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For those that don’t know me, I used to be known around here as saintsfan and years ago I did a thread for the History of the Beatles.  Lots of people seemed to enjoy it and I had a lot of fun creating it.  Well, I was gone for quite a while, but I missed it here, so I decided to check it out and remember how much fun it was to hang out here.

 

Anyway, when I came back, I went looking for my old thread and didn’t find it, but I did find krista4’s EXCELLENT thread ranking the Post Beatles Songs.  I read through it and loved it and learned so much.  She is a fountain of knowledge and it inspired me to create something new, but what to create??

So I decided that I would stick with what I know best, the Beatles of course, and I decided to do a ranking of my own, much smaller in scope, but I think interesting where I rank the Beatles albums.  One of the Beatles main contributions, IMO, was making the album something to be appreciated.  Before the Beatles, from a pop/rock perspective albums were money grabs.  Get someone to buy the single again by putting it on an album.  The Beatles changed that and, in fact, many of the Beatles most well known songs ARE NOT ON AN ALBUM.  So, with few exceptions, what was released on an album was new material, with singles not appearing on them.  So, IMO, that makes the albums even MORE extraordinary when you realize that the songs good enough to be singles aren’t even included and still you get all these classics.  The Beatles just had an embarrassment of riches that way.

Anyway, I have a few rules that I followed when I did this

1.  This is my list.  There are only 12 Beatles albums (more on that in a sec), but these are my favorites in this order.  I generally think very highly of all the Beatles albums, except one, so my ranking of an album is not to say I hate the album, only that I rank it lower than the ones above it.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the album if you love it more than me or don’t like it as much as I do.  That’s what we are here for.

2.  I am ranking the albums in the UK catalogue.  Meet the Beatles and Rubber Soul by Capitol may work well as albums, but they aren’t Beatles albums.  They are compilations made by Capitol Records, therefore, not intended to be albums by the band or their producer.  Once again, thoughts on specific albums outside of this are welcome, of course, once again, that’s what we are here for

3.  According to my rule in #2, Magical Mystery Tour WILL NOT be in my countdown.  You could argue by the late 70s, and certainly by the CD releases in 1987, Magical Mystery Tour is considered to be part of the core catalogue, but as originally envisioned in the 1960s, Magical Mystery Tour was an EP.  Capitol released a compilation of MMT with the other non album singles from 1967 that became the Magical Mystery Tour album.  IMO, this was a good idea, but it makes ranking it difficult because Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane, All You Need is Love and Baby You’re a Rich Man had nothing whatsoever to do with the MMT sessions and are more related to the sessions of Sgt Pepper. 


As far as how I’m gonna do this, I’ll go from 12-1.  I'm also gonna talk about the songs that I like on the album, songs that I think maybe are not as strong and songs that I think are kind of under the radar good.  Shouldn’t take me too long.  My goal is to try and do one post a day.  So 12 days from now, we’ll be done.  Please feel free to comment as this is my favorite topic in the world.  All comments are welcome, even negative ones.

 

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For those that don’t know me, I used to be known around here as saintsfan and years ago I did a thread for the History of the Beatles.  Lots of people seemed to enjoy it and I had a lot of fun creatin

#4 Abbey Road   So above we discuss the disaster that was the Get Back project.  George Martin thought he would never work with the Beatles again.  So he was surprised when Paul called him a

Not exactly...

#12 Yellow Submarine

 

If you ask 100 Beatles fans, the vast majority of them would say that this is the worst Beatles album.  The Beatles, themselves, treated this as an afterthought.  Half the album are George Martin’s movie scores so there are only 4 new Beatles songs.  

 

George Harrison’s Only A Northern Song was kind of a leftover from Sgt Pepper than nobody liked enough to put on that album.  All Together Now is a simple singalong that Paul probably wrote in 5 minutes that was good for an animated film, but not much else.  George also wrote It’s All Too Much, which is kind of acid rock and pretty good, but a little repetitive, and it was considered for Magical Mystery Tour, but eventually was regulated to Yellow Submarine.  I won’t go into too much detail about the movie scores since those aren’t Beatles music.  If you like that sort of thing, they are very good, but I don’t listen to them much.

Ironically, one of my favorite Beatles tracks is on this afterthought of an album in Hey Bulldog.  The song is one of those great things that the Beatles can do that almost sounds like they made it up on the spot.  Funky piano riff that turns into a guitar riff.  Screaming guitar solo by George.  Ringo doing what he does, holding it down, Paul’s bass line that rips the top of your head off (there is an isolated bass track somewhere on YouTube, go look for it) and that Lennon voice that only he can do.  Them fooling around at the end making barking noises, which I can only assume is how they got to “Hey Bulldog” as a title instead of the more obvious “You Can Talk to Me.”  Not a whole lot of meaning in these lyrics, but who cares.  Great sounding track that has only been discovered by the general public in the last 5 years or so.  

 

Geoff Emerick, the Beatles recording engineer, viewed this song as a turning point.  They recorded this right before getting on the plane to go to India.  The next time they got together to record was the sessions for The Beatles (aka The White Album) which were tense sessions.  Something had broken between them in the time they recorded Hey Bulldog and the White Album.  What that was is a topic for another thread, but in Emerick’s opinion, they truly had a blast recording Hey Bulldog and it was the last time he felt they were all pulling in the same direction completely.  Take that for what it’s worth

So in closing for this first album, which is a pretty short writeup because it’s a short album, the Beatles viewed this as an afterthought.  I like the songs, but except for Hey Bulldog I don’t go back and seek them out too often and I certainly don’t listen to Yellow Submarine as an album.

Track Listing

1. Yellow Submarine - Ringo

2. Only A Northern Song - George

3. All Together Now - Paul

4. Hey Bulldog - John

5. It's All Too Much - George

6.  All You Need Is Love - John

7. Pepperland - (George Martin Score 7-13)

8. Sea of Time

9. Sea of Hole

10. Sea of Monsters

11. March of the Meanies

12. Pepperland laid waste

13. Yellow Submarine in Pepperland

 

 



Next….we get into to meatier albums and the quality goes WAY WAY up.

Edited by Guido Merkins
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1 hour ago, Guido Merkins said:

For those that don’t know me, I used to be known around here as saintsfan and years ago I did a thread for the History of the Beatles.  Lots of people seemed to enjoy it and I had a lot of fun creating it.  Well, I was gone for quite a while, but I missed it here, so I decided to check it out and remember how much fun it was to hang out here.

 

Anyway, when I came back, I went looking for my old thread and didn’t find it, but I did find krista4’s EXCELLENT thread ranking the Post Beatles Songs.  I read through it and loved it and learned so much.  She is a fountain of knowledge and it inspired me to create something new, but what to create??

So I decided that I would stick with what I know best, the Beatles of course, and I decided to do a ranking of my own, much smaller in scope, but I think interesting where I rank the Beatles albums.  One of the Beatles main contributions, IMO, was making the album something to be appreciated.  Before the Beatles, from a pop/rock perspective albums were money grabs.  Get someone to buy the single again by putting it on an album.  The Beatles changed that and, in fact, many of the Beatles most well known songs ARE NOT ON AN ALBUM.  So, with few exceptions, what was released on an album was new material, with singles not appearing on them.  So, IMO, that makes the albums even MORE extraordinary when you realize that the songs good enough to be singles aren’t even included and still you get all these classics.  The Beatles just had an embarrassment of riches that way.

Anyway, I have a few rules that I followed when I did this

1.  This is my list.  There are only 12 Beatles albums (more on that in a sec), but these are my favorites in this order.  I generally think very highly of all the Beatles albums, except one, so my ranking of an album is not to say I hate the album, only that I rank it lower than the ones above it.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the album if you love it more than me or don’t like it as much as I do.  That’s what we are here for.

2.  I am ranking the albums in the UK catalogue.  Meet the Beatles and Rubber Soul by Capitol may work well as albums, but they aren’t Beatles albums.  They are compilations made by Capitol Records, therefore, not intended to be albums by the band or their producer.  Once again, thoughts on specific albums outside of this are welcome, of course, once again, that’s what we are here for

3.  According to my rule in #2, Magical Mystery Tour WILL NOT be in my countdown.  You could argue by the late 70s, and certainly by the CD releases in 1987, Magical Mystery Tour is considered to be part of the core catalogue, but as originally envisioned in the 1960s, Magical Mystery Tour was an EP.  Capitol released a compilation of MMT with the other non album singles from 1967 that became the Magical Mystery Tour album.  IMO, this was a good idea, but it makes ranking it difficult because Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane, All You Need is Love and Baby You’re a Rich Man had nothing whatsoever to do with the MMT sessions and are more related to the sessions of Sgt Pepper. 


