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. I agree. "Please Please Me" through "Beatles For Sale" feels like the certain earlier era.
    I tend to put "Help" at the end of the early albums & say it's my fave earlier one (from those early ones I dig them in reverse order- though "Beatles For Sale" & "A Hard Day's Night" are very close)...but... a good case could be made for "Help" being the first of the later era. I think it, more so than "Rubber Soul", is the primary transitional album.
    Certainly "Rubber Soul" & onward to the finish constitutes the later era- of which I could never choose a favorite...love them all & see that as the greatest run of albums ever.
  2. Gems-A-Bems

    Gems-A-Bems Forum Resident

    The Duke City
    As long as you don't swallow it
  3. Evan L

    Evan L Beatologist

  4. bhazen

    bhazen Binaural-Curious

    Newcastle, WA
    The plane ride home after the Candlestick Park concert marks the dividing line for me, if one simply must be chosen.
  5. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    No problem:

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  6. majoyenrac

    majoyenrac Forum Resident

    To me Rubber Soul is the end of the early Beatles (it's the transition to later Beatles album) as none of revolver's tracks could fit on an early Beatles album, while a few rubber soup tracks (the word, run for your life, maybe even nowhere man) could fit on help! Or AHDN
  7. HoundsOBurkittsville

    HoundsOBurkittsville Deep Wine List Sonic Equivalency

    Columbus, Ohio
    Two songs in particular represent the line of demarcation: "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Love You To." For me, both tracks signify the onset of the group's late era musical output.

    Everything that came before can be cleanly classified as pop music, of one sort or another.

    But the two aforementioned numbers were radical departures from the standard pop structure. Melody and beautifully-rendered harmonies were shelved in favor of dissonance, tape loops, heavy --- Indian and other worldly --- atmosphere and an overall hypnotically droning quality.

    Any semblance of a rocking pop sound had been relegated to backseat status, and The Beatles never would revisit that type of pop music, on a consistent basis, for the remainder of their career.
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  8. Sister Disco

    Sister Disco Forum Resident

    Personally I've always considered Rubber Soul and before to be "early Beatles", while Sgt. Pepper and later is "late Beatles".

    Revolver is kind of the odd one out; you can definitely see it pointing the direction to the future, but there are still traces of the moptop jingle jangle pop style from the previous albums on there. Not to mention, it was the last album made when the Beatles were still touring, and the last before they grew mustaches. :p

    Really, I'd say Revolver is neither early Beatles nor later Beatles; rather, it's sort of its own thing.
  9. colgems1966

    colgems1966 Garage/Psych

    I see it as three era also broken down this way:

    1) early mop top era......Help is the turning point there IMO
    2) Rubber Soul and Revolver are an era of their own and my favorite
    3)Pepper and everything after ....late era

    If I was forced to put an exact year on it 1966 is the turning point but it really isn't that simple or easy to define.
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  10. francocozzolives

    francocozzolives Active Member

    Well, it's like this. There was the pre-India Beatles. Then there was the post-India period:

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  11. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Marysville, WA
    If I had to divide the output into just two eras, which is a stretch, I'd say that the Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields single is the dividing line, but it's a tough call, I think.
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  12. Diamond Star Halo

    Diamond Star Halo Forum Resident

    Late Beatles begins with Revolver.
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  13. Dr. Mudd

    Dr. Mudd Forum Resident

    I really don't care much for the Beatles pre Rubber Soul. So thats my dividing line.
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  14. Awesome Connor

    Awesome Connor New Member

    Temecula, CA
    Early- Please Please Me- Revolver

    They had mop tops, toured, and had clean faces.

    Late- Sgt Pepper- Let it Be

    Hairy, hairy, and were a studio band
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  15. That's my general rule too. But there are some tracks on "Help" that I think would fit on "Rubber Soul", so my rule isn't as rigid as it used to be.
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  16. williamjoel

    williamjoel Forum Resident

    Orlando, FL
    If I had to pick a spot, I'd pick there. It seemed like they didn't 'want to hold your hand' any longer.
  17. Tim S

    Tim S Forum Resident

    East Tennessee
    Rain. I don't even want to say the paperback writer/rain single, because Paperback writer itself isn't very innovative - it's a decent single, but Rain is a whole new thing.
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  18. If I Can Dream_23

    If I Can Dream_23 Forum Resident

    United States
    It's really more a step by step evolution than one stark break that separated old and new. Still, if forced to pick the most dramatic break it would be this semi-significant album that a few people know of...

