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tkitna

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Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« on: March 25, 2011, 10:07:07 PM »

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.    
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 11:15:07 PM »

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.)
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glass onion

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 06:26:32 PM »

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
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nyfan(41)

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 08:30:18 PM »

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....
i.e.
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
and
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
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nimrod

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 09:08:19 PM »

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 ?
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 09:43:43 PM by nimrod »
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nimrod

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2011, 09:41:53 PM »

Quote
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.

We disagree MASSIVELY on this one tkitna  ;D..........I absolutely love this song, IMO it is the best song written so far (if were talking serious songwriting and not teeny boppergetahitatallcostsdom) in the Beatles canon, I actually think this is a magnificent song which is performed beautifully by the band, the opening line sung by John is sublime and sets up the song wonderfully, its like someone talking to you in a conversation, telling you something....'whenever I--------- want you around yeah.....' very personal and it just sucks you in, then comes the brilliant next line... 'all I gotta do (melisma)' sung with Paul harmonizing, the vocal counterpoint sung by them starts off as parallel thirds (normal harmony) , but then changes over to parallel fourth when Paul holds the same note E (when they sing Do-o-o-o-oooooo) as John starts to descend, I love that they do that.
We then move on to the ........is call you on the phone etc......section resolves the query John laid out in the first line beautifully, he tells us all he has to do to get his girl around (maybe about Cynthia, always at his beck & call?), so by the end of the 1st verse we have 3 completely different sections ! = masterful songwriting.
I could ramble on about it much more but IMO a monumentaly great song showing enormous talent......and I LOVE the hummed outro, like saying....thats the end of this conversation, Im bored  ;D
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nimrod

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2011, 09:56:35 PM »

Just to add to my last post on All I Gotta Do, to be fair to John he does state to Cynthia ? in the last section (before he hums the final verse) that he will always be there for her and all she has to do is 'you just gotta call on me'

That line is interesting in itself BTW, English people never say 'you just gotta call on me' as its gramatically incorrect, they would say 'you just have to call on me' the way John says it is more American English form so maybe all his listening to American music was having an effect on his lyrics at this point, I wouldve liked to have asked him if he was aware of that  ;D

Anyway, the song lasts a mere 2 minutes and 3 seconds, nowhere near enough !
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tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2011, 11:27:23 PM »


We disagree MASSIVELY on this one tkitna  ;D..........I absolutely love this song,

Yeah, we disagree massively. First thing I need to say is that lyrics mean absolutly nothing to me. Seriously, I could care less. I'm a drummer and when I listen to music, the lyrics are the last thing I hear or care about. Thats probably why i'm not a huge John solo fan. I could care less what he has to say. Secondly, Nimord, you seem to have a higher understanding than I do with the actual technical. music aspect of songs. I cant relate with key changes and chord stuff. The notes mean nothing to me. I'm only a drummer. I think this is why we see differntly on a lot of the songs. Theres nothing wrong with that though. I think it makes for good conversation. I might not like a song but you do, but now I understand why. Its kind of like my friend that  loves 'There's A Place'. He's a guitar player and singer. The song does nothing for me. Anyways, when I hear this song, it sounds to me like the lads were under the fire and came up with a song in 10 minutes and there you have it. Its probably me.

All this being said, I like your input as it takes me to a different level of how people listen to songs and music. Thats what i'm looking for. 

tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2011, 11:31:13 PM »

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 ?

Yeah, its horrible and I dont know why it happens. I do my reviews on WORD and copy and paste because of it. It sucks.

nyfan(41)

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2011, 11:52:24 PM »

tkitna's take on all ive got to do was what i most disagreed with in his post as well
going as as far to call it a throwaway
for me, it's too masterfully executed and musically clever to be in that catagory - vocally, melodically instrumentally .. and lyrically clever as the narrator morphs from abusive user into valliant knight over the backdrop of a swooping chord change
-
the opening guitar that sounds like it has a bit too much echo and is a bit to high in the mix is what makes AIGTD sound like the classic soul record it's mimicing
the harmony shift on doooooo melisma where one note stays the same and the other decends -> interestingly changing the interval ->
isn't that move almost directly from a smokey robinson song ? and didn't george even say this song was john 'doing' smokey robinson
-
that's what fails about the song to me and ultimately leaves me empty after i hear it-> too derivative of smokey robinson and the miricles in the slow part of the song (almost to the point of parodying american soul) . . and to the point of making the song's plaintive theme seem ingenuous
when john belts the 'up' rock part of the song......... the contrast between the soul verses and rock middle break is too strong -> drawing attention to the mimicry even more (in my opinion)

on a whole though... the song is a skillful display of singing, playing and songwriting and it does not offend
-
(would the beatles delve that deep into soul again until... got to get you into my life??  ha2ha)
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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2011, 12:01:32 AM »

5. Little Child
it doesn't get any better than this.
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2011, 01:55:24 AM »

All I've Got to Do..........I absolutely love this song, IMO it is the best song written so far (if were talking serious songwriting and not teeny boppergetahitatallcostsdom) in the Beatles canon, I actually think this is a magnificent song which is performed beautifully by the band...

for me, it's too masterfully executed and musically clever to be in that catagory - vocally, melodically instrumentally ...

