McFarlane Beatles Boxset

Posted: Monday, July 28, 2008 by Shaun in Labels: , ,

It was really nice to see my favourite band immortalised in plastic in 2005.





I first listened to them over radio as a kid in the eighties, where their early songs such Can't Buy Me Love, She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand were played ad nauseum.

Didn't think much of them for the good first 16 years of my life till a Mancunian band turned me on to this group from Liverpool. Actually, it was after listening to Oasis' rendition of 'I Am the Walrus' and watching Liam Gallagher saluting John Lennon after performing 'Live Forever' that made me wonder "Why the fascination with a boy band from the sixties?"

Why indeed. I thought I'd give their music a go, and my first Beatles albums were Anthology 1 - 3.

The funny thing about this that I was experiencing 'bootlegs' and alternate versions of their songs first, before sampling their official recordings.

Anthology 1 presented familiar songs in a different light, nothing revolutionary. Anthology 3 summarised their fascination with mysticism era and showed how strong their melodies were, as many of the tracks were presented bare-bones without-over orchestration. Anthology 2 stands out as my favourite of the three as the second disc showcased their recording process, their experimental studio years, and to this day, my fave songs from them, A Day In the Life, Across the Universe and Tomorrow Never Knows, all occur on this disc.

I picked up their albums based on the songs that I liked, rather than chronologically. IIRC, the order went something like this, Revolver, Sgt Pepper, White Album, Abbey Road, Let It Be, Magical Mystery Tour, Rubber Soul, Help, Please Please Me. I don't think I ever picked up With The Beatles, Beatles for Sale and Yellow Submarine though.

When listened to chronologically, the evolution of the band was a joy to behold. From their moptop teenybop music, to their drug influenced tunes, their studio experimentation, their flirtation with mysticism and finally their final trudge towards the finish.

I guess the highlight of my love affair with the band came in the form of the Beatles Anthology documentary series.

The documentary was actually aired on local TV in 1995, and I do remember catching glimpses of it and not bothering about it then. In 1997, I paid S$600 for the Anthology on Laser Disc, remember that technology? That amount would get me a Hot Toys Batmobile today, but we all have different priorities at different points in time.

Anyway, having loved the band so much for their music and actually getting to see their visual performance was pure magic. Just thinking of that moment and typing these words sends an electric jolt up my spine. I once watched all nine hours at one shot and replayed the LD repeatedly.

Of course, a few years later, the Anthology documentary was released on DVD, at a quarter of the price and with additional content. Brilliant. I've yet to sit through all the discs, and I do hope it happens some day.

So that's my story with the Beatles. On the toy front, it'd be great if we got them in 1:6 incarnations, moptop to roof-top performance look.

All you need is love.

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  1. No fair!! I have got to get me that. No one loves the Beatles more then me chief...I used to have all their Cd's...even ones no one knew about...maybe I still do...who knows lol

    Seen Dark Knight yet?

  1. 'm says:

    speaking of toys & Beatles...

    album covers recreated in lego

  1. Shaun says:

    hey mike, good to know we've another hobby in common, besides toys. Yup, TDK rocks.

    Thanks for the headsup, 'm.

  1. The Rebel says:

    Nice entry here Shaun! Really explicit details on your passion for the Fab 4.

    It's really interesting to know that you started out by listening to their bootleg recordings 1st. That's really unique and I don't think I've ever heard anyone doing it in reverse like you!

    The Anthology series were indeed a true gem. We get to hear them discuss and critize their own recordings and songs arrangements. Really pure magic. I like the fact that we get to hear the various song versions, instead of the familiar ones that we are so used to. For the record, I sing Can't Buy Me Love for my Beatles-tribute band like the Beatles sang it in Anthology sounds more trippy! Thats how much the Anothology series affected me, i even forgot how the official release sounded like...heheh....I particularly like it when they toyed around during the making of Sgt Pepper album.

    The Anthology series were really important to me since they provide a detailed breakdown of the songs, we get to know which instruments were originally there...and later scrapped. On the other hand, I too love the DVD version since we get to see them playin live! How cool is that?

    I dig all of their albums....'cept for Beatles For Sale....because its mainly consisting of cover songs, save for Eight Days a Week and a few others....and of course, I never bothered picking up the Yellow Submarine album for onvious reasons! Heheh. I finally resolved my dilemma the other day....I purchased most of their latter albums in the Remastered version (cept for Let It Be, since I already have the "Naked" ver). I didnt pick up the earlier albums again, since those were best heard in their original mono form anyway....

    I heard my 1st Beatles record when i was 12 years old......never looked back changed my perception towards music forever man!

    The Beatles were right..."There's nothing you can do that can't be done"...At this point I'm praying very hard that rumours saying Paul & Ringo's gonna hook up with Dhani Harrison and Julain Lennon for a last reunion concert will indeed come true! Long live The Beatles!

  1. Shaun says:

    heh, listening to them in reverse was the 'price' to pay for being a very late comer to the game.

    I really loved all the stripped down songs on the Anthology series, Strawberry Fields, Glass Onion, Helter Skelter, Happiness in a Warm Gun, to name a few.

    Tomorrow Never Knows was THE standout song for me on Anthology 2, and I wondered why it wasn't the final version, instead of the rather up tempo one on Revolver.

    My favourite scenes was the Anthology video are The Rooftop Concert, All You Need is Love, Hey Jude and A Day In the Life. To actually see them performing the songs is really a treat. Every time I watch the Real Love video, it's quite an emotional experience.

    Wow you picked up the recently remastered albums? Must have cost a bit. Am deliberating over the stereo boxset, looks very cool.

    Actually while Julian sounds so much like John, I'm not to keen on that happening. It would just be a very sad experience for me as it would be a stark reminder that John and George are no longer with us.

    Your comment here justifies a post on its own on your blog bro. :)