The Beatles CD Source
The Abbey Road Crosswalk Live Cam from Abbey Road Studio
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If you're trying to begin your Beatles collection, you may not know where to start. After all, there were over a dozen albums released by the group, not to mention the compilations, box sets, yadda yadda yadda. So here are my summaries with which you can choose they best album for you.
Beatlegs - Bootleg underground beatles recordings
The Early Years
'Please Please Me' was the Beatles' first album to be released. This made the group huge in England. As I understand it, this album is basically what the group played in clubs while they were becoming famous, and it is certainly the first album I reach for when I'm looking for some of the group's early best. It's full of pep and has the energy you might expect from a live Beatles show.
'With the Beatles', the band's second album in the UK and their first in the US. This one contains fewer hits than the Beatles' debut album, but has great lesser-heard songs, including excellent covers of "Please Mr. Postman," "Roll Over Beethoven," "Money," "Devil in Her Heart," "Till There Was You," and "You've Really Got a Hold on Me." Also, if you're looking for some of the Quiet Beatle's earlier work, this is the album to buy. Harrison's first songwriting effort, "Don't Bother Me," and he also sings lead on "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Devil in Her Heart."
'A Hard Day's Night (1964 Film)' was the soundtrack to the band's film of the same name. Aside from the album's major hits, the rest of the tracks also did well, and although it's not one of my very favorites, it's the one to buy if you want to hear the Beatles songs you regularly hear on oldies stations.
'Beatles for Sale' shows a bit of growth on the band's part, and, in my opinion, contains more interesting, slightly more complex music. The album manages to be deeper without losing the energy that much of the earlier Beatles work has--all in all, a great album.
'Help! [UK]' was the group's second album that accompanied a film. Along with upbeat songs, this album contains some mellower songs and shows the group's interest in some different genres of music
The Band Gets More Serious
'Rubber Soul [UK]' was the beginning of the group's dissatisfaction with their teeny-bopper image. The album is probably not the most famous from the period, but is definetly important to own to get a taste of the evolution of the band.
'Revolver [UK]', dubbed the greatest album of all time by VH1, is a must-own. With it's exciting, peppy psychadellia, you really can't go wrong with Revolver.
'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band', the first concept album ever, was loved by critics and remains one of the most groundbreaking albums in rock history. Although many fans claim the album is overrated, it is probably talked about so much because it's so good and definetly worth buying if you want a deep, psychadellic album.
'Magical Mystery Tour', another film album, is little more subdued than previous work, this one is probably the epitome of the Beatle's trippy period.
Things Fall Apart
'The Beatles (The White Album)' Even the Beatles themselved have admitted that the double-disc was the beginning of the end. The four distinct styles of each Beatle is apparent, but for a two-disc album there isn't really one bad song. Many fans argue that this is the greatest the group released.
'Yellow Submarine (Songtrack)', a childlike, playful album, contains the classic title track as well as great songs like "Hey, Bulldog," "It' All Too Much," and "All Together Now." If you buy the afore mentioned remastered version, it contains some of the best of Sgt. Peppers and other albums (it is the soundtrack as it appeared in the film, which drew from many albums). If you're looking for the original release with some instramental tunes from the film, try 'Yellow Submarine (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)'
'Abbey Road' was actually the last album the group ever recorded, but was released second-to-last. It is a excellent studio album, and contains greats like "Here Comes The Sun," "Something," and "Come Together." This is another great album if you're a Harrison fan--two of his most classic songs ("Something" and "Here Comes The Sun") are on Abbey Road. All in all, it's a mellow and absolutly classic album.
'Let It Be' A disorderly, but very rock n' roll roots album, was done when everyone was angry at everyone else in the band (and it shows!). Recorded under the intensions first of simply being rehersals for a live album and later as the soundtrack to the film of the same name, the album was cleaned up and edited by legendary producer Phil Spector. It contains tunes like "Let it Be," "The Long and Winding Road," and "Two of Us." It's bawdy and confused, but still necessary to the Beatles collecter looking for the band's entire history.
'1962-1966' and '1967-1970' Two of the first Beatle compilations ever, are good to own if you're looking for hits and highlights of the group's entire career.
'Past Masters, Vol. 1' and 'Past Masters, Vol. 2' were, as I understand it, released in the '80s to satisfy CD collecters looking to own the singles the Beatles didn't release on albums. They're not only great for new Beatles fans because they include a taste of the group's best from their earlier and later years, but most fans own them to get singles like "Lady Madonna," "Revolution," "She Loves You" and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" that aren't available on the albums.
'Anthology 1', 'Anthology 2', and 'Anthology 3' are compliations of false-starts, alternate takes, and previously unheard Beatles music, released in the early '90s along with the Anthology interviws and book. They also include "Real Love" and "Free As A Bird," songs recorded by John Lennon in the '70s but never included on an album, and finished by the surviving "Threetles" in the '90s. If you want versions you've probably not heard before, these albms are the ones to own.
'Live at the BBC' is a great early Beatles album that consists of Beatle performances from their radio show on the BBC, "Pop Go The Beatles." It contains a ton of excellent covers as well as live versions of Beatle hits. It's one of my favorites, and a good one to buy if you want to hear Beatles covers they hardly ever play on the radio.
'The Beatles 1' contains the group's number one hits, but is a flawed compilation according to some fans: it contains no songs from the band's legendary Sgt. Pepper album and only one George Harrison song. Although it offers the band' biggest anfd best, it is not a comprehensive album by any means.
Products mentioned include:
Click on any album cover to buy the CD, links open in new wndows
1. Please Please Me
2. With the Beatles
3. A Hard Day's Night (1964 Film)
4. Beatles for Sale
5. Help! [UK]
6. Rubber Soul [UK]
7. Revolver [UK]
8. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [DELUXE EDITION]
9. Magical Mystery Tour
10. The Beatles (The White Album)
11. Yellow Submarine (Songtrack) [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED]
Yellow Submarine Origional US
12. Abbey Road
13. Let It Be
16. Past Masters, Vol. 1
17. Past Masters, Vol. 2
18. Anthology 1
19. Anthology 2
20. Anthology 3
21. Live at the BBC
22. The Beatles 1
23. Let it Be...- Naked
24. Multi Selection Boxed Set
25. CD Box Set
26. The Early Tapes
27. Inside Interviews
28. Beatles Tapes
Beatlegs - The Yellow Dog tapes...Russian Edition