May 4, 2006

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The Beatles, The Capitol Albums Vol. 2
Capitol/EMI Records, 2006

The status of Jacko’s stake (or lack thereof) in the Beatles catalog may or may not have something to do with the rushed botch-job on the first run of this $70 mound of eBay bait. In any event, Volume 2 of this puzzle-like “longbox” series (calling all cardboard geeks) incorporates mono and stereo versions of all four of the band’s 1965 American releases for Capitol, all of them encased in miniature versions of their original vinyl sleeves. Presented this time are The Early Beatles (screamy teenie VeeJay-pressed hits like “Please Please Me”), Rubber Soul, Beatles VI and the soundtrack LP for Help! The tracks are at long last ordered as they were in the ’65 U.S. vinyl releases, which will bring a tear to many an oldster’s eye, while the sources for these digital remixes are third-generation tapes, i.e. copies of copies of the original masters. The results are mixed, a little too alt-folkish on “Michelle,” a little too vivid on “Ticket to Ride,” and still not the holy-grail original masters. The shocking, shocking details of the foul-up mentioned earlier: the mono sets don’t use the actual mono versions but both stereo tracks stuffed into one; you own this error pressing if “I’m Looking Through You” begins with a “false start.” B
— Eric W. Saeger


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