This Beatles album is unique — it contains only songs written by Lennon and McCartney.  The mix you find on other albums, of covers and Lennon-McCartney songs and songs by Harrison and Starr, is satisfying but this one has a different feel, like breathing pure oxygen.


Lennon and McCartney were soaring at this stage of their songwriting career, cranking out one pop wonder after another with dazzling speed.  You can feel their own amazement and joy at their craft and genius.  They’d slogged and scrambled for years trying to get the world to notice their work — now the world couldn’t get enough of it and they were only too happy to satisfy the demand.

I think it’s my favorite Beatles album — not necessarily the greatest but the most fun start to finish.

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7 thoughts on “WHAT I’M SPINNING NOW

  1. Agreed. And it has “If I Fell,” which I consider one of the best of the Beatles’ early “independent” songs, i.e., not derivative of American music. It’s musically original and zestful — the hallmark of a Beatles song.

    • The singular thing about The Beatles was the amazing variety of American music they drew from — show tunes (dating back to the 1920s) to early rock to rockabilly to Motown. The Stones, by contrast, were at their origins very narrowly focused, almost dogmatically, on Chicago blues — they didn’t consider Motown (with its pop tendencies) real R & B. The ability to transcend genres and recombine elements of many different genres in their original work is what made The Beatles “bigger than Elvis”, who himself specialized in transcending genres.

  2. There’s only one thing. Been thinking about it a ton in relation to this post.
    Don’t think I’ll say it. Yes, maybe I will. No, I won’t. Better not.
    But, well… uh… what I mean is … you know…
    OK… but still…
    (rubber soul).
    “Does that make sense?”

    • “Rubber Soul” is a more ambitious album, and “Help” might be a better album, but “A Hard Day’s Night” is still my favorite for fun listening start to finish. It has a kind of unity of inspiration — probably because most of the songs were written in a mad rush specifically for the film — which gives it a quality all its own. It’s sort of a snapshot of the Lennon-McCartney songwriting genius at a particular moment in time, an amazing display of virtuosity and craft under pressure.

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