The River Rhine Tapes (Secret Garden SGCD-08/09/10)
Disc 1: Two Of Us, Dig A Pony, I’ve Got A Feeling, Don’t Let Me Down, I Me Mine, Let It Be, For You Blue, One After 909, Long And Winding Road, Get Back, Oh Darling, Across The Universe, Dig It, Mailman Make No More Blues, Good Rockin’ Tonight, Twenty Flight Rock, Her Majesty, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer by John, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer by Paul, Suzy Parker, Bad Finger Boogie, Mean Mr. Mustard, All Things Must Pass, The Walk, River Rhine, Billy Beatle Boogie
Disc 2: Get Back (fast version), I’ve Got A Feeling, Oh Darling, Gimme Some Truth, Honey Hush, Let It Down, Across The Universe, Rock and Roll Music, Watching Rainbows, Lookin’ Out The Window, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, Child Of Nature, Golden Slumbers, Chi Chi Cha, Paul’s piano piece, Something, High Heeled Sneakers, Old Brown Shoe, Another Day, Back Seat Of My Car, Better Get Home, Get Back (slow version), The House Of The Rising Sun, Shakin’ In The 60’s, One After 909, Don’t Let Me Down, Get Off, Let It Be, Two Of Us, Tennessee
Disc 3: Get Back Under Water, Friendship, Let It Be, Maggie May, The Midnight Special, Old Brown Shoe, Martha My Dear, Get Back In German, One After 909, Polythene Pam, I Want You, Grease Paint On Your Face, Octopus’ Garden, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, I Got A Feeling John, You Really Got A Hold On Me, I Lost My Little Girl, Besame Mucho, Eddie The Dog, Get Back John, Penina, Almost Grown, Devil In Her Heart, Don’t Be Cruel, Hitch Hick, Mean Mr. Mustard, The Inner Light, Three Cool Cats, She Said She Said, You Can’t Do That, You Win Again, Across The Universe
Without a doubt The Beatles’ Get Back sessions from January 1969 are the most bootlegged sessions on the planet. One of the earliest vinyl releases go straight back to that year with Kum Back in its many and various incarnations.
In these latter days we have two very complete and comprehensive sets, the Day By Day Series on Yellow Dog and Thirty Days on Vigotone. Asking what exactly does The River Rhine Tapes on Secret Garden add to what we have already is a legitimate question.
The reality is this new title adds nothing new. Rather this is a sort of “best of” of these lengthy sessions and is a good compilation for those (like me) who either don’t have the patience to wade through the huge box sets or who can’t afford them. It shows that Apple could have really made a great addition to Let It Be…Naked instead of the disappointing “Fly On The Wall” bonus disc.
A collector told me that The River Rhine Tapes document each song that was worked on and I’ll take his word for it. It contains a generous selection of songs from Let It Be, Abbey Road (like “Oh Darling” with John on vocals), and subsequent solo work (“All Things Must Pass” and Lennon’s “Child Of Nature” later reworked as “Jealous Guy”).
What is different with these is the mastering done by a collector placing the original mono tapes into a faux stereo effect. Whether this is good or not depends upon who you ask, but it is a job well done and not at all intrusive.
This comes packaged with the thick color glossy inserts as is usual for this family of labels. I only wished they included an insert with detailed liner notes documenting the origin of each of the tracks selected for this compilation. Many sources exist that have this information but it would save the time in research.