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THE BEATLES

Proto-Prog • United Kingdom


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The Beatles picture
The Beatles biography
It goes without saying that the Beatles were one of the most important, influential and progressive bands in the history of rock and pop music. There are many places on the Internet where a full biography may be found, and their history has been covered so many times that here we consider only their place as a progressive band.

The music of the Beatles was notable mainly for the songwriting partnership of Lennon/McCartney, which bucked the trend of bands going to songwriting houses for their material and helped to convince other bands to write their own songs. On their earliest albums, it was the quality of the Lennon/McCartney songs that stands out from the covers that were also included.

The other aspect of the Beatles music that remained a constant throughout their carreer as a band is the wide range of influences and styles that they assimilated into their own. Their hunger for experimentation in style and sound was to last and expand right up to their swansong album, "Abbey Road".

A frequent speculation is that it was the Beatles who finally swayed Bob Dylan in 1964/5 to use electric instruments, and in so doing brought about the fusion of folk and rock that would lead to the development of psychedelia, via the Byrd's "Eight Miles High" and the San Francisco music scene, "Swinging London" and other movements. In fact, many other factors led to the rise of those cultures, but the importance of the Beatles' music should not be overlooked.

The influences were mutual; The Beatles and the Byrds particularly not only exchanged a number of ideas, but also met several times - including one notable occasion which included Bob Dylan and Peter Fonda that resulted in the song "She said, she said" ("Revolver"). It was Roger McGuinn of the Byrds who turned George Harrison onto the sound of the sitar and led George to have lessons from Ravi Shankar.

Harrison also adapted the riff from The Byrds' "Bells of Rhymney" to write the song "If I Needed Someone", dedicating the song to Roger McGuinn who wrote it, and used the sitar in "Norwegian Wood", both songs appearing on the "Rubber Soul" album, an album that contains so many song writing styles that it can be difficult to believe that it's all the same band. "The Word" particularly seems to herald the off-beat musical and rhythmic style that would be prevalent in psychedelia, and the wider-ranging folk-like feeling and more introspective lyrics in many songs reflects the impact of th...
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The Beatles official website

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Buy THE BEATLES Music


Abbey RoadAbbey Road
Remastered
EMI 2012
Vinyl$17.88
$13.95 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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THE BEATLES discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE BEATLES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.03 | 383 ratings
Please Please Me
1963
2.89 | 361 ratings
With The Beatles
1963
3.53 | 418 ratings
A Hard Day's Night
1964
2.74 | 358 ratings
Beatles For Sale
1964
3.43 | 435 ratings
Help!
1965
3.92 | 633 ratings
Rubber Soul
1965
4.39 | 818 ratings
Revolver
1966
4.34 | 925 ratings
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
1967
4.13 | 652 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour
1967
4.17 | 721 ratings
The Beatles [Aka: The White Album]
1968
2.52 | 350 ratings
Yellow Submarine
1969
4.48 | 896 ratings
Abbey Road
1969
3.28 | 512 ratings
Let It Be
1970
3.53 | 178 ratings
Let It Be - Naked
2003

THE BEATLES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.85 | 36 ratings
The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl
1977
1.85 | 20 ratings
The Beatles Live! at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962
1977
3.14 | 53 ratings
Live at the BBC
1994
2.11 | 9 ratings
Last Night In Hamburg
1999
3.00 | 7 ratings
On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2
2013

THE BEATLES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.58 | 47 ratings
A Hard Day's Night
1964
3.13 | 40 ratings
Help!
1965
3.15 | 7 ratings
The Beatles At The Shea Stadium
1966
3.80 | 68 ratings
Yellow Submarine
1968
3.90 | 32 ratings
Let It Be
1970
2.99 | 35 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour
1978
5.00 | 2 ratings
Ready Steady Go! The Beatles Live
1985
4.44 | 9 ratings
The First U.S Visit
1991
5.00 | 3 ratings
Video Collection
2003
4.09 | 4 ratings
A Long And Winding Road
2003
4.50 | 2 ratings
In Washington D.C, Feb. 11th, 1964
2003
4.50 | 2 ratings
The Beatles With Tony Sheridan - The Beginnings In Hamburg
2004
5.00 | 1 ratings
Destination Hamburg
2007
5.00 | 2 ratings
Turn Left At Greenland
2008
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Tomorrow Show With Tom Snyder
2008
5.00 | 1 ratings
In Performance
2008
5.00 | 1 ratings
Yesterday
2008
2.00 | 7 ratings
The Beatles At The Budokan
2008

