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Rock - Released November 22, 1963 | EMI Catalogue

What an album cover! The beautiful black and white photo by Robert Freeman is already a kind of must-have... Recorded only four months after their first album Please Please Me, the album With The Beatles, released in November 1963, is like a little extension. This second studio album brings together seven songs by the duo of Lennon/McCartney (notable mention: All My Loving), a George Harrison (Don't Bother Me), as well as six cover songs, and is mostly vintage rock'n'roll, soul and Motown rhythm’n’blues. Introducing new instruments, dubbed voices and sound eclecticism, With The Beatles depicts a young group that gradually extricate themselves from the influences of their elders in order to create their own unique musical universe. The original songs on this album, although certainly at the level that they would go on to achieve in subsequent years, show that The Beatles were already ahead of their time. ©MZ/Qobuz, Translation/BM
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Rock - Released October 28, 1996 | EMI Catalogue

The final installment of the Anthology series has two discs of previously unreleased material from the White Album era through the group's demise in early 1970. In terms of sheer listenability, this may be the strongest volume of the three, if only because it focuses almost solely upon studio recordings rather than mixing live concerts/broadcasts and outtakes. Also, by this time the Beatles had perfected their approach to recording, meaning that even the early/alternate versions of many of their cuts were often of outstanding quality. There's some prime stuff here: "unplugged" White Album demos from mid-1968, radically different versions of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Helter Skelter," a stringless "The Long and Winding Road," three beautifully sung and played Harrison solo demos from early 1969, and several songs the Beatles never released, like "All Things Must Pass," "Not Guilty," "Teddy Boy," "Come and Get It," and "Junk." Not everything here is so great that the casual consumer will be fascinated, of course. As on previous Anthology sets, some of these alternates are only very slightly different from the official versions; the oldies covers from the Let It Be era are off-the-cuff jams that aren't up to the group's usual level of brilliance. It's still a fascinating collection, both for the insight it affords you into the group's creative process at the end of their career, and for the considerable excellence of the music itself. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | EMI Catalogue

In its original form, Let It Be signaled the end of an era, closing the book on the Beatles, as well as literally and figuratively marking the end of the '60s. The 1970 release evolved from friction-filled sessions the band intended to be an organic, bare-bones return to their roots. Instead, the endless hours of tapes were eventually handed over to Phil Spector, since neither the quickly splintering Beatles nor their longtime producer George Martin wanted to sift through the voluminous results. Let It Be... Naked sets the record straight, revisiting the contentious sessions, stripping away the Spectorian orchestrations, reworking the running order, and losing all extemporaneous in-studio banter. On this version of the album, filler tracks ("Dig It," "Maggie Mae") are dropped, while the juicy B-side "Don't Let Me Down" is added. The most obvious revamping is on the songs handled heavily by Spector. Removing the orchestrations from "The Long and Winding Road" and "Across the Universe" gives Paul McCartney's vocals considerably more resonance on the former, doing the same for John Lennon's voice and guitar on the latter. This alternate take on Let It Be enhances the album's power, reclaiming the raw, unadorned quality that was meant to be its calling card from the beginning. © TiVo
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Rock - Released January 17, 1969 | EMI Catalogue

Only two months after the masterful White Album, this tenth Beatles album was released in January 1969 and seems a bit... tired. The soundtrack to the animated film by Canadian George Dunning (which was released in theaters seven months earlier), Yellow Submarine offers thirteen tracks, of which only six (at the time, only side A) are by the Fab Four. The rest is largely the bringing together of various instrumentals by legendary producer George Martin. Overdubs and sound effects of all kinds, psychedelia is required from one end to the other for this great album. It is certainly one that remains essential to understanding the history of the group, without really ever reaching the level of Revolver, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart Club or Abbey Road. ©MZ/Qobuz, Translation/BM
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Rock - Released November 20, 1995 | EMI Catalogue

