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THE CAPITOL ALBUMS VOL.1
- 1964, The Beatles -
This box set contains the original four Capitol Records' Beatles albums that were released in 1964 in the US. Lets face it, back in the late '80s, it was both the correct move, and the wrong move, when the studio albums that the Beatles recorded and released in the UK, would to be the only one's put out on CD. The right move because this was the way the Beatles wanted the songs to appear and be presented - but, that wasn't the way they were issued in the US, fans in the US didn't know those UK albums back in the 1960s, they only knew the Capitol albums, and because of that, it was the wrong move not to have those available on CD too.
It had been years since I last heard these great albums, and who cares if these US releases were really compilation albums, if you lived in the States you didn't know that in '64, these were the Beatles first four real albums (not counting the independent VeeJay releases). It seems unreal now how many great songs in a one year time frame that this band put out - and it was all a brand new sound, too. Yes it was mainly pop-rock, and rock music wasn't new any longer by '64, but this sure wasn't '50s rock n' roll music, this sound was so much better! And those long haircuts they had - looking back now, those hairstyles can't even be considered long by today's standards, but no guys looked that way in 1964 (but that was about to change fast), and yes, their haircuts added to it all, most parents hated the new look and music, but us baby boom kids loved it, and there were more of us then them!
Yes, those were the days, I can't help but realize how lucky I was then to have two older sisters who were Beatles freaks, and the reason that I became a Beatle fan from the very start. Lucky for us, our parents were not like a few others who didn't allow rock music - or the Beatles in their home. But I can still remember my sisters not allowing me, their littler brother, in their room when their girlfriends came over to play the Beatles albums everyday, so I would sit on the floor and listen through the closed bedroom door, to every single album they played, and they played them all, and I didn't budge, I was as hooked on the Fab Four just as all the other kids were.
- The Album's Package -
Below I will review each individual album, I should note that this collection comes with both the stereo and mono releases of each song, but I'll only list the songs once. Weird, I always hated mono, except when it came to Beatles' songs, sometimes their mono releases were better than their stereo counterparts.
I love this album's packaging - well most of it anyway. Each CD comes in it's own album sleeve - and they are the same sleeves that was used when these albums were first released on vinyl - plus, the CDs themselves look like the old vinyl record - very cool! But, the overall way the box set is put together sucks. You got to be careful when you open this mess up, the CDs will fall out if you're not careful, and the enclosed booklet isn't that great either, some cool photos and quotes, but little info is given out.
MEET THE BEATLES
Released - January, 1964, on Capitol Records. Produced by
Additional Personal: George Martin - Piano on "Not A Second Time"
All songs written by Lennon/McCartney, except "Don't Bother Me", written by Harrison, and "Till There Was You", written by Meredith Wilson
This was the first official released Beatles album in the US, and the first of four US Beatles albums offered in 1964, and it hit the country by storm, even if it was the weakest of the four. But damn, all of the songs found on here are in the "great" to "classic" range. The album starts off with "I Want To Hold Your Hand", which most US fans remember as the Beatles first single, even if in reality it wasn't (Independent Vee-Jay Records put out the first three singles in late '63). Although John Lennon sang the main lead, the song also featured Paul McCartney and George Harrison on the vocal harmonies, which in the early years was something that made the Beatles great, as their vocals blended together better than just about any other group - to this day, I'll add. For the most part, Lennon was the band's main lead singer on this and all of the four albums released in '64, but McCartney's vocals were just as strong on the songs that he sang lead, and in time Paul would sing lead as much as John did.
There was a lot of new ground being broken on this album, one being that other than one cover song, all the others were written by Lennon/McCartney, except "Don't Bother Me", which was written by Harrison. Up till this time, that was never heard of, as the artists singing the songs were not the ones who wrote them, but the Beatles changed all of that. Most of the songs found on here are pop-rock, and for the most part I don't care for pop, but for me, the Beatles were the exception, as all off their pop tunes were great.
The three other best songs found on this album are "I Saw Her Standing There", a McCartney song, "All My Loving", another song that featured Paul singing the lead, and Lennon's "It Won't Be Long". Even Ringo Starr got to sing a lead vocal on this one, "I Wanna Be Your Man", a song Lennon and McCartney wrote for the Rolling Stones. The Stones' cover was better thanks to the Brian Jones slide guitar, but the Beatles version rocks too, and Ringo showed us that yes, he too could also sing.
- Keno 2005
To listen to some soundclips from MEET THE BEATLES or to purchase it, click on: The Beatles The Capitol Albums Vol. 1
THE BEATLES SECOND ALBUM
Released - April, 1964, on Capitol Records. Produced by
Additional Personal: George Martin - Piano on "Money" and "Long Tall Sally"
All songs written by Lennon/McCartney, except "Roll Over Beethoven" written by Chuck Berry, "You Really Got a Hold On Me" written by William Roberson, "Devil In Her Heart" written by Rick Drapkin, "Money" written by Berry Gordy, Jr, "Long Tall Sally" written by E. Johnson, R. Pennimam and R. Blackwell, "Please Mr. Postman" written by B. Holland, F. Gorman, W. Garret, G. Dobbins and R. Batman
What a great album this one is! It's just full of great classic songs, one better than the other, in fact, only two songs out of the eleven on here don't rate a ten, and one of those, "Long Tall Sally", just barely misses that high mark. This album, unlike most of the other Beatles LPs, has a lot of covers, six in fact, but damn, as great the Beatles were in writing their own songs, they show here on this one that they could cover songs as good or better than any other group.
