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Music / With the Beatles

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"Close your eyes and I'll kiss you;
tomorrow, I'll miss you..."
The alternate album cover for With the Beatles, used in Australia.

With the Beatles is the second studio album by The Beatles, released in 1963. It is generally seen as their first real masterpiece, and is best known for its iconic cover photograph by Robert Freeman, which has become a veritable Stock Parody, and the hit song "All My Loving". George Harrison makes his songwriting debut with "Don't Bother Me". Other songs that have become fan favourites are "It Won't Be Long", "Please Mister Postman" and "Money (That's What I Want)".

Coincidentally, it was first released on the 22nd of November 1963, the same day John F. Kennedy was assassinated.


Side One

  1. "It Won't Be Long"
  2. "All I've Got to Do"
  3. "All My Loving"
  4. "Don't Bother Me"
  5. "Little Child"
  6. "Till There Was You"
  7. "Please Mister Postman"

Side Two

  1. "Roll Over Beethoven"
  2. "Hold Me Tight"
  3. "You Really Got a Hold on Me"
  4. "I Wanna Be Your Man"
  5. "Devil in Her Heart"
  6. "Not a Second Time"
  7. "Money (That's What I Want)"

Principal Members:

  • George Harrison - lead and backing vocals, guitar,
  • John Lennon - lead and backing vocals, guitar, harmonica, organ, tambourine
  • Paul McCartney - lead and backing vocals, bass, piano, claves
  • Ringo Starr - lead vocals, drums, percussion, tambourine, maracas, bongo

And I'll send all my troping to you:

  • All Lower Case Letters: The lettering on the album cover.
  • Break Up Song: "Not A Second Time", where the protagonist swears he won't give his former partner a second chance.
  • Call-and-Response Song: "Devil in Her Heart" has alternating lines between the lovestruck protagonist (George) and his friends (John and Paul) warning him that his heart is about to be broken.
  • The Cover Changes the Gender: The original 1961 song by The Donays was "Devil in His Heart".
  • Cover Version: "Till There Was You" from The Music Man, "Please Mister Postman" by The Marvelettes, "Roll Over Beethoven" by Chuck Berry, "You Really Got A Hold On Me" by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, "Devil in Her Heart" by The Donays (written by Richard Drapkin) and "Money (That's What I Want)" by Barrett Strong (written by Janie Bradford and Berry Gordy).
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: "Little Child"
    Little child, little child won't you dance with me?
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The album cover is shot in black-and-white.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: The iconic album cover photographed by Robert Freeman, which has been imitated and copied by many other pop bands ever since. It's a masterpiece of simple, yet eye-catching design, making the band appear both glamorous and mysterious. The photographic composition of the four faces, illuminated by the light, also makes them stand out against the shadowy background.
  • Establishing Character Moment: "Don't Bother Me", as his first song, establishes quite a bit of George Harrison's musical persona. The lyrics, besides fitting in with his "quiet Beatle" image, are a bit of an Anti-Love Song, in contrast to what Lennon and McCartney were doing at the time, showing him to be lyrically adventurous. Then that's coupled with a minor-chorded Latin-style feel, showing him to be the Beatle most open to foreign musical influences and non-standard sounds.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: The iconic album cover shows each of the Beatles' faces half in shadow.
  • Floating Head Syndrome: The Beatles' heads on the album cover.
  • "I Want" Song: "I Wanna Be Your Man".
  • Leave Me Alone!: "Don't Bother Me" is about someone who wants his former partner to leave him alone.
    So go away, leave me alone, don't bother me
  • Love Letter: Both "All My Loving" ("and then while I'm away, I'll write home every day") and "Please Mr. Postman" mention love letters.
  • Money Song: "Money (That's What I Want)"
    Now give me money... that's... what I want
  • Non-Appearing Title: The album title.
  • Shout-Out: "Roll Over Beethoven" to Ludwig van Beethoven.
  • Silly Love Songs: Virtually all songs, except for "Money (That's What I Want)".
  • Step Up to the Microphone: George Harrison sings lead vocals on "Don't Bother Me" (his first solo songwriting effort), "Roll Over Beethoven" and the solo parts on the Call-and-Response Song "Devil in Her Heart", plus prominent harmony vocals on "Please Mister Postman", "You Really Got A Hold On Me" and "Money (That's What I Want)". Ringo Starr sings lead vocals on "I Wanna Be Your Man".
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: In the US, Meet the Beatles, which used the same cover photo and had nine of the album's 14 songs.note  In Canada, Beatlemania! With the Beatles, which fully replicated the UK tracklist and also used the cover photo and Tony Barrow's liner notes, but added blurbs on the front cover.