The Beatles For Kids – Morning, Afternoon & Night is the title is a curated digital collection featuring gems from the group’s hallowed catalog to appeal to their next generation of fans. The six-track selection gathers together music from far and wide across their incomparable songbook that’s sure to have young listeners everywhere singing along.
The first number in the collection is “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” the Paul McCartney composition and lead vocal from 1968’s The Beatles, aka the “White Album.” It tells the compelling story of Desmond and Molly Jones and, typically, became known around the world despite the fact that it wasn’t a US single for The Beatles until 1976, and in the UK not at all. Scottish band the Marmalade were the beneficiaries, soaring to No.1 on the British charts with their timely cover.
Next up is “Yellow Submarine,” one of Ringo Starr’s best-loved Beatles lead vocals (though not the only one in this presentation). Paul said soon after its completion: “It’s a fun song, a children’s song…it’s the idea of a yellow submarine where all the kids went to have fun.” Those singing along with the fadeout chorus include Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones and Marianne Faithfull.
“Good Day Sunshine” again has McCartney to the fore on a gloriously feelgood moment from the timeless Revolver. Paul sings and plays piano, but the splendid piano solo is by “fifth Beatle” George Martin. Just as there are numerous and sometimes unexpected covers of just about every Beatles song, those for “Good Day Sunshine” include readings by Lulu, Lou Rawls, and Judy Collins.
Next it’s back to the group’s early days, and echoes of their high-octane pre-recording era, with their take on “Rock‘n’Roll Music,” written by one of their original guiding lights, Chuck Berry. John Lennon was about to turn 17 when Chuck’s original came roaring out of the traps in September 1957; seven years later, the song became a vital part of their Beatles For Sale LP.
McCartney’s “Your Mother Should Know” was part of Magical Mystery Tour, the accompanying release to the 1967 film of the same name, issued as a double EP in the UK and an album in America. It’s another big Beatles singalong, with great harmonies, a killer hook, and a suitably nostalgic vibe. It’s also a classic collective performance by the boys, with John outstanding on Hammond organ.
The charming and highly apt playout lullaby in the collection is “Good Night,” another Ringo lead vocal that closed the “White Album.” The gorgeous orchestration is by George Martin, who else, with celestial backing vocals by popular easy listening troup the Mike Sammes Singers. Good night, everybody, everywhere.