George Starostin's Reviews 



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Matt <> (04.08.99)

The Beatles. Best Band ever to grace the earth. Started with nice, but nothing completly groundbreaking songs, and progressed to writing a many of the all time classic songs (like say, "Dig It", "Her Majesty", or "Wild Honey Pie".). John Lennon- Yup, he does his job on rythem guitar, nutin flashy though. Paul McCartney-One of the better rock bass guys. And he could pretty much play any other instrument. George Harrison-He could play when he took his time. Ringo Starr-In any other band, he probably would have sucked, but he accents The Beatles sound/personallity well. And he was the best actor of the lot. But their beuty lies not within their instrumental prowess, but with their melodys/harmonies/creativeness. Actually, they might not have been such a good band if they had a superinstrument player.

Josh Fitzgerald <> (18.11.99)

Call them what you may, (they've been called the Mozarts 0f the 1900s) but The Beatles weren't just rock musicians. They did everything. The Beatles defined every genre imaginable, and not only changed the sound of popular music, but they changed the whole setup. They've done all that and more! Really awesome!

<> (26.11.99)

A phenomenon like The Beatles comes along once in a million years. Never again will rock and roll see a band so devoted and overwhelming with sucess again. The Beatles were the first and last great rock and roll band. Bands like the rolling stones, the monkees, and Led Zeplin could only wish that they could match the Beatles greatness. Every album the Beatles released went to number one on the charts. They were the most sucessful band of all time as well in record sales. How can anyone match there level of greatness. They cant, no one ever will. With the way rock and roll is today. It makes me sick to see bands like korn, likmp bizkit, and Nine inch nails top the billboard charts. If you listen to there lyrics you would be disgusted. The Beatles had good music, no languege or anything that pertains to music today. Ot of 5 stars i give the Beatles 5 million stars. As i tell my freinds, there is two kinds of rock and roll: Rock and Roll and the Beatles.

Casey Brennan <> (22.12.99)

The Beatles are simply the best band ever in Rock music history. They have been my favorite band since i bought Greatest Hits: 1962-1970 when i was at the age of 10. At that age I was a little dumb and thought that side 1 of the tape was the Please Please Me album, and side 2 was the Help album, but I soon learned about The Beatles discography and music over the years, so they became my favorite band of all time. The Beatles were the first band I really got into, and amazingly enough my opinion never changes on them. As the years pass, I buy more and more albums from various classic rock groups/artists such as David Bowie, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, Yes, The Who, The Police, and such, which expand my musical mind. Even though many of those bands are awesome in their approach to playing music, the melodys they create, and overall sound, none of them can quite live up to The Beatles. There are a number of reasons, so i will list them(many of them are obvious, but I'm just telling what I think) most important to least important(flexible list though)

1. Two gifted songwriters(john lennon & paul mcCarteny), and one great one(George Harrison) make this band almost impossible to defeat in terms of songwriting quality. Paul's gift for writing good melodies and John's creative muscial ideas complimented each other very well.

2. They were successful at almost any style they attempted. Whether they were creating a new style of music by mixing in elements of blues, jazz, classical, or weird experiementation into their sound, it usually worked. Many bands sound unoriginal, clumsy, or cheesy when they try to change their sound. Not The Beatles though, because as diverse as they were, they always kept their distinctive sound, and never sounded anything but like themselves. Aerosmith doing a psychedelic song, or The Moody Blues doing a hard rockin'/heavy metalish tune would sound kind of strange, but when The Beatles do heavy metal("Helter Skelter"-not too heavy sounding these days but still close to heavy metal) or ragtime numbers(Honey Pie) they never sound like a different band. Being Diverse is a key factor in making music sound fresh, which The Beatles have always been the best at.

3. They were always pioneers of Rock in some way. Every album in their catolouge has at least some kind of musical innoavation in it that has influenced future bands. It could be innoavations such as the first feedback of a guitar on a rock record, the use of tapeloops, the first loose-concept idea, the way an album looked, how things were recorded in the studio, the first printed lyrics on a record sleeve, and so forth, so every single album in some way has pushed the Beatles above their peers.

4. Not only were they more innnoative than any other group, but their songs were simply superior in terms of structure, melody, and creativeness when compared to most other songs in the history of rock. Of course their are a quite a few bands that can create really interesting and melodic songs, and even some groups, such as The Kinks, come close in the quality of tunes, but not enough to beat out the Beatles.

5. Their career started out on a highnote and ended on a highnote. The Beatles were one of the very few bands who actually never hit a low point, as they kept on releasing one classic album after another. Beatles For Sale is their weakest studio album, but even so it is still an excellent album(just not a classic). Even the Kinks, who in my opinion might be the 2nd best band, had some noticeable low points as can be seen with some of their 70's and early 80's releases.

6. They always had something new to say. So what, if their first few albums basically only contained love songs. That's just how things were back then. Beatle-haters would find this a reason to bash the band, but what they don't realize is that although The Beatles wrote many simple love songs, they were also the ones who changed this. As they started to write more deep and meaningful(yet still simple) lyrics many other bands were still in the 'girl-boy love song' mode. It was The Beatles and Bob Dylan who changed this for the most part. Not only were The Beatles do this, but when they started writing more diverse and creative lyrics they always did it in a different way in each song. Paul and John differed so much in what they wrote, that their catolouge is like a rainbow.

7. Their songs were rarely too long, clumsy, and boring. Musical ideas abound and a great deal of melody(which is already known) keep this band sounding fresh all the time. Not to mention some of the best production in a 60's recording.

8. Their are so many reasons that The Beatles are the greatest band. Beyond these seven points the reasons, aren't as good... so i'll stop at eight. I guess number eight would be that it is that in a surprisingly short amount of time, The Beatles released so much great music. Bands that release an album every two years compared to The Beatles three albums every two years, would kill to have as many great songs as them. This point might seem rather lame, but it is amazing that The Beatles could release 4 classic albums in three years, and another great band could release 1 classic album in four years.

Ok, well anyway... these are the major points that make them the greatest band on earth. They can be argued of course, but these are simply my opinions of what make them so awesome. The Beatles have been talked about for years and everything that can be possibly said about them has been said, but why not continue! Everythings all good though.

Nickolay <> (27.12.99)

How nice to know that youre not the only one fan of the Beatles in this country (you are a russian arent you?)

Indeed The beatles are not the greatest band in all the centuries as some people say- no they are four ordinary folks, who in the begining even didnt know how to play well. Listen to their first few albums and you will see that there is unproffesionalism everywhere. Look at their public gigs and youll see that the only things wihch saved them were the girls screaming and their enthusiasm (WHICH VARNISHED IN 1966). Their last gigs where something- espessialy the one in Budokan- they sometimes sing their lines as thyre talking to themselves.

But still all there albums are filled with some charm that makes listening to them a great joy. I personally have every single album which I could get.

Anyway- if you havent heard a single Beatlish album- go get one- there great inspite of all drawbacks.....

Glenn Wiener <> (04.02.2000)

What can you say? These guys just changed the shape of rock n roll from its early primitive forms to the many styles that are present today. Lennon and McCartney are the blue print of what song-writers should be. Harrison also wrote some excellent songs during his Beatle Period. Its just a shame that more of his work did not make it on to Beatle Records. Ringo was the just the right drummer for this sound. And what a great era it was, this Beatlemania. Whereas you wish it could have gone on alot longer than it did, at least the band quit at or near the top of their game. So many bands continue to release records when it was more appropriate for them to break up and explore new avenues. I do like the Beatles very much. Are they my favorite band?? No, as they were not great instrumental virtuosos. I tend to value that pretty highly in my preference of music. However, they meshed well together as a team. And the vocals, arrangements and the songs are among the highest quality.

Robert Tally <> (17.02.2000)

As far as the Beatles' instrumental abilities go, I would have to disagree with your assessment of both Paul's bass playing and Ringo's drumming. Entwistle and Bruce were two of the best players in rock, but they've earned this distinction because of how busy they were with their playing. They more or less played lead bass. McCartney, on the other hand, always came up with bass lines that were definitive to the song being played. His lines served as melodic counterpoint to the rest of the song. He wasn't the first to do this, but he is the rock bassist who has taught virtually every subsequent rock bassist how to do this. And he didn't really get it from previous rock players. This was more in the line of his taste for standards and the like. Ringo absolutely has a unique sound, which I think Watts, Moon, and Bonham would all insist is true (if they were all alive). What rock song prior to "I Saw Her Standing There" has that solid, throbbing bass guitar/bass drum punch that Paul and Ringo got? I seriously think that these so-called 'better' players who are merely more technically proficient are really more interested in turning the spotlight on themselves than on where it belongs - namely, the songs. I think it's more appropriate to suppose that the best players are the ones who balance themselves best with the other elements in the sound.

I agree, however, that Lennon couldn't riff like Keith Richards, but he could get a good driving rhythm. Harrison, too, cannot be compared to the scores of guitar virtuosos that graced rock since his arrival on the scene, but over the years, his ability to knock off some great slide work hasn't gone unnoticed.

As far as the Beatles' stage act is concerned, let's keep in mind that it can't be very easy to keep things in order if you can't hear yourselves too well. My suggestion to anybody who's wondering if the Beatles ever played a good gig is to listen to 'Some Other Guy' on the BBC set or 'Money' on Anthology 1.

I agree that the Beatles didn't always invent everything they did, but their overall ability to do what rock bands do was incomparable until about 1968 or so, when the Stones finally caught up. Of course, their biggest strengths were in their ability to write songs (some can do it as well, but nobody's better) and sing vocal harmonies (which are incomparable in their blending of vocal types, in both the two-part and three-part varieties - something the Beach Boys could counter only with overly lush jazz harmonies). Oh wait - then there's John Lennon's voice on the lead parts - he was simply one of the greatest ever.

Jeff Blehar <> (19.02.2000)

I love the Beatles. Love 'em to death. My first musical love, really, and my enthusiasm for their work hasn't really dimmed a bit in a long time. Nevertheless, I try to be very unsentimental about them; not everything they touched turned to gold, and frankly, we hold them to higher standards than everyone else in the field. So songs and albums that would be perfectly acceptable by other are simply substandard by Fab Standards. This is said as prelude to any comments that might come below (I'm thinking especially of Help! and Magical Mystery Tour...)

That aside, I'd like to second what the fella above me said about Paul's bass playing. He wasn't necessarily a virtuoso on the instrument (though he was far above mere "competence"), but thus far in rock history I'd contend he's the best bass WRITER. Listen to his lines. The melodicism in the bass lines of such songs as "Rain," "Baby You're A Rich Man," and (especially, especially) "Don't Let Me Down" are stunning. He's not an improviser, this we know - all of his lines are thought out and practiced in advance and, taking this into consideration, no one has ever written better basslines in terms of sheer melody. I'd really like to point everybody to "Don't Let Me Down," especially the middle eight. It's Lennon's song, but it's McCartney who makes it unforgettable, with that swooping, swooning line underneath Lennon's "I'm in love for the first time." Recorded live, no less. You'll never listen to that song without humming that part again once you notice it. Another interesting facet of McCartney's basslines is that he's almost always at his best on his bandmates' songs. He's typically more conservative on his own work, but willing to experiment when it's not his tune on the line. Selfish? Perhaps, but who wouldn't point to the agitated bass of "Taxman" or the bottomless dropslides of "Baby You're A Rich Man" or the hyperactivity of "Rain" as being brilliant moments? I sure would.

The Swamprat <> (19.03.2000)

Where can we possibly start here? The Beatles were an international thing. A world thing. A marketing enigma, an artistic explosion, a cultural phenomenon...and a nifty little toe tapping pop-rock quartet. Not a bad accomplishment for four dirt poor kids from the mean streets of grimmy ol'  Liverpool England.

First off, rating their albums is an iffy past time if one doesn't understand a lot about how they were made and most of all, how they were distributed throughout the world. The Beatles were signed to EMI, which in England was on an Album label called Parlorphone. Here in the USA (I apoligize for being an American.) the boy's master recordings were handled by Capitol Records. Now, Capitol had, and still has a nasty reputation for manipulating the artists they have stock in. The Beatles themselves didn't belong to the label, but the material EMI sent to Capitol for distibution in the states was at the mercy of these capitalist mercenaries.  LPs in England consisted of about 20 minutes to a half an hour of music. In the states it was about half that amount. The financial equation is very simple. For every two master recordings sent over from across the Atlantic, whack 'em in half  and get three Americanized albums from two albums worth of material. To Hell with artistic expression and continuity, this is America! Damnit! Those snot nosed-shaggy headed little Limeys should be grateful for the special attention we're giving them here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!

We're not refered to as Ugly Americans for nothing, you know.

But anyway...this can lead to a lot of confusion when trying to judge the individual albums as wholes unto themselves. My early favorites were A Hard Day's Night, Help, and Rubber Soul. I had no idea that all three of these were butched versions of  the originals. Now with hindsight I feel like a dupe. The Capitol label version of Help is an outright disgrace to anyone who takes their music buying seriously.  Here is the list of the first original EMI recordings...

Please Please Me, With The Beatles, A Hard Day's Night, Beatles For Sale, Help, Rubber Soul, Revolver

From these original recordings Capitol lopped off four to five songs each and put together the following list of  discs assembled from the "spare" parts.

Meet the Beatles (actually the Americanized version of With The Beatles)

The Beatles Second Album

Something New (a copy of an EMI released German disc, containing a version of 'I Want to Hold your Hand' sung in German)

The Beatles Story (A real piece of shit, two discs consisting mostly of interviews and misfires and covers)

Beatles '65

The Early Beatles ( a copy of most of the original Please Please Me)

Beatles VI  ( EP stuff and cover material...the EP format was never popular in the US, so Capitol collected the EP stuff and built albums "from scratch" with it.)

Help! ( Absolutely painful! Laced with soundtrack background muzak and James Bondish type theme music.)

Rubber Soul (See below)

"Yesterday"...And Today (constructed from the corpses of Rubber Soul and Revolver. With the release of this record before the American release of the butchered version of Revolver itself, the boys first showed their disgust with Capitol's handling of their material. They sent photographs to Capitol, as requested, for an album cover. The boys sent the now infamous "Butcher Cover" pictures. That should have told the assholes at Capitol Records something.)

Revolver (the Capitol version of this masterpiece makes me think of the Mona Lisa In her underwear and sunglasses)

Between this record and Sgt. Pepper, Brian Epstien died, and with him went many of the contract agreements that had been made with him through EMI. The Beatles themselves had control now. By this time they were so huge that Capitol didn't dare argue with them. The Beatles had become the label's flagship band in the states, burying the label's original star act-the Beach Boys (ouch). From here on out the band would carry their own label. Apple Records. And the master tapes would no longer be raped and pillaged. Capitol would retain the distribution rights in America but all the Beatle releases from then on would be the same as the orignals. Now it was the Capitalist Dogs turn to be grateful for what they could get.

There are several American exceptions to the Capitol rule. There was still the problem of what to do with the EP material and all the odds and ends. The Beatles had a lot of odds and ends. They became separate American albums.

Magical Mystery Tour (terrific material)

Hey Jude (originally titled The Beatles Again, Most of side one was vintage stuff assembled with then current EP material. 'Hey Jude' was their monster single at the time and the new manager, Allen Klein, (a sad story in itself) jumped on it. He was desperate. By this time the boys were barely speaking to each other and weren't producing much. Mr. Klein had just assumed the reins of the biggist show biz enigma in history only to find that they were on the verge of total disintergration. What a bummer! He was scrapping for all he could get and who could blame him at this point?

Vee Jay Records also had some material from the early days. Epstien tried hard to get them to sign the boys. They weren't real keen on the lads with the funny accents. They did what was basicly a demo called Introducing The Beatles. They didn't put much into it and it died. Try Capitol? A year or so later somebody at Vee Jay Records  must have gotten fired. The record was repackaged and revamped and was hurried into the market. I personally have a copy of this little oddity. If you're intrested in the ealry RocknRoll phase of the boy's career, it's definately one to seach for.(Good Luck!)

A Hard Day's Night was released on United Artists record label due to the movie studio's legal department. It was slightly altered, but not for the same reasons as Capitol's criminal offences.

So how do you rate the records? It all depends on what version of the record you have and on who you're talking to.

One of the worst Beatle arguements I ever had was over what album 'Nowhere Man' was on. As time has passed I'm glad to see that most of the capitol crap has vanished into the woodwork of basement closets and serious collectors hoards. Thank God most of, if not all, of those mutilated abortions are out of print. For  someone like me the altering of  any work is like chopping up the Bible or  War and Peace for general consumption by an already barely literate general public. The Beatles were not Gods, they were something I believe to be even more important to the average human being. They were real. They tapped into something that everyone could feel and hear. Loved or hated them, it didn't matter. They were an enigma of the human spirit, they mirrored the upside and the downside, and most everything inbetween. The music still remains and it shows us where we had been, where we are, and it still shows us where we have the possibilties to go.  That ain't just pop-rock...that's art. My original  EMI  picks in order of preference.

1 Revolver...Every single cut stands out. Nearly every phase of what the group was is in here somewhere.

2 The Beatles...Also known as The White Album. I'm a bass player, and this beast is the 60s bass players bible. For better or worse. McCartney was a highly innovative bassist. Even early on with that cheap-assed Hofner viola  bass, he did things that no one in the days of the old uprights  could have dreamed of. He brought it from the background to the forefront  of guitar band sound. Later on with the Rickenbacker 4000s and the Danos he did things that made lead players drool.

3 Rubber Soul...That heavy Dylan folk influence infused with the jangle and ring of electric riffs and low end bass runs, it still stands out as one of the most unique records of the era.  

Help...The Beatles at their MopTop phase best. If you're paying attention, you'll notice Lennon starting to sharpen that edge of his. One more album to go and he's gonna show his teeth.

Abbey Road...Their last recorded album and by far the most professional of the lot. Slick production, near flawless phrasing and construction. They knew this was their swansong and they did it right. They played together with minimal outside help with George Martin alone in the booth. Strictly a studio album, but as near perfect as it gets none the less. It's a shame that Allen Klein and Phil Spector had to build Let It Be from the can and release it as the "Last Beatle Album."

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band...Why so low on my list? I gotta face some musical facts. It's mostly bits and pieces strung together by a single theme. This was the Beatles peak at farting around  with the studio machinery. Sound effects and gadgets and anything they could play with to break the boredom of recording. The "Concept" was neat and novel at the time, but for me,(and a lot of others who actually play music) this baby has dated badly. It doesn't mean what it did back then. Still a classic, and a true groundbreaker...But musically, it isn't near as good as we were all willing to believe for a long time.

Beatles For Sale...Fascinating period piece. Released 8 months before Help. We feel Lennons bite for the first time with 'No Reply' and 'I'm A Loser'. Padded out with several  "Standards" of the day (the first 5 albums all were) and several of the few geniune clinkers the boys recorded. 'Mr. Moonlight' could have passed for one of Lennon's savage jokes later on. The Hammond Organ solo will either make you laugh out loud or puke in your shoe, maybe both. Yes, it may be hard to believe or accept for some, but the Beatles did produce pure shit once in awhile. At least they were  able to grin about it later on.

Let It Be...Ah...maybe they should have. It's only as high on this list as it is because of the pure love and fascination of this geniune fan. Allen Klein was left with a can full of half-assed odds and ends when the Beatles disbanded. What could the poor man do? Call in a Pro! Phil Spector, one of the most successful producers of the 1960s, and a wierd little guy in his own right. He took the bulk of material which had been recorded back in '68 during an attempt by McCartney to get the band to bury their hatchets and "Get Back" to the basics which had gotten them where they were in the first place. The two standout cuts where, of course, 'Get Back' and 'Let It Be'. The rest of it was only half worked through and a few pieces were stuff that went all the way back to when Lennon and McCartney were calling themselves the Quarrymen and playing Bar Mitzvahs. Lennon's graceful 'Across The Universe' was a slowed down version of the same song he and Yoko Ono had recorded aside from the Beatles for a wildlife charity album. The whole mess had been recorded on film for posterity. It's a sad film, Allen Klein needs his ass kicked for pulling it out two years later and releasing it to theaters. The music itself faired little better. There isn't much of the Beatles left. Spector poured lush studio sounds over the bits and pieces. Lennon admitted later that there wasn't a hell-of-a-lot for the wierd little guy to work worth. Spector was a production genius in his own right and it's doubtful that anyone else could have done any better with this mess. The album is pitiful with the exceptions of the three songs mentioned...but it, along with the film, are both fascinating to experience for a true fan.

A Hard Day's Night...Dance music. I hate pure dance music, but if you have to play it, this is how it ought to be done. Title track is dynamite. That first chord heard around the world. CHANGGGG!!! An electric twelve string Rickenbacker, the early trademark of the Fab Four. Great movie, a lot more fun than Help would be a year later and that's saying quite a lot. The rest of it is pretty much the teenie bopper phase. If you gotta do bubble gum, this is how to do it right.

10 With The Beatles...The teenie bopper-bubble gum phase in ernst. Unlike most of this ilk the boys original material is clever and the trademark early sound is here. These guys were understandably an awesome site to a fourteen year old. And the sound was far more sophistcated than the home grown crap dripping from the radio in dad's Buick.

11 Please Please Me...Just not original enough. The covers are tired, the Lennon McCartney material is just too raw and similar to everything else that was around at the time. It's only redemming value is the fact that it was the Beatles and they were working their asses off to get their foot in the door. Lennon's nasty harmonica work is endearing enough though, that was something new in the field of pop at the time. Leave it to John to figure out a way to show his ass somehow...thank God!

12 Yellow Submarine...Really just a soundtrack album. Four original songs from the charming animated movie by the same name. One from Revolver,  'All You Need Is Love' (an EP in Britain, Magical Mystery Tour in the US) and some bits and pieces from Sgt. Pepper, and Rubber Soul. The rest was the musical score from the movie courtesy of Mr. George Martin.

George Martin can never be taken lightly. Without him in the studio the Beatles wouldn't have been the Beatles. This guy was largely responsible for teaching these guys how to use a studio and how to find and get the sounds and effects they wanted. Without him they probably wouldn't have gotten past the 'Yeah, Yeah, Yeah'  stage. Magical Mystery Tour...A purely American release at the time, was the soundtrack to the BBC Television special the boys did with some EP material added. This oddball release has been a fan favorite since day one. I would slip it in at the no. 3 spot of my EMI list.

Hey Jude...Original title, The Beatles Again. This number is just that, a number. Kind of a ripoff. Allen Klein had just taken control of the band and found that they didn't have much to sell at the moment. Don't panic! He grabbed the current single, 'Hey Jude', and 'Lady Madonna', and the current EP in Britain and came up with the  typically American idea of slaming it all together with already used material and cramming it down the general paying public's throats. If you wanted 'Hey Jude' and an EPs worth of new stuff. You're gonna pay premium dollars for an album that's 60 percent used stuff. (I think we still call that 'the American way') The only real highlights of this album is 'Hey Jude' itself and the single version of 'Revolution', which is faster and louder than the original 'Revolution 1'. Klein titled it The Beatles Again in an attempt to pass it off as some kind of concept album like Sgt. Pepper had been. For once the American consumer wasn't quite as stupid as he was thought to be. Klein's bullshit title was ignored and the album was refered to as Hey Jude by just about everyone. He did give in and change the title. My personal copy was one of the rare ones on which the name on the cover is Hey Jude, but the name on the album's label itself is still The Beatles Again. Pretty neat! Huh?

This record was the first sour note played by Klein with the Beatles on the American Public. You really can't blame the guy, it was just business. And he wasn't screwing around with the material  the same way Capitol had screwed around with it. He had the consent of the Beatles to try to make something out of nearly nothing where ever he could.

They weren't working much together at this point and they knew  they were lacking  in material. Even with all this in mind, this record has to stand at the bottom of my list. The music is all that really matters, and as always with our heros, it is there. It's just the fact that Allen Klein pulled a fast one on the fans and got away with it. We were grateful to get what little new music there was on that album, but that deliberate stab he gave us left a permanent mark. It was just a taste of the sad things to come. Favorite songs...

1 'Nowhere Man' 

2 'Get Back'...that was Billy Preston on Keyboards

3 'Revolution 1'...the original version from the White Album. Lennon recorded the vocal laying flat on his back on the studio floor to get that shallow gritty effect into his already harrowing voice.

4 'Strawberry Fields Forever'...I agree with George Martin on this, Lennon's vocal makes the hair on your neck stand up. He said it, I just agree.

5 'Help'...Lennon again, no longer writing about boy meets girl and dances anymore. Now he's crawling into his own head, in fact he's crawling into everyone's head.

6 'Here Comes The Sun'...George Harrison,the Dark Horse. Terrific songwriter in his own right, when he doesn't get too preachy.

7 'A Hard Day's Night'...An early ass kicker, barely above the bubble gum mark, but with those Rickenbackers  soaring and the cow bell clanging, who can resist it musically.

8 'Eleanor Rigby'...George Martin was largely the daddy of this monster musically, but it was one of the rare moments when McCartney's lyrics actually slashed as deep and profound as Lennon's.

9 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds'...Wierd, wonderful, enchanting. And there's not a 60s fan who plays bass who can resist that bass-come-melody line.

10 'I Will'...Simplicity is the key to any lasting pure love song. The word 'charming' just can't do enough for this little gem. The vast majority of the others all rank in here somewhere. The clinkers, what few there are, have a charm of their own, with the exception maybe of John's 'Revolution 9'...Even he admitted in later years that he had a habit of going overboard more often than not. Most honesty freaks have a tendency to do that.

How do we rate the Beatles Albums? I guess that can be as complicated as we, as idividuals, are willing to make it. Those of us who are old enough to remember all this stuff, or those who just care to know, will forever have to wrestle with all these facts and figures. It's a silly game, but one that still lingers with us. Why? That's an easy one. Because the music's still here. Every bar of it, every single note. That itself is part of the magic of the Beatles. It has never faded out, it has never tarnished, it has never dated and died. The younger fans have the advantage of just having the original EMI releases to hold up and compare with the current TigerBeat Magazine heartthrobs or the music critic's Darling of the Month. Aside from the usual golden oldies type one or two hits remembered sort of performers, who else is remembered for every single thing they recorded? Who elses entire catalog is still in full production print after thirty years and still going strong?  What other pop-rock band is remembered by so many around the entire globe. Who doesn't know all four names of each member?

John Lennon...Rhythm guitar, vocals, and more.

Paul McCartney...Bass, vocals, and more.

George Harrison...Lead guitar, vocals, and more.

Ringo Starr...Drums, vocals, and more.

No musical forms left untouched, no stone left unturned. It is rare in anyone's lifetime to witness something of truly universal purportions. It is a rare experience to be shown firsthand, what we are and also what we can be. Those of us who were here when it all came into being, and were clear headed enough to pay attention at the time, were blessed to bear witness to this enigma. There is a true magic to the Beatles, four scruffy kids from post WWII Britain, who unknowingly taught us something about ourselves. We are human beings, all of us, no more, no less. At our best we shine with a brillance that rivals the stars. At our worst, well...after all, we're just human beings.

Ryan Mulligan <> (21.03.2000)

I've come to the conclusion that every beatles album has some good songs and some bad/crap songs. It would be stupid to list the good, so here's the bad. Please Please Me has got "Boys", "Chains", "A Taste Of Honey" and probably another i'm forgetting. With The Beatles has the horrendous, "Please Mister Postman" and "I Wanna Be Your Man". Beatles For Sale has got "Mr.Moonlight", "Baby's In Black" and some nothing songs. Help! has got "Act Naturally"(arguably the worst beatles song ever), "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" and "It's Only Love". Rubber Soul has got "The Word" and "Michelle"(honestly, this song sucks, don't deny). Revolver has got "Yellow Submarine" and "Doctor Robert". Sgt.Pepper has "Within You Without You" and "Fixin' A Hole". Magical Mystery Tour has "Flying", "Your Mother Should Know", "Baby, You're A Rich Man"(real far from a 10, George). The White Album has too many too list but obviously "Revolution 9" and "Wild Honey Pie".

Their best release Abbey Road has "Because". Let It Be has "Dig It" and "Maggie Mae' and Phil i won't agree with u on many of your ratings cause i think u tend to overrate these guys. The most important and well known band ever, yes. But i won't call them the best. You can. Oh yeah, i don't have A Hard Day's Night but will soon enough. It seems silly to me for anyone to compare Lennon/McCartney to Dylan in terms of song-writing, but i'm done whining. Blonde On Blonde rules...later

<> (21.03.2000)

Why focus on the negatives, all two of them, just stick with the one thing that matters. They are the GREATEST thing to ever hit ANYTHING!! I must completely disagree(please note I am not the first to disagree)hint, hint! Paul is the greatest bass player ever(do some reading and some researching) most important just listen. Ask around. John has been chosen as the greatest genius in rock and roll by a HUGE panel on VH1...need I say more. George(harrison that is) is not only a great lead guitarist, but kicks ass on slide(just ask Clapton). And as far a Ringo goes....anybody who has a doubt about his abilities....listen to a few later tracks('A day in the life', 'Rain', 'Yer Blues') and go and try to simulate....not happening! basically what I am trying to say is, its too easy to pick on little one cares..we just listen in awe as our mouths hang wide open. There has never been, nor will there ever be anyone CLOSE to what the beatles did, and still do...WIN EVERY CONTEST AND DEBATE OUT THERE!!!

I know mr.creator of this page, that you are trying to do the impossible and actually try to find a few critical things about The Beatles, but just stop the nonsense and come back to reality because no one is interested. Because only GOD and Christ himself are perfect. and they sent down four lovely lads to give us the next best thing.

<> (02.04.2000)

The Beatles were the group responsible for transforming rock from its early sound ('50's rock and roll) to what it is today (well, to what IT WAS in the ' 60s and ' 70s - and thats ment as a huge compliment because i love the music from those decades). What can you say about them? Everyone who came after them, tried to copy them on some level, and most artist dont even come close. ( or i should say, 98% are not even playing in the same ballpark!). The first to do something unique (in music or anything else) is the one everyone tries to immitate later, and by definition, its never done on the same level.

jpcs <> (09.06.2000)

...what are you talking about,Ringo didn't have a distinctive style? OK perhaps not on the early stuff, but later on,not just distinctive but all-pervadingly influential! Yeah,check out a pile of psychedelphic singles from  '67 and everybody and their dog is doing that weird slow-motion marching beat and trying to do Ringo  fills...nobody ever did sound much like him though, his style was just too eccentric for "normal" drummers to copy exactly. Check out those breaks in "Rain", who else could that be? (uh, Paul McCartney?)

Yeah & here's a theory about where R. got his weirdo late period style from - I reckon Paul started schooling him in specific parts he wanted R. to play & so old R. started assimilating this drum style, i.e that of a left-handed bass player...what do you think? check the early attempt at "Helter Skelter" on Anthology, then the 'real' version (BTW some of my fav drumming in all of rock,right up there with technically way better drummists like Moon & Liebezeit) - Before & After Paul?

Matt Reyes <> (02.07.2000)


Ah...the biggest question for the past 30 years in music has been. Whos the best band of all time: The beatles or the Stones. I belive the answer is undeniably simple. The answer is: The Beatles. Now obviously everyone has different opinions. And dont start saying your an idiot you so stupid because actually the Stones are also one of my favorite groups ever. Now first I will say each bands good sides....

The Rolling Stones (advantages)

1. At one time during a period from around 1965-1972 they were the second biggest rock group, after the beatles (of course the beatles ended in 1970 though). This period is extraordinary and some of the albums from there are amazing including Let it Bleed, Beggar's Banquet, Their Satanic Majesty's Request, Flowers, Between the Buttons, Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main St., etc. The songs from this period are amazing and also include in my opinion the three best Stones songs: (everyone thinks im nuts for having these as my three) 'Angie', 'Under My Thumb', 'Let's Spend the Night Together'. If those arent your top Stones songs im sure songs from that era like 'Satisfaction', 'Paint it Black', 'Sympathy for the Devil', 'Gimmie Shelter', 'Midnight Rambler', 'You Can't Always Get What You Want', 'Brown Sugar' and 'Honky Tonk Woman' are up there.

2. The Stones are the king's of down and dirty rock. They are the masters of making great rock songs with great rock riffs. No one can touch the Stones in this catogory.

3. The Stones were actully pretty good at making slower ballads too such as 'Angie' or 'Wild Horses'.

4. The Stones will always entertain you at concerts and they are one of the top live bands ever (they are of course not the best, that would go to The Who).

The Beatles (Advantages)

1. The Beatles never had a really bad album, there first album was just pretty good but they imediatlly progressed into becoming music gods in a matter of a few years.

2. The Beatles had the best producer in rock music history, George Martin. The Stones have never been complex always staying to simple rock songs while the Beatles made songs like 'A Day in the Life'.

3. The Beatles almost never had any filler on any albums. Of course this point could be objected, but listen to the albums from Rubber Soul to Abbey Road and you will find very little or no filler at all.

4. The Beatles best period is better then the Stones best period. Take The Beatles best albums from 1965's Rubber Soul to 1970's Let it Be. Vs. The Rolling Stones' best albums from 1965's Aftermath to 1972's Exile on Main St. You tell me which one is better. Lets go through the albums: The Beatles albums: Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles (White Album), Abbey Road, Let it Be. All are classic albums and recognized by all as that (except Let it Be some dont like others worship i just think its the worst out of the best string of albums ever). The Rolling Stones albums: Aftermath, Got Live if You Want it, Between the Buttons, Flowers, Their Satanic Majesties Request, Beggar's Banquet, Let it Bleed, Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main St. Most of these rank with the best of the Beatles albums except Got Live if You Want it which is a very bad live album. But if you said this period was just as good as the beatles i dont think i could argue it.

5. The Beatles were so diverse it is hard to understand how diverse they were. They played straight foward pop, folk, piano pop, hard rock (revolution), heavy metal inspiring music (many metal muscians claimed helter skelter as a big influecne), country (rocky racoon), indian music, and alot more.

6. The Beatles broke up at there peak during the Abbey Road album. That is huge for me since they didnt last for another 30 years realesing worthless cds that dont compare some that are bad, like that other band i forgot the name of...

7. Also it is so cool that both Lennon and McCartney are geniuses some even consider Harrison as the third. And they wrote most of there music sepretaly (so did harrison) So there music became even more diverse and the lyrics became very different and it makes alot of there records even better this way.

The Rolling Stones (disadvantages)

1. The biggest reason why the Beatles are better is because of the last 27 years...The Stones stayed together. They realesed alot of music some actully alot which suck. And everyone is at best average except for three 1976's Black and Blue 1978's Some Girls and 1981's Tatoo You, which are great. Who needs six (is that number right) live albums. When the only good one is Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out (By the way that is the best live album ever period). Who needs It's Only Rock and Roll, Goat's Head Soup, Steel Wheels, Voodoo Lounge, Metamorphisis, Love You Live, Emotional Rescue, Still Life, Undercover, Dirty Work, Flashpoint, Stripped, Bridges to Babylon, and No Security. Some are good but not the type of good that would contend as music by the best rock band ever.

2. Number one is all that matters to me actually. But people will say the beatles couldnt play there instruments well. I belive they played just as well as the Stones. I belive that McCartney played better bass then the guy from the Stones (I Keep forgetting his Name!!!). And Harrison and Lennon also play good guitar. Oh and Ringo is such an underated drummer he is way better then Charlie Watts.

The Beatles (disadvantages)

1. The Beatles were very bad at playing live. But they dont have any live albums out now (hollywood bowl is pretty much extinct). The only ones they have are from the American albums and dont compare the stones to albums that werent controlled by the beatles compare them to the albums currently available. They also didnt realese six live albums like the Stones.

2. They werent that great at playing there instruments (they did write the best songs though!). but they were just as good as the Stones.

Final Verdict: THE BEATLES If you talk about whos a better band you must think about EVERYTHING the band realesed. So you cant just compare the whole Beatles career to the first ten years of the Stones. The main reason The Beatles are better is simply because the last 27 years (and counting) of the Stones is very subpar for a title of 'The Best Rock and Roll Band of All Time'. Remember, I love both bands but I love the Beatles more. And if you hate straight foward pop and love hard rock youll most likely like the Stones better, but you should like alot of the beatles songs too. But if you like music, all types of music, then the Beatles can't be beat.


Paul Stadden <> (03.09.2000)

The Beatles? There are too few words to describe this band. Let's put it this way, they are the best. Always were, and alway will be. They had 20 albums that sold over a million copies in a span of eight years. They did almost every musical style, and did it well. John Lennon and Paul McCartney are beyond genius, beyond virtuoso, beyond any band that will ever exist. If a person does not like The Beatles, they are either ignorant, brain damaged, or just a plain idiot. I have 11 Beatles albums, including the 69 song Live at the BBC. They are my favorite, and will always be my main inspiration.

Paul Stadden (no I wasn't named after McCartney, but it is a cool thought, though.)

Oleg S. Sizov <> (17.10.2000)

My name is Oleg.I am living in Russia. Many people love the Beatles here.I want remember about 60-th John Lennon^s birthday.He^s my God.

Eric B. <> (21.10.2000)

I hate to sound completely unoriginal and cliche, but these guys really were the greatest creators of pop/rock songs...not to mention their cultural impact. The limitations you mention were present to varying degrees, but to me they don't really matter that much...because the songs is what IT is all about. Sure it would be a nice bonus if they had been killers on the stage, but I think them not being able to hear themselves and truly enjoy playing songs before an audience are more valid reason, than instrumental limitations or lack of showmanship. I believe they had a fairly solid reputation as live performers playing clubs in England and Germany before they made it big. Obviously, an album like Sgt. Pepper would have been difficult for any band to pull off live in the 60's...I think they just got burnt out on touring under such insane conditions... plus they had literally toured constantly since about 1961.

None of guys were virtuoso players per se, but I think Paul McCartney was very good. His bass paying, particularly from Rubber Soul through Abbey Road, is pretty inspired...of course it helps that his bass is more distinct in the mix as the recording techiniques improved. George Harrison was good too..."And Your Bird Can Sing" is one of many great moments for him. Ringo wasn't a flashy player, but he was consistent and got the job done...he certainly was influential Ringo's short drum solo on "The End" is probably my favorite of any rock drummer.. John Lennon was steady as well in his rhythm role. But it's the songs that just shine shine shine! All of their albums are good to excellent in quality...usually the later. Finding a bad Beatles song is much harder than finding that little bespectacled guy Waldo. These guys were simply phenomenal.

Philip Maddox <> (22.10.2000)

There's really nothing new or original that can be said about the Beatles. Very creative, influential, blah blah blah. None of 'em were amazing musicians, but I couldn't care less. If the songwriting's good, instrumental prowess doesn't matter (hear that, Keith Emerson?). I'm not going to go out and call them the greatest band ever because, well, there are bands that I like better (and hey, music criticism is perhaps the most subjective form of criticism there is), but their creativeness and originality cannot be denied. I don't think the entire back half of their career is worth 15/15, though. Each of those albums (though I STILL haven't heard Revolver - I gotta get that one, but the stores around here charge $18.99 for it (or any other Beatles CD), and I can pick up almost any other album for $10.99 or less) has a flaw or two (I WOULD give The White Album a 15, though, because it's one of the few double albums that never gets dull). Still like 'em a lot, though, in spite of their faults (and they DO exist, just like they do for any band). Abbey Road actually grew OFF me (still good, though - just not as fantastic as I originally thought *dodges projectile weapons*) And for a finale, I'd like to point out that 'Blackbird' may be the single greatest song ever recorded by anyone (though the end of 'The Musical Box' may be my favorite musical moment ever recorded).

My dad always loathed the band and actually makes fun of me for listening to the Beatles. Weird, no? So I'm one of the few people out there that didn't grow up with the Beatles. I grew up with Neil Young, John Prine, Van Morisson, and The Band mostly. Stranger than fiction?

Derrick Stuart <> (27.11.2000)

The Beatles were a great band, if not the greatest. Their influence is undoubtfully in all the rock music that came afterwards. Though many consider the 50's to be the 'genesis' of rock music, I would say it really came from the Beatles. They took the formulas of the 50s artists, refined it and threw in some European flair and avant-garde experimentation on the side. Everyone from Robert Fripp to Dr. Dre is a Beatles fan and would not be here if not for them. They and the Beach Boys were also two of the few bands to arise from the dreary world of teen idoldom and succeed in their new direction, of course the competetion between these two halted as the brains behind the Beach Boys well....lost his mind, probably in part to no one can compete with the Beatles. I consider their 65-67 period to be best, and though I do not care much for the things that came before that era, their influence can not be denied and one has to look at the times when judging that output, it was brilliant in its day and their later works are still brilliant today. They tackled and mastered almost every genre at the time, a feat that most artists could never hope to achieve. So, though not perfect, nobody's perfect, the Beatle's were excellent to a very high degree.

Thomas McKeown <> (08.12.2000)

The Beatles are undoubtedly the most important musical phenoma of the 20th century, and yet the 'serious proffesors' who seem to write encyclopedias of music have been reluctant to acknowlage them as such - I picked up a book that claimed to be an encyclopedia of 20th century music, but had no entry on the Beatles! Its concerns were exclusively 20th Classical - it didn't even have anything on Jazz or Blues! Of course, they do make up for it a bit by making 'rockopedias' - but they should change the titles so as to admitt that rock music is a valid artform.

Anyway, that was a little aside, my main point is about the Beatles as a band, not as an occurance. My point concerns the early Beatles or, to put it better, the early Beatles in relation to the later Beatles. My feeling is, how should I put it, that the early Beatles have been somewhat glorified because of the quality of the later Beatles' work. I'm certainly not suggesting that the early Beatles weren't one of the best bands in the world at the time; I'm just saying that their early work has endured much better than the early work of, say, the Stones, simply because it was made by the Beatles. I don't mind this as a form of preserving the most culturally significant music of the times, but it does tend to create a rather lopsided view of the 'best' music of the day. In purely musical terms, to my mind the early Stones have it over the early Beatles any day.

<> (12.12.2000)

When I was 15 I looked through my brother's CD's, most from 90's bands that no one will remember and then the Beatles Red Album. After I listened to 'Yesterday' I was hooked on the Beatles and got Help. From that point on I had to have every other Beatles album and realized the Beatles are, were, and will always be the greatest band on earth.

David <> (17.12.2000)

First of all I would like to excuse myself for my English. Thanks for your reviews. I don't have many records and neither have I heard so many songs, but I think it's good to have some references when buying records.

Yes, The Beatles are my favourite group (not very original, I Know). To tell the truth, I agreed with you when you said "that the Beatles were music par excellence, with everybody else as weak imitators". I'm not a fanatic any longer, but my friends are sick of hearing me praising them all the time.

Well, now, about the Beatles on Side B and "because by 1967 they could habe been clearly blown off the stage by dozen of acts -the Stones, the Who, Hendrix, Cream, whoever and whatever".

Sure, they weren't superplayers and I have some live records that sound horrible, but I don't think they had been blown off. Come on. I'm sure they would have been good on stage things had been other way.

