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Author Topic: From WTB to AHDN  (Read 1132 times)

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Ahme

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From WTB to AHDN
« on: March 10, 2010, 03:39:36 PM »

A lot of people always judge Sgt Pepper to be an enormous suprise and creative breakthrough. Personally, I feel that more when the Beatles went from With The Beatles (which I regard as a Please Please Me Plus) to the burst out of creativity with A Hard Days Night with just original songs. Do you agree?
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Kevin

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Re: From WTB to AHDN
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010, 04:28:57 PM »

I've always thought the leap from Rubber Soul to Revolver the greatest. All albums up to RS comprise almost exclusively of guitar based songs.
This is not the case for Revolver. All the ingrediants (apart from the reprise) of Pepper can be found on Revolver, so I'm not sure why people would be suprised.
No denying the shift from WTB to AHDN though.
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AngeloMysterioso

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Re: From WTB to AHDN
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2010, 06:33:11 PM »

Interesting view. There was unquestionably a significant leap with A Hard Days Night, indeed. But I cannot see With the Beatles as a Please Please Me Plus, sorry.

In my opinion, the big rift happened with Rubber Soul. There is definitely a before and after in perspective, much more thant with A Hard Days Night. Needless to say because of the sitar, organ, piano, deeper lyrics and technical sophistication. But more: isn’t Rubber Soul the first real attempt by the Beatles to create a concept (long before Sgt Pepper) with its double-entendre title that could not be related to any specific track? Without any link to a movie soundtrack (contrary to Help and A Hard Days Night), to a forthcoming A-Side; or to a lame With the Beatles or Beatles for Sale.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 08:28:59 PM by AngeloMysterioso »
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Music's all right John, but you'll never make a living out of it.

peterbell1

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Re: From WTB to AHDN
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2010, 06:56:26 PM »

I think there was a major leap from EVERY Beatles album to the next.
Unfortunately, in the cases of Beatles for Sale and Let It Be it was a leap BACKWARDS!!  ;)

I do agree that HDN is a better album than WTB.
Some of this is down to the band's progression. They were definitely improving as songwriters, for instance, and they were learning more about how to work in the studio as they spent more and more time there.

But WTB was at something of a disadvantage - HDN included two hit singles and their B-sides, whereas on WTB they stayed clear of doing that. Imagine how good WTB would be if you ditched four of the weaker songs ...

I want to hold your hand
All I’ve got to do
All my loving
This boy
Don’t bother me
Little child
Please Mr Postman

She loves you
I’ll get you
You really got a hold on me
It won’t be long
Till there was you
Not a second time
Money

That would be a great album!

HDN also has the advantage of having its own distinctive sound, with George's 12-string Rickenbacker all over it. I think that makes it stand out as an album as well.
And maybe it's also more familiar to us because of the hit singles and the fact that half of the songs were used in the film.
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Yarvelling

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Re: From WTB to AHDN
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2010, 01:18:32 AM »

I've always thought that their own compositions on WTB, inter-mingled with the entire AHDN would have made a great double album (albeit rather short sides!).  I love the sound that they had then; bright, cheery, optimistic.
The next big jump comes with BFS (minus covers), which flows nicely into Help!, which leads well into Rubber Soul; that folky, Dylan-esq vibe flows across the three - to me!
Revolver, into Pepper, into Magical Mystery Tour, is the next big jump, and which fit well as a nice second triad; the more experimental, psycodelic stuff.
Steve.
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Bobber

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Re: From WTB to AHDN
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2010, 09:44:52 AM »

Yeah, I'm with Peterbell here. Every album (and maybe even every single. It should be an interesting end to the Singles Threads to look at them as leap/steps forward) is a step or leap. The combination Beatles For Sale - Help! never really worked for me, but if you think that Rubber Soul is the great conclusion of both these albums it really worked out great. The combination of originals on BFS and Help should make up to a great album as well. I do see the great step from WTB to AHDN, but it's not exceptional to Beatles standards. The original songs on WTB already show what is coming up a few months later. It Won't Be Long could be replaced with Anytime At All for instance imho.
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peterbell1

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Re: From WTB to AHDN
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2010, 11:03:33 AM »

Just to take my argument one step further....

The OP said that they believed that WTB was basically PPM+ and that AHDN represented a big step up from those two LPs.
I disagree with that. I feel that there was a constant progression from album to album, from PPM to WTB and then from WTB to AHDN.
I don't see WTB as being PPM vol 2.

Even though both albums were recorded in the same year (something that would be unimaginable for any modern artist!!!) I think on WTB you can see that Lennon+McCartney are maturing as songwriters, and George has also thrown his hat into the ring for the first time.
They are allowed more time in the studio and are consequently taking more time over the recording process, with the introduction of double-tracked vocals etc.
They include several covers on WTB, as they had on PPM, but that would have been expected: writing and performing your own songs was fairly uncommon back then, but the Beatles were breaking out of that mould gradually, something which came out fully on AHDN.
When PPM was released the Beatles were still playing regular sessions at the Cavern. By the time WTB came out they had already played the Royal Variety Performance!! That's a massive progression by any band's standards.
Even the artwork for WTB was something different - they didn't see the need to have BEATLES emblazened right across the cover in yellow capital letters, as they had with PPM. The four faces on WTB are enough to let buyers know whose album it is. The band's name is tucked away at the top in lower case type.
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Kevin

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Re: From WTB to AHDN
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2010, 11:47:34 AM »

I agree with Peterbell. Mostly  (I think).
All this depends on the fact that you regard the move from WTB's cool r'n'b covers and sharp originals to the shrill hysteria of AHBN's pop format as an improvement. Listening wise, I'm not sure it is. I much prefer WTB's urban mood to AHDN teenbait shriekiness. I'd rather listen to Mr Postman than Tell Me Why any day.
I have a bugbear about the covers thing. I don't see the inclusion of all originals on AHDN as a progression, because they reverted back to their normal format for the very next album, the idea not dissapearing until RS.
AHDN was an abberation, not a progression (format wise).
« Last Edit: March 11, 2010, 01:00:42 PM by Kevin »
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nyfan(41)

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Re: From WTB to AHDN
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2010, 12:05:00 PM »

interesting post!
.
.
i'd add that one other thing that constituted a shift was when the US and UK versions finnaly stopped differing
because all those pre-pepper albums were experienced differently depending which side of the Atlantic the listener lived on
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