Past Masters Volume One

(1988), 7/10
As was the tradition in the 1960s, The Beatles released a lot of non-album singles during their tenure. Some of their best known songs never appeared on an album, such as breakthrough efforts like ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ and ‘She Loves You’ that helped to cement their popularity. The two Past Masters albums collate all of their non-album releases onto a couple of discs – Past Masters Volume One collects material from 1962’s debut single ‘Love Me Do’ through to 1965’s ‘I’m Down’ (the b-side of ‘Help’).

As a collection, it’s similar in feel to their early albums; the same mixture of covers and originals, although it’s probably less consistent in tone as it features oddities like German language versions of a couple of songs. The most interesting material is at the end of the disc, with the 1964 single ‘I Feel Fine’, with the first recorded use of feedback, and the Help! b-sides ‘Yes It Is’ and ‘I’m Down’.

With 17 tracks, it’s arguably has a higher quantity of good songs than most of their early albums, and it forms a nice alternate chronology of their early career.

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