September 18, 2014

George Harrison reissue: The Apple Years 1968-75.

In November 1968, George Harrison released 'Wonderwall Music'. A soundtrack to an art film called 'Wonderwall' this predominantly Indian music collection was the first solo album to be released by a Beatle and also the first album on the newly formed Apple Records. George would continue to release albums on Apple (and EMI) through to 1975's soul-influenced 'Extra Texture (Read All About It)' touching on experimentalism with 'Electronic Sound', the magnificent triple album 'All Things Must Pass', the chart-topping 'Living In The Material World' and the, perhaps, less well-known 'Dark Horse'. This box brings all these eclectic albums together in one set that mirrors 2004's 'Dark Horse Years' box set and will contain a perfect bound book with a DVD. All albums have been remastered by Dhani Harrison and Paul Hicks and all will be packaged in high-quality card packs and all albums, apart from 'All Things Must Pass' and 'Living In The Material World' contain newly written notes by Kevin Howlett. The DVD contains a brand new, never before seen video which has been painstakingly overseen by Olivia Harrison and all packages contain new photos many never seen before.

George Harrison's first six solo albums are being reissued as a box set called George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-75. Those albums, from his days on The Beatles' label Apple Records, were I think his strongest, most interesting records: Wonderwall Music, Electronic Sound, All Things Must Pass, Living in the Material World, Dark Horse and Extra Texture (Read All About It). Though I liked something about all the post-Beatles George Harrison records (there were 12), I found those first half-dozen records to be a window into a famous guitar player and songwriter we hardly knew.
Those first two albums, which he did while still a Beatle, were like very few albums out there in the world of pop in the late 1960s. Wonderwall, released in 1968, was a soundtrack album, the first album on Apple Records, and was a response to Harrison's time in Bombay. Electronic Sound was his explorations on a Moog synthesizer. All Things Must Pass is his masterpiece and highlighted Harrison as a prolific emotional songwriter.
His final three records on Apple were all strong. Today we have a bonus track from the reissue of Extra Texture (Read All About It), an alternate version of one of my favorite songs from that album, "This Guitar (Can't Keep from Crying)." The recording was done in 1992 as a demo for Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, who recorded electric guitar on it at the time. The song itself is a sequel of sorts to Harrison's masterful tune "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," a song recorded with The Beatles that featured a brilliant guitar solo from his buddy Eric Clapton. "This Guitar" is a reaction to poor and sometimes scathing reviews, including ones from Rolling Stone that Harrison received when he toured in 1974 ignoring his Beatles legacy in favor of Indian Classical music and his new music.
Learned to get up when I fall
Can even climb rolling stone walls
But this guitar can't keep from crying
This here guitar can feel quite sad
Can be high strung, sometimes get mad
Can't understand or deal with hate
Responds much better to love
For the reissue, this version of the song got overdubs from George's son Dhani Harrison on guitar, Ringo Starr on drums and Kara DioGuardi on vocals. Dhani Harrison also oversaw the reissues. All of the records have been remastered from the original analog tapes and feature bonus tracks, booklets and a DVD. The box set comes out on Sept. 23, but you can pre-order here.


August 24, 2014

Paul McCartney Plays Final Concert at Candlestick Park 08-14-2014

San Francisco said goodbye on Thursday to Candlestick Park -- the stadium where the city's beloved Giants and 49ers celebrated some of their greatest triumphs.

The storied venue shut down after an evening concert by former Beatle Paul McCartney that finished around midnight. It will then be demolished to make way for a housing, retail and entertainment development.
The Stick, as it is known, opened more than 50 years ago and served as the home field for the 49ers and Giants. It hosted greats from both teams, including Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Willie Mays, and was the site of The Catch -- Montana's touchdown pass to Dwight Clark to win the NFC championship game in January 1982 that sent the 49ers to their first Super Bowl.

The Giants played their last game at Candlestick in September 1999. The 49ers will play at a new stadium about 45 miles south starting this year.
Candlestick was also the site of a 1987 mass by Pope John Paul II and the Beatles' last live concert in 1966.

"Anyone you talk to about Candlestick Park is going to have mixed emotions about it: It's not a pleasant place physically. It gets windy and cold, but it's where the Giants and 49ers played for so many years," said Greg Breit, 50, before the concert's start. "There's so much history here. You can't deny it."
Fans savored the final event at The Stick by holding tailgate parties and taking snapshots of the stadium before the late-afternoon fog rolled in.

San Francisco police warned people attending Thursday's concert not to take any chairs or other mementos from the stadium, saying anyone caught with such items could face vandalism charges.

"We don't want people to be trying to take any pieces of Candlestick Park," officer Gordon Shyy told KGO-TV. "Just come enjoy the concert tonight and have a safe night."


