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Rarities [UK]

Categories: Beatles albums Compilations

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When Parlophone issued The Beatles Collection LP box set at the end of 1978, Rarities provided a neat way of tying up a few loose ends (mainly B-sides and EP tracks), as well as just filling up the box. Together with The Red and The Blue — 'coincidentally' re-released on coloured vinyl earlier the same year — it meant that the band's entire canon was available on album for the first time.

The company stated that Rarities would be exclusively available as part of the set; so, being past the point of no return in building my own collection at the time, I rapidly passed a blank cassette to one of my more affluent pals in order to acquire this eclectic mix of goodies. I also acquired a few second-hand bargains from the same source, but that's by the by. You can imagine how pissed off the guy was, anyway, when the album was issued in its own right the following year...

Thus, everyone had the chance to get to hear a whole load of gems, which — unless you knew someone with a stack of old 45s — were nigh on impossible to get your ears round in the seventies. Why, we could even sing along in Germantwice! Though showing a complete disregard for chronology, the sleevenotes helped younger listeners to work out what was from when and where in the band's history.

The 'Wildlife' version of "Across The Universe" opened, and flipside highlights on Side One included "Thank You Girl", "I'll Get You" and "You Know My Name". George's "Inner Light" also came out of the shade at last, having been overlooked on both Hey Jude and The Blue.

After "Rain", the second side took on a distinctly rock 'n' roll flavour: "She's A Woman", "I'm Down" and "Bad Boy" being interspersed with all four songs from the Long Tall Sally EP. Have some fun tonight we most certainly did, as it got played over and over at all those teenage parties when someone's parents were out for the night!

The issue of Past Masters, of course, made all of the tracks readily available, rendering the collection obsolete to all but the most obsessive of collectors.

Nothing's gonna change my world...

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