White Album which was more half a good (often great) album, half atrocious embarrassment. That is where you can find the very worst of the Beatles. 'The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill'? Come uuuuun! Ewwwww. Objectively (guffaw!) speaking I could only give that one a 5 for being exactly half pure crud. Ps. George Harrison rools.

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Get Back - Bootleg.
Rating = 9
The only bootleg Beatles album ever produced, this features all of your favorite Let It Be tunes in alternate, Spectorless versions -- plus the highlight of your life, the rest of "Dig It"!!!!! "Teddy Boy" sucks my large intestines clear out of my wastetunnel, however, and always will.
Reader Comments

BtheW@aol.com
I've always found this to be an odd album, since the versions used here were mostly lesser takes than the ones on Let It Be. This isn't just a matter of mixing/ editing/overdubs - they just used the wrong takes. And this was the album that was going to come out before Abbey Road - warts and all.

chris.clare@bt.com
If you can actually get a copy that plays at the correct speed (most hear this and thinks its all bad takes! - wrong! 90% of bootlegs of this regardless of clarity are playing too slow....) this is far more enjoyable than Let It Be and a much better companion to the Let It Be movie (which was also a second edit - the original lasting 2 hours as opposed to 80 mins).

Some takes are the same as let it be (the rooftop version of One After 909 opening the album is far better than 2 of Us as a starter...) - there are other things that give this album an extra push on the spectorized version though - The monkeying around of Save The Last Dance For Me hilariously breaking into Dont Let Me Down (which was already a double A side by that point...) - superb... the version of Let It Be (with Lennons asking McCartney if it was OK to giggle during the solo..) and the McCartneys tresured version of L&WR (the one that caused the final breakup announcement - this is amazing - surprising McCartney was pressing for the release of this version as the playing is so laid back... Johns bass playing is almost sloppy...) - all in all a really entertaining album.

Glyn Johns should get royalties on the bootlegs because for my own ears his 2nd mix (the main one in circulation) is easily the best outcome of these sessions.

I have the movie on VCD if anyone wants to trade by the way - email me!

NMcpherson@fac.unc.edu (Earl McPherson)
Hey Mark, you did good rating "Let It Be" a nine. I bought this thing when it came out back when I was getting ready to start the ninth grade. The album kinda depressed me because the sound was 'different' and I knew that The Beatles were goners. A few years back on some radio station a disk jockey played the whole album for some reason. I hadn't heard it in years and it made me think of how good it was. If only one of these so-called 'artists' of today came out with something of this caliber it would be a friggin' miracle.

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Let It Be...Naked - Capitol 2003
Rating = 9
As a grown man who once as a grown child recorded a jokeless parody of "Let It Be" entitled "Bugs Bunny," I'm at least quasi-aware of my lowly status on the rung of American trendsetters. Just as Nancy Kerrigan got all of America hitting each other in the ankles with metal pipes and Garth Brooks popularized balding, I have had absolutely no impact on anything whatsoever in the history of always. There are two chief reasons for this: one is my creative and intellectual impotence, but the other is much more intangible and sinister to contemplate: to become a celebrity, you have to deal with a whole lot of arrogant human beings. Constantly. Daily. Politics. Supposed adults behaving like jealous 6-year-olds. It's amazing that anybody would bother running that gauntlet of bullshit and belittling morons to get to the golden globe at the end of the star trek -- and I don't (necessarily) mean the Golden Globe award that you automatically receive for appearing in a Star Trek film. I mean the kind of instant celebrity and subsequent burnout that turns skateboarders into rapist/murderers and Different Strokes stars into crackheads, psychos, dead porn stars and Born Again Christian billionaire snuff film directors (did you know that that little redheaded kid Sam grew up to become a Born Again Christian billionaire snuff film director? I didn't either! But I guess it's true what they say -- the truth is stranger, and less likely to be found on my web site, than fiction). However, I can finally today say that I've influenced something because I've been listening to Let It Be naked for years. I remember the first time was on I-85 in Atlanta; I had the top down and was jiggling my balls up and down to the strains of "The Long A

Let It Be...Naked was Paul McCartney's attempt to reissue the Beatles' penultimate (which, incidentally, means SECOND to last... or second to "ultimate," I suppose) recording in what he personally considers its original form. Never mind that Beatles historians have for decades shaken their heads at what was supposed to the actual track listing of the Get Back LP (apparently the original track listing called for one or two other really weak tunes and LOTS of subpar takes of the songs you know and love) -- if Paul McCartney wants to believe that he has finally issued Let It Be as it was intended, well then Phil Spector must have done a great job in the first place because Paul hardly changed a thing.

The key differences between Let It Be and Let It Be...Naked are these: (a) different song order, (b) Naked features no jokey songs or band chatter, (c) Naked has a shorter version of "I Me Mine" (d) Naked Paul has removed alcoholic and suspected murderer Phil Spector's orchestral and chorale overdubs from "Across The Universe," "Let It Be" and "The Long And Winding Road," (e) Naked has "Don't Let Me Down." The key opinions I have of these differences are as follows: (a) now that it is no longer the lead-off track, "Two Of Us" doesn't sound like a terribly well-written or interestingly performed song. Surrounded by the genius melodicism that makes up the rest of the LP, it comes across kind of tired and off-key; (b) Although Naked sounds much tighter and less sloppy than Phil's original mix, I really LIKED all the jokey songs and band chatter! It just feels wrong somehow to not hear Lennon shouting, "'I Dig A Pygmy' by Charles Hawtrey And The Deaf-Aids! Phase one, in which Doris gets her oats." And who can forget the classic one-liner, "Hands are gettin' too cold to play the chords." And -- no offense to the jellybeans in the audience, but "Dig It" has always been one of my favorite tracks on the record. Its absence makes my heart grow fonder; (c) The original version did seem to go on a bit too long. Paul made the right choice here., (d) This was Paul's real coup here. Not necessarily the title track, which I could take either way, but the other two. I actually *LIKE* "The Long And Winding Road" now! The piano notes during the breaks, which I'd never been able to hear over the lugubrious violins, are as beautiful as a mailbox! And I've always loved "Across The Universe" anyway, but presented here by John on his strummy acoustic guitar with slight spacey overdubs of some sort, it is a gentle thing of fragile beauty rather than an overmurky sploosh of purpleness., (e) I've always disliked this song, but it actually works within the context of the album. I also like that John's vocals seem rawer on this version than on the Hey Jude one, and the mix focuses on his LOW vocal melody in the chorus, rather than Paul's high one, which I've just grown entirely sick of over the years.

If you already own Let It Be, I can't really say that Naked is worth your money (unless that bonus DVD has some good stuff on it). However, if you own neither, go for whichever one you find cheapest because they're both incredibly strong in the differing ways I've outlined. On a related note, I've heard folks mutter that only somebody with no imagination would consider The Beatles to be their favorite band of all time. Like, it's the "generic" choice, so only a generic person would make it. But see, here's the rub: it's really, really hard to knock the melodic smarts that they put into roughly 80% of their material. I've been intimately familiar (having sex) with the majority of their catalog since I was 6 years old and hardly ever get the proactive urge to put it on, but whenever I accidentally back into one of their songs while out on the town, it's like I'm hearing it for the first time. The harmonies, the pep, the neat voices, the time spent on delivering hummable vocal melodies -- the Beatles had it. I mean, REALLY had it. They could be a bit too novelty-esque at times, but even their novelty tunes were fairly catchy. By all accounts they should bore me stiff by this point in my life, but here I am listening to the Let It Be material in a different order with a slightly different mix and it is blowing me away like I've never heard it before! Those ridiculous stomping leaps up the guitar neck in "I Dig A Pony," the angelic guitar notes and hopeful McCartney vocals at the beginning of "I've Got A Feeling," George's light wispy vocal during the verses of "I Me Mine" - "flowing more freely than wine!" The choogling guitar rhythms and fun-as-hell bass line of "One Over 909." These are pieces of timeless art that I love today as much as I did yesterday and for roughly half of the day before that. Prior to that date, and since birth, I have loathed The Beatles, as I will do again in five minutes and for the rest of my life. Fuck you, Ringo!

Reader Comments

pdermody@twcny.rr.com
Let it Be was so raw in the beginning and now it is even more RAW! George Martin is the hero of the Day

P. S.-Where did you get the bootleg. I want to hear the rest of Dig It.

threelockboxtodd@yahoo.com
I like this version much, much better than the original. OK, a couple of songs bug me a bit. The version of Don't Bring Me Down on this reissue isn't as good as the version released on the Past Masters Vol 2 CD from the '80s. Niether is Across The Universe, (the best version of that is also on Past Master Vol 2). I don't why Paul felt the need to leave out Maggie Mae and Dig It, or include Don't Bring Me Down either.

Those minor gripes aside, its great to hear these songs in their unPhilled, exSpectorated form. As George Martin was once quoted regarding Let It Be, "I produced it, Phil Spector over-produced it". I just wished they'd remaster the entire back catalog now.

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The Complete Rooftop Concert - Bootleg
Rating = 6
If you read books and whatever - you know, newspapers and shit - you probably know about The Beatles' Let It Be disaster. Their plan was to have a film crew record their rehearsals for a new album and then top it all off with a big live show - their first in three years. Problem being - (a) John Lennon was a heroin addict, (b) John Lennon wouldn't go anywhere or make any decisions without conferring with Yoko Ono, a heroin addict, (c) Nobody would give George Harrison's songs the time of day, (d) To maintain peace in the band, Paul allowed the sessions to devolve into a series of pathetic, goofy covers of old 12-bar standards they'd enjoyed in their youth. And thanks to bootlegs like this one, we now know that these sessions SOUNDED even worse than they SOUNDED!

The first 34 minutes aren't bad, being a (near)-complete tape of the legendary 'top of the roof to yer' performance later copied by U2 - three takes of "Get Back," two "Don't Let Me Down"s, two "I've Got A Feeling"s, "I Dig A Pony" and "One After 909." Muffled, monophonic and 500th-generation, but legendary indeed.

Then you hit the second half of the CD, and it quickly dawns on you how gifted and perservering Phil Spector must have been to piece together an actual album (and a GREAT one!) from tapes this meandering, depressing and horrible. Excited by the thought of rare, unreleased tracks with titles like "The Walk," "Gone Gone Gone," "Wake Up In The Morning," "Harry Pinsker," "Stand By Me" and "Medley: Sausages And French Fries/Early In The Morning/Honey Hush"????? EXCITED?????? DAMN RIGHT YOU'RE EXCITED!!!!!

It's time to not be excited anymore. They're worthless half-assed 12-bar r'n'b jams by four men who couldn't stand the sight of each other. Just fucking around trying to make the hours go away. Even the attempts at light humor (all Paul's) are unfathomably depressing. You'll just shake your head in wonder - "THIS is the Beatles!? They went from The Top-Selling White Album to PLAYING OUT-OF-TUNE CRAP FROM THE 50'S!?" Sure, there are no Troggs-style blow-ups, but this kind of useless time-wasting - doing everything in their power to avoid having to learn each others' new songs - is perhaps even more disturbing. At least if they'd argued, we'd be left with the impression that they actually gave a shit about The Beatles. But they didn't - not at all.

Well, Paul cared, but he was so afraid that John, George and Ringo would quit the band (they all did, btw, at various points in the sessions) that nobody took control of the project and it flailed out of discontrol near-immediately. Say! Did you know that Paul tried to teach the band "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window," "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and "Oh! Darling" during these rehearsals? Any lingering questions about why these songs instead wound up on Abbey Road are quickly cleared up by one listen to John/George/Ringo's lazy, boneheaded attempts to follow along with Paul's piano playing (PPP). Take "Oh! Darling" for example. Easy song, right? Pretty basic r'n'b-based thing? Well, nobody told John! (or whoever's on bass. Maybe it was Paul's baby, if it had been born yet). And so a simple r'n'b loop-de-doo becomes a monumental tribute to ineptitude.

Although not a very listenable bootleg, The Complete Rooftop Sessions is an important one. It captures the very brief period of time during which The Beatles were a completely inadequate, dysfunctional piece of shit. If you're ever dissatisfied with the state of YOUR band, give this garbage a listen and you might just see things in a whole new light. "Hey buds," you'll say, putting your arm around Wes's shoulder and slipping a fifth dick into DJ Lethal's insatiable mouth, "I think we're all in agreeance that we're pretty much the worst band in the world but dude - at least we never sucked as bad as The Beatles."

Two nights ago I dreamt that Paul Simon started working at my company, and he was really nice, easygoing, down-to-earth and humble. And I felt so guilty about my insulting reviews of his failure-ridden discography of vomit that smells like piss and has the consistency of a turd that I planned to go home and rewrite all of them that very day, so as not to hurt his feelings should he find out about them.

Luckily it was all a dream so I don't have to change SHIT! Look, here's my Paul Simon impersonation: (*sings terrible song, comes up to my waist*)

Reader Comments

oldpantsnewjersey@hotmail.com
The 6th paragraph is 1st in my heart.

artflooney@aol.com
the beatles are my favorite band but theres no way in hell i would listen to this. i cant believe you made it all the way through. ive heard all this shit on various bootlegs and you did a great job of capturing the horribleness of the whole affair. you win for this-'It captures the very brief period of time during which The Beatles were a completely inadequate, dysfunctional piece of shit.'

jamesagardner@yahoo.com
When you look at the Get Back/Let It Be-era Beatles, it's not easy to single out the most tragic aspect of those grim times.

Was it the acrimonious, played-out band that spent a month trying to "get back" to their roots and barely got 40 minutes of usable music out of all those sessions? And then, only when Billy Preston came in to hold things together?

(If you want a great quantity of painful listening, check out the 19-or-so volume 30 Days bootleg series.) Or was it that the final live appearance by the most influential and revered pop band of the 20th century was this ragged runthrough of (mostly) sub-par material? As you point out, Mark, the rooftop music positively sparkles next to the studio trainwreckage. Pathetic fanboys -- like myself -- speculate on what the Beatles might've accomplished had John not lost interest in, and ceded control of the band to Paul. Not that McCartney didn't make some amazing music with the band. But John's total lack of involvement (any drug issues notwithstanding) by this stage effectively ruled out him making any viable contributions.

Check out his bass work on "Long and Winding Road"! I've heard better playing from Captain Hook! He probably considered it another treacly piece of Paul's grandma music, sure, but he also sounds like he can barely hang onto that bass guitar.

If you love the Beatles' music to the extent that you're kind of emotionally invested in it, do yourself a favor: avoid all the Get Back/Let It Be bootlegs (with the possible exception of the rooftop concert) and books like _Drugs, Divorce_, and a Slipping Image_, which chronicles those ugly sessions, day-by-day.

The truly amazing thing--the only thing that makes any of it tolerable for a die-hard Fabs fan--is that somehow, miraculously, they rallied, decided this crap couldn't be the endnote to their careers, and made a fitting final album with Abbey Road.

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Hey Jude (The Beatles Again) - Apple 1970.
Rating = 9
A bunch of essential singles from different points in their career. This is as important to your Beatles collection as any of the regular studio records, so be sure to pick it up. It follows them from the early rockin' days of "Can't Buy Me Love" and "I Should Have Known Better" (a great Wire song, by the way) through the bitchin' experimental rock Revolver days of "Rain" and "Paperback Writer" straight on through Paul's finest pop extravaganza "Hey Jude," John's rockinest (and most distorted) blues tune "Revolution," finally ending up the same place the Beatles did, with Billy Preston contributing some great groovy love organ to "Don't Let Me Down," George's songwriting deteriorating with a crappy song about a shoe, and John spending way too much time thinking about Yoko Ono. Essentially, you can follow the entire Beatles saga in one 40 minute collection. And these songs were never on American albums!!! Why??? Why??? Why??? I guess so we could all smile heartily as we saw this record in the "new releases" bin back in '70.

Well, not me personally, but those like me.

Reader Comments

Justyn909@aol.com (Justyn Dillingham)
This is the best of those 'American' albums (that Capitol released over here instead of the real album), IMO. "I Should Have Known Better" is my favorite song, and the rest is just too cool. And come on, "Old Brown Shoe" is a great rocker!

ian-moss@yale.edu
Another excellent album (even if it's not a real album) from the Beatles. The only thing I question is the inclusion of the older stuff ("Can't Buy Me Love" and "I Should Have Known Better"), which WERE on the American version of A Hard Day's Night and sound kind of out-of-place next to the psychedelic/random stuff on the rest of the album. But "Don't Let Me Down," "Revolution," "Hey Jude" and "Rain" are all killer. What a band.

akenyon@ups.edu (Amanda J. Kenyon)
I have this one on vinyl, and it's one of my favorites. Excellent collection of tunes from the poppy stuff to the trippy stuff. You need this record. And just for the record, I like Old Brown Shoe. Such a cute little song. :)

BtheW@aol.com
'Can't Buy Me Love' and 'I Should Have Known Better' were included on this album because A Hard Day's Night had come out on United Artists. This was Capitol's chance to release these two songs on an album. (Making 'A Hard Day's Night' the only song from the UA album not on a Capitol album - at least not until The Beatles 1962-1966.) Every other song on this album is now available on Past Masters Volume 2. I'd like to echo those in support of 'Old Brown Shoe' - this is my favorite of Harrison's Beatles tracks. Trivia question: what did the Beatles do the last time all four of them were in the same place at the same time? Answer: they got together for the photo session that yielded the front and back photos for this album.

mctippens@aol.com (Marty Tippens)
There ain't no way that that is Harrasteen playin' the guitar solo on 'Old Brown Shoe', Claptone maybe, not George. This is a great U.S. Beatles album.

bjohannesen@sympatico.ca (Ben Johannesen)
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned it on this page (if they did, I missed it), but the best recording of "Revolution" is by far the 45 RPM single version. You know, the flip side of "Hey Jude". I don't know why, from a technical standpoint - i think it's something about how deep they cut the groove when they made the acetate (am I making this up?) - but the sound on the 45 is seemingly louder and definitely much nastier than any other version available on vinyl or CD. That's including 67-70, Hey Jude and Past Masters II. The 45 is still available as a reissue, or your dad has it. So dig out your turntable and blow yourself! Away! "Revolution"??? More like "Revel-A-tion"!!! God I suck at this

Iluvmusiq@aol.com (Mark, Bellmore New York)
There is a slight difference on the harmonica track of "I Should've Known Better" on the Hey Jude album than on the Hard Day's Night album. This occurs at the beginning of the song. Just wondering if anyone else noticed. Also, the only place you can currently find this anomaly on CD (at the moment) is on the Russian import version of Hey Jude, which doesn't sound at all as if it were sourced from vinyl.

princess_vachtangov@yahoo.com
I don't get this one thing about Hey Jude. As I understand, the reason that it fades out for like two minutes is because they couldn't figure out how to end it? So, um, did they actually play it till the tape run out or they all dropped dead or something?

Well I certainly hope they did, since the song blows really hard.

That reminds me. Given that the nucular babe Palin could become the president of USA, is anybody else bothered by the fact that the president of the most powerful country in the world could’ve sucked some Alaskan guy’s weener? Or, bearing in mind that she’s a beauty contest winner, a LOT of Alaskan guys’ weeners? Come to think of it, though – since McCain spent five years in a Vietnamese prison, he’s probably got the weener sucking department covered anyway. No wonder he’s got such funny looking cheeks.

Note to Vietnam veterans: No-one takes death threats from 80 year old cripples seriously. And learn to type, what are you fucking dyslexic or something?

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Rock And Roll Music Volume Two - Capitol 1980.
Rating = 9
A compilation I got for four dollars when I was about ten. I take offense to their decision to pull COVER TUNES off of VI and '65 when there was so much killer original material they could have picked instead, but other than that, it's great, it being the Beatles and all.
Reader Comments

dbailey@rci.rogers.com (Derek Bailey)
George Martin says in his book All You Need Is Ears that he went back to the twin track mono masters in order to re-mix some of the early tracks so they would not be re-released in that far-left / far-right mode that many of the original songs are in. He did this when Capitol told him that they were going to release this double album totally in stereo. He was horrified at the prospect. (That's why the first four CD's were not released in stereo). Therefore Rock And Roll Music is worth having just to hear the re-mixes. "Roll Over Beethoven" has never sounded better.

BtheW@aol.com
Just in case anybody's wondering, there was also a Rock And Roll Music Volume One. Originally, these two albums were released as a double album in 1976 called (okay, I'm gonna have to think real hard to remember this....oh, yeah -) Rock And Roll Music. Previously there had been The Beatles 1962-1966 and The Beatles 1967-1970, which at least made a little sense as a collection of the most popular Beatles tracks (for whatever that's worth), but this was the first in a long line of shameless repackagings that followed various themes. Later there were Love Songs and Reel Music, for instance.

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Rarities - Capitol 1980.
Rating = 9
Basically, a rip-off (Wow! A version of "And I Love Her" with an extra repetition of the riff at the end????? WOW!!!!!!!!), but still a great listen. It's got the HILARIOUS "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)," a flaky George Harrison song you can't get anywhere else, and, as an added bonus, "There's A Place" and "Misery," the two great songs that were inexplicably left off of The Early Beatles. Oh! And it's got the SGT. PEPPER INNER GROOVE!! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Reader Comments

Trashsurfr@aol.com
What's the point? Once Capitol releases it, it's no longer a rarity, is it? You should review the bootleg series Unsurpassed Masters Vol 1-7.

