Friday, September 18, 2009

The Beatles - with the beatles

So this is the UK version, the U.S. version was titled meet the beatles and released a couple months later with an altered track listing. According to Wikipedia: "released on 22 November 1963, the same day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated." I imagine it didn't do so well that first week, but then again, Jay-Z's The Blueprint was released on 9/11/01 and sold half a million copies the first week. Okay, so it was released in the UK in 1963 so they sold about 500k. The U.S. release came a few months later as Meet The Beatles.

So after their first album, they decided to take a whole four months off before recording this album. I imagine the 7.5 pounds they earned wasn't enough for them to go on holiday any longer. Again, a short album, with the longest song only 3 seconds longer than their previous record (no pun). Initially, this sounded like the album picked up in the middle of a song...suddenly, John is yelling at me that it won't be long (I know, your previous album was released just a few months ago, geez). I'd hate to see these guys the day before Christmas. Man, don't they have any patience?

This album had 8 original songs and six covers - let's see how they did...
  1. It Won't Be Long - John does a decent job with this, but overall it's just average as they try to kick off the album with some energy.

  2. All I've Got To Do - At this point I still can't tell John and Paul apart, but this song is better than the previous one, maybe because it sounds a bit more like Paul singing in my opinion.

  3. All My Loving - Paul goes solo with probably the best song on the album.

  4. Don't Bother Me - George takes the lead here with an average song that does nothing for me, in fact it kind of bothered me a bit. The music doesn't really fit the mood of the lyrics. The instrumental is just a bit too happy while George tries to sound...depressed?

  5. Little Child - Apparently, John wants to dance with some little child - not sure what the point of this song is. In fact, he kind of sounds like that strange uncle who is a bit too friendly until he scares them away with his harmonica. Pass.

  6. Till There Was You - First of 3 covers in a row - continuing the tradition of the previous album with a lack of passion (though, again, having never heard the original, maybe this is how it's supposed to sound).

  7. Please Mister Postman - The Beatles cover the first number 1 hit single for Motown - always a crowd pleaser. Nice job with this, but I prefer the original, mainly because of the background vocals.

  8. Roll Over Beethoven - Sticking with their cover band roots, they jack Chuck Berry this time. Not bad but they sing this like they're borrowing it and don't want to break it. Chuck Berry sings it like he owns it, which he does. It does a nice job keeping the energy high in the middle of the album though.

  9. Hold Me Tight - This was a reject from Please Please Me and should have been a reject here too. Paul sounds like he's fighting his way through this one. I wonder if this would sound better with a little AutoTune featuring T-Pain?

  10. You Really Got A Hold On Me - After the previous song, this sounds a bit better than it actually is. Pass.

  11. I Wanna Be Your Man - Ringo was hoping to redeem himself in case people misunderstood his previous ode to boys. I think he goes a bit overboard. Quite repetative too, as I think he repeats the title 98 times. Were verses not invented yet?

  12. Devil In Her Heart - Another cover that seems to drag on and it's only 2:30. It's like he's on a first date or an interview on his best behavior before allowing his personality to come out.

  13. Not A Second Time - This seems a bit ironic to me as this album feels like a second version of their first, but minus the good songs.

  14. Money (That's What I Want) - A cover song trying hard to be this album's version of Twist and Shout. Also this may be just them explaining that they were just trying to capitalize on the success of the first album and put this out to make a quick buck - seriously you only put 4 months work into this effort, it kind of shows.
I think they may have had a little sophmore slump going on, but then again, they only had 4 months so was do you expect. Speaking of which, over the course of about 8 years, they released 13 albums. In today's market, I doubt anyone would expect solid material on all those albums. In fact I'd bet the reviews would be horrendous if today's most popular artists dropped an album every 6 months. So 13 albums in 8 years, I'd expect them to be a bit watered down. Though since everyone raves about The Beatles, maybe they are the one group that can pull this off, but so far it is looking doubtful unless they continue to fill their albums with covers, but let's be honest, how far can that really take you?

Unless you love cover bands, but hate going to bars, I'd say pass on this one. In the end, you can find the highlights on a "Best of" disc that you'll probably need to buy anyway if you want to get all of the hit singles that never made the albums.

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