THE BEATLES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.78 | 9 ratings
Introducing The Beatles
1963
2.09 | 21 ratings
Meet the Beatles
1964
1.88 | 13 ratings
Something New
1964
1.53 | 13 ratings
The Beatles' Story
1964
3.81 | 16 ratings
Beatles '65
1964
2.78 | 20 ratings
The Beatles' Second Album
1964
2.27 | 34 ratings
A Hard Day's Night (US version)
1964
2.16 | 6 ratings
The Beatles' First
1964
2.74 | 34 ratings
Rubber Soul (US)
1965
2.31 | 30 ratings
Help (US version)
1965
3.44 | 9 ratings
The Early Beatles
1965
3.80 | 10 ratings
Beatles VI
1965
3.32 | 22 ratings
Yesterday and Today
1966
2.35 | 10 ratings
A Collection Of Beatles Oldies (But Goldies !)
1966
3.38 | 26 ratings
Revolver (US)
1966
3.70 | 39 ratings
Hey Jude
1970
3.27 | 95 ratings
1962-1966
1973
3.74 | 106 ratings
1967-1970
1973
3.20 | 17 ratings
Rock 'n' Roll Music
1976
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Tapes (From The David Wigg Interviews)
1976
3.89 | 19 ratings
Love Songs
1977
4.10 | 10 ratings
Rarities
1978
4.86 | 7 ratings
The Beatles Album Collections
1978
3.13 | 5 ratings
The Beatles Ballads
1980
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles Box
1980
2.40 | 6 ratings
Rarities (US version)
1980
5.00 | 4 ratings
E.P. Collections
1981
5.00 | 2 ratings
Hear The Beatles Tell All
1981
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Talk Downunder (1964)
1982
5.00 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Singles Collections
1982
2.13 | 4 ratings
The Complete Silver Beatles
1982
5.00 | 1 ratings
First Movement
1982
3.33 | 3 ratings
Reel Music
1982
3.19 | 7 ratings
20 Greatest Hits
1982
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Mono Collection
1982
5.00 | 6 ratings
The Collection
1982
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Original Mono-Record Box
1986
4.33 | 3 ratings
The Beatles On Compact Disc - Help / Rubber Soul / Revolver
1987
2.11 | 9 ratings
The Early Tapes of The Beatles
1987
3.47 | 71 ratings
Past Masters Volume 1
1988
4.14 | 74 ratings
Past Masters Volume 2
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Conversation Disc Series
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Talk Downunder Vol. II
1990
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Silver Beatles - Original Decca Tapes and Cavern Club Rehearsals 1962
1991
2.86 | 64 ratings
Anthology 1
1995
3.89 | 70 ratings
Anthology 2
1996
3.64 | 67 ratings
Anthology 3
1996
5.00 | 1 ratings
Words Of Love
1998
3.37 | 41 ratings
Yellow Submarine Songtrack
1999
5.00 | 1 ratings
Magical And Mystical Words
1999
5.00 | 1 ratings
Things We Said Today
2000
3.90 | 82 ratings
The Beatles '1'
2000
5.00 | 1 ratings
Big Beat Box
2001
4.36 | 11 ratings
Capitol Albums Vol 1
2004
4.40 | 10 ratings
Capitol Albums Vol 2
2006
2.93 | 72 ratings
Love
2006
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles - 1967-69 - Acoustic Submarine
2006
4.87 | 40 ratings
The Beatles In Mono Box Set
2009
4.66 | 60 ratings
The Beatles Stereo Box Set
2009
4.72 | 39 ratings
Past Masters (Remastered)
2009
4.22 | 31 ratings
The Beatles 1962-1970
2010
3.75 | 4 ratings
Anthology Highlights
2011
2.53 | 6 ratings
Tomorrow Never Knows
2012
5.00 | 1 ratings
Bootleg Recordings 1963
2013
4.33 | 3 ratings
The U.S. Albums
2014
5.00 | 1 ratings
Meet the Beatles! [also known as: The Japan Box]
2014
5.00 | 1 ratings
1+
2015

