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Old Nov 17, 2004, 10:46 AM   #1
Legs
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Default The Capitol Albums - An Overview

The way I see it there are 3 reasons why one would buy the set.
1. Because of sentimental values, the albums as they were presented to the U.S. fans back in 1964.
2. The different versions of the songs as they appear on those albums.
3. The sound quality. Possible better sounding versions of the songs, then on the U.K. cd releases.

To start with the last, there isn’t an easy black and white answer. The sound quality of the first two Capitol albums wasn’t that great back then to begin with. I really have problems listening to these two. A constant buzz inhabits my ears, thanks to the echo added. Capitol is almost proud of its duo phonic sound, and U.S. fans will most likely swear by it, because that’s how they first heard it. But words like compressing and reverb make me want to reach for the nearest bucket, so does the name Dave Dexter for that matter who credited himself with U.S. producer. That said however, Capitol would have missed the point if they used the U.K. master tapes and remastered the songs all anew in pristine sound quality. That’s something I am still hoping Apple/Emi would do for the U.K. catalogue. No this is how the albums are supposed to sound. The other two albums have much better sound. The songs sound better then on their U.K. counterparts. Something new is my favourite of the set, with sound that blows you away, and puts the U.K. cd’s to shame. And just listen to the bass, that instrument has been given a boost here. It’s almost like listening to the songs for the first time.
Beatles ’65 also sounds good for the most part. Only the stereo versions of “She’s A Woman” and “I Feel Fine” are horrific, but again they are suppose to sound that way on that album.

A different running order alone isn’t enough for me to buy the songs again. Most of us will have a cd burner and all the songs officially released by the Beatles are released on cd, the singles are on Past Master, so you can make your own collections in whatever order you wish. Fortunately Capitol made the right decision by using the original U.S. masters but let’s go back to the running orders and what is so different and why.
The U.S. albums doesn’t hold any sentimental values to me, cause simply I wasn’t born neither in the U.S. neither did I grew up in the 60’s. But from reading about these releases, many thanks to Bruce Spizer, I’ve come to understand a bit the times when they were released, and the different policies in the U.S. and the U.K. Some strange policy’s existed on both sides of the ocean, which doesn’t apply today. The Beatles weren’t the only artists who had their albums butchered up, it was common practise in those days. The Beatles also had a difficult start in the U.S. When “I Want To Hold Your Hand” became a huge hit after a few flops, Capitol wanted to be play it save by putting the single on their first album release. While in England singles usually didn’t end up on albums, not making the fans wanting to buy the same songs twice. That’s what costed “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane” their inclusion on Pepper when they were rush released as 7” singles.

Most of “Please Please Me” was released by the American record label Vee-Jay, on their “Introducing the Beatles” album.. It wasn’t till after Vee-Jay lost it’s right to the Beatles to Capitol in October 1964, that Capitol released their version of the album, calling it “The Early Beatles. We all know that Capitol had turned down the Beatles in the first place, leaving them only with “I Saw Her Standing There” the B side of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” to include on “Meet The Beatles”. ”I Saw Her Standing There” is a really strong opening song to “Please Please Me”, but it’s understandable that “Meet The Beatles” would start with their current hit “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. The rest of the album came from “With The Beatles” its U.K. counterpart, and the B side of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” in England.
Most of the running order from “With The Beatles was left in tact. “It Won’t Be Long” was moved to the fourth place after “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and its U.S. and U.K. b. sides, while it was the opening song on “With The Beatles”, but after that the running order remains the same till “Till There Was You”. A few more songs from “With The Beatles” brings “Meet The Beatles to a total of 12 songs. Mechanical license fees for each songs, prevented more songs to be included, leaving a few songs from “With The Beatles” which were used for Capitol’s “Second Album”.

