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Old 02-01-05, 12:19 PM   #1
moorehed
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Beatles: Different Eras?

So I am a casual beatles fan. I like their stuff when I listen to them, but I've never even owned a beatles album... which is a bit embarassing as I consider myself a serious music listener. My father always had their albums growing up so I never had a reason to buy them.

I am wondering if someone could give me a run down on what the different "eras" of the Beatles were in general. About all I know is that their early stuff sounded like poppy boy-band top 40 stuff, and their later stuff sounded more drug influencied deep classic type of stuff.

I am interested in knowing what albums fall into what eras, and what those eras may be.

Thanks.
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Old 02-01-05, 12:33 PM   #2
Fielding Mellish
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"Era" wise, I've always thought of Beatles albums as either pre-Revolver or post-Revolver.
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Old 02-01-05, 12:37 PM   #3
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and revolver was an era of its own? what caused the change?
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Old 02-01-05, 12:40 PM   #4
Damfino
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Early: (commercial top 40 style)
Please Please Me
With the Beatles
A Hard Day's Night
Beatles For Sale
Help!

Middle: (The group started experimenting and redefined rock music with Sgt Pepper)
Rubber Soul
Revolver
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour

Late: (I call it the mature era)
The Beatles (White album)
Abbey Road
Let It Be
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Old 02-01-05, 01:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moorehed
what caused the change?
Drugs, specifically pot while they were filming Help! which shaped the form that Rubber Soul would take (the real watershed album, though I consider it more of a piece with Help! than Revolver) and then LSD, which they experimented with before Revolver.

Damfino's pretty much nailed the Beatles eras, though again, Rubber Soul's kind of on the edge between 'eaerly Beatles' and 'psychedelic Beatles'.
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Old 02-01-05, 01:18 PM   #6
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Well, everything happened very quickly.

62-64, had that original Beatles sound that everyone fell in love with, Rock N Roll, but very basic compared with later stuff. Still very great. This is the music that makes people say ,"oh I dont like the beatles, they were just a pop band". The thing is, they played Rock N Roll, they just got so big that their music was so well liked by so many that it was Popular, hence they were sometimes called a pop band early, Usually by people who have no idea what they are talking about.

65-66, this is a great period, not really too Psychadelic, but clearly influenced by some drugs. Rubber Soul, which happens to be my favorite Beatles Album has so much going for it. You can really hear how they were being influenced by other musicians. Revolver has quite a bit more of a Psychadelic feel, but still not so much in the music, but more in the writing than Rubber Soul. Rubber Soul had a very earthy feel, while Revolver was on the verge of breaking into some drug induced haze. The final song on Revolver, Tommorow Never Knows, really makes a statement about where ,at least John, was going on the music. Even though they all were into it, John and George IMO were more into the psychadelic sound, George more with Indian themes as well, I think Paul got into it between Revolver and Sgt. Pepper.

1967- Complete Psychadelic sound, no one even got close to them in being Psychadelic yet still write great songs that would translate ,even after the "summer of 67" was over. Sgt Peppers is a great album, but Magical Mystery Tour is also great but doesnt get near the credit even though it had some really great songs.

68-69 They went all over the place here, some remnents of Psychadelic hung around, but they went back to a earthy roots sound as well. The White Album is completly all over the place. Like ballads? Fine, quasi post psychadelic songs? Sure, Heavy metal, sure, yes I said Heavy Metal, I still consider Helter Skelter the first Heavy Metal song, I mean if you write a really hard song, and then someone murders a few people and makes your song there anthem, well you got something there.
Abbey Road, they are still in different places, but it seems to flow together more, White Album was great, nothing wrong at all, but feels like they didnt do anything together on it, and in truth that was about right, they hardly ever recorded together on the White Album.

70- well there really wasnt any 70s to speak of, Let It Be was released, even though it was recorded before Abbey Rd, but well call it 1970, I think even though they were constantly fighting and everyone thinks Let it Be was a dissapointment, I disagree. even with all that, I love it, and it has some really great songs on it, and I think it gels as a record very well. The songs sound more mature , really from Let it Be to Abbey Road I think they really matured. Maybe because on the whole Let it Be is a bit somber, perhaps thats why I think its more mature. Abbey Rd. has a maturity as well, but you can hear them having fun making it.

If your not sure what era you want, id buy the two double albums first, 62-66 (RED Album), and 66-70 ( Blue Album). Has Many of there greats on it, and totally worth it.

If you want an actual first record, in my humble opinion, I would go with Rubber Soul.
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Old 02-01-05, 01:59 PM   #7
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thanks foo. that is EXACTLY what i needed. and your s/n made me want to go put on some foo discs.

just curious how old you are? were you buying this stuff as it came out? or like me, buying it after they were long done?
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Old 02-02-05, 01:58 AM   #8
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Hey Moorehed, Im 24, been a fan since I was about 13 or so, I knew the music before and liked it, but never was "INTO" The Beatles til then. I emerged myself in The Beatles and listened and read everthing I could find on them. Beatles Anthology was like a holy grail loaded with so much greatness from the band, the film that is, the records were cool too though. Books about The Beatles history, ect ect ect. Glad to help ya!
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Old 02-02-05, 10:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foofighters7
If your not sure what era you want, id buy the two double albums first, 62-66 (RED Album), and 66-70 ( Blue Album). Has Many of there greats on it, and totally worth it.
good posting.
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Old 02-02-05, 10:29 AM   #10
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I was going to post something long, informative, and erudite, but foofighters7 did it first.
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Old 02-02-05, 03:32 PM   #11
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The first noticeable changes in their sound were on the Rubber Soul/Revolver albums. Up til then they had done mostly straightforward rock songs (She Loves You, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, etc...). Lyrically, kind of trite, but good beats and energy.

With the emergence of Bob Dylan and electric folk-rock, the Beatles began to experiment with their sound. You can hear Dylan's direct influence on Rubber Soul. They started using overdubs and studio effects on their songs as well. You'll hear new sounds like the sitars, orchestrations, and things being played backwards. That made it hard for them to tour with those songs, so their playing often suffered and they were getting sick of all the mania surrounding them 24/7.

By the time they got around to Sgt. Pepper's/Magical Mystery Tour, they had stopped touring completely and now spent all their time in the studio, so their music (and personal lives) was getting into an entirely new level of experimentation. They also mentioned several times that they wanted to compete or surpass the Beach Boys' album Pet Sounds, so alot of pressure was on them.

Being in the studios all the time was a bit much and the Beatles started to get bored with that scene and annoyed with one another. They started going their seperate ways which is the largest difference between their middle era and late era. George got into Indian culture and music. John got into the Hippie movement, acting, Yoko, and so forth. But all the time they wanted to make good music and they did that best by bouncing ideas off one another. The White album is their most diverse, but you can tell the cohesion of their earlier albums was wearing down. There was an angry depressed vibe to many of the tracks (Happiness is a Warm Gun, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Helter Skelter, I'm So Tired). And there is alot of filler on it. Let It Be, is basically the Beatles breaking apart in the studio. Originally intended to be a documentary about their creative process, it turned into a documentary of their self-destruction. Abbey Road was a brief final return of the band working together as a band. They knew it would be their last album and they made sure it was a good one.
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Old 02-02-05, 03:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistoffeleez
...John got into the Hippie movement, acting, Yoko, and so forth.

Well done Foo & Mistoffeleez. I too have been listening to them for awhile, but never actually picked up an album. Thanks!
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Old 02-03-05, 07:33 PM   #13
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just go buy all the albums. They are all classics in one way or another.
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Old 02-04-05, 03:27 AM   #14
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I had a friend in Jr. High that was a huge huge Beatles fan. Too bad I didn't have the internet then, but I found out SO much about them.

the #1 album showcases a good many of their hits, but it just scratches the surface.

They were such a complete group. Ballads, rockers, and everything in between.
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Old 02-05-05, 12:53 AM   #15
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You all outta check out their 70's solo stuff.
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Old 02-05-05, 07:54 AM   #16
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I always thought the divide in styles started with Sgt. Pepper.
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Old 02-08-05, 01:32 PM   #17
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The trifecta of Help!, Rubber Soul, and Revolver could single-handedly be the finest three album blast in rock-and-roll history. Just pure perfection. This late 65-66 era of Beatle history is arguably its most magnificent. I also adore The Beatles (the "White Album"), easily my #4, but it's eclectic nature and unofficial status as the first Beatles "solo" album work against it. There's a handful of tracks that can just go bye-bye as well. I feel Sgt. Pepper's is criminally overrated, but "A Day In The Life" is probably my favorite song ever. For the early years, I enjoy "Beatles For Sale" and most of "A Hard Day's Night", while "Abbey Road" proved that the band still had a ton of magic in them as they knew they were breaking up.

Incidentally I type this at a Barnes and Noble hotspot right now, reviewing accounting principles, and there's an AMAZING looking piece at the table next to me. I'm gonna make a move. Here goes nothing...
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Old 02-08-05, 04:29 PM   #18
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Old 02-13-05, 12:49 PM   #19
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The two Beatles eras -

Before Paul Died 1960 - 1966
After Paul Died 1967-1970

Hahhahahahaahahha!!!
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