Wednesday, July 23, 2008

second offering


The Beatles
Past Masters, Vol. 1
(Capitol, 1988)
Styles: Pop/Rock, Rockabilly
Themes: energetic, contemplative, youthful innocence
B

Like the title suggests, this collection gathers the Beatles' recording from 1963-65. Several of the songs are different recordings from the originals, and I Want to Hold Your Hand and She Loves You are German cuts as well. Some of the covers the band attempts are not that gripping, but McCartney's rollicking version of Long Tall Sally was an indication of what he maybe could've ventured to do more of compared to his melodic ballads. (His I'm Down is another up-tempo stunner.) After the mainstays, Lennon's best contributions are the endearing sway of I'll Get You and the sentimental pondering of Yes It Is. Ringo even leads on Matchbox, a Carl Perkins song which is something of an oddity with a Jerry Lee Lewis-like influence.

Overall the recordings are a little more organic as opposed to some of the more polished originals. It gives a slight hint to the essentialness of George Martin as The Fifth Beatle, which is highlighted ever greater on the Anthology releases.

In the end I have to admit some of the Fab Four's early material sounds a little trite around the edges. Some of them have a churned-out, conveyor beltish feel to its productions. However, the compilation is a consistent enough of a listen.

(Only the B-sides and less obvious highlighted.)

1. Love Me Do (Lennon, McCartney) 2:23
2. From Me to You (Lennon, McCartney) 1:57
3. Thank You Girl (Lennon, McCartney) 2:04
4. She Loves You (Lennon, McCartney) 2:21
5. I'll Get You (Lennon, McCartney) 2:05
6. I Want to Hold Your Hand (Lennon, McCartney) 2:26
7. This Boy (Lennon, McCartney) 2:16
8. Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand (Lennon, McCartney) 2:26
9. Sie Liebt Dich (Lennon, McCartney) 2:19
10. Long Tall Sally (Blackwell, Johnson, Little Richard) 2:03
11. I Call Your Name (Lennon, McCartney) 2:09 Woof!
12. Slow Down (Williams) 2:56
13. Matchbox (Perkins) 1:58
14. I Feel Fine (Lennon, McCartney) 2:19
15. She's a Woman (Lennon, McCartney) 3:03
16. Bad Boy (Williams) 2:20
17. Yes It Is (Lennon, McCartney) 2:42
18. I'm Down (Lennon, McCartney) 2:31

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