May 22, 2014

The John Barrett Cassette Tapes

There are 2 collections of John Barrett tapes.  The main collection is called "The John Barrett Cassette Dubs" (photos below) is an 8-CD set of nearly everything he collected from his years in the EMI vaults. Another is a set called "Turn Me On Deadman" from Vigitone, which is a 2-CD greatest hits of what he collected from the EMI vaults. Some of these are still available online in blogs and via torrent, but are slowly disappearing. The good news is much of this material has been repackaged on other CD sets on other labels.

"Turn Me On Dead Man: The John Barrett Tapes" is a revelatory experience for Beatles fans, comprising tracks taken directly from the late Abbey Road engineer's cassette dubs of material he found during the vaults searches in 1982. Included are previously unavailable tracks and mixes as well as items featuring significant upgrades in sound quality from earlier appearances on other collections. The package also includes a booklet with informative liner-notes and rare photos.

Prior to the early 1980's, it was pure hearsay amongst Beatles aficionados as to what was inside the EMI vaults pertaining to the group's residency at Abbey Road and other studios from 1962 until 1970. Also, very little was known about actual recording dates of their album and singles. Most of the information that was available to fans came from contemporary reports in UK music magazines such as "New Musical Express" or "Melody Maker", or fan mags like "Beatles Monthly". This info, some correct, some not, was then regurgitated in many of the earlier Beatles books, such as Roy Carr and Tony Tyler's "An Illustrated Record" or Harry Castleman and Wally Podrazik's "All Together Now".

All of this uncertainty was to change beginning in 1981. That year, an engineer at Abbey Road named John Barrett found he had cancer, and was looking for a way to occupy his time while undergoing treatment. Ken Townsend, the manager of the studios at the time, thought that finally going through the vaults and seeing exactly was and was not there with regards to the Beatles' many recording sessions would be an excellent task for the ailing engineer.

Barrett ripped into his task with gusto, spending weeks listening through every tape and making up a detailed "catalog" of sorts, with multi-colored tabs and dividers for easy access to the various sections, and color codings for the multitudes of mixes and takes which were included. The first fruits of this research was used on the insert for the box of EMI's "The Beatles Singles Collection" issued in December of 1982, which featured for the first time the recording dates for the tracks enclosed. Also, an informative article in "Record Collector" by Nick Piercey in october 1983 included EMI mouthpiece Mike Heatley using Barrett's guide when answering Piercey's queries about various Beatles recording issues.

Throughout 1982, Barrett was also compiling audio material for a Beatles multi-media show that would take place in the famed Abbey Road Studio 2 while it was being refurbished in the summer of 1983. While this cataloging and assemblage for "The Beatles At Abbey Road" (as the show was to be imaginatively titled) was occurring, Barrett was running cassette dubs of some of the more interesting material for his own use. Some of the material was mixed as he was running his tapes, while some tracks where the original mixes done at the time of the recording sessions. Barrett knew what he was doing; he dubbed off lengendary tracks such as "Leave My Kitten Alone", which had never been issued, as well as the more interesting alternate takes in the vaults like "Norwegian Wood" take one. Also, many of the tracks he dubbed where stereo mixes of titles that at the time hadn't seen the light of day in stereo, or had seen limited release, such as "This Boy".

Meanwhile, the late Roger Scott, a well-known UK disc jockey, was enlisted to do the narration for the "Abbey Road" show, and was given copies of these dubs as well. Scott actually used some of the tracks from these dubs in 1984 (the same year Barrett died, in February) for a 12-hour radio show on the Beatles entitled "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". This material subsequently appeared (taken directly from the radio show discs) on the NEMS release "Not For Sale" in early 1985. Copies of some of the tapes made it into other hands one the Continent, who subsequently issued various series such as "Ultra Rare Trax" on Swingin' Pig, and Yellow Dog's "Unsurpassed Masters", based on the Barrett dubs, mixed with other sources.

However, much of the material dubbed off by Barrett went unissued... until now. Taken from the original cassette dubs, here are a bunch o' Beatles tracks you've never heard in this forum. They are all either different mixes, or significant upgrades from previous appearances, or in some cases, completely unissued.

While John Barrett's name may not be as lengendary in the Beatles' world as other researchers such as Mark Lewisohn, his initial work was the cornerstone for all that is now finally known about the Beatles' recording sessions. In tribute, we hope you enjoy these tapes ... hopefully John Barrett would be happy to know that his efforts were not in vain !

