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  • John Lennon,
  • Paul McCartney,
  • George Harrison,
  • Ringo Starr,

  • Album Reviews |

    The Beatles

    1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th

    PLEASE PLEASE ME 7 ( 1963, UK pos 1 )
    I Saw Her Standing There / Misery / Anna (Go To Him) / Chains / Boys / Ask Me Why / Please Please Me / Love Me Do / P. S. I Love You / Baby It's You / Do You Want To Know A Secret / Taste Of Honey / There's A Place / Twist And Shout

    The Beatles? What kind of name is that for a rock n roll group, I ask you? Well, Buddy Holly knows. Yes, it's those fabulous Beatles, four lovable young lads from Liverpool with funny hair and heads that don't quite seem connected to their necks properly. You know the ones..... and here is their fabulous debut LP! Directly available to you from all good record stores! Buy it today, you won't be disappointed!! And… so on. In truth, although once The Beatles hit, they really hit big, right from the start virtually, their debut doesn't deviate in terms of structure from the norm of the day. So, you get a couple of hits, a few covers and some filler. The lyrical content of 'I Saw Her Standing Their' which kicks off the record in fine fashion is very much boy/girl, teenage romance kind of stuff - well worn themes. 'Anna' I guess fits into 'filler' territory although it's easy to see the appeal the song must have had at the time, more mentions of girls and therefore romantic mystique is created. You know, that Ringo is a damn fine looking guy! 'Chains' is hardly the greatest song ever written or known to man and there you have the problem. Although 'Please Please Me' backed with it's singles and the other singles The Beatles released at this stage did shake up the musical world ( well, England at least - America would follow later ) had they not followed this album and had the glittering career they certainly did, would anybody be talking about 'Please Please Me' being a landmark LP? It's a thought to ponder. The Ringo sung 'Boys' is again hardly a great song - just standard Rock N Roll stuff - but Ringo does sing this with verve and style dammit!

    'Ask Me Why' is a sweet Fifties style love song with some nice harmonies and only then are we reaching anything remotely approaching classic Beatles. The title song of course is a wonderful song, with the guitar following the vocal line acting as a kind of fanfare and then we have the chorus - 'Come on, COME ON!'. Yeah, it's pretty good. 'Love Me Do' follows, the groups first hit of course, dig that crazy harmonica! 'P.S. I Love You' is a sweet ballad and a decent song that Paul sings well, 'Baby It's You' is yet another ballad, good vocals here but overall not the stuff of legends. And, so on, really, repeat to close. Well, 'Do You Want To Know A Secret' and 'There's A Place' are both genuinely classy songs and the closing 'Twist And Shout' is something for John to get his vocal chords well and truly around. Fabtastic!

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    Readers Comments

    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    PLEASE PLEASE ME is a good start, but it is my least fave fab recording-- it's just too simple. 'There's A Place' is very good, and the rest of the CD is competent; however, there's a reason the Beatles didn't become world famous until 1964: they weren't great composers until that year.

    aledge ae001b6168@blueyonder.co.uk
    Compliments on your marvellous pages. I only comment on Please Please Me since it never seems to get its just desserts. The crux of PPM is that in its simplistic way it was even more groundbreaking than ANY of the Beatles subsequent recordings or any other fellow rock artists. The proof? Quite simple. Name me a group or an artist prior to them of comparable age who had emerged with an album of such quality principally all self-penned. The question, of course, is rhetorical. You had to be around at the time to appreciate the album's impact. To analyse it without such insight is futile because such analysis is devoid of context. Its rating? Why eleven of course.

    Nora Smyth hreynolds@optusnet.com.au
    I think that Ask Me Why Is close to the worst track on the album. The line I love youuuuuwoo woo woo woo , lyrically is a disaster. Baby its You is another vocal horror. I Saw Her Standing There and Twist And Shout are the standouts on this album

    Tom myrtlebox@msn.com
    Great Beatles site Adrian. I am also of the belief that PPM gets passed over too quickly when ranking the songs and LP's of these GODS of music. These lads were glisteningly young at this point and didnt have a whole lot of great musical community threads from which to draw. The one point that MUST be mentioned about this recording effort is that it all took place (aside from PPM/LMD)IN ONE SINGLE FREAKIN DAY!!!! (2/11/63 morning, Afternoon, Evening Sessions @AR2). John was battling a throat condition during the recording and was munching on lozenges all day just to maintain some form of voice (witness Anna in the morning warming up and Twist n shout the final number where his voice is definitely gone). The fact that they incorporated 6 covers to flesh out their first LP does force the overall LP ranking down, but it most certainly is ahead of Let it Be (last in my humble opinion) and the majority of the utter tripe in the White album. The songs: I saw her stan! ding there/PPM/Love me do/Misery are fantastic songs. In fact, I would place the first two songs in their overall top 10% lifetime work - but hey, thats just me.

    Brendan Tnahpellee@yahoo.com.au
    Actually, this is one of my favourite Beatles albums. Every song has a unique, if not very unconventional melody, it's a very uplifting and vibrant album and, well, it always puts a smile on my face. That is all I really need to say. But, I mean how many times in your life do you hear 'There's a place'? That is such a cool song.

    John Cox zoz@nrlworld.com
    It's 1963 guys, the Beatles were just taking the first steps to changing the face of music as we know it. As the Fab Four later said, "Lend me Your Ears And I'll Sing You A song" ... We'll, here they were singing 13 songs songs,(13? Lucky for some ... lucky for all more like) ... that were just a taster for what was still to come ... thank god. These young guys went on to change the world big time, their influence still felt to this day, and I'd suspect will continue to be felt ... forever. So listen to this album with 1963 ears and you'll hear that these 4 young guys from Liverpool were issuing the world with a wake up call. "The Beatles are here and the world of music will never be the same again. It was the start of a "Revolution" So I say wgat a great album, so evokative of the time, Twiggy, mini-skirts, mini-cooper, (mini-mees?) ..."Yeh, yeh, yeh ... groovy baby"

    lee auty Preston
    Very rough album but recorded in 17 hours and on a shoestring budget so what do you expect ?:) What i learned when i was discovering the beatles is that they produced an awesome collection of melodies that was let down by banal lyrics. This album seems rough in retrospect but at the time it shone. The beatles where the kings of melody. Even the worst beatle albums have great melodies. The music was the driving force for them. A lot of the time i thought they just shoved lyrics on the end as an afterthought. The beatles where classical musicians at heart with limited instrumental ability. But despite that they where bloody awesome!!

    ROB NY
    Please Please Me is a great album. It's easy to say all these years later it was "simple" and "not as good as some of their later stuff" BUT back when this came out there was no "later stuff", this was the start of a musical revolution and very much a landmark LP and should be respected as such! As for the comment by Alan Brooks "the beatles weren't great composers until 1964" is not true. For a start most of the hit's they had in 64 were written in 1962 and 1963. The only reason the beatles didn't break America until 1964 was because Capitol records didn't think an English Rock and Roll group would make any money in America. Capitol records are lucky that a major label didn't pick up the US rights to the Beatles before 1964, otherwise they'd have been kicking themseleves for the rest of the 1960s... just like the executives at Decca, who turned down the Beatles just before "Please Please Me" was recorded!

    Gazza Edinburgh
    "Please please me" in the context of the times was quite simply a vehicle to make the beatles famous . It constitues a watering down of their cavern sound with a mix of covers and rather immature,syrupy songwriting from lennon and mccartney betraying their youth . (although it was a real achivement to get their own songs on a LP at this time) The best thing about the record is lennons voice , when he rips out "twist and shout" you know its the real thing , or on his sly,anxious delivery of "baby its you" it becomes clear how much he was the lead singer of the beatles at this point . Obviously this was just the start of an incredible journey , one i doubt even the beatles could imagine . But it doesnt detract from the fact that this is a dated collection of cliched love songs and impersonations that give little indication of the musical riches to follow .

    Sandy Norway
    It's easy to dissmiss "Please Please Me" compared to the later more artful albums and conclude that The Beatles still had some road to go before they could make artistically complex albums like "Revolver", for instance. But if we reverse that thought and ask this question: Could The Beatles have made "Please Please Me" in 1966? I would say surerly not. The thing about the 60's, is that society and The Beatles changed so much and so fast that every album they made seem worlds apart from each other. I would say that every Beatles album is perfect on their own merits. "Please Please Me" defines the young unsofisticated The Beatles straight from The Cavern and what they knew about music in 1963. "Please Please me" is the basics of bass, drums and two guitars, live in the studio. I can't think of any better or more fullfilled album from that kind of primitive perspective. Self penned songs? C'mon people, Elvis hardly wrote one single song, but he defined every song he sung anyway! . Just like The Beatles, the greatest band ever. Don't underestimate the art of doing other peoples songs. 10/10. : )

    Ben benburch500@hotmail.com
    I'm about as big of a Beatles fan as you could get, and they've almost never let me down (aside from a few obvious cases such as "Revolution 9" and stuff like that), but here it's a different story. I realize that this is much better than whatever else might have been on the album charts back in early '63, but it's quite clear the Beatles didn't have their shit together at this point. I can't see what they saw in songs like "Ask Me Why" and "Misery" (which might be my least favorite Beatles song not called "Revolution 9") and "P.S. I Love You" is on the same level as all those crappy one hit wonder Merceybeat bands they were writing songs like that for. The title track here is my favorite here. "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Boys" are fun too, and Paul's voice saved the other wise pretty lame show tune "A Taste of Honey". That's also the case for George and "Do You Want to Know a Secret" (even though it's not a show tune, it sounds like one). I also like "Anna", "There's a Place", "Twist and Shout" and "Love Me Do".

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    I Saw Her Standing There / Misery / Anna (Go To Him) / Chains / Boys / Love Me Do / P. S. I Love You / Baby It's You / Do You Want To Know A Secret / Taste Of Honey / There's A Place / Twist And Shout

    Typical Beatles fan introduction follows as if this person, even though they live in the 21st century and not the 20th, still believe The Beatles invented everything. The Beatles represent everything good about rock music as a form. They pioneered every music form after 1962 and before, ohh 1976 in some direct or indirect way. The vast majority of their songs are excellent. Their production, care of George Martin, is superb and imaginative. They were extremely original. They were great musicians. Such an introduction from a Beatles fan not familiar with The Shadows, the impact of Buddy Holly or Lonnie Donnegan beggars belief to a sensible, informed person in the 21st century. Rest assured, although be very alarmed would be a better way to say this, most Beatles fanatics do think this way, to this very day. Did Kraftwerk even exist? Or would a Beatles fan claim 'Tomorrow Never Knows' invented techno? That's just a mischievous thing and I don't want to be petty during this review.

    Veejay who originally released this LP in the US used the artwork from a British EP, chopped off The Beatles feet (?!?) and then reversed the negative. Being a poor label with poor distribution, 'Introducing The Beatles' sold nowt until Capitol Records got hold of the band, under duress. 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand', The Beatles 5th UK single became a huge hit for Capitol Records and Veejay then released numerous variations of their Beatles material whilst they still could. shall not mention a single song from this album during the review, because apparently, it's bad sport to do so. I use that phrase deliberately. John Lennon, huge Elvis and Buddy Holly fan that he was, was in a skiffle group. Paul was a fan of Skiffle and Rock n Roll too and The Beatles invented precisely nothing at this stage in their history. They were around at the right time and at the right stage signed to EMI in the UK. In the US, signed to Veejay, they suffered poor artwork and no distribution. Then, sold loads on the back of their UK success once Brian Epstein got his back into gear.

    'Introducing The Beatles' is the same as their UK debut then, minus two songs for licensing reasons. It would later reappear under different guises for numerous different reasons. That's it, really. Roy Orbison, Phil Spector and dozens of other accomplished and fiercely creative US artists I shan't mention, were swept away, black artists particularly. The artwork is indeed very cheap although does proclaim, quite correctly at the time, The Beatles as 'England's NO 1 Vocal Group'. As a post-scipt to this review, this is one of the world’s most counterfeited albums. If you have a slightly different version to me, then good luck to you!

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    hapman cabinessence@freemail.hu
    i agree with every word of this review. (by the way, between 1962 and 64 Vee-Jay had a vocal group called The 4 Seasons, and they just kicked the shit out of the Beatles in terms of songwriting, production, vocals, everything. of course today they're labeled as a square, unhip group with banal little ditties about love -- unlike the Beatles, who invented EVERYTHING, of course. yeah, some pop history revision would be a nice thing)

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    WITH THE BEATLES ( 1963, UK pos 1 )
    It Won't Be Long / All I've Got To Do / All My Loving / Don't Bother Me / Little Child / Till There Was You / Please Mister Postman / Roll Over Beethoven / Hold Me Tight / You Really Got A Hold On Me / I Wanna Be Your Man / Devil In Her Heart / Not A Second Time / Money

    One thing, how come The Beatles released fourteen track albums and most American groups of the era eleven or twelve track albums? The Beatles worked hard, it's fair to say. The songs we know from this early Beatles era are actually only a fraction of the songs they'd written between them. George and even Ringo, in addition to Lennon/McCartney, were writing songs although these songs weren't widely heard or often even considered for recording at the time. Anyway, 'It Won't Be Long' is a Beatle-mania crowd-pleaser, unremarkable musically but fairly remarkable vocally, especially the swoonsome harmonies at the end. 'All I've Got To Do' has a nice structure about it, it's a good song that shows practice makes if not perfect, then at least a little better than before. 'All My Loving' appearing three songs in makes up a strong start and the little country guitar break in the middle is delightful. It shows The Beatles beginning to think a little more about their songs, even at this relatively early stage. I mentioned the writing earlier? Well, George did manage to get a song recorded and it appears next. Compared to songs by other groups at the time, The Hollies and what have you, this is damn fine. In fact, it's arguably better than the lesser Lennon/McCartney material. Moving onwards, 'Little Child' makes good use of the harmonica, although it manages to be easily the worst song on the album so far. Paul's 'Til There Was You' is a lovely lilting Spanish flavoured song and then we get some inevitable, and unimaginative, cover versions.

    'Please Mister Postman' I guess was an interesting choice being a girl group song and all, and yes indeed, The Beatles do try to replicate those girl group harmonies. John's double-tracked lead vocal is reasonably strong, for example. It seems silly and ludicrous of me to say next though that I've never been very fond of 'Roll Over Beethoven'. I really don't like the song or the inevitable covers performed by bar bands up and down the land. The Beatles version here is hardly transcendental either. It’s not very likely to send to you ‘some other place’. 'Hold Me Tight' following two covers, even if at least one of them was good, really does start to try your patience. Still, 'I Wanna Be Your Man' is a good original Beatles song - a decent energetic Ringo vocal, this time out. 'Devil In Her Heart' is fairly interesting and 'Not A Second Time' benefits from Piano in the mix. The closing 'Money' is slightly bizarre with its jazzy parts and all but once John lets his vocals loose, you're slightly pinned back to the wall. So overall, some of the covers are genuinely interesting, others less so of course but the album seems more rounded overall than 'Please Please Me'. The Beatles weren't yet writing too many classic songs but that would come later.

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    Readers Comments

    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    The Beatles' first high-quality recording. Most of the cover tunes are mediocre; but 'Money' is a hard rocker akin to 'Hey Bulldog'. 'Don't Bother Me' is a fine track-- why did its composer, Harrison, and George Martin put it down?

    Jeff Whitcher JeffWhitcher@cs.com
    I agree with your 7 rating. "Meet The Beatles" was a better album for my money. Some great songs here, notably "All My Loving", "It Wont Be Long" and "Money", but too many cover songs to make this a classic.

    andy seagrove theseagroves@yahoo.com
    this is the first beatles album i bought. i love it. i still play it. it has the cavern sound about it!

    Lee Auty leeauty@hotmail.com
    A joy to listen to but with no classics. never the less its a great album. The next album started a musical revolution. And yes im a beatle fan

    Ben benburch500@hotmail.com
    I think this is a solid nine and a half. Not a bad song on here, besides "Till There Was You". Sure it might have worked on the last album, but this isn't the last album. This is a new and mature Beatles. You can tell by the first three songs - "It Won't Be Long" is my favorite Beatles song and the two that follow it aren't far behind. George's "Don't Bother Me" gets a lot of crap but it shouldn't. "Little Child" doesn't seem to be popular either, but it rocks. "Not a Second Time" and "Hold Me Tight" are a lot of fun too, but "I Wanna Be Your Man" is my favorite on the second side, and also my favorite Ringo song. The covers (as you said) aren't as remarkable as the originals, but they're still pretty top notch. My favorite (and my favorite Beatles cover) is easily "Please Mister Postman". Also might be the most energetic song here. "You Really Got a Hold on Me" is a rare instance of the Beatles doing R&B and it world wonders. "Money"'s great too (almost forgot about that one). Though I like the way they played it, I don't like George's vocals on "Roll Over Beethoven", too nasal and doesn't really fit the song. John and/or Paul would have done a better job.

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    MEET THE BEATLES 7 ( 1964 )
    I Want To Hold Your Hand / I Saw Her Standing There / This Boy / It Won't Be Long / All I've Got To Do / All My Loving / Little Child / Til There Was You / Hold Me Tight / I Wanna Be Your Man / Not A Second Time

    After being unavailable for years, you can buy this album now as part of Capitols 'Vol 1' Beatles box-set, which running to £30 for four albums is a nice Beatles bargain. You know, it's kind of weird reviewing The Beatles a 2nd time around especially without any kind of context. I can only imagine what it must have been like to be an American Beatles fan in the Sixties/Seventies. Growing up with these altered Capitol issued LPs. Not only altered in terms of track-listing either - Capitol applied a hideous form of stereo separation to the songs. I don't remember there being a problem with 'With The Beatles'. There's a clue for you straight away, 'Meet The Beatles' does indeed take approximately half of 'With The Beatles', filling the disc out with a couple of singles and miscellaneous other tunes. The album irritates me for some reason. This could in part be down to the fact I'm not used to hearing the songs in this order. I'm sure that's part of it. Yet, the album just seems so poorly thrown together. It moves from one chugging Little Richard/Chuck Berry derivative to another, with a couple of Paul penned efforts for light relief. 'Til There Was You' sticks out like a sore thumb on this collection, 'All My Loving' is genuinely great though, The Beatles starting to think more intelligently about the way they were using their guitars.

    I never reviewed 'Past Masters Vol 1' did I? Ha, I’m reviewing the Capitol LPs instead! So, I can write briefly about US Beatle breakthrough 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand'. From what I can gather, American musicians of the era weren't blown away by the song as much as the audiences reactions to the group. It must have felt like having the rug pulled from under your feet, everything you've been working towards turned upside down. Groups like The Beach Boys survived, injecting a renewed sense of urgency and excitement into their music. Basically, The Beatles did ( American ) rock n roll badly in one sense, but inadvertently, created something different in the process. The Beatles music wasn't as 'clean' sounding, they must have sounded energetic, exotic and excitingly dirty. Interestingly, when Brian Epstein first touted the group to EMI ( before going to Decca, then eventually signing to EMI ) they were rejected because EMI apparently already had 'too many bands of that type' on their books. Was it not clear The Beatles were 'different'? Perhaps it wasn't obvious, who knows? Ah, I'll stop being mischievous, the boys did well. 'Meet The Beatles' doesn't hold up brilliantly, although has plenty of energy and does contain a couple of important early Beatle hits.

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    Roll Over Beethoven / Thank You Girl / You Really Got a Hold on Me / Devil in Her Heart / Money (That's What I Want) / You Can't Do That / Long Tall Sally / I Call Your Name / Please Mr. Postman / I'll Get You / She Loves You

    Only five Beatles compositions feature on this short 11 track Capitol Records Beatles album. Now available as part of Capitols Beatle box-sets, at the time twenty seven minutes of Beatles material predictably rocketed to the top of the US charts despite the flaky and varied nature of the material contained herein. Sources for this albums are as follows then. Side one has five of six remaining tracks from their second UK LP. Also included are a b-side, 'Thank You Girl' , the single 'She Loves You' b/w 'I'll Get You', 'You Cannot Do That' from 'A Hard Day's Night' and two new songs, 'Long Tall Sally' and 'I Call Your Name' which had then yet to see a UK release. Interesting note, check the opening guitar notes of 'Roll Over Beethoven', the first ten seconds or so. Compare them to the Chuck Berry original. On 'Thank You Girl' another recording take clearly enters around the 1:38 mark, check the change in echo. So what? Well, contrary to popular belief, The Beatles weren't perfect. Their apparent total lack of concern over the shoddy produce their American fans had to put up with demonstrates this, although John apparently at least voiced some disapproval. Oh, Is it just me or is 'I'll Get You' slightly creepy substandard beat-music fare? Why is it nearly all the worst Beatles songs found their way onto this LP, 'She Loves You' being of course the obvious exception? Saying that, the stereo mix for 'She Loves You' is eccentrically all over the place and clearly fake stereo. 'Money' also sounds terrible here, like it was recorded in a cave with ten dozen towels covering the speakers.

    I enjoy 'I Call Your Name' quite a bit for the ringing guitar sound George manages. 'Long Tall Sally' is a fine studio example of the kind of sound The Beatles would get in their earlier 'Cavern Club Days'. All in all though, this is one of the weaker Capitol Beatles albums. Still worth tracking down as part of 'Capitol Albums Vol 1', though. £30 odd quid? Bargain, even if it's only a 6/10.

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    A HARD DAYS NIGHT 8 ( 1964, UK pos 1 )
    A Hard Day's Night / I Should Have Known Better / If I Fell / I'm Happy Just To Dance With You / And I Love Her / Tell Me Why / Can't Buy Me Love / Any Time At All / I'll Cry Instead / Things We Said Today / When I Get Home / You Can't Do That / I'll Be Back

    For 'A Hard Days Night' The Beatles used Rickenbacker guitars in the film and for the recording sessions. Roger McGuinn took notice and went out and purchased a shiny new Rickenbacker guitar. So you could in fact claim this 'Hard Days Night' record was the most influential record of all-time. You could, but you'd be insane to do so. Then again some people like to credit The Beatles for everything. I think Roger McGuinn and The Byrds most likely, it can be safely said, took the sound of The Rickenbacker somewhere else altogether but sure, the chiming tones of this guitar is noticeable all over the album, not least through the opening classic title song. I actually believe the film was far more influential than the record, by the way. The Beatles had such a strong image, were so successful, that it made other groups start to wonder about their own image and dress-wear. Anyways, second song 'I Should Have Known Better', sung by John, has always been a favourite of mine. I love the harmonica sound here and the melody and vocals are both super strong. The instrumental break positively chimes and shines thanks to this guitar sound. 'If I Fell' features gorgeous harmony vocals by John and Paul, a real classic composition written by the group themselves. Well, all of the songs for ‘A Hard Days Night’, the album, were original Beatles compositions, that in itself was influential come to think of it.

    A pretty consistent album this, though some of the songs are just good rather than great. 'I'm Happy Just To Dance With You' falls into that category. Enjoyable, but no all time world beating masterpiece. The guitars sound sweet through the ballad 'And I Love Her', Paul very much to the fore with the vocal. 'Tell Me Why' brings back memories of the earlier Beatles style as displayed on their first two records.....

    'A Hard Day's Night' is more varied an album than either of it's predecessors and 'Can't Buy Me Love' is a stone cold classic, wonderful from beginning to end and it's only 2m:14s long! Now, here's a tip all you budding songwriters. Pop songs should preferably be less than three minutes long. It seems with every passing year the average length of a charting single gets longer. In twenty years time, will every single be eight minutes long? Come on, this is getting ridiculous! But, back to the matter in hand. 'Any Time At All' is a fine song with good John vocals, 'I'll Cry Instead' slightly less fine but still perfectly enjoyable with it's little charming guitar parts amid a shuffling rhythm. 'Things We Said Today' sounds crystal clear and beautifully recorded. The closing trio of songs let the side down but overall this album is good interesting listening.

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    Readers Comments

    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    This album s between an 8 and a 9. The title track is shagadelic, baby. The whole disc is party time, excellent.