All I've Got To Do and You Really Got A Hold On Me are two of my favorite songs on this album.  I liked early soul music when this album came out and it was obvious that John was following up on Baby It's You on Please Please Me.  All I've Got To Do is written and performed well and rightfully takes its place in this music genre.
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nimrod

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2011, 02:43:00 AM »

Yeah, we disagree massively. First thing I need to say is that lyrics mean absolutly nothing to me.


All this being said, I like your input as it takes me to a different level of how people listen to songs and music. Thats what i'm looking for.

lyrics (and how they are sung) to me are a vital ingredient in any song..

Thanks tkitna Im glad you like my posts, talking and analyzing the songs is my main reason for being on this excellent forum as I love to talk about music, besides being a musician and guitar teacher I took a degree in music appreciation a number of years ago and it was probably the best thing Ive ever done (2nd to marrying my wife 24.7 years ago)  ;D

« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 12:13:49 PM by nimrod »
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Mr Mustard

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2011, 02:59:06 AM »

Although With The Beatles recreates the template used so successfully on Please Please Me (open and close your album with a feisty rocker, include some slow ballads, chuck in a quick number for Ringo and feature George on lead vocal a couple of times, with a light sprinkling of R&B covers in between) it nevertheless represents a confident stride forwards from its buoyant but wet-behind-the-ears predecessor in my opinion. I agree with nimrod; it's a less rushed, more considered and thoughtful offering. There was no need to hang the album onto a brace of hit singles as before. This album was bold enough to stand on its own - even the trendsetting sleeve marked a willingness to break new ground. The first four tracks are superb:

It Won't Be Long is John Lennon at his high-octane, sledgehammer best. Paul & George do well keeping up with the alternate yeah / yeah vocals....a "hook" the lads made their trademark in '63. Blistering opener to the album.

All I've Got To Do this is superb, mellow brilliance. John's slow burn vocal control is remarkable, complemented by nice harmony from Paul. Mature and confident songwriting. Love this track.

Just when it looks as though alpha male Lennon has the proceedings in an unchallengeable, vice like grip... up pops Paul McCartney with the album's catchiest and most commercial song-that-should-have-been-a-single...

All My Loving deserves its status as one of the - if not THE - highlights from With The Beatles. It is so irresistibly accessible and infectious and I personally love those super-speed guitar triplets from John. I ought to make it clear that I am not a musician (on early Beatle records especially, the vocals are what matters above all else to me), but as the saying goes about art - I might not know much but I know what I like; and for me, George's guitar solo is excellent. A piece of class from all four Beatles from start to finish.

Don't Bother Me of course marks George's début as a composer - and he nails it with his sardonic vocal and downbeat lyrics. Following on directly from the effervescent All My Loving, Harrison's offering provides perfect shadow to McCartney's light - almost like the album cover itself put to music.

Here is where the album loses momentum for me.

Little Child is an out and out filler in my opinion - and worse, an uncharacteristically forgettable one. Twee in a Love, Love Me Do type of way, with none of the maturity that the previous tracks exhibited. Shame, but there was worse to come...

Till There Was You marks the album's low point for me. If anyone can salvage mushy sentimentalism into musical credibility, then it's Paul - yet even he fails to rescue this embarrassingly mawkish piece of schmaltz. Possibly the worst cover version The Beatles ever attempted. It has an old fashioned, flowery theatricality completely at odds with the tracks surrounding it. I'm sure many love it...for me it comes close to spoiling side one of the LP... Sorry!
The guitars are nice but the whole thing sounds so jarringly dated on what had been shaping up as a very modern (for its time) pop album.

Please Mr Postman lifts the spirits to some extent, and the tried and tested formula of John on lead vocals with Paul & George providing enthusiastic backup never fails. But I am always conscious that it's another cover, and I am always disappointed that the promise of those opening four fab tracks by the fab four should have run out of steam by the close of side one.

Still, on to side two (for those of you reading this in vinyl) and it's another helping of George with Roll Over Beethoven. This might have carried more clout had Paul (or better yet, John) taken the lead - I think it was traditionally a Lennon number in the Hamburg and Cavern days. Still, Harrison copes adequately and the track chugs along with sufficient merriment to keep things rolling.

