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Author Topic: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me  (Read 11445 times)

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nyfan(41)

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2011, 11:06:09 PM »

yeah i actually prefer their early stuff - songs like misery or soldier of love
not sure if it's because a) i havent heard these songs on the radio a jillion times   b) the beatles were younger and rocking harder  or c) the material is just uncut musical gold

as to my comment -> i guess i meant the later stuff has more diverse instrumentation etc so there's more to react to in a way
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am i the only one - but the way the PPM album is so raw, direct and stripped down with no fancy overdubs, it almost reminds me of a punk rock group
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Mr Mustard

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2011, 11:12:17 PM »

I realise I will probably be slaughtered for this, but am I the only Beatles fan who finds I Saw Her Standing There one of their most overrated songs? It's a decent enough rocker and a lively enough opener, but it really does very little for me and I've always been puzzled by its popularity.

Misery is a jaunty enough number... am I correct in thinking it was the first Lennon & McCartney number to be covered by another artist (Kenny Lynch)?

Anna, Chains and Boys I regard as fillers to be honest, although Lennon's supreme vocals lift the first and I love Ringo's energy on the last.

I have always really liked the two B sides, Ask Me Why and P.S. I Love You which for me demonstrate the emerging idea that latin rhythms were destined to be "the next big thing". Typically The Beatles were always ready to explore emerging trends and new directions.

as for the A sides... Love Me Do obviously has its own special place in Beatle lore but for me it is rather too pedestrian (even for then), timid and turgid. By contrast Please Please Me ranks for me as one of the high points of the first half of their career. Surely few tracks can rival it as a prime example of the exhilarating, zestful sound of the early Beatles? It was so in your face and brimming with confidence and gusto... that guitar break which ushered in the "Come on.." barrage was simply fantastic. I'm not old enough to remember first hand, but it MUST have been apparent with this song that here was something refreshingly new and different. Thank God George Martin prevailed in his idea to vamp it up from John's original perception of the song as an Orbisonesque operetta!

Baby It's You is yet more padding to my mind, but with Do You want To Know A Secret the album hits its low point...I don't like the way the guitar following George's tremulous opening falters and slows the momentum in an instant. It pains me to say it but this is one of very few examples where a cover version (by Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas) easily demolishes the fab four original.

However, in my opinion the album finishes on a three part high... A Taste Of Honey showcases Paul's adroitness at handling show tune standards and he delivers a sterling vocal, though I'm less keen on John and George's rather cold and overloud repeat lines in the backing.  There's A Place is one of the greatest early Beatles album tracks recorded. It is so quintessentially John & Paul. McCartney paid homage to this fact many years later with "My Brave Face" and his collaboration with Elvis Costello.

Of course these tracks were the build up to John's climactic tour de force. Twist And Shout became the fabs' showstopper throughout 1963 and little wonder. Lennon quite simply devoured it and in a couple of takes cemented his reputation as one of pop music's greatest ever vocalists. Paul was a terrific rock and roll singer but largely due to his talent as a mimic...close your eyes and it could actually be Little Richard singing "Long Tall Sally" or "Kansas City". But Lennon copied no one's voice, and no one could copy his. He put his inimitable stamp of confidence on the album's finale and sealed Please Please Me into place as a raw, fresh, and truly wonderful debut album.  
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2011, 11:37:25 PM »

I realise I will probably be slaughtered for this, but am I the only Beatles fan who finds I Saw Her Standing There one of their most overrated songs? It's a decent enough rocker and a lively enough opener, but it really does very little for me and I've always been puzzled by its popularity.


During "The British Invasion" I Saw Her Standing There spent 11 weeks on the charts but never made it higher than #14.  We heard it often but I Want To Hold Your Hand and She loves You were their big hits here in the United States staying at #1 for 7 and 2 weeks respectively. 

It was Please Please Me that I liked most in early 1964.


This is something we'll never see again:




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nyfan(41)

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2011, 11:42:06 PM »

I realise I will probably be slaughtered for this, but am I the only Beatles fan who finds I Saw Her Standing There one of their most overrated songs? It's a decent enough rocker and a lively enough opener, but it really does very little for me and I've always been puzzled by its popularity.

 Paul was a terrific rock and roll singer but largely due to his talent as a mimic...close your eyes and it could actually be Little Richard singing "Long Tall Sally" or "Kansas City".  
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never really struck me until reading what you posted . .
but i saw her standing ther is like a generic type elvis song
the screech in pauls voice on 'heart went boom' is like a send up
it's like someone took heartbreak hotel, jailhouse rock, too much, dont be cruel (handclap rhythm) and teddy bear and smushed them all together
...
paul said he took the bass line from a chuck berry song but....
paul's not doing little richard,,,,, he's doing elvis !
brilliant yet derivative down to the last note
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2011, 11:48:23 PM »

Of course these tracks were the build up to John's climactic tour de force. Twist And Shout became the fabs' showstopper throughout 1963 and little wonder. Lennon quite simply devoured it and in a couple of takes cemented his reputation as one of pop music's greatest ever vocalists. Paul was a terrific rock and roll singer but largely due to his talent as a mimic...close your eyes and it could actually be Little Richard singing "Long Tall Sally" or "Kansas City". But Lennon copied no one's voice, and no one could copy his. He put his inimitable stamp of confidence on the album's finale and sealed Please Please Me into place as a raw, fresh, and truly wonderful debut album.  

