I often overlook this album. The second album from the Beatles followed the same formula as the first one – a mixture of self-penned numbers and covers. It was basically a second dose of their live act. For me it did not quite cut through the way first album did – probably because it was not quite so raw.
I bought this the day it came out and my fourteen-year-old self was desperate to play it. Unfortunately my record player broke and I couldn’t play. To make matters worse my mate Jeff came down and when he found I couldn’t play it he borrowed it. It took me a week to fix my record player!!
On their fourth album the Beatles were still treading the same boards as on their first album. There was a mixture of covers (Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins,Dr Feelgood) plus their own material. There was less of the R&B and to me it sounded less raw than that superb first album. This was their teeny bop years but the quality of the material was far better than teeny bop.
Today I’m going to revisit my youth. I’ll go back in my mind to that day I came rushing home with the album to put it on the record player on the morning it came out. From Please Please Me on I bought every Beatles single and album on the day it came out and still remember the buzz of hearing it for the first time. I was never disappointed.
Imagine is a great track but I’ve heard it a million times. The rest of the album is brilliant. In my opinion John only produced two brilliant albums – Imagine and Plastic Ono Band – three if you count Shaved Fish. The rest of his stuff is OK but not up to that standard. I love the bare emotion and unrestrained impetus. He was doing and saying what he liked. Freedom.
The sixties ushered in huge social change that altered the fabric of society and set in motion a chain reaction. It inspired me, shook me, stirred me up and set me flying. The music filled my veins with fire, my head with realisation; it opened my eyes, made me think and poured energy through my ventricles.
I thought I’d play about with a few words. It may not be great poetry but it made me smile!
My mate Rog put up ‘Your Bird Can Sing’ and started me off. Now I’m listening to the whole album. It’s easy to sideline the Beatles these days – but it’s good to remember just how brilliant they were! They led the way!