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ALBUM REVIEW

THE BEATLES

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THE CAPITOL ALBUMS VOL.2

Lets me be upfront here, The Capitol Albums, Vol. 2 is excellent, but it doesn’t come close to The Capitol Albums, Vol 1. The main reason is that, like volume 1, these are four more of the US released Capitol Records' Beatles albums (The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, Help! and Rubber Soul), and for this batch, the US LPs were lacking big time to their UK counter parts. In fact, what US fans will learn from this package of CDs (if they didn’t already know) is that on Help! and Rubber Soul (the two best LPs out of the 4 found in this package), they were ripped off big time, especially on Help! – I'll get to why that was so in the reviews below for those two albums.

- The Album's Package -

Below I will review each individual album, and like volume 1, this collection comes with both the stereo and mono releases of each song, but I'll only list the songs once.

This album's packaging is well improved over volume 1’s. Like volume 1, each CD comes in its own album sleeve - and they are the same sleeves that were used when these albums were first released on vinyl - plus, the CDs themselves look like the old vinyl record. The improvement over volume 1 is how this package was put together. The CDs will not fall out of the case when you try to open them up, as they do with volume 1. The enclosed booklet also has better info than the booklet that came with volume 1, but still, that isn’t why one buys this stuff. So let’s talk about the music……..

THE EARLY BEATLES

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Released – March 22, 1965, on Capitol Records. Produced by George Martin

John Lennon - Lead & Backing Vocals, Vocal Harmonies, Rhythm Guitars, Harmonica
Paul McCartney - Lead & Backing Vocals, Vocal Harmonies, Bass 
George Harrison - Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals, Vocal Harmonies, Lead Vocal
Ringo Starr - Drums, Percussion, Lead Vocal

Additional Personal: Andy White – Drums on “Please Please Me” and Percussion on “P.S. I Love You”

All songs written by Lennon/McCartney, except where noted below.

SONG LEAD VOCALS   RATING
     
Love Me Do Lennon & McCartney 10.0
Twist and Shout (Russell, Medley) Lennon 10.0
Anna  (Alexander) Lennon   6.6
Chains (Goffin, King) Lennon/McCartney/Harrison   9.2
Boys (Dixon, Farrell) Starr   8.2
Ask Me Why Lennon   7.1
Please Please Me Lennon & McCartney 10.0
P.S. I Love You McCartney   7.8
Baby It's You (Bacharach, David, Williams) Lennon   7.2
A Taste of Honey (Marlow, Scott) McCartney   6.9
Do You Want to Know A Secret Harrison   10.0
Ave.  

  8.5

REVIEW

This album consists of 11 of the 14 tracks from the UK LP Please Please Me. The truth is, it didn’t sell well for a Beatles album when released, peaking only at #43 on the charts, since all of these songs had already been released earlier in the US on the Vee-Jay label LP Introducing The Beatles. Vee-Jay at first owned the temporary rights to these songs. As soon as Vee-Jay's rights expired, Capitol could not wait to cash in on these songs and The Early Beatles was released. In time it would have made perfect sense to do this, as Introducing The Beatles would go out of print, but they should have waited a few more years till they did, by then they would have sold even more copies.

Overall an excellent collection of the earliest Beatles songs. Best ones found on here were their first two ever released singles, “Please Please Me” and “Love Me Do”, with both songs featuring John Lennon’s harmonica, to give the songs a blues feel.  My other two favorites on this album are: the cover of “Twist & Shout” – John sings one of the best ever lead vocals on a cover song here, he just rips this song’s lyrics apart! Then one of the first songs that Lennon wrote in his early teens, after being inspired by a song his late mother used to sing to him as a child, “Listen, Do You Want to Know a Secret”. Sung by George Harrison, it is also great. Funny that George hated the way he sounds on the song, feeling he wasn’t yet a true lead vocalist, but I must disagree, I loved this song the first time I heard it, and I still do today.

I also dig the cover of “Chains”, and heck, Ringo Starr’s lead vocal on “Boys” is very much underrated by most, as is the band’s output on this song, including Paul McCartney’s great bass line. This song really rocks! One last song note, in regard to what Paul claims to being the worst ever recorded Beatles song: “A Taste of Honey”. I have to say no way to that. Paul’s lead vocals save this song; yes, this one does contain the Beatles worst ever backing vocals by far, very bad indeed, but overall, it might not be a great song, but it is okay and not their worst.

