Ahhhh “The Beatles 1”.
It’s not only one of the biggest selling CD’s of all time – with over 31 million copies sold so far around the world – it’s also, as of 2015, a fantastic collection of Beatles promo videos and live performances.
The original “Beatles 1” CD which came out in 2000 contained 27 number one hits that the Fab Four achieved in Britain and the U.S. The collection has been reissued on CD in 2011 in remastered from (taken from the 2009 Beatles remasters) and most recently in this new 2015 collection.
As a major Beatles fan I enjoyed the “1” CD but just the hits is never enough “Fab” for me so I rarely played it. So when word came the Giles Martin, son of original Beatles producer George Martin, was remixing all the hits on “1” and that a video compilation was going to be bundled with it I was overjoyed.
(Note: I prefer the 2011 remastered CD version of this album which sounds much better to me as I like the mastering better so that’s the one I play if I want to hear the album with the original mixes.)
A lot of Beatles video archive material came out with the Beatles Anthology project in 1995 but there was never a compilation of full length Beatles videos or live performances so this collection was a very welcome addition to The Beatles canon as far as I was concerned.
And of course Apple, The Beatles company, didn’t disappoint as the new “Beatles 1” collection contained beautifully restored video material including Beatles promos like “Strawberry Fields Forever”, “Penny Lane” both in glorious color as well as terrific black and white live performances like “From Me to You” (from their 1963 Royal Command Performance for the Queen), “She Loves You” (live from the Swedish TV Show “Drop-In”) and various promos they made in 1965 for broadcast around the world.
And as usual there were several versions of the new “Beatles 1” set with the mother load being called “The Beatles 1+” which contained a second DVD of Beatles performances including the reunion singles form 1995 “Free As a Bird” and “Real Love” which contain remixed versions of those songs by the songs producer Jeff Lynne which are truly great and need to be released on audio disc!
The Japanese DVD and Blu-Rays play in U.S. players and look fabulous.
Readers of this blog will know how much I enjoy SHM-CD’s so I thought it might be fun to take a look at two of the SHM-CD sets available in Japan as you don’t see their content much on the Web so here you are!
I really enjoy the remix Giles Martin did for the “1” audio disc and of course the SHM-CD version sounds best to me with a bit more clarity than the standard CD version.
The “1+” collection is a must-buy for any Beatles fan as it’s just a fun watch and listen and i doubt that you’d ever get these videos to look much better. The Blu-Ray is the best looking version but the DVD isn’t too far behind as it looks great as well.
If you’re not into import versions the standard U.S. versions of this collection have the same content and are well worth tracking down in these dying days of physical media.
I believe most of these videos are up on YouTube as well (or somewhere on the Web) but above you can fest you eyes on the truly lovely sets from Japan that both also contain nice informative booklets as well.
I really hope that the Beatles Anthology collection gets a nice upgrade as well but who knows now that record companies are starting to shy away from physical product. Time will tell.
Well that’s it for now. TGIF wherever you are in the world today.
Until next time be well and enjoy this first day of summer!