The Beatles are said to have been the greatest band ever, for many reasons. They have played many styles of music, they have many popular songs and albums, and they are the best selling band in the world. Even in today’s world, their music is still well known and very popular. In fact, Cirque du Soleil just released a show dedicated to the Beatles entitled “Love”. But even in the 1960’s, 1970’s, and even most of the 1980’s, most people didn’t have every song from The Beatles, such as We Can Work It Out, Rain, and Old Brown Shoe. Until 1988, the Beatles catalog wasn’t complete. That year, the catalog was finally completed. Apple released the final two Beatles albums that completed the catalog, “Past Masters Volume 1”, and “Past Masters Volume 2”. Most of the songs on each album were previously released as singles, except for songs such as Across The Universe, and Let It Be, but even they were different from the original recordings of the song. “Past Masters Volume 2” is a compilation of mostly previously released singles by The Beatles from 1965 until 1970. This album has a very nice mix of songs. From the bluesy Day Tripper, to the loud Revolution, to the Indian inspired The Inner Light, “Past Masters Volume 2” shows why The Beatles are truly the best band in the world.
The Beatles are-
John Lennon-Guitar, Vocals
Paul McCartney- Bass, Vocals
George Harrison- Guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr- Drums, Vocals
“Past Masters” has a lot of fairly famous songs off this album. “Past Masters” starts off with the bluesy but at the same time fast paced Day Tripper. Day Tripper is recognizable because it starts with the famous guitar part, which you will probably recognize on first listen. The story to this song may supposedly be about Paul’s hesitance to try LSD. With a guitar led song, strong lyrics, and a clean drum part, it is a good way to lead off the album. Lady Madonna is another famous Beatles single. It has a nice pop feel, and is lead throughout by the piano part, which was styled off of Fats Domino’s piano playing style. Paul sings the lyrics in that deep voice we recognize through some of the later Beatles pieces that he sings, as he also lies down a nice bass part. Along with Day Tripper and Lady Madonna is probably the most experimental song off this album, Paperback Writer. Paperback Writer’s guitar and bass flow very smoothly together. The lyrics of Paperback Writer is the only weak area of the song, with lyrics such as: “It’s a dirty story of a dirty man and his clinging wife doesn’t understand.” Rain is another song which is like Paperback Writer, as it is another experimental song. Unlike the other three, John sings this song. The bass line in this song is boosted more than other songs on the album. It has a very bluesy but fluid sound, which makes it unique to mostly straight forward pop Beatles bass lines. Many people have said that this is the song that Ringo drums the best on of all the Beatles songs. But probably the most famous song off Past Masters is without a doubt the most popular and famous single the Beatles released: Hey Jude. The seven minute eleven song is an emotional song directed towards John’s only son at the time, Julian. The song is mainly lead by a piano part that is delicate but beautiful at the same time. Another strength is the emotion coming out of Paul’s voice, as well as the heartfelt lyrics he sings.
While “Past Masters” has its share of fairly famous songs, it also has some less known and less commercialized songs. For instance: We Can Work It Out. We Can Work It Out is a mellow song. For only a 2:15 long song, The Beatles took an unusually long 12 hour recording session to work on We Can Work It Out, and it shows. The percussion drives this song, and there is also an accordion in the background. We Can Work It Out is a nice break from the mostly fast paced songs on this album. Another less known song but just as good as the other songs off here is The Inner Light. If you haven’t already picked up from the title, The Inner Light is one of those lesser liked Indian songs that the Beatles do during the Rubber Soul-Sgt. Peppers time frame. The song has a great sitar part, and an interesting horn sounding Indian instrument. The Inner Light shows how diverse the Beatles music was. Another song that captures the great Beatles pop feeling is Old Brown Shoe. This song has an impressive piano part, and the bass part in this is fast paced, just like the song itself. The guitar in this is a notable slide guitar part by George. Old Brown Shoe is one of my favorite songs of the album.
Another interesting side to “Past Masters Volume 2” is that it has different versions of song that were released on actual albums. The one that has been altered the most is Revolution. On The White Album, Revolution is slow and bluesy on “The White Album”, but is loud and fast paced on “Past Masters Volume 2”. Across The Universe is also different in that it has sound effects at the beginning and is a faster version. The version on “Past Masters Volume 2” was used on a charity tape, also. Let It Be is different as well, as it is shorter.
“Past Masters Volume 2” is a great collection of later Beatles singles. It shows the mostly fast paced side that the Fab Four has, while at the same time captures the magic and electricity that The Beatles display. I would recommend this to anybody, even non-Beatles fans, because there are some lesser known songs that they may enjoy. This album is very solid, and is a must have for any Beatles fan. 4.5/5
We Can Work It Out
Old Brown Shoe