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Author Topic: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970  (Read 2796 times)

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Buttmunker

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Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« on: October 13, 2007, 04:42:41 PM »

I bought the "Red" (1962-1966) and "Blue" (1967-1970) albums back in 1993, the year they were released on CD, and honestly didn't understand why they put such drivel such as "Old Brown Shoe," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Don't Let Me Down," and "Across The Universe."  

Now before you all dismiss me as being a fool, I just want to point out that these blusey, slow numbers are very unlike what the Beatles represented to "fresh fish" such as what I was back then.  

I mean, 1962-1966 was essentially perfect.  They didn't include odd one/off's like the covers, or "I Want To Be Your Man," or "You Can't Do That."  They included the songs that really defined this band!  All hits, too.

I'm thinking they ran out of songs for the second edition.  Then again, they could have included the upbeat songs like "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" or "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite."  

I know those songs I initally panned are great songs, but to a newby they turned me off for years.  I always skipped those songs, and really, didn't give them a chance until about 14 years later.  My loss?  Maybe.  But I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

And the selection of George Harrison songs was odd.  I thought his "Only A Northern Song" and "You Like Me Too Much" and "I Need You" were more toe-tappin' than "Old Brown Shoe."  In fact, I don't think they used any George on 1962-1966, so maybe they made up for it by including more George on the latter.  
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harihead

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2007, 05:55:03 PM »

Everyone has their favorite songs. For me, George's songs brought me into the Beatles. A lot of Beatles songs I am lukewarm on, and a few on the Red Album I actively hate ("Love Me Do" and "Michelle"). (I don't even own the Blue album.) One of the strengths of the Beatles is that a song I might hate, you might love, and vice versa. So what draws you in might put me off.

Anyway, a collection such as the red or blue is just that, a sampler. For me, I had to get past the "greatest hits" before I really began to like the Beatles. I did like about half of their greatest hits, but others made me grit my teeth. When I got into albums that gave me a spectrum of Beatle music, I was much happier.
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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2007, 08:51:34 PM »

Quote from: 551
Everyone has their favorite songs. For me, George's songs brought me into the Beatles. A lot of Beatles songs I am lukewarm on, and a few on the Red Album I actively hate ("Love Me Do" and "Michelle"). (I don't even own the Blue album.) One of the strengths of the Beatles is that a song I might hate, you might love, and vice versa. So what draws you in might put me off.

Anyway, a collection such as the red or blue is just that, a sampler. For me, I had to get past the "greatest hits" before I really began to like the Beatles. I did like about half of their greatest hits, but others made me grit my teeth. When I got into albums that gave me a spectrum of Beatle music, I was much happier.

this just shows how eclectic the Beatles music is to have so many varied opinions on given songs in their catalog. It's only natural that we can't like all their stuff--and sometimes our own opinions towards certain songs might change over time. For instance, for so many years I couldn't stand Eight Days A Week, but in recent years I find myself liking it more. On the other hand, some other songs will never be reconciled to me...(e.g., "It's Only Love", "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away", "Why Don't We Do It In The Road", etc...I just don't care for these as much as others)

Personally, I'm surprised (but won't challenge) Hari's detestation of one of Paul's "evergreens", "Michelle"--one of my fave Macca tunes (in fact, fave Beatle tunes, for that matter)I consider it in a class with "Yesterday", "Hey Jude" & "Long And Winding Road".

-km
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harihead

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2007, 03:19:16 AM »

Excellent point, Mean Mr. Mustard! My taste has changed as well, over the 17 decades I've been alive. (Okay, maybe not, but it feels that way as I approach 50.) I exchange the eternal pinkie-pledge of friendship with you.

I used to adore "Yesterday" and "Long And Winding Road". They were certainly among the songs I learned for guitar way-back-when in my teenage years. Lately I've moved away from them-- who knows why? Perhaps I just heard them too much. I still adore "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away", and play it frequently (usually on my own guitar, because it's so fun to play with that sustained high G and walking down the bass--which is the height of my ability).