Trevor Osmond Williams, June 1999

Below are the 8 Volume CDs:

Below is the 2 Volume set CDs:

Track Listing for 8 CD set:

The Beatles John Barrett's Cassette Dubs Vol. 1-8 (FLAC)

The Beatles John Barrett's Cassette Dubs Vol. 1-8

Source discs of 1982 John Barretts remixes on 16CD's

Vol. 1 - That Means A Lot:
01. Twist & Shout (US stereo mix)
02. She Loves You (RS1; Geoff Emerick)
03. She Loves You (RS2, version 2)
04. Please Please Me (UK stereo mix)
05. I'll Get You
06. I Call Your Name (US stereo mix )
07. All My Loving (with hi-hat intro - German "Beatles Greatest" version)
08. That Means A Lot (Take 20 & portion of Take 21)
09. That Means A Lot (Takes 23 & 24)
10. That Means A Lot ("test" take - unnumbered)
11. I'm Looking Through You (Take 4 - complete!)
12. We Can Work It Out (alternate stereo mix)
13. I Live For You - George Harrison (full version)
14. Dera Dera Doon - George Harrison (full version)
15. Gopala Krishna - George Harrison (complete full version)
16. Going Down To Golders Green - George Harrison (full version)
17. Nashville Freakout - Ringo Starr (longer version)
18. Pete Drake's Talking Steel Guitar (longer version)
19. What You're Doing (Take 11 - unedited)
20. Stormy Weather - Ringo Starr (slightly longer)

Vol. 2 - Los Paranoias:
01. Step Inside Love/Los Paranoias/The Way You Look Tonight - 9/16/68
02. Can You Take Me Back (from "I Will" take 19) - 9/16/68
03. Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da (take 5) - 7/5/68
04. It's All Too Much (full version - RM2?) - 5/25, 31 & 6/2/67
05. It's All Too Much ("Yellow Submarine" version) "
06. Old Brown Shoe (take 2 - diff. mix than Anth. 3) - 2/25/69
07. All Things Must Pass (take 2 - mono - diff. mix than Anth. 3) - 2/25/69
08. Teddy Boy (RS1 by Glyn Johns 1/24/69) - 1/24/69
09. Teddy Boy (RS1 by Phil Spector 3/25/70) - 1/24/69

Vol. 3 - She Loves You:
01. She Loves You (RS2 by Geoff Emerick on 11/8/66)
02. She Loves You (released version)
03. From Me To You (vocal intro; stereo mix of 45)
04. From Me To You (harmonica intro; 1982 stereo remix)
05. Thank You Girl (without harmonica in middle - take 14 w/edit from take 30)
06. Thank You Girl (with harmonica in middle - called take 30)
07. That Means A Lot (RS 1 from take 1- done 2/23/65)
08. That Means A Lot (chat + end of Take 2)
09. That Means A Lot (mono - low reverb mix)
10. That Means A Lot
11. This Boy (RS 15 - 11/10/66)
12. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (take 1)
13. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (take 2)
14. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (take 4)
15. What You're Doing (Take 11) - 9/30/64
16. Yes It Is
17. I'm Looking Through You (take 1)
18. I'm Looking Through You (take 4 - alternate stereo mix)
19. Mr. Moonlight (Take 4)
20. Mr. Moonlight (1982 stereo remix)
21. 12-Bar Original (takes 1 & 2; major quality upgrade)
22. Penny Lane (RM6 from 1/9/67 - complete oboe version)
23. Penny Lane (RM11 w/trumpet end)
24. Strawberry Fields Forever (RM 3 from take 7 - 11/29/66; complete)
25. Strawberry Fields Forever (RM 9 from take 26 - 12/15/66; new vocal)69

