With The Beatles

Just four months after The Beatles finished recording Please Please Me, the band recorded their second album, With The Beatles. This album was the 2nd album in UK history to sell a million copies and sat at number one for 21 weeks (displacing Please Please Me, giving The Beatles 51 consecutive weeks at the top of the UK charts). The album was a great follow up for Please Please Me, with very similar material. Out of 14 songs, 7 were original to the group (6 for Lennon/McCartney and one for George Harrison).

By this time the writing duo of Lennon and McCartney showed their ability to write a lot of songs in short periods of time, which was good because the demand on them was very great. They were touring all over the world and people wanted the next Beatles song. These first two albums also show off the influence of American blues singers like Chuck Berry and American Rock groups like Buddy Holly and the Crickets. The songs were simple, but very crisp and classic rock of the early 60s. Another interesting innovation was the duo’s use of the middle eight style of songwriting. Much American music from the 30s through the 60s employed this style. Middle eighth meant that the song was 32 bars long separated into 4 sections of 8 bars with the first, second and fourth repeating so AABA. For example in the song All My Loving, the middle eighth is the section “All my loving, I will send to you, all my loving, darling I’ll be true. Lennon and McCartney began to experiment with this AABA format and came up with a few styles they would use time and again, AABABA or AABAABA. Unfortunately this form of writing fell out of use by the 80s to be replaced by the very repetitive verse-chorus-verse-chorus (ABAB) style.

My picks from this album are two Lennon/McCartney songs. One made it up the charts and the other did not, but I think are classic early Beatles songs and perhaps their best work on the album. It Won’t Be Long was written primarily by John and typical of the groups call-and- response yeah yeahs and is made great by the unusual (at the time) use of chromatically descending chords. All My Loving is a McCartney composition which made it to number 45 on the US charts. It was the first song they played on their debut performance on the Ed Sullivan show.




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2 Responses to With The Beatles

  1. jamessandlin says:

    You have a very informative and well layout Blog, with a lot of outstanding articals.
    I am starting a blog dedicated to the Beatles.
    Everyone loves the Beatles, On my blog it’s all
    about the Beatles. Videos, Rare Photographs, and
    lyrics to there most popular songs as well as links to all the Beatles Websites.

    Check it out when you get a chance

    Heres the Link


  2. These are great clips – thanks for posting

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