You can hear this concert in full here:

July 19, 2014

Ron Howard to Direct New Beatles Documentary Focusing on Band's Early Years

July 16, 2014 9:00 AM ET Ron Howard,Courtesy Imagine Entertainment When Ron Howard was 9 years old, he was already a national television star on The Andy Griffith Show – and there was only one thing he wanted for his next birthday. "The gift that I was begging for was a Beatle wig," he tells Rolling Stone with a laugh. "And on March 1st, 1964, that's what I got: the Beatle wig of my dreams."

Now the Academy Award-winning director is coming full circle with his Fab Four obsession, having signed on to direct and produce an authorized, as-yet-untitled documentary about the touring years of the band’s career (approx. 1960-1966), a period in which the Beatles crossed the globe, sparked Beatlemania and released several classic albums (including A Hard Day’s Night and Rubber Soul). For it, he will interview surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as talk with Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison (wife of the late George Harrison).

"What's so compelling to me is the perspective that we have now, the chance to really understand the impact that they had on the world," Howard says. "That six-year period is such a dramatic transformation in terms of global culture and these remarkable four individuals, who were both geniuses and also entirely relatable. That duality is something that is going to be very interesting to explore."

Howard is joined by Nigel Sinclair, the Grammy-winning producer behind the documentaries George Harrison: Living in the Material World and No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, as well as the producers Brian Grazer (Apollo 13, Get on Up) and Scott Pascucci (George Harrison). They will have access to the vast archives of Apple Corps, the Beatles’ company, as well as incorporate fan-sourced amateur video footage to recreate previously unseen concerts. It's Howard’s second music documentary, following last year’s Jay-Z festival film Made in America.

"We are going to be able to take the Super 8 footage that we found, that was all shot silent. We'll not only be able to digitally repair a lot of that, but we've also been finding the original recordings," explains Howard. "We can now sync it up and create a concert experience so immersive and so engaging, I believe you're going to actually feel like you're somewhere in the Sixties, seeing what it was like to be there, feeling it and hearing it. And as a film director, that's a fantastic challenge."

Sinclair says the team has already unearthed some surprising footage from the Beatles’ final concert at San Francisco's Candlestick Park in 1966. "Their last concert in ’66, when they were probably the most famous people on the planet, [they] ended up carrying their own amps onstage. I think that’s almost emblematic of the charm of this story," he says. Also a longtime Beatles fan, he saw the band in Glasgow in 1964. "It was a memory to treasure."

The film will also explore the "multigenerational quality" of Beatles fandom, according to Howard. "I hope we find some of that in the footage," he says. "We may have a shot of a boy or a girl very early in their life at a concert, and then we may be able to find them today and talk to them, and talk to their grandchildren and see what their relationship is with the Beatles, and understand how multiple generations find tremendous value and relevance in their music."

The documentary is scheduled for a tentative late-2015 release, and Howard says he is eager to begin interviewing McCartney and Starr. Turns out, he has a history with his heroes; half of the band met him on the set of his hit 1970s sitcom Happy Days. "We got word that John Lennon wanted to come by and bring his son [Julian], and he was a big Fonzie fan. I managed to sneak in a picture," he recalls. "He was graciously cool, but mostly it was for his kid, which we all really appreciated."

Howard adds, chuckling, "A year or so later, Ringo and Keith Moon wandered by. I don't know what they were doing in the lot, and I'm not even sure they knew where they were, but they seemed happy to be there."

Source: Read more:
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July 04, 2014

Review: Essential Beatles movie 'A Hard Day's Night' is back on DVD

There should be a law that “A Hard Day's Night,” which was just re-released by the Criterion Collection on DVD, should never be allowed to go out of print. It is a movie that was a landmark film when it was released in 1964 and still is today.
Movie critics, including the late Roger Ebert, praised it to the skies. “It was clear from the outset that 'A Hard Day's Night' was in a different category from the rock musicals that had starred Elvis and his imitators,” he wrote in “Roger Ebert: The Great Movies.” “It was smart, it was irreverent, it didn't take itself seriously, and it was shot and edited by Richard Lester in an electrifying black-and-white semi-documentary style that seemed to follow the boys during a day in their lives.”

The new Criterion DVD does what the company is famous for – present movies in an intelligent setting for film fans. It starts, of course, with the movie, which looks absolutely fantastic, sharper and cleaner and than ever thanks to a transfer from the original negative.

The audio got a big improvement with this new DVD over the previous Miramax version, which only featured a mono soundtrack. The new DVD features both a Dolby stereo and 5.1 surround audio supervised by Giles Martin. His mix makes the music sound dimensional.

The new DVD reorganized the special features from the Miramax set and includes most, though not all. Some of the DVD-ROM interviews on the Miramax set have been incorporated as commentary. Also included is “The Making of 'A Hard Day's Night,'” which included comments by Ebert and Roger McGuinn, plus Phil Collins showing where exactly he was in the movie.

