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1967-1970

The Beatles

Proto-Prog


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mmfloyd@gmail
3 stars The best compilation ever released by The Fab Four and one of the first vinyls that I had in my childhood!! It has famous tunes from the psychedelic-experimental era and some tracks previously released as singles or EP songs. Some of my favorites are there: colored palette of sounds as 'Strawberry Fields Forever' and 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds ', the proggies 'A Day In The Life ' and 'I Am The Walrus', the poppies 'Hello, Goodbye' and 'Penny Lane', groundbreakin' rock songs like 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and heavy distorted pieces like the different version of 'Revolution', bluesy songs as 'Don´t Let Me Down' and 'The Ballad Of John And Yoko ', and unforgettable mantras like the 7-minute climax 'Hey Jude'. It´s a nice introdution to the incredible Beatles discography and a great review of their hits.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#70326)
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars The second part of The Beatles first compilation covers the years 1967-1970. IMHO their better era (One can count in 1966 too.) and for the Prog fan the more interesting on since this is when they made their 'proto-prog' music. Of course, this means it's better to buy the original albums instead but it's good for starters.

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Send comments to Frasse (BETA) | Report this review (#86342)
Posted Wednesday, August 09, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is good as far as Beatles compilations go (and God knows there are a LOT of them!) As the name suggests, this two disc set highlights some of The Beatles best works from the years of 1967-1970. It gives one a good picture of Beatles songwriting during this period, and is an excellent aid for those looking to get into The Beatles, as this is probably their better, more proggy area, and this album highlights the high points of this.

That being said, it is still a compilation, and those non-essential. Any true fan of The Beatles will want to own the original albums these tunes came from, as there is an enormous selection of excellent Beatles classics that just were quite absent from this album. But if you are someone who just likes the big hits you hear all the time, you can get it all here: "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Hey Jude", "Magical Mystery Tour", and my personal, yet not as big, favorite of The Beatles: "Across the Universe". Not essential, but for a number of reasons it is a good compilation and quite a professionally done Beatles late-era overview.

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Send comments to Scapler (BETA) | Report this review (#108608)
Posted Tuesday, January 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is probably the best compilation/best-of of all times. This is my favorite (and from far) Beatles period. I simply adore Magical Mystery Tour, The Fool On The Hill, A Day In The Life, Strawberry Fields Forever, Lady Madonna, The Ballad Of John And Yoko, Across The Universe, and I could quot them all, all of the 28 tracks of this magnificent double compilation. The 'Blue Album' is absolutely great, really. You must go and buy it !

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Send comments to Zardoz (BETA) | Report this review (#163818)
Posted Thursday, March 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I think that is not easy to choose the best songs from The Beatles and to release them in two albums separated by periods marked by specific years. But this is what the record labels (EMI / Apple) did in 1973, and more with the aim to fight some bootleg compilations done by "pirate record labels" in the early seventies.

This is not really a collection of only Hit Singles, because despite having some of them ("All You Need is Love", "Hello, Goodbye", "Lady Madonna", "Hey Jude", etc.), many songs were selected from the albums and put together in this compilation, and I think that it was hard to do it, because, how do you take songs from an album like "Sgt. Pepper`s...", which is a continuous piece of music with the songs edited to sound like a collage of music, the way it was designed by The Beatles and Producer George Martin? Anyway, it is a very good compilation, in my opinion, and they selected very good songs from their albums. So, for the casual listeners or for the new generations of Rock listeners I think that it is a very good choice if they want to have a good and representative selection of their songs from their most interesting period, in my opinon, which was the period of the so- called "The Studio Years" (1967-1970), their most influential years as musicians and their most matured period as a band.

I remember reading in 1973 about some rumours about a "Beatles`Reunion". Lennon and McCartney were talking about it (separatedly) to the newspapers in interviews, while Harrison didn`t say nothing, and Starr couldn`t see it happen. The main reason to talk about a Reunion, I think, was that Lennon, Harrison and Starr didn`t renew their Management Contracts with Allen Klein, and in fact Klein sued them in the same year, and that legal fight was finally resolved in 1977. By the same time Lennon himself finally recognized that hiring Klein as their manager was a mistake and that in fact McCartney was right about his lack of confidence in Klein as manager. In the end, that "Beatles `Reunion" never happened, but I also see the release of both compilations (the 1962-1996" compilation and this) as a coincidence, maybe to give a "double message" to the Fans: "yes, maybe the Reunion can Happen, but maybe not. In the meantime, buy these compilations to remember their best songs".

