Contact Us

40 Years Ago: The Beatles’ ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ Albums Released

The Beatles 1962-1966

The Beatles were broken up for a little more than three years when the ‘1962-1966’ and ‘1967-1970’ compilations were released in April 1973. The two-disc sets – known as the ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ albums, respectively – were neither supplements to nor replacements for the band’s other records. They were merely what they appeared to be: collections of great songs by the greatest band that ever walked the earth.

The Beatles 1967-1970

The albums were initially a reaction against a four-record bootleg compilation called ‘Alpha Omega’ that was sold on TV in 1972. But the ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ albums had the original masters at their disposal, compiled by the Beatles’ manager, Allen Klein. More importantly, they had a handful of cuts – including ‘From Me to You’ and the single version of ‘Let It Be’ – that were never released on the Beatles’ official albums.

But most of all, ‘1962-1966’ and ‘1967-1970’ trimmed the little fat that could be found on the original LPs and gathered 54 of the band’s best songs — 28 on the former, 26 on the latter, all written by the Beatles — in one place. They’re strung together chronologically, starting with 1963’s ‘Love Me Do’ (the ‘Please Please Me’ album version) and ending with ‘The Long and Winding Road’ from 1970’s ‘Let It Be.’ Before the CD era, they were the only place to hear many of the single versions of hit songs on something other than scratchy old 45s.

The records were an immediate hit. ‘1962-1966’ reached No. 3; ‘1967-1970’ hit No. 1 for one week. Since their release 40 years ago, they’ve sold more than 30 million copies combined.

The compilations have become such a crucial part of the Beatles Capitol catalog that they were reissued on CD in 1993, and they continue to be an excellent starting point for new Beatles fans.

Next: Top 10 Beatles Albums

Hear the Beatles’ ‘Love Me Do’

Subscribe to 92.9 Jack FM on

Best of Jack FM

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Freeloaders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive Freeloaders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.