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1962-1966

The Beatles

Proto-Prog


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4 stars These collections, the red and blue double albums, are the only decent collections with the Beatles. I only review one since the exact same words goes for "67-70". Look and the song list and try to remove one song, to me that's very hard. All tracks are obvious collection tracks and fits perfectly. Making any kind of smaller collection than these is quite pointless since it soon begins to be random choice. All tracks on these two collections are timeless classics that makes any comparison pale. The packaging is nice and there just isn't anything weak here. The only question of course is: Why buy a collection with this band in the first place? The albums are too good to not buy, and they are more fun than collections. But anyway, I can't think of a better way to sum Beatles' history than with these collections. Giving it less than five stars would be ridiculous, but I have difficulties to rate ANY collection five stars, since these often miss concept or artistic visions (that is common in regular albums).
Report this review (#70320)
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars This is the first part of the first compilation of The Beatles hits that came out, in 1973. It came as two double LPs and this one, as said, is the first, covering their most famous songs between 1962 and 1966. In other words, it's songs from their Pop era and not much of interest for the Prog fan. Highlights would be some of the tracks of side 3 and 4 which are from Rubber Soul and Revolver.
Report this review (#86343)
Posted Wednesday, August 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars In comparison to the "1967-1970" compilation, this album is more a colecction of Hit Singles, but it also includes some very good songs from their albums recorded in that period of years. I think that it was easier to compile, because in those years the band concentrated more in recording short good songs more proper for Radio playing. But by late 1965, with the release of their "Rubber Soul" album, things started to change, and their music became more elaborated and much better in lyrics and in music. By the time they released their "Revolver" album, in 1966, it was clear that the band could not play on stage many of their songs from their "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver" albums, so in their last tour, in 1966, they played mostly songs from their previous years.

The only thing that I really don`t like very much in this compilation is the absence of more songs taken from "Revolver". This compilation only includes "Eleanor Rigby" and "Yellow Submarine" which were released in a single. I think that there were other songs from that album which were better than these.

In terms about musical influences for Prog Rock, I think that the "1967-1970 " compilation is more important. But this "1962-1966" compilation is good anyway, because The Beatles were a very good band from the beginning, so this compilation is very representative of their more Pop Rock songs.

Both compilations (this and the "1967-1970" album) were remastered and re-issued in 1993, being then the first time they were available in the CD format.

Report this review (#163867)
Posted Friday, March 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
progrules
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars These are just a bunch of highly commercial pop songs, simple and a collection of songs that caused my everlasting dislike for this band. And the funny thing is: when you say this to Beatlefans they always try to convince you of the fact that you are wrong. How can anyone dislike the Beatles ? I don't know, but I do, I'm sorry for those fans. Popmusic couldn't be more simple than most of the songs on this collection and I never understood why people went crazy for this. Of course it's always possible to say something positive about a certain kind of music. In this case it could be that they are popular tunes, true classics if you like but that's something else than good music let alone good prog. And of course also here rules the famous statement: a matter of taste and there's nothing to be done about that I learned.

In my childhood our family had two double vinyls of The Beatles and those were this red one and (of course) the blue one. And those will be the only ones I will review. I don't want to waste too much of my precious time on this band and will leave it at that. Lucky Beatles !

Report this review (#164501)
Posted Friday, March 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

This is simply a collection of early Beatles hit singles, nothing more nothing less. The Blue Album is less of a compilation of hits like this is, and it is a compilation their good songs, but this is solely just The Beatles hits early on. There's not much explaining to do. Everyone knows PLEASE PLEASE ME and LOVE ME DO from just the way pop culture spreads. But that's all this is. The second disc is much better better than the first because it includes some psychedelic and rock songs, but disc one is simply their early rock and roll songs.

If you don't know much about The Beatles and hate prog, start here. For any prog fan, this is decent rock music, that is better to be left skipped anyway. If you like prog, start with The Blue Album as a compilation, but not this.

4/5 for a rock and roll compilation. 2/5 for a proto-prog compilation.

Final Score: 2.5/5

Report this review (#194602)
Posted Sunday, December 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Beatlemania years

I've never been a fan of compilations and still feel they are not for real music fans, and thus I can keep this brief. Getting the full length studio albums is always preferable so one can enjoy the songs in context. But if one insists on buying a Beatles compilation, this was the best one (along with the companion "Blue" album). Here you'll find the "hits" selected from the early years of the debut through Revolver. They do a good job with their selections. As someone who has taken the lonely position that Rubber Soul was better than Revolver, it is somewhat vindicating to see they include six tracks from Rubber Soul and two from Revolver. If you wish to have a simple overview of The Beatles just to round out your collection, without spending large coin on all the albums, buying Red and Blue will get you there.

