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Friday, November 15, 2013

The Beatles were brilliant because they had no patience

At an event at Abbey Road last night for On Air - Live At The BBC Vol 2 it struck me again how many great Beatles records don't have intros - they just start.

It's particularly the case on "With The Beatles", their first great album. "It Won't Be Long", "All My Loving" and "Hold Me Tight" don't so much start as explode.  Even on "All I've Got To Do", "Don't Bother Me", "Not A Second Time" and "Little Child" there are no more than a few bars before the vocal.

The ones that take the longest to get to the point are the cover versions - "You Really Got A Hold On Me", "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Money". Though "Please Mr Postman" starts with enough urgency to be one of their own. This was a group which was close enough to the audience to know how easily it got bored. They had no patience. It was another facet of their genius.

One of the most reliable marks of the fraud in music is The Long Intro. It came in with the head music of the late 60s and was taken up by indie a decade later. It's done for two reasons: because it takes that long for the group to establish any kind of groove and in the hope that by the time the song arrives you'll like it out of sheer relief.