Two of the new features are especially great. “The Road to 'A Hard Day's Night'” is an interview with author Mark Lewisohn about the history of the movie. The new DVD also includes an over-the-film commentary taken from a discussion from the special features of the Miramax DVD. Not that it's bad, but since it was not made specfically for a commentary track, it sounds disjointed since few of the comments match what's happening onscreen. There's also a new feature called “Picturewise” that looks at Lester's movie style.

There are two versions of the release: a single disc regular DVD and the dual-format version that includes Blu-ray and two regular DVDs which include everything on the Blu-ray. Spend the extra and get the dual-format, which also comes with a great little book with an interview with Richard Lester and rare movie pictures, some in color. You won't regret it.

But don't get rid of that Miramax DVD just yet. While it was criticized in some circles and unfairly for the overabundance of special features, a strange complaint, some of those features are missing in the new DVD, among them access to the shooting script. And the video for “I'll Cry Instead” from the original MPI DVD (and the earlier Voyager CD-ROM) isn't here, either.

Criterion has a respected reputation for its film releases. “A Hard Day's Night,” which will be released in England July 21, is no exception and well worth getting.
(Note: Pattie Boyd will appear at a special 50th anniversary screening this Sunday at Catalina Island in Southern California. You can find information here. Also, "A Hard Day's Night" will open a special theatrical engagement July 4. The theaters are listed on the Janus Films website.)


July 02, 2014

A Digitally Restored 'Hard Day's Night'

The 1964 screen debut of The Beatles became a cultural phenomenon. Take a look at scenes from the movie. Bruce and Martha Karsh/Janus Films. Rock movies were never the same after "A Hard Day's Night."

The 1964 screen debut of The Beatles was meant to cash in on the wave of Beatlemania sweeping the band's native England and produce a soundtrack album that American movie studio United Artists could market through its music division. It did that and more: Like its stars, the movie became a cultural phenomenon.
"It elevated the art of the pop-music film," said Beatles biographer Mark Lewisohn, author of "Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years." After a string of peppy jukebox musicals in the late 1950s such as "Rock Around the Clock," the Beatles film set a new standard. "It was the first of its kind to treat the subject with some intelligence and a more sophisticated level of humor."

Janus Films will release a digitally restored version of the film in about 100 cities on July 4, commemorating the 50th anniversary of its premiere at the Pavilion Theatre in London's Piccadilly Circus. The Criterion Collection released a DVD/Blu-Ray edition Tuesday.
"This is the film where we literally get to meet the Beatles," said Peter Becker, president of The Criterion Collection and a partner in Janus Films. The distributor, which released Academy Award-winning "The Great Beauty" digitally to theaters, said a digital projection of the Beatles movie allowed for a much wider simultaneous release than a film version. "It just plays like gangbusters," he said.
The loose-limbed comedy, directed by Richard Lester, follows the Fab Four—Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr—as they travel from Liverpool to London for a TV performance. Antics ensue, many instigated by a mysterious older man (Wilfrid Brambell) that Mr. McCartney claims is his grandfather. Mr. Starr goes on a walkabout. And when they're not singing, or on the run from screaming fans, the performers riff as only slightly exaggerated versions of themselves—making the most of clever one-liners concocted by screenwriter Alun Owen. 

The movie made an impact on generations of Beatles fans. Some of them grew up to direct their own pop-oriented films.

"To me it's probably the greatest rock film ever made," said Morgan Neville, a longtime director of music documentaries whose "20 Feet from Stardom" won the Academy Award this year. "There were a thousand ways that movie could have gone off the rails, but every other pop band since has tried to make it."
Mr. Neville credits much of the movie's success to Mr. Lester. The American filmmaker, then known for his work with British comedians Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan ("The Goon Show"), infused the film with a spirit of "sheer humor and anarchy," Mr. Neville said. It anticipated the work of ensembles like Monty Python's Flying Circus. "He was really at the forefront of the British new wave." Mr. Lester's inventiveness was such that when Lennon was unable to appear in part of the "Can't Buy Me Love" sequence, which was shot outdoors, the director stood in for him: He put on the absent Beatle's shoes and pretended to be Lennon holding the camera.

