1962 - 1966
My first Beatles album and the third album I ever bought. My original copy is long gone, worn out from excessive playing on a cheap phonograph. I bought a replacement copy in the early 1990s, mostly because of nostalgia since I already had every song on here on other vinyl albums. My original copy was on Apple, but this is the later Capitol pressing. This is perhaps the ideal introduction to the Beatles, it is greatly preferable to the more recent comp, "1" which lacks such crucial early songs as "Please Please Me," "Norwegian Wood," "Nowhere Man" and "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away." This record certainly served me well. I got countless hours of enjoyment from it. The music on here was so mesmerizing, so different from the music I knew on the radio, it was truly enchanting. I played it endlessly marveling at the Beatles' eclecticism and sheer charm. So many wonderful songs flowing one after another, an incredible display of songwriting genius, I had struck the mother lode. It was like opening Pandora's Box, I was now hooked forever on the Beatles. This record cheered me up so many times during my unhappy sojourn in Salt Lake City, it transported me out of my hateful existence to a much better place and for that I loved the Beatles as if they were my brothers. As a kid not knowing anything about the Beatles' personal lives, I naively assumed that the picture in the gatefold featured them posing with their families. I stared at the picture speculating who was related to which Beatle based on family resemblance. Of course the picture is no such thing, but rather it is just a bunch of lucky strangers posing with the Fabs in the garden of St. Pancras Church in London, one of the many locations they visited during the celebrated "Mad Day Out" photo session in July 1968. It remains one of my favorite Beatles pictures. I still enjoy this album, I might quibble about some of the tracks and lots of my favorites are not on it, but it is still a nice mix of music, well-chosen and presented in chronological order which really helps one appreciate how rapidly the Beatles grew musically during those 4 years. If you don't know this music already, I'm not sure why you'd be reading this blog, this is the most essential music in the history of rock. It should be the cornerstone of any rock record collection. If you are a Beatles fan, you must have it and if you are not a Beatles fan, then what the heck is wrong with you? Recommended for everybody who likes pop music.