Take an example. The rooftop concert sounds great to my ears (and they repeat every song almost 2 times, but What songs!) And guess what? No girls screaming, no bad sound, and no overdub or music they couldn't reproduce on stage (just the little help from Billy Preston). They were professionals and like I said, in other circumstances I think they would have sounded great on stage (or good if you prefer it. But not as bad as now people think they were. Eh, they began the concerts on stadiums, the fanatism fo the "fans". Who wanted to hear the music? THE BEATLES were on stage). Come on, The Shea Stadium wasn't heard with the Stadium speakers?. And besides, like Eric B says "they had a fairly solid reputation as live performes playing clubs in England and Germany before they made it big".

David Lyons <> (20.12.2000)

You know, I'm reasonably sick and moderately tired of the declarations of instrumental virtuosity being assigned to each individual Beatle. You know the type, 'Paul is the Greatest Ever Bass Player, he must be, Rolling Stone says so', 'George is, like, a Master of the Strat' and 'Ringo drummed like no-one else on earth' (the latter, at least, I'll concede, but not in the good sense - see the Ringo page for a further deconstruction of the talents of the Percussional Ape). They weren't! I sincerely doubt that George's skills in actually playing the guitar gave Eric, Jimmy, Ritchie or Jimi anxiety attacks. Similarly, I doubt that Jack, John, Chris or John Paul lost any sleep over Sir Paul's fretboard runs (as for Ringo, when your son outstrips you by age five, it's time to hang up the sticks - especially when his talent is more attributable to his 'Uncle' Keith than any hereditary reason...). And, furthermore, I think that to waste time arguing the issue is to miss the point somewhat.

Instrumental virtuosity is simply not what the Beatles are about. That they were all (with the exception of Ringo, sorry to carp on) highly accomplished (even if it took George a while to develop) I'm not denying. Rather, I'm saying that their sphere of genius lies in songwriting and composing. It was their talent for writing music FOR the instruments, rather than playing them is why they still, some thirty years on, have legions of adoring fans across the globe. For producing some of the greatest songs ever and the single strongest canon of work is why they are remembered, not for thirty minute wank off solos or self-indulgent displays of instrumental mastery.

So, rather than taking hero worship too far, which can only be to their detriment in the long run, let us reserve our garlands and plaudits for where they are truly warranted. After all, I doubt Mozart had much to do with the playing of the violin, glockenspiel or timpani, but he did alright, didn't he?

Sergey Zhilkin <> (25.12.2000)

My Ringo Starr' fanaticism in the past years led me to collecting quite a decent load of Beatles' albums which I probably never listened to more than once upon purchasing or taping. However, now that they were just lying there gathering dust on the shelves, I finally took the decision to brush off a little dust and give John, Paul, George and Ringo a second chance. And you know what? It's not all that bad!

Nah, kidding, of course. The Beatles were the first foreing group I faced in my life. There's only one surprising thing about this band: they never produced anything mediocre. Every their album has it's charm. Maybe only these two facts crown Beatles as the best band of all times. Ah, and here's the message for some other readers : DON'T EVADE EX-BEATLES' CAREES!!! Surely, they aren't so good but still have their moments.

mello <> (02.01.2001)

Undoubtedly, the yardstick by which pop and rock bands should be measured.  It's not so much the Beatles brand of music (pop/light rock), but the sheer excellence that they displayed throughout their career that other bands are expected to attain.  The musical progression that the Beatles achieved from 1963 to 1967 has no parallel in pop/rock.  What is hard to believe is that, during this period, the Beatles were releasing an average of one album every 6 to 8 months; couple that with the madcap existence of being teen-idols, plus the touring, and it's a miracle that they could write such great songs, much less grow and thrive as musicians.  There are, of course, cracks on this magnificent wall:  McCartney's insistence on being 'cute' with some insufferably wimpy songs ('Maxwell's Silver Hammer', 'Honey Pie', and 'She's Leaving Home' come to mind); their lack of instrumental prowess compared to some of their contemporaries (Hendrix, Cream); the Let It Be album; ignoring the 'blues' which could have given their music a needed edge; their inability to tap into George Harrison's music in their final year.  It's also a shame that Lennon was more busy with Yoko and his 'happenings' after 1967, when his input was sorely needed to counteract McCartney's descent into muzak.  

George Martin's importance to this group cannot be overstated, especially after hearing what Phil Spector did with the Beatles music on the Let It Be album, and Jeff Lynne on 'Real Love' (WOOF!).  George Martin IS the 'fifth' Beatle.  His arrangements are tasty and understated, although a song like 'Yesterday' sounds more powerful and less wimpy without the background strings.  Musically, the most interesting songs are Lennon's, as much for their weirdness ('I Am The Walrus', 'Tomorrow Never Knows') as their real feeling ('In My Life', 'Julia'). However, there's no denying that some of McCartney's compositions are real gems, too ('Penny Lane', 'Hey Jude', 'Eleanor Rigby').  For all the Ricky Martins, Christina Aguileras, and INSyncs of the world, heed these words:  In the 20th century, the Beatles were one of only two pop acts that became more famous, legendary, and exceptional musicians after their teen-idol years.  You've got your work cut-out for you...

Lyolya Svidrigajlova <> (04.01.2001)

[I was very much pleased by the review. It's nice to learn that some people dare criticize the Beatles... especially given that you are a Beatlefan, aren't you?]

[Actually, I never loved the Beatles...]

[To be honest, I used to hate them just four years ago 'cuz of lots of Beatlemaniac girls who were almost praying on bended knees in front of John Lennon's photo... and also 'cuz of their almost divine status.]

[Anyway, when I was a baby, I wasn't wetting my diapers or sucking my teat with Beatles' music being an accompaniment to those thoughtful processes. My younger brother was. Lucky boy! Or poor boy. That's questionable.]

[Wuww! Again! I hate this discussion about who's better - the Beatles or the Stones. If somebody would ask my opinion, I would rather say - "Tyoplaya Trassa" (something like "warm highway" in English). The questions would be: a) what the heck is "Tyoplaya Trassa" and b) who the heck needs your opinion, Lyolya...]


1. Since I myself write songs, I can't but respect other people that write songs.

2. It was a real breakthrough for their time and we have to bear in mind that their songs are still well-known and being loved all over the world.

3. I can't hate people whose songs were peddled (and are still being peddled) by the big show-biz tycoon.

[Michael Jackson is a big dirty asshole! Hope there are no Michael Jackson's fans here...]

4. There is a special chemistry 'bout the Beatles. [Gee... must admit...] [Ah... no matter if I like them or not, who cares about my opinion?]

The last point. Love and hatered are pretty much alike. If you hate something, that means it touches your heart (or something else...) So what if I like the Beatles, after all? A good question. Takes time to think.

Morten Felgenhauer <> (04.01.2001)

So we all agree then? The Beatles were the greatest band ever if you look at the phenomenon as a whole. Period. (Having admitted that - nothing can change the fact that the Rolling Stones are my favourite group. So what if they continued long after their heyday? Do the solo careers of the Beatles make their 60s output worth less?)

On to the subject of the Beatles as a live band: they were great in the early days, having honed their performance in Hamburg. Listen to the recordings from Swedish television in 1963 (found on Anthology 1) and tell me that they're not a tight little unit! The problem with live shows from 1964-66 is that they couldn't hear themselves. On the Shea concert the sound was "blasted" out by the speakers usually intended for sports commentators. It's incredible that they managed to sing in tune and play together at all. Ringo looked at the others to know where they were. Of course, by 1966 they were fed up as well, which didn't exactly improve their performances. Still, they could play live well if they wanted to. Just check the rooftop. I won't bother discussing "who is best" at their respective instruments, but I will say that to master any instrument it takes more than pure technique. Isn't it given points for originality, for instance? For those of us who love Ringo's drumming: I think much of his originality lies in the fact that he is left handed, but uses the set-up a right handed drummer would have used. Therefore he plays many of his fills "backwards".

Joe Arenella <> (15.01.2001)

Listen to "Don't Let Me Down" and tell me The Beatles couldn't play live-on top of a roof yet-with the worst acoustics possible-unbelievable.

Didier Dumonteil <> (17.01.2001)

MAYBE IN THE CENTURIES TO COME,generations will forget everfything related to rock but the Beatles they won't because the Beatles transcendented rock into somthing that has not been yet catogarized

<> (24.01.2001)

People are forgetting the great vocal quality of the band. Their songs take you somewhere. The band was not dominated by an individual, and the creative tension pushed the quality of the songs beyond where we were used to going, because there was a balance of competence, vocally, instrumentally, production-wise and song-wise. There may come along another band that has as huge an influence on us as the Beatles, but it hasn't happened yet. Probably because the blind ambition that drives so many rock bands was nearly invisible with them--their truth showed in their music.

<> (26.01.2001)

Why make such a big deal about the most average band to ever walk the earth? They were good but not that good.

John <> (01.02.2001)

Even though you (George) have a tendency to be negative overall, I have admit I'm surprised that someone else besides me and a FEW others have the guts to admit that the Beatles, indeed, were not "perfect". Yes, they had more moments of greatness than MOST bands and artists in rock history but the bottom line is they are not the END ALL. There were certainly bands from the early British Invasion era who were innovative enough on their own and NOT BECAUSE of the Beatles. The Yardbirds, for example had the sitar in their "Heart Full Of Soul" demo 8 months before the Beatles did in "Norwegian Wood". They ended up not releasing  that version for the single release but they do deserve credit for bringing Eastern influences into rock music. Another example, the Kinks, were lyrically more complex with "A Well Respected Man" which was pre-Rubber Soul by a few months. And the Stones and Animals should have not even been in any comparisons as they were basically R&B bands which was so anti-Beatlesque in the early days. The Beatles NEVER really did any R&B. That all said, the aura that their phenomenon created has propelled them into super status. It's my personal take that sometimes aggressiveness and promotion can do more for a band/artist/person than brains, talent and hard work combined can. And not to detract their brains, talent and hard work but being GOOD in those categories, plus being GREAT at parlaying that can sometimes lead people to believe there is more to something than there actually is. 

Steve Hall <> (01.02.2001)

Well i'm not going to repeat everything else that is said above.I am in agreement with most after all and in disagreement with you about Paul's bass playing - he really made it sound like a separate instrument.Also Ringo's drumming is not appreciated enough - he keeps flawless time and the way he interacts with Paul's bass on so many tracks is a first.

Some other truths not touched on.The Beatles were the first recording ARTISTS,and the first to promote the album in art form(someone else may have had the ideas first)but the Beatles were the first to bring it into the public conscience.

And i must remove some "myths" surrounding The Beatles for "swamprat" above.Liverpool may be "ol'grimy" in some areas but The Beatles upbringing was more privileged than underprivileged in comparison to those around them.John Lennon the self titled "working class hero" had servants in the house he grew up in.George and Paul were brought up in comfortable middle class areas of Liverpool.Only Ringo's "dingle" childhood upbringing can really be called poor.

Also another myth is that Liverpool is "nowhere" musically.However in truth nowhere else in Britain was beat music alive as much as it was in Liverpool(300 bands worked that area) and had more access to American music than anywhere else in Europe.

Finally on a musical note,The Beatles like all great bands are indeed greater than the sum of their parts.Lennon/Mccartney are so much more than one + one when their songs are placed next to each other,and it was so important that they stopped when they did because despite your protestations,the legacy of groups like The Rolling Stones HAVE declined in most people's eyes purely on the basis of them keeping going and not producing material as good as they did before. (Yeah, and this is a flaw that musically conscious people HAVE to get over - G.S.).

Finally,finally their music transcends nationality and all it's inherent pride and ignorance,a lesson most of their listeners haven't learnt.

fraser <> (06.02.2001)

most of what you have to say is rubbish. Ringo Starr was (and remains) one of the greatest free-swinging natural timekeepers to have emerged since gene kruppa. Paul McCartney is universally regarded as the best rock-bass player ever - just listen to his innovative work on 'Lucy in the Sky'.. George Harrison is a fine musician whose guitar playing stands the test of time. I totally disagree that Lennon 'did alright' on rythym guitar - he was generally hopeless, with a notoriously bad sense of rythym. But all of this is to thoroughly miss the point. The Beatles did not (as you rightly say) invent the world and everything in it, that is absurd. But the mere fact that so many people thought they might have is overwhelming testimony to the power and range of the superbly varied music they created.

Palash Ghosh <> (06.03.2001)

Reviewing The Beatles' career as a whole is a daunting task for me -- they were (and remain) such an important part of my life that I view them as something 'basic' and 'essential' like water, air and food! Okay, maybe that sounds absurdly pretentious and hyper-sentimental, but it's true nonetheless. I can't even see them as a 'rock band' because they are so far above everyone else, they're in a whole different sphere. A quadrillion words have been written about The Beatles and I don't know what I can possibly add of value, but I'll try anyway with some personal observations:

*The Beatles were at the right place at the right time, and a few lucky breaks fell their way. John Lennon himself said "we were just another band from Liverpool that happened to make it very very big." Although I usually don't put much credence to John's frequent put-downs of the group, he was onto something here. His implication was that, given the right circumstances, another Liverpool band might've equally succeeded. (I don't really believe that, but I think his point was that fate and serendipity worked together to create their massive success).

*The Beatles could dominate the 1960's because, quite frankly, the music industry wasn't so vast and monstrous as it is now and they were in a sense 'freer' to experiment and there wasn't as much competition. Everything they said or did was big news because the airwaves were not as saturated with celeb trivia as they are now. In fact, they were inadvertently 'creating' the rock music industry as they went along. Moreover, they were incredibly prolific -- consider they put out over 200 songs in just six years or so! Groups today take four-year vacations between each album! If John, Paul George, Ringo and Brian were born just ten or fifteen years later, they never would've made the same impact.

* The Beatles also benefited from their 'looks' -- what I mean is that, aside from Paul, none of them were really good looking (Ringo was downright unattractive!). This made them more 'real' – thus, they demonstrated that talent, hard work and inspiration mean more than anything else, more than glamour or hype or promotion or sex appeal.

I don't see how anyone could resent them since they earned everything they got. There were no free rides for them at all.

*The Beatles were NOT superb musicians (Paul and George were very very good, but I wouldn't call them virtuosos). John Entwistle was a better bassist than Paul; Elton John was a better pianist than Paul; Eric Clapton and Keith Richards were better lead guitarists than George; Pete Townshend was a far more inventive rhythm guitarist than John Lennon; and Keith Moon was a better drummer than Ringo. Where The Beatles excelled, of course, was in songwriting and studio arrangements –- and because of that, I'd rather listen to The Beatles than anybody else!

*John and Paul were the greatest pop songwriters in history, bar none. You can ignore the long hair, the drugs, the hippie mythology, the trip to India, the Ed Sullivan Show, the Mahirishi, Brian Epstein, Beatlemania, Yoko Ono and all the other hoopla and nonsense -- the Beatles' greatness and enduring power rested solely on the incredibly ability of Lennon and McCartney to churn out one great song after another. No one comes close to them, nor likely ever will.

*I don't know how good a drummer Ringo was since he was never really given the opportunity to be inventive on the skins like, say, Keith Moon was. I think Ringo's two shining moments as a drummer were 'Rain' and 'Carry that weight/The end.' But Ringo made The Beatles 'The Beatles' -- I just can't imagine the group without him! His very homely looks and lack of ego were the perfect foil to the other three. (I shudder to think what The Beatles would've been like with the vapid, unlikable Pete Best on drums!) Ringo made The Beatles more fun, more accessible somehow -- with him around, they could never be criticized for being over-indulgent and pretentious (even when John Lennon went off the deep end). I don't know of a single person in the world who doesn't adore Ringo Starr!

*George Martin's role in the group's success has not been properly appreciated. Without his guiding hand and wise judgments, I don't think the songs (or, I should say, the studio arrangements) would have been quite as good. He allowed John and Paul to diversify and expand their musical repertoire without any sacrifice in quality.

*I don't think Paul should be blamed for the group's break-up. Yes, he aggressively took over the band by 1967, yes, his dictatorial behavior alienated George Harrison and John -- but Paul, to his eternal credit, kept the group going, pushed them into making pop masterpieces that will last forever. I put the blame for the split squarely on John Lennon (and to a lesser extent, Yoko). The proof here is that John wanted to leave the band first (he was the first to announce it, but not to the public). John's heroin addiction did nothing for group solidarity either! The Beatles' break-up added to their legendary status, of course, but I think had they stayed together another two years or so, their quality would not have suffered one iota.

*The debate over who was the better songwriter, John or Paul, is an interesting one, but ultimately meaningless. It's a matter of taste and whim, really. I believe that, taking everything into consideration, they were just about equal in talent. Paul wrote 'Yesterday,' but John wrote 'Across the universe.' How can you possibly which is greater? They are each masterpieces, and one could never have written the other. However, I will add that Paul was the more 'conventionally proficient' composer, and he could write hits 'to order' as if on an assembly line; whereas John was less sophisticated than that. By 1965 or so, John decided to write purely from his heart, almost everything he wrote thereafter was personal. This is what makes The Beatles music so fascinating to me, the endless 'Yin-Yang' of Lennon and McCartney.

*Without getting too political or sociological here, in my humble opinion, The Beatles, more than any other entity, destroyed (or at least seriously damaged) the class system in Western Society, blurred the artificial and superficial distinctions between types of music and types of people, and truly united much of the music-loving world. Almost everyone from the Queen of England to the poorest beggar in Calcutta knows (and probably likes) The Beatles. They appeal to the hard-rockingest greaser as well as to the classical music snobs.

* But the weirdest thing of all is that ultimately The Beatles make me sad and melancholy. There is much despondency and sorrow associated with them (the specter of death that looms over so many people related to them, the bitter break-up, etc...). After watching the film Let it be a feeling of sorrow overwhelms me -– I'm not sure why, but it does. Maybe it's because The Beatles were so precious that I can scarcely believe they actually even existed? Or maybe it has something to do with some ridiculous feeling of failed expectations? I don't know what it is. It's just amazing that they were real.

Eric Rogozin <> (07.03.2001)

The Beatles are great! The Best Band ever! All their songs are the masterpieces! All their albums are great! Yes, of course, I'm not the first to say this, but I just want to add my humble opinion to this wonderful site. First of all, they are very good musicians! Lennon is very decent on rhythm guitar, McCartney is the greatest bass player and Harrison is one of the greatest guitarists, also Ringo is very good drummer (many people underrate him, but check out "Birthay" and "The End" for example, not to mention, that his drumming is the basic for fast every rock drummer; and, as you said, his steady beat helped establish that Merseybeat).

And their vocals are great, I enjoy vocals of them all! Paul is one of the greatest vocalists in this world! Also John, George and Ringo have very good vocals!

Then, songwriting. They are just perfect in that. Their songs are diverse and:.just great!

And not to forget the influential aspect, they influenced fast everything in rock music.

I see, there are a lot of marks of exclamations in my message, but I can't speak about The Beatles without the marks of exclamations and the word "great". I can write a lot of evidences, that The Beatles is a great band, but, I think, there's no need to do it, it's allready been done before and it's so evident. In one word, it's marvellous, gorgeous and the greatest band in the world!

And one mustn't ignore their solo career, The Beatles solo career is great as well.

Bob Josef <> (21.05.2001)

I really can't add much to what's been said above, except that rock and roll would not exist in its present forms, good or bad, if the Fab Four had never existed. Period. Even their two predecessors who were on a par with them musically (Brian Wilson) and far surpassed them lyrically (Bob Dylan) would never have been psychologically spurred on to create their greatest works. The combination of their immense songwriting talent, the relative naivete/optimism/innocence of the public at the time of their initial success, and the record industry's five year scramble of trying to deal with it, means that the revolutionary impact of the Beatles will NEVER be duplicated by another artist. It's more than ironic that the Beatles themselves inadvertently unleashed the forces that would prevent that from ever happening again.

I was taking a glance through the latest issue of Billboard and was, in some ways, astonished to see that the ridiculous (in concept, not the music, of course) Beatles 1 album has sold SEVEN MILLION copies here in the USA. I mean, an album where the newest song is 31 years old? When greatest hits albums are already available? I mean, all those 7 million folks can't be middle-aged duffers such as myself (although, a couple of my friends did buy it, including a fanatic who has ALL the Beatles CD's already). Capitol's marketing machine might be good, but it's a testament to the Beatles timelessness that many younger listeners are evidently eager to discover their music. Maybe a few of them will be inspired to create some good rock music down the road as a result..

STEVEN SCHELSKE <> (19.08.2001)

I caught my first glimpse of the fabs around the time of the 20-year Beatlemania anniversary hoopla when, as pure luck would have it, I was just leaving a shopping mall when I walked right past a TV monitor that just started showing a promo cut for 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' with some footage from the Beatles arriving in America then playing either Ed Sullivan or some concert with the original track dubbed over the footage(I think it's from the Compleat Beatles video but I'm not sure), anyway I was just completely blown over by their stage presence and especially the tune and, as uneventful as that may sound, it filled me with such an intense feeling of joy the likes of which I can't even describe, hearing this amazing, catchy song I've never ever heard before which was LIGHT YEARS ahead of the current pop that I heard on the radio around late 1983 or so(I had only listened to pop music up until then since I was still quite young for the harder progressive stuff on "classic rock" stations. Well to say the least I was hooked, so I grabbed 1962-66 Red Album a few months later, then eventually over the next few years I had bought every record of theirs I could possibly find short of bootlegs(actually I think I bought one on casette(some of the "Decca" recordings, real cheap!) but I lost it or it got chewed up or something. It was a fairly common item in US record stores at that time, actually).

Anyway getting back to the Beatles, there's not enough cyberspace here for me to even begin to descibe the indelible impression this group's music has left on me, I'm sure as least in part because of my childhood experiences with these great magical tunes, but to be fair, mostly just because, well, it's just great music that's well beyond any number of adjectives or the sheer volume of acclamations one can possibly use to descibe it, and it's for that reason that I decided not to acclaim each album individually(I mean, what will I possibly say that hasn't been said by millions of others--and better too probably), but rather this alone will stand as my sole testament to the greatness of ALL their recorded output when weighed as a whole...just indespensible, irreplacable, heavenly pop/rock that transports you to another place(no matter where you are or how crummy your life is) that I can't possibly imagine it being surpassed for maybe hundreds of years, if EVER, and even the weaker stuff(what little there is) will always give forth, for me anyway, enough of that childhood sentiment or whatever it is to keep me from glued to it 'til my dying day.

Jeremy Olson <> (29.11.2001)

I hate the Beatles. I hate them a lot. I can't stand a single one of their songs, I don't buy the whole "God-like" status that has been attributed to them, and I, frankly, see them as ridiculously over-rated. The Beatles had a far smaller impact on music than they are given credit for (unless one counts Oasis as a positive contribution!) Sure, they used many genres in their music, but they really didn't invent most of them, as many Beatle-fanatics say (I have one friend who claims they invented prog rock...HAHAHAHA!) But in the hands of the "Gods of Rock", every style became "theirs", leaving the true pioneers lost under the weight of Beatlemania. For example, "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"...a blatant psychedelic cash-in song, taking music any drugged-out musician worth a damn could compose, and filled with random lyrics spewed forth to create a "fanasy world". Many bands did it before they did, and many, many did it far better. But who needs the true pioneers, now that the Beatles are in the game? And thus, everyone forgets the true psych pioneers (I'm glad George has the good sense to come straight out and say they did not invent psychedelic music; I hope it serves to enlighten the masses). Moving on...musical skills (or lack thereof). I agree with George when he says none of the members were professional super-players. Paul was a pretty good bassist, but he's nowhere close to being Bass-God (as many have elected him). I, for one, prefer his bass-work in his post-beatles years (Wings, etc.) Ringo could keep a beat....and that's about all. I've drummed for close to 10 years now, so I feel I have some room to state that Ringo is mediocre at best, inadequate at worst. George Harrison could play pretty good, and I give him the crown of best musician in the Beatles. John Lennon...well I guess anyone can play rhythm if they know a few chords. Not that non-mastery of an instrument is bad; but the "Beatles mystique" has built these four guys up to the be the pinnacle of achievement at their respective instruments. So over-rated it hurts! I could go on, but I won't (for now, at least). If you really love the Beatles, then fine. I have no problem with that. But don't make them out to be more than they are; they are not gods, they are not instrumental virtuosos, they are not great genre creators and innovators, they are not worthy of the mystique surrounding them. They are just four average people who got a break and managed to make it big before other bands did. That's all.

Ben Kramer <> (02.12.2001)

The Beatles are the greatest artists of the last 50 years(can't really call them rock, they were to diverse to be called rock), period. No one even comes close. As much as I love The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Hendrix..., when compared to The Beatles, their overall output is, in my mind mediocre(there are exceptions, but overall includes everything). They wrote more hits and non hits that were great songs anyways than any other artist, even though some of them were around longer and had a larger catalog (Rolling Stones, Dylan...). All of their albums are among the best selling in the world. Some of the music is fun, some is touching, some is beautiful and no matter what type of music they put out, it was excellent. In fact, in my mind, the amount of bad songs they recorded could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Unfortunately, there are critics of the Beatles who have complaints. Then again, I'm sure Mozart had his fair share of hatred back in his time. One problem that they point out is drummer, Richard Starkey (aka Ringo Starr). Ok, so he is no Keith Moon, or Mitch Mitchels or John Bonham, but his influence on drumming more than makes up for it. Actually, some of his drumming has yet to be matched. Listen carefully to 'She Loves You'. Which instrument is driving the song. The DRUMS!!!!!!! Percussion never had the importance it had until 'She Loves You'. Also, listen to the drumming on 'A Day In The Life'. The syncopation in that song is phenomenal and it makes the song a more complete song (Anthology 2's version is much, much weaker). I will admit that the overall musical talent of The Beatles was mediocre, but they were able to make up for their weaknesses by covering it up (sort of the way Pink Floyd did).

Another problem critics have is that they are grossly overrated. I will admit that they are overrated. But only a little. For example, the VH1 top 100 albums countdown contained 5 Beatle albums in the top 11 (none of their preRubber Soul stuff or soundtracks, the rest of the albums made it) and I will admit that 5 in the top 11 and 4 in the top 10 is pushing it. However, they only had 1 in the top 5, Revolver. So, my complaints changed to say that VH1 screwed The Beatles in the top 5 (come on, Abbey Road, The Beatles, Rubber Soul...). The best seller status is also an issue brought forth by critics. They are the best selling artist ever. Hands down. But many people felt that The Beatles sold out. This is not true. Actually, they sort of did the opposite. They had it great in 1965 and before with their bubblegum pop and fun love songs. However, instead of playing the crowd pleasers, they ended up reaching into their hearts and pulling out some great philosophical songs and beautiful love songs that couldn't be found in the early pop years.

The reason that the Beatles are the best is the obvious answer. Their songs were better than any other artists songs. They wrote some of the greatest songs of all time (not that no one else did, but the Beatles did in in greater volume than anyone else) throughout their career starting with the early 'Twist and Shout' cover, 'She Loves You', 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand', and ending the early pop years with 'Hard Days Night', 'I'm A Loser', 'Help', and the magnificent 'Yesterday'. During the maturing period which many people feel to be the best they put out greats such as 'Norwegian Wood', 'In My Life', 'Nowhere Man', 'We Can Work It Out', 'Day Tripper', 'Drive My Car', 'Taxman', 'Eleanor Rigby', 'She Said, She Said', 'Here, There and Everywhere', 'For No One', 'Michelle', and 'And Your Bird Can Sing'. The brilliance kept on coming during their trippy and LSD era with 'With A Little Help From My Friends', 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds', 'A Day In the Life', 'Strawberry Fields Forever', 'I am the Walrus', 'Penny Lane', 'Fool On The Hill' and many more. Finally, their last stretch of albums and my personal favorite, the tension period, the Yoko period, whatever you want to call it. Some of the best from that era include 'Back In The USSR', 'Hey Jude', 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps', 'Let It Be', 'Something', 'Happiness is a Warm Gun', 'Revolution', 'Yer Blues', 'Blackbird', 'I Will', 'Here Comes the Sun', 'Across the Universe', 'Get Back', 'Lady Madonna', 'You Never Give Me Your Money'... (there are so many more but if I list them all, more than half of the Beatle's catalog will be listed here.

The albums they released were no slouch either. Only three included no singles (correct me if I'm wrong: Rubber Soul, Sgt Peppers..., and The Beatles), but even those that did contained some of the best original material ever. My personal favorite is The Beatles, probably because of its volume, however, if anyone chooses any album Rubber Soul or later, I cannot argue. I should have put the following comment above, but critics also despise the early Beatles. This is some excellent pure pop music. A Hard Days Night is better than a lot of things the critics gush over and call the greatest albums ever. I will not deny that it had a formula, but they only used it for a couple of years and it was an awesome formula. Sure, A Hard Days Night is no Revolver, but then again, Led Zeppelin 2 (a critic favorite) is no A Hard Days Night so that just goes to prove that The Beatles were by far the greatest band ever. I currently own 13 Beatle albums (haven't gotten Revolver yet but I know it very, very well and it has grown on me and eventually I will buy it) and all are among my favorite albums. I couldn't imagine any artist having the awesome pop songs on an album the way The Beatles did on Rubber Soul or Revolver, or the diversity of The Beatles, or even the emotion of Abbey Road. All are unmatched albums (ok, so Let it Bleed matched a couple but like I said when I commented about it, I feel that it is the best true rock album ever (not necessarily the best music album ever).

I would also like to take a couple minutes to talk about George Harrison who unfortunately passed away 2 days ago. He was not the best guitarist ever, he's not even mentioned with them. His songwriting during most of the Beatles short history while great, didn't match up to his peers (although he could have taught them a couple of things on The Beatles and Abbey Road, not to mention All Things Must Pass). However, his guitar style was extremely influential and his songs on the previously mentioned albums, particularly the Beatles' albums, he was the star songwriter despite being surrounded by the two greatest songwriters ever (and I do no hesitate when saying this). I love 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and 'Savoy Truffle' from The Beatles as well as 'Something' and 'Here Comes the Sun' from Abbey Road. He clearly grew as a songwriter. He actually said that he had many songs in 1965/66 but the egocentric Lennon and McCartney disallowed his songs from being on albums so he may have been the happiest Beatle after the breakup. We will miss you George and I wish that I had the opportunity to thank you for the beautiful music you have given the world. You are still living in spirit and in your music.

Joe H <> (10.12.2001)

The Beatles are no doubt, my most favorite band ever. No band could ever hit me with their music like the Beatles did. They had amazing songs! Most people really think they evolved into an incredible band that absolutely cannot be topped once they made Revolver or The White Album, but if you ask me, they were always that way. I love songs like "This Boy", "Theres A Place", "Please Please Me", "Shes A Woman", "And I Love Her", etc. as much as the late period stuff like "Tommorrow Never Knows", "I Am The Walrus", "Hey Jude", "Here Comes The Sun", "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds", etc. And i say that because most people cannot really get into any of that early, sappy love song pop that they've done, but the harmonys and melodys and the overall songs are so beautiful, its a shame they've been so horribly ripped off since then that people are turned away by it right away. Nothing else i can really say, they were just an amazing band and i dont think ive heard anything as good as them. People can name off a bunch of bands they like better all they want, but nothing will ever blow me away quite like The Beatles did. Ohh and Jeremy Olson is terribly misinformed, i think, but i wont go into it (You dont realize Sgt Pepper help STARTED the whole psychadelic era!). He has the right to his opinion, of course.

Stefan Puiu <> (07.02.2002)

Oh, and about the Beatles, do you know that "You know my name" was meant to be a "Four Tops" type of song? That "Helter Skelter" was a parody on "The Who", and, if I remember well, "Rain" is a parody on "The Byrds"? "Everybody's got something to say..." from the White Album is surely a Hendrix parody. What I'm trying to say is that if you want to enumerate all Beatles' flaws you should also mention that in the latter years they were a rather aimless band, contending in making parodies of other bands' styles/songs rather than developing their own style; they are certainly more interesting, but they kinda lack personality, and diversity has its good and bad sides... So I think.

[Special author note: I don't think "Rain" can be called a parody on the Byrds even if it is influenced by the Byrds, and I'm a bit baffled about the Hendrix connection on '...Monkey' - even if The White Album is very much of a parodic thing. But it's just one album.]

Ryan Maffei <> (27.02.2002)

What is there to say, and to not say, about these guys? They had everything one could've wanted in a pop-rock outfit. Ever...well, maybe some better later albums. Their merseybeat stuff at the start of their career was driving, well-crafted and pleasant, and that set the stage for the highly polished, intelligent pop that was to come on what I will forever consider the band's peak, Rubber Soul. Then, of course, they got high, made Sgt. Pepper, and became quite uneven, with the band members' traits and flaws growing increasingly, disturbingly apparent: you had John, the philosophical, idealist curmudgeon; Paul, the pleasant commercial slave (this became less exaggerated a title when he drifted into the 80s); George, the virtuoso mystic, and the most distant from the audience during the band's career as a union; And Ringo, who was a better drummer and source of comic relief than a writer or singer any day. But yeah, I like 'em. And Rubber Soul remains the perfect pop album. So roll up for the band that launched a thousand others, from the latter-day Beach Boys and Stones to Badfinger to Elton John to Jellyfish to...well, me! George (Starostin)'s grade of 5 is well justified, and one of the few he's distributed that will cause me to balk.

Best Album (Strictly My Worthless Opinion): Rubber Soul

Best Song (Strictly My Worthless Opinion): This is a tie between "I Am the Walrus" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" for me. But who could ever possibly decide the Beatles' best?

<> (05.05.2002)

Hello. My name is Marv Fulvitz and I happened to stumble across your fine website. I thought I'd add some comments to your Beatles page, because they were once very good friends of mine. You see, I'm a retired record executive. I used to work for Capitol Records as their chief salesman for the entire northwestern region of Connecticut. This gave me quite a lot of involvement in the making of the Beatles' records.

When I first met the Beatles, they were doing the small time at a club in England called the Cellar Club. They were quite different from the group that most people are familiar with. For one thing, Ringo was the lead singer. He said to me, "Marv, we're trying really hard, but the girls aren't screaming. What'll we do?" I said to him, "Ringo, my friend, don't take this the wrong way, but you've got a puss that only a mother could love. You need to get away from the front of the stage and go back there and bang on the bongos. Let the other boys sing for a while." He had never beat on a drum before, so he was very nervous and kept his back to the audience for the first few months. And after several voice lessons, John and Paul became the singers.

When they first started, the Beatles mostly played songs by the Four Seasons. I said to John, "Jack," (his friends all called him Jack), I said, "Jack, if you wanna make it in the music business, you'll have to play your own songs." And he said, "But Marv, how can we be as big as the Four Seasons if we don't even play their songs?" And I said to him, "Look, nobody will ever be as big as them, but you can still be successful. Just look at that Mick Jagger kid. He doesn't hold a light to them and the dames are all over him." And he said, "But what will we write about?" And I said, "You can never go wrong with love songs, Jackie boy." And sure enough, they wrote a bunch of love songs and they did indeed become the biggest thing since the Four Seasons. Paul wanted to include my name on the songwriting credits, but I said, "Paul, my friend, please accept my idea about writing songs about love as a personal gift and keep all of the royalties to yourselves."

When the Beatles came to America, all hell broke loose. The kids were going crazy for them. Ed Sullivan came up to me and said, "Marv, you gotta get those boys to do my show." I said, "Ed, we've been friends for many years - of course I'll get the Beatles for you." They went on the show and did a rousing rendition of "Splish Splash I Was Taking A Bath." I'll tell you, it made my heart sing to see Ringo whacking away behind his bongo drums. It really was a sight. It was the most successful show of all time. The streets of New York were deserted because everybody in town had gone to the Ed Sullivan theater. The police reported that they didn't have a single parking violation all week.

After that, the Beatles became movie stars. Little did anybody know that they had acting talent. The whole country was caught up in the Magical Mystery craze. Groucho Marx went to see it and immediately retired, saying, "I've wasted my entire life. Now I know what comedy really is." It was the first of many Oscars for Ringo. And they kept right on making hit records, "Yeah Yeah Yeah," "Woooh!," "Can't Get No Satisfaction," "The Twist," "Doo Wop Diddy Diddy," "Be Bop To My Lula" - they just kept coming.

Their manager was a very nice guy named Brian. We used to go nightclubbing a lot. He once took me to this very nice club in London that was sort of a social club for men. No dames allowed. I found this to be very refreshing - I mean, you don't really need the women with you at all times. Like I said to Brian - "You can't live with them and you can't live without them." And he gave me a look like he was thinking, "You got that right, pal." Anyway, the club was sort of a health club, with jacuzzis and steamrooms and the like. And everybody was very friendly, like they were all on the same football team. I got so drunk that night that I couldn't tell you what happened after that.

One day, while they were working on the "Early Beatles" album, John came up to me and said, "Marv, my friend, things are not well. I've got a loving wife and a beautiful child, but I feel like something's missing." I said to him, "Jackie, my boy, what you need to do is find yourself a geisha. On your next world tour, as you're making your way through the Orient, pick one up and bring her home with you. I think that will solve your problem." Sure enough, John got back from the next tour with some Chinese broad named Yoko. I said, "Jack, what are you doing? Couldn't you find a better looking geisha girl than that?" And he said, "Marv, my friend, I'm sure you would understand how I feel if you knew how big her tits were." But, Yoko was a weird dame. John started writing songs about imaginary people he was seeing, like Boogaloo Bill and Sgt. Freckles and Hiram the Walrus. Of course, it was because Yoko was giving him reefers. His mind wasn't right. He even appeared nude on one of the Beatles albums, but we pasted another picture over that one. Now it's worth millions. She even convinced him that he was bigger than God. They went on a world tour and did a concert in India where this holy man came to worship them. I'm speaking, of course, about the Maharajah Mashed Yogurt. And as soon as they landed in the U.S., John announced to the press that he wanted the fans to give up church and just go to Beatles concerts, where he would give them 'the word' and everybody would run around naked. Needless to say, the country was in an uproar, and rightfully so. They only did one concert before the tour was canceled. It was recorded and later released as their last album, Woodstock. Ringo called a meeting with just the four of them and told them it was time to call it quits. I think everybody knew Ringo was right. He had been their leader since the beginning and had always known what was best for them. And I'm sure when Ringo feels the time is right, they will don their Beatle wigs and have the country twisting once again.

I later asked Ringo if he ever regretted ending the Beatles. And he said, "I'll tell you what, Marv, I don't regret it at all. I felt very embarrassed being up on stage with my schlong out, even with my bongo drums in front of me. That Jack guy was looney tunes. And that Yoko broad was even loonier. Fifth Beatle, my ass." Ringo later became the leader of the PLO. I felt very sorry for his poor Jewish mother. Paul later became famous all over again with another group called the Knack. I heard a while back that he was killed and was replaced by that Michael Jackson kid, who later bought the Beatles albums and put clues on them that showed Yoko was the murderer. I'm not sure whatever became of John, but whatever it was, I'd bet that Yoko broad was behind it. And that other kid, the quiet one (I don't recall his name) ended up going into the priesthood and is therefore currently in prison. Well, that's about all I can remember for now.

I'd like to mention, though, that this Swamprat fellow who posted some earlier remarks really knows his Beatles. It's good to see that there's still a few people that remember them and can keep the record straight about those years. And I'm sure the boys would be glad if they realized there were still a couple of people listening to them.

Brian Sittinger <> (30.08.2002)

Interesting take on the Beatles: Try to say as many negatives as possible! Well, that saves us from yet another gushing over the Beatles. Perhaps you realize this, but here are some partial refutations: One, back then, nobody gave a damn about instrumental virtuosity in rock music! This was when rock was still young and still developing. No Cream or Yes-type standards yet! Secondly, at first the Beatles were a very tight live band, and actually prided themselves on it. Then, as the girls' screams overshadowed their playing, they gave up on the tightness they had, thus leaving any future performances that were actually audible "sloppy".

As for myself, I have nothing to add to the overall positive view on the Beatles that hasn't been already said. But, I'll leave with these few points: (1) It's amazing how Beatles 1 can knock all the contempory pop off the charts after all these years, and (2) They're the only band I can call a 5-star band (perhaps, they set the standards too high for all the other artists in existence).

Eric Kleinbrink <> (29.09.2002)

The Beatles are the most overrated band in the history of rock music.... AND, the most underrated. Simply put, they were/are the best.

Steve Potocin <> (06.12.2002)

One thing struck me as I was reading the readers comments about THE Beatles. Alot of folks insist on saying they were not superb musicians, and back it up by comparing each member to one of the all time greats [Moon- Clapton,etc] how silly. Beatles were & are the best. Goodnight.

David Dickson <> (16.01.2003)

The Beatles are the best band of all time.


Do you want me to give them a hug or something?

Jon <> (25.01.2003)

ahahahahahah ok, emprically proved it, my didn't you, ooh the corssexamination and the brave "lets say their worst qualities!" really puts all doubt to the winds

i got a pal who is a classical music guru (but hes really a great guy, ha i have to qualify this like i wouldnt have to if i said he loved the beatles but anyway) and he dubbed the beatles "the best music that was ever written for dumb people" whihc is really funny and sad and true at the same time. the smart kids weren't getting laid listening to schoenberg and wearing suits with normal haircuts so they compromised and picked the best-girlloved pop band around and said theyre geniuses. lyrical genius? nah. maxwells silver hammer makes my point for me. read them on paper. music? did you hear paul mccartneys classical album??? oh man it is so godawful and hideous. nono wait what about the musical genius of two virgins? mmM! george(Reviewr) especially is a funny duck cause he likes to insert (very discreetly and properly, dont ahte me fgeorge!) a bunch of extrapopular references into his stuf... like i remeber on the prindle site he was talking about velvet underground and said, well, ho hoom hah, very german cabaret in inspiration, blahdeblah, and in the yes page: well, ahem, of course mussorgsky is great and everyone will love him if they like music and likewise bloobydoo... HUHU? what the hell does that have to do with anything? what direction are you pulling george, and why the arrogant lingo all the time? you aint THAT smart (and you know it better than I do, but I like to say it). the best way i can make my point is the comments ive read on the ebatles. someone said they are the greatest band ever and that no one even comes close. also that if you didnt like them you were an idiot and should be burned at the stake and have you eyeball poked out... there you go. they are the kings of dumb music. if were not talking pop music, they are terribly inadequate (watch my gerogism here it comes) and as far as their songwriting me and a bunch of guys who read harpers weekly or some other shit pretentious mag (to keep up our iamge, of course u peons!) think schubert is about eight bajillion times better than john leenon. smart peeple will always like beats but for the image and not for the music, cause if you look there are oodles of smarter songs than the beatles out there (in general music) hell even that old religious bastard purcell wrote better melodies.

psst, heres the stage for a music revolution--when some guy plays the stuff, the crowd willriot and throw things, two french guys will be there: one will yell at everyone to shut up and the other frenchie will yell genius! genius!

so if you like old melodies played on the kids' instruments, the beatles are for you!!!! say the lyrics to i am the walrus are genius (AND MEAN IT)and ill give you a cookie.

it also funny how all the bad music is blamed on yoko... they made BAD dumb music many times... bungalow bill (uck) for the benefit o mr kite and the cup of grass, that laughably serious day int he life... hee hee. i wonder if they sat on the floors rolling around with the sheer mental effort it took themt o think of that... wow. lennon+mccartnety had to work in shifts, probably... when one brain overloaded then ext guy would come in, and then they werent smart enough to write crappy orchestrations so george martin comes in! dum dada da!(my second georgism is slowly coing on.,.. this is about george length now too and i love you george you know that, but you are funny smetimes). that beethoven loser, right, that stupid fool who wrote that crappy pretentious pap, was at this concert, and he was just chillin like a villain, and after this other loser was done playing he took the cello part off a cellist stand, put it upside down on the piano, and banged out a bigass series of variations all improvised like nothing. and it was better than the beatles. a beethoven brainfart was better than the beatles. and if you get pissed when you read that, you my friend have weird taste, weird priorites, or dont like to think very hard.

radio+teevee = dumb is popular


this was fun to write.