Twist And Shout was my second favorite because of John's delivery.  I liked it better than The Isley Brothers' version.
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tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #45 on: March 20, 2011, 12:09:32 AM »

i don't think alot of bands today could actually do what the beatles did on their first few albums, they had musical integrity and weren't out just to make a buck or shout some trashy lyrics at their reality-addled/complacent audience.

Not sure I agree with all of this. They had a few hits and had some momentum so they ran with it. If they didnt care about money, they would have taken more time on a lot of this earlier stuff, but they rushed it so they could cash in. Thats why 'With The Beatles' is littered with covers. They had to get something to the public to keep up the momentum. It worked, but we as listeners suffered somewhat in my opinion.

nimrod

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2011, 12:27:36 AM »

Ive always really loved 'I saw her standing there', for one, the energetic bass line is completely awesome, fast & fluid and it drives the song along at a great pace, pity imo that this wasnt theyre first single..(its a good exercise for budding bass players to play this and sing it as paul did, it takes a while to master)

Regarding the song itself, simplicity is the key, but simplicity in life is what life was in early 60's england, the words to the song are plainly obvious about fancying the pants off a girl, i believe it was lennon who suggested the 'you know what i mean ' line instead of 'never been a beauty queen', a BIG improvement and it gave the song and edge. I like the way the simple lyrics are met by the simplicity of the melody, i think the verse has only 4 notes, tonic, 2nd, 5th, 7th , curiously the 7th is flattened in the verses and the 2nd is only used once. Ive always thought  the 'Ohh' at the end of the pentatonic upward surge 'I'll never dance with another'  Ohhhhhhhhh.........thats a real beatles style hook just there imo  ;D, the middle section, where his heart goes zoom, also has yet another melisma !! 'held her hand in mi-yine-----ine and this melisma brilliantly enters the falsetto which stands out and hooks you in.
I think the recording is quite perfect, even the handclaps  ;D theres not really much for the boys to do, Ringo just has to keep the beat, Georges solo is erm............adeqaute  ;D nothing flash, couldve been better of course. All in all a perfect example of brilliant pop songwriting 10/10

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Mr Mustard

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2011, 12:30:30 AM »

-
never really struck me until reading what you posted . .
but i saw her standing ther is like a generic type elvis song
the screech in pauls voice on 'heart went boom' is like a send up
it's like someone took heartbreak hotel, jailhouse rock, too much, dont be cruel (handclap rhythm) and teddy bear and smushed them all together
...
paul said he took the bass line from a chuck berry song but....
paul's not doing little richard,,,,, he's doing elvis !
brilliant yet derivative down to the last note

Paul drifts into a half-decent Elvis pastiche here and there during Lady Madonna  ;)
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tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #48 on: March 20, 2011, 12:35:54 AM »

I realise I will probably be slaughtered for this, but am I the only Beatles fan who finds I Saw Her Standing There one of their most overrated songs?

Its an alright song, but like I said, I get awfully sick of it really quick. It does seem to get a lot of attention for some reason though.

Quote
There's A Place is one of the greatest early Beatles album tracks recorded. It is so quintessentially John & Paul.

Cant agree with you here. I think the song is filler material.

Quote
Paul was a terrific rock and roll singer but largely due to his talent as a mimic...

Paul was a great rock singer period. Sure he tried to mimic some voices once in awhile, but that was on purpose. Theres endless examples of Paul singing some kick ass rock n roll without the mimicking aspect.

Great post though Mr. Mustard.

Mr Mustard

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2011, 12:37:08 AM »

Ive always really loved 'I saw her standing there', for one, the energetic bass line is completely awesome, fast & fluid and it drives the song along at a great pace, pity imo that this wasnt theyre first single..(its a good exercise for budding bass players to play this and sing it as paul did, it takes a while to master)

Regarding the song itself, simplicity is the key, but simplicity in life is what life was in early 60's england, the words to the song are plainly obvious about fancying the pants off a girl, i believe it was lennon who suggested the 'you know what i mean ' line instead of 'never been a beauty queen', a BIG improvement and it gave the song and edge. I like the way the simple lyrics are met by the simplicity of the melody, i think the verse has only 4 notes, tonic, 2nd, 5th, 7th , curiously the 7th is flattened in the verses and the 2nd is only used once. Ive always thought  the 'Ohh' at the end of the pentatonic upward surge 'I'll never dance with another'  Ohhhhhhhhh.........thats a real beatles style hook just there imo  ;D, the middle section, where his heart goes zoom, also has yet another melisma !! 'held her hand in mi-yine-----ine and this melisma brilliantly enters the falsetto which stands out and hooks you in.
I think the recording is quite perfect, even the handclaps  ;D theres not really much for the boys to do, Ringo just has to keep the beat, Georges solo is erm............adeqaute  ;D nothing flash, couldve been better of course. All in all a perfect example of brilliant pop songwriting 10/10



I think it's one of a handful of McCartney compositions that Lennon probably wished he'd written... no coincidence that he chose it to close his guest spot on Elton John's stage show in 1974.