The film version of "A Hard Day's Night," whose title was taken from one of Mr. Starr's off-the-cuff comments and became the last song written for the film, has many other distinctions. One of the most conspicuous is the group's thick Liverpool accents. "The biggest pop star in Great Britain before the Beatles, Cliff Richard, had adopted a mid-Atlantic accent in the hope that he would be more acceptable to Americans for not sounding completely English," Mr. Lewisohn said. "The Beatles said, 'Here we are and this is us and you can take it or leave it.' Everyone took it."
The seminal Beatles film "A Hard Day's Night" is hitting more than 100 theaters July 4 in a digitally restored version. WSJ contributor Steve Dollar joins Tanya Rivero with a look at the revival of the 1964 classic and its influence. Photo: Janus Films 

The film also reveled in running jokes and sight gags that might slip by a casual viewer. The elderly gent played by Brambell is continually referred to as "clean." As an actor, he was better known as the grubby lead in the BBC comedy "Steptoe and Son," the basis for the American series "Sanford and Son." And in a moment typical of the film's attitude, there's a glimpse of John Lennon with a bottle of Coca-Cola raised to his nose. "Sniffing coke," Mr. Lewisohn said. "It's just there and it's gone."
Some of those subtleties may be more apparent in the restored film, which includes a soundtrack remixed for stereo and surround formats by Giles Martin, son of Beatles' producer George Martin. To ensure the highest fidelity, Mr. Martin went back to original source materials, including stock sound effects that were archived by the BBC. 

In other instances, the producer enlisted a little help to stir some extra Beatlemania. During the performance at the end of the movie, he instructed co-workers to shout out the names of individual Beatles, which weren't very audible in the film amidst all the shrieking. 

"There's a little girl who does the Internet here," Mr. Martin said. "She's the quietest character. She went ballistic. 'PAULLLLLL!!!'"
Despite such enduring enthusiasm, Mr. Martin was mindful of not overdoing it. "You want to have a feeling like you're there," he said. "But I'm not remixing a Michael Bay film."






By Mark Cerulli
After a meticulous 4K restoration by none other than the Criterion Collection, the Beatles’ first film, A Hard Days Night, was unveiled at LA’s Raleigh Studios. Yes, the image was crisp and clean, not a smudge or scratch in sight. (No surprise there as the film’s director Richard Lester personally approved the restoration.) And yes, the music sounded glorious in a new 5.1 mix. In fact, George Harrison’s iconic opening riff on the title track just about knocked this Cinema Retro scribe off his seat! But what was really special about this whimsical film was watching it through the prism of fifty years. From frame 1, we know how we lost both John Lennon and George Harrison. We are living with climate change, al-Qaeda, overpopulation and deforestation, so this movie is a welcome relief, capturing a simpler time in a quainter London which was then still throwing off the shadows of WW II. Most importantly, the film delivers The Beatles in close-up after close-up – all are young, strong and so full of life. To say they “stole the show” doesn’t apply, they ARE the show. The plot, about the trials and tribulations of getting the white-hot group to a live performance is basically filler between musical set pieces, but it earned writer Alun Owen a 1965 Oscar nomination. George Martin’s thumping score also landed an Oscar nod.

Along for the ride is Paul’s cranky grandfather (Wilfrid Brambell) who keeps the band and their managers (dour Norman Rossington and goofy John Junkin) on their toes. Odd looking and angular, Brambell, a major UK TV star at the time, was a sneering contrast to the Fab Four’s glowing charisma.

The film is as much about movement as it is music. The band is always on the move, - on foot, in trains, cars and a helicopter. Richard Lester’s cameras are on the move as well, with numerous hand-held shots and a beautiful aerial sequence where the band escapes a stuffy rehearsal to mess about in a playing field accompanied by Can’t Buy Me Love. With much of the dialogue improvised on the spot, A Hard Day’s Night has a breezy, cinéma vérité feel that obviously worked for its stars as they seem to be having a blast from start to finish.

When The Beatles finally go “live”, the climactic concert delivers vintage “Beatlemania” in all its screaming glory. The lads blast out Tell Me Why, If I Fell, I Should Have Known Better and She Loves You, intercut with an audience full of hysterical teens and the show’s harried director (Vincent Spinelli) having a meltdown in the control booth. It’s all innocent, upbeat and just simply, fun. Are there plot holes you could drive a double-decker bus through? Sure. But who cares? For a brief shining moment the Beatles are together again and all is well with the world.

On July 4th, Janus Films will re-release this restored version of A Hard Days Night in more than 50 cities across America.

June 29, 2014

Vinyl Albums Being Re-Released in Mono 09-2014

With an audiophile audience in mind, The Beatles’ mono albums have been newly mastered for vinyl from quarter-inch master tapes at Abbey Road Studios. While the corresponding CD boxed set from 2009 was created from digital remasters, these new vinyl versions have been cut without the use of any digital technology.  Manufactured for the world at Optimal Media in Germany, The Beatles’ albums are presented in their original glory, both sonically and in their packaging

London – June 16, 2014 – The Beatles in mono

This is how most listeners first heard the group in the 1960s, when mono was the predominant audio format. Up until 1968, each Beatles album was given a unique mono and stereo mix, but the group always regarded the mono as primary. On September 8 (September 9 in North America), The Beatles’ nine U.K. albums, the American-compiled Magical Mystery Tour, and the Mono Masters collection of non-album tracks will be released in mono on 180-gram vinyl LPs with faithfully replicated artwork. Newly mastered from the analogue master tapes, each album will be available both individually and within a lavish, limited 14-LP boxed edition, The Beatles In Mono, which also includes a 108-page hardbound book.