[Special author note: All I have to reply here is that this particular comment seriously makes me doubt that the Beatles wrote the best music for dumb people - truly intelligent people don't compare the Beatles' musical aims and means with Beethoven's no more than they compare the use of a shotgun with the use of a vacuum cleaner. Arrogant lingo? In terms of arrogance you got that funny duck, george the Reviewr, seriously beat, my friend.]

Jim McGowan <> (03.05.2003)

It is worgh bearing in mind that the majority of the Beatles contempraries, and most of the bands that came after (The Stones, The Doors, Creedence, Cream, The Who, The Yarbirds, etc, etc) never got beyond being rock & roll or R&B bands (the Stones are still playing roughly the same type of stuff they always have). The Beatles experimented and extended the boundaries of popular music.

<> (07.10.2003)

I've noticed the dearth of comments on your Beatles page, so I thought I'd ameliorate the situation. After all, they're such an easy group to say something original about. The Beatles may very well be the best group ever... but it's cause they cheated, damnit! They broke up right after their peak (Abbey Road, since that was recorded subsequent to Let It Be, which rules nearly as much), thus never having the chance to disgrace themselves or tarnish their legacy like groups that just don't know when to die (Stones, Kinks, etc.). Can you imagine what an eldritch abomination a Beatles 80's album would be? It would dispel the magic that surrounds the Beatles mythos, reducing them to what they are, a really fucking good rock band; not gods, not rock messiahs, just fookin' awesome.

The truth is their peak output doesn't really surpass, say, top Stones material, for instance. But what magic do the Stones have? We've seen them at their worst. The Beatles took the easy way out, they never gave us the chance to see their weaknesses, not collectively at any rate. And the Beatles would have gotten bad; take a look at some of McCartney's lesser works. It wouldn't have happened right away; look at McCartney, Ram, Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, All Things Must Pass... maybe they were just energized by finally working solo, and Paul sure as hell wouldn't have allowed most of John's minimalistic work onto the albums, but the band still had a lot of life in it, that's for sure. But they would've deteriorated; it was inevitable.

So yeah, they never released a bad album. But that doesn't mean they were incapable of it. They cheated. Or maybe Mick and Keith are really fucking stupid and don't know when to quit. Or both.

<> (10.10.2003)

Been holding out on commenting here. What can you say about the greatest band of all time that hasn't already been said? The fab four are legends and fifty years from now they will still be regarded as the greatest musical phenomenon ever. Paul McCartney revolutionized the way the bass was used in the context of a song. Unless you count Bill Black's playing on 'Heartbreak Hotel' as monumental, Paul used the bass as an equal instrument, not as a background plunk, plunk, plunk instrument. He also came up with some beautiful runs (see Abbey Road) on the bass ever heard. I've always thought George was a very fine guitar player, and he really found his niche as a slide player later on in his career. It should be worth noting that when George discovered the Rickenbacker 12 string guitar which has a sound all it's own, it was a major contribution to the Beatles sound in addition to inspiring Roger McGuinn to run out and get one after seeing A Hard Day's Night. George's contribution to the guitar is incalculable. The Beatles really sucked live for one very good reason...they just didn't give a shit. Even though Vox makes good amplifiers, they were no match for 50,000 screaming girls on the edge of hysteria. Much credit must be given to Ringo who had to keep the beat amidst all that chaos. Since they had no monitors back then, Ringo was the key to following the song. The screaming bothered them terribly and it's a damn shame the girls wouldn't shut the #!%!$ up and listen. The Beatles would've put together an honest to goodness excellent live show. Who knows, with all the experimentation they were doing circa Revolver and Rubber Soul, the thought of seeing The Beatles backed by mellotrons and even quite possibly an orchestra is a gorgeous fantasy. But they got away from that quickly and retired to the studio. Thanks girls. Songwriting was their strongest attribute. George Harrison in any other band would've been considered a prolific songwriter, but he just happened to be in the same band as the two greatest songwriters of the 20th century. You can be the most talented band in the world, but if you can't write songs, you're going nowhere. There's a lot of talented out of work top notch musicians. This is what the Beatles did best. Go ahead and pick an album. There's not a bad one in the lot. Sure some songs are junk. 'Mr. Moonlight' and 'Baby's in Black' to me are quite painful. But you simply will not find a bad Beatles album. My favorite was always Rubber Soul. They were the first to do just about everything in popular music, and George Martin is to be credited for much of it since his talents as a producer are second to none. The inspiration they provided to music and popular culture will never be repeated. All these comparisons to other bands being the next Beatles has got to stop. There was only one.

Stephen Lavan <> (21.04.2004)

The answer to question of The Beatles and their place in the history of popular music in the latter part of the 20th century  is simply this: there was The Beatles and then.... there was everyone else. The Beatles  left future generations a  legacy of music too beautiful to understand through critical analysis; words somehow are not enough, although I have heard their music described as "perfect pop." To me  that is as near as words can get.

Carolyn Hoffman <> (31.07.2005)


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.

Anyone who knows The Beatles history in Germany where they were wearing tight leather jackets and pants,smoking and cursing each other on stage,John coming out drunk in just his underwear with a toilet seat around his head,and playing 8 hours a night on sped pills to stay awake in sleazy strip clubs, and all of the sex with so many groupies they had,knows *they* were the original bad boys of rock *not* The Rolling Stones! That so called "clean" image you and many peoplespeak of was all a joke and a fake created image by Brian Epstein who told them when he found them the way they originally were,that they had to "clean" up their image in order to make it. John was the one who resented this the most but went along to make it big. But anyone who knows about their personal lives knows they were wild as hell and they also lived the sex,drugs and rock and roll life to the fullest!

The Rolling Stones were also big fans and good friends with The Beatles. Mick Jagger was at 4 Beatles recording sessions and Keith Richards was at 2 with him. Mick Jagger was also at their recording of their song Baby You're A Rich Man in May 1967. Here he was a frontman of his own successful group and yet he went to their recording session just to stand on the sidelines and watch and listen to them record! Mick Jagger was also with The Beatles in August 1967 in Bangor when they met the Maharishi to study mediatation for the first time. He went up with them on the train and he can be seen standing there with them in the news film when they arrived. He was also with them there when they got the call that their manager Brian Epstein was dead.In the excellent book,The Beatles Recording Sessions,by Mark Lewisohn which is an very thorough well documented musical diary of their amazing 8 year recording career,which shows how truly creative,innovative and briliant especially John and Paul were in the studo,there is a big picture of Mick Jagger sitting next to John and Paul in The Beatles console room. He came there for the Remix of their great Revolver album.

There are several online interviews with Ozzy Osbourne where he says that The Beatles are his favorite group of all time and that they have been since he was a teenager. He even has books about them in addation to their albums. Bender Magazine online from 1991 has an interview with him and he says that Paul McCartney is a genuis and that The Beatles are the greatest band to ever walk the earth! He was also quoted in some other interviews online as saying that not loving The Beatles is like saying you don't love oxogen! I also want to say that when you said that on Beggars Banquet The Rolling Stones did rock and The Beatles White album is "pop" is not at all accurate! The Beatles white album has been rightfully called a *ROCK* album but a very diverse one at that as many have pointed out they wrote and played so *many* different styles of music on this album and did it so well.

And Paul's Helter Skelter has been called the first real heavy metal and or punk rock song,Yer Blues,Everybody's got Something To Hide Ecept For Me And My Monkey, Back In The USSR,Birthday,While My Guitar Gently Weeps etc are great *ROCK* songs! So they did plenty of great rock on this and many other records! Also I want to let you know that there is an excellent web site called,The Evolution of Paul McCartney's Bass Playing. And in it Stanley Clarke,Billy Sheehan,Will Lee,Sting all talk about what a great influential bass guitar player Paul has always been.The Rolling Stone Album Guide also calls Paul a remarkable bass player and they said George was always a fine guitarist. The Rolling Stone Album Guide also called John and Paul the two greatest song writers in rock. The All Music Guide also says The Beatles were the greatest and most innovative and that their melodic song craft was second to none. They also say that John and Paul were the two greatest singers in rock. Eric Clapton said in his 1991 Tour of Japan with George,that George is a fantastic slide guitar player.

I also have found 38 former Beatles haters on message boards and web sites who are now big Beatles fans! It's great that they saw passed their ignorance and became Beatles fans!

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 as I have mentioned 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.

Lindsey Eck <> (02.10.2005)

Criticizing this band for not being the first to do this and that is similar to criticizing Shakespeare for not being the first to do this and that. True, Shakespeare recycled plots and even dialog from earlier writers and plowed ground already broken by Marlowe and Kyd. Yet we regard him as the pinnacle of Elizabethan-Jacobean drama. Same with the Beatles. They benefited from being at the peak of a historical moment. This is generally true of artists who stand at the crest of an artistic movement: They are not the first to innovate, nor are they latecomers who are struggling to add something new to a corpus which already has mapped out most of the existing territory. Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper and others were revolutionary at the time in so many ways. Even the major figures in classical music in the States recognized this. Leonard Bernstein used the Beatles' exploration of modal music in a Young People's Concert t.v. broadcast to introduce the idea of the church modes to a mass audience, while Arthur Fiedler, conductor of the Boston Pops, enjoyed arranging Beatles tunes for string orchestra.

samo kodela <> (26.04.2006)

The Beatles!!! The masters of pop rock melody and really not much more. Except, that the lyrics got better with time and there was a bit of sound experimentation, which was mostly done by their producer!!! The Beatles were in my opinion, a band that was not, especially in their begining, a band, that would atract a mass of people and would also have quality at the same time. The lyrics were simple and quite nice, yeah and the melodies were fantastic, but the overall artistic quality was missing. Latter on in their existence, they had one or two songs on each album, that showed some maturity as far as lyrics writing goes and something like 'Across the universe' can even be called poetic. Still the instrumental passages were never much and all that experimentation was very reserved too. When George says, that The Beatles brought certain genres to the general public, I just can't agree!! If psychedelia had to be pulled back that much, to be accepted by the general public, then it's better not to do it. I mean what exactly is psychedelic in 'Lucy in the sky with diamonds'? A slightly altered keyboard sound? The echo on vocals? That's no psychedelia!!! Led Zeppelin on the other hand, did true psychedelic numbers like 'Dazed and confused' and was extremely sucsesfull with them!!!! I mean, the melody in 'Lucy' is great, but it's pop! Jimmy Page said that he was never much inspired as far as his own music goes, by The Beatles, but he still said they were great and that they did some fantastic statements!! He said on the other hand, he has obviously heard what they have done, because they were pumped through the media all the time. Led Zeppelin were never pumped by the media, yet they are the biggest rock band in the world.Allserious artists do like The Beatles, but artists like Led Zeppelin, that have real artistic value in terms of intrumental passages and fantastic lyrics, don't take them as much of an influence.George claims when he reviews Led Zeppelin, that they weren't original, yet in The Beatles review he admits, that The Beatles didn't invent anything new at all!! They just appropriated it! I agree with that. They just appropriated everything, by using it in a pop melody. Writing a good pop melody, is a thing, that is ofcourse very hard to do. But The Fab four did it!!! Still there were bands, that managed to write artistic non pop melodies and were also sucsesfull!!!Another thing is that their producer Goerge Martin, did so many things for them, which they couldn't posiblly pull through alone. When I read the Rolling stone review of Sgt. Peppper, that was by their idea, suppose to be the greatest rock album ever( such lists are ofcourse stupid and I don't like them, even if Led Zeppelin is and about half the review is about the album sleeve. I know that the sleeve is somewhat revolutionary, but it's the music that is important. It's just the same pop thing like always, with their producer playing with sounds a bit. I would rather like to see them sitting down a bit and actually learning to play their instruments a bit better.Also I would like to say, that Robert Plant always said, don't take the music buisness too seriously, so The Beatles were not the only one, who didn't think, that they are something so incredible, because they have written a song. Another problem with this band is variety.On too many albums, too many songs sound the same. Entire early albums are filled with similary sounding songs, that also have other similarities. Latter the sound experimentation saves them a bit, but not really that much. There is also quite some filler on their albums. The ones that are really great imidiately grab you, but the great ones are sometimes similar too. Zeppelin never had one single song, that would be similar too any other, and they did all the syles they did, really greatly. If I listen to a Beatles album, I don't even notice the individual styles that much, I would just say, they are all Beatles pop, with a touch of rock and roll and psychedelia latter on. When you rate the band at the end, George, you give very subjective remarks, such as, this is a band with John Lennon(yes, he is an overall important rock figure, but you should be more objective when gradind his band) and I already said earlier that both you and me agree they weren't very original, except for the great melodies and yet you give them a five for originality.As far as Betles songs being catchy, it's questionable, because many things can make songs catchy or uncatchy, not just the melodies.The diversity is also not that strong, because the songs are alot of times too similar.I would give The Beatles a weak B. I know we can't agree on this things, but I think I gave good arguments in my Zep reviews, while it seems to me you sometimes do write about The Beatles, from the standpoint of a Beatles fanatic and in the case of Zeppelin you are very biased!!!!

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (06.05.2006)

At the zenith of punk when I was 14 and at school, this French kid who was a year older than me waylaid me in the showers as I was getting changed.....he was pretty annoyed with me which was odd given that he was hardly a friend or an enemy - in fact I'd barely spoken to him ( I used to speak a bit with his brother who was really cool and three years older ). Just as I thought my time was coming, he fiercely laid into me about how rubbishy and one dimensional the Beatles were and how they couldn't diversify their music and as I wondered why it was me that he had chosen to berate ( the way he went on, you would have thought that I was the Beatles or responsible for them ! ) he went on to say that Led Zeppelin were a better band and that they knew how to change and stay fresh. About two years later, my uncle's girlfriend challenged me about my then musical tastes, told me I couldn't just like the Beatles ( I didn't just ) and tried to turn me on to 60s soul. Then a few months after that, an ex friend wrote to me to tell me to fuck off and added that the Beatles were passe and that punk, new wave, the Police, the Jam and Kate Bush were where it was at........I was only an ordinary teenager, not the flaming God of thunder !!! Why did friend and foe alike feel the need to impose their musical tastes on me ? As it happens, they were all quite right and as the years went by, I discovered much of what they had been talking about for myself. I'd actually forgotten their input until this morning. But here's a funny thing - 30 years after discovering the Beatles, I still love and listen to their music and get oodles out of it. There are zillions of other groups, artists and songs that I can say that about, too. But I think that the Beats are set to become to future generations the way Shakespeare is to mine - something terribly important, but in the past. And in that regard, I'm grateful that I lived in the time that I did and live in the time that I do. As an avid reader of books on popular music and it's related subjects ( of which there are loads ), and biographies, it is pretty difficult to find a book that does not refer to the Beatles in one way or another. Their influence is so broad to those that want to find out. They were both innovators and the channels of others' innovations to the masses, so much so that we take so much of their contribution for granted. The media played a huge part in their appropriation by the public at the start and the second most fascinating thing for me about them is this; they were just, when all is said and done, four ordinary blokes from the north of England ( two of whom initially regarded themselves as Irish ). I think they were so important because they were so ordinary and they showed that in such a class ridden society as Britain ( and by extension, everywhere else ), ordinary was valuable. As little George said, when they were awarded the MBE, " I thought you only got these for driving tanks and winning wars ". Ironically, the path they blazed has led to the creation of a separate celebrity class that has become almost everything they stood against in the first place. Mind you, we, the public, have to take some of the blame for that with our starstruck hero worship of fallible people who are, after all, hopelessly human.

Sometimes, it's hard to remember that they made music, such was their involvement in the changes that the Western world underwent in the 1960s. But it is that fantastic music that will still be around 400 years from now ( if there is a 400 years from now...), rather like all those paintings and poems and plays from the middle ages that we were forced to learn about. Interestingly, other, possibly, than Indian flavoured pop / rock { and even there, there were precedents, such as Joe Harriott and John Mayer's indo - jazz fusions } I can't think of any form of music that they actually " invented ", yet they had their fingers in almost every musical pie going in the decade of the 60s. Their great ability was to absorb what was in the winds and redefine it in a way that made sense musically and sounded attractive. When I say they didn't invent any form of music, that needs to be qualified somewhat. I have long found the Beatles to be the most idiosyncratic band / artists that I've ever come across, so much of their output was trying to copy someone else, but it just never seemed to coz they were so odd in their approach and so consequently, much of what they did came out sounding fresh and new. John Lennon referred to this as " our version of the chair...", an interesting analogy. He was saying that they didn't invent the chair, but neither did they make chairs like anyone else and once they'd made a set of chairs then they'd move on and create a new set of chairs, based on someone's design yet nothing like what it was based on. There are loads of examples in their canon, Rubber Soul's songs sound nothing like black mid sixties soul, yet that was a huge influence," Helter Skelter", "Revolution" and some of the White album rockers sound nothing any heavy rock I've heard, yet nascent heavy rock was in their wind at the time, "Obladi Oblada" is neither reggae nor ska though it's obviously influenced by the latter, "I am the walrus" is heavilly influenced by Whiter shade of pale, "You can't do that" is a take off of Wilson Picket, "Yer Blues" isn't really blues - the list is endless. But in covering so many styles they also made one sit up and take note of those genres and some of the artists in those fields so they helped lots of then obscure bands too. An amazing band. I don't know why their songs are so amazing, encompassing and enduring. It 's more than just being in the right place at the right time. It's more than the fact that they really worked hard. It's more than having a sympathetic producer. It's more than keeping things simple because they weren't great instrumentalists. It's more than the fact that they were creative. It's more than being melodically skilled.They had this ability to make songs out of anything ( look at 'all together now' ) and even stuff I can't stand like 'Revolution 9' has a musicality to it.

As Ian MacDonald has pointed out, in the end the Beats helped changed everything about the music business - except the business itself. Studio technique, films, fashion, subject matter, cover artwork, songwriting, interviewing, record labels, drugs - the list becomes boringly yet fascinatingly endless of the pies they had their fingers in. But when all is said and done, it's those inspirational songs that count and with a few exceptions I love them.

John DeMagus <> (20.06.2006)

I've been hesitating about submitting anything about the Beatles because ... well, what I have to say isn't likely to prove popular, and I have to begin, I think, by giving you a reason to discount my opinions if you choose to do so. So, the Beatles no longer SPEAK to me; Lennon does as a solo artist - in fact he's probably the closest thing I have to a hero - but the band doesn't. There are so many personal peculiarities involved in what we appreciate that no one can truly be objective about what makes for 'good' or 'bad', and in a sense a site like this with ratings and points for this or that, is futile: aesthetics is not, and never can be, a science, and ultimately we like what we like because we like it - it's just not susceptible to analysis. So, bear in mind when you read this that my opinion is certainly coloured by the fact that ('Revolver' aside) I never listen to the Beatles any more and their music in terms of everything except their influence - if any - on the bands I *do* listen to is irrelevant to me.

Here we go then. On the plus side the Beatles boasted in Lennon and McCartney possibly the greatest composers of popular song who have ever lived, and nearly everything they wrote between 1964 and 1967 is a classic. So far so good, but now come the 'buts'. The Beatles were popularisers *not* originators: they didn't invent beat music, they didn't invent psychedelia, they didn't invent rock, they didn't - in fact - invent *anything*; what they *did* do - and this is something for which we should be genuinely grateful - is to open up an audience for these things. They are not, moreover, masters at everything they touch (they should have left the blues well alone for a start. White men *can* sing the blues, but not these particular white men!), and their every attempt to move beyond the confines of the pop idiom is a disaster (much though I love him, Lennon is the biggest culprit here) resulting either in garbage or mere pastiche. As musicians they're fine (albeit not startling), as songwriters they're brilliant, as innovators they suck.

Greatest pop band ever? Probably, but sometimes you want some meat; you can't live on nothing but ice cream.

sakal <> (11.06.2006)

Well, where to begin? My qualifications for opening my mouth! I lived through Beatlemania right here in NW England. I am a pro musician.

Musicians mostly do not talk about who is "best". Music is not a sport. The "best" runner is the fastest runner, but music has too many angles. (I am referring to the "best bassist" controversy.)

Technique matters somewhat. Entwistle is a very good bassist from that angle, at least. Innovation matters too, and maybe you can count his famous solo as innovation. On the other hand, Jack Bruce can make a song just OUT of a bassline. Brian Wilson is super-melodic and developed a clever arrangement technique to make the bass a lead instrument in a different way. But other things also matter - especially timing, and how the whole rhythm section interracts. All things considered, Paul is a very good all-rounder, but why try to compare him with Dragonetti or Mingus? It has no meaning unless you see music as a competitive sport in which you and only you decide the criteria of "winning".

As for Ringo listen to George Martin: "Now they have drum-machines, but we had Ringo..... no recording ever broke down because of Ringo". OR P McC: "The best drummer in the world - really!" The man has fantastic timing and more. He is not Moon. He is not Bill Bruford. And those two are not Ringo.

The Beatles had a very good rhythm section, and that was not and could not be due to one or the other alone. In fact it is partly due to recording quality, and who did that? Was it George Martin, or Geoff Emerick the engineer? Or was it the Beatles themselves, demanding a stronger sound? Mostly I think the records are so solid just because of the sheer amount of playing they had done together. You cannot fake it and it is hard to get today when bands have fewer live opportunities, recording contracts come too soon and digital multi-tracking means you do not need to give 100% every time.

However I am glad to see John getting kudos for his remarkable playing such as on "All my Loving". Mind you, he may have had a few pills, but still.....

Why are the Beatles still rated so highly, apart from the above? First, historical significance. Second, songs. Third, voices. Fourth, versatility.

Again, the "who is better, Paul or John? Beatles or Stones?" stuff means nothing. For my eleventh birthday I asked;

"Money" by the Beatles (All My Loving EP) and "Money" by the Stones (The Rolling Stones EP) I would listen to one and then the other. I cannot remember ever trying to figure out which was "better", though. The Stones' has that murky, wild Stones sound. The Beatles had that cleaner, more solid Beatles sound.

One thing I can say, though - it was the SOUND of the Beatles, and especially Lennon's voice, that made me shiver. (Van Morrison and a few others could do that too). I remember that direct hit - getting up early one Sunday morning to make my parents tea, as I did, and there on the radio "Twist and Shout". It was like riding your bike really fast. I got that hit too, the first time I saw the Stones ("Not Fade Away") but a lot of that was from SEEING them.

However, when I heard "Twist and Shout" there WERE no Rolling Stones! Can you imagine that? There was also no "With the Beatles", let alone "Sergeant P". Try to understand, you younger folks. Get a "Greatest Hits of 1962" and try to understand how blechhh the charts were. No more rock'n'roll, Holly and Cochrane gone, skiffle dying. Just "Madison", Peter, Paul and Mary.... the best thing going was the British comedy records (George Martin again). Try to put yourself there, and then you will understand how the lights suddenly went on. People were repressed, just waiting to explode, and pop ("Beatlemania" is not an accidental term) gave them a reason. To go wild, scream, dance, escape this stifling claustrophobic time of McCarthy and the dying pre-war ethos. And you knew everybody was talking about the Beatles. Since then people have tried greater and greater excesses of volume and shock to try to recapture that momentous moment of music. But it cannot be done. The Beatles were liberation. They were a spiritual mass-hysterical phenomenon. They are the difference between then and now. Be glad you are "now", do not regret - that's like going to prison just for the euphoria of being released!

"Please Please Me" is the earliest example of Lennon's urgent, complaining voice and his dragging twist-beat - that developed through "You Can't Do That", "Ticket to Ride" to "She Said, She Said". It is what it is. It is not the wild thrash of "Can't Explain" or the thunderous riffing of "It's All Over Now" or the operatic drama of "It's Over" (- those also had not yet happened.) Do not compare. But when I look back at that first album, what was it that made those covers come alive? (and no, we did not get to hear most of the originals till later) It was;

a) That storming rhythm sound. That's not there on the Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly originals, while bands like the Yardbirds and The Hollies also did not come out sounding like that, though Joe Meek, Eddie Cochrane and Berry Gordy were getting there. These are great recordings.

b) Those voices.

c) They were English, the lyrics communicated to a lad like me who spent his school playtimes chanting;

"Yellow matter custard Green snot pie Dead man's giblets Black cat's eye.

Spread it on your bread Nice and thick And wash it down With a bucket of sick"

Well, I have jumped ahead! But "There's a Place" really shows that Lennon, from the earliest, sometimes tried to say something. Again, sometimes his lyrics were rubbish - just something to sing that sounded ok. Point is, he got across in a very immediate way. Other point is, apart from the line "there's a place where I can go", what earthly reason is there to compare this to "In My Room"? This is very, very superficial.

And the person who encouraged more of that lyrical self-expression? Not Bob Dylan, I do not think, so much as Pete Townshend. At first. And before that? Spike Milligan.

Lastly, songs. When you bought a Beatles single, pretty soon you discovered the other side was just as good! Two for the price of one. Do not underestimate that. We went around singing "Thankyou Girl" and "I'll Get You". Compare that with the competition's flip-sides and go figure.

And when it came to the albums - I think pretty soon pop-stars were queuing up for those records, waiting to be the first to get hold of the chart-toppers that the Beatles had not bothered with. "Do you Want to Know a Secret" by Billy J Kramer. "Michelle" by the Overlanders. "Obladi Oblada" by Marmalade - all hit no1. And then there was "I saw her standing there" and "All my Loving".

You know what you call that? Value for money. Simple as that. "No filler" as they say. Value for money made the Beatles. Same way it made the Stones first album top the UK charts for A YEAR!

Now thankyou all for listening. I hope you understand why you ought not to evaluate the "Please Please Me" album in terms of the rest of the Beatles' output, because none of those records, however superior in however many ways, could possibly mean as much to anybody who was growing up in the sixties. That record was a life-changer for me and all my friends. That's not a personal opinion, it is a stone-cold sociological fact.

Jimmy Cranston <> (12.09.2006)

I like The Beatles a lot! I always have since first seeing them on Ed Sullivan way back in 64 (I think) and would never try to minimize the affect they had on popular music. They were without question the most influential pop/rock group of all time which is amazing considering their comparitively short life as a group. However, no matter how much you love them, anyone who says Paul McCartney was the best bassist who lived either has to be a female who fell in love with his fawnlike expression, terminally tone deaf or ignorant beyond repair. I have nothing bad to say about Paul McCartney's bass playing or the musical abilities of any of the other three Beatles but to say they are/were the best musicians in the world has to be laughable. No unbiased professional musician (who would know better) could say something like that with a straight face. Just as an example there is no possible way on earth The Beatles, as a band, could have had the musical chops to perform live material written by any number of the progressive rock groups that came out of the seventies whereas many of those groups grew up playing The Beatles material in their basements or parent's garages. Almost any high school in any major city in America has musicians who are far more competent than any of the fab four ever were and the bar gets higher when speaking of music students in college or university.

The Beatles most amazing talents lay in their song writing prowess, personal desire to succeed, unique vocals/harmonies and natural charisma. They were cute, talented and looked like a lot of fun to be around. That charisma combined with their song writing abilities, great vocals and Brian Epstein's marketing genius sold them worldwide to an adoring teenage market in a way that had never been done. Lennon said it best when he said they were just a good little band that made it very very big.

The Fab Four were and are one of my favorite groups of all time but no one seems to realize that there are tens of thousands of great bands out there that you will NEVER EVER hear because they will NEVER EVER get a recording contract or be heard/accessable through the media. If the only music you know is from what's available on CD or through AMAZON.COM you're fishing in a tiny little pond.


Josh Fitzgerald <> (16.05.99)

I don't have this!!!!!!!!!!! The only Beatles album I've never heard!!!! I'll get it someday, just give me time!

Matt <> (05.08.99)

Their Debut album, and it shows. The thing that bugs me about Please Please Me, is all the songs sound similar. There are a handful of good-great songs, but there also are lots of average filler. "I Saw Here Standing There"- A great rocker to start off the album. "Misery"-really only noteworthy because of the great little piano part in it. "Anna (Go To Him)-I noticed that John sings it, "Anna, go with him" Anyone know the reason why? Other that that, an average song. "Chains"-I think of it as "Misery" with a harmonica instead of Piano. "Boys"-Great song. Jeez, Ringo doesn't really even sound much like himself in it. Lots of screamin' going on in the background of this one. "Ask Me Why"-Blah. Not very interesting at all. Silly little Pop song. "Please Please Me"- The title track. You can feel the energy in this one. One problem with it though, Ringo could have drummed on this one (use "I Saw Her Standing There" for evidence). "Love Me Do"- It's a good song, but it really shouldn't be. What do the words Love Me Do even mean? The Harmonica is what saves it. Without the harmonica, it would just drag. "P.S I Love You"-Average, but sounds really dated. And that drum part is so boring. "Baby It's You"-Boring cover. Actually even at this point, the lad's originals were for the most part better. The "One After 909" would have been a better choice, IMHO. "Do You Want To Know A Secret"-Good song, but George's voice is really weak at this point in time. He sounds much much better with backing vocals. "A Taste of Honey"-Everyone loves it, but I really don't like it. Although the drum sound is great. "There's A Place"-Always reminded me of The Beach Boy's "In My Room". Good Lyrics/song. "Twist And Shout"-The Definitive version of the song. And all captured on the first take, no less. All and all, I give it a 6. Buy it for "I Saw Her Standing There", "Please Please Me", "There's a Place", and "Twist And Shout". Tolerate and try to enjoy the rest. Jeez, this takes a while, how on earth do you do this with so many albums, George?

[Special author note: hey, did I really forget to mention 'Misery' in my review? I don't quite agree with Matt - it's a terrific song! Nothing short of a perfect melody, and how sing-along-ey! 'I've lost... her now... for sure... I won't - see her - no more...', that's what I call really catchy! And it's a hilarious song, though the lyrics are so pessimistic - one of the Beatles' first cute little paradoxes!]

Nickolay <> (27.12.99)

This is their first album so what can I say- full of "not-so-good songs" like "Ask me why", "Anna (Go to him)", and almost perfect songs- "Twist and Shout". But what can you demand from an albub which was recorded in 365 minutes (correct me if Im wrong). Sometimes they are out of harmonies, sometimes some of theyre musical lines are terrible, but anyway- anyone who likes the beatles is ought to have this one- it shows the style of the fab four in the beginig of their long way.

My favorite one is 'Misery' - a must die anyway, but have you ever heard a song about a broken love wich sounded that brightly.

Robert Tally <> (17.02.2000)

I like about half of this album. The best track? Well, does anything else from 1963 jump out of the speakers and knock you on your ass the way 'Twist and Shout' does? Also very much worthy of note is the harmonically bizarre 'There's a Place', and high pop of 'Please Please Me' and the solid rock of 'I Saw Her Standing There' and 'Boys.' Let's not overlook, also, two of John Lennon's best vocal performances on the album, 'Anna' and 'Baby, It's You', which are actually very similar to each other. Then there's the rest: the simple but harmless 'Love Me Do,' 'Do You Want To Know a Secret?' and 'Chains,' and the somewhat awkward-sounding 'Misery' and 'P.S. I Love You' and the downright cornball 'Ask Me Why' and 'A Taste Of Honey.' Overall, it's not a bad collection of early Beatles music, with very high points and some pretty low ones, too. They were to top it quite thoroughly with the next two albums.

Jeff Blehar <> (19.02.2000)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it was groundbreaking and all, but it's just not as strong as most of the rest of their work. The covers on this album are especially weak, the only two good ones being "Twist And Shout" (of course) and Ringo's take on "Boys" which I just love to death, for reasons unknown. Otherwise, the Lennon-McCartney (or is it McCartney-Lennon? For this album's credits it is!) songs are half 'n' half. The singles are unimpeachable - even if "Love Me Do" sounds super-primitive these days, I defy you to tell me it ain't one catchy piece of plastic - but the B-sides are weak, weak, weak. As is "Do You Want To Know A Secret?" which, at 1:57, manages to overstay its welcome by a good minute and a half. "I Saw Her Standing There?" Great. "Misery?" Underrated. "There's A Place?" THE BEST SONG ON THE ALBUM. Literally, nothing says so much about the early Beatles' potential to change the music world than this burst of music, with its unorthodox and urgent harmonies lashed onto a lyric which predates Brian Wilson's "In My Room" by a few months as the first truly self-obsessed song. 1:47 of The Real Thing, and it alone makes this album a necessary purchase. But still, let's be hard on these guys and rate them relative to their own future achievements and not other groups': 6/10.

Ben Greenstein <> (16.03.2000)

I'd give it a five. I HATE "Love Me Do," and most of the rest of the album isn't too special. Best songs are; "There's A Place," "Please Please Me," "Misery," and "PS I Love You." The rest costs too much.

Rich Bunnell <> (25.06.2000)

If you ask me, this should've been a really cool debut EP with all of the Lennon/Macca originals plus "Boys" and "Twist And Shout," because besides those two songs, the covers pretty much suck. There isn't a weak original in sight, however, and they all make this album worth owning-- "I Saw Her Standing There," "There's A Place," "Love Me Do"(yeah, yeah) and the title track are all miraculously infectious.

"Do You Want To Know A Secret" is a great song, but it's performed a bit weakly. I could've sworn there was a version where the guitar was more well-played, the backing vocals were more apparent, and the "o-waaahoooooo" after the "I'm in love with you" was more of a cheerful outburst than a quiet harmony. I guess my brain was deluded all of these years. Anyway, I'll go with a 7.

mjcarney <> (29.06.2000)

Of course this is there debut album, and therefore of course it is full of some pretty stupid songs, with some really dumb lyrics.  However, despite all of this, it is still a really strong effort.  It doesn't have anything near the best songs by them, and there are very few true Beatles classics. Although "Please Please Me", "Twist and Shout", and "I Saw Her Standing There" all rank as classics in and of themsleves.  The album just has a strong, vibrant atmosphere surrounding it.  "There Is A Place" despite its somewhat dumb lyrics, is a lost gem on the record.  It shows the beginnings of Lennon's further introspective writing, Paul also brings forth one his his classic melodies on another rather dumb song with "PS I Love You".  Lennon's written and Harrison sung "Do You Want to Know A Secret?" is incredibly enjoyable, even if the lyrics are laughable--and inspired by Disney's Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.  Almost all the songs here have the possibility to have been huge hits when they were released, and the Beatles--who recorded something like 9 or 10 of the albums 14 tracks in one day, sound vibrant, jovial and energetic.  The covers too shine, with the possible exceptions of "Boys" and "Chains" this album is a complete success. The rarely heard cover highlights here being  "Anna" and "Baby It's You." For some reason or another, maybe it is just the mood this album leaves me in or the large number of mistakes the Beatles made while making this record, this is one of my top 5 or 6 Beatle releases.  It isn't that the songs are that great (because they are not to be honest none would make my favorite 100 Beatles songs), it also isn't because the lyrics are good either (for the most part they are laughable), but the album has a free, underproduced feel which is extremely rare in a Beatles release (besides Let it be or the anthologies). Also, this is an album where you can put it on and not really have to think.  It is pure pop at its poppy best.  Fun, stupid and rewarding.  I would rate this a 9/10--it seems rather high, even to me, but it's been nearly 10 years since I bought this one and I probably listen to it more than 3/4ths of their releases, which says something to me anyway.  I would probably avoid buying this one first though, as it will therefore be unrewarding, save it until you are sure you enjoy the early Beatles sound.

Evan P Streb <> (16.07.2000)

Good chaps, those Beatles. Not the best band ever, but good. Please Please Me is the best Beatles album hands down, unless the Red Album counts. After this it was ALL downhill, what with all that "we all want to change the world" nonsense. Things were great for a couple more songs, like "I Should Have Known Better" and "Eight Days A Week", but as soon as that dang Paul started writing ballads about scrambled eggs and John started thinking about how much he liked Strawberry Fields, they felt they had "matured" and didn't have to be four happy moptops anymore. Still good though, but nowhere near as awesome as "I saw Her Standing There". It's FUN dammit!! And you can dance to it! And "Twist and Shout"?? "Misery"??? "There's A Place"??? Awwww man... Happy dancey pop music. And fun! That's the worst thing about the Beatles if ya ask me. They TOTALLY took the fun and danceability outta rock and roll and replaced it with "Turn off your mind relax and float downstream." Damn druggies. And when they tried to go "back to their roots" on the White Album it was a terrible mess! Ever tried to dance to "Helter Skelter"? Or "Yer Blues"? Nope. Doesn't work. Luckily by that time (1968) we had Sly and the Family Stone and later the godlike Funk Mob to dance to until the Ramones arrived so it was no big loss.

Eric B. <> (27.10.2000)

I tend to agree with you about this one, George...but many of the other comments (flames) are a bit too hard on the young virgin Beatles. Sure, some of the lyrics are silly and sound half-baked compared to the standard of later Lennon/McCartney tunes. But hell, it is 1963!! Just break out some Fabian or Ricky Nelson for a fair comparison... This stuff was super fresh in the context of the times...and it still sounds great. "I Saw Her Standing There" introduces the (soon to be famous) Fab modus operandi: the spirit of early rock 'n' roll, snappy rhythms, and those wonderful vocal harmonies. A good song, though hardly my favorite. Of the self penned numbers, "P.S. I Love You", "Do You Want to Know a Secret", and the title cut are my faves. I like the guitars on "Secret.." and "Please..." "Love Me Do" is fine too, complete with Paul's nervous vocals. "Misery" is ok. "There's a Place" and "Ask Me Why" don't possess the nice hooks of the others and thus are passable, but not memorable.

I don't have a problem with the number of fact the covers are what make this record really tasty. "Anna", "Chains" and "Boys" boom boom boom all in a row..these cuts are really infectious...I'm one of those folks who enjoy Ringo's songs and that's doubly true for "Boys", a raucous rocker...Ringo singing/shoutin' for all he's worth. Apparently, John Lennon is worth more judging by "Twist and Shout"'s a killer...break out the throat lozenges!!!!! John and crew just nail it....bullseye. An indispensable song, easily among their best ever performances. The other cover songs "Taste of Honey" and "Baby, It's You" are fine ballads...not great, but certainly enjoyable.

All in all a fine debut collection....the songwriting skills obviously develop quickly after this one...but you already hear the potential on Please Please Me. I think the infectious spirit and attitude generally make up for any deficiencies in the early originals.

No Beatles collection should be without this one...

Jon Hutzley <> (06.12.2000)

I just wanted to add that the thing that seems to have made The Beatles stick out from their contemporaries even as far back as 1963 was the diversity of their influences. They weren't a strictly blues-based band like the Stones or R &B-based band like The Who. This is not to say that those were bad things (indeed I love both those bands). However, from the outset, when you see them picking cover songs that range from Burt Bacharach to the Isley Brothers to Motown, their later ability to metamorphosize into supreme pop craftsmen on Rubber Soul, Revolver, the White Album, etc. doesn't seem as incongruous. The fact that they were able to do it and meld it with their own unique vision almost instantly made them the spokesmen for millions of music lovers. Although the tree on this album is but a sapling, its roots are long enough and spread over a large enough area that its all the more apparent that it could grow into a mighty oak.

Raghu Mani <> (28.12.2000)

Since I am not nearly as much of a Beatles fanatic as you are (though they are my favorite group), I am surprised that I rate this a lot higher than you do. No it isn't perfect but there are enough great moments on this to make this a high 7 (if I am being really generous, a low 8). There are a few weak moments - 'Anna' stinks, 'PS I love you' is mediocre as is 'Ask me Why'. However, the rest of the stuff is excellent and there are really great moments (the title track, 'Twist and Shout', 'Misery', 'There's a Place'). Definitely a 7. It's still the worst of their studio albums (not counting Yellow Submarine) - I'd give everything else at least an 8.

Morten Felgenhauer <> (04.01.2001)

8/10 for the energy and freshness. Highlights include "I saw her standing there", "Boys", "Please please me" & "Twist and shout". Session player Andy White plays drums on "Love me do" (Ringo plays on the single version found on Past Masters 1) and "PS I love you". The Beatles improve upon every cover song except for "Anna". That one was originally done by Arthur Alexander. Check him out. He also did "You better move on" (Stones) and "A shot of R'n'B".

Steve Hall <> (05.01.2001)

Yeh it sounds like a debut album and can't help from suffering comparison with the rest of The Beatles catalogue,but it's a damn good effort,very raw,exciting and a good number of original tunes at a time when very few artists wrote their own music.An important point is that generally the best songs are the ones they wrote(apart from 'Twist and Shout' which they didn't).Also George Martin allowed their character to come through rather than trying to get them to fit into a proven formula.Best songs are 'Please Please me','misery','I saw her standing there' and 'Twist and Shout'.I agree 6/10

I can't believe i've said all that and i think it's close to being their worst album.

Khizar Jamil <> (27.01.2001)

Where do I start? This is a superb debut album, considering the amount of time they had to record it (or most of it, rather). The album is filled with some superb classics such as "There's a Place" , "Anna (Go To Him)", "Please Please Me" and "Twist And Shout". The covers are pretty well performed, and seem to better the original versions easily. I recently heard the original version of 'Anna' by Arthur Alexander, and I was surprised at the power of the Beatles version compared to the original version which was recorded a year previously - John's voice is the highlight of that song. Another cover worth noting is "Baby It's You", another song which features raucous lead vocals by John. The title track was a superb choice to release as a single, though the American stereo version leaves a lot to be desired with it's really messy mistakes. Another song which I particularly like on the album is "Ask Me Why", I know it's been slaughtered many times, but I think it's a great little ditty with some very nice vocals, though the drumming is horrid. "Do You Want To Know A Secret" and "Misery" are two great original compositions by Lennon and McCartney, though my favourite track on the album without a doubt is "There's A Place", another original Beatles song. I love everything about this song, it's one of the most under-rated songs in the Beatles history, it's extremely catchy, has an amazing middle eight, and it's just a superb song. If there's one reason to buy this album it's "There's A Place". If there was one criticism about the album, then that would have to be the fact that most of the songs sound pretty similar to each other - this may be down to the fact that they recorded the album mostly 'live' so it was inevitable that the songs would sound the same. Overall I would rate this album 8/10.

