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ANTHOLOGY: 2 features the Beatles’ working tapes from their most fertile period—the years in which they abandoned touring, retreated into the studio, and recorded some of their most enduring music. This isn’t a survey of Beatles hits, but a treasure trove of rough drafts and near misses. An early take of “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” finds John Lennon still working out his vocal phrasing; a run-through of “Got To Get You Into My Life”, recorded before the brass section was brought in, has the band trying all sorts of harmonies and an alternate bridge. “Your Mother Should Know”, with a marching snare-drum beat, is nearly unrecognisable from the released version, and “Good Morning Good Morning”, stripped of the heavy SGT. PEPPER psychedelic makeup, rocks with Stones-like ferocity. There is also lots of clowning around on ANTHOLOGY: 2—most prominently, John and Paul giggling their way through an early vocal take of “And Your Bird Can Sing”. But the bulk of ANTHOLOGY: 2 isn’t genius at play; it’s genius at work. There are three takes of “Strawberry Fields Forever” that see this rock classic evolving from Lennon demo to bare-bones practice arrangement to full-blown production. Also featured are McCartney’s solo demos for two of the Beatles’ best. To hear him showing the band the chords to “Yesterday”, and sitting alone at his piano, still fooling with the words to “Fool On The Hill”, is to hear pop history quite literally in the making.