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What do you consider the last "early" Beatles album?
8 August 2014
The Toppermost of the Poppermost

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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Your heading in the right direction.

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8 August 2014
Behind the moon
Hollywood Bowl
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16 December 2013

I have to agree with most people that it is Help

8 August 2014
I am here you are here we are here and we are all together
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I think it is A Hard Days Night

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9 August 2014
St Peters Church
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9 August 2014

IMO, the "early Beatles" phase is Please Please Me through Help!, the middle period is Rubber Soul through Magical Mystery Tour, and the late period is The White Album through Let It Be. So Help! is the last early Beatles album.

Rubber Soul is not an "early Beatles" album, but it has what I would consider to be a couple of "early Beatles" songs

10 August 2014
Inside a Letterbox
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1 December 2009

I agree with the majority that it's "Help!", and I'm not going to repeat all the good reasons why, that have already been posted, 'cause I'm lazy.

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
10 August 2014
Across The Universe
Hollywood Bowl
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8 August 2014

I would say the last early album "Help!". But IMO, there are 4 periods of The Beatles

Anyways, that's just what I think.

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10 August 2014
Ahhh Girl
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20 August 2013

@paulramon1962 I notice in another thread that you like to divide the albums in to eras. This might be a thread that you would like to peruse.

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11 August 2014
Cedar City, Utah
The Kaiserkeller
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10 August 2014

There are many ways the Beatles music can be divided. The most blatantly obvious one would be album by album, since consistency didn't exactly exist between any two. Then again, you could go by the division given by the Apple releases of the Red and Blue Album, which would put the two distinct 'eras' as being 1962-1966 and 1966-1970. This one is most convenient for me, but I tend to put the cutoff as Revolver

If we are looking stylistically at the songwriting and not just at the overall compositions of the albums, then we can dig a little deeper. Each Beatle had their own unique periods of writing whilst in the group. I would call "The Early Days" the time when John and Paul were writing mostly together. This would extend from their first meeting in October of '57 until approximately A Hard Day's Night. Though they did write together after this point, it was not as expansive as it was prior to the album.

Paul McCartney's early solo compositions range from cutesy to rocking, but I feel that of the three writing Beatles, he was the most consistent. Example: A Paul song from Help! and a Paul song from Rubber Soul sound fairly similar, as do songs from Rubber Soul to Revolver. There are more divisions, however. It could very well be argued that the *ahem* Dylan albums (Help! and Rubber Soul) are more "early" sounding than the acid albums (Revolver and Sgt. Pepper). I would say that Paul's most drastic change comes between Rubber Soul and Sgt. Pepper, with Revolver being his transitory album. Penny Lane/Sgt. Pepper was about the time where, for me at least, he really embraced the far out sounds typical of the period. I don't see too much difference in Paul's writing between India and the End; as I said, I consider him the most consistent writer of the bunch. His writing during the breakup shows anger (like the others does), but also sadness. McCartney (1970) kind of puts him back at square one, so to speak. The shock from losing his band necessitates his learning to play on his own, and this stretch of learning culminates in Band on the Run.

John Lennon has more divisions in his songwriting. I feel he was the one most directly influenced by Bob Dylan. His Dylan period started during Beatles for Sale, as he himself states that I'm a Loser is him trying to be Dylan. This extends thru Help! and Rubber Soul, including songs like You've Got To Hide Your Love Away and Norwegian Wood. Rubber Soul marked the end of Folksy Lennon, and Acid Lennon took over on the next album, Revolver. Unlike McCartney, John's writing is a bit less consistent between albums. Example: A John song from Help! does sound like a John song from Rubber Soul, but a John song from Rubber Soul doesn't sound like a John song from Revolver. This could be due to the fact that he tried acid before McCartney did, but I'll leave that as speculation. His Acid period lasted all the way until India where he started to show a bit more of his cheeky old self (What's The New Mary Jane). He experienced a bit of a mystic period here too, writing Across The Universe and Child Of Nature. His work on the White Album is horribly inconsistent, largely due to his meeting Yoko Ono during this period. How a beautiful, introspective song like Julia could end up on the same album as Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey is beyond me, but they did, as did the politically charged Revolution 1. At this point, John began to explore more political and social issues in his work (McCartney did too, as evidenced in Blackbird, but never to the same extent Lennon did). Unfortunately, this period was broken up by his addiction to heroin in early 1969 during the Get Back sessions. His writing during the album was not his best, contributing Dig A Pony and Don't Let Me Down (I Want You (She's So Heavy) was demoed and partially recorded during this time) while the rest of the album is dominated by McCartney compositions. His slow writing continued thru Abbey Road, where he contributed Come Together, I Want You (She's So Heavy), Because, and a few songs in the medley. Indeed, the songwriting juggernaut on Abbey Road turned out to be Harrison. Fortunately, Lennon was able to overcome his addictions, get into therapy, and write his best album ever, Plastic Ono Band.

George Harrison's carrier is the most brief, unfortunately, and though we have a large collection of his songs written during his Beatles tenure in All Things Must Pass, it becomes difficult to date them as production by Phil Spector modernized the album for the period. At very least, we can generalize his writing with the drugs that were being taken. His early writings from With The Beatles to Rubber Soul showcase his desire to write love songs, and he didn't get too bad at that. By the time he took acid and became infatuated with Indian music, his writing became the most overtly philosophical, and funnily enough, the most cynical. Love You To and Within You Without You display the former, while Taxman and Only A Northern Song showcase the latter. By his own admission, Harrison didn't begin amassing a backlog of songs until the India period, but he always had a few lying around. The White Album gave us some variety with Piggies, Long, Long, Long, and Savoy Truffle, but the album did not showcase his best work, save for While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Let it Be features a few of his bluesy pieces in For You Blue and Old Brown Shoe (recorded at the same time), though he was blossoming at this time into the wonderful songwriter we all know during this time. Indeed, he showed All Things Must Pass, Something, and Let it Down to the Beatles during the Get Back sessions, as well as I Me Mine, which wasn't formally recorded until the next year when the film was almost ready. Arguably, the best songs on Abbey Road are Something and Here Comes The Sun. Something is the ultimate culmination of Harrison's love songs, while Here Comes The Sun takes his anger and stress over the breakup of the band and turns it into a song of optimism, a theme which carried on into his work on All Things Must Pass and Living in the Material World.


Well, that was only supposed to be a brief bit about the divisions of time, but it turned into more than I anticipated. I'd love to hear some opinions about it!

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