freshly ripped from the original silver discs - including full scans of the artwork (+ the covers of the booklets with John Barrett's notes)
Originally produced and announced to appear in 1999, it actually wasn't until the beginning of 2000 that these three fabulous boxes hit the streets. At that point in time their effect was greatly diluted on account of other releases having already spread the wealth of new recordings garnered from John Barrett's cassette dubs (most notably, Vigotone's "Turn Me On, Dead Man") and a lot of people justified their not buying this pricy collection by pointing out that there was hardly anything new to be found in it. Had this set come out at the head of the pack, people would undoubtedly have felt very different about it (It's all about timing, y'know!) because it offers an impressively comprehensive overview of the Beatles phenomenon as it unfolded during eight action-packed years: lots of great studio - BBC - live - interview material is gathered here together "as it happened, baby".
Apart from The Complete BBC sessions, this is the one bootleg that all British Beatle fans should own. In addition to an excellent selection of studio outtakes, it includes - to my knowledge - every known British concert recording between 1963 and 1965, as well as key interviews and spoken performances such as Juke Box Jury. This captures, more than any other audio set I have come across, what the British experience of Beatlemania felt like at the time. Even the later, admittedly more tedious, interviews, remind us of how it was towards the end. In short, a necessary and highly enjoyable part of any serious Beatles fan's collection, whether you happened to be there or not.