he Beatles rocked the world in the 1960's and they are still rocking the world today. The music of The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr still sounds great today, and it's no surprise that they are still one of the best loved bands of all time. Their hit "Yesterday" is the most recorded song of all time, having been recorded by thousands of artists around the world.
This Beatles boxed set contains all 13 Studio remasters plus Past Masters (digi packaging with digital mini documentaries):
Please Please Me
With The Beatles
A Hard Day's Night
Beatles For Sale
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
Let It Be
Plus a DVD of all 13 mini-documentaries (Running time: 40 minutes)
The Beatles' last days as a band were as productive as any major pop phenomenon that was about to split. After recording the ragged-but-right Let It Be, the group held on for this ambitious effort, an album that was to become their best-selling. Though all four contribute to the first side's writing, John Lennon's hard-rocking, "Come Together" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" make the strongest impression. A series of song fragments edited together in suite form dominates side two; its portentous, touching, official close ("Golden Slumbers"/"Carry That Weight"/"The End") is nicely undercut, in typical Beatles fashion, by Paul McCartney's cheeky "Her Majesty," which follows.
The Beatles' original 1973 compilation 1967-1970 ("Blue") has been remastered by the same dedicated team of engineers at EMI Music's Abbey Road Studios responsible for remastering The Beatles' original UK studio albums, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The result is the highest fidelity the catalogue has seen since its original release. Both 2CD packages include expanded booklets with original liner notes, newly written essays by Bill Flanagan and rare photos. "Red" and "Blue" are the first Beatles compilations to be released after the band's 1970 disbandment, the popular collections each feature a selection of singles and album tracks written by the band's members.
The Beatles' original 1973 compilation 1962-1966 ("Red") has been remastered by the same dedicated team of engineers at EMI Music's Abbey Road Studios responsible for remastering The Beatles' original UK studio albums, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The result is the highest fidelity the catalogue has seen since its original release. Both 2CD packages include expanded booklets with original liner notes, newly written essays by Bill Flanagan and rare photos. "Red" and "Blue" are the first Beatles compilations to be released after the band's 1970 disbandment, the popular collections each feature a selection of singles and album tracks written by the band's members.
The Beatles Number One hits - all of them digitally remastered.
Before Sgt. Pepper, no one seriously thought of rock music as actual art. That all changed in 1967, though, when John, Paul, George and Ringo (with "A Little Help" from their friend, producer George Martin) created an undeniable work of art which remains, after 30-plus years, one of the most influential albums of all time. From Lennon's evocative word/sound pictures (the trippy "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," the carnival-like "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite") and McCartney's music hall-styled "When I'm 64," to Harrison's Eastern-leaning "Within You Without You," and the avant-garde mini-suite, "A Day in the Life," Sgt. Pepper was a milestone for both '60s music and popular culture.
Better known as the "White Album," this was meant to be the record that brought them back to earth after three years of studio experimentation. Instead, it took them all over the place, continuing to burst the envelope of pop music. Lennon and McCartney were still at the height of their powers, with Lennon in particular growing into one of rock's towering figures. But even McCartney could still rock, and the amazement on "Helter Skelter" was that he had vocal cords at the end. From Beach Boys knock-offs to reggae and to the unknown ("Revolution #9"), this has it all. Some records have legend written all over them; this is one.
Rubber Soul is an undeniable pivot point in the Fab Four's varied discography no matter where, or how, you first heard it. The album was softened up in its original 12-song American edition to jibe with the Dylan/Byrds folk-rock sound, as well as squeeze money from the Parlophone catalog. The 14-song U.K. edition--the version now available on compact disc--is a different, more dynamic, and ultimately more accomplished achievement. So many classics: "Drive My Car" and "Nowhere Man" (both omitted from the U.S. edition) merge the early combustible Beatifics to a burgeoning studio consciousness; "The Word" can be read as a pre-psych warning shot; the sitar-laden "Norwegian Wood" and the evocative "Girl" (the latter written on the last night of the sessions) stand as turning points in John Lennon's oeuvre.
Revolver wouldn't remain the Beatles' most ambitious LP for long, but many fans--including this one--remember it as their best. An object lesson in fitting great songwriting into experimental production and genre play, this is also a record whose influence extends far beyond mere they-was-the-greatest cheerleading. Putting McCartney's more traditionally melodic "Here, There and Everywhere" and "For No One" alongside Lennon's direct-hit sneering ("Dr. Robert") and dreamscapes ("I'm Only Sleeping," "Tomorrow Never Knows") and Harrison's peaking wit ("Taxman") was as conceptually brilliant as anything Sgt. Pepper attempted, and more subtly fulfilling.
