The Beatles

Tomorrow Never Knows

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The stated concept of this digital-only 2012 compilation is to showcase the Beatles at their most "influential" -- i.e., the cuts where the Fab Four really change the rules of the game. This, along with a title borrowed from perhaps the band's trippiest single song, suggests that the collection may contain nothing but the Beatles' adventurous recordings...and among the 14 cuts on Tomorrow Never Knows are such psychedelic mind-benders as "She Said, She Said," the proto-shoegazing "It's All Too Much," the brightly colored art-pop of "Paperback Writer," and the densely multi-tracked "And Your Bird Can Sing," songs that truly do belong among the Fabs' wildest music. But the rest of the collection? The rest largely consists of hard rockers of different stripes, whether it's the Chuck Berry homage "Back in the U.S.S.R.," the metallic grinder "Helter Skelter," the jangling Merseybeat "You Can't Do That," the clomping menace of "Hey Bulldog," or the breakneck "I'm Down." In other words, it's a collection that pretty much showcases the Beatles as a strong rock & roll band -- and there's nothing wrong with that. There's not a bad song here and, as a rather haphazard sampler, it's worth the money, but it's hard not to shake the impression that the only reason it's called Tomorrow Never Knows is because Mad Men famously used the song earlier in 2012.

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