MSROELOFS@prodigy.net (Mike in Hawaii)
The gloriously weird little track - "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" - first came out as the "b side" on one version of the original "Let It Be" single. I've got one of those 45s tucked away someplace.

akenyon@ups.edu (Amanda J. Kenyon)
Got this one on vinyl too, but I don't listen to it all that often. It just doesn't do much for me. The German things are cool, but that's about it. I do love "There's a Place" and "Misery," but I have both of those on Introducing the Beatles, which I'm pretty sure was an American release.

BtheW@aol.com
Incidentally, this was drastically different from the British version which came out the previous year. In Britain, there were a lot of b-sides that hadn't shown up on an album yet, so their version is mostly that stuff. In America, they probably could only have filled about a quarter of the album with the stuff that hadn't been on an album yet, so they resorted to various strange mixes (and even created a new mix of 'I Am The Walrus' by editing together two of the less common ones.) This was, by the way, the first US release of the original version of 'Love Me Do,' unless you count a bootleg from 1964 called The Original Greatest Hits. I remember being pretty happy they released this, since it was a nice break from all the theme compilations that were coming out every year.

drazy@gatecity.com
Blatant Capitol Records money grubbing, but I didn't mind at the time of the release. You got mono mixes, B-sides, German versions, the inner groove. But best of all, you got the full "Butcher" photo inside the gatefold with a rare, evil smile from Harrison. The cancer got him yesterday...Shit. My two favorite members on the other side now.

Add your thoughts?

Abbey Road - Apple 1969.
Rating = 9
Their last recorded effort. Goofy but spectacular. Like a shorter, tighter White Album, still full of silly novelty tunes and weird rock originals, but ending too damn quickly for my personal tastes. What's there is great, though. "Come Together" is the most bizarre blues rock song I've ever heard, thank you very much to Paul's el weirdo bass line and John's druggy vocal, lyrics, and guitar solo (unless that's George). Likewise, "I Want You" may not seem like much at first, but ends with about three minutes of this noisy guitar riff being repeated over and over and over again like a rock and roll mantra until it finally just cuts off dead. Cool.

And side two is that world-famous "suite" that you always hear on the radio - "Mean Mr. Mustard" and all that. What a great way to take a bunch of catchy but directionless ideas and piece them together into something not just listenable, but downright addictive! Paul made the right decision here. None of these songs would have been worth a whole lot as individual tracks (See Anthology III to hear how tiresome a full-length version of "Polythene Pam" can be), but together, man it's like an opera with no plot! A surreal rock and roll musical! A sitcom without John Ritter! Stunning, the way it goes back and forth between quiet balladry and rockyrow, reprising especially memorable bits throughout, until finally the Beatles call it a day with a bunch of solos and the resolution of "The End." Climax. Finale. Good night.

And then, about thirty seconds later, in typical sillyboy fashion, they destroy their regal mood with a dumbass little song called "Her Majesty." HA! Just like John said (and I'm paraphrasing), "We've got to keep our humor, because all the serious people get killed!" Then, of course, he got killed, but that's neither here nor there. The important thing to remember here is that The Beatles were something special. They wrote songs very well for a very long period of time. Even after they broke up, they individually had some good albums for a little while before they all turned to crap. They were wonderful. They left behind a legacy of incredible tunes to inspire generations and generations and generations upon, well, generations, to be perfectly frank with you. And they were very talented. Each and every one of them.

Except maybe Ringo.

Reader Comments

ddamiani@liberty.uc.wlu.edu (David J. Damiani)
Going out with all those bizarre songs is absolutely unprofessional. Good thing they released Let It Be after this to restore some of our lost trust in their ability to record serious rock. The "Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam/She Came In Thru The Bathroom Window" segment is the nadir of all Beatles music. Even the weird songs that sound good ("Octopus' Garden," for instance) are uncomfortably odd. And please, would everyone stop trying to find clever interpretations for the Paul-is-dead cover?

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
I am in absolute disagreement with Mr. Damiani. This is a supremely well-made, far-ranging, and totally perfect way for the Beatles to go out. Just thinking about the breakup of this amalgamation of creative energy as I listen to side two of this record makes me want to cry. Where oh where could they have gone?!

"Octopus's Garden" is so cool. Ringo had plenty of talent, he just was rightly overshadowed by three GODS of modern music.

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
I absolutely love this album. Top 5 Beatles albums should include AR...innovative to the end...

jay44@webtv.net (Jesse McClung)
This is a brilliant record; the medley is cool-even if John opposed it. "Something" is a timeless classic-I prefer it to "Yesterday." "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and the length of "I Want You, She's So Heavy" are the only true flaws in my opinion. The "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam" demos from Anthology 3 are excellent.

Glenn.Wiener@entex.com
Second best Beatle album to Double White. There is nothing quite like that side 2 suite. Side 1 is quite a feast too. You got to like Ringo's cool drumming especially on "Come Together". Best album cover of all!

rderby@erols.com
If The Beatles had a "virtuoso" drummer, their charm would have been lost and they would have become a bunch of eggheads doing some pretentious bullsh*t. Waitaminute, Ringo was a virtuoso dammit!!!

pmtapia@worldnet.att.net (The Chameleon)
hmmm...I haven't listened to this one in over a year gosh darnit! Maybe it's because I love metal and never really got into the Beatles although they're undoubtedly one of the best bands ever. So why you ask do I have this album? Simple, I stole it from a dumbass friend of mine out of spite because he tried to steal one of my CDs! So the point of all this is, even if you love metal like I do, you should like this album. I do. The album is a good listen and it's not boring whatsoever. I love "Come Together" and "I want you". .if that is on this record. Nevertheless, it still is good. Even with wimpy children's songs like "Octopus' Garden" by Ringo. I give it an 8.

rsuarez@mail.mia.bellsouth.net (Randy Suarez)
I know I'm going to piss some people off here by stating this, but I truly believe that Paul was way ahead of the other Beatles and this album proved it. His bass playing was exceptional on this album. "Golden Slumbers" is shockingly beautiful. Again John was peeved because (no pun intended, really!) he wanted a crack at singing "Oh Darling", but by this time he was being such a dick with Paul that Mac just ignored the obvious advances.

Make no mistake John's contributions were awesome. "Come Together" (with all those nifty clues about Paul's death), "I Want You", and "Because" (although the Anthology III version is superior) are all great.

But this album belonged to George whose masterpieces "Something" and "Here Comes The Sun" might just be the two best songs he ever composed. (Patti must have been some chick to inspire "Something" and "Layla"!)

I love "You Never Give Me Your Money", "Maxwell" and "Her Majesty". Paul knew that only John could bring the best in him, and neither ever came close to reaching the same heights solo. Listening to "Carry That Weight" (a message to John perhaps?) and the perfect "The End" almost reduces me to tears. Paul must've known that this was really the last Beatles effort (or was it just an ode to the end of the 60's?), and the thinking here is that there will never be another like them.

The greatest of all time. Period.

arnoldnicholas@hotmail.com
Abbey Road is probably the most fitting farewell performance a band could ever give. Lennon and McCartney managed to set aside their differences for just a little bit and work together, with George Martin's careful supervision, one more time.

Every track on the album captures some aspect of what the Beatles were all about. Whether it is the floating melodies from "The End" or the hard driving Lennon tune "I Want You", this album showcases the abilities of the best rock and roll band in the world.

gstarst@rsuh.ru (George Starostin)
Oh yeah! This album is intoxicating from beginning to end! No group has ever had such a beautiful swan song! It's very hard even to comment on it, because you usually comment on flaws or outstanding things, and there are no flaws here, and nothing outstanding: perfect from the first to the last note!

Let's see: it even has the only magic song that Ringo ever wrote - "Octopus's Garden", and two of Harrison's best Beatle-tracks. But that's just the beginning of the excitement! John's and Paul's contributions are as good as always; and there is not a single trace of their enmity on the album! Strange, isn't it? They just "shook hands" on recording these songs, saying: "We're friends for the last time". After that they started pouring huge loads of shit on each other's heads.

And yes, the versions on the Anthologies are weaker. So much weaker.

hutchilj@aramco.com.sa
This is worth '7' too, because Harrison started writing great songs, and because of (mostly) McCartney's medley of songs on Side 2. The other songs are alright, but not exceptional.

cliffnorth@localaccess.com (TAD)
I LOVE this record -- but it's SO slick, miles away from the raw emotion U sometimes hear on LET IT BE or THE WHITE ALBUM. Partly Bcos of that, 1 of my faves here is "Oh, Darling," just 2 hear McCartney scream, & "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" 4 that nearly-endless riff .... Also a big fan of "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End" -- perfect way 2 bring down the curtain on a career.

But not everybody feels this way. My wife came up with this theory that ABBEY ROAD is actually a COMEDY record, with cute little stories that connect all the songs -- I think it was probly the "Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam/Bathroom Window" segment that set her off. Really a pretty good idea 4 a book, & why not? Other books have been written about the Fabs based on less....

kenyon@mail.netnitco.net
Joe Cocker's version of "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" is actually not bad. I'll add it to my very short (this brings it to a grand total of 3) list of Beatles covers I can listen to without wanting to murder the assholes responsible for them. By the way, this is about the ONLY Joe Cocker song I like, and it's not even a Joe Cocker song. I swear, that man is a genius at attempting to remake wonderful songs and utterly destroying them. Exhibit A: "With a Little Help From My Friends."

qwert_60@hotmail.com (Jonathan Shwartz)
Simply genius, what a way to go out, though I do wish they woulda left out "Her Majesty". Also Mark it was actually John who did Mustard and Pam which totally friggin' rock (typical of ol' John).

rpj@iquest.net (Rich Jenks)
Reading some of these reviews made me so made that I had to go get the CD and listen to it. So it is playing right now.

This album is so far past a 10 rating that I can't give it a number at all. I can't think of any other album in the history of rock and roll that flows like this one. That is what makes it the ultimate road trip cd. Try it sometime and you'll see what I'm talking about. You don't sing along with every song, you scream along with it. I'm sure people driving by me think that I'm nuts. hehe

I also have to add that this album produced the best cover tune ever and it's not Cocker or Aerosmith. It was Alice Cooper doing Because. Yeah you heard me right.

richbunnell@home.com
Abbey Road is my favorite Beatles album, and probably my favorite album of all time. The kiddie stuff like "Maxwell’s Silver Hammer" and "Octopus’ Garden" is amazing, "Come Together" and "Something" are both wonderful examples of how far the band had progressed by that point, and the entire second half is positively breathtaking. I can’t see in what better of a way the Beatles could’ve closed their career than with the drum solos and vocal harmonies of "The End" followed afterwards with the 20-second strummy ditty "Her Majesty." I also like "I Want You (She’s So Heavy)" mainly because it’s one of the few songs ever made that does the "sudden cutoff" correctly, with the noise just being piled on with the monolithic guitar riff, then….*SNAP!* it ends and goes into the soft and wonderful "Here Comes The Sun." Perfect. A wonderfully-overproduced collage of....great.....good....things! 10+/10

paulst@wfs.co.uk (Paul Stewardson)
A fine swan song from a fine band. No way near as good as Revolver or White Album but miles better than most bands best efforts. "Come Together" sounds as if it was recorded yesterday and Macca's bassline still sends shivers up my spine. Unfortunately the rest of side one is very average. Side two is very enjoyable though, my favourite being the "Mean Mr Mustard"/"Polythene Pam"/"She Came In..." section, impossible to listen too without having a big shit-eating grin on your face. Good stuff.

fiber_optiq@yahoo.com (Alex Temple)
I think this album is VERY mixed. I love Come Together and Because, I rather like Mean Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam (what's wrong with them??), Maxwell's Silver Hammer is a guilty pleasure, and the ending of I Want You is incredible. However, most of the other stuff on this album annoys me. Oh Darling! is painfully exaggerated, Carry That Weight is ugly, The End has one of the worst drum solos I've ever heard, etc. etc. etc. The idea of sticking a little fragment on the end (Her Majesty) is cute, but they did it better in Sgt. Pepper's. If you haven't guessed, I like unsettling endings.

However, unlike our main commentator whose name escapes me at the moment, I don't think the problem with this album is experimentation or novelty. Actually, I like the "experimental" songs a lot. It's the more ordinary ones that bore me. This album is something of a disappointment, imnsho.

mds+ID@netyp.com.au
Rick Says that abbey road is damn near the finest beatles album. Prindle is a bastard, What about "something" the best song they wrote(except possibly "don't let me down") and what about "Oh darling!" a damn fine song. However i agree with his thoughts on "i want you(she's so heavy)" a brilliantly over indulgent rock extravaganza, it progresses brilliantly. the second side isn't as good though.

ian.moss@yale.edu
I think this was their finest hour. It's so amazing that they could come together after everything that had happened and just create this collection of songs--uplifting, warm, pristinely beautiful songs. They range from the silly ("Octopus's Garden," "Maxwell's Silver Hammer") to the simple but sincere ("Here Comes the Sun," "Oh! Darling"), to the jaw-droppingly gorgeous ("Something," "Because," the end suite); but somehow a consistency of emotion runs through it all...somehow, this album manages to GLOW with positive energy without descending into sappiness or cliche, something that's extremely difficult to do artistically. So this one gets the 10 from me. But whatever...all I know is that I will never grow tired of listening to this album.

michael.blume@gte.net
Yes! Yes! YYYYEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!! This is great! This is bliss! This is art! Man, this has to be the best album the Beatles ever made, without a doubt. The world-famous suite just rules, "Come Together" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" rock in such intruiging ways, "Something" is the loveliest ballad George has ever penned, "Optopus's Garden" and "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" are just plain wierd (but so fun to listen to anyway), and "Oh, Darling" is bluesy. A true masterpiece. It definitely deserves a place in my Top 10 list for best rock album of all-time, and it sure beats Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band too. Make no mistake. I love the Beatles. They truly are one of the finest pop groups ever, but like Rich Bunnell, I also consider them more of a great influence (no Beatles = no Yes, no Beatles = no Ramones) than a band that I listen to. Nevertheless, I have to agree with David Straub, Jim Hull, Randy Suarez, Jesse McClung, George Starostin, Jonathan Shwartz, Rich Jenks, Rich Bunnell, Ian Moss, TAD, and you, Mr. Prindle, that this is another truly great album in Beatles' history. Oh, and in response to David J. Damiani's comment on Abbey Road: What makes you think that going out with "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", "Octopus's Garden", and all those other bizarre songs is absolutely unprofessional? Do you really consider the "Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam/She Came In Thru The Bathroom Window" segment to be the absolute nadir of all Beatles music? Are you trying to prove to us that Abbey Road was how people lost trust in the Beatles' ability to record serious rock? Come on!! Lighten up!!!! You can't expect every single album to be totally serious. Hell, any album can be provided with some fun so that it'll keep you from falling asleep while listening. Also, you seem to be one of those naysayers who needs to learn that there are a trillion ways to create aural bliss without conforming to some bullshit Western idea of "accessibility". Get your head out of your ass. GIVE CREATIVITY AND EXPERIMENTATION A CHANCE. Now as for this album, it is professionally made and well-thought-out. The suite itself is magnificent, and all the other songs sound effortless. These are my very own thoughts on the album, and I hope you take a closer look at them in the future.

Thank you for listening.

BtheW@aol.com
I feel this album is greater than the sum of its parts, but many of the parts are pretty damned good. Ian put it best when he described the positive glow running through it. That's why it comes off better than Let It Be. I'd also like to mention that Mr. Damiani (above) has to be the first person to ever label this album as "unprofessional." Heck, it's almost TOO professional (for my tastes anyway).

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
Slick as grease. Not in a bad, Def Leppard way though. In a good, Quiet Riot way (no, that's not right.in a good, . dammit!). Almost all of it gets played on one of those radio stations your boss probably listens to. That ending suite makes you wonder how a guy as brilliant as Paul McCartney once was could, you know, suck so utterly.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Perfection from beginning to end. One of the best albums ever. Also the group's swan song, but surely not a swan song of their talents. Great record from beginning to end and one of the best rock albums ever released, but it's rather Paul/John/George and orchestra, than the whole band. But surely it's a whole band as well and it's the example of great collaboration and it shows the songwriting talent of the whole band. Ringo is awesome here with his "Octopus's Garden"; "Come Together", "Oh! Darling" and "You Never Give Me Your Money" are my favourite songs from here; "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" is groovy! And the medley is also great! What else to say? Perfection from beginning to end.

Muggwort@aol.com
in my opinion abbey road is not only the Beatles best album but also the best album of all time. it has great lyrics that touch me, more great melodies than you can shake a stick at, and most importantly the voices sound extremely mature and vulnerable voices. it also has an atmosphere that reminds me a little of r.e.m's murmur only better song writing buy it today, it will make you feel cool about yourself!!!!!

10/10

Jcjh20@aol.com
Man, what a incredible album. Even though i agreed with Mark previously about White Album being a 10, i just have to give this one a 10 too. Just a beautiful masterpiece from start to finish. One of my favorite albums of all time, if not my favorite EVER. I wont go in any further evaluation, just please buy it, if you dont already have it. Ohh, and "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and "Octopus's Garden" are excellent songs! Despite what a lot of people will tell you.

Xspex27@aol.com (James Mohr)
Yeah it is kinda like a mini-"White Album", huh? Well its pretty great duh but too hit and miss to be my favorite. The suite is REALLY hit and miss, but who cares when they're all over before you know it. I've never really gotten "Come together"'s appeal (or "Maxwell"'s...but in a few months i very well might and will then want you all to ignore this), but "Oh! Darlin", "I Want You", "Octopus" (better than "Yellow Submarine"...although if you take those songs togethor it does seem that Ringo was in a bit of an underwater rut), and most of the others are all terrific, and theres lots of interesting stuff going on (including the first ever hidden track???). Its a bit of an odd end to the Beatles career, however, because for my money the 2 George songs are by far the best on the record. Although I'm a fan, like Mark, of George's compositions from "I Want to Tell You" to "Blue Jay Way", its a surprise that he absulutely RULES this album. Its like at the at the last minute he said "Fuck those hacks John and Paul! I am the Beatles!" and proved it in a 2 song swoop. But I guess that would have been an even BIGGER surprise from Ringo.

3LockBox@openaccess.org
I happened across a couple of teenaged dickheads at my company picnic and, oh, I know, I didn't need to tell you they were dickheads, anyway...They were pouring over each others CD satchels (full of that dreadful rap/metal crap) when I noticed that they both had copies of Abbey Road...my 20 year old niece (no relation) has a copy of Abbey Road and so do her equally 20 year old friends...now my 14 year old nephew wants me to burn him a copy of AR as well...Does that scream classic album or what. (BTW: I'm also burning him copies of AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Led Zepplin as well)

jmrwl13@yahoo.com (James Rowlee)
I was a wee lad at the age of nine when this masterpiece came out and I loved maxwells siver hammer for some reason.

I remember my sisters argueing about whether Paul was actually dead cause he had bare feat on the front cover.

Gotta love that hype anyway, as I advanced through the years I still find this to be one of the best albums ever .It sets so many moods that one can associate with at different points of the day and in life that it should be considered one of their best efforts ever.

NMcpherson@fac.unc.edu (Earl McPherson)
My parents gave me this at Christmas after it came out. I think that it was the most expensive single album that came out at the time. I took it upstairs and listened to the thing real early that morning on a cheap turntable. It was cold as hell up there too-one of the most satisfying things that my eighth-grade mind could hold.

nikus80@hotmail.com (Aprentice)
Well, I think Abbey Road is Beatles at best. I mean, it rulez. I like all of the songs, and the only song I didn't like at first was Because, and what??? it's great!!! But see, this is a great record, and the reason because I used to despise Let It Be, because it sucks compared to this. I belive it's amazing that the beatles made 14 albums (counting past masters) in the short time of seven years. And they're all worthy. No matter how much I like Radiohead, it took them four years to do Kid A (althought they released Amnesiac and Hail To The Thief in a very short time). It took the beatles half a year to make Abbey Road or The White Album. Think of it. The Beatles was the greatest band ever (I mean, I like Ramones too, but...), and there is some amount of filler on their records, but is BEATLES filler! I mean, instead of a double Album they could have released a single album like Martin suggested. Now go on and try if you can select a collection of tunes to make a single album, and be happy. That's why I think all Beatles greatest hits collection suck (COME ON! Love Me Do? Even I saw her standing there or Please Please Me kick it ass all over the planet), because there will always be something missing. The only Beatles collection allowed is every album from Rubber Soul to Past Masters 2, and you will be missing lots of stuff (specially Help and A Hard Day's Night).

Back to Abbey Road, I think Starostin said it right: "Buy this album today, and if you don't enjoy it, you're simply not human - there was definitely some bureaucratic error in your personal karma."

OK, now, on the song by song analysis!

1) Come Together - Can you dislike this song? Catchy, psychodelic, great riff, and this friggin ultra cool whisper!

