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Thursday, December 20, 2012

THE BLUE ALBUM - sides three and four

The inner gatefold of the Blue Album
SIDE THREE

Back in the U.S.S.R. - The opening track of The Beatles, aka the "White Album."

While My Guitar Gently Weeps - George finally gets a song on this collection (on the seventh side of the two packages) - another selection from the "White Album."  By the time of this release in 1973, it was well on its way to becoming a mainstay of FM radio.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da - The third and final well-known track from The Beatles.

Get Back - The monster single released in the spring of 1969.

Don't Let Me Down - The strong B-side of that single.

The Ballad of John and Yoko - Another single, released hot on the heels of Get Back.  It hit number one in the UK (and it was the last for the Beatles in their home country during their career), but it stalled at number eight in the US.

Old Brown Shoe - While George's B-side is a fine song, but I find its inclusion here questionable.

SIDE FOUR

Here Comes the Sun - One of George's finest numbers, from Abbey Road.

Come Together - The opening track of Abbey Road, later released on a double A-sided single.  It went to number one in the US.

Something - The pinnacle of George's songwriting career was both an album track and his only A-side with the Beatles.

Octopus's Garden - Ringo's second and last composition for the Beatles is a fun little number, but truly not deserving of placement in a collection of their best work.

Let It Be - The last official single in the group's catalog went to number one in the US.

Across the Universe - A popular track from the album Let It Be.

The Long and Winding Road - Another outstanding track from Let It Be.  In the US, Capitol Records also released it as a single and it went to number one.

The Beatles: 1962-1966 has more hits, as the group released more singles in the first half of their career, but The Beatles: 1967-1970 has two more songs, and the running time of the average song was longer in the late '60s, so fans got more bang for their buck from the second collection.  Together, the Red and Blue Albums present an excellent overview of the band's development and extraordinary output.

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