First, disc no. 1 of this collection was scratched by someone. That , i.e, missing something from my Beatles collection, was the equivalent of a life-threatening disease! Many, many thanks to Amazon.com. I found someone selling just that disc so I need not have purchased the complete set again!
As I'm SUCH a Beatles fan, I can't help but give this collection 4 stars. However, my spouse is not a Beatles fan. So this does nothing for her.
"Free As A Bird" is okay. But it's a commercialization of the television anthology. Think of it, the song's composer dead for years yet still able to reunite with his mates to do this song. Okay. A bit too sentimental for my tastes.
The quotes are interesting. They're comments by "the boys" about the band's early development, e.g., when the played with Tony Sheridan (and Pete Best was still their drummer then, I think). But, again, that's more significant to hardcore fans and others would be at best distracted by them.
Yeah, it's fun to hear early Beatles, when they were in Hamburg. And to hear Ed Sullivan--my first introduction to any British musicians, let along the Beatles--announce the BEATles. But if you're really into that sort of collection, I may recommend "Live at Star Club in Hamburg" if it's still available. the recording quality isn't good, but it really is early Beatles.
The set us fun; it's historical. So, if you want a complete collection as much as I do, get it, for sure. But don't expect non-fans to succumb to Beatlemania once they hear it.