Rain (Remastered 2009)
When The Beatles’ music was first transferred to compact disc in 1987, there was the opportunity to standardize the band’s catalog worldwide by following the form of the U.K. albums. The exception was Magical Mystery Tour. With the addition of recent singles, the U.K. double EP had been expanded to an LP in America, and a CD version of the album entered the core catalog. To round up the remaining Beatles tracks that weren’t included on any albums, two CDs were released in 1988 called Past Masters Volume One and Volume Two.
One of the remarkable things about listening to Past Masters is hearing many of The Beatles’ biggest hits -- “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “I Feel Fine,” “Hey Jude” -- and realizing they were not featured on a U.K. album. Who would dare do that now? Along with those classic songs are high quality B-sides such as “This Boy,” “I’m Down,” “Rain” and “The Inner Light.” The compilation is also a reminder of the vast amount of work The Beatles created in a little over seven years, during an era when even a pause of six months between single releases could be viewed as career-threatening. The way The Beatles kept up their creative pace, while consistently delivering innovative and memorable hits, is an extraordinary achievement -- in fact, it is nothing short of miraculous.