THE BEATLES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

1.65 | 8 ratings
My Bonnie
1961
2.89 | 17 ratings
Love Me Do
1962
2.70 | 14 ratings
Please Please Me
1963
2.55 | 13 ratings
From Me To You
1963
3.68 | 16 ratings
She Loves You
1963
3.00 | 14 ratings
I Want To Hold Your Hand
1963
2.80 | 5 ratings
The Beatles Christmas Record
1963
3.62 | 13 ratings
Twist And Shout
1963
3.33 | 6 ratings
The Beatles Hits
1963
3.20 | 5 ratings
The Beatles No. 1
1963
2.84 | 10 ratings
All My Loving
1964
3.14 | 9 ratings
Long Tall Sally
1964
4.00 | 7 ratings
Extracts From The Film A Hard Day's Night
1964
3.67 | 3 ratings
Extracts From The Album A Hard Day's Night
1964
2.68 | 10 ratings
Beatles For Sale
1964
3.67 | 3 ratings
Souvenir of Their Visit to America
1964
3.67 | 3 ratings
Four By The Beatles
1964
3.64 | 14 ratings
Can't Buy Me Love
1964
3.71 | 14 ratings
A Hard Days Night
1964
3.64 | 14 ratings
I Feel Fine
1964
3.10 | 11 ratings
If I Fell
1964
2.67 | 3 ratings
Another Beatles Christmas Record
1964
4.00 | 14 ratings
Ticket To Ride
1965
3.93 | 15 ratings
Help !
1965
4.00 | 14 ratings
Day Tripper
1965
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Third Christmas Record
1965
3.33 | 3 ratings
4 By The Beatles
1965
3.33 | 3 ratings
Beatles For Sale No. 2
1965
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Million Sellers
1965
3.34 | 10 ratings
Yesterday
1966
4.15 | 13 ratings
Nowhere Man
1966
3.57 | 18 ratings
Paperback Writer
1966
3.78 | 21 ratings
Eleanor Rigby
1966
2.14 | 3 ratings
Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas
1966
4.91 | 29 ratings
Strawberry Fields Forever
1967
3.58 | 19 ratings
All You Need Is Love
1967
4.05 | 19 ratings
Hello Goodbye
1967
2.29 | 5 ratings
Christmas Time (Is Here Again)
1967
4.04 | 26 ratings
Magical Mystery Tour (UK Version)
1967
3.38 | 18 ratings
Lady Madonna
1968
4.29 | 27 ratings
Hey Jude
1968
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Beatles Sixth Christmas Record
1968
4.15 | 20 ratings
Get Back
1969
3.23 | 20 ratings
Ballad Of John And Yoko
1969
3.21 | 18 ratings
Something
1969
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Beatles Seventh Christmas Record
1969
3.13 | 13 ratings
Let It Be
1970
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Beatles Christmas Album
1970
3.50 | 2 ratings
From Then To You
1970
3.68 | 10 ratings
Yesterday
1976
3.73 | 11 ratings
Back In The U.S.S.R.
1976
3.33 | 6 ratings
Twist And Shout
1977
3.96 | 19 ratings
Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help From My Friends
1978
3.75 | 4 ratings
Movie Medley
1982
2.50 | 6 ratings
Love Me Do
1982
3.50 | 4 ratings
Baby It's You
1995
3.97 | 15 ratings
Free As A Bird
1995
4.03 | 11 ratings
Real Love
1996
4.14 | 7 ratings
Yellow Submarine Songtrack Sampler
1999
4.40 | 5 ratings
Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows (promo)
2006
2.80 | 5 ratings
Love (promo)
2006
3.75 | 4 ratings
Help! (7 Song Radio Sampler)
2007

THE BEATLES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Beatles Live! at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962 by BEATLES, THE album cover Live, 1977
1.85 | 20 ratings

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The Beatles Live! at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Walkscore

2 stars Great performances, poor sound quality.