The Beatles, 1968. © Apple Corps. Ltd.

In an audiophile-minded undertaking, The Beatles’ acclaimed mono albums have been newly mastered for vinyl from quarter-inch master tapes at Abbey Road Studios by GRAMMY®-winning engineer Sean Magee and GRAMMY®-winning mastering supervisor Steve Berkowitz. While The Beatles In Mono CD boxed set released in 2009 was created from digital remasters, for this new vinyl project, Magee and Berkowitz cut the records without using any digital technology. Instead, they employed the same procedures used in the 1960s, guided by the original albums and by detailed transfer notes made by the original cutting engineers.

Working in the same room at Abbey Road where most of The Beatles’ albums were initially cut, the pair first dedicated weeks to concentrated listening, fastidiously comparing the master tapes with first pressings of the mono records made in the 1960s. Using a rigorously tested Studer A80 machine to play back the precious tapes, the new vinyl was cut on a 1980s-era VMS80 lathe.

Manufactured for the world at Optimal Media in Germany, The Beatles’ albums are presented in their original glory, both sonically and in their packaging. The boxed collection’s exclusive 12-inch by 12-inch hardbound book features new essays and a detailed history of the mastering process by award-winning radio producer and author Kevin Howlett. The book is illustrated with many rare studio photos of The Beatles, fascinating archive documents, and articles and advertisements sourced from 1960s publications.

Available now for preorder at

The Beatles In Mono
* Available individually and collected in a limited 14-LP boxed edition, accompanied by an exclusive 108-page hardbound book.
  • Please Please Me
  • With The Beatles
  • A Hard Day's Night
  • Beatles For Sale
  • Help!
  • Rubber Soul
  • Revolver
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • Magical Mystery Tour
  • The Beatles (2-LP)
  • Mono Masters (3-LP)

"The Beatles", affectionally known as "the White album". © Apple Corps Ltd.

Official promotional film for the mono vinyl releases.

The prices from Amazon in USA for the boxed set is $409.26, single-LPs are $26.60, the 2LP "The Beatles" $43.97 and the 3LP "Mono Masters" $77.52.

Official press release.


June 26, 2014

Alternate Abbey Road

Alternate takes and mixes from Abbey Road era. All the material presented here has already been bootlegged before. This CD circulates in two versions. The contents are the same (the two medleys have been separated in tracks) but the art is different.

Alternate Abbey Road - Tracklist - Pear Records
August 1972 - "One To One" rehearsal

1     Come Together  - Take 37
2     Something Take 21 - Piano notes at the start, different vocals, no ynth and guitar overdubs
3     Maxwell's Silver Hammer - Early version - different vocal
4     Oh! Darling -  Take 32 - no sound effects, different vocal
5     Octopus's Garden - Experimental take - lead vocal by Paul (22/02/69)
6     I Want You (She's So Heavy) - Live - 18th November 1976, George with Paul Simon live on the Saturday Night Live show
7     Here Comes The Sun - Isolated vocal for the first minute of the song, made for the 1983 Abbey Road Video show
8     Because - Alternate take with instrumental jam at the end
9     You Never Give Me Your Money - Alternate take, starts with organ note, no sound effects
10     Sun King - Alternate take, different ending
11     Mean Mr. Mustard - Original
12     Her Majesty - Alternate take, different beginning
13     Polythene Pam - Alternate take
14     She Came In Through The Bathroom Window - Alternate take, different vocals, no chorus, no strings, more piano
15     Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight - Alternate take from the Anthology video
16     The End - Acetate - as used for Anthology in an earlier stage, this lasts a few seconds longer
17     Something - Alternate take
18     Oh! Darling - Alternate take
19     Because - Original Abbey Road mix
20     The Huge Melody (Part 1) - Original Abbey Road mix
21     A Huge Melody (Part 2) - Alternate take, with final guitar chord
22     Her Majesty - Medley of Abbey Road tracks
23     Abbey Road Medley - Instrumental of "Because" with comments by all four Beatles
24     The End of The Beatles    

Let It Be Naked

Let It Be - Remastered

White Album

Red Album - Greatest Hits 1962 - 1966 - Remastered

Blue Album - Greatest Hits - 1967 - 1970 - Remastered

May 26, 2014

Top 10 Beatles Bootleg Albums

Top 10 Beatles Bootleg Albums
by Michael Gallucci

The three Beatles ’Anthology’ volumes released in the ’90s were supposed to stop bootleggers. OK, maybe not stop them, because the band has been one of the world’s most heavily bootlegged artists ever since unreleased session tapes started making the rounds in the late-’60s. But the trio of double-disc albums officially released by Capitol Records was certainly designed to keep all but rabid fans from acquiring illegal Beatles records. The ‘Anthology’ albums did a fine of sampling the countless hours of demos, mixes, alternate takes and live shows that are available, but they merely skimmed the surface of all the fabness out there. Our list of the Top 10 Beatles Bootleg Albums surveys the best of them.

