Saturday, December 19, 2009

With the Beatles Remastered

By Johnny Moon

It's Not Their Best Work

I would argue that With The Beatles is The Beatles least good (I don't like to use the word "worst" when talking about the Fab Four) UK studio album (with the possible exception of Yellow Submarine which only had four new songs on it). But while it's not their best work, I still enjoy listening to the new remastered versions of it (in both stereo and mono).

Covers vs. Originals

I'm not a huge fan of most of the covers that they did (with "Twist and Shout" being one obvious exception) and for the most part I don't enjoy listening to the six covers on this album very much (I do kind of like "Till There Was You" inspite, or maybe because, of it's immense cheese factor). On the other hand this album also includes eight originals, some of which are quite good (and they sound particularly great with the 2009 remasters).

"All My Loving"

The most obvious highlight is "All My Loving" which was written and sung by Paul McCartney. Although it was never released as a single in the UK or US (although it was released in Canada and actually made it to #45 on the US singles charts just from imports in 1964) it's still among the Beatles most well known and best loved songs recorded in 1963.

"It Won't Be Long" and "All I Gotta Do"

It starts off with these two tracks and other than "All My Loving," they're probably the best songs on the album and they sound particularly good on the version of With The Beatles included in The Beatles in Mono Box Set. I think that these two songs are standouts is a good indication of how this albums pales in comparison with their next (1964's A Hard Day's Night) because these songs would be pretty average (rather than standouts) if included on it.

George Harrison's Songwriting Debut

The album also includes George's first attempt at songwriting, "Don't Bother Me." It's not a great song by any stretch of the imagination but it does have a pretty cool sound and mood (and this sort of dark mood would be present in a lot of his later Beatles originals).

The Day JFK was Killed

A bit of trivia that I find quite fascinating; This LP was originally released in the UK on November 22, 1963 which is the day that JFK was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. At the time The Beatles were largely unknown in the US. In a strange coincidence, the famous authors Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) and CS Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) also died on this day.

CLICK HERE to learn more about The Beatles in Stereo Box Set.
CLICK HERE for more information on The Beatles in Mono Box Set.
Both of these box sets include With The Beatles Remastered (in stereo and mono, respectively).

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