With The Beatles (1963)

1.It Won't Be Long
2.All I've Got To Do
3.All My Loving
4.Don't Bother Me
5.Little Child
6.Til There Was You
7.Please Mr. Postman
8.Roll Over Beethoven
9.Hold Me Tight
10.You Really Got A Hold On Me
11.I Wanna Be Your Man
12.Devil In Her Heart
13.Not A Second Time


In many ways, the Beatles second full length album is a carbon copy of their first one (a good thing), yet in many ways it surpasses the first one (a better thing). The formula here is almost frigteningly identical to Please Please Me. The album starts off with an unforgettable original rocker, closes with a classic cover, the material is about half original and half written by outside writers, there's a couple of mellow diversions, and an overall hell of a great album.

It surpasses the original in that this album sounds a little more focused, concentrating on the rock & roll aspect of what this band was capable of belting out so well. It sounds more intense and less constrained than its predessesor. Yes, there are slow moments that do seem slightly out of place (the song from The Music Man Til There Was You is a prime example), yet like almost everything this group would ever do, they still manage to make the song their "own" and they don't dissappoint. Other covers such as Please Mr. Postman and Roll Over Beethoven are a little bit more familiar to the masses, so they're slightly easier to warm up to when listening.

George Harrison pens his first Beatle song with Don't Bother Me and the quality of the song mirrors Lennon/McCartney at their best. Ringo, again gets into the act with I Wanna Be Your Man that was one of the first early hits by The Rolling Stones. Like just about everything else here, it's a fine tune.

To be completely honest, the album does suffer a bit near the end with songs such as Devil In Her Heart and Not A Second Time, but only a bit. Remember, they were still putting out albums the way they were "supposed to" and they still perform these songs better than anyone else at the time. The highlight of the album is undoubtably McCartney's All My Loving which is easily the most recognizable, timely piece and just may be the only original piece that casual fans recognize. All in all, a superb effort.

NOTE: There was an original U.S. release back in the 1960s titled "Meet The Beatles" that had an identical album cover, yet featured a slightly different song selection. If you still have your old vinyl, the track selection is varied somewhat.

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