    Jeff Whitcher JeffWhitcher@cs.com
    I would put this album at 9 1/2. This album plays like a greatest hits fer cryin' out loud. A Hard Day's Night, I Should Have Known Better, Cant Buy Me Love, I'll Be Back, And I Love Her, You Can't Do That...name one band in 1964 who had that many SOLID original compositions on one album. I would maybe give the old United Artists Soundtrack "A Hard Day''s Night" album an 8 1/2 but this British release is darn near perfection. The only track I would consider filler is "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You". By the way, love this site. Great job!

    aleksander aleksander1983@hotmail.com
    I Really like this album it features so mutch enjoyable music. notable songs: A hardays night the title trac, Would I known better etc . I give this album 8 or 9 out of 10.

    Gabrielle one_sweet_dream@pepperland.zzn.com
    This is definitely a 9, if not more. Almost all the songs are stellar quality, and can you believe that the whole album was written by Paul and John? How many other albums of the time can boast that sort of songwriting ability? the only fillers are "I'll Cry Instead" and "When I Get Home," but it's all right, when you have such fantastic songs to make up the rest of the album.

    craig braelow cbraelow@yahoo.com
    one of the greatest albums of all time ...again people wont admit too it .BUT the title song kicks ass 1964 who played better rockroll back than.people talk about pepper white revolver yes they were great. but when im blue ill put on hard days night and even help those were the beatles first for albums .i know help came latter but it still sounds great

    Brendan Tnahpellee@yahoo.com.au
    Just about the last three songs, YOu can't do that adn I'll be back are rightly revered amongst Fab fans. YOu can't do that is SO infectious and John delivers a wonderful vocal. I'll be back has such a haunting, mysterious, unusual melody, how-come they couldn't write melodies like that for the Sgt. Pepper album? However, most people disregard When I get home. While not quite as god as the other two, it's a fine track in my opinion. I suppose John's trying too hard to sound emotional and it doesn't quite work. The only way the lyrics could work were if it were abotu just getting out of jail. "I've got no business being here with you this way... I've got a whole lot of things to tell her, when I get home" but musically it's alright. It has a nice cha cha cha beat and really catchy chorus. I liek it mroe than I like "Tell me why", which, IMO, is a bit routine.

    nicholas nicholasfrood@hotmail.co.uk
    A hard days night is imho the greatest pure pop album ever recorded, every song is catchy as expected with the beatles and when i first heard it i loved every song and still do.By the way john wrote 10 of the 13 songs on this album, the only ones paul wrote were 'and i love her' 'cant buy me love' and 'things we said today' john wrote the rest.George sang 'im happy just to dance with you' because john was apparently too embarrest to sing it. 9 and a half out of 10

    gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    The first album i ever fell in love with . Its just incredible how these songs just have so much love in them - in every sense . "and i love her" is almost spooky its so serene , "any time at all" "you cant do that" see john voice burning with icy fire ."ill cry instead" is a bit drab but hardly disastrous . The 2 hits are classics in anyones book , the harmonies awesome , the guitar sounds edgy and subtle . John was pretty much running the band at this time at the height of beatlemania and it remains the best of the bands early albums . An absolute joy to listen to .

    lee auty bolton
    The opening chord of a hard days night sums the beatles up for me. Its a one second clang of noise and you have no idea what to expect next. That song was the beatles saying " sit down, buckle your seatbelts because its going to be a bumpy ride". love them

    Andersherts, UK
    John Lennon used a Rickenbacker 325, short scale guitar with a natural finish frm early on. Purchased in Hamburg on tick, and the story goes that it was never paid up. The Rick was modded in Liverpool with a different Bigsby arrangement. When the Epstein Beatles were breaking through the 325 was refinished in Black and White to better match their stage outfits. It was a staple of Lennon's rhythm playing from the start. On Hard Days Night, Rickenbacker had donated a 12 string Rick 330 to the band, only the second one ever made. This is the instrument you hear on this album, very distinctive and creating a good bit of what we recognise as the Beatles sound.

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    SOMETHING NEW 7 ( 1964 )
    I'll Cry Instead / Things We Said Today / Any Time at All / When I Get Home / Slow Down / Matchbox / Tell Me Why / And I Love Her / I'm Happy Just to Dance with You / If I Fell / Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand

    For the third Capitol Beatles LP we find two songs taken from the Long Tall Sally EP, the German version of 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' and many ( if not all ) of the songs from the British 'Hard Days Night' LP. The film was released through UA who had the rights therefore to issue the soundtrack album. Capitol still managed to issue all of the Hard Days night original songs, eight of which appear here. We'll discuss the non 'Hard Days Night' tunes first of all though, because they are the ones more people are less likely to be familiar with. Well, at the time, 'Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand' was unreleased in the UK because EMI had more sense than Capitol. Why do I want to hear 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' in German, sung with English accents? I don't, it's an utter waste of time. As per usual with these American Beatles albums, the tracklisting is completely random, making little sense and coming across as a mere handful of songs rather than any kind of artistic statement. The album is also only twenty four minutes long. Makes you wonder, was it The Beach Boys fault some of their early albums were also a bit like this, or Capitol's? The Beach Boys were certainly prolific enough to have released 14 track albums year in, year out. Anyway, the two songs from the 'Long Tall Sally' EP are both covers. 'Slow Down' is played in typical early Beatles style, beginning with a long instrumental intro before John gets going with the vocals - harmless rock'n'roll, that's all. 'Matchbox' is more fun purely because Ringo sings it. Typical rock'n'roll structures derived from the blues, nothing to fall out of your chair over.

    Highlights from the 'Hard Days Night' tunes include the ever lovely 'If I Fell', featuring as it does some of the best harmony vocal work from The Beatles upto this point in time. 'Tell Me Why' is a two-minute blast of fun, sung by John primarily. 'And I Love Her' is a typical McCartney slice of sweetness and George sings 'I'm Happy Just To Dance With You' to add another flavour to the LP. That's about it really, this isn't the worst of the Capitol albums remarkably but it still pales next to the albums that were being released in the UK all the same.

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    BEATLES FOR SALE 7 ( 1964, UK pos 1 )
    No Reply / I'm A Loser / Baby's In Black / Rock And Roll Music / I'll Follow The Sun / Mr Moonlight / Kansas City-Hey Hey Hey Hey / Eight Days A Week / Words Of Love / Honey Don't / Every Little Thing / I Don't Want To Spoil The Party / What You're Doing / Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby

    The Beatles were tired from touring non-stop for two years so only eight of the fourteen songs here were penned by The Beatles. 'Beatles For Sale' is usually regarded as a temporary step backwards - an album including too many old style Beatles Rock N Roll covers and a general lack of sparkle. If you're familiar with the album art, none of the guys look happy. The front-sleeve isn't a stark image of artistic seriousness aka 'With The Beatles' rather a glance into the mind of a group who simply didn't want to pose, couldn't raise much of a smile and weren't particularly happy given the huge success they'd enjoyed. They still manage to put together a fine one-two-three opening sequence, after which, 'Beatles For Sale' swings from highs to lows to mediocre inbetweens. Still, those three songs that open? Wonderful stuff, classic Beatles songs all from an often unregarded Beatles record. 'No Reply' sounds like a stronger song from 'With The Beatles', 'I'm A Loser' displays a country influence in the guitar picking, 'I'm A Loser' has a fresh sound and wonderful lyrics throughout. 'Baby's In Black' is a weird semi-lilting song with strained sounding vocals perhaps reflecting the pressure these songs were recorded under. 'Baby's In Black' also has a guitar solo that sounds all over the place and not in a good way. Still, it triumphs despite these problems, because the song itself is just that strong.

    'Rock And Roll Music' I could have happily lived without, a trip down memory lane for the group. Hey, let's pretend that its 1962 all over again..... no thanks. They play the song well, it's a good performance but does give off a 'whiff' of something, shall we say. The mid section of 'Beatles For Sale' in general sags and suffers so thank god for the true pop classic that is 'Eight Days A Week'. The title of the song was inspired by a something Ringo said describing their hectic work schedule. After this album highpoint a couple of unremarkable covers arrive before 'Every Little Thing' proves itself to be a true underrated Beatles gem, a fabulous song led by Paul and mixing in cool clear guitar lines with catchy vocals. Following this, an average John song, an average Paul song and an average Carl Perkins cover wrap up 'Beatles For Sale'. Shame about 'Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby' in particular, apart from the sound and style of the lead guitar - everything else is very tired and old sounding.

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    Readers Comments

    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    I give this an 8. There´s only one song I don't like-- 'Mr. Moonlight'.

    hugues o.hugues@wanadoo.fr
    I agree with almost all the review, except for "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" which I like a lot and is my fave song of the album with "No Reply". I would have also added the excellent sound of the band, especially George Harrison on guitar, and also their excellent vocal form. And doesn't the cover of Buddy Holly's "Words Of Love" announce the Byrds in some way? Concerning the rating, well, why not a 7, but then "Please Please Me" should get a 6...

    DLF ousetunes@aol.com
    Beatles for Sale is the product of four absolutely shattered lads. It sounds tired in places; where it doesn't is a credit to the Beatles themselves because they were on an itinerary that would actually kill any of today's 'stars'. They'd reached unprecendented heights in 1963 with debut offering Please Please Me and later, With The Beatles. They'd then made it in the USA in February 1964, titled Their First American Tour (not true), then returned to film A Hard Day's Night, finish the songs that would appear mainly on side 2 of that album and as well as more touring, had a date to keep with an album for the Christmas market.

    That album was Beatles For Sale and the accompanying single was I Feel Fine, not even included on the album! Other contenders for a single release were No Replyy, Eight Days A Week and the wonderful I'm A Loser. All would have made number one anyway. So, it's hardly surprising that the album lacks quality in a number of plac! es. It contains the worst recording of their entire career - Mr Moonlight, and some pretty average renditions of Cavern favourites Honey Don't and Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby. At least you sense George enjoyed these recordings exercising his finest Chet Atkins and Chuck Berry fingerpicking styles.

    Sure, there a some strong tracks. I'm A Loser is class all the way, Baby's In Black points to the more thought provoking material they would write the following year and even a cover of Buddy Holly's Words of Love comes across well. That's many thanks to the superb sound of George's Gretsch guitar. Also, George plays a great solo on the under-rated I Don't Want To Spoil The Party (a Smiths title if ever there was one!). Rock And Roll Music works due to Lennon's super vocal and Paul's I'll Follow The Sun is his 1964 moment of idylic bliss, later put to good effect on Mother Nature's Son in 1968. But songs like What You're Doing and Every Little Thing sound like rush w! ork or even unfinished to me. I'm not detracting my h! eroes th ough as this was a temporary and forgivable lapse in quality. They were knackered and didn't even have time to rehearse by now.

    Beatles For Sale then is best considered a stop gap, it leads from the wonderful Hard Day's Night towards Help! and with its deeper moments - Lennon's lyrics on I'm A Loser, Macca's on What Your're Doing and Baby's In Black, gives an insight into what was to come with Rubber Soul. Maybe the real truth is in the album's title. Maybe John, Paul, George and Ringo really wished that The Beatles as a product was for sale at this point! (7 out of ten)

    Brendan Tnahpellee@yahoo.com.au
    The covers on this album are always dissed except Words of love which gets all the glory as covers are concerned. The only cover I don't like is Words of love, it is so dready and dreadfully sung. Mr.Moonlight, on the other hand, is so exuberant and mysterious, it's my favourite of the covers and my 2nd favoruite song on the album. I think the best song on the album is I don't want to spoil the party. Even though this album is regarded as 'crap' compared to Revolver, They couldn't have written a melody as mysterious or as unusual as Party on Revolver, so they resorted to tehcnical tricks. Mystifying but not as much skill is required. Party is also quite an energetic song. My third favoruite song is Ringo singing Honey Don't, he utilises his personality well. My other favourite songs are Every little thing, rater Gene Pitneyesque, and I'll follow the sun. A couple of the 'covers' are a bit routine, Words of love I mentioned, Kansas City is also a bit routine, compare it to Pa! ul's amazing versionof Long Tall Sally. That's Rock n Roll.

    nicholas nicholasfrood@hotmail.co.uk
    every little thing was johns song not pauls. John wrote all the originals for this appart from ill follow the sun and what your doing.7s about right.

    hey nichols, eight days a week and every little thing were written mostly by paul. And babys and black´s was co-written. if you dont believe me, read the comments from paul anda john about that songs in this page: http://www.geocities.com/~beatleboy1/

    Tate South Wales
    `Babys in black` is the best track on this album. The song written by both John and Paul is about `5th Beatle` Stuart Sutcliffes girlfriend Astrid Kirschner who Stuart fell in love with while the Beatles were starting out in Hamburg. As any Beatles fan knows Stuart died from a brain haemorage in 1962. Astrid was absolutely devasted at her loss and some say she never completely got over it. Listen to the lyrics on this tune. Very moving.Lennon / McCartney at their best.

    John London Wales
    Yeh, Sebastian is right. McCartney wrote Every little thing and Eight Days Week (the last one, with Lennon´s help). Just check what Lennon said in his Playboy interview(1980) about these songs:"'Eight days A Week' was Paul's effort at getting a single for the movie. That luckily turned to 'Help!', which I wrote - bam! bam! like that - and got the single. 'Eight Days A Week' was never a good song. We struggled to record it and struggled to make it into a song. It was his initial effort( paul´s), but I think we both worked on it."""'Every Little Thing' is his (Paul´s) song . Maybe I threw in something."Lennon also said in the same interview that Baby´s in Black was cowritten.

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    BEATLES 65 ( 1964 )
    No Reply / I'm a Loser / Baby's in Black / Rock and Roll Music / I'll Follow the Sun / Mr. Moonlight / Honey Don't / I'll Be Back / She's a Woman / I Feel Fine / Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby

    For The Beatles sixth American LP release Capitol decide to take side one of the original 'Beatles For Sale' LP more or less intact. So, they dropped 'Eight Days a Week', 'Words of Love', 'Every Little Thing', 'I Don't Want to Spoil the Party', 'What You're Doing', and 'Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey'. With the exception of 'Eight Days A Week', there's no big loss there. Only seven Beatles originals this time out, the LP rounded off with two Carl Perkins covers, Chuck Berry's 'Rock And Roll Music' and 'Mr Moonlight' which stupidly managed to survive Capitol Records culling of the original UK LP releases. We also more happily, get both sides of the European stand-alone single 'I Feel Fine' b/w 'She's A Woman', two songs recorded a good couple of months after the main 'Beatles For Sale' sessions and boy, doesn't it show? 'She's A Woman' might be termed these days as 'typical b-side material' yet spookily manages to sound like Monkees material of a year or two later. Not the best produced of Beatles material it must be said, but charming enough. 'I Feel Fine' though has to rank as one of the greatest Beatles singles ever. The intro is very distinctive, the same pattern continues through the verses. For the chorus we get some harmony and a twist in the melodies. Quite a clever construction, all round.

    The songs excerpted from 'Beatles For Sale' then include the tremendous Stu Sutcliffe tribute 'Baby's In Black', a superior Lennon number. McCartney isn't to be outdone with his charming 'I'll Follow The Sun'. The two Carl Perkins covers are perfunctory at best and then perhaps tellingly 'I'll Be Back', taken from 'A Hard Day's Night', pretty much manages to be the best song on this entire LP, 'I Feel Fine' excepted. Not one to really cherish this album then, unless you were around at the time and have nostalgic, sentimental attachments. By the way, it was released in 1964 and by the time 1965 swung round, The Beatles were busy changing themselves. Not that Capitol's 'Beatles VI' managed to demonstrate that very well but that's another story and shall be told another time.

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    BEATLES 65 7 ( 1964 )
    Medley / Eight Days a Week / You Like Me Too Much / Bad Boy / I Don't Want to Spoil the Party / Words of Love / What You're Doing / Yes It Is / Dizzy Miss Lizzie / Tell Me What You See / Every Little Thing

    This was astonishingly the ninth Beatles LP to be released in America in less than one and a half years, including the Vee Jay and United Artist Records releases. Beginning a Beatles album with a medley of Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey may seem a little strange then, but Capitol Beatles albums generally were a little strange, it seems. Such releases distorted the nature of actual Beatles development and also presented more of a startling revelation circa 'Rubber Soul' and 'Revolver' for US fans than us Brits had received. We had 'Help' to lead nicely upto 'Rubber Soul', the American fans didn't really have a clear idea just how constantly The Beatles were evolving because they kept getting these Cavern Club throwbacks right through to and including 1965. Such a sound is tempered and constrated with if we consider the first clutch of songs on "Beatles VI". Well, we get the melodic pop of 'Eight Days A Week' and the sweet flow of 'You Like Me Too Much' and then we get the twisted rhythm and blues of 'Bad Boy' where the guitars of George and John sound enjoyably out of tune.

    Generally speaking, 'Beatles IV' is a mix of Beatles For Sale tracks, a few b-sides and a couple of songs from the then unreleased 'Help' LP. Yes, it makes for a strange listen, but at times this LP has charm. Going from 'Dizzie Miss Lizzie' to 'Tell Me What You See' from the 'Help!' LP is just a weird transition in anybodies book. We they slip into 'Every Little Thing' which sounds almost like another band again, because the production and mixing just make this sonically stand out. I love 'Every Little Thing' though, such an assuming number from Lennon/McCartney whilst Harrison chimes and shines through the instrumental sections. Does it for me.

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    HELP 8 ( 1965, UK pos 1 )
    Help / The Night Before / You've Got To Hide Your Love Away / I Need You / Another Girl / You're Going To Lose That Girl / Ticket To Ride / Act Naturally / It's Only Love / You Like Me Too Much / Tell Me What You See / I've Just Seen A Face / Yesterday / Dizzy Miss Lizzie

    'Help' just wasn't as cool, sexy or coherent as the 'Hard Days Night' movie so it seems to me this album has gotten a bad rap from some fans because of this. Whatever, I really cannot comprehend it myself because to me, 'Help' is just as good an album if not slightly better. It gets the same grade because I'm a coward and because this isn't quite deserving of a better grade. Changes in the musical marketplace saw that John was already starting to dig Dylan, as demonstrated by the likes of the charmingly ramshackle 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away'. Before that we have the title song, just as enjoyable as the title song from 'A Hard Days Night' for me…. Oh, before I forget, 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away'? I really dig those 'Hey!' parts. I just wanted to say that. Anyway, 'Another Girl' is yet another simple song on an album seemingly full of neat little simple songs and it’s this simplicity and folk-tinged loveliness that gives ‘Help’ it’s heart and soul. 'You're Gonna Lose That Girl' then, carrying on in such a vein is hugely charming and enjoyable with some fine Beatles harmonies and playful vocals all round. 'Ticket To Ride' appears, the best pop song The Beatles had written at this stage, bar none!

    The second half of the albums kicks off with the Ringo sung country number 'Act Naturally' which seems so out of place, it becomes comical yet 'It's Only Love' has some haunting guitar sounds and a beautiful John vocal. 'You Like Me Too Much' re-introduces Piano into a Beatles album and works as a very nice unassumingly enjoyable track. 'I've Just Seen A Face' is a wonderfully great Simon And Garfunkel rip-off… I get the history confused sometimes. If it actually invented Simon And Garfunkel ( it does sound a hell of a lot like them ) then hats off to those Beatles lads! If not, hats off to them anyway, it's a super fun song. We get ‘Yesterday’ today and then to round everything off we get something a little older, a little goodbye as such because 'Dizzie Miss Lizzie' is one of those Rock N Roll John vocal scorchers. Excellent.

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    Readers Comments

    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    The first truly eclectic album by the Beatles. An 8 or 9.

    Aaron glenn@mitchell.fsnet.co.uk
    No way 8 no way 9 try 10 yes you may think I’m crazy but come on this is so amazing all the way through well if you skip 'Act Naturally' god that gives me a head pain. but the great thing is you can skip it so there’s no harm done 'I need you’ amazing there’s no point in telling all the best but my god this album is one of the best but I think perhaps the best yes you herd the best.

    Brendan Tnahpellee@yahoo.com.au
    Disagree. To me the best song on the whole album was 'I need you'. The melody is very touching and it has such a weird guitar effect/arrangement. Hey! You've got to hide your love away is also a stand-out. Acutally, thsi si my 2nd or 3rd favourite Bealtes album. Harrison is the star for me, writing two excellent songs and the album is full of unusual guitar tones and acutally Ringo adds some interesting rhtyhms. Like Please Please Me, this album has such an uninhibited feel and it really moves. I also like the Piano. Hey! I'll list my favourite songs, 1. I need you, 2. You like me too much, 3. Hey! You've ... 4. Yesterday, 5. Tell me what you see, 6. It's only love [one of the most fantastic heart-break ballads I've ever heard

    Sam oxalicman@hotmail.com
    I expected so much from this album, because I've heard all their albums but this one. The thing is I heard their most four popular tracks of this album ( Help!, You've got.., Ticket to ride and Yesterday), and I thought this album would be more creative because of the evolution of the Beatles in that time (see Rubber Soul, Revolver and Beatles for sale). And let me tell you : -The night before is lousy - I need you is also lousy, Another girl is so-so,You're gonna lose that girl,I think, is the worst song The Beatles ever did and worst John Lennon compo, Act Naturally is a bit funny : Ringo's style, It's only love is not ok, You like me too much is boring, Tell me what you see is not rocking at all, I've just seen a face, nice guitar intro (yesterday's style) but the country song that follows 'til the end is very old and out of style even for its time, and finally Dizzy miss Lizzy is a poor amercian remake that the Beatles always do with american songs ( They are only good ! to write songs, not to copy rights of others). Though I liked the four most-popular tracks, I think this album is a rip-off. But John Lennon quote it as a good rock album. Maybe because it has Ticket to ride which is innovative for its time. In my opinion, Rubber Soul onwards are must-buy albums. I give a 5 for Help! cause they wrote songs to fill the album for the self-titled movie.

    John Cox zoz@ntlworld.com
    I'm a bit of a Beatles fan, but I'm ashamed to admit that until today I'd never actually listened to the "Help!" album per-se. I've seen the film of course (many times), bought the T-shirt etc, but I've never actually listened to the "H!" LP. So I wasn't quite prepared for the treat I had in store as I put on my new CD for the first time today. (A Russian import Mini-LP-CD ... a faithful reproduction of the original 12" vinyl. The CD sleeve is done just like the 1965 album cover. The CD itself is done like a little mini 33&1/3 rpm disc with the Yellow Parlophone label et-al ... really cool). Well, what can I say about "HELP!"... simply brilliant ... Side-1 has seven tracks from the film including "Help!", "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" and "Ticket To Ride" which are nothing if not classics. I've always thought that Ringo's drumming on TTR is just awesome or should I say Fab!!!. Listening to the 3 tracks "The Night Before", "I Need You" and "Another Girl" bring! s to mind the name The Monkees. Easy to see where the America's so called answer to the Beatles got their sound from. Side-2: Of the 7 tracks included here I'd only ever heard "Yesterday" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy". Of the 5 I'd never heard "Act Naturally" sung by Ringo is probably a little weak, but hey, it's still great fun. And Ringo himself seems to be having a ball signing the song. It brought a smile to my face. Then when I heard "I've Just Seen A Face" for the first time, Simon and Garfunkel immediately sprang to mind. The whole song sounds like a prototype-S&G. Simon's "The Boxer-(Li,la,Li)" released 3 or 4 years after "Help!" could indeed be called a rip-off of IJSAF. But hey, The Boxer is such a great song in it's own right let's just say that Paul-S borrowed a little bit from Paul-M when he was composing his classic song. As for IJSAF itself, well it's is a great little track, upbeat and easy on the ears. Indeed the whole album leaves you feeling upbeat and! with a smile on your face. I love it. Yes, it's taken me 42 y! ears to get around to listening to the album complete, but it was well worth the wait. I might even need to revise my top 5 Beatles album list now. Help! might just get into my Top-5 hit parade ... It's a great little album. I can't understand why reviewers downgrade this LP somewhat. Ears still ringing to the strains of Revolver and AR I guess. But for sheer, simple enjoyment, Help! has got to be a 10 for me ... (PS: Revolver's an 11+/10 by the way)

    PPS: I've never actually listened to Rubber Soul either, (unbelievable I know). I've heard all the tracks elsewhere, but never the album itself. I guess I'll need to rectify that soon. I suspect as with "HELP!" that I'm in for another little treat ... (Big smile of anticipation)

    Help can only really be compared to a "hard days night" in which it fails to match visually and musically - however this was no surprise regarding the kind of schedule these guys were working to. Quality control had to suffer a bit . Help has some awful moments , ringos execrable "act naturally" , georges songwriting isnt quite happening yet and "dizzy miss lizzy" despite a committed lennon vocal has a weedy backing track . But its johns songs that keep the album afloat , the title track , "youve got to hide yr love away" are fascinating cries from the heart while the fame maelstrom gathered force."ticket to ride" is probably the beatles 1st psychedelic record and one of their best singles, "youre gonna lose that girl" features the bands best harmonies on the album while "its only love" and "tell me what you see" are charming and catchy but daft lyrically . Pauls bag is a bit patchier "yesterday" an obvious classic but the rest of his material sounds a bit too ob! vious - "another girl" does benefit from a strong vocal backing from lennon though. and yes "ive just seen a face" evokes simon and garfunkel before theyd even made it - but simon and mccartney always had a lot in common with their use of folk guitar tunings and catchy melodies. Help is far from a disaster musically but it isnt a patch on the great album that "rubber soul" is or their previous soundtrack "a hard days night" . 7/10 feels about right .

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    RUBBER SOUL 8 ( 1965, UK pos 1 )
    Drive My Car / Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) / You Won't See Me / Nowhere Man / Think For Yourself / The Word / Michelle / What Goes On / Girl / I'm Looking Through You / In My Life / Wait / If I Needed Someone / Run For Your Life

    Written and recorded in just over a month 'Rubber Soul' saw The Beatles in a state of transition. Newly honoured in the summer of 65 each band member was now an M.B.E. ( even Ringo! ) and this record continued to incorporate the influence of Bob Dylan as well as the burgeoning Folk Rock movement in general. The difference between this and 'Help' released earlier the same year isn't in fact obvious musically however apart from a certain 'relaxed' nature to some of the bass lines, a-hem. George displays a continuing improvement in the inventiveness of his playing - not least on the Sitar led 'Norwegian Wood'. 'Rubber Soul' is also important historically, pushing The Beach Boys, The Beatles themselves and countless others into a more considered album making approach. The sequencing is astute with weaker songs placed between album highlights and perhaps the least essential track 'Run For Your Life' placed at the end where it can't do too much harm. Its just a fun song at the end of the day. I dig the little guitar interludes between the verses and following the chorus parts.

    'Drive My Car' is a relatively straightforward pop/rock opener and following the intriguing sitar-led 'Norwegian Wood', 'You Won't See Me' works as a showcase for Paul's mellow new bass sound. A fairly strong opening to the record then but compositionally things take a further step forward with 'Nowhere Man'. John sounds wonderful, the lyrics are wonderful, the guitar folk rock and the bass fluid and melodic. The harmonies work well and the whole thing works radiantly together to create something of a minor masterpiece. Even whilst the overall sound and feel of ‘Rubber Soul’ then is indeed cohesive, 'Think For Yourself', 'What Goes On', 'I'm Looking Through You' and the closing 'Run For Your Life' don't feel like major compositions to me. They all sound perfectly fine, they all sound like 'Rubber Soul' and work within the LP's framework but any one of these four songs taken away and judged individually would surely lose power?

    'Michelle' is typical McCartney, quite lovely and ‘these are words that go together well’ always raises a smile in our house. Well, you do get the feeling that opposed to the lyrically more thoughtful John that McCartney does exactly ‘that’ with his lyric writing, eg, put words down that just go together well. The songs for ‘Rubber Soul’ were all written relatively quickly with 'Girl' only added and completed at the end of the sessions, for instance. ‘Girl’ together with the equally beautiful 'In My Life' represents Johns writing and performing peak on the album. He's on wonderful vocal form throughout, actually. George comes up trumps with the catchy Byrds influenced 'If I Needed Someone' which together with 'In My Life' bolsters the end of the record, an often lovely record to listen to. Apart from this listenability though, ‘Rubber Soul’ can also be said to have been well-timed – certainly enjoyable to listen to all the way through thanks in part to that clever sequencing. As a postscript of sorts, the original U.S. version had a slightly different running order and 'Nowhere Man' was only issued as a single. Such moves re-enforced 'Rubber Soul' as an important work and helped shift a public away from singles ( towards albums ) in the minds of those folks that wanted a little more art with their music.

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    Want to know why I think Rubber Soul deserves a ten, easily? Because the fabbies are so MATURE on this album that it will shock you. No more generic, straight forward love songs. Oh no no, not with old Robbie Zimmerman runnin round penning psychotic, mindblowing lyrics that actually think. "Norwegian Wood"? What happens in that song? Does that dude burn that prude chick's house down? Or does he just light a fire to keep warm? Ambiguity, its a beautiful thing in music. Nowhere man is John's first psycho anthem, (The Walrus being the peak of that stage.) In My Life really gets to me, to. Yeah, there are like 1 or 2 weak tracks, but this is the 1st absolutley essential album. And essential dont equal 8, man.

    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    Another 10 by the fabs. Even 'Run For Your Life' is quite worth listening to-- it presents interesting non-harmonic tones.

    Jeff Whitcher JeffWhitcher@cs.com
    A ten hands down. This album inspired Pet Sounds and established the integrity of the rock and roll album.

    Joseph Leiper Joseph.Leiper@Level3.com
    I agree with our host. Although historically very important re its influence (although Dylan had released "Bringing It All Back Home" 8 months earlier, REALLY freaking out his fans) and pivoted the Beatles into their masterpiece studio years, the record just isn't strong enough end-to-end to rank a 10. "Think For Yourself" is weak; "Michelle" almost excruciating to my ears. "What Goes On?" was the best Ringo could do for himself, and "Girl" is rather drippy. The recording's hurried pace is best exemplified by "Wait," a Help! sessions reject duded up with tambourine. That said, "Nowhere Man" defies textual description; it nearly makes me cry it's so good. Perhaps the most humane, downright friendliest pop song ever recorded...with Lennon's indelible edge. "I'm Looking Through You", "Norwegian Wood", and "The Word" are wonderful as well, while "If I Needed Someone" is George's first great song. Just as important, I think, is the production--e.g. stereo separation of the instruments. "Drive My Car" is mind-blowing through headphones; the bass line is one of Paul's finest. So, it's a great album but, like "Abbey Road", isn't sustained beginning to end. Any album worthy of a 10 must be brilliant throughout.

    aleksander aleksander1983@hotmail.com
    This is a truely wonderful album. I really like to listen to it It`s featuring a lot of enjoyable songs. notable: baby you can drive my care,Norwegian wood,nowhere man , , I`m looking through you,If I needed someone. It is hard to rank this album but it``s just exelent Reidar Samuelsen the music expert him self If you read this you will might have any comment to add to mine.

    Gabrielle one_sweet_dream@pepperland.zzn.com
    what is this 8 nonsense? Rubber Soul is a 10 all the way! Good lord!

    Donald McGovern doonce@midsouth.rr.com
    In December 1965, when Rubber Soul was released, I was just 16 years old. To me, then, the Beatles were the best of the best and Rubber Soul was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. I didn't realize it at the time, but with the release of that piece of vinyl, the Beatles, along with pop/rock, music changed for all time. I'll soon be 54 years old and I am still amazed at the diversity of musical styles on the album. I'm not sure it rates a 10 because of the rockabilly tune "What Goes On." Sometimes I think their need to have Ringo sing on every album was a bit, well, silly. While I consider Ringo to be a marvelous drummer, perhaps one of the most underrated of all time, he ain't a singer. It's been almost 40 years since Rubber Soul was released and it, like all Beatles'albums, is as fresh and powerful as it was in 1965. I rate it 9 3/4.

    Mark eightmi1eshigh@aol.com
    You CANNOT be serious giving the best Beatles album an 8 out of 10. Over the years, Rubber Soul has grown in stature, and for one good reason... its by far the most superior Beatles album ever written. Yes, Revolver is a fine album and is basically almost joined at Rubber Souls hip, and yes Sgt Pepper is regarding by many as The Beatles finest.. But, as many of your reviewers say, and as the World is begining to realise.. Rubber Soul is the second greatest album of all time!!! (After Pet Sounds).

    Aaron glenn@mitchell.fsnet.co.uk
    After lookin at so many reviews on the net giving it 5 stars and tens i was like no way then i went to my trusty site www.adriandenning.co.uk and "Norwegian Wood" well thats over rated best song's have to be 'Girl' geineus along with 'Michelle' wow and 'run for your life' and harrisons tracks infact its a very good album but it does not quite click id give 8.5

    mena luckymena@aol.com
    rubber soul is soo a 10! this album, if not better, is as good as revolver, sgt. pepper, the white album and abbey road! i mean, norweign wood is a masterpiece...one of the greatest contributions that lennon put in lennon/mccartney songs. this album is a 10 in my opinion. definatly a more mature sound

    matt byrd matthewbyrd@hotmail.com
    Rubber Soul is where the Beatles begin to change there sound! Good job boys! But the catch is...... well, it makes for some grand listening (norwegian wood, in my life, michelle) but most of it does little for me. Abbey Road is grand as with Sgt. Pepper, Revolver, and The Beatles... but this one seems to be the overrated one. I say that because it is SO important for music it deserves a 10 on the greatness scale.... but 7 on the listening scale.

    bassplayeredd eddie123zeppelin@hotmail.com
    i think 8 is too low for Rubber Soul. It really shows how far the Beatles had come in the last Year. It's definatley an album you have to get into and is an album to listen to on your own rather than friends. 9.5/10

    annndyseagrove theseagroves@yahoo.com
    I think its important to remember that america was being fed different versions of albums than the rest of us. certainly until revolver they had a lot of "best ofs" with the "hit songs" included. that would make you more critical of the early albums reviewed here, and maybe more critical of the later albums because they dont contain the ten "hit" songs required of a beatles album!

    Garry garry.fay@tiscali.co.uk
    Excellent site but have to disagree with the rating for Rubber Soul. The title and cover alone make it an 8 ignoring the music inside. Drive My Car stands alongsdie Back In the USSR as the greatest opening track of all time. The Word and Wait are great in their simplicity and In MY Car just makes the hairs stand up on your arm. It also has George Harrison first truely great song. True it wouldn't have suffered without What Goes On but thats why it isn't a 10!

    Al Brooks kerry_prez@yahoo.com
    'Rubber Soul' wasn't their best album all-round, but it was their most consistent, even 'What Goes On' is a fine specimen of a Country song allowing that there isn't too much room for growth in Country. I like all the songs on Rubber Soul, even 'Run For Your Life', which is very well performed. 'Revolver', the Beatles' other masterpiece, had some very weak moments, for instance though 'Yellow Submarine' may be the cleverest childrens' song ever written, it is nevertheless nothing more than a childrens' song. Another example: 'Eleanor Rigby' is a novelty track as well, despite the very well-played violins, 'Eleanor Rigby's melody & harmonic development are nothing at all, just a background for the poetic lyrics. And although I personally like 'Dr. Robert' for its beat, it doesn't reach the heights of the other eleven or so top-notch numbers on the album.

    josh gaudreault josh_gaudreault@hotmail.com
    It makes me really sad when people bag on the Beatles. If you aren't a fan, get lost! I love this album and am listening to it as I type. This album was in fact over worked, and this is because the Beatles wanted it to sound different from anything else before it. It worked and they created a true masterpiece that actually does flow quite well, despite what some may think. Not as good as REVOLVER, and I do prefer HELP! over it, but still a great album.

    Gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    This is where the beatles really started to grow . Its the only time in their career that they matched the chops of the motown players/writers musically and songwise . Rubber soul indeed...Listen for example to maccas thickening of the texture of georges "think for yourself" with fuzzbass, or his deeply grooving basslines and chunky pianos on "the word" and" drive my car" for evidence.Elsewhere the burgeoning folk scene is evoked too showing the beatles kept an eye on the musical times as well as creating them . Their isnt really a bad track here , run for your life is rather cool in my eyes and only ringos rather forced sounding country track is of a lower quality. Note as well that the bands harmonies are at their best here too . Also paul finally bacame johns equal as a songwriter here , johns 3 significant tracks (in my life,norwegian wood and nowhere man) all matched by pauls (drive my car,looking through you , michelle) After the uninspired "help" soundtr! ack this was the fab 4 heading off on a path that created that edifice "the 60s"

    Al Brooks Midwest
    as of 2008 this is my favorite because i like it all the way through, while Revolver, my second favorite Fab s disc, i dont like all the way through. this is as good as any album ever made, right up there with 200 Motels and Were Only In It For The Money. But im not current on what's great, my listening to a great deal of artists ended in 1974.

    Dean Lakeside Park
    Why is it that everytime I look at ratings of albums, they always get it wrong. Of course Rubber Soul is a 10, it's not a debate. It's like that Rolling Stone Greatest Albums Of All Time ranking The Sex Pistols album, the No. 2 album of all time. No one seems to get it right.

    Jon London
    Yes..8. Sad but true. Think of the album that could of been if they'd of put the two other tracks from the Rubber Soul session: We Can Work it Out and Day Tripper. Then they could of left out the Help outtake: Wait. Meaning, hey presto...an album nearly as good as Revolver.

    Lee Auty Bolton
    What i love about this album is that its very human and somes us all up. The beatles you may like or dislike and its a matter of musical taste. But what is more important is that when they where the piped pipers of the youth of the planet, they preached love and mutual respect. They where all flawed individuals but their philosophy really has had a profound impact since. and the world is a better place

    Gronk United Kingdom
    In response to Joseph Leiper's comment here that 'Girl' is "drippy": please let me know what is so drippy about the lines "Was she told when she was young that pain would lead to pleasure / Did she understand it when they said / That a man must break his back to earn his day of leisure / Will she still believe it when he's dead"? Because that sounds to me like one of the most devastating pronouncements in pop music, and a payoff line to rival Dylan's 'Positively 4th Street'. As for the album as a whole, yes a couple of weaker ones but genius and consistency have never made good bedfellows. 'Rubber Soul' is a stone cold classic!

    Martin The Netherlands
    Against the common opinion, I prefer the US version of Rubber Soul. To my ears it' sounds more coherent than the UK album and I like the folky groove. The 'Amercan Rubber Soul' was also the compilation that Brian Wilson inspired to make Pet Sounds.

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    REVOLVER 10 ( 1966, UK pos 1 )
    Taxman / Eleanor Rigby / I'm Only Sleeping / Love You To / Here There And Everywhere / Yellow Submarine / She Said She Said / Good Day Sunshine / And Your Bird Can Sing / For No One / Dr Robert / I Want To Tell You / Got To Get You Into My Life / Tomorrow Never Knows

    Both the first overtly psychedelic album and the first perfect album The Beatles made. You can poke a finger at the sleeve and pick a winner every time. The genius is everywhere now, from George's fine and influential ( The Jam anyone? ) 'Taxman' right through to 'Tomorrow Never Knows', which sounds like a future dawn of tomorrow even today! We have 'Eleanor Rigby' with its appropriate and dramatic string section which works to enhance the beauty of Paul's original composition. 'I'm Only Sleeping' follows on from the likes of 'Girl' and 'The Word' on 'Rubber Soul' but the production touches are a leap forwards. Misty is the word - the music really matches the feel of the lyrics. Following the Sitar moments in 'Norwegian Wood' George builds an entire song around the instrument with 'Love You To'. Now this. This! One of George’s finest moments for me. The sound of the drums with the sitar combined and the way the vocals are stretched at the end of each section - just wonderful! The whole thing is daring, brave, experimental yet comes across as perfectly natural and grin inducing. The move into the next song 'Here There And Everywhere' is a great transition and this is such a lovely song. The cooing of the harmonies, the beauty of the melodies and vocals, the way the bass gently beats - rising and rising 'Pet Sounds' style, a wonderful song. 'Yellow Submarine' is a children’s song but with more production tricks and effects than almost any other song here and weirdly perhaps pointing the way forwards to ‘Sgt Peppers’. Well, we get a big fat joyously happy bass line, voices and actual samples, etc and so forth.

    Two excellent guitar songs appear in the middle of 'Revolver' both written quickly by John. They sit either side of 'Good Day Sunshine' which is another song arguably pointing the way towards 'Sgt Pepper'. Back to John’s guitar tunes, 'She Said She Said' features the line 'I know what its like to be dead'. The lyrics are great then but the best thing apart from that and Ringo's great drumming is the guitars. The interweaving duelling guitar effect here is just such a great sound. Its an effect repeated on 'And Your Bird Can Sing' which somedays is my favourite Beatles tune of them all. How does it sound so damn great? Its the guitars! Those guitars! That happy happy guitar sound! Have I made my point? Lets just say I love 'And Your Bird Can Sing' and leave it at that. The final third section of the album really just continues the genius of everything that's gone before. We have the beautifully sad 'For No One', another quality George song with the wonderful sounding 'I Want To Tell You'. We’ve got variety with the brass of 'Got To Get You Into My Life' and the title shouted out in the chorus always raises a smile in our house. 'Dr Robert' is probably the nearest 'Revolver' comes to a weak track but its saved by the 'well well well, you're feeling fine' vocal section which is psychedelic, and pretty damn great, actually.

    After all of that we have 'Tomorrow Never Knows' with its dense wall of noise built from samples and tape loops. Nobody knew what they were doing, it was pure experimentation but John had an idea in his head and out comes this. Many groups even today try to repeat the sound and feel of 'Tomorrow Never Knows' and they can't do it. Even with computers and samplers they can't do it. How the hell The Beatles did it is a thing we'll never quite know, it seems almost superhuman that such a thing could exist in 1966. It closes the album in fine style, whatever the methods behind it turn out to have been. 'Revolver' overall then is hailed by many as The Beatles masterwork album and is likely as close to perfection as music gets. Well it does it for me and perhaps it will for you, too. <

    Add A Comment?

    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    A 10; all the same, McCartney's tracks on REVOLVER are probably overrated: 'Good Day Sunshine' is good, but is it so fine that a fan magazine should have named after it? No. 'For No One' is also good; nevertheless, it is not as elegant as it has been described as being. Yet Lennon's songs here are all top-notch.

    GOOD MAN, Revolver is amazing , and i bet you dont get a lot of 16yr olds saying that now do ya. well done......... The beatles all the way

    Jonathan Richard Roseveare jrr1@ukc.ac.uk
    10/10 Definitely. This will always be in the top 10 albums ever. It is just wonderful, better quality than Sgt Pepper and more cohesive than Abbey Road. IT just rolls off so well. I think the reviews you've written are probably the most accurate I've ever seen (i.e i agree with you) on the web. Now review Prince, Rolling Stones and Steve Wonder. A huge task but an enjoyable one nevertheless!!

    aleksander aleksander1983@hotmail.com
    This album is really one of the best album Beatels ever released. almost every song is listenable and loveable. Most songs are really calm and you feel som calm inside you then you listen to it. And I will also say this album feature som of the most adwansed music beatels ever released . the songs are made in many diffrent styles from Pskedelic rock to Classic music really seldom with that musicall diffrence on on singel album but This is it on this album. I love it a lot I would give it a straigt 10

    Reidar Samuelsen reidar.samuelsen@lillestrom.vgs.no
    Hello, again, mr Denning. I agree with you totally. But how can a person who claims to be taken seriously (I take you will?) claim that "Revolver" falls shortly compared to "The Stone Roses"?!? That flimsy record (see my lengthy comments elsewhere) is not even a poor demo of this fantastic evergreen psychedelic (with all its "green circles" as vivid now as when they first arrived in August 1966.) Don't you agree? Well - tell me, mr Denning, have you ever been at a pub on Friday night approaching closing time and with entire second side of "Revolver" playing loudly in the background? Then and only then will you have had the sheer relevance of what The Beatles were actually concocting in Abbey Road during the spring of 1966 made clear to you. They were miles ahead of anybody - and please, don't go into the stupid argument of who came first. I know that the Byrds had already recorded "Eight Miles High" at the time the Beatles went into the studio, but this is no competition. "R! evolver" - its musical expression, the ensemble playin where everybody put in a hundred percent and created synergy, its lyrical scope - is simply stunning. (And yes that goes for "Good Day Sunshine". CAn anybody come up with a better example of musical, pop optimism? Sheer joy of living. See ya

    Gabrielle one_sweet_dream@pepperland.zzn.com
    A glorious, shining, brilliant, awe-inspiring 10!

    Hatch hatchking@hotmail.com
    agree totally. easily 10! tomorrow never knows the high point for me. I think it would be much better off without yellow submarine though!

    bass player edd eddie123zeppelin@hotmail.com
    This is easily one of their finest albums not sure it's the best though. Paul is brilliant on this album as is John although i'm fed up with everyone saying John is better than Paul!

    man the fred ymtrading@europe.com
    Oh, come on! How can you give an album that has got Yellow Submarine on it a 10!?!? All you Beatles fans must realize that this was a great group, but by no means does any of their albums deserve a 10! 10 means that every song is great, and there simply is no such Beatles album. I can name you at least 2 songs on every Beatles album that are just so-so or downright crap. Nevertheless, one of the better groups in my music universe! (FYI the king and best artist of the 20th century in my humble opinion is BOB MARLEY, closely followed by BOB DYLAN)

    Ricardo nunez101@hotmail.com
    I totally agree with you, Revolver is the best Beatles album. It's impossible to sit down and listen to just one track, you just gotta have the whole thing. My favorites are Dr. Robert & Tomorrow Never Knows.

    Janee Jane_Weatherfield@yahoo.com
    I remember when I was maybe six or seven and didn't know anything about music my dad said to me "Revolver was when The Beatles became great. Everything before that was just kids stuff." To this day, that is the only review I need of this album. It basically says everything. But, your's is alright too.

    john, county kildare john.j.doyle@nuim.ie
    10/10. absolutely flawless. sounds more like something from 2066, than 1966. mc cartney critics should listen to this album a little closer. if they still don't like him, then they can piss off.

    BobB tunesandflix@wi.rr.com
    Say what you will, Revolver is the Beatles' most perfect piece of work, and it holds up the best overall. I don't understand how ANYONE could say McCartney's compositions on here aren't his best...c'mon !! "Eleanor Rigby" (sad, haunting and powerful), "Here There and Everywhere" (his BEST love song ever except for maybe "Hey Jude"), "Good Day Sunshine" (perfect lightweight pop without getting 'icky-poo' and fluffy like his later stuff), "For No One" (the most PERFECT and heart-wrenching description of a breakup when one person still loves the other), and "Got to Get You Into My Life" (perfect Stax-inspired soul). Lennon's work is almost as outstanding here --"She Said She Said" sounds like a colorful, kaleidiscopic LSD trip, the golden, triple-dubbed guitars of "And Your Bird Can Sing" still send shivers down my spine when the track first kicks in, and "Tomorrow Never Knows" is just magnificent, innovative and well ahead of its time. Harrison comes into his own, too, wit! h "Taxman", which is acerbic, biting, witty...and it ROCKS like a mother ! Yes, there is "Yellow Submarine" --no Beatles album is entirely perfect -- but, all in all, Revolver is an exemplary pop album, the Beatles' closest-to-perfect album, and a definite 10.

    allan gibson gibby1701@aol.com
    Definitely a 9.5! Would be a 10 if yellow submarine wasn't there!What made The Beatles the greatest band of all time was the way their music evolved.Listen to love me do, then to tomorrow never knows!Every track a classic (except yellow submarine)! But if there is one song to sum up this album it's tomorrow never knows. 40 years on i am still wondering how the hell they did that!This was the song that was the bridge between the early Beatles and the late Beatles.

    Graham deechristopholous@yahoo.co.uk
    This record would NEVER be rated as highly as it is, if it wasn't by The Beatles. They had their moments, but most of this is just filler, pastiches and childrens songs. Nothing here touches the soul, in the same way Nick Drake, Dennis Wilson, Gene Clark...all those guys did. There are lots of other pop records made in 1966 that are as good as this- but this is constantly rammed down peoples throats as the be all and end all of pop music. Sgt Peppers is better, but still just overblown bubblegum music.

    Gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    This is a bit overrated for me. Reasons ? 1) Yellow submarine - Youd have to look hard to find a more annoying track 2) I want to tell you is dreary and the piano goes out of tune in places 3) how can someone so supposedly cosmic and spiritual as george on "love you to" banging on about how a lifetime cant be bought etc etc find time to moan about the sodding taxman ?Hypocrisy or what ? 4) here there and everywhere is chintzy and cloying , the backing vocals overpowering the track . Paul does it better live . The rest of the record is faultless - john supplied 3 classics in im only sleeping,she said and tomorrow never knows, paul finally his equal here with 3 equally remarkable songs in eleanor rigby,for no one and got to get you into my life (even though ringo struggles stiffly with the rhythm of the track) Paul went on to dominate the beatles for the rest of their career , but the eclectic tracklisting here still remains surprising 40 years on . Pepper was the ! stronger more focused record for me though with more sonic surprises and better tunes.

    Solipsist3 solipsist3@hotmail.com
    Revolver is undoubtedly a great album, but it is far from the Beatles' best. "Sgt Pepper", "Abbey Road" and "The White Album" are all much better. There are some great songs here, like "Taxman" and "Eleanor Rigby", but many of the others such as "Dr Robert" and "And Your Bird Can Sing" lose a lot of their appeal after you've heard them a couple of times. I would only give this an 8 or 9.

    John Cox zoz@nrlworld.com
    What can I say about this masterpiece that hasn't be said before? Not a lot, except that it's off-the-scale rating wise. But if I had to pin it down on the 10-scale then it's easily an 11+. Hey, it blew the "Pepper" psychedelic submarine out of the water even before it was launched and that's no mean album itself. In fact there should be an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary which should read ... REVOLVER - the greatest Beatles album ever, one of the the top 5 greatest recordings of all time ... by any artist ... bar none!!!

    Stephen stephendfall@yahoo.co.uk
    Not bad for a bunch of Monkees imitators, but it would be a far greater album without Yellow Submarine. They couldn't resist their naff novelty tracks, could they? This is why there's no truly perfect Beatles album in the 1966Ð1969 period: Sgt Pepper is let down by When I'm 64; The White Album is let down by Birthday and Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da; Abbey Road is let down by Maxwell's Silver Hammer These songs may have worked at the time, but they have dated very badly indeed.

    lee auty Bolton
    An album that never ages. And the only beatles album that i can play from start to finish and never grow bored with. When the Beatles released Rubber soul, the critics declared that the group had peaked artistically and predicted a slow decline ahead. Then, one year later , they released this one fingered salute to the music industry. The Beatles ceased being lovable mop tops and became legends in the making. Way to go guys! Love everytrack on this album. It is gloriously anarchic, diverse and evergreen. "Yellow submarine" may be a kiddies song but i find its inclusion on the album as quite amusing and very tongue in cheek. Especially as it is quickly followed by the manic "She said She said.." Paul pens 3 world class ballads. George emerges as a third and unique composer in the group, while Lennon's music just evolves at an aweinspiring pace. The album culminates in a one chord song sung down a megaphone in "Tommorrow never knows". 10/10

    John King Johnking67@aol.com
    I agree with Gazza's review. For me this album is a bit overrated among Beatle's fans. I think George's songs in paticular are bland even though Taxman still manages to be a decent song. A few of John's songs would fall under the catagory of "filler" (Dr. Robert). I will say that I think it was their best album up to that point, but I wouldn't rate as high as Sgt. Pepper, and I wouldn't call it a masterpiece. I'd give Revolver an 8.

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    SGT PEPPER's... 9 ( 1967, UK pos 1 )
    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band / With A Little Help From My Friends / Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds / Getting Better / Fixing A Hole / She's Leaving Home / Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! / Within You Without You / When I'm Sixty-Four / Lovely Rita / Good Morning Good Morning / Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) / A Day In The Life

    Even though this isn't a concept album as such it remains the very first concept album in popular public consciousness. The idea of a fictional band wasn't fully carried through - The Beatles name graces the cover and some straight forward pop songs make up the bulk of the recording. The albums reputation goes before it of course - anything described by a whole load of people as the greatest album ever made is going to have a tough time winning over certain sceptics. It actually took me a good while to realise what this album has to offer the listener, the fact that the summer of love followed in its wake doesn't help because this isn't an obviously psychedelic record. Trying to listen to the album for what its not instead of what it actually is may leave you slightly disappointed, which would be a shame. We have a collection of good songs here, pretty much all of them - even Georges 'Within You Without You' is a good song. Yes, even that! Has anybody noticed the melody in that thing? The unusual Indian sitar instrumentation can't ultimately disguise the fact that its packed full of melodic fragments. It flows into 'When I'm Sixty Four' of course and that transition is a thing of pure brilliance, no other word for it. A complete contrast - a stupidly happy bass line, an English music hall feel and a little part that threatens to go outwards and outwards but just holds back.

    The two 'Sgt Pepper' songs that 'bookend' this record are actually two of the least interesting things here. Almost a Cavern style throwback as if to remind you who exactly you are listening to. As if you even needed reminding. 'With A Little Help From My Friends' is both a damn fine song and possibly Ringos finest ever Beatles vocal. 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' is mischievous but does contain a couple of good musical moments along the way. It's by no means my favourite Beatles song, it seems a little repetitive to me, but so it goes. The guitar riff that opens 'Getting Better' sets the tone for a straightforward pop/rock song, McCartney most noticeable with the extremely melodic bass line that pushes the song forwards and the handclaps are mere attention to detail. Nothing is missed out then for what is essentially just a simple song. 'Fixing A Hole' benefits again from McCartney's melodic bass, and the harmonies? These harmonies! Perfectly and subtly placed harmonies but always in exactly the right places. 'She's Leaving Home' is beautiful, 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite' has a great Lennon vocal and 'A Day In The Life' among many other things boasts a great Lennon vocal. Yeah, it sounds like the end of the world with the noise and the strings and everything else. The kitchen sink, the leak in the pipe that leads under the floorboards and the old woman who lives in the flat below that has 43 cats…. Good stuff though and a more than impressive production. 'Lovely Rita' i've saved til last of course because for some reason its my most wanted of the whole bunch. McCartney's vocal apes Lennon, the bass rises and falls, the lyrics are a storytelling humorous delight and then these wonderful harmonies come in. It makes me grin excitedly and so does 'Sgt Peppers' as a whole.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    SERGEANT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND is very good and very overrated. A reviewer in 1967 called it "busy, hip and cluttered". John Lennon himself thought SGT. PEPPER "over-produced", and he was right. Lennon was also correct in his calling the song 'Goodmorning Goodmorning' (despite its interesting rhythms) "a piece of garbage". I like this album, but the only track I'm not tired of is 'Getting Better'.

    Trevor Evans-Young Paradoxx75@msn.com
    Sgt. Pepper outranks revolver just a bit, and the reason why is the actuall songs. "when i'm sixty four" is the "yellow submirine" type song of this album, and it's alot better too! not only is it funny, it is also timeless and tells a better story. every song, as you said, one here is amazing. but every song is not just amazing, they are ALL classics, unlike revolver where "doctor robert" a'int no classic. all i am saying, is they are both 10's, but sgt. pepper is better. i'll shut up now

    Gary Michael Hewalked@aol.com
    1--Majorly disagree. This is easily the most overrated album of all time. It is clumsy, lyrically thin, and downright annoying: the opening title track serves as a pathetic excuse for calling this a concept album; the music of "With a Little Help From My Friends" is a transparent rip-off of the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" (and Ringo Starr has no voice here); "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" is complete garble sung horrendously by Lennon; "Getting Better" is annoyingly smug and lyrically absurd; "Fixing a Hole" doesn't even merit discussion; "She's Leaving Home" has pleasant string use, but it's completely innocuous and dreadfully slow; "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" has more throwaway lyrics, it repeats the same three circus chords throughout and it adds pointless tape-speeding sounds in the end to try to save it; "Within You, Without You" is a pure sitar-laden nightmare that just drags; "When I'm 64" is just the embarassment of a lifetime (instead of incorporating 1920s sounds into rock, the Beatles here just rehash the 1920s. If you want to hear a good 1920s song, try the original 1927 "My Blue Heaven"); "Lovely Rita" and "Good Morning, Good Morning" are just dorky and the former also adds tape-speeding sounds to try to give it a hopeless boost; the reprise is pointless, and "A Day in the Life" is more of the same, but more pretentious (especially with the annoying, pointless instrumental breaks). The "secret" at the end of the album sums it all up: garble and tape-speed sound effects. The Beatles brainwashed a generation with this piece of trash, and the sound effects in this album show that when a band like this has no musical creativity, they (and their producer) will try anything to compensate for it.

    Mike Harrison fughedaboudit455@yahoo.com
    Right place, right time....that's a big reason why so many rock music fans and critics alike adore this album. There isn't a reason NOT to, because it is witty, charming, and inventive. Of course, the Beatles themselves had a curious chemical combo of charm, talent, and inventiveness that could make teenage girls, college students and Maharishis alike fall into line! They were THAT good, with every genre. But the overall impact of this album isn't as significant for me as it is with RUBBER SOUL and REVOLVER. I think McCartney's the reason why....his whimsical influence is all over the place, and as a result, the songs just don't have impact and are a bit vacuous lyrically. I thought RUBBER SOUL was a far more important album lyrically, and REVOLVER still sounds fresh compared to this because it was their first real attempt at studio experimentation

    donnaessex abeach23@CenturyTel.net
    By constantly being bashed as the most overrated album, Pepper has become the most UNDERrated album. (Save the overrated for Revolver). Great album, every bit of it.

    aleksander aleksander1983@hotmail.com
    I am going to tell yah that i really enjoy this album . The album is featuring so many creativ inspiring songs . I spesially like The title track and Lucy in the sky of diamonds , Getting better , I am fixing a hole, she`s leaving home, The benefit of Mr. Kite, Lovely rita and A day in the life this is the song who stands out for me at the movment I can`t rank the album but I would say it`s pretty great.

    eddie theoldwivstail@hotmail.com
    This album is superb of course, but all the beatles did was pour their ideas into a pot and pulled the best ones out and used them. As john lennon said "none of my songs were anything to do with the sgt pepper concept". I have to say the song for me here is "a day in the life", which itself is just two ideas fused together. Very emmotive though.- The beatles will never die out im only 16 myself and i know many others my age who are entranced by them

    chris taylor chrisabbeyroad@yahoo.co.uk
    peppers is a truly definitive album but within without you lets it down i feel

    Gabrielle one_sweet_dream@pepperland.zzn.com
    Definitely a 10. It rocks and it's groundbreaking and revolutionary. you can see how much the Beatles have changed since "I Want to Hold Your Hand." Fantastic album!!

    bass player edd eddie123zeppelin@hotmail.com
    Although it is often slammed as overrated it still remains my favourite beatles album. It has great variation and listen out for some of Paul's bass. The album is 22 years older than i am but still reaches me musically and lyrically. I can't imagine anyone writing the same about todays pop and rock.

    Mark Evans markphilipevans@hotmail.com
    Extremely overrated. Just because Sgt. Pepper has huge historical importance does not mean it is a great album. In truth there is nothing great about this except 'A Day in the Life' and 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds'. McCartney contributes three good songs in 'Getting Better', 'Fixing a Hole' and 'She's Loving Home' but he also writes his worst ever song 'When I'm 64'. If 'Strawberry Fields Forever' and 'Penny Lane' had been included this could have been a true classic. But as it is Sgt. Pepper is only a quite good album and vastly inferior to both Revolver and The White Album.

    andy seagrove theseagroves@yahoo.com
    within you without you is the best and most relevent song in the summer of love. a day in the life is the only other decent song on this album........i am a beatles fan but i reckon this album is the most overrated album of all time!

    Emil aeikl@hotmail.com
    Is it just me who find this record hugely overrated? Okay, so it was revolutionary and all that, but today it seems massively dated. The concept fall apart after the second song only to come branching in right at the end, and there's a lack of good, catchy melodies compared to other Beatles records. The song gets buried in effects wich soon grow boring, and songs such as Good Morning, Good Morning and Fixing A Hole is sub-par. A Day In The Life get's ruined by two overlong orchestra sections, and I can't help but feel this is image over substance. My expectations were enourmus for this record, and I'm hugely dissapointed. Sure it's good, but it's certainly not the best album ever, as some claim.

    Elliot Sleazychicken@gmail.com
    I think that the majority of people who run across sgt. peppers never realize what this album did for music today. First and formost this album is one of the most perfect pop albums ever. The fact that their arrangments are unique and that their recording techniques were groundbreaking at the time shows that there was tremendous work done here. THough it may have not had been a complete concept album, don't boo hoo it for that, though some of the lyrics may be lacking for some, take a notice what they really mean deep down. For instance songs like "fixing a hole" "she's leaving home" and "within you and without you" capture what was happening during the sixties. This album forever changed recorded music, because it represents total freedom to artists, there are no boundaries for this album

    Andrew Enloe dead_norwegian_blue@hotmail.com
    I have to agree with the 9. Great album, don't get me wrong. I just feel that several tracks get the "stuffed full of little effects and tweaks so you have to go to the next song" treatment. The title track is quite nice, as is "With a Little Help." I think "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is a perfect song. Nothing bad about it. "Getting Better" is good too. "Fixing a Hole" is one of Paul's best songs, mostly because of George Harrison's genius. "Mr. Kite" is excellent as well, especially the caliope solo with all the bleeps and bloops. "When I'm Sixty-Four" is excellent, especially the clarinet dueling with McCartney's vocal. And what can ya' say about "A Day in the Life?" Great stuff. The other songs are letdowns. "She's Leaving Home" is traditional sappy, stupid drivel from McCartney and is saved from almost certain "skip to the next track" syndrome by John's excellent backing vocals. "Within You Without You" is mearly OK. Nice production, stupid ! song. "Lovely Rita" has far too many obnoxious sound effects. "Good Morning Good Morning" has the same problem. For a better version of this song check out the raw Anthology version. I guess Sgt. Pepper is pretty good in the social significance category, with it being the first concept album and all. However, I find that Revolver and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds are more cohesive units than this. After the first two songs, there's nothing to tell you that you're listening to a album with a theme. Who knows, If the Beach Boys' Smile (a real concept album, for all you sixteen-year-old kids. They weren't all about T-birds and girls) had been released on time, this might be a catestrophic failure, riddled with overproduction and inconsistencies. Or it might not. Still a great album, but seriously flawed from my perspective. Actually, I give it an 8.

    andy seagrove theseagroves@yahoo.com
    within you without you is the best track on the album!a day in the life is good, a little help from my friends was immortalised by joe cocker. but otherwise I think this was a crap album!

    Hapman cabinessence@freemail.hu
    It's a bit funny how people still rave about one of the weakest pop albums ever released, after almost 40 years. To tell the truth, there are only 2 (yes, TWO) stand-out tracks on this record, out of 13 (She's Leaving Home and ADITL - they're not very original, clearly stolen from PS/SMiLE era Brian Wilson, but still quite pleasant), all the others are nothing more than pale imitations of REALLY groundbreaking and amazing productions of the era (yes, Pet Sounds, yes, Freak Out). Lennon and McCartney are often praised as genius songwriters, but I don't think they were more talented than, say, those guys from Herman's Hermits. I mean, you smoke a lot of dope and bring in a 40 piece orchestra to the studio and then you automatically become a genius? No, you don't. You have to write great songs too, pal. And these guys had totally forgotten to write good songs after about 1965. Ignore this overrated crap, and go and buy Odessey and Oracle or Younger Then Yesterday if you want to! hear the real sound and magic of 1967.

    Garry garry.fay@tiscali.co.uk
    Just have to disagree with the e-mail comment on She's Leaving Home. Maccer could get ssappy when he got it wrong but when he got it right boy did he get it right. I am jus amazed how a man inn his early twenties can sum up the feelings of parents in this situation. In my mind it's one of the most under rated tracks in the Beatles catalogue

    badger badger@gregory1972.fsnet.co.uk
    In response to Hapman-you really do write alot of crap-man. A Day in the life,stolen from BWilson?from where exactly?unoriginal? care to name a song in this vein/structure/style that predates it in pop/rock? the orchestral climax could be said to be influenced by McCartney's admiration for Cage/Berio/etc sure, but this was one of The Beatles great strengths-reflecting what was going on at the time and absorbing it into their own work. If you wanna hear somebody stealing someone-else's work-listen to Chuck Berry and then to BWilson's early singles. (and I'm not knocking BWilson, I love his stuff.) ''you smoke a lot of dope and bring in a 40 piece orchestra to the studio and then you automatically become a genius?'' no,as you said,you don't and this was proved by the hundreds of acts that tried to emulate this album but instead produced overblown, pretentious dross with none of The Beatles taste or style that culminated in the horrors of Prog Rock. ADITL is! without doubt one of the most innovative and powerful songs/performances from any group(as BWilson would I'm sure agree)and the performances are sublime-McCartney's melodic bass lines and ''I'd love to turn you on'' counter-melody, Lennon's awesome voice and playful lyrics,Martin's production-try producing this song or album on a 4-track! As for She's Leaving Home-McCartney certainly did not steal this beautiful song (he's not Noel Gallagher after all) from Wilson-you can hear Pet Sound's influence in it's sound, sure, but the melody is all his (again,Wilson was ''blown away'' by this song when Paul played it to him prior to release). Sgt Pepper has gone out of favour for a while because it was routinely voted the best album of all time for years (''this is our Sgt Pepper''was the natural way of saying,''this is a great album'' by pop/rock acts, such was it's influence) so people turned to Revolver or The White album as ''the best Beatles album''. It's packed w! ith great songs-(Lucy in the Sky is another wonderfully imagin! ative ex ample)musical innovation and superb performances and as a whole package, the songs work so well together. It's melodic, innovative,fun and colourful. I'm sure that, over the years, it's star will rise again. Sergeant Pepper captured the zeitgeist of it's time perfectly and it still radiates today-just give it a listen.9/10

    McKee Sloan lvlckee@yahoo.com
    (This was my first Beatles album ever, so...you might wanna read this knowing I'll be a little biased.) I was 14, and coming home from my girlfriends house when I first heard this album. 'Within You and Without You' came on, and it instantly got me hooked on the Beatles, and now I'm so knowledgable about 'em, I scare myself. On the way home that night, I bought the album, and listened to it a good 4 or 5 times before I went to sleep, start to finish. This is my favorite Beatle album, put quite simply. While a good deal of you believe it's over-rated (and it is, don't get me wrong), it is unarguably the most influential Beatles album, and in saying that, the most influential album ever, period. Influential to everything music, and to a lot not. It has no number 1 hit on it (dammit for Strawberry, eh?), but does have some of the Beatles best known songs on it. That's just about all I've got to say about that.

    Louis LouisGatsby@yahoo.com
    Relax and listen to this album for what it is. I always assumed it was overrated until I actually heard it. It is a masterpiece of melody and atmosphere. 'When I'm 64' is a touching and tuneful throwback that never fails to make me smile. The lyric is eloquent and simple but often the best poetry is. 'She's leaving home' is superbly constructed and will captivate you upon first listen. 'A day in the life' is quite simply the greatest closer to an album I've ever heard. The rest is charming, catchy and uplifting. Personally, I'd rank it below 'Songs in the key of life of life' and 'Revolver', but not far. It's one of the best albums ever made for good reason. Listen to it with an open mind and a love of music and you'll return to it again and again. Enjoy.

    BobB tunesandflix@wi.rr.com
    A brilliant album, for sure, and the most influential from a production standpoint, but NOT their best songwriting-wise. "Being from the Benefit of Mr. Kite", "Within You, Without You" and "When I'm 64" really do slow down the pace of the album -- it's top-notch quality from the beginning up to that point, then you have those three duds in a row, and then things pick up again with the cheeky "Lovely Rita". Of course, the mind-blowing, monumental closer "A Day in the Life" gives the album a feeling of being more transforming and majestic than, in reality, it actually is. So...production and influence-wise, a definite 10. Song-wise, an 8.

    Paul Wilde _Picnic@yahoo.com
    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band could have been up with The Beatles best albums but there are too many oridinary songs on it. If you mix this album with the best of Magical Mystery Tour, you get a great album.he title tune is great, the second tune sounds inferior to Joe Cocker's later version, the third song is good but Magical Mystery Tour contains some even better psychedelia, Getting Better could have been by many lesser bands from the 60s or 70s, Fixing A Hole and She's Leaving Home are ordinary, Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! is interesting, Within You Without You is ordinary, When I'm Sixty-Four is one of those Beatles songs that people who don't really like music say they love- techncially good, of course, but only in a whimsical Noel Coward type of way, Good Morning Good Morning is mood setting, A Day In The Life is a great song.

    Sam oxalicman@hotmail.com
    I appreciate Sgt.Pepper for one thing : its the true evidence to disillusion people who think Beatles were only mop tops and making sissy music too. It all figurates on the cover of the album, the loud guitar on Sgt.Pepper and Reprise. But for people who wants to search more the real essence of avant-garde psychedelic music from the Beatles, then Revolver is their first psychedelic album (and its 1966. Not many records were psychedelic in 1966). But for me, Sgt.Pepper is a good introducing album for people who vaguely knows The Beatles and want to hear what they have done in rock music. Its like a highlight album (by the cover, its explosively lightful) and I dont think its overated. I would even give a 9.5 . My favorite album is none. I like to pick a lot of songs I like from them. My favorite two songs are Everybody's got something... and Rain.

    lee cross lee85@tiscali.co.uk
    Sgt.pepper was an over rated beatles album in my opinion. when i first heard it i was blown away because as it is for most young beatles fans this was the first beatles album i had ever really listened to.The shine went off it when i listened to revolver. the opening track and a day in the life are the only truely brilliant pieces of work here,everything else is just over produced and over hyped!! saying that it is still a fine album and if any other band had made it i would probably rave about it but because its the beatles we all know they can do much better than this!! If i was rating this albums i wpould have given it a 7!!

    gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    Its still a great album all these years on , and i prefer it to revolver (which is a tad overrated) The sound is very much of its time with production techniques the beatles pioneered but the songs stand up brilliantly on their own . Within you without you is an amazing track (listen out for the plucked violins entering half way through) a day in the life is an incredible achievement (check out lennons voice) getting better and good morning are innovative and poptastic and even ringo has a decent song to sing for a change ... I could go on and on about how admirable this record is (the guitar solo on fixing a hole , the tracking of the voices on shes leaving home) but really its success is in how a clutch of very different songs are sequenced to sound like a seamless whole . Its still worthy of the title classic - oh and it sounds so much better on the original vinyl but thats another story...

    John Cox zoz@ntlworld.com
    Ok, forget all the hype you've ever heard about this album, eg that it's the greatest piece of 12 inch vinyl ever made. Of course it's not. It isn't even the best of the Beatles? In my opinion Hendrix's "Are You Experienced", "Axis: Bold as Love" and "Electric Ladyland" are in fact better all round albums. No doubt other readers can site other records which they'd rate better than Pepper. And they'd probably be right.

    John Cox zoz@ntlworld.com
    An addendum to my first "Pepper" review above ... I suggested that the LP is a bit overrated in so much as its claim to being the greatest album ever ... but let me add that I still think "SP" is a wonderful 40 minutes of good to great tracks. Christ, it's got "Lucy in the Sky" and "A day in the Life" on it for god's sake. But overall, as an ensemble piece, I'd have to give it a not quite perfect 9 to 9.5/10. True, its musical influence does indeed merit a 10/10, and yes, the album cover has to warrant an 11+/10. But musically it has its failings, it's not quite the concept album it pretends to be for instance. And unlike say "Rubber Soul", "Revolver" or "The White Album-(Revelution 9 not included)" I find I've got to be in the right mood to listen to "Pepper" all the way thru without skipping tracks. But that aside, it still is a great album, definetly in the top 10-20 of all time ... (and always will be) ... My favourite tracks, in order are, "Lucy in the Sky", "A Day in t! he Life", "Lovely Rita" and "Pepper (Reprise)" - all 10/10. As for the other 9 songs, well, I rate them ranging from a respectable 8 ("Within You Without You") to an almost perfect 9.5 ("She's Leaving Home") ... So, although I do think it's a great record containing 4 classic and 9 good to very good songs, it's those nine less than perfect tracks which prevent me from giving "Pepperland" the full-monty 10/10. In summary then, although I think it's one of the better albums ever made it's definetly not the absolute No 1 of all time. Around number 10-15 in my book ... PS: but hey, don't forget, it did in part give rise to the awesome "Yellow Submarine" (the movie), which has got to be worth a psychedelic 11+/10 ... so "All together Now ... Sgt Pepper ... it's certainly a thrill!"

    John peacebird1986@gmail.com
    I love this album! It is almost perfect. The thing that prevents me from giving it a ten is, I'm sorry to say, THERE IS TOO MUCH MCCARTNEY! I love Paul, saw him in concert recently, but this is his baby, hardly a group effort in some areas. George Harrison hated Sgt. Pepper, he says he didn't have hardly anything to do. Paul played guitar on the Fixing A Hole, and Sgt. Pep 1 & 2. Overall, I think the most revolutionary thing on this album is Ringo's drumming. Especially his mallet fills on A Day In The Life. They're not mind blowing, but they were original. Most drummers just kept a beat, Ringo began improvising.

    wow..what a masterpiece......Where do I start ???? Simply an album of pure genius..bar none. So much better than anything around today. Every single band or solo musician worth their salt wants to make an album like this.....and its been around for forty years.....say no more....

    Will Petersfield
    Sgt Pepper often tops polls in the 'Greatest Albums' parade but why? The production is tinny, the mix thin, some of the instruments are out of tune. Yes the concept and songs are fabulous but for me its a case of what could have been rather than what it was. 7/10

    Bryan Denver, Colarado
    The key to listening to SP is to listen uninterrupted from beginning to end. Only when the final piano chord to A Day in the Life rumbles across your stereo speakers do you realize the album's greatness. It's as if that single chord rolls over the albums shortcomings. My understanding is Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane were originally intended to be included in the SP Album but were instead released as a single. Can you imagine what this album would have been like if two weaker tracks were dropped in favor of including those? In its current form, the standout tracks are Lucy in the Sky, Getting Better, Within You and Without You, and A Day in the Life. But I think a track by track analysis misses the point and in today's attention deficit world it is hard to listen to any cd or album from start to finish. Nevertheless that is what you have to do to appreciate SP.

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    MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR ( 1967, UK pos 31 )
    Magical Mystery Tour / The Fool On The Hill / Flying / Blue Jay Way / Your Mother Should Know / I Am The Walrus / Hello Goodbye / Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane / Baby You're A Rich Man / All You Need Is Love

    Well, of course 'Strawberry Fields Forever' is brilliant but i'm getting ahead of myself. I always get the feeling even just listening to the first six songs here that 'Magical Mystery Tour' was very much a Paul idea and that John thought it a monumentally silly project. When the TV movie was premiered Boxing day 1967, the world at large mostly sided with John, critics eager to get their teeth into The Beatles following four years of unparalleled success for the group. Brian Epstein had departed, but that has little to do with the actual record. The actual 'Magical Mystery Tour' record was a six song, double 7" single. An EP, if you will. Capitol records had the idea of adding five Sgt Pepper era single tracks to the six 'Magical Mystery Tour' songs, and voila another Beatles album is born to sell to the eager masses. The opening title song is a poor mans 'Sgt Pepper' but it's still pretty good, all told. 'The Fool On The Hill' is an interesting little song with some lovely Flute passages. It's nicely mellow and Paul writes some more than intriguing lyrics here. 'Flying' is a semi-instrumental and very psychedelic, also very b-side material. If this had been planned as an album, it's highly unlikely something as unsubstantial as this would have been considered for inclusion. George writes 'Blue Jay Way' and it's a semi-wonder and the best song on the album so far, to my mind. Very stoned sounding, very psychedelic, very all over the place but enjoyably so! The 'please don't be long' vocal parts are just a joy that send smiles all through me.

    'Your Mother Should Know' is typically nice Paul, no disparagement to Paul intended. 'I Am The Walrus' was indication to certain critics that this psychedelic lark had gone too far. A ridiculous, if utterly brilliant piece of wordplay after which point, 'Magical Mystery Tour' ends. Except that it doesn't! We get five 'Sgt Pepper' era songs to close. 'Hello Goodbye' is full of great production and remains a decent song to this day. 'Strawberry Fields Forever' actually made John rather unhappy. He never could nail it as brilliantly as his imagination told him it should. It never, for him, soared and sailed as highly as he wanted it to. 'Penny Lane' was released together with 'Strawberry Fields' as a single and got the main bulk of the airplay. It's hardly as great, although the production in it's own way is equally as accomplished. 'Baby You're A Rich Man' is stupendously silly but lots of fun and then 'All You Need Is Love'. Broadcast to 600 million worldwide as part of a BBC TV special, it makes me proud even though I wasn't alive at the time. Each country had something like a five minute segment to fill to represent the nature and character of their particular country. We chose to broadcast a live performance ( actually taped earlier in the studio ) of a brand new Beatles song. Everybody was listening as the most famous band in the world blow a small camp-fire sing-a-long into the most wonderful sounding song, practically ever. It isn't quite as good as all that underneath, but yeah, nice stuff and great sentiments, of course.

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    Readers Comments

    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    'Blue Jay Way' is so boring to my ears that it cures any insomnia. There are other weak tracks; yet only on the double-disc compilation ' 67- ' 70 can you also get 'Strawberry Fields Forever'. This album is worth it just for 'Strawberry Fields'.

    Spartacus spartacus6775@yahoo.com
    i thought this album was great. this is actually one of the only Beatles albums that will actually be heard in my car. the sheer experimentation was a success.

    Chris Hegland sho_nuff101@hotmail.com
    Nice review! I love the "b-side" feel of this whole album. I'm with you, Blue Jay way is one of the stand-outs--the fuzzy shine in the vocals of the chorus makes me tingle.

    Paul Wilde _Picnic@yahoo.com
    This album is the most over-looked of The Beatles post 1964 albums and I don't know why as it contains many of their best known songs. Some say that it doesn't have the flow of a concept album - what they mean is that it has too many hits for their liking. Blue Jay Way, one of George Harrison's songs, is possibly the most under-rated Beatles song on their major albums. This is more psychedelic than the often ordinary Sergeant Pepper- the best thing about that album was the opening and closing songs and the artwork.

    Kevin helpmepsychicbob@hotmail.com
    'Magical Mystery Tour' is my favourite Beatles album. It doesn't matter how the songs got on it, if it has 'Strawberry Fields', 'I Am The Walrus' AND 'Hello Goodbye', it rocks! And I love 'Blue Jay Way' too, even though people keep trying to convince me that it's the worst Beatles' song ever.

    GAZZA garyhess44@hotmail.com
    More a patchwork release for USA with magical mystery tour and some pepper era singles tacked on . After pepper the beatles music became looser , the band writing more in the studio rather than bringing tightly focussed material with them - often resulting in mediocre songs (blue jay way and your mother would know!!) Strawberry fields and penny lane are without reproach , they are perfect but only 2 other tracks match that peak here .Whats really interesting is what LSD did for john and paul , with john it brought forth a dark surreal element and with paul a nature loving loner element . The songs that best reveal this are "fool on the hill" one of pauls most perfect songs and "i am the walrus" which pushed forward the boundaries of what rock can do . The fade and the drop out with radio scan before "sitting in an english garden" are just amazing . lennons voice so harsh here its actually distorting the mike while he rails against the hypocrisy of british life . The other beatles singles present here are in my opinion their weakest (along with lady madonna) Paul was just getting a bit too much control for my liking (or perhaps johns interest was waning) However a trip to india later and the band were well and truly back on track.

    Lee Auty Bolton
    I actually like it a lot. Including the filler tracks. George is off some wierd trip. But the song that really chokes me is "your mother should know". Lennon and McCartney initially bonded through loosing their mother at the same time. So when Paul pops up with this cheery song yet strangely written in a minor key, the effect is spookily sad. Beatle magic

    Brian Gregory London
    I agree with Lennon-this is one of the very best Beatles albums and therefore,by definition,one of the best albums period. This is largely because it is so interesting and crammed full of experimentation. It never gets boring.It really does stand up to repeated plays. The Beatles experimented ON TOP OF superb songs and melodies,they had a strong basis on which to experiment and add colour (something that many bands who experiment just don't do) and this sets them apart from other artists......plus,of course,it includes the eternally magnificent 'Strawberry Fields'.

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    THE WHITE ALBUM ( 1968, UK pos 1 )
    Back in the USSR / Dear Prudence / Glass onion / Ob la di ob la da / Wild honey pie / Continuing story of bungalow Bill / While my guitar gently weeps / Happiness is a warm gun / Martha my dear / I'm so tired / Blackbird / Piggies / Rocky raccoon / Don't pass me by / Why don't we do it in the road / I will / Julia / Yer blues / Mother nature's son / Everybody's got something to hide except me and my monkey / Sexy Sadie / Helter skelter / Long long long / Revolution / Honey pie / Savoy truffle / Cry baby cry / Revolution 9 / Goodnight

    Spoilt with a double album helping of Beatles! The production tricks of 1967 are gone completely. Well, 'Revolution 9' is a studio experiment. It's interesting actually, though often marked down as the worst thing The Beatles ever did. I don't mind it, it adds atmosphere and links well into 'Goodnight' which is an appropriate and rather sweet lullaby ending. 'Back In The USSR' kicks things off though and it's immediately apparent from this rock n roll number that the production is much more 'live' here than either the ‘Revolver’ or ‘Sgt Peppers’ recordings. It's a wonderful song this actually featuring a great little Beach Boys inspired feel in the chorus. 'Dear Prudence' seems slightly scary and I'm not at all sure why but it's certainly addictive. Well, Charles Manson found the entire album addictive, scary, hypnotic. Still, that’s another story and shall be told another time. 'Glass Onion' is almost a typical 'White Album' track, if you want a typical ‘White Album’ track. It doesn't obviously seem to be about anything but it's played well and well played with imagination. You can actually read all sorts of things into the lyrics if you wish, which I quite like. 'Ob La Di, Ob La Da' is a lot of fun even though it is overly simplistic and silly with the reggae intonations and all. I do love the bass sound! The first half of the album continues in such an alternating faster/slower vein. We have lovely Paul ballads with effective folk style guitar picking! We have the strange but alluring 'Bungalow Bill' and the plainly ridiculous 'Why Don't We Do It The Road?'. It's funny though, I think maybe a lot of this material was stuff they had around, messed around with and it just wasn't presented from on high as a masterpiece. Funnily enough, the cumulative effect of everything that’s here does create a masterpiece.

    John's 'I'm So Tired' is a particular highlight for me, what a wonderful lyric and feel! He really DOES seem tired and then pissed off at everyone bugging him to write and record Beatles songs when all he wants to do is curl up and sleep. I love songs that really match a musical and lyrical feel together and send that emotion out to the listener and ‘I’m So Tired’ is one such magical moment. A few up-tempo rock numbers open the third vinyl side of 'The White Album' - 'Yer Blues' and 'Helter Skelter' are plain exhilarating, they sweep you up in a sense of fun and make you want to shout and do air-guitar in your living room whilst your bewildered children look onwards, more than slightly bemused, no doubt. Children more used to listening to, erm, ‘No Doubt’ themselves, you know? Further highlights here though include 'Sexy Sadie' which features such a good John vocal that it really does make you believe everything the man says. Truly life-affirming. George's 'Long Long Long' is inspiring and one of his finest moments and I do love Ringo’s expertly lazily placed drum rolls. 'Revolution' is a great pop song, 'Cry Baby Cry' from the pen of John has an early Bee Gees feel about it. What more can you say? 'Piggies' appearing earlier on the album isn't much cop, but 'The White Album' is more than the sum of its parts. Not all of its parts make perfect sense but then there is just so much here. 'Don't Pass Me By'? You know, the Ringo song? It's such a simple song yet the bass lines and whole execution sounds so truly ludicrous that it works as a piece of entertainment. 'The White Album' is entertainment, after all. Well, more than that actually, it’s a collection of songs ranging from the good to the great to the genius and it's an album to live in.

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    Readers Comments

    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    The Beatles 'WHITE ALBUM' is a good way to get a pop rock education, as it contains so many genres. As with Frank Zappa's 200 MOTELS, also a double disc, there are many weak songs; yet even the lesser numbers are listenable.

    I kind of agree with your rating. I think it deserves a 10. I think that The White Album surpasses Revolver which you gave a 10! There are some pretty silly songs on Revolver like "Doctor Robert" and the McCartney songs besides "Rigby" aren't exactly his best. The White Album epitamizes each Beatle as an artist and songwriter. The White Album will be The Beatles record that will truly stand the test of time and still sound contemporary for many years to come. Every song is brilliant in a completely unique way.

    hugues o.hugues@wanadoo.fr
    The album is cool, but it's not a masterpiece - too much shallow music here, especially from McCartney. I'm of those who think it should have been a great simple album (but, it would have made a lack of balance between John and Paul, since everything by John is good here, except "Bungalow Bill", "Revolution 9" and "Good Night").

    annie anniedahlkemp@yahoo.com
    truly a wonderful work of each single beatle on his own. you can tell who wrote which song just by the style and way it moves. this is by FAR my favorite beatles album. and dear prudence is anything but scary. it is an out of this world song, with touching lyrics. i belive i like the first disc a little more, but they are both wonderful works. sweet sweet sweet album. 10 10 10 10 10 10 10.

    Reidar Samuelsen reidar.samuelsen@lillestrom.vgs.no
    Agree or disagree with what, actually? This record is one of the best records ever - and it's the best double album in the history of rock, outstripping "Blonde..." and "Freak out" by miles and miles and miles. Why? Because it never stays the same. You can, even after 35 years put it on and be surprised, by the sublime powers of a track like the inimitable "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" (one of their best ever tracks!!!), the dreaming "Dear Prudence" (silence is power!), the exuberance of "Back in the USSR", and what is there left to say about "I'm So Tired" that hasn't already been said? The list could go on and on - even to the point of including all the so-called boring-they-don't-quite-live-up-to-their-old-standard-ones. I mean, even a track like "Revolution 9" is funny - one of the funniest tracks ever on a seminal rock album. It doesn't have a boring track - there is no "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" on this double. And George Harrison scores a hat-trick of four top tracks. (I d! on't buy the fact that "Piggies" is condescending at all. Ok, it's exaggerating the subject a little bit, but so what. This is not the Houses of Parliament, is it?) So - far from being the swan song of a disintegrating unit - "The White Album" is better and probably more relevant for an old git like meself than it ever was.

    Ousetunes Ousetunes@aol.com
    It was originally intended to be called 'A Doll's House', but that idea was scuppered when the Beatles discovered that that title had already been used by another band. Which is a huge shame, as 'A Doll's House' would have been a very suitable title for this superb collection of odds and ends, semi-finished songs and songs put together almost with tape and glue. Every song is a song in its own right with McCartney sat strumming away at one with nature in HIS own field (Mother Nature's Son), John too tired to care (I'm So Tired) and George in a state of bliss finally having found God (Long, Long, Long). Yes, there are the rockers, the let it all out 'Yer Blues' and the ballads, step forward Mr Starkey to close the album with Lennon's 'Goodnight'. But hasn't anybody noticed what a sinister feel this album has? It IS like peering into little rooms of a doll's house, as spiders hide in shady corners and there's a fusty smell of decay in the air (think about it! : the Beatles were indeed in a state of decomposition). There are the nursery rhymes (Cry Baby Cry), the hushed whispers (Can You Take Me Back), the school playground vernacular (Glass Onion, Sexy Sadie) and the downright smutty (Why Don't We Do It In The Road). This latter track should have been a full blown Beatles track - Lennon was rightly pissed off he had no input in this song. And there were the nightmares: 'Revolution 9'. The sinister, dark songs continue with 'Blackbird'. It should be innocent - but it isn't. And what were the Beatles thinking at the time? 'The worm that licks my bone', suicidal feelings, happiness being infact, a gun that has just dispensed ammunition? Were things THIS bleak for the Fabs? Alas, The Beatles is a truly staggering album. Yes, it could have been compressed into one stunning album, but then you wouldn't have got the bits and pieces - the junk in the attic, if you like - that make the album so appealing. Recorded with ! an almost live feel but with each Beatle contributing his part! normall y alone, and for the first time using 8 track technology (can you imagine that?), the bass is deep, the vocals are close to the microphone and with headphones on you're almost asking for trouble. (Listen to George's groan before the final drum roll on 'Long, Long, Long' through the headphones - VERY scary!). And what if you remove the bits and pieces? Try this for size, young pretenders: While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Sexy Sadie (superb Harrison solo fade out), Yer Blues, Helter Skelter, Mother Nature's Son, Back In The USSR, Long, Long, Long, Revolution, Glass Onion, Dear Prudence, Happiness is a Warm Gun (guitars in 3/4 timing; drums 4/4 timing at the end!!!). Yes, the decay was there, but the Beatles still had the ability to rock like fuck when it mattered!!

    Jamie jeffbuckley94@yahoo.com
    I adore the White album! I haven't listened to it in yonks but your review has jus pumped me up again 4 it! yeah man "I'm So Tired" really does have a fantastic feel! "While My Guitar..." "Julia" "Sexy Sadie" + "Dear Prudence" r my faves, but wot the hell they all kick ass! (Revolution 9's a bit weird though!!!!)

    annndy seagrove theseagroves@yahoo.com
    I think this is their best album.. unfortunately because they are four solo performers. I love while my guitar gently weeps with eric clapton. dear prudence, im so tired by john, back in the USSR, a send up of the beach boys california girls surfin USA, this should have been a legendary single album!!!

    Maggie Maggwee@aol.com
    In the anthology paul discusses how critics deemed that the double album ruined the white album. But i agree with paul that it wouldnt be the white album without all the fantastic songs. Being a 17 year old girl whos favorite band is the one and only Beatles and who knows more about them then my parents, i can say that the white album houses some of my favorite tracks, including the confussing revolution 9 song that makes me dizzy when i listen. The reason the beatles are still spoken about all these years after their break up is becuase they are the greatest band ever to produce music and everyone should listen to thier songs to better thier soul and open thier eyes to the beauty that lives within the songs.

    Erica snowcone86@verizon.net
    Even though this album wasn't a joint effort, I still believe that this is the beatles' strongest album. It just goes to show you just how good they really were. The thing that makes the beatles the greatest band that ever made music is this: they had 3 geniuses (while most bands don't even have one) and this album proves it. George's 'long long long' and 'while my guitar gently weeps' John's 'I'm so tired' and 'happiness is a warm gun' and Paul's 'blackbird' and 'mother natures son'. Each individual Beatles' creativity, style and brilliance, makes this album truely great.

    RyAn killufofree@yahoo.com
    the beatles white album is without a doubt one of the greatest albums ever written in rock and roll history. Your rating of 9 1/2 is not up to par. it should be 10 for sure. I am currently doing a project on the "mindset of the beatles during the creation of the white album" and all these reveiws are quit helpful. my personal favorite is helter skelter. thanks !

    chris bennett chrisbennett911@hotmail.com
    The band. The album. The yardstick by which all comers will be judged. Enough said. Everyone should own this. It should be given away with national insurance cards. Every genre is taken in stride, and some are even created. The beatles never wrote better songs than they did here, and perhaps they never did again. "Back in the USSR" explodes onto the speakers and does the beach boys better than they did themselves, which melts into the beautiful "Dear Prudence", and what fun Lennon must have had with the twisting "Glass Onion", leading beatles fans down the garden path by playing with their own mythology. And what's with the "ob la di, ob la da" backlash? Okay it may have taken them a "million" takes to nail it, and the other Beatles may hate it, but it's still a great singalong. And thats just the first side.

    bassplayeredd eddie123zeppelin@hotmail.com
    great album but you can't give it 10 because with it being an experimental double album there are a few bad cuts. Most of the albums sound rough around the edges but i feel that adds to the atmosphere. "helter skelter", "back in the USSR", "While my guitar gently weeps", "happiness is a warm gun" and some of the acoustic of the songs are my favourites. 9/10

    David Moses DMoses_69@yahoo.co.uk
    This album has so many good songs on it, but for the large part, is unlistenable, as there is too much rubbish in between. It could have easily been made as a single album, with all the strong tracks. Also, the beatles clearly had no idea what songs to put on the album and which ones to leave off. Why is 'Not guilty' not on there, but rubbish like 'Savoy truffle' or 'Piggies' is? Or why is 'Junk' left off and, if a terrible sound collage had to be included, why not 'What's the New Mary Jane', instead of 'Revolution 9'? As for the other tracks, I have to disagree with some reviewers and claim Macca is on form on this album. He has some beautiful ballads 'Blackbird', 'I Will', 'Martha my Dear' and 'Mother Nature's Son' are among his best. Lennon is also strong in places, with 'I'm so tired' and 'Happiness is a Warm Gun' Harrison's 'While my guitar gently Weeps' is an excellent song, but I have heard the version on Anthology 3 and believe it should h! ave been left uncluttered. As for the weak songs on this album, they are plentiful. 'Glass onion' transparent and pointless. 'Bungalow Bill', just as bad as those who slate 'Ob-la-di Ob-la-da'. As for 'Don't pass me By' this is just trash and proves Ringo could not write a song. Why do people like 'Yer Blues'? Where is the melody? Just noisy stuff. 'Monkey' is no better. And as for 'Cry Baby Cry', this is just a repetitious dirge with no structure at all. Cut these tracks and it may make a good single album!

    Suggested track listing:- 'Back in the USSR', 'Dear Prudence', 'While my guitar gently weeps'Acoustic version), 'Happiness is a warm gun', 'Martha my dear, 'I'm so tired', 'Blackbird', 'I will', 'Julia', 'Mother nature's son', 'Not guilty', 'The inner light', 'Hey Jude', 'Revolution' (b side version), 'Mother nature's son', 'Junk', 'Long Long Long', 'Honey pie', 'Goodnight'

    annndyseagrove theseagroves@yahoo.com
    david moses you left out helter skelter..the best heavy song of its time!

    annnndy seagrove theseagroves@yahoo.com
    you include long long long, hohey pie and goodnight but leave out obladi oblada, helter skelter and why dont we do it in the road...just proves it had to be a double album!!!

    badger badger@gregory1972.fsnet.co.uk

    Bradley Baum brdlybaum@gmail.com
    The White Album....hmmmmm....I'm sitting here thinking about just what to write and it is not easy! I disagree with the rating as in my opinion it is quite simply THE GREATEST BEETLES ALBUM EVER. Ok, so admittedly it's not just the artist/s voices that make an album sound good but this proves that when people can get it together in such a way that everything is spot on then an album of this outstanding quality is created! Just writing about it makes me want to purchase it again and add it to my collection! If you are yet to here this album, you must do so soon as this is quite possibly one of the top ten albums of all time!

    Steve Someone ssomeone@yahoo.com
    I've listened to this album for almost 40 years (I wish I wasn't that old). I don't understand how some people can so dislike the songs that I think are great, but then I don't know why Born In The USA was a hit. I could listen to Savoy Truffle 10 times in a row and still want to hear it another 10 times. The horns in that song are just off the chain. And people don't like Oh Darling (on Abbey Road)? Why? It's great. It holds up 40 years later where many of their other songs don't. And someone doesn't like For You Blue? Next thing I know someone will tell me I've Got A Feeling isn't awesome.

    david nylocks, suz_nyl@hotmail.com
    I´d just like to say that "Julia" is one of the best, most beautiful songs John would ever write. It sends a chill to my spine. I also love the hazy beauty of "Mother Nature´s Son", "Cry Baby Cry", "Dear Prudence" and "Long, Long, Long" is one of Harrison´s best Beatles-compositions. Who am I kidding? it IS the best...good review.

    lee cross lee85@tiscali.co.uk
    the white album is indeed one of the beatles finest albums but,oh yes there is a but,the album is just too long.Well i know that sounds as if i don't know what i'm talking about but when you think about it stuff like bungalow bill is great because it is so weird but i think stuff like that brings the album down a notch or two!! when you look at the album as a whole it seems up and down,and NO MATTER what anyone says you end up skipping tracks.The best tracks on this album are the absolute opposite to the psycadellic stuff that you get on Sgt.pepper.It sounds like a come down album without the stange tracks and maybe should have been released as a single album.These are the songs i would have put on the single album. back in the ussr,dear prudence,glass onion,wild honey pie,while my guitar gently weeps,happiness is a warm gun,i'm so tired,blackbird,why don't we do it in the road,birthday,yer blues,everybody's got something to hide,sexy sadie,helter skelter and cry baby cry! N! ow come on,if they had released the album like that people would have called it a classic,up there with revolver but as it is people sometimes skim over the white album and don't realise what a brilliant piece of musicianship this is!!

    gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    The reason this is a double album is cos the beatles were trying to end their emi contract early - a number of these tracks would not normally have made beatles albums. It is however a masterpiece showing the beatles dazzling array of styles and moods - psychedelia (dear prudence,happiness is a warm gun) pastoral (mother natures son , blackbird) heavy rock (everybodys got something,helter skelter) pop art pastiche (back in the ussr,honey pie) avant garde experiments (revolution 9) Blues rock (why dont we do it in the road,yer blues) child like (cry baby cry,goodnight) and on and on in a dazzling set of diversity. No one mood or style prevails and their is a disturbing dream like darkness to the record that makes it unlike anything else created in the era (drugs had a lot to do with it no doubt) 10/10

    John Cox zoz@ntlworld.com
    I first heard this album in 2001, 33 years after it was made and to be honest I wasn't that keen on it at first. To me there seemed to be a darkness about it. Yeh, there were individual tracks that were/are outstanding, but as an album it didn't quite click with me. On that first listen I would have given the album only a 6/10. Over the years I'd sometimes dip into the "Whitey" but could never quite get the album as a whole. I tried, but I just couldn't get it as an ensemble piece? Another reviewer said that it was originally going to be called "A Doll's House", I never knew that, but I agree it would have been a great title as the album is indeed just like that, full of mysterious nooks-and-crannies. You're never quite sure what you're going to find behind the next door or in the myriad closets of this "Doll's House."

    John Cox zoz@ntlworld.com
    An addendum to my first review above ... Recently I've been listening to the Beatles quite a lot and I've found myself more and more straying into the "White House" so to speak. (Hey, just like "The Doll's House" wouldn't that have been a cool name too ... "The Beatles-The White House") Anyhoo, one dark night, while staying-over in "TWH" something strange happened ... I finally got what it was all about. Suddenly, it just clicked, don't ask me why, it just did ... and what a revelation. Now, not only do I love this album, but that darkness that I'd always felt when listening to it has gone out the window. Now, not only do I rate it as a wonderful album but I find it very uplifting and bright. It's like somebody opened the curtains and let the light into "The Dolls House". Yeh, I know ... it's only an album, only a record, not to be taken too seriously, but hey, what a great piece of vinyl. 93 minutes of the middling, the good, the great and with a ! dash of musical genius thrown in. Something only the Fab-Four, (or maybe Hendrix) could have made. So now, 6 years on, I'd give the "Whitey" a rating of at leats 10/10

    BobB h-knocks@hotmail.com
    It's a dark, schizophrenic album that mirrors the turmoil that was 1968. There's too many filler tracks to make it a flawless double album, and yet a single album would omit too many good songs. Maybe a single album with fourteen songs on it with a bonus EP that had four additional tracks would have been the answer. It has the heaviest, loudest rock the band ever recorded and yet the group's genius is mirrored once again by throwing in a beauty like "Julia" or "Mother Nature's Son". And the differences between individual songwriting styles is shown more glaringly here than on any other Beatles album. No, 'The White Album' is not perfect...not by a long shot, but it does provide an incredibly rich listening experience and is arguably the most interesting to return to of all of their post-'Revolver' recordings. 8.5.

    Sand oy-sand@online.no
    People who want this cut down to a single album probably would have wanted it cut down to an EP if it actually was a single album. Some people just never get satisfied. Words describing The Beatles and "The White Album" isn't about perfect, as in clean polished perfection. What makes the album perfect is the out of this world eclectic and inventive music making and songwritng. This is 1968 and to this day no pop or rock band has ever made a more varied album like this one. It's totally unique. Anybody who can write songs can make a focused album where every song sounds the same. That's the common thing. Focus is overrated. The Beatles never needed a formula, that's why every song they ever made still sounds fresh. 10/10

    Patrick Charleton Brighton, UK
    Originaly this album was to be entitled 'A Doll's House'. (True!) This would have been so fitting as the whirlpool of moods,sounds,influences and songwriting the album provides gives this image. (By the way Adrian Im a huge fan of your site and think you realy hit the nail on the head more often than not.) My favs on this album are Sexy Sadie, Cry Baby Cry, Revolution and Happiness.., (Lennons then). Being a huge Beatles fan this is just such a treat and my favourite album of all time.

    Lee Auty Bolton
    When i was younger and more critical i hated this double album and wished it had been condensed into a single album of top tracks. As i have matured, the filler material is more poignant because they were in essence debunking the myth that they were perfect. Its a warts and all album which in a strange way enhances their reputation more than the perfectly executed seargant peppers album. Its interesting that the beatles two most panned albums at the time ( i.e. "revolver" and "the white album" ) have gained status. In retrospect, those were true masterpieces

    Lee Auty Bolton
    This is the album that young beatle fans hate but learn to adore as they grow up and world weary. It is a bitchy and discordant masterpiece that not only records the disintigration of a great friendship but also reflects our own failing relationships. the best album ever because its a mess and all our lives are a mess at times

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    ABBEY ROAD ( 1969, UK pos 1 )
    Come Together / Something / Maxwell's Silver Hammer / Oh! Darling / Octopus's Garden / I Want You (She's So Heavy) / Here Comes The Sun / Because / You Never Give Me Your Money / Sun King / Mean Mr. Mustard / Polythene Pam / She Came In Through The Bathroom Window / Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End / Her Majesty

    As the last recordings The Beatles made and as the last album they recorded together there is an understandable emotional reaction among hardcore Beatles fans. Well, to simply be overwhelmed by ‘Abbey Road’ and to be unable to view it at all objectively. The snatches of songs on side two are occasionally very enticing, the two George songs on side one are the finest things on side one, true classics. 'Abbey Road' gives off a deceptive unity which was of course the entire point. The 'Let It Be' sessions had been fairly disastrous, all things considered. The Beatles were clearly not much longer for this earth as an ongoing concern yet wanted to leave a better taste in peoples mouths than 'Let It Be' would have apparently provided. Still.... let's talk about 'Come Together.' Well, why not? Let's see. It has a great groove and great vocals but imagine it sung by somebody else or played by somebody else. Is this a great song? Maybe i'm undecided? Can I hear it played on acoustic instead? I like it a lot as a rock performance but I don't love the actual song. This isn't the sound of genius just the sound of good performance and a good McCartney bass groove. The two George songs possibly are the sound of genuis, although bordering on solo Harrison rather than Beatles, but then 'Maxwells Silver Hammer' and 'Come Together' are bordering on solo McCartney and solo Lennon respectively. The Beatles as a unit, with playing and vocal flourishes, make these group songs rather than solo efforts. These group performances are important on 'Abbey Road', the first side especially. The vocals harmonies on 'Maxwells Silver Hammer' rescue the song from utter mediocrity, add in 'Octopus's Garden' and you start to wonder about all the claims to greatness ever made for this 'Abbey Road' LP.

    'I Want You' shares some of the darkness in tone that surrounded 'The White Album'. 'I Want You' is rambling compositionally, yet together as a performance. John is on excellent form here and this near eight minute song is unlike anything else The Beatles ever did, it demonstrates potential blues/progressive directions that The Beatles could have taken on in their never to be future. As for the suite of songs taking up all of side two, we have one lovely McCartney number in particular, 'You Never Give Me Your Money' which has been split up into two parts to aid the suite concept. This suite also contains the utterly gorgeous harmonies of 'Sun King' and the rocking coda of 'The End'. 'Mean Mr Mustard', 'Polythene Pam' and the heart-breaking 'Golden Slumbers' come across as snippets of larger songs and create a yearning within you that they acually were larger and longer songs. Frequently gorgeous is this second half of ‘Abbey Road’ but you have to ask yourself how it really connects to the first half, if at all. McCartney reputedly wanted the entire album done in the style of ‘the suite’ but was voted down. Considering 'Abbey Road' as a whole piece is therefore quite difficult for me because of this. Well, Side one is a collection of unrelated songs and side two is a mood piece with brilliant and touching melodies along the way. This lack of cohesion mean I’ve marked down ‘Abbey Road’ just a notch, yet it remains an excellent album and a good closing chapter in the career of The Beatles.

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    Readers Comments

    Dude, are you f kidding me? This is perhaps the most perfect musical creation ever. It's so mature, so well produced, so touching, so diverse, etc. This is a 10 album, no doubt. It belongs in a museum, with the other great works of art.

    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    I would give ABBEY ROAD a 10, save for the inclusion of 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer', which although NOT being the atrocious song it's been called, is no gem, either. I like it, just as I enjoy 'Yellow Submarine'. However, 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' brings ABBEY ROAD down a half a point by my rating; and the slick commercialism of the disc brings ABBEY ROAD down another half point Make no mistake, though; ABBEY ROAD is right up there at point 9 with A HARD DAY'S NIGHT and SGT. PEPPER'S.

    Trevor Evans-Young Paradoxx75@msn.com
    songs like "maxwell's silver hammer" and "i want you" are too dang repetitve. the second side is so amazing and consistent and quick, that i can see why people would think this album is a 10.If they would have done things George Martains way with everything nice and connected, and shortened "i want you" and "maxwell's stupid hammer", this album would be a 10 10 10! - Doxxman

    Jeff Whitcher JeffWhitcher@cs.com
    If this album isn't a 10 then I don't know what is. Lennon, McCartney and Harrison were definately firing on all cylinders at this stage and George nearly steals the show. "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun" are pop masterpieces and "Come Together" and "Oh Darling" are brilliant rockers. "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" has been copied by numerous other artists (Yes-"Starship Trooper", Clapton-"Let It Grow") and the medley at the end of side 2 is Paul at his best.

    Sally Ivankovich sivankovich@msn.com
    5-- I don't care what the other comments say, this album is below average by any band's standards. I do enjoy many other Beatles works, but this one just doesn't have it. Many people regard this as the Beatles' best, and I couldn't disagree more. George Harrison does deliver a couple of nice ballads, but they aren't amazing. "Octopus's Garden" is catchy but full of ludicrous lyrics. "Come Together" and "I Want You" are way too repetitive, and, like Let It Be, this album makes it clear that the Beatles were really falling apart, especially with snippets like "Mean Mr. Mustard," which indicate that a band member would start to write a song, but then give up and not finish it because they have no inspiration. It is very clear that several songs here are unfinished pieces and are just spliced together in an attempt to create a large, single song. And it's a disgrace

    deserves 9 there are some poor songs but the great ones make up i wnt her is a classic so is octupus's garden not mentioning 5 other classics on here

    aleksander aleksander1983@hotmail.com
    this is a truely wonderful album it is just amazing it fill your ears with joy . of how good this album really is. I enjoy it to the full . many notable songs here: here comes the sun might the best george harrison song ever. also something is wonderful and nice. and then we have darling a nice macartney song filled with a lot of emotion and because a lennon song who is a song that dam sweet that you can`t imagine if you haven`t listend to it. I can`t mention all songs on this album witch are good but I have a message to all music fan all over the world buy the abby road album if you haven`t got it and put it in your cd player. and take a listen to it you wouldn`t regret that.
    Rick qualityaudio@hotmail.com
    I'm surprised you all missed for me the highlight of this album. "Because" is an amazing song with a beautiful lyric, and showcases the ability of the three singers to harmonize. Except for maybe the Beach Boys, I've never heard a more lush vocal arrangement in Pop music.

    Aaron glenn@mitchell.fsnet.co.uk
    Oh right because it has a few good songs on list it makes it a 10 or a classic NO this album would be a ten if it was snipped to Come Together’ Something’ Octopus's Garden, Here Comes the Sun, Because and Mean Mr. Mustard / Polythene Pam there you go that’s it now it’s a perfect album the rest of the album is just well quite crap really. I mean the Beatles I love very dearly but shut up people who give it a ten it was time to shape up or quit and they decided to quit so there we go. (7)

    Simon B slb23@shaw.ca
    An 8.5?! This is one of the best pop albums of the 60's, and one of the best albums of all time, IMHO. Right up there with Pink Floyd's DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, and Led Zeppelin IV. "Come Together", "Something", "Here Comes the Sun" are classics, and the rest are just as amazing and wonderful. Especially the multi-song suite at the end. The only song I don't like is "Her Majesty". It ruins the end of the album, IMHO. And "I Want You (She's so Heavy)" goes on for a bit too long. But other than that, it's a very good album. 9.5/10

    Mark Evans markphilipevans@hotmail.com
    This is without doubt the most overrated Beatles album ever. McCartney contributes nothing of any significance while Lennon has his worst album ever. Come Together is good (no classic though) but 'Because' is simply awful and I Want You' just plain drags. It is only George's songs that save this album from being a total disaster and overall I could not give this more than 6/10. Compared to this Sgt. Pepper seems positively underrated.

    Karen musicmkrzr20@yahoo.com
    I completely disagree with anyone who rates this album down. I believe that the Beatles really did a great job with it- and let me tell you something. I am not from that age- it did not come into my life at the right time so that could not of possibly been the reason why i was so drawn too it. I think that this album crosses generation gaps- its something i can relate to my parents on. I hope you take some time to consider its full potential. Best regards, Karen

    bass player eddie123zeppelin@hotmail.com
    I was scrolling down the page nodding my head (accept for Please Please me which is a 9) until i came across "Abbey Road" and "Let i be". "Abbey road" is 10 and Let it Be is about 9.5.

    ......Abbey Road was a flawless masterpiece I regard as not only The Beatles greatest achievement ,but also the greatest by far ,album ever recorded ,I guess were all entitled to our opinion ,so thought I'd give mine......P.D.

    Alex awall16@yahoo.com
    Abbey Road is easily the best Beatles album. It has their highest song quality, most passion, and is their most exciting album. Only Revolver even comes close. Every song is a gem, and some are absolutely amazing, especially the suites. 10

    annndy seagrove theseagroves@yahoo.com
    I think this is the perfect album... like neil youngs harvest.. cat stevens tea for the tillerman..carole kings tapestry..pink floyds dark side of the moon..john lennons imagine..van morrisons moondance..led zeppelin 4..jethro tull stand up..status quo piledriver..black sabbath paranoid..deep purple machine head..don mclean american pie..shit am I lost in the seventies???

    Brendan Tnahpellee@yahoo.com.au
    Disagree. Octopus's garden is my favourit eosng on here and my third favourite Beatles song ever. I just love Ringo. Actaully, just as an aside, my favourite solo album is his 'Bad Boy' album. Now, abck to Abbey Road, very few weak points. I just love the medley, the songs are short, fun, crazy and are well performed. Harrison's Guitar solo's are magnificent on 'The End'. I also love Polythene Pam, You never give me your money, Because and Sun King. On the first side, Octopus's garden, Come Toghether, the two Harrison songs are all great. However, I don't like 'I want you' or 'Maxwells Silver Hammer' and 'Oh! Darling' isn't magnifivent, but it's OK, IMO. I may be wrong. but overall, a fantastic effort.

    Daniel Rivas Drsinger2003@hotmail.com
    Sure, the Beatles were already on a rocky road of group tension and separation, but they came together to deliver their most brilliantly written and produced album. This was the last album they recorded together, although "Let it Be" was released after. What a way to end their fantastic run. Abbey Road is nothing short of perfect, with something for everyone. "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" does strike up some criticism as well as "Octopus's Garden", but those two songs need to be thought of as what they are. Silly songs that anyone can enjoy. Just because they aren't as serious as some of the other tracks does not make them "rediculous". Abbey Road features the absolute best harmonies they ever put together, and the Beatles reached a maturity level that they never explored before. Side B is absolutely genius, with Paul McCartney out-doing himself in every respect. "Golden Slumbers" and "Carry That Weight" couldn't be more different, but are flawlessly connected, as "The ! End" caps side B with George Harrison's best guitar work and Ringo Starr's wonderful drum solo. Her Majesty could have been omitted for a more "finished" touch, but it goes along with the character of the Beatles. "Come Together" is very catchy and features Lennon at his most mysterious. George Harrison easily provides his two best works on Abbey Road, with "Something in the Way" and "Here Comes the Sun". Both songs have the two most catchy bridges on the album. Lyrically, this album is arguably the best, but it is almost fact that the compositions and production of the album were are unmatched by any of their earlier work. Abbey Road is considered by many to be the best rock album of all time, and I am in no position to argue. Abbey Road has one strong track after another and contains melodies that exceed beauty and genius. The Beatles reached their peak with this beautiful work of art. A "10" all the way!!!

    Matthew Byrd matthewbyrd@hotmail.com
    Carry That Weight boy! The thing about Abbey Road is that it DOES seem almost mediocre at times. What saves this album is the feel of the album and the way everything blends together. 'Here Comes The Sun' would not have the same effect if it weren't placed after the blazing hailstorm that ends 'I Want You(She's So Heavy)'. The whole album works like this. ESPECIALLY the 2nd half. It's filled with gorgeous, small and nonsensical compositions that fit together perfectly. 'The End' is the end, the end of the Beatles and a grand way to end of the greatest acts in history...... ok, I guess 'Her Majesty' ends it...... but, we'll leave that one out ;-D. I've been bloody sick of the Beatles for a bit but I must say I'm beginnning to appreciate this album once again. It hangs on a thin thread. If you don't get the feeling that runs throughout this album you may not like it very much, if at all. I'd give it a 9 , an 8 on the recommend scale and a 10 on the 'I like' scale.

    Mark Evans markphilipevans@hotmail.com
    Never thought I would say this, but I think I finally get this. Stll don't think its quite the masterpiece that most people claim but it has really grown on me. Side 2 in particular is far better than I ever gave it credit for. So once again must apologise for being woefully off the mark with my previous comments. Sorry!

    neilyoungjunkie smoke117@gmail.com
    I don't know why people hate Maxewell's Silver Hammer so much. I think it's hilarious. I honestly didn't care for i tmuch when i first listened to it, but after actually paying attention ot the lyrics its a hilarious. Those lyrics to the happy tune always make me laugh. I will agree that it is kind of out of place. It would better fit the white album then Abbey Road. They wanted the first half to be a collection of rock songs...which it is except this track. Just doesnt really fit in the scope of things.

    gina bass g1bass@peoplepc.com
    It has taken me more than 30 years to define my quintessential favourite Beatles recording, and it is without a doubt Abbey Road. Oh, certainly there are more definitive moments that underscore their importance as song writers and performers, but thanks to the technical and intuitive expertise of Sir George Martin, we were treated to an intimate moment in the history of the Beatles. It was at McCartney's prodding that they once again entered the studio to record, but George Martin only agreed to produce the album if they behaved themselves. The medley itself is so atmospheric you can palpably sense the demise of their friendships and collaboration. This album transcends the aural experience to become a kinesthetic and emotional good-bye to one of the greatest bands ever.

    Brian Dickson bdickson4830@hotmail.co.uk
    I can't understand why so many people don't like Maxwells Silver Hammer. It's got one of the catchiest melodies I've ever heard. And the contrast between the upbeat melody and the lyrics have an almost Syd Barret like feel to them. Unless...gosh.. you don't suppose people just pretend not to like it?

    Barry Howard xxtwistedmonkeyx@aol.com
    I have always been a Beatles admirer, not a die hard fan. The simple reason is that I was born in 1969 and was not a part of the actual "movement" from 1964-1970. I have always appreciated the body of work, especially the more commercial works like Pepper and Rubber Soul(which are 8.5 or better) I just recently purchased the Abbey Road CD and have played it, and nothing else, in my car, I-pod, and desktop. Let's just say I've been digesting it for about a month. Of course I was familiar with most of Side 1, especially fond of George's 2 "Mona Lisa's" But I never really had listened to the suite completely...WOW!!..It's clear that it's the masterful work of McCartney and Martin...If you read books about that time, you know that Paul was despised by the 3 others, especially John who was feeling smothered by Paul's "gung-ho" work ethic and in turn blamed it on Paul being a control freak. In everything you read, Paul was overbearing, but I think it was more of a perfectioni! st mentality--topping the prior effort, so to speak---especially since Magical Myst Tour was a black mark on his resume. John was also back on heroin after a near fatal car accident early in the summer....He was not so easy to work with...When I hear "Because," I drift off into a euphoric place caused by those rich harmoines...I also gained a real appreciation for Paul's bass playing when they transition into "one sweet dream" during golden slumbers...Turn up your volume at that point and you will get a prelude of some bass lines that made the Wings songs so likable....The way that the suite is all tied together with Slumbers into Carry That Weight with the You Never Give me Your Money symphonic reprise is numbing...And just when the synergy is realized the guitar and drum jam of The End kicks in and ends rather quickly with the familiar "last line"...I can't say much more...Abbey Road gave me a whole new perspective on The Beatles...and what's even more amazing is that al! l of them were still under 30 years old when this was composed! !!

    BobB tunesandflix@wi.rr.com
    Aaah yes..., Abbey Road. The most frustrating Beatles album (for me) of all of them, and here's why. Side two is the greatest side of an album that ANY rock band will ever produce -- it's masterful and flawless. If side one was only as good as side two, this would EASILY be the best Beatles album...but we must face facts. "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is the worst Beatles song of all time (even more than "Revolution 9"), and "Octopuss' Garden" is not far behind. "Oh! Darling" is mediocre at best, and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", while interesting, doesn't really make for a great listening experience. So after the brilliant double-salvo of "Come Together" and "Something" (Harrison's best Beatles song next to "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"), you could skip the rest of the side and go directly to side two. And that's where things become surprising and awe-inspiring. I think many Abbey Road fans are willing to forgive the mediocrity of the first side because the second side! is so damn great, and then they call this the band's best album. But in truth, it's a frustratingly erratic and uneven piece of work. I'd give side one a 5 and side two a 10+...so I guess we would be looking at an overall grade of 7.5 - 7.7, in my opinion.

    Chris chrisfret2004@yahoo.co.uk
    This album is perfect from start to finish - for me it's their best. Far more sophisticated than revolver (also brilliant) and more experimental and revolutionary than 'pepper (not quite as brilliant).It also sums up evrything that made the beatles and the sixties so great . theres raw passion (i want you) old skool pop (oh darling!), revolutionary musicianship (because)and a thousand perfect melodies.

    gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    Abbey road is exactly what mccartney and george martin wanted , something slick to preserve the myth . i dont believe octopuses garden ( a poor mans yellow submarine) and oh darling ( dreary) would normally have made a beatles album . However the ensemble playing on i want you and the harmonies on because show the groups gifts were still intact. side 2s segue tracks smoothly enough but lacks substance coming over as smarmy and pointless . George really came good here though with 2 great songs and some inspired playing , as did ringo who produces his best drumming on record here. George Martins production is also excellent and crisply EQd (apart from the orchestration on here comes the sun which is strangely mixed) However Abbey road is ultimately a rather unsatisfying swansong for a remarkable career lacking the consistent quality of composition of both sgt pepper and the white album .

    John Cox zoz@nrlworld.com
    On my first listen to "Abbey Road" as with the "White Album" I felt it had a kind of darkness about it. I suppose by 1967/68 the days of "She Loves You", "I wanna Hold Your Hand" and "I Feel Fine" etc were long gone. I suspect a combination of the drugs and just simply growing-up were having their effect. So, on that first listen, just as with the "White Album" I probably would only have given "AR" a 6/10. But then the more I listened/listen to this album the more it grew/grows on me, an aquired taste you might say. Now, I'd give "Abbey Road" a 8.5/10. Anyway, here's my track-by-track rating ... SIDE 1: "Come Together" - not the classic people suggest it is, a good song but on the Beatles-scale, just a (8.5/10) for me. "Something" - going against the flow here but its never been one of my fave Fab-4 tracks, (6.5/10). "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" - going against the flow again but I think this is a great little track, (7/10), tho I do think "Yellow Submarine"! is a great song too, so what do I know :-)). "Oh Darling" - really McCartney-esque, could easily have been a track on "Band on the Run", has that kind of sound to it, (8/10). "Octopus's Garden" - a great little fun track, (7/10). "I want you (She's so heavy)" - a bit on the long side but still a good song. Tho probably one of the least Beatley Beatles tracks ever. Always reminds me of Hendrix/Woodstock for some reason, (7/10). SIDE 2: "Here Comes The Sun" - a semi-classic, (9/10). "Because" - a classic, (10/10). "You Never Give Me Your Money" - typically Macca again, a nice little song, (8/10). "Sun King" - another un-Beatley Beatles track, ok tho, (6.5/10). "Mr Mustard, Poly Pam, She Came In .." - a wonderful tri-medley, (9/10). "Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, The End" - another great tri-medley, (9/10). "Her Majesty" - Macca had this removed from the album. I think it was originally in with the "Mustard" medley but a sound engineer at Abbey Road picked it ! up off the cutting room floor and stuck it back onto the end o! f the al bum. I think it's a cool little track, (8/10). As a whole then, I give "Abbey Road" an 8.5/10. The more you hear it the more it grows on you. And if you listen to "Please Please Me" and "Abbey Road" back-to-back you'll see how much the boys from Liverpool had changed in just 5 or 6 years. Hard to believe it's the same four guys. But then that's what made/makes the Beatles so great. And hey, what a great iconic album cover. Yes, "Abbey Road" - an 8.5/10 for me (for now) ... 8.5/10 and it isn't even in my Beatles top-5. Just goes to show how great the Fab-4 were.

    John peacebird1986@gmail.com
    I give it a 9.75. I refuse to give it a 10 because of Her Majesty. It's nice quirky little song, but it shouldn't have been on here. It was originally going to be after Mean Mr. Mustard but they decided against it. That explains the chord at the beginning of it. I hate it because it ruins the climatic ending. I mean, what better way to end the Beatles career with a song called "The End?" Oh well. I Think this is by far McCartney's best work with the Beatles. The idea of the medley was genius. John hated the idea, he wanted to go more for a straight rock'n'roll roots sound, hence Come Together, and Polythene Pam. Every song on here, even the funny ones like Octopus's Garden are magnificent. You also forgot to mention Because. A beautifully eerie song. John claimed he thought of the chord progression while Yoko was playing Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Incredible multitracked harmonies. Of course, another folly was the release of Let It Be after Abbey Road preventing this! from being their climax.

    Stephen Watson Brighton
    10 out of 10 easily. I haven't played this for a while and just put it on this morning and I was gobsmacked. I just thought at the end "Wow! That is a most wonderful masterpiece". Yes, I really don't care for Maxwell and his hammer but everything else is just sublime. By turn rocky, reflective, yearning and happy, it's a real joy. Bliss. What an album with which to bring the curtain down.

    Lee Auty Bolton
    Firstly, its not my favourite album because its obvious that its the end of the road for the fab four. However, the track "because" is the most hauntingly wonderfull track ever. Lennon dismissed it. But thats his problem. To me it sounds like the sadness of mankind in a melody. Truly brilliant !

    Brian Ealing
    I'm sick and tired of people criticising 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer'-just because it became fashionable to do so around 10 years ago after being mentioned by a couple of music journalists. Like a bunch of sheep looking for something to criticise. Before then,nobody mentioned it in reviews in such a negative way.It's an effortlessly catchy McCartney piece of whimsy and very Beatley. Fuck all wrong with it,plus the lyrics are amusingly dark.As for the album as a whole,it may be a touch overpolished but is still a class apart and 'something' and the long piece on side two are musical nirvana

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    LET IT BE 8 ( 1970, UK pos 1 )
    Two Of Us / Dig A Pony / Across The Universe / I Me Mine / Dig It / Let It Be / Maggie Mae / I've Got A Feeling / One After 909 / Long And Winding Road / For You Blue / Get Back

    An album on which The Beatles reveal themselves to be human after all. The funny thing is, this mis-match of assorted material performed live and 'reproduced for disc by Phil Spector' actually just sounds very warming to me. There is little of the soaring ambition of normal Beatles records and the rear of the album sleeve has an intriguing 'a new phase Beatles album' tag. ‘Let It Be’ for the record received some of the worst reviews of their career but then, it was released post split. 'Two Of Us' is the sound of 'Let It Be' personified for me, a semi-acoustic opening number, a number almost not quite there at all. The performance isn't straining to impress anybody but it remains impressive all the same, simplicity is the key word here. It's very warm sounding, very melodic and I can listen to this track over and over again. 'Dig A Pony' is a bluesy number from John and John is all over the start of the album as his 'Across The Universe' follows on, a haunting song although a little spoilt by unnecessary production effects. The unadorned version of ‘Across The Universe’ on 'Past Masters Vol 2' is much better, for my money. George Harrison's main contribution to ‘Let It Be’ is the wonderfully charming 'I Me Mine'. A weird effect on his voice, the icing on top by Phil Spector works well on the verses in this instance and the chorus moves into rock n roll by numbers. Alternating in this way, it makes you smile more and more as it goes along - a good song all told at the end of the day. 'Dig It', a short group 'Jam' certainly isn't good however, and then?

    Well, Paul's contributions to this album are very Paul and display none of the collective spirit the other songs display. Having said that, what songs! We have the title song, of course, a wonderful spiritual thing of love and wonder. Nobody but Paul McCartney could have done that song, his vocal is beautifully judged and Brian Wilson proclaimed himself a fan of the song. It’s an all-time classic of course, an alternate national anthemn, no praise is enough, no doubt about it. 'The Long And Winding Road' is decent of course, and 'Get Back' along with 'I've Got A Feeling' are the best rock numbers on the LP. 'One After 909' and 'For You Blue' are hardly highlights in that they don't sound polished but then again, a lot of the album doesn't sound polished. They recorded a lot of stuff for the 'Let It Be' process, much of it too poor to be released at the time, dodgy cover versions of American tunes, etc and so forth. Still, if we are to judge ‘Let It Be’ as an album rather than a ‘Beatles’ album this works more than well.

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    Readers Comments

    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    An underrated release. It may be mediocre, but only compared to the Beatles' earlier albums-- and I like it better than Please Please Me, which was too simple. LET IT BE is very appealing in the way that so much '70s music (which LET IT BE influenced) is: atmospheric. I give this disc an 8.

    Jeff Whitcher JeffWhitcher@cs.com
    This is one of my least favorite Beatles albums, and not just because Phil Spector over-produced it. I think many of the songs were weak even before he was given the tapes. "Let It Be" and "Get Back" are classics but the rest is relatively weak by the groups' own standards. "Across the Universe" and "Long and Winding Road" put me to sleep, "One After 909" is nothing special, "Maggie May" is filler, "Dig A Pony" is adequate, even George seemed to be holding back his best material. I would give it seven stars.

    Tom myrtlebox@msn.com
    Adrian - I very, very closely find my notes comparing favorably with yours on the entire Beatles archive. But you simply have this one wrong, wrong, wrong, and just for variety - WRONG! Without going into track details, I will submit a comparison of your rankings which should demonstrate this point vividly: 1. This album IS NOT ONE FULL POINT ABOVE Beatles For Sale !!!! 2. This LP IS NOT EQUIVALENT to HDN/Help/Rubber Soul (oh my dear lord no!!!!) 3. This LP IS NOT 1/2 point below MMT/Abbey road (OH MY PRECIOUS DEAR LORD NO!!!!!!) This album is widely regarded (if not universally) as the worst effort that the GODS ever put forth. Paul is to blame for this album even more than Phil Spector - Phil merely tried to save it. Paul had the gloriously ill-conceived idea of doing this album under the scrutiny of cameras at Twickenham; a place and circumstance most definitely not conducive to the creation of music. To be consistent with your ra! tings, it should rank about 6.

    Brendan Tnahpellee@yahoo.com.au
    I agree, it is very warm. It's kind fo the Beatles just having fun. I just love 'Dig a pony'. Songs like 'Across the Universe' and 'I Me Mine' soudn like precursors to a loo of the early 70's solo album stuff, notably Living in the material world. Basically it's straight-forward rock n roll but it's very enjoyable and it moves.

    andy seagrove theseagroves@yahoo.com
    this aint the worst album the fabs released! in fact it was a high qualty album... what was the best album released in 1969?.....let it be!!!!

    John Cox zoz@nrlworld.com
    I first got this album about 30 years ago ... (on cassette tape, remember those?) ... Since then I've had it on vinyl, (the original 1970 release which I swapped a double Woodstock LP for), and on CD 3 times, (swapped one, loaned one and never got it back). Anyway, when I first bought it back in 1976/77 I was just really getting into music, learning to play guitar and getting drunk for the first time. Of course I'd heard the beatles before, I had fond, hazy memories of them from the 60's, (I was born in 1959) and knew I liked them. So one Saturday I went out and bought "Let It Be", "The Blue Album" and a Hendrix and a Tull album. That weekend was a revelation ... can you imagine, 17/18 years old, and getting into the Fab-4, Hendrix and Tull for the first time and all washed down with the amber nectar. Ah memories ... (big grin) So it's 1976/77 and I've just listened to "Let It Be" for the first time ... well, I was blown away. At that time LIB was 11+/10 ! for me, remained that way for a year or so, then I heard "Revolver" for the first time and that kind of spoiled my "Let It Be" party a bit. By comparison "LIB" paled to about an 8/10. And over the years it's fallen as low as a 7/10. But hey, you can't keep a good-ish album down. When you've had a few beers and you put on "LIB" it's got to be a 9/10. It's a great little rocker, great to chill-out to. I'm listening to it as I write, it's Saturday and I've just opened a bottle of Newcastle Brown and "LIB" is definetly a rocking 9/10 right now. But taking an average of my ratings over 30 years then I guess I'd give it a respectable 7.5/10. Not the best of the Beatles by a long way, but still a nice little album to dip into now and then when the mood takes you. PS: Favourite tracks ... Get Back (9.5/10), Let It Be (9.5/10), One After 909 (7.5/10), Across The Universe (7.5/10) ... Only track I don't like is "The Awful Winding Road" ... I've always ha! ted that song, it's perhaps the worst Beatles recording ever? ! ... Tho I'm sure other reviewers will heartily disagree. PPS: I've never heard the Naked version but I'm told that it's the better album. I'll need to get it sometime ... maybe listen to it over a few beers ;-))

    GAZZA Edinburgh
    That pauls ego was the main reason for the dissolution of the beatles is plain to see in the movie "let it be" . He blatantly treated the others as back up musicians and showed that behind his mask of beatle paul their beats the iron heart of a power tripper . The others rejected his leadership out of hand which must have hurt . Pauls behaviour was actually understandable , hed been running the beatles since Sgt Pepper and as the most commercially attuned of the band had written all the recent monster hits . Hed also jockeyed an unenthusiastic lennon through a variety of projects against his will ( much like ono would do in years to come) Its no wonder paul lost his patience with a sullen,apathetic obsessive drug addict like lennon ? or an uptight guitarist like harrison , or starr whos playing was so bad on the white album paul had to fill in on drums himself ?? Paul was walking on eggshells trying to please a band whod lost interest musically and again its ! he who supplies the genius here with "get back" and his 2 perfectly poised ballads . The rest of its pretty ramshackle , appallingly played and sung like a drunken campfire singalong . Spectors gotten flak for his remixes of the material here and he can be questioned over his treatments of "long and winding road" and "across the universe" but even a genius cant put magic into poor tapes.(spector possibly revelled in the chance to put the boot into the band that had damaged his career as well !! ) The beatles rallied knowing themselves this wasnt good enough for their next album (and a lot of money was at stake business wise ) and made the professional but rather dull "abbey road" instead. "Let it be" followed 8 months later against mccartneys wishes as a rather sad little epitaph for what had been the greatest career in the music business.

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    PAST MASTERS VOL 2 9 ( 1988 )
    Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out / Paperback Writer / Rain / Lady Madonna / The Inner Light / Hey Jude / Revolution / Get Back / Don't Let Me Down / The Ballad Of John And Yoko / Old Brown Shoe / Across The Universe / Let It Be / You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

    A compilation of non album singles and stuff like that and, whilst 'You Know My Name' and 'The Inner Light' are far from essential all of the a-sides are excellent, timeless songs classic pieces of pop music. 'Day Tripper', 'We Can Work It Out' and 'Paperback Writer' all feature bundles of catchiness, mountains of inventiveness and oodles of lines and riffs able to lodge themselves permanently inside the musical aspect of your brain. These songs will never leave you. So catchy! 'Rain' is the reason I bought this compilation, though, one of my favourite Beatle moments ever. Well, we get great drumming, fabulous production and although this is not exactly a pop song, I often find myself singing along anyway. The very special guitar sounds are a reminder of the whole ‘Revolver’ era, hypnotic guitars able to move both your feet and your mind.

    With ‘Sgt Pepper’ era singles collected on 'Magical Mystery Tour' we move straight onto 'White Album' era material, which means that ‘Past Masters Vol 2’ isn’t exactly representative a story of the latter part of The Beatles career, yet not let’s be churlish here. 'Lady Madonna' and 'Hey Jude' for example, the names themselves have magic. The best version of 'Across The Universe' is here with a vocal that seems like it's coming at you from across the universe, too. I mean that in a good way and oh, how could I forget? 'Let It Be' - so spiritual and a Paul McCartney masterpiece. I can't give this collection of non album a-sides and b-sides a perfect score, though. Some of the b-sides really aren't all that great and it's a compilation rather superseded by subsequent compilations, not least their recent '1's' album. Still, this has 'Rain' on it. This is the one with ‘Rain’ on it. ‘Rain’, it’s on this one, etc…. repeat for all eternity.

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    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    I agree completely, 'Rain' is the reason to get VOL II; 'We Can Work It Out' is a close second.

    Blère blairieyx@libertysurf.fr
    Just to mention that the "Get back" version from the Past Masters 2 is a George Martin-produced single from the spring of 69, while the "Let it Be" version from the same record is a Phil Spectorized remix of the album version, issued in 1970. So the "Get Back" single was the only officially released non-Spectorized track from the Let it be material, until now.

    Brendan Tnahpellee@yahoo.com.au
    I agree. There is some excelelnt material on here. It is also quite unconventional in many cases. Rain, Day Tripper, Lady Madonna, Old Brown Shoe, The Inner Ligth, they are all excellent songs. THat said, I prefer volume one.

    Kevin helpmepsychicbob@hotmail.com
    The version of 'Across the Universe' was previously released before, years before the 'Get Back' sessions. Spike Milligan was putting together an album to benefit the WWF (not the wrestlers, the Panda people), and John gave him the song to put on it. The album was called 'No One's Gonna Change Our World'. The version on Past Masters is the same as the one from the album.

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    LET IT BE... NAKED 9 ( 2003, UK pos 7 )
    Get Back / Dig A Pony / For You Blue / The Long And Winding Road / Two Of Us / I've Got A Feeling / One After 909 / Don't Let Me Down / I Me Mine / Across The Universe / Let It Be

    Fast forward to 1968 and in the wake of 'The White Album' The Beatles reconvene to record a new album with 'The White Album' still riding high at number one in the album charts. One thing about Beatles albums though, got to have a concept! What was the concept for the album 'Get Back'? Well, the concept was there was no concept. True, there was meant to be The Beatles return to live performance which never eventually happened, bar the 'on the roof' thing. Was ‘Let It Be’ merely a soundtrack to a documentary so bad, so warts and all that it spelled out quite clearly The Beatles inevitable disintegration? This things right here then isn't a re-mixed 'Let It Be' because the original Phil Spector version was the re-mix. This is a stripped back 'Let It Be' albeit one that sounds better. Confused? Why does it sound better? Well, the mixing and re-mastering. For example, one song here is radically improved, even though it's based upon exactly the same take. The song in question is the previously not known to be a Beatle classic, 'I've Got A Feeling'. I'll add to my thoughts about that later. The track-listing has been altered and re-ordered, too. So, we drop the two weakest songs and replace them with John's superlative b-side, 'Don't Let Me Down'. It works as an utter highlight of the album. In fact, in this new re-ordered 'Let It Be' side two is altogether improved, immensely improved.

    Of course everybody across the universe is so familiar with the original 'Let It Be' running order that any new running order takes some getting used to, which is only natural. The good news is the new running order soon becomes natural in itself. I quite liked the strings that Spector added to 'Long And Winding Road' so I hope Paul isn't reading this because I don’t like the unadorned version presented here as much. I had a good feeling though the instant I first put on this new 'Let It Be... ' CD and heard 'I've Got A Feeling'. The vocals sound improved, the emphasis of the mixing is different. The vocals sound great, basically and a decent rocker is transformed into a great one. Well, all the Beatles albums need re-mastering, actually. God even 'One After 909' sounds better here than it did before. Paul has said these 'new' versions sound like the listener is actually in the room with the group as they were playing. Scary. The differences caused by the different mixes and the re-mastering do improve the album. That's the happy news. The new track-listing is better, 'Don't Let Me Down' is a good John Lennon song, whilst 'Dig It' and 'Maggie Mae' were hardly the most essential of Beatle moments. So, in summary? Well, this is now 'Let It Be' and I can't imagine playing the other version again.

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    Readers Comments

    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    Mighty good album, pardner. Mighty good. I threw the old Let It Be in the trash. Only song I don't dig is 'For You Blue'.

    darcy thivierge darcy@royallepage.ca
    I enjoy this version much more than the original(which I did not purchase on cd as I knew I wouldn't listen to it). It now fits perfectly into the Beatles catalogue - it has the rawness of their previous album 'The White Album' and the polish of their final studio collaboration 'Abbey Road'.

    Rob Eustace rob.eustace@tesco.net
    I don't get this one at all I'm afraid, the McCartney money machine rolls on without ever really giving us anything satisfactory. Just go and buy Anthology 3 and you can edit yourself together a far more interesting alternative "Let it Be" album than this one. I mean this is OK in it's own way I suppose but you can't try to replace an album 30 years later with a so called improved version. This edition will surely be deleted before Mr Spector's original which at the end of the day is and always will be The Beatles "Let it Be" album. It looks to me as though the boys at EMI have had a good look at what Edsel Records did with Marc Bolan's 70's ouput by releasing a complete alternate version of each album. The artwork for "Naked" even looks somewhat familiar to the principles used for these Edsel releases. Lets hope we're not going to see an "Abbey Road Bare" or "Sgt Pepper Stripped" finding it's way onto the shelves. Come on EMI leave The Beatles catalogue alone unless you are! going to release some of the stuff that is constantly rumoured to exist, a DVD release for the "Let it Be" film would have been preferable to this. Before we leave the subject totally, what is the second disc all about?,how many people are seriously ever going to play this more than once, some bonus guys.

    Tom myrtlebox@msn.com
    My response is to Rob's comments. Although i heartily rejected LIB with respect to Beatle standards, uhhh Rob, if you haven't realized it, they wont be makin' any more music together. This LP WAS basterdized by Phil and many fans lusted for a better closure than he had to offer. This release was inevitable.

    mvt mvt@varteconline.net
    The trouble is, having heard so many bootleg versions of the songs over the past 35 (35?!!) years, anything "new" was bound to sound old. Having said that, I much prefer the "dry" mix of Get Back, One After 909 has the irritating Danny Boy removed and Don't Let Me Down gains its rightful place on the album. I agree about the "bonus" disc, though - what a wasted opportunity when you consider the hours (days!) worth of material availabe. Nice packaging too (the LP, that is).

    andy seagrove theseagroves@yahoo.com
    if any album is "naked" it is the original with all the live takes and the rooftop concert! let it be naked sounds like a polished version to me!minus the girls! dont let me down shoulda been on the original... but other than that the original is by faaaarrrr the best!!!!

    Ray Burns rburns4@ford.com
    Love this version over the old Phil Spectorized album. Sounds like the Beatles ought to sound. Regarding all the other material around how about a commercial release of the Rooftop concert?

    xdresser wg_middle@prodigy.net
    Why not rename "The Long And Winding Road" as "The Long And Winding Road (Plinky Dink), as the "plinky dink" sound is the only thing revealed. Perhaps Paul and Ringo joining a tribute band would be the next logical step.... The new "Let It Be" does not have the associated craziness of the times (VietNam, Project Apollo, Nixon, muscle cars, 33¢ gas, LP meaning record). I go now to cry. However, if you don't know anything about the original, this is a very nice CD which will be forever associated with the craziness of our times (9-11, Iraq, internet/web, space shuttles on hold, US $2.00 gas, Bush², LP meaning CD) ect ad nauseum.

    gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    I think this was a bit of a missed opportunity - the rooftop gig, more of the fascinating dialogue or an extra disc of all the masses of stuff the band recorded at twickenham could have been added, cos after all what youre left with is a pretty short cd for your cash. As for the music its mainly better than the original but ive heard better versions of across the universe ( with wah wah guitar and organ) and 2 of us on bootlegs. And a cracking version of dig it which has billy preston and goes on for about 5 mins or so . Its lovely to hear long and winding road like this though . But Really its similar to the anthology series (the best stuff from the 3 discs could have been added on to the end of the original cds like on the superb byrds reissues) in that its admirable for a few listens but you aint going to reach for it that often ..

    Kronk London
    Allow me to ruin it for you. When Spector remixed 'I Me Mine' he extended it by repeating the last verse/chorus before the "All through your life ..." line. The 'Naked' version attempts to preserve this (thereby giving the lie to the "it was before Spector" hype) but performs the edit after this line, making verses 2 & 3 exactly the same lyrically. This reveals 'Naked' to be a Paul McCartney vanity project which gave no heed to the Harrison element of the project, and incorporated elements of Spector's mix while refusing him any credit. Besides, the snare drum in 'Two Of Us' is way cooler on Spector's version. P.S. I've been listening to the mono remasters all week, it's so nice to be able to stop worrying about which instrument's going to come in on which speaker and just enjoy the music which is incomparable. The mono mixes are way better. Nice blog by the way!

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    Anthology 1 6 ( 1995, UK pos 2 )
    Free as a Bird / We Were Four Guys...That's All [Interview] / / That'll Be the Day / In Spite of All the Danger / Sometimes I'd Borrow...Those Still Exist / Hallelujah, I Love Her So / You'll Be Mine / Cayenne / First of All...It Didn't Do a Thing Here / My Bonnie / Ain't She Sweet / Cry for a Shadow / Brian Was a Beautiful Guy...He Presented Well / I Secured Them...A Beatle Drink Even Then / Searchin' / Three Cool Cats / Sheik of Araby / Like Dreamers Do / Hello Little Girl / Well, the Recording Test...By My Artists / Besame Mucho / Love Me Do / How Do You Do It / Please Please Me / One After 909 / One After 909 / Lend Me Your Comb / I'll Get You / We Were Performers...In Britain / I Saw Her Standing There / From Me to You / Money (That's What I Want) / You Really Got a Hold on Me / Roll over Beethoven / She Loves You / Till There Was You / Twist and Shout / This Boy / I Want to Hold Your Hand / Boys, What I Was Thinking... / Moonlight Bay / Can't Buy Me Love / All My Loving / You Can't Do That / And I Love Her / Hard Day's Night / I Wanna Be Your Man / Long Tall Sally / Boys / Shout / I'll Be Back / I'll Be Back / You Know What to Do / No Reply / / Mr. Moonlight / Leave My Kitten Alone / No Reply / Eight Days a Week / Eight Days a Week / Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!

    The anthology series was heavily trailed by a TV documentary featuring vintage clips and interviews with the then three surviving members of the group plus archival John interviews. We knew there was going to be a 'new' song based on an old John Lennon solo demo from 1980 or so. The question whether it was 'right' for the remaining beatles to work on material written ten years after the groups demise and material John hadn't intended to be a Beatles song, got somewhat lost when the video for this 'new' Beatles song was first aired. I must admit, my spine tingled and I loved the video more than I loved the song. As a package it was great as an initial curiosity and as a fine piece of AOR contemporary music. George Martin famously wasn't used as producer, their studio mentor having doubts about working with the poor audio quality of the source material they had for the Lennon vocal. What really amused me, other than the obviously Jeff Lynne sound of the production, was average pop fans in the street really treating the song as a brand new Beatles single. Remarks such as "Oh, it isn't as good as their old stuff". Makes you appreciate anew the split in 1970, before such remarks would inevitably have become more common place. Before the image of the group could get tarnished, such as contemporaries of theirs, The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys.

    Anyway, bar 'Free As A Bird' being tacked onto the beginning of this double CD compilation of legal bootleg, live and rehearsal material - what can the average beatles fan expect? Well, the average Beatles fan, should there even be such a thing, probably needn't apply. True, we do get an enormous quantity of early Beatles all in the same place. It's good in that respect. None of the works in progress, pieces of studio chatter or even the live versions make for good repeated listening, though. The works in progress, early versions of songs they later did better... are probably of interest to only the most hardcore of Beatles fan and then, only in an historical sense. I must say I have a preference for disc two over disc one. Disc two features far less embarassments and far more decent Beatles songs, often presented here in a live setting. I can't say The Beatles sound incredibly tight as a live act, but then, few acts of the early sixties were if archive recordings are paid close scrutiny. These live recordings do give out a sense of excitement, which was probably the entire point anyway! Oh, a mention for a few of the songs that never made their way onto the official Beatles albums. 'Hello Little Girl' reveals their obvious debt to Buddy Holly, 'How Do You Do It' - nice to hear a Beatles version of the song made famous by Gerry And The Pacemakers. Um, and that's about it, actually.

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    badger badger@gregory1972.fsnet.co.uk
    A pretty fair review, it is interesting for fans and musicians but wont get played more than a couple of times. As for 'Free as a bird'-they should have let George Martin produce it instead of the notoriously over the top and dated Jeff Lynne. The excuse given at the time that Martin's hearing wasn't up to it doesn't ring true as he produced the Anthology albums successfully. Lynne was used as a peacemaker to get George Harrison involved as he and Martin still had differences(witness the extra dvd footage on the Anthology series of them listening back to tracks). It also bugs me why they used such a bad quality recording of John's demo as there are far better versions available(check out The Lost Lennon tapes,US radio series). The finished version is adequate,and even pretty moving in parts(especially where the song goes up a gear as Harrison's guitar solo and the big harmonies come in- very effective and almost Abbey Road like)but is ruined by the horrible intru! sive drums and terrible 'ding ding ding ding' over produced plucked guitar that keeps repeating and the synthy digital sounds. A worthwhile experience overall though and it does work brilliantly with the amazing video.

    ed bowsher ed_bowsher@hotmail.com
    Adrian, I agree with practically every word in your review. The one track I keep returning to is the Morecambe and Wise skit. You'd have thought that speech wouldn't bear repeated listening, but it makes me smile every time.

    Al Brooks kerry_prez@yahoo.com
    Believe it or not, I give Anthology 1 a 10. The first few tracks, starting with Buddy Holly's 'That'll Be The Day' have lousy sound quality, but after that the songs get better. The live recording of 'I'll Get You' on disc one is very exciting, and the audience screams in delirious appreciation-- but they don't scream too loud. 'Cry For A Shadow' is a soothing dance number, also on disc one. Harrison sings 'Three Cool Cats' and 'The Sheik Of Araby': "I'm the Sheik Of Araby, Into your tent I'll creep..." The album ends with 'Beatles For Sale' tracks, such as a better version of 'Mr. Moonlight', with a guitar solo rather than the organ solo familiar on BFS. 'Leave My Kitten Alone' is a gem from the vaults of EMI; apparently it wasn't released forty years ago because Lennon didn't like the vocal. I give all the Anthology albums a ten because they are not just good-excellent music, but are historical documents as well.

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    Anthology 2 8 ( 1996, UK pos 1 )
    Real Love / Yes It Is / I'm Down / You've Got to Hide Your Love Away / If You've Got Trouble / That Means a Lot / Yesterday / It's Only Love / I Feel Fine / Ticket to Ride / Yesterday / Help! / Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby / Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) / I'm Looking Through You / 12-Bar Original / Tomorrow Never Knows / Got to Get You into My Life / And Your Bird Can Sing / Taxman / Eleanor Rigby / I'm Only Sleeping / I'm Only Sleeping / Rock & Roll Music / She's a Woman / Strawberry Fields Forever / Strawberry Fields Forever / Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane / Day in the Life / Good Morning, Good Morning / Only a Northern Song / Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite / Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite / Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds / Within You, Without You / Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band / You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) / I Am the Walrus / Fool on the Hill / Your Mother Should Know / Fool on the Hill / Hello Goodbye / Lady Madonna / Across the Universe

    This second anthology makes for a much more satisfying listen than the first. True, not all the rehearsal takes bear repeated listening. True, some of the alternate takes actually differ only slightly from the finished versions that were eventually released. That's half the beauty of it, however. A full two hours plus of Beatles music from their most creative and accomplished period? Well, yes. It blows the first Anthology disc out of the water at any rate. As with Anthology 1 though we open with an old Lennon demo turned into a 'new' Beatles song by McCartney / Starr / Harrison. I really like 'Real Love', the guys manage some good harmonizing with the dead-john vocal and the track almost threatens to turn psych on us duing several points but sensibly holds back. It's no classic by any means - just a satisfying piece of enjoyable music. I'm going to jump around a bit through the album for this review. Actually, sticking this entire 2cd compilation on random play works far better than listening to it straight through. Unexpected delights pop-up such as the strings only version of 'Eleanor Rigby'. 'If You've Got Trouble' pops up, a Ringo sang out-take from 1965 that’s simple early Beatles although an unexpected joy all the same. '12 Bar Original' demonstrates perhaps that The Beatles would never have enjoyed any success at all had they pitched themselves as an out and out blues act. We get to hear John struggling during an early version of 'Day In The Life'. Such joys for the dedicated Beatles fan!

    We get a bunch of live tracks during disc 1 which make for particularly disposable listening although the transition from this era to the peak-beatles of 'Revolver'/'Sgt Pepper' does make for a dramatic contrast. Speaking of rehearsals and different versions, the 'Revolver' tune 'And Your Bird Can Sing', although full of giggling from assorted Beatles, sports an attractive Byrds-like guitar line in the version here. Take 1 of 'Strawberry Field Forever' is a delight, very folksy and laid back and although lacking the finished production effects, Johns vocal is very sweet. All in all then 'Anthology 2' still has that air of being a bit of a mess as far as being a cohesive listening experience is concerned, but that's a side-effect of the nature of the 'Anthology' project, of course.

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    badger badger@gregory1972.fsnet.co.uk
    This is the anthology that I REALLY wanted to hear and on the whole it doesn't dissapoint. "Real Love" is quite nice,especially the "no need to be alone" bit,but,as with Free as a bird, they've used a poor quality demo when better ones were available! why? also John's vocal is speeded up way too far. By far the best /most interesting tracks are the very strange first version of,"Tomorrow never knows" and the beautiful demos of "A day in the life" and (especially),"Strawberry Fields Forever"-it's worth getting just for these! My big gripe is that the opportunity to release "Carnival of Light" (still unreleased!) was missed, yet pointless filler such as the instrumental version of "Within you ,without you" is included.

    Al Brooks kerry_prez@yahoo.com
    This is another ten. i like all three versions of Strawberry Fields, especially, i give Anthology 2 a ten just for that reason alone-- though the other tracks are fair-good.

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    Anthology 3 7 ( 1996, UK pos 4 )
    A Beginning / Happiness Is A War / Helter Skelter / Mean Mr Mustard / Polythene Pam / Glass Onion / Junk / Piggies / Honey Pie / Don't Pass Me By / Ob La Di, Ob La Da / Good Night / Cry Baby Cry / Blackbird / Sexy Sadie / While My Guitar Gently Weeps / Hey Jude / Not Guilty / Mother Natures Son / Glass Onion / Rocky Raccoon / What's The New Mary Jane / Step Inside Love / I'm So Tired / I Will / Why Don't We Do It In The Road / Julia / I've Got A Feeling / She Came In Through The Bathroom Window / Dig A Pony / Two Of Us / For You Blue / Teddy Boy / Medley / The Long And Winding Road / Oh Darling / All Things Must Pass / Mailman Bring Me No Blues / Get Back / Old Brown Shoe / Octopus's Garden / Maxwells Silver Hammer / Something / Come Together / Come And Get It / Ain't She Sweet / Because / Let It Be / I Me Mine / The End

    Beginning with 'A Beginning' which lasts 50 seconds and ending with 'The End' which lasts for two minutes fifty seconds. Yes, it's 'Anthology' time again, focusing on the 'White Album' through to the groups eventual split and featuring solo gems from McCartney and Harrison along the way. You know something? You can hear the decline, the 'Abbey Road' material often coming across as mere scraps and ill-thought out ideas that were eventually rescued by inspired production. A few curios that never made it to finished Beatles albums are the most interesting items on display although I do like the 'White Album' tracks as well, mostly presented as demos and showing just how inspired all four Beatles were at that stage. Stellar material. Back to those curios though? 'Not Guilty' is a Harrison song that may have made a Beatles b-side, eventually it was released as an album track by Harrison himself, years later. We get to hear The Beatles own version of the song 'Come And Get It', made famous-ish by Badfinger. The version of 'Helter Skelter' here is slowed right down to a blues-dirge, 'She Came In Through The Bathroom Window' is radically different to what appeared under that name on 'Abbey Road'.

    'Mailman Bring Me No More Blues' rightly never made it to a finished Beatles album in my opinion. Oh it's fully formed, just that this blues number is deeply dull. A song previously totally unknown to myself appears somewhere here titled 'Step Inside Love'. It's a 'White Album' era demo, I guess. It's another McCartney ballad so probably was surplus to requirements. We get to hear the original George demo for 'All Things Must Pass' and very nice it is too. A couple of McCartney numbers foreshadow his early solo work, namely 'Teddy Boy' and the utterly lovely 'Junk'. What else do we have of interest here then? Well, not a huge amount, to be honest with you. 'Anthology 3' is certainly far more listenable than 'Anthology 1', is far less interesting than 'Anthology 2' and that’s about it.

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    annnndy seagrove theseagroves@yahoo.com
    well the beatles (mostly paul mcCartney) did give some songs away to other artists. step inside love was a hit for cilla black in the UK. come and get it was a hit for badfinger. McCartney also wrote goodbye for mary hopkins, world without love and woman for peter and gordon (peter asher being the brother of his then girlfriend jane asher) and they also wrote songs for billy j. kramer which were hits in england but not necessarily any where else!!!

    Stephen lost_libertine@hotmail.co.uk
    I have to say that I would give it a much higher. This was the first beatles "album" I heard and I was quite young at the time, maybe around 11 years old. To me the album semed so mystical and magical it left a profound impression on me. I listened to it constantly at night for about half a year

    Richard Astley-Clemas alicespiral@yahoo.co.uk
    Both Free As A Bird and Real Love were top class Beatles singles in the 60s tradition and its worth considering that not every Beatles single featured all the Beatles eg Ballad of John & Yoko and Yesterday Only Beatles snobs criticise but this is the CD which made the Beatles the biggest band in the World by 1999. Why criticise? Why knock it? Its the Ultimate addition to the canon

    The anthology series can be summed up thus , volume 1 had the rarest material, 2 had the most experimental and essential stuff, 3 the most enjoyable listen. Lets face it though most of this stuff has been out on bootleg for decades and the best stuff should have been added to new editions of the original albums . However we'll have to wait for that one ; meanwhile its a bit dissapointing that they pad out the 2 cd sets with backing tracks and weak live material . The film itself was low on staggering revelations as well , apart from showing george didnt know what albums his own songs were on ! 3 has the advantage of "the esher demos" for the white album properly remastered and there are plenty of examples of lennons wicked humour throughout the album. But What a shame that "helter skelter" fades just when the band starts to improvise ,"she came in through the bathroom window" was better in its abbey road form and surely "not guilty" should really have bee! n on the white album . No ?? The lack of any interesting outtakes from the abbey road sessions speaks volumes - they clearly wanted to finish the album and run . But as this covers my favourite period of the beatles work (white album) i found it enjoyable enough to listen to but unlikely to be placed on heavy rotation on my stereo .

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    Love 8 ( 2006, UK pos ? )
    Because / Get Back / Glass Onion / Eleanor Rigby - Julia (Transition) / I Am the Walrus / I Want to Hold Your Hand / Drive My Car - The Word - What You're Doing / Gnik Nus / Something - Blue Jay Way (Transition) / Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! - I Want You (She's So Heavy) - Helter Skelter / Help! / Blackbird - Yesterday / Strawberry Fields Forever / Within You Without You - Tomorrow Never Knows / Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds / Octopus's Garden / Lady Madonna / Here Comes the Sun - The Inner Light (Transition) / Come Together - Dear Prudence - Cry Baby Cry (Transition) / Revolution / Back in the USSR / While My Guitar Gently Weeps / A Day in the Life / Hey Jude / Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) / All You Need Is Love

    Of all the major groups from the sixties and seventies, The Beatles have made the least effort in remastering and presenting their material for a new generation. I mean the 'Anthology' series was all well and fine but it was presenting inferior versions of songs people largely already knew. The 'new' version of 'Yellow Submarine' featured remastered versions of Beatles songs but it was too little and a fairly pointless excersize. The Beatles fans demand the albums receive proper remastering treatment. Until that is done, 'Love' is a fine thing for Beatles fantatics to own. You can treat 'Love' in a number of ways - as a fascinating curio, a way to experience different elements of different Beatles songs mashed together or as a one disc compilation. Christmas 2006 has seen more pointless compilations released than this after all, efforts from Oasis, Depeche Mode and U2 immediately springing to mind. So, I do believe that 'Love' will retain some mileage even after the thrill of the vastly enhanced sound quality has become familiar. I'll start with 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds', a Beatles song i've never been terribly fond of. Besides the enhanced sound quality, George and Giles Martin have subtly improved the spaces in the chorus parts. I don't know which song the quiet extra guitar has come from but then again, I probably wouldn't. I am in fact not as much of a Beatles fantatic as certain other guys but i'm still enjoying 'Love' tremendously.

    Certain songs here have been almost entirely rebuilt from scratch using a mix of the original album version, demo versions and portions from other songs. 'Octopus Garden' of all things sounds great here, all sorts of trippy extra portions of songs have been inserted without at all detracting from the original. 'Lady Madonna' has an intro taken from another part of 'Lady Madonna' yet it fits the song and actually improves upon the original. It's only a little thing, as indeed is the improved sound in this case, but little other extra bits have been put in too. A guitar part taken from an entirely different song fits in easily, for example. It gives the song a little more complexity. The overall feel 'Love' presents, the overall image if you will, is that George and Giles have tried to re-create side two of Abbey Road only using the entire Beatles catalogue to do it with. Thus, new intros and outro's are presented to link the material together. The remastering brings out parts of the otherwise unchanged 'I Am The Walrus' that you couldn't quite hear before. 'Hear Comes The Sun' is largely unchanged but has been generally brightened. Keyboard parts and strings pop up briefly. 'While my Guitar Gently Weeps' appears to have taken an acousitc solo George version and added in a brand new string arrangement. It's totally beautiful actually and really does recast the original tune excellently. Indeed, research suggests this is indeed an entirely new George Martin string arrangement, the only such moment on the entire CD, everything else coming directly from the original master tapes.

    The question of whether anybody should buy this or not arrives though, doesn't it? It depends partly on how fanatical a Beatles fan you are, I guess. To the purists, the Anthology series would be more valuable. To the casual fan, the '1s' album would probably be better. To audio fantatics that also happen to be fans of The Beatles, and i'll place myself in this category, 'Love' is absolutely worth the investment. 'A Day In The Life' for example remains largely unchanged yet the use of different takes combined with the overall improved sound simply makes it easier and more enjoyable to appreciate. The murky nature of the 1987 CD mix is wiped completely away. Why only an '8'? Well, today it gets a '9' but once all The Beatles albums are remastered, this gets a '7' for being something I can't imagine too many Beatles fans pulling out regularly. So, that's why i've given it an '8'. Much like George and Giles Martin, instead of doing anything truly daring , i'm safely hedging my bets.

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    gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    Is it just me or is anyonelse struggling to see the point of this ? Fair enough to try and create something new from the beatles work but this feels gimmicky . Id much rather have properly remastered and presented editions of the beatles studio albums with bonus tracks and proper notes/artwork. Ive seen better bootlegs than "past masters" for example . How about a proper get back set with loads of unreleased stuff ? Or a proper live at hollywood bowl ? Frankly the way beatles fans have been treated is a joke - the musics great and deserves the chance to reach future audiences but the way things stand the beatles catalogue on cd is a huge embarressment.

    Richard Astley-Clemas alicespiral@yahoo.co.uk
    Anything which will put the Beatles back at the top is to be welcomed and this CD was No.1 in Canada last month. There's also things on here never heard before-the ending to Lady Madonna where Ronnie Scott's sax is finally heard as is

    John Cox zoz@ntlworld.com
    I've read a lot of reviews on this album on the web and they range from the scathing to the gushing. It's certainly "put the cat amongst the Beatles fans." Just goes to show that there's now such thing as a typical Fab-Four fan.

    Anyway, here's my tuppence worth, short and sweet too. My 2 nieces gave me this album for Christmas. When I opened my prezzie on the 25th, first thing I thought was, "what a cool cover, very 60's, very Beatley". But at that time I thought it was just a straight forward copmpilation. I'd somehow missed all the hype for the album? The morning of the 26th of December ... I put on my new Love ... and didn't stop playing it till the 10th Feb ... Love it, Love it, Love it ... 11+/10 ... (LOVE is all you need ... big grin)

    Bob Krofchik California
    I'm a little confused. I was under the impression that this album was actually a soundtrack to a Cirque du Soliel show in Las Vegas, authorized by the surviving Beatles and families. I bought the CD and loved it. Then I saw the stage-show and was mesmerized!!! The freakiness of the Cirque performers/costumes/lighting/special effects coupled with the familiar music and "sounds" of The Beatles made for an often hypnotic audience experience. Fleshed out to 2 hours plus and with snippets of the boys conversing in the sound studio gave me the "feel" of those magical years between 1962 & 1970. "Love" by it self may be an 8, but when coupled with the Cirque, it becomes an 11! (apologies to Spinal Tap)

    Lee Auty Bolton
    I approached this album wearily expecting some awfull "stars on 45" mix. I was pleasantly surprised.The album at first seems a mish mash of edited songs with stolen guitar rifts from other tracks and vocals removed from their original backings. And that is the truth, but there is an intensity in the selection. The guitar rift from i want you is the most memorable component in its original context but when included as a passing note in this album it has more force. This album celebrates the greatest melody writers of all time by choosing their most beautifull melodies and mixing them all together and proving that these tunes still work no matter how you butcher them. But yes, i would prefer to London
    I 'Loved' this,much better than expected-a real tour de force-but mainly because the sound quality blew me away and gives a glimpse of what(hopefully) the remastered albums will sound like when they finally arrive later this year-I can't wait!

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    2009 Beatles Remasters ( 2009, UK pos various )

    A scatty overview of the new remasters

    Wow, doesn't the mono 'Taxman' sound weird? I mean, i'm thirty-five so i've never heard the original mono as The Beatles intended ever before. The guitar parts really come out differently, especially the bass which now sounds even more melodic and interesting than it did before. Well, 'before' being the 1987 CD version in stereo. In contrast, the early material such as 'From Me To You' sounds a little thin and weedy in stereo. Best buy both box sets? Hardcore fans probably will, but what about the casual fan if there are any casual Beatles fans?

    The stereo albums upto and including 'Revolver' often have 'dodgy' stereo, eg, one channel will contain the majority of the vocals, the other the majority of the music. This makes modern listening annoying and I had hoped somehow these new CDs would get over this problem. Strangely, it's not a problem with something simple like 'Tell Me Why' but it becomes a more of a problem with the likes of 'Rain' which in this form, somehow seems to loose a little punch.

    The loudness war hasn't affected these new masters, thankfully. The engineers in an interview in 'Record Collector' magazine reported they did try to 'enhance' certain sections but didn't want to overdo things. We can all be very grateful for this because remasters of certain other artists (step forward the new Led Zep cds) actually makes things worse for being louder, rather than better.

    Let's check out the mono 'Tomorrow Never Knows' from 'Revolver' and compare it to the stereo. That should be a decent test whilst also having in mind the 1987 CD version. Bass? the bass guitar seems to sound thicker in this new mono master and the background squeals etc really come out far better than they did in 1987. The entire song sounds more difficult if you know what I mean and likely, far truer to what The Beatles intended as this is, after all, based on their approved original mono mix. The original stereo mixes were done by George Martin after The Beatles had left the studio. Why? Well, everything was geared upto mono back in those days, that was how the majority of fans would hear new Beatles music. Right, onto the new Stereo mix. WOW. Ok, this is the best of the three, with the 1987 mix lagging in last place. 'Tomorrow Never Knows' is a pretty claustrophobic track at the best of times, something the mono mix overdoes a little. This new stereo mix is just superb, the extra space in the mix welcome, the extra clarity delicious and the bass corrects a problem the original 1987 cds all suffered from, a slight tinny weedniness of the mixes.

    'Abbey Road' was the final Beatles album recorded and the new stereo remaster does it proud. 'Because' has never sounded as good, 'Come Together' leaps out of the speakers, George's 'Something' sounds even more luxurious and so on. Overall, the new stereo mixes are preferable to the 1987 cds, even with little subtle differences here and there causing those overly familiar with the 1987 versions to initially frown. You'll get used to it. The mono mixes, whilst of historial interest and arguably better for the first two Beatles LPs only (the not very good ones) aren't desperately vital to invest in unless you do literally want absolutely everything Beatles. With the initial 50,000 allocation of mono box sets selling out in a single day, that's quite a lot of people, though.

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    Readers Comments

    Brian London
    These remasters really are a mixed bag. There's been alot of comments about the increased bass frequencies which are to the detrement of many of the songs and I agree. The middle seems to be missing in many of them and the more subtle tracks suffer. Similarly,the drums are often too dominant now and even drown out the vocals on many tracks. I am very disappointed with many of the remasters as the 'Love' cd sounded fantastic,even tho it was a remix rather than a remaster-maybe because it had George Martin's involvement too! I agree that overall 'Abbey Road' comes across well,as do 'Rubber Soul' and bizzarely 'Beatle for Sale'. 'Revolver' is a mxed bag. 'TKNows' is fine but 'Eleanor Rigby' doesn't hit the mark.A problem is that this isn't how the band heard them at the time (with this clarity-plus two aren't alive))the mono mixes were but they didn't hear them as clear as this in the final mix and lots of drop outs/edits etc are far too clear in the mix now,almos! t sounding like live versions of the songs in some cases. The bass frequencies are too much on many tracks now-it's ok making the bass clearer but it increases the bass on all the other instruments too. The treble is also up and the middle ruined! The early songs sound way too seperate now and not like a 'record' or coherent mix. Plus many songs are unlistenable on headphones due to the stereo mixing of vocals on one side and instrumentation on ther other. I wouldn't mind so much if there was a choice but apparently these will replace the existing cds and be the ONLY versions available! this on top of the mono mixes only being available for £200 (and not individually). Yes,lovely packaging etc but it's the songs that matter and they are more important than all they hype and exploitation of the fans.

    Jim Roanoke, VA
    The Monos mixes are far superior to the Stereo ones! The only possible exception being the White Album, but that is a mixed bag and could be argued that the Mono mixes are better. This is the way The Beatles wanted the music to sound.

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    this page last updated 10/08/15

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