Although albums like Rock ‘n’ Roll Music (1976), Love Songs (1977) and Reel Music (1982) have all yet to be released in any CD or digital format, Apple and EMI are reviving the spirit of those LP compilations with a new release available exclusively as an “iTunes LP.” Tomorrow Never Knows, subtitled File Under “Rock,” collects fourteen of The Beatles’ heaviest tracks including the psychedelic title track from 1966’s Revolver.
Somewhat surprisingly, some harder-edged hits have been eschewed; while there’s no “Come Together” or “Get Back,” you’ll hear “Savoy Truffle” and “It’s All Too Much.” The earliest track dates back to 1964 with “You Can’t Do That,” first released as the B-side to “Can’t Buy Me Love” and also included on the U.K. Hard Day’s Night album. From 1965 comes the B-side to “Help!” (another rocking song itself, it must be said), the frenetic “I’m Down.” But the majority of the songs on Tomorrow Never Knows hail from 1966 and beyond, with three songs apiece from Revolver and The Beatles (1968). Revolver, of course, emphasized a more electric rock sound after the folk-influenced Rubber Soul, and it was also the last album that the American Capitol label would alter from its original U.K. form. (The American edition of Rubber Soul had even more of a folk-rock flavor than its British counterpart thanks to Capitol's inclusion of “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and “It’s Only Love” and the removal of four songs including “Nowhere Man” and “Drive My Car.”)
After the jump, we have more info including the complete track listing with discography!
Two of the more unusual tracks on the compilation are derived from latter-day projects. “The End,” appropriately enough, was the last song recorded collectively by all four of the Beatles, and closes out the lengthy medley on the second side of 1969’s Abbey Road. (Though recorded later, Abbey Road actually arrived in stores before Let It Be.) Rather than the familiar album version, however, the compilers have opted for the Anthology 3 take first released in 1996. This remix restores the guitar and tambourine parts played (but originally mixed out) during Ringo Starr’s impressive drum solo. From 2003’s Let It Be Naked comes a stripped-down version of “I’ve Got a Feeling,” originally on the 1970 Let It Be album as controversially overseen by producer Phil Spector.
iTunes has released Tomorrow Never Knows in conjunction with the original promo video for “Hey, Bulldog,” which can be streamed on iTunes. The compilation album also includes an introductory note from Macca pal Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters. The iTunes LP is currently selling for $7.99, or $1.29 for each of the album’s fourteen tracks. It’s available now! And we'd like to use this opportunity to ask you: should EMI take advantage of the digital platform to reissue the best-selling LP compilations of the past (generally unauthorized by The Beatles), some of which we mentioned above? Would you still like to see physical releases of those long-lost titles? And how about Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, anybody? It's arguably the most major part of the Beatles' recorded legacy to have been ignored in the CD era. Sound off below!
The Beatles, Tomorrow Never Knows: File Under “Rock” (Apple/EMI – digital-only, 2012)
- Paperback Writer
- And Your Bird Can Sing
- Helter Skelter
- Savoy Truffle
- I’m Down
- I’ve Got a Feeling (Naked Version)
- Back in the U.S.S.R.
- You Can’t Do That
- It’s All Too Much
- She Said She Said
- Hey Bulldog
- Tomorrow Never Knows
- The End (Anthology 3 Version)
Track 1 from Apple single R-5722 (UK), 1968
Track 2 from Parlophone single R-5452 (UK), 1966
Tracks 3, 11 & 13 from Revolver, Parlophone LP 7009 (UK), 1966
Tracks 4, 5 & 8 from The Beatles, Parlophone LP 7067/8 (UK), 1968
Track 6 from Parlophone single R-5305 (UK), 1965
Track 7 from Let It Be Naked, Apple/EMI 7243 5 95438 0 2, 2003
Track 9 from A Hard Day’s Night, Parlophone LP 1230 (UK), 1964
Tracks 10 & 12 from Yellow Submarine, Apple LP PCS-7070 (UK), 1969
Track 14 from Anthology 3, Apple 7243 8 34451 2 7, 1996
Barry Gutman says
I despise -- and will not buy -- digital-only releases! This is a horrible, horrible trend!!!
Lawrence Schulman says
I agree as well!
I agree — I will NEVER buy a digital download release! Although all of these tracks (with the possible exception of the singles) are available on CD elsewhere so I'm not too worried about this seemingly pointless release. I've never been much of a fan of compilations or greatest hits packages.
There will always be a market for compilations like these, and for listeners too young to experience the Beatles firsthand in the Sixties, these albums were likely their first exposure to the band, so they'll sell well. But let's hope EMI does right by these recordings; let's not forget how they badly fumbled the two boxed set reissues of the Capitol albums. Hollywood Bowl will, of course, require the investment of time and money to make them more listenable, but the Japanese bootleg version from the '90s shows that it's possible. Finally, is it too much to hope for the release of previously unissued material? Wiskey Flats, Blackpool, Royal Variety Perforance, etc. are historic, high-quality recordings that have circulated unofficially for decades and are deserving of official release.
