Where (and what) constitutes the divide between early and late era Beatles for you?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Kim Olesen, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    Eastern Shore
    I think the dividing line is Revolver, because 1966 was the year that Brian Epstein, who had guided their career from the beginning, appears to have lost control. They stopped touring, and since concert coordination had become his primary function, he didn't have much to do for them, free to engage in his often destructive side activities, including trying to sell NEMS and his rights to Robert Stigwood, which irritated the group immensely. Fresh from the insanity of Lennon's US Jesus remark mania and the Philippines debacle, George announced that he was ready to quit and, judging from the delay in resigning with EMI, so were the others. Note that their five-year management agreement with Epstein expired in late January 1967. When they finally emerged with a new record deal around that time, there was a new dynamic to the group, reflected in their music, which, to me, was not as appealing as what had gone down before. Notably, George had only one song on Pepper's, on which none of the others played. Something fundamental appears to have changed during the months' -long decision to re-up. Things were not the same, from all appearances.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
    Mr-Beagle and angelo73 like this.
  2. jamesmaya

    jamesmaya Forum Resident

    Mudwest, CA
    There are no correct answers, of course. The divide in my mind was 1967, all for arbitrary reasons. No more touring, Sgt. Peppers, the Fab Four got hairier, druggier......This is like asking what the dividing point was between the "early-Sixties" and the "late-Sixties".
    angelo73, Awesome Connor and Craig like this.
  3. musicfan37

    musicfan37 Forum Resident

    1st The touring years and 2nd the studio only years.
    angelo73 and Awesome Connor like this.
  4. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    angelo73 likes this.
  5. varispeed

    varispeed what if?

    Los Angeles Ca
    I agree that correct answers are a personal thing. Part of my brain link is the way the local kids "were" around me at particular Beatles release waypoints. Strong link there for me. Sooooooo.....

    Early period is everything single/albumwise up through Beatles For Sale/Beatles65/BeatlesVi (to show you where I was located)
    Middle period is everything album/singlewise after above and up through the Lady Madonna single release
    Late period begins for me with the White album, Hey Jude etc and onward through the Let It Be album.

    If I had to limit to only early/late, I'd use the White Album as the transition to late. But I personally see/feel three levels based on the little life I was living in those days.
    angelo73 and longaway like this.
  6. Roger Thornhill

    Roger Thornhill Forum Resident

    Ilford, Essex, UK
    Dividing line is August 1966.

    End of touring
    Release of Revolver
    angelo73 likes this.
  7. dtuck90

    dtuck90 Forum Resident

    Early ends with Help! Then Rubber Soul is a transition into the later period that begins with Revolver
    angelo73 likes this.
  8. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Yup. I never thought of the band as just "early/late" - "mid" was too distinctive on its own! :righton:

    If forced to go early/late, I'll follow the herd and say 1967-1970 is "late"...
  9. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond Temporarily mothballed..

    Leicester, UK.
    Without giving it a great deal of thought, one time I'd have said the obvious would be SFF. But then as TNK was recorded prior to it, then that cancels that out.

    But I always think of them having 4 eras anyway: Early/Mid-Period/Psychedelia/Back-To-Basics. But the lines are crosses to and fro on their albums after a time, so it's really only a vague point of reference., for me anyway. :)

    If I had my arm twisted up my back, I'd be inclined to say Revolver because there were a lot of different approaches to recording and orchestration on that album and was a big shift, even compared with Rubber Soul as some of the tracks on that wouldn't be out of place on Help (and indeed Wait was originally intended for it.)
    angelo73 likes this.
  10. Fletch

    Fletch Forum Resident

    New York
    Between Revolver and Pepper
    angelo73 likes this.
  11. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Odense Denmark.
    And add to that, really none Revolver tracks would sound at home on Rubber Soul.
    angelo73 and OneStepBeyond like this.
  12. Evan L

    Evan L Beatologist

    angelo73 likes this.
  13. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond Temporarily mothballed..

