The Beatles, to be clear, were seminal, visionary, belief-buggeringly brilliant. But given their head-spinning output in those ten years — over songs — they were bound to drop the odd bollock. And the most infuriating thing is that your four-year-old keeps asking for it, instead of A Day In The Life. Side One of Abbey Road hits the skids with this pointless stinker, which alternates between a turgid descending riff that should never have made it past soundcheck, and the most coma-inducing of blues jams. The fruity jangle grinds to an abrupt halt after 39 seconds, as if the Fabs have suddenly realised how history will judge it.
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John Lennon once convened a meeting of the Beatles to inform them that he was Jesus: the charmless Ballad of John and Yoko is that crazed egotism and messiah complex wrought into song. A step back from the thrills of Please Please Me, From Me to You was a hit written to order, and it is tempting to say it shows. There is a sense in which All You Need Is Love is less interesting as a song than as an artefact: the Summer of Love zenith of the hippy dream captured, just before it curdled into disillusionment. In the UK, at least, the Beatles tended not to issue singles from albums. Far more dynamic and electrifying than its predecessor Love Me Do, the Everly Brothers-inspired Please Please Me saw the Beatles harness the raucous power of their live performances in the studio. Completed at the last-ever Beatles recording session, Let It Be fitted perfectly: its sheer loveliness and reassuring sentiment is an end-credits finale to their career. By now, the Beatles were on a roll.
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I can still remember the night. Little did I know what world I was about to dive into. Not very long after I came home to find once again my mother watching something on the TV, it was the first time The Beatles Anthology was being aired on television. It happened to be part 2, but I spent the following weeks ordering all 7 parts on DVD from Netflix, watching each one as soon as they came in. Then came The Beatles Rock Band that I got day one in middle school, having beat the entire game that night.