As far as how I’m gonna do this, I’ll go from 12-1.  I'm also gonna talk about the songs that I like on the album, songs that I think maybe are not as strong and songs that I think are kind of under the radar good.  Shouldn’t take me too long.  My goal is to try and do one post a day.  So 12 days from now, we’ll be done.  Please feel free to comment as this is my favorite topic in the world.  All comments are welcome, even negative ones.

 

Love love love!  I'm glad you're back as I consider you and Godsbrother the Beatles experts here.  And I'm in 100% agreement with your point #2 above.

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46 minutes ago, Guido Merkins said:

#12 Yellow Submarine

 

If you ask 100 Beatles fans, the vast majority of them would say that this is the worst Beatles album.  The Beatles, themselves, treated this as an afterthought.  Half the album are George Martin’s movie scores so there are only 4 new Beatles songs.  

 

George Harrison’s Only A Northern Song was kind of a leftover from Sgt Pepper than nobody liked enough to put on that album.  All Together Now is a simple singalong that Paul probably wrote in 5 minutes that was good for an animated film, but not much else.  George also wrote It’s All Too Much, which is kind of acid rock and pretty good, but a little repetitive, and it was considered for Magical Mystery Tour, but eventually was regulated to Yellow Submarine.  I won’t go into too much detail about the movie scores since those aren’t Beatles music.  If you like that sort of thing, they are very good, but I don’t listen to them much.

Ironically, one of my favorite Beatles tracks is on this afterthought of an album in Hey Bulldog.  The song is one of those great things that the Beatles can do that almost sounds like they made it up on the spot.  Funky piano riff that turns into a guitar riff.  Screaming guitar solo by George.  Ringo doing what he does, holding it down, Paul’s bass line that rips the top of your head off (there is an isolated bass track somewhere on YouTube, go look for it) and that Lennon voice that only he can do.  Them fooling around at the end making barking noises, which I can only assume is how they got to “Hey Bulldog” as a title instead of the more obvious “You Can Talk to Me.”  Not a whole lot of meaning in these lyrics, but who cares.  Great sounding track that has only been discovered by the general public in the last 5 years or so.  

 

Geoff Emerick, the Beatles recording engineer, viewed this song as a turning point.  They recorded this right before getting on the plane to go to India.  The next time they got together to record was the sessions for The Beatles (aka The White Album) which were tense sessions.  Something had broken between them in the time they recorded Hey Bulldog and the White Album.  What that was is a topic for another thread, but in Emerick’s opinion, they truly had a blast recording Hey Bulldog and it was the last time he felt they were all pulling in the same direction completely.  Take that for what it’s worth

So in closing for this first album, which is a pretty short writeup because it’s a short album, the Beatles viewed this as an afterthought.  I like the songs, but except for Hey Bulldog I don’t go back and seek them out too often and I certainly don’t listen to Yellow Submarine as an album.

Next….we get into to meatier albums and the quality goes WAY WAY up.

It was originally "Hey Bullfrog" and then changed to "Hey Bulldog."  :)

Agree with your ranking here and with your analysis of the songs, except that I might like "It's All Too Much" a little better than it sounds like you do.  "Hey Bulldog" is fantastic, though.  I never listen to this album as a whole, since, as you pointed out, there's not much "Beatles" on it.  Love the movie, though!

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46 minutes ago, krista4 said:

It was originally "Hey Bullfrog" and then changed to "Hey Bulldog."  :)

Agree with your ranking here and with your analysis of the songs, except that I might like "It's All Too Much" a little better than it sounds like you do.  "Hey Bulldog" is fantastic, though.  I never listen to this album as a whole, since, as you pointed out, there's not much "Beatles" on it.  Love the movie, though!

Yeah, the movie is great.  In fact, I have the Yellow Submarine Soundtrack on vinyl which I do listen to because it has all the movie music and it was the first Beatles music to receive remixes in 1999.......

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17 minutes ago, Guido Merkins said:

Yeah, the movie is great.  In fact, I have the Yellow Submarine Soundtrack on vinyl which I do listen to because it has all the movie music and it was the first Beatles music to receive remixes in 1999.......

I have a Yellow Submarine lunchbox that I keep pharmaceuticals in. 💊  The album is my least favorite of their catalogue, and I never play it, although I own it. I mainly have put "Hey Bulldog" on mixtape cassettes, mixtape cds, and these days mixed playlists.  I also like "It's All Too Much," and I don't mind "Yellow Submarine" if I'm in the mood. Kids like singing to YS. 

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2 hours ago, Guido Merkins said:

#12 Yellow Submarine

 

If you ask 100 Beatles fans, the vast majority of them would say that this is the worst Beatles album.  The Beatles, themselves, treated this as an afterthought.  Half the album are George Martin’s movie scores so there are only 4 new Beatles songs.  

 

George Harrison’s Only A Northern Song was kind of a leftover from Sgt Pepper than nobody liked enough to put on that album.  All Together Now is a simple singalong that Paul probably wrote in 5 minutes that was good for an animated film, but not much else.  George also wrote It’s All Too Much, which is kind of acid rock and pretty good, but a little repetitive, and it was considered for Magical Mystery Tour, but eventually was regulated to Yellow Submarine.  I won’t go into too much detail about the movie scores since those aren’t Beatles music.  If you like that sort of thing, they are very good, but I don’t listen to them much.

Ironically, one of my favorite Beatles tracks is on this afterthought of an album in Hey Bulldog.  The song is one of those great things that the Beatles can do that almost sounds like they made it up on the spot.  Funky piano riff that turns into a guitar riff.  Screaming guitar solo by George.  Ringo doing what he does, holding it down, Paul’s bass line that rips the top of your head off (there is an isolated bass track somewhere on YouTube, go look for it) and that Lennon voice that only he can do.  Them fooling around at the end making barking noises, which I can only assume is how they got to “Hey Bulldog” as a title instead of the more obvious “You Can Talk to Me.”  Not a whole lot of meaning in these lyrics, but who cares.  Great sounding track that has only been discovered by the general public in the last 5 years or so.  

 

Geoff Emerick, the Beatles recording engineer, viewed this song as a turning point.  They recorded this right before getting on the plane to go to India.  The next time they got together to record was the sessions for The Beatles (aka The White Album) which were tense sessions.  Something had broken between them in the time they recorded Hey Bulldog and the White Album.  What that was is a topic for another thread, but in Emerick’s opinion, they truly had a blast recording Hey Bulldog and it was the last time he felt they were all pulling in the same direction completely.  Take that for what it’s worth

So in closing for this first album, which is a pretty short writeup because it’s a short album, the Beatles viewed this as an afterthought.  I like the songs, but except for Hey Bulldog I don’t go back and seek them out too often and I certainly don’t listen to Yellow Submarine as an album.

Next….we get into to meatier albums and the quality goes WAY WAY up.

As a primo aficianado of your originial Beatles thread, Guido, as well as both of Krista's magnum opuses (opi?), I'm here for this like Phil Spector at an Overproduction Seminar.  It is pretty much impossible to argue with this as the worst Beatle album, and I might feel that way with even a couple more songs.  "It's All Too Much" would be better at half the run time, and "Yellow Submarine" and "All Together Now" are fine for a trifle melody, but nothing substantive.  My love for "Hey Bulldog" is perhaps unmatched.  It is in my top 5 Beatles songs.  It is so interesting how it has really seemingly only entered Beatle Fan Love Consciousness in more recent times.  Every time I hear Peter Asher talk about it on the Beatles Channel, he says roughly the same thing "Even though this isn't one of my favorite Beatles songs, every time in the last few years we've done a ranking of Beatles songs on the channel, it's consistently been higher and higher each time."  I never had heard it until I played Beatles Rock Band about 10 years ago, and it was love at first listen.  So, it's a little hard to put an album with it on it at the bottom, but one song does not an album make.  I'm convinced that, besides the rock-your-face-off bass line, it is the infectious joy apparent in the performance that makes it so good.  

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3 hours ago, Guido Merkins said:

George also wrote It’s All Too Much, which is kind of acid rock and pretty good

I have stronger feelings about this, which will appear in another thread in about 3 weeks. 

