With 9/9/9 now less than two months away I’ve been thinking about how these new Beatles Box Sets include every single song The Beatles released from 1962 through 1970 (in both their mono & stereo formats) and how by owning these two box sets you could basically have the “ultimate Beatles collection.”
But then I realized that there’s still quite a bit of stuff that’s needed for a truly complete Beatles collection. I’m not talking about collecting old vinyl LPs out of a purely collector’s mind set but instead having everything they released (sound & video) for listening to and watching (not for “collecting” per se, but I’m not sure what word would fit better?)
The Anthology series was the first thing to come to mind. Then I remembered the movies. And… Well basically I came up with this list of the 12 steps to a complete Beatles collection (and you can simply click on the blue links to order the items online.) Let me know (by leaving a comment) if there’s anything you think I’m missing.
The Original Releases
Every single Beatles song released from 1962 to 1970 in stereo.
All of The Beatles songs that were originally released in mono are included. That’s their first 10 albums (Please Please Me through The White Album.) Also includes the original stereo versions of Help! & Rubber Soul which were scrapped in favor of new stereo mixes for CD release. This is the first time those original stereo mixes are being released on CD.
Beginning with the Live at the BBC collection there have been a few releases of previously unreleased Beatles material. While I don’t think these are nearly as essential as their actual albums, I definitely have all of these too and I think they’re well worth having.
I’m actually not much of a fan of this. But if you’re really into the early Beatles sound you definitely want to have this.
Anthology 1 is mostly interesting to me as an “historical document” more than as something to really listen to much but Anthology 2 and 3 have some really great stuff on them. I particularly enjoy Anthology 3 because of how different some of the alternate versions are from the original releases (“While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Something,” & “Helter Skelter” are some good examples.)
This is quite a different version of this album from the 1970 original. Sometimes I prefer this one and sometimes I prefer the 1970 version. Of course McCartney would claim that this is the original. I won’t get into the McCartney vs. Phil Spector battle. But it’s pretty interesting. I recommend looking it up if you don’t know about it.
Some would question the inclusion of Love in this list, but here it is. It’s not as interesting to me as The Beatles actual albums, but I do think it’s pretty neat and I’ve enjoyed listening to it.
#10 Yellow Submarine
It looks like new Yellow Submarine DVDs are not being made at the moment (and they are sold out) which means they are only available second hand.
#11 Let It Be
The Let It Be film has never been officially released on DVD, it was released on VHS but for some reason it hasn’t come out on DVD. Thus the only DVD copies available for purchase are low quality bootlegs.
Unless I’m missing something, these 12 steps should bring you every song and every video you need for a complete Beatles collection. There’s no Yellow Submarine Soundtrack because all of those songs can be heard elsewhere. Likewise for why I didn’t include any of the “greatest hits” collections. There’s also the new Beatles Rock Band game which I’m very excited about but as it’s a video game it sort of seems like a different category.
And then of course there’s books. There are a ton of books that have been written about every aspect of The Beatles. You can click here if you want to search through the many Beatles books for ideas.
You can find most of this stuff at the Amazon Beatles Store.