February 24, 2010 4 Comments
I remember quite well when I first listened this album for the first time. It is one of those albums that immediately bring up the mood, smell and details of that particular situation and time in my life. I was about 11 years old (I guess) and visiting my father. He had a czech print of this album, and I listened it over his great headphone. Of course I copied it to cassette (at this point cassette and reel tape was the only source of music for me, no thinking of CDs yet). I listened it over and over again in my walkman and couldn’t get enough of it. The weird hard-panned stereo mix allowed for fun experiments: if you only listen to one channel, you get voices and drums (for example) and on the other channel guitars and base, etc. Quite fun. I was a bit disappointed when I bought the CD later that it was only available in mono – now I understand that the mono version is infact much better overall. Like with the first album (and the next albums as well), the stereo mixes have some glitches that were corrected in mono (listen the start of ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ as an example). The album blasts off with ‘It Won’t Be Long’ (doing the Yeah shouting that they became famous for with their single She Loves You – which did not end up on the album) and keeps the energy until the last note of ‘Money’. Compared to their first album it is slightly more complex, they added a piano (and a rumbling piano that is) and refined their sound. Where the first album was sort of a generic beat music thing, this album is definitely Beatles (in full swing of Beatlemania). They also deliver the same basic ingredients that were also present on the first album: love songs, rockers, exotic stuff, cover versions, some George and some Ringo. My favorite is probably the last song ‘Money (that’s what I want)’ (money seems to be a recurring theme in their career, as if they had too little: ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, ‘Taxman’, ‘Baby You’re a Rich Man’ and finally ‘You Never Give Me Your Money’ and probably some others that I forgot). The cover of the album is also notable: instead of the happy-go-lucky photographs that was to be expected, it shows an arty black and white photo with the four in black polo neck pullovers. To me this is one of my favorite album covers of the Beatles. I really enjoyed listening this album today, it’s a good album for foggy days, but apparently it also works for sunny spring days like today 🙂 Please let me know how do you like the album in the comments below, and stay tuned for the next album A Hard Day’s Night.