Top 3 Must Have Beatles Albums.

This list of the top 3 must have Beatles albums are chosen not for records sales or how often they appear on “best of” lists. These albums are chosen because they best represent specific points in the evolution of the band and its sound.

I’m not a music critic. I’m just a huge Beatles fan, and this is my list.

Top 3 Must Have Beatles Albums

Rubber Soul

Beatles-rubber-soul-cover

Rubber Soul represents the band at a nexus of what it was and what it would become. Here, The Beatles are still operating very much like a live band, but are beginning to take liberties available only to studio recording.

New instrumentation and recording methods were being used, and the Beatles began experimenting more with the recording process as well as the song writing process.

For example, George Martin played a very nice piano solo in the song In My Life but that wasn’t enough for the Beatles. They decided to speed the tape up as it was played back and mixed into the rest of the recording. The result is what sounds very much like a harpsichord, but is clearly not a harpsichord. A truly unique sounding solo.

Altering the tape speeds of recorded passages when played back would become a often used technique in later albums like Revolver and The White Album.

Norwegian Wood is probably the most well known and famous example of new instrumentation. I believe it is officially known as the first use of a Sitar in a rock/folk recording.

In many ways, Rubber Soul marks the end of the unified Beatles sound. They were clearly still engaged and playing as a band here. The albums that follow Soul begin to show more of the individual personalities breaking through.

Revolver is a prime example of this. In fact, in many ways Revolver is the clearest example as McCartney’s songs are heavily melodic while Lennon’s favor more biting rock elements. A definite sign of things to come.

All of which leads nicely into our next must have Beatles album…

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Beatles-sgt-pepper-cover

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is sometimes called the first “concept album”, but that’s a very loose interpretation of the phrase.

It all stems from the Beatles decision to stop touring and focus instead on recording, and Paul’s uneasy feelings about that. McCartney is a performer at heart. It’s why he went back to basics after the Beatles broke up and began touring small venues with a new band. It’s in his blood.

So faced with this drive to perform, but being a part of a band no longer performing live he decided to stage a performance on record as an imaginary band. Thus the concept for Pepper was born.

It’s inclusion on this list is really a no brainer, but here are some main reasons:

  • It’s the pinnacle of the Beatles psychedelic phase
  • It’s a truly revolutionary recording from the way it was recorded down to the songwriting
  • It established the Beatles as artists
  • It inspired countless other bands to step up their game

The recording innovation on Pepper are legendary and too extensive to go into here, but suffice it to say that every assumption was questioned and new ideas were tried with a luxury not allowed on previous efforts.

Songs were inspired by everything from transcendental meditation to newspaper headlines and children’s drawings. This is the Beatles at their most creative and inspired.

Abbey Road

Abbey Road is The Beatles’ swan song and what a song! It’s a real tribute to everything The Beatles were that they were able to end their time together on such a high note.

beatles-four-strangers

“Four Strangers” by Linda McCartney

After all the acrimonious disintegration through The White Album and Let it Be, these “four strangers” came together once again as friends in what they instinctively knew would be their last effort together. They put aside much of their differences and focused on breaking new ground yet again.

Working with their magic team of George Martin, and Geoff Emerick, this is easily one of the best Beatles albums as well as a perennial entry on “Best rock albums of all time” lists.

Abbey Road sounds different from the albums that proceed it because it has a greater sense of unity and is in many ways a return to form of who the Beatles were.

In short, Abbey Road is the culmination of the evolution the Beatles experienced beginning in the early days at the Cavern Club, becoming the first mega-band in history, re-inventing the genre and the business and eventually falling apart. They went through a tremendous amount of growth in just 7 years, and it shows.

Musically speaking, there are new innovations (yet again) and it is a remarkable cohesive album when compared with The White Album and Let It Be.

The Beatles are, for the most part, much more mature in their approach and very restrained in many cases. This is not overindulgence for the sake of it. Where earlier albums experimented with ideas and took them to their logical conclusion sometimes at the expense of the song, Abbey Road employs many of those ideas where they can best help the song and no more.

