Friday, March 31, 2006

The Beatles

I need to get the readership of my blog up for the last day of March, so here goes about The Beatles, my fave group of all time. Next Tuesday, April 4, Capitol will be releasing the second set of Beatles albums onto CD for the first time in the US configurations. This will represent the four LPs that were originally released during 1965: "The Early Beatles", "Help! Original Soundtrack", "Beatles VI" and "Rubber Soul".

The highlight of this set is definitely the US "Rubber Soul", which actually has a more folksy feel than the UK counterpart. Incredibly, I find it more preferable to the UK one as I find songs like "Drive My Car" kind of out of place in comparison to other material on the US version.

Don't get me wrong, I love "Drive My Car", but since I first heard it on the "Yesterday and Today" compilation in the 70s, I have always thought of it as a 1966 tune, more appropriate for "Revolver" than a 1965 tune on "Rubber Soul". Time has allowed me to get used to the UK version of "Rubber Soul" (We've only had 19 years to listen to this version in the US.), but the US version is one of the best "compilations" of mid-60s Beatles music ever to come out if you don't want to consider it The Beatles actual vision.

As far as the other discs go, they are actually very weak in comparison to other earlier and later material, and with good reason. With constant touring, The Beatles well had basically dried up for a time. So all of the material from the UK "Beatles For Sale" and US "Beatles '65" and "Beatles VI" LPs are slightly more weak. That's just being nitpicky as they always seemed to put out great stuff.

People quibble about the US version of "Help!". I may be in the minority, but I enjoy those Ken Thorne instrumentals. I hope that Capitol sees fit to release the United Artist "A Hard Day's Night" soundtrack with its instrumentals intact as well. It makes it seem like a movie soundtrack than just a collection of songs like the UK "Help!" is.

I definitely prefer the UK "Please Please Me" to the US "The Early Beatles", but what can you do? Capitol got the rights back to the early songs and duly released a belated collection that everyone had purchased a zillion times over on Vee-Jay, so I am glad it is here for that reason alone.

Another MUST BUY!


Mark Arnold

No comments: