As I was scanning across the Beatles albums in Sputnik’s version of their discography I realized a crucial omission: the third and final (and the strongest) installment of the ‘Anthology’ series. This album is choked with gems, whether it be the tracks never before released on an official Beatles album (Teddy Boy, Junk, etc.) or the early/improve versions of songs everyone knows and loves (Helter Skelter, While My Guitar Gently Weeps), all of it is definitely worth a listen and certainly (speaking for myself anyway) can be put into rotation with the rest of the band’s work just as frequently.
I will spare everyone a 50 song track by track because it would be long and grueling aside from redundant. Instead I will attempt to sum up the feel of this compilation as genuinely as I am capable. Spanning roughly from the “White Album” sessions until the group’s demise in 1970, there are numerous tracks here that rank on par with anything else the band released from that time period. There are a few doubles of songs on here but, as expected, are rough cuts or just different versions entirely. I really enjoy the gritty and raw version of “Happiness is a Warm Gun” for its bear-all lo-fi production and the decision to leave in the first take when John screws it up. The previously unheard songs, two of which I’ve mentioned earlier, are worth listening to and may even make the price worth it in and of themselves for completists.
This is one of my favorite compilations of this type of thing from any band in any genre. For its price (generally between 20-35 dollars) it’s well worth the money and you get to hear the Beatles in a different light: one in which the listener can get a strong feeling for the atmosphere that was present during practices/recording sessions plus, for someone who pays attention to details, all the different variations from album cuts this is priceless. For the casual and the die-hard alike, this compilation is the bees and knees and the cat’s pajamas in comparison to the other ‘Anthology’ releases. Go pick it up.