Formal structure of  "No Reply"
Verse 1 0:00-0:33
Verse 2 0:33-1:03
Middle 8 1:03-1:34
Verse 3 1:34-2:05
Comments: Similar to  "A Hard Day's Night",  "Things We Said Today",  "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party", the verse structure of "No Reply" can be divided into four parts:
This happened once before, when I came to your door, no reply.
They said it wasn't you, but I saw you peep through your window.
I saw the light, I saw the light.
I know that you saw me, 'cause I looked up to see your face.
The first, second, and fourth of these subsections are essentially musically identical (the same chords, same character, roughly the same melody), but the third part is different (different chords, different character, very different melody, plus the addition of vocal harmonies and huge cymbal hits both noticeably absent from the other three subsections).
No intro. Coda is the only time you hear the title lyrics, and is musically (but not lyrically) based on the third part of the verse.
The Beatles played a great many songs using the 12 bar blues chord progression, especially during their early years (i.e. Hamburg and before). One reason for this was because 12 bar blues are very, very easy to play - it is often one of the first things a beginning guitar student will learn how to play. Since the band needed material and hadn't yet developed and honed their performance skills, the 12 bar blues was a natural fit.
Furthermore, the Beatles' early bass player was not Paul McCartney but Stuart Sutcliffe, who by all accounts was the least talented performer of the band. Stu's lack of ability as a performer limited the band's repertoire. Howie Casey, saxophonist with the band Derry and the Seniors with whom Stuart played in Hamburg, said of the bassist, "All we could do with Stu was to play twelve-bar blues. He couldn’t venture out of that" (Sutcliffe page 88). If the Seniors couldn't play anything but 12 bar blues because of Stu's limited facility on bass, no doubt the Beatles couldn't either.
Even when Sutcliffe left the band and McCartney (a much more gifted musician) assumed the role of bassist, the Beatles' retained many 12 bar blues tunes in their repertoire, several of which wound up on Beatles records. As the band progressed and their musical abilities developed, however, their reliance on the formula decreased, replaced by their own unusual and strikingly original harmonic progressions. Certainly by 1967 the 12 bar blues was ancient history from the band' perspective. Referring to the orchestral passages in "A Day in the Life", Paul McCartney said, "It was very exciting to be doing that instead of twelve-bar blues" (Anthology page 247). (Odd that Paul would say that regarding 1967 when the previous year the Beatles released no songs whatsoever that incorporate the 12 bar blues.) During the three years from 1963 through 1965, the Beatles released 19 songs using the 12 bar blues or something comparable; during the five years from 1966 through 1970, only 8.
Beatles. The Beatles Anthology. Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA, 2000.
Sutcliffe, Pauline and Douglas Thompson. The Beatles’ Shadow: Stuart Sutcliffe & His Lonely Hearts Club. Pan Books, an imprint of Pan Macmillan Ltd, London, UK, 2002.
Formal structure of  "What You're Doing"
Intro (ind., verse) 0:00-0:14*
Verse 1 0:14-0:31
Verse 2 0:31-0:46
Middle 8 0:46-1:01
Verse 3 1:01-1:18
Middle 8 1:32-1:48
Verse 4 1:48-2:00
Coda (verse) 2:00-2:30*
Comments: Another two-part introduction. The first part of this intro is the closest thing to a drum solo on a Beatles track until  "The End" from Abbey Road. This drum pattern is not featured anywhere else in the song except for the coda.
The coda is more developed than most, incorporating an extension of the fourth verse with two additional iterations of the lyrics "what you're doing to me" (2:00-2:08), the guitar lick from the intro and verse (2:08-2:12), a reprise of the drum break from intro (2:12-2:19), and finally the same guitar lick with backing from verse which fades out (2:19-2:30).
Formal structure of  "I Don't Want To Spoil the Party"
Intro (ind) 0:00-0:10*
Verse 1 0:10-0:30*
Verse 2 0:30-0:50
Middle 8 0:50-1:05
Verse 3 1:05-1:25
Middle 8 1:45-2:00
Verse 4 2:00-2:20
Coda (ind) 2:20-2:33*
Comments: Similar to  "A Hard Days Night", the third quarter of verse is a little bit different from the other three quarters. Unlike "A Hard Day's Night", however, in this case it is that third quarter that lacks (rather than adds) vocal harmony. Furthermore, the rhyme scheme of the lyrics parallels this structure since the first, second, and fourth lines all end with rhymes ("go", "show", "know"), but the third quarter rhymes within itself ("here", "disappear"). These patterns are repeated in each iteration of the verses, although verses 1 and 3 share identical lyrics, as do verses 2 and 4.
Verse 1 (and 3) lyrics, divided into quarters:
I don't want to spoil the party so I'll go,
I would hate my disappointment to show,
There's nothing for me here, so I will disappear,
If she turns up while I'm gone please let me know.
Lastly, the intro and coda clearly related, although not identical. These two sections are similar to the solo, but not identical. The solo section uses the chord progression of verse.