The Beatles Second Album starts off with a bang, with one of Chuck Berry's most covered songs, "Roll Over Beethoven", and nobody else played this one better. George Harrison sings the lead vocal and the band is just rocking to where Beethoven must have felt it way down in his grave, for sure! Next up is 'Thank You Girl", with outstanding vocal harmonies from John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The next four songs are also pure tens, too, with "Money" perhaps the best song on the album, as Lennon's lead vocals just attack the lyrics here, the song is full of gusto! Producer George Martin played a bunch of piano on several of the early Beatles songs, and his playing here is also a key to this number. Yet it's not even Martin's best on the album, as his frenzied piano on "Long Tall Sally" is, and he helps to take that one to the top - along with Paul's wild vocals.
The album ends with what might be the greatest pop song ever made, "She Loves You", and again, the great vocal harmonies of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison makes this one shine, and a fantastic way to close out a great album - yeah, yeah, YEAH!
- Keno 2005
To listen to some soundclips from THE BEATLES SECOND ALBUM or to purchase it, click on: The Beatles The Capitol Albums Vol. 1
Released - July, 1964, on Capitol Records. Produced by
Additional Personal: George Martin - Piano on "Slow Down"
All songs written by Lennon/McCartney, except "Slow Down" written by Larry Williams, and "Matchbox" written by Carl Perkins
For the summer of '64 we were treated to yet another great Beatles album, and yes, that LP was Something New. By now fans were getting used to and taking for granted how wonderful the Beatles were, and how their vocal harmonies were second to none. The best song on this album, "Tell Me Why", once again features the blending of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's strong singing voices, they sound so damn good here it brings tears of joy to my eyes even today. I rate three other songs on Something New tens also, yet all three are equal, can't tell ya which one I like better. "And I Love Her" is a beautiful McCartney ballad, "I'll Cry Instead" is a Lennon number where his vocal are what make the song great, and "If I Fell" is yet another Lennon song that peaks with the help of McCartney and Harrison's vocals.
There are several other songs on here that just miss being perfect by inches, with a 9.5 rating for "Slow Down", one of only two covers found on this album, and sung once again with strong and wild vocals by Lennon, with yet another great piano played by George Martin. Found here is also the German version of "I Want To Hold Your Hand", titled ""Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand", with the same music track from the original song and sang the same exact way, too, just in German. I only rated it a nine instead of a ten because, well, I don't speak German, yet what a way to learn the language!
There is only one song that leaves little to be desired on this album, the Carl Perkims cover of "Matchbox", sung by Ringo Starr. But all in all, what an album!
- Keno 2005
To listen to some soundclips from SOMETHING NEW or to purchase it, click on: The Beatles The Capitol Albums Vol. 1
Released - December, 1964, on Capitol Records. Produced by
Additional Personal: George Martin - Piano on "Rock and Roll Music"
All songs written by Lennon/McCartney, except "Rock and Roll Music" written by Chuck Berry, "Mr. Moonlight" written by Roy Lee Johnson, and "Honey Don't" & "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" written by Carl Perkins
After three unbelievably great albums released in 1964, the Beatles still had one more great LP to offer before the year would end, and what a great Xmas present Beatles '65 made for their fans! Like the other albums released in '64, John Lennon sang most of the lead vocals on this one too, as he really did have the best voice in rock.
This album rates as high for me as The Beatles Second Album, if that's possible. Hell, the lowest rated song found on this one scores an eight! I can't pick a favorite out of the bunch either, so I'll give a tie to "I'm a Loser", "Baby's in Black" and "Rock and Roll Music". Lennon sings the lead on all three songs, with some help from Paul McCartney on "Baby's in Black". But it's on the Chuck Berry cover of "Rock and Roll Music" that Lennon's vocals just steals the song, I don't think anybody will ever top the way he sings on this cover, he just delivers the vocals for this song in the way it was meant to be sung, like he had written it himself, just so much feeling coming from his voice here, plus, do I need to remind everybody that George Martin helps give the song its final knock out punch with his wild piano?
Gosh, there are just so many other fine tunes on this album, like the opening number "No Reply", or Lennon's "Mr. Moonlight" which had Ringo Starr joining in on the vocal harmonies for the first time, with fine results. Paul's "I'll Follow the Sun" is sweet and special, as is his "She's a Woman", with the album's final ten going once again to a Lennon song, "I Feel Fine". A special mention goes to Paul's great lead bass on the Starr sung cover song "Honey Don't".
Well there you have it for this LP and it's box set, and again, remember, you get to hear all of these songs twice, once each in Stereo and Mono, with all the stereo songs played first. Thank goodness that these lost classic Beatle albums have finally been released on CD!
- Keno 2005
To listen to some soundclips from BEATLES '65 or to purchase it, click on: The Beatles The Capitol Albums Vol. 1