Reviewed with EP Collection (*****)
Well, all right, you could fit all their EP stuff on to two or three CDs instead of 15 separate ones. But then they wouldn't all come in five-inch replicas of the orginal sleeves, nor fill a chunky black box, the way that this edition does. If The Beatles had made the worst pop music in the world this EP Collection would still be tempting on aesthetic grounds alone. And, of course, they didn't - they made the opposite. So here is fine rocking stuff from 1963's four-tracker The Beatles Hits (which sleevenote scribe Tony Barrow dared to suggest would still be heard and enjoyed in far-off, space-age 1973 - wild talk at the time) up to 1967's Magical Mystery Tour (issued here in both its mono and stereo forms) and an extra disc of odds and ends. Most of their early A-sides and B-sides feature, plus selected LP cuts. Less delectable listening, although of certain historical interest, is the Star Club album, being 16 songs from their final gig in Hamburg at the end of 1962, on the eve of their world fame. The show seems like a riot but the sound itself is terrible - like one hell of a great party going on next door but one.
Reviewed by Paul Du Noyer