Because most of the songs from “With The Beatles” were being used, the style of the album remains consistent for the most part. Tho the Beatles were developing, and they were developing fast. And while “I Saw Her Standing There” was recorded in the same year as the rest of the album, it’s already a different kind of song then the others. Even in the short time between “Please Please Me” and “With The Beatles” the Beatles have developed their sound, While the constant shifting of songs by Capitol doesn’t have much effect on this album, and I admit not so much on the other three, “Beatles ’65” is the same as “Beatles For Sale” for the most part. It becomes a problem later on. I can also single out a song like “You Can’t Do That” together with earlier songs like “Please Mr. Postman” and “She Loves you”, it’s already beginning to clash. And Capitol really should have stopped butchering up the Beatles albums when “Help!” was released. The Beatles already had proved their staying power, that Capitol shouldn’t have worried how U.S. fans would take an album presented to them, finished and all. “Beatles VI” is an awkward album with Beatles songs as they sounded in 1965 “You Like Me To Much” “Tell Me What You See” and “Yes It Is” along with earlier songs from all over the place.

Of course Capitol cut its fingers when releasing “Yesterday and Today”, or rather when it was time to release “Revolver”. When coming three songs short for their “Yesterday and Today” compilation, sorry I mean album, George Martin selected three from the 6 “Revolver” songs they had finished at the time. With no extra material left in the form of single releases not included on albums, the U.S. fans just got an Revolver album with three less songs then the U.K. version of the album. Also since the three songs Martin gave to Capitol were all Lennon songs, Lennon is under represented. With three songs George Harrison has more songs on a Beatles album then John, with just two songs. Thankfully “Revolver” was the last album that had a different line up then the U.K. release. Imagine an “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” without “A Day In The Life” but instead the song “Rain” as closing song. Perhaps more likely would have been “Strawberry Fields”, but “Rain” gets my point across much better.

Maybe the other U.S. albums will follow, after all what would be the point of calling something volume 1 when there isn’t going to be a volume 2 at least. It’s not going to be something I really wish for, but no doubt I’ll buy it when the time comes. Which reminds me to go back to the issue of why did I bought this set. Well as a collector I want to be as complete as possible. The U.S. albums are as much part of the Beatles history as the U.K. albums are. This box set release makes collection all the different U.S. mixes much easier, you get for example the longer U.S. mono version of “I’ll Cry Instead” 2:09 instead of 1 minute 48.Will I listen to these albums very often? The first two is a clear no, they are nice novelties, but not worth to have my ears bleed. “Something New” will find a place in my cd player quite often, I really like it. And every once in awhile I’ll listen to Beatles ’65.
I am glad to have the set. The album covers are beautifully reproduced, but you got to be careful in handling the box, the cd’s fall out easily. The book looks nice, some nice photo’s but not much information. I am glad to have this set, and it’s a good thing it has been released for all the U.S. fans.

If you don’t care much about the running orders, and don’t want to spend much money collecting every song, the easiest way is just collect all the U.K. releases on cd. Like I said every song the Beatles have officially released are available on cd. Past Masters volume 1 and Volume 2, gathers together all the singles B sides and E.P.’s, if you care more about different versions and mixes of songs, and you have some more money to spend, buy this Capitol set also.
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 11:22 AM   #2
Tim
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

