I remember when these RED and BLUE albums were first released on vinyl. The two albums used the same photographs - one an unused alternate shot from the PLEASE PLEASE ME cover photo shoot. Photographer Angus McBean had them pose looking down from a stairway at EMI for their debut album in 1963. In early 1969 The Beatles were again photographed by McBean, on the same stairway - this time for the GET BACK album. However, the GET BACK album wasn't released. The photo was also considered for the cover of the LET IT BE album, but rejected. These 2 stairway shots over 6 years apart made for a very effective cover for a compilation spanning the groups' career.
In the early 1970's a pirated BEATLES compilation began appearing in television ads, distributed by Alpha-Omega,Ltd. These RED and BLUE albums were released to combat the unauthorized Alpha-Omega 4 album set. The RED album, a 2 record set called 1962-1966 and the BLUE album, a 2 record set called 1967-1970 were released in 1973 on the same day. Both albums sailed up the charts competing with BAND ON THE RUN, RINGO, LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD and MIND GAMES.
I don't have the CD releases of 1962-1966 and 1967-1970, but here are a few things I do know.:
A DAY IN THE LIFE is the version with the "clean" intro with John's count-in ; the same as it appears on the IMAGINE soundtrack CD
Many of the pre-1965 songs are in stereo.
The US vinyl version of 1962-1966 had Ken Thorne's orchestral intro 'James Bond-like" theme on the beginning of the track HELP!. I don't know if this appears on the CD version.