Deep Dive: With the Beatles
The fab four's second album titled, "With The Beatles." has an iconic cover that has been parodied countless times. Like "Please Please Me," this album was also released in 1963. The main difference between the first and second album is the amount of time spent recording.
I mentioned in yesterday's post that their first album was recorded really fast and pretty rushed by George Martin because of the instant success of their lead single Love Me Do. This album was their attempt at becoming a more serious band. You can see it in the album cover itself. The darkness and drama showing half of their faces is their statement. The production quality, by Sir George Martin, is another.
It's said that he spent significantly more time on this record, as did the four. Martin dubbed their vocals twice over on this one to make the it richer sonically.
The album opens up with another rock and roll classic by the group, "It Won't Be Long." This song showcases the signature "yeah, yeah, yeah" as well as the Lennon leading vocals.
"All I've Got to Do" is a great "slower" song written by Lennon-McCartney. Though it wasn't a huge hit, it is one that I really like. It's short and to the point, not a ton of lyrics to it. But it's classic early Lennon.
This is one of my favorites. "All My Loving" is the third song on the album. The eery thing about this song, is that years ago I saw reports online showing that this song was being played over the sound system in the hospital in 1980 when Lennon was being wheeled in after being shot. "Close your eyes as I kiss you, tomorrow I'll miss you," sings Paul. I've seen Paul do this song live and it was absolutely breathtaking. This is really one of my favorites. It's such a simple song, but there's nothing bad to say about it.
The next song is a George one. It has your classic Beatles sound. "Don't Bother Me" is one of my favorite George/Beatle songs.
This one I don't so much care for. "Little Child" has a little too much harmonica for me. It's ok though; the song is under 2 minutes long.
I kind of forgot about this song! I love this one. "Till There Was You" is a sweet love song sang by Paul. I haven't seen him sing this one, and I would really like to. The guitar is mellow and accompanies his voice perfectly. This is definitely one of the tracks where the band shows their more serious and sophisticated side.
"Please Mister Postman" was my probably my second favorite song on this album once I first heard it. I love the tone of it and John's vocals. The story is cute, and it's a cover song but such a good delivery.
I always loved this song, ever since I saw my first Beatles cover band (American English). (Every time I hear this song I instantly see AE doing this on stage). George gets more airtime on this record with this one. "Roll Over Beethoven" is a cover song, originally by Chuck Berry. George as both a lead singer and guitarist is so well shown in this one.
"Hold Me Tight" is next. I love this one also. It's another song led by Paul that I haven't actually seen him perform. It's also a cover song, originally by The Treasures. The movie/musical, Across The Universe, had a really great version of this song in it.
"You Really Got a Hold on Me" is a favorite song of mine as well, and interestingly has John and George together on lead vocals. It's another one of the slower style rock and roll songs.
I've seen Paul do this one a couple times on tour. Whenever he sings, "I Wanna Be Your Man," he tells a hilarious story about the public perception of The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones. Everyone thought the two groups were rivals and hated each other, but really they were friends, claims Paul. He would go on to say that "it really wasn't true--that's just fake news."
"Devil in Her Heart" is another George song. (I didn't realize he had so many on here and that makes me happy). A cover song of The Donays, and a good one at that. It's slower but classic Beatle themed song.
I never got super into this song. "Not a Second Time" is led by John, and is a cover song from the group The Ergs!
"Money (That's What I Want)" is the final song on this album. I love this one. It's a cover of a motown song. I think it closes the album perfectly. It's a funny way to close this more "seriously themed" song. They want money here, not love. Oh how they mature...
In conclusion, I think this album says a lot about the group. Though they did not write all of the songs on this record, they still cranked out two albums in a year. That doesn't happen anymore. And they were so young. They proved to be talented, serious, funny and heart-throbby on "With the Beatles." If you really pay attention closely, you can definitely hear George Martin's production technique of layering the vocals on top of each other to get a richer sound. I love that detail.