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Is it worth purchasing an album for two songs?
on October 28, 2009
It is stretching things a little bit to describe this as a Beatles album, since half of the album is taken up with George Martin's orchestral score for the movie. Many of these tunes are pleasant enough, and it's certainly of interest to Martin fans, but the reality is they are not Beatles songs.
So only half of the album (six songs) are Beatles' efforts. And only four of them are new. And only two of those are worth shelling out for. Are two songs worth the cost of a whole album?
Die-hard fans will no doubt answer "yes", but I'm not sure what they'll make of this. 'Yellow Submarine' and 'All You Need is Love' are Beatle classics and certainly worthy of another listen, but the fact is that these are not new songs. Of the four songs that actually are new, 'All Together Now' is a throwaway, and the self-consciously ironic 'Only A Northern Song' is not much more. In contrast, 'Hey Bulldog' is a great song; with a catchy stomping riff, a good performance from Lennon on vocals, and a singalong chorus. And Harrison's epic 'It's All Too Much' is clearly the best of the lot; like many Harrison-penned Beatle songs of the late 60's, it seems to point the way forward to 'All Things Must Pass'.
So two outstanding songs from the mid 60's, a couple of good new songs, some filler, and half an album's worth of orchestral noodling. Even allowing for the old "Beatle throwaways are better than most band's best music" theory, this is a very underwhleming release, and not really a proper Beatles album at all. It's definitely not the place to start for casual fans. Recommended for the ultra-dedicated Beatle fan only, and even then solely for completeness' sake.