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I don't remember seeing a specific Beatles thread on here, almost as if they go without saying, but I was listening to Rubber Soul on the train this morning, and I felt like talking about them.

Have you ever noticed how close together their releases were? Check this shit out:

Please Please Me Released March 22, 1963

With The Beatles Released 22nd November, 1963

A Hard Day's Night Released July 10, 1964

Beatles For Sale Released December 4, 1964

Help! Released August 6, 1965

Rubber Soul Released December 3, 1965

Revolver Released August 5, 1966

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Released June 1, 1967

Magical Mystery Tour Released 8th December 1967

The Beatles (The White Album) Released November 22, 1968

Yellow Submarine Released 17th July 1969

Abbey Road Released September 26, 1969

Let It Be Released May 8, 1970

That's two albums a year up until 1966, with Help! and Rubber Soul in particular being ridiculously close together. Axl Rose, take note!

One of the other striking things is how different Revolver sounds after a gap of only just under a year. The cultural changes that were happening around that time can be heard so clearly on that album, with Tommorow Never Knows being the clearest statement of intent. Christ, I barely notice a year go by these days, and they crammed all this stuff in.

Oh, and pop this cherry on top of yer cake - John Lennon was 29 when the Beatles split. Twenty-Nine. When they split. Incredible.

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I'd noticed that too. They went into the studio in the morning and left in the afternoon when the album was finished. Obviously this changed with Sgt Peppers, Abbey Road, Let it Be etc but they were prolific as fuck!

As you would expect with a band that had Lennon, McCartney & Harrison I guess.

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Most bands managed to get two albums out every year back in the Sixties. You can even look to The Clash in the Seventies/Eighties, they released a double album and followed it up with a triple album the year after. You just don't get that now. It seems to be a different market today, though. I just couldn't imagine bands releasing albums at that rate and surviving. It slowed down to an album every two years and now the big acts take at least three years. The Coral manage to give it a good go, but you look at Oasis and there's barely a year between the releases of Definitely Maybe and Morning Glory. Now their albums take three years and are, on the whole, utter shit.

I suppose the problem facing today's bands is, all the good songs have been taken.

Anyway, on the subject of the Fabs, you can pick up each of the Anthologies for £9.99 101cd.com's sale. Which is not bad going. I especially like Anthology 2.

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OK then, someone was going to throw it in: Favourite album?

Rubber Soul


Rock and Roll Music

Abbey Road

Yellow Submarine. Only 'cos it's got Hey Bulldog on it though.

In that order. Rock and Roll Music wasn't a studio album, of course.

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1: Sgt Pepper - It's the norm now to pass it over in favour of the later albums but I love it, I even like Paul's bit on Day In A Life

2: The Beatles Red & Blue - Ok they are only compilations but there isn't another band out their with compilations as good as these, besides the Blue album starts with Strawberry Fields :rolleyes:

3: Revolver - As good an album as you can get

5: The White Album - This is the sound of inevitabilty.

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I bought The Who's Then and Now compilation; there was a band who could chuck out songs at a rapid rate. It also features their first song in 24 years. Turns out it took them 24 years to rip off I Can't Help Falling In Love With You. I suppose all the bands that have been inspired by them during their time away have already taken all the remaining good Who songs that they never got around to writing themselves.

Bands who write their own material now take around three years to write an album. Crappy pop bands who borrow all the good songs already written take under a year.

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I forgot to add my favourote Beatles album: Beatles For Sale. It's my favourite because I came across it during my awkward teenage years (I blame Nirvana). There was a list of the most depressing albums ever made in some shitty magazine and Beatles For Sale was one of them. So I went to HMV and paid £16.99 minus my 10% student discount for it (those were most certainly NOT the days). And I thought it was great. The cover has them all looking thoroughly miserable, which was at odds with their personas at the time, and the title gave the impression that they were sick with the music business and themselves. As for the songs, the covers are weak with the exception of Rock & Roll Music, but the Lennon/McCartney compositions are all top drawer stuff. No Reply, I'm a Loser, Baby's in Black, I Don't Wanna Spoil the Party: all utterly depressing lyrically but backed with great pop tunes. I'll Follow the Sun is one of my favourite McCartney songs and could have fitted on later albums like 'The White Album' or Abbey Road; and then there's the one that everyone knows, Eight Days a Week.

It's not the best Beatles album, it's not even in the top five, but it's my favourite and I like to feel the most underrated.

Apart from that I'd go for Revolver.

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I bought The Who's Then and Now compilation; there was a band who could chuck out songs at a rapid rate. It also features their first song in 24 years. Turns out it took them 24 years to rip off I Can't Help Falling In Love With You. I suppose all the bands that have been inspired by them during their time away have already taken all the remaining good Who songs that they never got around to writing themselves.

Expectations were around the 0% mark back then, though.

Good music is created out of necessity. It doesn't come from a finite resource (as you seem to imply) and it won't run out as if it's some rare natural resource.

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  • 2 years later...

It really is astonishing. From unsigned band to splitting up in just eight years.

I'm currently working my way through the wonderful Revolution in the Head, a marvellous piece of music criticism that discusses each of the Beatles songs in the order they were recorded, and listening to every song as I go. I've pretty much done it before, but iPods make it so much easier and more pleasurable than messing about juggling CDs. I really recommend doing it, you won't be sorry. I'm reading the Anthology book too.

I'm rating them as I go, to build up the mother of all Beatles smart playlists. 101 terrific songs so far and I'm only up to Sgt Pepper. Once you've taken out the Ringo singing spots, songs written by George (apart from the obvious crackers), and some of the dodgy rock 'n' roll covers that are there as filler, there really aren't many weak spots.

All the albums so far have been great. Even the albums with more filler than usual, like Beatles for Sale (fatigue of endless touring and recording) and Help! (too much pot) have some of my favourite songs on them, and I love them dearly. And Rubber Soul and Revolver, they're just amazing. What next? I was ready for something special.

And then... The Greatest Album Of All Time.. Seargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

It's rubbish. Awful. Emperor's New Clothes.

When people think they hate the Beatles, I reckon they've listened to this record and not the other, good ones.

They'd stopped touring. George wasn't into the Beatles thing any more, and didn't really want to be there. John was mostly eating acid in Weymouth, commuting to Abbey Road, and not writing as much. Paul had pretty much wrested control, and was acting as de facto musical director. They had as much studio time as they like. They weren't performing the songs as a band any more. George and Ringo were mostly bored.

They'd recorded Strawberry Fields (wonderful) and Penny Lane (good), but as they were released as a double A side single under pressure from Capitol, they weren't considered for the album, under bogus reasoning about value-for-money. Big Mistake. They knocked off Paul's old party piece, WHen I'm 64 (charming, I never want to hear it again). And then they made their masterpiece, A Day in the Life. This did make the album obviously, and is completely brilliant, but I can't let it colour my opinion of the rest of the album they went on to make.

Now, maybe if you were there at the time it reflected that moment really well. It would have sounded unlike everything else, what with their studio innovations. The cover was great. But people must have got caught up in the concept, surely, because the music, well...

Paul's conceit for the album is a bit silly. The concept only stretches to the overture, it's reprise, and the second song anyway. The rest is just a collection of duff songs.

I don't mind Lucy in the Sky (bit of a nothing chorus though), Benefit of Mr Kite ( a minor work) and She's Leaving Home, but none of them are brilliant. Aside from A Day in the Life, the rest is either hateful, filler or cloying after a few listens. I can't bear it.

I hope these lovable mop-tops give up the drugs for their next few albums or I'm going to go right off them.

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Sgt. Peppers is bound to come in for a bit of this sort of thing, but I think the songs on there are all interesting at the least, and awe inspiring at best. I particular like the brief guitar solo in Fixing a Hole, and the tempo shift in Good Morning Good Morning.

Thing is, whilst I can understand a dislike for stuff like When I'm Sixty Four, what other band would give you that, Mr Kite and Day in the Life on the same album?

Also, Sgt. Pepper's reprise - loud. Most enjoyable.

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I hope these lovable mop-tops give up the drugs for their next few albums or I'm going to go right off them.

Lolz. White Album soon for you, so all will be well.

For ages my favourite was Revolver, then I started to get phased by songs that were trying to be clever, and Please Please Me took the crown.

Nowadays I can't get enough of Abbey Road. I don't know the history behind it, and it definitely isn't as cohesive a work as Rubber Soul, or Revolver say, but man alive there are some belters on it. I think Harrison really showed the world how he was a match for McCartney right at the end of the band's time together.

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