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Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

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    Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

    Fifty years ago, the UK singles chart was in a rare Beatles-free lull, between the Number 1s Ticket to Ride, released in April, and Help! released next week.

    Albums-wise, we were in for a treat, with Help! coming in a month, and Rubber Soul to blow everyone's minds before the year was out.

    So basically this is just an excuse to talk about The Beatles, prompted by hearing five in a row come up this morning during a "60s Best" playlist shuffle.

    Drive My Car
    Fool on the Hill
    Please Please Me
    The Long and Winding Road
    (from LIB Naked)
    Till There Was You


    Not bad for a random selection.

    #2
    Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

    The Help! LP came out on August 6. Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited on August 30. It was a good month.

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      #3
      Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

      A few years ago some of us here worked out a rating of each Beatles album based on the average scores given to each song on the LP. I wasn't surprised that Help! won, ahead of Abbey Road.

      Of course, it's not a perfect system; it fails to take into account overall feel and context. If that was decisive, Rubber Soul or Sgt Peppers would score higher than they did.

      Even so, I've been wanting to repeat the exercise. This thread gives me an excuse.

      Off I go then...

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        #4
        Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

        The unspoken law of Beatles albums is that nearly every one has a clunker on it.

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          #5
          Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

          Which is the one without the clunker?

          Comment


            #6
            Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

            Help! (8,50)
            A Hard Day's Night (8.39)
            Abbey Road (8,36)
            Magical Mystery Tour (8,36)*
            Rubber Soul (7,93)
            Revolver (7,86)
            Sgt Peppers (7,83)
            Let It Be (7,82)
            Beatles For Sales (7,57)
            Please Please Me (7,42)
            Yellow Submarine (7,33 - Side 1 only)**
            White Album (7,20)***
            With The Beatles (7,07)

            * If you take away Side 2, which includes previous singles to fill empty inventory -- Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane, Hello Goodbye and All You Need Is Love, plus the excellent Baby You're A Rich Man, Magical Mystery Tour drops to 7,13.

            ** Without filler track All You Need Is Love, it gets 6,8 -- making it my least favourite Beatles album.

            *** LP 1 scores 7,47; LP 2 only 6,5 thanks to the very poor Side 4. But heard not as individual tracks but as a whole, the White Album is much, much better.

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              #7
              Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

              Which is the one without the clunker?
              A Hard Day's Night

              Arguably also Sgt Pepper, if one tolerates the doodling of "Within You, Without You". Help's only clunker is Dizzy Miss Lizzy, which isn't brutally bad.

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                #8
                Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                I'd have to say The Best Of The Beatles.

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                  #9
                  Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                  G-Man wrote: The Help! LP came out on August 6. Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited on August 30. It was a good month.
                  Lawks! I'd forgotten how quickly Highway 61 Revisited followed Bringing It All Back Home, just five months.

                  It was a very good year.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                    G-Man wrote:
                    Which is the one without the clunker?
                    A Hard Day's Night

                    Arguably also Sgt Pepper, if one tolerates the doodling of "Within You, Without You". Help's only clunker is Dizzy Miss Lizzy, which isn't brutally bad.
                    Help's got a number of forgettable originals on it: Another Girl, It's Only Love (better on the Anthology when taken at a faster lick) and Tell Me What You See. Interestingly, Beatles For Sale has plenty of good originals but suffers due to some perfunctory covers.

                    A Hard Day's Night and Revolver are their flawless albums.

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                      #11
                      Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                      I'm not ready to do the ranking yet as it deserves proper thought. But it's interesting to see Help! came out top last time. I always assumed it was one of the ensuing three (excluding movie tie-ins etc.) Can we include Let it Be in Naked and... Clothed forms? I now prefer the former.

                      Personally Rubber Soul is my favourite as I feel it marks the transition between a pop group and something much, much more. So with Help! too, there must be a case for '65 being their best year.

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                        #12
                        Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                        Didn't Barry Cryer write half of that album? Or was that Monty Python?

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                          #13
                          Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                          kokamoa wrote:
                          Originally posted by G-Man
                          Which is the one without the clunker?
                          A Hard Day's Night

                          Arguably also Sgt Pepper, if one tolerates the doodling of "Within You, Without You". Help's only clunker is Dizzy Miss Lizzy, which isn't brutally bad.
                          Help's got a number of forgettable originals on it: Another Girl, It's Only Love (better on the Anthology when taken at a faster lick) and Tell Me What You See. Interestingly, Beatles For Sale has plenty of good originals but suffers due to some perfunctory covers.

                          A Hard Day's Night and Revolver are their flawless albums.
                          "Tell Me What You See" is lovely. It's one of the songs that mark the influence of folk that would find fuller expression on Rubber Soul.

                          I see nothing particularly wrong with "Another Girl" and "It's Only Love". They are not pop classics, but they are not loathsome.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                            G-Man said

                            "Tell Me What You See" is lovely. It's one of the songs that mark the influence of folk that would find fuller expression on Rubber Soul.

                            I see nothing particularly wrong with "Another Girl" and "It's Only Love". They are not pop classics, but they are not loathsome.[/quote]
                            If they had worked the same trick as they did with A Hard Day's Night and included two B-sides, I'd like Help! more. Substitute Yes It Is and I'm Down for It's Only Love and Dizzy Miss Lizzy and you get a much better album.

