Thursday, 21 January 2010


First of all, I should probably explain the ‘concept’ behind this blog, such as it is.

Last September, I bought all the Beatles albums all over again, in a shiny black box. Like a lot of people, I’d been waiting for them to be remastered for years; I eventually realised that I could make it happen. How? Why, by simply by completing my collection of Beatles albums on CD. I’d held off on filling in those final gaps for years, figuring that remasters had to be on the way, but sod’s law dictated that it wouldn’t happen until it would cause me the greatest personal inconvenience. So I finally bought Beatles For Sale, and sure enough the announcement of the remasters duly appeared in Mojo.

Anyway, I bought the box and gave my old CDs to my parents, who did own some Beatles albums in the 1960s but have somehow lost them all over the years, which is frankly bloody typical of them. Since then, I’ve listened to all the group’s material through in order, twice. Once, immediately after buying the box, in a couple of days; and again, in a way that turned out to be more interesting. To indoctrinate my two-year-old son into The Beatles, I played him the lot, three or four tracks at a time, on the short car journeys to nursery and the supermarket. This took about two or three months, and I found that by slowing it down, I could hear the group’s progression much better. I’d listen to one album, get my head around The Beatles being like that, then move onto the next.

So what I’ve decided to do is this. I’m going to listen through the Beatles at the rate of one album per month. In January, I’ll only listen to Please Please Me (and I’ll let myself have the From Me To You single as well). Next month, I’ll add With The Beatles – listening to Please Please Me will still be allowed, although I’ll probably be a bit sick of it by then. And so on and so on (in September I’ll do Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine together). The idea is to get a small taste of what it was like to listen to the albums at the time, able to look back on what the group had done but not skip forward and see what they’d do. Yeah, it’s artificial – I’m compressing it, and obviously I’ve heard everything already, scores of times – but it’s not like I can wipe the tracks from my brain like in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, is it? (If I could, I might actually be tempted. That’d be really interesting.)

Anyway, I’ll be posting scribbles and thoughts about the albums here as I go along. Some stuff about Please Please Me will appear here once I get it into shape.


  1. I got half way through buying the remasters.
    Then they announced they'd be repressing on vinyl.
    Sick as a pig.

  2. You might like to listen to a few tracks by other artists from around the same time, to provide a bit of context, and to give some idea of how ahead of the game, innovative, and influential the Beatles were; they're usually six months to a year ahead of the rest of the pop scene. For instance, when PPM came out, the charts were full of novelty singles, Cliff Richard, Frank Ifield, guitar and organ instrumentals, and Elvis during his MOR pop period