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The Beatles: 1962-1966 (The Red Album)

4.5 out of 5 stars 542 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 5, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Available for the first time on compact disc, this 16-track retrospective spans the Beatles' early career, from "Love Me Do" to "Yellow Submarine."
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Artist: BEATLES
Title: 1962-66
Street Release Date: 10/05/1993
Domestic
Genre: ROCK/POP

Amazon.com

The closest the Beatles came to a greatest hits package, this document of the early part of their career features hit singles (in chronological order) and selected album tracks, running from "Love Me Do" through the groundbreaking Rubber Soul and Revolver albums. While this may be an excellent intro for beginners, real fans will never be content with only selections, especially when you're dealing with those aforementioned albums. Capitol packages the collection on two discs, copying the original vinyl version--but, of course, CDs hold more music than records did. Still, you do get 26 bona fide classics, so there's no real need to complain. --Bill Holdship

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 5, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000002UYZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (542 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,499 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Barry TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 19, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Commonly known as the "Red Album", the 2LP vinyl set "1962 - 1966" became an instant classic when it was first released in April 1973 (as did its "Blue" counterpart "1967-1970"). When they were finally reissued onto the new CD format in 1993 however, they caused consternation because of their extortionate full price.

So is this newly remastered 2010 mid-priced 2CD reissue on EMI/Apple 5099990675225 any better - the answer is an emphatic 'yes'.

PACKAGING:
The first thing you notice is that the clunky double jewel-case of the 1993 reissue has been dumped for a three-way foldout card sleeve. The centre and right flaps picture the photograph on the inner gatefold of the original vinyl double album (St. Pancras Old Church in London, 27 July 1969, The Beatles with the public looking through the railings). It also houses the two CDs - CD1 has the full Apple label (13 tracks, 31:02 minutes) and the 2nd CD has the half Apple logo (13 tracks, 31:45 minutes). The vinyl set is yet to come, the Digital Download versions are available from 25 Oct 2010 and there's also an issue that lumps both the Red & Blue reissues together as one package in late November.

The left flap houses a new 32-page booklet. The lyrics are intact from the inner sleeves of the original album issue, there's new liner notes by BILL FLANAGAN the MTV Executive and author of "Evening's Empire" (a book on Rock in the Sixties) and there's plenty of superb colour photos from the period - it's impressively done. Downsides - some complained that the 09/09/09 card digipak sleeves for The Beatles reissues were easy to smudge once out of the shrinkwrap and worse - the inner flaps easy to tear as you removed the disc. I'm afraid these are the same.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought the red and the blue on vinyl when they were released in 1973. At that time, album sides could not hold 30 minutes of music, hence the need for a double album.
The CD version was planned for 1992 then delayed until 1993. Prior to both projected release dates, it was announced that it would be a double disc affair even though the entire two albums could fit on one disc with 15 minutes to spare.
If this is due to the desire of preserving the original appearance of the album as a double anthology, I don't buy it.
Today, double discs are now presented in the slim CD case that look like single CDs. Therefore, they should release its blue album this way, put the red album on one disc and they would look comparable.
That way we would save a few bucks. Now for the music...
The first four songs are mono. The two track stereo tapes for Love Me Do and She Loves You are no longer in existence.
When The Beatles rerecorded their two biggest hits I Want To Hold Your Hand and She Loves You in German in early 1964, they were able to just record the vocal track over the existing backing track of Hand. Since She Loves You's two tracks had been erased, they had to record a whole new rendition.
Please Please Me and From Me To You are also in mono. There are stereo masters for these but since Please Please Me in stereo has a vocal flub it was not used. It was announced there was no clean stereo master for From Me To You.
I do enjoy this compilation. It's great to have these songs remastered in the early 1990's, and I love hearing All My Loving, Can't Buy Me Love, A Hard Day's Night, And I Love Her, and Eight Days A Week in stereo.
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Format: Audio CD
I must admit to feeling a bit foolish for buying the Red & Blue albums AGAIN this time, despite already owning the Mono Box and the 9/9/9 Abbey Rd and Let It Be editions. The reason I got these is that when I first owned Beatles music on vinyl, I actually had these Red & Blue sets before I got most of the individual Beatles albums (except Abbey Rd & the White album). I've most likely listened to Red & Blue as much or more often than the individual albums. The specific sequence of songs on these two double albums just feels "right" to me, and I want to experience that again in this newly remastered form. Experiencing it all over again is just as grand: the wonderful harmonies, marvelous playing, amazing production, and - most of all - the terrific, life-altering songs.

One thing is strange to me, the decision to include mono mixes only with the first four (oldest) songs. Why didn't they use mono mixes of ALL the older material? (or none?) The stereo mix of "All My Loving" has the vocals only on the right channel. I would definitely have preferred the mono mix there! That's not a show-stopper, though. The overall sound quality of this edition of Red is excellent, and I've overcome my feeling of foolishness and am glad I bought this new Red.

I don't have the same negative opinion of the packaging as reviewer Mark Barry does. It looks pretty sturdy to me; I don't see the cardboard slots housing the two discs tearing apart anytime soon. I would have liked plastic sleeves for the two discs, but otherwise this packaging is OK by me.

One other note: I feel incredibly dense to have just picked up on this after many decades of being a Beatles fan -- when put together with the White album, these two collections make "Red, White & Blue." I must be the only person in the world not to see that for all these years.
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