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Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles

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With The Beatles

I havent played this album in awhile and it was refreshing when I did. I usually don’t give this record too much thought, but its an interesting listen. I’ve come to the conclusion that its better than I’ve given it credit for.

1. It Wont Be Long - I’ve always liked this song. Nice little rocker. The first thing I’ll comment on is that I really like the competing ‘Yeah’s’ throughout. I like how they go back and forth with that. Paul and Georges backgrounds are good. I love the rhythm guitar sound. Paul handles the bass well as usual. George’s guitar playing is solid here. When you listen to him it almost seems as though he’s lagging at times, but he isn’t. Nice job. Cool ending to the song also.

2. All I’ve Got To Do - This song doesn’t do much for me. Johns voice is nice enough. I like Pauls higher voice in the backgrounds also. Actually the background vocals as a whole are nice. Not thrilled with the guitar sound, but it is what it is. Again, not a lot to say about this throwaway.

3. All My Loving - Here’s one of their more popular tunes that I’ve never been a huge fan of for some reason. I don’t know why, but I’m just not. Ringo’s shuffle and backbeat is great. The bass is cool too. Not crazy about the busy guitar for some reason. John and George do a nice job together. Good little guitar solo. Nothing great, but tasteful. Sounds like theres something being played in the background during the chorus. A shaker of some sort? I cant pick it out.

4. Don’t Bother Me - I like this song. Its been a guilty pleasure of mine for a long time. First thing I noticed was at the 0:03 mark. Sounds like one of them says bastard or something in the background. I don’t know. George’s double tracked voice doesn’t line up all the time. Ringo is solid in the song, but stops at the 0:38 mark for some reason. He should have filled that spot, but just does nothing for whatever reason. Oh well. The Congo beat (or whatever it is) needs to go. Annoying. Guitar solo is ok. Nothing special. I do like the sound of the guitar strums throughout. 1:55 mark sounds like Ringo rushes for some reason.

5. Little Child - Alright song, but nothing earth shattering. Struggling with that harmonica again. Piano is nice though. I dig Johns voice during the ‘I’m so sad and lonely’ part. 0:30 mark I have notes about a ‘Yeah’ in the backgound, but I cant remember what I was meaning. Was it added or was there an emphasis on it? I should relisten, but I’m lazy. 0:37 mark the backgrounds sound off. 0:54 theres a drum echo happening. The bass cooks. 1:12 terrible studio edit. 1:37 love Pauls ‘Oh Yeah’.

6. Till There Was You - Always liked this one. Guitar is great. Tone and playing. Bongo’s add and are welcomed here. Pauls voice is made for this type of song. Georges solo is awesome. Applause. I like the ending too. Great song in my opinion.

7. Please Mr. Postman - Another song I’ve always dismissed, but they do a pretty decent job with it. I like George and Pauls ‘OOH’s’ in the background. Johns voice is convincing. Ringo does a great job of filling space with the open hi hat noise. Guitars are solid. 2:19 Paul throws an ‘OOH’ in there that’s bad. Should have skipped that one. Too high and weird sounding.

8. Roll Over Beethoven - Two things I’d like to say before I start with this song. One- I wish Paul sang it. Two- I so much prefer the Live At Hollywood Bowl version that all others will fail miserably with me. Ok, moving on. Georges guitar sounds thin to me here. More distortion maybe? 0:17 speaking of studio effects, here the rest of the band comes in and its like a tidal wave. Nothing subtle here Mr. Martin. Love the 1:11 mark where Ringo comes in with the snare being played like the hi hats. Georges solo starts off great and he plays with passion and then at 1:42 he loses it. Oh George. Ringos bass drum giving the beat throughout is awesome.

9. Hold Me Tight - Another guilty pleasure of mine. Its nothing more than an average filler tune, but I dig it for some reason. I’m on the fence with the handclaps. Sometimes I think their too much and then others they feel like they need to be there. I don’t know. Love how Paul carries the chorus with his high ’Its You oo oo’. The walking guitar is nice. Backgrounds don’t sound tight throughout for some reason. 1:55 mark theres a real low ’OHH’ in the background. Neat. Love the slow down ending.

10. You Really Got Ahold On Me - Here’s one I never liked. Terrible choice for a cover in my opinion. John and George sound good together. 1:17 mark John’s ’Hold On Me’ is awesome. 1:24 the backgrounds and lead vocals arent together. Like their drawn out or something. Guitars and bass plod along. Not much to say about them. 2:23 mark one of them sings ’Baby’ with some extra effort. Its nice, but I’m not sure who did it. Paul maybe? The ending is nice with the guitar and Ringo together. This song just drags though and maybe that’s why I like the ending so much.