2) Something - I mean, even Sinatra, who said that he hated the beatles, ended up loving this song and yesterday (sinatra was a pussy, he just couldn't stand that the FF kicked his ass any day of the week). I specially love that answering bass line after the line "I don't want to leave her now".

3) Maxwell's Silver Hammer - I mean, it's hilarious, simple, catchy, with a hammer like percussion and it's a song about a killer! And Helter Skelter inspired Manson and this didn't

4) Oh Darling - Their last generic love ballad/rocker? Come to think of it, their BEST generic love song, and they had loads of it

5) Octopus's Garden - So funny, so catchy, so great

6) I Want You (She's So Heavy) - You can't but love all the riffs and the noise towards the end. And it cuts off suddenly. Besides, the lyrics only use 11 words and it's more than seven minutes long!

7) Here Comes The Sun - After I Want You comes this beautiful song, which I found to be quite layered. Try listening to the beatles at only one channel at once and you'll discover lot's of sounds!

8) Because - It's my least favourite song, but it's great nonetheless. My cousin loves it. It features weird lyrics, and a distorted cool-as-shit arpeggio.

9) You Never Give Me Your Money - Why they don't play this at the radio? It rulez. All of it. All parts. Kinda epic, you know, because it has many parts, and begins the suite, I guess, because of that insect noise that links with Sun King, but...

10) Sun King - The beggining of the suite, this has italian-like lyrics with no sense at all. It sets you for the mood right for...

11) Mean Mr Mustard - I love that distorted bass, the weird lyrics, the song, all, dammit! How can't you?

12) Polythene Pam - R'n'R. Good one. Dumb, funny, I like it a lot. It's short, also.

13) She Came In Through The Bathroom Window - The end of this 4 song suite, features a different guitar line after the first chorus (or something like that), there is a pause, and...

14) Golden Slumbers - This song is perfect. Perfect. In all senses. And it's even more perfect if you add...

15) Carry That Weight - Reprise of You Never Give Your Money, not only it rulez but it gives the record a sense of unity, if you know what I mean. Like one big song, but with pauses.

16) The End - Looks like a jam, and probably is, but I really dislike jams and this is, well, great, with a "Love You" chant which shatters "All you need is love" to pieces. (By the way (RHCP!), isn't that a female chorus? so why the fuck Paul said he'd never put female voices on a Beatles record?)

17) Her Majesty - And the secret track! Was this the first secret track? Because, you know, it's short, fast, funny and it rulez too!

So this was a pointless song by song analysis of Abbey Road. So what I think? It rulez. This is the best Beatles album (though the White Album comes quite close!). I found funny that some people belive that the second side is weaker, but some people belive the first side is the weak one! You could argue that the second side has more good songs, but it has MORE songs! =P. both sides rule!

I've bought a Abbey Road pin in a Anime Convention! Wooo hoo!

Have you noticed I like writing?

SNYB2706@Allstate.com (Jay Ehrlich)
polyethylene pam has the BEST drumming I've ever heard from ringo, except for the end of thank you girl,( oh..oh ..oh..bum bum babumbumbumbum bum bum bumbumbumbumbum..he does press rolls, jazz style) and of course come together has a drumrolly type beat that was clearly the most PROGressive ringo ever played...also, the drumming on I want you also has lots of interesting drum variations. the guy who said poly pam was the nadir of the beatles has no clue what GOOD drumming is...I've been playing drums 35 years, and of course I recognize barrie barlow, clive bunker, mitch mitchell buddy rich!!, joe franco of the good rats and dee snider's widowmaker, among many others, were FAR SUPERIOR drummers technique-wise, ringos' drumming on poly pam ROCKS....their best album, you might say....

DArmstrong@bryson-architects.net (David "Army" Armstrong)
My favourite Beatles lp and therefore the best one.

BamaGuy29@aol.com
Personally, i think Abbey Road was the Beatles best record. Don't get me wrong, I like the old stuff, but I've had to hear them over and over and over. Songs like "come together" and "something" are really John and Paul's masterpieces.

Speck1106@cs.com
Don't be dissin Ringo now scrotum face. Ringo played what sounded good in context and anything else would've bit hard!

Rick.Nolan@freescale.com
Used my wife's new iMac to do a Beatles compilation CD. Hard to compress the Beatles to fit on one CD. About half was early (pre-pepper) and half later stuff (post-mystery... I don't have anything against pepper and mystery, I just have to be in a different mood to listen to them).

I find myself only listening to the 2nd half of the CD. Should have just edited out the novelty songs from the White Album and Abbey Road and called it a day. I have to say, John's blues guitar work on "I Want You" is maybe my favorite Beatle moment.

MatthewByrd@hotmail.com
Yeah, a long long time ago when I wasn't fully sick 'o' them Beatles this was my absolute favorite album. I like Rubber Soul now.... and Sgt. Pepper is really their last laugh.... but, at times, you gotta say "hmm, that side two on Abbey Road is bloody brilliant." Well, enough 'o' that, in honor of Rollingstone making the 500 greatest songs of all time official.... I'll give out what is actually the top 50 greatest.... well, my favorites, at least(that doesn't account for much). Yeah, I can see the cringining now.... I like 'em.

1.Sympathy For The Devil - The Rolling Stones
2.Incident On 57th Street - Bruce Springsteen
3."Heroes" - David Bowie
4.Oliver's Army - Elvis Costello
5.Let's Pretend We're Married - Prince
6.Mrs. Robinson - Simon And Garfunkel
7.Sittin' On The Dock(Of The Bay) - Otis Redding
8.Imagine - John Lennon
9.Who'll Stop The Rain? - CCR
10.Be My Baby - The Ronettes
11.Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones
12.All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
13.Shangri-La - The Kinks
14.I Want You - Bob Dylan
15.Norwegian Wood - The Beatles
16.Little Red Corvette - Prince
17.Once In A Lifetime - The Talking Heads
18.Lost In The Supermarket - The Clash
19.Stuck Inside A Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again - Bob Dylan
20.Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen
21.Uptight(Everything's Alright) - Stevie Wonder
22.Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles
23.Man Out Of Time - Elvis Costello
24.I Walk The Line - Johnny Cash
25.Wouldn't It Be Nice? - The Beach Boys
26.Bobby Jean - Bruce Springsteen
27.London Calling - The Clash
28.I Heard It Through The Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
29.Tumbling Dice - The Rolling Stones
30.When The Levee Breaks - Led Zeppelin
31.Proud Mary - CCR
32.You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon
33.Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands - Bob Dylan
34.Downtown Train - Tom Waits
35.We Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who
36.Sir Duke - Stevie Wonder
37.Shipbuilding - Elvis Costello
38.Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison
39.Sail Away - Randy Newman
40.Startin' Over(Just Like) - John Lennon
41.Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
42.No Surennder - Bruce Springsteen
43.Let's Go Crazy - Prince
44.Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks
45.The Boy In The Bubble - Paul Simon
46.Voodoo Child(Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix
47.Train In Vain - The Clash
48.Street Fightin' Man - The Rolling Stones
49.Veronica - Elvis Costello
50.Rock 'N' Roll - Led Zeppelin

(a few months later)

WOW!! I can't believe that the last review of this album was mine! Wow, my favorite song list has changed a lot since then.

I'm just gonna say, hey, PAUL MCCARTNEY IS GREAT. Everybody goes on and on about how the Beatles were great in spite of Paul, ok, well, maybe they don't go THAT far. But still, you should have seen what one cock-sure reviewer said of him. That bastard. It was Paul's melodicism that, no doubt, let's us stomach the unabashed cynacism of John (who was, really, a huge bastard for a GERAT portion of his life). Ok, that's a pretty weak argument. Abbey Road, though, is a fine outing. The second-half is almost vaudevillian in style and sweep.... uhhh, I guess. Franks Wild Years, now THAT's vaudeville!

Does anybody remember that Jeapordy! guy Ken Jennings!?

Well, MY gradparents, Lorena and John Byrd, BOTH taught him in high school! He went to the same school I udes to go to in Seoul, Korea (Seoul Foreign School), and even mentioned my name in the school yearbook (he was the chief editor). He said something about me talking about dinosaurs, I used to read all kinds of things about dinosaurs....... like 10 years ago. Yeah, I still have that yearbook! Well, that's my moment in the sun. I can't believe my moment in the sun is actually someone else's.

INTERESTING WHALE FACT!: A bowhead whale was caught by Norwegian whalers in 1995, in its hide two stone harpoons were found, the last time stone harpoons were used by whalers was in the late to mid 1800's, this whale was estimated to be OVER 130 years old! It is very possible that it could have even been a few decades older than that!

Ok, ok, the next time I comment on something I won't take up a bunch of room with a bunch 'o' nonsense.

ddickson@rice.edu (David Dickson)
Wow! Matthew Byrd! A man after my own heart!! HOW did you know those were also MY top 50 songs??? In that exact order too.

No, seriously, now, I agree with a shockingly large aomunt of Matt's tunes, PARTICULARLY those in the top ten. Except for "Thunder Road," which is not as good as "Incident on 57th Street". Blows, it does. And I would also add the Eagles' "Last Resort" to the upper reaches.

Ohhhhhhhhhh you think I'm kidding. Mwa ha ha.

Aomunt--an cracking-hilariously-named prostitute from the Moon. Met her in a vaccum, I diddliddliddldildlddsdsasssdsdfooOOOOOOOO

tydriver@hotmail.com
OK, a lot of stuff said here I agree with. I have to admit I was skimming the comments after the first 100 or so. So I might have missed it. But, all the comments I read on I Want You (She's So Heavy) center on the long riffy end part. Holy shit! The blues guitar whipped out by John in the first part of that song is incredible! No, not the fastest or most complex axe ever played, but hard to top it for the soulful feel, matching the ache of the lyrics perfectly. Great album.

Add your thoughts?

The Christmas Album - Bootleg.
Rating = 8

Hey Tonka Truck! Happy Anniversary! Hope you had lots of gifts under the Anniversary Tree! Hope you had fun singing Anniversary Carols in the snow! Hope you had lots and lots of Anniversary Sex! I know I did, but then I'm a birth doctor, so I guess that goes without saying. You see, a nice pat on the butt is the OLD thing. Nowadays, we give the babies a nice screw at the moment they're being born. "Welcome to the world! Nnnnnn!" (squirt squirt squirt). But enough about me; let's talk about Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen's Christmas Album, as performed by The Beatles.

This is actually an illegally produced (with heroin by mafia-owned prostitutes) bootleg CD featuring all six of the Christmas records that America's Favourite Band From Liverpool (The Searchers) recorded for their Fan KKKlub between 1963 and their deaths in 1969. You'll relish and rollick to the sounds of the Young Unkempt Beatles singing "Good King Wenceslaus" and thanking all their fans in goofy ways in their cute little accents that made everybody ask, "How come when you sing, you sound American, but when you talk, you sound stoned?" FIRST YEAR, they played it straight like that - humorous, but straight enough.

SECOND YEAR, they had more fun with it, making fun of the dumb script and playing "Jingle Bells" on kazoo.

THIRD one, they sing a roustabout version of "Yesterday," chit-chat boringly and sing "It's The Same Old Song" before realizing that there are copyright issues involved and using funny FUNNY voices as if they were worried about getting in trouble. HEEEEEEEE!

FOURTH year was when they started using drugs and getting really weird. It appears to be some kind of screwy narrative on the topic of "Everywhere It's Christmas," but the British accents are so thick and the script so odd that it's a bit hard to follow. Lots of talking, a strange order, fake party, a piano song about a banjo? Look, I don't use the drugs so you're up to your ears in being alone on this one.

Year Five is an awfully catchy Magical Mystery Tour-esque song called "Christmas Time Is Here Again" interpolated with some humorous British comedy by the band. Fake TV stuff - news, game shows, etc. Pbbbtt. One thing about The Beatles -- They're no Monty Python! (If they were, nobody but losers would admit to liking them!)

1968 was the Year of Charles Manson (unless that was '69), so accordingly Paul sings a "Happy Xmas" song on an acoustic guitar (NOT "SIMPLY HAVING A WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME" - REMEMBER THIS WAS WHEN PAUL WAS YOUNG AND HADN'T QUITE DEVELOPED INTO THE GENIUS RESPONSIBLE FOR "MY LOVE DOES IT GOOD" AND "BIKER LIKE AN ICON"), John does avant-garde stuff with his wife Yono Obo and somebody does a funny "Tiny Tim" version of "Nowhere Man" (ukulele, high voice, legs that don't work).

And finally the finale, 1969. What a record! It'll blow you away! They all do their own separate thing, filled with hatred and wrath. It won't really blow you away. But it IS more of the same! Wow! WHOOOOSH! That was the sound of it trying to blow you away!

This is rare material and gives a much clearer picture of their humorous personalities than the studio albums alone generally do. And the fact that they mirror the mindset of the band from young "stickin' together" exuberance through four ripped-apart complex personalities that hate each other provides interesting proof of the old saying, "The early bird catches heartworms."

So Happy Anniversary everybody! And if you're Jewish, Merry Dreidel!!!!

Reader Comments

dgersztyn@comcast.net (Dave Gersztyn)
That actually IS Tiny Tim singing "Nowhere Man"!

Dennis.York@va.gov
When will the idiots at EMI/Capitol ever get around to releasing this? It is damn funny stuff. Not only are the Fabs the best band ever,but they also would’ve been a great radio-comedy team. I love it.
Tiny Tim rules. Brings back memories I thought were long gone. God Bless Tiny Tim.
Lennon especially has a gift for vocal impressions-esp Scottish ones. Considering some of the crap that is called entertainment and comedy today and that fact that,after all, this IS the BEATLES,I can’t for the life of me figure out why the XMAS recordings have never been officially released. STUPID CAPITOL, STUPID EMI. YOU BOTH NEVER DESERVED A BAND LIKE THE BEATLES! It’s all good stuff ;should not be available only on Boots. Piece. ‘08
Lennon 4ever
Macca 2,
Hari-we love ya
And Ringo 2

Add your thoughts?

Live At The BBC - Capitol 1994.
Rating = 8

This is two discs (69 tracks - if you know what I mean by "69") of early Beatles performances for the BBC. No audience - just great performances of their first several hits, along with tons and tons of cover tunes, which is why I came darn close to giving the thing a 7. Here's the deal: I know a lot of music fans avoid early Beatles because it's just, as they say, "TOO early." Well, I'm arguing that it never was. From the moment they started writing their own material, they were eons behind anything that had come before in rock and roll. Their early material wasn't like that of their contemporaries, or even their heroes. It was a combination of the slow melodic adult-oriented pop and high-action but repetitive teen-oriented rhythm and blues that surrounded them during the early 60s. They gave the fast-action beat to the Everly Brothers' tuneage, and added interesting riffs to the 12-bar blues genericism that made all those early Elvis, Gene Vincent and Chuck Berry rock and roll records so goddamned boring after the first few songs. If you need proof, just listen to this CD. The covers range from lush old person schmaltz pop to ridiculously stupid r'n'r poopdish and are all performed very, VERY well (especially the pop tunes, as the Beatles had very nice vocal harmonies on those), but it's the originals that made them so huge. Their originals are fucking PHENOMENAL -- "Love Me Do," "Ticket To Ride," "I'm A Loser," "I Feel Fine" - these songs were amazing. And still are. There's just so much more to them than there is to admittedly classic but still predictable as shit cover songs like "Johnny B. Goode," "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and "Rock And Roll Music." However, any long-time Beatles freak should definitely find this out-of-print item and snag it, just because there ARE so many terrific and otherwise unavailable cover versions, as well as alternate versions of their early smashes and lots of silly studio chatter and hi-jinks.

Starring Bette Midler as.... the Ringmaster!

If you got that reference, let me know.

Reader Comments

Peptobsml@aol.com
Yeah, I caught that reference; it's from that "Great Phone Calls" cd, which I award the title of "only prank phone call cd to ever make me laugh more than once or twice."

Jerky Boys? I award THEM with the title of "most profane 'humorists' ever to not make me laugh more than once or twice." Don't know why I don't find them funny, cause I am quite prone to laugh at cuss words and stupid put-on voices(South Park, Beavis and Butthead, the "Leprechaun" movies, those first 2 Adam Sandler cds etc.)

OK, time to insert some relevancy to this stream of consciousness typing: The Beatles were awesome, but for me to write in praise of their albums would be redundant and silly at this point in time. Plus I've never even heard this Live at the BBC of which you speak, so just, like, nevermind.

Daniel.Rosenberg@dowjones.com
Too bad BBC is out of print. I snagged it back in the early 90's when it was still in record stores, and have never regretted my purchase. Although Mark is right in saying that the Beatles' original tunes on this album are superior to the songs they cover, it's the covers I love here, partly because of the Beatles' earnest performance and partly because the group just plain had good taste. It's astounding the variety of influences the Beatles absorbed, and anyone who's interested in learning how they became the group we know and admire should try to find this disc. From basic rhythm and blues to country-western to American musical to Chuck Berry to Carole King - this album has the Beatles doing it all, and I've discovered a lot of great songs here I never would have heard otherwise. It also reveals old arguments (John as the hard rocker, Paul as the softie) to be bunk. Listen to Paul scream out "Clarabella" or to John croon "To Know Her Is To Love Her" and the stereotypes die. Of course, Paul is in his element with some of the ballads, like "The Honeymoon Song" and John can rock as well as anyone on tracks like "Too Much Monkey Business" and "Sweet Little Sixteen." George also has some good moments - particularly on "Youngblood," a country-influenced number with hilarious background vocals by Paul and John. In short, when I want to hear the Beatles' original songs at their finest, I go straight to their "official" releases. But when I want to hear what they must have sounded like at the Cavern Club, I turn this one on.

Ben
This album is out of print? And Paul's "McCartney II" album (the one with "Coming Up") just got remastered? Get the fuck out of here... Yes, writing off the early Beatles is one of the most ignorant things a rock music head could do. I'm glad you understand the Beatles weren't just "Abbey Road" and "Sgt. Pepper's". For 69 (I get it) songs, and almost every one of them is great. This album is the way I got acquainted with people like Chuck Berry, Ray Charles and all those old school rock 'n' rollers. I'll give this a solid 9.

Add your thoughts?

Baby It's You 7" - EMI 1995.
Rating = 7

Life can be a real sock in the shoe. Lady two flights down from me had a miscarriage two years ago. About six months ago, she finally gave birth to a healthy baby. Two months later, her husband was laid off from his job. Two months after that, she felt dizzy one day, went to the hospital where her heart stopped and had to be restarted TWICE, and was told she had a brain tumor. One month later, they confirmed that it was malignant. Nobody knows why the tumor formed in the first place.

Guy we used to eat with every weekend, but haven't seen in a while because he started law school. Started feeling weak near the end of the year, thought it was just the flu. Finally went to check it out and was told that he had developed anemia and his blood levels were the lowest that the doctor had ever seen. His bone marrow has stopped producing blood. And they have no idea why. Now he's waiting to find out if his sister's DNA is close enough to his for his body to accept a bone marrow transplant from her. If it IS close enough, he has a 90% chance of recovery after the transplant takes place. If she's not a close enough match, he can do this weird drug/chemo (or SOMETHING) type therapy that takes six months, gets the blood marrow working again and has a 70% chance of working. If neither of these work, I guess he just gets transfusion after transfusion until his body begins rejecting them, he runs out of blood and... well, you can't live without blood, you know. He's 27.

Guy I know's wife is pregnant. Pretty far pregnant. Rough pregnancy. Things have gotten really bad all of a sudden and the doctors don't understand what it means. He tells me what they say. I tell my wife (who has a medical background). My wife tells me what is going on and why -- and that if the doctors didn't have their heads up their asses, the problem could have been detected and fixed MONTHS ago with no problem. As it is, things may still turn out fine. But there is just as great a chance that the baby will suffer from jaundice, anemia or crib death. Alternately the baby might be born, live a couple of weeks and then die. In fact, he might even be born healthy, then slowly develop retardation through the course of his youth. The mother might even die during childbirth.

Why? I don't know why. Maybe God just hates all three of these people. Or maybe there are very clear causes of all three problems that medicine isn't yet advanced enough to detect and correct. Either way, situations like this go a long way towards making one very afraid of life and its capricious, fickle nature. This single features four songs recorded by The Beatles for the BBC between June '63 and November '63: three of the songs are covers, each of the four has a different lead singer, so that every member of the band is highlighted in the VOX department, all are available in alternate versions on official Beatles releases and NONE of these takes were included on the Live At The BBC double-CD that came out about the same time. John sings the title track. Paul sings "I'll Follow The Sun," which features significanty less warm vocals than the official released version, making the main riff of the song seem a lot more bizarre and quirky. George sings "Devil In Her Heart" by The Donays. The Donays!? Wow! The Donays!!!! Question: You know that song "Little Darlin'," right? Who sings it?

The Diamonds!!! And The Earls did "Remember Then." Dell-Vikings did "Come Go With Me." All of these tunes and many more can be found in my Dad's old 45 collection, now resting nearly directly above my head on the second floor of my apartment. Ringo sings "Boys" in a voice much rougher and shoutful (and less wussy and peenball) than pretty much any other Ringo vocal YOU ASS ever heard!

