Thursday, March 31, 2016

When Music Mattered - Meet The Beatles! (1964)

I could very easily say that this album is an immortal classic simply because it the first Beatles album on an American label, but there is so much more to this album than simple guilt by association. With George Martin producing and helping to write part of the songs and the Beatles showing off the songwriting skills that would make them world famous, this album is just one in a long series of works that benefited from being part of rock-n-roll's first perfect storm.

None of the songs on Meet The Beatles! were three minutes long, but that is just one of the many things that helps to make this album perfect. One of the reasons that the Beatles were referred to as perfect rock song writers is their ability to make their songs the ideal length. Each song had a point to make, and it made that point concisely and then ended. Unlike much of the prog rock that the Beatles inspired, such as Pink Floyd, the Beatles dealt more with story telling than emotion. That means that they told their story and ended the song. There were no wasted notes with the Beatles, and that was especially true on Meet The Beatles!

This is the album where the world first go to hear songs such as "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," "I Wanna Be Your Man," and "All My Loving." These were talented boys talking directly to the girls they wanted to woo. Judging by how the Beatles' career ended up, I would say that the girls were sufficiently wooed by this record.

The music is catchy, the lyrics are fun, and the entire tempo of this album is perfectly measured. While the Beatles did not release Meet The Beatles! as a concept album, it is very easy to see a story line in the way the songs are laid out. Under the guidance of George Martin, the Beatles were one of the first bands to actually care about how songs were ordered on their records, and that changed the music world.

Martin taught the Beatles how to follow a song in one key with a song in compatible key to keep the flow of the album moving along. The Beatles, for their part, understood that musical hooks and lyrics people can sing along to were critical to the success of any pop band. With the success of Meet The Beatles!, the band managed to create a road map to success that thousands of other bands would follow. After five decades, it is still easy to say that there never will be another band quite like the Beatles.

Meet The Beatles! and its catchy tunes and purposeful song list still holds up today. Even though it contains half of the amount of music you would find on today's albums, the content on Meet The Beatles! is more valuable than all of the new music put together. This was how the world met a legendary band that had been England's pride and joy and, as is proper, that introduction still impacts bands today.