The first in a series of three double-CD sets of previously unreleased and rare Beatles material, released in conjunction with the mammoth Anthology video documentary. This covers the late '50s to the end of 1964, mixing studio outtakes, live performances, primitive recordings from the Quarrymen/Silver Beatles days, excerpts from the famous 1962 Decca audition, the most notable 1961 Tony Sheridan-era recordings, and brief spoken bits from interviews. Although this material is undeniably of vast historical importance, it can't be placed in the same company as the Beatles' proper albums, in either cohesion or quality. While the studio outtakes (many never even heard on bootleg) are the most enticing items, these are almost exclusively alternate versions of songs they placed on their official releases (the most notable exceptions being the 1964 R&B cover "Leave My Kitten Alone," the 1962 demo "How Do You Do It," and the unimpressive 1964 Harrison original "You Know What to Do"). Sometimes the differences are quite interesting (a much more electric-oriented version of "And I Love Her," for example), but the alternates also illustrate how the group were virtually unerring in selecting the best arrangement and take of their songs for the final versions. The pre-1962 items are sometimes taken from private rehearsal tapes of primitive fidelity and are really of archival value only. One could go on at great length about the many curiosities and finds unearthed by this compilation, but for most general consumers, two observations may suffice. It does not stand up to the Beatles' fully conceived albums (even Live at the BBC), but the Beatles' scraps and leavings are more interesting than over 95 percent of other performers' best work. By that standard, this must be judged a worthwhile collection, especially (but not solely) for dedicated Beatles fans. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Rock - Released March 18, 1996 | EMI Catalogue

As expected, the second installment of the Anthology series reflects the Beatles' increasing use of the studio-as-laboratory during their "middle years." Some live material from 1965 to 1966 appears on the first disc, and the second "reunion" single ("Real Love") leads off the set. But the emphasis is upon alternate takes from early 1965 to early 1968, during which time the group rapidly evolved from post-Merseybeat through folk-rock to psychedelia. As with the first volume, this is nearly always interesting but perhaps thinner on revelations than some might expect. The Help!-era outtakes "If You've Got Troubles" and "That Means a Lot" are on the light side but very fun, especially the latter, which Paul and the group perform much better than P.J. Proby (who covered the song shortly afterward). Some of the alternate takes are extremely different and excellent performances on their own merits: the funkier version of "I'm Looking Through You" and the less mellow arrangement of "Norwegian Wood," a wall-of-drugs reverb for "Tomorrow Never Knows," a very Byrds-like approach to "And Your Bird Can Sing" (with giggle-laden vocals), and an acoustic demo of "Fool on the Hill." The earlier, much more acoustic version of "Strawberry Fields Forever" is the most notable gem. On the other hand, much of the material differs from the official cuts in fairly minute gradations and will be of greater interest to scholars than general listeners (although discoveries like a different solo on "Penny Lane" are fascinating). The seven live tracks on disc one, from the waning days of Beatlemania, are better than many would have assumed, showing the group still capable of generating heat on-stage. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2014 | EMI Catalogue

Admittedly, the soundtrack to Yellow Submarine wasn't one of the highlights in the Beatles' catalog, so providing an official alternate version of it is no big deal. The soundtrack always felt cobbled together, because it was. It only contained four new songs -- two of which were written by Harrison, which indicates how seriously Lennon and McCartney took the project, if their enjoyable throwaways ("Hey Bulldog" and "All Together Now," respectively) didn't provide enough of a clue -- plus two previously released songs ("All You Need Is Love," "Yellow Submarine") and a side of George Martin instrumentals from the film's score. The Beatles never assembled a slighter album while they were active, so it wasn't a sacrilege when their organization decided to assemble a "songtrack" -- a soundtrack that featured only the songs in the film, not any of the instrumentals -- to coincide with the re-release of the film in 1999. In a way, the "songtrack" (which is what the Beatles' associates insisted on calling the new effort) is an improvement on the soundtrack since it eliminates dead weight and strengthens the original six songs with nine songs featured in the movie ("Eleanor Rigby," "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," etc.). It's a little jarring not to hear the songs from the soundtrack in a different order on the songtrack, but ultimately the record is entertaining, if a bit familiar. That's not the case with the sound, though. The Beatles have decided to make this the first remixed CD in their catalog. The differences are slight but often notable and never really an improvement; as a matter of fact, it could likely be enough to irk, possibly anger, longtime Beatlemaniacs. It helps distinguish the Yellow Submarine "songtrack" as much as the new sequencing. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released September 9, 2016 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Capitol Records initially planned to release a live album from the Beatles in 1964, recording the band's August 23 concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Nobody at the label found the results satisfactory so they attempted it again almost exactly a year later, taping the August 29 and 30, 1965 shows at the Hollywood Bowl but, once again, it proved hard to hear the Fab Four from underneath the roar of the crowd, so those tapes were also shelved. They remained in the vaults until 1977, when Capitol president Bhaskar Menon asked George Martin to assemble a listenable live album from the two sets of Hollywood Bowl tapes, all with the idea of combating the rise of bootlegs and quasi-legit Beatles live albums. It was a difficult task, yet Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick managed to assemble a 13-track LP of highlights that was quite well received upon its 1977 release yet managed to earn a reputation as something of a disappointment in part due to the screams that overwhelmed the band. Whenever the Beatles catalog saw a digital release -- either in 1987 or in 2009 -- it was always left behind, not receiving a revision until 2016 when Martin's son Giles remastered the recordings, including four bonus tracks, for a CD/digital release to accompany Ron Howard's documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years. Giles Martin's remastering does Live at the Hollywood Bowl a world of good, managing to somewhat suppress the thundering cheers without excising them at all, then boosting the Beatles so it's possible to focus on their crackerjack interplay. Perhaps the Beatles weren't able to hear themselves well on-stage but that's hard to discern from these performances, which are tight and swinging with the band clearly deriving energy from the audience. That's the primary difference between Live at the Hollywood Bowl and the two volumes of Live at the BBC: no matter how excellent those BBC collections are, there's no sense of the kinetic connection between the Beatles and their fans, something that's in ample display on Live at the Hollywood Bowl. Decades later, it's still thrilling to hear the band and the crowd feed off the excitement of the other. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released November 30, 1994 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

