Friday, March 14, 2014

Music Review - The Beatles - The Singles

And now for the singles!

Released in 1973, these double double albums contained every A-side single released by The Beatles, split into 1962–1966 (a.k.a. The Red Album) and 1967–1970 (a.k.a. The Blue Album). When they were released on CD the names were changed to Past Masters. Oooooo!

You see, kids, back in the day the 45 single was the big thing. Long playing albums weren't what brought in the bucks so bands put their best songs on these wee little records, songs that didn't always make it onto the album proper. Such was the case with The Beatles which means that these four records* are over stacked with hits!

The first set, The Red Album, has such great songs as "Love Me Do", "From Me To You", "She Loves You", "I Want To Hold Your Hand", the rocker "I'm Down" and the amazing intro of "I Feel Fine." Yeah, there's some other songs on here but now that I really look at it, there really aren't all that many amazing songs. Just the ones I listed. Sure, "Komm, Giv Mir Deine Hand"is pretty good, especially if du spreche Deutche. That's not saying that the rest of the songs are slouches. In fact, compared to the early original songs on the L.P.s the singles stand a few heads taller. Dandy tunes, but not an album I grew up with.

No Red Album but we did have The Blue Album. One wonders how I would have turned out differently had this been switched. Well, at least I do. This one kicks off with a triple threat of "Day Tripper", "We Can Work It Out", and "Paperback Writer." WOWSERS! The listener is allowed a very small breath with "Rain", a fine upstanding raucous tune but not of classic status, before being lifted again into glory with "Lady Madonna," a boogie woogie piano-based song with sax all over it. Hello? Any guitars in there? "The Inner Light" is a skipper and, in my book, so is "Hey Jude" which carries for far too long. Raise your hand if you love that nasty, gritty, fuzzy guitar tone on the heavy version of "Revolution." You, the kid in the back without your hand up. You may leave. I recall enjoying "Don't Let Me Down" but now it seems a bit thin. Then and now I like "The Ballad of John and Yoko" melodically but now don't care much for the abuse of Jesus' title.

I just realized that I was writing according to my Past Masters rips and not based on the actual blue/red track listings. Ooops. Maybe we Did have the red album also because those songs seem real familiar, like I've heard them somewhere before. And I recall really enjoying the Magical Mystery Tour songs that are on the Blue but not on Past Masters 2. What a big ol' messy bowl of spaghetti.

In any case, this series is now officially over. No, I won't be writing about Love or any other attempt the remaining live members create to squeeze few more bucks out of this cow. I'm done with it.

* Or two compact discs**.

** Or a bunch of digital files.

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