This is a bootleg-quality recording of the Beatles playing live in the Star Club in Hamburg, before they released even their first single. The performances are high-energy and a lot of fun. Although they play some originals, the majority of tracks here are cover tunes, some of whom would not grace any of their subsequent albums. So, this is a worthy archive just for that. Also, while some of the covers are a bit cheesy or intentionally humourous (like "Your Feets Too Big", "Lend Me Your Comb", and "Besame Mucho"), others really rock (eg "Kansas City", "Hippie Hippie Shake", "Be Bop-a-lulu"). There are also some covers we are used to ("Roll Over Beethoven", "Long Tall Sally") but I would not say they are any better than the studio-recorded versions. Unfortunately, the sound quality is poor, making this only for true fans.

 A Hard Day's Night by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1964
3.53 | 418 ratings

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A Hard Day's Night
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Walkscore

4 stars All Originals Now.

For their first feature film, the Beatles composed all original music. The UK album contains all the songs used in the film, but a number of others. They are all excellent. The title track is a classic, and garnered huge radio play, and "And I love Her" grew to be one of the fan favourites. "Can't Buy Me Love" and the title track were also released as single - the first times that album tracks also came out as singles, and despite the assumption (largely correct) that UK buyers didn't like buying the same song twice, people still did. "Things we Said Today" and "I'll Be Back" are among the best non-film tunes, and "You Can't Do That" is one of the first tunes to reveal Lennon's self-admitted jealous side and acerbic lyrics. This is the better version of the album, as in North America only the actual film score was released - and so fewer Beatles tunes but also the instrumental orchestral pieces that were recorded by George Martin and used in the background of the film. So, get this UK version! I give this 8.3 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 stars.

 The Beatles' Second Album by BEATLES, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1964
2.78 | 20 ratings

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The Beatles' Second Album
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Walkscore

4 stars Collection of Beatles singles, early EPs, and album tracks.

In North America, instead of releasing the UK albums, Capital Records created new albums by mixing Beatles singles with some album tracks and early EP tracks ("Long Tall Sally" was released on an EP of the same name in the UK at the time). In the US, this album was released as the Beatles second album (as the title implies), even though it was nothing of the sort in the UK. In Canada (where I am from), the first UK album (Please Please Me) was released as is but with a different names ("Twist and Shout"), but after that they also followed the practice of dividing up the album with single tracks. But because they had already released the first album, the tracks on the early subsequent albums could not be the same ones as those released in the US, which meant that for some of the Canadian albums the song lists were different from both the US AND UK (!). This is one of those albums. In Canada, this album could not be called the "Beatles Second Album" because a few albums had already been released (the Canadian version was released later than the US version) and so this one was released under the name "Long Tall Sally". The track list is very similar, but instead of "She Loves You" (which appears on this US album), the Canadian version contains "I Want to Hold Your Hand", and instead of "Thank You Girl" (which appears on this US album), the Canadian album contains the song "Misery". Finally, instead of "Money" (which appears on this US album), the Canadian version has "I Saw her Standing There" (despite the fact that this song already appeared on "Twist and Shout"). Despite this 'butchery' (as the Beatles depicted later on the US album Yesterday and Today), the songs are actually quite good on both collections. It is difficult to rate this as an album, but when pressed I would have to give it 7.9 out of 10. With the Beatles flows better, but one can't deny the quality of the tunes here.

 With The Beatles by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1963
2.89 | 361 ratings

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With The Beatles
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Walkscore

4 stars Fantastic Rock Classic.

