Something I haven’t talked about much on here is my love of the Beatles. I am a big Beatles fan. It’s not something I externalise much: I don’t buy Beatles duvet’s or plaster my walls with pictures, but I do, and have always, loved their music. They are a big influence on me.
One thing I’ve always wanted to do is point out a few tracks that aren’t so well known by none-Beatles fans. Obviously their catalogue is HUGE, but many people (I suspect) are more aware of the major singles and songs that have been covered and popularised by other bands (especially following the ‘1’ album that captured the imagination of a whole new generation some years ago featuring all the re-mastered number 1 singles).
So today’s post is going to be a few links to Youtube videos of less well know songs, and why I like them. If people like this post I will do another. I’m not particularly ranking these in any order of preference – just picking some out that I think will surprise and delight newbie and die hard Beatles fans alike. (something for everybody, see?)
Let’s get started then with the first five (I’ll do more if you like it!). I’m working chronologically due to me referring back to album lists! By the way, unless stated otherwise, presume Lennon/McCartney for writing credits.
1. Ask Me Why (Please Please Me) 1963
First up, I’m only picking one from the debut album ‘Please Please Me’ – mainly because only half of the album was written by The Beatles, and most of the others are so well known now it would defeat the point of this post!
WHY GARRY, WHY?!
Because it demonstrates (even this early on) the Beatles use of close harmony, and deviation from standard Rock ‘n’ Roll, which leads to the kind of progressive song writing that I will be featuring!
2. It Won’t Be Long (With The Beatles) 1963
Next up, the opening track of ‘With The Beatles’ (second album), and definitely not the only one from this Album to feature here!
BUT MY GOD GARRY, WHY?!
The opening! The call and response of the chorus vocals which belts straight in, bouncing across the stereo, and then smoothing out into story-verses (all underpinned by the simple yet distinctive descending guitar riff at each section break).
3. Don’t Bother Me (Harrison) (With The Beatles) 1963
From the same album, George Harrison’s first writing credit.
EXPLAIN! I DEMAND YOU EXPLAIN!
Well, George Harrison must have had a hell of a time getting heard in these early days (even in later years this same problem led to him temporarily leaving the band). But this early outing is a belter, and much opposed to the mop-top ‘whoooo!’ image of the time. It is gritty and angry, almost uncomfortably so, and this is expertly reflected in the arrangement and performance. Don’t you think?
4. Any Time At All (A Hard Day’s Night) 1964
Okay, things get a bit confusing with Album release if you’re trying to follow them through Wikipedia – so I’m sticking with UK releases, making this album #3 (feel free to correct me).
SO WHADDA YOU GO PICKED THIS ONE FOR EH?
A bit like ‘It Won’t Be Long’ – this just kicks straight in with a hook that drags you (or me, or all of us) into the song without a second to realise it. Just imagine this really heavy. There is still a skiffle/folk feel to the interlinking verses, but they just serve to lull you into the screaming chorus (and a brilliantly composed solo, hinting at the clever instrumentation that would come to define later studio work).
5.And I Love Her (A Hard Day’s Night) 1964
The next one from A Hard Day’s Night.
EXPLAIN YOURSELF YOUNG MAN!
Well, McCartney is getting into his stride writing the kind of songs here that seem to squeeze you like an emotional sponge. All the while he is singing, “I know this love of mine, will never die, and I love her” – the music is saying something else, something along the lines of “this love thing makes me want to despair for my very existence in anguished contradiction”. Which is brilliant. And then there is the arpeggio classical guitar backing and solo from Harrison, and yet another brilliant run down defining section changes. It’s a sad beauty.
I could do this all day – but the blog would be very long, and I already write blogs that are too long which don’t involve 15 minutes or so of music! I’m sure plenty of people will be familiar with these songs, but still, some won’t, and it’s nice to give the less well-known tracks an airing, even if it is on my modest little blog.
If people like this, I shall do more, five at a time, over the coming weeks. Let me know by liking, commenting or just reading the page! (which, if you’re at this point, you already have done, so well done and thank you!)
I am a writer and musician from Staffordshire UK, currently touting my first published eBook ‘The Dimension Scales and Other Stories’ which can be found in these places. Please have a little look!
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3 thoughts on “Access The Beatles. Part 1.”
Absolutely brilliant appraisal Garry, love the reasonings. I will do a ping back response asap..i’m off tomorrow so i’ll craft my own list of alt faves. Love this mate, it brought back fond memories and it’s had me immediately flicking through my Beatles albums. Peace and love, peace and love, as Ringo has oft said. x
Glad to hear it’s inspired you! It’s a great excuse to do some listening – something I don’t give myself enough time for. Look forward to your list Max! Peace and love!
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