The songs I don't like I'm at least open to liking. It would calm my listening experience if I didn't scream and leap up to skip the track every time "Michelle" came on. But we all have our weird reactions. For example, I think Obla-di (etc) is very fun to dance to, while other people can't stand it. Fortunately, the Beatles left us such a rich canon that we can find plenty to adore, even if we have to skip a few tracks here and there. Long live the Beatles!
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All you've got to do is choose love.  That's how I live it now.  I learned a long time ago, I can feed the birds in my garden.  I can't feed them all. -- Ringo Starr, Rolling Stone magazine, May 2007<br />

wingsman

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2007, 07:35:48 PM »

I think the Blue Album is pretty well done, although I think 'Old Brown Shoe' not deserves to be there. In the other hand, with 26 tracks and 63 minutes of music the Red Album falls really short to me. They would include 'Here, There And Everywhere' and 'Twist And Shout'.  ;)
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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2007, 12:22:20 AM »

Quote from: 551
Excellent point, Mean Mr. Mustard! My taste has changed as well, over the 17 decades I've been alive. (Okay, maybe not, but it feels that way as I approach 50.) I exchange the eternal pinkie-pledge of friendship with you.

!

back atcha ;) (consider the pinky exchanged)
but WAIT a minute..."17 decades"??? LOL....surely you jest...only George Martin is THAT old  (j/k)

only kidding Sir Martin we Luv Ya

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2007, 12:27:15 AM »

Quote from: 713
I think the Blue Album is pretty well done, although I think 'Old Brown Shoe' not deserves to be there. In the other hand, with 26 tracks and 63 minutes of music the Red Album falls really short to me. They would include 'Here, There And Everywhere' and 'Twist And Shout'.  ;)

but OH HOW great is that guitar break is in "Old Brown Shoe"--and Hari and me HOPE that it WAS George who played it and NOT Macca this time !!!!!!!!! LOL (enough myth-bustin' for this 'ol heart of mine to take !!...I'm only JUST NOW recovering from finding out that Macca played the break on "Taxman"...oh woe is me) ;D

and as far as "Here, There, Everywhere", I think that was DEFINITELY a stroke of genuis on Paul's part. An extremely beautiful and reminiscient piece (IMO)
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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2007, 12:31:45 AM »

Quote from: 828
I bought the "Red" (1962-1966) and "Blue" (1967-1970) albums back in 1993, the year they were released on CD, and honestly didn't understand why they put such drivel such as "Old Brown Shoe," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Don't Let Me Down," and "Across The Universe."  

Now before you all dismiss me as being a fool, I just want to point out that these blusey, slow numbers are very unlike what the Beatles represented to "fresh fish" such as what I was back then.  

I mean, 1962-1966 was essentially perfect.  They didn't include odd one/off's like the covers, or "I Want To Be Your Man," or "You Can't Do That."  They included the songs that really defined this band!  All hits, too.

I'm thinking they ran out of songs for the second edition.  Then again, they could have included the upbeat songs like "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" or "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite."  

I know those songs I initally panned are great songs, but to a newby they turned me off for years.  I always skipped those songs, and really, didn't give them a chance until about 14 years later.  My loss?  Maybe.  But I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

And the selection of George Harrison songs was odd.  I thought his "Only A Northern Song" and "You Like Me Too Much" and "I Need You" were more toe-tappin' than "Old Brown Shoe."  In fact, I don't think they used any George on 1962-1966, so maybe they made up for it by including more George on the latter.  

Old Brown Shoe wasnt meant to tap your shoe to--it's meant to stir the libido (it's one of George's lust-driven numbers LOL)(I always thought he had it bad for Patti when he penned this ditty :P :o)

and "You Cant Do That" is an "odd, one off" ?  ok, to each their own, but I always LOVED YCDT!!! (understandable yes why they wouldnt include it in a so-called "greatest hits" package...but man, it sure aint odd (IMO)
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harihead

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2007, 03:22:16 AM »

Quote from: 829
but WAIT a minute..."17 decades"??? LOL....surely you jest...only George Martin is THAT old  (j/k)
Yeah, he was the little kid three grades behind me. I taught him everything he knows. *ruffles his stately, balding head*

We can relax, MMM. George played the guitar break in "Old Brown Shoe", one of his most worked-out songs (according to my song bible by Simon Leng) on the Esher demos. I heard somewhere that "Taxman" was a compromise; George got to have the #1 spot on the album if Paul could play lead on it. I have no idea if that's true or not. It seems to me that, as the author, George would have had the lead worked out well in advance.

