60 years ago today, The Beatles’ second album, With The Beatles, was released by Parlophone Records. This album, like their first album, Please Please Me, featured a mix of covers and original songs, including It Won’t Be Long and Hold Me Tight, among others. With The Beatles is full of the classic early Beatles sound which made practically every teenage girl around the world scream and jump at the mere thought of their music.
Five years later, on this same date, the Beatles released another album. This one, while self titled, has long become known as the White Album, and the change in sound of the band over the years was as stark as the album cover’s all white design. Having left the grueling schedule of touring the world and live concert performances, the band could now focus on experimental compositions and instrumentation which they simply could not do on a stage. Of course, the experimenting went beyond the music, and the influence of the hallucinogenic and psychotropic drugs showed. I think it’s safe to say that Revolution 9 was not written while sober. On the other hand, we see the progress George Harrison made as a song writer, from Don’t Bother Me on With The Beatles to While My Guitar Gently Weeps on the White Album.
It’s enlightening to see how quickly The Beatles evolved in such a short time, and we can only wonder where the Beatles would have gone if they hadn’t gone their separate ways after Let It Be. John Lennon considered the Electric Light Orchestra the “Sons of The Beatles”, and it’s not hard to believe that at least Lennon would have moved the needle for The Beatles in that direction. All four of The Beatles continued their experimental and progressive song writing as solo artists, as well, but we can only speculate what could have been if The Beatles continued on or reunited.