After the huge success of A Hard Day’s Night album and film by The Beatles, the group needed to feed the fire of Beatlemania. This album comes in-between A Hard Day’s Night and Help! Often overshadowed by other albums by the group, it is still a much better listening experience than most music released today. The album cover showed a more informal look of The Beatles, pointing ahead to the more artistic direction that they would later take.
Let’s get stuck into the listening experience of this golden oldie.
We kick off with No Reply. It is a great way to begin this album, with John Lennon singing about a broken love situation, with a classic singing delivery and strummed acoustic guitar. Nice stuff, and a great way to start this underrated album. At this point, the group was still working together, not against each other. Great pop/rock music and beautifully melodic as well. The cymbal crashes by Ringo Starr add an interesting sound to this number.
Next is I’m A Loser which is another good song, more deeply speaking about heartache and a win-lose love based scenario. It’s a great listen for those who break up with their first partner, and who need some music sympathy. The Rickenbacker guitars here clang away in the awesome guitar solo. Nice stuff by The Beatles, a great listen.
Baby’s In Black may have referred to an affair that John Lennon had (that is if you believe Cynthia Powell, John Lennon’s first wife) but it is a great pop/rock piece about a woman who dresses in black, who creates an unfair love situation. An interesting play on words, and yet another great song by The Beatles.
Rock And Roll Music is a great swinging sixties sort of song. It makes direct comparisons between the music that The Beatles and others played against other forms of music at the time. It is pure British goodness and a great ode to Rock and Roll. Great stuff, always a cheerful listen by these four young men. There is a great piano accompaniment here as well, a great song to dance to.
The next song I’ll Follow The Sun is a Paul McCartney ode to going through tough times and come out at the other end in a better way. It’s a simple, beautiful, and melodic piece by The Beatles. An excellent listen, and certainly timeless, it still sounds great today.
The often hated Mr. Moonlight is one of the most unpopular songs by The Beatles. However, it is still a great listen, which says a lot about the material from the Fab Four. It’s a nice piece for young lovers to dance to. There are bongos and a fairground organ sound in this piece, rather than a guitar solo. Interesting and unique listening.
Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey – Medley is an ode to old school music back in the day, and a romance based adventure. Although The Beatles were rapidly evolving at their craft at this point, the music of this era is simple, yet fantastic. Paul McCartney does some great Soul music style screaming, in an era of racial and social injustice. This is a definite crossover piece, and a good one to hear after all these years.
Eight Days A Week is one of the best songs from this album, and a quality listen. It talks about giving 110% in a relationship. Indeed, these songs sing about love as opposed to the usual mantra of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It’s very good and memorable to listen to this day. Great stuff here.
The love poem Words Of Love is a fantastic listen. It has some excellent clean guitar playing and reassuring singing that is highly original. The whole song is great, pretty, and melodic listening. The nimble bass guitar playing and gentle handclaps make this an audibly wonderful listen. Great stuff, and totally underrated in The Beatles back catalog.
The more upbeat Honey Don’t comes next. It is a swinging number with a variety of musical structures and lyrics about being passionately in love. A beautiful, interesting, and gentle listen. Great to listen to this album at home on days off, no doubt. Paul calls on George to deliver the guitar solos, and man, he had chops! A great listen.
Every Little Thing is a John Lennon ode to love. It’s a romantic and pleasant description of a perfect woman. It’s an excellent description of a partner being there for her man. Great stuff, although this is merely an album track, or is it? You be the judge, but it is good quality listening.
I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party talks about a bad event of distress with a lover in a social situation. Perhaps inspired by real-life events, it is an awesome listen. No wonder people still love The Beatles to this day, their musicality is irresistible to hear. Good music and a worthy addition to their collection of songs.
The most underrated drumbeat by Ringo Starr kicks off What You’re Doing. It is an excellent piece about a lover playing games with oneself in a relationship. A short and sharp listen, although very good quality, and memorable regardless. There is a combined guitar and piano solo in the middle of this pop/rock classic. The drumbeat returns for the outro, which is epic.
Lastly, we arrive at Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby. It’s about the stresses of maintaining a relationship in The Beatles shoes. Indeed, nobody who came after The Beatles had such a large following over their time. It’s a good way to finish off this recording, which is overall brilliant.
It is definitely a great idea to hear this album. Sure, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band may be the defining statement by The Beatles. But this is often hugely overlooked in music history. Buck the trend, and give this album a listen now.