This album, with an average score of only high 2s here on PA, is clearly not getting the respect it deserves. On this album the Beatles really rock, and introduce some really compelling early songs, showing why they quickly became adored throughout the Anglo world. It starts off with the excellent "It Wont Be Long", which easily could have been a hit single (they didn't put their singles on the UK albums, as the practice at the time was to release singles and albums separate from one another on the assumption that people would buy both and would not want to buy the same song twice. This assumption held in the UK, but not in the US where people had more disposable income and did not mind buying the same song in both the single and lp formats). "All My Loving", and "Hold Me Tight" are also classic Lennon-McCartney tunes (with the former getting significant radio airplay in its own right). "I Wanna Be Your Man" is a song the Beatles gave to the Rolling Stones for one of their singles, but the version is the much better version. This album, like the previous one, also contains a number of cover tunes, with notables including George singing "Roll Over Beethoven", "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" and "Money". Many people now only know the Beatles versions. Chuck Berry earned a lot of money from having the Beatles cover selected songs like "Roll Over.." All in all, a classic rocking and fun album. In the US the album "Meet the Beatles" was released with the hit single "I Want to Hold Your Hand" added at the beginning, and a number of the other tunes (including "Money") kept off the album, breaking up the flow. The original UK version works better. I give this album 7.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is the lowest score for squeeking into the 4 PA Star rating.

 Please Please Me by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1963
3.03 | 383 ratings

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Please Please Me
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars Album that Started it All.

While the sound quality and composing style can definitely be dated to the early 60s, the appeal of the fab four shines through on their debut album. This album was released in the UK, and also in Canada under the name "Twist and Shout" with the exact same running order. In the US, unfortunately, like many of their other pre-1967 albums, it was not released as such and instead cut up into numerous other albums (found in the compilations section here) with songs from singles and EPs. On this album we find the Beatles recording a number of the cover tunes they had been playing live, as well as some of their early compositions. "I Saw Her Standing There" is one of the highlights of the latter, while "Twist and Shout" is a highlight of the former - with John providing a particularly notable vocal with his unique voice (the kind of vocal sound he later attained on "Revolution" - still one of the most identifiable singers in the lexicon of rock music). While some of the tunes on this album are fairly pedestrian filler ("Anna", "Ask me Why") the album sticks together as an excellent example of early 60s short rock/pop, at which the Beatles were masters. On later albums they would further develop their writing skills though. This album garners 7.4 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 3 PA stars.

 A Collection Of Beatles Oldies (But Goldies !) by BEATLES, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1966
2.35 | 10 ratings

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A Collection Of Beatles Oldies (But Goldies !)
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars A Collection of Beatles Oldies (But Goldies!) was released in 1966 and is quite rare as a result as one of the first of their infinite compilation releases. The problem is it now has outgrown its value apart from the rarity of having it on vinyl. As for any CD release it is pretty much worthless as there are more compilations that offer better production and value, so this one may never be released as a CD making it even more valuable to collectors.

Having said that the album still has some curios that are not often found on other compilations. The addition of Bad Boy is a delight, one of my favourite Lennon tirades about a boy who cant do nothing right, with such wonderful lyrics as He put some tacks on teachers hair, butchers all the little girls hair... ah that's classy writing. All the other tracks on virtually every compilation. She Loves You "Yeah Yeah Yeah" we heard it already fifty times. From Me To You, We Can Work It Out, Help! They are everywhere. Michelle is here too but I hate the song so not welcome to my ears. Yesterday is quintessential and I always have time for I Feel Fine, Day Tripper, A Hard Day's Night, and Paperback Writer. There's not much prog apart from some innovative musicianship on Eleanor Rigby, but its not a bad album for its day. The vinyl is the only way to get hold of this. Collectors only.

 20 Greatest Hits by BEATLES, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1982
3.19 | 7 ratings

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20 Greatest Hits
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars If you are in the mood for some Beatles you might want to look elsewhere as there are better compilations available, but this is Ok for a slice of The Beatles greatness. The usual standards are found here such as Love Me Do, From Me To You, She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand. For me I prefer the later tracks where The Beatles became more innovative but I can still listen without skipping to A Hard Day's Night, I Feel Fine and Ticket To Ride.