Formal structure of  "Every Little Thing"
Intro (verse) 0:00-0:03
Verse 1 0:03-0:27
Verse 2 0:42-1:06
Coda (verse) 1:49-2:03
Comments: Each verse consists of two musically (but not lyrically) identical subphrases, both of which can be further broken down into three division. Each of these divisions lasts two measures, making each subphrase 6 measures long, and each verse 12 measures.
Subphrase 1 Subphrase 2
When I'm walking beside her I remember the first time
People tell me I'm lucky. I was lonely without her.
Yes, I know I'm a lucky guy. Can't stop thinking about her now.
Subphrase 1 Subphrase 2
When I'm with her I'm happy There is one thing I'm sure of,
Just to know that she loves me. I will love her forever.
Yes, I know that she loves me now. For I know love will never die.
Also, in typical fashion, the solo section replaces Verse 3.
There are five main characters in the story of the Beatles and the avant-garde. The first two, of course, are John Lennon and Paul McCartney. At the heart of my research are two parallel dynamics that occurred between Lennon and McCartney over the course of the band’s existence: the first a shift in the leader of the group (what started as John’s band ended as Paul’s); the second a simultaneous shift in avant-garde aesthetics (what started as Paul’s experimentation ended as John’s). While the former has been written about and analyzed extensively, the latter has been largely ignored, or at best treated trivially and glossed over.
The third primary character is the catalyst for both of these dynamics: Yoko Ono. While never part of the band, Ono is inextricable from its history for her profound impact on John Lennon. The ultimate focus of my project, then, is on the artistic production and experimentation of Paul McCartney and John Lennon between 1965 (with McCartney’s early tape experiments) through 1969 (with Lennon and Ono’s Wedding Album), paying particular attention to how the avant-garde scene of the time influenced and inspired these experiments.
The two remaining primary characters are both Georges: Harrison and Martin. Both men were integral to the artistic development of the Beatles, and display significant avant-garde influence: Harrison through his connection with Indian music, experiences with Eastern philosophy and religion, and in his solo albums Wonderwall Music and Electronic Sound; Martin through his classical background and education, and experimental recording techniques.
Formal structure of [38b] "Mr. Moonlight"
Intro (ind., verse) 0:00-0:09*
Verse 1 0:09-0:39
Verse 2 0:54-1:10
Verse 3 1:56-2:11
Comments: Another two-part intro like [6b] "A Taste Of Honey",  "Thank You Girl",  "Little Child", [14b] "Roll Over Beethoven",  "You Can't Do That", and [31b] "Matchbox", and  "Baby's in Black".
Formal structure of  "When I Get Home"
Verse 1 0:16-0:31
Verse 2 0:46-1:01
Middle 8 1:16-1:37
Verse 3 1:37-1:50
Coda (chorus) 2:02-2:15
Comments: Just like  "She Loves You",  "It Won't Be Long",  "Can't Buy Me Love", and  "Any Time at All", "When I Get Home" omits an introduction in favor of starting with a chorus.
Formal structure of  "Things We Said Today"
Intro (verse) 0:00-0:04 A minor
Verse 1 0:04-0:33 A minor (with a touch of C)
Verse 2 0:33-0:59 A minor (with a touch of C)
Middle 8 0:59-1:15 A major
Verse 3 1:15-1:41 A minor (with a touch of C)
Middle 8 1:41-1:57 A major
Verse 4 1:57-2:23 A minor (with a touch of C)
Coda 2:23-2:34 A minor
Comments: "Things We Said Today" employs a very similar verse structure as  "A Hard Day's Night". The verse may be split into four parts:
You say you will love me if I have to go.
You'll be thinking of me, somehow I will know.
Someday when I'm lonely, wishing you weren't so far away,
Then I will remember things we said today.
The only difference between the first and second parts is the lyrics. But then with the third segment, the chords change and vocal harmony is added before reverting to the characteristics of the first two segments for the final part.
Like  "Any Time At All", "Things We Said Today" plays between A major and A minor. It is no coincidence that these two were recorded consecutively.
Formal structure of  "Any Time At All":
Verse 1 0:14-0:38
Verse 2 0:52-1:15
Comments: No intro, it just launches into the chorus, as does  "She Loves You",  "It Won't Be Long",  "Can't Buy Me Love". No middle 8, which up to this point has been relatively unusual for original songs (occurring in just 5 of 34:  "She Loves You",  "All My Loving" (this one's a tough call - it blurs the lines between chorus and middle 8),  "I Wanna Be Your Man",  "Not a Second Time",  "Can't Buy Me Love"), but much more common in covers (occurring in 8 of 15: [9c] "Boys", [9e] "Baby It's You", [9f] "Twist and Shout", [13c] "Money (That's What I Want)", [13f] "Please Mr. Postman", [29b] "Long Tall Sally", [31b] "Matchbox", [32b] "Slow Down").
This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.