I Beg to Differ With Other Beatles Fans




I’m a Beatles fan…guilty as charged. I’m no different from all the others who love the “Fab Four,” except that I do not splatter the Beatles all over You Tube or Google+. Don’t get me wrong. I love the folks who take the time and the effort to put Beatles material online for people like me to enjoy. However, I part company with my fellow fans, many music critics and other assorted gurus when it comes to dividing up the Beatles’ recordings.


Beatles Vinyl by Wapster used under CC License

Most people discuss either the “Early Beatles” or the “Late Beatles.” I disagree with this division. As a self-confessed Beatlemaniac, Beatle historian, and guitarist, I divide up the Beatles into the following four distinct eras, using the Parlophone British Discography to demonstrate. After all, these LP’s are the way that The Beatles intended to organize their work.

The Early Beatles:

The LP’s released during this period are Please Please Me, With the Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles for Sale, and Help. On these records, the Beatles demonstrate their harmonizing skills and maintain a heavy skiffle influence. Also, the track listings include covers from other artists, like “Twist and Shout” which was originally released by the Isley Brothers, and “You Really Got a Hold on Me” by Smokey Robinson.

If you listen to these songs, you’ll get the idea of the Early Beatles sound.

Help  /  I Want To Hold Your Hand / A Hard Day’s Night  / I Saw Her Standing There  / And I Love Her  / I’m Down / Baby’s In Black

The Transitional Beatles: During this period, the Beatles stopped being songwriters/performers and became artists. The songs sounded different due to tape effects, backwards tapes, new instruments like French horns, Indian sitars, and alternate tunings. There’s a lighter and crisper quality to their sound, but the subject matter changed as well, focusing on the influence of drugs, societal commentary, and introspection. This era would only last for two LP’s: Rubber Soul, Revolver and some assorted singles.

Love to You Rain  /  Paperback Writer  The Word  /   I’m Only Sleeping  For No One  Think For Yourself

The Psychedelic Beatles: Here we have the LP Sgt. Pepper and the soundtracks for Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine. Some songs were singles meant for Sgt. Pepper, but they were later folded into the film soundtracks.

In this period, the Beatles expanded the use of special effects and added orchestrations to their music. Also, the latest electronic gadgets like the Mellotron were brought into the studio.

Strawberry Fields Forever Penny Lane  Within You, Without You  / Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds  I Am The Walrus  All You Need Is Love  / It’s All Too Much

The Late Beatles:  The three LP’s here are The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album), Let It Be, and Abbey Road. The Fab Four returned to a very blues-dominated rock-and-roll sound. Although occasionally it drifts off into a folk/country sound, and sometimes even heavy metal.

Revolution  / Helter Skelter  Come Together  Mother Nature’s Son  Two of Us  While My Guitar Gently Weeps  /  Cry Baby Cry  Dear Prudence     

Also included in this period are the songs “Get Back,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “I’ve Got a Feeling,” “One After 909,” and “I Dig a Pony” are linked here to the Beatles rooftop concert from the film Let It Be.

Do you agree with the four distinct eras of Beatles music? Was this helpful for you to understand the Fab Four better?

2 thoughts on “I Beg to Differ With Other Beatles Fans

  1. Fist let me state: I am not and have never been a Beatles fan.

    I love many types of music and was exposed to a wide variety from the 50s to the present because of my older parents and large family. My MP3 player has Tom T. Hall beside Bon Jovi, mixed with flute music and various songs from the past six decades.

    My sisters (one 10 years and one 11 years older than me) did love the Beatles, so I heard them often while growing up. The only song I was happy to hear come on was “Twist and Shout” for obvious reasons (I loved to dance).

    Your post helped me understand the Beatles better, at least the reasons why their music style changed through the years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Diane…always good to hear from you.
      I do not remember a time when I wasn’t conscious of The Beatles. Their music still sounds fresh to me, especially songs from the late era.
      I have two elder sisters and they always had their Beatles records and posters. I was indoctrinated at a young age.

      Liked by 1 person

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