Palash Ghosh <> (14.02.2001)

For those of us who grew up in the 1970's or 1980's (long after The Beatles disbanded), we generally tracked their history backwards, that is, we were first familiar with their stupendous later works and then retraced their evolution back to their humble beginnings. Please Please Me has always been one of my fave Beatles albums simply because of its raw energy, enthusiasm and vibrancy.

The clean-scrubbed smiling image on the LP cover was obviously a Brian Epstein-ploy, and fantastically successful. The Beatles (even back then) were far from being pure and innocent. And it's a shame, however, that we don't really have any definitive albums which depicted the rough grittiness of their performances at the Cavern Club or Hamburg. Thus, their studio output lacked some of the 'vigor' of their club performances.

Anyway, this album is still a charmer.

Among the well-known originals, Paul's infectious and exciting "I Saw Her Standing There" is as good as it gets -- even now, nearly 40 years later, when it comes on the radio I crank it up.

John's "Please Please Me" is equally wonderful, I especially like his very nasal, vaguely out-of-tune voice.

"Love Me Do" is a little tiresome by now, but as The Beatles first-ever single, it's of monumental historical importance.

I think the B-sides to the first two singles, "Ask Me Why" and "PS I love you" are highly underrated. These are the works of two teenaged boys, musically untrained and unsophisticated, but they already show an extraordinary natural grasp for melody and harmony.

"There's a Place" is an early bit of melancholic introspection from a very young John Lennon (long before he even heard of Bob Dylan!). And while "Do You Want To Know A Secret" is widely panned, I think it's a gem (George's nasal voice notwithstanding), and that descending 'doo-dah-doo' still sounds good.

As for the covers, well I've always been mystified by some of these selections. Were these mostly songs that the British public were unfamiliar with? Were they simply The Beatles favorite stage numbers? I like "Anna," "Baby it's you" and "Twist and shout" alot, but the others are forgettable. Why on earth would they sing a song praising "Boys"???

Didier Dumonteil <> (18.03.2001)

It's often mooted that the interregnum Elvis and co/Beatles was rubbish.Totally untrue:there were Roy Orbison,Del Shannon,Dion DiMucci,and the royal Spector productions.

So we can wonder why IT happened in 1962:England had never had a smash abroad except for the Tornadoes' "telstar".At the time even Edith Piaf could enter the UK charts.So,English war children,nurtured by American plankton,longing to blow away obsolete rules ,the victorian legacy.And a fact has to be underlined :the abolishment of the English conscription,this conscription,that,in my country will finish only next year in 2002.What about Russia?In France,it killed almost every attempt to build a French rock.

John Lennon told us so;"I would have been drafted,then Paul,it would have been the end of the Beatles!" No Beatles,one shudders to think....Their first album is good for 1962.We need a little hindsight to realize this album's qualities.For it already contain the seeds of what will come after,that is to say the greatest popular musical adventure of the last (!) century.They dare sing their own material and it's sometimes stunning "Isaw her standing there""ask me why" "PS i love you" and "there's a place" that outdoes the Beach Boys' "in my room"The covers are not mediocre as it's considered polite to say:"twist and shout" is the primal scream avant l'heure and ""Baby it's you" compares favourably to the Shirelles ' original (I wonder how many people have heard this version,if you find a Shirelles compilation,don't think twice,George et al,it's high pop!)Sure,there are weak tracks like "boys" unsuitable to a male singer and the mushy "a taste of honey" .But remember:with this record,begins the greatest rock story ever told.

Eric Rogozin <> (07.03.2001)

It was some of the revolution in music. By the way, great debut. It was recorded in 14 hours and the fact, that The Beatles made such an outstanding album in 14 hours only shows the greatness of The Beatles. Two singles were before, but it doesn't change the matter. Album begins with "I Saw Her Standing There" - cool song, isn't it? The Beatles claimed to come with it. "Misery" follows "I Saw Her Standing There" - another cool song with George Martin on piano and cheerful lyrics about broken love. Well, I don't wanna write about every song from this album, but I wanna mark, that mentioned two songs, "Ask Me Why", "P.S.I Love You", "Do You Want To Know A Secret?" and especially my favourite "A Taste Of Honey" are awesome!

Chris Papadopoulos <> (28.03.2001)

Why oh why did the boys (George Martin?) include so many crappy covers when they had "Too Much Monkey Business" and "Hippy Hippy Shake", to name but two, in their arsenal? In fact, the BBC sessions are full of R&B tunes that would have improved this debut no end. I suppose they were trying to showcase their versatility? I smell a rat with the initials PM.

Still, they do cover 'Twist and Shout' better than anyone, and 'I Saw Her Standing There' and the title track in particular are A1 originals.

Victor Prose <> (29.08.2001)

You're a bit too hard on this one, even if you did give it an eleven. "Ask Me Why" is a definite misstep lyrically, and the covers of "Chains" and "Boys" are ill-placed, but a good number of (dated, but fun)pieces on the album are quite admirable, including the obvious--"I Saw Her Standing There", "Please Please Me", and the lesser "Love Me Do"; and the overlooked--the unexpectedly eclectic "A Taste of Honey", the excellent covers "Twist and Shout" (okay, that wasn't so unexpected after all) and "Anna", and "Do You Want to Know a Secret?", which is enjoyable, catchy and nice--my candidate for second-best. A B+, or an 8 on the 1-10 scale.--VP

Glenn Wiener <> (04.11.2001)

This collection of songs was pretty good for the time it was released. However, the Beatels would go on to write better songs and harmonize much better on later releases. 'I Saw Her Standing There' is a great song with a super guitar solo and tons of energy. 'Twist And Shout' is another emotional energetic piece with John Lennon giving it his all. I also like 'Do You Want To Know A Secret'? I guess I am a mark for Mr. Harrison. Gosh Darnit he should have been giving more opportunity to showcase his talents.

Most of the other songs are pretty good. However as a whole they do not make a statement or anything. They merely are good rock n roll of the day. Somewhat catchy, a little bit fun but these guys would do so much better in a few years with such releases as Yesterday And Today, Abbey Road, White Album, Rubber Soul, etc. None the less, it certainly has its merits.

Joe H <> (01.12.2001)

Good album. Good, but not great. The originals on here are outstanding though! "Love Me Do" (i dont care what anyone says, this is a fantastic song), "I Saw Her Standing There", "Theres A Place", "Please Please Me", "PS I Love You", "Do You Want To Know A Secret" all i love very dearly! Actually "Ask Me Why" is the only original Lennon/Mccartney composition that is merely only pretty good. "Twist And Shout" is an amazing cover too. Man that song has more energy then any crappy metal song. The other covers are mostly mediocre, but pretty good. I used to dislike "A Taste Of Honey", but its grown on me. "Baby Its You" is quite good actually. Overall i give it a 8/10.

Ryan Maffei <> (05.02.2002)

I dont seems you're a bit hard on this one. When people want to cite a weak Beatles album, they usually turn to the merseybeat era (if they don't ignore it completely); In actuality, the band was always churning out good stuff, it just wasn't always so innovative. While maybe not the best early record (that distinction goes to A Hard Day's Night in my mind), Please Please Me is one of the most well-crafted pop records of its day, and it's certainly the most rip-roaringly fun the Beatles ever got. Dismissive fans will turn to "I Am the Walrus" and not notice that it requires an adequate amount of artistic comprehension to take in; anyone will put on "I Saw Her Standing There" and smile with glee at its simplistic but immediate, irrepressible enjoyability. An 8.

Brian Sittinger <> (30.08.2002)

It goes a long way to say that this is the 'worst' proper Beatles studio album, when it still sounds so good. And, it's the debut! The energy is definitely there. For me, there are too many covers, although none of them I can call bad. After a while, they blend together. Well, except "Twist and Shout". The few Lennon/McCartney songs are decent enough, perhaps due to their naivete, and would definitely be a taste for what's to come: 8(11).

Ben Kramer <> (02.09.2002)

Yep, agree with you here. Not a classic, and not among The Beatles' best, but still damn good. Though, it is certainly different than The Beach Boy albums from this time, not to mention better. The Beach Boys were a commercial group ;while these guys were just having fun in the studio. When I listen to this, I certainly feel that careless and fun atmosphere. That is why this is better than most bubble gum pop out there. I mean, were The Monkees doing something like 'Twist And Shout'? Don't think so. And when the Beach Boys did their blues covers (Like 'Summertime Blues'), they end up sounding so corny and simplistic. The Beatles wanted their music to be interesting from the start. And even if it isn't their best effort, there are certainly a few classics on here. 'Twist And Shout' is one of my favorite early Beatle songs, and my favorite on the album. I still love 'Please Please Me' and 'I Saw Her Standing There' though, and they are classics, even if they don't compare with the material The Fab Four would be doing in 3 years. Then there are two songs that I can't help smiling at when I hear. The first is 'Love Me Do'. You're right on those lyrics. Dylan could have learned a thing or two from this song. The second is 'Do You Want To Know A Secret'. George sounds so unsure of himself that it makes From Genesis To Revelation sound like Abbey Road. It is funny to listen to, but in a good way. The Beatles were entertainers, and those two songs, as stupid as they are, entertain me, so they get the job done. An 11, and a high one. It is really necessary from a historical prospective, but it has enough quality music to be recommendable.

Bob Josef <> (03.09.2002)

Just coming out of nowhere with a totally original sound. It really sounds like nothing else from 1963, and that's why it was a monster in Britain. It does tend to be a bit overlooked by American fans, because it was ignored here upon its initial release in altered form as Introducing the Beatles and then in '64 as The Early Beatles. Still, there are plenty of timeless numbers here -- half the album did make it on to American singles in '64, and "Twist and Shout" even made the top 40 in the 80's when it was included in the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

I hadn't played the complete album in a while, and I really noticed this time how much John's vocal was influenced by black soul music -- "Anna," "Twist and Shout," "Baby, It's You." I also find "Ask Me Why" to be a bit awkward, but I'm willing to cut songs like these a bit of slack -- it was 1963, after all. Still, I've always found it my favorite of all of these to be "There's A Place" -- strangely introspective for the time. But it was deleted from the American album (along with "Misery") for some reason, so it wasn't heard that often until the CD era. The first example of record company bungling of the Beatles' catalog. Speaking of which, I do have problems with this CD reissue, but I'll get to that..

David Dickson <> (16.01.2003)

This album is completely brilliant on one hand and completely lightweight on the other. "I Saw Her Standing There," "Misery," "Please Please Me," "Love Me Do," "Do You Want to Know a Secret," and "There's a Place" are all fantastic originals, and the awesome covers of "Chains," "Anna," "Boys," and "Twist and Shout" rock. Everything else seems a little bland, but who's complaining? This is fifties-style R &B pop at its finest. Unfortunately, that may not be saying much. The songs are too short, and they're in too much of a hurry, dangit. It shows that they recorded it all in one day. Still, it's an impressive debut. What's even more impressive is that it stayed at #1 for seven months straight.

<> (22.02.2003)

I have this image of four guys coming into a serious recording studio for the first time, nearly. And it seems so big. When I hear them do "Chains" the sound seems small..restrained, like they haven't really gotten used to things yet. Of course, this perception is colored by the knowledge of everything that was to come later. Besides, at the end, with "Twist And Shout" they blew everything away and took over. Papadopoulos is right about the choice of covers in light of what we know about the BBC sessions. Imagine "Hippy Hippy Shake" in place of "A Taste of Honey" or "Youngblood" instead of "Chains." They fought to a draw with Arthur Alexander's original version of "Anna," but John would surpass his "Soldier Of Love." Of the originals, "Misery" has the quality of a slight put on, sort of like the more obvious laffer "Maggie May." John's trying to sound a bit too cute on "Ask Me Why." (He wouldn't after that.) "Love Me Do" never did that much for me, while "There's A Place" has gotten a lot of critical praise and I don't know why...Paul was straining a bit on the high notes. Still leaves a lot of good stuff. "I Saw Her Standing There" is a strong opener (I think it's the first Beatle song I ever heard, coming over the radio in 1964.) "Boys" was Ringo's best vocal until, say, "With A Little Help From My Friends." George is great on "Boys" as well. "Please Please Me" has those great stops and starts on guitars which add a lot of dynamics to the surging vocals while on "P.S. I Love You" Paul's vocal is calm and expansive at the same time. Even "A Taste of Honey" gets redeemed by that jazzy rhythm change in the middle. And "Twist And Shout" blows 'em all away. An 8/13.

Amanda Kenyon <> (15.05.2004)

This is seriously one of my favorite Beatles albums. If you catch me at the right time, it IS my favorite. It's so damn much FUN! Way more fun than anything that came after it, if you ask me. The title track and "Misery" are the standouts in this category - both pretending to be sad but with such exuberant vocals and arrangements that you just don't believe it. The bridge of "Please Please Me" is especially fantastic, with the clever "complainin'/rain in" rhyme. "I Saw Her Standing There" is such lovely innocent smut, sharing bookend duties with the even greater "Twist and Shout" (I really don't understand the people who prefer the Isley Brothers' version of this song). The whole darn album just makes me want to get up and dance, and that's something you can't say about any other Beatles album.

Jason Saenz <> (08.07.2004)

All I have to say is that the betles were real pioneers, extending themselves commercially in not that much virgin music territory, but this album just sucks.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (15.12.2005)

Not so much with modern [say, post 1980] music, but certainly with albums from the 1960s[and to a lesser degree the 70s],I think one has to hear them in the context of the times in which they were created because otherwise they'll be judged from IMHO an unrealistic point of view - especially by those too young to have been around at the time. And in that context Please please me is really the album that sets the musical revolution of the 60s rolling.Not because it's brilliant [it isn't - though it it is good],not because it's particularly innovative[it isn't] but simply because it's the Beatles first and among the many things they gave to popular music was the notion that albums counted. They even worked hard on the weak tracks here and credit must be given to George Martin because he had the sense to try and cash in on the success of the first 2 singles but insisted on a quality cash in and in effect encouraged Lennon McCartney to write and write some more !The fact that all this was not apparent at the time is irrelevant, it's significance was that a ball was set rolling which has never really stopped.As for the songs themselves, they are delivered with such enthusiasm that their shortcomings can be happilly glossed over ! This was 1963 ......It's by no means the best debut album ever[ I can think of loads better] but it all started here.....

<> (27.02.2006)

Ask me why is a good song better than boys, and on the next one hold me tight is good but ask me why is better,not blue


Ben Greenstein <> (02.09.99)

First of all, "Till There Was You" was not by the Miracles, it was part of the musical "The Music Man." "You Really Got A Hold On Me" was performed by Smokey Robinson AND THE Miracles, which should explain a lot. Or not.

Anyway, I'm not too fond of this album. The covers are mostly great, but most of the originals are just too simple for me. Can you believe that the lyrics to "All My Loving" were originally written as a poem? Now THAT's bad poetry. And I still feel that as enjoyable as "Not A Second Time" is, it still leaves something to be desired. The only original that I really like is, interestingly enough, the one that you forgot to mention - "It Won't Be Long," which is one of the best tunes that the group EVER did. Awesome song. And I don't think that "Hold Me Tight" is weak at all - in fact, as simple as it is, it's my second favourite original on here. I love the melody to "being here alone tonight with you" and then the reprise of the "feels so right" intro - so cool!

I'd rate the album pretty low, for a Beatles one - a seven or so - and only that high because of the awesome Motown covers. But I really like those two originals! Very good. And a good sighn of what was to come on the next album, right?

[Special author note: well, I guess that 'hold me tight, tonight, tonight, it's you - you-you-you-ooh-ooh' is better poetry than 'close your eyes and I'll kiss you/ Tomorrow I'll miss you'. But how the crap could I know? 'Hold Me Tight' must probably be one of the most complex songs they ever did...]

Simon Hearn <> (11.09.99)

I disagree with a previous comment by Ben G. I think this is one of their best albums. It displays a happy period in their career and it contains some classy covers and originals. 'It won't be long' is terrific, as is 'all I've got to do'. But 'All my loving' is just pure genius - well, we are talking macca here! The tune is of historic importance of course because of its infamous Ed Sullivan Show appearance - watch the anthology - fantastic outtake.

I think the covers are good - particularly 'roll over Beethoven' and 'money' - cavern faves no doubt. One bad track on here - 'I wanna be your man' - terrible tune. Sorry john and paul!!!

Nickolay <> (27.12.99)

If you ask me this album is just another Please please me, just bettered a bit but still listen to it and The Beatles for sale and see the difference. One that is really awfull is "All Ive got to do"- too complicated, and still it sounds terrific (I hate it and it is a rare thing). Also "Hold me tight"- another "not-so-good"- espessialy the vocals- I bet that dogs barking and howling in the background would be a perfect addition. And 'Little child'- an energetic song, but TOO simple. 'Money' is one of the real jewels of this album- but in reality it is just another "Twist and Shout"

If youre not a die hard fan of the Beatles- avoid at all costs (IF you are- just go and get it)

<> (06.02.2000)

The cover alone shattered the old stoic principle that 60s rock acts had to be good boys.Just take a good look at the faces,soon to be burned into our concience.

This record was Americas 3 doses of Bayer asperin.What this country needed to heal an awful headache that started in Dallas Texas.The music was joy,love,and youthfullness,something that we might have never gotten back without this record.

Sidenote....The Parlephone version of the LP was released on November 22,1963 in England.....A Coincidence?

Robert Tally <> (17.02.2000)

If I were to pick the best early Beatles album solely on the crispness of their playing, this would be it. However, in an overall context, I think A Hard Day's Night edges this one out by a slight margin. The best song? There's a lot of competition, but I'll go with 'You Really Got A Hold On Me,' with it's incomparable Lennon vocal and top-notch arrangement, not to mention a pretty cool harmony from Harrison. Close on the heals of that song would be 'Money' - a hard rock song before there was such a thing. And what a voice! Next would be more or less a tie between the powerful pop of 'It Won't Be Long,' the cool soul of 'All I've Got To Do,' the clever and hook-filled 'All My Loving,' and the dark and murky 'Don't Bother Me,' (which, incidentally, was almost a miracle, since George couldn't come up with a better song until 'Taxman'). Also worthy of note is the angry Lennon number, 'Not A Second Time,' which suffers only from a rather dated-sounding piano solo. There's also 'Please Mr. Postman,' with yet another great Lennon vocal, and 'Roll Over Beethoven,' which stomps along with great spirit. The rest of the songs I would put in a lesser category, but they're all better than the worst songs on the first album. 'Little Child' is an upbeat, but overly simple tune. The same can be said about 'I Wanna Be Your Man,' which pales in comparison to the Stones' raw and raunchy rendition. "Hold Me Tight' shows some promise, but seems to drag down under its own weight towards the end. 'Devil In Her Heart' is an impeccably performed number which nevertheless fails to distinguish itself. And, of course, there's 'Till There Was You,' another cornball standard that redeems itself with some very attraction acoustic guitar playing.

And that album cover! Was there anything cooler prior to this?

I would like to add two points of disagreement. I definately think Chuck Berry was a self-assured performer. Also, I know I mentioned this before, but nobody, including The Beach Boys, has ever topped the Beatles' vocal harmonies. Complex and better are not synonyms. (Don't get me wrong, though - I'm very impressed with quite a lot of The Beach Boys' harmonies, particularly on 'Good Vibrations.')

Jeff Blehar <> (19.02.2000)

For me With The Beatles is a HUGE improvement over Please Please Me, and their best album to mix covers and originals. (But NOT their best early disc. Read ahead...) The trick here is that by and large, the covers are better than the originals. Two exceptions, of course, and those are "All My Loving" (duh) and "It Won't Be Long" which just blows me away with its energy every time I hear it. It's little more than a rewrite of the contemporary single "She Loves You," complete with "yeah yeahs," but it's a BETTER rewrite. One of my favorite early Beatles songs, hands down. The covers are what sparkle here, though; "Please Mr. Postman" is as wall-of-sound as the Fabs ever got before Phil Spector went and screwed up Get Back/Let It Be, and "You Really Got A Hold On Me" is subtle, yearning, and has a tighter-than-hell Lennon vocal. It's as good as the Miracles' version, which is saying an enormous amount, since almost nobody beats Smokey Robinson at his own games. "Till There Was You" is a high-class cover that works, unlike "A Taste Of Honey" from the last LP, but the brass ring goes to "Money," of course. Was Lennon being subversive in those last lines of the song? "I WANNA BE FREE!!" All in all, this is a well-paced LP with some undeniable filler ("All I've Got To Do" - sorry, never dug it much - "Little Child," "Devil In Her Heart") but hell, it's BEATLES filler! Why it's practically nutritious! I'll give it an 8/10. But that's a mighty high 8.

Rich Bunnell <> (25.06.2000)

Kind of dull if you ask me, at least for the Beatles. I could only give it around a high 6 or a low 7(which still translates into a pretty high grade on the Beatles scale). The overall mood is very samey, and besides the cover of "Money," I haven't heard a single one of these songs before in my life. Even "All My Loving," a supposed radio classic which I really don't think sounds any different from the other songs in quality at all. HOWEVER...It's still Beatles, which pretty much means it's consistent basically the whole way through despite the sameness. I really like "It Won't Be Long" and "Don't Bother Me," though. I like the latter a lot because it's a Harrison song, and no matter what people say, I really think that he was a stronger songwriter (and cooler singer) than even Lennon or Macca. Yeah, you heard me.

mjcarney <> (29.06.2000)

This one has always been a rather strange record for me.  I have never fully enjoyed it and I can't seem to understand why. Many of the originals are far better than those on Please Please Me.  "All I've Gotta Do"  is my personal favorite on the record.  They do a great self--penned Motownish number here, which is surprisingly complex.  "Till There Was You"--another highlight from the Music Man although this cover was most likely inspired by the Miracles--is incredibly beautiful, the guitar solo is one of my personal favorites, although really this isn't rock and roll at all, it works really well.  The infectous rocker--poppy opener "It won't be long" with their famous Yeah Yeah yeah line, works despite the fact that the Beatles are already repeating the earlier formula of "She Loves You". "Not A Second Time" is great--nothing else really to say, "I Wanna Be Your Man" in its true Beatleesque way it was supposed to sound rather than the more R&B although somewhat charming Rolling Stones Version is good (featuring a strong vocal by Ringo) and of course "All My Loving" are great, fun and are truly better than anything on Please Please Me.  My problem with this record though is the rest.  "Money" although honored with a tremendous Lennon screech is too repetitive in sound of the superior "Twist and Shout", "Roll Over Beethoven" has in my opinion a really annoying vocal by George--I just simply hate it and it isn't the song, it is the voice for some odd reason I can't explain it.  "Don't Bother Me" is dancy but pales following the first three strong tracks--although a good start by George.  "Little Child" is alright, nothing special, and it is much weaker than the songs on their first release. "Hold Me Tight" is rudimentary, and well annoying.  Finally no review of this album could be complete without mentioning the awful cover of "Devil in Her Heart", which sounds almost as if the Beatles themselves become bored while recording it.  It is a strange record in that there is some far superior material on this(even a few classics!) than Please Please Me, it is better produced, has a much cooler cover, shows some progression in their songwriting, yet I still feel this album is missing something.  The poor songs on this album probably account for much of this, but maybe it is also because the improvements made on the good songs on this record are nowhere near the rapid change, growth and improvements the Beatles will make between all of their other albums.  Therefore, due to this I would give it a (low) 6/10.     

<> (17.08.2000)

This album, their second, simply amazes me. Not only was their debut album fantastic (but, cearly, not their best) they then follow up with this album. The cover, a very stark turnaround from the bubbly smiling lads on the cover of Please Please Me, tells us we're in for something new from these four guys. I think With the Beatles was the album where they let everyone know they weren't just going to be some one album, one hit wonder. For starters, this album had NO singles taken from it - which is unheard of even today. Look at Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, half the songs on the album were singles - where's the challenge? This album went gold before it was released and no one had heard a single track from it! Oh - and about 'Hold Me Tight', you said it sounded like it belonged on Please Please Me - well, it was recorded for the PPM sessions, and not used. It was rerecorded for the With the Beatles album. Even though the lyrics are a little on the "cheezy" side, its' still one of my favorite songs on the album.

Eric B. <> (27.10.2000)

I actually prefer Please Please Me to this, their 2nd record. These two records are actually pretty close in quality.."Twist and Shout" and the other covers are (I think) better on Please Please Me. Having said that, the self penned numbers on With the Beatles are marginally better. The record starts out quite well with three good to great originals. "It Won't Be Long" starts matters off with a cannon shot of call and response shouts and a bag full of "yeah yeah yeahs"...a good energetic opener. The next two are great.."All I've Got to Do" and "All My Loving" show development and more sophistication than earlier numbers like "Love Me Do" and "Ask Me Why". "All My Loving" also features a nice little guitar break in the middle. George's "Don't Bother Me " is a decent debut for him. "Little Child", a harmonica laden original satisfies one a certain level, but is a drop off is quality from the first three numbers. "Till There Was You" is a pleasant enough cover ballad with fine vocals from Paul. For some reason I've never really got into "Please Mister Postman" ok cover, but I much prefer the original version. The same can be said of "Roll Over Beethoven" , a good rocker...there's no topping Chuck B.'s...still it's better than "Postman". Skipping ahead to really effective covers "You Really Got a Hold On Me" and "Money" ....the Beatles score big on both of these, especially on "Hold Me..", where the vocals really shine...nice piano too. Given my affection for Ringo sung songs, It's hard to resist "I Wanna Be Your Man"...a more than competent rocker, with a nice guitar turn by George and someone (John?) abusing an organ...a nice touch. "Not a Second Time" on the other hand, could use a little least favorite cut on the record. "Hold Me Tight", which I skipped over earlier, is better... with decent harmonies to recommend it, if not much more.

A good collection overall, featuring some true winners ...

Raghu Mani <> (28.12.2000)

This was the second Beatles album I ever heard and it was the album that made me a big Beatles fan (the first was the white album and it took me a while before I got to like that one). It still sounds as fresh as when I heard it. I agree with you that 'Hold me Tight' is the weakest track but it still is a good deal stronger than the weak tracks on Please Please Me. I'd give it an 8.

Morten Felgenhauer <> (05.01.2001)

8/10 - It's very much like Please Please Me, but some growth can be traced in their original compositions. The covers are not necessary better than their origins (Berry and Robinson especially). My favourites include "It Won't Be Long", "All I've Got To Do", "All My Loving" and "Till There Was You". Let me also take this opportunity to laugh at their pathetic version of "I Wanna Be Your Man". I can't believe they released that one after hearing the vastly superior Stones version, which was released first (note the chord change in the verses, Brian's slide solo and Bill's incredible bass runs). Even die-hard fans have to admit that this is true. Come on! Back me up on this one. I've had some frustrationg discussions with that "rare" breed of people who seems to prefer the fab four to the Rolling ones. Let's not discuss both groups go on "Money", though...

Steve Hall <> (05.01.2001)

Is this an improvement on Please please me?Well the album just about is,but where the improvement is really seen during this period is with their singles(in Britain),previously we had "Love me do" and "Please please me" with "From me to you" bridging the two albums,but now we have "She loves you" and "I want to hold your hand" (and the B side "This boy") 2 of the finest pop singles ever released.

The original material on the album also improves slightly with "It won't be long","All my loving" and "Not a second time" the best originals and "Roll over beethoven" and "Please mister postman" the best covers,i can't believe i agree again, 7/10.

Palash Ghosh <> (14.02.2001)

Before the advent of CD's, I must say I preferred the mongrelized US version of this album (Meet The Beatles) simply because it included the spectacular "I want to hold your hand" and "This boy" in place of the woeful "Devil in her heart" and "Not a second time."

That aside, this is a terrific record! The standouts are "All my loving" (perhaps Paul's first true classic composition, and I just love those things John does on rhythm guitar here that I could never replicate) and John's highly underrated "All I've Got To Do."

"Hold me tight" is actually a pretty good song, but here it suffers from a poor and sloppy arrangement. They might've been better off running through it slowly –- the version on the record ruins and obscures a decent melody. Although I usually dislike covers, this album contained four wonderful covers: "Till There was you" (George's acoustic solo is unforgettable); "Money" (John already showed he was miles above Paul in his ability to sing a demanding rocker); "Please Mr. Postman" (which, if you pay attention, has some marvelous vocal harmonies from Paul and George); and "You Really Got A Hold On Me" (featuring an amazingly sensual vocal performance from John). But John should've sung "Roll Over Beethoven," it was rightfully his! Granted they wanted to give George some scraps to keep him happy, but Mr. Harrison's voice is just too weak to handle this great rocker. He sounds like he's struggling to get all the lyrics in! And his guitar solos just mimics the original from Chuck Berry, there's no 'interpretation' here.

Kirill V. Nurski <> (11.03.2001)

I don't quite agree with you when you call "You Really Got A Hold On Me" "a brilliant piece of editing and arranging". It has three really obvious edits - at 0:14, 0:26 and 1:38. The first two are especially noticeable - hi-hat sound changes drastically at 0:14 and switches back at 0:26. In fact, this is kind of characteristic of all The Beatles' early Parlophone recordings. Such things as poor edits, double tracking errors, messed-up lyrics and squeaky pedal on Ringo's bass drum are very common.

Didier Dumonteil <> (18.03.2001)

The Beatles career never looks back.Here the songwriting goes from stregth to strength."All my loving" stands as a promise that will be fulfilled to a fault.Hear how the Who have stolen the melody for "the kids are allright"I've always thought they (the Who) were outrageously overrated.."All I've got to do' has John's nasal vocal and "not a second time"was probably his strongest track back then."Please mr postman' is to me superior to the Marvelettes' version-A group far less interesting than the fab five:Ronettes,Crystals,Shirelles,Chantels and the incredibly ghoulish Shangri-las-"Money" is along with "rock and roll music " and "bad boy" John's apex as far as the covers are concerned.It even cuts the Stones 'version."Don't bother me" is a feeble debut for George.His first good work will happen on help.Almost 40 years later,this production retains a inimitable freshness.

Eric Rogozin <> (07.03.2001)

Yes, I agree with you: it's a major improvement over the first one (of course, not that the first one was bad, but the second is a brilliant album). Fascinating cover -"Till There Was You" - shows all the beauty of Paul's voice and George's guitar. "All My Loving" is a classic Beatles song, this song was the first overall recognition of Paul as a composer. Another contribution from Paul - "Hold Me Tight" - is rather decent too. George's "Don't Bother Me" is one of the best songs on this album and George-sung "Roll Over Beethoven" is excellent! Truly, contribution from George here is colossal. He also sings "Devil In Her Heart". But the major star of a disc remains to be Lennon: his "It won't be long", "All I've Got To Do" and "Not A Second Time" are wonderful and I really really enjoy "Please Mr.Postman". And not to forget Ringo: he sings "I Wanna Be Your Man" with a big passion. Only "Little Child" is some kind of filler, not that this song is bad itself, but it might be better. Anyway, gorgeous album!

Joe H <> (01.12.2001)

Definatly a improvement over the debut. These songs are amazing! Even has the first George Harrison composition (by the way, George Harrison died yesterday. :( RIP George, we'll miss you). And its good! Really just outstanding pop tunes all over this one. I especially love "It Wont Be Long", "All I Gotta Do", "All My Loving", the "Till There Was You" cover, and the "Money" cover, but really, this is great stuff. The covers are better then the debut. A 9/10.

Ryan Maffei <> (05.02.2002)

Because of that damn untouchable aura that this band acquired through making Rubber Soul and Sgt. Pepper, few dare to recognize a weak Beatles album save Yellow Submarine, which doesn't even count as an official record...I'd bring up With the Beatles as the band's worst, with too many meaningless covers and redundant "I love you, etc." originals to rise above mediocrity. "It Won't Be Long" is an excellent cut, and there are some others, but all that resonates in my memory is the "Roll Over Beethoven" cover (is my opinion damaged by my exposure to the ELO version?), which proves in my mind that brits shouldn't touch Chuck Berry, EVER. A medium-level 6.

Ben Kramer <> (15.04.2002)

A bunch of stupid pop if you ask me. Yet, I find myself drawn to stupid pop once in a while, and that's where the first 4/5 Beatle albums come in. There is a major problem with the album in that all of the originals are the same damn thing. Well, not exactly, but if I didn't have the liner notes, I don't think I'd be able to tell some of them apart. That only docks a couple points from the album's rating though. Other then that, all the songs are really catchy (Then again, The Beatles could make anything catchy and everything they've done is catchy. I've found myself singing " Number Nine, number nine, number nine..." in the shower before). I really like the cover of 'Till There Was You'. Paul sings it really passionately. The upbeat stuff is cool too though. For example, 'Roll Over Beethoven' has more energy than the Berry version and John ends the album perfectly with 'Money (That's What I Want)'. I don't like it nearly as much as I like 'Twist And Shout', but the raw vocals are still there.

I do have one little problem with something in your review however. When you describe 'Hold Me Tight', you make it seem like The Beatles' lyrics have grown tremendously over the last few months and that Paul was simply lagging behind. I personally can see a slight improvement (well, you can't do worse then 'Love Me Do' and 'Do You Want To Know A Secret'), but I can't really see a big difference in the lyrical quality.

Anyways, I give the album an 11, one point less than you, because the album simply does nothing for me. It is fun, but I don't see an improvement over the first album. Once again, it sounds like four guys in a recording studio having the time of their lives covering their idols and trying to match them. It is still a good album though, but it is flawed.

Brian Sittinger <> (30.08.2002)

Way better! And, this is just their second album. It just merely expands on the 'pop guitar' sound from the debut with more inspiring covers like "Till There Was You" (beautiful acoustic guitar!). The group compostions start gaining sophistication already ("All My Loving", "I Wanna Be Your Man"). The songs do blend together a bit though: 9(12).

Bob Josef <> (03.09.2002)

Oddly enough, I prefer most of the covers on the first album to those here. Maybe it's because Capitol extracted them and put them on its slipshod Second Album (which really wasn't, of course). The major exception is "Money" -- John's fiercest vocal yet. And it totally blows away the Stones' chaotic, murky version. But it's the originals that make the album. In only a few months, the three band composers already sound more self-confident, melodic, and, well, smoother. I can't think another way to describe it. And they are so much fun! Even as a small child, I would have rather heard an original than a cover -- I couldn't describe it then, but I somehow knew that "Devil in Her Heart," say, wasn't as good as "All My Loving." Again, Capitol deleted the covers (except for "Till There Was You," evidently to attract some old fogies) and substituted "I Saw Her Standing There," "This Boy" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" on Meet the Beatles, which biased Americans heavily towards the originals from the beginning.

I have a big argument with the way EMI has marketed these early albums. Some think the Beatles' albums are like the canon of the Bible and shouldn't be tampered with, but I don't buy it -- in the CD age, a half-hour long mono album is a rip-off. Furthermore, the mono mastering sucks -- too trebly. That might have sounded fine on AM radio in 1964, but not now. I always have to crank up the bass when I play these. What EMI should do is what they've done with most of the Beach Boys' catalog -- 1) remix into stereo. There were some good stereo remixes on the American LP's (for instance, "There's A. Place" and "Misery" were released in stereo on Rarities, and they sound great); and, 2) put two LP's on one CD, with the singles as bonus tracks. You could easily get these first two albums and the first nine tracks from Past Masters CD on one disc. Add historical commentary and track-by-track analysis by Beatles expert Mark Lewinsohn (who knows as much about them as David Leaf does about the Beach Boys), and you've got a great product. But maybe EMI wouldn't make as much money this way. Heaven forbid!

<> (21.02.2003)

Meet The Beatles was the first rock LP I ever owned...I was in fifth grade and up to the I really didn't know what rock'n'roll was. Talk about your life changing with a record...everything I thought about music changed then. With The Beatles sounds simplistic compared with the Beatles' mighty accomplishments to follow, but there's an awful lot of great stuff going on here. Only one subpar number IMHO, which would be the Meredith Wilson-penned "Til There Was You." I believe that was the only time the Beatles covered Broadway, and it's just too corny. Even then, George puts in a good slightly jazzy solo. "Hold Me Tight" I like a lot. It sounds like John and George are both playing rhythm parts that lock and really give the song drive. Good production, and that's one of the things that improves on Please Please Me, the way Martin and the boys got such a big (for 1963) sound out of a four-piece guitar band. Another example of this is on two of the Motown covers, "Please Mr. Postman" and "You've Really Got A Hold On Me." I like the way they engineered the drums, with those slightly reverbed fills Ringo puts in when the other instruments pause or between verses. "All I've Got To Do" has that rhythm John probably got from Arthur Alexander records (remember "Anna" and "Soldier Of Love"), and why don't more bands use this, like the Bo Diddley beat is used. George has tasty little bits on this, with the deep twang of "It Won't Be Long" and the break on "All My Loving." Very economical but creative within the short times given. Really his one misstep comes on the Berry tune, where he only tries to replicate Berry's riffs. John's vocals rule from start to finish. The energy he released on "Twist and Shout" really runs through everything he does here. Forget the simple "boy-girl" words (that was the standard in those days) and just ride with the exuberance of John's shouting on "It Won't Be Long" "Little Child" "Not A Second Time" (double-tracked! boasted the US liner notes) and ending up with "Money" which absolutely shut down the Motown original. I would love to have been in the Motown offices when Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson first heard this. (Who ARE these guys...they're from England?! Shee-it!) I can't give it the highest rating because of what was to come, but I'll say a 9/14 then.

Amanda Kenyon <> (15.05.2004)

Blech. This one is probably my least favorite of the Beatles catalogue. It's boring! With the exceptions of "Don't Bother Me" (George always said this one was crap, but I heartily disagree), "Please Mr. Postman," "Money" (these are damn good covers) and "Not a Second Time," there's really not a whole lot can be said about it other than it's BORING. I never believed that could be said about the Beatles, but it's true of this one. It's the only record I don't actually own, because I'm so damn stingy and don't really want to spend the money on something this BORING even though it's the Beatles who are my favorite band in the world. So you see that's really saying something.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (21.08.2006)

As obvious as this statement sounds, the big difference between this album and the debut can be summed up in one word: confidence. There still is an infectious enthusiasm pervading the sessions but put yourself in the position of a group of young people who were ploughing a furrow that no one had really trodden in England {they weren't in contact with Americans at this point}, in the face of six years opposition and being told to get a 'proper job' and you'd be enthusiastic too. A recording studio was still a mythical place to the Beats~but this time around, they'd recorded a few No.1 singles, and were seeing crowds up and down England either really digging their gigs or swooning all over the place; before the papers cottoned onto and named Beatlemania, it had been gathering pace and when you add to this the fact that George Martin had shown he was prepared to go with their instincts, this gave them confidence. Few of the songs are actually outstanding, but what they are is confident. I mean, some of them are re~recorded coz they didn't like the way they turned out which shows a certain critical eye cast over their own work {mind you, they weren't happy with a few songs like THE ONE AFTER 909 and I'LL FOLLOW THE SUN which didn't get re~done until some years later}. Until the RUBBER SOUL LP, Beatle sessions were pretty quick, done in 3 hour blocks {10am~1pm,2.30pm~5.30pm and 7pm~10pm} so the songs aren't crafted in the studio the way they went on to be. But this was 1963 and it is really is pointless trying to judge anything about this album by todays standards. There is a whole universe of stuff that we so take for granted and so often refuse to see what things were like before. Loads of people have derided the Beats as a load of overrated wankers that can't be criticised but that isn't so. One of the reasons that the Beatles are held in such almost godly esteem is precisely because of the way the business was structured when they first appeared and how, by not just playing along, they helped change things and more importantly, forced the door open for others, some more innovative, some less so, to make their mark and stake their claim in the ground. But factually there is no British group that was doing what the Beats did in 1963 and that is why their first two albums cannot be surpassed. Personally I dig everything they did more than the first two but if I put on my '63 head, it's easy to see why they galvanised British youth and the music scene. Fact is, they wrote good songs and such was their influence through this album {YOU REALLY GOT A HOLD ON ME, PLEASE MR POSTMAN, MONEY} and press interviews that many people were turned onto the stuff coming out of Tamla Motown. Crazy as it may seem now, Black artists were at best a novelty in early 60s Britain and the Beats' endorsement helped to change that. Of course, this album is not about Blacks and Motown, and for the first time in their lives, the Beatles are writing with an album in mind. They didn't disappoint. John's is the dominant voice in the songwriting stakes, turning in four of the songs {for me, the gorgeous NOT A SECOND TIME being the standout} and co~writing one out of the eight originals. Interestingly, in my view, Paul and George turn in the better songs. ALL MY LOVING wasn't a poem set to music but it was the first time Paul had written the lyrics without a tune. John later said he wished he had written it as it was a "damn good piece of work". He's right. For 1963 it's musically groundbreaking. HOLD ME TIGHT is groundbreaking too, though it's a bit of a crud song {I do like it though}. It's lyrics are like those of SHE LOVES YOU frighteningly daring and original~in context. For four young English lads to be openly singing about having sex {"making love to only you"} was little short of blasphemous in '63. Though loads of sexual innuendo and code words existed in the rock'n'roll they'd been playing for years, it was from America and none of the phrases about slippin' and slidin', working and steaming, shaking, rattling and rolling, short fat Fannies and long tall Sallys were then part of the English vernacular. So most of the time, rock was condemned coz of it's noise and the dances the kids did to it, not the lyrical content. So saying it upfront was daring and yet, it was never picked up on, even though the prevailing thought was that you didn't even talk about such things. Now, it's considered weird if you don't talk about it ! George's DON'T BOTHER ME is a hidden gem; so exalted were John and Paul that one tended to relegate George to at best a bit part pretender, no matter what he did. His song is one of the first to apparently say one thing, but mean something else and it was a while before John or Paul began writing this kind of song. Loads of books on the band and their music say that George was stuck in a Lennon {and to a lesser extent McCartney} copyist role but the evidence doesn't bear this out. The Beats had a real problem recording this song and in the end it sounds like nothing they'd yet come up with, often the case with Harrisongs. His vocals on ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN and the retitled DEVIL IN HER HEART {originally 'his heart' coz it was done by a Black girl group} are very Liverpudlian while not being particularly good. Unique though. I WANNA BE YOUR MAN was sort of written for the Stones whose manager had done some publicist work for the Beats. A song begun by Paul, it was intended for the album but was in an unfinished state when the two chief Beatles ran into Mick, Keith and Brian and happened to mention that they had a song, which they played and the Stones liked it so John and Paul went into a room and finished it off and gave it to the Stones who released it as a single and helped the evolution of heavy metal as a result {IMO}. John, always jealous of the perception of the Stones as bad boy rebel revolutionaries and of Mick in particular, whom he knew was just a good middle class fruit in reality, often took sly opportunities to have a pop at the Stones {and in particular Mick}, in song {AND YOUR BIRD CAN SING, DIG A PONY} and in interviews and he always boasted that it was through the Beatles that the Stones started writing songs {Keith puts it down to Andrew Oldham} and I WANNA BE YOUR MAN was his frame of reference. He also thought the song was crap, saying that the Beatles weren't going to give the Stones a good song. I think the Beatles version, with Ringo singing away is a hoot, and brilliant at that. I'm left wondering exactly what did they need to finish off for the Stones coz there's not exactly much there n'est pas ? Still.......I think TILL THERE WAS YOU highlights one of the reasons the Beats bridged the generation gap, they were varied and remember, there was no 'rock scene' in '63, there was the showbusiness circuit. That is what they came into and were the crucial foot in the door that eventually led to the creation of a rock scene. It's a damn good song and has one of the most influential places in history; I'm continually amazed just how many cats saw their epoch making performance on the Ed Sullivan show in Feb'64 and formed bands or got into rock as a serious thing as a result, thousands of significant and not so significant figures from the 60s and 70s. And this show tune was played then, also at their royal command performance in England when John took the mick out of the upper classes by telling them to rattle their jewelry {before the show, he was threatening to tell them to 'rattle their fucking jewelry'} to the last song. That was the event actually that endeared the wider British public to the Beatles. Fast on the heels of that was WITH THE BEATLES, the first truly groundbreaking British pop album. I was going to really go to town on Capitol's cannibalism of this and other pre~Pepper Beatle LPs coz I hate the fact that the American public didn't get the albums as the band intended them and in many ways they did a bit of a con job on the Americans {for example, marketing their version of RUBBER SOUL as the Beatles' folk rock album~which it wasn't~ or leaving three of John's psychedelic thrillers off the REVOLVER album}. But then, I read Railguitar's 2003 post and his memories of the way MEET THE BEATLES changed his musical headspace put the reins on me. As a side note, a Black session drummer called Bernard 'Pretty' Purdie {his motto was 'an ugly drummer makes ugly music !'} gained himself some serious notoriety in the 80s or early 90s by saying that he played the drums on 21 of the Beats' early releases in the US. His story is that Brian Epstein flew the tapes out to America to be "straightened up" in a way that would be acceptable for the American market coz Ringo's timing was wrong and he was paid for his silence by Epstein. He also claims to have done likewise on tracks by the Animals and the Stones. When Ringo was asked about it, he called it a load of shit and said that everyone expected him to come out and fight it "but you don't bother to fight that shit". To be honest, the groups' lack of instrumental prowess in the early days is of no importance coz the way they put together songs that confounded many established rules of 'knowing' musicologists was in itself mighty prowess. Dylan was sufficiently motivated to consider going electric once he'd heard their '63 output....