10 - Beatles Complete Rooftop Concert   

'The Complete Rooftop Concert' (1998)

On Jan. 30, 1969, the Beatles made their last public appearance together on the London rooftop of Apple Records, where they performed a brief impromptu concert for some lucky lunchtime passersby. This album (which includes other tracks from the 'Get Back' sessions) features the entire performance, which was made up of songs that ended up, in slightly altered takes and mixes, on 'Let It Be.'

9- Beatles 'Sessions' (1994)

In 1985, the Beatles' British record company collected a bunch of leftover tracks from the studio vaults and planned to release 'Sessions.' For one reason or another, the record was scrapped. This 1994 bootleg recovers the career-spanning LP. Most of the songs eventually ended up on the 'Anthology' albums, but it's great to hear gems like 'Leave My Kitten Alone,' 'Not Guilty' and an alternate take of 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' the way fans would have heard them in 1985.

8 - Beatles Complete BBC Sessions   

'The Complete BBC Sessions' (1993)

Capitol released a two-disc, 69-track CD in 1994 culled from the radio sessions the Beatles recorded from 1963 through 1965. But this massive 10-volume set gathers every note they played on the BBC, where they performed lots of covers (Chuck Berry, Little Richard, etc.) plus plenty of their own songs with playful rawness.

7 - Beatles Artifacts   

'Artifacts' (1993)

This five-disc series starts in Liverpool in the late '50s with a pre-Beatles cover of Buddy Holly's 'That'll Be the Day' and ends with the band's final overdub session for the 'Let It Be' album. In between are rarities, demos and alternate takes of many favorites. Like the official 'Anthology' albums, 'Artifacts' chronicles the Beatles' story from start to finish.

6 - Beatles Get Back Glyn Johns Final Compilation 

'Get Back: The Glyn Johns Final Compilation' (1999)

The 'Get Back' sessions were supposed to bring the feuding Beatles back together for a fun, loose record after the splintered 'White Album.' But things didn't turn out that way, and the sessions turned chaotic almost immediately (various Beatles quit the group at various times during the recording). Engineer Glyn Johns mixed an early version of the album that's preferable to the cobbled-together official release -- retitled 'Let It Be'  and drowned in strings and other mushy decorations by producer Phil Spector.

5 - Beatles Unsurpassed Masters   

'Unsurpassed Masters' (1989)

This seven-volume series, like several other series in our list of the Top 10 Beatles Bootleg Albums, compiles a wide range of leftover takes, demos and unreleased songs from the band's vast studio archive. There's plenty of reworked classics (like songs with flubbed vocals and without overdubs) for Beatlemaniacs here.

4 - Beatles Alternate Abbey Road   

'The Alternate Abbey Road' (1997)

The Beatles' last album, 'Let It Be,' didn't include the final music they recorded; 'Abbey Road' was the last album they worked on together. And unlike the hate-fueled 'Get Back' / 'Let It Be' sessions (see No. 6 on our list of the Top 10 Beatles Bootleg Albums), 'Abbey Road' was loose and relatively stress-free. This great album reconstructs 'Abbey Road' from alternate takes, offering an eye-opening glimpse of the band's meticulous recording process.

3 - Beatles Turn Me on Dead Man   

'Turn Me on Dead Man: The John Barrett Tapes' (1999)

To keep busy while undergoing cancer treatment in the early '80s, John Barrett, an engineer at Abbey Road studios, began combing the vaults and cataloging the hours of tapes buried there. He uncovered a gold mine of unreleased Beatles material. This two-disc set collects his greatest finds, including rough sketches, unheard mixes and some songs that never made it to the official records.

2 - Beatles Ultra Rare Trax   

'Ultra Rare Trax' (1988)

Before Apple got around to releasing the 'Anthology' CDs in the '90s, the excellent 'Ultra Rare Trax' series was the best roundup of unreleased Beatles material (an official skimpy 'Rarities' LP was released in 1980 but soon went out of print). Spanning eight volumes, 'Ultra Rare Trax' features everything from 'Rubber Soul' outtakes to sloppy jams pulled from the 'Get Back' sessions. Even with the official 'Anthology' series available, these sets are indispensable.

