2020 Album Draft- Round 14- Pick 6- Box Sets- Badfinger20 Selects- The Beatles -Anthology 1.

Now for my last pick in our draft. I’ve come full circle with the Beatles…back in July (hard to believe it was that long ago) it was the White Album and now the 1996 release of Anthology 1 that focuses on a happier but hectic time in the Beatles history.

I can’t explain how excited I was for this release. I was working at a wood shop…just a few months away from my first corporate IT job and I was about to buy this new Beatle CD with a new song. For the first time in my life I could buy a Beatle song that wasn’t recorded in the sixties called Free As A Bird. I had a friend I worked with that doubled as a distribution center driver during holiday season. My plan was to head to lunch the day it was released and buy it in a record shop…remember those? My friend came in with a thick CD case and said here you go…it was Anthology 1 and he said Merry early Christmas.

Anthology 1 covered everything in the time span of 1958-1964. You got a rare McCartney/Harrison song and a Lennon/Harrison song included. Also home studio taped songs and early Decca demos that were shopped and that I only read about until then. Many of the songs were listed in books but had been locked away in EMI’s vault. Also on this were live performances and alternate takes of the songs.

This series introduced the Beatles to a new generation. I had a couple of cousins who were all into New Kids On The Block…when Anthology came out they called me and said now they understood why I liked the Beatles and to this day they still do.

The other thing it did was to help Paul McCartney’s standing. After John Lennon was murdered he was put on a pedestal and Paul was a square. It was unfair. After the Anthology Paul’s reputation as a great songwriter and singer started to move up again in it’s rightful place…

Now to the song that really excited me. The first official new Beatle song in decades. Free As A Bird still stands up to me. George’s slide just cuts through you and it sounds modern yet older at the same time.

The video is hands down my favorite music video. It was still the mid-90s and CGI wasn’t what it would become just a few years later but this works well.

In Spite of All the Danger… a McCartney/Harrison song…the only one to be credited as such was recorded in 1958! One of the first recordings they ever did. You can hear those raw harmonies forming and this was part of the birth of the Beatles. They never properly recorded this song later on which is a shame. I like George’s solo on this one also. Paul will perform it in concert occasionally.

The home/demos were great to hear. Before the Cavern, Hamburg, and worldwide stardom…the start of it all. Hallelujah I Love Her So.

This Anthology covers a lot and to see them grow just between 1958-1964 is something special…not to mention how much they grew with the two other Anthologies. Every band grows but usually not to this extent. So to my fellow castaways we have enough to keep us entertained. Thanks to everyone and thanks to Hans for hosting this. Hope to see you all when the next draft starts.

Paul, George And Ringo Over The Blue Moon – Keener13.com


  1. Beautiful choice, Max! And, can you believe I actually had not watched the video for “Free As a Bird”? It’s really beautifully done, though it can make you a bit seasick at times! 🙂

    I also was really excited when that song came out – the first “new” Beatles music in such a long time!

    • Thank you, Christian. It spans their career really well for a short video and I’ve always liked the song. Yea the bird view can get to you.

    • Thank you! In Spite of All the Danger…it’s a nice song that I wish they would have recorded properly.
      Free As a Bird…I was surprised when I heard it. I didn’t think anything would live up to my expectations but it surprised me…or I was afraid it wouldn’t sound like them..but it did.

    • His album coming out in December will have it at 7 decades in which he’s had music of his released to the public. Amazing. I wouldn’t count him out for one more.

    • It is truly amazing that he’s still going strong and coming out with a new album. I increasingly regard musicians as the holy healers for humankind an Paul is up there in stratosphere of giving us blessings.

  2. What a great guy your friend was. This take kind of sums up what I like about music. I’ll say it again, the personal relationship we have with our music and how it moves us. I have never listened to this but I will because I like that early Beatles stuff. Great way to finish off your picks. We’ll stay in touch. Later.

  3. Great selection- and great to see The Beatles receiving a lot of picks. Seems like 25 years since it’s release has went by pretty quickly. I had just started dating the future Mrs. Postcard a couple months before this- and I remember her buying this for my birthday. She knew early on that I was a Beatles fanatic. This also seemed to open up what has for the most part became- every holiday season there seems to be some new quality Beatles project out be it books or recordings etc. This year would have been the Peter Jackson doc and the Let It Be CD box- but Covid came along. Beatlemania is still going strong 50 years after they called it a day.

    • That makes it more special for you Hans… That is cool. The Beatles got more picks than even I thought they would. I think they were picked in every category. I liked the other two Anthologies a lot but this one was special to me because it was the first…and Free As a Bird.

  4. Max, I’m learning so much about The Beatles from you and Hans and am on my way to becoming a full-fledged Beatlemaniac. A Hard Day’s Night (and the special interview disc afterwards) recently and now learning about the Anthology disc and hearing the new songs from it today (and watching the *excellent* “Free As a Bird” video has me pumped for that Peter Jackson doc. I can see why the video is your favorite. I love how it was mostly b&w but they splashed a little color in there from time to time. You are blessed to have a buddy to bring that to you as an early Christmas gift. Great write-up with the personal touch. Looking forward to reconvening our musical odyssey in 2021 with Hans’ Most Excellent Gathering of Music Adorers and Sharers of Their Beloved Favorites (aka HMEGMASTBF — how’s that for an acronym!)

  5. Wow, it’s getting to the annoyingly ‘too busy’ time of year ’cause somehow I didn’t even see this post yesterday! A good one for sure, and a great personal story of your connection to it. Nice buddy you had! I still prefer later Beatles but this would be a pretty good one still, and an overview of where they “came from”.
    I remember hearing that there’d be a new single from them and thinking “oh, this is going to be both crass and bad” but ‘Free As A Bird’ is quite good. Not among their best but certainly good enough that it deserved to be heard.
    Another great write-up to finish out the event, Max.

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