Top critical review
one for completists
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.