The Beatles first album is a very good one in the catalogue. Although this is ‘pop’ or whatever you want to call it, the music is innovative, lively and enjoyable.
The story behind that legendary and incredibly raw vocal performance on “Twist and Shout” stems from a terrible cold that Lennon had. Scanning the track listing, even the non-seasoned music listener would notice that there’s a distinct lack of the most well-known of the well-known Beatles originals present here. That’s because this is their first album, and they’re young and inexperienced! But holy crap, look at the songs this album does have! “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Misery,” Please Please Me,” “Love Me Do,” “There’s a Place” … if you are anything like me, you should be salivating at the mouth!
“I Saw Her Standing There” is that raucous opener. Whoever thought The Beatles were wimpy instrumentalists need to get that notion out of their heads immediately! You’re just going to have to accept that Ringo’s toe tapping drumming kicks your backside, that riff is rough and infectious, and even George’s very rusty guitar solo comes off as awesome! None of that mentions that the song is just about the catchiest thing ever, but that goes without mentioning! That’s followed up with “Misery,” a very happy ballad. Even though the composition is incredibly simple, it has the uncanny ability to just leap out of the speakers. That’s their magic at work right at this early stage!
“Please Please Me” is one of the surefire standouts, and everybody in the world knows that! Everything from that happy-go-lucky beat, that simple and immediately recognizable harmonica line and that remarkably catchy melody. I mean, it is so much fun and unpretentious, and it’s even great to dance to! “Love Me Do” is another one of those songs that everybody knows by heart whether they like it or not. It’s such a simple ditty! But listening to it, it’s impossible to write it off. Not that I would even want to.
Naturally, Please Please Me has it’s insubstantial original compositions. It wouldn’t be the first Beatles album if it didn’t! Lennon’s “Ask Me Why” tends to sound a bit flat and McCartney’s “P.S. I Love You” doesn’t quite have that spark the other songs had. George Harrison takes over the lead vocals in the Lennon/McCartney “Do You Want to Know a Secret” and shows his lack of vocal prowess right at this early stage. Heck, Ringo even sounded better than George, who took the lead vocals in one of the covers, “Boys!”
Anyway, the fact that everyone needs to hear their relatively inciting material goes to prove how awesome they were! Nothing else can be said about that.