    Leicester, UK.
    I was thinking this. :agree:

    The only one that could come anyway near is I'm Only Sleeping but that might be mainly because it has a prominent acoustic guitar on it. It would have to be a very different version too.. probably less 'dense' production (like the ADT on John's vocal) and certainly no backwards lead guitar!
    angelo73 likes this.
  14. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    Rubber Soul...not and... after.
    angelo73 likes this.
  15. PlushFieldHarpy

    PlushFieldHarpy Forum Resident

    Mid period begins with Rubber Soul and ends with The White Album. I base this on the fact that it was the only Beatles that I was interested in when I first got into them. Late period is Abbey Road and Let It Be.
    angelo73 likes this.
  16. dino77

    dino77 Well-Known Member

    Rubber Soul. But the first signs of "maturity", in effect songs about other things than boy-meets-girl, begin on side one of Beatles For Sale - "I'm A Loser", "Baby's In black" - though the rest of the album is standard fare for the time.
  17. ChrisScooter1

    ChrisScooter1 Forum Resident

    Athens, GA
    The Paperback Writer/Rain single for me and here's why...

    That single, actually the moment one flips that 45 over is when the movie goes color for me. Paperback Writer, while awash in distorted guitar, still has the last bits of the mop top populist vibe for me. It's a simple McCartney story line with a simple chord structure. Yes, it's got echo, distortion and other tricks on it, but the effects and story line are never subverted for the overall effect of the song.

    Rain on the other hand, has a lyrical symbolism and maturity that signals the direction Lennon would continue with for the rest of his career. The backwards effects are not just sonic dressing, but an integral part of the composition.
    angelo73 and Tim S like this.
  18. G E

    G E Forum Resident

    For me the break happens with what follows the B side "I'm Down"
    angelo73 likes this.
  19. humpf

    humpf Allowed to write something here.

    Why would not "And Your Bird Can Sing", "Good Day Sunshine" or "For No One" sound at home on Rubber Soul?
    angelo73 and Awesome Connor like this.
  20. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    NC USA
    I detect four more or less distinct phases, traceable by Lennon's main guitars. (If you want to reduce it to common denominators, it's Rickenbacker/Casino eras.)

    Natural Rickenbacker (1960-1962).

    Black Rickenbacker (1963-1965).
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Sunburst Casino (1966-1967).

    Natural Casino (stripped); (1968-1969).
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
    angelo73 likes this.
  21. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Odense Denmark.
    Rubber Soul still have that "live band" feel. None of the Revolver tracks has that. And none pf the mentioned songs have counterparts on RS that has the same approach/sound.
    angelo73 likes this.
  22. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo

    The Monkees changed the rules and eventually outsold the Beatles in 1967. You pretty much have to go with late 1966 for the Monkees factor alone. You can start to hear the Monkees influence upon The Beatles months later in 1967. "Getting Better" is a knock off of "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) with the same theme of looking to the future. 1967 is also when The Beatles became Monkees groupies and praised them for being like the Marx Brothers. In the long run, The Beatles were fain to compete with The Monkees due to lacking The Monkees' chemistry and zest for life.
    905, Robin L, longaway and 1 other person like this.
  23. Gems-A-Bems

    Gems-A-Bems Forum Resident

    The Duke City
    I'm not sure I agree with that.

    Everything goes together on "Yesterday And Today", though. Except for "Yesterday"!
    angelo73 likes this.
  24. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    After LBJ changed the rules and ousted the Beatles from the studio. After Elvis was invited into the white house and began residing there, the Monkees were created then quickly & secretly disbanded in order to record the white album. Since the Beatles weren't able to indulge in (authentic) Monkees-mania for long, they were stunned and ended up watching other people make their final records. Thats why Miles Davis agreed to influence Zappa so the B-side of Let It Be could be made.
    Jakobean, Robin L and Bill like this.
  25. For me it's 'Sgt. Peppers' in 1967. The 'curveball' of pop music that nobody saw coming.
    angelo73, Awesome Connor and Mal like this.

Share This Page