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1967-1970 ()

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Picking up where 1962-1966 left off, the double-album compilation 1967-1970, commonly called The Blue Album, covers the Beatles' later records, from Sgt. Pepper's through Let It Be. Like The Red Album, The Blue Album was released in the wake of a pair of widely advertised quadruple-LP bootlegs, Alpha Omega, Vols. 1-2: The Story of the Beatles, which had appeared early in 1973. And like its companion volume, this set contains a mixture of hits, including singles like "Lady Madonna," "Hey Jude," and "Revolution" -- which had originally appeared only as 45s -- plus important album tracks like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "A Day in the Life," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and "Come Together," as well as orphaned tracks such as the single versions of "Let It Be" and "Get Back," which had never been on any LP before. The first two sides of the original double-LP edition carry listeners through the highlights of the psychedelic era, starting with "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" and up through "Magical Mystery Tour," before returning to rock & roll territory on "Lady Madonna," "Hey Jude," and "Revolution." The second LP skims three of the more popular tracks off of the sprawling White Album (aka The Beatles) and moves into the late singles ("The Ballad of John and Yoko," "Old Brown Shoe," "Let It Be"), plus single and album highlights from Abbey Road and Let It Be. As a précis of the group's final 36 months, it's all mightily impressive, even if 1967-1970 misses several great songs. But like its predecessor, this set does capture the essence (if not the full range) of the Beatles' later recordings. Note: The 1993 CD reissue of this and its companion volume featured some modest upgrades of some of the masters that overlapped with the 1988 Past Masters, Vol. 1 and Past Masters, Vol. 2. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi Hide synopsis

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