Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

Reprise » My Only and One: With The Beatles


With this month’s release of The Beatles U.S. albums by Capitol Records and my ongoing re-appreciation of the group’s library of songs, I’ve decided to reprise a series arc from the archives. Each a short post of the British albums on The Lads official list.

From these, in the order as they are in 2009’s remastered stereo set, I’ll list their songs from the spotlighted album and pick two:

  • the only – if I could only listen to one track, the best song that exemplifies the album, it would be this number
  • the one – if I could pick a single tune that doesn’t get either the play or the credit it deserves, it’s this one

With The Beatles

It Won’t Be Long
All I’ve Got To Do
All My Loving
Don’t Bother Me
Little Child
Till There Was You
Please Mister Postman
Roll Over Beethoven
Hold Me Tight
You Really Got A Hold On Me
I Wanna Be Your Man
Devil In Her Heart
Not A Second Time
Money (That’s What I Want)

The With The Beatles album was going to make an impression no matter what. The important sophomore release for the newly in-demand group would gather attention from fans and critics eager to catch more of the British Invasion. Witnessing the expansion of Pop music, in the bargain. That it was released on November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, would be its counterpoint.

My Only: All My Loving. Written by Paul McCartney, this one epitomized the album and future songs from the Lennon-McCartney songwriting team. It’s filled with the yearning and joy that became a distinct trademark of Paul’s songs within the tandem. As well, the tight cohesion of the group in the chords and rhythms remains clearly on display throughout the 2:04 song — a length typical for the era and the group’s early work. Not released as a single in the U.S. or UK, it still got loads of radio airplay, with good reason.

My One: Don’t Bother Me. This was the first song written by George Harrison to appear on a Beatles album, and one worth promoting (even though ‘the quiet Beatle’ didn’t think much of it). The song was actually featured in the A Hard Day’s Night movie, and was a great example George’s deadpan song delivery and his underappreciated capability with lyrics.

What would be your Only and One for this album?

The entire series can be found here.

7 Responses to “Reprise » My Only and One: With The Beatles”

  1. ninvoid99

    I would probably say “All My Loving”. The Beatles were just growing w/ that album and the songs were starting to get tighter and George finally would come out with one.


  2. John Greco

    I would go with ALL MY LOVING and LITTLE CHILD, the latter showing off the influence of the Everly Bros.


  3. heyjudge

    I agree almost wholeheartedly with All My Loving. It IS the first track one thinks of when With the Beatles comes to mind. The only other one I consider is It Won’t Be Long.

    John may be talking about a girl on a micro level, but in the big picture, it feels like they were saying it won’t be long till The Fabs belonged to the world. It may have summed up the impending Beatlemania better, but alas ,All My Loving is the best track and the one that ultimately makes the record what it is.

    Perhaps it is just my overall distaste for Harrison’s writing, but I have to disagree with Don’t Bother Me. Although it is actually not that bad for an early Harrison effort, it has too much competition for me.

    ***If you don’t feel like reading a tangent skip whats between the lines***
    Aside from the aforementioned Only, this album, like most of Beatles for Sale, has managed to become an afterthought of the Beatles catalog. Many people who rank the discography will often put them 12 & 13, behind an album which was actually a double EP with 5 mostly excellent singles tacked on later by Capitol in the U.S. (though that does make Magical Mystery Tour a formidable album if we feel comfortable calling something the Beatles released as a great double EP an LP) and an album that included only four new tracks by the Beatles.

    Part of the problem, I concede, is the heavy dose of covers. Although most pop/rock musicians did not write their own music in the early 1960s, the Beatles penchant for doing so made the practice popular (especially in rock) throughout the rest of the century. Most people won’t even include the covers on their list of best Beatles songs, as if they do not count, because John, Paul, or George didn’t write them, which is absurd.

    Anyways I am off on a tangent and I apologize, I get excited when I see someone else who loves the Beatles like I do becauseI have no friends that do.
    My one would be Hold Me Tight. I know, even John and Paul (who mostly wrote it) weren’t crazy about it, which is a shame. Which, in a way, makes it even more appropriate because it did not even get the credit it deserved from it composers and performers.

    Originally written and played during the club days and eventually for Please, but brought back with new takes for With, it’s a great example of an early Beatles rocker.

    It has good rhythm, drive and energy, as well as some catchy songwriting technique. I wonder how good it could have been had they actually cared and put more effort into the song by adding a bass mix or Paul making sure his vocals were in tune instead of just considering it an album filler and “work”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • le0pard13

      Welcome, heyjudge, and thank you for such an in-depth comment. Wow…and I mean that complimentarily. Your points are well taken and thought out. We may not agree on everything, but that’s quite alright. Naturally, I’m glad to hear we at least agree on “The One”, ALL MY LOVING.

      Agree, too, that this early work has fallen by the wayside, and that skipping their splendid catalog of song covers is a disservice given how well they continue to stand up. At least among us who know and appreciate the originals. Why the Capitol release of THE BEATLES’ SECOND ALBUM remains a favorite*.

      You’ll get no argument from me re: HOLD ME TIGHT. It’s a fine number with an energy that’s palpable, catchy, and unfortunately ignored too often. And no apologies necessary for getting off on a tangent. It’ll always, like you, be welcome here. Consider me a friend who shares your passion, and will continue to do so.

      Best. 🙂

      * Heck, the Capitol albums were our gateway to The Lads back in the ’60s for those of us a certain age. 😉



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