The Beatles

Capitol, 2006

REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck


The Beatles are still churning out albums. Who knew?

Actually, LOVE defies description, as it attempts to be a greatest hits collection, a soundtrack to the Cirque De Soleil show and a mash-up a la Danger Mouse's Grey Album.

This makes for an incredibly disjointed album, albeit a compelling one. The best thing about this disc is the gorgeous remastered sound of these Beatles classics; never has the band sounded so crisp and textured, and that ultimately is the selling point for this disc. One can only hope it's the beginning of the long-overdue remastering of the band's catalog.


My primary problem with this album is that it doesn’t go far enough. Too many songs are just...there. Songs that we have heard countless times on the radio, in their original arrangement, are not given any special treatment here except for maybe a keyboard whoosh here and there, or a combination with a snippet of another song (“Blackbird/Yesterday,” for example). Yes, these are good songs, but we don't need another hits package. That's what The Beatles 1 or those red and blue albums are for.

The successful mash-ups on LOVE are intriguing. To hear the ending coda “Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite” blend seamlessly with the monstrous riff of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy) and Macca screaming his lungs out in “Helter Skelter” is something special. “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “A Day In the Life” both start off completely stripped down and progress to the fully orchestrated versions we all know so very well.

Yet some are just half-assed. “Blackbird/Yesterday” simply features the opening licks of the former blending into the opening licks of the latter. Whoop-de-freakin-do. The same goes for “Something/Blue Jay Way,” or “Eleanor Rigby/Julia.” Martin should have seriously considered brining a person experienced in recordings albums like this, because these are songs are indicators that Martin didn’t completely “get it” like Danger Mouse did with the Grey Album, which was truly an original mash-up disc. See my review of American Edit for more information on this phenomenon.

In the end (pun intended) LOVE is just all right. It could have been so much more, which is the tortuous part. The Beatles 1 is still a better disc to introduce those very few who have no idea who the Walrus was, and LOVE does not go far enough to be essential for die hard fans. It's simply an interesting curio, more so in what it suggests and in its remastered sound (check out the amped-up snippet of “Glass Onion” or the loud and improved “Lady Madonna”) than in the actual songs.

Rating: B-

User Rating: B-


I just got this a month ago and I have to say you were right, Jeff. There are only a few truly creative tracks, mainly "Strawberry Fields," "Mr. Kite," "Get Back" and the cool combination of "Within You Without You" and "Tomorrow Never Knows." But most of the rest are just spliced together or are just louder versions of the originals. I didn't buy this for another take on "Revolution." As such, about seven songs on here are truly keepsakes, but the rest are just louder versions of songs we know.

However, since it's the Beatles, it's still amazing.

© 2006 Jeff Clutterbuck and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Capitol, and is used for informational purposes only.