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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 20 June 2003
There are some treasures on this set:
The demo recordings at George Harrison's Esher home included on this set show The Beatles' genius at being able to develop an idea and turn it into a song. It is also a great experience to be able to listen in on the rehearsal for John's simple song Goodnight.
The widely-distributed bootleg of George singing While My Guitar Gently Weeps, with accompaniment by Paul on organ is included, as is George's early version of All Things Must Pass. The Beatles made about 100 takes of Not Guilty, but eventually decided not to include it on their double album. It is a better song than some that did make it into the 1968 White album, and worth hearing how it was done by The Beatles, though you can also hear George's own version on his 1979 eponymously named album.
Rumours have it that the original version of Let It Be [originally named Get Back] will be released in 2003. But you can hear some of the original album here with the singalong version of Teddy Boy [with John's sarcastic comments in the background], the shorter version of I Me Mine, the original arrangement of Dig A Pony and the simpler version of Long and Winding Road.
Because sounds stunning as an a cappella version: it must be the most inventive vocal harmony The Beatles ever sang.
Highly recommended: you won't want to listen to this album every day, but it is fun to dig it out and play these alternative versions from time to time.
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on 25 April 2000
This double cd of out-takes and demos is almost like Beatles Unplugged. The sound is out of this world and the songs are ever better! I wasn't sure whether to get this as I have all the albums anyway but I'm so glad I did. There almost like different songs here! If your a beatle fan, you NEED to own this.
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on 18 November 1999
This is probably the most "no-frills" anthology, since there are no "discovered" John Lennon demos which the 3 surviving Beatles overdubbed parts on and no CD single promoting this CD.
This features an entire CD full of the White Album sessions with many never before released songs like "Not Guilty", "Step Inside Love", and "What's the New Mary Jane". It also features great sounding demos like "Don't Pass Me By", "Hey Jude", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Glass Onion" (with some hilariously bizarre touches!) and Julia (it's a scream to hear Paul interrupt John by giving him advice!).
The 2nd CD features highlights from the Let It Be and Abbey Road sessions. Premonition makes its way here as there are songs included later to make it onto solo records like "Teddy Boy" and "All Things Must Pass". Highlights include "I Me Mine", "Oh! Darling", "Come and Get It", "Because" and of course "The End". Best line: "You bounder! You cheat!" Enjoy this collection, since there won't be more rarities from the Beatles any time soon.
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on 24 April 2006
Some of the songs on this collection are near identical to the ones already released so why the omissions? No Child of Nature, Sour Milk Sea or Circles from the Esher Sessions or Suzy Parker from the Get Back sessions... also Helter skelter fades far too early (it was about 25 mins long)and missed a lot of the band improvising. Apart from that worth it for the acoustic While My Guitar Gently Weeps..
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 November 2015
For Beatles enthusiasts, the three anthologies which were released by Apple/EMI Records in 1995/1996 to tie-in with the 'The Beatles Anthology' eight-part television series are truly indispensable.

If you are looking for a collection which contains the timeless pop tunes which helped to change British culture forever, you should look into the following two boxsets instead: 1962-1966 [The Red Album] and 1967-1970 [The Blue Album], both of which have all of the essential singles, and songs you'll always hear played on the radio, These 'Anthology' series however, loaded with treats and rarities, are probably of the most interest to collectors, and genuine devotees.

If you fall into either one of the above categories, what you have on offer here are two CDs covering the period 1969 to early 1970, with everything, mostly in chronological order. The bulk of the material consists of previously-unreleased rarities and alternative tracks from the last two years of the Fab Four's career, including a focus on the material which wasn't to be used on 'The White Album', and the final sessions of 1969's 'Let It Be', and 'Abbey Road', which finished in 1970.

The beautiful acoustic version of 'While My Guitar Weeps Gently', along with the other unplugged versions of the timeless tunes us studio album owners are already familiar with (songs such as 'Happiness is a Warm Gun' and 'Mean Mr. Mustard'), are reason enough to purchase this magnificent collection, which is my personal favourite of the three.

A wonderful bonus in each of these sets are the bumper booklets, each of which contain detailed information about each of the recordings, and some excellent vintage photographs of the band from over their first period. With so much of real merit on offer, the Anthology albums are an excellent series for fans of John, Paul, George and Ringo, four talented men who gave us some of the best British music that has ever been written and composed. These aren't 'greatest hits' packages, their treasure troves.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 June 2016
This is the third and final volume of the Beatles "Anthology" - a double CD set featuring 50 tracks, released in 1996. The music is from the period 1968 to 1970, and is a compilation of alternative takes, rehearsals, live performances and demos, including the likes of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", "Octopus's Garden" and "Come Together". Nothing featured on the album had previously been released by the Beatles in the form it's heard here. Rather, this album represents an opportunity to listen to the Beatles in a slightly new way. There's also several songs that had never been released at all by the Beatles - including "What's the New Mary Jane" and "Come and Get It".

