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A MusiCares Tribute To Paul McCartney Coming To Blu-ray, DVD

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A MusiCares Tribute To Paul McCartney Coming To Blu-ray, DVD

Collection featuring never-before-seen performances from Paul McCartney's 2012 Person of the Year tribute concert to be released March 24

GRAMMYs/Jan 21, 2015 - 01:52 am

On March 24 Shout! Factory will release A MusiCares Tribute To Paul McCartney, a collection of never-before-seen performances from the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute concert honoring Paul McCartney, on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

During a sold-out gala event on Feb. 10, 2012, 18-time GRAMMY winner McCartney, along with a cast of superstar guests, performed some of the quintessential songs from his celebrated career. The 15 exclusive performances featured on A MusiCares Tribute To Paul McCartney include exceptional solo performances by McCartney of "Magical Mystery Tour," "Junior's Farm," and "My Valentine"; a riveting medley of "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight" and "The End" by McCartney, with Dave Grohl and Joe Walsh joining the performance of "The End"; and incredible performances by a slate of GRAMMY-winning artists, including Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Coldplay, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, Diana Krall, James Taylor, and Neil Young with Crazy Horse.

Proceeds from the sale of A MusiCares Tribute To Paul McCartney will provide essential support for MusiCares, which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need.

The MusiCares Person of the Year gala is an annual event that celebrates a legendary artist and raises funds for the MusiCares Foundation. This year's honoree is Bob Dylan, who will be feted at a tribute ceremony on Feb. 6 during GRAMMY Week. The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards will take place at Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 8, airing live on the CBS Television Network from 8–11:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Behind The Scenes With Nirvana Photog Charles Peterson: 6 Images From His New Book
Krist Novoselic and Kurt Cobain in Seattle on September 16, 1991.

Photo: Charles Peterson

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Behind The Scenes With Nirvana Photog Charles Peterson: 6 Images From His New Book

In 'Charles Peterson’s Nirvana,' the Sub Pop photographer chronicles the career of Kurt Cobain and his Seattle band — from their indie days to stardom. Speaking to GRAMMY.com, Peterson shares behind-the-scenes stories about some of his favorite shots.

GRAMMYs/Feb 20, 2024 - 04:07 pm

When photographer Charles Peterson first saw Nirvana at a small Seattle club in 1988, he was so underwhelmed he didn’t bother taking a single picture of them.

The band shared a bill with local act Blood Circus, who, Peterson says, "put on quite a grungy show; lots of hair going everywhere and guitars flying." When Nirvana came on, "they had the lighting guy dim the light really low and Kurt [Cobain] just stood there and stared at his feet. The music came off as kind of heavy, really difficult to play. I just didn’t get it." At one point Peterson even turned to Sub Pop Records co-founder Jonathan Poneman and asked him, "Jon, are you sure about these guys?"

 Sub Pop was sure about Nirvana, and would later sign them. And as the label’s in-house photographer, Peterson (who was in his mid-20s at the time) documented the band’s career for the next five years — from their indie days to international stardom. In his latest book, Charles Peterson’s Nirvana, from Minor Matters Books, Peterson has winnowed down his impressive catalog of an estimated 3,000 shots to a well-curated 90. 

Released on Feb. 20, Cobain’s birthday, Charles Peterson’s Nirvana features shots from his first session with the band, lounging in the wilds of Bainbridge Island, Washington ("They did have that kind of hippie aspect to them") to his last, a promotional shoot for In Utero ("They all, Kurt especially, just seemed a little tired"). While the book tells the band's story, it's less of a history and more reflective of Peterson's own experience. 

As Peterson recalls, Minor Matters Founder Michelle Dunn Marsh defined the book’s direction, believing Peterson's "artistic sensibility and how it moves the viewer and portrays the power of the music" set his work apart from the thousands of other images taken of Nirvana. 

Peterson spoke with GRAMMY.com about the stories behind five images in the book. "And like I say in the introduction, go put on a Nirvana record before you look at this book, and you really get that idea of immersion in the music," the photographer advises.

All images © Charles Peterson/Minor Matters Books

Kurt Cobain, University of Washington, Seattle, Jan. 6, 1990

Kurt Cobain, University of Washington, Seattle, Jan. 6, 1990

Peterson Got Up Close & On Stage With Nirvana

Peterson had ready access to the band in their pre-Nevermind years. "It was great, in these early days, to be able to just crawl around on the stage, go do whatever I wanted to," he says. "It does bring an intimacy that you lose later on when you’re stuck in a position like the pit or off behind a PA or something."