Report this review (#247504)
Posted Saturday, October 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a compilation album which has polarised opinions in PA, I can see.

In my view, all homes should have both this compilation CD and in particular the blue 1967-1970 box. Why ? Because both double CDs are the blueprint for the modern music. To be able to understand the western culture; you need this knowledge. Yes, I know my opinions are controversial. But just have a look around and you may come to the same conclusion. Another reason for the purchase of this and the blue box/double CD is that the music here are mostly superb.

This double CD, the red one, is a collection of the pop stuff from The Beatles. These songs were all pioneering songs. Thankfully, there is no cover songs here. Just their own compositions. That include some songs not released on their albums.

There are some really gems and icons of the western civilisation here (I am again controversial). These are She Loves You, a song debated in many parlaments around the world as a danger to the youths in their respective countries and therefore ought to be banned outright. Yesterday, the most covered song on this planet and a wonderful song. Norwegian Wood with it's sitar. Help which was the title track of a movie that set new standards. Eleanor Rigby with it's serious theme and Yellow Submarine which is a hit in all nursery schools among the 4-5 six years old kids. All these songs are truly wonderful. Add songs like Paperback Writer, A Hard Day's Night, Eight Days A Week, Ticket To Ride, Drive My Car and Michelle to the mix and those are a good reason to purchase this album. The rest of the songs are also very good.

Those alone are the reasons to own this album. Everything properly considered makes this a four star compilation album. Store this double CD together with the Bible, your favorite food recipes, the backup of your harddisk, your insurance details, the pictures of your family, your passport and The Fawlty Towers DVDs.

4 stars

Report this review (#250477)
Posted Saturday, November 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars I remember being in my early teens and asking my parents for this collection for Christmas. Naturally, being the great parents that they are, they always encouraged my music development and so one year towards the end of the '90s santa brought me quite an excellent gift!

The red boxed 1962-1966-compilation album consists of all the most popular songs from the Beatles early discography leading up to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (or the Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane single, if you want to be more precise). Since I have never owned a single album by the group prior to the 1965 release Help it was interesting to explore this side of the band's style even though I've probably still managed to hear most of these songs prior to that point. This actually begs the question --- is it even possible to live a life without even unconsciously hearing a song by the Beatles? Of course one can stretch this argument to the most secluded sections of the Amazon Rainforest or even going out in space, even though I'm pretty sure the Beatles have that latter part covered!

Creating this type of a compilation is indeed a difficult task due to the vast amount of excellent material featured from different eras in the band's short but highly influential career. It was quite a bold decision on the part of the creators of this compilation to merely split the the Beatles' career into two section, each covered by one 2-LP/CD compilation album, which in itself could be a subject to criticism. I honestly think that a compilation trilogy, just like the Anthology albums, would have worked a lot better since the 1965-1966 part of the band's career was an interesting transition stage that could easily fill out the required space of 2-LP/CD compilation on its own! Plus, there are quite a few important early titles that are missing from this collection. Twist And Shout, It Won't Be Long, If I Fell, I Should Have Known Better, I'll Follow The Sun, and No Reply, just to name a few.

The 1962-1966-compilation tried to achieve the task of covering the band's early years over the course of just over an hour worth of music, which in itself sounds like an impossible mission! Still, due to the fact that a consistent chronological order was maintained and that most of the important titles from all of the early albums were picked, although the latter part is debatable, I definitely admire the ambition of this early post-the Beatles compilation. If anything it shows a band in development, which in itself is well worth the price of admission!

***** star songs: All My Loving (2:09) Yesterday (2:05) Help! (2:20) Michelle (2:42) Girl (2:31) Eleanor Rigby (2:08) Yellow Submarine (2:37)

**** star songs: Love Me Do (2:24) Please Please Me (2:03) From Me To You (1:57) She Loves You (2:22) I Want To Hold Your Hand (2:27) Can't Buy Me Love (2:14) A Hard Day's Night (2:34) And I Love Her (2:31) Eight Days A Week (2:45) I Feel Fine (2:20) Ticket To Ride (3:11) You've Got To Hide Your Love Away (2:11) We Can Work It Out (2:16) Day Tripper (2:50) Drive My Car (2:28) Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (2:05) Nowhere Man (2:44) In My Life (2:27) Paperback Writer (2:19)