The "Anthology" project was a major contribution to music - consisting of three double albums, new singles, a documentary series, and a book. It aimed to present the history of the Beatles, in a new an more intimate manner, in chronological order. Included with this album is a deluxe 42 page booklet - providing information of the songs, as well as lots of photos of the band.

If you're a fan of the Beatles, I thoroughly recommend this collection. If you're totally new to the Beatles then, while you will no doubt enjoy this compilation, I'd suggest you first listen to the original Beatles studio albums (or perhaps the so-called 'Red' and 'Blue' double CD sets, featuring the greatest hits of the band).

Overall, a truly fantastic item.
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on 31 July 2003
All three Anthology albums are just fantastic but this one just tips the others as it shows you more about their songwriting abilities and musicianship.
How come we've never heard Not Guilty before, a gem. To me it's like listening to a new Beatles release. The highlight of this CD is She Came in Through the Bathroom Window. So different from the Abbey Road version and yet more haunting. Macca is one helluva a singer, be it rock or ballad. That's much the same for John. They appear to have three or four voices each hidden in there.
Let's not forget George, Something and While my Guitar Gently Weeps almost move you to tears.
The only downside are Ringo's songs (sorry Ringo). A great drummer, just listen to Come Together, but a songwriter, no.
Go out and buy this and all the other Beatles albums. They defined a decade and a lot of their music is still relevant today. I wish they were all still here.
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on 2 November 2015
This is the least interesting of the three Anthologies. It's not because they weren't still making great music - the White Album is at least as good as any of their others; but by this stage they had more or less stopped developing, so there's little to be gained by trawling through their demos, and they'd also stopped playing live so no joy there either (though the shambolic final version of Get Back from the rooftop concert is included). There's hardly a single track here that is better than the album version, or even interestingly different. Many are simply acoustic runs-through; and although in the Unplugged era that might be thought a good thing, in this case it isn't. Minus the orchestras, funny noises and the always-beautiful backing vocals, some of the songs sound a bit dull (there, I said it). In word, it's not far from being an ordinary 'out-takes and B sides' album.

By the time you've sat through the rehearsal of Oh Darling, obviously only one of many, you'll have some idea of why the Beatles got so completely sick of one another. Not that it's bad; it's just so tired. At the end of that song John announces, to palpable indifference, that Yoko has got her divorce (whoopee for her!); it's one of several spoken asides in which, along with the music, you can hear John's lack of engagement, Paul's wilful optimism, and George's bitter 'little brother' complex...I don't think Ringo says anything.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 January 2013
This is a fascinating double album, a history lesson of the Beatles' later years. But don't think that it is therefore only of interest to Beatles' completists. There are some gems here that make it worth buying, and I shall mention a few.

George Harrison is very much to the fore in this commentary ...

Above all is his achingly beautiful acoustic version of 'While my Guitar Gently Weeps'. This is a wonderful song - I thought it was one of the high spots on the White Album, but this is, if anything, even better.

'Not Guilty' was well worked-up by the Beatles but never issued by them and was eventually used by George Harrison on a solo album. 'All Things Must Pass' became a massive favourite on George's triple album, rated by many as the best of the solo Beatles' releases. Here it is in early form and without the heavy Phil Spector production.

There is an early version of Paul Mccartney's 'Junk' which eventually made it onto his first solo album.

'Teddy Boy' was demoed by Paul to the others but not liked. John Lennon made his feelings known! It too became a solo track.

'Come and Get It' was written by Mccartney and given to Badfinger: here it is done by Paul and it is clear how slavishly Badfinger copied his arrangement.

'What's the new Mary Jane' is a piece of Lennon experimentation: there was talk of it being released as a Beatles single, but it was not good enough to deserve that.

For Beatles fans this is a must-have. It shows many of their later tracks in their earliest manifestations and gives alternative versions of others. The supporting notes are very good at describing them.

The tracks that make this double-CD set worth buying are the demonstrations and arrangements that never made it to the Beatles' albums. They tell the story of how the three main composers in the group were, by the end, working largely separately. And it really was three main composers by that time with George Harrison at his very best.

An essential piece of Beatles' history. Very good. Four stars.
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on 8 March 2016
double CD and B) it's got The Beatles' name on it. I saw one of them for £25! Which is just absolutely extortionate. I would seriously recommend buying second hand, like new, unless you can find them new for a decent price.

For starters these anthology's are just brilliant, there's no two ways about it. It's by no means a 'best of' album so if that's what you're looking for then I would recommend the Red and Blue albums. To hear the evolution of the songs, the studio banter and just hearing the magic in general, is fascinating.

If you're a massive Beatles fan then this is just a must have (the anthology book is brilliant too!).
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