From 1962 to 1965, the Beatles made 52 appearances on the BBC, recording live-in-the-studio performances of both their official releases and several dozen songs that they never issued on disc. This magnificent two-disc compilation features 56 of these tracks, including 29 covers of early rock, R&B, soul, and pop tunes that never appeared on their official releases, as well as the Lennon-McCartney original "I'll Be on My Way," which they gave in 1963 to Billy J. Kramer rather than record it themselves. These performances are nothing less than electrifying, especially the previously unavailable covers, which feature quite a few versions of classics by Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley. There are also off-the-beaten-path tunes by the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly on down to obscurities by the Jodimars, Chan Romero (a marvelous "Hippy Hippy Shake"), Eddie Fontaine, and Ann-Margret. The greatest gem is probably their fabulous version of Arthur Alexander's "Soldier of Love," which (like several of the tracks) would have easily qualified as a highlight of their early releases if they had issued it officially. Restored from existing tapes of various quality, the sound is mostly very good and never less than listenable. Unfortunately, they weren't able to include every single rarity that the Beatles recorded for the BBC; the absence of Carl Perkins' "Lend Me Your Comb," which has circulated on bootlegs in a high-fidelity version, is especially mystifying. Minor quibbles aside, these performances, available on bootlegs for years, compose the major missing chapter in the Beatles' legacy, and it's great to have them easily obtainable in a first-rate package. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Rock - Released June 1, 1967 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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How to better a record like Revolver? Sign off another by the name of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. For many, this is truly the greatest pop and rock music of all time, if not one of the most significant works of art in popular culture from the second half of the twentieth century... After discovering the endless possibilities offered to them in the recording studio, John, Paul, George and Ringo continue their crazy musical experiments. More than ever considered as the ‘fifth Beatle’, producer George Martin runs out a magic carpet of discoveries that would go on to influence the future of pop. When this eighth studio album is released in June 1967, the era is one that has embraced the all-out psychedelic, and this concept album is a true hallucinatory trip (not only for Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds). Like the patchwork of his mythical pocket, Sergeant Pepper's journeys through pure pop, manly rock'n'roll, totally trippy sequences (to near worldly scales), retro songs of nursery rhymes, animal noises and even classical music! On the composition side, the duo of Lennon/McCartney is at the top of its game, delivering new songs that are still influential today. © MZ/Qobuz, Translation/BM
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Rock - Released November 22, 1968 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

