Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Capitol Albums Vol. 1

I really enjoy this CD. It contains one of my top-five Beatle albums; The Beatles' Second Album, which has a great line-up of songs, and is the first Beatles' lp I ever owned. Made up of British singles, EPs and some left-overs from With The Beatles it remains solid and a great example of what a powerful little combo they were.

My only complaint is in the lousy packaging. Unless you get the "little block box" version (as opposed to the old-fashioned "long-box" which I'm told is more common) it's difficult to store on your CD shelf. I found the best way is to lay it on it's spine. Otherwise the CDs fall out and frantic fumbling ensues. Also, the little mini-sleeves, although very cool and fun, should have the title/Beatles name on the spine, like the originals. Maybe they are too small for Capitol to do it, but I'm guessing it could've been done.

Having the stereo mix and mono mix on the same disc is not a perfect solution, but it does seem like the most reasonable way to package it. Having too separate sleeves and disc for each album would be preferred, but I suppose it would've also jacked up the price.

I'm curious about Capitol's plans for Vol. 2 (and a Vol. 3?). There are seven unreleased Capitol Albums left (not counting post-breakup compilations). So how are they going to break it up? And that's counting Revolver, which really doesn't need to be included as the only difference is there are three less songs on it than the British version (the mix may be different, but we're splitting hairs here, and I don't suppose there's much interest in having it unless you are a fanatic Beatle nut like me).

I'm not sure why A Hard Day's Night was not included in the first set. It came out a month before Something New, so they either don't have the rights (it was originally a United Artists release, not Capitol), but I thought Capitol had the rights now since my cassette version bought about 15 years ago is on Capitol.

Including Rubber Soul is also questionable since the line-up in similar to the British version, except that it excludes some tunes that were put on Yesterday and Today and includes some from the British Help!.

They could extend it to two more volumes if they include Hey Jude which is an American release, however it's an Apple lp, not Capitol. So how can it be on a set called "Capitol Albums"?

Well, it's not a perfect world. But if I was in charge, here's how I'd do it:

"Vol. 2"
A Hard Day's Night
The Early Beatles
Beatles VI

"Vol. 3"
Rubber Soul
Yesterday and Today
Hey Jude


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