Objectivity be damned; this is The Beatles we’re talking about. The single, most important cultural entity to happen in my lifetime; merely a rock and roll band who re-shaped traditions – musically and on a grander, far deeper social scale. But not to quickly digress, they also made the most memorable and beloved music in modern history. Two of them are now dead and they continue to live on as new, younger generations are finding them/finding out about them and how crucial they were and are, most importantly, musically.
So here’s another repacking with a neat addition. The stripped down and wildly successful 1 collection (originally released in 2000) has now been remastered and reissued with a restored DVD/Bluray set of the band’s promo films – some actually shot when the Fabs were a going entity – to create 1+. The pictures are sharper than before; the sound is dynamic and, of course, the music is just as thrilling now as it was then.
From the CD edition, you get all the singles that reached the top of the charts (although “Love Me Do” was not a #1 hit, as we all know, but it was their debut on Parlophone and for the U.S. market, “Penny Lane” was seen as the A-side and “Strawberry Fields Forever” the B-side, hence its non-inclusion); the first disc of the DVD gives you all the corresponding film clips to the songs; the second disc are some of the B-sides and alternate versions to promo films that haven’t been seen before or for many years – like the color “performance” videos for “Paperback Writer” (favorite song of all-time, by the way) and “Rain”. Watching the restored “Strawberry Fields Forever” film is wonderful – as it was innovative for its time and the goofy playfulness between John and Paul during the performance of “We Can Work It Out” is a joy.
Tastefully packaged in a slipcase and hardcover, bound book, this is a perfect gift for any Beatles fan and even more importantly, a perfect primer for someone younger or not yet experienced in the beauty and necessity of knowing who and what The Beatles were. This is simply a must for anyone and everyone. This is something that could be used in a classroom – believe me, I know. For someone like me, it’s just another nice piece to add to a beloved collection that began when I was first learning to walk.
It’s The Beatles. Isn’t that really all you need?
ESSENTIAL LISTENING & VIEWING – PLAY LOUD
1+ is available now