After the amazing masterpieces of Revolver and Sergeant Pepper's, The Beatles dove back into the art of pure writing, bringing about a certain level of sobriety and leaving aside their recent psychadelic delusions, awesome as they were. Released in November 1968, this double White Album is a return to more refined pop and rock; the essence of their art. The title of the disc, The Beatles, does not manage to hide the growing dissension between the four musicians at the time, and their diverging personalities saw this album herald the beginning of the end for the Fab Four, and the budding of their future solo careers... Despite all of this, The Beatles managed to release a new and totally unique album here, which can be enjoyed step by step as a true emotional rollercoaster: The fantasy of Dear Prudence, the dark madness of Revolution 9, the legendary guitar solo in While My Guitar Gently Weeps, the labyrinth of Happiness Is A Warm Gun and Sexy Sadie, the emotion of Julia (which Lennon dedicated to his mother, who died when he was 17), the purity of Blackbird and the ultra-violent tsunami that is Helter Skelter… the White Album is a brilliant production, a new masterpiece from a group growing apart ...For its 50-year anniversary, this legendary double album makes a return in Deluxe Edition form, a well-deserved title. As well as the stereo remixed version by legendary producer George Martin's son, the original mono version (praised by purists for this format) and the famous Esher Demos there are 27 demo tracks of some famous hits recorded in Harrison’s home and three studio-session CDs. It’s a marvellous collection (107 tracks in total!) which let’s us further explore this glorious piece of work that still fascinates us 50 years after its creation… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rock - Released September 26, 1969 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Conventional wisdom holds that the Beatles intended Abbey Road as a grand farewell, a suspicion seemingly confirmed by the elegiac note Paul McCartney strikes at the conclusion of its closing suite. It's hard not to interpret "And in the end/the love you take/is equal to the love you make" as a summation not only of Abbey Road but perhaps of the group's entire career, a lovely final sentiment. The truth is perhaps a bit messier than this. The Beatles had tentative plans to move forward after the September 1969 release of Abbey Road, plans that quickly fell apart at the dawn of the new decade, and while the existence of that goal calls into question the intentionality of the album as a finale, it changes not a thing about what a remarkable goodbye the record is. In many ways, Abbey Road stands apart from the rest of the Beatles' catalog, an album that gains considerable strength from its lush, enveloping production -- a recording so luxuriant, it glosses over aesthetic differences between the group's main three songwriters and ties together a series of disconnected unfinished songs into a complete suite. Where Sgt. Pepper pioneered such mind-bending aural techniques, Abbey Road truly seized the possibilities of the studio and, in doing so, pointed the way forward to the album rock era of the 1970s. Many of the studio tricks arrive during that brilliant suite of songs, a sequence that lasts nearly a full side of an album. Here, McCartney's playful eccentricity juts against John Lennon's curdled cynicism, while the band thrills in sudden changes of mood and plays plenty of guitar, culminating in McCartney, Lennon, and George Harrison trading solos on "The End." The depth of sonic detail within "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "She Came in Through the Window" provided ideas for entire subgenres of pop in the '70s, but Abbey Road also contains a handful of the most enduring Beatles songs, each adding a new emotional maturity to their catalog. The subdued boogie of Lennon's "Come Together" contains a sensuality previously unheard in the Beatles -- it's matched by "Because," which may be the best showcase for the group's harmonies -- Harrison's "Something" is a love ballad of unusual sensitivity, and his "Here Comes the Sun" is incandescent, perhaps his purest expression of joy. As good as these individual moments are, what makes Abbey Road transcendent is how the album is so much greater than the sum of its parts. While a single song or segment can be dazzling, having a succession of marvelous, occasionally intertwined moments is not only a marvel but indeed a summation of everything that made the Beatles great. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released November 11, 2013 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Nearly two decades after the first volume, the second installment of the Beatles BBC recordings arrives and, like its predecessor, On Air: Live at the BBC, Vol. 2 condenses the Fab Four's voluminous BBC sessions into an easily digestible double-disc of highlights. The generous 63-track running length is slightly misleading as this, more than the 1994 set, is peppered with dialogue, interviews, and silly sketches -- a total of 24 of them, to be exact, including the five-minute "Pop Profile" interviews tacked onto the end of each disc (CD 1 showcases John and George on the eve of the release of Rubber Soul, CD 2 Paul and Ringo prior to the release of Revolver). Such a heavy emphasis on on-air banter winds up cementing On Air as something like a documentary: it is capturing a specific moment in the Beatles history. Specifically, this moment is 1963, with three quarters of the collection dating from that year. It was a momentous year, of course, the beginning of Beatlemania in Britain and, appropriately, there's a greater emphasis on original Beatles music than there was on the covers-laden 1994 set. This is a mild disappointment, as much of the really interesting material is hearing the Beatles tear into the rock & roll classics that were staples of their club set; not only does their kinetic interplay leap alive, but it's possible to appreciate just how good McCartney and, particularly, Lennon were as interpretive singers (John kills on the Chuck Berry songs "I'm Talking About You" and "Memphis, Tennessee"). Which isn't to say these early Beatles originals are tossed off without a care. They're also treated with exuberance and, at times, the enthusiasm is intoxicating (they punch hard on "I Saw Her Standing There," "Roll Over Beethoven" swings with purpose, "You Can't Do That" retains a glinting, hard edge, and Paul's Little Richard impression always dazzles). Crucially, the banter contains a similar sense of excitement; as this concentrates on 1963, the Beatles have yet to grow tired of their shtick, so it's fun to hear them trade barbs with the BBC hosts and with each other. When the dialogue is combined with those wonderful performances, On Air: Live at the BBC, Vol. 2 helps paint a portrait of the Beatles just reaching the peak of their powers. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released September 26, 1969 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Rock - Released December 4, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Rock - Released May 26, 1967 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

