Red and Blue

THE BEATLES is an album by The Beatles which many people find hard to name, so they call it “The White Album”.

After the group ground to halt, manager Allen Klein decided to milk their back catalogue by producing two double albums of reasonably random tracks named 1962-1966 and 1967-1970. Beatles’ fans cannot manage this either, so they call them Red and Blue.

The songs were good, of course. They were presented in roughly chronological order. The sound quality was, um, OK and the packaging was minimal, but they both did well.

Jump forward to today and these have been re-mixed and expanded and are now out, either singly (as two 3 vinyl disc sets) or in a box. Also two double cds and streaming.

Just to be clear, the originals were two vinyl discs each, these are three. The early songs have been re-mixed and both sets have an extra disc of, er, extras. The box is selling for £150 upwards.

So many commentators have spoken or written about it, so here are some of their thoughts:

  • the price – there are no new tracks here, indeed the second set is simply tracks that have already been re-released and recently, just repackaged. At least the first discs have new re-mixes that people seem to be 50-50 about. That’s an awful lot of money for nothing really new. The cds are more ‘normal’.
  • the track order – the cd versions add new tracks in the correct chronological order. The vinyl adds a complete extra disc. You can understand why this was done – to have two vinyl discs in each faithful to the original releases
  • too loud percussion
  • the second set (blue) – 1967 to 1970, yet it includes Now And Then. 2023, surely? The title is misleading. And where is Free As A Bird, or Real Love?
  • extras – none to speak of, same covers, same pictures, not glossy.
  • more of George – well, that’s good.
  • improved ‘proper’ stereo – again good.
  • variable mixes – lack of consistency (maybe that’s a personal choice)
  • altered songs – the end of I Am The Walrus, for example.
  • too loud percussion
  • tracks left off – well, we can all say ‘why wasn’t XXX included’. If we carry on like that, we have the full Beatles’ catalogue. Releasing these does not prevent us buying anything else.
  • gullible Beatles’ fans…
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