Ben Greenstein <> (27.08.99)

No, no, no. This is a ten! I love this album. There's less silliness on the last two - the only songs that rhyme "you" with "truw" and "blue" are McCartney's. ANd he only wrote three of them!

Which brings me to another point: This is really Lennon's album. To think that, out of thirteen songs, he wrote ten of them - pretty impressive. And his songwriting has developed, too! "If I Fell" is a gorgeous song, "Anytime At All" is a musically clever rewrite of "It Won't Be Long," "You Can't Do That" has that funky, pumping riff, and "I'll Be Back" is the first of his really bitter songs. I think I'd give the album a PERFECT score, since you allow more than one ten.

Rich Bunnell <> (31.12.99)

I echo Ben. This album rules! Some of the most simplistic-sounding pop of the '60s, and YET every single last song on the album manages to kick! This could quite possibly be the greatest "pure pop" album ever, filled with loads of poppy love songs YET surpassing almost every other album in the genre to attempt such a thing before or since. "I Should Have Known Better," the title track, and "Can't Buy Me Love" are of course the classics, but so is everything else on here! A ten.

Robert Tally <> (17.02.2000)

Yeah, this one's a real treat. The Beatles sum up on one album everything that made them so incredibly appealing in 1964. Needless to say, this album is way ahead of everything else from that period. The best song? How about 'A Hard Day's Night'? I think this was the best song they had done up to this point and way ahead of its time. It sure has a lot of competition, though. 'I'll Be Back' is perhaps the most striking tune on the album, with its moody chord changes and strong Lennon vocal. 'I Should Have Known Better' and 'I'm Happy Just To Dance With You' are simply two of the catchiest songs anybody has ever come up with. And, of course, there's the quintessential angry Lennon number, 'You Can't Do That,' which may have been the best song they had yet done until 'A Hard Day's Night' came along. These are my favorites, but I also have a great respect for the sophistication and craftsmanship behind 'And I Love Her' and 'If I Fell.' Otherwise, I never feel like listening to them. 'Tell Me Why' is a rollick. There's also two songs which perhaps aren't great compositions, but rock really well: 'Any Time At All' and "When I Get Home.' I'm not overwhelmed by 'Can't Buy Me Love,' but it has a good, strong vocal from McCartney and a sloppy, but effective, guitar solo. Perhaps its best effect is in reminding me of that scene in the film - you know the one. 'Things We Said Today' tends to pale in comparison to the rest of this album, but it's still a pretty strong song. Then there's 'I'll Cry Instead,' which I think suffers only in being somewhat one- dimensional. Otherwise, the lyrics are sophisticated (at a time when most Beatles lyrics weren't) and the tune is decent enough. The historical importance of this song is its most crucial feature, since it serves as a signpost to the next album, the whole next faze of the Beatles' artistic development, and ultimately, to Rubber Soul.

I'll add a couple of comments about the American soundtrack album on United Artists. The instrumentals by The George Martin Orchestra haven't dated well at all. His version of 'A Hard Day's Night' is downright humorous without trying to be. And I think 'Ringo's Theme (This Boy)' was vastly overrated at the time. And of purely trivial value: if you haven't noticed, 'I'll Cry Instead' has an extra verse on that album. This extra verse doesn't appear on any other release (except bootlegs, of course).

Jeff Blehar <> (19.02.2000)

Egads. This is perfect. What is there to say? Lennon and McCartney write all the songs on an album (for the first and last time) and it's an unqualified masterpiece. I mean, sure, there are some songs that are better than others, but nothing is BAD at all, really. Not even weak! And that includes "When I Get Home" - hey, I always loved that one! What audacity, to throw in a line like "I'm gonna love you 'til the cows come home" next to big words like "trivialities!" I dig! You know the big songs from here (title track, "Can't Buy Me Love," "And I Love Her," possibly "If I Fell," which you have no right to not know if you don't), and for a good reason, but it's the lesser-known ones which blow me over, like the Lennon roar "Any Time At All" or "You Can't Do That." What's more, while this is squarely Lennon's album (he wrote 10 of the songs as opposed to McCartney's three, although those three are all classics), each comes up with one song which points to their future maturity as songwriters. McCartney comes up with the striking, moody "Things We Said Today," which is a first in its emphasis on dark minor keys, while Lennon gets the best song on the album, the shimmering acoustic/electric "I'll Be Back." Look, I can't really explain why this song is so great. Three part harmonies? That's part. Two different middle eights? That's part. Unorthodox structure? Yeah, yeah, all that, but listen to it; there's something there, an impending growth, that's hard to get across in a description. Anyway, THIS album is the final word on the early Beatles. Everything you need to know about why they were the best ever during this period can be explain in these 13 tracks and 30-odd minutes. A perfect 10/10.

Ryan Mulligan <> (17.05.2000)

Ok...I was wrong about every Beatles album having at least one bad song, because I recently picked this one up. Of course, nothing is extraordinary here, but I do believe this to be the greatest pure pop album ever. 13 good songs. I agree that "Can't Buy Me Love" is the best track, but "I Should Have Known Better" and the title track are right up there. You're also right about how instantly memorable "You Can't Do That" is. I agree with the 8, because that's as high as a pure pop album should go, but that would make me drop the rating for Beatles For Sale and Help!, because this is their best prior to Rubber Soul! Oh yeah, the movie doesn't really do much for me, but I guess it's alright(John carries it).

<> (12.12.2000)

I picked up A Hard Days Night at a used CD shop and didn't listen to it very often. After I read you're review I put it on and it is AWESOME. Every song is great (my favorite is 'Any Time At All'). This is definitely a must have album.

Raghu Mani <> (28.12.2000)

This is a 9! I always feel that people rate the early Beatles albums a trifle low because they want to save the high grades for the later experimental/serious/<whatever> stuff. While I love that stuff, I think that one shoudn't sell their early stuff short. The Beatles were a great pop band and this is pop at its finest.

Morten Felgenhauer <> (05.01.2001)

9/10 - I've got nothing to add that hasn't already been said. My favourites: title track, 'If I Fell', 'And I Love Her', 'Can't Buy Me Love', 'Anytime At All', 'Things We Said Today', 'You Can't Do That' and 'I'll Be Back'. Hey! Looks like I mentioned 8 of 13 songs...well, it's very good, ain't it?

Steve Hall <> (08.01.2001)

This is the pinnacle of the Beatles pre-Rubber Soul career.There are no covers and Lennon/Macartney hit the peak of their early "pop" career before becoming more contemporary.The singles('Can't buy me love'/'Hard days night') are strong of course,but there are many other stand out tracks including "I should have known better" "And i love her" "Any time at all" "I'll be back".Hey but what happened to Ringo's moment on vocals?Incidentally this is also the most Lennon dominated album in the Beatles catalogue 8/10.

Palash Ghosh <> (14.02.2001)

Simply a spectacular record! Pure English pop at its zenith! My favorites are the title track(that opening chord still gives me the chills); "I Should Have Known Better" (a raucous, joyful number featuring John's inventive harmonica); If I Fell (a gorgeous, brooding John Lennon melody that for some reason has been somewhat overlooked, it should be regarded as an all-time classic love ballad); "And I Love Her" (Paul's lovely and startlingly sophisticated melody and George's magnificent Spanish guitar); "Things We Said Today" (a strange and unusual love song from Paul with dark minor chords all over the place) and "I'll Be Back" (a lovely and grim tune which probably should've been on the Beatles for Sale LP).

All in all, this record perfectly captured the vibrancy of the earlier Beatles and the growing sophistication of the Lennon-McCartney songwriting machine.

My only gripe with this record is that John was burdened with having to write too many songs, while Paul only delivered three. Most of the remaining songs were penned by Lennon and, while they're all decent tunes, none of them match the quality of the aforementioned titles.

Didier Dumonteil <> (17.03.2001)

THe first great Beatles album,the one by which they go down in history.Because they were leaders,an historical force.When you see historic chronicles about our century,they're the only name in pop that has a niche with the likes of Einstein,Hitchcock,Churchill,De Gaulle,Eisenstein,Kennedy.Most all these songs,mainly on side one,are classics for eternity."If I fell" ,to name but one,predates  an unheard of feast.

Eric Rogozin <> (07.03.2001)

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!

Joe H <> (01.12.2001)

Outstanding, amazing record! I can completely understand why anyone would give this a 10, cuz this is definatly worthy! An album of strictly just Lennon/Mccartney compositions!?!?!? No cover songs!??! How can this album possibly be less than brilliant? And brilliant it is. "If I Fell" especially melts my heart. I wish all ballads could be as beautiful as that. Definate 9/10!

Bob Josef <> (28.01.2002)

Well, I can't add too much more to anyone's superlatives. By far the best of the first four Beatles albums (although if the American release Meet the Beatles, with only one cover tune, had been legit, it would have been close). With the most unusual chord changes of any 1964 pop songs, the Lennon-McCartney originals her just rule. My personal faves: the title track, "Can't Buy Me Love", "Tell Me Why" and especially "Anytime At All" are really energetic rockers; "And I Love Her" is the first ballad from McCartney that sounds really affecting as opposed to cloying; and the unusual structure of "Things I Said Today" even caused my seven year old ears to perk up whenever it showed up on the Beatles' cartoon show. :))

And in retrospect, "You Can't Do That" and "I'll Cry Instead" really depict the dichotomy in John Lennon. The lyrics of the former sound really quite sexist today, but John reall WAS as nastily possesive of his women during this period (by his own admission) as the lyrics indicate, so that's legit. And he could be as bitter and vulnerable as the character in "I'll Cry Instead," too. This stuff isn't quite a shallow as some people would think.

My gripe was the album is the way EMI has presented it (as well as the first two and the fourth).

Ryan Maffei <> (05.02.2002)

By far the most impressive early album. The "redundant original" thing is abound, and there's little artistic merit or emotion here (but then again, it was 1964), but I like the Beatles' redundant originals over the redundant covers (as With the Beatles revealed to me through its middling selection of tunes). C'mon, for those of you who don't like the early stuff, "A Hard Day's Night", "And I Love Her", and the entire second side of tunes are pretty hard for me to argue with, more mature as pieces of songwriting and more enjoyable than what could have been the third Beatles record: The Beatles Play/Butcher the Goffin/King Songbook (or was this released in the US by Capitol?). An exceptionally high 9.

Brian Sittinger <> (30.08.2002)

Heck, sometimes it's even harder to say anything productive about such classic albums. More divesity, by adding latin styling ("And I Love Her") and acoustic guitars (instead of predominant electric). Most of the rockers bash away at breakneck speed. IN the end, only "When I Get Home" approaches bad'(for a Beatles song) because of the 'ooh aah's' popping out of nowhere. Still, a 9(14) ain't too shabby.

Ben Kramer <> (02.09.2002)

Well, the first two albums are certainly fun, as are the next two, but this one blows them all away. Maybe it isn't one of the greatest albums I've ever heard (Though it isn't that far off.), though when it comes to the most fun album I have ever heard, I think this is it. Furthermore, it is one of the most melodic albums I have ever heard. It ranks right up there with Village Green and Zenyatta Mondatta. Those have a slightly higher level of maturity, but I can't get over how fun it is to listen to this album and sing along with these amazing songs. Nothing is bad, and overall, it just sounds so happy and uplifting. I'd give it a 13 rather than a 14 because other than provide 30 minutes of fun, this doesn't do much else for me. Still, John and Paul have grown as song writers. And, 'Things We Said Today' is the first atmospheric song The Beatles have ever done. It paves the way for other McCartney classics. John may have lead the early days, but after Rubber Soul, Paul dominated. Anyway, great album, and if you don't have it, get it. And who ever writes off early Beatle albums because they were the stupid 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' band, you obviously haven't had a serious listen to this album.

Glenn Wiener <> (28.10.2002)

Good but a little bit too much of Lennon. The best thing I like about the Beatles is when they all make contributions to an album like on Revolver, Abbey Road, and White Album. Lennon must sing about nine or ten songs. Not that I am a Paul McCartney fan, but its actually a welcome change of pace when one of his three songs comes on the recording. I guess that I am big on balance. Pretty good effort though.

<> (30.01.2003)

I'm the 7 year old son of  Jackie. I think this is a really good band except I think that Hard Day's Night is the best. "If I fell" is the outstanding song on Hard Day's Night. Also I like "And I Love Her". I feel excited when I hear this album. I think John Lennon's voice is the best of them all. It's a lot more secure, a lot more funner. I like "Tell Me Why" but I don't think it's the best. I just like it. I think "Hard Day's Night" the song really rocks. It also has one of the best covers of them all. The Beatles look cool.

<> (09.03.2003)

So it's 1964 and the AM radio is full of Beatles tunes. And just when I thought there was no way they could top "She Loves You" I heard "I Should Have Known Better" on the radio (by then they were playing Beatles album cuts not just singles, such was the demand). To this day it's still one of my very favorite Beatles tunes. John's vocal is such a joy, absolutely exhilarating. And then the chorus where George lays those beautiful chords under where John sings "that's when I tell you that I love you...." and later that short solo with the 12 string Rickenbacker. I love the sound of that guitar.

Most of the songs have moments like that, too many to list. Note especially the middle eights, like the way the guitars goose the rhythm up a notch in "Tell Me Why" or the way Paul enters "Hard Day's Night" or that part in "And I Love Her" where the guitar chords up front while Paul sings "a love like ours..."

I learned playing guitar (after a fashion) playing along with records, and the break in "Can't Buy Me Love" is a fun one. I admire the way George can take a melody and play off it to construct a guitar solo and bring things around to where the vocals come back. To be sure he had great melodies to play off of, which is why he isn't just running through the blues scale over and over.

I agree that this was the culmination of the early Beatles albums. And it was the first of the "10s" in my book. 10/15.

Amanda Kenyon <> (15.05.2004)

I inherited the original American vinyl release from my dad, and for a long long time I didn't realize there was another one out there. Whoops. I'm damn glad I eventually found it though! The only really weak tracks are "I'll Cry Instead" and "When I Get Home." And I just love the versions of "I'll Be Back" that are on the Anthology - so hard to believe that it started life as a waltz. As for "Things We Said Today," I never can figure out whether that song is supposed to be reassuring or menacing. The lyrics and melody are at such cross purposes, it makes you wonder what things they're saying today, anyway. Death threats?

<> (13.09.2005)

The guitar solo in "You can't do that" on A Hard Day's Night was actually played by John. Read "Beatlesongs". I forgot the author, but in it, John says he played the solo

<> (27.02.2006)

a hard days night is a straight 15 i love 'anytime at all', 'happy just to dance with you' and 'if i fell', i just love it, all of it no blue.


Gustavo Rodriguez <> (12.04.99)

Even more underrated than Let it Be.

They have not hit their true peak, and it seems like a step backwards after Hard Day's Night (which is better than silly pop) because of the return of cover songs, but that is all deceptive because this album contains some of the Beatles darkest material. "I'm a Loser", "Baby's in Black", "No Reply", "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" are in many ways coy responses to the pressure the Beatles were under. They seem to be putting less originals on this album not out of exhaustion (the Beatles had original songs to spare) but out of spite. The demand and appetite for their music had to be overwhelming and at times overbearing. Or maybe the covers were used to purify their intentions and to remain connected to their roots.

Nevertheless, the covers are great too. "Kansas City" rocks and they do Buddy Holly's "Words of Love" beautifully as well as the famous version of Berry's "Rock N Roll Music." I even like "Mr. Moonlight" Don't bother me a bit.

I only wish "Every Little Thing" was a little longer. This is an intriguing album form their early period I like to return to often.

Josh Fitzgerald <> (15.08.99)

Well, I think the main reason people don't like this is because of the over pop sound. Does that make sense? Probably not. But, anyway, A pretty decent album."No Reply" is darn near the perfect song! It's melody is unbeatable, and is really one of their harder edged early songs. "What You're Doing" is average, but Ringo's drumming is cool. "Words Of Love" is gorgeous, though I've never heard the original.There really isn't too much to say about this , except it's just fun.

my rating-8

Rich Bunnell <> (24.08.99)

Yeah, this is under-rated. I mean, right now it just sounds like a collection of similar-sounding pop songs and a few covers of songs everyone knows by heart ("Rock And Roll Music," "Words Of Love") but in 1964, this was really some cool stuff. "Eight Days A Week" is the major classic despite the fact that it doesn't really innovate at all (oh, who cares) and the two opening tracks both contain outstanding vocal hooks.

In fact, it's weird-- see, I currently don't know the Beatles' albums by heart, but I really don't need to! I've heard at least half of the songs on this album on the radio! Of course, when it comes to Sgt. Peppers, it's ALL of the songs which I've heard on the radio, but I'll review that later. This album gets an 8 or maybe even a 9, but I guess I'll stick with the 8.

Simon Hearn <> (07.09.99)

Why does this record constantly get hammered? It is great, as is all beatles stuff. 8 days a week. 'I'll follow the sun' and 'rock'n'roll music' are as good as anything they ever recorded. In my opinion, the album is worth buying for those three tracks along

Mike DeFabio <> (13.10.99)

Man, I read this review and looked at what songs are on here, and realized I had completely forgotten how much I liked this album. I don't even think I have it anymore! I MUST get it again. It's SUCH a good album. A nine, for sure.

Ben Greenstein <> (13.01.2000)

Ooh - I love it. I'll have to give it an eight because I'm measuring it against the rest of the band's catalogue, but the songs are great! My parents used to play this in the car nonstop when I was a kid, so a lot of the melodies are intensely personal to me. "No Reply," "Baby's In Black," and "I'm A Loser" are fabulous, and I really dig the Carl Perkins covers. I'm not enamored with "Eight Days A Week," but it's still a really good song. And isn't "I'll Follow The Sun" a little mean? Oh, well. The album's great.

Robert Tally <> (17.02.2000)

The Beatles at this point were for the most part abandoning their early 'ear-candy' sound and striving to make something more sophisticated. If this album doesn't quite hold up to their best work (and I do think this), then it's only because their abilities hadn't quite caught up with their ambitions yet. There tends to be a general air of blandness through much of this work. Nevertheless, like all of their albums, it has several choice tunes. I think I'll go with 'Baby's In Black' as the best track. It succeeds in being morbid while also being a catchy singalong. Close on its heels, though, would have to be 'No Reply,' which boasts sophisticated lyrics and powerful vocal harmonies. I'm also very partial to 'Words Of Love,' which is about as romantic as anything I've ever heard. I'm surprised at myself for liking something this gooey. For me, the second echelon numbers would be 'I Don't Want To Spoil The Party,' with its combination of pathos and catchiness, 'I'm A Loser,' which really reveals that good old Lennon inner turmoil, 'Every Little Thing,' which is just a solid pop tune without being much of a standout, and 'Rock And Roll Music,' which may be overly long, but nevertheless has another great vocal from you-know-who. The rest of the songs pretty much fall short for me, without actually getting to the point of being bad songs. 'What You're Doing' doesn't seem to be able to make up its mind whether to be ballsy or rinky-dink. 'I'll Follow The Sun' is a somewhat unexceptional ballad. 'Eight Days A Week' is very infectious, but about as shallow as can be. 'Mr. Moonlight' is pretty corny, but has a great Lennon vocal. 'Honey Don't' and 'Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby' are harmless fun. The former is perhaps the better tune, but the latter has that cool little coda at the end (too much reverb, though). And the 'Kansas City' medley is a fun singalong, but otherwise no big deal.

Overall, I'd say this album is only about as good as the first one, which is still better than most other things from the early to mid sixties.

Jeff Blehar <> (19.02.2000)

I agree with you, George, that this album is underrated, but I also think you're overrating it. It's not their worst album (that would be the shoddy, flimsy Help!) but it's so confused and weakened that it can't get anything more than a 6/10. I don't necessarily mind the step "backwards" to performing covers again, because I've always seen A Hard Day's Night as the anomaly of the early albums (created in a burst of nervous energy mixed with a desire to impress the world), but I mind the weakness of both the originals and the covers here. But first, the good. The album's overall atmosphere is depressing - just look at those titles! "No Reply," "I'm A Loser," "Baby's In Black," and those are the first three opening songs! And they're all good, especially the amazing "No Reply" - the tension of the middle eight there is unparalleled on the album. But "I'm A Loser"'s a tad bit overrated, no? Just because Lennon's taken to aping Dylan doesn't mean I'm going to give him a free pass; the song is good, but not GREAT. The other GREAT songs would have to be "Eight Days A Week" which is just too inventive to be anything other than awesome, and the strangely heartfelt "Every Little Thing." Even though it's just the same damn love lyric as a thousand other early Beatles songs, somehow it sounds more sincere. But the covers? Eh. Other than "Rock And Roll Music" and "Kansas City," both of which mow me down any day of the week, they're actually really, really bad for The Beatles. "Mr. Moonlight" is ATROCIOUS! Simply shite, and all because of that horrid organ. Damn you, Mr. McCartney, for playing that! Why they didn't substitute in "Leave My Kitten Alone" is beyond me, but it wouldn't have covered the weak Ringo-spot of "Honey Don't," the wan mimicry of "Words Of Love" (yay, so they can sound EXACTLY LIKE Buddy Holly. Why don't I buy the original record?), or the ridiculously over-echoed mess that is "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby." Why the last one mentioned was chosen to close the album is inexplicable; it mirrors the confusion of this entire record for me. "I'll Follow The Sun" is a really weak McCartney original, dating from 1960 or whereabouts, and "What You're Doing" is experimental in the vein of "Eight Days A Week" but much less memorable.

So this is weak. For The Beatles. For anyone else it's a career-making album. This would be an absolute highlight of the early catalogues of either The Stones or The Kinks, but for The Beatles it's merely Very Good. And that's disappointing indeed. I'm inclined to let them off the hook, as they were obviously exhausted from touring (look at those unhappy Beatlefaces on the cover!) and hadn't had enough time to compose their own songs (remember, BOTH A Hard Day's Night and Beatles For Sale were released IN THE SAME YEAR!! The thought of anyone repeating this trick with such high quality these days is preposterous). But I'm going to hardhearted: 6/10.

[Special author note: for my money, the Beatles sound WAY BETTER than Buddy Holly on 'Words Of Love', and yeah, I am familiar with the original. The clearness, freshness and shrillness of the lead lines is incomparable to Buddy in its technical perfectness.]

Fredrik Tydal <> (03.04.2000)

The "cover album", as I'd like to call it. Yes, the best parts of the album is in fact the covers. We have what I'd like to view as the definitive version of Chuck Berry's "Rock And Roll Music". Ringo completely makes Carl Perkins' "Honey Don't" his own, and it surpasses both the original and Lennon's take on the Live At The BBC album. And George takes another unimpressive Perkins original and turns it into something all together different with "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby", with great solos and cool vocals. The Fab Four also emulates Buddy Holly respectably with "Words Of Love". The only cover that leaves one puzzled is "Mr. Moonlight", which seems like a strange selection. The Lennon/McCartney originals are for the most good, with stand-outs in "No Reply", "I'm A Loser" and "Eight Days A Week" (supposedly a phrase used by The Beatles' chauffeur, and not by Ringo as one might expect). The others, well, mostly don't stand out... Oh, except "I'll Follow The Sun", which is a hidden little gem. The album is certainly solid, but it's probably the least impressive of the pre-Rubber Soul albums (with the possible expection of Please, Please Me). To me, it isn't really that underrated.

<> (12.12.2000)

This one disappointed me mainly because they are back to the covers. I think A Hard Days Night showed that they could make an album of originals, but they were under a lot of stress and all so I can let that slide. Also the originals are not as memorable as they were last time. 'Every Little Thing' and 'I'll Follow The Sun' are great but nothing else really sticks in my head. I think a 7 is the best score.

Raghu Mani <> (28.12.2000)

Things get really dark here and inspite of some upbeat numbers I get the feeling that morose faces on the cover convey the mood of the album quite accurately. Maybe that's because my favorite songs on the album (other than 'Rock 'n' Roll Music') are the dark ones - 'No Reply', 'I'm a Loser', 'Baby's in Black', 'I don't Want to Spoil the Party'. I'm not a big fan of 'Kansas City' and 'Mr. Moonlight' but those songs apart, the rest of the album is excellent. I'd give it an 8.

Morten Felgenhauer <> (05.01.2001)

8/10 - one step forward and one step back. "No reply", "I'm a loser", "Baby's in black" and "Eight days a week" are the best originals, while the rest leaves something to be desired. Of the covers only "Rock and roll music" and "Kansas city" can be called major improvements of the originals. Carl Perkins is an obvious influence here. Not only do they include two of his songs, but George (aka Carl in the early days) also plays "Perkins-solos" on "I'm a loser" and "I don't want to spil the party". Check out some Perkins originals and hear for yourself! Traces of country can also be found in several other songs.

Steve Hall <> (08.01.2001)

This is the first Beatles album that falls short of what i expect from the Fab Four.Don't get me wrong,the best tracks are great as usual "Eight days a week" "No reply" "I'm a loser",but the weary faces on the cover show that Beatlemania was taking it's toll,and this is felt on the record too.The Beatles seem to be losing interest in doing other people's material and some of the choices raise some eyebrows.Should they really be doing "Mr moonlight" and "Kansas city" i think not.Also this album was rushed out to make a Christmas release so perhaps we were a little short changed(by Beatles standards).Have to mention that the single released at this time "I feel fine/She's a woman" is great.Album gets 6/10.

Palash Ghosh <> (14.02.2001)

I hate to say it, but this album is sub-par! I KNOW 1964 was an incredibly busy year for The Beatles and I KNOW Parlophone forced them to push out product for the Christmas season, but Beatles for Sale is just too crammed with too many covers, and mostly bad covers! The very title of the album seems to suggest this is strictly a cash-in on the hottest act in the world. I'm not going to comment on the covers because I think The Beatles should've abandoned them by this point (were they not already kings of the British pop industry by now?).

As for the originals, well, the only ones I really like are "I'll follow the sun" (featuring a lilting melody from Paul, very similar to "I will" from The White Album); and "Eight days a week" (a spirited number with a great 'fade-in' intro).

The remaining tunes were primarily pessimistic love songs from John Lennon. Although I greatly admire Mr. Bob Dylan, I think his influence on John was NOT a good thing. Yes, it DID lead John to writing more introspective and personal lyrics, but it came at the expense of good melodies! "No reply," "I'm a loser," "Baby's in black" and "I don't want to spoil the party" are all Dylanesque and I never liked any of them. They're 'okay' but, by The Beatles lofty standards, they're not that great. It not would be until Rubber Soul when John could successfully incorporate Dylan-type lyrics into The Beatles' framework (notably "In my life" and "Norwegian wood"). On the previous Hard Days Night album, John proved that he could write melodies which were as strong as Paul's -- but his exposure to Dylan seemed to hinder this ability (at least temporarily).

Thank God that Paul was not the least bit influenced by Dylan!

If this album had included the fabulous single "I feel fine/She's a woman" (released around the same time, I think), it would've been immeasurably improved.

Eric Rogozin <> (17.04.2001)

I love all Beatles albums and I love this album. I noticed, it's slightly ignored and it's a pity, because there is a lot of hidden gems here, for example "Every Little Thing" and "What You're Doing", these songs are eternal Beatles classics along with "No Reply", "I'm A Loser", "I'll Follow The Sun" etc. This album is forever in golden fund of rock music like everything The Beatles did. Great covers: "Rock And Roll Music", "Mr.Moonlight", "Kansas City", "Words Of Love", "Honey Don't","Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" - marvellous, marvellous. "Honey Don't" is groovy!

Not as good like A Hard Day's Night or Help!, but...MAGNIFICENT.

Revolver <> (08.11.2001)

Beats me why this album is so underrated. The originals are just as good as anything the fabs have made pre-Rubber Soul if you ask me. "What your doing", "Babys in Black", "Every little Thing" and especially "Im A Loser" are all classics. Not to mention "No Reply". The covers are awesome as well, especially the beautiful "Words Of Love" cover. The Little Richard and Chuck Berry covers i usually skip over though. They perform them well, but thats pretty much it. "Mr. Moonlight" i previously used to think was crappy but its not so bad really. Overall a definate 13/15.

Ryan Maffei <> (05.02.2002)

Not great, but with a bit more going for it than the nadir of With the Beatles (given that the band members were growing as writers, inevitably, around this time). When the tunes are good, they're stellar: "I'll Follow the Sun" is one of McCartney's best early ballads; "I'm a Loser" and "No Reply" both handle Dylan-ish folk-rock and classic merseybeat quite well, respectively; "Baby's in Black" and "Rock'n'Roll Music" are inevitable early standards for the group. But "Eight Days A Week" is a slight rehash of EVERY OTHER FREAKIN' LOVE SONG THE BEATLES EVER WROTE PRIOR TO THIS, the medley is dull, and the rest of this is either very weak or very forgettable. A weak 7, but the songwriting developement was already taking its toll enough to warrant some classics on this record.

Brian Sittinger <> (30.08.2002)

A bit of a drop from the previous album. Less independently memorable songs than before, yet still not bad one bit. I can see how the vocals in "Mr. Moonlight" have the potential to annoy. And yes, there are more covers. I'd like to mention they do a nice rendition of Buddy Holly's "Words of Love". No real innovations except for perhaps the harmonizing. And, we get a country cover "Honey Love", with Ringo singing and George showing he's learned some country licks. A low 9(13).

Bob Josef <> (03.09.2002)

Sorry, gotta go with the majority again. "Magnificent?" Sorry, it's a big letdown after the last one. Too many covers, and the only one of those that seems really inspired is the gorgeous "Words of Love" -- very unusual harmonies there. The originals are much better, but quite morose, for the most part. My favorites are "Eight Days a Week" -- that's a fun chord sequence to play, but it also shows that they were stretching Merseybeat as far as it could go; and the delightfully naive "I'll Follow the Sun." Since it was actually written a long time before the first album, I shouldn't be so amazed that it is that naive. On the whole, though, the album (like the Beach Boys' Summer Days) seems like an anomaly on the Beatles' path of artistic growth.

My fantasy stereo "twofer" would include this album and the last on one CD with tracks 10-16 of Past Masters. The covers and the originals there were recorded, if not during the For Sale sessions, close enough that they fit into the overall mood. And I also would add "Leave My Kitten Alone." I don't know how they overlooked it at the time -- it's at least tons better than "Mr. Moonlight."

Glenn Wiener <> (28.10.2002)

Some good moments but somehow I prefer the later Beatles work to this. The later Beatle work usually utilized more varied instrumental touches where the early sound was guitar, bass, drums, an occasional piano, and vocal harmonies. Nonetheless, there are some creative dimensions to these Beatle Songs. It sure took a lot of creativity for Lennon and McCartney to write the music to such gems like 'I'll Follow The Sun', 'Baby's In Black', and 'No Reply'. The chord progressions are very special and certainly go beyond run of the mill three chord rock.

On another note, I really like 'Mr. Moonlight'. John Lennon gives a very strong vocal performance and the organ/keyboards actually make this piece stand out greatly.

The other tunes are OK. Some of the lyrics are overly simplistic such as on 'Words of Love' and 'I'm A Loser'. However, during the early to mid sixties most rock n roll song lyrics were on the basic side.

A good performance nonetheless.

<> (12.03.2003)

Roger McGuinn said in an interview once that the Beatles and Byrds would send each other messages in various songs. I think that explains "What You're Doing." (Hey Byrds, we're gonna do what you're doing.) "Word Of Love" improves on the sound of Holly's original greatly; I wonder who's hitting those low notes, is it John or George? For some reason "Every Little Thing" reminds me of Holly too, though I can't figure out why: maybe because it's in A major? Those three plus "eight Days a Week" are my faves from this outing. Many of the others have their moments, to be sure. "Baby's In Black" had that really thick chorusy tone George was getting in those days, also on "Eight Days A Week" I think. "I'll Follow The Sun" is one of Paul's better ballads, and "No Reply" and "I'm A Loser" were John trying out a new reflective style in singing and lyrics. Nothing on the album is really bad. As awful as the sound on that record is, the versions of "Kansas City" and "Mr. Moonlight" found on the Live At the Star Club Hamburg 1962 record sound more lively and gutsy...they would have done well to dump the organ part on "Mr. Moonlight." "Honey Don't" and "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" are solid Carl Perkins tributes, but they sound too much alike...normally the Beatles tried to vary their sound as much as they could. Still, when I listen to Beatles For Sale it always comes over as more solid and interesting than I thought it would. They were still ahead of the competition. 9/14

BILL SLOCUM <> (22.10.2003)

The best Beatles album for the romantically melancholy, though they might need to be placed on suicide watch after. Others talk about the first three songs and "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" as being the maudlin ones, but "Every Little Thing" should be factored in as well. Reading the lyrics, you get the feeling he really is "a lucky guy," but John's weary reading, accompanied by that plaintive melody, gives you the feeling this poor guy is just kidding himself. Why else would Ringo's drums weigh in with footfalls-of-fate heaviness in the break between "Every little thing she does/She does for me"? It's because he's out-to-lunch reality-wise!

"What You're Doing" is Paul's best contribution to the same theme, with his woman doing him wrong for no good reason, while "I'll Follow The Sun" follows a break-up from the perplexingly untroubled perspective of the person doing the breaking. Even "Eight Days A Week" is more a song of desparate infatuation than requited love. Suicide note lyrics just abound on this record.

A good album, then, with a real theme, not a concept, but some thematic undergirding. And it really does have a uniquely country flavor, not just on the Carl covers, which is welcome to these ears. George had a gift for introducing the exotic sound in a pop-friendly way.

Amanda Kenyon <> (15.05.2004)

Definitely not among their best, but not as bad as its reputation either. The only track I usually skip is "Mr Moonlight," for obvious reasons. That song really has no excuse for its own existence. I also gotta say that old "Poppy Paul" was damn good at covering Little Richard. As goopy and syrupy as his vocals could be at times, he could also go exactly the opposite route and scream his poppy little heart out. Definitely a more versatile vocalist than people give him credit for.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (15.12.2005)

I think George Martin is partially responsible for the idea that this {and Help} is the weakest of all the Beatles LPs when he said that this one represented a dip in form. But for a group that ploughed a continually progressive groove[ie,continual progression through each album] talking about best or worst is a pointless excercise IMHO. This is the LP the Beatles did in the face of the British competition they had inspired and I think they were still doing what they did so well - absorbing and redefining. Without a doubt their lifestyle was draining them and they were experiencing the dreck as well as the fun{curiously, the Beatles didn't deal that well with real life !}but this just makes for more powerful music,not because it is dark but because it is real.I think there are innovations here{using a packing case as a snare drum-"What you're doing"-, fading into a song-"8 days a week" ;apparently the first time it happened on a pop record- and some of the stuff on "I feel fine" which was recorded at these sessions} but it's not the technical innovations that really count{much as I like reading about them}- it's the songs....

And what a bunch of songs.Sarcastic, depressing, moany, critcal,reflective, weary/pissed off, discovering the truth of the words of "Can't buy me love", I think they're brilliant. One thing this LP also shows is what a tight band, musically, the Beatles were. Actually it's apparent on all their early ones but here they were really starting to branch out a bit  and break the mould.One thing I want to say here is about Ringo's place in the band.Few drummers could have drummed for the Beatles{ Keith Moon could not, Ginger Baker could not, Dave Clark could not,Charlie Watts might have etc}, there is something that Ringo brings that is just him and it infuses the music. Same with his voice.He may not be the best singer you'll ever hear [is Dylan ?is Lemmy ?] but he could sing and he gives " Honey don't" a feel all of it's own. He gives all the Beatle songs he sang a feel of their own so there !

A lovely album, showing that you can still present gloomy themes in a catchy vein.

Jay Banerjee <> (06.06.2006)

Hey George, just a quick comment for you on Beatles for Sale:

I can't believe no one's mentioned this: the gorgeous looping 12-string figure of "What You're Doing", which you call "one of the first of its kind" (and which, in your Nuggets review, you accuse The Dovers of "borrowing"), is patently inspired by the gorgeous looping 12-string figure of Jackie DeShannon's 1962 hit "When You Walk in the Room"...and that's putting it mildly. The figures begin almost identically, restrict themselves to the same notes (the first, second, third, fifth, and sixth degrees), and share nothing short of dead ringers for tone, pun intended. That doesn't make "What You're Doing" any less brilliant, and indeed I'll take it over "When You Walk in the Room" eight days a week, but frankly I'm sick of the myth that The Beatles always "got there first". They got there first more than anyone else ever got there first, granted, but no artist is above the occasional quoting, rephrasing, and, yes, borrowing. Not even The Beatles.


Gustavo Rodriguez <> (15.04.99)

This is an album that contains great, important, and very essential Beatles songs, yet when I listen to this album from beginning to end, there is a small feeling of disatisfaction. I could break down the album song by song and I still wouldn't be able to tell you where that disatisfaction comes from because this is still an album most bands only wish they could make.

The title track, "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away", "Tcket To Ride", "Yesterday", etc. are prime Beatles tunes without a doubt. I find both George's contributions weak and I agree with Lennon's assesment of "It's Only Love." Crappy. [I must admit though: the version of "It's Only Love" from Anthology II is great! It made me change my mind about the song] For me those are the only real flaws in terms of the actual songs. The main flaw of the album lies somewhere in its overall cohesion. The songs, put together as they are don't balance out well and actually feel thrown together.

Josh Fitzgerald <> (16.05.99)

Great stuff!!!!! Man, if bands could make soundtrack music that that today, I'd go nuts!!!! "The Night Before" is plain brilliant! George's songwriting is also at a high point with he bouncy pop song "You Like Me Too Much" and the standard, but interesting rock song "I Need You". "It's Only Love" is great song! I don't know why John didn't like it. "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" is obviously very Dylan inspired, but supurb nonetheless. Everyone knows "Help!" and "Ticket To Ride"and "Yesterday". They're all worthy of their attention. The only bad song is "Act Naturally". Why in the WORLD did they leave off the awesome "If You've Got Trouble" for that garbage. What were they thinking?!

My rating-9

Simon Hearn <> (07.09.99)

Now this album is probably the worst in the Beatles cannon. 'Act Naturally' is utter crud and 'you like me too much' should not have seen the light of day. Of the course the major songs: 'help', 'yesterday' are cool, but 'ticket to ride' is overrated. This was the stage when drugs were becoming prevalent and it is obvious. If you like this album lots - you need help!

Mike DeFabio <> (13.10.99)

'The Night Before'? FILLER? I do not think so! Actually, the filler is all on the second side. I don't like side two too much. They're not bad, but they're hardly as good as the ones on the first side. I don't even like 'Yesterday' a whole lot, to tell you the truth. 'I've Just Seen A Face' is pretty good, though. I'd like to hear a band do a really loud version of that sometime. It'd sound pretty good, I think.

Ben Greenstein <> (13.01.2000)

Okay - I don't really like Harrison's songs, and some of the others aren't among my favourites, but it's still Beatles! The title track and "Yesterday" are classics and rightly so (well, with this band, every song is a classic), and "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" was named as one of the best acoustic guitar songs ever in some guitar magazine that I probably threw away. "I've Just Seen A Face" is nice, too. An eight.

Robert Tally <> (17.02.2000)

The Beatles were still working their way up to Rubber Soul with this one. It's a little better than the previous album, but still not at the top of their game, so to speak. I very strongly think the best song on the album is 'Ticket To Ride.' In fact, this song is so ahead of its time, I'd even go as far as saying that it was their best release so far. The fact that it can go on as long as it does and still not suffer for it just shows how cool it is. I'm also a big fan of 'I've Just Seen A Face,' one of McCartney's most enjoyable songs, and 'Help!,' which is definately a powerful track, and a worthy A-side. 'Dizzy Miss Lizzie' is also really high on my list - but then, I've always been a sucker for a great Lennon vocal. And they sure are rocking on that one. There are a few others that are actually pretty strong songs without necessarily being favorites: 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away' is a fine folk-flavored piece; 'Tell Me What You See' is solid pop tune, but perhaps a bit bland; 'Yesterday' is undeniably a well-crafted song (fifty zillion cover artists can't be wrong!), but I really never feel like listening to it; 'You're Gonna Lose That Girl' is a very catchy singalong that doesn't otherwise stand out; 'It's Only Love' has a strong melody that sounds sort of like early flower-power. Two of these songs benefit greatly from their association with the film, namely 'The Night Before' and 'Another Girl,' which are both catchy, but somewhat shallow. Clearly (for me, anyway), the weakest tracks are from George and Ringo. Harrison had decided to start writing songs on a regular basis, but simply wasn't that good yet. 'I Need You' and 'You Like Me Too Much' are probably his two weakest Beatles tracks. Ringo was given the harmless and corny 'Act Naturally,' and these kind of outings were already becoming tiresome.

