The Beatles

The Beatles Beat

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The Beatles may rival (or perhaps even surpass) Frank Sinatra in terms of the sheer number of different international permutations of their songs and albums, but this German release from 1964 is well above average in its song selection. In assembling this LP, generic title and all, they ended up featuring 12 of the group's best songs -- four chart-topping hit singles ("From Me to You," "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and "Can't Buy Me Love") augmented with a bunch of cool B-sides and lead tracks from EPs and a good album cut or two -- from the spring of 1963 through the spring of 1964. Even better, the producers weren't afraid to include the band's covers of other people's songs. The result is a composite of the highlights of their first year at the top that rivals the U.S.-issued Beatles Second Album for sheer rock & roll excellence, the only exception being the McCartney-sung ballad "'Till There Was You," and as it's sandwiched between "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Money," it's as unobtrusive as it could possibly be. At the time, there was no compilation boasting all of these hits, which made this a popular import to England and later the U.S.A.

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