With the Beatles Album Review
ith The Beatles may be the least known and least talked about of all Beatles albums (if it's not Beatles For Sale.) It was their second album released, after Please Please Me, so it doesn't have the distinction of being their first album. It also doesn't have the distinction of being their first truly formed great album (which was their 3rd album A Hard Day's Night.) But that's not to say it's not a good album, it does contain some great Beatles classics.
It was ranked #420 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the greatest 500 albums of all time released in 2003. The album was released in the UK in 1963 but was not officially released in the United States until 1987 as the early Beatles albums in the US were cut & paste jobs. It wasn't until Revolver that same album was released in the States as was released in the UK.
The album starts off "It Won't Be Long" which while it doesn't rank among The Beatles greatest songs is an enjoyable early pop song.
The second song is "All I've Got To Do" which has a nice bluesy sound to it, particularly on the title refrain. Among The Beatles more forgotten early songs, it's a keeper.
The third song is easily the most well known song on the album, "All My Loving." It was the opening song for The Beatles first performance on the Ed Sullivan performance.
The fourth song is "Don't Bother Me" which was George Harrison's songwriting debut.
The fifth song is "Little Child." The first five tracks were all Beatles originals.
The sixth song is "Till There Was You" which is a cover. It's a very soft song which features Paul McCartney in "music hall" mode.
Next is "Please Mr. Postman" which is another cover. It was the first Motown song to reach #1 when it hit the top spot for The Marvelettes in late 1961.
The eighth song (and the first of the second side of the album) is the Chuck Berry classic "Roll Over Beethoven." It was a hit for Berry in 1956 and was ranked as one of the top 100 songs of all time by Rolling Stone. The song features George Harrison as both the lead singer and of course as the lead guitarist doing his best Chuck Berry impersonation.
The ninth song is "Hold Me Tight" which is a Beatles original breaking the streak of 3 straight covers. The song was originally recorded for Please Please Me but was left off. It was re-recorded for With The Beatles.
The 10th song is "You Really Got a Hold on Me" which was a cover by Smokey Robinson. It was a 1962 hit single by The Miracles (featuring Robinson) and it's another Motown song.
The 11th song is "I Wanna Be Your Man" which written by Lennon & McCartney for their friends The Rolling Stones. The Stones version was released first. The Beatles version features Ringo Starr on lead vocals.
The 12th song is "Devil in Her Heart" which is a cover sung by George Harrison.
The 13th song is "Not a Second Time" which is the final Beatles original on the album. It was written and sung by John Lennon (of course it was credited to Lennon/McCartney as all songs by Lennon and/or McCartney were.)
The 14th and final song is "Money," another cover of a song by a black artist (the 5th on the album.) It was a 1959 hit single for Barrett Strong.
While With The Beatles is certainly not one of The Beatles greatest albums, it is a rewarding listen if you are interested in their earlier material.
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