The Beatles – Love Songs (1977): On Second Thought

Share this:

It was a dark day in the spring of 1970 when the Beatles broke up. But by no means would the Liverpool band’s incredible music fade away. Original albums remained securely in print, while a constant stream of collections involving greatest hits, box sets, previously unreleased material, and other odds and ends invaded the shelves.

Yet one such effort, 1977’s Love Songs has somewhat slipped through the cracks over the years. The double album — which, as the title informs, centers on romantic themes — has never been legitimately reissued on either vinyl or compact disc. And that’s a true crime, for not only is the song selection superb, but a thick book of Beatles lyrics also accompany the package.

Although Love Songs (Capitol Records) is not sequenced in chronological order, every facet of the band’s illustrious career is covered. From the syrupy-sweet musings of “P.S. I Love You” to the orchestral piano-rooted balladry of “The Long and Winding Road,” the album tirelessly demonstrates the amazing songwriting, construction and vocal abilities of the Beatles. Had the band created no other tunes than those featured on Love Songs, they would still be revered from city to city, coast to coast, and continent to continent.

Because the Beatles are so heavily played, even casual music fans will be familiar with the majority, if not all, the cuts contained on Love Songs. Nevertheless, squeezed between obvious choices like “Yesterday,” “In My Life,” “Something,” “And I Love Her,” “If I Fell,” “Michelle,” and “Here, There and Everywhere,” a clutch of lesser-heard gems are presented.

The Beatles’ electrifying harmonies are in full force on the impassioned pleas of “This Boy” and “You’re Going to Lose That Girl,” and the gentle caresses of “I’ll Follow the Sun,” “Every Little Thing,” and “I Will” radiate with refined patterns and melodies. An elegant sadness ripples forth on “For No One,” and the chiming “I Need You” is a bona fide guitar pop classic.

Crackling folk rock currents are administered on “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” and the sitar-studded “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” embraces sophisticated psychedelic concepts with remarkable results. A symphonic dreariness directs “She’s Leaving Home,” and then there’s a treatment of “Words Of Love” that’s just as crisp and vivid as the initial version by Buddy Holly.

Promoting both ecstasy and heartache, Love Songs is the perfect album for those with a preference for the softer touches of the Beatles. There’s a reason why the band’s music has endured for decades, and a fair share of tunes here can certainly be credited to their legacy.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
Share this:
Close