These compilations are notable for three distinct reasons:
1. Both have great cover images. The infamous “butcher” cover for Yesterday and Today speaks for itself. However, I prefer the Hey Jude cover. It was taken from the band’s last official photo shoot. They look here like a cross between The Band and some odd goth-rock band from the 80s. See how heroin-thin Lennon was.
2. They are U.S. hodgepodges that reinforce the ridiculousness behind the so-called integrity of the running order of the band’s U.K. releases. Yesterday and Today cobbles some of the songs that didn’t appear on the American LPs for Help!, Rubber Soul, and Revolver. Hey Jude gathers the rest of the (mostly) latter-day singles and B-sides that didn’t show up on any of their American LPs prior to February, 1970. As such, the compilations squeeze the last drop of juice for the American market—but qualify today as intriguing mix-tapes. You could marvel at the way “Drive My Car” on YT and RS leads to a depressive Lennon tune; yet on YT, it’s the sadder one you hear. You could also marvel at how HJ opens with “Can’t Buy Me Love” and, there on the first side, closes with Lennon’s call to arms and/or militant skepticism, “Revolution.” So the two compilations act as excellent mix-tapes, no more or less, and prove Lennon’s assertion that a great rock & roll record is simply a collection of great songs.
3. Stream-based services render them superfluous. Only collectors need seek them out.