Just a few months after Beatles fans received one spectacular Christmas present in the form of the release of the band’s entire official catalog on streaming services Christmas Eve, they’re getting another awesome addition. The Beatles Anthology, a three volume set of rarities released by the famed British rockers in the mid ’90s, hit streaming sites for the first time this morning, landing on Apple Music, Spotify, and others.
Among the most coveted B-sides in any rock and roll fan’s collection, the Anthology series contains recordings of previously-unreleased performances, outtakes, and demos. The project was aided in its creation by the then three surviving Beatles members: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison, before Harrison passed away of cancer in 2001.
The compilations were initially put out in a three-volume CD set, the first of which coincided with an Anthology documentary, released in 1995. The subsequent two Anthology albums hit stores the following year.
The records went multi-platinum when they came out two decades ago, with the “new” single Free As A Bird, which was recorded by Harrison, McCartney and Starr based on demos from John Lennon that were made in 1977. The single would become the group’s 34th top 10 hit on the Billboard charts in the U.S.
The Anthology recordings have been newly-remastered by engineers at Abbey Road Studios with the purpose of giving streaming listeners a clearer look into the rare Beatles cuts. The team behind the new Anthology masters was the same one to remaster all the Fab Four’s studio releases in 2009, meaning that all of The Beatles’ material now comes with a clear sonic continuity.
The Beatles’ sound and orchestration has been the subject of much conversation of late, following the passing of legendary producer George Martin, who many regarded as the group’s secret sonic weapon. And thanks to the newly-streamable Anthology recordings, fans now have access to virtually everything the band put out at the click of a mouse.