|1. Back In The U.S.S.R. (2009 - Remaster)|
|2. Dear Prudence (2009 - Remaster)|
|3. Glass Onion (2009 - Remaster)|
|4. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (2009 - Remaster)|
|5. Wild Honey Pie (2009 - Remaster)|
|6. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill (2009 - Remaster)|
|7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (2009 - Remaster)|
|8. Happiness Is A Warm Gun (2009 - Remaster)|
|9. Martha My Dear (2009 - Remaster)|
|10. I'm So Tired (2009 - Remaster)|
See all 17 tracks on this disc
|1. The Beatles Documentary|
|2. Yer Blues (2009 - Remaster)|
|3. Mother Nature's Son (2009 - Remaster)|
|4. Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey (2009 - Remaster)|
|5. Sexy Sadie (2009 - Remaster)|
|6. Helter Skelter (2009 - Remaster)|
|7. Long, Long, Long (2009 - Remaster)|
|8. Revolution 1 (2009 - Remaster)|
|9. Honey Pie (2009 - Remaster)|
|10. Savoy Truffle (2009 - Remaster)|
See all 13 tracks on this disc
From the inside looking out, maybe everything wasn't going to be alright, despite John Lennon’s assurances on the rousing Revolution 1, just one of many highlights on what is perhaps The Beatles’ most ambitious studio album.
After writing dozens of songs while meditating in India in the spring, the group returned to Abbey Road – and Trident, in Soho – to record over 30 tracks of new material up until the summer. When you think of how unrest had started to simmer within the group's ranks – Yoko Ono arriving in the studio; Apple forming; Ringo leaving and then returning – and how broad the album's palette of sounds (blue beat, heavy metal, folk and doo-wop, to name a few), The Beatles still manages to hang together like few other works.
The Lennon and Paul McCartney stereotypes are at once reinforced, yet also dismissed – few would have thought Good Night was the product of Lennon’s pen, and likewise Helter Skelter didn’t immediately scream McCartney. Away from such showpieces, it's the doodles that delight – George Harrison's Savoy Truffle is a fine counterweight to While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except For Me and My Monkey balances the gravitas of Revolution 1.
Given that it also contains Lennon, Ono and Harrison's nine-minute noise collage Revolution 9 and McCartney's genuinely pointless Wild Honey Pie, it’s little wonder that producer George Martin always opined that The Beatles could have made a splendid single album. That said, without such variety on offer, the compiling of one’s own version wouldn’t be the national pastime it is today. --Daryl Easlea
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John Lennon never reached the peaks he reaches here. All his songs are wonderful. From the finger picking ’Dear Prudence’ with a stomping bass line from Paul to the tour de force group effort ’Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ to the supremely melodic ’Sexy Sadie’. Who ever said that McCartney wrote all the melodies is sadly mistaken. This is a melody to die for. And there is ’Julia’, the sweet and moving lament to his lost mother and the Mother he had found in Yoko. ’Revolution’ needs no introduction. Even if this slower album version is slightly inferior to the raucous rendition on the B Side of Hey Jude, it is mighty fine all the same. ’Cry Baby Cry’ is a wonderfully atmospheric piece with Paul contributing some suitably eerie piano. Even the lesser Lennon numbers are exciting: Glass Onion (with its famous tribute to Paul), ’Everybody’s Got Something To Hide’ sees The Beatles rocking like they never had before. And ’Bungalow Bill’ is a fun sing-along but with a dark lyric which is wonderful in its parody of the tiger-shooting guy who was with them at Maharishi’s camp where everyone was supposed to be peaceful! ’I’m So Tired’ has to be the ultimate Lost Album Track. No one seems to know this masterpiece outside the inner Beatles fan circle. Take a listen as Lennon said in the intro to his song ’Scared’ 6 years later. ’Yer Blues’ is another band tour de force, recorded in a small room with all four Beatles. Which was not the case for every number here.
And Paul, the other half of that great songwriting partnership has never surpassed the quality of material he produces here. With the possible exception of the Beatles’ final album ’Abbey Road’. ’Back In The USSR’ is a timeless rocker, ’Obla-Di Obla-Da is effortlessly magical. As is ’Matha My Dear’ (where does he find these melodies from?!). ’I Will’ and ’Blackbird’ are two of his very finest acoustic numbers. Which as we know, again to quote Edmund Blackadder, is up against some pretty stiff competition. And then we have here from Paul ’Helter Skelter’, ’Why Don’t We Do It In The Road’ and ’Birthday’, three stupendous rockers that you could easily be forgiven for thinking that Lennon was behind them. But No. As most people know by now Paul could rock with the best of them. God Bless You Paul.
And if that wasn’t enough, we have four George Harrisongs. ’While My Guitar’ is marvellous. Another masterful group performance, albeit without any contribution from Lennon. But Eric Clapton’s wonderful distorted guitar solos and Paul’s piano intro and stomping bass line make up for that. ’Piggies’ and ’Savoy Truffle’ are minor gems. But ’Long Long Long’ is a George ballad up there in the etchelons. The way it follows the mayhem of ’Helter Skelter’ is a genius of progamming.
Oh I forgot ’Honey Pie’ from Paul, the superb following number to ’Revolution’. Sublime. And then buried on Side 3 (vinyl) is ’Mother Nature’s Son’ which is close to the definition of Beauty.
Ringo chips in with his first composition ’Don’t Pass Me By’, which The Band told George was their favourite off the album. It is infectious. And then following the avant garde collage ’Revolution 9’ (the only track whose inclusion is even remotely controversial) we have Ringo singing ’Good Night’. A perfect close to a pretty near perfect album. They would go to produce two more albums after this but this is the last album where, despite the tensions and the obvious individuality of the 30 tracks on offer here, TheBeatles believed in themselves wholeheartedly. It is quite possibly their greatest masterpiece.
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