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!

“Lost!” (Coldplay Cover)

Originally posted 2008-08-12 18:47:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

Good evening, and welcome to your Tuesday edition of The Laptop Sessions. It’s Jeff today bringing you another great acoustic cover video. We’re continuing to roll along with session-a-day in the middle of August.

It feels weird to bring you an acoustic cover video that isn’t from Pink Floyd, after nearly two weeks of the Pink Floyd Hat Trick. I hope you enjoyed those, but I also hope you’re ready for another familiar band here at the Sessions.

The band today is Coldplay, and I am covering my first song from the album “Viva La Vida”. The song is “Lost!”, which isn’t really an acoustic song. It has a rock beat with an organ playing the main chords. There is a guitar solo (what song isn’t complete without one) and there are a couple of electric guitar riffs in the recording. I love this song because of its infectious chorus (“Oh and I’m just waiting ’till the shine wears off”) and its straightforward chord progression. It is cool to here this song with the acoustic treatment, because neither recording that I have heard of this song (the piano and album versions) has an acoustic guitar.

You’ll notice the unusual background – I recorded this song in our hotel room in Vermont. So if you’re in the VT area listening to this, it could’ve been recorded down the street from you. On that note, the acoustics are not that great, and I didn’t want to play louder than usual because I didn’t want to attract too much attention from the neighbors.

Well, i’ll see you again on Friday, and I know you’ll come back to hear another original song for Original Wednesday, here on laptopsessions.com – the best acoustic cover video blog on the internet!!!

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and origianal music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!

“Suzanne” (Leonard Cohen Cover)

Originally posted 2008-12-06 18:31:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Hi all!  I’m coming to you tonight on time for once, well before the midnight mark on my day to record an acoustic cover song music video.  Yes, it’s just after 5:00pm.  Now, you may be wondering, what act of God has caused Chris to post on time for once?

Well, the answer is quite simple.

I’m on my way out with Jim and Becky to follow up on an invitation from his cousin Sarah to have a holiday get-together.  I don’t know what that exactly entails, but I DO know that we will be watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  That’s just what I need to jump-start this Christmas.  It’s been kind of difficult to get into the spirit of the season for a couple reasons.  Even our perfectly symmetrical (with only a little work from Jim with his hacksaw) Christmas tree hasn’t brought the Christmas spirit into my soul.

So, what better way to fix that problem than to watch one of my favorite yuletide films?

Also, I keep forgetting to grab my Christmas CDs from the shelf, so I haven’t been listening to holiday music.  I can’t wait to break out the Moody Blues, Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, Barenaked Ladies, and America albums.  And, I didn’t mean to at first, but I pretty much listed them in order from my absolute favorites to my favorites.

Okay, I’m rushing this post because we really have to go.  I’m — big surprise — the only thing making us late right now, so it’s time to end this cheesy un-proofread post with a simple final paragraph…

This is my cover song version of Leonard Cohen’s classic sixties acoustic song “Suzanne.”  I’ve been listening to the 30 song PLUS “essential” Leonard Cohen songs the past two weeks, and this is certainly one of my favorites.  This song and the one I recorded a couple sessions ago, “No Way to Say Goodbye,” are so different from his later sound, but there’s plenty more Laptop Sessions left…  I’ll probably cover “Ain’t No Cure for Love” among others in the future.

For now, though, enjoy this early Leonard Cohen song and I’ll see you next session!

“Counting Blue Cars” (Dishwalla Cover)

Originally posted 2008-07-13 21:46:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

Good evening and welcome to your Sunday Sunday Sunday edition of the Laptop Sessions (the preceding quote stolen from Jim Fusco – i’m sure he’s ecstatic I took it away from him). Today I continue a little binge of mine and bring you another song from my teenage years, and I go back to a band and album I have covered before.

However, this time it’s probably a song you’ve heard.

While this song is considered by many to be a “One hit wonder”, I think the album itself is one of my personal favorites, and is quite strong. Now, that could be a bit biased because of nostalgia, but it’s how I feel at least. The band is Dishwalla, and today I bring you their song “Counting Blue Cars” from their album “Pet Your Friends”. I have always enjoyed this song and it is always the song I refer to when i’m trying to explain to someone who Dishwalla is. “Hey, remember that song with the line ‘tell me all your thoughts on God’?”. Invariably, they’d remember.

On this performance I did alter the way I sing a little bit. Please let me know if you like this a little better. I’m experimenting with some singing styles other than my own “standard” voice. This song is a good one to try since I can emulate the lead singers voice quite well. Also, the chorus is the tough area in this song. I played around with singing the first line an octave down, but it sounds way out of place for me. Therefore, this is certainly a WYSIWYG video. I think the only shaky time for me was the very first chorus – the other four times I had to sing the line in question I think I did just fine.

Thank you for checking us out this evening, and come back tomorrow for another jubilant Jim Fusco acoustic cover song. Laptop-Session-a-day continues to roll along and we’re glad you’re aboard for the ride. Only from the best acoustic cover video blog on the internet!

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and origianal music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!