December 25, 2007

With the Beatles

With the Beatles, The Beatles, Rolling Stone Magazine's #420

exile staff consensus: Top 1000 album

the breakdown:
2.5 cannons - the angryyoungman
1.5 cannons - lenbarker and eurowags
1.0 cannon - venerableseed

the essays:
12/24 @ 3:00 p.m. - The Ancient Scientist bats clean up and knocks it out of the park once more ably answering his question: "What was it about the Beatles and this time - 1963/4 - when they took over the American imagination and launched themselves as icons of an era?" Read on to find out!

12/23 @ 6:00 p.m. - Len Barker encapsulates many of our feelings (at least me and the mrs.) about the Beatles. "We love 'em but why does Paul have to be so corny?" Want musical proof? Listen to his Music Man cover on these albums.

LB also brings us into the Christmas season with a rousing youtube video of Paul's Simply...Having...a Wonderful Christmas Time. You want to sing, you know you do!

Next week this blog moves onto the only Christmas album on the list. Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift From Me To You.

Happy Christmas everyone!

12/20 @ 9:00 a.m. - The Angry Young Man belies his name with a terrific, sweet post about his Beatlemania and what makes the Fab Four so great: the songs.

12/19 @ 9:00 a.m. - History and nostalgia have changed how we view the Beatles and their Ed Sullivan Show performance. The usual culprits being "it ended our post-JFK assassination malaise" and "it asserted the Baby Boomers place in the world." Let's read what the NY Times said the day before that famous show as well as the day after.

12/16 @ 9:00 a.m. - I wonder how Beatlemania happened? And what would Meet the Beatles! have been akin to if it had been released in 2007, 2000, or 1976.


the introduction (done with Meet the Beatles!):
On the surface Meet the Beatles! and With the Beatles appear to be the same album. The covers are nearly identical and a quick look at the track listing reveals nine duplicate songs. Meet the Beatles! was released in the United States in January, 1964 while With the Beatles saw a November 1963 UK release.

End of story, same two albums
, two different releases. Right? Wrong.

Now look through your Beatles CD collection. Odds are you have you UK release With the Beatles. How could that be? Well, when the Beatles albums were first released on CD in the 1980's Capitol standardized their CD output with only UK releases. Hence Meet the Beatles!' digital disappearance until 2005.

What did this CD standardization do for multiple generations of US music lovers? It erased the first great self-produced and self-written rock 'n roll album ever released on American soil from our memory and musical conscience. Meet the Beatles! is a juggernaut of Fab Four songs broken up by only one cover while With the Beatles trips and falls over seven non-Beatles tracks.

Does the "new" (to younger American ears) Meet the Beatles! belong in the Beatles pantheon alongside Rubber Soul and Revolver? Is it really the first great rock album Americans ever heard? And why exactly is With the Beatles on this list? Let's listen again and find out.

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