Song for song, I do think this album tops Beatles For Sale, and the movie songs have a certain indefinable summertime aura around them that touches some nerve inside of me. But the Beatles definately had better moments than this one.

Jeff Blehar <> (19.02.2000)

Ugh. This is REALLY weak. Probably it was too much marijuana (something Paul now reckons might've played a part) but The Beatles put out their weakest full-length LP with Help! There are only FOUR great songs here, and the rest is disposable. You've probably had the first three of them memorized since you were about five years old: "Help!" "Ticket To Ride" (love that proto-metal drumming! Hurray Ringo!) and "Yesterday." I'm goddamn tired of people knocking on "Yesterday" just because it's a sweet ballad with strings. If only all ballads could be this perfectly realized we'd have a lot less crap on the air. It's really not saccharine at all, despite all of the ways it could have gone wrong, and George Martin's score (which McCartney helped with, apparently) is perfectly complementary. But my favorite song on here is one you've probably never heard unless you own the album: "I've Just Seen A Face." Wow. What amazing quickfire freshness that one's got! Those rhymes just fumble and tumble out a mile a minute, and by the time he's reached the guitar break with a whoop, you're out of your seat to play it back. I wish it would get more credit. It really lifts the latter half of the album out of the dregs.

And yes, for The Beatles, they're dregs. Some of the movie songs have their advocates ("You've Got To Hide Your Love Away," which I think is another track that's overrated chiefly due to the Dylan connection, "You're Gonna Lose That Girl," which is actually pretty fair), but Side 2 is a wasteland. "It's Only Love" was reckoned by Lennon to be one of his worst songs ever, while "Tell Me What You See" is disturbingly primitive coming from the guy who would give us "I've Just Seen A Face" and "Yesterday" on the same album. "You Like Me Too Much" is gawky and toothy, much like George himself, while "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" earns nothing but my contempt as one of the few Beatles songs I actively dislike. Noisy, tuneless, over-echoed - not even Lennon's fierce singing can save it. This is as low as they got, and they sure bounced back hard with Rubber Soul. 4/10.

Rich Bunnell <> (21.02.2000)

Maybe it's just recognition speaking, but I think that the two covers and Harrison's two songs are great. It's nice going through an album and thinking "Man, I know this song! Hey, here's another one! And another one! Whoa, I know everything on here!" This is definitely one of those albums, and though this isn't a Sgt. Peppers or Abbey Road it is a Beatles album, and thus a ten by its own rights. I'll have to settle with a nine, though. Just a perfect collection of fourteen wonderful jovial pop songs(okay-- thirteen and "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" which is a phenomenal ballad). I love it. How Simon above could consider this the worst in the Beatles canon is far beyond my earthly comprehension.

Derrick Stuart <> (27.11.2000)

A fun movie, a funny mix of some of the biggest things of the decade (The Beatles, James Bond Movies, etc.) Ringo and John are both fine actors, but Mr. McCartney certainly can't add it to his long list of talents. George keeps his reputation as the quiet one because he hardly ever says anything in this. It's a cute, funny movie and it really isn't supposed to make any sense whatsoever so don't overwhelm your brain with such questions.

Raghu Mani <> (28.12.2000)

This also gets an 8 but just barely. By Beatles standards, this is fairly weak - the only weaker albums IMHO are Yellow Submarine and Please Please Me. There are too many tracks that are not quite upto Beatles standards. Still, the stronger stuff saves this album - 'Help', 'the Night Before', 'You've Got to Hide your Love Away', 'Dizzy Miss Lizzie' are wonderful. I used to love 'Yesterday' but I've soured on it a little - maybe because I've heard it too often. 'Ticket to Ride', on the other hand, seems to have gotten better with age. I started with a prejudice against this one because the first version of the song I heard was by the Carpenters and that sucked.

Morten Felgenhauer <> (05.01.2001)

8/10 - solid, but only half of the songs are classics. These are: "Help", "You've Got To Hide...", "You're Gonna Lose That Girl", "Ticket To Ride", "It's only Love" (musically), "I've Just Seen A Face" and "Yesterday". I can't believe they didn't end the album with "Yesterday". When "Dizzy" comes along it feels like a bonus track or something. By the way, strings have been used in pop songs since the dawn of time. What's so fresh about "Yesterday" is the way they're scored: like a classical string quartet, where you can hear each of the instruments pretty clearly, as opposed to ordinary pop songs where strings usually were used lushly to soften the sound. Did anyone use strings prominently on a rock song before "Strawberry Filds Forever", by the way?

Steve Hall <> (09.01.2001)

This is definetely an improvement on Beatles for sale but not by much.The two covers are weak and it really sounds like we are not being given the full 100% again.Honestly,songs like "It's only love" "Tell me what you see" and "You like me too much" really should have been thrown out the Abbey road window,across the famous zebra crossing and into the dustbin.It doesn't matter that they are weaker tracks it's more that the band appears to have treated them as such,this is something that doesn't happen again with The Beatles until Magical Mystery tour. Having said that,the stronger songs on here "Yesterday" "Ticket to ride" "You've got to hide your love away" and "Help" are good enough to pull any type of material out of the mire. 7/10.

Palash Ghosh <> (14.02.2001)

I agree that Help! was the launchpad to Rubber Soul and the Lennon-McCartney songwriting technique was progressing nicely (but somewhat erratically). It's hard to judge an album that was issued primarily to heighten interest in the film, but this album has some undeniable pop classics: namely "Yesterday", "Ticket To Ride," "The Night Before" and "I've Just Seen A Face."

I actually have mixed feelings about "Yesterday." I love it, of course, (who wouldn't?), but I've always felt this number (written solely by Paul and performed without any input from the other three Beatles) drove a permanent wedge between John and Paul. I think it 'scared' John into writing better songs himself, but at the same time he likely resented Paul's effortless brilliance in composing. I think they should've put out an official version of "Yesterday" that was less 'chamber music' and more 'pop', involving John, George and Ringo somehow. Still, it's a stunning composition by Paul, a reflection of his utter songwriting genius.

Paul's "Night Before" is another stupendous achievement, very catchy, melodic and made stronger by John's organ playing. This is that rare type of song which one takes an immediate liking to.

"Ticket to ride" may have been the first true 'heavy metal' song, with a methodical, powerful driving beat and thunderous, almost ominous bass. (Were The Who in the studio yet?). I'm not always in the mood to hear it (sometimes it's a bit too slow and plodding to my ears), but it's great nonetheless. I especially like John's vaguely misogynistic lyrics. "I've just seen a face" is a delightful folk/rockabilly number from Paul, the opening bit where there seems to be no 'pause' in the lyrics was a brilliant device. This song seems to have been overshadowed (probably due to "Yesterday's" supremacy), but Paul obviously liked it enough to re-do it during his 1976 Wings tour.

"Another girl" is yet another overlooked McCartney gem. I love the way it ends with the lead guitar seemingly going off in an unexpected tangent. As for the rest, well, it seems John is still mired in his "let's try to imitate Bob Dylan" phase. The title track (which I never warmed to) is obviously confessional and melancholy, but the spirited way the song is performed totally contradicts the gloomy nature of the lyrics! "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" has got to be the very nadir of John's "Dylan period." I just detest this number, it's too dreary, and that flute is annoying.

"Dizzy Miss Lizzie" is a magnificent rocker, a worthwhile cover I must admit.

"Act Naturally" is garbage (I agree that the Ringo-sung "If You've Got Trouble" should've been substituted here).

I like George's "I Need You" (nice pedal effects on the guitar). I've noticed that many girls who like George the best just adore this tune. "You Like Me Too Much" goes nowhere.

Chris Papadopoulos <> (23.02.2001)

Sheesh, it must be me. You like 'If You've Got Trouble'. Someone else here calls it "awesome". Even Prindle thinks it's a "catchy bitchy ditty". Me, I think it's such a dog I actually prefer 'Act Naturally'. It's right up there with 'What's The New Mary Jane' as the worst Beatles song I've ever heard.

Still, it's not even on the album, so let's give the Fabs some credit. I haven't played this record in at least two decades. Only a few songs here have aged well as far as I can tell: 'Help!' and 'Ticket To Ride' (perhaps their best tunes to date), 'I've Just Seen A Face', and 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away'. Sure, 'Yesterday' is an immaculately arranged classic, but who wants to listen to it? In short, their weakest album along with 4 Sale if you don't count Yellow Submarine, and I don't.

P.S. I agree with the reader who said that the Anthology outtake of 'It's Only Love' is great. Er, maybe not great, but very listenable.

Eric Rogozin <> (07.03.2001)

I love this album. The title track is one of my most favourite songs and the whole album is worth buying (heck, every Beatles album is worth buying, even nearly every classic rock album is worth buying). Since this album Paul is completely considered as a serious composer, you know, what I'm talking about - it's "Yesterday", that proves it. "The Night Before", "Another Girl" and "I've Just Seen The Face" are awesome, two songs from George are awesome too, especially "I Need You", two covers are decent.

I will repeat myself, but Help! is one of the best music creations ever wrote! One can also enjoy Dylan-influenced "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away". 

Joe H <> (01.12.2001)

Another amazing album in the Hard Days Night vein! Just outstanding songs all over this one. Of course the main classics on here is "Yesterday" and "Help!", i mean everyone should know these! These are brilliant songs! And of course we see these wonderful Beatles start to grow and branch out with this awesome album, like with the folk, Dylan-esque "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away". Also, this would be the last album they would ever release covers on! But the covers are great anyway, especially "Dizzy Miss Lizzie". Another definate 9/10!  

Ryan Maffei <> (05.02.2002)

The final stage of developement for the Beatle boys, who had been inexplicably, rapidly progressing as songwriters since the great, all-original Hard Day's Night. I actually think that this is one of the most solid early can't really argue with "Ticket to Ride" or "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"--Dylan-ish, yes, but on the verge of innovation and a new use of maturity in pop music. "Yesterday" is stellar; only the cover tunes (soon to be gone--hooray!) and some murky, uncharacteristic originals ("I've Just Seen a Face", etc.) detract. A high 8--and next was Rubber Soul! Insert Ecstatic Interjection!

Ben Kramer <> (02.06.2002)

Nah, not a 13, a 12. There are really only four great songs on this album, the rest are more or less forgettable. The first is obviously 'Help', one of the great Beatle early rockers. Also, there is the mega, mega, mega hit, 'Yesterday'. I really like this one, even more than the title track. It is Paul's first really serious song. Also, it paved the way for John's brilliance on Rubber Soul. John wasn't just influenced by Paul however, because if 'Yesterday' was absent, there is always 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away', a BEAUTIFUL song that never seems to get the credit it deserves. If it were on Rubber Soul in place of 'Wait', or 'Run For Your Life', that would easily be my favorite Beatle album. Oh well, it is still great. Finally, the last major song is 'Ticket To Ride', a Beatle riff that was only topped by 'Revolution' and 'Day Tripper'. It is less mature than the other two, yet it is a great song nonetheless. Other than those four songs, I don't see any sparks of brilliance. 'I've Just Seen A Face' is a nice Paul song, yet when he's writing something like 'Yesterday', I feel kind of underwhelmed. Also, two of the songs on side two are incredibly stupid and they are something I'd expect on Please Please Me but not on a 1965 album, with two years of playing together. Now, I don't hate 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy' or 'Act Naturally', but covers or not, they are out of place, especially 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy', which follows 'Yesterday'. Other than those stand outs and let downs, this is just an okay pop album. If the covers weren't on this, I could give it a 13 and say that it is pretty much as good as A Hard Day's Night.

By the way, I think Bill Hicks put it well when he said that The Beatles were so stoned that they let Ringo sing some of the songs, because his vocals on 'Act Naturally' are laughable. Sorry Ringo, but stick to the drums.

Brian Sittinger <> (30.08.2002)

The second movie product. And, quite a step over the previous album. John's songs, esp. "Help!" and "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" are the highlights, due to the emotion (and matching music) paving the way. Too bad the movie songs only span half the album; they're all top-rate. As for the others, "Yesterday" and "Dizzie Miss Lizzie" do it for me. Oh, and my Dad can't stand to hear "Yesterday" one more time!! 8(12), due to lack of coherence.

Bob Josef <> (03.09.2002)

The album strikes me as a transitional album. On one end, you've two covers which are throwbacks to For Sale. On the other, the band stretches out with acoustic guitars, flutes, keyboards and classical strings. ("Yesterday" is the ultimate ancestor of all art-rock -- strings had been used before in pop, in what you would call a "MGM soundtrack" way, as opposed to the very baroque arrangement here.) In between, the musicianship improves on their standard sound -- listen to the drum fills on "Ticket to Ride" or the guitars on the title track.

Two of these songs -- "It's Only Love" and "I've Just Seen a Face" -- were used on the American Rubber Soul, and they actually fit in. Unfortunately, Capitol siphoned off the other tracks on side 2 to the mishmash LP's Beatles VI and Yesterday and Today. They then filled out the second side with the movie soundtrack music and then charged an extra buck as a "movie souvenir album." Which makes the US LP as big a rip-off as Yellow Submarine.

"Yes, it Is" and "I'm Down" were B-sides from the album sessions, so they really belong here as bonus tracks. They fit in better than "Act Naturally" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzie."

Eric Kleinbrink <> (08.03.2003)

I'm not a big fan of the album, Help! I like the song, the movie, the album cover, the soundtrack songs (Side A)... but, Side B seems like a letdown. The "independent" songs sound out of place... just thrown in to complete the album. Why "Yesterday" is hidden near the end of the album seems strange to me... I never cared for "You Like Me Too Much", "Act Naturally", or "It's Only Love". "Yesterday" should've been a single only... "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" should've been on Beatles For Sale... and, "I've Just Seen A Face" should've made the Rubber Soul album (as it did in the US). The independent songs from A Hard Day's Night worked well with the soundtrack songs. Plus, I think they were stronger songs. I usually change cd's after "Ticket to Ride"....

Not very Beatleworthy...

<> (20.03.2003)

First of all, if anyone can tell me how to play that riff George does in "Help" going into the verses please e-mail me at the above address..I like to think I can play stuff by ear but I never quite get it right. It can't be that hard.

What is hard is deciding between a 9 or a 10 on this one. The movie stuff is a 10, no doubt. My favorite is "You're Gonna Lose That Girl" and I still have that vision of George and Paul leaning into the microphone in the studio on backing vocals, Ringo with his cigarette (bad habit, hope he's quit by now). Great guitar break too. "Ticket To Ride" has such a great guitar sound, just timeless. Note on the BBC sessions they had the bass an octave lower which made the song sound even heavier. We get to hear Paul do a loopy lead guitar on "Another Girl" but I wouldn't have known that without having read it somewhere...Paul's leads sound so much like what I think George would've played (ditto with "Taxman"). Paul stepped up his output on this one with five tunes at least, matching John.

Side two presents a dilemma, because I got used to hearing these tunes on different records apart from the Help soundtrack. Thus, "It's Only Love" and "I've Just Seen A Face," two great tracks, I have always associated with Rubber Soul. "You Like Me Too Much," "Tell Me What You See," and "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" were on Beatles VI and have the flavor of "leftovers" on this set. "Yesterday" stands apart as a single and a Paul solo vehicle, while "Act Naturally" was a Buck Owens novelty.

There is also a special sound on all of the movie songs, and I'm not sure I can put into words a description. It has to do with engineering and production in part, maybe a little more echo and a little more bottom. George and John had made their move to Epiphone Casino guitars for electrics (George uses a Fender Strat on "You're Gonna Lose That Girl" though). The acoustics remained the same I think. about a 9.5/14.5?

Glenn J. Wiener <> (07.10.2003)

Possibly their third best record.  Although John sings a majority if the tunes on here I really like the Paul McCartney sung 'The Night Before'. Great harmonies and rhythm guitar on that one. Of course 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy', 'I Need You', and 'Your Gonna Lose That Girl' stand strong as well.  Not as basic as their really early releases but still somewhat innocent sounding.

Brian Adkins <> (17.03.2004)

This isn't really about the album but I've read several documents that say "Summertime Blues" has been re-recorded more than "Yesterday".........who knows *shrugs*. Also, I don't believe Lennon was imitating Dylan at all, or even trying too. Mr. Zimmerman himself still hadn't perfected his style of writing at this phase, though he was getting darn close. I think it has more to do with Dylans friendship to the Beatles and more a dedication showing they respected his views on music. Which is far from an imitation.....IMHO

Amanda Kenyon <> (15.05.2004)

This is my favorite Beatles movie, although it's really not a musical at all in my mind. In a true musical (as I understand it), the songs are supposed to be incorporated into the storyline and advance it somehow. That is not the case here. It's about four silly men who occasionally sing songs, is all. Good movie anyway. And the songs themselves are just fantastic. I agree that they had to do this album before they could hit Rubber Soul. It's like taking geometry before you can learn calculus. It's also the source of two awesome Beatles covers by a bluegrass band called the Dillards - the only decent cover of "Yesterday" that I've ever heard (a capella, with gorgeous harmonies) and "I've Just Seen a Face" (the closest the Beatles themselves ever got to bluegrass). To me this is their second most fun album, behind Please Please Me.

Brendan S. McCalmont <> (14.07.2004)

THis is my personal Favourite Beatles album. Yeah yeah yaeh, I know these are the guys who recorded """"" SARGEANT PEPPERS LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND """"" !!!!!. Believe it or not, it's not the fan favourite. The fans seem to think it's a tossup between Revolver and Abbey Road. I can see where they are comming from. But back to Help!, this album is, IMO, their folk-rock album, and believe it or not I love folk rock. I remember one critic once said that the Beatles catalogue brought so many new sounds to pop/rock that somene could take a piece of their experimntation and make a whole career out of it. Billy Joel made a whole album out of GOlden Slubmer. This Help! album sounds like the basis fro 70's acoustic rock and folk rock. On this album they take Bob Dylan's sound and rock it up, creating folk rock. That said, they may have done this on the only early Beatles album I don't have Beatles for Sale. But why do i like! this album so much? Just every song has such a unique yet wonderful melody. Every song, taken in it's own terms, is just 10/10, marvellous, and unique. My favoruites are 'I need you' from George Harrison, really unusual melody and guitar effects, though it's also vibrant and touching. I feel the same way about the song 'You like me too much'. Then I love the ballad 'it's only love', the folky 'Hide your love away', Yesterday, a beautiful litty gem from Paul, 'Act Naturally', a C&W gem from Rigno Starr, I don't care that it's a cover, it really fits Ringo lyrically, and the conception of this album musically, 'I've just seen a face', Paul's attempt at Up-tempo folk and the rest are vibrant pop at it's best. Oh yes, one last thing, this album is as vibrant and uplifting as With The Beatles and more importantly Please Please me, and yet is mroe experimental. For me, I thought A hard day's night, in trying to be more sophisticated, lost some of the vibrance and cheer! ful disposition fo their first two albums, and this album seemed to regain, while beign even more complex, sophisticated and varied than the previous albums, before they left 60's pop behind and made their own rules about how it should be ...

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (06.05.2006)

We can't help but be wise after the event, after all, one has the rest of one's life to evaluate and re - evaluate and revise and redefine particular happenings. Also you hear and digest other peoples' thoughts on matters and that helps to build up a picture that may not have been clear at the time.' Help ! ' as an album is such an event, it's an album that along with ' Beatles for sale ' is kind of buried in the Beatles' story. Sort of seen as that soundtrack to the stupid mid sixties movie.Yet, if there is one album that really set them on the glittering road ahead that was to help define the rest of the 60s ( at least in musical terms ), it's these two and structurally and sonically, Help !, in particular. Because this is really where the textures in sound become a deliberate feature in Beatlemusic. Up to this point, they were a rock and pop band with a standard instrumental format, with the addition of the piano or organ now and again. This influenced the way they thought of and wrote songs ( notwithstanding the fact that they'd had problems recording DON'T BOTHER ME, THE ONE AFTER 909, AND I LOVE HER, EIGHT DAYS A WEEK ). I think that unconsciously they were beginning to tire of their musical straightjacket and hearing Dylan's stuff had already both challenged and spurred them - and this was before he went electric. Suddenly, the Stones, the Kinks, the Hollies, the Yardbirds, the Who and quite a few others were crafting good songs from the UK and the Beach Boys and the Byrds and others were doing likewise from the US. At the time of BEATLES FOR SALE the band were answering their Britsh competition - but this was before songs like MY GENERATION, SEE MY FRIENDS, THE LAST TIME and others that seriously challenged their status as songwriters. But progression is a great thing and the Beatles always looked forward, even when they didn't realize it ! I think that by 1965 it subconsciously occurred to John, Paul and George ( Harrison and Martin ) that the bubble wasn't going to burst tomorrow and that longevity might actually be the reality of the matter...............So we see songs that take the " we're in this for the long haul " attitude and that takes the form of new and interesting sounds as well as a sharper twist in the lyrical content. I often stress that the Beatles were a BAND.... which may seem stupid and obvious at first glance - but what I mean is that even at their bitchiest, they worked hard for each other's songs, which goes against John's 1980 statement that Paul used to sabotage his songs. YESTERDAY is a good example of this - Paul did not conceive of it as a solo track with a string quartet. When he played it for the group, they came to the conclusion that they could not really do anything with it without it becoming overly heavy and they felt it needed something they could not give it. That it still ended up on the album says alot for their band instincts. Then you have Paul playing lead guitar on at least two ( TICKET TO RIDE, ANOTHER GIRL, and possibly THE NIGHT BEFORE ) and virtually creating Ringo's drum part to RIDE ( an old joke phrase about a journey that John and Paul did to Ryde on the Isle of Wight; to get there from anywhere in mainland Britain, you have to take a ferry, hence you need a ticket to Ryde.... ), electric pianos turning up all over the place and John helping George to flesh out I NEED YOU. Speaking of George, he starts writing in earnest here and while I'm not really a liker of the aforementioned song, his YOU LIKE ME TOO MUCH is one of the highlights of this collection and one of his best ever ( and most underrated ) songs. The lyrics are so cocky, it seems funny coming from him. Although he talks in the song about his need for the woman, there's a sinister undercurrent to it all - 18 years before " Every breath you take ". He also continues to put his stamp on the groups' sound with his use of the volume tone pedal. It is one of his major, yet terribly underrated contributions to the Beatles, ranging from 12 string guitars, sitars and other Indian instrumements to the synthesizer. If anything, HELP ! marks the transitional point where new sounds and effects would become integral to the songs themselves and not just new toys to try out. It also offers an interesting window on the evolution of terminology - Lennon's 1980 statement that the brilliant TICKET TO RIDE was one of the earliest heavy metal songs isn't as weird as it may sound to modern ears. It was about '65 - '66 that the term began to be applied musically and it was to slightly heavier sounding guitars like the ones in this song that it initially referred to. Like many genres ( for example, R&B, punk, garage, progressive rock ) the way the term was used at first isn't necessarilly the way we have come to understand it. Anyway, all that aside, it's such an enjoyable album. It contains one of the few songs in the universe that I've stopped liking, I used to love DIZZY MISS LIZZY as a teenager, but somewhere along the line, it just lost it for me. It's so rare for that to happen to me, but it does with this one. Funnilly, I like BAD BOY and LEAVE MY KITTEN ALONE which ain't drastically different. I also really like the anthology version of IT'S ONLY LOVE, where the album version is more inventive, the unadorned version has more spark about it. John never liked it but I think it's true to say that an artist is not necesarilly the best judge of their work. And even "second rate" Beatle numbers like TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE are melodically and harmonically excellent. One of the Beatles' supreme abilities was in their backing vocal dept. It's rarely commented upon yet most of their output contains great back ups and on this LP two particularly stand out - HELP and YOU'RE GONNA LOSE THAT GIRL. The idea of putting the backing vocal first, so that the lead is almost backing up the backing vocal is so novel. Confidence wasn't as far removed from the band at this point as has often been purported. And when you throw in I'M DOWN and YES IT IS from the same sessions, it was their talent for fashioning something bejewelled out of their raw material that made them the envy of their contemporaries and ultimately set them miles out in front.


Robert Tally <> (17.02.2000)

Okay, on this one, I think you're over-exaggerating the lack of sound quality. I don't have any problem hearing most of what the group is playing. This is one of those albums where the song selection is almost irrelevant. Some of the best early material is here: 'Twist And Shout' (in a truncated show-opening version), 'Ticket To Ride,' 'A Hard Day's Night,' 'Help!,' 'All My Loving,' 'She Loves You,' 'Dizzy Miss Lizzie,' 'Long Tall Sally'; but none of these are as good as the original studio versions. 'Boys' and 'Roll Over Beethoven' (as you mentioned) are both sounding pretty good here. 'Can't Buy Me Love' and 'Things We Said Today' are both particularly sluggish. 'She's A Woman' is a song that I think is overrated, but it's given a pretty good treatment here. The real reason to listen to this album, however, is to hear what an actual Beatles concert sounded like in the middle of what can be considered the height of Beatlemania. The real star here is the crowd. Listening in stereo, it really is amazing to hear all those waves of screaming girls. Also important to note is that, unlike most rock bands, the Beatles were entertaining as personalities, as evidenced in their films and press conferences, and also evidenced right here as they're introducing the songs. My favorite moment is when John is explaining the two films that had been made and says (and I'm paraphrasing), 'The first one was in black and white and the second one was colored.' Okay, maybe he said 'color', but it's not hard to imagine John making an off-color (no pun intended) crack when he knows it'll be buried in all of those screams. (This is the same guy who used to imitate Hitler whenever he found himself on a balcony.) Back in 1977, I remember being very excited about the release of this album, because I had always wanted to hear a live Beatles album. I never felt disappointed about the results, for all of its flaws. Of course, I still think it would be inappropriate to compare to their studio work.

A technical point: the version of 'Baby's In Black' from the 1965 concert (which is not on this album) is on the CD single of 'Real Love'. It's a slower, but pretty decent version of the song. I consider it one of the better Anthology-related tracks.

Morten Felgenhauer <> (05.01.2001)

I find it hard to rate this one due to the screaming. The playing is quite good, though, and the historical importance can't be ignored. This is also where we can laugh at all those poor bastards who think they can manage with a CD-player only. This one has never been released on CD officially. If you can't find it in its original form, it may be helpful to know that it was included in its entirety in the UK album series The History of Rock. The Beatles is given a double LP of their own - one of them is the Hollywood Bowl and the other is an oddly compiled set of songs that stops in 1966!

<> (22.03.2003)

After a while one gets used to the sound of the screaming girls, though it certainly was bothersome the first time I heard this. Still, after hearing all those "the Beatles were no good live" comments I felt relieved. Truth is, in the face of pretty ridiculous conditions for performing, they didn't do too badly.

Unfortunately if you can scarcely hear yourself playing you're not going to be able to embark on any jams or improvising. Stray but a little from the tried and true arrangements and you miss the changes and everything falls apart.

There is one song on this record that truly rules, though, and it's "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" a Lennon raver that I put right up with "Twist and Shout," "Soldier Of Love," "Anytime At All," most of his vocals on With The Beatles, "Leave My Kitten Alone," and the later "Revolution 1," "Yer Blues," and "Don't Let Me Down." The band really drives this one too, with Ringo banging that snare and George making that absurdly simple riff sound just vicious. (Love the way it echoes off each time it sounds.) 7/12.

<> (05.04.2003)

When McCartney was asked if all the screaming bothered him or the rest of the lads he responded with "not really, as it covered up a multitude of sins." Listening to this album is ample proof of that. The real star here is 17,000 girls on the brink of hysteria. They are nonstop and it is painfully obvious that song selection, or musicianship means absolutely nothing to them. The Beatles themselves seem to be going through the motions. Evidenced by the fact that on songs such as 'Help', they don't even bother to get their own lyrics straight. [Blame it on John - John never ever bothered to memorize his lyrics properly, not in the early days either - G.S.] Ringo gets my respect. Remembering that The Beatles had no stage monitors, Ringo had to somehow keep the beat intact over the constant wall of screaming. No wonder they got so frustrated with touring. George Martin is also to be commended for doing his best to clean up these tapes as best he could. Highlights for me? I've always liked 'Things We Said Today'. The harmonies are pretty good between Paul and George. 'Dizzy Miss Lizzie' rocks with much gusto and 'She Loves You' has lots of energy. The girls are just too nonstop and distracting for me, however. This is an excellent souvenir of Beatlemania from a historical factor. It is fun to hear to see what a live Beatles concert was really like. In that respect, it serves it's purpose.


Josh Fitzgerald <> (28.07.99)

To me, Rubber Soul and Revolver are very similar. The songs and popularity are very equal. But, if I had a choice between the two, I would pick Rubber Soul. To me, it's more interesting, and more mellow than Revolver. The best songs are "Norwegian Wood", "You Won't See Me", "Nowhere Man", "Girl", and "In My Life", but all the songs are great. I think it's also more revolutionary than Sgt.Pepper!

My rating-9

Ben Greenstein <> (27.08.99)

My first Beatles album. I don't think it's "trippy" in the least, but would probably rate it on the same level as the succesive string of gems.

First of all, it's got "Norwegian Wood" on it. A song about a guy who burns down a girls house because she was a prick teaser. And people complain that "Beavis And Butthead" cause kids to commit arson. A great song, and one of the best they ever did.

Then, it's got "Nowhere Man" on it. That's a cool song. Great harmonies. Great lyrics (though NOT poetry). Great music. The reason I bought the album, and the reason why I grew to like the group so much.

Third, it's got "I'm Looking Through You." Proof that Paul can be every bit as bitter and spiteful as John. The ultimate breakup song, second only to, say, Elvis Costello's entire Blood And Chocolate album.

I'd keep on numbering reasons why this is a great album, but that would be boring. It has "Michelle" and "Girl" on it. It has "Drive My Car" and "If I Needed Someone." One of my favourites ever. Better than Bowie.

Nick Karn <> (06.10.99)

I've only heard the U.S. version of this album on vinyl, so of course the one I've heard does not have "Drive My Car", "Nowhere Man", "What Goes On" and "If I Needed Someone", and adds two Help! tracks (!) "I've Just Seen A Face" and "It's Only Love" (both good, but don't compare to the best tracks here). Even this version, however, is still masterful despite being a friggin' ripoff (I'll have to buy the U.K. cd soon). On this album I absolutely love "You Won't See Me" and "Norwegian Wood" in particular (amazingly brilliant and uplifting pop melodies), but almost every song I've heard here sounds excellent and well-crafted. "In My Life" (excellent ballad), "I'm Looking Through You" (a GREAT Paul song), "Think For Yourself", "Girl", "Wait", "Run For Your Life".. all fantastic, influential ditties. Well maybe "The Word" is a bit simplistic but still pretty cool, and "Michelle" is too corny like all Paul's songs, but it's redeemed by its' amazing melody. If I was grading it based on this version, a 9, but I wouldn't be surprised if the regular earned a 10 from me.

Glenn Wiener <> (22.01.2000)

Another gem by the fab four. This recording seems to have a little more depth to the Beatles sound. Where it is not out and out psychedlia, there is a certain mysticism on here and it works well. And George contributes a nice solo on 'Think For Yourself'.

Robert Tally <> (18.02.2000)

A lot of attention has been put on The Beatles' developments in experimentation. With Rubber Soul, they still hadn't reached the height of this experimentation. In fact, compared to the next two albums, Rubber Soul sounds pretty normal. Nevertheless, I think this one might be, more than any of their other albums, the biggest indicator of their musical progress. As fascinating as the experimentation on their later albums was, it was still something that, for the most part, came and went. What didn't just come and go was the profound maturity their music had taken on - a maturity that hadn't really come to pop/rock music previously, at least not to this extent. It's because of this, more than anything else, that music was never the same after The Beatles came along. The best song? That's about as difficult as picking the best Beatles album, but I'll go with 'The Word,' because of its oh-so-groovy rhythm and increasingly intense arrangement. High pop at its best. I'm also very partial to 'Drive My Car' for basically the same reasons. I'm astounded at the sophistication behind songs like 'Girl,' 'In My Life,' and 'Norwegian Wood.' Another big favorite is the slightly countrified 'I'm Looking Through You,' one of McCartney's best melodies. And, even though it's sort of a step back in the group's artistic progression, 'Run For Your Life' is a lot of fun, with some of the coolest harmonies going (and - I'm saying it again! - a great vocal from Lennon). Runners-up include 'Wait' (pretty infectious stuff, but it pales in comparison to most of the other songs), 'If I Needed Someone' (downright decent material from George - but I'm not bowled over), 'You Won't See Me' (pretty solid songwriting from Paul - but it goes on way too long, and isn't that special anyway), 'Nowhere Man' (great harmonies, great guitar solo - but, for some reason, it just doesn't quite grab me), 'Michelle' (another ballad with superior craftsmanship - but, like others in this genre, I just don't give a shit about it), 'Think For Yourself' (not a bad outing for Harrison, but it sounds like it should have been a lot ballsier than it is), and 'What Goes On' (actually my favorite of the country-western Ringo tracks - the solo section's really nifty - but it almost doesn't belong in the same company with the rest of these songs). So, there really aren't any bad songs here, are there? Generally, I would say that Rubber Soul is to this second phase of the Beatles' career what A Hard Day's Night was to the first - namely, the cream of that particular crop.

P.S. Was there ever a cooler album cover? Oh, wait - this is the Beatles - yeah, I guess there may have been one or two others that were cooler. son of P.S. Even though the original American version of this was different than the British, I must say that 'I've Just Seen A Face' fit in perfectly with the general mood of this album, and always seemed like it belonged on it. Having said this, I will add that I strongly believe that the British track listing is the appropriate way to release this, however.

Jeff Blehar <> (19.02.2000)

Sure, it's really, really great. But is it any better than Revolver? The Beatles? I'd say no, and again this is an album which is overrated. But not by much. An 8/10 without a doubt, but not perfect like lots would say and not quite the turning point most think it is. Really, none of the songs here are impossible to predict from Help! - "Norwegian Wood" is a more sophisticated version of "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away," "Drive My Car" works from a template established by "Another Girl" and "The Night Before." "If I Needed Someone" is without precedent, but that's only because Harrison nicked it from The Byrds' "Bells Of Rhymney." Now all of these songs are not only good, but GREAT. Simply wonderful. But not revolutionary. "Tomorrow Never Knows?" That's revolutionary. "Taxman" and "Love You To?" Those are both revoltionary, the former in terms of defining the hard rock "sound," the latter in introducing Indian textures into music. (Because really, the sitar on "Norwegian Wood" is window-dressing.)

All the famous songs here are deservedly so, and again it's the less well-known ones that interest me more. "The Word" is a great, great attempt by Lennon and McCartney (working together here) to write a good song with one chord, and although they fail in the sense that there are a few more chords than one, they succeed in making a song which looks ahead to "All You Need Is Love" and the conquest of Love Militant over all. Remember, this lyric dates from 1965, not 1967. "Think For Yourself" never gets much attention; I think it's superior and a whole lot less self-indulgent than "If I Needed Someone" (which is great, but the harmonies are a bit flat). McCartney comes through with a fairly normal but fun "You Won't See Me" and one hell of an incisive jab at somebody in "I'm Looking Through You." That's a great minor marker in his Beatles career. There's some filler here too, though, and it's enough to hurt: "What Goes On?" is pointless, a Ringotune that drags, while "Wait" is featureless and "Run For Your Life" is physically offensive and a dismal way to close the album. "Nowhere Man" bores me quite a bit as well, however. But that doesn't mean this album doesn't kick all sorts of ass. It just means I'm going to give it an 8/10.

Fredrik Tydal <> (14.04.2000)

This one has the highest percentage of generally well-known Beatles songs. "Drive My Car", "Norwegian Wood", "Nowhere Man", "Michelle", "Girl", and "In My Life". Pretty impressive, it could almost be a greatest hits package in it itself. What other group could manage such an effort? While the riff on "If I Needed Someone" is obviously borrowed from The Byrds' "The Bells Of Rhymney", Harrison has also stated that the drumming is pulled from the very same Byrds' B-side "She Don't Care About Time". The only real filler here is "Wait" - apparently penned by Lennon/McCartney during the filming of Help!, to prove a co-star how easily a song can be invented on the spot.

Matt Reyes <> (20.05.2000)

Rubber Soul is in my top three beatles albums along with the beatles (white album) and abbey road. How don't you rank this a ten? I find this just as good as Revolver if not better. The six hits ('Norweigan Wood', 'Girl', 'Michelle', 'In my Life', 'Drive My Car', 'Nowhere Man') are all great but the other songs are just as good. My favorite song would have to be "Think For Yourself" what an amazing song listen to the guitar in the backround.


Rich Bunnell <> (26.06.2000)

And once again we come upon a Beatles album which supposedly has loads of radio classics on it, but I've heard none on the radio except "Run For Your Life" and the guitar solo from "Drive My Car"(used as background music in a radio show morning traffic report). Said songs are absolutely amazing, and the album as a whole is a good example of the most full possible incarnation of the sound that the band had purveyed up to this point. Harrison's two songs rule (as usual) and the only songs I don't like are "Michelle," "What Goes On," and "Girl"(two boring ballads and one stupid Ringo country song, all three in a row conveniently for my skipping pleasure). Every other song is gorgeous in that way that the Beatles were so good at churning out. A 9 to be projected in the direction of this album, por favor.

Kevin Baker <> (25.12.2000)

There is no such thing as "the best" Beatles record, at least for me. EVERYTHING, even back in the silly pop era was par excellence and on a level above anything else at the time. That said, Rubber Soul is my personal favorite Beatles album. There is experimentation going on already, but there aren't any Indian disasters ('Love You To' comes to mind), overly sappy McCartney ditties ('Martha My Dear'), obnoxious Ringo songwriting "attempts" ('Don't Pass Me By'), Yoko-ish sound collages ('Revolution 9'), or clumsily stupid psychedelic trips ('Baby You're A Rich Man'). Those songs in parentheses are what I consider the absolute lowest spots of Beatlemusic. But notice---Not a one is on Rubber Soul! What do we have on Rubber Soul?? First off, we have 'Drive My Car', which is a flirty, red-hot, red-blooded rocker. The last verse is hilarious! Then, we move on to my personal favorite, 'Norwegian Wood'. In 2 minutes time, Lennon manages to kill almost all the sacred cows of early-to-mid '60s pop music. The first line is stone cold brilliance. Lennon takes one of the most overused cliches in lyrics and turns it upside down! It also marks the first usage of the sitar in the rock era. I am not a sitar fan, I have never been a sitar fan, and I doubt that I ever will be a sitar fan. However, Harrison plays it perfectly on this song. It manifests its presence, but it doesn't overwhlem the song. Also, the lyrical content is very interesting; was this a real episode from John's life? 'You Won't See Me' may just be the weakest track on here, but look at its position! In between of two of the best Beatlesongs ever. Still, its a fene little pop song. But thats the magic of this album. In a way, it resembles Between The Buttons by the Stones in that it is the highest peak of the respective bands' "pop" periods, combining musical experimentation with good, schlockless lyrics and immaculate vocals. But on to 'Nowhere Man'. Another great Lennonsong, and one of the first and best introspective songs in pop.  'Think For Yourself' is my second favorite on here; how come no one ever raves about this one???? The principal instrument on the track is the fuzz bass (check the liner notes if you don't believe me). And it's good! Better than good, great! Barring his Abbey Road contributions, this is my favorite Harrison composition. 'The Word' is a good song, and as has been said a lot, the father of 'AYNIL'. Next up is 'Michelle', which is a definite highlight of the album. Yes, it is very  sweet. Yes, it is a Paulsong. So? Are these things evil? The French part is a great touch. If memory serves, the opening chords were part of a Maurice Chevalier impression Paul used at parties. He decided to turn it into a full song, and he did a good job. Also, why does everyone dislike 'What Goes On'? Its a fun little country-ish tune, and Ringo's voice seems perfect for it. The woman in it sounds exactly like the one in our next track...... 'Girl'! I have a special attachment to this song. Last Christmas (1999), I had the flu and a VERY high fever. I began to have some rather odd hallucinations from the high temp. I ended up thinking that I was the 5th Beatle, and that I wrote and sang this song. I stared at the ceiling fan from about midnight to 3 or 4 singing this song over and over, thinking I was reliving some kind of past glory. I like the song. Outside of Greece, who else used a bazouki in their music? It really does have a Grecian feel to it at times. 'I'm Looking Through You' has some of the most bitter, angry lyrics I have ver heard. And Paul wrote it???? 'In My Life' is the greatest love song ever. It is the most realistic love song ever. It admits that there have been others, and that those others occupy special places in the heart, but that special as they may be, they cannot replace true love. 'Wait' is OK, but it can't compare to the rest. 'If I Needed Someone' is the best example of folk-rock infleunce on the Beatles. Since I'm a big Byrdsfan, I love it! It does sound like the 'Bells Of Rhymney', but I like that song, and the words of 'If I Needed Someone' are a little closer to home and accesible than a song about a Welsh mining tragedy. 'Run For Your Life' closes up the album, and my goodness what a violent song. But a good one. a solid 10/10 from me. By the way, from a ceratin point of view, this was the 1st concept album.  Every song on here deals with love in one form or another. 

Raghu Mani <> (28.12.2000)

I'd give this a 9 too; the only thing that kept it from the top spot is some sub-par stuff from Paul. If 'Yesterday' hasn't aged all that well, 'Michelle' has done a lot worse - I often skip over this track while listening to this album. A couple of other Paul tracks feel a bit weak as does George's 'Think for Yourself'. John, on the other hand, is in great form - one masterpiece after another. The best songs on this album are all his. 'In my Life' might be one of the 3-4 best things the Beatles ever did and 'Nowhere Man', 'Norwegian Wood', 'Girl' are all great too.

Morten Felgenhauer <> (05.01.2001)

9/10 - Their best album so far. I rate all the songs from very good to brilliant. The sitar used on "Knowing she would" was another "first" for the group. No rock groups had used the instrument on record at that time. But the Yardbirds almost got there before them with their use of the instrument on either "Evil hearted you" or "Heart full of soul" (I can't remember which and I'm at work so I can't check it up). They had problems recording the damn instrument and Jeff Beck produced a sitary sound on his guitar instead. This fascinating outtake was recorded before "Rubber Soul" was released. Also note the Indian influence on "If I needed someone" where Paul's bass plays the same riff while the chords around it change. This time the Kinks got there first with "See my friends". I read recently (in the John-tribute-version of Mojo) that "Girl" is about christianity and not some mean chick.

