Monday, September 22, 2008

Beatles 18: 1962-1966 and 1967-1970

By early 1973, bootleg Beatles hits collections had already begun appearing, one of which was even advertised on TV. Apple and Capitol struck fast, allegedly deputizing John and George to approve two official retrospectives. Released alongside new Paul and George LPs, 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 were very well received, having been so well done.
Each two-record set neatly sums up the two eras, with generous helpings of all the hit singles and key album tracks. The sequencing is faithfully chronological to the British release schedule, giving context and flow to songs people had already grown to love. Lyrics for all the songs are included, while the covers put the dormant Get Back idea to good use. The albums were very handy for the Brits, with some songs appearing on albums for the first time, but they were made for the American market, which snapped both up to the top of the charts. (An insert in both albums revived the “exclusive” exhortations of early Capitol liner notes, giving 45, LP, cassette and 8-track discographies for the group and solo projects, along with a chart saying which songs came from which albums. Somebody goofed, as “A Hard Day’s Night” and “From Me To You” are listed as being from the Help! album, referring to the instrumental non-Beatle versions on that soundtrack. Also, “Help!” itself is preceded by the “James Bond Theme” from the same album.)
The Red and Blue albums, as they came to be called, stayed popular over the years, giving new-generation Beatle fans born too late a place to start their collections. The resolution of various lawsuits paved the way for their release on CD in 1993 amid much complaint over the cost vs. disc space, which was understandable. The Red album includes 26 tracks and totals 66 minutes, while the Blue has 28 tracks for nearly 100 minutes of music. Both were issued as double CDs at thirty dollars apiece. While the Red could have fit onto one CD, Apple decided to go for consistency, arguing that the value was in the songs. After all, what could one add or take away?

The Beatles 1962-1966 (1973)—5
The Beatles 1967-1970 (1973)—5

1 comment:

  1. $30 a piece for the CD sets?!?! How did I ever afford the LPs when I was a kid?