In March of 1965 there was a Beatles album released that was sort of a “sneak it in.” The next album would be called “Beatles VI” and yet “The Early Beatles” was the sixth album. This album reflected the music that The Beatles performed in their early years along with a couple of sterling songs that they had written.
The first song on the album is an early British hit “Love Me Do.” You’ll find on this album in my humble opinion what made The Beatles famous. In the song “Love Me Do” Paul and John are singing together and then Paul finishes it as John pulls out to play the harmonica. It is their harmony that makes the group.
As we go through the album we see The Beatles putting their stamp on songs that they didn’t write which is what I think got the attention of listeners.
“Twist and Shout” was a song done by many artists and yet The Beatles were able to put their own spin on it. There is no doubt John’s voice helps make this song but also George and Paul singing backup as well as all of them harmonizing in the middle of the song is a surprise. As I’ve said in past articles when The Beatles shook their heads and sang extremely they were imitating Little Richard.
Both Ringo and George only got one song on the album. Ringo sang “Boys” and George sang “Do You Want to Know a Secret?”
I have linked to a song (“Twist and Shout”) at the Cavern Club that shows the fact that John was the main player in the group early on.
As I’ve said in the past Paul was featured in album releases more and more. He did “A Taste of Honey” as well as “P.S. I Love You.” As The Beatles matured, Paul tended to be, with rare exception, the singer of ballads and more melodic songs while John sang the music that had a rougher beat and lyrics.
However The Beatles’ trademark became their harmony as I’ve said before “note-by-note.” This is exemplified by “Chains.”
I’ve linked to The Beatles in Hamburg, Germany in 1962 doing “A Taste of Honey.” This will give you an idea of what they were like in the early years and verifies this music.
While this album was released in 1965 it didn’t reflect The Beatles’ music. It reflected their music from 1962 and 1963 when they were adapting to American music primarily African-American and rock-and-roll.
How important was this album? In the big scheme of things it doesn’t reflect growth at the time released but does serve as a “piece of history.”