On March 18th, 1996, two weeks after the release of Real Love, Anthology 2 arrived. Picking up right where the first double CD left off, this collection covers the fertile middle period of the Fab Four's career - the time when they transformed not only themselves, but the music they loved, as well.
Real Love - Before getting into the archival material, the program kicks off with the latest Threetles-enhanced Lennon demo. For my look at this number, please refer to my previous blog entry.
Yes It Is - The remainder of this first side contains selections from the Help! sessions in February and June of 1965. The same technique that had been applied to Here, There and Everywhere on the Real Love EP is used to present this great B-side. We first hear take 2 with John's guide vocal. He quickly forgets the lyrics on the bridge, and as he begins singing "di-dee-dee" in their place, we segue into a remix of the master, take 14. The result depends on your point of view concerning these amalgamations.
I'm Down - Another outstanding B-side is presented here, with Paul leading the band through a full performance of the backing track on take 1 of his "plastic soul" number.
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away - There is not much difference to distinguish this - take 5 - from the master - take 9. According to Mark Lewisohn's liner notes, these were the only complete takes of this simple acoustic number. A bit of amusing banter from John before the take proper is fun to hear.
If You've Got Trouble - This marks the first official release of this hysterically bad tune, although it had been available on bootlegs for years and had almost been issued by EMI on the legendary Sessions LP in 1985. The goofy lyrics suggest that John and Paul wrote this song with Ringo's role in the film Help! in mind.
That Means A Lot - This intriguing number from McCartney is another leftover from the Help! sessions that most fans had never heard before. The entire performance is drenched in echo, making it sound as if the band is playing in an empty dancehall.
Yesterday - Take 1 of McCartney's most famous song is preceded by Paul teaching the chords to George (although in another key) and then playing the tune for the group. He chuckles on the line "I'm not half the man I used to be" either because he inverted it with the previous line or for a more puerile reason. It must have been quickly decided that no other Beatle would play on the number, because the master was take 2.
It's Only Love -Take 2 of this Lennon composition (preceded by a false start of take 3 - yes, you read that right) is simply the backing track with a guide vocal by John. The tempo is a bit faster than the master, take 6.