In conclusion, this is a very good compilation, not only of their Hits, but all the songs are very good, in my opinion. If you want to only listen to the Hit Singles, buy the "The Beatles 1" CD instead.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#163866)
Posted Friday, March 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
progrules
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I will do this second and last Beatles review immediately after the first so that I am relieved of my burden. Because it's impossible for me to review any Beatles release for my pleasure. I will do them anyway so that anyone can check my feelings for this band. And they are not very positive and never will be.

Slight advantage for this blue collection in comparison to the red one because on this one there are at least 1 or 2 two songs I like a bit, on the red compilation there was zero. And those 2 on this one are Revolution and (somewhat less) Back in the USSR. And the best song they ever made (Helter Skelter) is on neither so that's just to make matters worse for me. On the other hand: the worse song they ever made (Ob la di ob la da) is on this one so that's another setback.

Anyway it doesn't all really matter. Bottom line is: I don't like The Beatles (no worry, they don't exist anymore so I can't hurt them with the remark and second: they have enough fans, even on this website) and I feel I have said enough about it. This doubler is a bit better than the red one so then I'm enough of a good sport to give it 2 but it's the best I can do.

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#164502)
Posted Friday, March 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I guess The Beatles does not need any introduction. This band is the godfathers of pop music and to a large extent; progressive rock too. It is debatable if the Sgt. Peppers album is the first ever progressive rock album.

For me; the most interesting The Beatles era is the 1966-70 era. The same period as covered by this compilation album. I am not an expert on The Beatles. But as far as I am concerned, the best of their music has been included on this double album. The music is simply outstanding, with the exception of the dubious inclusion of The Ballad Of John And Yoko. There is no point of describing the music in words. I just let the music speak for itself and play through the double album now and then. It is a pure joy and a reminder about what The Beatles means to our world, our culture and our being. Every serious music lover should have a copy of this double album.

4 stars.

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#187613)
Posted Saturday, November 01, 2008 | Review Permalink
Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars So let's say that you're a young, 21st century kind of person and a dedicated prog lover. To you The Beatles are so ancient that they might as well be named Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Haydn but you can't help but acknowledge and recognize their enormous and obvious contributions to modern progressive rock music. Yet not all their stuff thrills you (especially their early recordings) and you have neither the funds nor the inclination to invest a fortune in collecting all their albums. If that's the case then this particular gathering of tunes is within most budgets and has more of their proto-prog songs than any other on the market. It's far from perfect but it'll do in a pinch.

Probably no one was as upset and distraught over the demise of the Fab Four than their record companies in the USA and Britain. Since '63 this group had been a constant cash cow for them and now that golden steer was as dead as chivalry. So they did what came naturally to them. Repackage, repackage, repackage. And "The Beatles 1967-1970" was the second half of a pricey, double-LP greatest hits conglomeration that hit the record racks in 1973.

The progressive angle is well represented here with no less than 12 numbers fitting comfortably in that category. "Strawberry Fields Forever" was one of the first songs to feature the versatile, ground- breaking sound of the Mellotron and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" helped bring psychedelia into the mainstream. The phenomenal "A Day in the Life" remains amazingly prog to this day (although they cut the beautiful, long piano fadeout down considerably here) and "I Am the Walrus" is still a wild trip to wrap your head around. "The Fool on the Hill" with its swirling recorders and the intriguing tempo variations of "Magical Mystery Tour" make them both a treat to hear. "Hey Jude" broke all the then- standard radio format molds with its over-seven-minute length and Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" creates a captivating, mesmerizing atmosphere with its eerie background vocals and crying guitar licks. "Don't Let Me Down" is a great example of how they boldly veered away from the norm in terms of musical arrangements and "Here Comes the Sun" has that delightfully tricky time signature that made it stand out from the herd. "Come Together" displays Lennon's amazing ability to manipulate words into abstract images and "Across the Universe" is so dreamlike that it defies description.

