My Record Collection 23

The Beatles – continued

Early in 1964 they made their first, and some would say, their best movie –  A Hard Day’s Night.  It was a sort of day in the life of the Beatles, though fictionalised and, initially, with a script.  I loved it, saw it in the Cinema and now have it on DVD.  Of course the boys sing on it, seven songs – which make up side one of their next album of the same title.  Already their sound was changing again.   The songs more complex, slightly slower too – moving away from the out and out rockers and more ballads.  But ballads with an edge.  That was maybe their other secret, they always had that edginess in their voices; it was as if they were singing just for the listener, whispering words of love into your ears only.  And almost all the songs were self-penned too.  Side two was six other songs they had written.  They used to write in Hotel rooms apparently while waiting for the next gig to start; John and Paul sitting opposite each other with guitars trying to find the chords and words.  Or that is the romantic story spun by Paul years later.  Mostly their songs were written by one or the other, with maybe a slight contribution in the studio.  Whatever, they wrote some great songs.  My favourites on this album are the title song, ‘I should Have Known Better’, ‘Anytime At All’ and  ‘(Money) Can’t Buy Me Love’ {a lie we all believed in back then…).  All in all another brilliant album, even if it is only 13 songs and 30 minutes long – we didn’t care.

Later that same year a new album was rushed out, or it would appear so as 5 of the fourteen songs are not self-penned.  Actually I really like this record, Beatles For Sale– it is a sort of bridge between their old rock’n’roll sound and the more expansive songs that would come later.  And there are still two Beatles camps – those who love the early four or five albums and those who loved everything from Rubber Soul onwards; there are many who really only like the last three great records.  I love them all really. They, or their producer, was also using more exotic sounds, a deep conga drum on Mr. Moonlight and more bass all over it; this seems to have widened and deepened the sound.  The covers are brilliant  -Rock’n’Roll Music sounds fresher than Chuck’ version, and I really love Mr. Moonlight and Kansas City.  Some great self-penned songs too – ‘I’m A Loser’ and ‘Baby’s In Black’ and ‘Eight Days A Week’ stand out best for me.  Meanwhile the mad Beatlemania circus showed no signs of slowing down.  Every record went to Number One the week before it was released; they conquered America and the Rest of The World….and film number two was in production.

Rubber Soul album artwork