This is the most important Beatles record ever. If you have every album they ever released, you should trade them all for this 4-song single where three of the songs are covers.

Three points to ponder. (A) Religion: Whatever you believe -- 99% chance you're wrong. So stop basing your whole belief system on that shit. You look like an asshole. (B) Politics. How do those people do what they do and still sleep at night? How??? (C) Life: A series of social interactions with psychotics. You meet more psychotic human beings in your everyday life than you could ever imagine. People AREN'T like you. You don't know about their personal histories or what they do when they're alone. So, as hard as it is, try not to prejudge anybody as "really nice" or "a real asshole" based on one or two interactions. And try to understand that if a guy in a truck honks and screams at everybody, he might actually be honking and screaming at his father who molested him and terrorized him for the first 14 years of his life. You just never know what a person's been through or, unfortunately for all of us, whether they're going to take their anger out on people who never would have hurt them in the first place.

And that's my hilarious joke review of The Beatles' "Baby It's You" 7"! Have a penisy poop!!!!

Add your thoughts?

Anthology I - Capitol 1996.
Rating = 7
Wasn't it Capitol? Well, either way, it's pretty cool. I owe it to myself to warn you, though - this two-hour double-CD set documents the rise of the EARLY Beatles - which is to say that it's filled to the shim with cover tunes and generic rock and roll. The first forty minutes or so is, in fact, painfully generic in nearly every way. One thing, though - okay, TWO things. The first is that it's really cool to hear as The Beatles all of a sudden became phenomenal songwriters (around forty minutes into it, you suddenly run into "Love Me Do" and "Please Please Me" and your jaw drops all over the floor). The second is that it's supercool to now be able to form a little band with your little friends and point at this CD and say, "See? The Beatles sucked right when they formed, too!!!"

And how. Granted, rock and roll as a genre was pretty new at the time and had yet to be revolutionized by The Bea... uhh. Hmm. Well then. Buy this if you're a diehard collector. Lots of live tracks, a funny little comedy bit from a TV show, and a couple of hilarioooo demos from the Beatles '65 era, whatever year that may have been. "I'll Be Back" started as a waltz??? Oh man, you'll dig hearing John fumble through the words before announcing, "IT'S TOO HARD TO SING!" And how about the demo of "No Reply," where the silly harmony boys keep messing each other up by singing lines like "'Cause I know where you've been/And I saw you walk in/YOUR FACE!" And ooh! Did you know that "One After 909" was actually one of the first songs they wrote? An early version is presented here, complete with Paul's multiple mistakes, John's accusatory "What're ya doin'?" and Paul's pathetic reply, "I can't keep it up!!! It's MURDER!!!" Again, it's wonderful to hear the greatest group of all time screwing up in the studio. Just makes 'em seem so much more human. Huzzahs to the chef.

Reader Comments

tribble@integrityonline2.com
Free as a Bird was ruined by the Beatles, although it's still pleasant. Lennon's version is too great for even the Beatles. Free as a Bird nested the same fate as that of Across the Universe. (Although Across the Universe is really beautiful).

ian.moss@yale.edu
Yeah, most of it is pretty crappy, but there are a few gems--especially a PRICELESS demo called "You'll Be Mine" in which, halfway through, someone comes in with this ridiculously deep voice and says, "My darlin'...when you burnt my toast the other mornin'...I...I felt like I never done before" or something like that. It's SO funny.

BtheW@aol.com
Who could that be other than John on 'You'll Be Mine'? It would have been nice if they had just picked the best tracks and put out two CDs, instead of the eight that make up the three Anthologies and Live At The BBC. If they did, then they could have legitimately sold it as a Beatles release on the same level as their early works. Highlights for me are 'Leave My Kitten Alone,' 'No Reply' (the fast version that sounds like 'When I Get Home'), 'Three Cool Cats,' all of the tracks from the Swedish radio show (they're smokin' on these), 'The One After 909,' and 'Shout.' I'm probably forgetting a couple, but most of the others are either really early (but fascinating from an historical perspective) or working versions of songs that sound better on the original releases (but again, fascinating from an historical perspective). 'Free As A Bird' simply doesn't belong here. It's totally out of place. They should have put it on a single with 'Real Love' on the b-side ('Real Love was never a-side material), and left it at that. I think the best thing about 'Free As A Bird' is that incredible slide guitar playing by George. Could anything be more expressive? Don't care for the Jeff Lynne "sheen" however.

eeinhorn@home.com (Eric Einhorn)
If you like this, you might want to check out "Live at the BBC". It documents the same period with much more rarities (a lot more cover songs) but the humor element is there too. A lot of the songs have hilarious intros or closings, and they are knocked off in their usual silly manner. Not nearly as good as the real records, but a good filler in your collection.

rskeens@brinet.com
I was wondering if anyone knows if Capitol records in the U S released this on vinyl. I have Anthology II & III on U S Capitol vinyl but so far I have only been able to find Anthology I on vinyl on a U K import

Ben
You summed this up perfectly. Who would have thought that "I'll Be Back" started as a waltz? Or that "A Hard Days Night" and "You Can't Do That" we're a lot heavier when they started out? Or that "One After 909" was one of the first songs they ever wrote? Or that "Can't Buy Me Love" had harmonies? Or that "Please Please Me" did not? Or that they auditioned for Decca records? Sure, the two guys that turned them down have gotten a lot of shit for doing that over the years, but if a band auditioned for your record label with songs like "Like Dreamers Do" wouldn't you have turned them down?

Probably the most interesting of the Anthologies, this one has (not bullshitting) one of my top five Beatles songs on it: "Leave My Kitten Alone". Leaving that album off of "For Sale" was the biggest mistake they ever made. Another big mistake they made was releasing "From Me to You" as a single. That should have been the b side to "One After 909". Speaking of singles, I like this version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" better than the one on the single. When I saw Paul live in 2005, he did a rendition of "In Spite of All the Danger" that was better than the version that's presented here (not that it's bad in the first place).

In spite of all the material (pun intended) that's here, it would have been nice to hear a couple of "With the Beatles" outtakes. I used to have a bootleg called "One Before 911" that had a bunch of them. The best one was take 10 of "Don't Bother Me". Being a former frequent collector of Beatles bootlegs, even I couldn't help but notice these versions of "Shout" and "Hallelujah" were edited.

Add your thoughts?

Anthology II - Capitol 1996.
Rating = 9
The wonder years. Whoa sir, but they had it goin' on during these fine years (Help through Magical Mystery Tour, which were of course simply parodies of The Rutles' fine Ouch! and Tragical History Tour LPs, but that's an entirely different conversation altogether). The "new" song, created by having Geo, Ringy, and Ball play and sing atop some Lennon piano demos from the late '70s, isn't terribly interesting, but the rest is HOO! A wonderfully peppy version of "I'm Down" without those annoying background vocals, a catchy bitchy unreleased Ringo-sung ditty called "If You've Got Trouble," a decent Paul ballad called "That Means A Lot," an early pre-strings version of "Yesterday," a slower early version of "I'm Looking Through You," a totally weird take of "Tomorrow Never Knows," a pre-horn "Got To Get You Into My Life," a funny as Carrot Top take of "And Your Bird Can Sing" botched by some totally reefed up Beat Brothers laughing their moptops off during harmony vocal overdubs, and best of all of all, a bunch of early versions of Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour songs before Mr. Martin splashed sissy instruments all over 'em!!!!! Guitars, organs, pianos - and OH the riffs. If you've never enjoyed "For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite," wait until you hear this version. Geesh. With a hard G.
Reader Comments

ronbevault@prodigy.net (Keith Jones)
Anthology II is worth buying because you get to hear "I am the Walrus" and other MMT songs without the stupid horns and effects and crap that every time I listen to that album, seems to wreck it

starostin@geocities.com (George Starostin)
Anthology II is the worst of the lot because it only features two previously unreleased songs, and they are not that good. 'That Means A Lot' is kinda nice, but not more. And 'I Am The Walrus' doesn't do a thing for me in this bland version. Damn it, people! Why should you listen to music the Beatles did not want to release instead of listening to music the way the Beatles actually WANTED it to go? Hah! 'I Am The Walrus' wouldn't be 'I Am The Walrus' to me if it were deprived of horns, strings and crowd noises - which it is on Anthology II. If you don't like those arrangements, play these songs yourselves.

It's a paradox, really: how everybody praises the original releases and then when you get to the Anthologies everybody keeps saying: 'oh, this sounds SO MUCH better without the crappy horns, strings, orchestras, backing vocals, effects, overdubs, etc., etc.' Kinda nullifies the Beatles' reasons for existence, seems to me. Repeat - this has some historical importance. But nothing' else.

tribble@integrityonline2.com
The gem of the anthologies and the second disc is the best thing I've ever heard on CD, (Since I only listen to records). Real Love is good but Lennon's Bootlegs are too too much better. But an applause still goes out to Paul George and Ringo for making it much better than Free as a Bird. And I'm so glad this Anthology contained the Demo for Strawberry Fields cause that Demo is actually how John wanted to song to end up. It's in the Playboy Interviews if you don't believe me. I'm just glad that was released, and the fix up job on Acrss the Universe. Anthology II is a Album that has all Bingo Tracks not a bad one on it.

ian.moss@yale.edu
This one's the best of the three, but only marginally so. By far my favorite track on here is the rockin'-blues instrumental "12-Bar Original"--who could tell that this was Rubber Soul-era Beatles? I also appreciate the wacky versions of "And Your Bird Can Sing" and "A Day in the Life," and "Yes It Is" is just a great song. And Ringo WAS a good drummer--that solo on Take 7 of "Strawberry Fields Forever" is really something!

BtheW@aol.com
As far as listening enjoyment goes, I think this one's better than the first. There are, of course, several tracks that only Beatles historians would care to listen to (the Tokyo version of 'Rock and Roll Music' comes to mind), but there are also some indispensable alternate versions of great songs (the truly bizarre 'Tomorrow Never Knows' and the better-than-the-official-version 'Across The Universe' come to mind). If they had shortened it to one CD, it would have been a lot better.

Chris.Papadopoulos@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Pleeeeaaaaaaase! 'If You've Got Trouble' a 'catchy bitchy ... ditty'? IYGT is without doubt the very worst moptop-era Beatle tune I have ever heard and I'm not at all surprised it remained in the vaults for so long. Funny that the Fabs, who have fought tooth and nail to stop stuff which would allegedly harm the band's reputation from being released, should be happy to allow this gargantan piece of poo to be included on this collection. (Love the 'rock band' version of Strawberry Fields, though.)

gpct1@yahoo.com
Well since im listening to it right now id thought id give me 2 cents or however how much money u guys want. GOLDDIGGERS! I dont know maybe since im just craving more beatles than i already have. Cuz frankly ive listened to these albums soooo many times its like not even funny. But what i was saying is that this anthology friggin rules.(thought III is better) Well the second CD is far better, but some crap on the first is definetelly worth listening to. The second Cd though. Friggin listening to strawberry fields in all those versions is freking insane. My advice to you people is turn it up really freking loud and let the notes just puncture your brain. I dont know maybe im crazy but i reallllly like the old strawberry a lot better. The one where he rushes "going to"......"cuz im goingto(as one word) stawberry fields". And the little sound music escapade(?) at the the end is freking awesome. But that is in its own level. Then it goes into Penny Lane which sounds strangly to perfect....crazy paul. And then A DAY IN THE LIFE! im sorry this version freking rules. i know the huge 40 piece orchestra(overdubbed to 120) is reallllly cool, but have u listened to that echoed counting thing?! thats sooooooooooooo cool. Sorry they shoulda left that in there. Like have first break before paul's solo as echoed counting then last break with echoed counting and orchestra. That woulda been awesome. And speaking of paul's solo. Did they like leave the echoer thingy or whatever on when he was singing? Is that what he was saying "oh $hit" about? or did he just mess up singing? Whatever it was it sounded cool echoed. Lucy sucked on this. Sorry. Flat as crap. Good thing they fixed that. All the rest is pretty fregin awesome. It sounds like raw(white album) mixed with the druggie MMT/pepper era. A GREAT mix. Though im not as fond as this Across the Universe. I think John was just pissed they were breaking up. Not at the way whats his face screwed with it on the wall of sound. Anyway if you like the beatles?(lol if?) buy this CD. I know its like 35 bucks. And i barely got it. But if ur that much into them, like i am, your gonna enjoy the heck out of it. Have a wonderful day

misterkite@mindspring.com (Adam Bruneau)
This is an amazing release. Yes, there are some edits in it that horrifies the purists but it easily makes up for that with all the incredibly hard-to-find outtakes that you can never find on bootlegs. If you like The Beatles at all during this time period you'll love this, of course. "That Means a Lot" is the best unreleased Beatles song ever and possibly even better than quite a few released songs. And the drumming at the beginning of the "Sgt. Pepper" outtake is just...as the kids say...'phat'. Finally, there's the extra added bonus if you have your headphones cranked up really loud during "Mr. Kite" you can hear Ringo ask friend Mal Evans to put acid in his cup of water! I'm so happy the censors missed that one.....

Steven.Rosenblatt@rosshardies.com
hey you beatle freaks. here's a little test. what's the difference between "strawberry fields forever take one" as it appears on "anthology II" and the way the song was originally recorded? the difference is that, for some inexplicable and inexcusable reason, the latter day beatles decided to delete the lovely, haunting, lilting, beatle-esque and totally cool background vocals (that were also, by the way, of course, deleted from the official version as originally released). it hurt me so when i heard it for the first time, anxiously awaiting those vocals that i had heard bootlegged 15 years before. oh well. i have another story about this little deletion that no one knows. if you write me, i'll probably tell you.

gag05@bigpond.com.au (Louise Gagliardi)
Yeah I’d give it a 9 too, it’s worth the price of the album just to hear Paul say “oh shit” when he fucks up on “a day in the life” and the sloppy live version of “everybody’s trying to be my baby” which is played sloppy coz no one could hear em!.

Ben
Man, who would have guessed that "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" started out as a Dylan ripoff? xD or that "Across the Universe" was older than the songs on the White Album? Or that "You Know My Name" was older than the songs on Magical Mystery Tour? Those were the biggest surprises I found here. Like the first volume, everything on here is pretty top rate, full of curiosities that will blow any fans mind. Only bitchings are the fact that this version of "Penny Lane" (assembled from a bunch of different takes) sounds a lot like the released version, there's two versions of "Yesterday" and the alternate of "Yes it is" cuts off before being faded out into the released version. I can see why "If You Got Troubles" was left off of "Help!" (though for some reason I really like that song), but I can't even come close to understand why "That Means a Lot" was. How they favored songs like "It's Only Love" (which is also on here ironically) or "Another Girl" amazes me. Nice going Paul.

Back when I first got this album (at the age of 10 I believe), I didn't like the psychedelic Beatles that much, so it was a real treat hearing these stripped down versions of stuff that a younger, dumber elementary school version of me thought would have benefitted from having all the effects removed (the best example would be "Good Morning Good Morning").

Add your thoughts?

Anthology III - Capitol 1996.
Rating = 9
The end. Aside from a few hideous Paul and George rarities, this stuff is top of the line. Everyone sounds alone, and probably is (Paul and his piano, John and his guitar), but the songs are so dang good. Now please take a moment from your busy day and just answer me one question - WHY DOES TODAY'S POPULAR MUSIC SUCK SO DAMN MUCH? As David Yow of the fine Jesus Lizard once said (and I'm paraphrasing, you understand), "If you ever doubt your own musical creativity, just listen to a modern rock radio station for about half an hour. Nothing will bring back your confidence quicker." Dammit, why can't the music I like be popular? If only everybody had the same musical taste as me, oh what a party we'd have. What's wrong with you people? Can't you dig The Beatles and still think that Oasis are worthless??? Isn't it possible that if you play their videos enough times in a row, even The Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 could win the hearts of America's youth??? Jeez. I've been reading all this about how the music business is failing miserably, and everybody's making up these bullshit excuses like "It's because young artists aren't given a chance to grow" and all this crap, when the simple truth is that mainstream record companies wouldn't know a good band from a hole in the ground, and, aside from the idiots who actually LIKE Bush and Live, music fans aren't going to pay $15.00 a CD for uninspired horsecrap!!!! Come on, fellows! Let's make Nomeansno stars! And The Cows! And The Fall! Come on now, the time is getting late. Don't let the boring dance people take over. We have to save rock and roll now.
Reader Comments

pmtapia@worldnet.att.net (The Chameleon)
I don't know if you plan to put what i have to say on this page..but there are a few things i have to get out of my mind. First off....i don't have Anthology 3 but i've listened to most of it..and hey! It's very good...this will not be a bad purchase for most people..now on to what...you Mark Prindle...had to say about music in the American/MTV...minds of Americans..and i agree with you..i fucking hate it...why are all the real good bands so unpopular??? Listen, i hadn't listened to the radio in like a year..so the other day i turn it on...it's such fucking crap!!! God it pisses me off that such horrible, horrible songs actually pass for music..I go to local music stores and maybe they have like a couple Danzig albums...like 2 Dinosaur Jr. albums...and they have like over hundreds of fucking crap albums like Pop and the god awful music by No Doubt...i talk to people and like no one's heard of Danzig..yet everyone has heard of that dumb arrogant fuck Gavin Rossdale from Bush and that sick annoying voice with the name Gwen Stefani...i can't go even go to school without seeing some dumb idiot trying to play No Doubt songs..or 311 songs..or Bush songs....i couldn't even turn on the radio two and half years ago without hearing that crap song "Lightning Crashes" by Live....i mean do people actually like this music??? How can they?? Is it the fact that they can't even think for themselves so they have it implanted in their minds that this music is good and decent??? And even worse if you go around telling people you like Danzig or Dinosaur Jr. or the Cows.. they'll ridicule you for liking that type of music...ahh man!!! I'm getting real pissed off....i better stop before i go criminally insane..sorry to get so angry..but i had to say that.

Justyn909@aol.com (Justyn Dillingham)
This is the best Anthology, or at least the one I listen to the most. Cool White Album demos and those famous Get Back sessions, all finished with outtakes from Abbey Road. Notice how the last song ends with that chord from "A Day In The Life"?

Modern pop has just gone stale. We need another Lennon or Dylan or whoever to put some originality into rock again. It's crazy when you read about Dylan being 'the greatest poet of his generation'- how is any rocker today going to live up to that? And how can any band be original, yet have music that appeals to so many people? Well, you're not going to find Beatle-like genius in Oasis songs, that's for sure.

break7@localnet.com (Tim Eimiller)
I really love the Beatles. They were a great little outfit before Rubber Soul. Beginning with that album they evolved into perhaps the strongest contender for the best studio rock band ever. The scope of their achievements is truly staggering. The experimentation combined with their melodic flair is what made them great. But I think that a lot of records, if they had just said "The Beatles" on them, would be considered just as good or better than the Beatle albums we know and love. Albums like Pet Sounds and Tommy, Who's Next and Blonde on Blonde. Of course, we're assuming the Beatles could have pulled off the musicianship required for such masterworks.

Just take a record like Pete Townshend's Empty Glass. If the Beatles had performed that music people would have gushed all over it. Well, they did, but there would have been ten times more gushing. The Beatles had that aura about them. The Beatles also had the great fortune to have two great songwriters. Paul McCartney delivered the softer pop frothiness and John Lennon provided the hard rocking edginess. But a guy like Pete Townshend could do both from "My Generation" and "Rough Boys" to "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Let My Love Open the Door." Sure McCartney and Lennon could do both, too, but not with the panache, the absolute mastery, of Pete Townshend. He could shift back and forth between soft and hard several times in one song, throw in an achingly beautiful bridge and a strident chorus, and not lose you for an instant. Just listen to the dynamics in the songs from Quadrophenia.

All I'm trying to say is that, yes, the Beatles were great, and they were better than most everyone else. But I think The Who's achievements stand up to theirs very well. I also think the Beach Boys were on a pace to stand alongside the Beatles and The Who but were sabotaged by Brian Wilson's breakdown. The Beatles were very fortunate. McCartney and Lennon together is perhaps impossible to top. But Brian Wilson, Pete Townshend and Bob Dylan came close to the Beatles' level all by themselves. Fate just happened to cast two of the greatest pop writers ever into one band. But just imagine what a band with Pete Townshend and Brian Wilson, Pete Townshend and Bob Dylan, or Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson, would have accomplished. The Beatles are the only band where lightning struck twice. The above albums are the result.

Justyn909@aol.com
In response to Tim Eimiller's comments here, I'd like to say that while Pete Townshend was a great songwriter, his music never approached the complexity of Lennon or McCartney's. Brian Wilson was great, but he was never able to write a good lyric by himself! Dylan does compare to the Fabs very well, but overall you just can't beat the Beatles.

lledesma@amag.edu.pe (Leonardo)
I dunno exactly why, but I think you could be interested to know about some "rarities" the Peruvian Beatles discography has. Well, anyway I'll tell ya (I'm talking about vinyl, not CD's):

1. A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (the album) was released in 1964 under the name YEAH, YEAH, YEAH! It has the same songs in the same running order than the British version (by the way, there are 13 songs in it, not 14 as you mentioned in your review). What makes this record a rarity is the sleeve picture, featuring a full coloured close take of the four guys probably in the film studio (this photo was used ONLY in the Peruvian original cover, I checked it up!). The original cover wasn't released here until 1985, when AHDN was re-released... on white vinyl !