    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) :)

    In a sense, one could say that everything the Beatles did prior was just building ladders to reach this "ultimate ladder".

    One has to not only look at how the music itself was a radical break from their prior albums (song segues, importance and function of sequencing, concepts, and recently invented and previously used studio effects pushed to their most obvious extremes) but also the culture shift and the look of the Fab Four themselves. You look at the Pepper cover and these four young men now look completely different from the back cover of Revolver (a mere half year earlier). For my money, they actually look cooler on the latter, but that is neither here nor there to how different they appear on Pepper.

    This is also very evident in watching the "break after giving up touring" segment on the Anthology dvd's. You see John pull up in his car with the facial hair and the whole "scene" of this group seems to be entering a distinct new phase, even from just a half year ago. Add in their re-appearance via the "Strawberry Fields Forever" promo video and it's clear that, for them, everything prior to this new song was suddenly yesterday's news!

    Again, I'm not saying Strawberry or Pepper needs to be their "greatest" work, or that they looked "better" starting in 1967. I'm just saying that, for me, everything prior to 1967 (more or less) could still be lumped together as a series of fast-growing, often groundbreaking though still structured steps. But by Strawberry and Pepper, this was now a band exploring a whole other level through art, with eyes that were now much more seasoned and yet freshly aware of the times and what was happening around them.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
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  19. Jimmy B.

    Jimmy B. Forum Resident

    Early is Please Please Me through Help!
    Late is from Sgt. Pepper on.

    Actually for me things changed starting with Revolver.
    A great album of course, but I'll take what came before it over it.
    Maybe the real early Beatles period is up through and including A Hard Day's Night.
    That's the best.
    The reason for Beatlemania - you wouldn't get that from any other albums, the excitement those and their early singles like She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand caused.
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  20. NothingBrightAboutIt

    NothingBrightAboutIt Forum Resident

    First EMI session-End of 1964 World Tour: First era, Merseybeat and Beatlemania
    Beatles For Sale sessions-End of 1966 Tour: Slowly becoming more introspective and experimental, finally reaching a peak where they can no longer be moptops.
    Sgt. Peppers' sessions-"Lady Madonna" sessions: The Beatles basking in creativity. Despite Revolver seemingly belonging to this era, the Beatles hadn't fully dropped the "moptop" shackles yet. Epstein's death would shake things, but the Beatles kept at it right before they left for Rishikesh.
    Return from Rishikesh-Breakup: For the last two or so years as a band, they pretty much maintained the same style, a hard blues rock with some progressive elements (notably on Abbey Road). Arguably the trip to Rishikesh affected their song output for the next few years, with songs finding their way onto solo releases years later ("Cosmically Conscious" wasn't released until 1993!)
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  21. Jimmy B.

    Jimmy B. Forum Resident

    Oh, the divide - Rubber Soul and then the Paperback Writer single, absolutely.
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  22. coniferouspine

    coniferouspine Forum Resident

    John's plane ride home after India is another important one that might be considered as well.
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  23. Tartifless

    Tartifless Forum Resident

    I would say the end of the touring years is the line. So Revolver would be included in the first era.
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  24. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    Musically - Rubber Soul.
    Mustaches - Sgt. Pepper
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  25. Whirl-Fred

    Whirl-Fred Active Member

    To me there are many changing factors:
    - End of Live Concerts
    - change of style (clothing, hair, HAIR)
    - end of two-albums-a-year-pressure
    - end of individual Capitol albums
    - John Lennon meeting Yoko Ono
    Almost all of these happened in late summer/atumn '66, which is confirmed by the red and blue albums (and in a way also with the album title REVOLVER) and flying over this thread i get the impression that most her do agree.
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