- Keno 2007

To listen to some soundclips from THE EARLY BEATLES or to purchase it, click on: Vol. 2 - Capitol Albums [CD] icon


BEATLES IV

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Released – June 14, 1965, on Capitol Records. Produced by George Martin

John Lennon - Lead & Backing Vocals, Vocal Harmonies, Rhythm Guitars, Lead Guitar, Percussion
Paul McCartney - Lead & Backing Vocals, Vocal Harmonies, Bass, Percussion, Piano  
George Harrison - Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals, Vocal Harmonies, Lead Vocal
Ringo Starr – Drums & Percussion

All songs written by Lennon/McCartney, except where noted below.

SONG LEAD VOCALS   RATING
     
Kansas City (Leiber, Stoller) McCartney   7.0
Eight Days a Week Lennon 10.0
You Like Me Too Much (Harrison) Harrison   7.2
Bad Boy (Williams) Lennon   9.0
I Don't Want to Spoil the Party Lennon   8.4
Words of Love (Holly) Lennon & McCartney   7.0
What You're Doing McCartney   6.7
Yes It Is Lennon   6.4
Dizzy Miss Lizzie (Williams) Lennon   9.0
Tell Me What You See Lennon   6.8
Every Little Thing Lennon & McCartney   6.4
Ave.  

  7.7

REVIEW

Perhaps this album really should not have been made, not in the way it was put together anyway, clearly the weakest official released US Beatles album out there. Yet it went to number 1 on the charts, since any new material that Capitol Records would release by the Fabs at this point in time, was gonna sell big, and this did. 

Four of the songs on here come from the UK LP Beatles For Sale. Also included was the hit single “Eight Day a Week” along with its “B” side, “Yes It Is”. Since Capitol always released 12 songs per album, to fill out the album, they took two songs that the Beatles had recorded, and then rejected, and never released in the UK, “You Like Me Too Much” and “Tell Me What You See”. Finally, being two songs short for an album, Capitol got the Beatles to actually made a special trip to the studio to record two covers that they had been playing for years live, “Bad Boy” and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy”. That turned out to the best thing about Beatles IV, since these two great heavy duty rockers never would have been recorded otherwise.

But still, as far as a Beatles LP goes, this one isn’t full of great songs. “Eight Day a Week” is great, but it’s the only true “ten” found on here. Next two best songs are the two songs mentioned above, “Bad Boy”, and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” - I love the early acid guitar on this one. Then you have “I Don’t Want To Spoil the Party” which is also excellent; it should be noted that John Lennon sings the lead on all of these songs, he was truly a step ahead of Paul McCartney at this point.

- Keno 2007

To listen to some soundclips from BEATLES IV or to purchase it, click on: Vol. 2 - Capitol Albums [CD] icon


HELP!

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Released – August 13, 1965, on Capitol Records. Produced by George Martin

John Lennon - Lead & Backing Vocals, Vocal Harmonies, Rhythm & Lead Guitars, Harmonica, Percussion
Paul McCartney - Lead & Backing Vocals, Vocal Harmonies, Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Organ, Percussion 
George Harrison - Lead & Rhythm Guitars, Backing Vocals, Vocal Harmonies, Lead Vocal
Ringo Starr – Drums & Percussion

Additional Personal: John Scott – Flute on ““You Got To Hide Your Love Away”

All songs written by Lennon/McCartney, except "I Need You " by Harrison, and "In the Tyrol", "The Bitter End" and "The Chase" by Thorne.

SONG LEAD VOCALS   RATING
     
Help! Lennon 10.0
The Night Before McCartney 10.0
From Me to You Fantasy (instrumental) NR
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away Lennon 10.0
I Need You Harrison   7.4
In the Tyrol (instrumental) NR
Another Girl McCartney   8.7
Another Hard Day's Night (instrumental) NR
Ticket to Ride Lennon 10.0
The Bitter End/You Can't Do That (instrumental) NR
You're Gonna Lose That Girl Lennon 10.0
The Chase (instrumental) NR
Ave.  

