Beatles, The - The Capitol Albums Vol. 1

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Capitol
Catalog Number: 07243 875348 2 7
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

Although at a first glance yet another Beatles re-issue looks like a quick cash-in, it certainly needs a more indepth view in order to fully understand the importance of this lavish box set. First of all, the box is put together in an exquisite way, delivering a slipcase containing a nicely compiled booklet together with the entire Capitol album output as originally released way back in 1964. Each disc comes in a replica album sleeve and contains both stereo and mono versions. Due to the rather short length of the songs and thus the entire duration of an album Capitol could easily fit both versions onto one single disc. This is unique as so far none of the Beatles CDs released outside of the US contained this mix of stereo and mono versions. There are some CDs that contain these versions, but they are well executed bootlegs. In fact, this box set contains no fewer than 32 stereo mixes so far unissued on CD. Although it has often been rumoured that Capitol remixed certain songs, adding echo and issuing it as Duophonic (= fake stereo) releases, these stereo mixes are truly the work of George Martin and have not been altered or changed by the band's US record company. Only eight songs on The Beatles' Second Album contain extra echo. In fact, Martin recorded the first two albums on two-track so as to have the vocals on one track and the instruments on the other. This was needed to have the volume of the vocals on the right level in order to create a perfect mono mix. As those two channels were separate, these recordings were then used as a stereo mix by putting the vocals on one channel and the instruments on the other. So compared to what we really understand as a true stereo mix today, the first two Capitol albums contain kind of a rudimentary stereo mix. On three of the Capitol albums you can find fake stereo mixes, which was something Parlophone also did with other artists. They copied the same mono music on two different channels boosted the bass on one track and tweaked the treble on the other so as to create a duophonic stereo mix.

Although the first Beatles album in Britain, Please Please Me was released in 1963, it took another year before the first Beatles album saw the light of day in America. Due to various other contracts, the band's earlier singles had been released by companies such as Vee-Jay and Swan. Due to the immense success in England, Capitol struck a deal in November 1963 to cater for The Beatles in the future. Backed by their appearance at the Ed Sullivan Show, the band's success became immense. In one year the label issued no fewer than four albums! Meet The Beatles was issued in January 1964; The Beatles' Second Album in April; Something New in July and finally Beatles '65 in December of '64. It was Capitol themselves who put these compilations together without the input of The Fab Four. In fact, when they released The Beatles' Second Album, it was in fact their third in the US as they also had an album out on the Vee-Jay label. The Beatles' Second Album was compiled out of five leftover songs from the With The Beatles album, expanded with three B-sides, the hit-single "She Loves You" and two freshly recorded songs that would later turn up on the British Long Tall Sally EP. The album sold a staggering two million copies!

I have no intention of going into detail where every single track is concerned, but I want to point out "Mr. Moonlight" and especially the organ solo. Or the rather tame "Matchbox." I can imagine that there must have been hundreds of similar bands at the time so I fully understand why it was such a gamble to offer The Beatles a recording contract in the first place. No doubt The Beatles on their own would never have reached the heights they have, but it was the combination of our four friends together with Brian Epstein as the brainy manager and George Martin as the incredible producer. So to me The Beatles have always been a six-piece. As time went by they also experimented with all kinds of changes. That's why Ringo Starr can be heard as singer during "Honey Don't," something that got accepted due to the immense success of the band. This country inspired theme for sure must have been a favourite for the American market.

Regardless of mixes, I have looked at both the UK and US output and have concluded that the following has been included in this box set. There are 90 tracks in all, 45 of which are in stereo and 45 of which are in mono. From the 45 tracks, only one has been pulled from the band's debut UK album Please Please Me, which normally contains 14 tracks. All of the album With The Beatles is included. Ten tracks out of a possible 13 have been pulled from the A Hard Day's Night album, whilst 8 out of 14 come from the Beatles For Sale album. The remaining twelve tracks can also be found on the CD Past Masters Volume 1, which includes a further six songs. The difference has to be found in the various mixes, but mainly in the order the songs have been placed. Because the American public has always been acquainted with these Capitol releases, they will probably embrace this box set with open arms, as for the very first time they will be able to listen to the music of their youth in exactly the same order as on their battered vinyl albums. By adding stereo and mono mixes back to back, they also enable music lovers to go for the format they like most without having to fork out extra money. The timing of course is perfect as this will no doubt be a perfect stocking filler for many Beatles fans in the US and the world over. This well crafted box of nostalgia will put a smile on your face from beginning to end. However, beware how you pull the booklet and the discs from the slipcase, as you can compare the quality a little bit with the Let It Be box set and we all know the kind of money a mint copy changes hands for these days. So treasure it with all of your heart ? forever! With this box set called The Capitol Albums Vol. 1, I can only hope for a second volume including a real butcher cover maybe pasted like the original, but this time in 5" format! Timeless!

