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Album Review

On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2

November 12, 2013

This was social media in Great Britain in 1963, during the first flash flood of Beatlemania: George Harrison singing "Do You Want to Know a Secret" for Deanne and Jenny in Bedford; Paul McCartney belting "The Hippy Hippy Shake" for a student at the bassist's...

Album Review

The Beatles: Stereo Box Set

September 8, 2009

As you probably know by now, the remastering of the Beatles catalog was carried out with the caution of translating the Dead Sea Scrolls. Happily, the results justify the obsessive care. These 14 stereo remasters — from Please Please Me (1963) to...

Album Review

Let It Be... Naked

November 20, 2003

It's difficult to review Let It Be . . . Naked without drowning in the welter of vexed issues that shattered the Beatles. For a start, Naked is being hyped (in a musical nod to the "director's cut") as the "band's take" — that is, the stripped-down...

Album Review

The Beatles Anthology: 3

December 12, 1996

For more than two decades after the Beatles broke up, the band members and their producer, George Martin, insisted that everything of quality that they created in the studio was already a matter of record — that there was nothing left worthy of...

Album Review

Compact Disc Singles Collection

August 6, 1992

It was during the heady days of punk and New Wave, as 1979 was dissolving into 1980, that Joe Strummer of the Clash spat out the line "Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust" in "London Calling," his band's anthem to the new insurgence. That sentiment...

Album Review

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

August 27, 1987
Not Rated

I just listened to it and said to myself, "God, I really love this album." Still, today, it just sounds so fresh. It sounds full of ideas. These guys knew what they were doing. They're good. And they're inventive. I haven't heard anything this year that's...

Album Review

With The Beatles

July 16, 1987
Not Rated

" ""It was twenty years ago today/Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play."" That line has been invoked an awful lot this year, as Capitol Records has turned the Greatest Album Ever into (Capitol says) ""the most important and revealing compact disc release...

Album Review

Abbey Road

November 15, 1969
Not Rated

Simply, side two does more for me than the whole of Sgt. Pepper, and I'll trade you The Beatles and Magical Mystery Tour and a Keith Moon drumstick for side one. So much for the prelims. "Come Together" is John Lennon very nearly at the peak of his form;...

Album Review

Magical Mystery Tour

January 20, 1968
Not Rated

"There are only about 100 people in the world who understand our music."—John Lennon, 1967.

Album Review

Love

November 30, 2006

George Martin was a great producer precisely insofar as he was the Beatles' producer. His other great discovery was America, and nobody compares him to Christopher Columbus, so why mention him alongside Jerry Wexler or Timbaland? Praise Lennon-McCartney,...

Album Review

Yellow Submarine [Soundtrack]

October 28, 1999

It'll do for the film, was John Lennon's wry summation of every subgenius Beatles session around the time the band was working on the music for Yellow Submarine, a project designed to fulfill a contractual obligation. When the lads realized that they...

Album Review

The Beatles Anthology: 2

April 4, 1996

It's easy to forget that underneath the hype of the Beatles Anthology merchandising campaign lies nothing less mundane than a collection of songs. Which isn't to say that the songs themselves are boring — far from it. The essence of the Beatles'...

Album Review

Live At The BBC

January 25, 1991

Every age, it seems, gets the Beatles it requires. Ambitious prog rockers of the '70s looked to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as proof that rock & roll could accommodate classical aspirations, with whatever mixed results. A bit later, the...

Album Review

Please Please Me

July 16, 1987
Not Rated

"It was twenty years ago today/Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play." That line has been invoked an awful lot this year, as Capitol Records has turned the Greatest Album Ever into (Capitol says) "the most important and revealing compact disc release there...

Album Review

Let It Be

June 11, 1970
Not Rated

To those who found their work since the white album as emotionally vapid as it was technically breathtaking, the news that the Beatles were about to bestow on us an album full of gems they'd never gotten around to polishing beyond recognition was most...

Album Review

Nashville Skyline

May 31, 1969
Not Rated

Bob Dylan's ninth album poses fewer mysteries and yet, paradoxically, offers greater rewards than any of his previous work. Its only difficulties aren't metaphysical or interpretative — indeed, the beauty and openness within is kept almost rigorously...

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