Music Review: The Beatles’ “Please Please Me” (2009 Stereo Remaster)

Originally posted 2009-09-09 22:43:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Of all the remastered Beatles discs, the Fab Four’s debut album might seem the least likely to be the first you’d want to hear.  After all, it is their most raw effort, not only for the fact that it was their first experience in the studio but also because they were pursuing a “live” sound.  It was essentially recorded in a day under the supervision of a profoundly talented producer (George Martin) and four boys with a tremendous deal of potential (John, Paul, George, and Ringo), all five of whom had yet to re-create — or, really, create — the genre in which they would spend much of their respective careers and earn much of their respective fame.

Perhaps for all those reasons, Please Please Me is an excellent place to start.

"Please Please Me" - the Beatles' debut album, remastered for 2009!

“Please Please Me” – the Beatles’ debut album, remastered for 2009!

Amidst all the controversies over mono versus stereo, should the remasters have been remixed?, etc., Please Please Me has been released in the awkward stereo format — instrumentation at the left, vocals panned right — that would have been available only to “a small number of hi-fi enthusiasts,” as the liner notes recall.

I had to chuckle to myself as I sat in the parking lot today, cellophane wrapper on the floor and new-CD smell filling my nostrils, as I imagined how exciting and fresh this format must have been at the time, a hint of what was to come in the not-so-distant future.

For the first time today, I too was excited to purchase a Beatles album.  Each of my previous purchases of a Beatles record on CD left me feeling empty.  Sure, the music was excellent — phenomenal and mind-altering, even — but the packaging has always been far too sparse, nothing more than the cheapest of cheap jewel cases and a one-fold booklet.  The packaging of this 2009 remastered album makes it worth the purchase alone.  There are reprinted liner notes, rare photos, and a mini-documentary that, although very brief (less than four minutes), includes entertaining footage and interesting narration from all four band members as well as George Martin.

The songs themselves sound as good as they ever have.  The Beatles’ rapid ascent to pop music stardom becomes clear after hearing tracks like the energetic “I Saw Her Standing There,” the vocally superb “Please Please Me,” and George’s lead vocal debut “Do You Want to Know A Secret?”

As if these weren’t enough, the other Lennon/McCartney originals round out the set nicely — the classics “Love Me Do” and the lesser-known but equally catchy “Misery.”

Even the covers, like “Anna (Go To Him)” and “Twist and Shout,” shine almost as bright as Lennon/McCartney originals.  Although I have always maintained that “A Taste of Honey” is disposable, it is interesting to hear the first instance of Paul’s double-tracked lead vocals on a recording.

Throughout this remastered album, as with the original release, the words that continually come to mind are “energetic” and “fun.”  In all reality, the remastered tracks are merely cleaned up versions of the original mixes — the same as always with a sharper focus, so to speak.

If the past four decades are any indication, this may be the last overhaul of the Beatles catalog for a very long time.  For those of us “hi-fi enthusiasts” in 2009, it seems a shame to go on for the foreseeable future without all the Beatles’ material — arguably the most essential albums and tracks of rock and pop music — in full, lush stereo sound, each vocal and instrument standing out.

And yet, even if you feel this way, the 2009 remaster of Please Please Me — with all its simplicity and raw energy — should provide nothing but pleasant listening and reading.  And if you’re interested, make sure to check out all of our Beatles cover songs here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!

“The Other Side of Life” (Moody Blues Cover)

Originally posted 2011-07-16 04:31:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Back again with another edition of the Laptop Sessions!

This time I finally get to do a Moody Blues song. I just got the urge to do this one yesterday, so it gets first billing. It’s not my favorite of theirs, but it does remind me of listening to it while riding in the car when I was little.

I think it’s got a great beat and a cool chorus (especially how they do the drums in concert), but my father thinks it sounds a bit too much like “Dragging the Line” by Tommy James. I have to agree.




Anyway, this is the first of MANY Moodies songs to come, so stay tuned!

“Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” (Warren Zevon Cover)

Originally posted 2008-02-10 15:46:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

My two-session tribute to Warren Zevon rolls on with what is probably my favorite Warren Zevon song of all-time, “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.” You have to know that I love the song if I’m willing to sing it, mid-song swear and all. I’m not quite certain what it is about this song that I find so appealing; I’ve always found the story mysterious and exciting, and the music fits perfectly with the lyrics. I’ve heard conflicting interpretations of the final line, “Patty Hearst heard the burst of Roland’s thompson gun and bought it.” I thought it meant she was killed, but I’ve heard others read it as her buying the gun at an auction years later.

Regardless of Patty’s fate, this is one of the big check marks on my Laptop Sessions list. You can look forward to many more Zevon tunes in the future! Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for an all-new session from Jeff, whose “Greenlight” EP comes out on February 24th at fusco-moore.com/store!


“All The Days” (Original Music by Indie Songwriter Chris Moore)

Originally posted 2008-09-10 22:15:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to my favorite day, a day that comes only once every three weeks for we songwriters of the Fusco-Moore Productions music blog…  Original Wednesday!  Today, I took a trip down memory lane to my last solo release before joining the band MoU (Masters of the Universe with Jim Fusco, Mike Fusco, Becky Daly, and Cliff Huizenga).  Today, I recorded “All the Days,” the penultimate track off my EP Love Out of Fashion.  (Using “penultimate” in my post is my answer to Jim using — honest to God — the word “leviathan” properly and casually in a conversation the other day.  I didn’t even know how to pronounce the word… :-))

This was the first time I really experimented with such recording techniques as lead vocal doubletracking and sound effects such as my ZOOM guitar pedal.  I have a lot of fond memories of rushing home after school or work during the summer to record this album in the basement of my parents’ home.  I finally felt like I had mastered the computer program I used to record at the time, and I can’t count the number of mix CDs I made.  Each time I would finish the recording of tracks for a song, I would burn a CD and listen to it in my car wherever I went — to work, to school, to the store.  I’ve written on the blog here before about pulling over late at night to listen to the songs as loud as the volume would go, making mental notes of changes I would make to the final mix the next chance I got.  Lots of fond memories.

My only regret, particularly on a track like “All the Days” that I felt had a lot of promise, is that I didn’t have a way to record drums.  It’s a well-known fact that a drumbeat never hurts, especially when it comes to my playing…  It was as a result of this regret that I’ve made the resolution to never record another album unless a drummer is available and raring to go.

So, I hope you enjoy this little trip down memory lane for me; I probably haven’t played this track since I recorded it.  Well, that’s not true — I think I’ve played it once or twice, but over several years…

Oh, and I hope you’ll take a listen to the recorded version so you’ll understand why this music video starts differently from any other cover song session I’ve recorded.

Okay, that’s all for me.  Don’t forget to hurry back tomorrow for another all-new acoustic rock cover song session from Jeff.  And now, I should check on the Mets who were winning by a lot earlier, then tied, and just pulled ahead…  (Come on, Mets!!)

See you next session!