9.4

REVIEW

First, take a look at that rating I gave this LP, a 9.4! But that is very misleading (sorry, I didn't mean it to be), as I didn't rate the instrumentals - since they are not rock numbers, nor do any of the Beatles play on them, and in turn these songs plain out suck! Well, other than one of them, the LP’s closer, “The Chase”, which actually is not that bad, but the rest of these songs are poor, I would have a hard time rating them more than a 1.0 at best.

Like I wrote up above, US Beatle fans got ripped off on this LP by Capitol. On the UK Help! version of this album, fans over there got 14 new Beatle songs to hear. In the US, Capitol only included seven new Beatle songs, along with the five terrible non-Beatle recorded instrumental songs. Why? Who knows for sure. But Beatle fans hated the instrumentals, and Paul McCartney said it best “We send it over here and they (Capitol) put the (movie score) soundtrack on. And, you know, if someone is gonna buy one of our records I think they want to hear us and not soundtrack”. No question Paul, thank goodness today we have CDs, which make it much easier to skip this trash that shows up on an otherwise great album.

In fact, minus the instrumentals, this LP is a masterpiece. Five of the seven Beatle songs are strong “tens”, including the title cut, “Help!”, which John Lennon wrote in one night, as time was running out on what they needed to pick for the movie’s title and main song. As John noted years later, he was actually writing a plea for help when he jotted down the song’s lyrics, as that was his feelings with all the pressure he and his band mates were under at the time.

John also wrote three more of the LPs best tunes, “You’re Gonna Lose That Girl”, “You Got To Hide Your Love Away” – where he tried to write a song in the style of Bob Dylan, with the song's title about their gay manager Brian Epstein; and finally, “Ticket To Ride”, even if I don’t understand how John can claim this is one of the first heavy metal songs made. I just don’t hear that, but I do hear some great lead guitar work in this song by Paul.

The last great classic song on Help! is a song Paul wrote, “The Night Before”. Not to take anything away for the two remaining Beatle songs on here, Paul’s  “Another Girl” and the George Harrison penned number “I Need You”.  Just wish a few more of those other songs from the UK LP could have found their way on here too. 

- Keno 2007

To listen to some soundclips from HELP! or to purchase it, click on: Vol. 2 - Capitol Albums [CD] icon


RUBBER SOUL

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Released –December 6, 1965, on Capitol Records. Produced by George Martin

John Lennon - Lead & Backing Vocals, Rhythm and Slide Guitars
Paul McCartney - Lead & Backing Vocals, Bass Guitar, Piano
George Harrison - Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Sitar, Backing and Lead Vocals
Ringo Starr – Drums & Percussion

All songs written by Lennon/McCartney, except “Think for Yourself”, written by George Harrison

SONG LEAD VOCALS RATING
     
I've Just Seen a Face McCartney   9.1
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) Lennon 10.0
You Won't See Me McCartney w/ Lennon   8.3
Think for Yourself Harrison   7.2
The Word Lennon W/ McCartney   7.5
Michelle McCartney 10.0
It's Only Love Lennon 10.0
Girl Lennon 10.0
I'm Looking Through You McCartney   9.0
In My Life Lennon 10.0
Wait Lennon W/ McCartney& Harrison   8.0
Run for Your Life Lennon   8.5
Ave.  

  8.94

REVIEW

Like the US release of Help!, the Capitol Records repackaged version of Rubber Soul just didn't seem as good as what the Beatles put together in the UK for Rubber Soul. Too many excellent songs were dropped, but still, this is a master album, just missing a few of its pieces; yet when rating each song on both LPs, well their final ratings are pretty much the same.

The LP opens up with a song found on the UK Help LP, “I’ve Just Seen A Face”, how nice of Capital to finally include this cool Paul McCartney song for us US fans, even if it ended up on the wrong LP! I still like “Drive My Car”, which lead off the UK album, a lot more as a lead-off song, yet heck, “Drive My Car” didn’t even make it on to this US album; but still, US fans didn’t really know what they were missing at the time this was released.

The best songs on here are John Lennon’s "Norwegian Wood", "In My Life" and “Girl”, along with the Lennon and Paul McCartney co-written number “"Michelle", which is sung by Paul. Really, all the songs on here are excellent, even if they weren’t the way the Beatles wanted them released on the album.

- Keno 2007

To listen to some soundclips from RUBBER SOUL or to purchase it, click on: Vol. 2 - Capitol Albums [CD] icon

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