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The Beatles - 1 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 November 2000

The Beatles
format: CD
label: Capitol Records
release year: 2000
performance: 9
sound 8
reviewed by: Bryan Dailey

ImageYou know those get rich quick schemes that you see advertised in the back of the tabloids? I’m here to tell you about a get rich quick scheme that is absolutely guaranteed to work.
Take 27 of the most successful songs by the most popular band in the world, put them on an album and release it about a month before the holiday shopping season. Make a TV infomercial for it just for kicks, and then sit back and start watching the money pour in. That is exactly what Capitol Records, EMI Records Ltd. And Apple Corps. Ltd. have done with the Beatles album 1. No, there aren’t any outtakes, rare tracks or answers to the "I buried Paul" rumor. This collection of 27 of the Beatles #1 hit songs offers nothing new except a new order in which to listen these songs. This album has been steadily perched atop the #1 sales spot for the past three weeks and shows no sign of falling. The truth is that, next year, the Beatles could put out an album called 2, full of songs that almost hit the top of the charts, and it would still sell millions of copies. Some critics seem insulted by the fact that the Beatles continue to repackage and reissue their material. The fans seem to disagree, and until the cash registers stop ringing up Beatles records, I think it’s good to see more collections like this from the Beatles and other bands of their stature. The simple law of supply and demand will tell the record companies and artists when enough is enough.

By calendar dates, the songs on 1 span only eight years, but as famed Beatles producer Sir George Martin so eloquently states in the CD’s liner notes, "It was a lifetime in the world of rock and roll." As the tracks progress chronologically, you hear the Beatles grow and mature from a young skiffle band to musical visionaries. From the opening track "Love me Do" to "The Long and Winding Road," we are given a history lesson with the date that each song was recorded and the dates that it was #1 on the U.S. and/or U.K. charts. So many artists come and go without any single song ever reaching the top of the charts. I was not even alive when any of these songs were recorded; to look back and see how successful the Beatles truly were makes my head spin.

All of the songs on 1 have been digitally remastered and sound full and clear. A few of the early tracks are bit on the low-fi side, but in a relatively short time, the caliber of their recordings improved exponentially. The Beatles were pioneers in the world of recording and are worth studying for that alone. It just so happens that these studio geniuses happened to write some of the greatest pop songs the world has ever known.

Is this CD something that you should invest in? If you already have all of the Beatles albums, there isn’t any reason to purchase this CD. On the other hand, if you don’t have a single Beatles album, but want to start a collection, this CD would be the perfect first disc to buy.

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