Just glancing at the song list for the Blue Album, I think they did a fine job with the selection. All the songs are strong and they span the gamut from pure fun to moving to autobiographical to thought-provoking. To me, that's the Beatles!
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BlueMeanie

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2007, 03:24:50 AM »

Quote from: 551
I heard somewhere that "Taxman" was a compromise; George got to have the #1 spot on the album if Paul could play lead on it. I have no idea if that's true or not. It seems to me that, as the author, George would have had the lead worked out well in advance.

George asked Paul to play it.
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Pasta Cheif

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2007, 04:59:19 AM »

Quote from: 828
and honestly didn't understand why they put such drivel such as "Old Brown Shoe," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Don't Let Me Down," and "Across The Universe."  

 

I agree with you on 'Old Brown Shoe', but 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' I think for sure needs to be there. :o
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Kevin

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2007, 09:17:18 AM »

Quote from: 551
Just glancing at the song list for the Blue Album, I think they did a fine job with the selection. All the songs are strong and they span the gamut from pure fun to moving to autobiographical to thought-provoking. To me, that's the Beatles!

I agree completely with this sentiment. the eclectic mix of songs stops it being just a geatest hits package.
And you have to remember that in 1973 songs like Old Brown Shoe and Don't Let Me Down could only be listened to if you had the singles, so it was an incentive for those who already had all the albums to buy this one. It's the equivalent of "bonus tracks" on modern greatest hits albums. (the same reason Bad Boy was included on Oldies but Goldies - another reason to part with your dollars).
Likewise SFF/Penny Lane/Walrus/Hey Jude/Revolution weren't avaliable in album form in the UK then (this was before the MMT 1976 release)
If you think about it it all makes perfect sense. Actually after a quick scan I count a whopping 13 of the 28 tracks on the Blue album were unavaliable in  LP format in the UK in 1973. That certainly made it a "must buy" in its day.
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Kevin

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2007, 10:21:26 AM »

There would have been Beatle politics involved as well. George would have expected (nay demanded) at least one song a side, (reflecting his greater contributions 1967 onwards) and his 4 songs equate to that. If you didn't have OBS you would have had to have had The Inner Light or somesuch. For the same reason I'm sure the inclusion of Octopuses Garden had more to do with Ringo's royalty revenues rather than it's qualities as a song.
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Kevin

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2007, 02:24:24 PM »

Quote from: 828
I mean, 1962-1966 was essentially perfect.  They didn't include odd one/off's like the covers, or "I Want To Be Your Man," or "You Can't Do That."  They included the songs that really defined this band!  All hits, too.
  

Of the 26 songs on the Red Album I count 11 (42%) that were album tracks and not hits (in the UK)
With The Beatles, A Hard Days Night, Beatles For Sale, Help and Rubber Soul are all represented by non-single album tracks. Omitting anything from Please Please Me I understand (though "Seventeen" should have earned a place.)
What I find strange is the lack of tracks from Revolver (is this the sort of thing you mean by odd one/off's?) Perhaps they thought Eleanor Rigby/YS was enough, but the omission of Tomorrow Never Knows seems criminal. (Help! managed 2 singles and 2 odd ones/offs. AHDN has the singles lifted from it plus 1)  
An arguement could also be made that "odd ones/offs" - Eleanor Rigby, Lady Madonna, Walrus etc represent Beatle glories far more than any generic Beatle sound. (The White Album is nothing but.)

