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Album title?
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Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
180 Posts
(Offline)
1
9 July 2013 - 1.16pm

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.a-hard-days-night-paul-7

Ben Ramon
612 Posts
(Offline)
2
9 July 2013 - 11.27pm

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.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'

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Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
2829 Posts
(Offline)
3
10 July 2013 - 6.36am

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.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
-- Paul McCartney

Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
180 Posts
(Offline)
4
11 July 2013 - 3.31am

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.

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Zig
The Toppermost of the Poppermost

8734 Posts
(Offline)
5
11 July 2013 - 5.04pm

a-hard-days-night-ringo-8All 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.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

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DrBeatle
Hershey via Boston
1556 Posts
(Offline)
6
11 July 2013 - 8.25pm

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.

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

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Ben Ramon
612 Posts
(Offline)
7
12 July 2013 - 5.28pm

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.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'

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Tea and Sympathy
32 Posts
(Offline)
8
22 August 2013 - 4.00am

I thought it was supposed to a clever double meaning and a play on words.  With the Beatles, as being with the group, and With the Beatles, like being with the beat of the music.  Maybe I'm over thinking it.

Don't you know? It's gonna be alright. (Shoo-bee-doo-wop)

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Zig
The Toppermost of the Poppermost

8734 Posts
(Offline)
9
23 August 2013 - 4.19pm

a-hard-days-night-ringo-8If there were no overthinking on anything they did, we would not have a Forum.a-hard-days-night-george-10

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

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Tea and Sympathy
32 Posts
(Offline)
10
27 August 2013 - 7.55am

Yeah, good point.  Consider it a worthwhile contribution to the cause, then.

Don't you know? It's gonna be alright. (Shoo-bee-doo-wop)

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MrMoonlight
Alone in the clouds all blue...
829 Posts
(Offline)
11
18 May 2014 - 5.37pm

Von Bontee said

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.

Funnily enough, I've been thinking that over the past few days. I'd love to have heard those as songs (along with Beatles For Sale).

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vonbontee
Inside an Apple Orchard in a Letterbox
2815 Posts
(Offline)
12
20 May 2014 - 9.44pm

Yeah, really! Just imagine if they had their own theme song called something like "We're The Beatles!" Of course that would probably be too meta and self-reflexive for any 1963 band. (On the other hand, Bo Diddley wrote about a half-dozen songs with "Bo Diddley" in the title before the Beatles were even formed, so why not?)

I remember George saying 'Blimey, he's always talking about “Yesterday”, you'd think he was Beethoven or somebody' - Paul McCartney

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