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What do you consider the last "early" Beatles album? (Classify the Beatles albums by era)
29 December 2018
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The Hippie Chick
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I have personally always considered Rubber Soul the "transitional" album. The last of the "early" sound I guess.

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29 December 2018
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Dark Overlord
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I don't see much difference between Beatles For Sale , Help !, and Rubber Soul , besides that the songs on Rubber Soul are of a better quality. People often point out the sitar on Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) but that's only 1 song and even then, the sitar was an afterthought.

For me, Revolver is the transitional album, as it features tons of stuff the earlier albums didn't do (reversed guitar, varispeed, guest musicians, tape loops, songs missing Beatles, songs missing key instruments) while still having 14 tracks and sticking to the 1:45 to 3:00 timeframe and having that early Beatles sound.

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29 December 2018
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Dark Overlord said
I don't see much difference between Beatles For Sale , Help !, and Rubber Soul , besides that the songs on Rubber Soul are of a better quality. People often point out the sitar on Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) but that's only 1 song and even then, the sitar was an afterthought.

For me, Revolver is the transitional album, as it features tons of stuff the earlier albums didn't do (reversed guitar, varispeed, guest musicians, tape loops, songs missing Beatles, songs missing key instruments) while still having 14 tracks and sticking to the 1:45 to 3:00 timeframe and having that early Beatles sound.  

Revolver is a huge step forward for sure, but it's building on what Rubber Soul had done before it. Rubber Soul was their first conceptual album designed to stand as a complete piece of art rather than a collection of songs. The use of sitar, fuzz bass, harmonium, the motown instrumentation on Drive My Car , and the sped up piano solo on In My Life showed them using the studio to its potential and trying out new sounds and instruments. It was their first album of all original material since A Hard Day's Night , featured Ringo's first credit, and the George songs were arguably the first to truly compete with the Lennon-McCartney team. The songwriting was for the first time more focused with storytelling (Drive My Car , Norwegian Wood ) and philosophical themes (Nowhere Man , The Word ) than simple love songs. Plus the cover marks a clear difference from what they'd had before, and doesn't have the word 'Beatles' on.

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29 December 2018
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Revolver absolutely does not have the early Beatles sound. Neither does Rubber Soul . The lyrical content and the way they used harmony changed completely. While they had been doing complex harmony on PPM and beyond, they began to really emphasize the 3 part harmony, and the production quality really locked in. Plus in terms of the progression of their harmony they started taking in a wider pool of influences that they previously had, resulting in more diverse tunes and progressions. Several tecniques in changing tape speed also contributed to a more advanced sound as well. 

On top of that their lifestyle had very much changed by that time. The touring years ended the same month as the release of Revolver and they were lookig for new ways to satisfy themselves through foreign art, psychedelic drugs, and the general swinging culture of London. These things also found their way into Beatles music and changed the way their music sounded.

If you really think that Revolver sounds like an early Beatles album you need to listen again, or get more familiar with the earlier albums. 

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29 December 2018
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Shamrock Womlbs
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Dark Overlord said
[...]
For me, Revolver is the transitional album, as it features tons of stuff the earlier albums didn't do (reversed guitar, varispeed, guest musicians, tape loops, songs missing Beatles, songs missing key instruments) while still having 14 tracks and sticking to the 1:45 to 3:00 timeframe and having that early Beatles sound.  

Except for tape loops, varispeed and reversed guitars Help ! Has all of the above...

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29 December 2018
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50yearslate
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I'm a little ashamed to admit that my definitions of "early" "middle" and "late" were partially influenced by the appearances of the Beatles, in which case the transition was facial hair. Musically, I'd divide it like this:

Early: Please Please Me , With The Beatles , A Hard Day's Night , Beatles For Sale

Middle/Transitional: Help , Rubber Soul , Revolver , Sgt Pepper , MMT

Late: The Beatles, Yellow Submarine , Abbey Road , Let It Be

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29 December 2018
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sir walter raleigh said
Revolver absolutely does not have the early Beatles sound. Neither does Rubber Soul . The lyrical content and the way they used harmony changed completely. While they had been doing complex harmony on PPM and beyond, they began to really emphasize the 3 part harmony, and the production quality really locked in. Plus in terms of the progression of their harmony they started taking in a wider pool of influences that they previously had, resulting in more diverse tunes and progressions. Several tecniques in changing tape speed also contributed to a more advanced sound as well. 

On top of that their lifestyle had very much changed by that time. The touring years ended the same month as the release of Revolver and they were lookig for new ways to satisfy themselves through foreign art, psychedelic drugs, and the general swinging culture of London. These things also found their way into Beatles music and changed the way their music sounded.

If you really think that Revolver sounds like an early Beatles album you need to listen again, or get more familiar with the earlier albums.   