Legs, the only 2 tracks on Meet The beatles! in duophonic/reprocessed stereo are I Want To Hold Your Hand and This Boy,as they were not yet mixed in stereo in Jan 64. The rest of it is the UK stereo masters with some echo and different E/Q.
The Second Album has 8/11 true stereo, You Can't Do that's stereo mix not being ready until the UK AHDN LP, and of course there'll NEVER be a true stereo mix for either I'll get You or She Loves You, but again the WTB tracks are the UK masters with echo and reverb and different E/Q,Long Tall Sally and I Call Your Name were rougher early mixes (not finally done for the EP until late May), and Thank You Girl of course ahs the harmonica in the break in the stereo, which appeared on very few LPs.
The main reasons for the E/Q/balance changes as well as the echo and reverb, were the needs of American Radio (in the UK and much of the world, the 1 state radio network either didn't play "pop" records or had restricted needle time and therefore the acts would do their own radio shows a la Pop Go The beatles). The UK mixes wouldn't fare well on the US radio equipment of the era.
The different and shorter running orders was due to practices of ASCAP and BMI concerning royalty payments (in the UK it was per disc divided up by percentage, in the USA per song with each song being no less than 8.5 percent or more than 10 percent,i.e. a mandated 10 to 12 track LP) in a convention not ended until around 1968.
I agree with your assessments on Something and 65, though I Feel Fine and She's A Womn were due to their not being told the GM had already added echo to these tracks, plus having gotten them too soon to the issue date, there being needed due to the sheer size of the USA a lot more lead time to guarantee ample supplies of the LP for the release date). EMI should have made them stereo masters....
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 11:29 AM   #3
Legs
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

[ QUOTE ]
The different and shorter running orders was due to practices of ASCAP and BMI concerning royalty payments (in the UK it was per disc divided up by percentage, in the USA per song with each song being no less than 8.5 percent or more than 10 percent,i.e. a mandated 10 to 12 track LP)

[/ QUOTE ]

I know that, I even mentioned it albeit briefly. And I know about the different mixes and why they were being made. I just gave an fair and balanced review. at least I think I gave and fair an balanced review, of what I think about it. I don't like the sound of the first two albums, I know the excuses and I am happy to have it because of the mono and stereo mixes, but I just can't listen to them, it's as simple as that.

Thanks for the additional info tho.
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 12:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

here a little Picture Gallery from the Booklet:

I took out the pictures because Legs intended this to be a review topic only. So please no pictures, thanks.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 08:40 AM   #5
chiliace
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

If John Lennon thought the US versions were"crap, just horrible", why on earth would I spend all that money on this transparent money grab? After all, if he was happy with the UK releases, and thought they represented the true Beatle sound, what more do I need? We waste our lives "spending and aquiring" to what avail?
Really, how many times will you listen to the slightly different versions? Does it justify the expenditure?
Maybe just a Fool on the Hill, but I do get a view from up here,
Chiliace
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 11:57 PM   #6
LovinLennon909
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

You don't need to sound so angry, chiliace. Nobody was accusing you of not having a view. I'm sure you'll find that the people here are quite nice and friendly! Anyway, welcome
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Old Nov 28, 2004, 03:35 AM   #7
Legs
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

[ QUOTE ]
chiliace Posted:
If John Lennon thought the US versions were"crap, just horrible", why on earth would I spend all that money on this transparent money grab? After all, if he was happy with the UK releases, and thought they represented the true Beatle sound, what more do I need? We waste our lives "spending and aquiring" to what avail?
Really, how many times will you listen to the slightly different versions? Does it justify the expenditure?
Maybe just a Fool on the Hill, but I do get a view from up here,
Chiliace

[/ QUOTE ]

First a welcome to the board. Hadn't seen you before.

To answere your question, we are all fans of the Beatles in here but we are all different sort of fans also. Some think the set is exploitation by Capitol, others wish the set was released much earlier.Like I said I care about having these different mixes, this Capitol set makes it easier to obtain them. And I don't have to justify obtaining the set.

I don't care to collect all kinds of memorabilia. I have no interest and place for them. But I don't say to a fan who collects them, why waste your money collecting these old stuff, do you actually play with your Beatles dolls or puzle? No need to put anyone down.

Thank you.
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Old Nov 30, 2004, 11:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

Thanks for your reply, LovinLennon909. Upon reviewing my post I have come to realize my tone was less than objective, and I have some insight into why I came across (cross,subconsciously?) as angry. The depth and scope of the knowledge of the Beatles recordings found in this forum is something new to me. Perhaps I've loved the Beatles on a gut level, ignoring the finer points and intricacies that are indeed important. In plainer terms, I'm somewhat out of my depth here, and I intend to listen more to what is said by those who have rightly earned the respect of fellow members.
I agree with you about people here being nice and friendly. Thankyou for your welcome. I'll do my best to fit in, without the attitude of my previous post.
sincerely,
chiliace
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Old Dec 01, 2004, 12:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

Legs, thank you for your welcome, especially after my ungracious contribution of last week. I do apologize, and have reread your contribution to the subject. My hat is off to you for your well- worded and knowledgeable overview of the Capitol Albums. Believe it or not, I do want to learn more about the recording end of the Beatles legacy. Up till now I've been more of a sing-along, play the drums to, and simply enjoy the hell out the whole cataloge type of guy. The finer points seemed unimportant. That was before I came across this fine group. This is a deep pool, and I'm just wading in. Perhaps I'll have something to comment on in the future, I'm not sure.
No Legs, I don't play with Beatle dolls, but I sure like the way my memoribilia lights up my home. I retract any put down of you or anyone else spending money on rereleased material. Besides, with today's sound systems it could be a whole new experience, considering the junk I could afford in the 60's. Maybe you talked about availaable equipment;sorry I can't remember.
One Question though. I clearly remembeer Lennon's comment on the American releases(Capital). I would like to know why he said what he did, and could anyone point me in the right direction? Something tells me to look in the Playboy interview book, so I'll start there.
Thanks Legs.
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Old Dec 01, 2004, 12:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

Legs, thanks for the review. I always enjoy reading your opinion. As an American fan that holds no 'sentimental value' to these releases I was not in a rush to go out and purchase them. Luckily I have been able to 'complete' my collection with the UK versions. So I have all the songs.
I was curious about the 'differences' in the actual versions and your review has helped me make my decision. Another reason this forum is so GREAT
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Old Dec 04, 2004, 04:52 AM   #11
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

The Second Album Thank You Girl with the extra harmonica in it 9is way better than the Past Masters version,IMO.
And IMO Capitol did a good job on the duophonic tracks for the most part. Making a mono track stereo is fairly diifcult.
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Old Dec 07, 2004, 03:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

i just got the set yesterday. in my opinion, the mono versions sound somewhat muffled.
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Old Dec 30, 2004, 08:25 AM   #13
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

I got these for Christmas and am disappointed that the CDs are in cardboard covers. Not something you'd take out to the car. I'm afraid I'll wrinkle the cardboard. Wish they would have put them in individual cases. Just my two cents.
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 08:29 AM   #14
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

All I have to say is:
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 08:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

I have to say I love them! It's really cool listening to some of my favorite songs and learning that they have a new twist to it . My favorite so far is: 'Thank You Girl', it's really awesome.
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 09:18 AM   #16
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

I'm going to get these for the version of I'll Cry Instead, but am I right in thinking they also have the film version of And I Love Her, i.e. mainly single track with some double tracking?

Do you think later volumes will include Help and if so, is it likely to have the film version with John also singing on the intro. Help's?
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Old Jan 03, 2005, 01:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

[ QUOTE ]
IFeelFine Posted:
I'm going to get these for the version of I'll Cry Instead, but am I right in thinking they also have the film version of And I Love Her, i.e. mainly single track with some double tracking?

Do you think later volumes will include Help and if so, is it likely to have the film version with John also singing on the intro. Help's?

[/ QUOTE ]
And I Love Her is the single tracked version from the movie, as the LP was mixed after the tapes went to UA and Capitol.
When I Get Homa and Anytime AT All on the mono are different as well.
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Old Jan 03, 2005, 01:29 PM   #18
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Default Re: The Capitol Albums - An Overview

A few interesting points:
Most of Meet The Beatles! and The Beatles' Second Album mono are fake mono (dubbed down from stereo) except for the 5 tracks that were turned into fake stereo.
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