Thursday, January 26, 2006

Please Please Me

I think all music recorded after PLEASE PLEASE ME is just icing on the cake.

The other day I was listening to KRTH 101.1 FM and "Please Please Me" by The Beatles came on. I cranked that song up so loud. It was like I had never heard rock 'n' roll before. It was that good, for the 9,862 time. The next day I was perusing the collection for a disc to take in the car and I pulled PLEASE PLEASE ME out of the rack. Listening to that disc, I was once again blown away. What a great album.

There's track 7, the title track, but there's also "I Saw Her Standing There," "Love Me Do," and many other great Lennon/McCartney compositions. Not an original, but last track, "Twist And Shout" is perhaps the best rock vocal ever recorded. Most of this stuff was recorded at the end of 1962, and I don't really think there's been any music after it that is any better. Yea, I know U2 and all. I get that. People flip over Coldplay. I don't really get that. Granted, I've never listened to a Kanye West album all the way through, but I am going on record as saying music hasn't gotten much better since 1963. Every record recorded after PLEASE PLEASE ME is just icing on the cake for me.



Anonymous halfwaythere said...

I take your point. I'd stand that rock album against any other and it would hold up just fine. I've always said, there is The Beatles and there is everybody else.

But, in my book the Beatles got a lot better AFTER Please, Please Me. Musically and lyricly they just got better and better. Dare I say, that they're last recorded album, ABBEY ROAD, is there best. Hmmmmm... Apart from Maxwell Silver Hammer, there is not a bad song on it. But as Doah may know, my favorite is 'the white album'.

Though some might argue that SGT. PEPPER is their best because of the leap they made from REVOLVER to PEPPER. I would argue that when you give REVOLER a listen with PEPPER in mind, it's not as huge as you might think.

What's kind of blown me away recently is the difference between SGT. PEPPER and 'the white album', which was the order of their releases. After all the orchestration of PEPPER they strip back down and do a DOUBLE rock album (there only one). That's kinda big too. But then again where do you go after SGT. PEPPER anyway?

5:18 PM  
Blogger Doah said...

Thanks for that post halfway. Funny thing is that PLEASE PLEASE ME isn't my favorite Beatle album, for the longest time it was ABBEY ROAD. Then it was RUBBER SOUL for awhile, most recently it has been HELP! And, I totally know what you are saying about REVOLVER and nobody would argue your "got a lot better AFTER" point. I know that. I adore REVOLVER and THE WHITE ALBUM. I know you are not "arguing" but my point is that even those albums we love are just icing on the cake because from the get-go these guys changed everything. I think we underrate the early stuff. Lennon/McCartney getting together is as much of a freak of nature as the Grand Canyon being formed: There's only one. Again, appreciate the comment.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous halfwaythere said...

I admit I was guilty of underrating the stuff before RUBBER SOUL. But, like you, when I would go back and give a listen to, say, HARD DAYS NIGHT, I would keep getting impressed and surprised. It just goes to show that true geniuses create beauty with whatever tools they have. Accomplishing that level with only 2 chords and a 4-track makes it that much easier to spot.


5:59 PM  
Anonymous TheUnCool said...

First of all, I have to say I love PLEASE PLEASE ME, and think it's an amazing album. I mean the vocals on ANNA alone are truly amazing. As well as the tunes you mentioned. I don't want to split hairs about whether or not they actually got better. Suffice to say, I think there was still room for improvement for both THE BEATLES and for rock in general. I will say however that I LOVE that someone else LOVES early BEATLES. I, for one, have always preferred the fact that I grew up loving the BEATLES chronologically. My first BEATLES album was LIVE AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL and it changed my life. It's too easy to jump in later. It misses the point. I feel people that jumped in at RUBBER SOUL or later miss the boat on the early stuff. It's like if you jumped in straight at "Alaskan Baked Salmon" without ever first trying Mac n' cheese. But I see from other posts that you've sort of covered that already. So, 2 things I want to mention. 1. I just want to point out, in case you didn't already know, that the song PLEASE PLEASE ME is about something.... ummm.. specific. Most people know what the BEACH BOYS "In My Room" is about, or Cyndi Lauper's "She Bop". Well, lets just say the line "You don't need me to show you the way girl" is very telling. 2. Another post referred to the leap between SGT PEPPER and the WHITE ALBUM. While THE BEATLES grew in leaps and bounds (and far faster than most of their contemporaries), in fairness - THE MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR comes in between those two. And you can here it the transition. The straight ahead rock and roll of MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR (much like Back in the USSR from WHITE ALBUM) but also the psychedelic nature of I AM THE WALRUS. Not to mention the stripped down fragility of FOOL ON THE HILL (very I WILL from WHITE ALBUM). We could go on and on about THE BEATLES and maybe we just will, but keep this in mind when saying it doesn't get BETTER than that first LP - IN MY LIFE came out in '66.

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