Side 2 is superior though with brilliant Beatles such as Paperback Writer, such a great track well sung by Paul, and an awesome guitar riff. I always love to hear Eleanor Rigby and All You Need Is Love, with their more complex structures and studio trickery. Get Back is another highlight and it ends with The Ballad Of John And Yoko.

Overall not too bad as a small detour from other bands you might be into, but The Beatles have so much more to offer and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.34 | 925 ratings

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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by The Jester

5 stars Released on the 1st of June 1967, Sgt. Peppers album fell like a bomb in the music scene of the 60's. From that point and on, Rock music would never be the same. I have the feeling that there is no actual reason to try and write a critic for this album. Hundreds ? not to say thousands ? have done it before me, so what is left to be said after all? So I will just write some info about it instead. Here we go: The recordings lasted almost 4 months with George Martin as producer. Upon its release it stayed for 27 weeks at No.1 in the U.K album chart, and 15 weeks again at No.1 in the U.S.A Billboard top 200. In 1968 it was rewarded with 4 Grammy awards, and since then it is usually at No.1 in almost every list concerning the greatest Rock albums. As for its sales, there is an estimation of almost 32.000.000 albums being sold up to 2011. When it was released, it received some very positive reviews from the press, such as the one written in The Times by Kenneth Tynan, describing the album as "a decisive moment in the history of Western civilization". If we had to name only one album that changed the route of music history, this should be it. Yes, maybe today it sounds kind of "outdated" but back then it was a really big deal! Of course, The Beatles "warned" the world with their previous album (Revolver), which was maybe the first album in the history of Rock music that could be characterized as 'Progressive'. 'Sgt. Pepper's' was including some of the most famous songs in the Beatles catalogue, and in Rock music in general, such as the self-titled song, or Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (which was accused that the first letter of each main word spelled LSD), or A Day in the Life among others. It is a very important album, musically speaking, which should have a place in every discography. For its importance in Rock music (if nothing else), I'll rate it with 5.0 stars.

 Eleanor Rigby by BEATLES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1966
3.78 | 21 ratings

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Eleanor Rigby
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Fifty years (to this day) have passed since the "Revolver" album was released in 5-August-1966. This single was also released in that day. And both things were remembered today in Facebook by the band's official page there and also by other Beatles-related pages. That gave me the idea to write a review for this single, as I wrote a review for the full album some years ago.

"Revolver" still is one of the best albums that the band recorded. And it marked a change in their music, with it sounding more "matured" and more influential for other bands of the same period. It also reflected that the band wanted to be taken more "seriously" as musicians by the critics and by the fans. It also was released when the band was doing their last tours before deciding in late August 1966 that it was enough because they were tired of touring then at a time when the fans didn't care very much to listen to their music in the concerts, because they were always screaming! The 1966 tours were problematic for them due to several things. And it seemed that they really didn't care very much about their concerts then much because they didn't play a song from "Revolver" in concert, despite they could have played at least some songs like "Here, There and Everywhere" and "Taxman", which were only originally recorded with guitars, bass, drums and vocals. They were tired and they only wanted to stop touring to concentrate in recording studio albums. A thing that they did since late 1966. Despite some changes in their music could be anticipated in their "Rubber Soul" album from 1965, I think that it was with "Revolver" that the band made the final "leap" that led them to their most interesting period (at least for me): the so-called "studio years". Their music became more interesting, with them (and producer George Martin) taking even more musical risks and doing more experiments in the recording studio.

Both songs of this single were taken from the "Revolver" album. This single was released with both songs as "Side A", so both songs were considered as important to be played in the radio.

"Eleanor Rigby" shows Paul McCartney (the composer of the song) accompanied by a string section arranged by George Martin and by backing vocals from John Lennon and George Harrison. With serious lyrics about lonely people, it marked a change from the love songs that the band very often released as singles in the previous years. Thanks to having a producer like George Martin the band could develop better the musical ideas that they couldn't develop alone due to not having the same formal musical knowledge that Martin had. They were very lucky to have met Martin and to have him as producer. He had an "open mind" for their ideas and also contributed his very good music ideas to their songs.

