The Beatles disbanded in 1970, leaving a rich cultural and musical legacy that included 19 hit albums in the States. Three years later, Capitol Records released two greatest hits albums: the first sported a red-framed cover that depicted the then- fresh-faced Fab Four gazing down from the stairwell of the EMI offices; the other had a blue-framed cover that showed the shaggier musicians in the same pose. For those who grew up after the band’s heyday, these albums were their first introduction to their music. EMI/Apple has now reissued the CDs with digitally remastered tracks and expanded liner notes that include a pair of new essays and rare photos.
1962-1966 includes 26 tracks ranging from the band’s cheery Mersey Beat pop to their nascent psychedelic Revolver album. It chronicles the remarkable creative growth that took place during that five-year period. The first four tracks are mono, the rest stereo. The 28 tracks on 1967-1970 begin with the groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band sessions (starting with the single “Strawberry Fields Forever”/“Penny Lane”) and conclude with the wistful swan song “The Long and Winding Road.” Some may deem them superfluous, but these iconic recordings still amaze.