The Beatles

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by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Apparently, there was a gap in the Beatles' catalog, after all -- all the big hits weren't on one tidy, single-disc compilation. It's not the kind of gap you'd necessarily notice -- it's kind of like realizing you don't have a pair of navy blue dress socks -- but it was a gap all the same, so the group released The Beatles 1 late in 2000, coinciding with the publication of their official autobiography, the puzzlingly titled Anthology. The idea behind this compilation is to have all the number one singles the Beatles had, either in the U.K. or U.S., on one disc, and that's pretty much what this generous 27-track collection is. It's easy, nay, necessary, to quibble with a couple of the judgment calls -- look, "Please Please Me" should be here instead of "From Me to You," and it's unforgivable to bypass "Strawberry Fields Forever" (kick out "Yellow Submarine" or "Eleanor Rigby") -- but there's still no question that this is all great music, and there is a bit of a rush hearing all these dazzling songs follow one after another. If there's any complaint, it's that even if it's nice to have something like this, it's not really essential. There's really no reason for anyone who owns all the records to get this too -- if you've lived happily without the red or blue albums, you'll live without this. But, if you give this to any six or seven year old, they'll be a pop fan, even fanatic, for life. And that's reason enough for it to exist.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Beatles 02:20 Amazon
2 The Beatles 01:56 Amazon
3 The Beatles 02:21 Amazon
4 The Beatles 02:25 Amazon
5 The Beatles 02:11 Amazon
6 The Beatles 02:32 Amazon
7 The Beatles 02:18 Amazon
8 The Beatles 02:43 Amazon
9 The Beatles 03:09 Amazon
10 The Beatles 02:18 Amazon
11 The Beatles 02:05 Amazon
12 The Beatles 02:48 Amazon
13 The Beatles 02:15 Amazon
14 The Beatles 02:18 Amazon
15 The Beatles 02:37 Amazon
16 The Beatles 02:05 Amazon
17 The Beatles 03:00 Amazon
18 The Beatles 03:48 Amazon
19 The Beatles 03:27 Amazon
20 The Beatles 02:16 Amazon
21 The Beatles 07:09 Amazon
22 The Beatles 03:11
23 The Beatles 02:59 Amazon
24 The Beatles 03:01 Amazon
25 The Beatles 04:18 Amazon
26 The Beatles 03:50 Amazon
27 The Beatles 03:39 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick