Sunday, July 28, 2013

Music Sunday: The "Early Beatles" Edition...

I'm in a Beatles mood today. And so, without much chit-chat at all, here is some Beatles Music.

And, from the same era, "I Saw Her Standing There". This was my favorite song when I was in the second grade:

From the film "A Hard Day's Night", "And I Love Her", another one of my favorites:

The Beatles' second film, "Help!" also contained some great music, but "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" is probably my favorite. Here it is as it appears in the film, with some bonus footage after the song:

Here is a performance of the title song, "Help", but not from the film but instead in a live performance. I've sort of always thought that this song could have been subtitled "John starts getting real", and is sort of a hint of things to come from not only John Lennon, but from the entire group, a turn away from the purely pop song. Just a beginning, but then every journey starts with the first step:

A bigger turn, on the next album, "Rubber Soul", is "Norwegian Wood". An altogether darker Beatles:

I think six songs from the pre-Sgt. Pepper's Beatles is good enough to show the direction the band was going. By this time, they weren't the "four lads from Liverpool" that had emerged into the American consciousness in February 1964 on "The Ed Sullivan Show". The amazing thing is, it was actually only two years from "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", released in December 1963, to "Norwegian Wood", which was released on "Rubber Soul" in December 1965. It would only be another year until the band started recording "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" in December, 1966, although it wasn't released until June 1, 1967.

And that's when things really started changing, although some people probably took the clue when "Yesterday and Today" was released in June of 1966, originally with controversial album art depicting the band with raw meat and mutilated, bloody baby dolls, known as the "butcher cover". That cover was, of course, quickly recalled and papered over with something much more benign. Still, with that cover it was pretty clear that The Beatles were ready to walk away from their earlier more innocent and family-friendly image.

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