Past Masters contains 33 non-album Beatles tracks – ranging from classic A-sides to hits sung in German – two CDs were released in 1988 called Past Masters Volume One and Volume Two. Although originally featuring a combination of mono and stereo versions, the remastered Past masters compilation contains only the stereo mixes, if they exist.
The last released Beatles album, Let It Be, landed on 8th May, 1970. Originally intended as the eleventh LP for mid-1969 as Get Back, The Beatles held it up. Unhappy with the version Glyn Johns mixed, it was temporarily shelved. A new version of the album was created by Phil Spector in 1970, and was finally released with the launch of the cinema film of the same name. Serving as its soundtrack, and its own lament.
17 January 1969 saw the release of the Yellow Submarine album, which was the movie soundtrack to an animated film which had received its UK premiere back in July 1968. As before, only one side of the record contained songs performed by the Beatles. And of those six tracks, only four were new, and the remaining pair came from previous albums.
The Beatles, the ninth or as it became known as ‘The White Album’, hit the record stores on yet another November 22nd, this time in 1968. The double LP the first to appear on the Apple record label, and spent 8 of its 22 weeks on the UK chart at number one. Its experimental nature (some would say fractious) again making a cultural impact on all listeners who ran it through their turntables.
My thoughts about the album cover art aside, in 1967 The Beatles wrote and directed a TV film for a BBC broadcast at Christmas. For its American release, Magical Mystery Tour included the six songs from the British EP soundtrack on one side, and paired with singles on the other. The latter U.S. configuration eventually incorporated as official in their discography.
The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album’s vital stats: Recorded December 1966 through April 1967. Released 2nd June, 1967. Weeks at #1 27 (UK) and 15 (U.S.), with 175 week on the charts. And NYT critic Richard Goldstein labeled it “fraudulent”. What can I say, he was definitively and for all-time, wrong.
Hoping lightning would strike twice, emulating A Hard Day’s Night, Help! (released on 6th August, 1965) contained the songs from the ’65 film on side one of the album, with the other side devoted to other new material. Moreover, prodded by others’ success, The Beatles began to push at fans’ and critics’ expectations.
The group’s more somber Beatles For Sale album, coming off their hectic touring/filming/appearance schedule, set a more cynical tone for its 4 December 1964 release. Still, it represented a maturing work, and another highly successful LP in the UK (eleven weeks at #1).
The Beatles A Hard Day’s Night album was the third album in eighteen months to be released by 10 July 1964. Timed to coincide with the release of their first movie. One that completed the catapult to worldwide superstardom. The album reached #1 in the UK charts and was cemented there for 21 of the 38 weeks spent in the Top Twenty. The U.S. soundtrack LP spent 14 weeks at the top of our album register.
The With The Beatles album was going to make an impression no matter what. The important sophomore release for the newly in-demand group would gather attention from fans and critics eager to catch more of the British Invasion. Witnessing the expansion of Pop music, in the bargain. That it was released on November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, would be its counterpoint.
The Beatles Please Please Me album was rush-released by Parlophone on 22nd March, 1963 to capitalize on the enormous success of the title track that had been the group’s second single and their first no. 1 on most UK charts.