The Beatles - Anthology 2

Limited Edition Triple Album 3LP Vinyl Records

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Anthology 2 is a compilation album by The Beatles, originally released in March 1996 by Apple Records.

The second instalment of the Anthology series reflects the Beatles' increasing use of the studio-as-laboratory during their "middle years." Some live material from 1965 to 1966 appears on the first disc, and the second "reunion" single ("Real Love") leads off the set. But the emphasis is upon alternate takes from early 1965 to early 1968, during which time the group rapidly evolved from post-Merseybeat through folk-rock to psychedelia.

The remaining cuts document what is arguably the most creative 36 months for one band in rock history. From February '65 to February '68, the Beatles recorded six EPs (including the double EP Magical Mystery Tour) and four albums. But statistics don't do the story justice. The Beatles' growing preference for the creative hothouse of the recording studio coupled with the demands of pop fame meant that by 1966, the Beatles were essentially two bands. One was pushing rock's boundaries with experimental sound collages and increasingly sophisticated pop. The other was still going through the motions of playing for screaming throngs.

The majority of Anthology 2 consists of early takes that reveal the foundations beneath the Beatles' studio constructions. This is almost The Beatles Unplugged, and the revelations are gratifying. Paul McCartney weighs in with first-take renditions of "I'm Down" and "Yesterday", which are remarkable for their jarring stylistic divergences from the final versions. Lennon's introspection can be traced through sublime acoustic renditions of "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" and "It's Only Love", as well as the not-quite-there first version of "Norwegian Wood", on which George Harrison's tentative sitar lines don't yet suggest the word mastery.

The album's warts 'n' all ambience deflates high expectations of unreleased Lennon and McCartney masters. Ringo Starr seems to sense the direness of the lame Help! outtake "If You've Got Trouble", and he punctuates the break by blurting, "Rock on ... anybody!" McCartney's reverb-laden "That Means A Lot" was given to P.J. Proby to cover, and the curious instrumental "12-Bar Original" proves the Beatles weren't Booker T. and the MG's.

Documenting the live performances of that era undermines the musical continuity. Relatively strong performances of "I Feel Fine", "Ticket To Ride" and "Help!", from a '65 New Musical Express poll-winners show, segue into a train-wreck rendition of "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby", captured amid the pandemonium of the first show at Shea Stadium, in New York.

The Lennon-McCartney axis reached its most perfect balance on Revolver. Lennon's experimental side blossomed (the first take of "Tomorrow Never Knows") while his introspection grew more languorous (an acoustic "I'm Only Sleeping" is preceded by a fragment of equally dreamy neo-cocktail jazz). Meanwhile, McCartney's pop genius was never more refined than on "Eleanor Rigby" or the early version of "Got To Get You Into My Life", presented sans horns.

Anthology 2 neatly deconstructs the grossly over analyzed Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band with choices that uncover warmth and intimacy. "Strawberry Fields Forever" quantum-leaps in three cuts from a troublesome acoustic demo ("I cannot get it," Lennon mutters) to a technically problematic masterpiece. Clever editing of sessions also gives listeners a chance to dissect the layers of "Penny Lane" and "A Day In The Life".

The final tracks are mostly from Magical Mystery Tour, and they indicate that the participants had essentially become session players on each other's compositions. With the exception of Lennon's stripped-to-the-chassis "I Am the Walrus" and the pre-Phil Spector "Across The Universe", McCartney dominates. "The Fool On The Hill" is nearly perfect in its raw demo form, and "Your Mother Should Know" is an unlikely revelation in a version that treats the song as a spare military march.

All told, these tracks offer a compelling human story along with one of the most crystalline definitions of synergy in popular culture.

Check out the tracks: “Help!” and Yesterday”. 

This triple LP housed in a tri-fold gatefold sleeve with remastered audio is pressed in Europe on black vinyl.

(724383444816)

Tracklisting:

 

 

Title

Time

A1

Real Love

3:54

A2

Yes It Is

1:50

A3

I’m Down

2:53

A4

You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away

2:44

A5

If You’ve Got Trouble

2:48

A6

That Means A Lot

2:26

A7

Yesterday

2:33

A8

It’s Only Love

1:58

B1

I Feel Fine

2:15

B2

Ticket To Ride

2:44

B3

Yesterday

2:42

B4

Help!

2:54

B5

Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby

2:45

B6

Norwegian Wood (The Bird Has Flown)

1:59

B7

I’m Looking Through You

2:53

B8

12-Bar Original

2:55

C1

Tomorrow Never Knows

3:14

C2

Got To Get You Into My Life

2:54

C3

And Your Bird Can Sing

2:13

C4

Taxman

2:32

C5

Elanor Rigby (Strings Only)

2:06

C6

I’m Only Sleeping (Rehearsal)

0:40

C7

I’m Only Sleeping (Take 1)

2:56

C8

Rock And Roll Music

1:39

C9

She’s A Woman

2:54

D1

Strawberry Fields Forever (Demo Sequence)

1:42

D2

Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 1)

2:34

D3

Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 7 and Edit Piece)

4:13

D4

Penny Lane

3:12

D5

A Day In The Life

5:04

D6

Good Morning Good Morning

2:40

D7

Only A Northern Song

2:43

E1

Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! (Takes 1 and 2)

1:05

E2

Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! (Take 7)

2:33

E3

Lucy In The Sky With Doamonds

3:05

E4

Within You Without You (Instrumental)

5:27

E5

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

1:27

E6

You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

5:43

F1

I Am The Walrus

4:01

F2

The Fool On The Hill (Demo)

2:48

F3

Your Mother Should Know

3:02

F4

The Fool On The Hill (Take 4)

3:44

F5

Hello, Goodbye

3:17

F6

Lady Madonna

2:22

F7

Across The Universe

3:28

SKU 724383444816
Record Label Apple Records
Label / Model # Universal
Catalogue Number 7243 8 34448 1 6
Country UK - United Kingdom
Release Date (Year) 18 March 1996
Original Release Date (Year) 18 March 1996
Barcode # 724383444816
Shipping Weight 0.6650kg
Shipping Width 0.012m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.001183000m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition Triple Album 3LP Records, Black Vinyl, Tri-Fold Gatefold Sleeve, Plain White Poly Lined Inner Sleeves
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Rock & Popular
Format VINYL LP

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