Please Please Me (1963)
The first building block of The Beatles discography - in full format – was released on 22 March, 1963. Singles from the album released a few months earlier had already launched the beginning of Beatlemania, but nobody could have predicted what was to come... In this introduction, the Lennon/McCartney duo sign off eight original songs supplemented by six cover tracks, most of it the type of R&B and Soul music they loved so much. A repertoire performed by Fab Four in the small clubs of Hamburg and Liverpool, and one which they mastered, so early in their careers, from a to z. With tracks like I Saw Her Standing There, Please Please Me, P.S. I Love You, and especially Love Me Do, the Fab Four gave birth here to a totally unique and innovative type of pop music. Music that is rooted in R&B, the girl groups and the rock'n'roll of the Atlantic. We have a startling reinterpretation of Twist & Shout by Phil Medley and Bert Berns, a track made famous a year previous by the Isley Brothers. Fresh, authentic, intense and above all, a precursor. This first album of the anthology would remain at top stop in the UK charts for over seven months!
With The Beatles (1963)
What an album cover! The beautiful black and white photo by Robert Freeman is a kind of must-have... Recorded only four months after their first album Please Please Me, the album With The Beatles, released in November 1963, is like a little extension. This second studio album brings together seven songs by the Lennon/McCartney duo (notable mention: All My Loving), one by George Harrison (Don't Bother Me), as well as six cover songs, and is mostly vintage rock'n'roll, soul and Motown rhythm’n’blues. Introducing new instruments, dubbed voices and sound eclecticism, With The Beatles depicts a young group that gradually extricate themselves from the influences of their elders in order to create their own unique musical universe. The original songs on this album show that The Beatles were already way ahead of their time.
A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
Soundtrack of the eponymous film directed by Richard Lester (dubbed in French Quatre garçons dans le vent or Four boys in the wind), A Hard Day's Night is a first for The Beatles, as for this third album released at the beginning of summer 1964, John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote every song on the disc without any covers! And what songs they were! Can’t Buy Me Love, A Hard Day's Night, I Should Have Known Better - the level is very high and each hit track shows a rapidly developing musical and artistic identity as the group went from being national treasures to international icons. Every corner of this changing pop façade is fascinating. The irresistible melodies are pulled together by sparkling guitars in an innocent, feel-good tribute to all things melodic. A Hard Day's Night is the epitome of the early periods of that famous Beatles 'sound'. Even in ballads such as And I Love Her, the Fab Four already demonstrate a strong musical maturity... A true joy for the listener.
Beatles for Sale (1964)
Just in time for Christmas, Beatles For Sale arrived in record stores on December 4, 1964, with the Fab Four already international icons. The pace imposed on them is also totally inhuman. Contractually obliged to record two albums a year, perform consecutive marathon tours and appear on TV shows, it's clear that Beatlemania is at its peak. The consequences of this madness sees the Beatles include six guest appearances for this fourth studio album (Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Lieber & Stoller ...) and eight original songs. John, Paul, George and Ringo offer up rather gloomy faces on the album cover, and with titles as explicit as I'm A Loser, Baby's In Black, I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party or No Reply, they show (with grace) a darker, more melancholic side than the public was perhaps accustomed to. The Beatles pass (almost) into adulthood...