Like any other budding musicians, in their early days the Beatles learned a lot about music by listening to music, and in Liverpool there was no better place to listen to (or even buy) records than the NEMS Record Shop, managed by Brian Epstein, who would later manage the Fab Four. Epstein took great pride in the shop's eclectic stock, featuring a generous sampling of pop, rock, jazz, folk, blues, classical, show tunes, and all points in between. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison were regular visitors to the NEMS shop, making generous use of their listening booths and buying albums when they could afford it, frequently trading records with friends or borrowing sides from other music buffs. Beatles Beginnings, Vol. 7: Northern Songs is a compilation that includes 32 selections that influenced the nascent Beatles and popped up in their record collections at one time or another, featuring the rock & roll and R&B sides you'd expect (Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bo Diddley) as well as plenty of surprises -- pop vocalists, novelty acts, traditional folk numbers, classical pieces, and even experimental recordings using reverse tape loops. Beatles Beginnings, Vol. 7: Northern Songs is an eye-opening look at the diverse sounds that informed one of the most important rock groups of all time.
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