Tuesday, September 1, 2009

LP Love: With the Beatles

As I'm out of the country until September 15, my normal song-a-day listening schedule is being put on hold. Instead, rediscover your love for the LP format by enjoying a complete Beatles album per day. Try to keep your finger away from the "shuffle" or "skip" buttons for the ultimate retro experience! See you in September to wrap up the Beatles' catalog song by song, remastered-style.

With the Beatles

Release date: November 22, 1963

The Beatles' second album was released eight months after Please Please Me, which was STILL at number one in the British charts-- until With the Beatles knocked it out. Beatlemania in Britain and Europe remained in full swing all through 1963, leaving the band precious little time to devote to new recordings. And yet With the Beatles was a little less of a rush job than Please Please Me, although it still retains the feel of a live gig. This time around, the band refrained from repeating their singles on the album, a preference the Beatles would demonstrate throughout their recording career-- they liked to give fans the most value for their money, which is kind of sweet, and didn't want them to have to buy songs they already owned as singles.

While Please Please Me is notable for its stylistic versatility, With the Beatles rocks a bit harder, and has therefore, perhaps, aged better. Paul gets his moment in the show tunes spotlight with "Till There Was You," and John gets to do his Smokey Robinson impression on "You Really Got a Hold on Me," but there's more straightforward rock here, and even the arguably weaker songs like "Hold Me Tight" are super danceable. With the Beatles maintains the same ratio of original songs to covers (eight to six) as Please Please Me did, with the added bonus of George's debut song, "Don't Bother Me." The fact that they had ANY original songs was still a big deal in the fall of 1963-- and this new batch seemed better than ever. While the press and the squares amused themselves wondering how long the Beatles would last, the fans just danced and danced, knowing that anything this good was bound to last a damned long time.

High Points: "It Won't Be Long," "All My Loving," "Please Mr. Postman," "Money (That's What I Want)"

My Secret Favorite Song: "All I've Got to Do"

The Song I'm Not Supposed to Love So Much But Totally Do Anyway: "I Wanna Be Your Man"

Track Listing:


"Not a Second Time"


  1. I like I Saw Her Standing There and Twist and Shout (and even Love Me Do) well enough, but hearing the first three tracks of this album must have been when the genus Rock Fan was born. Also, I voted "Please Mr. Postman" for president in the 2008 election. And I hear that Money is going to sound totally different in about a week ...

  2. Troy, you'll have to let me know how awesome it is; i waited too late to order a Mono Mix box set and they're all sold out. Chagrin. Major disappointment.

  3. Nope, I failed on that too. I don't think we're out of luck forever, though; I think more get printed, and we're gonna be be busy with the stereo mixes for a while. But I definitely screwed up; I didn't realize the mono discs would be 'superior' so deep into the chronology.

  4. Troy ... I asked Amazon to notify me when/if new pressings become available. I imagine there were some folks who bought several box sets and will post on Ebay in hopes of a profit. I'll skip that as an option.

  5. i waited too - but Help! is on the way . . .
    i want the Mono box, but may have to get both ?
    we'll see how the Mono one sounds first, i guess . .

    see article below for availability