1/2 -- the quintessential early years collection, but it cou
Johnny Boy | Hockessin, DE | 01/23/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'1962-1966 (The Red Album)' is the essential early years collection of The Beatles. Collecting singles and album tracks from The Beatles first four years on Capitol/Parlophone, 'The Red Album' is part one of the two records in the 'Red' and 'Blue' album "series." It's a great album, full of classic tracks and several obscurities that are wrongfully neglected and ignored by most Beatles fans.
'You've Got to Hide Your Love Away' is a fine example of this. How often do you hear this played on the radio? I know The Beatles made a rare promo video for this song, but still, despite this, it is regarded as one of the more obscure tracks in the Beatles canon. It should have been a number one single, and it is rightfully deserving of that status. But I'm glad it gets recognition here.
And, EVERY HIT SINGLE FROM THE 1962-1966 TIME PERIOD IS HERE!!! That's right, if you've been wanting 'Love Me Do,' 'Please Please Me,' 'A Hard Day's Night,' 'Help!' and 'Drive My Car' (it should be noted that this was not a single, just a classic, famous album track -- it might as well have been a single, though) all appear here on this compilation.
And the sound quality is relatively decent. With the 2009 remasters now out and widely available in stores, I can tell you that those sound a little better, although the sound here is still very good. Certainly not worth complaining about, anyway.
And now, I'm going to review some negatives, and are the only things that are keeping me from rating this album five stars.
Firstly, a point that has been made MANY times here in the Amazon review section for the record is simple. WHY ISN'T THIS JUST ON ONE CD? It all could have fit with about 16 minutes left to spare. That means, not only were two discs wasted on something that could easily have fit on one CD, but classic album tracks like 'The Word,' 'If I Needed Someone,' 'Act Naturally,' 'Boys,' 'I Didn't Mean to Spoil the Party,' and 'Tomorrow Never Knows' could have all fit here too, and the additions of these songs would have easily made this a five star album. (I know, I know, with all of these songs, it'd probably run over the 80 minute time limit on a CD, but the addition of just SOME of these songs could make it five stars easily).
Overall, if you prefer the early Beatles to the latter day Beatles (personally, I am a 50/50 person -- I can't compare, they are both such great phases in such a legendary band), than '1962-1966' is for you. Every single hit and several key album tracks from 'Please Please Me' to 'Revolver' are all spanned on 'The Red Album.' Regardless of what kind of Beatles fan you are, I strongly recommend this album. Sure, it's missing plenty of great album tracks, and I think we all have personal favorites from the period that aren't here ('Chains,' 'She Said She Said' and 'Mr. Moonlight' for me), but this collection was made to touch on the hits from the period, and it does the job of collecting the hits from the period in one place perfectly.
I can highly recommend this to any fan of British Invasion, early Beatles, or just great rock music in general. A great collection of early singles and some classic album tracks.