11. I Wanna Be Your Man - first off, Ringo smokes on this tune (drumming wise). I’ve noticed the shaker in the background for some reason. It adds and I like it. 1:02 is another obvious studio layer. Its not bad, its just there. I like the guitar solo. No its not technical picking, but just playing chords fits this song like a glove. 1:14 mark John (I think) says something in the background. Couldn’t make it out. 1:30 Paul gives a neat ’OHH’ in the background. Fun ending and I actually like the organ here.

12. Devil In Her Heart - Not one of my favorites. Studio effect is pretty bad when the backgrounds come in. Background vocals are passable. Bass line is cool. Not much else to say except that the song is extremely boring and I was glad when it ended.

13. Not A Second Time - Another throwaway, but I like it for some odd reason. Johns voice is nice. The guitar is ok. The elevator music piano solo makes me throw up in my mouth a little, but what can you do? Nothing says filler more than this tune.

14. Money (That’s What I Want) - Everybody has done a cover of this and the Beatles version isn’t my favorite by a long shot, but they do a decent job regardless.  Johns voice is great here. Paul and George sound fantastic together also. They sound so good that the backgrounds sound much bigger than just the two of them. Are they? Someone tell me. Love the piano. Handclaps are needed here. Nice addition for filling space. Love how Ringo shuts the hats along with the beat. Something as little as that adds so much. Good song.    

I love "All I've Got To Do" and "Not A Second Time", both with great John's vocals. I was never a fan of "Till There Was You", but it was the launching pad for next great ballads by Paul ("And I Love Her", "Yesterday", "Michelle", etc.)

glass onion:
dare i say it.....i have never really cared a lot for 'with the beatles'.obviously there are highlights on the album...'it won't be long' is good,'all my loving',also a softish spot for 'little child'.the ringo fill in 'not a second time',which is the same fill as in 'i want to hold your hand' but back to front,i like that.some other little bits,but not a lot.i never listen to this album-it's got to be 5 years since i heard it,just not for me.the beatles started getting interesting for me at 'rubber soul'.i like the early stuff-it's o.k but it has never really knocked me out like it does other people.nothing wrong with the songs or the playing,though. ;sorry

for me it's:
side A (wont be long thru please mr postman)
side B (roll over btvn thru money)

.......back in the days of albums . .
it was great to be able to choose to put on side one or side two,,, and listen to 20 minutes of a group, not 40
and i think when 'with the beatles' came out, these 2 side albums were presented like a live show song list....
big opener / new songs highlighted among covers / big closer
intermission (flip record as needed)
side two opener / fast song / slow song / cover / big finale encore
or whatever
but i'm realizing that all those 'with the beatles songs' on a CD in a row like that are a mess  ha2ha :o
but as two record sides (like originally intended) -> my attention span is highly entertained

anyway, 'with the beatles' to me is great music
great marriage between the cover art and the mood of the record !
the beatles knock back coversongs like someone dominating every week of american idol
the best house band in the world shows that they've been practicing/playing their asses off for a very long time!
best moments: all john's voice
till there was you : george (the rough cut/weird one you wouldn't want your daughter to date) plays a guitar solo that shuts every doubting old person the f up . . (creepy crawly brainless yea yea shaggy teenage gimick household pests not withstanding)
and shows guitar work by elvis or ricky nelson need not apply

and as usual, i usualy agree with anywhere from 54 to 67 percent of what tkitna says about the individual songs  ha2ha

I dont think WTB stands up nowadays as anything major (in terms of great albums) especially when stacked up against Rubber Soul or Revolver for example, but what WTB does represent was a moving on from Please Please Me, the whole thing to me seems to be recorded with much more care and the original songs were a bit classier, (All My Loving for one) its amazing that in those days it was considered kind of 'cheating to put singles on the albums, so no British singles on here..

I will mention the cover art though, what a brilliant photograph that is, copied many many times of course, a BIG step up from the previous album.

Speaking of singles, I always though It Wont Be Long would have been a No 1! and Im amazed it wasnt released in the UK, a truly great pop song IMO, its one of those 'John' belter outers like Hard Days Night and Help, John seemed very very good at writing these kind of songs, songs with loads of energy that kind of smacked you in the face, the Yeah..Yeah..yeahs in the song played very well on the whole Beatles thing like She Loves You, overall though what a great song to open an album with and what a great vocal performance John gave on it, so strong (going back to the George thread this is the kind of song he could never have sung because he didnt have THAT power)

PS Im going to finish this post in another post as when I type more than the actual size of the post window my screen gets annoyingly very jumpy, dont know if this is a problem with the site or just me ?


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