Meet The Beatles (all songs first in stereo followed by the same tracklisting in mono):

I Want To Hold Your Hand (2:25) / I Saw Her Standing There (2:55) / This Boy (2:15) / It Won't Be Long (2:13) / All I've Got To Do (2:04) / All My Loving (2:09) / Don't Bother Me (2:29) / Little Child (1:47) / Till There Was You (2:15) / Hold Me Tight (2:33) / I Wanna Be Your Man (2:00) / Not A Second Time (2:11) -- TOTAL TIME: 54:40

The Beatles Second Album (all songs first in stereo followed by the same tracklisting in mono):

Roll Over Beethoven (2:49) / Thank You Girl (2:07) / You Really Got A Hold On Me (3:05)/ Devil In Her Heart (2:30) / Money (That's What I Want) (2:53) / You Can't Do That (2:40) / Long Tall Sally (2:07) / I Call Your Name (2:11) / Please Mr. Postman (2:38) / I'll Get You (2:09) / She Loves You (2:28) -- TOTAL TIME: 54:40

Something New (all songs first in stereo followed by the same tracklisting in mono):

I'll Cry Instead (1:48) / Things We Said Today (2:38) / Any Time At All (2:14) / When I Get Home (2:19) / Slow Down (2:57) / Matchbox (2:00) / Tell Me Why (2:11) / And I Love Her (2:32) / I'm Happy Just To Dance With You (1:58) / If I Fell (2:22) / Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand (I Want To Hold Your Hand) (2:31) -- TOTAL TIME: 47:00

Beatles '65 (all songs first in stereo followed by the same tracklisting in mono):

No Reply (2:18) / I'm A Loser (2:32) / Baby's In Black (2:08) / Rock & Roll Music (2:34) / I'll Follow The Sun (1:51) / Mr Moonlight (2:43) / Honey Don't (3:00) / I'll Be Back (2:24) / She's A Woman (3:01) / I Feel Fine (2:23) / Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (2:31) -- TOTAL TIME: 52:10

John Lennon - guitars, vocals
George Harrison - guitars, vocals
Paul McCartney - bass, vocals
Ringo Starr - drums, vocals

Please Please Me (1963) With The Beatles (1963)
A Hard Days Night (1964)
Beatles For Sale (1964)
Help! (1965)
Rubber Soul (1965)
Revolver (1965)
Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
White Album (1968)
Yellow Submarine (1969)
Abbey Road (1969)
In The Beginning: Early Tapes (Circa 1960) (1970)
Let It Be (1970)
1962-1966 (1973)
1967-1970 (1973)
Live At The Hollywood Bowl (1977)
Live! At The Star-Club In Hamburg, Germany (1977)
Beatles Rarities (1979 (UK)/80 (US))
The Beatles Conquer America (1985) [boot]
Past Masters Volume 1 (1988)
Past Masters Volume 2 (1988)
Unsurpassed Demos (1993) [boot]
Get Back Sessions (1993) [boot]
Shea!/Candlestick Park (1994)
Live At The BBC (1994)
Anthology 1 (1995)
Anthology 2 (1995)
Anthology 3 (1996)
Decca Tapes [boot]
Ultra Rare Trax/Back-Trak/Unsurpassed Demos [boot]
Live In Tokyo [boot]
1 (2000)
Let It Be ... Naked (2003)
The Capitol Albums Vol. 1 (box set) (2004)

Anthology (DVD) (2002)
The First US Visit (DVD) (2004)

Genre: Rock

Origin UK

Added: November 21st 2004
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1081
Language: english


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