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With The Beatles (2009)


The Beatles

With The Beatles


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Original Liner Notes from LP

Fourteen freshly recorded titles – including many sure-fire stage-show favourites – are featured on the two generously filled sides of this record. The Beatles have repeated the successful formula which made their first ‘Please Please Me’ LP into the fastest-selling album of 1963. Again they have set eight of their own original compositions alongside a batch of ‘personal choice; pieces selected from the recording repertoires of the American R&B artists they admire most.

The first half of the session gets away to a rip-roarin’ start with John’s powerful treatment of IT WON’T BE LONG NOW. Two more Lennon/McCartney compositions follow with these two remarkably talented tunesmiths handling their own lyrics on ALL I’VE GOT TO DO and ALL MY LOVING. On the first slower number John takes the vocal lead with Paul supplying the harmony. On ALL MY LOVING Paul stands in the vocal spotlight with John and George chanting in the background. Listen to George’s superb, slightly Country and Western guitar solo, an intriguing feature of ALL MY LOVING.

DON’T BOTHER ME marks the disc debut of George Harrison as a composer. It is a fairly fast number with a haunting theme tune. Behind George’s double-tracked voice the rest of the fabulous foursome create some unusual instrumental effects. Paul beats out a lean, hollow-boned rhythm from the claves, John uses a tambourine and Ringo hits out at a loose-skinned Arabian bongo (don’t ask me where he picked that up!) to pound out the on-beat percussive drive.

On a fair number of previous recordings by The Beatles producer George Martin has joined the group to add suitable piano sounds to their instrumental arrangements. His keyboard contributions come a little later in this new programme but on LITTLE CHILD it is Paul McCartney who plays piano. John and Paul join forces for the vocal on this rocker and, whilst Paul was over-dubbing the piano bits. John was standing beside another microphone adding in some neatly-timed mouth-organ phrases.

Those who considered Paul’s interpretation of A Taste Of Honey to be a stand-out attraction of The Beatles’ first LP will be more than pleased to hear him assume the role of romantic balladeer again on TILL THERE WAS YOU, the near-standard hit from the show ‘The Music Man.’

Ringo plays the bongos behind Paul’s solo performance, George and John switch to acoustic guitars for this track only Paul’s’ pulsating bass uses electricity.

If you have read a great deal in the musical press about Merseyside’s beat basement, The Cavern, you might imagine that the cellar stompers of Liverpool would demand an all-up-tempo programme. Curiously Paul’s persuasive handling of TILL THERE WAS YOU used to go down extremely well at the club long before the Love me do days when The Beatles were frequent bill-toppers at this now-famous venue.

The first half closed with another number which dates back to The Beatles’ Cavern Club period. Once an American chart-topper for a recording group called The Marvelettes, PLEASE MR. POSTMAN features a double-tracked John Lennon with George and Paul in vocal support.

Chuck Berry’s ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN has been one of the most requested items at recent concert performances by The Beatles. George duets with himself on this one; the boys add to the atmosphere of active excitement by their handclapping.

Paul issues forth with the invitation HOLD ME TIGHT on the fairly brisk second track of Side Two. More handclapping and energetic vocal support from John and George.

The boys have an immense admiration for America’s rhythmic group The Miracles, to whom they pay tribute via their interpretation of YOU REALLY GOT A HOLD ON ME. John and George tackle the wild, relentless vocal with Paul joining them for the chorus lines. Incidentally that IS George Martin on piano this time!

Observing the tremendous audience response that Ringo has been getting whenever he sings Boys, John and Paul put their heads together to pen a special new number their fierce-voiced drumming man. The result is a real raver entitled I WANNA BE YOUR MAN. The Hammond organ in the background is played by John Lennon.

Though they are lesser known on our side of the Atlantic than The Crystals or The Shirelles, the American all-girl group The Donays have always commanded plenty of professional respect from The Beatles. Therefore, they switched around the lyrics of DEVIL IN HER HEART and handed this medium-paced beat offering to George Harrison, John and Paul provide the harmony with Ringo using his maracas.

The final Lennon/McCartney composition of this session features a double-tracked John Lennon singing NOT A SECOND TIME. George Martin’s piano work is featured on this number and again upon the programme’s closing track MONEY. Paul describes MONEY as ‘a really big screamer’ and he recalls the numerous Cavern Club occasions when this item brought forth the same type of overwhelming response given to Twist and Shout. Much recorded by American blues merchants, MONEY has John shouting the raw lyrics with tremendous force and feeling whilst George and Paul supply the answers.

MONEY makes a completely worthy climax to this knock-out programme. Hope it doesn’t leave you too breathless to flip back to Side One for a repeat-play session WITH THE BEATLES.


With The Beatles
Historical Notes

With The Beatles was released in the UK on 22nd November, 1963. In the time that had elapsed since their debut album's release in March, The Beatles had dominated the British pop scene. Please Please Me topped the album chart for seven months, Twist And Shout became the year's best selling EP and three singles reached number one 'Please Please Me' (in most charts), 'From Me To You' and 'She Loves You'. The Beatles' work schedule throughout 1963 was unrelenting with over two hundred concert engagements all over the country, dozens of radio and television shows and their first international tour in Sweden.


The term 'Beatlemania' was coined by the press to describe the fan hysteria aroused by the group but as an appearance on The Royal Variety Show demonstrated, their popularity stretched way beyond the teenage market. Casting aside the usual LP formula, none of the fourteen tracks on With The Beatles was released as a single. It also broke new ground for a pop album through its distinctive front cover featuring Robert Freeman's stylish black and white photograph of The Beatles' faces in moody half-shadow. It was a striking change from the cheery images usually associated with pop music. With The Beatles replaced Please Please Me as the best selling album in the country and, because its weekly sales were so impressive, it was even listed for several weeks on the singles chart. The first LP by British recording artists to sell a million, it was number one for 21 of the 51 weeks it stayed in the Top Twenty.


The week after the new album arrived in the shops, The Beatles released their fifth single 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'. It quickly became their fourth UK number one and was the song that first captivated the USA when it was rush-released on 26th December, 1963. It was soon accompanied by their first Capitol album Meet The Beatles, using the same cover shot as With The Beatles but with a different track listing. Five of the six cover versions had been sidelined and substituted with both songs on the first Capitol single 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', 'I Saw Her Standing There' plus the British B-side 'This Boy'.


When The Beatles returned home after a brief but all-conquering visit to the States in early February, Meet The Beatles had already begun an eleven week stay at the top of the US album charts. It yielded the number one slot to The Beatles' Second Album which rounded up the five unused With The Beatles songs and a variety of singles and EP tracks. While American fans were falling in love with songs from the previous year, The Beatles had already moved on to make their first movie and soundtrack album A Hard Day's Night...


With The Beatles

Recording Notes

Produced by George Martin

Principal Engineer: Norman Smith


With The Beatles took longer to make than the previous album Please Please Me but, even so, its fourteen songs were recorded in just 28 hours spread over six days. The sessions with George Martin were squeezed into The Beatles' hectic 1963 schedule between 18th July and 23rd October.


As with their previous discs, all the songs were recorded on twin-track tape machines and overdubbing frequently revealed the inconvenience of that technology. The need for more tracks was particularly apparent during the recording of 'Money'. Overdubbing using twin-track machines was achieved by copying the first recording to another tape while at the same time adding more instruments or vocals. 'Money' required this process to be repeated yet again onto a third tape. But before the album was completed, a session for their next single marked the beginning of a new phase of Beatles studio work. 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' and 'This Boy' were recorded on a four-track tape machine, which allowed much greater flexibility. After With The Beatles the group never returned to twin-track recording.


In addition to the extra vocal and instrumental overdubs for the album, there was another reason for the greater time spent on the second album. With their confidence growing in the studio, if they thought their performance could be improved or might benefit from a new arrangement, they would abandon a recording after several takes and start afresh on another occasion. As their music progressed and studio time became more plentiful, Beatles re-recordings were much more frequent. Indeed, the contrast between the sessions for their early and late sixties albums is remarkable. As their arrangements grew more complex, the hours needed to finish one song could sometimes equal the studio time spent making their first two albums in 1963.


With The Beatles was released at a time when mono was the preferred format and stereo records sold to a small number of hi-fi enthusiasts. The twin-track recordings formed the basis of this stereo album but their original purpose was to achieve a good balance between the instruments recorded on one track and the vocals on the other when creating the final mono master.


This remastered album has been created from the original stereo analogue master tapes.


Remastered by Sam Okell, Steve Rooke and Guy Massey

Project Co-ordinator: Allan Rouse

Thanks to Simon Gibson


Historical Notes: Kevin Howlett and Mike Heatley

Recording Notes: Allan Rouse and Kevin Howlett

Project management for EMI Records Ltd: Wendy Day and Guy Hayden

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