Set for release on November 22nd is the latest Beatles box set, The Singles Collection. The set presents 23 180-gram vinyl singles in faithfully reproduced international picture sleeves. The box features all the UK singles released by the band between 1962 and 1970, as well as an exclusive new double A-sided single for the 1995 reunion tracks “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love,” the band's two John Lennon songs completed by Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr for 1995's The Beatles Anthology.
According to the press release:
(The discs) are newly cut for vinyl from their original mono and stereo master tapes by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios for a new limited edition boxed set. The Beatles: The Singles Collection presents 46 tracks on 23 180-gram seven-inch vinyl singles in faithfully reproduced international picture sleeves, accompanied by a 40-page booklet with photos, ephemera, and detailed essays by Beatles historian Kevin Howlett.
During his 1970 interview with Rolling Stone, John Lennon listed “Help!” as among his best songs: “Because I meant it. It’s real. The lyric is as good now as is was then, it’s no different. And it makes me feel good that I was that sensible or whatever — not sensible, but aware of myself then. It was just me singing ‘Help’ — and I meant it. I don’t like the recording that much — the song I like. We did it too fast to try and be commercial.”
The Beatles' late-producer George Martin recalled telling the group “Can't Buy Me Love” needed to start off with an instantly memorable hook: “Paul started off the whole record by (sings melody) — and that was the beginning of the record. And I said, 'Paul, we need to have a hit tag to start this (to) kick it off.' He said, 'Well, what do you think, then?' I said, 'Take a bit of the chorus!'”
George Harrison recalled the 1967 global satellite broadcast of the group recording “All You Need Is Love”: “I don't know how many millions of people but it was supposed to be some phenomenal amount of people and it was probably the very earliest technology that enabled that kind of satellite link. We just thought, 'Well, we'll just sing 'All You Need Is Love,” because it's a kind of subtle bit of PR for God,' (laughs) basically.”
Ringo Starr has always been grateful to Lennon and McCartney for taking time out to compose appropriate material for him to sing for the Beatles — including his only single hit for the band, “Yellow Submarine”: “They were all written for me. The earlier records — I picked 'Act Naturally' and the Carl Perkins songs like 'Matchbox' — I picked those and said, 'I wanna do this,' and then they started writing for me specially.”
Paul McCartney explained that the inspiration for “Hey Jude” was none other than John Lennon's son, Julian Lennon: “I was driving out to John's house after John and Cynthia had got divorced and I was just going out to say hello to Cynthia and Julian. And I started coming up with these words. In my own mind I was kind of talking to Julian. 'Hey Jules don't take it bad, take a sad song and make it better.' You know it will be alright. So I kind of got the first of the idea on the way out there with this Hey Jules as I thought it was going to be called, It seemed a little bit of a mouthful so I changed it to Jude.”