Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Beatles Past Masters Non Album Songs Compilation

by Jake Topp

The Past Masters double disc set includes all of The Beatles songs that were released from 1962 through 1970 that were never included on a proper album. These two CDs basically tie up all of the loose ends so that The Beatles entire 1960s discography is easy to collect (and obviously it's very easy to collect now with The Beatles In Stereo Box Set).

The first reaction a lot of people may have is that if these songs were not good enough to make it onto The Beatles albums, why bother with them now? These are just the "b-sides" right? Wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Throughout most of their career The Beatles considered their singles and their albums to be entirely separate entities. They hated including singles on their albums because they felt that was "cheating their fans" (who had already bought the singles.) Because of this, many of their singles never made it onto their albums and some of their albums (five of them) didn't include any singles!

It's because of this that the Past Masters compilation (and the Mono Masters version of it included in The Beatles In Mono Box Set) is so essential. It's not just a collection of rarities that only hardcore fans will really want to listen to more than once. It includes many of The Beatles greatest and most well known songs such as "From Me To You," "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "She Loves You," "We Can Work It Out," "Day Tripper," "Hey Jude," "I Feel Fine," "Paperback Writer," "Lady Madonna," and the fast version of "Revolution."

The compilation also includes a number of really great B-Sides such as "Rain," "This Boy," "Don't Let Me Down," and "Old Brown Shoe."

That being said, there definitely are some tracks on the compilation that are mostly for "collectors" and real Beatles freaks such as "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" and the German language versions of "She Loves You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand."

Today it's often hard for people to understand how The Beatles approached putting out singles and albums as two totally separate things. A good example of this approach is how on December 3, 1965 The Beatles released both the Rubber Soul album and the "We Can Work It Out"/"Day Tripper" single. What's most amazing about that to me is that Rubber Soul already sounds like it's filled to the brim with "singles" (songs that could have been hits as singles) such as "In My Life," "Drive My Car," "Michelle," and "Nowhere Man" (which was actually released in the US as a single, without the band's consent. None of the songs on the album were released as singles in the UK).

So The Beatles released both a classic album and a classic single on the same day and there was no overlap between the two. Now with the Past Masters set all of the classic singles that The Beatles released are available in one place. It's an essential part of any Beatles collection.

Jake Topp recommends for PSP owners who are interested in playing music (like The Beatles) on their portables (and not just games).

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