am 9. Juli 2008
Living in Oman, working in the Emirates and travelling for business reasons all over the Middle East I like to discuss with my Arabian friends and my customers about the music in both cultures - the Western European & North American music and the Arabian music.
We enjoy to listen to most famous and best singers and artists in both cultures, traditional-classic music as well as modern popmusic.
My friends in Arabia love the Beatles`music, and we enjoy to discuss about John Lennon and Paul McCartney. I`m deeply astonished how well the Arabs are informed about these two icons in modern popmusic. - No wonder, many of my Arabian friends had studies in their youth either in the U.S. or in U.K.! I was deeply astonished to find Beatles LPs (!) in Arabia. This shows how interested they are in really excellent modern music!
The "Red" and "Blue" Beatles CDs
are testament to the genius of the band's music and are an excellent overview and a great place to start for those uninitiated (if there are such people) with the greatest band in history.
1962-1966 ("Red") covers the Beatles' Merseybeat era, a time when the Beatles were considered a singles "teenybopper" band. Among the best cuts on the first CD are "Please Please Me", "She Loves You", "Eight Days a Week", and "Ticket to Ride".
Their progression from teenyboppers to "serious band" begins to show in the songs from 1965's Rubber Soul, including "Norwegian Wood", featuring George Harrison on the sitar, and John Lennon's introspective "In My Life", which hints at the band's glorious and more complex studio work that was to follow.
The Red CD collection ends with two songs from 1966's Revolver, a record that placed the band on even higher creative ground: Paul McCartney's masterpiece "Eleanor Rigby" is the first time a string quartet accompanied a rock and roll record, and "Yellow Submarine" was one in a line of catchy, childlike songs written for resident jester and drummer extrodinaire Ringo Starr.
The first disc of 1967-1970 ("Blue") has the far more unenviable task of selecting four representative tracks from 1967's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, still considered to be the most ground-breaking and influential album in the history of rock. "A Day in the Life" is the standout -- Sgt. Pepper's closer and emotional peak.
The CD closes with the two songs that best demonstrate the eventual clash in Lennon and McCartney's songwriting styles: McCartney's "Hey Jude" and Lennon's "Revolution" were sides A and B respectively of the Beatles' greatest-selling (and perhaps just "greatest") single. Where Lennon's song is a snarling, self-righteous rocker, McCartney's is a sing-song orchestral ballad. The one you like best probably depends on whether you're a "John" or "Paul" person -- truth is they're both great.
The final CD spans from 1968's The Beatles ("The White Album") to the end of the band's career. McCartney's best moments "Let it Be", "Get Back", and "The Long and Winding Road" (Despite that over-the-top Phil Spector production) are here, as are Lennon's "Don't Let Me Down" and "Come Together". The closer is "Long and Winding Road", though it's perhaps a weaker conclusion than "Two of Us" might have been.
The Red and Blue collections are awesome reminders of the Beatles' past accomplishments and their continued vitality even today.
1967-1970" (or the "Blue" album) compiles singles, Number One hits, and key album cuts from the "Sgt. Pepper," "The Beatles," "Abbey Road," and "Let it Be" albums. Unlike "1," which excludes important tracks that didn't top the chart, the Blue album is a more comprehensive survey of the group's later work. There's the deliciously trippy "Strawberry Fields Forever," the impossibly catchy "Revolution," George Harrison's masterpiece "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and a personal favorite of mine, the bluesy b-side "Don't Let Me Down." Another gem is John Lennon's strikingly beautiful "Across the Universe" pulled from the "Let it Be" album. Haunting and surreal, it's a nice segueway into the closing track, the Number One hit "The Long and Winding Road." Arguably one of the most vital greatest hits albums on the market, "1967-1970" is required listening.
Despite the number of releases in the late 90's with the Anthology series, the Beatles greatest songs have been compiled only one time in the last 30 years, in 2000's "1". It's fun to go back to the companion 1973 releases "1962-1966" and this "1967-1970" (28 tracks, 99 min.), and marvel in particular at the latter's song selection and sequencing.
While now a bit awkwardly on 2 CDs, the original double vinyl was the perfect package. The song selection is just about perfect, really. Nothing to take away from "1", but can you really call that the ultimate compilation of the Beatles when it doesn't have "A Day in the Life" (the definitive Beatles song?) or "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"? Maybe it's too soon yet after "1", but I really believe there is room for a 2 CD collection of the entire Beatles catalogue (greatest hits and essential album tracks) along the lines of "The Definitive Bob Dylan", a great example of how to use the full capacity of CDs.
more thorough overview of their significant hits from the respective period than the companion Red album, all twenty-eight of the songs included on "1967-1970" (The Blue Album) are rock classics.
We're treated to a generous seven of the eleven tracks from "Magical Mystery Tour," and "Sgt. Pepper's" is accurately represented as well. Another bonus is the faster, more popular version of "Revolution," different than what was included on "The White Album."
From trippy pop ("Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" and "I Am the Walrus") to classic rock ("Get Back," "Come Together,") to their all-time epic masterpiece ("A Day in the Life"), this compilation of the Beatles is virtually without error. For baby boomers, a trip down memory lane. For musicians, a textbook on composition and production. For lovers of pop and rock music, an unbeatable treasure.
The Beatles' "Blue Album" celebrates their talent by boasting nothing but just some of their infamous hits from the years 1967-1970. These songs come from several of the greatest rock albums of all time including Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles ("The White Album"), Abbey Road and Let It Be. The Beatles' "Blue Album" both proves their genius and demonstrates their singular talent that no other band can replicate.