In his early days of photographing Nirvana, Peterson had free range of movement and often stood behind the band or close at their side. The musicians had also become a lot more active on stage compared to when Peterson first saw them. 

Krist Novoselic, University of Washington, Seattle, Jan. 6, 1990

Krist Novoselic, University of Washington, Seattle, Jan. 6, 1990

"I don't know what it was, if it was having Chad [Channing] as their drummer or the addition of Jason Everman for a while [on guitar]; maybe that allowed Kurt to worry a little bit less about hitting the chords perfectly so that he could jump around and go face down on the stage and roll around and do all that," Peterson says. "Even so, he’s not holding the audience’s attention. They’re not looking at Kurt; they’re all looking at something over there, which must be somebody stage diving or something.

"It’s all those little details that you pick up on that are great; there’s a piece of crumpled paper in front, and another photographer up in the back," Peterson notes. "And again, in the Krist shot, he's looking at me yet everyone else is looking away. There’s all this other stuff going on that you don’t even have to pay attention to the band. There’s feet in the air here. A lot of Converse in the photos!"

Nirvana Crowd shot, Motor Sports International Garage, Seattle, Sept. 22, 1990

Crowd shot, Motor Sports International Garage, Seattle, Sept. 22, 1990

Nirvana's Audience Was Just As Important — And Interesting

Peterson always focused his lens on the audience as much as the bands. "I love this one because you’ve got a Nirvana shirt there. One person is looking at me; nobody else is. Bare chests. A lot of sweaty, sweaty hair," he says of the above photo, taken at a makeshift venue that was actually a parking garage.

"Seattle crowds, we’re some of the best. And it just didn’t seem right to isolate the power of the bands from the effect that they were having on the audiences," Peterson reflects. "I found that the photos had just that much more power if you could anchor the band in their time and space with the audience, and see what that reaction is between the two, versus it just being the beauty shot of the singer." 

Peterson says there was both a symbiotic and cathartic relationship between Nirvana and their fans. "People would be like, ‘Oh my God, look at those audiences in Seattle!’" The photos distill the essence of that relationship. "The bands are great, the personalities in the bands are great…that idea that it’s a complete scene, that the participation of the audience is just as important as the participation of the bands."

Peterson recalls standing next to the PA at stage right during this show.

"What I would do is, with one hand, lean out holding the camera upside down over the audience. And then I would have my flash in the other hand, so that the light gave a nice kind of mottling to it. Not looking through the viewfinder, just photographing. I do a lot of that," he says. "The camera takes the picture whether you’re looking through the viewfinder or not." 

Kurt Cobain, Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC, Canada, March 8, 1991

Kurt Cobain, Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC, Canada, March 8, 1991

Peterson Sensed This "Smells Like Teen Spirit" Shot Was Something Special  

Peterson knew immediately that something special had occurred when he took this picture. "I remember pushing the shutter on this shot and going, What just happened? But then the show moves on." 

A few days later, Peterson was in his darkroom developing the film and finally saw the impact of the moment he captured. He printed the image and a proof sheet, and gave them to Nirvana’s Seattle publicist Susie Tennant, who shared them with Cobain. The picture is on the back of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" single. 

The photo became one of Peterson’s most widely reproduced images. "I think what makes a photo iconic is that the photo reads easily and at the same time is larger than life and dramatic," he says. "And despite the fact that it reads easily to the eye, there’s a lot of other stuff, hidden stuff going on that you need to think about. 

"It’s also a photo that you can sort of transport to any time and place. It doesn’t necessarily have to be locked in with this particular show or anything. It really goes beyond that and then that ends up standing the test of time."

Krist Novoselic and Kurt Cobain, Beehive Music & Video, Seattle, September 16, 1991

Krist Novoselic and Kurt Cobain, Beehive Music & Video, Seattle, September 16, 1991

By '91 Nirvana Inspired Mosh Pits Everywhere, Even In Stores

Peterson calls this in-store appearance, a week before Nevermind was released, as "a watershed moment." 

"This was the last time I saw them play on a floor, which to me makes for great photos because you’re right there at the same level as them. It really is in your face," he says. "What was totally surprising was the subsequent mosh pit in the store, with people being hoisted on shoulders." 

There were also signs of how things were about to change for the band, Peterson recalls. "Kurt was besieged by autograph seekers outside the store. It was the first time I think that really happened to him. He was definitely overwhelmed by it."

