The Beatles – Rock ‘N’ Roll Music (1976) – 2 Lp
The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
Artist: The Beatles
Title: Rock ‘N’ Roll Music
Label: EMI-Bovema Holland Records
Catalog# 5C 178-06137/8
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Music” is a compilation album by The Beatles that consists of previously released Beatles tracks.
The double album was issued on 7 June 1976. Some in the media speculated that the album was released to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first meeting between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. (If that was indeed the intention, EMI miscalculated, as the two actually first met in July 1957.)
The title, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Music”, presumably came from the song of the same name by Chuck Berry, The Beatles’ version of which is included on side two of the original two-record set. The album is primarily made up of cover versions of songs written by significant rock and roll composers of the ’50s, including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins and Larry Williams, although some notable Lennon–McCartney originals, such as “Drive My Car”, “Revolution”, “Back in the U.S.S.R.” and “Get Back” are included also. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Music” was the first Beatles album to include “I’m Down”, which had previously only been available as the B-side of the “Help!” single.
Controversy surrounded the album’s artwork, which featured an embossed colour portrait of The Beatles against a shiny silver background, with the album’s title spelled out in what is presumed to be neon lights. Symbols of the 1950s were used on the inside of the album’s gatefold sleeve, including a jukebox, an outdoor movie screen with a picture of Marilyn Monroe, a 1957 Chevrolet, a cheeseburger, and a glass of Coca-Cola. 1950s nostalgia was at a peak around the time the album was released and Capitol was clearly attempting to cash in on the trend.
As The Beatles were a ’60s band, the album cover prompted Ringo Starr to complain to Rolling Stone: “It made us look cheap and we never were cheap. All that Coca-Cola and cars with big fins was the Fifties!” Lennon was also critical of the artwork and wrote an angry letter to Capitol Records saying it “looks like a Monkees reject” and instead suggested the use of photos by Astrid Kirchherr or Jürgen Vollmer, both of whom had photographed the band during their Hamburg days. Lennon had also offered to design the cover himself, but was declined.
This album is described as “troubled” by Beatles producer George Martin in his autobiography, as he was asked by Bhaskar Menon, the president of Capitol at the time, to approve the tapes they intended to use, and he was “appalled” because they were some of the early twin-track mono tapes they had made and were going to be transferred to stereo for the issue.
Instead of approving the album as it was presented to him, Martin reworked the already mixed tapes for every song. Some of the song editing is not clean: for instance, the beginning of the crossfade of “Dear Prudence” can be heard during the fade of “Back in the U.S.S.R.”, as originally issued on the “White Album”. Another example can be found towards the end of “Birthday”, where Starr’s count-in to “Yer Blues” is clearly audible.
EMI Records in Britain refused to use Martin’s reworked Capitol tapes, citing The Beatles’ strict instructions that any reissues had to be exactly as originally recorded.
1. Twist and Shout (2:33)
2. I Saw Her Standing There (2:52)
3. You Can’t Do That (2:33)
4. I Wanna Be Your Man (1:56)
5. I Call Your Name (2:05)
6 . Boys (2:24)
7. Long Tall Sally (2:00)
1. Rock and Roll Music (2:30)
2. Slow Down (2:54)
3. Medley: “Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey (2:31)
4. Money (That’s What I Want) (2:47)
5. Bad Boy (2:17)
6. Matchbox (1:55)
7. Roll Over Beethoven (2:44)
1. Dizzy Miss Lizzy (2:53)
2. Any Time at All (2:10)
3. Drive My Car (2:25)
4. Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby (2:23)
5. The Night Before (2:32)
6. I’m Down (2:30)
7. Revolution (3:22)
1. Back in the U.S.S.R. (2:45)
2. Helter Skelter (4:29)
3. Taxman (2:35)
4. Got to Get You into My Life (2:26)
5. Hey Bulldog (3:09)
6. Birthday (2:42)
7. Get Back” (album version) (3:06)