I think the best example of this is the medley on the second half of the album. If this was Let It Be, those song fragments would have been left as just that, and then Phil Specter would have fleshed out and watered them down to full tracks amounting to little less than filler. Instead, the Beatles masterfully stitched these fragments together in one of the best medleys of all recorded history. And then wrap up the whole affair with yet another medley culminating with The End

Could there be a better ending to the last Beatles album?

beatles-abbey-road-cover

The End sees each of the four members take a solo before the final bow, and in classic Beatles style, they leave us with Her Majesty – a 23 second long snippet of a song not listed on the track listing or liner notes. This could be the first hidden track on a rock album.

In all, much of the success that was The Beatles is the result of an unbeatable combination of the lads from Liverpool, George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick.

Together, these men (and many others behind the scenes) changed musically history not just forever, but for the better.

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Peavey Raptor Backstage II Electric Guitar and Amp Value Pack Review.

This review of the Peavey Raptor Backstage II Electric Guitar and Amp Value Pack is broken down into 3 main parts: peavey raptor backstage pack, the Backstage amp, and the Raptor guitar itself.

The Peavey Raptor is a good, basic but versatile guitar. Excellent for beginners with a tight budget.

 

Peavey Raptor Backstage Pack

The Raptor Backstage II Pack is an excellent way to start an aspiring guitarist on the right path. Not only does this guitar pack include everything needed to start playing electric guitar, but it also includes the Total Musician Series™ instructional DVD to help kick-start beginners.

Peavey Raptor Backstage II Electric Guitar and Amp Value Pack Review

What’s included:

  • Raptor® Plus EX guitar
  • Transtube® Backstage® amp
  • nylon gig bag
  • digital tuner
  • strap
  • extra strings
  • cable
  • picks

(and of course, the Total Musician Series™ instructional DVD )

Peavey Backstage Amp

Peavey’s Backstage amp is a 10-watt, solid state amp that uses their patented TransTube technology to emulate the sound, warmth and “push back” of tube amplifiers. The Backstage also includes a separate input for jamming along to your favorite tracks on CD or mp3 player and a headphone input so you don’t disturb the neighbors.

  • 6″ custom-designed speaker
  • TransTube® preamp with 2 switchable channels
  • Volume and TransTube Overdrive controls
  • 2-band (hi -low) EQ
  • Tape/CD input for practice
  • Headphone jack
  • 10W (RMS)

Peavey Raptor® Plus EX electric guitar

Peavey’s Raptor® Plus EX electric guitar is a 25-1/2″ scale solid body guitar that’s well constructed and comfortable to play.

Feature include:

  • Dual-expanding truss rod with wrenchless, easy access adjustment wheel
  • 3 pickups – 1 Humbucker, and 2 single coil (HSS) configuration
  • Tremolo bridge
  • Master volume and tone controls
  • 5-way pickup selector, hum canceling in second and fourth position
  • Dual action torsion rod
  • The HSS pickup configuration provides for extra versatility in tone.

Here’s an example of the Raptor sound during the solo of the Beatles’ Let It Be, so you can see what it’s capable of:

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Guitar Center Coupon Codes for August, 2012.

Guitar Center has unleashed some great deals for it’s 48th anniversary this month, and I’ve got the coupon codes for you!

Originally known as The Vox Center, in 1964, Guitar Center began by selling Vox guitars and amplifiers. Vox was the preeminent brand in those days thanks to The Beatles. Once Clapton and other guitarists made Marshall a brand name, The Vox Center became the more generic Guitar Center we know and love today.

But enough about the history, let’s celebrate!

Coupon codes and deals for August 2012

International shipping

And a reminder – Guitar Center Now Ships Internationally to over 90 countries!

Great deals

Guitar Center has a reputation for quality and being competitive in its pricing. That makes events like their 48th anniversary sales all the more special – you know you’re getting quality and a great price!

Whether you’re a beginner looking to start a journey down the road of becoming a guitarist (Starcaster Stratocaster Electric Guitar Value Pack), or an experienced player looking to upgrade (Gibson Les Paul Standard Traditional Pro Electric Guitar), this can be the moment you’ve been waiting for.

The Guitar Center 48th Anniversary Sale is great for upgrading your guitar rig or expanding your recording capabilities through software packages or improve your gigging experience with things like JBL’s EON 210P Portable PA System.

What are you waiting for? Stop reading this bog (for now) and head over to Guitar Center already!

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