Graham Reid | | 1 min read
November 22 2013 sees two significant anniversaries, it will simultaneously be the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F Kennedy and, on a happier note, the release in Britain of the Beatles album With the Beatles.
This was the record which kick-started Beatlemania and you can almost hear screaming behind joyous originals (It Won't Be Long, All My Loving, I Wanna Be Your Man), the well chosen soul/Motown covers (You Really Gotta Hold on Me, Please Mr Postman) and rock'n'roll (Roll Over Beethoven).
Already Mojo magazine has kicked in with their tribute and on their free cover disc, which has a roster of acts singing the album from start to finish, the opener is this by the James Hunter Six who take It Won't Be Long into a soul direction.
In that treatment you can hear how Lennon and McCartney were borrowing from the best (Motown, Stax etc) to create their unique upbeat pop and delivering American music back to Stateside teenagers in a British accent.
With the Beatles not only showed the pop maturity of Lennon and McCartney but allowed George Harrison his first recorded competition (the moody Don't Bother Me). If the Stones did I Wanna Be Your Man better it hardly mattered because on this second album the Beatles made clear they were more than a band with a couple of hits and a quickly knocked-off tie-in debut album (Please Please Me).
Here was the fresh, exciting face of British pop of a kind the world hadn't heard before. And the world fell at its feet.
Unabashed enthusiasm, memorable songs, a nod to black artists who inspired them and in a classic cover for good measure. Popular music and the world were never the same again.
And this classic album is just $15 at JB Hi-Fi stores (here) this month. In fact all the Beatles single discs are (doubles just $20) so why not pick up their Essential Elsewhere choice Rubber Soul (see here for how important that one is) while you are there. Two albums which were signposts for popular music. Both very different and yet separated by just over two years.
Their journey from pop to rock was remarkably rapid. And they took the world with them.