Stand Out Albums has been a showcase for my favorite albums across the vast performers that I love. Covering a little bit of everything from classic rock to country hits, much like Key Movies of My Life, it has been the albums that shaped me. This year, I am going to take a slightly different approach by discussing the discographies of my favorite musicians, album by album, in release order. So, let’s start with the band that I first fell in love with, none other than John, George, Paul and Ringo, otherwise known as The Beatles. The first Album, Please Please Me.
Please note, for simplicities sake we are reviewing the original Parlophone releases as they were released in Europe and not the Capitol Record releases which propelled the Beatles fandom in America. Don’t get me wrong, the Capitol Records were fine but, to me, the original Parlophone records give you a much broader sense of their style and more accurate evolution of their songwriting skills.
Why This Album?
I fell in love with the Beatles at a very early age. Listening to my dad’s old 45’s on a small record player, I would spend hours listening to everything from the classic Love Me Do all the way to the latter releases of Hey Jude and Revolution. Depending on my mood I would bounce between the early and later Beatles which, when compared, they could almost be entirely different bands.
Every great band needs a start and Please Please Me was the first full studio release from the Fab Four. Produced by George Martin at EMI studios, this album would be one that propelled this soon to be legendary band into the stratosphere. No one expected these simple yet satisfying tunes to change the world, but they did and set the stage for some of music’s most memorable songs. This album consisted of the bands typical song lineup during their time playing at the Cavern Club and, Between the tremendous early collaborations between Paul and John, the single but memorable tracks from George and Ringo, to the tight and clean mastering from Martin, there is not a song on here that is not instantly recognizable.
Many people do not give these early albums their due but there is a certain raw power in these tracks that just imbibe a certain energy in you every time you listen to it. It is abundantly clear that the four lads from Liverpool are having a blast and that energy seems to radiate from the speakers with each and every song. My advice, when you play it, play it loud and just enjoy it for it’s pure uninhibited energy. They are having fun and so should you.
A Taste of Honey Double tracked vocals by Paul and a truly classic almost showtune quality, this is one that really sticks with you.
Do You Want To Know A Secret. This is the obligatory George Harrison track and it really showcases his songwriting abilities even this early in his career.
There’s A Place. This is John and Paul harmonizing in such a tremendous way. Listening to it really gives a sense of how well these two worked together, complementing each other in every note and nuance.
Ok, Where do I get it?
There is a great remastered LP version that, if you have a turn table, is well worth it. Grab it here or, you can always listen to it on Spotify. Either way, turn it on and turn it up!
Late to the Game 1/5/2021
Thanks for reading, If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and also check out some retro tv goodness with the ongoing series Retro TV Reviews here. You can also find a few of my other Music Reviews Here.
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