Good ol' sixties-style rock & roll is included with classics like "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "Lady Madonna," "Revolution," "Back in the USSR," "Get Back," "The Ballad of John & Yoko" and "Old Brown Shoe." Of course, the pop side of the band shows up in the form of "Penny Lane," "With a Little Help from my Friends," "All You Need is Love," Hello Goodbye," "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La- Da," "Something," "Octopus's Garden," "Let It Be" and "The Long and Winding Road."

Okay, so it's far from being an ideal medley. If I was asked to compile my own 28-tune "Prog Side of The Beatles" album it would kick the living daylights out of this assemblage but I think you and I both know that ain't gonna happen so this will have to do. If anything, the twelve cuts I highlighted certainly show how John, Paul, George & Ringo changed the world and corresponding industry of music and flung open the doors to hundreds of realms where progressive-thinking, creative sorts could wander freely and let their imaginations flourish and thrive. Arguably, prog rock was an inevitable musical evolution just waiting to happen but because of The Beatles it most likely came into being at least five years before it otherwise would have. Any progger worth his or her salt should have at least the dozen amazing songs included here as part of their music library.

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Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#192869)
Posted Saturday, December 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars And the golden years

The "Blue" half of the Red/Blue compilation is the more enjoyable for prog fans no doubt, though as mentioned the two together offer the best overview of the band without buying the full catalog. Here we get the choice cuts from the psych-pop of Sgt. Pepper through the glorious Let It Be. For the most part the choices are understandable but when every one of these albums is as good as they are, selecting any compilation set is going to a pretty futile job. All of us can point to essential tracks that are missing. This is why I'd point anyone to the new box set unless you simply can't afford that much commitment. Not much to say here, check individual album reviews for commentary about the songs in context with their original releases. "Past Masters" is the collection that will pick up the singles not included on the original studio albums, and is the best supplement to those looking for those songs. One nice touch with the Red/Blue set was featuring the band in the same location with early and late shots.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#247519)
Posted Saturday, October 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
5 stars This second part of the two-part compilation collection shows the Beatles completing their transition to the studio secluded outfit. With only a handful of tracks from each album, starting with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and all the way to Abbey Road (or Let It Be), this definitely sounds like a recipe for disaster. After all, how dare they only pick 4 out of 30 tracks featured on The White Album? Still, it all seems to somehow work out in the end!

Just like its predecessor, this compilation offers many songs that were previously only released as singles and it actually works to an even greater effect this time around. I just love that both Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane and especially The Ballad Of John And Yoko/Old Brown Shoe made it to this collection in one piece since both these singles show that the Beatles could write both strong singles and even better B-sides.

Even thought I personally don't consider Don't Let Me Down to be one of the band's strongest moments, I do salute the decision of adding it to this compilation release. If I understand correctly, this was the first time audiences got to hear this tune after it was rejected from the final version of Let It Be which made it all the more exciting.

If I had to pick the most essential songs from all these classic albums there's just no way I could have done a better job than this. Most of the bare essentials are definitely here, even though some of my personal favorites haven't always made the cut. The only thing that I would have wanted improved is the lack of attention to The White Album. Less than 15 minutes out of more than 90 minutes worth of material just doesn't sound right to me! Even if I would rather prefer to recommend the original studio albums instead of a compilation, this is as close as you get to a perfect mix of songs from the Beatles for any fan of art rock, especially if you're not a big fan of this band.