"Yellow Submarine", composed by McCartney and sung by Ringo Starr, is more a song for children, full of sound effects, and almost psychedelic in content. If I remember well, it was even included in some children TV programmes to be sung by children (like in "Sesame Street" in the early seventies, I think).

 The Beatles [Aka: The White Album] by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.17 | 721 ratings

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The Beatles [Aka: The White Album]
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Dead musicians can be a handful. Talking to them can be even worse. Stripped of their fame and notoriety but still with the same ego and obsessions that got them to the top of the rock 'n roll food chain, you never know what you'll be in for when taking an interview. But there are some meetings that are just too tempting to pass up. This was one. I can't say the Liverpudlian songsmiths who changed popular music are among my personal favorites. But those albums. Oh those albums. And when things started getting really interesting ~ which is to say tense, messy and painful ~ it became compelling. Though those moments are not this band's best inter-personally, they yielded some of their most challenging, and ultimately successful, music. Tension and the painful wake of traumatic events will often cause conditions that foment creative breakthroughs and the Most Famous Band in the World began showing clear signs of that in 1968. And Yoko wasn't the only upstart one making trouble, either.

I figured George Harrison and John Lennon would want to meet somewhere in their British homeland but, unsettlingly for me, we gathered at the Dakota Apartment building on Manhattan's Upper West Side, the place Mr. Lennon was murdered in 1980. As an American, that event has given me terrible guilt ever since. Here was probably the most important rock musician of his time and he couldn't walk home without getting shot. God bless America. The three of us sat in Lennon's old flat he'd shared with Yoko Ono, an airy but comfortable warehouse-like space that reflected Lennon's spartan tendencies mixed with Ono's Nipponese aesthetic. My first question was compulsory.

A - Why did you guys want to talk at the Dakota?

John - This'd been my home for seven years before I died, mate, I luv this city. Me and Yoko spent a lot of great time in this apartment, I wasn't gonna let some dope take that away from me.

A - Of course, I can understand that. So you stayed in New York, made it your permanent home?

John - Yeah man, I already traveled the universe when I was alive, I just wanna relax and enjoy things.

A - But George, you're more active?

George - (grinning) Barmy. I mostly hang-out in Scotland frightening people (both chuckle). And play guitah.

A - Gotcha. If it's alright I'd like to talk about the band's 1968 issue, known as The White Album.

George - Good one.

John - My favorite.

A - What makes it your favorite?

John - (after a long pause) It's closest to what we did best; It's what I thought was the closest we ever got to a truly great piece of work.

A - Why?

John - It makes me smile the most.

A - Word is they were difficult sessions, a lot of turmoil and fallout.

John - Don't believe everything you read.

George - Actually it got to be hellish in there. Peoples' patience was frayed, and nerves.

A - Right. Let's begin with 'Back in the USSR'.

John - What about it? It's just a song. Not even a great one, a bluddy attention grabber 'at was, wunn'it.

A - 'Dear Prudence' was written at Rishikesh during the spring of '68 along with many other cuts that appear on the double record. Mia Farrow claimed that the song was written about her sister, both of whom were at the Rishikesh Transcendental course with you. Is that true?

John - If not, that makes her a liar, dunn'it? And me too.

[* Note to reader: It was moments like this, and there were numerous, when Lennon's infamous temper would show and I would have to summon some patience .]

A - 'Glass Onion', a satire about Beatles popular mythology.

George - I like that one.

John - Made 'o glass, baby.

A - And the increasingly reviled 'Ob-La-Di'-- funny because when I was younger it was sort of a kitschy favorite.

John - It's rubbish but if people like it that's fine.

George - I'd not say rubbish. Bottom shelf maybe.

A - And 'Wild Honey Pie', known as "the greatest piece of filler..."

George - But it's passages like this that set the tone for things. It turned out to be alright.

