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Beatles, The: Red Album: 1962-1966 (remaster)

In September 2009, the Rock & Roll fans of the world were once again reminded of the full impact and resonating musical influence that was the legacy of The Beatles catalog when it received the remastered treatment and was delivered in both a Stereo and a Mono boxed set. These collections featured all of the bands albums minus the Anthology releases and the Live At The BBC and were worthy additions to ones musical library. Fast forward a little over a year to where we are today as EMI Music and Apple Corps presents the long overdue collections that were entitled The Red Album: 1962-1966 and The Blue Album: 1967-1970. The special nature of these releases finds each being touched upon in their own narrative.

I remember the Red Album very, very well, as it was one of the first pieces of vinyl that I owned when I was allowed to do whatever I felt like doing with my allowance money. The original LP came out in 1973 which was three full years after The Beatles had stopped making music but I didn't own it at that early date and would finally get a copy several years later. Of course I would make sure that I had saved up enough money to buy both this and its companion release of the Blue Album: 1967-1970 at the same time to better immerse myself in the glory of their music. It wasn't as if I hadn't heard the bands material before of course, I just didn't own any of it in my own personal album stash. For those that might live in the far reaches of the Bouvet Island over in Antarctica (look it up) where there is limited news from the musical side, these collections were not so much "greatest hits" packages as much as they were statements of the bands history for a certain time. The "Red" album focused on the bands earliest years and delivered their most iconic introductions to the world during that section in music history. Songs like "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You" and "Can't Buy Me Love" where forever imprinted on the youth of that era and many fans got to enjoy the group making their first appearances on television with them. Hard core fans of The Beatles might remember their making hits with some covers during this time and these are not included even as extras with the remaster. Though this might have been the case with the bands formative influential years, only material that was actually written by the group is presented here. It might have been nice to have them include either "Twist and Shout" or "Roll Over Beethoven" as bonus tracks but that was not to be and the albums original integrity was not compromised. Fans that wanted these tunes would have to purchase the albums in which they originally appeared on.

Having said that I hailed from a later level of fandom when it came to the music of The Beatles, it was safe to also admit that this would be the first exposure to such a concentration of the bands work in my own musical upbringing. Listeners who were older than me by a couple of years probably got the jump start on me by purchasing these releases when they came out or shortly after in terms of years, but like myself were probably too young to best grasp how important this all was for music during the early sixties. The band was clearly one of the most important if not THE most important to Rock & Roll and as you listen to these early years you can listen and mentally watch how the band grows better at what they do and despite some stylistic changes seemed incapable of delivering a bad tune. It must have been exciting to be a fan of The Beatles during their heyday and eagerly await the next round of musical ideas that would come from the super combination of players in John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Perhaps you didn't shell out the necessary money for the complete collection boxed sets yet, but either way the "Red Album" is something that you should add to your music collection without question. Every tune presented is a great one and you will find yourself pressing "play" and listening from beginning to end as its inspiration does its work on your music loving psyche.

The booklet included with the remaster is a definite upgrade from the one that came with the original CD release of this collection. It's been expanded by a number of pages and while the original issue found eight photos of the group during these years, the remastered edition presents eleven for your enjoyment. Many of them have been blown up to be a larger size than we found on the original which was equally cool. There are liner notes that mirror that of the "Blue" collection but then there is also text that better lines out these particular years. Lyrics for all of the songs are included to help you keep up with the band but its very likely that these tunes are already a part of your genetic makeup. Either way its cool that they include them as I have long been a fan of such parts of a booklet (especially in this digital age). Closing up, while I stand firm on this being a must have collection, I do recommend that you follow my original course of action as a youth and purchase both "Red" and "Blue" together so you can listen to them as a whole body of work and be best schooled in their musical genius.

Track Listing:
1. Love Me Do
2. Please, Please Me
3. From Me To You
4. She Love You
5. I Want To Hold Your Hand
6. All My Loving
7. Cant Buy Me Love
8. A Hard Day's Night
9. And I Love Her
10. Eight Days A Week
11. I Feel Fine
12. Ticket To Ride
13. Yesterday
14. Help!
15. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
16. We Can Work It Out
17. Day Tripper
18. Drive My Car
19. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
20. Nowhere Man
21. Michelle
22. In My Life
23. Girl
24. Paperback Writer
25. Eleanor Rigby
26. Yellow Submarine

Added: December 29th 2010
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3092
Language: english

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