2. Although Peruvian releases followed British releases in every aspect, SOMETHING NEW (an "original" of the US discography) was also released here after WITH THE BEATLES.

3. Don't know if in the US or elsewhere this single was released like this, but in 1967 here appeared a 45rpm. with "Sgt. Pepper's" and "A Little Friend..." on the A-side and "A Day In the Life" on the flip. Now, what a single, ohmygod !

4. In 1967 the SGT. PEPPER'S album was released without the photo on the back cover, with only the lyrics printed against a red background. But in 1985 the album included the photo on the back, this time against an orange background.

5. MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR (one of the US record industry's finest ideas) was originally released with the caricature of the Magician Beatles (in the center of the foldout) in black and white. The color version appeared in the re-release in 1985.

6. The photo on the back cover of the A COLLECTION OF BEATLES OLDIES compilation was also in black and white only.

7. Not all of the solo albums were ever released here. WILD LIFE, the only Wings album unavalaible here in the 70's, was finally released in 1985.

8. Only a handful of singles have been edited with photo covers: Lennon's "Double Fantasy" (b/w), "Woman" (b/w) and "Watching the Wheels" (color), as well as Macca's "We All Stand Together" (a ugly one but a rarity for Peruvian standards anyway).

9. In 1984 a McCartney single was released with "The Man" (duet with M. Jackson) on the A-side and "Through Our Love" (is that the correct title? I'm not sure but don't care much about it) on the flip.

10. The double-album recorded at the Star Club in Hamburg contained 26 songs, four of them not included in the US version ("I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry Over You", "Sheila", "Where Have You Been All My Life?" and a fourth one I'm not sure but guess it's "Shimmy Shake"). The four songs the US edition has but the Peruvian hasn't are "Ask Me Why", "Twist and Shout", "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Reminiscing".

Well, here you got it. Hope it's worth the reading.

rderby@erols.com (Robert Derby)
All of the Anthology discs were worth their weight in gold to me. As I am a musician, these recordings gave such insight into every facet of the evolution of The Beatle creative process. i.e. How did the basic tracks sound for such songs as "...Kite" or "Walrus" or "Tomorrow Never Knows"? How quickly the lads were able to switch gears and go from a 4/4 to a 3/4 to make a song work better. We the listener become privy to these magical events. These discs are extremely engaging for anyone who knows what they're listening to.

gstarst@rsuh.ru (George Starostin)
The Anthologies are good, sure enough. But... you know, I bought them, listened to each one once, and... what then? Who on earth would prefer the versions on the Anthologies to the original tracks? As a document, they are priceless, sure enough. But as original MUSICAL albums... nah! What they SHOULD have done was to collect all the previously unreleased songs, such as "That means a lot", "Leave my kitten alone", "Not guilty", etc., maybe add some jams and live versions, and release this! At least such an album would be listenable.

Now the Anthologies are gathering dust on my shelves, and I guess I'll never listen to them again - unless I decide to listen to ALL my CD's in alphabetical or chronological order!

Trashsurfr@aol.com
Again, this stuff is peanuts. Anyone wanting the complete evolution of the Beatles MUST track down Unsurpassed Masters volumes 1-7, a bootleg (get over it) compilation of all things Beatles. These are not 100th generation copies of copies. Put on the headphones, close your eyes, and it feels like you're in the studio listening to the guys hammer out 'I Saw Her Standing There' and dozens upon dozens of others. Hear! no less than 5 versions of 'Strawberry Fields', an alternate take of 'Norweigan Wood' with sitar, George performing 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' solo, the original 'One After 909', and way, way too much other stuff to list here. Expensive, but worth every penny.

savage1561@juno.co (Evan P. Streb)
Yes the Anthology III was really good. The acoustic version of "While My Guitar..." is VERY different from the rest of the song. but the album pales in comparison to Abbey Road because there's no uniformity to the songs. No flow. The songs sound just like what they are - outtakes that weren't good enough for public release. Still a great album and worth the thirty-five smacks you gotta pay for it. Reading your review site you also said something about saving rock music. That's cool. You wanna save cool music?? You wanna make "Mark Prindle's Huge RnR Megasensation" megasensations?? (I gotta get that CD, by the way. I'll give you ten $$$ for it.) Fine. All you have to do is get a job at MTV and suck up to the boss, whoever that is. Then you'll control what videos are played. Because MTV controls the music industry nowadays. It's the videos that count. Kids watch MTV. They don't listen to the radio anymore (unless they're in the car, but kids spend much more time watching teevee than doing anything else.). It's all MTV. Oh and a little attention never hurts. Say things that'll get people to notice you and/or your band so that you are singled-out from the one googol other bands. I tell you that's what matters., In ten years you'll know, because ten years have passed and I know.

But what do I know??? Nothing, that's what!! Just please. gimmie the damn CD!

TecmoFiend@aol.com (Jason Penick)
Okay, I don't own this cd, but I had to comment on your take on the state of popular music in America. I COMPLETELY AGREE with what you are saying. The sad fact is though, music, like TV and movies and journalism, are geared to the lowest common denominator. That "article" in SPIN about the 40 top bands was a freakin joke. I e-mailed them complaining about their "taste" in "music", but when I saw the mailbag in the next issue, it was all letters congratulating them about who they picked. Give me a break... Puff Daddy? Missy Misdemeanor Elliot?? Hole??? Marilyn Manson?!?! This stuff is for junior high school students, not alternative in any sense of the word, except the corperate sense. I really thought that when Nirvana et.al. broke in the early 90's that people were fed up with this crap and the tide would turn... hah! Things are worse now than they ever were. I give props to you, Mark Prindle. Your site has given me confidence that there are others beside myself who can see the link between the Moody Blues and the Jesus Lizard, between the Beatles and Sunny Day Real Estate. Good music is good music, regardless of genre or age. And the crap MTV is forcing down are throats is anything but! in the words of chairman Townsend-- "long live rock! Be it dead or alive!"

What this has to do with the Beatles, I really don't know, but, hey, you started it. And might I add a rebuttal to the previous poster that 311 is really a great band if you actually give their albums a chance and don't lump them in with the rest of the dreck on corperate "alternative" radio...

Neskobe@aol.com
Thank god the big M is gasping it's last breath and seeing it's last days!Seriously. Mtv is dying .Their ratings go down just a little bit more each year(due to their shitball programming and crass ,stupid overproduced,myopic "music" videos) and of late they have been playing virtually no music.Everyone I talk to at high school hates mtv and rarely if ever watches it(because alot of them listen to third generation indie so-cal "punk" bands that wouldn't know punk if iggy pop or jello biafra bit them on the arse!) .But thank god those no talent pretenders to the rock'n'roll throne are taking away Mtv's prime audience.14 to 21 year old post generation-x'ers ! Sooner or later Mtv will find itself gagging on the real world marathons,the road rules episodes and the endless stream of shitty postmodern crap like that great stalker-enabler "Fanatic"!AND OH WHAT A HAPPY DAY THAT WILL BE MY FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!a hahahahahahahahah die mtv you dirty son of anelephant's whore doctor hahahahahahahahahah!(i actually liked beavis and butthead though)

p.s Beatles Rule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

streb@mail.sssnet.com (Dan Streb)
Mark, great site. Because of this site I would have been stuck buying whatever crap is on mtv nowadays (like Hanson or that Titanic soundtrack, shudder). But because of this site I have learned that, contrary to popular belief, ROCK IS NOT DEAD!!!! You just have to search for it. You're right Zaireeka is fucking genius. And I just bought Negativland's Dispepsi yesterday and it's so damn good I don't think I'll ever drink another Pepsi again. Some day all the really cool less-popular bands like the Flaming Lips and The Cows will be the mainstream and EmptyVee will show good videos and everything will be good and right with music like it was back in the 1980s. Like, you know, when MTV actually showed VIDEOS and not The Real World/Road Rules marathons and Def Leppard and Poison were MTV gods. I guess none of that has to do with the Beatles, but still (whether they'll admit it or not) If it wasn't for the Beatles then good music like Slayer The Flaming Lips and Love wouldn't exist. (AND I LOVE LOVE!!!!!!!! I guess you probably haven't heard of them. If you don't have Forever Changes, please purchase it soon. Greatest psychodelic/folk around). Anyway, don't worry about how much popular music sucks, someday MTV will understand that Metallica isn't the only heavy metal band on earth.

Timothy.Cunningham@washcoll.edu
I have to comment on the state of music these days. IT'S horrible. 99.995% of today's radio music is absolutely atrocious, uninspired horse shit. There those exceptions, but if you want the good music, you have to go underground to hear some good music. Oasis? Ben Folds Five? Matchbox 20? U2 (at least the stuff in the 90's)? What is this shit? We need bands like NoMeansNo, Cows, Hissanol, and the Hellworms to bring back music to a decent state. Thank God we have underground music. The genius is out there, but these damn major record labels are in it for the $$$ and nothing else; they oversee the decadence of fucked up music. It's the type of music I could write in five minutes! Bush? OH, let's do a different order of power chords and sing like a 200 pack a day smoker! C'mon.

Great reviews of Beatles. Although I just started picking up Beatles only a year ago, I knew many of the songs anyway. I am just so inspired by the genius shown in almost every Beatles album.

misterkite@mindspring.com (Adam Bruneau)
After reading the Anthology 3 reviews, I decided I had some things to say about The Anthology series and modern music in general:

First of all, if you like The Beatles (if?) and ESCPECIALLY if you're into the bootlegs like me, you must get this set. Yes, it does have edits that sometimes annoy us folk and yes there are many tunes that have already been bootlegged. But there is so much unbootlegged stuff here like George Harrison's great "You Know What to Do", outtakes of Revolver stuff (which is impossible to find on bootlegs) and pristine-sounding White Album demos.

And that's another thing about The Anthologies: they all sound perfect, unlike some bootlegs. Nevertheless, if you enjoy The Anthologies, pick up the two singles (Free As a Bird has the great "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)") and then dig into bootlegs like Unsurpassed Masters or Ultra Rare Trax. Any Yellow Dog disc is a must-have.

That being said, it seems like everyone (at least all the smart people who visit and write to Mark's great site) is very much painfully aware of how much modern music sucks. And I'll be the first to agree. Now, we have cruddy "Boy-bands" like The Backstreet Boys and materialistic, hype-driven cown-dung like Puff Daddy selling millions. But like someone above me pointed out, good music IS there, you just have to look for it. Take The Flaming Lips! The Lips are just about the best thing going right now, and that's saying a lot as their current stuff is through-the-roof in inspiration. Maybe when they release A Soft Bulletin people everywhere will get tuned into to good music. Oh, and don't let it all get you down, as every era has an equal and opposite reaction. I bet a lot of people really disliked then-modern music in the early 60's after Elvis and before The Beatles, when you had crap like The Four Seasons, Frankie Avalon, and a general dissentigration of rock. Then look what happened: The Beatles, the single most influential group of all time. Maybe something good is in store

Kevman0001@aol.com
My how the tables have turned ... remember back oh so long ago when MTV was hip, edgy and cool to watch and VH1 was a sure sign of suckdom? We should be kissing the asses of the geniuses over at VH1 who decided to include something other than that happy-crappy lite AM bullshite. At least they don't play the same goddamned three music videos over and over again like MTV. Jesus, that is IF they decide to actually play music instead of showing another fucking "Road Rules" marathon. GOD FUCKING DAMMIT, I WANNA GRAB A GUN AND GO BLOW AWAY EVERY SINGLE VJ, STARTING WITH THAT LITTLE ANNOYING JESSE CAMP COCKSUCER!!! JESUS HE PISSES ME OFF SO FUCKING MUCH!!!

oh, and I like Anthology 3 the best out of the trio.

paulst@wfs.co.uk (Paul Stewardson)
Final word from me, agree completely on the "good music" vs "Bush and No Doubt" argument. I too love the Beatles, Sex Pistols, Killing Joke, Big Black, Bad Religion and Nirvana and see huge parrallels between them (both musical and idealogical). It seems like most other people who have contributed to this site feel the same way and it's good to know there are other intelligent, rational music fans in the world. Best of luck with your "Rock N Roll Megasensation" Mark, I await the day I see you on MTV telling it like it is !

Oh, one more thing... Beatles Forever !

WyldLash@aol.com
I love the Beatles but I can't bring myself to drop 30 bucks on a bunch of outtakes. Wish we had a decent used CD shop around here. I'm sure someone got this as a Xmas present and traded it in for loads of store credit and then used the credit on the latest by Hanson or Celine Dion and became just a little stupider in the process.

I'm hoping to bilk that person out of a lot of money someday.

To reassure all the people fretting about The State Of Music Today: Fret not. There. That should take care of things.

Mel Brooks (yes, THAT Mel Brooks) once pointed out that 90% of everything is shit. Movies. Books. Operas. Ballets. Music. Everything. If you've seen Robin Hood: Men In Tights, you know what he meant.

I would add that it is very rare when the 10% that is good coincides with the 10% that is most popular at any given time. That brief period when the Beatles and the Stones ruled the world was one of those times, but if you want some perspective, check out an old Billboard Top 40 list for that era. Sure enough, even during that golden time, 90% of it is shit.

It's much harder for an artist with genuine ability and vision to break through today because the music industry is so entrenched. And artists, with their unpredictable behavior and dangerously open minds, are the archenemies of button-down bottom liners. I mean, do you have any idea how many bonuses got fucked up when that asshole Cobain ate his shotgun? Do you have any idea how that upset the long-term profit projections and advertising planning strategies that were already in place, ready to be implemented, and then had to be completely retooled? That cost man-hours and negatively impacted several quarters worth of dividend payments.

Artists are way inconvenient.

Nitwits like Hanson are much better. They do what they're told. Show up on time to host ABC's TGIF lineup. And probably won't kill themselves until years after they're no longer commercially viable.

Darn it.

So to find that 10% that doesn't reek, you gotta go hunting, gang. That's the way it (almost) always is.

So chin up. Enjoy the hunt. When/If your discovery becomes popular, you can make with the cool pose of being the one who saw them "back when they were good." And lord it over those Johnny and Jilly Come Latelys. You get to grumble about how no one appreciated your insight two years ago. Then, you can do it all over again and hunt down another one.

Welcome to the underground.

sovtek100@yahoo.de (Tom Marschal)
To put a long story short, The moptops is just the best band ever and for all eternity. No Ramones, no Motörhead, no Queen, no Black Sabbath, no Nirvana, no whatsoever without them. Everything that stood for humanity, spirituality, artistry, social awareness, achievements in the 20th century extracted in one pop music group, made accessible to the everyday person.

Well, like others have already done, I could go on forever about the desolate, risk-free state of today's music, which is a complete let-down, especially consideríng the promises that had been made by the underground punk movement in the US in the early 80s.

However, I'd like to contribute some positivity to this site of yours, Prindle. Here's, among a couple of others, a saviour. If y'all miss the depth of such recordings as Pet Sounds, Raw Power, Vol. 4, Abbey Road,... go out and get Sky Valley by this band Kyuss. I really, really mean it. Or give Jeff Buckley a listen. Come out of the darkness into the light.

Beatles forever.

tribble@integrityonline2.com
Justyn D.

I don't know if you ever read this but truely you are right in saying modern rock is a shambodic mess. It isn't rock and roll anymore. I'm not saying it's all bad but listen the Great Well Of Inspiration is too full but no one has been smart enough to resurrect the past and make the rope for the bucket longer. You know the world is a great place but if the music scene doesn't see there'sa more than what's up now. That's why Lennon (I believe) Never had an aweful point in his songwriting career, he only listened to 50's rock or 60's rock whatever was in his jukebox.

ian.moss@yale.edu
I agree completely with George Starostin's assessment of the Anthologies--as documents of the Beatles they're really cool, but as pure music they're relatively uninteresting. There's a reason why the Beatles did a huge number of takes for every song towards the end--they wanted to make the songs perfect. These songs, on the Anthologies, are not perfect. As for Anthology III specifically, I was very disappointed: this is when the Beatles were at their peak, and all they could come up with are a bunch of flaccid versions of songs we know by heart? Aside from a few funny outtakes and the outstanding "Not Guilty" (and the not-quite-outstanding-but-still-good "What's The New Mary Jane"), this album is almost entirely extraneous.

So here's what I did. I took a nice high-quality 90-minute tape, and took the best songs from all three Anthologies and compiled them into one convenient package, giving the originals to my dad. I maybe could have used an extra five minutes or so, but overall, I'm very happy with the result. Anyway, just a suggestion for you all.

As for "modern rock," well, yeah, most of it does suck. But I do think things are starting to get better. In particular, Pearl Jam and Radiohead are starting to do some really interesting things with Yield and OK Computer, respectively. Don't give up on rock 'n' roll yet--people have in the past, and they've always been wrong.

Homelessperson22@cs.com
Haven't heard the Anthology, actually, though I'm a huge Beatles fan. Greatest pop group ever, and a close second in the Greatest Rock Band Ever sweepstakes, coming in a nose behind the first ten years of the Rolling Stones. I was actually writing to comment on the "crappy popular music" debate going on here.

Yes, there are plenty of popular shit bands out there that have no sense of rhythm, melody or lyricism (I could rattle on hundreds, but I'll stick to the bottom of the barrel like Limp Bizkit (disturbingly moronic in their third-rate Faith No More imitation), Blink 182 (the N'Sync of the punk rock world that make Green Day sound like fucking Stravinsky), Creed (an utterly pallid Pearl Jam rip off, and it's not like Pearl Jam are a very good band either), and the like). Even critical luminaries like Radiohead's "OK Computer", which I found dour and unbearably ponderous, can disappoint. Let's not even get into how Christgau and Weisbard will prattle on about how hip-hop is somehow inherently better than rock in the 90's because it's "street wise" and "honest". However, for every MTV hack group out there, there are probably 2 or 3 "indie iconoclast" bands that embarass the hell out of me and utterly disprove any theory that independent labels in any way guarantee good music. Tortoise (lite jazz that serves as hipster wallflower music), Sunny Day Real Estate (a tiresome, cloying "emo" band with an air raid siren for a singer), the Donnas (popular with critics but basically Blink 182 on an indie), Royal Trux (junkie-hip poseurs that, regardless of about four or five good songs, specialize in that not-so-fine art of masturbating to tattered old Cream records)....there really is no end to the shit stream when it comes to underground rock.

On the flipside, I'd have to say that my picks for Greatest Musicians of the 90's (Pavement, Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Fugazi, Elliot Smith, etc.) are for the large part ignored by the mainstream (except for Nirvana, which was basically just a fluke anyway). Basically, there is good music and there is bad. The Beatles, Stones, Nirvana, Dylan, and even to some extent the Ramones were commercially acknowledged and also brilliant music makers. There are absolutely no clear cut "rules" as to what constitutes moving music, so pay no mind to hard asses like Steve Albini who'll tell you that all the good stuff is "difficult" and "hard edged" or some such nonsense.Yes, the Velvet Underground's records are some of my favorites ever made, but if you look at the whole thing objectively, what Reed was doing wasn't really even that different from what Dylan was doing at the time. For anyone who hasn't heard of them (and seeing as how they're also not represented on this site), make a point to check out greats like Captain Beefheart, Big Star, Wire, Pere Ubu, Television and Patti Smith's Horses while you're at it (sorry Mark, I'm one of those that thinks Horses is about as brilliant as rock and roll gets).

michael.blume@gte.net
In response to your commentary on popular music of today (though not much on Anthology 3), I just like to say that you're fucking absolutely right about it. Yes, I did make a mini-comment about it while talking about Madonna's Ray of Light (or as I would like to call it Tray of Blight), but this time I wanna continue my complaint about it. Now then, where do I begin? Oh yeah, MTV motherfuckin' blows (as does VH1)!!!! God, I can't stand watching TRL (you know, that live-by-request countdown show with that lame-ass Carson Daly?). Nearly all of the videos people request on that show are atrocious. With Korn (AKA Kock), Backstreet Boys (AKA Backstreet Buttsuckers), N'Sync (AKA N'Stynk), Britney Spears (AKA Britney Spewww), Christine Aguilera (AKA Christine UGHulera), modern R(eek)&B(arf), and generic dance music dominating the countdown (as well as the whole music world of course), it makes you wonder why popular music is truly falling apart in creativity. You all know that, for sure. I also can't stand sitting through boring-as-hell programs like the REAL WORLD and ROAD RULES. Those particular programs are also why I can't stand MTV anymore. Come on, are we really that interested in watching verbal fights between two people, or any stupid stunts that are supposed to be death-defying? Plus, those shows don't even have ANY plots to give them shape and insure they have an actual point. As for VH1, well, most of its programs are interesting, but it reruns them to the point of driving into the ground. In other words, it's becoming too repetitious with its programming. O.K. Now what's the second thing I wanna bring up? Ah yes, how about them Grammys, eh? Well, I found something interesting in the Style section of the Washington Post that's dated February 24, 2000. In it, staff writer David Segal talks about the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards and his complaints about it. Here's a quote that I find very smart and direct: "The show, as always, begged a question: Can we do anything about the Grammy? Is there some law enforcement agency that could, say, order the Grammy overlords to evacuate their Los Angeles premises and get out of the honor-bestowing business? Are there any Wall Street sharpies who could orchestrate a hostile takeover? Or could we just all agree to ignore the prize until the Grammy folks shaped up? Probably not. The Grammys, it seems, will always be the silliest of all the national arts awards." Man, is he right. I mean, why couldn't they at least nominate really good stuff like Moody Blues' To Our Children's Children's Children for album of the year in 1969 or the Cows' "Whitey in the Woodpile" for best metal performance in the late '80's? Why the hell did they vote for Nine Inch Nails' "Wish" as best metal performance in 1993, and what's with Celine Dion's Falling Into You being album of the year in 1997? See, that particular quote Segal wrote has made a good point about the Grammys being mediocre for the most part. It just goes to show you that the Grammy people are SO out of wack when it comes to music. Real disheartening. Now does anyone agree with that quote I just typed down verbatim? If so, please share your response. I'd like to hear what YOU find annoying about the Grammys (and popular music in general). Well, since I got most of my complaints out of the way, how shall I finish up this commentary? Hmmmmmmmmm................................................. Right, of course. If you find popular music of today to be an absolute waste of time, turn to some underground music instead. Or at least try out some of it. I myself am trying out Pavement, the Fall, the Cows, etc. You also would wanna try out legendary bands as well like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Kinks, some Led Zep, some Velvet Underground, Yes, Queen, the Ramones, AC/DC, and plenty of others. Then you'll probably realize that there's more to music than that which MTV, VH1, Rolling Stone magazine, and Spin magazine are all offering. Hell, you don't need to wear fuckin' trends or apply techno drum beats or be #1 on the BULLboard (I mean Billboard) charts or have a horde of screaming teenage girls follow you or even be part of the Lilith Fair to write good music. No way. As for the public unfortunately, they'll never get a chance to realize what makes music so good ever again.

BtheW@aol.com
I like this one about as much as the second one. Most of the white album demos are interesting, and the 'a capella' version of 'Because' is one of my favorites.

Note to Leonardo: that's some pretty interesting info you gave on the Peruvian releases. I thought I should point out, though, that the version of the Hamburgalbum that you say came out in Peru is actually the US version (except that 'Shimmy Shake' is on both versions; 'Till There Was You' is the fourth song you were trying to remember). As I recall, the import from Europe (either German or English) was being sold in the U.S. for a while before Lingasong Records decided to issue it in the U.S. Since so many fans had the import, they replaced four songs to sort of force people to buy the U.S. version as well. This was the only way people could have every Beatles track. That's a second double album for four songs. Luckily, there was a version that came out a few years later with all thirty tracks.

dbdumonteil@wanadoo.fr (Didier Dumonteil)
The best spoofs on the Beatles are to be found on the two Rutles albums: the Rutles (1978) and Archaeology(1996,in the wake of the Anthologies,it was simply better than the three volumes put together)Do get 'em, you'll never regret!

Muggwort@aol.com
What is happening to our world? It used to be cool to listen to "pop" artist (U2, REM,the Beatles, the rolling stones, bob Dylan, nirvana ect) because all of thoseartist became famous sticking to their guns. By keeping their artistic integrity. But nowadays you turn on one of the crap channel MTV and guess what yousee you see sellout poster children Gwen stefani and Gavin Rosedale fuckingeach other (there dating isn't that to perfect.) And every one who is insulting pop music is smart. You guys all rock.       At my schoolno one knows who husker du is or the velvet underground or the fall or pj Harveyor the stooges or even Radiohead and every one of them thinks them are so coolbecause the worship crap band like green day, blink 182, oasis, the goo goodolls ect. Any of the “cool� pop band sor unknown underground acts could kick their ass so hard. Because they all (U2,pj Harvey, REM, the Beatles, the stooges, the rolling stones, bob Dylan,nirvana, husker du, the velvet underground, the fall, Radiohead ect) all are extremelytalented and are trying to convey some actual meaning. And has anybody that all of the formally cool pop band s arenow obscure. Not anybody in my schoolhas heard REM’s up (which may be their best album) or any of Bob Dylan ECT. Thatis just wrong grrrrrr! On topic I do not own anthology 3 but it doesn’t mattercause the Beatles rock!

oh yeah some one should cancel mtv it sucks!!!!!!!

a_cwazy_wabbit@hotmail.com (Craig Giblett)
gday,

What I would like to know about the state of modern commercial music is, why does it sell? I mean, apart from all the advertising and media exposure bands like Ricky Martin and Greenday get, why do people honestly listen to it? I it is a funny thing about commercial music, it can still capture an audience. People arent idiots generally, yet music such as Britney, the Backstreet Boys etc still sells despite underground and decent bands recording's being widely available. If people just dont like rock bands of the Beatles, Doors, Velvet Underground and Pearl Jam's ilk, then thats fine, but still, it makes you wonder why these fans of popular music havent questioned as to why the commercial market has been devoid of any progression or real talent. What confuses me is that, havent people realised that the commerical market has been largely stagnant (with a few exceptions) in ideas and progression for the last 10 or so years? Take the heavy metal genre for example, a lot of bands copy other bands before them and offer nothing new really or advance any creativity int he genre whatsoever, but it is those special few bands in the genre like Sepultura, Opeth, Skinlab and other great older bands such as Sabbath, Older Metallica and Slayer that make the genre worthwhile, there is none of that in modern popular music sadly. It makes me wonder sometimes.

What I think the case is, and this is only a theory I have, is that great rock bands dont come a dime a dozen, which is too bad. I think we are in a period where we have to wait for the next great band to come along. the 60s had a multitude of them, the 70s as well, the 80s had a few and so did the 90s. So I think in the next few years we will see some great bands pop up.

What also confuses me is that why record corps like Sony, Warner Bros etc dont sign more talented rock bands to their rosters? I mean the band doesnt have to be entirely original in every aspect to be a great band. I, my opinion, believe that all a band has to do is show flair, great musicianship and the ability to do more than just play simple poppy garbage that a monkey could write in 15 minutes. Maybe monkees do write a lot of modern rock songs? nah, that would be too insulting for the monkey.

I think the real problem is that the popular music industry is just obsessed with filling in niche markets and classifying bands and genres too much. Eg: Marylin Manson and Eminem filling in the 'offensive, on the edge music' category for popular music fans. Music is about beauty, art and imagination, well it should be. So why cant that be encouraged in popular music? Most likely because the popular music buying population dont want to think too hard or go to too much trouble to listen to music. Or perhaps when a record corp throws a million bucks in front of a band like Oasis or Blink 182, these bands will do just about anything to play corporate music ball. I think ti all stems from an obsession western society generally has with money and material possessions. Music corps want more money and the best way to do this, is to produce cheap, ineffectual junk. Ah well thats my addition to the debate, hope I didnt repaet anything anyone else said, rock on!

antnego@earthlink.net (Anthony Negron)
Oasis IS totally worthless. To say they are Beatles-inspired is a grave insult to the Fab Four.

I read an interview from Noel Gallagher in some anonymous magazine (I think it was SPIN) about how he hates System of A Down and how he’s so "bitter and angry" at everything. HA!

The only reason Noel Gallagher is angry or bitter about anything is that he realizes how much his piece of shit band sucks. They’re so boring and pretentious.

Simply put, we have all been raped by the major labels. Their endless pursuit of jackpots leads them to create "phases" or "scenes" in rock music that really mean nothing at all. They have succeeded in filtering out all creativity from popular music and throwing anything worthwhile to the indie dustbin, because it doesn’t conform to their notion of what’s popular at the time. As a result of this, the listening public often overlooks highly creative and influential music. The big companies have succeeded time and time again in creating new generations of narrow-minded yobs with musical tastes confined to the FM radio format.

The Ramones, The Velvet Underground, The Stooges are three examples of the more "accessible" underground music. Bands like this deserved fame and fortune at their heydays… but were shut out because the big companies thought they sounded too "different." The Misfits didn’t see the light of day until the moguls decided it was time for underground music to be heard. Of course, much of this "underground" music isn’t really underground at all, just more radio-friendly crap with hip new packaging for the kiddies.

OK, so record companies are businesses too. But they’re corrupting a fine art. Capitalism is fucked up sometimes, isn’t it? And maybe if they stopped trying to mold the public’s tastes, people WOULD buy all of that wonderful "weird music."

Don’t even get me started on hip-hop…

nikus80@hotmail.com
Yeah, I love the beatles, but I don't own the Anthologies. I should, because I'm a musician. Whatever.

I just wanted to chat a little about this "modern music" suck subject. Let's put it plain and simple.

There was a time when I didn't care too much about music, 'xcept for my father music, which I liked quite a bit. My real turning into music was, I think, when I was at my cousin place playing Grand Theft Auto when he inserted some Metallica record. It was Load or Reload. I don't remember. It blowed my mind off. Yeah. So for a while Metallica was my favourite band ever. I got more into music, I got Load from my cousin, later I got The Black Album and then Ride The Lightining.

So there I was, metal was my favourite genre and Metallica best band ever. I liked Korn, I got their first album and their fourth album. I liked most MTV music, even pop like Mariah Carey and Shania Twain (but not hanson and btb, you know). I liked Green Day and Offspring. Oasis was a cool band, or so I thought. I liked Red Hot Chili Peppers (and I still do). I thought Radiohead was painfully slow and boring and lacked emotion. I started playing guitar.

So which band saved me? Yup. You guessed well (or so I guess). My sister ran onto One, the 27 top one Beatles single collection. Sucky collection, but I was doing my homework and listened to it, and thought to myself: "this music is pretty good"

"This music rules"

"Mmm, I guess my TWO favourite bands are now Beatles and Metallica"

"Screw Metallica (even though it is my favourite metal band)"

"Those thoughts actually took months"

Then my father got ALL beatles records (xcept for those Anthologies). I started playing Beatles on the guitar. I got deeper onto music. I got back onto my father music and I found argentinian musician Charly García kicked ass (I already heard him a thousand times, but the beatles had changed me, remember?). I discovered Carole King (she wrote Chains, which you can find on Beatles' debut). I found Radiohead was genius. I got into techno, finally, by actually listen to GOOD techno (bjork and depeche mode). I got into Beck (BTW, beck rulez). I got into Ramones.

So, I think I can give a different point of view in this matter. See, I don't think Korn is any worse than it was before I heard beatles. The difference is, that I know better music, so Korn, instead of being the band #20, is, say, the band #300. I hear Green Day now and I like it and is catchy, but all I can think is "This is Ramones but with a cleaned Johnny Rotten". I listen to Mariah Carey, and all I can think is that she is just a fucking singer backed up with some fairly good songwriters, but Carole King or Fiona Apple can kick her ass any day of the week.

So, basically, if you didn't get my point, this music is not awful sounding or uncatchy, is simply worse that music that you and me know better. Awww, worst of all, I live in argentina. If you don't get what that means, the only classic radio station available plays mostly '80 hits or newer hits under the stupid name of "classic of futures". C'mon, "Behind Blue Eyes", a classic of the future? It is a The Who song. Worst of all, most folks don't know it. I didn't knew. I don't own Who's next. I went to a store and asked for Zappa and all I found was a expensive DVD.

Oh well, I'll quit writing. BTW, Oasis "Wonderwall" is a fine song.

davethefish42@gmail.com
(about Past Masters Vol. 1) Seeing as only the original UK versions of The Beatles albums were being transfered to cd (thankfully dodging a lot of confusion), there was a wealth of great material not available on cd as singles were kept seperate from albums in those days. And, in seeing as those tracks were chosen as singles in the first place, they rank among The Beatles best. The answer was to collect them all in a set, and the singles (A and B side) recorded in their first two years are all here. It's a wonderful set, even if it does contain the single version of "Love Me Do", and German versions of "She Loves You" and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", which means they both appear here twice, back to back. This is a little perplexing, and possibly irritating, but the idea was to be comprehensive so that every spare track of the world's favorite band would be available to all, and it's really hard to fault the company for it, especially when it was done so lovingly. This is essential to any fan of popular music, period.

(about Past Masters Vol. 2) Essential, because it collects EVERY extra Beatles track that Past Masters Volume 1 didn't grab, which makes the Beatles discography a joy to collect, unlike SOME bands I know (*looks at the Rolling Stones*). Still, it's a bit odd to have Day Tripper, We Can Work It Out, and Paperback Writer here rather than on Volume 1, as the sound is more similar to those works, and the fact that you get the alternate versions of a few other songs is a bit perplexing, but the idea was to be comprehensive and those tracks needed collecting too, so here they are. Some top of the line stuff you'd never get on cd another way.

fanofthefab4
Mark,

Your music review site is great. I have been a *huge* Beatles fan (especially John Lennon And Paul McCartney) fan since I was 9 years old and I got my first Beatles book for my 11th Birthday and I had every album by the time I was 13. I have to corect you though when you refer to The Beatles as the greatest pop band,they really were and are the greatest *Rock* band of all time! John Lennon always said he just really loves Rock N Roll and all of their idols were the early rock pioneers like Chuck Berry who John especially loved,Buddy Holly,Elvis and Little Richard.

Songs like Paul's screaming rock song I'm Down,which was pretty hard rock for 1965,She's a Woman,a lot of the songs on The White album especially Helter Skelkter which many have said was the first real heavy metal punk rock song,Abbey Road,and many others are great *Rock* songs not pop songs and most of their music was rock. The Beach Boys I would classify as a pop group becuase they didn't really have as heavy of eletric guitar sound as most of The Beatles music and much of their songs were Beach surf music. Anyway,The Beatles are classified by most music reviews and in music stores as rock music.

The Beatles Do NOT SUCK!!

I put this page together real fast to debunk claims made by my generation (Gen X) that The Beatles suck. The Beatles do not suck and I hope to prove it. Most of you out there who think The Beatles suck probably don't know much about their history and are only exposed to those short news clips of the four guys stepping off the plane in NYC on Feb. 7th 1964 or the musicians in matching suits shaking their heads on the Ed Sullivan show as the girls screamed. True, that is a part of The Beatles history but I plan on showing you just the radical side of the Beatles so you can have a more balanced view of them. I'm not going to waste my time and yours going over all the positive things The Beatles did, there is enough information out there about all that.

This website is a work in progress and I plan on adding more information as time goes on.

The Beatles are NOT a boy band.

Many people try to say that The Beatles are the first boy band, this is not true. The first boy band to come on the popular music radar screen was probably The Temptations, not The Beatles. The Temptations fit the definition of a boy band in the sense that they don't play instruments, the don't write their own songs, and they have choreographed dance moves. The Beatles on the other hand play rock n roll instruments, write their own music (which was very rare back in the early 1960s), and they don't dance. Some people think of The Beatles as a boy band simply because girls liked them. If that was the sole criteria for being defined as a boy band than wouldn't many hard rock bands fit that definition as well? Its not The Beatles fault that girls liked them. Many guys rioted at Beatles shows as well, breaking through police barriers and kicking cops in the face. Everyone went crazy at Beatles concerts they required unprecedented security was including an armored truck to transport The Beatles. The Beatles eventually stopped touring because of death threats from the KKK.

The Beatles are NOT wimps

The Beatles are definitely not "pussies" or wimps in any way. They started off on the streets of Hamburg Germany and played in strip clubs. In fact they played in strip clubs even after they became famous and most of them have wives who have taken naked photos for magazines such as Playboy. In the strip clubs of Hamburg The Beatles hung out with gangsters, basically they were punks and The Beatles were Punk rockers. They performed in all leather with punk style hair. With the other four Beatles in their leather suits John Lennon would peform just in his underwear with a toilet seat over his head ( Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Axel from GNR, and Marilyn Manson were not the first to perform in their underwear).

In Hamburg one of the Beatles was KILLED from injuries he received in a fight after one of the Beatles shows. Stuart Sutcliffe was his name, the first bass player for The Beatles, and he and John had gotten in a fight with some guys who tried to rob them. The Beatles got their name from the biker movie "The Wild Ones" in which the gang was called "The Beetles" they added the "a" to form a word within a word "beat" inside "beetles." After The Beatles made it, many other rock bands including "The Animals" and "Black Sabbath" started their careers off with a tour of the same clubs The Beatles played in Hamburg Germany.

This is the beginning of a patern for The Beatles, basically the reason everyone mostly sees The Beatles that are happy and friendly is because no one fucks with them. Think about it, if no one fucked with you or put you down or gave you a hard time would you be running around angry?? The same is true for The Beatles. The media only shows you the happy Beatles of 1964, but as I will show on this webpage whenever someone messed with The Beatles the Beatles fought back and you better watch out because they will fuck you up, and they don't take shit from anyone. There are very few examples of this only because very few people ever messed with The Beatles.

So after performing in Hamburg for a while The Beatles were deported from Germany for setting fire to one of the clubs where they performed. It was the first time but not the last that a Beatle would be deported. In addition to Germany Beatles have been deported from Japan, kicked out of the Phillipines, and many Beatle deportation hearings were even held right here in The United States Of America. Not to mention they were banned in the USSR, Cuba, and China, but just recently Fidel Castro erected a statue in honor of John Lennon. Why would so many countries be so afraid of the Beatles that they would deport them or have them banned all together??? How many times have your beloved "punk", "heavy metal", or "hip-hop" artists been deported or banned in a country??

Durring the 1960s while everyone else was singing about love and peace The Beatles were singing about love and peace as well as violence and destruction. I will show you many examples:

These are pictures from a Beatles photo session in early 1966. They used these pictures for one of their album covers. Capitol records printed up thousands of copies but eventually had to recall them because disc jockeys and record stores wouldn't carry the album.

At the time no other band on a major record label had released anything close to being as graphic as this picture. Looks like Marilyn Manson is about 30 years behind the times.

Here is a link to more butcher pictures - http://www.rarebeatles.com/album2/openalbm.htm.

Notice that the dolls have been burned with cigarettes. In other versions of the photos John and Paul have the dolls performing self felatio.

Later in 1966 The Beatles released the album "Revolver" which is pictured to the right. The album title is also the name of a gun. Most people don't know the history of guns with The Beatles. In fact their roadie/body guard for their entire career, Mal Evans, was shot to death in a shoot out with LAPD. Also, Beatles have had guns in the studio while they were recording. John Lennon was shot in his studio while recording a song, luckily it missed. In addition The Beatles producer is currently on trial for shooting a woman in the face.

The new rock band "Jet" with their hit song "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" acknowlege that the Revolver album cover influenced their album cover and music video. Also, "Jet" gets its name from Paul McCartney's famous song of the same title. Jet lists The Beatles as their biggest influence.

In 1968 The Beatle's record label, Apple Records, released Beatle John's "Two Virgins" album. The album was confiscated in the United States and Lennon charged with obscenity violations. At the same time Lennon was facing obscenity charges in the United Kingdom for pornographic drawings he had made of explicit sexual acts, too graphic for mags like Playboy to publish.(Apple Computers is named after The Beatle's Apple Records).

In addition both John and George faced drug charges around this time. Ironically the same day George was busted for drugs he was scheduled to attend a royal reception with some prince and princesses of the royal family. This is part of the dichotomy of being a Beatle, no matter what they do they are always perceived as being "good boys." If Keith Richards was busted for drugs everyone would look at it as a sign that their suspicions were validated, but when a Beatle is busted it is looked at as the guys just having a little fun.

Religion

The Beatles were not religious people, George was considered a spiritual person but never subscribed to any religion. John and Paul seemed very much against religion and saw it as a form of mind control. Lennon caused a huge uproar by saying the following in 1966:

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."

There were Beatle bans and album burnings after this comment. The fact that Lennon's statement caused a real uproar says a lot about how powerful Lennon was. Before this no one had taken the statements of rock stars so seriously, perhaps because Lennon was correct in his analysis.

Later in the early 1970s Lennon would release a song entitled "God" in which he sings "I don't believe in Bible, I don't believe in Jesus....... I just believe in me." These lyrics along with Lennon's other songs like "Imagine" and "Working Class Hero" demonstrates Lennon's humanist ideology.

In 1967 The Beatles released "Srgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and the cover featured a picture of Aleister Crowley. Mr. Crowley is widely regarded as the most evil man who ever lived and was part of the occult. This shows The Beatles interest in black magic years before The Rolling Stones or any other band released satanist material. Ozzy Osbourne later sang a song entitled "Mr. Crowley."

After the Beatles broke up John Lennon wore entirely black outfits with a black cape. He was a member of the "Hollywood Vampires" a club started by Alice Cooper. John could be seen drunk causing fights all over Hollywood and was even seen with a kotex hanging from his hair.

Songs

I Feel Fine is the first song to feature feedback. The Beatles used feedback before The Who and Hendrix.

Rain is the first song to feature backwards music and singing.