The two CD set allows us to realize that The Beatles wrote many different types of songs with different styles. This is also essential music that offers something for just about anyone who listens to the two CD set. The first CD starts off strong with the popular and psychedelic "Strawberry Fields Forever," other psychedelic and experimental songs include "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and "I Am The Walrus." There are beautiful ballads celebrating love including "All You Need Is Love" and "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da." The Beatles also address the angst of a love that is no longer in the songs "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "The Long And Winding Road." Finally, the band sings songs that are just plain fun including "Octopus's Garden" and "Back In The U.S.S.R."
Another reviewer makes an excellent point: If you want to understand the sharp differences in style between John Lennon and Paul McCartney at this time in their careers there is no better comparison than between "Hey Jude," which is an classic ballad indeed, and "Revolution," which is rather conceited, smug and bitter all at once.
The Beatles' use of the unconscious when writing trippy songs like "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "A Day In The Life" enabled them to reach out to their fans and ultimately the world. The lyrics make sense even when they make no sense; this only adds to the beauty of the more psychedelic, trippy songs. Moreover, the songs on this two CD set work so well because they address universal themes of wanting to be loved, celebrating love and mourning a lost love.
The liner notes boast the lyrics to each song and great color photos of the band. The liner notes include the song credits, too.
Indeed, The Beatles were so prolific in their writing and performing that this two CD set barely skims the surface of what they truly accomplished between the years 1967 and 1970. If you like this CD set I highly recommend you buy individual Beatles' albums to discover more about the band's creativity and boldness.
Overall, this two CD set is more than just an introductory retrospective of The Beatles' music during the turbulent late 1960s. The "Blue Album" celebrates The Beatles' ability to communicate their political beliefs and amorous feelings for other people through their songs. These songs remind us to understand and appreciate the blessings of love, the evils of war and the importance of world peace--now.
I highly recommend this CD for Beatles fans, fans of great 1970s rock music and anyone who wants to experience how The Beatles taught us what was right through their music. This two CD set is a must have for any Beatles' collector as well as for anyone who wants to study the history of rock and roll.
The Blue album is a wonderful album, full of quality songs from Sgt Pepper, The Magical Mystery Tour, The White Album, Abbey Road and Let It Be. The Beatles had come a long way musically and spiritually in such a short space of time. I am 21 years old and have been listening to The Beatles now for 10 years, this was the first Beatles album I listened to and straight away I was hooked. Everytime I listen to it, like every Beatles album it sounds so original. In my opinion this would be the ideal album to buy if you have just discovered the Beatles for the first time. Side 1 of this album contains songs from Sgt Pepper and The Magical Mystery Tour plus a single and a B side that do not feature on any studio album. Two of John Lennon's greatest songs Strawberry Fields Forever and I am The Walrus appear here along with the classic's All You Need Is Love, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and Revolution whilst Paul Mccartney continues to shine with songs Penny Lane, Sgt Peppers Lonley Hearts Club Band,Hello Goodbye, The Fool on The Hill, Lady Madonna and the monster classic Hey Jude. Lennon and Mccartney also collaberate musically for the first time in a few years on the songs With A Little Help From My Friends and possibly the greatest concept song of all time A Day In The Life. Side 2 of this album feature songs from all 4 of The Beatles.Songs are taken from The White Album, Abbey Road and Let It Be plus 2 singles and B sides that do not feature on any studio albums.Lennon is in great form with the songs Don't Let Me Down,The Ballad Of John and Yoko, Come Together and Across The Universe. Paul Mccartney is also inspiring with the songs Back in The USSR, Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da,Get Back, Let It Be and The Long and Winding Road. The 4 best George Harrison songs that he recorded as a Beatle also appear here, While My Guitar Gently Weeps with Eric Clapton playing lead guitar, Old Brown Shoe, Here Comes The Sun and Something. These 4 songs are up there with anything Lennon/Mccartney were writing at the time. Ringo only wrote 2 songs with the Beatles, 1 of them is here, Octopus's Garden. It's a nice song, great for the kiddies. Listening to this album along with The Red album will make you want to go out and buy the albums these songs came from, untill you do you are missing out on something very special indeed.
This CD, along with its' companion (The Beatles 1962-1966), represent the only currently available "Best Of" Beatles anthologies available on CD and were originally released as two double LP sets back in the early 1970s. Most commonly referred to as the Red and Blue albums (the scheme supposedly requested by the ex-Beatles themselves to represent the colours of Liverpool's two soccer clubs), together these double albums collect together all the Beatles UK hits, along with selected album tracks. I am not a huge fan of compilation CDs myself but these two double CDs are vital for any serious music fan and are as valid a part of any decent CD collection as the Beatles' original studio albums. Like many second generation Beatles fans, I grew up listening to these albums and whilst these compilation CDs really capture the essence of the Beatles' music they are by no means totally representative. All the hits of the Beatles post-touring career are here, along with some choice album tracks, although I've never understood why Old Brown Shoe and Octopus's Garden have been included here - I would rather have seen a couple of additional tracks from the White Album chosen instead. Still, the song selection is overall very good and - as I've stated in my review of the accompanying Red Album - these digitally remastered CDs offer vastly superior sound quality to the 1987 CD album releases. It's high time EMI did some justice to the Beatles (as they've done with other artists, eg David Bowie, Pink Floyd, etc) and properly remaster the Beatles entire back catalogue.