1 - Beatles Acoustic Masterpieces   

'Acoustic Masterpieces: The Esher Demos' (1998)

It's no secret that the four Beatles basically served as each other's backing bands on 'The White Album.' This collection offers solid proof that everyone was working on their own material, which they later brought to the studio for group overdubs. Unlike most of the other records on our list of the Top 10 Beatles Bootleg Albums, 'Acoustic Masterpieces' includes revealing solo acoustic demos by John, Paul and George. It's pretty much 'The White Album' before some color was added.

What's Your Favorite Beatles Bootleg Album?

Did we overlook one of your favorite Beatles bootleg albums in our Top 10 list? Let us know what you think we should have included in the comments section below.

Read More: Top 10 Beatles Bootleg Albums |

May 25, 2014

Beatles Mythology Bootleg Series - 3 Volumes

Strawberry Records - "Mythology" is a valuable next bootleg boxset shaped and contains three volumes. In them the Beatles career is reviewed in the form of studio rarities, and unreleased live tracks from the beginning to the final solution.
The quality is not very good, but some of these shots are not entirely known, then it would be worth giving a listen. I leave it and judge for yourself
Mythology Vol I

Disc 1 (1962-1963)

01 - A Taste of Honey
02 - Love Me Do
03 - Some Other Guy
04 - Keep Your Hands Off My Baby
05 - Beautiful Dreamer
06 - I Saw Her Standing There 2-3
07 - I Saw Her Standing There 2-4
08 - I Saw Her Standing There 2-5
09 - Do You Want to Know a Secret
10 - Thank You Girl 6-7
11 - Thank You Girl 6-8
12 - Thank You Girl 6-10
13 - Thank You Girl 6-11
14 - Thank you Girl 6-12
15 - Thank You Girl 6-13
16 - From Me To You 2-8
17 - From Me To You 2-9
18 - From Me To You 2-11
19 - From Me To You 2-13
20 - Side By Side Theme
21 - Memphis Tennessee
22 - Lennon on Juke Box Jury
23 - I'll Get You
24 - Glad All Over
25 - Twist and Shout
26 - You Really Got a Hold On Me
27 - Pop Chat Interview

Disc 2 (1963)

01 - From Me To You
02 - I'll Get You
03 - She Loves You
04 - Twist And Shout
05 - Royal Command Interview
06 - Interview In Gloucestershire
07 - Public Ear Interview
08 - From Me To You
09 - She Loves You
10 - Till There Was You
11 - Twist And Shout
12 - Dickie Henderson Outro
13 - RTE (Radio Telefis Eireann) Interview
14 - This Boy
15 - Intro
16 - This Boy
17 - All My Loving
18 - I Want To Hold Your Hand
19 - Hello Bongo!
20 - (On) Moonlight Bay
21 - Dirty Deckchair
22 - The Beatles On Juke Box Jury
23 - Doncaster Interview

Disc 3 (1963-1964)

01 - From Me To You
02 - I Saw Her Standing There
03 - All My Loving
04 - Roll Over Beethoven
05 - Boys
06 - Till There Was You
07 - She Loves You
08 - This Boy
09 - I Want To Hold Your Hand
10 - Money (That's What I Want)
11 - Twist And Shout
12 - From Me To You
13 - Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport
14 - I Want To Hold Your Hand
15 - Public Ear
16 - Public Ear
17 - Public Ear
18 - Public Ear
19 - I Want To Hold Your Hand
20 - This Boy
21 - All My Loving
22 - Money (That's What I Want)
23 - Twist And Shout
24 - Outro Sunday Night At The London Palladium
25 - John Lennon At Foyles
26 - John Lennon At Foyles
27 - Band Introduction
28 - Murray The K Intro
29 - She Loves You
30 - You Can not Do That
31 - Twist And Shout
32 - Long Tall Sally
33 - Can not Buy Me Love

Mythology Vol II

Disc 1 (1964)

01 - Paul On A Degree Of Frost
02 - A Hard Day's Night
03 - Dieter Broer Interview At Hilton Hotel
04 - Radio Network Forth Interview
05 - A Hard Day's Night
06 - Hong Kong Interviews
07 - Scene At 6.30 Interview
08 - Top Gear Trailers
09 - If I Fell
10 - A Hard Day's Night
11 - Things We Said Today
12 - You Can not Do That
13 - If I Fell
14 - Long Tall Sally
15 - George Harrison On Juke Box Jury
16 - What You're Doing
17 - Mr Moonlight
18 - What You're Doing
19 - Tyne Tees Interview
20 - I Feel Fine
21 - She's A Woman

Disc 2 (1965)

