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Early Beatles Songwriting: Eight Original Songs on the 1963 Please Please Me Album By Johnny Moon

  in Entertainment | Published 2011-09-29 10:06:28 | 274 Reads | Unrated

Summary

These days a band wouldn't even be taken seriously if they didn't write their own songs but back in the early 1960s the fact that The Beatles wrote most of their own songs is a large part of what set them apart from other popular music stars They wrote their own songs and played their own instrument s and this is part of the reason they were such a huge inspiration to so many people

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These days a band wouldn't even be taken seriously if they didn't write their own songs but back in the early 1960s the fact that The Beatles wrote most of their own songs is a large part of what set them apart from other popular music stars. They wrote their own songs and played their own instruments and this is part of the reason they were such a huge inspiration to so many people. It's why there was an explosion of "self contained rock bands" in the 1960s.

The Beatles didn't start off writing songs like "A Day in the Life" and "Strawberry Fields Forever." They started off wri
ting much more direct simple songs such as the eight originals that were included on the band's first album, Please Please Me. What follows is a short overview of each of those eight songs.

"I Saw Her Standing There" - I would rate this as the second best original on the debut album (after the title track) and it works wonderfully as the first track on their first album. There's a lot of energy here, so much energy in fact that it still sounds contagious to me even though it was recorded nearly 50 years ago. There are some lyrics like "My heart went boom when I crossed that room" that sound embarrassingly "cute" by today's standards but I think that the knowing wink of "she's just seventeen, you know what I mean" stands up rather well.

"Misery" - Part of what made The Beatles so amazing is the wide variety of styles in the songs that they wrote. This huge variety becomes more obvious later in the band's career but even in this first album you can hear that this is a band with very wide musical interests. I think these first two songs on their very first album ("I Saw Her Standing There" and "Misery") are a pretty good example of what I mean. These are songs with a totally different feeling and approach yet they fit together nicely as the work of one band.

"Ask Me Why" - This early John Lennon song was first released as the b-side to "Please Please Me." It's definitely not as good as the a-side, but it still has it's charms.

"Please Please Me" - To my ears this song still rocks. It still sounds vital. I can't even imagine how vital it must have sounded to the ears of British kids in 1962! This is really the song that launched The Beatles career. "Love Me Do" was only a hint, this was the kick to the head that made the kids in England wake up. They now knew for certain that The Beatles were bringing something exciting and new to the world of popular music.

"Love Me Do" - I've never been much of a fan of this song. To me it really drags. I think it's unfortunate that it's the very first Beatles song that some people hear (since it opens some "greatest hits" type collections.) I think it shows the extent of Beatlemania in 1964 that this song went to number one in the US, because I really don't think it's a number one hit caliber song.

"P.S. I Love You" - This was the b-side to "Love Me Do" and at this point I'd probably rather listen to it. That may be mostly because I've heard "Love Me Do" so many more times, but I do find this song interesting in a way. That said, it's not among the band's best 150 songs!

"Do You Want To Know A Secret?" - I've always had a soft spot for this song. It's just ridiculously cute and very catchy. Yes this song makes The Beatles sound quite "soft" but they didn't seem to care about stuff like that. Actually, I know that's not entirely true because I remember hearing Paul McCartney say in an interview that they were embarrassed by the song "How Do You Do It?" that George Martin wanted them to release as a single. And that I can see, because that is an embarrassing song (you can hear The Beatles recording of it on Anthology I.) But "Do You Want To Know A Secret?" is quirky and interesting enough that it holds up despite it's overly cute nature.

"There's A Place" - An early indication of the sort of thought provoking lyrics to come. Not really a great song, but still interesting in the context of The Beatles career.

21pbn

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