Capitol Albums, Vol. 1

Capitol Albums, Vol. 1

4.2 11
by The Beatles

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"You've read about them in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times. Here's the big beat sound of that fantastic, phenomenal foursome: Meet the Beatles!" So proclaims the record jacket for Meet the Beatles!, the Fab Four's first U.S. album and the first of four to be released by Capitol Records in 1964. Once acquainted, Americans fell head-over-heels for their…  See more details below


"You've read about them in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times. Here's the big beat sound of that fantastic, phenomenal foursome: Meet the Beatles!" So proclaims the record jacket for Meet the Beatles!, the Fab Four's first U.S. album and the first of four to be released by Capitol Records in 1964. Once acquainted, Americans fell head-over-heels for their fantastic, phenomenal sound -- picture, in black-and-white, John, Paul, George, and Ringo's arrival at JFK, the girls' tear-stained faces, the Ed Sullivan appearances. That's the energy this four-disc box set captures to a tee. The songs spread over the four albums contained on The Capitol Albums Vol. 1 -- released in January, April, July, and December 1964 -- were rearranged assemblages of albums, EPs, and singles that had appeared in the U.K. Ostensibly, that's the way the Beatles would have liked it, but it's the domestic configurations of these albums that fans in the U.S. will always remember. And now -- years after Capitol's grand Beatles reissue program in 1987 -- they are once again available with the cover art (reproduced on miniature cardboard slipcases) and running order most familiar to American fans.

Culling the 8 original tunes from the U.K. album With the Beatles, Meet the Beatles! was an essential distillation of the Mop Tops' inspired fusion of R&B and rock 'n' roll; the album was rounded out by 3 then-new songs, including the single "I Want to Hold Your Hand." The Beatles' Second Album collected the cover tunes from With the Beatles, emphasizing that the boys had done their homework with inspired versions of songs by Chuck Berry, Smokey Robinson, and Little Richard, and added the inimitable single "She Loves You." Something New wasn't, in fact, as it contains 8 of the 14 songs from the soundtrack to A Hard Day's Night, issued by competitor United Artists, but it did add two fun covers and the German-language "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand." Beatles '65 likewise pulled 8 tracks from the British Beatles for Sale, adding the single "I Feel Fine," its B-side, and "I'll Be Back" from A Hard Day's Night. Each disc in this box features two versions of every song -- one in stereo (or newly created duophonic sound) and one in mono -- and the set comes with a 48-page booklet containing essays, quotes from the band, and plenty of photos and period graphics. Whether fans ultimately prefer the American or British packages, the fact is that these recordings sound every bit as good today, four decades after their original release. Since we first met the Beatles in 1964, things have never been the same.

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Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - James Hunter
This set presents [the Beatles] the way they first fascinated America: new, punk and polite.

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The Capitol Albums, Vol. 1 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
contrary to what the article states, the original cover of the Beatles "Yesterday & Today" LP had NOTHING to do with the fact that Capitol Records "butchered" the U.K. versions of Beatles albums. according to John Lennon in a 1974 interview, "surrealist" photographer Robert Whitaker had brought various props along for the photo session, resulting in the infamous LP cover. along with the "usual" posed pics also done that day, the "butcher" photos were sent out for use in promotions, etc. only to be recalled due to public outcry at the time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Incredible music -a must have for any Beatles fan!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
To be honest, I have not paid attention to the Beatles for awhile since the released of the previous Beatles CD (Let It Be/naked) and (Number 1). There wasn't special about them and it was just ok. But this past few days, I was going through Sunday's ad and saw the released date of the Capitol Albums, Vol. 1 and I thought I was dreaming at first. Finally, a new material from the best band in the world!!! I can finally hear the stereo versions of most songs from Please, Please me, With the Beatles, A Hard Days Night, and Beatles For Sale. Is not the actual British released album which I would rather prefer but that is just fine. Who knows, maybe we might see the day of light of these albums in Stereo eventually. But for now I will just enjoy these four CDs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being a listener of the MFSL releases of the Beatles catalog from the 1980's, I must admit that I am used to a high standard for quality. Sadly, these 2004 releases (especially the stereo versions) sound pretty poor. They aren't terrible, but frankly, I have original vinyls that sound better. Of course here is the advantage of having the non-MFSL released hits, (as they only published the british catalog), and for that I would recommend it. But coming from an audiophile, I was somewhat disappointed. Also, the novelty of the stereo/mono seems like a gimmick, as the releases are relatively similar as it is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must admit. I haven't heard these cds yet, but I have all the American LPs. First of all, sound quality is subjective. Who doesn't want to hear "She's a Woman" with reverb? Or "I Feel Fine"? The English mixes of "Dr. Robert", and especially "And Your Bird Can Sing" are dreadful. Let's hear that Quick slap delay on John's voice. Not too overpowering. His voice needs to wrestle a bit for space with the guitar. The vocals are too loud on all the early Beatles stuff, and the recordings are too dry, in my opinion. "Help"? Where's the cool "Secret Agent" intro on the English version? Gone. Boy are the guitars low on "Here, There, and Everywhere". I know the American versions are abbreviated albums, but the mixes rock.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Take it from me. This box set is the best thing to ever come out on The Beatles. This is unquestionably the greatest recording of music ever done before, taking into account the full history of music across all artists. Why? Because all previous versions of CD releases of these songs were mostly in mono. You can't hear the separation of the instruments. But in stereo these early versions are a knock out! You hear the harmonies split into 2 or 3 different places. You hear instruments that are standing alone that can't be heard on any of the fake versions of the mono recordings. You get guitar licks that are cooler than any other anywhere that couldn't be heard until now. No one doubts that The Beatles were the best music group ever. Only here you hear what they sounded like in their early days as if you were sitting there in the studio. There should be a ban on mono versions. Even poor stereo is 10 times better than any flat mono version. If you want to know what The Beatles really sounded like in their early days, quite frankly these are the only recordings that will do it. No other version even comes close!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The music needs no introduction -- what more can be said of Beatles classics "I Want to Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You", "You Can't Do That" and "I Feel Fine"? That this is the first time the first four American LP releases are on CD, plus finally available in stereo, makes it worth getting 'The Capitol Albums, Vol 1'. The sound of the stereo versions is worth it alone -- even if some of it is the 'fake stereo' that some have long complained about. Good as it was back in the 80s when Beatles CD's first appeared, and that they were in the original British album configuations the group intended, it's nice to have the US versions that we Americans grew up with, even if they eventually were to cause the Beatles to do the 'butcher cover' in response to what Capitol did to their albums. Beatles music is generally five-star quality, but I gave this box set one less star due to the slip-shod packaging -- they really could've done a better job.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
All of the songs contained on this box set are already available on the original Palophone CDs from the 80s. If you own those discs as I do, then it is a waste of money to purchase them again. Also, the sound quality is far superior on those discs. This is just another way to get people to re- buy the exact same music that they already own.