It’s been 50 years since England’s most celebrated band, The Beatles visited the shores of America for the first time. From that point on things would never be the same again. For reasons that many still cannot fathom, Capitol Records, the bands American label took to issuing all the albums in different running orders, and sometimes with different track mixes, album artwork and titles to their UK releases. These albums still became extremely popular despite being inferior releases.
So why the need to put out an expensive box set (£150 for 13 albums) when we already have The Capitol Years volumes 1 & 2? Surely the easier way around this would have to release “A Hard Days Night”, “Yesterday and Today”, “The Beatles Story”, “Revolver” and “Hey Jude” in one smaller volume to compliment the other two sets?
What’s more the label have used the 2009 remastered mixes of tracks instead of the original US mixes. The whole sordid affair of these re-issue’s appears to be a nostalgia driven rush job to cash in on the anniversary.
There is however a comprehensive 64 page booklet included and the whole set does look like it has been well packaged in the visual sense. Still for everyone who has the original albums or the 2009 remastered editions then the best policy would be to swerve this release, unless you are a completist who needs everything released under the name of The Beatles.
My advice from an avid collectors point of view is to avoid purchasing this release until the prices drops significantly. In the meantime, head to your local record dealer or market and pick up some of the more intriguing bootlegs on offer around the market. For it is there you will find the real gems in the crown of The Beatles should you already own all the official LP’s. I’ve compiled a list of some bootlegs you should keep your eyes open for these.
By no means are these the only Beatles bootlegs you should look for but they are most certainly a small handful of my most treasured bootlegs of the band and I am most certain you will love them too.
The Esher Demos: What we have here is “The White Album” before it was brought together as one album. Each member spent time doing their own thing in the studio before it was pieced together. A truly inspiring listen.
Turn Me On Dead Man: In the early 1980’s John Barrett, an Abby Road studio engineer was suffering from cancer. During his down time from treatment he scoured the studio archives and un-earthed a wealth of rare material. Much of this has yet seen the light of day on official release.
The Complete BBC Tapes: On offer over an amazing ten disc collection is the entire sessions recorded by the band for the BBC! This set has to be one of the ultimate Beatles bootlegs.
Alternative Sgt. Peppers: Ever wondered what one of the greatest albums ever laid down sounded like during the recording process? Well now is your chance if you pick up this brilliant double album that includes many alternative and demo versions of songs that ended up on the final cut.
If you are still intent on buying the US re-issue collection then read on for more details. You have been warned!
Discs 1: Meet The Beatles Mono Mix & Stereo Mix, Original Release: January 20, 1964
Disc 2: The Beatles’ Second Album Mono Mix & Stereo Mix, Original Release: April 10, 1964
Disc 3: A Hard Day’s Night [OST] Mono Mix & Stereo Mix, Original Release: June 26, 1964
Disc 4: Something New Mono Mix & Stereo Mix, Original Release: June 20, 1964
Disc 5: The Beatles Story Original Release: November 23, 1964
Disc 6: Beatles ’65 Mono Mix & Stereo Mix, Original Release: December 15, 1964
Disc 7: The Early Beatles Mono Mix & Stereo Mix, Original Release: March 22, 1964
Disc 8: Beatles VI Mono Mix & Stereo Mix, Original Release: June 14, 1965
Disc 9:HELP! [OST] Mono Mix & Stereo Mix, Original Release: August 13, 1965
Disc 10: Rubber Soul Mono Mix & Stereo Mix, Original Release: December 6, 1965
Disc 11: Yesterday and Today Mono Mix & Stereo Mix, Original Release: June 20, 1966
Disc 12: Revolver Mono Mix & Stereo Mix, Original Release: august 8, 1966
Disc 13: Hey Jude Original Release: February 26, 1970