Rock dawg says
While themed compilations like this and the 70's/80's releases you mentioned are interesting (Love Songs remains a personal favourite), in the digital age they seem really pointless to me. Especially since Apple/iTunes has put such promotion behind all of the long awaited digital releases, who hasn't bought a ton of Beatles already and needs a compilation of just these "rock" tracks?
The tie in of the Hey Bulldog clip reminds me that what I would like to see is a video compilation of the various promotional videos the band made over the years. I remember when the Red/Blue CD's came out, it seemed that EMI released a few of these films with red or blue borders around the frame to the video channels.
Simon Franklin says
The EMI/Capitol/Apple accountants strike again! I'm with Barry, Lawrence, Scott and Mark on this one.
With CD sales in decline, this is the future method of offering comps I suppose. If you own the entire Beatles catalog as released on CD so far, you can make this one up yourself in no time but for the up & coming fans, who are really the target for Apple/EMI now anyways, this concept may be attractive given the price charged.
You'll never please everyone but at least they shook things up a bit by including LIBN mix of IGAF and the Anthology version of 'The End.' The only other way to appeal to die hard fans would be to include something previously unreleased.
Mike Duquette says
I think compilations still have a place in the digital world, believe it or not. I mean, how many young people do you know whose iPods only have three or four tracks from an album instead of 10 or 12?
But I think there has to be some sort of an incentive, whether it's a sale or a previously-unreleased cut. (And if one does opt for one digital track, please make it purchasable on its own. Nothing worse than the thought of having to pay $10 for one tune.) A video generally isn't the kind of incentive I look for, as I don't watch videos outside of YouTube or on DVD (which perfectly segues into how brilliant you guys are for suggesting a video compilation!).
"Carnival of Light," anyone?
I suppose we can expect this track around the same time we get Let It Be on DVD/Blu-ray (along with an audio release of more outtakes from those sessions and the Rooftop Concert), not to mention a release of the promo video clips, and a release of the Shea Stadium film,
In other words, no bloody time soon I'm sure.
Jason Michael says
I am with the posters above- I will not buy a digital-only release. I would love if EMI released some of the compilations to CD, especially as a few of them had some different mixes only available on those comps. But I'm not sure they would pull the right mixes. I can't believe Hollywood Bowl hasn't come out on CD yet.
I don't have a great deal against a release like this, though because it is really just Apple selling a playlist that might generate some interest in some of the Beatles deep cuts with younger fans. I already have all the tracks so I'll skip it.
One thing to note is that, according to some posters at the Hoffman board, "I've Got A Feeling" is NOT the Naked version, but the mix from the original "Let It Be".
And I would really like a DVD of all the Beales promo videos.
Why bother? I would never buy this - but I would buiy an actual CD of this compilation just because I'm a Beatles nut and avid collector. But a download only release - NEVER !!!
I think what would have made this release more appealing to older Beatle fans is if outside of the digital compilation a vinyl version was made available for physical collectors. I know when Target stores sold the limited edition 45/T-shirt combos last year I ate them up and was quick to do so again for the Record Store Day 4x45 Red Singles box. At first glance of the image I actually got excited that there might be something like that but was let down to find out the vinyl image was just the digital artwork. Boo!
John J D'Angelo says
never have downloaded a digital release of any kind - and do not intend to do so in the future.
physical cd in my hands please ( with booklet)
I am in total agreement with those who express a sincere disdain for digital downloads. I never have and never will buy those. As for this rock and roll collection, I would much rather see The Beatles/EMI/Capitol reissue the 1976 double album Rock n' Roll Music on CD complete with replicated metallic gate-fold mini album cover art. All the tracks have been remastered already so its really a no brainer.
Jason Michael says
Actually, George Martin re-EQed, added some compression and narrowed the stereo image a bit on the tracks for the US release of the 1976 Rock 'n Roll Music LP (also, the channels were somehow reversed). So if EMI/Apple were to reissue it, I would like it to be with the masters used for that release. Otherwise I can make up a playlist of the tracks from my collection. (Though I agree it would be cool to have the foil cover in CD size!) Having the unique versions from the comp available digitally would be ideal for me.
I wasn't aware (or I just don't remember) that George Marting tweaked the tracks on the Rock n Roll collection. I agree that any reissue should be as it was on the original LP release. Interesting info. Thanks!
Bill B says
I agree with most of the above comments, to hell with digital downloads. As for compilations, I have all the cds and will make my own. Gee, did it ever occur to them to maybe put out a compilation of songs remixed in 5.1?
Of course, as many pointed out this isn't really aimed at hardcore Beatles fans. There is no value added and perhaps that is why it won't be released as a cd. Although, if you look back a few years, The Beatles "Number One" compilation sold a ton so there is a market.
Lawrence Schulman says
One thought: I am sure the day Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club or Abbey Road come out in surround sound (DVD-A, SACD, Blu-ray audio, or whatever) they will sell well and cause more of a commotion than any digital download. They might even change the listening habits of quite of few people.
Joe Marchese says
I will never buy a "digital download",, not even a unique title by a favorite artist
Okay, I'm curious: For the people voicing their refusal to purchase digital-only material, would you feel the same even if there were original/unreleased tracks included? Because sure, if you've already got all these songs anyway, it's easy to say "why bother?" But if you're saying you'll pass up songs you'd otherwise be interested in, simply because they're on a hard drive instead of a piece of plastic...I just can't relate.
I prefer physical media too...I've got 1,000+ CDs even though they're a pain to maintain and keep room for...I love the notes, the art, etc...but the all-caps, exclamation-point level of intensity here is just beyond me. If something I'm super-excited about gets released digital-only, I'm STILL gonna be super-excited as I download it, because all the other details of physical vs. digital are tangential to the music itself, not the other way 'round.
A kick-ass song is a kick-ass song. And I'd rather have a kick-ass song in less-than-ideal circumstances than not have it at all.
Jason Michael says
With the current pricing structure for digital downloads, I would feel the same even if there were original or unreleased tracks. I realize intellectually that the music is the whole point, and that I get the same music whether it is a physical item or a file on my computer. But I am simply not feeling the same value with that file. In addition to buying many of the deluxe reissues that are the purview of this site, I also buy a lot of used CDs and LPs. Frequenting garage sales, thrift shops and eBay, I buy many as low as 10 cents a piece. Having done this for years, I have a lot of trouble buying something intangible off the cloud for $10. I am also wary because I figure that these digital only releases may be released in physical form down the road. And if not, and I want to listen to that kick-ass song on my computer, I can likely do so for free on youtube or others of it's ilk.
Also, I am old and reactionary 🙂
Yeah, I understand the economic aspect. I'll admit, since music's about my only major vice and I'm lucky enough to have some disposable income, I do have price-blindness sometimes if it's something I really want. Is it worth dropping $40 on an 8-track fanclub CD on eBay? Who's to say...but I don't mind the occasional splurge. 🙂 (Then again, that's a different situation anyway, due to the supply/demand aspect of a limited release. But my point is that I usually just look the other way if I want it badly enough.)
"releases may be released in physical form down the road" - Now THAT'S a good point I've never considered. With the digital items I've been interested in, I've always had the impression they'd remain digital-only, either due to lack of general demand, or legal rights issues, etc. (Two examples: a live album of a UK charity concert, and an album of U2 covers which was originally bundled free with a British music mag, but supposedly restricted to digital-only in the US because of copyrights or royalties or some such.)
Now I'm wondering, have there been any cases of a digital release that was later physicalized? (And is that even a word?)
Lastly, as for being 'old and reactionary,' I think that's kinda the elephant in the room (not so much in terms of age as a general personality type). I don't mean to sound condescending or mocking or anything, but with some of the "I refuse this!!" reactions I see (and not just on this site) ... I mean, it's like a person saying they'll never go back to McDonald's until they change their fries. Um, good luck with that. Generally speaking, megacorporations aren't gonna change course because of a few loud voices, not when they're continuing to rake in the dough from a larger population that's sufficiently content with the way things are.
(Cue complaints about the MP3 generation) 😀
JG--To answer the question you posed below--"Now I’m wondering, have there been any cases of a digital release that was later physicalized?"
All indications are that the current Smashing Piumpkins reissues program will eventually include the first-ever physical CD version of "Machina II: The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music", which was released to the internet way back in 2000.
Yeah, I can't wait for that one. I've never heard it, so I've no idea if the songs are actually any GOOD, but I'm glad it's finally seeing the light of day in a more 'normalized' capacity. (Not only was it digital-only, but I think specifically only available thru the band's website or something?)
Has anybody stopped to think that maybe Apple didn't put this title together in order to sell Beatles music to people who already own it--that they maybe, just maybe, put it together in order to entice potential new buyers into buying Beatles music for the first time?
Jason Michael says
Yes, some of us already said as much earlier in the thread.
I remember vividly the "Rock and Roll Music" compilation which came out in 1976. It was a double LP.
It would be nice if the record companies, both major and indie, would put out more physical only product both on vinyl and compact disc and make them exclusive to record stores. This one day a year business for Record Store Day is for the birds. They should be releasing exclusive physical product year round to give the record stores a boost.
Since my initial gut reaction to hate this compilation for being the monkey beater it is, I have accepted that since it is only $7.99 for 14 somewhat wonderful songs and since I won't be buying it because I have the Stereo box, the LIB Naked and Anthology and can make my own once I've downloaded the cover art from this page, I really feel that if someone wants a quick weird compilation they are entitled to buy it. If it makes the Beatles a little more money, that's OK too, it won't be my money. Now EMI, how about releasing the above mentioned Rock and Roll Music with unique 1976 mixes, the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl and the wacked US mono/stereo first edition of Yesterday... and Today.