Peterson had some challenges in the darkroom when developing this film, which led to a "weird graininess" that differs from many of his other images. "At the time I was like, ‘Oh God!’ But I think it has a unique look that you just don't get with digital now, unless you really manipulate it."

Kurt Cobain, Reading Festival, Reading, UK, August 30, 1992

Kurt Cobain, Reading Festival, Reading, UK, August 30, 1992

Kurt Cobain Cared About His Peers

By the time of this show, Nirvana were a bonafide international sensation. The band were plagued by stories of drug use and rumors about an impending break-up, while Courtney Love had just given birth to her and Cobain's daughter. All of which attracted huge media interest in this performance. 

"I was a little shocked when I went into the press tent; I had never been to a festival like this before and there were 96 photographers listed on the dry board!" Peterson reflects. "Photographers that were shooting from the pit in the front of the stage, they would bring them out and give them five minutes each."

That was not going to work for Peterson. 

"And all of a sudden, Nick Cave finished and there was this huge rush to the stage. And [Nirvana’s UK publicist] Anton Brookes grabs me by the wrist and he’s like, ‘Dude, come with me!’ And we all start running up onto the stage, up the ramp. I was taking a few snaps and then everybody settled into their place. There was Eric Erlandson [from Hole] next to me, and to the right was Mark Arm [from Mudhoney] and some members of L7," Peterson says. "I didn’t have an official stage pass or anything like that, but as long as I was with those guys, it was all cool. That was my spot, so I didn’t dare move from it.

"This photo was a really, really special moment. Kurt, in between songs, he just looked over at us, and mouthed something like, ‘How are you guys doing?’ And we’re like, ‘We’re fine.’ And then we started waving like back at him, like, ‘Go play, dude! Don’t worry about us,’" Peterson remembers. 

"It was like he wanted to check in with his peeps on the side of the stage. It’s one of my favorite photos."

A potential volume two of Nirvana photos is being considered, as is a retrospective of Peterson’s work, which includes photos of Soundgarden, Screaming Trees, TAD, Mother Love Bone, Beat Happening, and a multitude of others. But Nirvana invariably tops the list. 

"You can talk and write reams about the dramas and the ins and outs. But it’s the power of the music that keeps people coming back," he says of the band. "And the fact that it’s not rooted in a time and place; you can make the music be whatever you want it to be. I mean, half the time you don’t know what Kurt’s singing about or even what the words are, but you can shout your own words along to it if you want. It’s the music that really is that lasting, lasting legacy."

11 Reasons Why 1993 Was Nirvana's Big Year

Usher's Super Bowl Halftime Show Was More Than A Performance, It Was A Celebration Of Black Excellence
Usher performs with Ludacris, Lil Jon, Jermaine Dupri and Will.i.am during the Apple Music halftime show at the NFL Super Bowl 58 football game

Photo: Michael Owens/Getty Images

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Usher's Super Bowl Halftime Show Was More Than A Performance, It Was A Celebration Of Black Excellence

From celebrating Atlanta's HBCU culture to shining light on Southern rappers like Ludacris and Lil Jon, Usher brought the brilliance of the Black South to Las Vegas.

GRAMMYs/Feb 12, 2024 - 08:41 pm

In the days leading up to Usher’s Super Bowl performance, the singer waxed poetically about the significance of this moment not only in popular culture but for Black music.

Speaking with Kelly Carter on "Good Morning America," Usher reflected on the history of Black entertainers who performed for the masses under restrictive laws. Although a majority of those laws have been overturned, it would be remiss to not think about the recent series of court cases that have targeted Black musicians, such as Atlanta-based rapper Young Thug, whose music is currently being used against him in court

For singers like Usher who have been privy to the ways in which Black music — and those who create it — have been mistreated, his halftime performance was as much as a statement as it was a tribute to those who came before him. "I'm coming through the front door with this one," Usher told Carter.

It is only fitting that the performance opened with lines from "My Way" the title of his Las Vegas residency, which has featured a who’s who of prominent figures in pop culture before launching into "Caught Up." Usher then descended from his anointed throne in a crisp, all white Dolce & Gabbana ensemble, he began a Michael Jackson-inspired dance routine with an array of backup dancers; the standout being renowned celebrity choreographer Sean Bankhead.

Usher made it clear early on, however, that his performance was no mere spectacle. He paused to deliver a testimony, one that bears repeating despite his new album and $100 million-earning Vegas residency: "They said I wouldn't make it, they said I wouldn't be here today, but I am." 

