There was so much good material from The Beatles that they had to create two sets of primary double album compilations to showcase such a retrospective look at their work after the group broke up. Although individual albums from the group were era-defining, these compilations are also essential collections for not just fans of The Beatles, but pop/rock music lovers as well. This album showcases the first half of The Beatles career spanning from the years 1962-1966. It’s a great journey through their music, so let’s check this out.
We kick off with Love Me Do – Mono Version which is a great song in the back catalogue of The Beatles, and their first single. It rewrote the history of rock music in the process, sounding better than anything that the world of rock music had done before. Even for a mono mix, this is fantastic. Great stuff.
Next is Please Please Me – Mono Version which still sounds as good and as fresh as it did back in the early sixties. A good and energetic listen about sexual desire in a love context. Great song and great listening experience.
From Me To You – Mono Version is a superbly fantastic listen. It was never assigned to an album by The Beatles but still sounds wonderfully fantastic today. Great, fresh and inspired listening. It puts the current postmodern likes of artists such as Cardi B to shame. The melodicism here is infectious.
She Loves You – Mono Version is a great catchy and singalong number to hear, even today. An awesome listen, it proves that The Beatles wrote great singles as well as albums. Immortal and memorable listening. Brilliant.
The stereo mixes begin with I Want To Hold Your Hand which is pure and divine romanticism. No band did love songs better than The Beatles and is a gentle and beautiful listening experience. It still sounds great today. The climax is gorgeous.
Next, is the excellent album cut All My Loving which has some frenetic electric guitar playing and Paul McCartney’s reassuring singing. Another great listen and simple, beautiful and melodic. That is what The Beatles were about in one sentence. Their music is pure and timeless here.
Can’t Buy Me Love is a very honest statement about the ideals of love and why love cannot be bought, unlike most things out there. The playing here is spot on and precise, creating a wonderful musical backdrop for the vocals. Excellent stuff from the 1960s.
A Hard Day’s Night has a crashing 12 string acoustic guitar intro, then kicks off into a bongo led furiously quick sounding poppy and magical piece. It defined early music of The Beatles, showing off a great musical ability and substance. A wonderful listen. The outro is fantastic.
Next is the acoustic ballad And I Love Her. It’s a beautiful and loving number about a great relationship. Sadly, these days not only many people ignore such a musical sentiment, but romanticism as well. This can change here, this cut is simply beautiful. A great and solid piece.
The awesome Eight Days A Week comes next and is about devoting as much time as possible to a lover. An awesome and brilliant listen to hear, this song is wonderfully beautiful and melodic. Great music of substance over style, a consistent listen.
I Feel Fine begins with an open guitar note, leading into feedback. It goes into a proto-psychedelic song about the awesome nature of love. Notably, all the early songs by The Beatles were specifically about love, but in such an awesome way that all these songs here are classics. Another solid effort.
Ticket To Ride is another great song. There was no end to this beautiful set of artistry here on this compilation and although many argue over the best in The Beatles back catalogue, all of it is wonderful to hear. This is no exception. Another great listen to hear. The chorus is very singalong.
The most covered recorded song in the history of music is Yesterday. Being on more records as a cover than any other song, it is a sad lament about losses in love. Accompanied by a beautiful string section, it is a beautiful melancholy song. Still very good though, regardless of the depressing mood of the song.
The title track of The Beatles fifth album Help! is a great cry for help in the world of love. It’s an era-defining song and a great piece to hear. Paranoid, insecure and in need of help with a love, The Beatles do well here. An excellent listen.
You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away is a warning to the listener about being too open in public with a love of interest. A brilliant song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the music here is nothing but stunning. Beautiful, even in a melancholy sense, it is another good listen.
We Can Work It Out is a reflection on love issues, and has Paul McCartney singing about methods to eliminate such issues. There is a great melodic sensibility and musical accompaniment here. A refreshing listening experience, and is a good musical statement.
The very open topic drug song Day Tripper begins with some great guitar riffs and no doubt inspired many future psychedelic rock bands with such a musical piece. It’s a great listen and points ahead to future musical changes that The Beatles embraced. One of their best songs, very very good. The harmonies are awesome here.
The Rubber Soul classic Drive My Car comes next. This is towards the midsection of The Beatles musical career but has some brilliant piano and guitar playing here. The basslines are awesome too. A nice, quirky and fun song to hear. Refreshing listening.
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) is a beautiful acoustic guitar piece with some sitar in it. It just goes to show that The Beatles had an open mind and flexibility musically. This is looking ahead to later efforts on Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but is a great musical piece on its own. Good stuff.
Nowhere Man is the first non-romantic song by The Beatles. It is still very good and is about a broken man who cannot enjoy life. Regardless, it has some great musicality about it. The music of The Beatles is really great and timeless, another solid effort is here. Lyrically, it is a solid effort.
The beautiful Michelle is a wonderful song that is as beautiful and melodic as it is clever, incorporating some French lyrics in it as well as classic phrases from The Beatles. A good acoustic ballad with some great background harmonies, all in all, a superb effort. The bass guitar is solid, too.
The melodic In My Life comes next. It’s a classic John Lennon piece, with a forward-thinking and excellent musical arrangement. It’s a very caring statement in a loving sense, another awesome listen at hand. The piano solo in the middle is really psychedelic, showcasing the beauty of the song in a different way.
Girl is a song about a troublemaker lady who is as equally as desirable, too. With catchy acoustic guitar and a great musical and melodic sense, this song is a great example of quality over quantity. The chorus is infectious and inimitable. It almost sounds like Greek music here.
Paperback Writer is an early psychedelic pastiche about an ambitious author who desires to make it in the literary world. Likely if The Beatles were not pop/rock musicians, they would have written books. Still, the sonic landscape is truly awesome here, another great listen. The delay on the vocals is so awesome, you must hear this song to experience it.
The string only with vocals ballad Eleanor Rigby is a sad ballad about death and loneliness from the Revolver era. It is not overly depressing, although lyrically and musically, it evokes sadness. A very bold and imaginative effort, however. Another good song. Whether or not it was based on a real-life person or situation, we will never know for sure. Still, a good effort.
Lastly, we have the children’s singalong song Yellow Submarine. It’s a nice way to finish off this wonderful compilation and is a key song from the Revolver album. Good to listen to here. Still timeless today.
This is a very good compilation released to show the first half of The Beatles career. This is something virtually everybody should hear, and no doubt many would agree with this being an essential part of your collection. This is the first half of a great career by The Beatles and is amazing to hear, even today.