Customer Review

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And the revolution so began, 30 July 2011
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This review is from: Please Please Me (Audio CD)
John Lennon first met Paul McCartney in July 1957, so the Beatles' debut album is the culmination of about 5 years of hard work - mainly gigging in the Northwest of England and Hamburg. Debut albums are often notoriously good as they have fermented for so long. The Beatles, of course, went from strength to strength in subsequent releases. It's hard to imagine that this record is almost 50 years old at my time of writing. It was created with very primitive sound recording technology (compared to today) and at a time when record producers wore a shirt and tie to work. It also only cost 400 to make. How times change. It's also hard to imagine that in 5 years these same guys would evolve from tracks like 'Love Me Do' and 'PS. I Love You' to songs like 'A Day in the Life' and 'I Am The Walrus.'

The key to the Beatles' songwriting is in their use of 3 key words: "I", "ME" and "YOU". Listen to their songs and note how often these 3 words constantly occur, particularly in the first half of their recording career.

As for the album - it has 14 tracks (8 Lennon/McCartney songs and 6 cover version), the majority of which were recorded in a single day at Abbey Road Studios in London. No track exceeds 3 minutes in duration and the total running time of the 14 songs is 32.27 mins. The fact that there are any original songs on 'Please Please Me' was revolutionary in itself. This was the time when 'A&R' really meant matching Artistes (performers) with Repertoire (from songwriters). The Beatles were self-contained and could write their own material. This is something that we now take for granted. The Beatles continued to revolutionise the music industry in subsequent years - for example, in being the first to perform at sports stadiums, and in opening the commercial path to American success for other British bands.

Note that the vocals on this CD will come through your right speaker. If you run it through a hi fi system at a decent volume with your ear to the right speaker then you'll think you are standing at the microphones beside Lennon, McCartney and Harrison. Quite remarkable.

My only gripe is with the record label as the packaging is unfortunately in cardboard form. This means making some contact with the CD when moving it and out of the sleeve (something I usually prefer to avoid, as they're nowhere near as durable as first thought when they came out in 1982).

Overall, this is a momentous, turning point album in the British music industry and the commencement of the recording career of a band that became a cultural institution that will continue to reverberate throughout the ages, probably for many centuries to come. Had Brian Epstein not been in the HMV record store in Oxford Street that day with the Beatles failed Decca demo session (in order to turn a reel into a sample record), then this music may not have come to the attention of George Martin and Parlophone. It makes you wonder how many near misses are actually out there in music, literature and the arts etc.

Extras include a 20 page inlay booklet (including commentary and a series of photos) and a 5 minute documentary video clip.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Mar 2013 20:10:49 GMT
Skeptic says:
Buddy Holly and the Crickets were a self-contained unit performing their own compositions in 1957.
Jerry Allison, Joe B. Mauldin and Niki Sullivan all contributed to creating the songs.
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