Once the air cleared and Usher thanked his momma for her steadfast advocacy and faith in him, he led Allegiant Stadium in a sing along of "Superstar." The track from 2004’s Confessions recently inspired a viral challenge on TikTok. 

A consummate performer and supporter of his peers, Usher wasn't content to simply highlight his own success. The singer transformed Allegiant Stadium to "The Yard" — the singular place at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, where students gather to talk, discuss, and have fun — and filled it with music. 

Usher’s Yard included a performance of "Love In This Club" with the assistance of two members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., the second oldest Black fraternity in the U.S. The trio was supported by the Jackson State University marching band, known as the "Sonic Boom of The South," to finish the song. 

Even his brief moment of affection with singer Alicia Keys, who joined the singer for "My Boo," can be described as a "homecoming hug." Homecoming is another HBCU tradition, where alumni convene at their respective campuses and greet their former flame with a hug.

When Jermaine Dupri entered the stage to announce the 20th anniversary of Confessions, the transportation was complete. The audience was no longer in Vegas, but in Atlanta, the Black Mecca of the world. And Usher is Atlanta’s nucleus.

It is here that the spirits of Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, and Prince accompanied Usher as he bewitched millions with a singular microphone and momentum stage presence. A haze of purple clouds and smoke led the way for singer H.E.R., the night’s self appointed "Bad Girl" and her crew of roller skating baddies.

While Usher may have began the halftime show with the enthusiasm of a young boy who just got his chance to perform a solo in the church choir, by its end he was fully inhabiting his chart-topping sex icon persona.Will.i.am’s voice rippled through the stadium as Usher, donning a blue and black Off-White outfit reminiscent of football shoulder pads, glided onto the stage with an aura that is equal parts charismatic and sinful sweet. 

Skating, a main tenant of Atlanta’s culture, is embedded in Usher’s ethos and a part of his larger business. The singer loves skating and owns several skating rinks.

Usher finished the extravagant performance with "Yeah!" — a song beloved in Atlanta and far, far beyond. That the song is turning 20 this year and still resonates with a global audience (not to mention a football-loving one) is further evidence that Usher truly is the "King of R&B."

"Your moment is your moment. And this is a moment I’ve prepared for during the last 30 years," Usher told Billboard ahead of the Super Bowl. 

He certainly owned his moment. Usher's Super Bowl halftime show was no singular performance or an audition, but a coronation. He was receiving the torch carried by all the Black entertainers who preceded him, and reminding the world that the South still has something to say. 

Surrounded by Ludacris and Lil Jon,  strippers, and his own marching band, Usher closed the night out with the A-Town Stomp and one important phase: "I took the world to the A!" 

Usher's Biggest Hits, From Baby-Making Slow Jams To Dance Floor Classics

Usher Electrifies Las Vegas with Triumphant Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show: 6 Best Moments
Usher performs onstage during the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show.

Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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Usher Electrifies Las Vegas with Triumphant Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show: 6 Best Moments

R&B superstar Usher ran through his career of hits, from “U Got It Bad,” “Burn” and “Yeah!” to “My Boo,” “Love in This Club,” “O.M.G.,” and more during his halftime performance at Super Bowl LVIII.

GRAMMYs/Feb 12, 2024 - 03:14 am

He’s (still) got it bad! Usher lit up Super Bowl LVIII with an electrifying halftime show filled with a career-spanning setlist, drool-worthy dance moves and a parade of surprise guests including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, Lil Jon, H.E.R., will.i.am and more.

Days before taking the stage at Allegiant Stadium, the eight-time GRAMMY-winning R&B superstar opened up to Apple Music about the creative approach he took to planning his halftime show. “What I did is, I was very mindful of my past, celebrating my present, which is here in Las Vegas, and thinking about where we’re headed in the future, and that was really the idea,” he said. “What songs do I feel people know me for? What songs have been a celebration of all of the journey of what life and love and emotion has been offered in my music?

Usher’s halftime show comes on the heels of a monumental year and a half for the star, following his sold-out 100-show Las Vegas residency, My Way, at the Park MGM’s Dolby Live Theater. The R&B heartthrob also released Coming Home — his ninth studio album (and first in nearly a decade) on Friday — just two days before his epic performance.

Below, GRAMMY.com broke down all the best moments from Usher’s momentous halftime show.

That Grand, Las Vegas-Style Entrance 

From the drop, Usher let us know his Super Bowl set would be a celebration of all things Sin City as the camera wove through acrobats, showgirls, contortionists and dancers to reveal the R&B icon in all his glory — dressed in a dazzling white cape and seated on a mirrored thrown. 