***** star songs: Strawberry Fields Forever (4:08) Penny Lane (3:02) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (2:01) With A Little Help From My Friends (2:44) A Day In The Life (5:06) All You Need Is Love (3:49) Back In The USSR (2:46) While My Guitar Gently Weeps (4:47) Here Comes The Sun (3:07 Come Together (4:19) Something (3:03) Let It Be (3:52) Across The Universe (3:47) The Long And Winding Road (3:37)

**** star songs: Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (3:27) I Am The Walrus (4:35 Hello, Goodbye (3:30) The Fool On The Hill (3:00) Magical Mystery Tour (2:49) Lady Madonna (2:19) Hey Jude (7:08) Revolution (3:24) Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (3:11) Get Back (3:13) Don't Let Me Down (3:35) The Ballad Of John And Yoko (3:00) Old Brown Shoe (3:20) Octopus's Garden (2:52)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#292874)
Posted Saturday, July 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars I bought this treasure off the shelf in 1973 on vinyl and it was played often, introducing me at a young age to some of the indelible classics that epitomise the Beatles. It was on this album I was able to enjoy all time classics for the first time such as Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, With A Little Help From My Friends, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and A Day In The Life. I was stunned at how brilliant these songs were. I did not buy the legendary Sgt Pepper album but this was a nice intro to the proggier Beatles era. I Am The Walrus, Hello, Goodbye, Magical Mystery Tour, Lady Madonna, While My Guitar Gently Weeps are hard to argue with.

There are some songs I would prefer not to return to such as Oh Bloody Oh Bloodah, Don't Let Me D - r - own, and Old Brown Pooh, but it is great that the Abbey Road album is well presented with Here Comes The Sun, Come Together, and Something. Across The Universe is an excellent song that captured my young imagination and what a way to end it with the quintessential The Long And Winding Road.

So for me this is an indispensable album introducing the best Beatles songs of the time, and as a fan of Wings I was drawn to this album, though I did not own many Beatles albums in those days. This compilation managed to fill in the gaps for many newcomers to the group. I give it 4 stars for the excellent material contained therein.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#399492)
Posted Saturday, February 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
Matti
COLLABORATOR
Neo-Prog Team
3 stars These compilations (Red and Blue) were probably my introduction to The Beatles as a teenager. The early years didn't interest me at all but from here I must have taped several songs. Of course I soon listened to many of the albums too, but naturally both these kinds of compilations and the radio play shapes your Beatles knowledge, and the certain best known songs will be best known to you too.

I can tell you straight away that this tiny essay (not actually a review) won't be any use for anyone, not even myself. I just thought to see how big is the contradiction between The Beatles hit canon (against which it wouldn't make much sense to attack) and my own Beatles relationship today, when I have revisited their later catalogue. My favourite albums are - in this order - Abbey Road (miles ahead!), The Beatles,... Sgt Pepper... maybe I'd find some great stuff from albums like Revolver and Rubber Soul too, but this far my album list hesitatingly continues, and more or less ends, with Let It Be. This doesn't prevent me still enjoying some well known songs outside these mentioned albums, but my personal favourite selection would differ a lot from this compilation.

OK, let's first list the songs I dislike: 'All You Need Is Love' (aaarrgghh!!!!!), 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La- Da', 'Hello, Goodbye' and 'Magical Mystery Tour' are the most obvious ones, and then there are some theoretically good songs I wouldn't include into my own CD in fear of an earworm effect: 'Penny Lane', 'Get Back', 'Back in the USSR' and 'Here Comes The Sun' (sorry George, still it's a great song really!).

Looking at the rest, I'm beginning to think that after all this is a pretty good treasury of famous Beatles songs. One couln't possibly escape classics like 'Strawberry Fields Forever', 'A Day in the Life', 'With a Little Help From My Friends', 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds', 'Hey Jude', 'Fool on the Hill', 'Across The Universe', 'I Am The Walrus' or the admittedly syrupy 'Long And Winding Road'. Great choices are also George Harrison's 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and 'Something', 'Don't Let Me Down' and 'Come Together'.

Of course I'd replace many songs by others I like more, but finally: are there omitted songs that should be in the canon? I'd suggest 'I Want You (She's So Heavy'), at least 'You Never Give Me Youir Money' from Abbey Road Medley, and then some less played album tracks from Sgt Pepper and The Beatles to increase artistic impact and variety. But they never make compilations with that aspect in mind... Nevertheless, a fairly decent compilation in all its loyalty to the canon of the Fab Four's most played songs 1967-1970.

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#602248)
Posted Tuesday, January 03, 2012 | Review Permalink

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