Past Masters is a two-disc compilation originally released as two separate volumes on 7 March 1988, as part of the first issue of the band’s catalogue on compact disc.
Every song released commercially by the band that wasn’t on the Beatles’ 12 original UK albums or the US Magical Mystery Tour LP is included in this set. Mark Lewisohn provides background information in the liner notes. Most of the Past Masters set is made up of A- and B-sides from the band’s singles, including single versions of songs that appeared on the band’s albums in a different format. A UK-only EP, two German-language tracks, a song recorded for the American market, and a charity compilation track are also included.
Past Masters is the Beatles’ 14th (and final) major release, despite not being a studio album. The Beatles’ core catalog was standardized in 1987, followed by official re-releases in 2009.
Past Masters Vol. 2 contains 15 tracks from British singles with B-sides.
It includes “Wildlife” version of “Across the Universe” (from the charity album No One’s Gonna Change Our World) and the 1970 stereo mix of “The Inner Light” previously available only on a limited edition 1981 EP.
Past Masters Vol. 2 tracklist
(All songs written and composed by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted).