Anthology 3 (1997)

Disc One
1.A Beginning
2.Happiness is a Warm Gun
3.Helter Skelter
4.Mean Mr. Mustard (Take)
5.Polythene Pam
6.Glass Onion
7.Junk (Take)
9.Honey Pie
10.Don't Pass Me By
11.Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da
12.Goodnight (Version)
13.Cry Baby Cry (Version)
15.Sexy Sadie
16.While My Guitar Gently Weeps
17.Hey Jude
18.Not Guilty
19.Mother Nature's Son (Take)
20.Glass Onion (Version)
21.Rocky Raccoon (Take)
22.What's the New Mary Jane?
23.Step Inside Love
24.I'm So Tired
25.I Will
26.Why Don't We Do it in the Road? (Version)
27.Julia (Take)

Disc Two
1.I've Got A Feeling
2.She Came in Through the Bathroom Window
3.Dig a Pony (Version)
4.Two of Us (Take)
5.For You Blue
6.Teddy Boy
7.Medley: Rip It Up/Shake Rattle and Roll/Blue Suede Shoes
8.The Long and Winding Road
9.Oh! Darling (Take)
10.All Things Must Pass
11.Mailman Bring me No More Blues
12.Get Back
13.Old Brown Shoe
14.Octopus's Garden
15.Maxwell's Silver Hammer (Take)
17.Come Together (Version)
18.Come and Get It
19.Ain't She Sweet
20.Because (Version)
21.Let it Be
22.I Me Mine
23.The End


The third and final installment of the Anthology series. Initially the rumor was that no one knew whether there would be two or three. If there was ever any doubt, it seemed a good thing that the decision was made to "stretch" the material into 3 double discs. Like Anthology 2 most of the material here is interesting enough to listen to in the versions presented. There are several rehearsals and jam sessions that are rough, but still welcome. There are no speeches, televsion appearances or concert songs to clutter the mix. Featured are mostly highlights from the last three Beatles albums, when the group wasn't getting along too well after the passing of their manager Brian Epstein, yet the material is all great form.

Unlike the first two sets, there are no new songs here. Rumor has it that there was a third song somewhere buried in the rubble, but it was decided that they couldn't salvage it to meet the standards of the first two. That's a little dissappointing, but you have to believe that they knew what they were doing. Instead, the first song is a snippit of Good Night from The Beatles (White Album) with the vocals removed. It's a nice segue.

Next are several acoustic demos of songs the band would incorporate on their albums including Junk that was, instead, featured on Paul's first solo record. Since McCartney's first solo release was a "stripped" bare album, the differences are minimal. Of course, the scuttlebutt around this time was that The Beatles were growing further apart, so it's no surprise that this album features a lot of other compostions that the members would use for later solo releases. From the same freshman McCartney album, we get a good version of Teddy Boy and George features a demo from his first solo record, the title cut All Things Must Pass. Also featured is his song Not Guilty which he would shelve until a 1979 solo release.

Like the last release, there are numorous songs that seem as though they could serve as "alternate" takes since they sound very similar to the original versions to which the listener is accustomed. The lullabye Good Night sounds almost identical to the orginal, albeit a bit stripped down - which actually adds to the charm. Speaking of "better than the original", Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps is arguably the best thing on any of the 3 disc sets. Again, it's a much simpler, stripped down version with only acoustic guitar. The same can't be said of the version here of Hey Jude. This one was before the chorus of "nah-nah-nahs" at the end. It's still not without its charms.

Perhaps the most interesting thing on here is the unreleased song What's the New Mary Jane that appeared on several bootlegs throughout the years, but remained a mystery for most. It's definitely in the same vein of Revolution 9 (not featured here, thankfully), with just enough of a catchy chorus to play in your head despite the overwhelming weirdness.

The second disc in the compilation is much of a "repeat" of the first. Alternate versions of songs we know and love, stripped down demos and a couple of jam sessions. Because is the most interesting thing here in terms of nostalgia. It is featured here acapella (basically the opposite of how Eleanor Rigby was featured on Anthology 2). Of course, just like the "end" to the regular studio albums, the band chooses the aptly titled In the End to close the set here. It can be said that the Anthology series is a "must" for any devoted fan, and there's also enough to keep less diehard fans interested as well. Many of the material on all 3 discs still sounds refreshing after multiple listens. This also started a bit of a trend - many artists would now rerelease old classic albums with snippets of outtakes and alternate versions as some sort of "bonus disk". Not really a bad way to cash in, since any true fan of any group loves to see this sort of thing. Overall the whole experiment worked out pretty well.

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