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The Most Popular Beatles CDs
The Beatles 1 - The Beatles CD The Beatles 1 - The Beatles CD
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Proving yet again their willingness to dice 'n' slice their burgeoning legacy into new--if not exactly fresh--product, the Fab Four Minus One have released this single-disc compendium of their No. 1 hits. Though obviously superfluous to longtime Fabs faithful (who may also find themselves quibbling over the precise definition of "No. 1 hit" and the exclusion of seeming contenders like "Please Please Me" and "Strawberry Fields"), newly arrived visitors from the Pleiades star cluster and other neophytes will find it a concise and generous (nearly 80 minutes) single-disc introduction to the band's career-spanning, unparalleled dominance of pop music in the 1960s. But beyond being a mere trophy case of commercial success (and it won't be hard to find critics who'll argue that these singles aren't even the band's best work), it's also a Cliff's Notes take on a remarkable seven-year run of musical evolution, one that stretches from the neo-skiffle of "Love Me Do" through a remarkable synthesis of R&B, rockabilly, Tin Pan Alley, gospel, country, and classical that still defies efforts to effectively deconstruct it. This is the pop monument equivalent of the '27 Yankees and '90s Bulls; it's every bit as obvious and dominating--and just as essential.
Jerry McCulley

The Beatles (The White Album) The Beatles (The White Album)
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Better known as the "White Album," this was meant to be the record that brought them back to earth after three years of studio experimentation. Instead, it took them all over the place, continuing to burst the envelope of pop music. Lennon and McCartney were still at the height of their powers, with Lennon in particular growing into one of rock's towering figures. But even McCartney could still rock, and the amazement on "Helter Skelter" was that he had vocal cords at the end. From Beach Boys knock-offs to reggae and to the unknown ("Revolution #9"), this has it all. Some records have legend written all over them; this is one.
Chris Nickson

Revolver : The beatles CD Revolver : The beatles CD
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Revolver wouldn't remain the Beatles' most ambitious LP for long, but many fans--including this one--remember it as their best. An object lesson in fitting great songwriting into experimental production and genre play, this is also a record whose influence extends far beyond mere they-was-the-greatest cheerleading. Putting McCartney's more traditionally melodic "Here, There and Everywhere" and "For No One" alongside Lennon's direct-hit sneering ("Dr. Robert") and dreamscapes ("I'm Only Sleeping," "Tomorrow Never Knows") and Harrison's peaking wit ("Taxman") was as conceptually brilliant as anything Sgt. Pepper attempted, and more subtly fulfilling. A must.
Rickey Wright


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