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#11 Let It Be

 

Let It Be, which started life as Get Back ended up being the last album released by the Beatles in 1970 and was meant as the soundtrack for a film that they made about the recording of the album that would end with a live performance.  The intention was to record an album with “no tricks.”  They wanted to “Get Back” to a more simple way of recording which meant more of them playing together as a band like in the “early days.” 

There were a couple of issues with this approach.  First, when they recorded their first album which was almost “live” these were songs that they were mostly familiar with that they had played for years in the clubs in Liverpool and in Hamburg.  On Get Back, they were rehearsing new material.  That’s an issue because it takes a long time to get a song exactly right and record it without error when they are new songs.  Bands usually cover this up in the studio by doing a bunch of takes and taking the best of several takes and putting them together to form a whole.  But since the Beatles wanted to record live with no tricks, this was problematic.  One mistake would derail an entire take and they didn’t want to put together the different takes

Second problem is that, by this time, tensions were very high in the band.  John and George, especially, were tired of being “Fab.”  John because he was tired of fighting Paul for singles and he was preoccupied with Yoko and George because he was tired of being the 3rd banana.  With the cameras rolling, Paul and George got into an argument with George saying the infamous “I’ll play whatever you want me to play or I won’t play at all.”  Through much of it, they don’t look especially happy.  The finished film, except the final roof sessions, are sad and disappointing and seem to show a band breaking up instead of moving into a new phase.

Once they finished nobody was happy with the resulting album.  It was mixed several times and nobody liked it.  They even went against their own rules and allowed some light mixing and still didn’t like it.  John wanted to release it as is to kill the illusion of the Beatles.  None of the other Beatles wanted to go that far.

So, at some point, the band brings in Phil Spector to produce the album and try and make a finished product.  Phil added strings and choirs and attempted to clean up the sound and make it releasable.  On that, he probably succeeded as the finished product sounds more put together than it would have otherwise, but Paul especially, hated the mix as he felt Phil was too heavy handed on Let It Be, The Long and Winding Road, and Across the Universe, making these simple, but beautiful songs, over the top.  But it was released in 1970, and like all things Beatles, it sold.

 

Let It Be was really two albums.  The stuff recorded live on the roof and the stuff recorded in studio.  Get Back was made to sound like it was recorded on the roof live, but it wasn’t the version on the roof that was on the record, it was the single.  I’ve Got A Feeling, One After 909, and Dig A Pony were on the roof.  The other songs were studio songs that in some cases were recorded mostly live in the studio and other songs which were treated to heavy production in the studio.  Curiously, Don’t Let Me Down, which was played on the roof wasn’t included on the album, but two short kind of throw aways in Dig It and Maggie Mae were included, I guess to add to the illusion of spontaneity.  It didn’t work, they should have included Don’t Let Me Down (Let It Be…Naked released in 2003 would fix this issue along with others.  Across The Universe wasn’t even recorded during these sessions.  Spector slowed down a previous recording of it and used that.

Even though this is one of the lesser thought of Beatles albums, there are good songs throughout.  My favorite kind of “closet classic” is One After 909, which is played live on the roof. One After 909 is one of the first Lennon-McCartney songs and they did attempt to record it in 1963, but scrapped it.  The lyrics are kind of corny, but they sound like they are having so much fun playing it.  Dual lead vocal between John and Paul and great solo by George.  I also like the close harmonies on Two of Us and the great acoustic guitar sound.  The other thing I REALLY like is that blistering guitar solo on Let It Be.  If you’ve only heard the single version, you need to go listen to the album version.  It’s one of George’s best solos.  The Long and Winding Road and Across the Universe are Beatles classics, but Phil Spector does his worst on these as they are a over the top.  As George Martin said “produced by George Martin, overproduced by Phil Spector.  Get Back is a classic Beatle rocker.

Most bands would have killed for an album this good, but the Beatles aren’t most bands.  As such, this one is near the bottom of my list.  Overproduced and uneven with some questionable song choices.  But still good and a part of the legacy of the band.  IMO, Let It Be…Naked is superior and more along the lines of what this album could have been had they had the interest in making a better album. Taking out Dig It and Maggie Mae and putting in Don't Let Me Down from the roof made a world of difference, plus removing Spector's strings and such.  Wish they had left the guitar solo on Let It Be alone, however.  But it's a good listen.

As a side note, Peter Jackson is doing a new cut of the film that shows the happier side of recording the album that's supposed to be released in 2021.  I'm anxious to watch it. 

Track Listing

1. Two of Us - Paul and John

2. Dig A Pony - John

3. Across The Universe - John

4. I Me Mine - George

5. Dig It - John

6. Maggie Mae - John and Paul

7. I've Got A Feeling - Paul

8.  One After 909 - John and Paul

9. The Long and Winding Road - Paul

10. For You Blue - George

11. Get Back - Paul

Next…..back to the end of the beginning

Edited by Guido Merkins
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1 hour ago, Guido Merkins said:

#11 Let It Be

 

Let It Be, which started life as Get Back ended up being the last album released by the Beatles in 1970 and was meant as the soundtrack for a film that they made about the recording of the album that would end with a live performance.  The intention was to record an album with “no tricks.”  They wanted to “Get Back” to a more simple way of recording which meant more of them playing together as a band like in the “early days.” 

There were a couple of issues with this approach.  First, when they recorded their first album which was almost “live” these were songs that they were mostly familiar with that they had played for years in the clubs in Liverpool and in Hamburg.  On Get Back, they were rehearsing new material.  That’s an issue because it takes a long time to get a song exactly right and record it without error when they are new songs.  Bands usually cover this up in the studio by doing a bunch of takes and taking the best of several takes and putting them together to form a whole.  But since the Beatles wanted to record live with no tricks, this was problematic.  One mistake would derail an entire take and they didn’t want to put together the different takes

Second problem is that, by this time, tensions were very high in the band.  John and George, especially, were tired of being “Fab.”  John because he was tired of fighting Paul for singles and he was preoccupied with Yoko and George because he was tired of being the 3rd banana.  With the cameras rolling, Paul and George got into an argument with George saying the infamous “I’ll play whatever you want me to play or I won’t play at all.”  Through much of it, they don’t look especially happy.  The finished film, except the final roof sessions, are sad and disappointing and seem to show a band breaking up instead of moving into a new phase.

Once they finished nobody was happy with the resulting album.  It was mixed several times and nobody liked it.  They even went against their own rules and allowed some light mixing and still didn’t like it.  John wanted to release it as is to kill the illusion of the Beatles.  None of the other Beatles wanted to go that far.

So, at some point, the band brings in Phil Spector to produce the album and try and make a finished product.  Phil added strings and choirs and attempted to clean up the sound and make it releasable.  On that, he probably succeeded as the finished product sounds more put together than it would have otherwise, but Paul especially, hated the mix as he felt Phil was too heavy handed on Let It Be, The Long and Winding Road, and Across the Universe, making these simple, but beautiful songs, over the top.  But it was released in 1970, and like all things Beatles, it sold.

 

Let It Be was really two albums.  The stuff recorded live on the roof and the stuff recorded in studio.  Get Back was made to sound like it was recorded on the roof live, but it wasn’t the version on the roof that was on the record, it was the single.  I’ve Got A Feeling, One After 909, and Dig A Pony were on the roof.  The other songs were studio songs that in some cases were recorded mostly live in the studio and other songs which were treated to heavy production in the studio.  Curiously, Don’t Let Me Down, which was played on the roof wasn’t included on the album, but two short kind of throw aways in Dig It and Maggie Mae were included, I guess to add to the illusion of spontaneity.  It didn’t work, they should have included Don’t Let Me Down (Let It Be…Naked released in 2003 would fix this issue along with others.  Across The Universe wasn’t even recorded during these sessions.  Spector slowed down a previous recording of it and used that.

Even though this is one of the lesser thought of Beatles albums, there are good songs throughout.  My favorite kind of “closet classic” is One After 909, which is played live on the roof. One After 909 is one of the first Lennon-McCartney songs and they did attempt to record it in 1963, but scrapped it.  The lyrics are kind of corny, but they sound like they are having so much fun playing it.  Dual lead vocal between John and Paul and great solo by George.  I also like the close harmonies on Two of Us and the great acoustic guitar sound.  The other thing I REALLY like is that blistering guitar solo on Let It Be.  If you’ve only heard the single version, you need to go listen to the album version.  It’s one of George’s best solos.  The Long and Winding Road and Across the Universe are Beatles classics, but Phil Spector does his worst on these as they are a over the top.  As George Martin said “produced by George Martin, overproduced by Phil Spector.  Get Back is a classic Beatle rocker.

