The Beatles were such an iconic band of rock music, especially during the 1960s. They covered so many areas of popular music and with such consistency, it would be difficult to nail down what they do in any aspect.
This compilation is very essential for those who do not know what The Beatles were about. Okay, it is only a one-disc album. Still, it has a good selection of cuts from The Beatles and is a good definitive statement of who they were, and what they did musically.
Let’s listen to it, track by track.
We begin with the classic Love Me Do (Mono). It still sounds iconic, simple, and catchy today. It’s a very good choice of a lead-off song for this compilation. It is remarkedly fresh to this day. It’s short, simple, and sweet. The harmonica in it is very good indeed. It sounds different, being mixed in mono, not stereo. The best way to begin a compilation of this sort by The Beatles.
Next is the classic love song From Me To You (Mono). It’s a simple and powerful pop message about a lover who is cherished. A fine moment by the group, and definitely worth hearing. Love is a very powerful emotion indeed.
She Loves You (Mono) is another classic pop song by the group. It’s rather quick, but it has a great quality about it. The singing and playing on this song are really top-notch. Obviously, the four members of The Beatles knew their craft very well. An excellent listen. Awesome to hear, all the way through.
I Want To Hold Your Hand is a great number that was never on an official album by The Beatles. It’s a wonderful and picturesque piece that reaches a great climax. Short and sweet, just like most individual songs by The Beatles. A terrific listen.
The often-quoted Can’t Buy Me Love is a great musical statement, even today. It transcends time in the history of music, and yes, it is well worth hearing. Brilliant stuff. Simple, beautiful, and effective. A great song by The Beatles.
We then hear the film based classic A Hard Day’s Night. Yes, The Beatles did make their own films. That aside, this song is brilliant with strummed 12 string acoustic guitar and a tale of waiting impatiently for love. A great song, and an era-defining piece. The outro is brilliant.
I Feel Fine is next. Another single only release previously, it begins the psychedelic trajectory of their later work. It begins with a guitar feeding back and has different and slightly more unusual production here. Still, it is a quintessential song to hear. Brilliant.
Eight Days A Week is a simple and awesome pop song about being really in love with a special lady. The title of the song refers to the passion and commitment of being in a relationship. That aside, it’s another great song on this compilation. Good stuff.
The next song is the rather unusual lyrical piece named Ticket To Ride. It’s a really great 1960’s pop song to listen to and enjoy. The guitar and drums interlock into a great groove for the most part. Awesome stuff, all in sync. It may or may not refer to sex, but it’s a fun listen anyway.
The title track of their second film Help! is next up. It’s a very quick but distressed sounding pop piece about difficulties in love based relationships. It’s a good piece that covers a very dark sort of place lyrically. Interesting, in that respect.
Yesterday is the most covered song by any artist in musical history. That’s not a joke. It’s a beautiful, yet sad sounding piece about lost love. Paul McCartney does superbly here, it’s a fresh and unusual twist from the group. There is a plucked acoustic guitar and a small string section in the background. A good listen.
Day Tripper is a rifftastic drug song. It refers to the experience from LSD, which was legal in the UK until 1967. Although it talks about chasing a lover lyrically, it’s obviously about drugs in a dual meaning way, hence the time. Clever – and definitely worth hearing.
The next song is a more traditional song by The Beatles, complete with accordion, We Can Work It Out. It’s a good piece to hear with the switch between Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s vocals on this song. A good effort in that respect.
After that, we have the psychedelic and trippy story Paperback Writer. It was never put onto an official album by The Beatles but is an underrated and well-loved piece to this day. The lyrics are fantastic, as is the rest of the song. The delayed vocals are just, wow. A great song on this compilation.
Yellow Submarine is the classic song that inspired the movie later on. It’s a childlike story of adventure and fun, yet listening as an adult, it sounds like a drug trip. Great stuff, regardless, bound to put a smile on one’s face.
Eleanor Rigby tells the tale of sadness and loneliness, which focuses on the said lady. There are no guitars in this particular piece, just Paul McCartney singing, and a beautiful and lovely sounding string section. Simply brilliant, despite the fact it is a little dark lyrically.
Following up is Penny Lane. It focuses on a bunch of day to day activities in a wonderland. This song is based on The Beatles’ old childhood haunts, and it has a great trumpet solo. Not bad for a psychedelic piece. It has some interesting lyrics, too. Very singalong.
The next song is All You Need Is Love, which is a very popular song by The Beatles. It has a huge amount of instrumentation and interesting sounds, although the rest of the song hasn’t dated very well. Still, it’s decent.
Hello, Goodbye may seem like nonsense lyrically, but it is rather catchy. Better than most acts on the radio today, it is an enjoyable song. Nothing outright special though, and easily could have been replaced for a Sgt. Pepper song on this compilation. But, no real complaints otherwise.
Lady Madonna is a great piano-driven piece about a woman who has loads of kids and barely gets by financially as a result. It’s an excellent and quirky listen, well worth your time. Awesome stuff here.
Likely the nicest devoted song to Julian Lennon, we arrive at Hey Jude. It’s probably also the longest song that The Beatles ever recorded as well. It has many elements and different time signatures in it. Some terrific sounds are here, and the song is well constructed. Very singalong, especially towards the end. Brilliant stuff.
Next is Get Back. It’s another nice singalong piece that is from the Let It Be album. There is a sort of bluesy romp sound about it. It’s a good song from this time in The Beatles career before it all fell apart.
The Ballad Of John And Yoko is John Lennon whingeing about his life with Yoko Ono. Tough life at this point? I doubt it. It’s a catchy and interesting piece but seems so selfish a statement, one cannot think it could have been written about something else. Still, it’s listenable anyway.
Something is really something, a great pop song by George Harrison. It’s from the Abbey Road album, and it just sounds fantastic here. The music, singing, and lyrics make for one of the most popular, and legendary songs ever made by The Beatles. Mint. A great and beautiful statement that has not aged at all.
Next up is the classic Come Together. John Lennon delivers a very good song which is a sort of hippie anthem of the time. Some great lyrics and excellent playing are here by the band. It breaks down into a melodic late 1960’s groove in the midsection. It fades out into the groove again, a great musical piece.
After that, we arrive at Let It Be, the title track from the last album The Beatles released. It’s well-produced and well done in general. It has a chugging piano, Paul singing away, and some interesting background instrumentation. Great stuff. Quite beautiful.
The Long And Winding Road is the last piece on the album. It’s a lush sounding and beautiful string section driven song that is very decent, and beautiful. A great way to end this compilation. Great stuff.
This compilation is a good way, to begin with listening to The Beatles. It’s not the best compilation out there as some vital bits of The Beatles are missing. Still, each song is excellent, a rarity especially nowadays. Definitely worth having in your collection, however.