25 August 2012
Anybody know how With The Beatles was settled on as the album's title? It seems a little odd, as it's a prepositional fragment rather than a complete sentence/thought/concept/etc.
I have no idea of how it was actually settled on or whose decision it was, but I feel it has a lot to do with the "involvement" strategy that John and Paul claimed were hallmarks of their songwriting around the period. The immediate and conversational lyrics of the early pop songs intentionally invited and reached out to the listener – the "From Me To You" factor. With The Beatles, as an album title, has a similar effect; as an incomplete sentence it drops the listener right in the middle of the Beatles experience, and suggests that the record's content will bring him or her up close and personal to the faces on that dark and intimate album cover.
14 December 2009
I don't know if they were putting much thought into their own album titles as far back as 1963, whether they were consciously considering them as part of an artistic statement, or if they even thought up those earliest ones themselves. I think Parlophone primarily wanted to make sure the titles maximized the promotional aspect by featuring the title of the hit single, movie, or just the band itself – most literally in BFS. But it's easy for me to believe that they suggested that last one themselves, somewhat cynically. I think pop music album titles were pretty innocuous or even inane in those pre-art days. Stuff like "Dream Date With The Beatles!" would seem to be more the standard. (Still I could be wrong and maybe Ben's right that they did put some consideration into WTB, what do I know?)
Just to change the topic a little, as far as album titles go, anbody else ever fantasize about what "Rubber Soul", "Revolver" and "Abbey Road" may have sounded like if they were songs that were written and recorded as title cuts? I read a blog piece once from where some guy was talking about "12-Bar Instrumental" and he speculated on how "Rubber Soul" may have been its working title, since the phrase was going around at the time.
25 August 2012
Of course, the titles of nearly all their other 'early' (i.e. pre-Rubber Soul) albums are fairly obvious: Please Please Me was named for their most recent hit single, A Hard Day's Night and Help! were named for the movies for which their releases accompanied. And, of course, the stories behind the titles for all of their subsequent albums are all fairly well-documented. That leaves only With The Beatles and Beatles for Sale whose title origins are not entirely clear. The explanation given for the latter in its respective forum mostly makes sense given the circumstances surrounding its release, but for the former still remains the most mysterious, IMO.
14 April 2010
All interesting explanations/theories. Also consider that back in the day, many of their influences titled albums in such a fashion. Among the ones I was able to find are The Buddy Holly Story, Coast Along with The Coasters, Chuck Berry Is on Top and Here's Little Richard.
I'm sure there are many other examples.
29 November 2012
Yeah, I think With the Beatles was simply reflective of the times…Zig mentioned all of those titles. There were also "The Rolling Stones NOW!" "England's Newest Hitmakers: The Rolling Stones," "The Who Sings My Generation," etc. I don't think there was any special reason for calling it With the Beatles other than it fit in with a lot of other album titles of its era. Plus it's a cool title and a stunning album cover.
It seems to me though that the title being "simply reflective of the times" only strengthens my original point. So many albums of the era had these kinds of titles because they were good selling points. To take two of the aforementioned examples, "Here's Little Richard!" and "The Rolling Stones NOW!" sound good. They are dynamic and imminent and establish a kind of co-existence, an exciting happening between artist and audience. John and Paul admitted they tried to achieve that effect with their songwriting, and "With the Beatles", twinned with its mysterious and alluring cover, does the same.
3 August 2013
14 April 2010
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