Most bands would have killed for an album this good, but the Beatles aren’t most bands.  As such, this one is near the bottom of my list.  Overproduced and uneven with some questionable song choices.  But still good and a part of the legacy of the band.  IMO, Let It Be…Naked is superior and more along the lines of what this album could have been had they had the interest in making a better album. Taking out Dig It and Maggie Mae and putting in Don't Let Me Down from the roof made a world of difference, plus removing Spector's strings and such.  Wish they had left the guitar solo on Let It Be alone, however.  But it's a good listen.

As a side note, Peter Jackson is doing a new cut of the film that shows the happier side of recording the album that's supposed to be released in 2021.  I'm anxious to watch it. 

Next…..back to the end of the beginning

I will be curious to see if my Beatles sensibilities remain in line with yours, as I wholeheartedly agree with both rankings so far.  While I totally appreciated the sentiments of "getting back" to their roots and taking out all the bells and whistles, I just don't connect as much with many of the sounds of this album.  I am an unabashed melody over lyrics guy, and there are not as many hooks and tunes in these songs.  My two favorites match up with yours:  "One After 909" is joyous and "Two of Us" harkens back to a simpler era of the Beatles (you know, a whole 5 years earlier) when there was harmony and togetherness. "Let It Be" has a personal connection that will always make it near and dear to my heart, and "For You Blue" is fun and I particularly like George's comments on the guitar interludes. I'm not a huge "Don't Let Me Down" guy, but it definitely fits in here.    And I wish "The Long and Winding Road" would lead me back to a different song.  

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13 minutes ago, Shaft41 said:

I will be curious to see if my Beatles sensibilities remain in line with yours, as I wholeheartedly agree with both rankings so far.  While I totally appreciated the sentiments of "getting back" to their roots and taking out all the bells and whistles, I just don't connect as much with many of the sounds of this album.  I am an unabashed melody over lyrics guy, and there are not as many hooks and tunes in these songs.  My two favorites match up with yours:  "One After 909" is joyous and "Two of Us" harkens back to a simpler era of the Beatles (you know, a whole 5 years earlier) when there was harmony and togetherness. "Let It Be" has a personal connection that will always make it near and dear to my heart, and "For You Blue" is fun and I particularly like George's comments on the guitar interludes. I'm not a huge "Don't Let Me Down" guy, but it definitely fits in here.    And I wish "The Long and Winding Road" would lead me back to a different song.  

There is one album in particular (you probably know the one I am talking about) that I like quite a bit better than many do.  In fact, many of them would have listed it already as being worse than Let It Be.  I also have another selection in the top 5 that some might find controversial, but once again, I'll explain when I get there.

But this is my list and my list only and we'll talk about the elephant(s) in the room when I get there.  Just stay with me.....

Thanks for reading!!!!

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#10 Please Please Me

 

As I said above, in the early 60s, albums were mostly a money grab in the pop/rock world.  A way for fans to dish out more money for the same product.  The current hit single, plus a bunch of fluff.  The Beatles had other ideas.

The single Please Please Me was a revelation to George Martin.  Before this song, he was more impressed with the Beatles charisma than he was with anything musical.  When PPM went to #1, obviously the next step was to record an album, but what to record??  The first idea was to record the Beatles in the Cavern.  If only the technology had existed then to capture a performance of the Beatles in the Cavern, perhaps all the nonsense about the Beatles not being able to play live would have been gone forever, but there really was no way to get a good recording at that time in that place, especially.  The Cavern was poorly suited to recording at that time.  So, the next idea was for them to get together in the studio and record as close as they could to a live performance, so hence was born the Please Please Me album.  So, they went to the studio and 14 hours later, they had an album.

Different from other albums of the day, the Beatles put 8 of their own songs next to 6 covers that they were doing at the time.  Having an album with so many high quality songs, especially written by the band themselves, was unheard of.  In these days, there were performers and song writers, almost never performers who wrote songs. 

Since this was the first album, the two singles Please Please Me and Love Me Do would be on the album, a practice that they did not keep going forward.  Two songs in particular would become legendary Beatles tracks.  The opener with the brilliant “1-2-3-FAW” count in by Paul, I Saw Her Standing There and John absolutely shredding his vocal chords and laying one of the most brilliant rock vocals of all time in Twist and Shout.  They had to save Twist and Shout until the end because they knew John would have no voice left.  The other Beatles matched the energy and intensity of John’s vocal throughout.  The staff at Abbey Road were stunned by Twist and Shout.  It went all over the studio with people saying “listen to this.”

The rest of the songs are a combination of Beatles originals like Do You Want To Know A Secret, Misery, Ask Me Why and PS I Love You plus covers.  The Beatles fondness for girl groups is evident in Baby It’s You, Chains and Boys.  Plus hardcore R&B in Anna originally by Arthur Alexander.  Plus A Taste of Honey, which was Paul’s big ballad on the album. 

My favorite kind of closet classic on this album is There’s A Place.  John in the confessional with rare depth for 1963.  Especially love the bridge “In my mind there’s no sorrow….”  John and Paul sing dual lead in harmony for most of the song, which is an early Beatles trait, similar to their heroes the Everly Brothers.  John’s harmonica is throughout the song.  I also very much like Baby It’s You with the wound up piano solo (more on that in a second) and a great lead vocal from John and great background vocals by Paul and George. 

We see a few things on this first album that is a preview of things to come.  First, the diversity of material is very wide on this first album and will only get wider.  Second, George Martin’s “wound up piano” is first used on Baby It’s You.  Listen and you can hear guitar and piano playing a solo in unison with George Martin recording the piano part at a slower tempo, then speeding up the tape for the final track.  This is something that he uses other times during the early Beatles, but also a sign of things to come in their more experimental phase with tape manipulation.  Third, George’s two tracks (Chains and Do You Want To Know A Secret) and Ringo’s one track (Boys).  This would become generally the rule going forward, which later would cause some friction, mostly with George.  Fourth, an eye catching album cover of the Beatles looking down a stairwell.  They would replicate this pose in 1969 for the aborted Get Back project and you can see that photo on the 1967-1970 Beatles Greatest Hits compilation (the blue one!!!)

Overall, this is one of the great debut albums by any artist.  IMO it is underrated now because of the brilliance that followed it for the next 7 years, but it is the Beatles at their most basic.  As John said “before we became the clever Beatles.” A record of this quality in 14 hours is unbelievable.  You might ask why I have it so low, well, I won’t keep repeating this, but low for the Beatles is high for most other bands.  Having it rated below the rest of the legendary albums on this countdown is more confirmation of the brilliance of the catalogue than any indictment of Please Please Me.  It is an excellent album, far ahead of what anybody else was doing in 1963….

 

Track Listing

1.  I Saw Her Standing There - Paul

2.  Misery - John

3.  Anna - John

4.  Chains - George

5.  Boys - Ringo

6.  Ask Me Why - John

7. Please Please Me - John and Paul

8. Love Me Do - John and Paul

9. PS I Love You - Paul

10. Baby It's You - John

11. Do You Want To Know A Secret - George

12. A Taste of Honey - Paul

13. There's A Place - John

14. Twist and Shout - John

Next…… not too far into the future, but moving up

Edited by Guido Merkins
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20 hours ago, Guido Merkins said:

For those that don’t know me, I used to be known around here as saintsfan

Doesn't ring a bell.

 

 

:P  welcome back and great thread - we can never discuss The Beatles too much.

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5 hours ago, Guido Merkins said:

#11 Let It Be

Even though this is one of the lesser thought of Beatles albums, there are good songs throughout.  My favorite kind of “closet classic” is One After 909, which is played live on the roof. One After 909 is one of the first Lennon-McCartney songs and they did attempt to record it in 1963, but scrapped it.  The lyrics are kind of corny, but they sound like they are having so much fun playing it.  Dual lead vocal between John and Paul and great solo by George.  I also like the close harmonies on Two of Us and the great acoustic guitar sound.  The other thing I REALLY like is that blistering guitar solo on Let It Be.  If you’ve only heard the single version, you need to go listen to the album version.  It’s one of George’s best solos.  The Long and Winding Road and Across the Universe are Beatles classics, but Phil Spector does his worst on these as they are a over the top.  As George Martin said “produced by George Martin, overproduced by Phil Spector.  Get Back is a classic Beatle rocker.
 