Vol. 4 - How Do You Do It:
01. How Do You Do It? (unedited mono - diff. mix than Anth. 1) - 4/9/62
02. One After 909 (Take 2) - 5/3/63
03. One After 909 (master edit of Takes 4 & 5) - 5/3/63
04. Leave My Kitten Alone (Take 5) - 8/14/64
05. If You've Got Trouble (alternative original stereo master) - 2/23/65
06. That Means A Lot (mixed mono) - 2/20/65
07. This Bird Has Flown (Take 1 - original stereo master) - 10/12/65
08. I'm Looking Through You (Take 1)
09. Not Guilty (unaltered Take 102 - complete) - 8/12/68
10. What's The New Mary Jane (incomplete; remix w/overdubs)
11. Come And Get It (demo - alternate stereo mix w/double
tracked vocal) - 7/24/69
12. Rip It Up/Shake Rattle And Roll (Get Back session - 1/26/69)
13. Kansas City/Miss Ann/Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Get Back session - 1/26/69)
14. Blue Suede Shoes (Get Back session - 1/26/69)
15. Cannonball/Not Fade Away/Hey Little Girl (Get Back session - 1/26/69)
16. Mailman Bring Me No More Blues (Get Back Session - no fade)
17. 12-Bar Original (Take 2 - complete 1965 mono mix)
18. What's The New Mary Jane ("Sessions" version)
19. Mailman Bring Me No More Blues ("Sessions" version)
20. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Take 5, complete muddy stereo mix)
21. While My Guitar Gently Weeps ("Sessions" version; Take 1 - edit)

Vol. 5 - Odds & Ends:
01. Plastic Ono Band : "Slow Blues Jam" (studio jam)
02. Plastic Ono Band : "Fast Rocker" Ringo Starr - ""Beaucoups of Outtakes"
03. "The Wishing Book" (Beaucoups Of Blues outtake)
04. "Nashville Freakout" (short version)
05. "Stormy Weather" (Sentimental Journey outtake)
06. "Octopus's Garden" (alternate version for George Martin TV special)
07. "Wine, Women, Loud Songs"
08. "Coochy Coochy"
09. "I Live For You" 1969 (edited finished version)
10. "Dehra Dun" 1969 (shorter edited mix, different verse)
11. "Gopala Krishna" 1969, (shorter edited mix)
12. "Going Down To Golders Green" 1969 (finalized edited version)
13. "Get Back" 1969 (George's demo for Doris Troy)
14. "Pete Drake's Talking Steel Guitar" (edit version)

Vol. 6 - Abbey Road Video Show:
01. Love Me Do (Take 18)
02. How Do You Do It? (Take 2; excerpt)
03. I Saw Her Standing There (Take 2, 11 & 12)
04. Twist & Shout (Take 1 - RS1 - 2/25/63)
05. One After 909 (Take 4; incomplete)
06. Don't Bother Me (Take 11 & 12; incomplete)
07. A Hard Day's Night (Takes 2 & 3 - false starts; Take 9 - RS2)
08. Leave My Kitten Alone (Take 5; excerpt)
09. I'm A Loser (Take 8)
10. She's A Woman (Take 1, excerpt)
11. Ticket To Ride (Take 2)
12. Help! (Take 5; instrumental)
13. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (Take 1; incomplete)
14. I'm Looking Through You (Take 1; incomplete)
15. Paperback Writer (Take 2 - RS3; 10/31/66)
16. Rain (Take 7 - RS1)
17. Penny Lane (Take 9 - RS1)
18. Strawberry Fields Forever (medley - Take 1, 7 & 26)
19. A Day In the Life (with count-in)
20. Hello, Goodbye (Take 22 - RS2)
21. Lady Madonna (Take 4)
22. Hey Jude (Take 9; incomplete)
23. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (unedited Take 1; acoustic)
24. Because (Take 7; alt. mix with a capella first half)
25. #9 Dream (spoken intro by Ringo)

Vol. 7 - Get Back (ver.2):
01. One After 909
02. Link / Rock & Roll
03. Chat / Save The Last Dance For Me
04. Don't Let Me Down
05. Dig A Pony
06. I've Got A Feeling
07. Get Back
08. Let It Be
09. For You Blue
10. Two Of Us
11. Maggie Mae
12. Dig It
13. The Long And Winding Road
14. I Me Mine
15. Across The Universe
16. Get Back (Reprise)

Vol. 8 - Sessions:
01. How Do You Do It
02. One After 909
03. Leave My Kitten Alone
04. If You've Got Trouble
05. That Means A Lot
06. Norwegian Wood
07. I'm Looking Through You
08. Not Guilty
09. What's The New Mary Jane
10. Come And Get It
11. Shake, Rattle And Roll
12. Rock Jam
13. Blue Suede Shoes
14. Mailman Bring Me No More Blues
15. 12-Bar Original (Acetate)

You can get it here...