Archive for Tim Riley

Please Please Me & MerseyBeat

Posted in Beatles in 12 Songs, Beatles50 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2013 by fred6368

The Beatles in Twelve Songs (1)

It was fifty years ago today that The Beatles released their first smash hit, the second official release on George Martin’s Parlophone label, Please Please Me. beatlesnumber1

In this series of blog posts, in honor of many Beatles 50th anniversaries throughout 2013, I will be writing a history of The Beatles in 12 songs. Through this I hope to capture and reflect all that they gave us musically and culturally.

Merry Crimble; In The Beatles first Christmas record for their fan club in 1963 John Lennon is asked what most pleased him about the year 1963 and he replies (50 secs in),  “it was a gear year for us, and it all happened really when Please Please Me became a number one hit”: .

In the UK the breakthrough single for the Beatles was Please Please Me, which, to my ears, was the first recording that captured a British Merseybeat sound. (More on Mersey Beat here) Originally an attempt by John to write a Roy Orbison song (the biggest selling artist in the UK in 1962)  it was considered by George Martin to be too slow. The Beatles speeded it up and finally offered George Martin a version in the exuberant tempo that we now expect to hear. Martin re-arranged it and so created both the version we love, along with the template for recording other Merseybeat artists, it certainly pleased George. “Gentlemen you have your first number one record” 

So how did The Beatles become so good at writing smash hit singles Continue reading

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Best 10 Remastered Tracks (2010)

Posted in remasters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2010 by fred6368

Remasters Series (1)

As part of reviewing the Remasters (YouTube playlist here), I am going to pick the ten tracks I think benefit most from Remastering; lets call them the most interesting rather than the absolute best. I might enter into the Mono v Stereo debate but I am a stereo boy, having been given a Philips Stereo Player and Sgt Peppers for my 16th birthday, but there are some discussions out there. I will try and pick one track per album, which might mean more than ten tracks but… So do we start with 1-2-3-4, or Boys (which benefitted from the Capitol Remasters), the larynx-busting first take of Twist and Shout, or Please Please Me itself as it is less known in the US and still disputed as being The Beatles first UK number 1. No, it is I Saw Her Standing There as we have a good Mono Remaster video; at last the Beatles live show! 1-2-3-4; Continue reading