I unfortunately had to abandon krista's fantastic thread due to time constraints so I don't know where this song landed on her list and didn't read the commentary around it from her or others (I will remedy that).  But I LOVE this song.  I've never done my own list but this would have to be in my top 20-25.  It epitomizes several of the things I love about The Beatles and it always makes me think of my wife. 

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5 hours ago, Guido Merkins said:

#11 Let It Be

 

Let It Be, which started life as Get Back ended up being the last album released by the Beatles in 1970 and was meant as the soundtrack for a film that they made about the recording of the album that would end with a live performance.  The intention was to record an album with “no tricks.”  They wanted to “Get Back” to a more simple way of recording which meant more of them playing together as a band like in the “early days.” 

There were a couple of issues with this approach.  First, when they recorded their first album which was almost “live” these were songs that they were mostly familiar with that they had played for years in the clubs in Liverpool and in Hamburg.  On Get Back, they were rehearsing new material.  That’s an issue because it takes a long time to get a song exactly right and record it without error when they are new songs.  Bands usually cover this up in the studio by doing a bunch of takes and taking the best of several takes and putting them together to form a whole.  But since the Beatles wanted to record live with no tricks, this was problematic.  One mistake would derail an entire take and they didn’t want to put together the different takes

Second problem is that, by this time, tensions were very high in the band.  John and George, especially, were tired of being “Fab.”  John because he was tired of fighting Paul for singles and he was preoccupied with Yoko and George because he was tired of being the 3rd banana.  With the cameras rolling, Paul and George got into an argument with George saying the infamous “I’ll play whatever you want me to play or I won’t play at all.”  Through much of it, they don’t look especially happy.  The finished film, except the final roof sessions, are sad and disappointing and seem to show a band breaking up instead of moving into a new phase.

Once they finished nobody was happy with the resulting album.  It was mixed several times and nobody liked it.  They even went against their own rules and allowed some light mixing and still didn’t like it.  John wanted to release it as is to kill the illusion of the Beatles.  None of the other Beatles wanted to go that far.

So, at some point, the band brings in Phil Spector to produce the album and try and make a finished product.  Phil added strings and choirs and attempted to clean up the sound and make it releasable.  On that, he probably succeeded as the finished product sounds more put together than it would have otherwise, but Paul especially, hated the mix as he felt Phil was too heavy handed on Let It Be, The Long and Winding Road, and Across the Universe, making these simple, but beautiful songs, over the top.  But it was released in 1970, and like all things Beatles, it sold.

 

Let It Be was really two albums.  The stuff recorded live on the roof and the stuff recorded in studio.  Get Back was made to sound like it was recorded on the roof live, but it wasn’t the version on the roof that was on the record, it was the single.  I’ve Got A Feeling, One After 909, and Dig A Pony were on the roof.  The other songs were studio songs that in some cases were recorded mostly live in the studio and other songs which were treated to heavy production in the studio.  Curiously, Don’t Let Me Down, which was played on the roof wasn’t included on the album, but two short kind of throw aways in Dig It and Maggie Mae were included, I guess to add to the illusion of spontaneity.  It didn’t work, they should have included Don’t Let Me Down (Let It Be…Naked released in 2003 would fix this issue along with others.  Across The Universe wasn’t even recorded during these sessions.  Spector slowed down a previous recording of it and used that.

Even though this is one of the lesser thought of Beatles albums, there are good songs throughout.  My favorite kind of “closet classic” is One After 909, which is played live on the roof. One After 909 is one of the first Lennon-McCartney songs and they did attempt to record it in 1963, but scrapped it.  The lyrics are kind of corny, but they sound like they are having so much fun playing it.  Dual lead vocal between John and Paul and great solo by George.  I also like the close harmonies on Two of Us and the great acoustic guitar sound.  The other thing I REALLY like is that blistering guitar solo on Let It Be.  If you’ve only heard the single version, you need to go listen to the album version.  It’s one of George’s best solos.  The Long and Winding Road and Across the Universe are Beatles classics, but Phil Spector does his worst on these as they are a over the top.  As George Martin said “produced by George Martin, overproduced by Phil Spector.  Get Back is a classic Beatle rocker.

Most bands would have killed for an album this good, but the Beatles aren’t most bands.  As such, this one is near the bottom of my list.  Overproduced and uneven with some questionable song choices.  But still good and a part of the legacy of the band.  IMO, Let It Be…Naked is superior and more along the lines of what this album could have been had they had the interest in making a better album. Taking out Dig It and Maggie Mae and putting in Don't Let Me Down from the roof made a world of difference, plus removing Spector's strings and such.  Wish they had left the guitar solo on Let It Be alone, however.  But it's a good listen.

As a side note, Peter Jackson is doing a new cut of the film that shows the happier side of recording the album that's supposed to be released in 2021.  I'm anxious to watch it. 

Next…..back to the end of the beginning

I think Let It Be is a great album, despite what Phil Spector did to some of it.   The LP is loaded with great songs including three #1 hits.   Aside from the throw away Maggie Mae and snippet of Dig It  I don't think there is a bad track on the LP.   I would say the most disappointing aspect of the LP was the lack of new John songs.

There is a pretty good series on Youtube where it is shown pretty convincingly that John and Paul were actually encouraging George more often than not, especially in regards to the song All Things Must Pass.   For years I had wondered why George didn't perform any of his songs in the rooftop or in the sequence where Let it Be/Long And Winding Road and Two of Us were performed and the reality is George didn't want to because he didn't feel the songs were ready.

Also from what I have read the McCartney/Harrison argument in the film was mild compared to a blowout that Lennon had with Harrison which caused him to temporarily quit the band.

In any case I think it is a GREAT album (though I do prefer Let It Be Naked by a wide margin since it eliminates most of Spector's embellishments and includes Don't Let Me Down).

 

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5 hours ago, Guido Merkins said:

#11 Let It Be

As a side note, Peter Jackson is doing a new cut of the film that shows the happier side of recording the album that's supposed to be released in 2021.  I'm anxious to watch it. 
 

I'm really looking forward to this too.

Awesome writeup of the album. I like this album a lot, but I might have some extra affinity for it because very early in my stoner career, I distinctly remember hearing "Across the Universe" in a quite altered state, and it just floored me. It still does, really. 

Great thread, and thank you for taking the time to do it. I actually took a college class on the Beatles, but between your old thread and @krista4's work, I learned more about them here.  

Edited by jwb
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2 hours ago, Guido Merkins said:

#10 Please Please Me

 

As I said above, in the early 60s, albums were mostly a money grab in the pop/rock world.  A way for fans to dish out more money for the same product.  The current hit single, plus a bunch of fluff.  The Beatles had other ideas.

The single Please Please Me was a revelation to George Martin.  Before this song, he was more impressed with the Beatles charisma than he was with anything musical.  When PPM went to #1, obviously the next step was to record an album, but what to record??  The first idea was to record the Beatles in the Cavern.  If only the technology had existed then to capture a performance of the Beatles in the Cavern, perhaps all the nonsense about the Beatles not being able to play live would have been gone forever, but there really was no way to get a good recording at that time in that place, especially.  The Cavern was poorly suited to recording at that time.  So, the next idea was for them to get together in the studio and record as close as they could to a live performance, so hence was born the Please Please Me album.  So, they went to the studio and 14 hours later, they had an album.

Different from other albums of the day, the Beatles put 8 of their own songs next to 6 covers that they were doing at the time.  Having an album with so many high quality songs, especially written by the band themselves, was unheard of.  In these days, there were performers and song writers, almost never performers who wrote songs. 

Since this was the first album, the two singles Please Please Me and Love Me Do would be on the album, a practice that they did not keep going forward.  Two songs in particular would become legendary Beatles tracks.  The opener with the brilliant “1-2-3-FAW” count in by Paul, I Saw Her Standing There and John absolutely shredding his vocal chords and laying one of the most brilliant rock vocals of all time in Twist and Shout.  They had to save Twist and Shout until the end because they knew John would have no voice left.  The other Beatles matched the energy and intensity of John’s vocal throughout.  The staff at Abbey Road were stunned by Twist and Shout.  It went all over the studio with people saying “listen to this.”

The rest of the songs are a combination of Beatles originals like Do You Want To Know A Secret, Misery, Ask Me Why and PS I Love You plus covers.  The Beatles fondness for girl groups is evident in Baby It’s You, Chains and Boys.  Plus hardcore R&B in Anna originally by Arthur Alexander.  Plus A Taste of Honey, which was Paul’s big ballad on the album. 