From there, he launched into a high-energy rendition of “Caught Up,” one of the five consecutive top 10 singles from his landmark 2004 album Confessions. Not even an acrobat being launched through the air could distract from Usher’s swagger as he sauntered across the field.

A Sweet Shout-Out to His Mom

Transitioning between 2003’s “U Don’t Have to Call'' and a snippet of Confessions deep cut “Superstar,” Usher took a moment to recognize the magnitude of the occasion with a shout-out to his mother, Jonetta Patton. “But if you do call, know that God answers prayers. They said I wouldn’t make it. They said I wouldn’t be here today, but I am. Hey, mama, we made it. Now this — this is for you. My number one,” he said before crooning, “Spotlight, big stage / Sixty-thousand fans screamin’ in a rage.”

A Nostalgic Duet with His “Boo”

Usher’s halftime performance really hit its stride once he broke into his 2008 No. 1 hit “Love in This Club” with a full marching band. But the end of the song delivered the first big surprise of the night as the singer gestured across the field to introduce none other than Alicia Keys.

Seated at a futuristic red piano with a majestic cape of the same shade billowing behind her, the 16-time GRAMMY-winning singer-songwriter performed a snippet of her own 2004 single “If I Ain’t Got You” before being joined by Usher on their No. 1 hit “My Boo.” 

The pair’s decades of friendship were palpable as they belted out, “I don’t know about y’all but I know about us, and uh / It’s the only way we know how to rock / It started when we were younger, you were mine / My boo” and the number ended with both stars grinning ear to ear as Usher wrapped his arms around Keys. 

“Burn”-ing Up to Confessions

With producer Jermaine Dupri playing hype man, Usher celebrated the 20th anniversary of Confessions by running through a medley of songs from the 14x-platinum album, including “Confessions Part II” and a soaring take on “Burn,” which was undeniably one of the standout vocal moments of Usher’s entire set.

The star also put his sex appeal on full display, tearing away his glittery silver top to reveal a simple white tank as he performed “U Got It Bad” — only to remove that as well, finishing the song shirtless and glistening with sweat before ceding the spotlight to H.E.R. on an electric guitar.

“O.M.G.,” That Roller Skate Choreography!

Joined by will.i.am, Usher returned to stage dressed in a sparkling black-and-blue ensemble and roller skates — incorporating a popular moment from his recent residency as he ran through his 2010 chart-topper “O.M.G.” by nailing the choreography on wheels. For added measure, he finished off the section by skating deftly through will.i.am’s legs and striking a pose. 

Peace Up, A-Town Down

Of course, the grand finale of Usher’s halftime set couldn’t be anything but “Yeah!,” his smash worldwide hit that became the longest-running No. 1 of 2004 and an inescapable soundtrack to the early 2000s. Enlisting help from collaborators Lil Jon and Ludacris, Usher turned Allegiant Stadium into an all-out dance party and brought his halftime show to a triumphant climax with the song’s infectious, shout-it-out chorus.

Reba McEntire Performs Patriotic Rendition of the National Anthem at Super Bowl LVIII

'Meet The Beatles!' Turns 60: Inside The Album That Launched Beatlemania In America
The Beatles in 1964

Photo: Mark and Colleen Hayward / Redferns / Getty Images 

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'Meet The Beatles!' Turns 60: Inside The Album That Launched Beatlemania In America

A month before the Beatles played "The Ed Sullivan Show," they released their second American studio album — the one most people heard first. Here's a track-by-track breakdown of this magnitudinous slab of wax by the Fab Four.

GRAMMYs/Jan 19, 2024 - 06:48 pm

For many in America, Meet the Beatles! marked their first introduction to the legendary Fab Four — and their lives would be forever altered.

Released on Jan. 20, 1964 by Capitol Records, the Beatles' second American studio album topped the Billboard 200 within a month and stayed there for 11 weeks — only to be ousted by their next U.S. album release, The Beatles' Second Album.

It's almost impossible to put into words the impact of Meet
the Beatles! on an entire generation of the listening public. But Billy Corgan, of the Smashing Pumpkins, gave it a shot as an early fan of the Beatles in a series of LiveJournal remembrances — in this case, of himself at five years old, in 1972.

"I am totally overwhelmed by the collective sound of the greatest band ever blasting in mono thru a tin needle into a tiny speaker," he wrote. "I associate this sound forever with electricity, for it sends bolts thru my body and leaves me breathless. I can not stand still as I listen, so I must spin… I spin until I am ready to pass out, and then I spin some more."

