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Showing 1-10 of 106 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 331 reviews
on October 2, 2013
I purchased this on 9/30/2013 from Amazon directly (not through a 3rd party seller on Amazon), and received it today. I understand that some people appear to have gotten the Japanese packaging/pressing, although the reviews seem to indicate that the purchases were through Amazon 3rd party sellers. I am happy to report that Amazon sent me the correct, Capitol USA edition, in the so-called "Long-box" as pictured. I am just as happy to report that I love the way these sound, just like I remember them from way back -- the original USA mixes, beautifully transferred to CD. If I had to summarize the overall difference between these and the 2009 UK sets, I say that the Capitol versions definitely have more of a "pop music" sound, due to the reverb, and the more "up-front" sound, boosted on both the treble and the bass. Even though I also own the 2009 remasters, I am glad I have these. They are great to have.
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on September 16, 2009
I'm only in my early 30's but, growing up in the 80's, I frequently heard The Beatles through my dad's HUGE record player. I mean it was like a piece of furniture. He had all these albums on LP. When I got a CD player in the early 90's I picked up some of the early Beatle CD's. One's like With the Beatles and A Hard Day's Night. I looked at these and thought "What's With the Beatles and why does A Hard Day's Night have more songs on it?" Well, I soon found out that this was the way that their albums were released in the UK. They made less albums and had more songs on each album. Also, until much later they did not put singles on their albums. Which meant no singles like "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" or "She Loves You" on a UK album until later with the Past Master's Collection. None of that was really a big deal to me. What was a big deal was how these songs sounded on the UK albums. First of all, most of The Beatles CD's made in the late 80's sound tinny and lacked weight compared to their LP's that I was used to listening to. Second, they were missing that "echo" or reverb that the Capitol LP's had which, for me, really added something to their music. I know that The Beatles did not intend for their songs to have those extra background effects but this was what I grew up with. My father cannot stand the UK versions. He told me that they sounded too "clean" and "sterile."

This past year I decided to finally pick up this box set to see if these were the versions that my father and I remember. First, about the packaging. Yea, it's pretty cheap. My bootleg Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl has nicer packaging. The CD's do fall out easily. I took them out of the box and put them in seperate plastic holders. The booklet is nice though featuring some pictures I've not seen before and some interesting info.

As soon as I popped in Meet the Beatles I knew this was the way I rembered them. Capitol did right by simply remastering (not remixing) the albums and leaving in all that reverb. There is no comparison to the late 80's UK CD's. These one's blow them away. They're much more dynamic have that "weight" that some of the UK CD's were missing. They also have much more bass than the old ones. Capitol also included the mono versions too. Unlike the new re-masters which make you buy an overpriced Mono Box Set to get them. Meaning each CD has the stereo mixes first followed by the original mono versions. This is really nice since I do like the mono versions of some of their songs. In a few (mostly Meet the Beatles) of the stereo mixes the vocals are sent to the right channel with reverb coming through the left. This is cool on some of their songs but others I prefer the vocals to be front and center.

Keep in mind that A Hard Days Night is not on here because the US version was contolled by United Artists who have the rights to the film. But many of the songs ("And I Love Her", "If I Fell", "I'll Cry Instead", "Tell Me Why", and "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" among a few others) from that movie are on Something New. I did get the re-mastered UK A Hard Day's Night this past week because I wanted a "good" version of "I Should Have Known Better." I also wanted to do some comparison's between the versions on Something New and the one's on the re-mastered UK version of A Hard Days Night. I simply liked the versions on Something New better. I like that extra reverb and the music just has more "authority" on the Capitol versions. My advice is if you like the Capitol albums buy the two box sets for their older albums and get the UK one's for their later (Rubber Soul onward) ones. If you want to do some comparisons take the Beatles 65' versions of "I Feel Fine" and "She's A Woman" and listen to them after the versions that are on Past Masters. Wow! You may hate the US versions or like them. Me. I love them because that's how I remember The Beatles.
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on January 22, 2014
I bought this box set along with Volume 2 after reading all the negative reviews about the US Albums Box Set. I also bought the US Albums box set to get the last remaining Capital Albums not issued in these two sets. First off I love the mini LP CD holders, like everyone else has said the color could have been better, after holding them side by side to the new US Albums Box set there is a huge difference in the color and clarity of the Album Artwork. I also noticed that the LP cases are significantly smaller than the new US Box Set version. All of the CD tracks are from the original Capital master tapes NOT the UK EMI masters. My third CD didn't work, it had a bubble defect on the bottom near the center of the disc preventing it from working in my computer, I got it to work on my CD player but track #1 didn't play at all and Track #2 was very broken up but tracks 3 through 22 worked great...Go Figure? Amazon was very courteous and fast at sending out a replacement set. If your a collector of mint condition packaging this set will disappoint you, the way it was put together any way they ship it the outer box will be dented or torn but the actual CD's and LP Album Artwork should be mint like mine was. If you looking for the original US releases as you remember them then this is the set for you :)
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on August 16, 2011
I'm in my mid-sixties now but "back in the day" I bought all the Beatles first ten or so albums. But getting married, having kids, moving many times, changing jobs etc I lost track of my stuff. You have rummage sales and sell things you think you've outgrown. Well I just got my vol.1 of The Beatles Capitol Albums. Sure, the packaging is kind of cheap but I loved the miniature covers of the first four albums. I remember how I felt when I'd come home with each one and look at them as I listened. And the music! Listening to the crap that kids listen to now days is like just hearing strung-out notes and high tech noises and altered voices so who knows if people can even sing? But these Beatles songs are actually songs! I remember every word and every note, and some of the lesser album cuts that weren't hits I also can sing along with or just relish with a cold beer or two. I've listened to rock and pop music all my life but that old saying "They don't record tunes like this anymore" is true. I just love this music and I'm glad I got it.
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on March 20, 2014
In 50 years the record companies have released and re-released many Beatles compilations. All good. And while I realize that when the Beatles released albums over seas, their original versions were different from those that Capitol records released here in the U.S., the Capitol, U.S. versions are the ones that I grew up listening to and devouring and the ones that I used to learn how to play Beatles songs. When all of the remixed CD British versions came out, of course I bought them and listened, but they weren't MY memories. The songs were in the "wrong" order and in some cases on the wrong albums. I learned to enjoy them anyway in the new (at the time) CD format. But when I put these CD s on....Beatles heaven! Takes me right back to the excitement of the Beatles coming onto the world stage and dominating the charts. These versions ARE my memories and I'm loving it. Having both stereo and mono versions is a nice touch. A must have for those who still pull the vinyl out to hear the Beatles but whose turntables are in need of repair. Enjoy.
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on February 20, 2016
I'm a huge fan of The Beatles! I own The Capitol Albums Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 box sets; these original mixes by Capitol sound better than the other box sets subsequently listed here. I also own the U.S. Albums box set, the 2009 mono box set, and the 2009 stereo box set as well as various other compilations, DVDs, and solo efforts by the band members.

When the The Capitol Albums Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 box sets were released, I thought that they were redundant and not worth buying on their own merits. Boy, was I wrong! While I was too young to listen to The Beatles in the Sixties by a decade, I can fully appreciate how longtime fans would want and love these Capitol box set releases finally. Meet The Beatles!, The Beatles' Second Album, Something New, and Beatles '65 are all on Vol. 1 and are absolutely essential! The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, Help! (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), and Rubber Soul are on Vol. 2 and three out of the four albums are also absolutely essential! Help! (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is highly enjoyable but I wouldn't say it's essential. Unlike the U.K. albums, the U.S. albums that Capitol released did include the singles.

I'd also recommend buying the following U.S. albums from the U.S. Albums box set: A Hard Day's Night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack); Yesterday And Today (for the butcher cover and, of course, for the music); and Hey Jude. If you don't already own the U.K. version of Revolver, then buy that version because it is The Beatles' greatest album in a peerless discography and the U.S. Album version of Revolver chops off three songs. Technically, Magical Mystery Tour is also a U.S. Album release. Capitol released it in the Sixties to "pad out" the U.K.'s EP version of it. Notice how Magical Mystery Tour "only" has 11 tracks on it like so many of the other U.S. albums? EMI/Parlophone liked Capitol's release so much that they made it part of their U.K. discography. It's a shame that lawsuits prevented the release of The Capitol Albums Vol. 3 box set, but this is the best way to complete The Beatles' U.S. album releases.

Personally, my favorite U.S. album releases are Meet The Beatles!, A Hard Day's Night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Beatles '65, and Rubber Soul. I think it's a toss up between Meet The Beatles! and Beatles '65 as far as the best U.S. album.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: I bought the Criterion Collection's remastered, re-released dual DVD, A Hard Day's Night, too! I highly recommend that!
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on March 15, 2014
I'm really glad to have purchased this set. I'm 61 and remember watching the Ed Sullivan show and soon after begged my parents to buy the Something New album. I know the album by heart and listening to the EU version just never worked for me. The sound quality is great and exactly as I remember it, like the reverb on Harrison's opening lead of Roll Over Beethoven, or Paul's bass on I'll Cry Instead. The packaging is a bit flimsy and the cases are just plain thin cardboard, no liner, but if you're careful they should be ok.
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on November 17, 2004
To my ears, the Beatles' first few albums' worth of material always sounded better on vinyl than they did on CD. One reason I never got rid of my turntable was that I preferred my vinyls of those old Capitol albums and 45s. Those records JUMPED, sparkled and crackled with life; by comparison, the "standard" versions on the CDs sounded flat, almost lifeless. ("Lifeless" being a relative expression, of course; this is the BEATLES we're talking about!)

I always point to "Tell Me Why" on the HARD DAY'S NIGHT CD as a perfect case study. On the HARD DAY'S NIGHT compact disc, the mix sounds almost muffled, subdued; by contrast, the American vinyl mix is amped up and charged with electricity. The group's compact disc catalog is rife with examples like this, where the CD release just sounded like it was MISSING something.

Whether or not the Capitol vinyl mixes were "officially sanctioned" or "approved by the group," they SOUNDED GREAT. And they sounded great for a reason: back then, the Capitol engineers knew how to mix and equalize tracks so they'd sound good on ANYTHING: on a car radio, handheld transistor, home "hi fi", pool PA speaker... whatever.

I was thrilled when I heard that Capitol was finally going to issue their first four Beatles Lps (MEET THE BEATLES, THE BEATLES' SECOND ALBUM, SOMETHING NEW, and BEATLES '65) on CD; even more thrilled when I saw that those discs would couple the mono and stereo mixes; and ecstatic when I finally got the package and listened to it. This set FINALLY presents the Beatles' records, on CD, the way that I remember hearing them. This includes, regrettably, the inclusion of "duophonic" (fake stereo; ie, a mono signal rechanneled with reverb and high end in one channel and low end in the other) versions of tracks that were originally issued in that format on the vinyls, but the point was not to present authoritative, standard versions of the group's recordings; those have already been released. The point was to present these albums as they sounded when they were originally released stateside. And they did a great job: to my ears, they've succeeded.

I always preferred the way the Beatles' music sounded on vinyl, and nothing has been lost in transferring these masters to CD. Purists, of course, can and will stand by their Official Beatles Standard Compact Disc Issues of WITH THE BEATLES and BEATLES FOR SALE. But for anyone who grew up with the group in the USA... who remembers buying their stereo albums and switching off the vocals so they could sing along with the instrumental tracks... who heard the HARD DAY'S NIGHT cd and could've SWORN they remembered, on SOMETHING NEW, that Paul's voice cracked in the bridge of "If I Fell"... who loved the goofy liner notes and photos and advertisements for the Beatles' other albums on the back covers... who loved the spacious stereo on tracks like "Rock and Roll Music" and "When I Get Home" and then cringed at the locker-room-reverb on "I Feel Fine" and "She's A Woman"... who just couldn't get used to the idea of a CD track lineup that didn't follow "I Saw Her Standing There" with "This Boy"... for you, it's all here, sounding just as good as those old vinyls in your basement... and you don't even have to run and buy a new needle for your turntable.

My only quibble: I would have liked to have read a little bit more about the engineering and about the A&R decision making that went into assembling these albums for US release... but that's all covered elsewhere, I'm sure.

Definitely essential for Beatles fans who miss their vinyl!
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on April 21, 2010
Although the stereo mixes of many of The Beatles' tracks were done well, many more were not. I especially detest the tracks that completely divided the vocals from the instrumentation, putting the vocals out in right field and the instrumentation on the left. This sounds very unnatural and often muffles the drums and/or lead guitar, or drops the volume on some of the vocals.
The mono versions of their songs, as presented here, are exactly what I remember from my original and long lost LPs. That great Beatles sound comes together in one single sound blast and hits you square in the face.
The albums in this collection sound great and are worth the purchase, especially if you miss the old mono tracks, as I do.
Other reviewers, however, were correct....and packaging is very poor. The breakaway box containing the 4 CDs (and a rather redundant and worthless booklet) allows the CDs to fall out of the box if it is not carefully opened. The box itself is made of very cheap cardboard. A set containing all of these Capitol gems, and The Beatles themselves, deserve better. It is still worth buying for a true Beatles fan.
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on November 20, 2004
This is a fantastic package to round-out any Beatles collection and presents the stereo versions of most of their earlier work for the first time. The packaging is a little cheap and the booklet uninspired, but the sound is great.

Don't buy these for the mono versions (unless you don't have the Parlophone standardized releases), as the differences from the Parlophone versions are too subtle. DO buy these for the stereo versions which, at this time, do not exist at this quality level anywhere else. I have compared the sound on these CD's to my nearly pristine LP's - it is identical (minus the occasional crackling of the needle).

There are 38 true stereo (as created by the Beatles) and seven "duophonic" fake stereo songs in this package, for a total of 45 songs (not counting the mono versions). The seven "duophonic" songs are, She Loves You, I'll Get You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, This Boy, You Can't Do That, I Feel Fine and She's A Woman. These were all singles and did not have stereo mixes until many years later (some still don't) so, Capitol fake-stereoed them so that they fit a little better on the stereo albums. Additionally, Capitol added echo to eight songs on the Second Album (excluding You Can't Do That, She Loves You and I'll Get You) as well as heavy echo to I Feel Fine and She's A Woman. Capitol did all this in 1964.

Critics will say that the seven "duophonic" or ten echo-treated mixes were not what the Beatles intended - and they are correct. However, critics cannot change history. When stereo equipment became commonplace in 1965, and we all upgraded our mono collections to stereo, the sounds on these CD's is what stereo Beatlemania was to America. This is the original sound that America knew and, as we all know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I still have a little trouble listening to the "correct" versions issued by Parlophone.
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