My favorite kind of closet classic on this album is There’s A Place.  John in the confessional with rare depth for 1963.  Especially love the bridge “In my mind there’s no sorrow….”  John and Paul sing dual lead in harmony for most of the song, which is an early Beatles trait, similar to their heroes the Everly Brothers.  John’s harmonica is throughout the song.  I also very much like Baby It’s You with the wound up piano solo (more on that in a second) and a great lead vocal from John and great background vocals by Paul and George. 

We see a few things on this first album that is a preview of things to come.  First, the diversity of material is very wide on this first album and will only get wider.  Second, George Martin’s “wound up piano” is first used on Baby It’s You.  Listen and you can hear guitar and piano playing a solo in unison with George Martin recording the piano part at a slower tempo, then speeding up the tape for the final track.  This is something that he uses other times during the early Beatles, but also a sign of things to come in their more experimental phase with tape manipulation.  Third, George’s two tracks (Chains and Do You Want To Know A Secret) and Ringo’s one track (Boys).  This would become generally the rule going forward, which later would cause some friction, mostly with George.  Fourth, an eye catching album cover of the Beatles looking down a stairwell.  They would replicate this pose in 1969 for the aborted Get Back project and you can see that photo on the 1967-1970 Beatles Greatest Hits compilation (the blue one!!!)

Overall, this is one of the great debut albums by any artist.  IMO it is underrated now because of the brilliance that followed it for the next 7 years, but it is the Beatles at their most basic.  As John said “before we became the clever Beatles.” A record of this quality in 14 hours is unbelievable.  You might ask why I have it so low, well, I won’t keep repeating this, but low for the Beatles is high for most other bands.  Having it rated below the rest of the legendary albums on this countdown is more confirmation of the brilliance of the catalogue than any indictment of Please Please Me.  It is an excellent album, far ahead of what anybody else was doing in 1963….

Next…… not too far into the future, but moving up

3/3 for me still.  I love so many songs on this album, and the Beatles harmonies that permeated these early songs will always be sublime.  Covers vs. original songs knocks it down compared to later albums, but, as you said, that was very much the norm of the day.  John's growl on the "Come On"s on "Please Please Me" get me every time.  

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53 minutes ago, Shaft41 said:

3/3 for me still.  I love so many songs on this album, and the Beatles harmonies that permeated these early songs will always be sublime.  Covers vs. original songs knocks it down compared to later albums, but, as you said, that was very much the norm of the day.  John's growl on the "Come On"s on "Please Please Me" get me every time.  

This is a topic for another thread, but one of my favorite differences between mono and stereo is on that very song.  On the stereo version, John flubs a line then laughs into one of the "Come ons".  Great moment.....

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2 hours ago, AAABatteries said:

I unfortunately had to abandon krista's fantastic thread due to time constraints so I don't know where this song landed on her list and didn't read the commentary around it from her or others (I will remedy that).  But I LOVE this song.  I've never done my own list but this would have to be in my top 20-25.  It epitomizes several of the things I love about The Beatles and it always makes me think of my wife. 

:goodposting: Count me as another super-fan of this song. My wife and I used it in our wedding.

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1 hour ago, Murph said:

:goodposting: Count me as another super-fan of this song. My wife and I used it in our wedding.

I agree with both of you.  This might sound weird since I don't know these guys at all, but the song has made me emotional.  Knowing what was going on between John and Paul at the time and knowing what was to come, Paul writes this song about their journey together and it's quite poignant.  Makes me think of my friends.  Those people I've known my entire life and it gets more weighty the older I get.  The song affects me.  Not my favorite of their songs, but it effects me more than any other because I put myself into the song.  I can relate.

But see, I think that's one of the things that makes the Beatles special.  They weren't just these guys who put an add in the paper looking for a guitar player or a singer.  They were friends.  They were like brothers.  Even before Beatlemania, but Beatlemania made them even closer.  It's difficult to think of other bands that are that way.  The Stones certainly aren't.  IMO, thats why their breakup was so contentious.  You hurt the ones you love the most.

Edited by Guido Merkins
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Looking forward to the rest of this thread since like many others, I love the Beatles.   Their work during the middle years is my favorite so the ranking of albums makes sense to me so far.   Let it Be contains a few absolutely outstanding songs that will be played forever.  The greatness of the Beatles never stops to amaze me and really becomes apparent when their songs or albums are ranked.  

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On 1/21/2021 at 5:38 PM, Guido Merkins said:

For those that don’t know me, I used to be known around here as saintsfan and years ago I did a thread for the History of the Beatles.  Lots of people seemed to enjoy it and I had a lot of fun creating it.  Well, I was gone for quite a while, but I missed it here, so I decided to check it out and remember how much fun it was to hang out here.

 

Anyway, when I came back, I went looking for my old thread and didn’t find it, but I did find krista4’s EXCELLENT thread ranking the Post Beatles Songs.  I read through it and loved it and learned so much.  She is a fountain of knowledge and it inspired me to create something new, but what to create??

So I decided that I would stick with what I know best, the Beatles of course, and I decided to do a ranking of my own, much smaller in scope, but I think interesting where I rank the Beatles albums.  One of the Beatles main contributions, IMO, was making the album something to be appreciated.  Before the Beatles, from a pop/rock perspective albums were money grabs.  Get someone to buy the single again by putting it on an album.  The Beatles changed that and, in fact, many of the Beatles most well known songs ARE NOT ON AN ALBUM.  So, with few exceptions, what was released on an album was new material, with singles not appearing on them.  So, IMO, that makes the albums even MORE extraordinary when you realize that the songs good enough to be singles aren’t even included and still you get all these classics.  The Beatles just had an embarrassment of riches that way.

Anyway, I have a few rules that I followed when I did this

1.  This is my list.  There are only 12 Beatles albums (more on that in a sec), but these are my favorites in this order.  I generally think very highly of all the Beatles albums, except one, so my ranking of an album is not to say I hate the album, only that I rank it lower than the ones above it.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the album if you love it more than me or don’t like it as much as I do.  That’s what we are here for.

2.  I am ranking the albums in the UK catalogue.  Meet the Beatles and Rubber Soul by Capitol may work well as albums, but they aren’t Beatles albums.  They are compilations made by Capitol Records, therefore, not intended to be albums by the band or their producer.  Once again, thoughts on specific albums outside of this are welcome, of course, once again, that’s what we are here for

3.  According to my rule in #2, Magical Mystery Tour WILL NOT be in my countdown.  You could argue by the late 70s, and certainly by the CD releases in 1987, Magical Mystery Tour is considered to be part of the core catalogue, but as originally envisioned in the 1960s, Magical Mystery Tour was an EP.  Capitol released a compilation of MMT with the other non album singles from 1967 that became the Magical Mystery Tour album.  IMO, this was a good idea, but it makes ranking it difficult because Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane, All You Need is Love and Baby You’re a Rich Man had nothing whatsoever to do with the MMT sessions and are more related to the sessions of Sgt Pepper. 


As far as how I’m gonna do this, I’ll go from 12-1.  I'm also gonna talk about the songs that I like on the album, songs that I think maybe are not as strong and songs that I think are kind of under the radar good.  Shouldn’t take me too long.  My goal is to try and do one post a day.  So 12 days from now, we’ll be done.  Please feel free to comment as this is my favorite topic in the world.  All comments are welcome, even negative ones.

 

Wait, how is Rubber Soul a compilation?

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1 hour ago, Mookie Gizzy said:

Wait, how is Rubber Soul a compilation?

The Rubber Soul released in the UK on Parlophone is not a compilation.  The one released in the US on Capitol Records is a compilation.  

The UK one will be featured on my list.  The US one will not.

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We disagree on #11 and #10, though not by a huge margin, since that would be impossible with only 12 selections.  If I could rate the Let It Be...Naked, it would be a little higher, but even so it seems I enjoy this one more than you do, or at least more than I do some of the earlier stuff.  And of the earlier albums, Please Please Me ranks much higher to me than a couple of others.

[Redacted the rest since I know you’ve read it now.]

Edited by krista4
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11 hours ago, Guido Merkins said:


My favorite kind of closet classic on this album is There’s A Place.  John in the confessional with rare depth for 1963.  Especially love the bridge “In my mind there’s no sorrow….”  John and Paul sing dual lead in harmony for most of the song, which is an early Beatles trait, similar to their heroes the Everly Brothers.  John’s harmonica is throughout the song.  