                            Of course, the great "lost" track from the Help! sessions is the one that their engineer, Norman "Hurricane" Smith wrote with John Lennon in mind and which they agreed to record, but had to rescind on when they realised Ringo didn't yet have a vocal on the album.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                              Sits wrote:

                              Personally Rubber Soul is my favourite as I feel it marks the transition between a pop group and something much, much more. So with Help! too, there must be a case for '65 being their best year.
                              Sits, I agree with both point there.
                              Also in reference to the Red & Blue albums, if I could re-do them, I'd release 3 albums instead: 1962 to mid 1965 - all the more rock 'n' roll stuff up to and including the Help album. Late 1965 to mid(ish1968); the more mellower and experimental music from Rubber Soul to the Yellow Submarine soundtrack, and then finally the Apple years from 1968 to 1970, with the more rawer sounds of the White Album, Let It Be (naked) and Abbey Road (as they were recorded chronologically).
                              The thing is, what would the the cover of the middle album be like?

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                                kokamoa wrote:

                                I see nothing particularly wrong with "Another Girl" and "It's Only Love". They are not pop classics, but they are not loathsome.
                                'It's Only Love' is one of my favourite songs, along with 'Every Little Thing' from 'Beatles For Sale', as it shows a beautiful vulnerability in John Lennon's voice.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                                  Serge Gainsbourg wrote:
                                  Originally posted by kokamoa

                                  I see nothing particularly wrong with "Another Girl" and "It's Only Love". They are not pop classics, but they are not loathsome.
                                  'It's Only Love' is one of my favourite songs, along with 'Every Little Thing' from 'Beatles For Sale', as it shows a beautiful vulnerability in John Lennon's voice.
                                  I was quoting G-Man and got a bit too carried away with the delete button.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                                    I've never quite understood why people don't like "It's Only Love" (apart from a few crappy lyrics). Even Lennon thought it was pretty wack. I think it's great - although I'm a sucker for any of those desperate-sounding acoustic Lennon songs.

                                    Imagine Levi Stubbs singing the chorus. We missed a good one there.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                                      Of the early Beatles stuff, I think If I Fell is the lost gem.

                                      But yes, Help was the first coherent album. And this was at a time where the idea of an album didn't really exist.

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                                        #20
                                        Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                                        Taylor wrote: I'm a sucker for any of those desperate-sounding acoustic Lennon songs.
                                        There was quite a few in an 18-month period. SP's lost gem 'If I Fell', 'I'm A Loser' 'Every Little Thing' 'I Don't Want To Spoil The Party' 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away' 'Norwegian Wood' and 'Girl'
                                        All written between the ages of 23 to 25, and it shows a very sensitive side to someone who was quite self-loathing and a self-confessed bastard on occasion.

                                        Comment


                                          #21
                                          Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                                          Even their weakest albums - Beatles for Sale, Let It Be - have some awesome songs. Maybe the best measure of "strength" of an album is to look for the median quality track, which is still going to be very good on any album except arguably those two above (if I had to pick a No. 1 on that basis, I'd be split between A Hard Day's Night and Revolver; Pepper and the White Album would be fairly high because their middling tracks are under-rated IMHO: Lovely Rita, Long Long Long?).

                                          One caveat: I don't think Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine were proper album releases. MMT charted here as an import; Yellow Submarine was a compilation of odds and sods to cash in on the movie.

                                          Comment


                                            #22
                                            Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                                            Tracks 2 and 3 on For Sale are wonderful, especially Baby's in Black which is another one of those "forgotten" gems.

                                            Every time I hear it, and they sing

                                            Oh, how long will it take
                                            Till she sees the mistake
                                            She has made


                                            I get the 'bumps.

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                                              #23
                                              Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                                              Sits wrote: Tracks 2 and 3 on For Sale are wonderful, especially Baby's in Black which is another one of those "forgotten" gems.

                                              Every time I hear it, and they sing

                                              Oh, how long will it take
                                              Till she sees the mistake
                                              She has made


                                              I get the 'bumps.
                                              Beatles For Sale is chock full of bumps moments:
                                              I'll Follow the Sun: "And now the time has come and so my love I must go. And though I lose a friend, in the end you will know.

                                              I Don't Want to Spoil the Party: George's guitar solo and "Though tonight she's made me sad - I still love her."

                                              The aforementioned "Every little thing she does, she does for me"
                                              And George Martin's piano playing in the "Go get you here and
                                              play a tango" verse of Rock 'n' Roll music. Ringo's drumming kicks arse in the same bit too.

                                              Comment


                                                #24
                                                Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                                                Serge Gainsbourg wrote:
                                                Originally posted by Taylor
                                                I'm a sucker for any of those desperate-sounding acoustic Lennon songs.
                                                There was quite a few in an 18-month period. SP's lost gem 'If I Fell', 'I'm A Loser' 'Every Little Thing' 'I Don't Want To Spoil The Party' 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away' 'Norwegian Wood' and 'Girl'
                                                All written between the ages of 23 to 25, and it shows a very sensitive side to someone who was quite self-loathing and a self-confessed bastard on occasion.
                                                Don't forget "I'll Be Back", which is possibly the best of all of them.

                                                Comment


                                                  #25
                                                  Beatles Timeline: 50 years on

                                                  This Boy
                                                  A Hard Day's Night
                                                  In My Life
                                                  And Your Bird Can Sing (I like the Anthology "stoned" version best)
                                                  It's All Too Much
                                                  I've Got A Feeling
                                                  {Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam/She Came In Through The Bathroom Window}
                                                  {Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End}

                                                  not a bad sign off either

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