Steve Hall <> (10.01.2001)

I can't say anything that hasn't already been said.Ditto.. It's the best album up to this point and is the start of the finest run of albums by any artist in the history of music.I think there are only 2 weak songs on this album "Michelle" and "What goes on".It shows you don't have to rock to be great and lyrically it's the first Beatles album really up to scaratch.Macartney finally gets on even terms with Lennon here and "If i needed someone" is easily Goerge's best composition so far.Brian Wilson acknowledged this as an inspiration for Pet Sounds and it ain't hard to see why.Astonishingly good. 9.5/10

Palash Ghosh <> (14.02.2001)

While many people tag Sgt. Pepper as a 'drug album', I think Rubber Soul should receive that title. While none of the lyrics here are explicitly (or even obtusely) related to drugs, the whole record has this sense of 'repose' and 'restraint' associated with marijuana use. Am I the only person who sees this? Thus, instead of innocent energy of earlier albums, here we have a more sophisticated, somewhat world-weary feeling of self-satisfaction. It's like The Beatles are saying, "okay, we've conquered the world, we're great, we know we're great, so let's just get high and figure out what this life is really all about." (But it's all disguised with unpretentious, melodic pure pop). A tremendous record!

Finally, with this album, John Lennon's obsession with Bob Dylan bears fruit. "Norwegian Wood" is a clever, intentionally vague Dylanesque narrative, but with a 'Beatlish' good melody and a gorgeous arrangement. George's sitar is a fine accompaniment (he seems to be paralleling the melody every step of the way) and the Indian sound doesn't drown out what is essentially a Western pop tune. "Nowhere Man" is another Lennon/Dylan hybrid, but infused with a solid musical foundation.

For me, "In My Life" is one of the greatest songs anyone has ever done anywhere at anytime. There seems to be some disagreement between Messrs. Lennon and McCartney over who actually came up with his beautiful melody. Paul claims he wrote it, and John claimed otherwise. It doesn't matter, 'cos the final result is indescribably stupendous. George Martin's speeded-up piano in the mid-section is wonderful as well.

John's other contributions here, "Girl," "The Word" and "Wait" are all fine, but rather fillerish. "Run for your life" should've probably never seen the light of day.

Paul's two major offerings here, "You Won't See Me" and "Michelle" are just superb and supreme. I don't know what to say that hasn't been said already. In the hands of lesser performers, "Michelle" could've degenerated into Maurice Chevalier camp, but The Beatles make it outstanding, particularly Paul's somber bass, which acts like the 'lead guitar' here.

"Drive My Car" features some neat tricks with the guitars, but it's a bit too cutesy for my liking.

"Think For Yourself" is redeemed by Paul's nasty fuzz-bass, otherwise it's a competent, if pedestrian, Harrisong.

I never liked "I'm Looking Through You" though.

"If I Needed Someone" is often cited as George's "first great composition" and I'm in complete agreement here. I like the 'ringing' guitars and the harmonies are delicious. It's just George's excessively nasal voice I have problems with...

Didier Dumonteil <> (17.03.2001)

OK, Hard day's night is the first milestone,but this is definitely this one that began the golden age,the matchless albums of incredible creativity.Everything is allowed if you want it,so open the floodgates and let it flow!

From now on ,their songs prey on the collective unconscious.That strange feeling that we have been knowing these songs well before they were born.That's the miracle of "in my life" "girl" "nowhere man" "norwegian wood".

Neil Larson <> (14.04.2001)

Rubber Soul is one of the most OVERRATED albums ever! Sure, it is a huge, huge step from Help!, but it has a whole bunch of crap in it that brings it way down. To me, the songwriting is rather trite and meaningless: "Drive My Car", "Norwegian Wood", "You Won't See Me", "What Goes On". Stuff like that is uninspired. There are tracks that are dull: "Think For Yourself", "Michelle", "Girl", "Wait", etc. There is, however, two of the Beatles' first great pieces of songwriting: "In My Life", which gorgeous, and George Harrison's "If I Needed Someone", which I really dig! Other than that, the individual songs are pretty poor. I rate Rubber Soul as a cohesive whole, and as a cohesive whole, I give it an 8 out of 10. The Beatles put quite a bit into this album.

Eric Rogozin <> (17.04.2001)

It's resplendent great! I think, it's one of the greatest Beatles album, hey, it's one of the greatest albums ever. "Girl" is eternal song, it's great! "Norvegian Wood", "Think For Yourself", "The Word", "Michelle" "I'm Looking Through You" etc. are brilliant, all songs here are gorgeous. The whole album is superb! A must for any good music lover.

Joe H <> (01.12.2001)

Very strong contender for my most favorite Beatles album right here! Theres the wonderful, fun as hell, lovely pop songs like "Drive My Car", "You Won't See Me", "The Word" and total serious introspective songs like "In My Life" or "Nowhere Man", or just bitter, pissy songs like "Im Looking Through You", "Run For Your Life", or "Norwegian Wood", and beautiful ballads like "Michelle", the aforementioned "In My Life", "If I Needed Someone", "Girl", etc.! And most people think "Wait" is a filler song cuz its an outtake from Help! but its another great song! I'd give this one a 10/10.

Ben Kramer <> (24.12.2001)

The first mature album by the Beatles is filled with amazing songs that can make you laugh and cry. I actually prefer this one to Revolver which is going against the popular opinion, but that's the way I feel and I will try to give a reasonable argument. First off, we have two of the greatest Beatle songs ever written on Rubber Soul. The first is 'In My Life'. This song is definitely in the running for the best Beatle song ever. It is one of the most beautiful, moving, touching songs in rock and roll history. The lyrics can draw tears to your eyes and the simple guitar riff helps to build the mood. The second song is 'Nowhere Man'. This is Lennon's first and best Dylan impressions. The lyrics are his best to date and its quality is further stimulated by the best vocals on a Beatle song EVER. The harmonies are shocking. It sounds like something off of Pet Sounds. Those two songs are better than anything on Revolver, and as much as I love Revolver, those two songs push Rubber Soul over the edge. The remaining songs are no slouches either. 'Norwegian Wood (The Bird Has Flown)' is another favorite of mine. The sitar is just breathtaking. No one had ever done anything like that on a rock and roll record before. George has his first timeless song on Rubber Soul, 'If I Needed Someone'. It sounds a little like the early pop songs, but it has a certain quality to it that gives it a level of maturity that the early pop years never saw with the exception of 'Yesterday' and 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away' which were released in the same year as Rubber Soul. Paul's songs are well, let's just say that this was John's album to shine, the last one actually because Paul took over on Revolver. However he did contribute the beautiful 'Michelle' which features Paul's knowledge of French and incorporated some French lyrics. Paul also gave us 'I'm Looking Through You' which many write off as just some regular song but it has excellent vocals by Paul and some fine lyrics as well. Back to John (this is his peak as a songwriter, at least in my opinion) with the album's opener, 'Drive My Car'. It's a rocker and many people consider it trippy but I would have to disagree. Overall, Rubber Soul gets my vote for the third best Beatle album, behind only The Beatles and Abbey Road and it is deserving of a 10(15). Actually, all later Beatle albums are worthy of that grade with the exception of Let It Be and (gasp) Sgt. Peppers, both of which are worthy of overall 14's or at least high 13's. Just buy it if you don't own it. Actually, buy all later Beatle albums and I guarantee that you will be very satisfied and in some cases you will be shocked by the beauty of some of the music that can be found on these albums.

Ryan Maffei <> (11.02.2002)

How the hell could you give this a 9? Next to Freak Out!, this record should be completely untouchable.

Greil Marcus would back me up on this one--Rubber Soul is the absolute best Beatles album, and the most well-crafted pop record of all time. In fact, it's #2 on my top 100 list, and will probably always stay there...everything (just about) by the Beatles was good, but this is freed completely from the derivative, love-happy banality of the worst early stuff and the trippy, sweeping experimentation of the later stuff. Soul reminds us that before they were silly studio tricksters and art-rock advocates, the Beatles could write better than Bob Dylan and still make it widely appealing. I think absolutely every song on here is worthy of an A+, save maybe "Michelle", which is still an A, and does contain that hilarious line "I'll say the only words I know that you'll understand". "I'm Looking Through You", "Norwegian Wood", "Drive My Car", "You Won't See Me", "Nowhere Man", hell, even "Wait" and "What Goes On"--how could you deny any of these as classics, and as kings among songs? And the little artsy touches--the breathing chorus in "Girl", the sitar use in 'Norwegian Wood', the over treble-y guitars in "Nowhere Man"--all prove that when they were being slick popsters, the band was still fucking around with the mainstream, a fact which nicely gives Rubber Soul a needed intelligent edge. A 10. Why does nobody else agree that this surpasses Sgt. Pepper and Revolver, save Will of the Disclaimer Musical Archive? A 10!

Steven Gagliardi <> (12.04.2002)

Rubber soul deserves a 10 for:

Influencing the beach boys to make pet sounds which then resulted in sgt pepper.

The harmonies on 'Nowhere Man'.

'In my life'.

The first use of sitar on 'norweigan wood'.

Summarising flower power two years before monterey.

The french lines in 'Michelle'.

And the rest of the album is great to.

Brian Sittinger <> (30.08.2002)

Let the fun begin! (Not that the others weren't good or anything...) Well, first of all, my dad has practically all the American LP's. So, in particular, I couldn't see this here album's greatness at all. Well, thank god I found the CD (British listing)!! Stunningly diverse record in almost every way! It's almost a crime that so many superb songs are in one collection: "Norwegian Wood", "You Won't See Me", "Nowhere Man", "The Word", "Michelle", "Girl", "In My Life", "If I Needed Someone", and "Run For Your Life". The ballads are all beautiful; John sounds more resonant than ever, and check out that beautiful bass line in "Michelle". Criticisms: "What Goes On" seems out of place, "Wait" sounds like it belongs to an earlier album, and "I'm Looking Through You" has a trifle irritating breaks. Yet, they're still fine. 9(14), though on a good day, I'm tempted to give this a 15.

Bob Josef <> (24.09.2002)

The promise of the second side of Help! comes to full fruition here. My four favorite Beatles albums begin here. Remarkable new maturity in lyrics and music, and the most cohesive effort yet by the guys. I only have a couple of gripes. "What Goes On" is definitely the low point. The Beatles weren't any better at writing country songs than Buck Owens. And what's with those backing vocals? They sound like they were recorded at the wrong speed. And I really don't care that much for the lyrics to "Run for Your Life", but John didn't either, eventually. Was he trying to outdo the Stones in misogyny here? But, still, an incredible pop album.

David Dickson <> (16.01.2003)

HAH! HAH! RUBBER SOLE!!! I GET IT NOW!! HAHAHAHAHAHA! . . . sigh. Ah, terrible pun, that. It made me lose control for a full half minute.

But DAMN! If this album ain't one of the best ever made, I might as well move to Mars. Seriously! Incredible beyond words! Wow! Many people cite this album as an "indicator of progress" or "The Beatles' imitation of Dylan and the Byrds" or what-not. I DON'T CARE. It's just perfection incarnate. I cannot praise it enough. To me, it's the greatest in a long string of perfect pop gems. This time around, the Beatles replace the covers with originals and what would be just guitars with guitars AND pianos. But seriously, at its core, its just plain old '60's pop. Pure and easy. No trippiness, no critic-pleasing. Just one classic song after another. Every song sounds like a chart-topper. Many critics cite the importance of a "hook" here or there, or "in the right place." On this album, every song feels like one huge hook. There is not a single second that is in some way, shape or form not catchy. Even "Girl," traditionally my least favorite, is pretty as all get out with a melody reminiscent of their old cover "A Taste of Honey," but ten times better. Let's see, my favorite songs (other than that one) are "What Goes On"--great bouncing country beat, "I'm Looking Through You"--great campfire hand-clapping song, "In My Life"--one of the most perfect ballads I've ever heard, and, surprisingly enough, the two Harrison contributions, "Think for Yourself", with the great groovy fuzz bass line that gives me images of hundreds of girls in beehive hairdos and neon dresses, and "If I Needed Someone"-a blatant rip-off of the Byrds' style, but still awesome. But really, all fourteen songs are perfect. They all sound like hits. And to think the Beatles recorded this right AFTER the world tour from hell! Goodness gracious!

And get this--I usually HATE short songs. That's why I'm so much more a fan of the '70's; they're never in a hurry. But--DAMN. No wonder the Beatles are such studs. They managed to take something I hate and turn it into something I love. Only the Simpsons have managed to accomplish that (with cynicism, in that case). The most amazing thing of all is this: this ain't even their best album. Ohhh, no. As perfect as it is, the Beatles would top this four years later. See my comments on Abbey Expressway. . .

<> (09.01.2003)

I agree with Kevin Baker's posting that Rubber Soul is heavily conceptual, and it gives me a feeling of cohesiveness that Revolver does not. In my English class we learned about the use of chiasmus (inverted parallel structure, for example: up-left-right-down) in the Iliad. Several commentators have mentioned the structural beauty and ingenious song ordering of Beatles albums. There is evidence of chiasmus on Rubber Soul that gives a sense of comparing different aspects of love, relationships, words (truth and lie) and attitudes toward men and women in the pairing of parallel songs of the album (the first and the last, the second and the second to last etc.).

1) "Drive My Car" and "Run for Your Life": =In the first, a strong-willed woman asserts dominance over the male. In 'Run for Your Life', the man asserts dominance over a woman. The second has a negative connotation, while the first is more positive (and maybe I'll love you). The status of the two genders has been flip-flopped.

2) "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" and "If I Needed Someone" =The first is about a woman who exercises some kind of dominance over the singer (she "had" him rather than visa versa), also deserting him. 'If I Needed Someone' is about a man who does not need someone, and similarly deserts them. Both songs involve people pursuing absent objects of effection (the bird that has flown and the singer of "If I Needed Someone" who is not at home but might read the numbers carved on his wall), though the genders are again inverted.

3) "You Won't See Me" and "Wait": =Both about a lack of contact between a couple, but in the first it the female is choosing not to communicate. In the latter, the male strengthens the bond of the relationship by asking his love to wait.

4) "Nowhere Man" and "In My Life" =The Nowhere Man has no plans, no connections with anyone, does and feels nothing. 'In My Life' conveys the opposite feeling, a person in love with his memories and who is lucid and honest enough with himself (compared to the blindly delusional 'Nowhere Man') to clearly be able to judge the importance of the people in his life.

5) "Think For Yourself" and "I'm Looking Through You" =I couldn't think of one for this pair, besides that they're both break-up songs

6) 'The Word' and 'Girl' =Both songs about love, but where the first is jubilant, positive, and has a pleasureful connotations, that of "Girl" is more painful (even if that "pain leads to pleasure") in it's lyrics and sighs.

7) 'Michelle' and 'What Goes On': =atmospheric contrast (refined French with rough country western, a dramatic clash) =Both about language, 'Michelle' about conveying love in a straightforward manner, 'What Goes On' about LIES and inability to see into the girl's heart. In the first, genuine feelings are hard to communicate, in the second, lies are "so easy" to tell.

javier mora henao <> (08.03.2003)

the best album of the beatles.

I 'm just gonna correct you george in one thing, 'wait' is a mccartney song not a lennon song.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 is the main vocalist in this song.if you didnt notice paul and john sing together the verses and chorus, and is paul who sings the middle eight.

hey,ben kramer, drive my car was written by mccartney not lennon . see, I dont like the discussion who is better , both were equally great. but I hate when the people underrate paul , and one of the reasons is the ignorance of the people about who wrote what. another problem is that paul and john disagree about the songwriting credits of many songs, for example paul said that 'ticket to ride' and 'there's place' were co-written efforts(50-50) meanwhile john said it was him.Mccartney comments are,usually, more detailed and coherent but for some reason(because he is dead?) lennon's comments are the more popular and accepted.

in 'drive my car' car both(paul and john )are agree that it was mostly paul's song. john said in 1980: paul's song with contributions from me.

john never made a comment about 'wait'.

Moses David <> (27.03.2003)

Rubber soul is a good album, but far better was to come, in my view. You said 'waut' was the only filler, how about the dire 'run for your life', what a poor song, with atrocious lyrics. To correct you, and others who are not aware 'wait' was NOt written by Lennon, but McCartney- and 'in my life' is a collaboration between Lennon and McCartney. I think Lennon only claimed to have written the music, because he was so proud of the lyrics, he wanted it known as his song completely.

<> (29.03.2003)


There's so much great stuff on this, I'll just pick on a few things. "You Won't See Me" is a great performance. Paul's melody is constructed of short lines with lots of space between them (("When I call (long space) you up (long space) your liiiiiiine's engaged" etc.)) The song builds up through the steady addition of first piano and guitar stabs, then backing vocals (lalala) and organ in the spaces. And the chorus sets things up when the backing vocals come in echoing Paul's "you won't see me," and oddly enough it's that backing response that is the main hook in the song for me. The point is, how many of us try to write a tune and feel we have to have a note sounding practically everywhere, when so much can be done in the melody's spaces?

Outtasight, man!

Rubber Soul is the culmination of the John Dylan phase of John's Beatles career. He started out as Cheeky John, a great shouter, but there's really no "Twist and Shout" or "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" on this outing. For the most part he's calmed his vocals down, making sure the words get over, whether autobiographical ("Norwegian Wood," "In My Life") or social commenting ("Nowhere Man," "The Word," "Girl"). "Run For Your Life" is a bit of a throwback, which John said he hated, but what the hey. Maybe it's autobiographical too! I'm too busy digging George's lead anyway. Actually George makes the supposedly weaker tunes "What Goes On" and "Wait" interesting too, with a bunch of slick Carl Perkins - Scotty Moore - James Burton rockabilly licks on the former and the volume swells adding color to the latter.

I have a special affinity for "If I Needed Someone" because I used to play and sing lead on this one when I was in a band. I had the lead lick down and George wrote most of his songs for a lower range so it was one of the few Beatles tunes I could sing without my voice cracking up.

The only "criticism" I have of this CD is I grew up listening to the US version with "I've Just Seen A Face" and "It's Only Love" substituted for "Drive My Car" and "What Goes On." (Of course Crapitol Records also withheld "Nowhere Man" and "If I Needed Someone.") Those first two songs seem more in keeping with the mood of the rest of the record, making it practically a "concept album" before Sergeant Pepper. I also keep expecting to hear the false start guitar chords on "I'm Looking Through You" before the song starts. No is, I'd say, at least in my top three of favorite Paul songs. It shows what a perfectionist Paul was that he could have settled for what he already had on the Anthology Two version, but then he sticks in another fine middle eight. Too much!

BILL SLOCUM <> (18.12.2003)

It's funny how people talk about this album. Either they denigrate Rubber Soul to praise Revolver, or they hail Rubber Soul at the expense of Revolver. The albums were recorded a year apart, and caught the Beatles in very different phases of their diverse career. So why is there this see-saw, where liking one more means liking the other less?

That said, I'm going to join in with Kevin Baker, javier mora henao, and JustK123 (all of whom offered some very cool thoughts) and say that Rubber Soul is better than Revolver" In 1965, the Beatles were at the height of the pop scene. Beatlemania ruled the earth. The Fabs could have thrown together a bunch of covers and lame songs, warmed-over Beatles For Sale, and no one would have complained. Instead they served up their first masterpiece. These songs still breathe and ache like no others in the Beatle canon. They are as pop as anything the band did before, but with a craft and an edge previously concealed, sealing up its particular time and place (Swinging London of the mid-60s, post-Pill and pre-Vietnam) and yet reaching all the way to the present and beyond. For me, putting it on is like going into the same warmly familar room, but always hearing different things. "If I Needed Someone"s way of playing up the scale rather than down, "What Goes On's" half-note guitar fills, "You Won't See Me's" challenging drum breaks and tempo changes. All pleasing to the ear, yet challenging at the same time.

These aren't things you pick up the way you do "Nowhere Man"s lyrical message or "Norwegian Wood"s exotic instrumentation, but they point to the same subtle evolution, of always reaching for something different, something new. And genuinely having fun with it. I like later-period Beatles a lot, the hits are more enjoyable to me than their pre-1967 stuff, but around the time of Sgt. Pepper they stopped having as much fun, and you can hear it.

So why is Rubber Soul better than Revolver? Simply put: No bad songs. As you point out, George, "Doctor Robert" is a subpar effort, not bad-bad, but definitely subpar for the Beatles or anyone else working at the upper level of '60s pop. I don't see how you could call "Wait" a bad song. You do make a point of praising it in your commentary, saying it's "undeniably catchy" and only bad in comparison to other Beatles songs, but then have it there in the track listing in booger-green, as if it was on a par with "Dr. Bob" (was that the band's first Dylan ref, you think?), "Revolution Number Nine," and "Mr. Moonlight." It's not. Not only would I cite "Wait" as respectable filler amid gemstones like "Drive My Car" and "In My Life" in my second-favorite Beatles album (behind Magical Mystery Tour, which may be like saying RS is my favorite Beatles album, period), it's a good song in its own right (as good as it can be...), a solid, driving, emotive number with some sexy electric piano and maraca moments, very much on a par with what the rest of the album is offering. Rubber Soul's a bit of a concept album, like Kevin Baker said (though not the first, Frank Sinatra issued "In The Wee Small Hours" a decade before), and "Wait" falls nicely into its flow of music documenting the various difficulties of love, both true love and the other kind.

Some knock "Michelle" for being MOR. Frankly, I probably ignore the song nine times for every one time I listen to it, but when I do listen, I'm genuinely grateful for its being there. That clever faux-French bassline, and the way McCartney sings so sincerely and even awkwardly. A good song.

And listening to this on a decent stereo system is such a blast. There's such great separation between the instruments and the various backing vocals. You can hear John coaxing Ringo over the finish line in "What Goes On," while George nails those odd, snarky notes. Great album, as I say, my favorite of theirs. And yes, that includes Revolver.

P.S. Thanks, Ben Greenstein, for explaining (all the way back in 1999) just what's going on in "Norwegian Wood." It finally makes sense now! I though John was talking about having a cigarette, or mistakenly starting a blaze in a pot-addled stupor. But it makes better sense as you have it: She toyed with him "until two" and then sent him off claiming she had to go to get up for work, so he "lit a fire" in her house. Fortunately for him, being a Beatle meant never having to say you're sorry (unless you said you were bigger than Jesus, of course.)

Amanda Kenyon <> (15.05.2004)

This was my dad's favorite album, and as such is intensely personal for me, as he died when I was fifteen. "In My Life" never fails to make me cry. Sentiment aside, the album as a whole, in my opinion, is really not one of their best. There are some very weak songs on it, such as "You Won't See Me," "The Word," "Run For Your Life," and "Wait." "Michelle," though great, is very tiring after a while - I haven't even heard it but once in probably two years, and I'm still tired of it. "Girl" is also not fantastic, beyond the harpsichord counterpoint in the bridge, which I love. The intake of breath in the chorus, which is widely regarded as brilliant, just grates on my nerves. The rest, though, qualify as individual gems. And it must be remembered that when it comes to the Beatles, everything is relative.

Michael Bleicher <> (25.06.2004)

A super, super high 9. Maybe a 10, but "Wait" isn't quite top-quality material, and I can't forgive both that and "Run For Your Life", although I love this album (it was the one that really turned me on to the Beatles, a full 5 years ago). But the rest of the album is superb, and finally shows the Beatles maturing past the boy meets girl pop of albums past. Most all of the songs here are innovative, clever, creative, intelligent, insightful, or any combination of the above. Personally, I think John is the star here; almost every single one of his songs is wonderful. Complaints? Sure…I know it goes against the British philosophy of value for money, but putting "We Can Work It Out" and "Day Tripper" on the album in place of "Wait" and "Run For Your Life" might've made a stronger album, and the lyrics of those two fit in with the more worldly, mature attitudes of the album ('WCWIO') and the ever-emerging influence of drugs ('DT'). But it's good. Listen to it and Revolver back to back and it's amazing.

Greg Linhares <> (17.06.2005)

During your review of Rubber Soul, you say: "George adds a philosophical touch in 'Think For Yourself', the first of his psychological instructive mantras which would become so casual in his later solo career. Here, though, it sounds just fine and in addition features a somewhat grungy guitar."  Just thought you'd like to know that the 'grungy guitar' is actually a bass guitar, played by Paul through an early version of a "fuzzbox" -- the first recorded instance I can remember of this effect.  As to the issue of the Beatles "inventing" things or being the popularizers of the invention, another thing they DON'T get credit for that I THINK they were the first to use, was the backwards effect, used on "Tommorrow Never Knows", "Rain" and elsewhere in the Revolver period... I don't think anyone had done this before them.

Javier Mora <> (21.09.2005)

Paul output of rubber soul is not progressive? Look for example 'I'm looking through you', that song sounds not very different of the alternative rock of the 90's ( a electro- acoustic rhythm, a rocking tune and angry lyrics)and is probaby the most modern sounding track of the album. Hey, and the song lyrics are the more aggressive,with run for your life, of the record.

Plus, Paul contribute greatly to some john songs(he completed the lyrics and wrote the middle eight of 'Norwegian wood', contributed to the lyrics of 'girl' and invented the zorba ending of that one) and co-wrote 'in my life' (he came up with the tune).

So I think is not right and fair to say Paul didn't show an strong evolution in rubber soul, besides drive my car.

Describing McCartney songs of 65-67 as pap, even when I know you mean the best pap in the world, is helping the myth of McCartney as the cute ultra softie sissy Beatle. He was more than that .Hell, did Lennon wrote in 65- 67 a track as raucous as 'im down' or 'sgt pepper'? The answer is no.

In fact, of three true rockers of rubber soul, 'drive my car', 'im looking through you' (a acoustic rocker) and 'the word', two are McCartney's and one is a collaborative effort between Macca and Lennon .so call Paul the softie in rubber soul is quite ironic

George, one thing I don't like of your new beatles reviews, is some of your comments, intentionally or unintentionally, make look Paul as the sissy one and john and George as the only Beatles capable of being edgy and mature. I don't like to put down George Harrison, but had he a more relevant participation than Paul on the album with the Beatles, like you say? Maybe he had a more notable role than others albums, but more than Paul, cleary not.

Come on; at least to my ears, John and Paul were the more rock oriented in the band. Tell me one song with George screaming his lead vocals. George could make rockers like taxman or wah wah, but he couldn't never had performed a bestial song like helter skelter or well well well.

My intention is not to put down John or George, I always put Paul and John at the same level and I consider George a truly great artist, but Paul, is not the ultimate candy guy as you make him look in some of your reviews. Yes, he made some corny stuff but that is only a small part of his contribution to the Beatles success.

[Special author note: whoah, big misunderstanding here. I'm not putting Paul down at all - I just happen to think that Paul's major leap was in between RS and Revolver, whereas John's was in between Help! and RS. On the other hand, Paul had John outmatched in the earliest days, so it's all relative. Paul is cool. "Ultimate candy guy"? That's not my take on the subject.]

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (18.03.2006)

I think that more than any album this one represented THE turning point in the 60s, not in the Beatles career { With the Beatles and A hard days night were turning points of their own }, but for all bands in general, along with Dylan's " Highway 61 Revisited " and possibly " Bringing it all back home ", certainly where British bands were concerned. Suddenly, in one fell swoop, Beatles For Sale and HELP ! make sense and are not blips on the radar but signposts that everyone missed and from this point on, shitty waster albums in Britain just were no longer acceptable. Funnilly enough, the Stones next release after this comes out { AFTERMATH } just happens to be the first where they pen all the songs.

Rubber Soul is generally viewed as the first album in a glittering set of epoch changing masterpieces and it would be foolhardy to argue with this. Yet, I have come to view this also as the last of an impressive trilogy in which the Beatles transition to mature artists is complete. 'Beatles for sale' was the first time cynicism and jadedness dictated the pace, here it reaches full bloom. It's kind of funny, it seems no one listened to lyrics in those days; the Stones and Dylan had the reputations for withering put downs and the Stones in particular for big league misogyny in songs like 'under my thumb', 'yesterdays papers', 'stupid girl', 'play with fire'. But nine of the fourteen tracks reveal some truly suspect views towards women. Even MICHELLE, generally viewed as harmless lovey - dovey pap houses a disposability { it doesn't matter that we can't speak the same lingo; there are many forms of communication on this planet !! } that was very much in keeping with the times. Feminists they were not ! I saw an interesting programme last year about sex in pop music and the episode that focused on the 60s had a number of 'liberated' 'chicks' from the period saying that in actual reality, not much truly changed between the sexes. The guys still dictated the pace and they were the real beneficiaries of the new sexual freedoms. Be that as it may, Rubber Soul is a real purveyor of it's times and a brilliant one at that. The combination of Dylan, ganja, frustration in power and varying domestic upheavals gave us one of the great heavyweights of the 20th century.

But here's a thing, it was the classic accident ! The band were so short on songs as they went in to record in october yet they had an album to get into the shops for christmas ( which meant a month before ). That they came up with the album, 2 great singles ( WE CAN WORK IT OUT / DAY TRIPPER ) and an instrumental that didn't even make it onto the LP shows just what an effective band they were - and all this in less than a month ! Pressure can be ever so productive. This was where they really started following Dylan's "everything as opposed to anything is valid " approach. They dragged MICHELLE and WHAT GOES ON out from the archives, both were written long before the Beats ever had a recording contract and WAIT, as has been pointed out is a HELP outtake. A measure of how short they were of songs is the fact that they recorded an instrumental called TWELVE BAR ORIGINAL and also the fact that Lennon & McCartney allowed George another two songs and the fact that Ringo got a part credit on one. However, both of George's songs are as good as anything on the album and it rather irks me that it took his death for people to start really looking at his role within the band in it's true light. He was writing angry put downs before John, he wrote non love songs before John and Paul. His THINK FOR YOURSELF is a jagged classic and the fuzz bass that Paul utilizes sounds like an open challenge to the Who, the Kinks, the Yardbirds and especially the Stones and the lyrics are among the first of their kind. John pitches in with five classics, one of which is the fantastic RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, a song he always renounced and which could be cited as the constant reminder that he later had to change his ways ( he embraced feminism ); and Paul has four good songs, two of which { YOU WON'T SEE ME and I'M LOOKING THROUGH YOU } are among the best he has ever written and along with WE CAN WORK IT OUT are an amazing trio that sheds much light on his relationship with Jane Asher. Paul says that eight of the songs were to a greater or lesser extent jointly written and there are resonances from past albums - for example, NORWEGIEN WOOD is a tougher sequel to THE NIGHT BEFORE. It's the 'same' girl in the song, but rather than whimpering over rejection and begging for more, the subject goes hell for leather in revenge ! In the three aforementioned Paul songs, he seems to be reacting to the consequences of his attitude in ANOTHER GIRL. In IF I NEEDED SOMEONE George plays the cocky Romeo that was emerging in YOU LIKE ME TOO MUCH and he in turn had come from the cynic that sang EVERYBODY'S TRYING TO BE MY BABY.

They were throwing in all kinds of ideas and the album is quite soul influenced but the Beatles were such an idiosyncratic group, their imitations often ended up sounding nothing like what they were trying to copy.

The title was a jab at the Stones { again ! }, certain Black American singers used to take the mick out of Jagger by referring to his singing style as plastic soul and the Beatles' competitive sense of humour kicked in as this developed into a cute pun. Their playing throughout is excellent and it shows that they weren't dismissive of the competition at this point, rather they were spurred on by it. They were also giving their competitors something to think about, with the sitar and the superb cover { one of their best 4 IMO }. It is a point to note that in the midst of such misogyny and cynicism from all the songwriting Beatles that there should be a universal declaration of love in THE WORD. It proved to be more than just a balance to the general mood of the album; indeed, it was huge and ultimately was the most influential moment on the still reverberates today, some 40 years later.


Richard C. Dickison <> (16.05.99)

Why do people see Sergeant Pepper as the pinnacle and not this album which is so well balanced and totally on the money in every way.

The Beatles were song for song better on this album than some of the others soon to come.

I guess it was the bright colors, or maybe the silly outfits, I Don't Know?

Anyway this and Rubber Soul can still be played without the overplay irritation quotient taking away from the fun, what a great couple of albums.

Rich Bunnell <> (23.08.99)

As is common for the Beatles, a very consistent album. In fact, the only song here I really don't like is "Yellow Submarine," a really overhyped song if there ever was one-- and it's not just because Ringo sings it, it's because the melody is just really dippy and annoying.

However, we have 13 other songs here, and they're all frickin' awesome! The harmonies on "Taxman" have really aged gracefully, and of course "Eleanor Rigby" remains a classic. Why describe them? They're all great! Extra points to "Tomorrow Never Knows" though-- what a song! A 9.

Mamz <> (03.09.99)

I wondered why nobody mentioned 'And Your Bird Can Sing', it was probably one of the freshest sounding Beatles' song ever.Don't believe me?Check out the supercool guitar riffs.The rest of the songs are equally fantastic.It was hard to imagine that this album was made thirty years ago,I mean the songs sound so fresh and so full of energy that they could've been made by a ninetees band.But it couldn't,and it was made by the masters,The Beatles.This in my opinion is the apex of Beatle art.The first album you should get if you're still in the 'get to know The Beatles' period.

John McFerrin <> (04.09.99)

I can't believe I haven't commented on this yet

In my opinion, this is the greatest album in the history of the universe. All of the various aspects of the group that made them so awesome converge here. We have George and his sitar, we have guitar rock, we have the strings, we have the gorgeous and sorrowful ballads, we have the absurdly catchy Lennon pop, and most of all, WE HAVE THE ACID!! There is nothing like a genius on acid, and when you have the greatest pop songwriter in the history of man tripped up, aaaaaaahhh maaaannnnn. And even if Paul was still clean (as clean as a Beatle could be at that point, anyways), he was still Paul ... nobody else could have come up with too songs as perfectly depressing as 'ER' and 'FNO'. I honestly can't think of any song that I would want taken from this album. Not even 'Yellow Submarine', which I used to hate, but love to death now! If I had to give away every album in my collection, but had the choice of keeping one, this would be it.

Marco Ursi <> (10.09.99)

The best fucking Beatles album of all-time! Oh, sorry for using the word fuck. No wait, scratch that. Fuck doesn't seem to be an offensive word anymore. Why was it a bad word in the first place, anyway? What the fuck does it mean? Oh, I kinda got sidetracked there. This is my favourite Beatles album because I like all the songs. A lot. It's that simple.

Nick Karn <> (06.10.99)

I made sure to get this one on CD after hearing the latest edition of a vinyl ripoff of a classic Beatles release (missing "I'm Only Sleeping", "And Your Bird Can Sing", and "Doctor Robert"... THREE classic Lennon songs, geez), and boy is it brilliant. Every track here has its' charm and experimental edge and usually has a first-rate melody that, at the least, is capable of getting stuck in your head for the next couple weeks or so, especially Paul's songs. "For No One" and "Eleanor Rigby" (unreal ballads), "Got To Get You Into My Life" and "Good Day Sunshine" (classic stupid pop), and "Here, There And Everywhere" (classic sappy material). And proof that John Lennon may be the greatest songwriter of all time is probably best expressed here. I mean, how can you possibly beat the edge of "Tomorrow Never Knows"? You CANNOT! "She Said, She Said" - uneasy brilliance, "I'm Only Sleeping" - like entering a dreamworld, "And Your Bird Can Sing" - priceless attitude and double guitar work, and "Doctor Robert" - one of the coolest drug songs ever. And George's contributions are great too - harsh guitar work and sarcastic lyrics make for a strong opener, "I Want To Tell You" has phenomenal melody and haunting piano, and "Love You To" is George doing Indian music successfully, unlike "Within You Without You". And Ringo singing "Yellow Submarine" - just plain great fun! Easily one of the 5 most brilliant records I've ever had the pleasure of hearing.

Mats Fjäll <> (19.10.99)

I love this album! Mysterius 'Tommorow Never Knows' is a masterpiece, so is 'Eleanor Rigby', 'And Your Bird Can Sing' and 'For No One' is damn good as well!!! George's 'Taxman' is a clue of what to come....'Cause if you somehow would get tired of Lennon/McCartney songs George is always there...He has taken the best from the "leaders" to put it into one! George is one of the world's most underrestimated songwriter/guitarrist ever!

Josh Fitzgerald <> (18.11.99)

Obviously, one of the greatest rock albums ever. I won't go song by song, but I'll just mention that the only song that I don't care for is "And You Bird Can Sing" which is pretty average. The true is a classic, and will, of course, always be.

Ben Greenstein <> (13.01.2000)

Is there a reason I didn't comment on this sooner? This is one of my favourite albums ever! The poppiness blends perfectly with the experimentalism, and songs like "Eleanor Rigby" and "Yellow Submarine" take their place among all of the other fab four songs that everyone knows by heart. Best song is sure "Tomorrow Never Knows" - what a fabulous tune! Like techno, but good. An easy ten.

Troy Barlow <> (14.01.2000)

A casserole of simple, pop tunes mixed in with complex melodies showing a great talent begininning to emerge. Honestly though, what did Lennon do other than rip off ELP and maybe Jelly Roll Morton, his talent is overrated. As for violins, keep these for classical music, Ringo. Oh yeah, John Paul Jones called, says he wants his bass back. Blonde on Blonde rules. later.

<> (15.01.2000)

Hey Troy! How are your history lessons? Not very good I can tell -Unless you were there and don't remember! Revolver came out in 1966! ELP (if you mean Emerson Lake & Palmer) didn't even form until 1969 releasing their debut until late in fucking 1970! Mr Keith Emerson was probably just starting his overblown stints with The Nice in 1966. And I doubt the mr John Lennon ever listened to or gave a shit about ELP.

Anyway Revolver is a great album. I can't really say anything more that hasn't already been said and probably one of the few times I'll comment on a Beatles album because everybody does that. I love 'Taxman' one of the few times the Beatles truly merged eastern Indian scales with Rock n Roll (check out that guitar solo). Don't care too mauch for 'Love You To' or 'Yellow Submarine'. REVOLVER RULES!!!.

Fredrik Tydal <> (18.01.2000)

Hard to say whether this one or the following was the Beatles' best effort. They're both great though and made The Fabs top of their field. Ringo gets his best vocal ever, George pens his first really good song and John and Paul reaches new creative and artistic heights. As for the title; besides the weapon, the word 'revolver' can also means something that 'revolves", like an LP for instance... Words games and puns; so typical of those Brits. Did you also all know that Ringo's original suggestion for the title of Revolver was After Geography, a pun on The Stones newly released Aftermath? Gotta love Ringo's sense humour.

Glenn Wiener <> (22.01.2000)

Its funny when I first taped this record, I really was not crazy about it. However, over time I tend to give this casette a considerable amount of play. I guess all the creative influences of this near masterpeice took a while to sink in. Whether its George's three wonderful compositions and sitar or the lovely harmonies or the picture perfect arrangements, this recording stands very tall.

Robert Tally <> (18.02.2000)

This is my second favorite Beatles album. They hadn't made my favorite, yet. There's a lot of controversy about whether this album is more like Rubber Soul or Sgt. Pepper. This can easily be explained by noticing that about half the songs are not really beyond what they were doing on Rubber Soul and about half the songs are totally unlike that album. My favorite is most definately 'Tomorrow Never Knows.' What the hell happened here? There really isn't anything on the previous album that could have predicted this track. It immediately established The Beatles as the masters of psychedelia. The only comparable examples are actually also Beatles songs. The other absolutely essential tracks here are 'I'm Only Sleeping' (which perfectly illustrates its subject matter in its music - and those harmonies are inspired almost to the point of being criminal), 'Eleanor Rigby' (showing that Paul had caught up with John when it came to sophisticated lyrics), and 'Taxman' (an amazingly good outing for George at this stage of his development - the thumping rhythm section and eclectic guitar solo - by Paul! - are just great). Very close runnersup would be 'Yellow Submarine' (one of the best children's songs ever - the succession of sound effects is truly inspired - and nobody could have sung it but Ringo), 'Here, There And Everywhere' (simply one of the group's most beautiful love songs), 'And Your Bird Can Sing' (just a near-perfect pop song, with strong harmonies throughout), 'For No One' (a serious number from McCartney, done very intelligently), and 'She Said She Said' (eclectic and electric - did you know that's George on bass? - apparently there was an argument, and Paul walked out). Also much worthy of mention is 'Got To Get You Into My Life' (in which the group immediately became adept at a style they hadn't tried before) and 'Dr. Robert' (the verses are less than inspired, but the middle part has some of the best harmonies on the record). I also think 'Love You To' is a pretty decent track. It definately goes way beyond 'Norwegian Wood' into the raga-rock genre. 'Good Day Sunshine' is both vaudevillian and psychedelic, but Ray Davies did this kind of stuff better. The only weak song for me is 'I Want To Tell You,' which is redeemed only by having a really cool guitar riff. Otherwise, it's just kind of awkward. And the album cover - definately my favorite in the catalogue. Oh, and I'd like to strongly disagree that the Anthology version of 'Tomorrow Never Knows' sucks. I think it's just as good as the one on Revolver - and that's saying a lot.

And on a purely technical note: The Beatles did indeed name this album Revolver because a records spins on a turntable, but they used the wrong word. What a record does is rotate. The earth revolves around the sun, but rotates on its axis. How's that for nitpicking?

Jean-Paul (28.04.2000)

I’m a little hesitant to comment on this album, since I’m, like, the 35th person to do so on this page, but since my opinion is a little different from both George’s and my fellow commenters’, I’ve decided to give you my 2 cents. The thing is, I’m not too crazy about Revolver (WHAT?! Blasphemer!)… It’s got some nice songs on it, in fact, most of the tracks are good, but not all of them. ('Yellow Submarine' is nice if you’re an eight-year-old, 'Love You To' isn’t really my cup of tea either.) Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t regret buying the CD, but if an album only 35 minutes long is supposed to be “perfect, never to be topped”, in my opinion, every single second should make me drool.

Mike Mannheim <> (15.07.2000)

I don't think this deserves a 10, more accurately a 9.5. It's an improvement over Rubber Soul in terms of production and songwriting, but I think the song selection here is weaker. I'd take "Nowhere Man" and "In My Life" over anything on here except "Here, There and Everywhere" (which is Art Garfunkel's favorite song, BTW).

John Caulfield <> (30.08.2000)

Despite the almost universal praise for this album, in my opinion - and I am an avid Beatles fan - it is not one of their best. Yes, all the songs are "quite good" but apart from 'Eleanor Rigby', which, to my mind is one of the best Beatles songs of all time, nothing else really stands out, or compares with the best songs on their other albums.

While I agree that the Beatles probably wrote some of the best 'pop' songs ever, I do not subscribe to the ridiculous view held by many of their more rabid fans that their worst songs are better than most other bands best songs. The best Beatles songs, such as 'Strawberry Fields', 'Penny Lane', 'A Day in the Life', 'In My Life', 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' and countless others are, without doubt, brilliant. But each and every Beatles album (with the notable exception of Abbey Road) also had some mediocre and unmemorable songs on them and some albums had a couple of genuine dogs. Can any objective and serious lover of music really contend that drivel like 'Octopus's Garden', 'Good Morning Good Morning' and 'Blue Jay Way', to name but a few, are in any way ground breaking or can compare to the best songs by the Stones, Dylan, Floyd or Tull etc?

