Capitol and Apple records will reissue the Beatles 1962-1966 and 1967-1970, known to many fans as the Red and Blue albums, due to the color that distinguishes each 2 CD set.
These popular compilations were originally released on vinyl back in 1973, and became first career spanning “Greatest Hits” albums for the legendary band who broke up in 1970. They were also issued on CD back in 1993.
The new reissues use the same team who remastered the original Beatles albums last year for the successful 09/09/09 campaign. This group also worked on the John Lennon remasters released earlier this month, and mentioned in a previous article.
The Red and Blue albums will each be re-released as 2 CD sets to match the original double vinyl album counterparts.
Both compilations acted as gateway for several 2nd and 3rd generation Beatle fans to explore the rest of the band’s catalog. The albums were huge sellers at the time of release, with the Blue album actually reaching #1 at one point. All 4 ex-Beatles also had top 10 ten albums in 1973, so the timing was perfect for a “Best Of” collection.
1962-1966 and 1967-1970 provide a good overview of the Beatles original material (no cover songs are included), but everybody has their own favorites and many classic tracks are missing. The collections still make a good entry point for a new listener.
The Red album reissue is a little problematic. It runs a few minutes over an hour, and yet it is spread out over 2 CD’s, when it would easily fit on one, and no bonus tracks were added. “I Saw Her Standing There”, “If I Fell” and “Got To Get You Into My Life” are just some of the originals that could have been included on the 2010 release.
The iconic cover art remains intact, with the Beatles overlooking the stairwell of EMI’s London headquarters in 1963, and then recreating the same pose in 1969. The collections have both photos on the front or back depending on the album. The Red has the ’63 shot on the front, whereas the Blue features the ’69 picture.
The 1962-1966 cover was already somewhat familiar to UK fans, as it was an alternate shot from the photo shoot for the sleeve of Please Please Me, the first Beatles LP. The 1967-1970 picture was originally slated to be used for an early version of Let It Be , but it was changed to the now familiar cover.
You can find the tracklistings for both 2 CD sets at Amazon.com.