A - Bungalow Bill was written out of disgust at hunting?

John - It wasn't disgust for hunting as much as for this one knob.

A - And maybe a bit of Ugly-Americanism?

John - Maybe, but English hunters are no bettah.

A - And George, we know a lot about 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps', the work Eric Clapton did on it. It sounds like he mainly did the solo work, is that right?

George - Mmm, yes, primarily, but, you know, he really helped with the whole thing, rhythm bits and suggesting an arrangement here or change there. It was almost as much his bit as mine.

A - I remember a rumor that you'd wanted to turn the cut into one hour-long experimental project featuring people weeping. [Both men erupt in belly laughter-- I turn a shade of red just a bit darker than a baboon's ass and sink in my seat]. Okay, alright, and Warm Gun, not about heroin I assume?

John - No, no, that's about guns, mate. Guns. This is what started happening. Everyone assumed there was always some hidden message, some cryptic meaning in things, and there just wasn't.

A - I can see that. Must've been frustrating. Did it turn you off interpreting other artists' work?

George - Well just over interpreting, I reckon.

A - And the nice '50s-style falsetto there. This was a good moment for the band at a difficult time, yes?

George - Yeah, great, y'know, after all the bickering we just all really enjoyed doing it. Working it out.

John - I mean that's what being a band is, playing together and each one giving something. We couldn't seem to capture that anymore, so it was a nice one.

A - Paul said 'Martha My Dear' came to him through his "muse" - -

George - That tune was just Paul recording; (grinning) It was only a Northern song.

A - And 'I'm So Tired'; simply that?

John - Exactly, yeah, why not --

A - Even though it's a Paul song, let's talk just a bit about 'Blackbird'.

George - Ace tune, that is. How can you argue with it, and that guitar, and the metronome. Bit o' genius, that.

John - (making a silly face) Aye, like that wun. It's brill. And then George's tune, I like the piggies, George.

[* At this point an assistant came in with coffee, pastry, bowls of fruit, packs of Gauloises, and a container of fat joints. We ate, drank, smoked, and generally goofed-off before sitting down for more conversation.]

A - It's reported that producer George Martin thought 'Rocky Raccoon' was filler. What's your take on that?

George - Not really fair, I'd say. It's a fun track. You have to remember we were disintegrating as a family and so a bit of fun was a great relief ... and also gave the sessions a sense of the unknown. It'd gotten nuts, we were always expected to write hits. But we'd 'av gone crazy if that's all we did.

John - Same with 'Why Don't We Do it in the Road'. Bit o' trifle that, but actually a nifty little number.

A - And your tribute to your mother, Julia, and the only time you play alone on the record. Any thoughts?

John - I said it all in the song.

A - After everyone's favorite party tune, 'Birthday', is one of my favorites, 'Yer Blues'. Please talk about writing and recording it, and your performance of it with the Stones in '68.

John - We were in India and realized the Maharishi was full of sh*t, so I lost my buzz and wrote it. I was missing rock 'n roll and needed it. The odd rhythms were unusual for a straight rock tune, y'know? And that was a good jam with Mick and everyone.

A - Both 'Everybody's Got Something to Hide..' and 'Sexy Sadie' were inspired by him, the Maharishi?

George - That's right, yeah.

A - "Helter skelter" is of course a kind of skyslide for kids in the UK, and had nothing to do with Hell. Another misinterpretation, this time a deadly one?

George - You can't perceive things through just one lens, otherwise you're capable of awful things. Quite sad, that.

A - Guys, we're about to wrap this up with just a brief discussion of side 4, which seemed to be the most unconventional part of the record. Would you agree?

John - The best part. How could you not have fun with Rev Nine?

A - You didn't care for 'Honey Pie' -

John - Look, we wrote songs, man, that's what we did. It's all we did. We'd come in and put what we had out there; We'd arrange, record and re-record, and George (Martin) would do his thing and eventually we'd have some decent stuff, get an album together. That's it. That's all. We were a rock band. ~~~

Thanks to Certif1ed for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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