ARTIST: The Beatles
TITLE: With the Beatles
YEAR RELEASED: 1963
CHART ACTION: #1 UK – US Equivalent Meet the Beatles (#1). The Beatles Second Album (#1) had the cover versions of this record with other recordings for the US market as well.
SINGLES: Roll Over Beethoven (#68 US), All My Loving (#45 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Um….the rest.
LINEUP: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second album shows an increase in songwriting and musical knowledge over their first album, augmented with more covers of early R&B and rock. However, there are a couple of clunkers here – but they’re allowed.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: With all of the traveling and appearances in the UK and Europe that they had done, the Beatles somehow found the time to record a bunch of tracks for their next album and single releases. Of course, they augmented their album with some covers, this time more well known to Americans (not that they really cared at the time).
The first three tracks show how far the Beatles had come since their first sessions. “It Won’t Be Long” seemed like a typical rocker but the modulation in the middle eight was impressive, “All I’ve Got to Do” also showed more finesse and musicality than their debut, and “All My Loving” was just a joyous pop song and probably the highlight of the album.
It was “Not a Second Time” that had even the classical music critics bowled over. Some heard an Aeolian cadence at the end of the song and how that it was similar to Mahler.
The downer? “Hold Me Tight” is rubbish (as they say) and “I Wanna Be Your Man”, originally given to the Stones, sounds like a song you’d give away instead of keep. However, this is a winner of a record in the whole.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The recording stretched out over seven dates from July through October, and was released almost a month to the day after the last session was done.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but again you can get the mono and stereo versions. Mono is still better.
GRADE: A-: If “Hold Me Tight” could be just removed from the history of their world….