A lot of this i'm thinking from a technical standard. With Rubber Soul and Revolver , The Beatles were still locked into that 2 14 tracks albums a year with songs ranging from 1:45 to 3:00 in length.

Also, even if you don't think Rubber Soul has that early Beatles sound, you have to admit it sounds different compared to Sgt. Pepper .

Shamrock Womlbs said

Except for tape loops, varispeed and reversed guitars Help ! Has all of the above...  

But Revolver does them far more often.

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29 December 2018
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You have to look at it from the point of view of them learning to play their instruments, and view the studio as another instrument.

Up until Rubber Soul  they considered their songs, pretty much, as live performances. From RS on they started leaving behind songs that could be easily recreated live, as well as the already evident effect Dylan had had on them lyrically, particularly John, starting to increasingly impact the themes they explored, taking them away from the simple boy-meets-girls themes of the past.

It is that testing of the studio as an instrument and their increasing lyrical confidence, both of which they grew increasingly adventurous with, that marked the point of transition where they abandoned live performance and marched into the studio years, though with the annoyance of having to wade through another year of touring obligations where they could play little of their recent work because the technology was a long way away from reproducing studio effects live.

For that reason RS is the pivot point between Beatlemania and PepperPepper would never have been produced in the way it was if they were still a live band, and RS was where they started not being satisfied by what they could do live and what they could do on the stage.

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29 December 2018
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Ron Nasty said
You have to look at it from the point of view of them learning to play their instruments, and view the studio as another instrument.

Up until Rubber Soul  they considered their songs, pretty much, as live performances. From RS on they started leaving behind songs that could be easily recreated live, as well as the already evident effect Dylan had had on them lyrically, particularly John, starting to increasingly impact the themes they explored, taking them away from the simple boy-meets-girls themes of the past.

It is that testing of the studio as an instrument and their increasing lyrical confidence, both of which they grew increasingly adventurous with, that marked the point of transition where they abandoned live performance and marched into the studio years, though with the annoyance of having to wade through another year of touring obligations where they could play little of their recent work because the technology was a long way away from reproducing studio effects live.

For that reason RS is the pivot point between Beatlemania and PepperPepper would never have been produced in the way it was if they were still a live band, and RS was where they started not being satisfied by what they could do live and what they could do on the stage.  

I agree, but with this way of looking at it it's important not to leave out Help ! in the discussion. Both Yesterday and You've Got To Hide Your Love Away are early and perfect examples of their songs becoming more than live performances through the studio.

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29 December 2018
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Dark Overlord
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Good point @Ron Nasty Rubber Soul is definitely a step up from Help ! in that sense, although Revolver and Sgt. Pepper are far bigger steps up.

Since we're on the topic, have you guys noticed how Paul's bass playing improved on Rubber Soul compared to earlier albums.

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29 December 2018
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Definitely. The bass on Nowhere Man and Think For Yourself is sublime. 

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29 December 2018
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50yearslate said
Definitely. The bass on Nowhere Man and Think For Yourself is sublime.   

Also Drive My Car . You can definitely hear the Motown influence on that one.

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29 December 2018
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QuarryMan said

Also Drive My Car . You can definitely hear the Motown influence on that one.  

Isn't that George though?

George was also quite a good bassist though, as one can see by listening to Two Of Us and Maxwell's Silver Hammer .

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29 December 2018
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50yearslate said

Isn't that George though?

George was also quite a good bassist though, as one can see by listening to Two Of Us and Maxwell's Silver Hammer .  

According to Ian MacDonald bass was handled by Paul. I'll see what Joe has to say on the matter.

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29 December 2018
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Whoops sorry @QuarryMan ! Looks like I was mistaken... (I could have sworn I read that George played it somewhere.... mccartney-shrug_01_gif)

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29 December 2018
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50yearslate said
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Whoops sorry @QuarryMan ! Looks like I was mistaken... (I could have sworn I read that George played it somewhere.... mccartney-shrug_01_gif)  

I thought you might have been right actually, since Paul plays a lead guitar line on this too, which I was aware of, so I thought maybe he'd left the bass to George. Looks like he overdubbed it though.

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29 December 2018
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Also You Won't See Me and and In My Life . Who thinks of that sort of a bassline? So awesome!

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29 December 2018
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I don't think there's such a thing as a bad bass line on Rubber Soul

Now I want to listen to Rubber Soul ...

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George doubled Paul's bassline on Drive My Car on his Fender.

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29 December 2018
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The Hole Got Fixed said
Also You Won't See Me and and In My Life . Who thinks of that sort of a bassline? So awesome!  

I once had someone try to tell me that the Beatles weren't good musicians by saying 'name one memorable McCartney bass line". I made sure to give them an extensive list.

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