Typically bands have trouble following up their debut album. The reason for this is simple, they spent years working on the songs for their first album, perfecting them. Once they hit it big, they’re required to put out another album ASAP to follow it. If they don’t have other songs waiting to go, it can be a rough ride.
So, if you’re the best band in history, how do you respond? You open up a musical can of whoop ass, that’s how. FOUR MONTHS after releasing Please Please Me, they go back in the studio and record this amazing album. I don’t think there is a bad track on it, start to finish. Lots of quality deep cuts here. The fact that they wrote these songs while on their insane touring schedule makes it even more impressive. As you can see from Wikipedia, whenever they had a break in touring, radio, and TV spots, they’d go right into the studio and lay down what they could.
Now for the songs…
It Won’t Be Long
Because it’s so hard finding studio versions on YouTube, I’m going to take the opportunity to talk about Across the Universe. From 2008, it’s one of my favorite movies. It is the story of Jude and Lucy as they go through the 60’s, meet each other, fall in love, and then hit a rough patch when the Vietnam war breaks out. The movie is FULL of Beatles references, with the story moving along through musical numbers like the one below. You could watch it dozens of times and see something new. Evan Rachael Wood (Lucy) and Jim Sturgess (Jude) do an amazing job on the songs. There’s even a cameo by Bono.
In this scene, Lucy is excited to hear that her boyfriend, who is in the Army, is getting a weekend pass to come home and see her. Great song, kicks off the album perfectly.
Till There Was You
This wasn’t written by the Beatles, but Paul does an amazing job on this song. I think it is a great love song. Paul is giving us a look into what some of his classic love songs will be like on future albums. And the guitar playing on this song is excellent. Way to go George!
Money (That’s What I Want)
They got so much crap for this song and they didn’t even write it. Are they so different now than when they wrote Can’t Buy Me Love and All You Need is Love to redeem themselves several years later? Only they could say. It’s still a fun tune. Just enjoy it and quit being so serious!
All I’ve Got to Do
This is the second track on the album, but because I couldn’t find it done by the Beatles anywhere on YouTube due to US blocking, I moved it to the bottom. Another quality song. This video is just a guy in his practice room/kids playroom/office with an acoustic guitar, but I think it sounds great. He deserves some props, the dude has real talent. So, Brian Jepson, today is your day in the spotlight!
Hope you’ve enjoyed this journey through With the Beatles. I’m going chronologically through, so Hard Day’s Night is up next. Until next time….
Never stop the music.