Album facts: Anthology 1

On November 20th 1995 The Beatles released Anthology 1; the first of their series of albums to compliment the Anthology documentaries. This first iteration focuses on the very early Beatles, including some hitherto unreleased recordings from 1958 to 1964. There's also some live performances and outtakes from the studio; as well as some of The Beatles' Decca audition, at which they were infamously rejected.

"I am trying to tell the story of the Beatles lives in music, from the moment they met to the moment they split up in 1970. I have listened to everything we ever recorded together. Every take of every song. every track of every song, virtually everything that was ever committed to tape and labelled "Beatles". I have heard about 600 items in all." - George Martin
 Anthology 1, 1995.

Anthology 1, 1995.

The album marks a Beatles reunion of sorts. John Lennon had recorded a demo of a song called Free as a Bird on his piano in New York City in 1977, but it was never completed. When compiling tracks for Anthology 1 Paul McCartney approached Yoko Ono and asked if she had anything of John's that they could work with. The Beatles had always maintained they would never get back together if even one of them wasn't there. This was seen as a way of having John with them in the studio.

Yoko handed Paul a tape with demos of Free as a Bird, Real Love and Now and Then. The Beatles worked on Free as a Bird with Jeff Lynne; adding lyrics, vocal and instrument overdubs. They worked tirelessly on the track to do it justice, knowing expectations would be sky high among fans. It features as the opening track on Anthology 1. 

Chart success

Anthology 1 entered the US Billboard at number one on December 9th 1995, and stayed there for 3 weeks. It failed to reach the top spot on the UK Albums Chart, peaking at number 2. 

Track listing

Disc 1

  1. "Free as a Bird"
  2. "We were four guys ... that's all"
  3. "That'll Be the Day"
  4. "In Spite of All the Danger"
  5. "Sometimes I'd borrow ... those still exist"
  6. "Hallelujah, I Love Her So"
  7. "You'll Be Mine"
  8. "Cayenne"
  9. "First of all ... it didn't do a thing here"
  10. "My Bonnie"
  11. "Ain't She Sweet"
  12. "Cry for a Shadow"
  13. "Brian was a beautiful guy ... he presented us well"
  14. "I secured them ... a Beatle drink even then"
  15. "Searchin'"
  16. "Three Cool Cats"
  17. "The Sheik of Araby"
  18. "Like Dreamers Do"
  19. "Hello Little Girl"
  20. "Well, the recording test ... by my artists"
  21. "Besame Mucho"
  22. "Love Me Do"
  23. "How Do You Do It"
  24. "Please Please Me"
  25. "One After 909" (sequence)
  26. "One After 909" (complete)
  27. "Lend Me Your Comb"
  28. "I'll Get You"
  29. "We were performers ... in Britain"
  30. "I Saw Her Standing There"
  31. "From Me to You"
  32. "Money (That's What I Want)"
  33. "You Really Got a Hold on Me"
  34. "Roll Over Beethoven"

Disc 2

  1. "She Loves You"
  2. "Till There Was You"
  3. "Twist and Shout"
  4. "This Boy"
  5. "I Want to Hold Your Hand"
  6. "Boys, what I was thinking..."
  7. "Moonlight Bay"
  8. "Can't Buy Me Love"
  9. "All My Loving"
  10. "You Can't Do That"
  11. "And I Love Her"
  12. "A Hard Day's Night"
  13. "I Wanna Be Your Man"
  14. "Long Tall Sally"
  15. "Boys"
  16. "Shout"
  17. "I'll Be Back" (Take 2)
  18. "I'll Be Back" (Take 3)
  19. "You Know What to Do"
  20. "No Reply" (demo)
  21. "Mr. Moonlight"
  22. "Leave My Kitten Alone"
  23. "No Reply"
  24. "Eight Days a Week" (sequence)
  25. "Eight Days a Week" (complete)
  26. "Kansas City / Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!"
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