Sloppy in conception, and even sometimes in the playing, Let It Be often gets a bad rap. Unfairly, as it's often as charming, well written, and (oh yeah) rocking as the Beatles' "better" albums; it's also more outright fun than Abbey Road, the masterpiece it followed into the stores. With Lennon and McCartney working together on the perfect "I've Got a Feeling," "Two of Us," and "Dig a Pony," it's hard to believe these guys were about to implode.
Strummmmm! That dramatic guitar chord that kicks of A Hard Day's Night (album, song, movie) still jumps right out at you, slaps you in the face, and jump-starts your heart. And you know what? Both the music and the film are still as crisp and lively as they were in 1964. Of course, only the first seven songs are actually in the movie (and they are the strongest of the bunch, from the rousing rock & roll of the title track and the hit single "Can't Buy Me Love," to the beautiful ballads "If I Fell" and "And I Love Her"). But nobody's going to complain about having songs like "I'll Cry Instead" and "Things We Said Today" in the second half of the record; they sure don't feel like leftovers. Yet another high-point for John, Paul, George, and Ringo--four fab fellows who hit the highest heights imaginable.
How John Lennon's confessional song became the title for a silly James Bond spoof I really don't know. The funny thing is, it works both ways--as a young man's personal statement about learning to open up to others, and as the frantic theme for an exotic espionage chase comedy starring those lovable mop-tops (this time in color). Like A Hard Day's Night, only the first "side" of this album actually contains songs from the movie--the biggest hits being the eponymous cry for assistance and "Ticket to Ride." But part 2 has a few nice tunes as well, like "It's Only Love," "I've Just Seen a Face," and a little ditty called "Yesterday." And I always love it when they do an all-out screamer like "Dizzy Miss Lizzy," which sounds like John's raucous answer to Paul's "Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey" vocal on Beatles for Sale. Of course, it's essential--as are all the Beatles' soundtracks (all the Beatles' albums), with the possible exception of Yellow Submarine.
Their first-ever album, raw and rough and still very rock & roll. Lennon and McCartney begin to flex their writing muscles and had already scored two UK hits when this appeared, but they still relied heavily on the cover material to see them through. Their insecurity about their own abilities seems curious in hindsight since they'd pulled the title song and "I Saw Her Standing There" (with thanks to Little Richard) out of their hats. But they were an unknown quantity, still to launch a million bands and take pop music to places it had never dreamed off. A small step for four men, a giant leap for music.
They still had plenty of covers to fill out the running time, but the Lennon-McCartney writing team was gathering steam and beginning to knock out pop classics as if they were pulling them out of thin air. "All My Loving" and "I Wanna Be your Man" come from this record, issued hurriedly to capitalize on English Beatlemania. But even when they were laying into some classic Chuck Berry, by this time the Beatles had acquired a unique sound in the blend of John's and Paul's voices, while George was coming on by leaps and bounds as a guitar player. While not absolutely essential, as a snapshot of a band in a place and time, With the Beatles is good for a smile.
Banged out in a hurry for the 1964 Christmas market, Beatles for Sale sometimes sounds it, loaded with ill-conceived covers and some of John Lennon's most self-loathing lyrics. On the other hand, the people doing the banging-out were the Beatles, whose instincts for what worked musically were so strong that they could basically do no wrong--any record that has "Baby's in Black," "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" and the delectable "Eight Days a Week" on it is only "minor" in the most relative sense. And, though their voices had been frazzled a bit by constant touring, they revved them up for some joyous shouting, and indulged their fondness for American country in subtle, playful ways.
The most dashed-off of the Beatles' records, Yellow Submarine doesn't have much to it: the goofy title track and "All You Need Is Love" are reprised from earlier discs, George Martin's trifle of a score to the animated Submarine feature takes up the second half, and that leaves just four relatively insubstantial new tracks. The Beatles' throwaways are anyone else's classics, though: "Hey Bulldog," the last song Lennon and McCartney wrote in full collaboration, has the instinctive urgency of their best work, Paul's singalong "All Together Now" is awfully cute, and more than one band has dedicated its career to trying to replicate what George's guitars are doing on his dazed, pulsing "It's All Too Much.
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