`It's an almost classic final-act debacle, given some coherence by the White Album out-takes' - Arts and Entertainment - The Independent

`It's an almost classic final-act debacle, given some coherence by the White Album out-takes'

ANDY GILL ON ALBUMS

The Beatles

Anthology 3

EMI 724383445349

If the second Anthology was supposed to represent "the days of dash and daring", then this one, presumably, represents the days of fluff and farewell.

In covering the post-Pepper period of the White Album, Abbey Road and Let It Be, the package offers the out-takes and omissions from, respectively, their most patchily self-indulgent LP; the LP on which the production gloss is most at odds with the triviality of much of the material; and the LP which was so poor the band themselves baulked at releasing it for a year. Considering the Beatles' fractiousness by this point, Anthology 3 makes for a sorry contrast with its predecessors.

It's an almost classic final-act debacle, given some coherence, oddly enough, by the condition of the White Album out-takes. Much of the material for that LP was written while the group were with the Maharishi at Rishikesh, where the lack of electricity had thrown them back on to their basic acoustic guitar skills; many of the subsequent home and studio run-throughs collected here were initially presented in that manner, giving the first disc of this collection something of the feel of a Beatles folk-rock album.

Were it not for George Harrison's eventual maturity as a songwriter, Abbey Road would have ended up the archetypal polished turd: aside from his "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun"- the latter not present here - the album featured only one substantial song (Lennon's "Come Together") adrift in a sea of inconsequential fragments buffed to a specious shine by the sure hand of George Martin. Without that veneer, none of the rehearsals included here passes muster.

There are, of course, a few previously unreleased tracks - demo versions of "Step Inside Love" and "Come And Get It"- of which the most significant is Lennon's "What's the New Mary Jane", a naive, stumbling piano number that dissolves into a musique concrete collage of surprising gentleness. Apart from that, it's pretty slim pickings hereabouts.

VARIOUS ARTISTS

Headz 2

Mo' Wax 061/062

Upping the ante considerably from their original Headz compilation, Mo' Wax here offer two double-CDs of contemporary computer-groove instrumentals. It's a staggering set, brimful of diverse vitality, and constitutes the best one-off snapshot of where the whole dance/ techno/ ambient/ trip- hop/ jungle scene is at. In particular, it profits from not being end- to-end jungle, while the trip-hop cuts gain in depth from being set alongside the virtuoso turntable scratching of DJ Krush, the ramshackle hip-hop grooves of the Beastie Boys, and the post-rock rumblings of Tortoise. The standout track of the 54, for me, is Grantsby's eerie, evocative "It's Coming", in which a particularly cinematic sample and trumpet phrase are put through various studio blenders and driven along on a succession of breakbeats, making smooth transitions between driving rhythms and crepuscular, dockside moods.

CHUCK D

Autobiography of Mistachuck

Mercury 532 944-2

The last few Public Enemy LPs have seen Chuck D re-aligning his bomb- sight from its former lock on white-devil oppressors towards the self- deluding, criminal worldview that helps hold black Americans back from complete emancipation. So too here: this album is saturated with enough anti-gangsta diatribes and general moral righteousness to get Chuck adopted as Bob Dole's running mate.

Unfortunately, there's no Flavor Flav around to sweeten these bitter pills with a little cartoon levity. Instead, unfunny skits are interspersed between tracks, and Professor Griff - no comedian he - invited to harangue us further. What's even more depressing is that Chuck's still prey to the same associations, and the same habits of language, as those he attacks. One track features chums who brag they'd "rip a bitch in London just for one shilling". Surely Chuck realises that violent hyperbole breeds its own culture?

BETH ORTON

Trailer Park Heavenly

HVNLP17 CD

The debut album by East Anglian songstress Beth Orton is a very timely response to the deluge of American female artistes - the Sheryls, Alanises and Pattis of the Nineties - in that its unflinchingly contemporary production shames their hand-me-down retro-rock leanings.

Using such musicians as Red Snapper's Ali Friend on double-bass and the Sandals' Will Blanchard on drums, along with judiciously applied touches of harmonium, strings and mandolin, producers Victor Van Vught (Tindersticks, Nick Cave) and Andrew Weatherall (Primal Scream, Sabres of Paradise) have given her songs an air of bohemian modernism in keeping with their wistful melancholy.

The end result, on tracks like "Tangent" and the 10-minute "Galaxy of Emptiness" is highly suggestive of what the late Nick Drake might have come up with had he dabbled in dub. Stylish, individual and impressiven

Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

TV
Arts and Entertainment

To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

books
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams is reportedly competing with Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss for a major role in True Detective

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall is set to dance with Ola Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing. 'I have a friend who's a dancer and she said to me 'You want Ola because she's a fantastic dancer and she can make anyone look good' meaning 'even you'!' he said.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sting and Paul Simon on stage together at Carnegie Hall in New York

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week