Saturday, May 8, 2010

Best three songs in a row - Pt. 2

To continue my discussion of the best three-song stretch on a Beatles album, I devoted some time to With The Beatles and arrived at the conclusion below. You'll find that I didn't struggle to nail down my choice for the album's contribution to the larger pool of contenders. Unlike Please Please Me, With The Beatles presents one three-song set that I see as clearly superior to the rest.

Album: With The Beatles
Three songs: "It Won't Be Long," "All I've Got to Do," and "All My Loving"
Comments: I don't think there are any other viable options. With The Beatles is a mostly rewarding album, but, with the exception of "It Won't Be Long," its high points aren't as strong as those on Please Please Me. And the same is true of its second-tier songs ("Don't Bother Me," "Please Mister Postman," "Money," etc.). Which is to say, it's a lesser album than its predecessor and has fewer opportunities for consistent excellence. However, coming out of the gate, it delivers mightily. "It Won't Be Long," (which I've swooned about on several occasions) overflows with zealous emotion and sonic thrills; "All I've Got to Do" is a masterpiece of tension and sex-dripped affection; and "All My Loving" showcases how charming and guileless Paul could be when expressing love. The choice strikes me as a no-brainer.

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