Report this review (#292776)
Posted Friday, July 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars This is the red album, not as good as the blue album that spanned the more proggy phase of The Beatles. This early phase of The Beatles is full of chart busting pop songs, and wholesome, unimpeachable love songs at that. It builds to some better material from Day Tripper onward. Best songs here are Norwegian Wood (THIS BIRD HAS FLOWN), Nowhere Man, Girl, Paperback Writer and Eleanor Rigby. The pop songs are ok especially 8 Days A Week and A Hard Day's Night. Overall when these albums arrived on vinyl in the 70s Beatles fans were salivating at the new interest in the group. It was kind of a sign that The Beatles were no more, but this compilation captures the innocence of the 60s though has dated incredibly fast. I guess these two compilations could replace the studio albums for those with a passing interest to the group, but to be honest there are far too many compilations these days on The Beatles.
Report this review (#399502)
Posted Sunday, February 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Yes, it is early Beatles (ad infinitum, ad nauseum) and their pop / rock and roll hits. And what a lot there are.

Good bits - well they all are really. I could do without Yellow Submarine (as a kid I hated kid oriented songs) - I actually dug Cream, the Everly Bros! Tull and Uriah Heep! and kiddie songs felt so patronising - an emotion it took extensive vocabulary development to identify. But that was just mean old Mustard me. But it (Yellow) U Boat) is a hit so therefore... But the guitar riff in Day Tripper is very cool to hear and play. Oddly the Beatles aren't a great riff band and I am a riff fan. But they could sing very well, not something many bands can do! Shame I prefer instrumental music and have way more UZ in my collection.

So what of this dislike of the Beatles+ I can understand that. Oddly music does bring out antipathy more than any other emotion - odd considering they are not doing anyone any harm. It may be this (to me ) mindless acceptance (imposed by prominent media manipulators trying to keep that status quo that The Beatles are the greatest etc and we should all get in line, no dissenting opinions etc.

Nah. Make up your own mind and the hell with Rolling Stone etc. Like, or don't like it. Whatever. You have a choice and can change your mind.

There is one thing that really annoys me about this release. (no, not because it is not an art rock album) it's just over an hour long. On 2 CDs! I know it's been marketed and sold as a 2 volume set since '73 but either expand it (to the point where just about their first 4 albums would fill it out... or be honest and issue it on 1 CD.

You'll probably know the songs as the Beatles are part of the fabric of society. Just don't let EMI or any record company stitch you up!

1.5 stars. Well done 1962 - 66 Beatles hits, hardly a bad album in its context, fine as a 1 CD compilation. But... not expanded, not issued on 1 CD and its very expensive. Why? N.B. the review stars are for the album issue brevity not for the content.

Report this review (#439171)
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
jamesbaldwin
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The "Red album" and the "Blue album" are historical compilations (1973) that have had the function of introducing the group of Liverpool to many listeners of the most recent eras to that of the Sixties. And in fact they were among the first records I've ever listened to, and they left a mark on the Beatles' music on me.

The Red album goes from 1962 to 1966, that is up to "Revolver". As a collection includes the various singles of the Fab4 plus some songs that have become classics even though they have never come out as 45 laps. It is known that at that time the 45 rpm usually came out before the 33 rpm which did not contain them: in this way the groups of the Sixties showed a great respect towards the listener, because they did not want to make him listen to a song twice , first on 45 laps then on 33 laps. That's why many famous Beatles songs are not included in their albums since they only came out as 45 laps. The difficulty in making a compilation of the Beatles lies in finding the right balance between the famous songs, the hits at 45 laps that have reached the top spot in the sales charts, and the most refined, experimental songs present only in 33 laps. The Red album tries to find this right balance. Do these two discs find it? On the first disc, yes, there are all the singles number 1 ("Eight Days a Week" and "Yesterday" were singles only in the USA) on the charts and indeed "All My Loving" and "And I Love Her", two beautiful ballads by Paul. There is no space for nothing else. Anyway, I would have preferred "I'm a Loser" instead of "Eight Days A Week". I miss "If I Fell". Maybe it could be inserted instead of "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" or "Day Tripper/Drive My Car" (on the second disc.

On the second disc, in my opinion, there are too many songs taken from Rubber Soul and only "Yellow Submarine" and "Eleonor Rigby" taken from "Revolver". I think one or two "Rubber Soul" songs should have been removed for one or two of "Revolver". Of course I would have removed "Nowhere Man" to make room for the experimental "Tomorrow Never Knows". If you want to remove another song from "Rubber Soul", the choice is more difficult: "Girl" is the best; "Norwegian Wood is historical" for the sitar; so I would have removed "Drive My Car" (or "In My Life"?) to make room for "Taxman" so that Harrison would also appear on the Red Album.

Overall, it's a compilation with an excellent selection. Vote album: 8,5/9. Four (and a half) Stars.

Report this review (#2110337)
Posted Saturday, December 22, 2018 | Review Permalink

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