I can't really dispute any of what you've written in that excellent post nimrod, perhaps an even bigger mystery to me than why it's so popular with so many people is why it just fails to grab me?

But for whatever reasons, it never has.
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glass onion

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #50 on: March 20, 2011, 01:25:46 AM »

i always felt 'i saw her standing there' was good.not brilliant and not poor,just good.it's the energy and the feelgood factor that gets you,and with it opening the first beatles album,well you can't deny it can you?i must disagree with tkitna on the opinion of 'theres' a place',i think this is a real forgotten gem of a song from the beatle cannon and one that deserves a little more mentioning.i like the album as a whole,i really do.the band must have really been 'cooking' live around this time,certainly a lot better than the live act they were destined to become....through no real fault of their own.
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tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #51 on: March 20, 2011, 01:37:27 AM »

It must just be me with 'There's A Place'. Even my buddies band played the song when they played out and I asked why. He said he loved it. What can I say?

Gary910

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #52 on: March 20, 2011, 03:13:25 PM »

That’s correct. I didn’t buy the mono set because I prefer stereo.


I know there are discussions ad nauseum about mono vs. stereo, but as I know has been brought up here, mono is a different listening experience.
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tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #53 on: March 21, 2011, 12:02:52 AM »

I know there are discussions ad nauseum about mono vs. stereo, but as I know has been brought up here, mono is a different listening experience.

Agreed, but its a lot easier to pick things out in stereo in my opinion. I cant tell you how many times i've shut one side off to hear the drums better when learning songs and stuff like that.

Ollie

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #54 on: March 21, 2011, 12:18:46 AM »

I once read a book and inside of it, it proclaimed: "Not even Bob Dylan was writing lyrics like that in 1963"

Said of "There's A Place"...

I tend to agree...
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peterbell1

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #55 on: March 21, 2011, 11:00:13 AM »

I once read a book and inside of it, it proclaimed: "Not even Bob Dylan was writing lyrics like that in 1963"

Said of "There's A Place"...

I tend to agree...

Yeah. The first verse is an amazing piece of work when you think that The Beatles were still a relatively new and unknown band when it was written and recorded.
It's a shame they didn't have the confidence to carry on with the theme in the second verse and bridge.
The second verse goes back to the old love song angle. And the bridge section ("In my mind there's no sorrow...") doesn't really fit with either of the preceding verses!
I still really like it as a song though. Love Paul's harmonies on the "and it's my mind" bit.
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nimrod

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #56 on: March 21, 2011, 11:10:12 AM »

Quote
Now heres a little quiz guys....was this the first melisma (ba-aaa-ad and dr-aaa-ag)) on a beatle song ? ( i like melisma's) 

so, on please please me, there are melisma's on..

I saw her standing there
Misery
Anna
Ask me why
Do you want to know a secret
Theres a place

the place is full of them  ha2ha
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peterbell1

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #57 on: March 21, 2011, 11:14:57 AM »

There's a few instances on this album of John and Paul saying "sh" instead of "s" (some examples are "shend her back to me" in Misery and "shweeter than wine" in Taste of Honey).
Where did that come from? Were they copying some other singer of the time?
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nimrod

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #58 on: March 21, 2011, 11:28:46 AM »

I guess I always feel that PPM is the album that sounds most dated of them all due to the production values, for example theres way too much reverb on some vocals and the band sounds really 'thin' the bass is too low down in the mix, sometimes its hard to tell who voice is who's on the backing vocals.........although it has to be said the remasters adresses some of these issues, like the bass levels.
The song that really stands out is the title track, what a magnificent song and a qauntum leap from Love me do, everything about it is fresh and when John sings the c'mon's, it really sends shivers down my spine his voice is so good..
Theres a curios noise on the remaster at about 1.08 where john sings but you know theres always pain in my heart, it sounds a bit like a twangy jews harp, my hearing is quite shot after years of playing in bands, can anyone tell what it is?

and at 1.47 on the last lines of the outro the reverb goes up to ridiculous levels for some reason, Mr Martin mustve thought it was a good idea at the time ha2ha
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peterbell1

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Please Please Me
« Reply #59 on: March 21, 2011, 11:33:46 AM »

4. Chains - Nice Ringo shuffle throughout. George’s voice is nice here. Good song for him. John’s rhythm guitar has a neat distorted sound to it. Sounds almost like a fuzz bass in my opinion. Paul’s higher background harmonies works on this song too. 1:28 John or George say something like Wow or something else. I couldn’t quite pick exactly what it was out, but its neat.

I have heard that voice at 1.28 before, but still can't work out what it says.
The What Goes On anomalies list suggests it might be ....

1:27
    Maybe John - "S'at enough?"/ "S'at the rhythm?".

It sounds like George's voice to me though.
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