Hold Me Tight for me succeeds where Little Child failed. There are similarities - both bubble along energetically more in hope than anything else - and Paul's offering, like Little Child, is another prime example of "filler" - yet somehow this track has enough momentum to pull through. I like it, but I know some who don't and there are those who openly cringe at Paul's occasionally flat, out of tune vocal. A guilty pleasure for me, and once again employing the echoed one/two-word backing vocal ploy.

You Really Got A Hold On Me does not, alas, exert any hold over me. Redeemed in part by John's stupendous vocal prowess, it was in my opinion a poor choice of cover and oh how it drags! I'm in complete agreement with tkitna here.

I Wanna Be Your Man a lively affair given to Ringo and handled with admirable kick-ass gusto. Refreshing and guaranteed to get my feet tapping and put a smile on my face.

Devil In Her Heart another cover from George. I can't really put my finger on why this works so well, but it does for me. Once again it's probably because the vocal interplay is so much to the fore. In fact I can't readily think of another example of The Beatles "arguing" throughout a song as they do here. I love the various ways that Harrison delivers the "no, no..." rebuttals to John & Paul.

Not A Second Time- well, if penultimate track There's A Place was a forgotten gem from their first album (and for me it was) then Not A Second Time fills that role here. I LOVE this track. Like Don't Bother Me, it resides in the shadows and has a dark and bitter quality delivered with sinister relish by John. None of your I-love-you, you-love-me twee nonsense here... Lennon is wounded and out for revenge. Once again the songwriting shows an impressive maturity in style. This was the famous "aeolian cadence" track raved about by the Times music critic... I wouldn't know about that; for me, the power of the lyrics and the stern piano combine to give this track real attitude. Terrific.

And just as There's A Place presaged rocking finale Twist And Shout, Not A Second Time leads us to..

Money - a real corker on which to finish. As with Twist And Shout, only John could do this one justice, and sure enough he carries off the callous lyrics with ballsy venom. A superb climax to the record.  Follow up albums are notoriously difficult. For me this album confirmed that the Beatles were no flash-in-the-pan one hit wonders, but a real force to be reckoned with.  
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 03:07:41 AM by Mr Mustard »
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nimrod

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2011, 03:07:33 AM »

Quote
All My Loving deserves its status as one of the - if not THE - highlights from With The Beatles. It is so irresistibly accessible and infectious and I personally love those super-speed guitar triplets from John. I ought to make it clear that I am not a musician (on early Beatle records especially, the vocals are what matters above all else to me), but as the saying goes about art - I might not know much but I know what I like; and for me, George's guitar solo is excellent. A piece of class from all four Beatles from start to finish.

I agree...


one of the most perfect pop songs ever written imo, everything fits, and its very memorable , love Pauls walking bass line and Johns brilliant (difficult to play rhythm guitar part)
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nyfan(41)

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2011, 03:24:13 AM »

despite not being a us or uk single . . all my lovin got raido play to the point that it was a single in canada and then snuck it's way onto the us billboard charts
=
it was the beatles opening song on ed sulivan
-
it's the only song on 'with the beatles' to make it onto the classic 'red' compilation double album
-
-
so calling 'all my lovin' the standout star of the album seems substantiated
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tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2011, 08:17:33 PM »

Dare I say that I dont feel the Beatles do the soul, black, motown kind of stuff well. It just doesnt come across for me. Mr. Mustard stated he didnt like 'Till There Was You' (The End never liked that one either and With The Beatles was his favorite album. Hmm.), but that song does work. I realize its an old musical, showtune or whatever, but its clean, crisp and done right.

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2011, 09:48:44 PM »


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.

The Beatles Anomalies reports:
0:03
    Reported as George Harrison commenting about it being "too fast". Also reported as George saying "B-flat". I can't hear anything clearly, just a vocal "aa" sound.
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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2011, 11:30:20 PM »

2. All I’ve Got To Do
if you don't understand what this song is about, then clearly you aren't human.  
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 04:36:07 PM by 7 of 13 »
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day tripper yeah

nimrod

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - With The Beatles
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2011, 12:16:50 AM »

Quote
Little Child is an out and out filler in my opinion - and worse, an uncharacteristically forgettable one. Twee in a Love, Love Me Do type of way, with none of the maturity that the previous tracks exhibited. Shame, but there was worse to come...


yes I agree, a throwaway track or whats called 'filler' nowadays

the remastered version has taken away all the muddiness caused by quite a few overdubs on the original

probably the most interesting thing about Little Child is that during the instrumental break the form of it changes to a straight on 12 bar blues, which is pretty clever.

Its only 1:45 long  ;D
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