Pastmasters Vol. 1
I didnt include the two German songs for obvious reasons, but anyways, here we go.
1. Love Me Do - I wish I could say this song was a decent effort for one of their first tunes, but it isnt. let me start off by saying that I hate John's harmonica. Its an annoying sound. As if there wasnt enough of it, he follows through with a solo. Great. Pauls bass playing is almost childish. Its too simple. The hand claps during the solo are just plain silly. Thanks to George Martin, Andy White handles the drumming as if it was going to be too tough for Ringo or any other person who's held drum sticks for more than 5 minutes (Sorry Pete). To top it all off, the harmonies are weird. Paul sings in a higher pitch then everybody else and it just sounds off.
2. From Me To You - This song is a better effort, but not by a bunch. Ah, there's that harmonica again. Sounds stupid in this song too. Ringo does a decent job, but he seems to rush his fills as if he's excited that he's allowed to do them. I give John credit for trying to sing with a bit of a raunchy voice to harden the blow, but it doesnt work. Paul and George do good enough for what the songs worth. Not much more to add.
3. Thank You Girl - A guilty pleasure of mine and I admit that its not a good song. Theres that dumb sounding harmonica again (see a trend here). Pauls voice is too high again in the background vocals. Theres the obvious tempo increase at the end too that always made me laugh. Ringo's fault? I think so. My notes have something written down about an echo too, but I dont know where that happens. Oh well.
4. She Loves You – First thing I take notice to is Pauls melodic bass playing. Sounds nice even on this little pop tune. Another thing I heard that I liked was George’s voice on the background vocals. He was steady as a rock here and for some reason I picked him out and liked what I heard. Ringo ending fills with the bass drum instead of the crash is just plain awesome. Great little early number.
5. I’ll Get You – Hey everybody, there’s that harmonica again. I’ll leave it at that. The ‘Oh Yeah’s’ sound outright annoying. At 1:13 they mess up the chorus. John sings one thing and Paul sings something else (think it was Paul). How can you let that slide? George Martin,,,,Hello! I do like Ringo’s high hat buildup through the song. John’s Louis Armstrong voice is decent too. Nothing else really stood out.
6. I Want To Hold Your Hand – John’s rhythm guitar sounds good and is solid. Paul’s bass playing is stout too. I cant say the same for George. That twangy sounding guitar throughout the song is bad. Sounds pretty terrible to my ears. At 1:22 they mess up going into the chorus. It was a pretty big song for something like that to be allowed to happen.
7. This Boy – I never really listened closely to this song before because I never liked it well enough to care. Ringo’s double time on the hats is nice. I wish there was no electric guitar in this song. Acoustic only would have been my choice. I don’t like the tone of the electric guitar. George and Paul’s backup vocals are tight and top notch. 1:27 mark you can hear the obvious studio break. The guitar at the end sounds stupid and shouldn’t have been there.
8. Long Tall Sally – Ringo flat out kicks on this one. Solid, big time. Check him out at the 1:40 mark where he adds the toms. Paul’s voice is excellent. Not a huge fan of the piano for some reason. The guitar solo sucks. Its almost as though he almost gets it, but then loses it. Its really awful. Why didn’t they let him work it out for a few minutes and then do it again? Doesn’t make sense.
9. I Call Your Name – Is John’s lead vocals doubletracked here? Did they even have that at the time? They almost have to be because its so perfect. Paul and Ringo are locked in on the rhythm section together. And then theres the guitar. Not only do I hate the twangy tone, but the playing is horrible. The solo is a train wreck. See, its moments like these that I have to wonder why they even kept George. As a producer, I would have never let this go to the public.
10. Slow Down – Was this song put together in 2 minutes? Sure sounds like it. Georges guitar playing is once again, a travesty. Just atrocious. Another solo butchered. I just don’t understand. Its obvious he hit a wrong note and just went with it. He plays the same mistake three more times in a row as to try to convince us its right when its not. Whatever. Johns rhythm guitar isn’t much better though. 1:13 they mess up the lyrics. Ringo is solid as is Johns voice.
11. Matchbox – Another song I think the vocals are doubletracked, but these don’t match up as well as ‘I Call Your Name’. Probably wrong on that. Guitar solo is a joke again. Terrible. Bass is good. Ringo carries a nice shuffle throughout and the piano is good too.
12. I Feel Fine – You can tell they took care with this one. George’s guitar tone is great on this one and his solo is tight and confident sounding. Applause. Ringo’s best Beatle song on the skins. I’ve said it more than once, but I’ve never heard another drummer play it right. More applause. Paul could have added a bit more with the bass. The bass note on the 1 and 3 is boring. Background vocals are tight and sound great. Nothing bad to say about this one. Sounds more mature for one of their earlier tunes.
13. She’s A Woman – I don’t like the guitar strumming on this one. Tone more than anything else I suppose. I’ve never heard Pauls voice sound like this before. He sang it with a different tone or accent. I don’t know. He just sounds different and I like it. The piano sounds good in the background too. The 1:24 mark John flat out misses a bar with the guitar and again its allowed. George Martin needs slapped sometimes. Guitar solo was good, but I don’t like the tone (yes, I’m anal about this). Pauls voice doubletracked?
14. Bad Boy – John’s voice is great. Lead guitar sucks once again. Oh George, please change that tone. Its just old style country twang. It eats at me. Ringo rocks. The organ solo sucks in my opinion. George’s solo was actually decent. He stayed in the lower range and the ear piercing tone was tolerable. I actually enjoyed the tambourine as a space filler too.
15. Yes It Is – Hate the slide guitar. Hate it. Harmonies are too loose. Should have tightened them up. Around the 1:04 to 1:07 mark, Ringo either slows down or John speeds the tempo up. Something sounded off.
16. I’m Down – I don’t care for Johns goofing off, low background vocals. What I did hear was pretty neat and i’m not sure if its due to the remasters or not, but George’s guitar solo was layered on top of another. You can hear the other solo in the background at a lower volume. Was pretty neat. Organ solo was ok and I liked the bongo’s. They added nicely.