Strawberry Fields Forever uses forward and backward tape loops of drum beats at different speeds to give the exact same effect as a turn table. Its the same concept scratching a turn table especially since the Beatles used different speeds in their tape loop beats.

Tomorrow Never Knows speaks for itself, just listen to it and then listen to what every other band was putting out in 1966. This song is literally decades ahead of its time and by itself justifies The Beatles place as the most inovative band of all time. The song sounds like something from hell. John Lennon wrote "Tomorrow Never Knows" when he was really into the "Tibetan Book of the Dead."

Eleanor Rigby

Fool on the Hill

A Day In the Life is a very dark song, part of the song refers to a man who blew his mind out in a car committing suicide for all to see.

Helter Skelter rocks harder than any song released on a major label up to the point of its release. This is before Led Zep and Black Sabbath. Helter Skelter is also the reason Charles Manson's family killed all those people in the late 1960s. Charles Manson believed that The Beatles were profits of god and their music is considered the final testament and is studied very closely by all of his followers including many of today's heavy metal and goth bands. There have been many other cases of killings with the killer(s) giving credit to The Beatles and their music. For instance the Zodiac killer references The Beatles several times. In 2003 Jason Sweney a high school student was murdered by his friends after they listened to The Beatles for hours, they beat Jason to death with a hammer and a rock.

Yer Blues a suicidal blues rocker. This song is one of the first heavy metal songs ever recorded especially the Dirty Mac version. Lines like "the eagle picks my eye, the worm he licks my bone, i feel so suicidal just like Dylan's Mr Jones." gives Black Sabbath a run for their money. In fact after seeing John Lennon perform this song at the Rock N Roll circus Tony Iommi quit Jethro Tull and went back to work with Black Sabbath starting the sound they are known for today.

Maxwell Silver Hammer is a song about a serial killer who bludgens his victims to death with a hammer. Maxwell's victims include a fellow student, a teacher, and the judge at his trial. Amazingly, The Bealtes released "Maxwell Silver Hammer" months after the Manson family killings after which everyone knew that whoever the killers were they were leaving the names of Beatle songs written in blood and carved in their victims bodies. With all that information The Beatles still released a song glorifying serial murderers. I equate it to Marilyn Manson releasing a song about school shooting after Columbine, even though the Columbine High School killers made it very clear in their notes that they did not like Marilyn Manson, just the opposite was true for the Charles Manson murders and The Beatles. And yes, Marilyn Manson lists The Beatles as his favorite band, flashes pictures of them at his concerts, performs and releases many Beatles songs.

Come Together shoot me......

She Came In through the Bathroom Window

Influenced

The Rolling Stones got their record deal after George Harrison recommended them to record executives. John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the Rolling Stone's first hit song "I Want to be your Man" which inspired Mick and Keith to write their own songs. It is a common misconception that The Stone rocked harder than the Beatles, but this isn't true. The fact is that The Beatles had a much greater range than The Stones and between four singers and three song writers were able to write many different songs in many different styles, but when The Beatles did straight up rock n roll they rocked HARDER than The Stones have even to this day (Helter Skelter and other songs comparable to The Stones include Revolution and Come Together).

Ozzy Osbourne regards The Beatles as the greatest band ever. He has said that if he could change places with anyone in the world it would be with John Lennon or Paul McCartney. When Ozzy first met Paul McCartney he cried. Ozzy sang backup vocals on Ringo Starr's "Vertical Man" album.

Led Zeppelin were backup musicians on Paul McCartney's "Back to the Egg" album. They got their eastern mysticism from George Harrison who introduced them to eastern culture. They wrote the song "Stairway to Heaven" after George Harrison told them they would be better if they wrote a few rock ballads.

Aerosmith recorded The Beatles song "Come Together" and released it as single. Steven Tyler sang backup vocals on Ringo Starr's "Vertical Man" album.

The Ramones are named after The Beatles. Here is what Joey Ramone had to say about it: "In the days of the "Silver Beatles," Paul McCartney would go to check into a hotel room, using the name Paul Ramone. Dee Dee was a big Paul McCartney fan, so he changed his name to Dee Dee Ramone. When I hooked up with Dee Dee, we decided to call the band The Ramones." Joey has also listed The Beatles as his all time favorite band, you can definitely see the influence The Beatles (The Silver Beatles at the time) had on The Ramone's clothing style. All leather and blue jeans.

Guns N Roses recorded Paul McCartneys hit "Live and Let Die" and released the song as a single and it made it to the top 10.

David Bowie has been influenced by John Lennon. In the 1970s John Lennon wrote the song "Fame" with David Bowie and played guitar and sang on the recording. The song was David Bowie's first number one hit.

Elton John is Sean Lennon's godfather. Elton recorded The Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and released it as a single, it went to number one.

Nirvana was heavily influenced by The Beatles. Both Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl list The Beatles as the best band ever and have written tribute songs to The Beatles. Kurt called The White Album the best album ever made and he would sit for hours listening to Beatle records before writing his songs. In one of his last interviews Kurt said he wanted Nirvana to be like The Beatles refering to The Beatles creative music and the constantly changing style of music.

KISS' Paul Stanley is a huge Beatles fan and has been seen at many Paul McCartney concerts.

Jimi Hendrix got his big break when Paul McCartney recommended him for the Monterey Pop Festival. Later on in Jimi's last interview he was asked where he sees music going in the next few years and he replied by telling the interviewer to go ask the Beatles because they are the leaders of his musical genre.

The Pixies

Eric Clapton and Cream. George Harrison and Ringo Starr co-wrote the song "Badge" for the band Cream. Eric Clapton was lead guitarist for John Lennon's bands "The Dirty Mac" and "The Plastic Ono Band."

ddickson@rice.edu
1.) Ze Chameleon: Yes, all the popular bands you mentioned are indeed awful. Except Live. Goddamn me, but they actually manage to do something useful with generic Pearl Jam-ripoff mope-alt-rock that I normally hate. And "Lightning Crashes" is guilty pleasure number 1.

2.) Jason Penick: I hate to sound like "one of them", but give Marilyn Manson a chance, dudes. Just because he managed to, er, "strike a chord" (mock-critic voice), as it were, with millions of "disaffected youth" does NOT mean he's just like Britney Spears. Antichrist Superstar? Landmark. Guilty pleasure number 2. Forget that it's made for rock radio "generic" "pandering" "MTV" "all the teenagers in highschool I hate" blah blah blah. Listen to it with virgin ears. You might still hate it, but it won't be because it's popular.

But 311? Ehhhhh. . . I don't know. . .

3.) WyldLash: A-MEN, my friend. Modern music sucks more than it ever has? Hardly. The good stuff just ain't popular anymore. Except Shania Twain. She is guilty pleasure number 3. There are no other guilty pleasures in existence.

Oh who am I kidding. I'm dead, aren't I.

Also, many here have complained about MTV. My take on it: why even watch the channel? Dagnabbit, I don't need to WATCH music!! Hell, I have no idea what the famous "Thriller" video even looks like. Silly folks, watching music. How could it get any worse? It sucked to begin with!!

Now I have a paper to write about inequality in America. I think I'll title it "Music as Metaphor: Why I Haven't Gotten Rich Off Managing Mark's Band (Going Back In Time) And The Loss of The Locomotion In Modern Schlock"

Thanks guys. This has been an inspiration to me all.

Hister333@aol.com
Mark Prindle likes the Beatles? I think I'm gonna cry...

Nicolafrood@aol.com
HISTER YOU CAN CRY YHEN YOU LITTLE BITCH BECAUSE THE BEATLES ARE THE GREATEST BAND EVER OK, GOOD.

1 THE BEATLES
2 THE DOORS
3 BOB DYLAN
4 THE KINKS
5 THE SMALL FACES
6 THE LIBERTINES/BABYSHAMBLES
7 THE ZOMBIES
8 SYD BARRETTS PINK FLOYD
9 PROBABLY LED ZEPPELIN
10 THEN THE WHO MAYBE

optcom@webtv.net (LH)
These four mopheads from the UK were so full of themselves. Some of their music doesn`t even make sense. You can tell they were stoned about half the time when they were recording. The music world may have been shook up by their independence. But let`s move on shall we.

fanofthefab4
Please post this on your Beatles reviews site,to debunk the totally ignorant things that some of your posters said about The Beatles including more recently the poster Hister333@aol.com saying the ignorant comment, "Mark Prindle likes The Beatles? I think I'm gonna cry..." and poster optcom@webtv.net who said this ignorant comment,"These four mopheads from UK were so full of themselves.Some of their music doesn't even make sense.You can tell they were stoned about half the time when they were recording.The music world may have been shook up by their independence.But lets move on shall we." Seriuosly where do these ignorant people come from,and I'm really glad they are in the minority and that I don't know them!!!! And you shouldn't even have published their ignorant comments unless to just let them look like the fools that they really are! The Beatles NEVER recorded when they were they were stoned either and they said so because it would have impaired their performances!

Bob Dylan actually gave the ultimate praise to Paul McCartney and John and George in a Spring 2007 Rolling Stone interview! He said he's in awe of Paul McCartney and that he's the only music artist he's in awe of! He said that Paul has the melody,he's got the rythym,he can sing the ballad really good,and he can play any instrument and that he's so darn effortless! Bob Dylan also said that George Harrison was a very good song writer in his own right and that he would have emerged big anyway but he was stuck behind John and Paul,and Bob said who wouldn't get stuck behind them! He also said there are no greater singers than John Lennon and Paul McCartney!

Even, Ozzy Osbourne said in an online 2002 Bender Magazine interview that The Beatles Are The Greatest Band To Ever Walk The Earth! He's been a huge fan since he's been a teenager and he says not loving The Beatles is like not loving oxogen! The Rolling Stones were very good friends and fans of The Beatles and Mick Jagger was at 4 Beatles recording sessions and Keith Richards was at 2 of them with them! Also,The Beatles even wrote one of The Rolling Stones first hits with the song, I Wanna Be You're Man in late 1963.

And The Beatles Were *NEVER* a boy band at all not even in their 1963,1964,1965 and 1966 period. The Beatles started out playing 8 hours a night for two years in a row in the sleazy strip clubs of Hamburg Germany wearing tight black leather jackets and pants ,smoking,drinking,cursing and taking speed pills to stay awake and going to bed with a lot of young women groupies. There were a lot of rough German thugs that came into those clubs and if The Beatles didn't play good live they would have beaten the crap out of them playing for 8 hours a night for two years,instead they became the most successful and popular group in Hamburg even with a lot of competition from other German and English groups playing in those clubs. The Beatles cleaned up image was a totally fake image created by their manager Brian Epstein which John hated and resented the most.And The Beatles also played successfully at The Cavern Club in Liverpool for several years before their manager Brian Epstein discovered them. too.

As for the other inaccurate comments that some people say The Beatles didn't even stay together for 2 decades,well they didn't have to because they did about 50 years worth of innovative,creative,diverse,prolific great critically acclaimed popular songs and albums in just a remarkable 8 year recording career! The Beatles are in The Song Writing Hall Of Fame &The Vocal Hall of Fame,and As The All Music Guide says in their excellent Beatles biography,"So much has been said and written about The Beatles and their story is so mythic in it's sweep that it's difficult to summarize their career without restating cliche's that have already been digested by tens of millions of rock fans ,to start with the obvious,they were the greatest and most influential act of the rock era ,and introduced more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century." "As vovalists John Lennon &Paul McCartney were among the best and most expressive in rock and the groups harmonies were intricate and exhillirating."

And music critics as well as brilliant classical composer Leonard Bernstein called John &Paul the most brilliant song writers of the 20th century when they were still a band . As for The Beatles playing live,they sounded pretty good playing live considering that when they were playing in 1963,1964,1965,and 1966 the sound systems back then were very limited and primitive,they only had 100 watt amplifiers,no feedback monitors so they couldn't even hear themselves play and sing,yet they amazingly played in tune and in sync anyway,and at the August 1965 Shea Stadium concert which was the first big outdoor rock concert with over 55,000 fans,they were plugged into the PA system that they announce baseball games with plus the screaming crowds drowing out their great music! Can you imagine The Rolling Stones and The Who playing on these very limited primitive sound systems? They wouldn't have sounded much better! Thats why they gave up touring,because they were serious music artists,composers,and musicians and they wanted their great music to be heard and valued. It would be like Beethoven playing on these limited primitive sound systems and screaming crowds! Also they were now writing music that was too complex to reproduce on stage at that time. I also forgot to mention two more great Beatles rockers, Paul's Get Back and John Lennon's great 1968 rocker Hey Bull Dog.

On the roof top concert in The Let It Be Film,they sounded great,because by January 1969 the sound systems had improved somewhat(although not anywhere near the 1970's,1980's,1990's and especially today's!) and they had changed and people had changed so there were no more screaming crowds so they could be heard.When I was a teenager I met 3 people who saw The Beatles in concert two of them were teachers who saw them in 1966 and he and she told me they were great,and my cousin saw them at age 16 at The Baltimore Colsieum in 1964 the year before I was born,and she said they were great. Former Kiss guitarist and grammy winning producer Bob Kulick who made the heavy metal Beatles tribute album Butchering The Beatles last year,says in an online interview,that he saw The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1966 and that he could only make out pieces of the songs because of the screaming,but he could make out the songs Baby's In Black and Paperback Writer and he said they sounded amazing! He also calls The Beatles The Greatest Rock Band Ever!

George Harrison at only age 14 would stay up playing his guitar until he got all of the chords exactly right and his fingers wer e bleeding! And One of The Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick says that in early 1966 when The Beatles were recording John's song I'm Only Sleeping,George Harrison played backwards guitar the most difficult way possible even though he could have taken an easy way,and it took him 6 hours just to do the guitar overdubs! He then made it doubly difficult by adding even more distorted gitars and Geoff says this was all George's idea and that he did all of the playing! Eric Clapton said in a 1992 interview when he and George were asked what they admired about each other during their Japan tour,that George is a fantastic slide guitar player. He and George were very good friends and they obviously admired and respected each others guitar playing and George played guitar on Cream's song Badge. Roger McGuinn of The Byrds says The Beatles used unusual folk rock chords in their early music and that they invented folf rock without even knowing it! He started to play a 12 string guitar after he saw and heard George Harrison playing one in The Beatles great film A Hard Day's Night in early 1964.

In an online Eric Clapton interview called,Eric Clapton In His Own Words he says that John Lennon was a pretty good guitar player and he would have known since he played live in concert with John as a member of John's 1969 Plastic Ono Band! On an excellent site called,The Evolution Of Rock Bass Playing McCartney Style by Dennis Alstrand Stanley Clarke,Will Lee,Billy Sheehan,Sting,George Martin,and John Lennon are all quoted saying what a great,melodic,influential bass guitar player Paul McCartney has always been! The 1992 Rolling Stone Album Guide calls Paul a remarkable bass player and rightfully calls John &Paul the 2 greatest song writers in rock history! Both Phil Collins and Max Weinberg both Beatles fans and both praise Ringo's drumming and Phil Collins says that Ringo's great drumming on A Day In The Life can't even be repeated even by him!

Also on Rankopedia The Beatles are # 1 Greatest Rock Band,# 1 Greatest Most Innovative Rock Band,John &Paul are # 1 Greatest Rock Song Writers,John &Paul are on The Greatest Rock Male Vocalist list,and Paul McCartney is # 2 after John Enwistle as Greatest Rock Bass Players,John Paul Jones is # 6,and Bill Wynman is # 20! And on Digitaldreamdoor where many musicians post,The Beatles are # 1 Greatest Rock Artists,John &Paul are # 1 Greatest Rock Song Writers,they are both on The Greatest Rock Male Vocalists list,and Paul McCartney is # 8 out of 100 Greatest Rock Bass Players,John Paul Jones is # 21,and Bill Wynman is # 95! George Harrison is # 54 On The Greatest Rock Guitarists out of over 100.

And there are many music professors teaching music courses at good universities on the brilliance of The Beatles especially of John &Paul,including by award winning music professor and composer Dr.Glen Gass,who has been teaching a course on The Beatles and rock music at Indiana University since 1982. On his web site for his course it says the main purpose of this course is to get students to have a better appreciation of this extraordinary group and their remarkable recordings. Dr.Gary Kendal's Beatles course is the most requested course at North Western University. And a music professor by the last name of Heinonen teaches a Beatles course at JYVASKYLA University in Finland,and the university of California also teaches a Beatles course etc.

Also check out Ken's Classic Rock n Roll Site he also runs a Rolling Stones &John Lennon fan site. And he made a Top 10 List and voted and the fans voted. He voted John &Paul # 2 after Bob Dylan as Greatest Rock Song Writers,the fans voted them # 1! He voted Paul McCartney # 2 after John Entwistle as Greatest Rock Bass Player,the fans voted Paul # 3. He voted John Lennon # 2 after Keith Richards as Greatest Rock Rhythm Guitarist,and the fans voted John in a tie with Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones at # 4 ! He voted John Lennon # 1 in a tie with Elvis as Greatest Male Rock Vocalist and the fans voted John # 1,he voted Paul # 6 and the fans voted him # 7. Ken says Darn The Beatles were one great group in his review of The Beatles album 1967-1970,and he also says that John on Get Back showed why he should have played lead guitar more often because he did such a good job! He also said that John on their hard rocking great 1968 single Revolution,played one of the first and best acid guitar parts.And he also said that John played a pretty good slide guitar on George's For Your Blue. And he says in his review of The Beatles 1962-1966,that if you don't love or at least like The Beatles and their music than you are not a true rock fan and more than likely will never get it.

And Brian Wilson said on a 1995 Nightline TV Beatles tribute show,that Sgt.Pepper is the single greatest album he ever heard,and he played With A Little Help From Friends on the piano and he said I just love this song. He also said he thinks John Lennon &Paul McCartney were the 2 greatest song writers of the 20th century! He also said when he first heard The Beatles great 1965 album Rubber Soul,that he was blown away by it,he said all of the songs flowed together and it was pop music but folk rock at the same time,and this is what he couldn't believe. He said this inspired him to make Pet Sounds. Elton John said in a 1991 CBS morning news show,when he was asked who he musically admires,he said You can talk about your Rogers &Hammerstein but for the quality of quanity songs that Lennon &McCartney did in that short period of time,they were the 2 greatest song writers of the 20th century! Most music artists want to believe and want the public to believe that *their* the greatest so when they say other music artists are the greatest it really means a lot!

The Beatles are also the most covered music artists of all time with everyone from Motown,jazz,classical,and even heavy metal music recording their great diverse music! And in 2001 VH1 had a panel of well known musicans and music critcs,that voted The Beatles The Greatest Rock Band Ever,and in 2004 Rolling Stone did the same thing and several people said on message boards that Rolling Stone had a recent pael poll like this and The Beatles were voted # 1 again and for darn great reasons too! Nobody created as much innovative,creative,quality,critically acclaimed,popular diverse songs and albums in such a short amazing period of time as The Beatles and thats why most people know that The Beatles Are The Greatest Rock Band That Ever Was Or Will Be!!!!

Oh and A Day's Night is a great pop rock album!!!! And even Bob Dylan said decades ago about The Beatles early music,that their chords were outrageous,and the harmonies were wonderful and they were doing things in music that nobody had done before,and music critics of The London Times were praising their interesting and unusual chords that they used even in early songs like She Loves You &I Want To Hold Your Hand. Which were not as simple as they seemed and had clever subtleties in them.Infact Bob Dylan said in a Rolling Stone interview this Spring that he's in awe of Paul McCartney and he said he's the only one he's in awe of. He said that Paul has the melody,he has the rhthym and he can sing the ballad very good,and he can play any instrument. He also said there were no better singers than John Lennon &Paul McCartney and he said if George wasn't stuck in the shadow behind John &Paul and he said who wouldn't get stuck,he would have emerged as a great song writer in his own right anyway.

And by the way I have read some people saying on message boards that they don't think The Rolling Stones were the best technical musicians,and many even some fans have said they haven't done anything good in 35 years, and that their overrated and I have also found many people saying they hate or don't like The Rolling Stones and many people say the only Rolling Stones song they like is Paint It Black! Oh and by the way,in every major poll of The Beatles vs The Rolling Stones,The Beatles always win as # 1 even on sites and message boards that are not Beatles fan sites!

And when we look at the solo career comparison of Mick Jagger's and Keith Richards solo careers with John,Paul &George's,the facts are John Lennon's first brilliant solo album,and his second great album Imagine are rightfully critically acclaimed, and I love John's Walls &Bridges album and Paul McCartney's first solo album McCartney is very good,and he played every instrument all by himself at age 27,and he played so many different instruments great! Wings 1975 Venus &Mars is a great rock album too! And he and Denny Laine are the only musicians on Paul's great 1973 Band On The Run album,which is critically acclaimed and popular,and he played every instrument by himself again on McCartney 2 in 1979,and most of the instruments on his 1997 Flaming Pie album,and his 2 recent acclaimed popular albums,Chaos And Creation In The Backyard,and Memory Almost Full.And John Paul Jones,David Gilmore,John Bonham &Pete Townsend all played on 2 songs with Paul and Wings on the last Wings album Back To The Egg, in 1979,and they played in the last Wings concert too in December 1979. You know I have found over 50 former Beatles haters on many message boards and web sites that are noe HUGE Beatles fans and many say they are now their favorite band and that they were the Greatest Band Ever! I didn't communicate with these people but they said in their posts that they had a lot of inaccurate misperceptions of The Beatles and they hadn't even heard most of The Beatles great songs and albums! Most people don't hate The Beatles in the first place,most people of all ages all around the world love or at least like their music,but it's really something for former haters to turn into big fans and it just goes to show how Great The Beatles music is!!!!

