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The Beatles Box Set was released on September 9th 2009 (the date an obscure Beatles reference for the discerning fan) amid great deals of joy - and great deals of demand. The set, originally around £200 at release, is now sitting at around £100 online, but be warned: buying it on eBay (and from some sellers on Amazon) more often than not results in being delivered a Chinese counterfeit. If you find the Beatles box for anything less than £130, you're unlikely to nab the real thing. I tried to buy the set at £40 online, then again for £79, and finally at £140. It took three attempts to buy the genuine set, ridiculous amounts of hassle, but it is of course completely worth it.
It goes without saying that the Beatles music is incredible, and well worthy of the 5 star rating. Earlier albums in the band's chronology, not including their phenomenal first record, are a little bit underwhelming and bland, but from 'Rubber Soul' onwards you will fall in love with the Beatles (if you hadn't already). The fact the music was created by 4 men (...and Ringo) over the course of around 10 short years is nothing short of impressive. I'm not sure there's any band out there who has been as popular - or as prolific and consistent - as the Beatles were in the 1960s.
So aside from the 14 albums included, which essentially speak for themselves, there is also a DVD with 'The Mini Documentaries' on it. They're a great companion to the album set, with some exclusive and 'never before seen' images/tapes/narration, but avid Beatles fans probably won't get much out of them. Excellent for introducing new generations to the band, however.
The set is nicely put together, very simple and minimal. It looks great on a shelf and is most definitely 'the' collectors piece of any big Beatles fan. The remasters of the albums are noticeably nice, particularly when listening with headphones - most notably the beautifully symphonic Abbey Road - or on a quality hifi - Sgt. Pepper's is something of a floorfiller.
The only real caveat I have with the collection is how expensive it is. Granted, they are some of the finest albums ever put to disc, but the pricepoint is actually quite alienating to someone who isn't sure about whether they'd like the Beatles or not. It feels greedy, the inherent exclusivity around the art of the Beatles - not really true to the band's spirit at all!
That all said, if you are a fan this is an obvious and conclusive must-buy... an investment, even.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Please Please Me Documentary
2 Misery (2009 - Remaster)
3 Anna (Go To Him) (2009 - Remaster)
4 Chains (2009 - Remaster)
5 Boys (2009 - Remaster)
6 Ask Me Why (2009 - Remaster)
7 Please Please Me (2009 - Remaster