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Comparing Please Please Me to other 60s debuts
11 March 2019
5.44pm
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QuarryMan
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I think it's pretty much accepted that the albums The Beatles recorded in the Rubber-Soul-and-beyond half of their career are their peak, music wise. The same goes for music released by numerous other 60s acts, like Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Beach Boys and The Who, all of whom had comparatively unimpressive debuts but went on to reach career highs a few albums in, like Highway 61 Revisited, Pet Sounds or Beggar's Banquet. 

How would you rate Please Please Me , compared with, say, The Rolling Stones debut, or The Who's My Generation? 

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12 March 2019
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I've not heard either of those albums, but it's a trend I've noticed with most of my favourite artists* that their debuts were relatively unimpressive in retrospect -- David Bowie's was so naff he had to debut three times (David Bowie, David Bowie/Space Oddity, and then Ziggy and the Spiders debuted in his own right) before he figured it out (and then just kept debuting as a new Bowie every couple years for the rest of his career a-hard-days-night-george-10). a-hard-days-night-john-6 Pink Floyd's first was pretty good but it was totally unlike the rest of their discography since Syd left just after; Muse's Showbiz was definitely not their best; and as for Radiohead's debut... I can't remember the last time I listened to Pablo Honey, but I think it may also have been the first time. a-hard-days-night-john-6

*The one exception being Led Zeppelin, whose first album was brilliant and they just got more interesting from there (although there are those who will argue that Zepp I is an untouchable monolith of rock that was never peaked again by anyone, least of all Zepp themselves, but that's silly talk).

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12 March 2019
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I'm a fan of both the Stones' (pretty good) and Who's (better) debut albums.* Both bands already had their own sound distinct from what the Beatles did, and Pete Townshend's songwriting is already coming up aces. Plus both of these bands (by which I mean, "all three") had drummers and guitarists who kicked all kinds of ass (and jams)! 

If asked to rank 'em, I'd say I would probably rank the Who debut (skipping the two lousy JB covers everytime) as my favourite of the three, slightly ahead of PPM and far ahead of the Stones (still an all-covers band at this stage.) But that's because I'm really enjoying The Who right now. 😉 

 

But in one way, it's not really fair to anybody, comparing PPM to anybody else's debut, since that record was such a "signal moment* or whatever. It was recorded under extraordinary circumstances, and nobody knew how popular the pop LP market could become

 

*I've never owned the original UK debuts, just the American/Canadian equivalents that differ by a track or three. 

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13 March 2019
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I think the trend seems to be that as the 60s progressed and more emphasis was placed on the album format, the new groups and artists debuting put more guts into their debuts, maybe in order to make more of a statement. The first generation of 60s bands (Beatles/Stones/Kinks/The Who) all seemed to come out with a solid debut but take several more albums before they came into their prime, whereas Jimi Hendrix, The Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson and Pink Floyd (at least the Syd version) all seemed to materialise fully-formed on their debut. 

While I think Please Please Me is the best all around album from this crop of debuts, My Generation stands out as the only one to truly define what the band was about from the beginning, with the heavier sound and the lyrics heavily focused around youth culture and rebellion. In comparison, Please Please Me seems more like a standard rock and roll LP with fresher songwriting and the sound of a modern rock band. 

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13 March 2019
10.57am
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@Von Bontee, that was the other point that I forgot to make -- you can't compare PPM to debuts that came later, as PPM -- and other Beatles albums, perhaps especially A Hard Day's Night -- undoubtedly influenced the others in some way.

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18 March 2019
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This is gonna be a bit of a controversial opinion but I think their debut is relatively tame in comparison to other early 60s debuts. It works for Them and it works for their scene but to me personally, groups like The Monkees and The Byrds' debuts outshine Please Please Me . Now i think Please Please Me one of the better debuts out there from the 60s as far as early 60s go, but i think Mr. Tambourine Man and The Monkees are better for me.

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18 March 2019
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This question has to be limited to 1963. Others have mentioned the musical development over the decade..The expectations, everything..Apples and oranges.

PPM kicked it all off in the UK.

PPM song itself was originally stylistically envisaged as a take on Roy Orbison.....jazzed up it worked better became a hit and the charts became increasingly British. 

19 March 2019
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I think Wigwam is right in pointing out that PPM kicked it all off. It set the precedent for the sound, too. The other debuts might have been more advanced musically and lyrically, but they came in later years, and by that point the Beatles were already on with stuff like Rubber Soul and Revolver .

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20 March 2019
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Von Bontee
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So, who are the important '60s pop/rock bands whose debut predates PPM ? The Beach Boys are probably the most obvious.

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20 March 2019
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Von Bontee said
So, who are the important '60s pop/rock bands whose debut predates PPM ? The Beach Boys are probably the most obvious.

  

I think that might be it. All the other major groups had their debuts afterwards. I guess you could count Dylan but he was just a folk singer at that point, not yet crossing into the rock world.

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20 March 2019
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Compared to The Beach Boys  Surfin Safari, Please Please Me blows them out of the water (No Pun Intended). Really there isn't too much to compare them to other than Surfin Safari as most of the stuff like it was Surf Music. A singles driven genre

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20 March 2019
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Definitely. I think Surfer Girl is the first great Beach Boys album, but their discography is pretty inconsistent anyways.

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20 March 2019
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21 March 2019
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As said before i think PPM should be compared with albums (or debut albums) from '63. You could compare the Stones debut album with A Hard Day's Night or Beatles For Sale and so on...

As for the Beach Boys early stuff i agree it's naive and single oriented. I can not listen to a whole album since it sounds kinda repetitive... Pet Sounds is just another thing. That was something unparalleled and unrepeatable. The Beatles never got to do anything like that. I Think It's light years ahead from Revolver and, of course, Sgt Pepper 's...

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21 March 2019
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Beatlebug said
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I can only imagine what Brian might have created if he'd been looked after properly :((( 

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16 March 2020
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I'd say the best debuts in sixties came later on in the 60's; Hendrix, the Doors, the Velvet Underground.

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16 March 2020
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Honestly speaking, I think no debut album was more important than Please Please Me during the 60's, aside from maybe both The Who's and The Stones (and even then I think PPM is more important). It was the first time that something that rivaled the music stars of America (Presley, Chuck Berry, Diddley, etc.) and could even compete with it. But that is only if we are talking importance, and though I love the album I can't argue that there are better ones during the decade.

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20 March 2020
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Dingle Lad said
I'd say the best debuts in sixties came later on in the 60's; Hendrix, the Doors, the Velvet Underground.

  

While I can't argue that The Doors is a fantastic debut album, I always feel like Please Please Me has that early Beatles sound more so than the next 3 albums.

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21 March 2020
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William Shears Campbell said

Dingle Lad said

I'd say the best debuts in sixties came later on in the 60's; Hendrix, the Doors, the Velvet Underground.

  

While I can't argue that The Doors is a fantastic debut album, I always feel like Please Please Me has that early Beatles sound more so than the next 3 albums.

  

Yes but that doesn't mean it's a better album than the three I mentioned.

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22 March 2020
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Dingle Lad said

William Shears Campbell said

Dingle Lad said

I'd say the best debuts in sixties came later on in the 60's; Hendrix, the Doors, the Velvet Underground.

  

While I can't argue that The Doors is a fantastic debut album, I always feel like Please Please Me has that early Beatles sound more so than the next 3 albums.

  

Yes but that doesn't mean it's a better album than the three I mentioned.

  

Maybe it's just me but I've just always loved that sound and by relation the PPM album.

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