By the way, totally with you on this one.  I don't recall where I had it on my list, but wherever it was it should have been higher.  This song is phenomenal.

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8 hours ago, Guido Merkins said:

The Rubber Soul released in the UK on Parlophone is not a compilation.  The one released in the US on Capitol Records is a compilation.  

The UK one will be featured on my list.  The US one will not.

Thank you. I thought you were going by the U.K. releases, so I got confused when I saw that. 

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Let It Be is my third favorite Beatles’ record but we’re splitting hairs Of greatnesses, of course, when ranking anything Beatles related (except Ringo’s solo career).

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23 hours ago, Guido Merkins said:

#11 Let It Be

Track Listing

1. Two of Us - Paul and John

2. Dig A Pony - John

3. Across The Universe - John

4. I Me Mine - George

5. Dig It - John

6. Maggie Mae - John and Paul

7. I've Got A Feeling - Paul

8.  One After 909 - John and Paul

9. The Long and Winding Road - Paul

10. For You Blue - George

11. Get Back - Paul

Next…..back to the end of the beginning

I think you missed a song in between "Dig It" and "Maggie Mae".

Edited by heckmanm
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#9 With The Beatles

 

One of the most famous album covers ever doesn’t only belong to the album you think it does.  Yes, Meet the Beatles from Capitol Records with the iconic half light half shadow pic of the Fab Four is one of the most unforgettable images of the band here in America.  But a couple of months before in the UK, this image had already been seen on the Beatles second album, With The Beatles.

With The Beatles is the follow up to Please Please Me.  In the time between Please Please Me and With The Beatles, the Beatles had gone from successful group to full grown phenomenon in England.  From Me To You was big, but nothing prepared them for the enormous hit that was She Loves You.  Released at the same time as With The Beatles was another little song called I Want To Hold Your Hand, which would only change the world.  So things were going pretty well.

With The Beatles followed a similar formula as Please Please Me with 8 originals and 6 cover songs.  The Beatles, known well for changing with each album would follow this formula only once more in their career….more on that in future posts.

 

But for now, we have With The Beatles which took them about 3 months to record in between TV, appearances, and concerts.  It should be noted that it wasn’t really until Revolver and certainly Sgt Pepper that the Beatles had as much time as they wanted to record, which makes their output all the more impressive.

None of the songs on With The Beatles were released as singles in the UK.  Once again, you see the Beatles fondness for girl groups with Please Mr Postman and Devil In Her Heart.  Their love of Motown with You Really Got A Hold On Me and Money.  And their love of standards with Till There Was You.  And Chuck Berry was one of their heroes so Roll Over Beethoven was done as well. On the songs they wrote, All My Loving was probably Paul’s first major piece of work with him, for once, writing lyrics before music.  George has a brilliant country and western style solo in the middle of that and John and George both playing an impossibly fast rhythm guitar behind the verses. Brilliant.  It Won’t Be Long is a great album opener with lots of “yeahs” like She Loves You and lots of energy.  All I’ve Got To Do has kind of a darker sound.  Love the opening guitar chord.  Kind of grabs your attention  George wrote his first song with Don’t Bother Me, which is very “George” in tone.  Ringo sings I Wanna Be Your Man, a song which the Beatles gave to the Rolling Stones for their first hit.  Nothing spectacular, but a good album type song.


Money is a real great album closer with John, once again, brutalizing his larynx just like on Twist and Shout blowing away Barrett Strong or anyone else that tried to do that song.  Just phenomenal.  I love the guitar playing on Till There Was You.  George created a solo out of thin air for that and it sounds like it’s always been in that song.  Love the jazzy chord changes which shows George’s versatility.

On the closet classics side on this album, I am a big fan of Not A Second Time.  I like everything about it.  I like the lyric and the vocals, and Ringo’s drum rolls.  I also really like John’s take on You Really Got A Hold On Me.  The whole band sounds great on that one as well with great harmonies.  IMO, that’s a Smokey Robinson classic and it took guts for them to even try it.  I think they did a great job with it.  As mentioned above, I like the darker tone of All I’ve Gotta Do. 

Overall, the album just sounds a little bit of an advance from Please Please Me.  The originals, specifically All My Loving really show the band growing.  They sound more confident and self assured.  Even the lesser songs here like Hold Me Tight are pretty good and fill out the album nicely. Till There Was You is miles better than A Taste of Honey as the Paul ballad for the album.  Overall, once again an excellent album and nobody else was even close in 1963.

 

Note: for whatever reason George gets 3 lead vocals on this album.  Something that wouldn't happen again until Revolver.

 

Track Listing

 

  1. It Won’t Be Long - John and Paul
  2. All I’ve Got To Do - John
  3. All My Loving - Paul
  4. Don’t Bother Me - George
  5. Little Child - John
  6. Till There Was You - Paul
  7. Please Mister Postman - John
  8. Roll Over Beethoven - George
  9. Hold Me Tight - Paul
  10. You Really Got A Hold On Me - John
  11. I Wanna Be Your Man - Ringo
  12. Devil In Her Heart - George
  13. Not A Second Time - John
  14. Money - John
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26 minutes ago, Binky The Doormat said:

:wub:

if you don't remember

I've got no time for you right now ...

Yeah, George didn't hold back.  

There's this great story about how John would test people.  John and Paul both knew George would fit right in because when John gave, George gave right back.  This despite being several years younger than John.  John wouldn't respect people that he could walk all over.

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Interlude….This might be a little controversial


Before going through the next two albums, I want to explain my thought process.  Many of you, and in fact most of you won’t agree with what I am about to say, but as I said, it’s my list.

I have ALWAYS liked Beatles For Sale more than probably the average Beatles hard core fan and definitely more than the average fan.  It’s difficult for me to explain and I don’t want to get too far into songs because this is just an interlude, but I’ve always liked the moodier tone of the album.  One of the first albums my mom pointed me to when I was getting into the Beatles was Beatles ’65, which was kind of the Capitol version of Beatles For Sale, and I really liked it.  

The same reason why some hardcore Zeppelin fans think Presence is Zeppelin’s best album.  

 

Beatles For Sale was the Beatles scraping the bottom of the barrel and digging deep.  They hit in America, they were on TV everywhere, they had a hit movie, EVERYBODY wanted a piece of them.  They were exhausted and starting to become disillusioned with fame.  The cover of that album tells the story with them staring at the camera as if to say “Great, another ****** cover shoot.”  And I believe the music within reflects that.  Their lyrics are getting a bit more introspective (they started being influenced by Dylan), the music was more acoustic in nature.  The themes a bit darker and more mature.  I can draw a clear line between this album and Rubber Soul.  So to me, it fits and it might be a transition album, but during that transition, they made an album like they wouldn’t make again and I love it. The first Beatles album I ever owned on CD was Beatles For Sale.  I could have bought any CD.  I bought Beatles For Sale.

Most people think Beatles For Sale is the Beatles worst album, other than Yellow Submarine, which many don’t even count that as a Beatles album.  So most people think this album is worse than Let It Be, just to give you the context.

I went back and forth between Beatles For Sale and my next album.  And although I can’t deny that there are far more great songs on my next album than on Beatles For Sale, all I have to say is, Beatles For Sale speaks to me more than the next one does, however excellent it is.

Next……NVUJ

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1 hour ago, Guido Merkins said:

Interlude….This might be a little controversial


Before going through the next two albums, I want to explain my thought process.  Many of you, and in fact most of you won’t agree with what I am about to say, but as I said, it’s my list.

I have ALWAYS liked Beatles For Sale more than probably the average Beatles hard core fan and definitely more than the average fan.  It’s difficult for me to explain and I don’t want to get too far into songs because this is just an interlude, but I’ve always liked the moodier tone of the album.  One of the first albums my mom pointed me to when I was getting into the Beatles was Beatles ’65, which was kind of the Capitol version of Beatles For Sale, and I really liked it.  

The same reason why some hardcore Zeppelin fans think Presence is Zeppelin’s best album.  

 

Beatles For Sale was the Beatles scraping the bottom of the barrel and digging deep.  They hit in America, they were on TV everywhere, they had a hit movie, EVERYBODY wanted a piece of them.  They were exhausted and starting to become disillusioned with fame.  The cover of that album tells the story with them staring at the camera as if to say “Great, another ****** cover shoot.”  And I believe the music within reflects that.  Their lyrics are getting a bit more introspective (they started being influenced by Dylan), the music was more acoustic in nature.  The themes a bit darker and more mature.  I can draw a clear line between this album and Rubber Soul.  So to me, it fits and it might be a transition album, but during that transition, they made an album like they wouldn’t make again and I love it. The first Beatles album I ever owned on CD was Beatles For Sale.  I could have bought any CD.  I bought Beatles For Sale.