In my opinion 'Yellow Submarine' is just such a dog and does not classify as pop or rock, but is a kiddies song (like the equally awful 'Octopus's garden') which would have been better released on a Noddy goes to toyland album.

While 'Yellow Submarine' is the only genuine dog on Revolver, all of the other Beatles albums have a higher percentage of exceptionally good songs on them. And while the much heralded 'Tomorow never knows', was innovatice for its use of tape loops, reversed tapes and other effects, I believe it to be the most overrated Beatles song. The Beatles would go on to use these and other studio tecniques to far better effect on Pepper. 'Tomorrow', in my opinion, lacks a memorable melody and sounds incredibly dated now. It is one of those songs that cannot stand alone outside of its historical context - and the best Beatles songs are all capable of that, transcending genres and time.

While I do enjoy this album, I feel that it is the most overrated Beatles album and would not be in my top five. For the record my top five would be Abbey Road, Pepper, Rubber Soul, The White Album and Magical Mystery Tour (the last one if only for 'Strawberry Fields', 'Penny Lane', 'The Walrus' and 'Fool on the Hill'). To be quite honest I would also rate Let it Be, Beatles for Sale and, possibly Hard Days Night, above Revolver in terms of the number of outstanding songs on each album - Revolver only really having 'Rigby'.

Derrick Stuart <> (27.11.2000)

One of the most underrated albums of all time, as Sgt Pepper tremendously out-shadowed this and all of rock's albums before it, (and many that came after). It starts off strong and really doesn't have too many weak points. Maybe a couple of the McCartney ballads weren't up to par with his other stuff, but still no really bad ones on here. This album takes the experimentation of Zappa and adds it to a more accessable level. From 'Taxman' to 'Tomorrow Never Knows' is a wonderful experience, and one that must of blown everyone out of their seats in 1966! I must say I don't care for 'Doctor Robert', but the rest is great. 1966 was most certainly the year when things began to change, with Freak Out! and Pet Sounds be released right along side this. Those three albums all influenced each other, not to mention everyone else. I suppose that the grand web of mid-60s experimentation connects all the greatness, whatever.

Philip Maddox <> (06.12.2000)

I finally got this about a month ago, and it's really good. REALLY good, for the most part. Even though you aren't too big of a fan of it, I consider "She Said She Said" to be about the strongest track on here - Harrison's jangling guitar, John uneasy vocal lines... what a cool, cool song! "Tomorrow Never Knows", like you said, rules, too. That's dang near techno! In 1966! But the melody is so strong, and the groove is awesome! Ooh, how about "And Your Bird Can Sing"? Catchy catchy catchy, and a great vocal hook to boot! "Eleanor Rigby" and "For No One"? Two of the prettiest, saddest songs Paul ever wrote. "Ahhhhh, look at all the lonely people..."... VERY pretty. I couldn't give this album a ten, in spite of the awesome songs I mentioned a bunch more awesome songs, though, because there's a few songs on here that I think are just "OK". First, "Love You To" is OK, but it pales next to "Within You Without You" or "Blue Jay Way". "Doctor Robert" is an uninteresting rocker, with a decent rhythm, but it never really goes anywhere. And maybe its just because I never heard it as a young kid, but "Yellow Submarine" isn't one of my favorites, either - out of the Beatles' children's songs, "Octopus's Garden" pounds it easily. The melody is sing-song, but it doesn't really pull me in like the cool harmonies and sound effects on "Octopus". Still, complaints are minimal. I'd give it an eight. Very good indeed, though I like the next 3 better.

Raghu Mani <> (28.12.2000)

Absolute perfection. For my money the best thing the Beatles did (though a slightly edited White Album might rank higher). A ten without question. I love everything on it. Paul, who was a little off color on the previous album is in top form and John picks up where he left off on Rubber Soul. George's contributions have never been better and 'Yellow Submarine' is just about the perfect Ringo song.

Steve Hall <> (15.01.2001)

Just possibly the finest album ever made.I certainly believe it's the Beatles best work.Track for track no other Beatles album quite matches this.The only song i have a gripe about is 'Yellow submarine' but really it's a fun song not a serious one and it ain't like the Beatles were struggling for quality material to put on the album.There just doesn't seem to be a sub-standard effort there,no matter how hard i look.The intro to "taxman" is great and the riff is just brilliant,"Eleanor Rigby" is one of Pauls top Beatle compositions,and so is Lennon's "Tomorrow never knows"."Here There and Everywhere" is just divine.Finally what a put down to those who have to put their singles and b-sides on albums,just look at the singles released either side of this album."We can work it out/Day tripper" and "Paperback writer/Rain".Not even needed on the album.A definite 10/10 for this masterpiece.

Palash Ghosh <> (14.02.2001)

Revolver was the last Beatles record I was exposed to and, probably because of the 'timing', I've never been a big fan of it. I don't really think it represents THAT much of a progression from Rubber Soul (at least in terms of pure song composition).

To me, this record represents the moment when John Lennon and Paul McCartney embarked on vastly divergent songwriting courses. John -- whether it was the acid, the depression, the pressures of fame and wealth or whatever -- decided to totally abandon writing according to the tastes and expectations of the pop music market. He would now and forever write about intensely personal experiences -- thus he went totally inward. Paul, on the other hand, knew which side his bread was buttered -- he remained committed to creating extremely well-crafted melodious pop music, often using third-person narratives. Thus, the myth of the Lennon-McCartney partnership was permanently dissolved.

Having said that, here are the highlights: "She said she said" is magnificent a song that took me years to appreciate. Very trippy, somewhat scary even. I actually think this was the pre-cursor to later Lennon acid trips like "Happiness is a warm gun" and "Come together."

"I'm only sleeping" is another impressive song from John. Who but Lennon could write about something as mundane as someone's fondness for somnambulism and somehow make it sound so significant and profound?

"Dr. Robert" is another great John number, once again, based entirely on a real experience and is wonderfully subversive. Just love that druggy "well, well, well, you're feeling fine" middle section!

"And your bird can sing" is yet another eccentric winner from Lennon (just love how they made those guitars sound like squawking birds!)

True to form, Paul delivers at least three killer tunes: "Eleanor Rigby," "Here, There And Everywhere" and "Got To Get You Into My Life" While I don't like the fact that Paul was the only Beatle to perform on 'Rigby,' the song's artistic merits are unassailable – has a more haunting melody ever been written in pop music?

"Here There Everywhere" has some breathtaking moments in the harmony. "Got to get you into my life" is such an uplifting, bouncy number it just SWIMS. And I also like the alternate version which appears on Anthology, although it has a vastly different arrangement.

"Good Day Sunshine" and "For No One" are also superlative, but not quite as stellar as the other three.

There is a tendency for people to deride anything Ringo does, but "Yellow Submarine" is a fun little nursery rhyme.

George took some bold steps here. "Taxman" flat out rocks! A great tune about something as dry and dreary as high taxes.

"Love you to" must've made a shocking impact on English and American ears in 1966 –- a totally Indian-sounding drone on a Western pop record. While I laud George for trying to introduce radically different musical styles, this just doesn't work. For one thing, none of the other Beatles had anything to do with it! I think it was George and some Indian musicians in Bombay. Thus, this is NOT a Beatles record at all. George's fascination with Indian music was better used on a number like "Norwegian wood," otherwise his 'Indian songs' were just a waste of acetate.

Now we get to my biggest gripe here: "Tomorrow Never Knows." This is out and out nonsensical garbage! It should've never been put on a record. It's just noise and not very interesting at all. I think the only reason some fans like it is because it supposedly represents the first hard-core drug song. It's not even a song! It's a boring, irritating chant. The only good thing about this 'song' is that it probably was the primitive forerunner to John's magnificent "Strawberry Fields."

Chris Papadopoulos <> (28.02.2001)

The best of the lot. Maybe the best by anyone. As usual, the vultures at Capitol saw fit to subtract a few tracks from this so as to to foist another fraudulent Beatles album on US fans. A pox on them. The least they could have done was to get rid of the execrable 'Yellow Submarine' and not some cool Lennon tunes. Make sure you buy the UK version.

'Taxman' kicks off the set admirably, although Harrison's lament jars a bit * I mean, why is he complaining about paying his fair share of tax anyway? Still, George's tracks demonstrate how far he'd come as a songwriter.

McCartney's ballads are probably the best he ever wrote, stopping this side of schmaltzy, while Lennon's major contributions are quite brilliant, although it's probably the soundscape of 'Tomorrow Never Knows', mainly courtesy of some spooky tape loops (McCartney's idea) and a huge drum sound, that makes it such a standout.

And this album sounds so good. Macca's close-miked bass is right up there in the mix, clear as a bell, the drums sound fabulous and the guitars are very cool indeed. Good playing too, especially from Ringo on 'She Said She Said'. Waddya mean he didn't have a unique style, George?

I agree with George Martin that the 'Strawberry Fields'/'Penny Lane' 45 was their best record (and that he was an idiot for allowing it to be released as a single instead of putting on Pepper) but this is their best album by miles. A 10 at least.

Didier Dumonteil <> (17.03.2001)

The ultimate question remains ;why?Why did it happen then?Why have we lost the very hope to see another group like that emerge in the past decades or the ones to come?Revolver is part of the history.It's so mind-boggling you could play any of its tunes and you'd be answered:is it teenage fanclub?REM? Nick Heyward? Eno? Blur?Oasis?XTC?.....???,There were other great albums at the time, blonde on blonde pet sounds fifth dimension,but does one of these speak as universal a language as Revolver.Eclectism walks hand in hand with genius here there and everywhere,encompassing everyone from the kiddies in their submarine to an old spinster who picks up the rice in a church.There are so many records in which I can hear snatches of this superlative masterwork!May the third millenium generation find THEIR Beatles!

Eric Rogozin <> (07.03.2001)

Oh, Revolver..!  Consistent, experimental and one of the best albums in rock history. I personally admire "I'm Only Sleeping", "Taxman" and "Here, there & everywhere", well these songs are some of the best songs ever composed. Oh, and the wonderful ballad "For No One". And "Eleanor Rigby"!  All songs here are great, though the same thing can be said about every album of The Beatles, this album deserves a special attention from any music lover. My favourite track from this album is "I'm Only Sleeping", it's so great! Both John and Paul are in their creative power here and George with sitar is here in full creative power (remember, he wrote "Taxman"(!) for this album. And three wonderful amazing ballads of Paul, they are magnificent! Marvellous album!

Pirjo Kling <> (22.06.2001)

I know that the album is good when after listening it I want to listen it again. Well, in that case Revolver is FANTASTIC, because when I first time heard it I just got hooked on it! I listened the record immediatly again, and two more times that day. It was something that really get me high. So next morning I got this litle hangover from the album, so I listened Leonard Cohen's New Skin... for it... and right after that I listened Revolver once more.

So, Revolver won't form a whole like Sgt. Peppah'. It's just a collection of really good songs, a collection of allkinds of different songs, political ones, indian music, psychedelia, Children songs, Motown ( "Gotta get you in to my life" ) some beautiful ballads and simple pop tunes. And there are fillers, like "I want to tell you", "Good day sunshine" and "Got to get you into my life" but even they are so catchy that you just gotta love 'em.

But why this variegation? Well Revolver marked the band members splitting up and devoting more to their own musical interests: John is allready tripped out here, George has his sitar and the intro of "Here, There and Everywhere" augurs Paul's fascination in ragtime and other 30's music.

I don't think there's more I can say about the album, except that it'st great which I'm sure everyone knows. So here's some useless trivia about the songs:

"She said She said" ( one of the most revolutionary tunes in here ) was inspired by a friend of the Beatles ( I think he was a film director or sumthin' ) who shot himself on the leg and said: I know what it's like t be dead.

"Doctor Robert" tells us about Harrison's dentist, who put LSD on the fab four's coffee, so they freaked out and get to Harrisons's(?) house, where they played some guitar ( the sounds flew out of the strings like colourful plastic plates ) before they finally passed out, except for Paul (?) who had started to beliewe that the house actually was a huge submarine, which he started to navigate while the others where sleeping.

The only way John Lennon was able to discribe George Martin what "Tomorrow Never knows" should be like, went something like "I want it to sound like a thousand Tibetan monks singing on the top of a mountain". I think he succeeded.

Now, if you excuse me, I think I'm gonna go and listen some REVOLVER

Balaji Kannan <> (05.08.2001)

i see y'all say that revolver is the best album blah.. blah.. blah... methinks that it's mostly hype (sorry, ye rabid fans).. i also think that this represents the pseudo-sophistication that the beatles were attemting at the time- trying to get to sound serious and lose their image of playing to hysteric crowds of teenyboppers.. frankly the album, taken as a whole, sounds a bit contrived.. but i do admit that 'eleanor rigby' is an amazing, sad, lonely song and 'taxman' is simply brilliant.. i hate the stupid 'she said she said'.. 'tomorrow never knows' and 'love you too' are really good though and really redeem the album with some really mindblowing experimentation.. most of the other songs are all pretty ordinary.. i guess it's a decent album but not worthy of all the praise heaped on it..

Dmitry Proskuryakov <> (10.08.2001)

What`s about the BeatlesRevolver? i found an interesting book of some Russian author called `Descension into Erebus: John Lennon of his Beatles period`. Recommend you to read it, for there`s a lot of interesting things & comments about Paul & (especially) John lyrics with some of a psychoanalysis of John`s personality. There`s some material about the relation of Sgt.Pepper with Dumas` 3 Musketeers & so on.

And about Revolver, too. It came from `to revolve`, to go `round in circles. It`s the main idea of this experimental psychedelic album, theme of death & re-birth thru the prizm of LSD: `E.Rigby`, `She Said She Said`, `Dr.Robert`, &, of course, the hymn of LSD-takers, `Tomorrow Never Knows` - they`re all fit into one conception.

Oh, man, i forgot `Yellow Submarine`! Those famous story about some dentist, George`s friend, who added some LSD into the guys` coffee cups. The unforgettable evening for them (`Take a drink from his special cup, Dr.Robert!`). Before John fell asleep, he suddenly felt that the house he was in transformed into a yellow submarine, and John himself was a captain. And the house rose up & floated somewhere. So, what i wanted to say by that. You consider `Yellow Submarine` to be just a little stupid childish tune, but it has a quite interesting & intriguing history! You see, i don`t agree with your opinion on this song!

Victor Prose <> (07.09.2001)

Sorry, friend, but you're a little bit off, there. Rubber Soul was the breakthrough perfect 10, wheras Revolver is merely a 9. While Rubber Soul had nary a faulty track on it ("Wait" was a good one, though maybe no "A Day in the Life"), Revolver suffers from some weaker, more underdeveloped tracks ("And Your Bird Can Sing", "Dr. Robert", etc.) and abrasive, nearly unlistenable but fascinating experimentation ("Tomorrow Never Knows", "Love You To") amongst its gold ("Eleanor Rigby", "Yellow Submarine", and my pick for best, McCartney's lovely "For No One"). Take it from Greil Marcus, my friend, who Lester Bangs was big on, and it's clear Bangs influenced Prindle, who probably gave you a little boost, there--Revolver may be more adventurous, but it lacks the soul of Rubber.

<> (03.11.2001)

hello george , i have been perusing your site for about 6 months now and i find it highly entertaining and certainly appreciate the laborious work that has gone into creating this site.well,i was wondering why the reviews of revolver had nothing to say in the case of " and your bird can sing".you have been remiss in the same way in the review of the white album,in this case the victim being" happiness is a warm gun".i was thinking that perphaps it would provide a more accurate view of the album to the prospective buyer.he might be impressed by some facet of the album that might want him to get it at all costs.although i concede that this has never been the case in 95% of the reviews,i thought i`ll offer my views on this matter.well,the same case might hold a different meaning for someone who had already listened to the album.i hope you get my point.keep up the good work.thank you very much.goodbye

Joe H <> (09.11.2001)

Really good album. Man is "Tommorrow Never Knows" a great fuckin' song. As is "Eleanor Rigby" and "For No One". And the production is a dark murky sound that really compliments the record. Unfortunatly, i dont think this is the Beatles' best record. Maybe along the line it could be a candidate, but "Love You To" and "I want to tell you" (sorry, George.) really fail to do anythin for me. "Yellow Submarine" is incredibly goofy and silly, but ill let it pass. Its a deserved classic. "She Said She Said" and "And Your Bird Can Sing" is among the best crap Lennon ever writ though, and thats sayin something. And somehow Mccartney comes up with the most silly, albeit cheerful (and great!) songs ever, "Good Day Sunshine", yet comes up with one of the most depressing ever as well (maybe its cuz i can sympathize with the lyrics), "For No One". Even though its not a flawless record, i still agree with your 15/15 rating.

Ryan Maffei <> (11.02.2002)

Take it from the Victor Prose comment above--Revolver is not a perfect 10. While the experimentation on this record is thrilling and admirable, and results in some of the band's best songs yet ("I'm Only Sleeping", "Eleanor Rigby", and the astonishingly unheralded symphonic gem "For No One"), somebody (ahem, ahemgeorgemartinahem, ahem) forgot to tie the band down. "Doctor Robert" and "Love You To" are abrasive and forgettable slices of artsiness that were what Dylan wouldn't have liked it to be--experimental for experiment's sake. A 8, yes it's still quite high, but in some people's eyes, that's heresy.

And I don't like "Tomorrow Never Knows"! Thank God nobody on this page knows where I live!

Brian Sittinger <> (30.08.2002)

Either this one or Abbey Road qualifies as my favorite Beatles album. It goes without saying this blows the American counterpart ot of the water. Definitely more a step in the psychedelic direction. More complxity. And, even MORE diversity! George has a killer guitar tone on this album, and check out those backward solos! (I'm glad that I'm not the only one who enjoys "I'm Only Sleeping", complete with backwards guitar, lethargic singing, false endings, YAAAAWN's...) "In the end, I can heap praise on practically every song here except "Dr. Robert" which sounds very mortal in this collection (though the organ inclusion is clever. It would belong better on an earlier Beatles album). If "Rain" or "Paperback Writer" were on here instead, I'd be declaring this the album to end all albums without the smallest trace of doubt. Oh well! 10+(15).

Bob Josef <> (24.09.2002)

Brian Wilson once said that even though he knew that Pet Sounds was his best record, his favorite was Friends. And that's how I feel about Revolver. The later albums have more advanced production, more mature lyrics and stronger musicanship, but in terms of songwriting quality, Revolver, IMHO, the most solid and consistent from beginning to end. Extremely diverse, but unlike the White Album, it goes down a lot smoother because it has much more of a pop orientation. If there is a downside, it's here that the Beatles lose band cohesiveness -- the three songwriters are all off in different directions. Even though, it still sounds like the they are at least working together on each other's tracks --again, unlike the White Album. Just a wonder to listen to, every time. A minor quibble: I don't quite agree that there is no link with the past sound here. "And Your Bird.." , despite the spaced-our lyrics, is a more sophisticate version of their rabble-rousing rock sound. From here on out, though, that sound is gone.

Since "Paperback Writer" and "Rain" were the first things recorded during these sessions, they really should be here as bonus tracks. Even if "Rain" sounds a bit too much like "She Said She Said". I sandwiched them between Side 1 and Side 2 of my tape, and they fit in perfectly.

The American LP left out "I''m Only Sleeping", "Dr. Robert" and "And Your Bird Can Sing" -- they were deleted for Yesterday and Today. With tracks from Help!, and Rubber Soul as well, that LP is a mess. Supposedly, the version of "I'm Only Sleeping" is an alternate mix.

And you don't explain why you give "Dr. Robert" the green highlighting. It's a fun song. Maybe I like it because my name is Robert. Or maybe because I have four doctor friend named Robert. And three of those are psychiatrists, but none are psychedelic..anyway, it's a good song!

Federico Fernández <> (24.11.2002)

It's strange. You don't seem so passionate when reviewing this album in comparison with your ravings on Blonde On Blonde, Let It Bleed, John Westley Harding, Before And After Science, Stand Up etc. I mean, it's clear that you like it very much, but you don't seem to be mad about it; you don't even mention all the songs here and you give facts rather than impressions. I say it's strange because Revolver is, easily, one of the three or four best albums EVER RECORDED BY ANYONE and I'd rave and drool all over it if I were you.

First of all... ALL THE SONGS ARE HIGHLIGHTS. It's really hard to find a record in which EVERY FUCKING SONG is a highlight. Abbey Road? Not certainly, what about "Her Majesty"? Let It Bleed? Wow, 'Country Honk' anyone? Sgt. Pepper's? No, there is some filler there, ask 'Mr. Kite'...

All the songs that you don't highlight in red like "Love You To", "She Said She Said", "Good Day Sunshine", "For No One" and "Got To Get You Into My Life", and even "Doctor Robert!!!" are brillant songs that for me don't stand below the rest of the tracks here. "She Said She Said", for instance, is my favourite here thanks to that incredible melody and amazing guitar tone, with "For No One" being a really close second. "For No One" has to be one of the most gorgeous melodies (and sad lyrics) ever written. I would kill YOU for it (no, joke). And why does everybody keeps bashing "Doctor Robert"? It has the same wonderful guitar tone and awesome harmonies that infects this record, plus a neat organ part... it rocks! what else do you need?

But everything here is great. From the sad and lonely "Eleanor Rigby" to the happy and incredibly uplifting "Good Day Sunshine", through the great love statement in the swinging and friggin' awesome "Got To Get You Into My Life", and the funky ass-kickin' "Taxman", and the druggy but melodic "I'm Only Sleeping", and the fantastic "And Your Bird Can Sing" with some of the most extraterrestrial and heavenly harmonies ever created. "Tomorrow Never Knows" is a little bit over the top and cacophonic for my tastes and I use to skip "Yellow Submarine" because I'm not a kid anymore and sometimes I find the singalongish chorus pretty annoying. But that doesn't mean they're not highlights. THEY ARE.

No, this is amazing from start to finish. Fourteen god-written songs put together in the finest rock recording ever. Pet Sounds can kiss my ass (Not that I've heard it but it's hard to imagine anything better than this you know...)

David Dickson <> (16.01.2003)

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 <wheeze> 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 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 amounts to just mere experimentation and diversification. Not "art," per se, 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.

w 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 decent, except for "I'm Only Sleeping," (boring) "Love You To," (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 uneven 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 a long while. Damn good. Great. So great it puts watching "Married With Children" to shame.

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

Andy Slater <> (19.02.2003)

This album is not as good as Sgt. Pepper, but it is still one of the top 5 or 10 ever. (On Sgt. Pepper, almost every song takes you into another world and blows your mind. At the time everyone knew it, not Revolver, was The One.)

Anyway, there are a few songs which are absolutely brilliant from a lyrical standpoint - 'Eleanor Rigby' and 'Tomorrow Never Knows'. Both in subject matter - very ambitious, which I like, and lyrics - learning, slowly, from Dylan, these songs are important. I like my songs ambitious and important, especially if they're done well. 'Eleanor Rigby' is a tremendous piece of social commentary, criticizing the alienation and meaningless of modern, middle-class existence. 'Tomorrow Never Knows' provides the flip side of the coin - showing the other way to live, full of acid trips and quests for meaning. These songs will continue to be relevant until the revolution comes.

Robert Smith <> (12.03.2003)

Ah, yes, the Beatles. Never before and not since has a group of four talented lads stepped into the studio to make almost every album as sonically perfect as the next. You can pick at the flaws all you want, but they will only be minor flaws, and are never offensive. You know, Brian Wilson always TRIED in his studio experimentation to the point he destroyed himself. The Beatles made it sound so easy. Anyway, back to the album. We start out with "Taxman," a delicious satirical stab at Uncle Sam by none other than the quiet George Harrison (giving Lennon a true run for his money here.) This is followed by "Eleanor Rigby," Paul's string-laden tribute to the lonely people, and indeed the most endearing song on here. "I'm Only Sleeping" finds Lennon sounding almost bouncy in his delivery about how much he indeed loves to just daze "at the world going by his window." And I love the bass line on that one. "Love You To," George's second composition on here, finds him once again embracing Indian influences in his music. A great melody along with a fantastic musical backrop makes this by far the least boring of these "experiments" from Mr. Dark Horse. I pity the fool who doesn't cry (or at least blush, crying is for babies, right. We are BIG MACHO MEN!) at the beauty of "Here, There, And Everywhere." Paul will always be the greatest melody writer in the history of pop music in my book (not the greatest lyricist, of course, but do you think he cares? No. He has MORE MONEY in his left pant pocket than you and I will ever dream about. Bastard!) Ahem. Next, is "Yellow Submarine," the kind of kiddie fluff that only the Beatles could get away with, and none other than the man himself, Ringo Starr, handles the vocals nicely. "She Said She Said" is one of the many psychedelic rockers on here courtesy of Lennon, and it sounds just great. "Good Day Sunshine" finds Paul doing the kind of dance hall stuff that Queen could only hope to parody. Ah, yes, the song definitely gives a feel of strolling along on a Sunday afternoon, or is it Monday? Who cares? Why are you reading this? Don't be brainwashed by us. Your children are not safe. Ahem. "And Your Bird Can Sing" is indeed the strongest of Lennon's "rockers" on here, and I put rockers in quotation marks because it makes me look cool. The tune has a great melody, great lyrics, and a killer guitar lick. "For No One" finds Paul once again partying like it's 1929, with the obligatory gorgeous melody, ascending horn solo, and the sort of dance hall melody Paul just excells at. "Doctor Robert" is one too many psychedelic rockers for my taste, but hey, Revolver wouldn't be Revolver without it, and the "Well, well, well" part makes it worth the price of admission. "I Want To Tell You" is George's THIRD contribution on here...Count with, two three. Ah, yes. John and Paul decided they could spare some more album space for their little buddy here, and it's a good thing, too, because it is unquestionably one of the finest songs on here. "Got To Get You Into My Life" finds Paul deciding that Stevie Wonder isn't the only white boy who can sing soul (Or wait, isn't Stevie, black, and Paul is just trying to sound like his color should be a darker brown, maybe mollases.) Well, the song kicks, and the brass section makes it truly the funnest, most lightweight song here. Ah, yes. Now, we come to "Tomorrow Never Knows." Guess what, kids. John Lennon took drugs, and if this song doesn't spell that out to you, then you have been sheltered too long. Weird sound effects, a droning melody, acid-drenched lyrcs, and a killer drum pattern all come together to form probably the peak of Lennon's psychedelic experiments. Well, there you have it. The Beatles's Revolver, It is a true testament of the times and just goes to show they don't make them like they used to. If they did, we still wouldn't acknowledge it, because we are pretentious music snobs. Ha ha ha! Did I say that out loud? Oh well. It's a fascinating listen. If you don't own it, go sell your dad's BMW, and pick up a copy. NOW!

<> (07.04.2003)

10/15, obviously.

Paul was at the top of his game here, tremendous melodies, great variety of styles and emotions. "Eleanor Rigby" and "For No One" explore the down side of life, which was unusual for Paul in the Beatles, yet "Good Day Sunshine" and "Got To Get You Into My Life" balance those out with great exuberance. I have never understood the concept of GTGYIMY as a "Motown" influenced tune..I think it's more a throwback to big band jazz. John Dylan has morphed into John The Acid Head. Four of his five tunes are pretty drug-related, and I think I read he saw a yellow submarine on an acid trip. That leaves "And Your Bird Can Sing" which may have started out as another "message" to McGuinn & Co. judging by the Anthology Two version (maybe that's why they were cracking up.) By now most of his songs are reactions to people he's met (a drug-dealing doctor, Peter Fonda on an acid trip) drug experiences ("I'm Only Sleeping" perhaps, or "Yellow Submarine"), or things he's read (songs on Sgt. Pepper). George cements the "quiet Beatle" image he had going all the way back to "Don't Bother Me." He doesn't want the government bothering him either ("Taxman" a song for us conservatives), and if you don't wanna have sex, no big deal ("Love You To"). Ringo remains the ordinary guy among the Olympians, but he's also putting in those fills on "She Said She Said" and "Tomorrow Never Knows." They had all this in the can in 1966, then went on their last tour, playing none of it ("Paperback Writer" and "Rain" was as close as they got, and I'm not even sure "Rain" was on the setlist.) They could easily have stood pat on more Rubber Soul styled material, instead they just pushed the envelope even further, way further. A strong contender for best Beatle album.

<> (23.04.2003)

How can an album of such undoubted brilliance feature something so bad as 'Yellow Submarine'? That's the point the Beatles were the most diverse band ever. Revolver sees 4 still young and gifted men embracing the possibilities given to them. It'ss the best album ever!!

Gerard Nowak <> (27.09.2003)

I guess no other evaluating opinion is welcome after so many comments - I'd like to add three nuggets of trivia about this album, in case someone's missed them.

1) "She Said She Said" - apparently McCartney is not present on this and it's George who plays bass, Paul having slammed the door after a fierce argument in the studio

2)"Here There and Everywhere" - while listening to the just completed acetate of the album Lennon remarked that it was his favourite track on it - "I like this one more than any of my songs"

3)"Got to Get You Into My Life" - silly as it seems, the song is actually an ode to marijuana; this has certainly spoilt my pleasure in listening to it, but it's true, McCartney admitted that

All of this (and more) from Miles' book called "Many Years From Now" in which McCartney speaks about virtually every Beatles song he (co)-wrote

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (14.11.2003)

Too. Many. Songs! I don't know, but the shortness of these songs REALLY irritates me. The songs come, and just as they start becoming really good, they go away! This happens with 'And Your Bird Can Sing'. It's nifty, but it goes on for 6 seconds, I think, and slams right into 'For No One'. I guess it's the verse1-bridge-verse2-bridge-verse2-END! format that permeates virtually every song in here. Nonetheless, most of these songs are really good. 'Taxman', 'Love You To', 'I'm Only Sleeping', 'She Said She Said', 'Tomorrow Never Knows', these are all well deserved classics. I loathe 'Good Day Sunshine', though. Stupid fake "happy" joyful cheesy depressing horrible unmelodic song. I like 'Doctor Robert', though, and I really dig 'I Want To Tell You'! Paul's songs that are not 'Good Day Sunshine' are all extremelly nifty, too. I love 'Here, There And Everywhere'. All in all, Chaingun is a really good album, whatever. I'm not in the mood for complaining. I give this a, um, 13. And what's wrong with 'Yellow Submarine', anyway?

Amanda Kenyon <> (15.05.2004)

If someone held a gun to my head and ordered me to pick a favorite Beatles album RIGHT NOW, this would be it. Even the cover is awesome (George's eyes give me shivers, they're so strange compared to the rest of his face). My parents tell me that "Good Day Sunshine" was my favorite song when I was small, and apparently I used to get in trouble quite often around age two for messing with the stereo trying to turn it on. "Yellow Submarine" is the first Beatles song that I consciously remember; the movie was on TV when I was four or so, and I remember being mesmerized by the opening sequence showing the animated submarine. "Taxman" is one of George's best songwriting efforts with the Beatles, second only to "Something" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." I remember my dad singing and playing it very loudly every year while preparing his tax returns. (No wonder I love this album so much - I've been inundated with it all my life!) There's really not a single bad song on the whole album, and it's the first one that strikes me as being a cohesive whole. And it's a great illustration of their incredible growth as musicians; it's only three years from Please Please Me to this, but it sounds as if it's been more like ten. They crammed so much development into so short a time, it's really no wonder their recording career was so (relatively) short.

Yoram Ariel <> (03.06.2004)

The rating for this album should be "11". This is the most important album in the history of Rock. Not that it is such a great album, certainly not the best of the Beatles. It's significance is in that it is the first influential major release that contains actual Rock songs, 'Taxman' and 'Tomorrow Never Knows'.

When did (Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, Beatles) "Rock and Roll" turn into (Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Nirvana, Beatles) "Rock"? If you look at the timeline you can see that Revolver clearly marks the borderline that separates the two genres, the two distinct styles. It was the Beatles huge musical influence that exposed this new way of playing Rock to the world and because of that Revolver as an album had the largest influence on all the rest of the Rock music that was created from that point onward.

In the years before Revolver there was some tendency by the Beatles as well as other bands to incorporate into their music some songs that had a slower, heaver, more distorted feel, characteristic of Rock, but most of it was still Rock and Roll. In the year following Revolver, if you listen to Sargent Pepper and other albums like Are You Experienced, Fresh Cream and Surrealistic Pillow, if you look at the swarm of new Rock bands that released Rock albums during that year, one can only conclude that Revolver is where it all started.

B L <> (28.06.2005)

In a process started on Rubber Soul and made more explicit on Revolver, the garden of organic joy that marked earlier Beatles recordings is plowed under for good. Not content with simply being more popular than Jesus, they now position themselves as the sole source of universal wisdom and certainty.

As the last track on the album,"Tomorrow Never Knows" both solidifies and amplifies the messianic tone of the proceeding tracks. Both rhythmically and melodically, the song strongly resembles "Ticket To Ride". But unlike the earlier song, ""TNK"" is stripped of all emotional content. As McCartney and Starr hammer out a machine like rhythm (hence ""TNK"'s" continued popularity with the techno crowd), Lennon takes on the personae of a cynical, chemical God. Meanwhile, an ominous cloud of backwards guitar noise gathers menacingly overhead, poised to hurl lightning bolts of retribution at anyone foolish enough to ignore the truth. And you thought the taxman was bastard.

For this track alone, Revolver stands alone at the top of Mount Sinai as the Greatest Album Ever.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (17.12.2005)

I could write about, read about, talk about and listen to this album till I die and probably will !{That I could say the same about many of my albums is neither here nor there...}. I love everything about Revolver - even the cover, which is my favourite cover of all time {and I don't really have favourite anythings}. I have nothing critical to say - the delightful "Yellow Submarine" is actually a song of hope, a kind of 'our generation is going to do our thing differently to yours', but in true Paul style, put ever so engagingly and sweetly [and as such is the thread that connects "The Word" to much of the Beatles countercultural output], "Taxman" is one of the Beatles hottest rockers, "Love you to" is one of the most underated songs ever and hardly anyone credits it for it's groundbreaking status - how many songs before april/may '66{when it was recorded} sounded like this, incorporating that beautiful Indian feel & instrumentation with a call to freely having sex in a way that wasn't coded ? Phew ! Much as I love Dylan & the Stones even they didn't go that far !Little George ! His enormous role in the Beatles has always been fashionably downplayed[in part due to some of John's snide comments,in part due to some of George Martin's ]but right from "Don't Bother Me" in 1963 he was ploughing an unusual but inventive groove that Lennon and McCartney didn't wholly recognize.In this regard,some of the fans were actually more astute than the 2 chief Beatles[yes, I acknowledge that !] and their brilliant producer. His influence on their psychedelic period was huge in terms of composition,actual sound,subject matter,inner concerns,drugs,lifestyle and deeper questions of life, not to mention being the main player in the push to give up touring and concentrating on the studio. He was also the first to actively pursue a life outside the Beatle enclave[and this in '66].

One of the great things about Revolver [named incidentally because a record revolves - Liverpudlian humour !]is the way in which John[drugs & boredom], Paul[the London art/avant garde scene,the classics, Beach Boys & drugs]and George[frustration,drugs,Indian music,] individualize and combine their influences to bring out the best in their own and each others' songs.This shows me that whatever tensions were there at the time[and there were], the Beatles were first and foremost a BAND.Can you imagine "Submarine" without John's lunacy ? " Taxman" features lyrics by John and a scorching solo by Paul;"Rigby" features lyrical contributions by all 4 Beatles with George helping with the "ahhh look at all the lonely people" bit;it was George's idea to do the backward guitar solo on "Sleeping" and also his to combine the 2 sections of "She Said" into one song.Indeed his musical & ideas contributions to "And your bird can sing" [a sly poke at Mick Jagger and his then girlfriend- a'bird' in English circles- Marianne Faithful] is,along with Paul's, what saves this song and helps me see why John called it a horror and later still, a throwaway;Paul's efforts on George's behalf are charming,his bass & piano on "I want to tell you" [this was the first time the bass had been put on afterwards on a Beatles tune and like the fuzz bass experiment on "Think for yourself",chalk another one up to George !] make a great song gorgeous. Nowhere is the band ethos better demonstrated than on the momentous closing track, the awesome,cataclysmic "Tomorrow never knows".The "anthology" version was the first take, the one that John presented them with......and what a pile of *******!!. It is at best "interesting" from an historical perspective but as a song to bear a lifetime of repeated listenings,NAW!! On the version we know and love,all the Beatles pitched hard for it- Paul, George & John made tape loops, there was sitar,a superb Ringo and Paul rhythm section[indeed throughout this album and their '66 output Ringo drums fantastically and points the way to psychedelic rock & pop drumming] groove like their lives are about to explode and yet, in common with virtually all Beatle material,you can sing to it!

I could say so much more but let me finish with could all have been so different ! If you ever get a chance to listen to the anthology that covers '65 - '67 you'll see what I mean.The alternative versions of the Revolver material are so lame!The sessions began less than 5 months after Rubber Soul had ended and took 2 1/2 months but I'd say it was time well spent and it started the fashion for taking ages to record LPs although by todays standards, 2 1/2 months is no time at all!

samo kodela <> (19.05.2006)

On Revolver, the Beatles begin with serious sound experimentation and get a few shots at society, with 'Taxman' and 'Eleanor Rigby'. The first one somehow reminds of the song Batman, from a ridicioulus tv series I once saw on tv, but I'm just mentioning that as a random fact, without any doubt, that the melody is from The Beatles. 'Eleanor Rigby' is great and I can sing it and play it on guitar, I just wish, someone would play the strings section with me. In our town there was actually an old women, that picked up rice after the wedings. Now there are some great lyrics for you!!!!The kind of lyrics, that can hit so many people across the globe!!! There are also some fantastic melodies on there!!I abdsolutely love 'Here, there and everywhere', 'Good day sunshine' and 'Got to get you into my life'!!! If only 'I've just seen a face' and 'Yesterday' would be here, then this album would be, a collection of my favourite pop/rock melodies!!!!'And you bird can sing' is in my opininon a fine antiamaterialistic song and 'For no one' is about a lost love, perhaps because of many things, but perhaps the woman was materialistic. There is no sign of that in the song, but that is so often the thing. Money can spoil everything. If it begins the relationship, it might also soon ruin it. It's so great and special, that Robert Plant met his wife, before he became rich with Zeppelin!!!It was true love. This brings us to 'Doctor Robert'!!!Perhaps a song about, or a plea for, a new type of doctor, that really cares for his patients!! 'I'm only sleeping' has got this great sounds in behind and I always get a feeling, like those sounds are going to pull me into sleep, but not because they are boring. The album is great, but I would preffer, as I like a bit haevier music and music that expresses the various genres in a more direct way, that The Beatles, could somehow get across, a stronger feel for other musical genres, instead of just pop/rock, mixed a bit, with other musical flawours. Instead of recording 'Tommorow never knows' as a pop song, with a bit of strange noises and therefore making it very sort of user friendly, they should perhaps really go, into kind of Pink Floyd craziness!!! It could still have a great melody, but not a pop one!!!The same goes with the sitar thing!! Why not try to make it Indian for real!!! It could still have 'The Beatles charm' as George would call it, but it would have the real indian feel, like Zep's Friends or Kashmir!!!'Love you to' is still great ofcourse and it has lyrics about love and peace and even if they are not exactly deeply philosophicall or poetic, they are still written in relation with an Indian philosophy and Harrsion can really play the sitar damn well!!!!! But Kashmir is damn good too and even much, much beter if you ask me!!!I just don't get that constant pop feel with Zep!!!! Even if The Fab four made people aware of certain musical genres, it's incredible, that Zep actually made about the same amount of people aware of it, in a much more direct and artistic way!!! Poeple actually listened, to half an hour clasicall grand piano solos, in 'No quarter' on Zep 75 and 77 tours!!! This album is great and it has some nice experimentation and some faboulus mellodies!!!!! 9/10

Nathaniel Freedman <> (19.09.2006)

I wouldn't rate this album 10/10. There are so many subtle problems with this album that when I compare it in its entirety to the remaining classic Beatles albums, Sgt. Pepper, MMT, The Beatles, and Abbey Road, I think Revolver is not on the same level of quality as these. I admit that there are elements I don't like in all the Beatles albums you have rated 10/10, most acutely in the case of Sgt. Peppers, where a handful of Paul's songs in the middle of the album provoke an almost allergic reaction from me (She's Leaving Home, When I'm 64, and Lovely Rita). However, in that case the rest of the songs are either good, great, or incomparably fantastic. For the other albums, what flaws I think exist are minor or more than compensated for by the outstanding quality of the rest of the album. The exception is Revolver.

There is only one song on Revolver that I dislike, and that is "Good Day Sunshine," where Paul's singing seems insincere to me, the piano line is apathetic, and the lyrics are uninspired. The song seems like a toss-off by Paul, a song that might have took him all of one day to write and record. However, if that was the only problem with Revolver I would say that it is almost as good as Sgt. Pepper. I don't think that is the case.

 I kept on wondering why I didn't like this album as much as Sgt. Pepper. "Taxman" is good, "Eleanor Rigby" is the greatest fusion of classical music and popular music ever, "I'm only sleeping" is great, "Love You to" is nifty, I even think "Tomorrow Never Knows" is a cool groove. There aren't any songs on here I don't like except for "Good Day Sunshine." But something is missing. I ended up comparing the song listings of Sgt. Pepper and Revolver and found it. The average length of a song on Revolver is 2:30. The average length of the "real" songs (excluding the intro and reprise) on Sgt. Pepper is 3:20. That 50 second difference is what is wrong with Revolver. The difference is even greater when you take into account that there is about 5 seconds of banding between all the songs on Revolver, while Sgt. Peppers famously lacked banding.

What this means is that Revolver suffers from having lots of good original ideas that are not well-developed because they are scattered throughout a bunch of short songs. I think only "Love You To," "Tomorrow Never Knows," "Yellow Submarine," "Eleanor Rigby," "I'm Only Sleeping," "I Want To Tell You," and "Taxman" couldn't be improved by making them longer to add more ideas and layers to them. From "Good Day Sunshine" to "Dr. Robert" is a stretch of songs that are seriously under-written, and noticably suffer for it.

I could speculate on why this is a problem, and possibilities range from the constraints of the touring schedule to the general industry attitude about the appropriate length of a pop song, to possibly even Paul McCartney valueing prolificness over quality. Whatever the reason, the Beatles never released any songs afterwards that seem to have been compromised by being too short. "Revolution 9" on the other hand...

Even with its problems, I think Revolver is a 13/15 by your rating system on the quality of its songs, even if they aren't all they could be, and because it was one of the most innovative albums at the forefront of the creative revolution in rock music, I'd say it deserves 14/15. And I'm not talking about just the psychedelic elements, Revolver also has the fully-realized use of classical instruments in a pop form, and reasonably smart, mature lyrics (Yellow Submarine excluded, of course).


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