Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Beatles 6: Beatles VI

“Eight Days A Week”, with its groundbreaking faded-in introduction, had been siphoned from Beatles For Sale as a hit American single in February, and now it was a featured track on June’s Beatles VI. (The title was intended to set the record straight as to which label had the last word on official LP releases; not counting The Beatles’ Story, this was their sixth album on Capitol.) The remaining tracks from Beatles For Sale are included here, in typically shuffled order, along with five early escapees from the recent Help! sessions making their worldwide debut. The contents are rounded out by the recent B-side “Yes It Is” (“Ticket To Ride” being saved for the upcoming Help! soundtrack) and the Larry Williams cover “Bad Boy”, which was allegedly recorded with the US market in mind and wouldn’t appear on British vinyl for 18 long months.
The album kicks off Paul’s stellar vocal on “Kansas City”, meshed with Little Richard’s “Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!”, and doesn’t let up from there. The country sound of “I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party” and Buddy Holly’s “Words Of Love” fits with the R&B of “Bad Boy” and another Larry Williams song, the frantic “Dizzy Miss Lizzy”. “What You’re Doing”, “Every Little Thing” and “Tell Me What You See” are buried gems, and George works on his songwriting with “You Like Me Too Much”.
This is a strong set, and is a prime example of the timeless universality of Beatles music, to the point where American consumers would gladly purchase a CD version of Beatles VI. But while we were shackled to the British standard, these eleven songs were spread throughout three CDs (or as one of a pricey four-CD set) until the “U.S. Albums” rollout made it widely available again in 2014.

The Beatles Beatles VI (1965)—5
UK CD equivalent: Beatles For Sale/Help!/Past Masters

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