Most people think Beatles For Sale is the Beatles worst album, other than Yellow Submarine, which many don’t even count that as a Beatles album.  So most people think this album is worse than Let It Be, just to give you the context.

I went back and forth between Beatles For Sale and my next album.  And although I can’t deny that there are far more great songs on my next album than on Beatles For Sale, all I have to say is, Beatles For Sale speaks to me more than the next one does, however excellent it is.

Next……NVUJ

I agree with you on Beatles For Sale being kind of disrespected. I'll wait to post my ranking until you're through, but it will be in the top half of my list. 

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On 1/21/2021 at 5:38 PM, Guido Merkins said:

For those that don’t know me, I used to be known around here as saintsfan and years ago I did a thread for the History of the Beatles. 

Been reading this today. Great work. 

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46 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

I agree with you on Beatles For Sale being kind of disrespected. I'll wait to post my ranking until you're through, but it will be in the top half of my list. 

Good!!  I’m not the only one!!

 

Stay tuned!!

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3 hours ago, Guido Merkins said:

Interlude….This might be a little controversial


Before going through the next two albums, I want to explain my thought process.  Many of you, and in fact most of you won’t agree with what I am about to say, but as I said, it’s my list.

I have ALWAYS liked Beatles For Sale more than probably the average Beatles hard core fan and definitely more than the average fan.  It’s difficult for me to explain and I don’t want to get too far into songs because this is just an interlude, but I’ve always liked the moodier tone of the album.  One of the first albums my mom pointed me to when I was getting into the Beatles was Beatles ’65, which was kind of the Capitol version of Beatles For Sale, and I really liked it.  

The same reason why some hardcore Zeppelin fans think Presence is Zeppelin’s best album.  

 

Beatles For Sale was the Beatles scraping the bottom of the barrel and digging deep.  They hit in America, they were on TV everywhere, they had a hit movie, EVERYBODY wanted a piece of them.  They were exhausted and starting to become disillusioned with fame.  The cover of that album tells the story with them staring at the camera as if to say “Great, another ****** cover shoot.”  And I believe the music within reflects that.  Their lyrics are getting a bit more introspective (they started being influenced by Dylan), the music was more acoustic in nature.  The themes a bit darker and more mature.  I can draw a clear line between this album and Rubber Soul.  So to me, it fits and it might be a transition album, but during that transition, they made an album like they wouldn’t make again and I love it. The first Beatles album I ever owned on CD was Beatles For Sale.  I could have bought any CD.  I bought Beatles For Sale.

Most people think Beatles For Sale is the Beatles worst album, other than Yellow Submarine, which many don’t even count that as a Beatles album.  So most people think this album is worse than Let It Be, just to give you the context.

I went back and forth between Beatles For Sale and my next album.  And although I can’t deny that there are far more great songs on my next album than on Beatles For Sale, all I have to say is, Beatles For Sale speaks to me more than the next one does, however excellent it is.

Next……NVUJ

I see nothing wrong with you liking what you like. Relax and you do you.

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9 hours ago, Guido Merkins said:

Interlude….

Gonna need some royalties here, bud.

14 hours ago, Guido Merkins said:

#9 With The Beatles

 

One of the most famous album covers ever doesn’t only belong to the album you think it does.  Yes, Meet the Beatles from Capitol Records with the iconic half light half shadow pic of the Fab Four is one of the most unforgettable images of the band here in America.  But a couple of months before in the UK, this image had already been seen on the Beatles second album, With The Beatles.

With The Beatles is the follow up to Please Please Me.  In the time between Please Please Me and With The Beatles, the Beatles had gone from successful group to full grown phenomenon in England.  From Me To You was big, but nothing prepared them for the enormous hit that was She Loves You.  Released at the same time as With The Beatles was another little song called I Want To Hold Your Hand, which would only change the world.  So things were going pretty well.

With The Beatles followed a similar formula as Please Please Me with 8 originals and 6 cover songs.  The Beatles, known well for changing with each album would follow this formula only once more in their career….more on that in future posts.

 

But for now, we have With The Beatles which took them about 3 months to record in between TV, appearances, and concerts.  It should be noted that it wasn’t really until Revolver and certainly Sgt Pepper that the Beatles had as much time as they wanted to record, which makes their output all the more impressive.

None of the songs on With The Beatles were released as singles in the UK.  Once again, you see the Beatles fondness for girl groups with Please Mr Postman and Devil In Her Heart.  Their love of Motown with You Really Got A Hold On Me and Money.  And their love of standards with Till There Was You.  And Chuck Berry was one of their heroes so Roll Over Beethoven was done as well. On the songs they wrote, All My Loving was probably Paul’s first major piece of work with him, for once, writing lyrics before music.  George has a brilliant country and western style solo in the middle of that and John and George both playing an impossibly fast rhythm guitar behind the verses. Brilliant.  It Won’t Be Long is a great album opener with lots of “yeahs” like She Loves You and lots of energy.  All I’ve Got To Do has kind of a darker sound.  Love the opening guitar chord.  Kind of grabs your attention  George wrote his first song with Don’t Bother Me, which is very “George” in tone.  Ringo sings I Wanna Be Your Man, a song which the Beatles gave to the Rolling Stones for their first hit.  Nothing spectacular, but a good album type song.


Money is a real great album closer with John, once again, brutalizing his larynx just like on Twist and Shout blowing away Barrett Strong or anyone else that tried to do that song.  Just phenomenal.  I love the guitar playing on Till There Was You.  George created a solo out of thin air for that and it sounds like it’s always been in that song.  Love the jazzy chord changes which shows George’s versatility.

On the closet classics side on this album, I am a big fan of Not A Second Time.  I like everything about it.  I like the lyric and the vocals, and Ringo’s drum rolls.  I also really like John’s take on You Really Got A Hold On Me.  The whole band sounds great on that one as well with great harmonies.  IMO, that’s a Smokey Robinson classic and it took guts for them to even try it.  I think they did a great job with it.  As mentioned above, I like the darker tone of All I’ve Gotta Do. 

Overall, the album just sounds a little bit of an advance from Please Please Me.  The originals, specifically All My Loving really show the band growing.  They sound more confident and self assured.  Even the lesser songs here like Hold Me Tight are pretty good and fill out the album nicely. Till There Was You is miles better than A Taste of Honey as the Paul ballad for the album.  Overall, once again an excellent album and nobody else was even close in 1963.

 

Note: for whatever reason George gets 3 lead vocals on this album.  Something that wouldn't happen again until Revolver.

 

Track Listing

 

  1. It Won’t Be Long - John and Paul
  2. All I’ve Got To Do - John
  3. All My Loving - Paul
  4. Don’t Bother Me - George
  5. Little Child - John
  6. Till There Was You - Paul
  7. Please Mister Postman - John
  8. Roll Over Beethoven - George
  9. Hold Me Tight - Paul
  10. You Really Got A Hold On Me - John
  11. I Wanna Be Your Man - Ringo
  12. Devil In Her Heart - George
  13. Not A Second Time - John
  14. Money - John

I woke up with “Hold Me Tight” playing in my head this morning, and then happily heard it come up on the Beatles channel later.

My sleeper from this album, and again not knowing where I ranked it before KNOW it was too low, is All I’ve Got To Do.  Sexy sexy sexy John vocal that gets me.  Terrific phrasing.  Hits me in all the right spots.

Edited by krista4
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Beatles For Sale is the Beatles album I often pick because of the strength of their own compositions on it, but I'm a sucker for anything '64- early '66 by the Beatles. So you're not alone. "No Reply," "Baby's In Black" (dig that time signature), "I'm A Loser," "Eight Days A Week." That's some quality music right there that was blasting out of our collegiate apartment back in '94 during my junior year. We loved it then, and it still holds up.  I particularly love the ending of "No Reply" and how the song sort of just abruptly stops after the title twice said. I might have listed it as my favorite song in krista4's countdown. (They always change a bit, don't they?)

I tried to telephone
They said you were not home
That's a lie
'Cos I know where you've been
And I saw you walk in
Your door

I nearly died
I nearly died
'Cos you walked hand in hand
With another man
In my place

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I watched the Ron Howard film "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years" last night.

Great archival footage in it.

So I am anxiously looking forward to the rest of your ratings.

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