So many other artists remember that eureka moment. "They were doing things nobody was doing. Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid," Bob Dylan said of the opening track, "I Want to Hold Your Hand." "I knew they were pointing the direction of where music had to go." Everyone from Ozzy Osbourne to Sting and Questlove agreed.

From Meet the Beatles!, the Fabs would have the most astonishing five-or-six-year run in music. And so much of their songwriting and production innovation can be found within its grooves; truly, the world had no idea what it was in for. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of Meet the Beatles!, here's a quick track-by-track breakdown.

"I Want to Hold Your Hand"

The Fabs' first American No. 1 hit may have been about the chastest of romantic gestures. Still, there's nothing heavier than "I Want to Hold Your Hand," because it's clamor and fraternity. That seemingly saccharine package also contained everything they'd ever do in concentrate — hints of the foreboding of "Ticket to Ride," the galactic final chord of "A Day in the Life," and beyond.

"I Saw Her Standing There"

A few too many awards show tributes have threatened to do in "I Saw Her Standing There," but they've failed. As the opening shot of their first UK album, Please Please Me, it's perfect, but as the second track on Meet the Beatles!, it just adds to the magnitude. What a one-two punch.

"This Boy"

Songwriting-wise, "This Boy" drags a little; it becomes a little hazy who "this boy" or "that boy"  are. But it's not only a killer Smokey Robinson rip; John Lennon's double-tracked vocal solo still punches straight through your chest. (Where applicable, go for the 2020s Giles Martin remix, which carries maximum clarity, definition and punch — said solo is incredible in this context.)

"It Won't Be Long"


Half a dozen other songs here have overshadowed "It Won't Be Long," but it's still one of the early Beatles' most ruthless kamikaze missions, an assault of flying "yeahs" that knocks you sideways.

"All I've Got to Do"

Lennon shrugged off "All I've Got to Do" as "trying to do Smokey Robinson again," and that's more or less what it is. One interesting detail is the conceit of calling a girlfriend on the phone, which was firmly alien to British youth: "I have never called a girl on the 'phone in my life!"he said later in an interview. "Because 'phones weren't part of the English child's life."

"All My Loving"

"All My Loving" was the first song the Beatles played on the American airwaves: when Lennon was pronounced dead, eyewitnesses attest the song came over the speakers. It's a grim trajectory for this most inventive and charismatic of early Beatles singles, with Lennon's tumbling rhythm guitar spilling the composition forth. (About that unorthodox strumming pattern: it seems easy until you try it. And Lennon did it effortlessly.)

"Don't Bother Me"

As Dreaming the Beatles author Rob Sheffield put it, "'Don't Bother Me,' his first real song, began the 'George is in a bad mood' phase of his songwriting, which never ended." Harrison wouldn't pick up the sitar for another year or two, but the song still carries a vaguely dreamy, exotic air.

"Little Child"

"I'm so sad and lonely/ Baby, take a chance with me." For a tortured, creative kid like Corgan, from a rough background — and, likely, a million similar young folks — Lennon's childlike plea must have sounded like salvation.

"Till There Was You"

McCartney's infatuation with the postwar sounds of his youth never ended, and it arguably began on record with this Music Man tune. As usual, McCartney dances right on the edge of overly chipper and apple-cheeked. But here, George Martin's immersive, soft-focused arrangement makes it all work.

"Hold Me Tight"

Like "Little Child," "Hold Me Tight" is a tad Fabs-by-numbers, showing how they occasionally painted themselves into a corner as per their formula. Their rapid evolution from here would leave trifles like "Hold Me Tight" in the rearview.

"I Wanna Be Your Man"

Tellingly, Lennon and McCartney tossed this half-written composition to the Stones — and to Ringo Starr. Mick Jagger's typically lusty performance works, but Starr's is even better — the funny-nosed drummer throws his whole chest into this vocal workout.

"Not A Second Time"

Meet the Beatles! concludes with this likable Lennon tune about heartbreak — maybe C-tier by his standards, but it slouches toward his evolutionary step that would be A Hard Day's Night

Soon, these puppy-dog emotions ("And now you've changed your mind/ I see no reason to change mine/ I cry") would curdle and ferment in astonishing ways — in "Ticket to Ride," in "Girl," in "Strawberry Fields Forever." And it all began with Meet the Beatles! — a shot heard around the world.

1962 Was The Final Year We Didn't Know The Beatles. What Kind Of World Did They Land In?