01 - That Means A Lot - Take 1
02 - That Means A Lot - Rehearsal
03 - That Means A Lot - Take 20
04 - That Means A Lot - Take 21
05 - That Means A Lot - Take 22 - Take 23
06 - That Means A Lot - Rehearsal
07 - Yes It Is
08 - Intro
09 - I Feel Fine
10 - She's A Woman
11 - Baby's In Black
12 - Ticket To Ride
13 - Long Tall Sally
14 - Outro Musical Express Concert
15 - Help! - Take 4
16 - Peter Sellers - Grandma Awards
17 - British Information Service Interview
18 - The Beatles Abroad
19 - Pop Profile - John Lennon
20 - Pop Profile - George Harrison

Disc 3 (1965)

01 - The Eamonn Andrews Show
02 - Intro
03 - I Feel Fine
04 - I'm Down
05 - Act Naturally
06 - Ticket To Ride
07 - Yesterday
08 - Help!
09 - Outro
10 - Run For Your Life, Take 5
11 - This Bird Has Flown, Take 1
12 - This Bird Has Flown, Take 2
13 - This Bird Has Flown, Take 4
14 - I'm Looking Through You, Take 1
15-12 Original Bar, Takes 1-2
16 - I'm Looking Through You, Take 4
17 - The Word, Take 3 RM-1
18 - Saturday Club

Disk 4 (1966)

01 - Announcement By Charlie Hickman
02 - Rock 'N' Roll Music
03 - She's A Woman
04 - If I Needed Someone
05 - Day Tripper
06 - Baby's In Black
07 - I Feel Fine
08 - Yesterday
09 - I Wanna Be Your Man
10 - Nowhere Man
11 - Paperback Writer
12 - I'm Down
13 - Essen Press Conference
14 - She Said, She Said
15 - New Musical Express Poll Winners
16 - Pop Profile - Paul McCartney
17 - Pop Profile - Ringo Starr
18 - Saturday Club
19 - She Loves You, RS1
20 - She Loves You, RS2

Mythology Vol III

Disc 1 (1966-1967)

01 - When I'm Sixty Four - RM6
02 - Strawberry Fields Forever - Take 7 RM 3
03 - Strawberry Fields Forever - Take 26
04 - Penny Lane - RM8 Take 9
05 - Penny Lane - Take 9 RM9
06 - Top Of The Pops
07 - It's All Too Much - Take 4
08 - John Lennon Intro To Kenny Everett
09 - Where It's At
10 - Intro Ivor Novello Awards
11 - Yellow Submarine
12 - Michelle
13 - Yesterday

Disc 2 (1967)

01 - Ringo Starr Radio London Close Down Message
02 - All You Need Is Love - Take 58
03 - All You Need Is Love - Take 58 RM 11
04 - Your Mother Should Know - Take 1
05 - Blue Jay Way - Stereo Mix
06 - I Am The Walrus
07 - Scene And Heard With George
08 - The Frost Programme With John And George
09 - Where It's At - Magical Mystery Tour
10 - All Together On The Wireless Machine

Disc 3 (1968)

01 - Across The Universe - Take 8
02 - Hey Bulldog - Take 10 Stereo Remix
03 - Kenny Everett Interview Complete
04 - Ob La Di, Ob La Da - Take 5 Rejected Version
05 - While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Take 1 Unedited
06 - Frost On Saturday - John And Yoko
07 - Hey Jude - Communicate!
08 - Step Inside Love
09 - The Paranoias - Complete Version 9.16.68
10 - The Way You Look Tonight - Unreleased McCartney Ditty
11 - Can You Take Me Back
12 - The White Album Radio Luxembourg Interview

Disc 4 (1968-1969)

01 - Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monk
02 - Yer Blues - Rm 3 Edit
03 - Back In The Ussr - Rm1
04 - Helter Skelter - Rom 1
05 - Birthday - Rm1
06 - Dear Prudence - Rom 1
07 - Not Guilty
08 - My Baby Left Me
09 - That's Alright (Mama)
10 - Hallelujah I Love Her So
11 - Rip It Up - Shake Rattle And Roll
12 - Rock Jam - Kansas City - Miss Ann - Lawdy Miss Clawdy
13 - Blue Suede Shoes
14 - Old Brown Shoe
15 - Old Brown Shoe
16 - How Do You Tell Someone
17 - Cannonball - Not Fade Away - Hey Little Girl - Bo Diddley
18 - Teddy Boy - Rs 1
19 - Teddy Boy - Rs 1
20 - All Things Must Pass - Take 2 Unaltered
21 - Old Brown Shoe - Take 2 Unaltered
22 - Mean Mr. Mustard - Her Majesty - Polythene Pam - She Came
23 - Come And Get It - Stereo

May 23, 2014

John Barrett Tapes Remastered Collection

The John Barrett Bootlegs have been remastered in February 2011 into a 5-CD set. The  audio has been cleaned up and speed corrected. Below is information how these tapes were created, and cover scans of the new discs.



"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

The remastered collection can be found here: