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Bought the Beatles Remasters? Try These CDs to Complete Your Beatles Library

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You may have purchased either the remastered boxed set or individual CDs, but your Beatles collection is far from complete. Several special compilations and remixes exist that further illustrate the Fab Four's artistry and creative process. The following are key supplements to any Beatles library:

  • Live at the BBC: Any doubts that The Beatles could rock live are put to rest through this collection. Previously unavailable on official releases, these BBC radio performances showcase the band at their best during early Beatlemania. While they play original compositions such as “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Can't Buy Me Love,” and “I'm A Loser,” it's their gritty covers of both well-known and obscure soul chestnuts that really make this set special. Arthur Alexander's “Soldier of Love,” Smokey Robinson and the Miracles's “You Really Got A Hold on Me,” and Larry Williams's “Slow Down” represent just a few of the standout cuts.The Beatles

  • Anthology Volumes 1-3: Released to coincide with the Anthology TV documentary, these double-CD sets lift the curtain on their Abbey Road recording sessions. Volume One excited longtime fans because of four tracks: “That'll Be the Day” and “In Spite of All the Danger,” the first tracks Beatles Version 1.0, The Quarrymen, ever recorded; “Leave My Kitten Alone,” an outtake from Beatles for Sale, featuring a blistering vocal performance by John Lennon; and “Free as a Bird,” the virtual reunion single.

    Volume Two incorporates mainly studio outtakes, such as “I Am the Walrus” minus the sound effects, and the second reunion track, “Real Love.” Volume Three includes tracks later released as solo singles like “Teddy Boy” (which later surfaced on McCartney, Paul McCartney's first solo album) and “All Things Must Pass” (subsequently from George Harrison's debut opus).

  • Let It Be…Naked: After the tension-filed Get Back sessions, the fed-up Beatles and their equally exasperated producer, George Martin, handed over the tracks to producer Phil Spector. The resulting album, Let It Be, remained a thorn in McCartney's side for decades. Believing Spector's production too heavy-handed, particularly on the strings-laden “The Long and Winding Road,” McCartney wished to erase all traces of Spector from the tracks, restoring the “getting back to their roots” spirit of the intended album, Get Back.

    Let It Be…Naked remains controversial—some fans prefer the original version—but it makes for fascinating listening, bringing an entirely new perspective to classics like “Let It Be” and “The Long and Winding Road,” and “Across the Universe” is stripped of its intrusive sound effects, laying bare Lennon's delicate ballad.

  • Love: Often called a “Beatles mashup album,” the CD functions as the soundtrack to the Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil show of the same name. George Martin and son Giles remixed several classic tracks with astounding results, particularly the astounding mashup of “Within You Without You” and “Tomorrow Never Knows.” The Martins created a song encapsulating the best of these two lesser-known George Harrison compositions, highlighting their philosophical and mystical elements. A mashup of “Drive My Car,” “The Word,” and “What You're Doing” demonstrates the Lennon/McCartney craft of creating intelligent pop songs.

  • For hardcore fans only: The Capitol Albums, Volumes One and Two: The 1987 Beatles CDs were the original U.K. versions, with their particular track listings and album art. But many American fans missed the U.S. Editions they grew up with, and preferred the stereo or “fake stereo” effects on some previously mono cuts. By popular demand, Capitol released the American albums on CD—Volume One includes Meet The Beatles, The Beatles's Second Album, Something New, and Beatles '65; and Volume Two features The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, and the U.S. Versions of Help! and Rubber Soul. Collectors and fans of the Capitol Beatles albums will enjoy these box sets (and can stop playing well-worn LPs and cassettes).

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About Kit O'Toole

  • Joel

    Yellow Submarine [1999 Songtrack] could also be added to the list, for its interesting tweaking and mixing of many classic songs (all the ones that appeared in the film). Some fans were disappointed that the remasters were not remixed as well–here is a sample of that sound.