Thursday, October 28, 2010

Beatles "Red" and "Blue" Albums Remastered

After releasing the entire Beatles’ catalog carefully prepared and remastered last year, the Apple-EMI brain trust has released two anthologies of Beatles material fans know as the “Red” and the “Blue” albums. Originally released in 1973, these consisted of two double albums, the first, The Beatles: 1962-1966 and the second, The Beatles: 1967-1970. Between the two, these albums contain all the bands’ major singles and a generous dose of album cuts spanning their entire career. The first collection takes the listener up to Revolver. The second collection picks up with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band onward. In time for the Christmas rush, these two rich collections have been rereleased with the superb remasters of a year ago and booklets with additional notes and photos.

For anyone who wants an instant Beatles collection, these two sets are a superb starting place. The listener is treated to a rich serving of everything from “Love Me Do” to “Long and Winding Road” and much in between. For those who do not want to invest in all 13 original albums and wants more than just the hit singles, this is the place to start. The Beatles fan on a budget can then purchase the necessary individual albums best suited to his or her tastes. Likewise, for those who have many of the first generation CD’s and would like to hear how satisfying the recent remastering of the entire catalog is, here’s a fine starting point.

Here’s the song line up:

1962-1966 (The "Red" Album)

Disc 1
1. Love Me Do
2. Please Please Me
3. From Me to You
4. She Loves You
5. I Want to Hold Your Hand
6. All My Loving
7. Can’t Buy Me Love
8. A Hard Day’s Night
9. And I Love Her
10. Eight Days a Week
11. I Feel Fine
12. Ticket to Ride
13. Yesterday

Disc 2
1. Help!
2. You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
3. We Can Work It Out
4. Day Tripper
5. Drive My Car
6. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
7. Michelle
8. In My Life
9. Girl
10. Paperback Writer
11. Eleanor Rigby
12. Yellow Submarine

1967-1972 (The “Blue” Album)

Disc 1
1. Strawberry Fields Forever
2. Penny Lane
3. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
4. With a Little Help from My Friends
5. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
6. A Day in the Life
7. All You Need Is Love
8. I Am the Walrus
9. Hello Goodbye
10. The Fool on the Hill
11. Magical Mystery Tour
12. Lady Madonna
13. Hey Jude

Disc 2
1. Back in the U.S.S.R.
2. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
3. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
4. Get Back
5. Don’t Let Me Down
6. The Ballad of John and Yoko
7. Old Brown Shoe
8. Come Together
9. Something
10. Octopus’s Garden
11. Let it Be
12. Across the Universe
13. The Long and Winding Road

As the song listings show, this is quite a collection. There are early tunes like “Twist and Shout” and “Money” that many listeners might enjoy, but the compilers of this collection specifically chose to exclude cover versions. “I Should Have Known Better” and “If I Fell” seem like disappointing omissions from A Hard Days Night. “She’s a Woman,” the B side of “I Feel Fine” would also have been a great inclusion particularly since many American listeners might have it on Beatles 65 in fake stereo. However, the most conspicuously absent material would be from the album, Revolver. Still, fans with even a casual interest in the Beatles should certainly have Revolver in their collection.

This is one hearty serving of Beatles music, and for those who are more oriented toward Beatles' songs and not specific albums, this is one lucious feast sure to be enjoyed with many second helpings.


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