The successive volumes of Ultra Rare Trax do not go in strict chronological order, but rather try to present a smattering of tracks from the Beatles' recording sessions over the years. Thus, while the fifth of six volumes of the bootleg albums, which appear in surprisingly good fidelity, is dominated by tracks from late in the Beatles' career, it also contains a version of "One After 909" from one of their earliest sessions in 1962. The series also spreads different versions of the same song across different releases, so this is not the same recording of "One After 909" found on either the first or fourth volumes. Frequently in their later recordings, the Beatles layered different effects, and one can find here, for example, the vocal tracks for "Because" without the underlying music and the first take of "Strawberry Fields Forever," which was later altered and edited for inclusion with another take and other effects in the final version. "Revolution" is simply a different mix from the one used as the B-side of "Hey Jude," and the brief rendition of "I Me Mine," the last Beatles track ever recorded in 1970, is the original that was looped and laced with overdubs to create the version that appeared on Let It Be. On the other hand, the versions of "Hey Jude" and "Lady Madonna" are alternate takes, and the version of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" demonstrates that various arrangements were tried. "Christmas Time Is Here Again," which begins and ends the album, was used for a Beatles fan club recording. The only never-released song is "What's the New Mary Jane?," a bit of John Lennon psychedelia recorded in 1968. Ultra Rare Trax inspired and served as a dry run for the Anthology series, and some of these tracks turned up on those albums.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann