Yesterday Apple Records and Universal Music released a new Beatles box set of The Beatles albums released in America, which begs the question: do you really need it?

The answer is yes….and no, here’s why.

If you are new to the Beatles and are happy to confine your music library to a Beatles 1 (Greatest Hits) or one or two of the other previous British releases this would be overkill. Or if you have one of the mono or stereo box sets that came out in 2009, you’ll also probably pass on this one.  There are no new songs in this set that you don’t have already and other than the documentary album ‘The Beatles Story’, everything’s been out there before.

But if you grew up with the original Beatles albums that were released in the States, you remember a very different experience.  America’s ‘Meet The Beatles’ is not the same as Britain’s ‘With The Beatles’.  The UK’s ‘Beatles for Sale’ is not ‘Beatles ’65’ which was released here in the states around Christmas time 1964.  The British albums had more tracks than the American Capitol albums, and the sound on many songs on the albums released here were different.  ‘I Feel Fine’ and ‘She’s A Woman’ were both drenched in reverb,  ‘And I Love Her’ and ‘If I Fell’ featured single tracked vocal in contrast to the double tracked versions released in England. ‘I’m Looking Through You’ featured a false start on the Capitol release that was omitted on the English release.

The American albums we grew up with has different track listings and sounded different.

Technically, the Capitol albums were a mess in places, but it’s a funny thing about memories; they’re not to be messed with, even if it means a higher level of fidelity.

Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be comparing the original Capitol albums with the versions that were used for this new set – track by track.  Some of the masters are he same ones as used on the 2009 box sets, but when a unique mix was used on a track her in America, it was replicated on this new set.  That’s why I’ll be going through this compilation with such a fine tooth comb.  I’ll load you with detailed information so you can make the decision to spend the $150.

I already have.

Back tomorrow with ‘Meet The Beatles.’


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