52 Weeks of Music

The Beatles – Please Please Me

Posted in Uncategorized by Mark on March 9, 2009

I’m running a couple of weeks behind on this blog and it’s mostly because I haven’t been completely sure where to go next.

It’s tempting to look at a period of music as a watershed, but in reality music is constantly evolving – different areas may be regressing or stagnating while others leap forward. And often what seem to be great leaps are really incremental steps, a unique combination of influences or a uncommon talent taking things to that next level.

A few artists who first appeared in the late sixties have always stood out for me – they were giants who had a profound affect almost all the music I love from the decades since. This is my musical watershed and I’m kind of daunted by tackling it. I wanted to be sure I had all the pieces in place first. To look at it another way these posts are all part of one big story that I am writing one chapter at a time and once I’ve moved on from a chapter I can’t go back to edit, revise and fill in the blanks. I’ve been a little obsessed with setting the stage properly, introducing all the characters.

To make matters worse, for perverse reasons of my own, I’ve been trying  to avoid one particular character and haven’t been able to find a way to tell the story properly without them. But today I decided to give up, just include them in the story and move on. And so this week we have The Beatles…

Please Please Me was the Beatles debut album – recorded in a day when the single of the title track became a hit. It shows a group of solid musicians completely at home with their swag of tunes. The album is pure pop, but certainly not pulp – rich, complex harmonies, unexpected arrangements and loads of energy are apparent throughout. There is a depth here that goes way beyond the bubblegum lyrics and catchy hooks.

Allmusic Review

It’s no surprise that Lennon had shouted himself hoarse by the end of the session, barely getting through “Twist and Shout,” the most famous single take in rock history. He simply got caught up in the music, just like generations of listeners did.
allmusic ★★★★★

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One Response

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  1. Hannah said, on September 23, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Please Please Me is one my ultimate favorite albums, just because it showcases The Beatles’ genius even from the start. I have to agree that Twist and Shout, which Lennon brilliantly recorded in one take, is one of the best tracks, BUT I have to admit it’s Paul’s “One, two, three, FOH!” that really got me. I’m glad I came across this blog – hope to see you updating soon!


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