The Capitol Albums, Volume 1
The Music Box's #10 specialty package for 2004
First Appeared in The Music Box, December 2004, Volume 11, #12
Written by John Metzger
Forget for a moment that The Beatles’ UK releases are far better albums than their bastardized American counterparts. Such an argument ultimately would be lost on those who are too blinded by nostalgia to care. Forget, too, that the original CD incarnations, which in 1987 standardized the band’s catalog around the flow of its British LPs, still sound remarkably good. The only explanation, then, for the release of The Capitol Albums, Volume 1 is that the collection’s contents are culturally and historically significant, though that reason alone is more than enough justification. After all, the four-disc box set replicates, in both monophonic and duophonic (faux-stereo) fashion, the quartet of collections that in 1964 allowed The Beatles to invade the U.S. market and take over the world.
Indeed, an astounding 40 years have passed since Meet The Beatles, The Beatles’ Second Album, Something New, and Beatles ’65 were issued, and while the song cycles sometimes seem a little jumbled, particularly on the latter two outings, each of these assembled efforts remains remarkably relevant. Yes, there are those massive selling, Beatlemania-inspiring hits I Want to Hold Your Hand, All My Loving, and She Loves You, but there are just as many other nuggets — such as the fiery cover of Little Richard’s Long Tall Sally, the perky playfulness of the Fab Four’s interpretation of The Marvelette’s Motown gem Please Mr. Postman, the soft-spoken ruminations of And I Love Her, and the folk-oriented flavor of Things We Said Today — tucked inside the collection’s contents. Of course there also are a few strange oddities such as Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand — the German rendition of I Want to Hold Your Hand — that concludes Something New and the split personality-driven notion that I Feel Fine belongs on the same album as Mr. Moonlight. Without question, those who didn’t come of age listening to the U.S. versions of The Beatles’ epochal, early recordings need to be somewhat forgiving of the occasionally clumsy sequencing on these compiled efforts, but with that in mind, The Capitol Albums, Volume 1 is a thoroughly essential glimpse at history in the making.
The Capitol Albums, Volume 1 is available
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box