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ShesCominDownFastYesSheIs

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2007, 12:58:43 AM »

Quote from: 828
I bought the "Red" (1962-1966) and "Blue" (1967-1970) albums back in 1993, the year they were released on CD, and honestly didn't understand why they put such drivel such as "Old Brown Shoe," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Don't Let Me Down," and "Across The Universe."  
 

well of course I think you're crazy to say While My Guitar Gently Weeps is "drivel" when it's one of the greatest rock songs ever but I myself have also been critical of the Blue Album. Disc 1 is pretty perfect. but disc 2 is a joke. Don't Let Me Down and Old Brown Shoe included? b-sides? only three White album songs?? (USSR, While My Guitar, Ob La Di) that's a travesty. I'm sure they could have replaced Don't Let Me Down and Old Brown Shoe with better songs (Helter Skelter, Dear Prudence) or more popular songs (Blackbird, Birthday, Rocky Raccoon) from the White album.
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BlueMeanie

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2007, 11:55:55 AM »

I find it strange that anyone on the site should be arguing about the content of a compilation album. If you want more White Album songs, listen to the White Album. Theses albums came out before the Past Masters series, so there was a need to include some b-sides that some people hadn't heard before.

Compilations are for the casual listener, not for the serious fan. If you want a compilation that has everything you want on it, make your own, it's simple enough.
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Kevin

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2007, 04:32:24 PM »

Quote from: 532

well of course I think you're crazy to say While My Guitar Gently Weeps is "drivel" when it's one of the greatest rock songs ever but I myself have also been critical of the Blue Album. Disc 1 is pretty perfect. but disc 2 is a joke. Don't Let Me Down and Old Brown Shoe included? b-sides? only three White album songs?? (USSR, While My Guitar, Ob La Di) that's a travesty. I'm sure they could have replaced Don't Let Me Down and Old Brown Shoe with better songs (Helter Skelter, Dear Prudence) or more popular songs (Blackbird, Birthday, Rocky Raccoon) from the White album.

Again, the point of including b-sides was to encourage people who already had beatle Albums to buy this one. It was 1973, only 3 years after the breakup, so merely repeating so many album tracks barely five years old would have been silly.
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wingsman

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2007, 12:38:02 AM »

Quote from: 185

Again, the point of including b-sides was to encourage people who already had beatle Albums to buy this one. It was 1973, only 3 years after the breakup, so merely repeating so many album tracks barely five years old would have been silly.

You're right! I've never saw it that way.
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Buttmunker

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2007, 01:20:00 AM »

You're right about including the B-sides, to make people want to buy the compilations.  Makes perfect sense, and it puts to rest my question about why.  
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dbone828

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Re: Odd mix of songs on "Blue" 1967-1970
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2008, 09:01:03 AM »

I actually think that "1967-1970" has the better track selection of the two.  Sure, it skips out on some of my all-time favourite (the "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End" medley, "Blackbird"), and skips over some of the more critically-acclaimed songs ("Helter Skelter," "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"), but really, when you think about it, this covers most of their most commercial songs from the 1967-1970 timeframe.  The only strange inclusion I always found was "Old Brown Shoe."  I can completely understand its value in 1973, but it certainly hasn't stood the test of time as much as other B-sides like "I Am the Walrus" or "Revolution."

I think the problem lies with the Red Album.  It skips out on "Twist and Shout" and "I Saw Her Standing There" (as well as their top ten hits "Do You Want to Know a Secret" and "P.S. I Love You," but I'm not at all disappointed that these two were left off).  The fact that six songs from Rubber Soul compared to the two from Revolver is quite a head-scratcher.  Perhaps Knocking off "Girl" in favour of "Here, There and Everywhere," plus "Got to Get You Into My Life," to balance things out a bit:

Disc 1
1. Love Me Do
2. Please Please Me
3. I Saw Her Standing There
4. Twist and Shout
5. From Me to You
6. She Loves You
7. I Want to Hold Your Hand
8. All My Loving
9. Can't Buy Me Love
10. A Hard Day's Night
11. And I Love Her
12. Eight Days a Week
13. I Feel Fine
14. Ticket to Ride
15. Yesterday

Disc 2
1. Help!
2. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
3. We Can Work It Out
4. Day Tripper
5. Drive My Car
6. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
7. Nowhere Man
8. Michelle
9. In My Life
10. Paperback Writer
11. Eleanor Rigby
12. Got to Get You Into My Life
13. Here, There and Everywhere
14. Yellow Submarine

But when it's all said and done, I can't complain too much about the Red and Blue albums, as they were  my introduction to the band.  And I probably listened to the set every single day for a year straight, until I had to stop listening to it! Then I got into their studio albums, then their solo music, etc.  So overall, I would say they are a very successful compilation series.
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