How to better a record like Revolver? Sign off another by the name of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. For many, this is truly the greatest pop and rock music of all time, if not one of the most significant works of art in popular culture from the second half of the twentieth century... After discovering the endless possibilities offered to them in the recording studio, John, Paul, George and Ringo continue their crazy musical experiments. More than ever considered as the ‘fifth Beatle’, producer George Martin runs out a magic carpet of discoveries that would go on to influence the future of pop. When this eighth studio album is released in June 1967, the era is one that has embraced the all-out psychedelic, and this concept album is a true hallucinatory trip (not only for Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds). Like the patchwork of his mythical pocket, Sergeant Pepper's journeys through pure pop, manly rock'n'roll, totally trippy sequences (to near worldly scales), retro songs of nursery rhymes, animal noises and even classical music! On the composition side, the duo of Lennon/McCartney is at the top of its game, delivering new songs that are still influential today. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz, Translation/BM

Rock - Released November 27, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Rock - Released February 5, 2021 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Rock - Released November 22, 1968 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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After the amazing masterpieces of Revolver and Sergeant Pepper's, The Beatles dive back into the art of pure writing, bringing about a certain level of sobriety and leaving aside their recent psychadelic delusions, awesome as they were. Released in November 1968, this double White Album is a return to more refined pop and rock; the essence of their art. The title track of the disc, The Beatles, does not manage to hide the growing dissension between the four musicians at the time, and their diverging personalities saw this album herald the beginning of the end for the Fab Four, and the budding of their future solo careers... Despite all of this, The Beatles managed to release a new and totally unique album here, which can be enjoyed step by step as a true emotional rollercoaster: The fantasy of Dear Prudence, the dark madness of Revolution 9, the legendary guitar solo in While My Guitar Gently Weeps, the labyrinth of Happiness Is A Warm Gun and Sexy Sadie, the emotion of Julia (which Lennon dedicated to his mother, who died when he was 17), the purity of Blackbird and the ultra-violent tsunami that is Helter Skelter… the White Album is a brilliant production, a new masterpiece of a group growing apart ... ©Marc Zisman/Qobuz, Translation/BM
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Pop - Released October 7, 2017 | Disques Backstage

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The Beatles in the magazine
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    51 years since The Beatles let it be On this day 51 years ago, The Beatles would play what was to be their last performance in public together. A chance for us to look back on what was then, unbeknownst to us, their last show.
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    The Beatles Special: 4/7 To celebrate the arrival of The Beatles on Qobuz, a full week of Video of the Day's dedicated to the Fab Four!
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    The Beatles Special: 3/7 To celebrate the arrival of The Beatles on Qobuz, a full week of Video of the Day's dedicated to the Fab Four!
  • The Beatles Special: 2/7
    The Beatles Special: 2/7 To celebrate the arrival of The Beatles on Qobuz, a full week of Video of the Day's dedicated to the Fab Four!
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    The Beatles Special: 1/7 To celebrate the arrival of The Beatles on Qobuz, a full week of Video of the Day's dedicated to the Fab Four!
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    Britpop forever The brilliant new album from Eugene McGuinness, leader of everlasting English rock…