The Beatles
Anthology 1



by Bron-Yr-Aur USER (39 Reviews)
April 29th, 2006 | 12 replies

Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

In the mid 1990's, the three remaining (I refuse to say surviving) Beatles got together to finish a John Lennon song called "Free As A Bird". The recording of the song was challenging, as they had to overdub their individual parts onto a circa fifteen year old tape, without ruining the original track with John singing. Despite the pressure, the song was completed and a new Beatles compilation had a very interesting opener.

Generally agreed upon as being only for the most loyal of fans, Anthology 1 lives up to that billing while simultaneously blasting it to pieces. There are plenty of things on here that even a casual listener could enjoy, such as a jaunty (and in my opinion better) version of "Can't Buy Me Love" on disc two, as well as a lovely live version of "Twist and Shout".

For the most hardcore of Beatles fans, there are rare gems such as the groups' first ever recording (That'll Be The Day-Buddy Holly), the infamous "Jewelry quote" where Mr. Lennon shows some sass to all the wealthy ones in the audience; which includes the Queen, and of course, alternate takes on beloved Beatles classics which shows the boys not only trying something new, but screwing up as well.

Also running rampant are mini-speeches by the group and its' manager, Brian Epstein. These could be fascinating... If they weren't about 22 seconds long each. Indeed, sometimes you can't figure out just what they hell the guys are commenting on, a task only made more difficult if you take into account that the questions that were asked do not show up on the recording.

However, these speeches are, as mentioned above, short and therefore don't really ruin the record. Everyone knows thats' what lesser tracks are for, and there isn't a shortage of them here. "Ain't She Sweet", "Cayenne", "Sheik Of Araby"... Just the tip of the iceberg. Yet even these have a youthful charm and are worth a listen, even if they are amateur.

Sometime into the first disc, I recieved a pleasant surprise in the form of a very early take on "One After 909". The quality is surprisingly good, and the song oddly gets even better after they f*ck up and try it again. It's common to hear The Beatles members making fun of each other after these little mess-ups, and I find it very interesting to listen to, as they're almost as famous for their wit as their tunes.

Just as I was starting to believe nothing else could possibly be thrown into this odds-and-sods collection of audio Beatle memorabilia, I stumbled across a few televison appearances the group made during the height of Beatlemania. The skits include John and Ringo cracking wise every couple of seconds with legendary comedy duo Morcomb and Wise, to an amusing take on "Moonlight Bay".

Many will consider these things not worth the record price, and for many that may be so. I, however, found these to be a rare insight into the way the biggest band of the 20th century operated in the beginning, before the acid, before the fighting, and before the Yoko.

While I wouldn't recommend this to anyone wanting to get acquainted with the group (I'll let "Abbey Road" handle that), If you are familiar with the Beatles in anyway, be it a casual listener to a fan since February of 1964, I guarantee this will be an amusing and entertaining purchase, at least for the first few times.


Interesting outakes
Famous quotes come to the surface
Some songs are better on here than released versions


Short speeches
Lesser tracks get old fast


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user ratings (95)

Comments:Add a Comment 
April 29th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I'm not sure if this is long enough, so someone let me know if I should add more to it.

April 29th 2006


no I'd say it's a pretty good length. Well done

April 29th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you.

April 29th 2006


You're welcome

April 29th 2006


It maybe could be a little longer, but its not too short, it juts looks like that since the tracklist is so long. It was informative though.
I have this actually, but never listened to the whole thing. What i've heard was cool though.

Digging: Like Bats - Like Bats

April 29th 2006


I don't like reading ridiculously long reviews for compilations, you got it just right. A nice generalised yet informative review. Props to you!

Digging: Fun Lovin' Criminals - Come Find Yourself

April 29th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

I will review this soon...I added the album so I could review it shortly after...but I haven't gotten around to it. This is a pretty well-written review though. You didn't make any mentioned of Mr. Moonlight with John's awesome vocal intro!

April 29th 2006


Good review.

April 29th 2006


Great review, I'm glad you didn't make it to long. Nice and to the point.

John Paul Harrison
April 29th 2006


What a "fly" little review you have here, Mr. Bron-Yr-Aur.

April 30th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Why thank you everyone. Your comments mean as much to me as apple pie and baseball.

November 3rd 2009


Nice review. Good compilation.

Haha, and on a side note... I was over at UG earlier, and a guy said that Nirvana has more contrast in their albums than the Beatles. Just thought that was a good laugh.

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