Another thing I want to debunk is that many people have a misperception that The Beatles were a pop band and not a rock band.But this is not true at all,The Beatles were mostly a great innovative,creative,diverse prolific *ROCK* band *not* a "pop" band! John Lennon always aid he just really loved rock n roll and he and Paul wrote plenty of great rock n roll in The Beatles and in their early solo careers! It really would have been news to John that he wasn't the founder and leader of a true rock band!

The Beach Boys were a true pop band because all of their hits were that beach surfing sound. Even The early Beatles had a harder electric guitar sound than The Beach Boys and I have never heard a Beach Boys song played on classic rock stations only oldies stations, But many classic rock stations still play The Beatles! And The Beatles are rightfully categorized as a *rock* band by most rock and music critics and rock journalists,and Rock On The Net says few could argue that one of the best if not the best rock groups was The Beatles. And The Wikipedia the free online encyclopedia as well as the Websters College 2000 Dictionary defines The Beatles as a British Rock Group. And most record stores classify The Beatles correctly as the rock band they were.And a guy on the web site Votenumber1.com said of course The Beatles were a great rock group he said they were the greatest rock group ever and he said he can name about 100 great rock Beatles songs!

And I and many people understandably feel that John Lennon had the best rock voices ever! George Martin said John's voice was one of the best he ever heard,and in May 1967 when The Beatles were recording their song,Baby You're A Rich Man,two recording engineers said they were always fascinated with the sound of John Lennon's voice,and they always wanted to record it live and when they heard him singing this song live they said they couldn't believe how great his voice was and that anyone could sing that well live.

The Beatles wrote many great rock songs that were pretty rocking for the time,John's great song You Can't Do That from early 1964 which he played lead guitar on for the first time,Paul's great blues rocker,She's A Woman from late 1964,John's I Feel Fine from late 1964, with the first use of feedback guitar,and one of the first songs to have a great guitar riff,a year before The Rolling Stone's Satisfaction came out,Paul's screaming hard rocker especially for 1965,I'm Down which they played even louder and more screaming at the August 1965 Shea Stadium concert, and as The All Music Guide says I'm Down was one of The Beatles most frantic rockers,and they said they did a really wild performance of this at The Shea Stadium concert. The All Music Guide also says The Beatles showed they could rock really really hard with their early songs,John's I Feel Fine,Paul's She's A Woman,and the peerless I'm Down.

Plus Day Tripper,Paperback Writer,She Said She Said,And You're Bird Can Sing, Taxman,all with heavy electric guitar sounds,John's 1968 hard rocking single Revolution,Yer Blues,Birthday,Back In The USSR,While My Guitar Gently Weeps,Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me &My Monkey,Get Back,He Bulldog,Polythene Pam,She Came In Through The Bathroom Window plus Paul's Helter Skeklter which as many people have pointed out was the first heavy metal songs,plus John's I Want You She's So Heavy on Abbey Road which many people have also pointed out was one of the first heavy metal songs,plus his great rocker Come Together,Paul's Oh Darling,You Never Give Me Your Money,and the hard rocking jam of Paul,George,and John on the song The End,etc!! So anyone saying THe Beatles were not a rock band You Are Wrong!!

The Rolling Stones were very good friends and fans of The Beatles and Mick Jagger was at 4 Beatles recording sessions and Keith Richards was at 2 of them with them! The Beatles even wrote one of The Rolling Stones first hits with the song,I WAnna Be You're Man in late 1963.

Mick Jagger was such a big Beatles fan that when The Beatles were recording their song,Baby You're A Rich Man in May 1967,he came there and stood on the sidelines just to watch and listen to them record it and his name was on the tape box because he likely sang at the end verses.

The Rolling Stones could also be considered a pop band since they too were very popular,had many hit songs and albums and some of their songs could be classified as pop,Ruby Tuesday,Angie,She's A Rainbow,Lady Jane,As Tears Go By,Waiting On A Friend,Emotional Rescue, their whole Sgt.Pepper rip off Their Satanic Majesties Request and they also put out many greatest hits albums.

Dennis.York@va.gov
fanoffab4 - Great articles,kid…I am glad that some youngsters out there actually know how great the beatles are.
Like mark prindle said: they invented modern rock ‘n’ roll/pop.
Fan of fab4 listen to lennon’s “I found out” on the Plastic ONO Band CD/LP…
It contains what I feel is Lennon’s best lyric and it has to do with your thoughts on the Beatles/Lennon and Religion:
Lennon was a spiritual seeker and incorporated lots of Eastern/Hindu/Buddhist beliefs w. his Anglican ones:
He felt what is called “god” is in all of us.
Anyway, the lyric that he destroyed religion with,if you want it is: “There ain’t no guru who can see through your eyes.(I found out)” Brilliant. And is the truth. It also is what Jesus,Buddha and all the rest say,as well,if one can get past the BS the Churches lay on you. (Funny how the words “church” and “crutch” are so much alike!)

Jorge Vasquez Avila
fanofthefab4 is incorrect , is incredible how Urban Lies grows, Phil Collins did not say he could not do it, He said about Ringo

-- "I think he's vastly underrated. The drum fills on A Day In The Life are very complex things. You could take a great drummer today and say, 'I want it like that.' They wouldn't know what to do." (interview for The Making of Sgt. Pepper, 1992)
http://web2.airmail.net/gshultz/drumpage.html

Ben
After two excellent new tracks that opened up the last two volumes, we get one that sounds straight from the "Yellow Submarine" album. This "Beginning" was gonna be used as the intro to "Don't Pass Me By" of all things. It's certainly a real treat to hear some of these "White album" demos, but none of them really add much to the originals. I feel the same way about the outtakes, but the most worthy of these is the slow version of "Helter Skelter".

When I heard Paul once say that Phil Spector ruined "The Long and Winding Road" by adding strings, I was more than excited to hear this version. Upon hearing it, I slowly realized the strings are what made that song. Otherwise, the fifties medley they did here was pretty cool, "Come and Get it" is a great song that's fun to play on piano (like any Beatles song really) and this version of "Ain't She Sweet" is about as good as the version on Anthology 1.

Add your thoughts?

Love - Capitol 2006
Rating = 8
So I'm shittin' the tit with George Harrison and John Lennon and they're all like, "Dude have you heard fuckin' Yes Remixes? 'Cuz it's killer awesome." And I'm like, "Dude you should totally do something like that with your old stuff, from that band you were in." And they go, "Yeah, that'd be wicked 'cuz with today's fancy studios, you could make a grate album where you combine bits of different songs of ours to make new ones and blow everyone's minds, but without the use of drugs. Stay in school." And I'm like, "Dude I know just the guy" and they're like "Steve Howe's son, who made Yes Remixes so good?" and I'm like "No, George Martin's son! George Martin was your producer" and they're like "No, don't give it to him! He'll do like two or three good ones and then the rest will either sound just like the original versions or be covered in noisy crap samples that sound like shit together" and I said, "No no no you're wrong. When I was a boy -"

Unfortunately the Deadles were correct. George Martin's son (George Martinson) was given access to hours and hours of rare behind-the-scenes footage of Beatles recording sessions, and wound up creating a "remix/mash-up" CD that NOBODY WILL WANT!!!! Seriously, if you're looking for a Beatles compilation, you're going to want a compilation of their hits -- not a bunch of half-songs or alternate mixes or good songs buried under stupid samples from other songs. On the other hand, if you're looking for a wild new approach to your favorite old music, you're also poop out of luck because only about THREE of the damn songs show any kind of remixer brains whatsoever! Track 7, for example, is awesome, seamlessly meshing elements from "Taxman," "What You're Doing" and "The Word" on top of "Drive My Car." And a few of the ideas are clever - like pairing "Within You Without You" with the drum track from "Tomorrow Never Knows," or putting the opening lines of "Octopus's Garden" on top of the "Good Night" fade-out, or slowly building up "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" from a series of early demo recordings. But so many of these songs are near-EXACT replicas of the original versions ("I Am The Walrus," "Help," "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," "Lady Madonna," "All You Need Is Love," "Hey Jude") that Love may very well win the Academy Award for Number One Wasted Opportunity Of The Past Twenty-Five Years.

Say! Do you have Power Tools on your computer? Say! Do you own at least five Beatles albums? Say! Do you have a free afternoon coming up? If you can answer "yes" to all three of these questions, congratulations! You've just created a more interesting Beatles "mash-up" album than this one!

It gets an 8 out of 10 because The Beatles wrote so many great songs. But for effort, I'd give it about a 4. There are some nice moments of making previously-lost instrumental tracks more prominent in the mix, or revisiting old demo tapes, but wasn't that the point of the Anthology albums? Love was supposed to be something new and special! In fact, according to the official Beatles web site (www.nakedamputeesfuckingoldladiesuptheasswiththeirstumps.com), Love is a collection of "experimental mixes for a collaboration with Cirque du Soleil" and "an unprecedented approach to the music" and "a unique soundscape." First of all, I fail to see what the Beatles have to do with Soleil Moon-Frye unless you're calling Paul and Ringo a "giant pair of tits" which you may well be doing but I've owned every Beatles album since I was like 0 years old so the last goddamned album I need in 2006 is one that makes me listen to "Come Together" in its entirety before slapdashly slopping on some shit from "Dear Prudence" right at the very end.

The bottom line is that I set my expectations far too high. If you set yours low -- for example, if you expect the average "experiment" on the release to be along the lines of "Blackbird" suddenly turning into the intro to "Yesterday" -- then you'll be all over this wild, woolly way of approaching the Beatles music in a whole new, yet entirely familiar and unsurprising, light. At very least, it's certainly not 'bad music' by any stretch of the imaginging!

Reader Comments

crab.stick@talktalk.net (Berny, Worc's, UK)
Pretty much a very high 9 for the songs used, but as a concept? Will the Martins do this grave-opening-and-subsequent-crapping-into-the-hole next Christmas? Mark, you mentioned Anthologies. I thought that was a worthy trawl, and I bet there's more to find. If the Stooges had six cds of Funhouse recorded, the Beatles must have whole months of unreleased work. Hey, ain't remixes a bit 80s? I got it and I wish I hadn't. A low 4 here, too.

Tom Troccoli
You sure like it a whole lot more than I do. Thing is McCartney has done this kind of work with his own solo material for almost a decade now (The Fireman: Rushes The Fireman, Twin Freaks, Liverpool Sound Collage etc.) with truly fascinating and satisfying results. Maybe Paul should've done the mix?

lgraves@cogeco.ca
Hello. I am adding my thoughts. They come to 25.

Ha ha. That was funny!

I am drunk right now but at least I still have my sense of humor...hahahahahahhaha.

Anyway.....I have to agree with Mark about the Beatles Love cd (he tells me if I don't agree with him he won't update the Sparks page anymore....)

The Beatles were the BEST.....and I enjoyed the Love album for what it was. A cd. Yes, it was definelty a cd.

I thought it was fairly well put together...........a few harsh change ups but overall not bad at all and the sound quality was as good as the last Backstreet Boys cd which is saying a lot. Not that I like the Backstreet Boys or dream of Nick Carter in boxer shorts at night....oh no.

I might regret sending this email to Mark, especially if I read it sober but what the hell. Mark is a great guy but I said that about my next door neighbor and he turned out to be a murderer.

Where was I? Frigg...............you know you are drunk when you are wondering how to spell I. Ha hahahahahah...

Can I promote my humor site here? www.gravetimes.com

I'll shut up now. Mark...I love your site...although I was hoping for more nude pics on it.

pdermody@twcny.rr.com
What really bugs me is how many people dismiss the beatles "unproffesional" and praise The Rolling Stones instead. If it's anything, the Beatles were BETTER musicians than the stones. Sure, John could never riff like Keith Richards but Brian Jones could not play lead (or sitar) as well as George Harrison. I don't know whether George is more talented than Mick Taylor but he is more in inventive and could play better slide guitar. Bill Wyman was a good bassist, but know where near as talented and innovated as Paul. And Ringo Starr has to be the most underrated drummer in history. He probably has the most unique style in rock music (although you shouldn't ignore Charlie Watts). I'm not dismissing the Rolling Stones as "unproffesional". Both bands are very talented but I think the Beatles might have the advantage over the Stones.

MiKatz123@aol.com
i like dylan who zappa eno king crimson talking heads costello clash stones beefheart laurie anderson lou reed van morrison the band the smiths they might be giants patti smith pj harvey roxy music bowie mozart dead kennedys gang of four ian dury yoko ono beethoven bill monroe lead belly nick cave woody guthrie and so many ive yet to discover my fave the beatles.

greggisthebestsoiselizabeth@msn.com
I love the beatles man ther great! im even doing a concert about them. Is't that awsome Ive got all ther great awsome songs on dvd. "YEAH YEAH YEAH!"

johnnyt471@yahoo.com
I was disappointed by this. I was curious to hear a sort of sound collage with the Beatles songs, but for the most part it's not all that different from the original versions (or the demos on Anthology). With 26 tracks, you'd think they would be a little more adventurous. I dunno, maybe it makes more sense if you've seen the Cirque de Soleil show?

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Paul McCartney Really Is Dead: The Last Testament of George Harrison DVD - MVD Visual 2010
Rating = 8
One amazing day in 2010, I received the following incredible email in my spectacular inbox:

"In the summer of 2005, a package arrived at the Hollywood offices of Highway 61 Entertainment from London with no return address. Inside were two mini-cassette audio tapes dated December 30, 1999 and labeled THE LAST TESTAMENT OF GEORGE HARRISON. A voice identical to Harrison tells a shocking story: Paul McCartney was killed in a car crash in November of 1966 and replaced with a double! British intelligence, MI5, had forced the Beatles to cover up McCartney's death to prevent mass suicides of Beatle fans. However, the remaining Beatles tried to signal fans with clues on album covers and in songs.

Until now, the 'Paul is Dead' mystery that exploded worldwide in 1969 was considered a hoax. However, in this film, George Harrison reveals a secret Beatles history, chronicling McCartney's fatal accident, the cover up, dozens of unknown clues, and a dangerous cat and mouse game with 'Maxwell,' the Beatles' MI5 handler, as John Lennon became increasingly reckless with the secret. Harrison also insists that Lennon was assassinated in 1980 after he threatened to finally expose 'Paul McCartney' as an imposter!

Highway 61 Entertainment has corroborated most of George Harrison's stunning account of the conspiracy to hide McCartney's tragic death. Harrison's complete audio tapes narrate this film that includes all the newly unearthed evidence. The Last Testament of George Harrison may prove to be the most important document in rock and roll history, leaving little doubt that PAUL McCARTNEY REALLY IS DEAD!"

If you can name one person who wouldn't request a review copy based on that description, I urge you to hit him in the face with a brick.

A few weeks later, the DVD arrived and I slipped it into my player. Within 10 minutes, I was aghast with confusion and fury. Who the hell were they trying to kid? Why would the real George Harrison send his 'final tapes' to an entertainment company that nobody's ever heard of? And that voice doesn't sound a BIT like George Harrison; in fact, it sounds like an AMERICAN doing a shitty British accent! Furthermore, "George"'s dialogue was clearly recorded directly onto the film soundtrack, not onto the microcassettes that the camera keeps showing! What is this garbage? Are they serious!?

Within another 10 minutes, I had my answer. No, they're not serious. Not at all. And as a result, this is one of the most hilariously ludicrous and over-the-top DVDs that a Beatles fan will ever enounter. And it is a must-own.

Here's what I suspect happened: somebody got the idea to do a DVD about the old "Paul Is Dead" phenomenon, showcasing all of the album cover clues and backmasked audio messages. And then somebody else got the idea to spruce up the production by presenting the data in a fun way -- specifically, by completely sending up the whole concept and creating an alternative Beatles history. And sweet Christ, is this alternative history a hoot -- particularly coming from the mouth of "George Harrison."

So here's the concept: One night at the studio, Paul and John got in a heated argument. Paul stormed out, took off in his car and crashed it, decapitating himself. A woman called "Rita" reported the accident, and "Maxwell" from the M15 contacted the remaining Beatles and told them they had to keep the death a secret or hundreds of Beatles fanatics would commit suicide out of grief. They agreed, and a Paul McCartney lookalike ("False Paul," shortened to "Faul") underwent intensive plastic surgery to take his place. However, the remaining Beatles missed Paul dearly, resented Faul, and tried to secretly alert their fans to the real Paul's death by sneaking clues onto their album covers and into their music.

The concept is interesting enough, but the execution is an absolute scream. "George" not only discusses the clues that everybody knows about ("28 IF," "Turn me on, Dead Man," the black rose, etc), but basically suggests that everything the Beatles did was a clue. Here are some examples:

- "Apple Corporation" was originally to be called "A Paul Corporation," but they decided it was too obvious
- Ringo wanted to call their album Rubber Paul in reference to all of Faul's plastic surgery; they decided to go with a close variant
- The cover of Rubber Soul is shot from an angle intended to represent Paul's view from the grave
- The album title Revolver is a reference to the revolving door that Paul walked through to the leave the studio that fateful night
- If you play "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" backwards, you hear "It was a fake mustache," a reference to Faul's fake mustache (worn to mask his plastic surgery scars)
- Faul married Linda Eastman because she blackmailed him with photographic proof of the deception

And the list goes on and on and on, in ridiculously minute detail. One of the most fascinating aspects of the presentation is that they play several backmasking clues that I've never heard of in my life, but that work, including:

- "Getting Better" backwards yields "Paul is dead. He lost his hair, his head"
- "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" backwards yields "Paul really dead! I really want out!"
- "Let It Be" backwards yields "He's dead"
- "Get Back" backwards yields "Help me!"

Even if you're a Beatlemaniac determined to believe that these clues are real, there are two facets of the DVD that make it clear it's all in good fun: (a) boneheaded factual errors, and (b) laugh-out-loud gags. I'll now present examples of both for your edification and that of the ghost of the old man that lives in your house and is reading over your shoulder right now:

BONEHEADED FACTUAL ERRORS:

- "George" discusses Yesterday...And Today! as if it were an actual Beatles studio album
- "George" attributes the George Harrison composition "Only A Northern Song" to John Lennon
- "George" discusses Let It Be as the final Beatles recording

LAUGH-OUT-LOUD GAGS:

- The real reason the Beatles went to India is because the Maharishi promised he could perform a ritual that would return Paul's soul into Faul's body. It failed. As "George" recalls, "Faul thought we were there to learn 'transcendental meditation' or something like that. He was so stupid!"
- Discussing John's marriage to Yoko, "George" relates, "I remember he used to pretend to be interested in some kind of shrieking thing she used to do."
- The final backmasking example is a clearly faked "Fuck you, Maxwell!"
- "Faul was respectful enough not to attend our induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

HA! HAR! HARE! HARE KRISHNA!

If you're a Beatles fan with an absurd sense of humor, you should get a kick out of this. In addition to being as entertaining as a piece of pie with Bill Cosby in it, the program features lots of great old Beatles interview footage (Paul discussing his use of LSD, John getting really pissed off about people burning Beatles albums, etc). I'll warn you though: at first it may just seem like a bad joke, but stick with it because when the 'clues' start coming fast and spurious, you'll be laughing til a nose shoots out your milk.

However, if -- like Mark Prindle associate James Greene Jr. -- you're not a Beatles fan, then.... What the hell? Why? They wrote so many good songs. Do you have shit in your ears? Get the shit out of your ears.

Reader Comments

Matthew Woelfle
Mark, I think I have yet another piece to this puzzle that even the purveyors of this documentary may have overlooked. In 2000, there was a piece in the Weekly World News about a press conference held in France by representatives of another planet. The leader of these aliens went by the name "Falu". In revealing their presence to the media Falu said, "We are merely confirming what millions of your people already strongly suspect." Such is also the case with this DVD's examination of Paul McCartney's untimely death. But the creepy part is that "Falu" is an anagram of "Faul". Did the producers of this film miss a very important, extra-terrestrial connection to the death of Macca?

I have it on very good authority that the Weekly World News story omitted Falu's professed fondness for cranberry sauce. I'm just saying...

bickbyro@gmail.com
Hey Mark, if you haven't read The Walrus Was Paul by R. Gary Patterson, you might want to check it out (from a library if necessary, ha ha).

And while you're at it, don't forget the incomparable (and far more serious) Let Me Take You Down by Jack Jones... between those two books, the ghost reading over your shoulder ought to feel right at home.

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Other Beatles Sites

*If you've never heard the Beatles, here's a great place to buy all their CDs!!!

*If you'd like more information about this new "Beatles" phenomenon, check BeatleLinks!

*She loves you (yeah! yeah! yeah!), but only if you visit Beatles! Beatles! Beatles!!

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