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Spotlights

The Beatles: 1962-'64

by Justin Farrar

The Beatles: 1962-'64

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In the autumn of 1962, a little known act from Liverpool, England, released their debut single, “Love Me Do.” The pop ditty’s warm charms and fresh sound delivered a tantalizing hint at the future. Over the next two years, The Beatles would become the biggest band on the planet thanks to a seemingly bottomless well of pop classics: “She Loves You,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Please Please Me,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and the deliriously frantic “A Hard Day’s Night.” Novel, inventive and vibrating with energy, these timeless tunes perfectly capture the intoxicating rush of pop music’s evolution. At the same time, the young Beatles’ maturation as composers and lyricists was swift and stunning. Deep cuts such as “Things We Said Today” and the furiously obstinate “You Can’t Do That” are soaked in sulkiness, self-doubt and even anger -- the polar opposite of the feel-good vibes associated with their hits. Toward the end of 1964, the quartet released the moody, folk-informed Beatles for Sale album. It’s mind blowing to think the group that released “Love Me Do” just 2 years earlier was now recording emotionally complex tales like “I’m a Loser” and “No Reply.” Simply fabulous.

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