September 24, 2016

The Beatles Live At The Hollywood Bowl to be released in September

The Beatles have announced the release of remixed and remastered recordings of their Hollywood Bowl concerts from 1964 and 1965.
Live At The Hollywood Bowl will be released in September 2016 to coincide with the Ron Howard documentary The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years.
The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl cover artwork

The new album – released on CD and digital download on 9 September, and on vinyl on 18 November – contains 17 songs: eight from the 1964 show, two from the first 1965 show, six from the second 1965 show, and a composite version of Dizzy Miss Lizzy from the two 1965 recordings (similar to the 1977 album).
Extracts from the three concerts – 23 August 1964, and 29 and 30 August 1965 – were released in 1977 as The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl, but the album has been long out of print.
A technical fault left Paul McCartney's vocals and introductions inaudible during the first four songs of the 29 August 1965 show, rendering a substantial portion of the recordings unusable.
Five songs from 30 August 1965 appeared on The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl: Twist And Shout, She's A Woman, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Can't Buy Me Love and A Hard Day's Night. The album version of Dizzy Miss Lizzy was a composite edit incorporating parts of the 29 and 30 August performances.
The track listing is almost identical to that of the 1977 album, aside from four extra tracks, three of which are previously unreleased.
Beatles fans have long hoped for the full release of the 1964 and 1965 concert recordings, although that now seems unlikely.
Here's the official press release:
The Beatles’ Companion Album to New Ron Howard-Directed Feature Documentary Presents Remixed and Mastered Recordings from Three Hollywood Bowl Concerts.
Apple Corps Ltd. and Universal Music Group are pleased to announce global release plans for The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl, a new album that captures the joyous exuberance of the band’s three sold-out concerts at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl in 1964 and 1965. A companion to The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years, Academy Award®-winner Ron Howard’s authorized and highly anticipated documentary feature film about the band’s early career, The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl will be released worldwide on CD and for digital download and streaming on September 9, followed by a 180-gram gatefold vinyl LP on November 18. The album includes a 24-page booklet with an essay by noted music journalist David Fricke, and its cover art features a sunny photo taken on August 22, 1964 by The Beatles’ then-U.S. tour manager, Bob Bonis, as John, Paul, George and Ringo boarded a chartered flight from Seattle Tacoma Airport to Vancouver, BC for their first concert in Canada.
Documenting The Beatles’ Hollywood Bowl concerts on tape was no easy feat, as producer Sir George Martin explained in his album notes for 1977’s The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl: “The chaos, I might almost say panic, that reigned at these concerts was unbelievable unless you were there. Only three track recording was possible; The Beatles had no ‘fold back’ speakers, so they could not hear what they were singing, and the eternal shriek from 17,000 healthy, young lungs made even a jet plane inaudible.”
While The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl references the long out of print 1977 album, it is an entirely new release, directly sourced from the original three track tapes of the concerts. To preserve the excitement of the shows while unveiling the performances in today’s best available clarity and quality, GRAMMY Award® winning producer Giles Martin and GRAMMY Award® winning engineer Sam Okell have expertly remixed and mastered the recordings at Abbey Road Studios, including the thirteen tracks from the original album produced by Giles’ father, plus four additional, previously unreleased recordings from the momentous concerts.
“A few years ago Capitol Studios called saying they’d discovered some Hollywood Bowl three track tapes in their archive,” says Giles Martin. “We transferred them and noticed an improvement over the tapes we’ve kept in the London archive. Alongside this I’d been working for some time with a team headed by technical engineer James Clarke on demix technology, the ability to remove and separate sounds from a single track. With Sam Okell, I started work on remixing the Hollywood Bowl tapes. Technology has moved on since my father worked on the material all those years ago. Now there’s improved clarity, and so the immediacy and visceral excitement can be heard like never before. My father’s words still ring true, but what we hear now is the raw energy of four lads playing together to a crowd that loved them. This is the closest you can get to being at the Hollywood Bowl at the height of Beatlemania. We hope you enjoy the show…”
Featuring rare and exclusive footage, Ron Howard’s The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years is based on the first part of The Beatles’ career (1962-1966) – the period in which they toured and captured the world’s acclaim. The film is produced with the full cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison. The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years touches on the band’s Hollywood Bowl concerts and includes footage of the “Boys” performance featured on The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl.
White Horse Pictures’ GRAMMY Award®-winning Nigel Sinclair, Scott Pascucci, and Academy Award® and Emmy Award®-winner Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment are producing with Howard. Apple Corps Ltd.’s Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde are serving as executive producers, along with Imagine’s Michael Rosenberg and White Horse’s Guy East and Nicholas Ferrall.
Following a world premiere event in London on September 15, the film will roll out theatrically worldwide with release dates set in the U.K., France and Germany (September 15); the U.S., Australia and New Zealand (September 16); and Japan (September 22). In the U.S., Hulu is the presenting partner for Abramorama’s theatrical release of the film, which will be available to stream exclusively to Hulu subscribers beginning September 17. Studiocanal and PolyGram Entertainment are also anchor partners on the film, having acquired U.K., France, Germany and Australia and New Zealand rights. For more information about the film, visit
The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl track list:
  1. Twist and Shout [30 August, 1965]
  2. She’s A Woman [30 August, 1965]
  3. Dizzy Miss Lizzy [30 August, 1965 / 29 August, 1965 – one edit]
  4. Ticket To Ride [29 August, 1965]
  5. Can’t Buy Me Love [30 August, 1965]
  6. Things We Said Today [23 August, 1964]
  7. Roll Over Beethoven [23 August, 1964]
  8. Boys [23 August, 1964]
  9. A Hard Day’s Night [30 August, 1965]
  10. Help! [29 August, 1965]
  11. All My Loving [23 August, 1964]
  12. She Loves You [23 August, 1964]
  13. Long Tall Sally [23 August, 1964]
  14. You Can’t Do That [23 August, 1964 – previously unreleased]
  15. I Want To Hold Your Hand [23 August, 1964 – previously unreleased]
  16. Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby [30 August, 1965 – previously unreleased]
  17. Baby’s In Black [30 August, 1965 – previously unreleased] [sic]


August 29, 2016

How Michael Jackson bought the publishing rights to the Beatles Catalogue

The King of Pop once took some business advice from Paul McCartney—and used it to buy all of the Beatles song collection.

Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney first met and became friendly in the mid-1970s, when, according to Jackson, McCartney tried to sell him a song, "Girlfriend," for Jackson's upcoming solo album. Although it took a couple of years (and McCartney released the song first with Wings), the two hit it off, and over the next few years, they collaborated on a number of duets. The lead single off of Jackson’s smash album, Thriller (1982), was "The Girl Is Mine," a duet he penned while watching cartoons with McCartney. Likewise, McCartney’s album Pipes of Peace (1983) had two songs featuring Jackson, "The Man" and "Say Say Say." The two superstars even filmed a music video for "Say Say Say," playing traveling vaudevillians who peddle their "Mac and Jack Wonder Potion" to unsuspecting townspeople.

During this time, McCartney reportedly explained to Jackson about the lucrative nature of music publishing. For complex legal reasons, the Beatle had lost his stake in Northern Songs, the publishing company that he and John Lennon set up, in the late 1960s. Because he wasn’t profiting from his own songs’ publishing rights, McCartney told Jackson about how he had been purchasing other artists’ catalogues (such as Buddy Holly’s) as a business investment. McCartney explained to the future King of Pop that whoever owns the rights to a song’s lyrics and composition earns royalties every time that song plays on film, TV, the radio, in a commercial, or in a concert. According to McCartney, Jackson then jokingly told him "one day, I’ll own your songs."

With the help of his attorney John Branca, Jackson started buying the rights to '60s songs that he liked enough to dance to. In 1984, Branca told Jackson that music publishing company ATV was for sale. Owned by an Australian billionaire named Robert Holmes à Court, ATV owned the rights to 251 songs from the Beatles’ catalogue (as well as 4000 other songs and a library of sound effects). Branca asked Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, who ran Lennon’s estate, if she was interested in teaming up with McCartney to purchase ATV. Ono said no and reportedly gave her blessing for Jackson (rather than a corporation) to own the songs. Branca then asked McCartney’s lawyer if McCartney wanted to buy ATV, and his lawyer said the catalogue was too expensive.

Branca offered Holmes à Court $30 million for ATV, but other people—including Virgin’s Richard Branson and music industry executives Marty Bandier and Charles Koppelman—were also bidding on the company. Going against the counsel from his group of advisors (including businessman David Geffen), Jackson told Branca to offer $40 million. Holmes à Court still wanted more money, but Jackson stood firm in his desire to buy ATV. "You can’t put a price on a Picasso … you can’t put a price on these songs, there’s no value on them," Jackson reportedly said. "They’re the best songs that have ever been written."

Branca offered $45 million and did a handshake deal with Holmes à Court in April 1985, but the ATV owner backed out. Branca—along with competing bidders Bandier and Koppelman—traveled to London to try to finalize an agreement; to seal the deal, Branca promised Holmes à Court that Jackson would perform in a charity concert in Perth, Australia and exclude the Beatles tune "Penny Lane" from the deal (so Holmes à Court could give that song to his daughter). In August 1985, after months of negotiations, Jackson paid $47.5 million to buy ATV.

McCartney was not pleased to learn that his supposed friend bought the rights to his songs. He wrote letters to Jackson about the purchase, but Jackson dismissed them all by saying it was just business. "He won't even answer my letters, so we haven't talked and we don't have that great a relationship," McCartney said in 2001.

In 1995, Jackson sold 50 percent of ATV to Sony for $95 million, a sale that created the music publishing company Sony/ATV. Today, Sony/ATV owns the rights to millions of songs by everyone from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. In March 2016, seven years after Jackson’s death, Sony/ATV agreed to pay $750 million to Jackson’s estate to buy out his 50 percent share of the company.

But for McCartney, it's been a long and winding road. Though he's said in the past that it wouldn't make sense for him to pay for his own work ("The trouble is I wrote those songs for nothing and buying them back at these phenomenal sums …" McCartney once explained. "I just can't do it."), his tune may have changed. On December 15, 2015, he filed a termination notice with the U.S. Copyright Office, the first step required for an artist to get back the publishing rights to their songs.


August 28, 2016

Beatles Challenger One Bootleg - Great collection of Beatles sounds...

The Beatles ‎– Challenger One
Label: Vulture Records ‎– VT CD 011
Format: 3 × CD, Unofficial Release
Country: Italy
Released: 1990
Genre: Rock, Pop

CD 1 of 3. Basically the same as the Ultra Rare Trax series but with some more songs.
Includes Ultra Rare Trax 1 & 2.

CD 2 of 3. Basically the same as the Ultra Rare Trax series but with some more songs.
Includes Ultra Rare Trax 3 & 4.
Includes "Live At The Budokan Hall".

CD 3 of 3. Basically the same as the Ultra Rare Trax series but with some more songs.
Includes Ultra Rare Trax 5 & 6.

CD 1
1. I Saw Her Standing There (take 2) (3:07)
2. One After 909 (take 2) (3:03)
3. She's A Woman (take 2) (3:17)
4. I'm Looking Through You (take 2) (3:00)
5. If You Got Troubles (2:20)
6. How Do You Do It (2:11)
7. Penny Lane (2:55)
8. Strawberry Fields Forever (3:20)
9. From Me To You (1:50)
10. Besame Mucho (2:32)
11. The Fool On The Hill (2:45)
12. Paper Back Writer (2:39)
13. Can't Buy Me Love (2:17)
14. There's A Place (take 3) (0:10)
15. There's A Place (take 3) (2) (1:55)
16. That Means A Lot (2:27)
17. Day Tripper (I) (0:24)
18. Day Tripper (II) (3:04)
19. I Am The Walrus (4:26)
20. Misery (take 1) (1:48)
21. Leave My Kitten Alone (2:52)
22. We Can Work It Out (2:11)
23. A Hard Day's Night (2:46)
24. Norwegian Wood (2:18)
25. Do You Want To Know A Secret (2:01)
26. Aerial Tour (instrumental) (2:07)
27. A Hard Day's Night (2) (2:31)
28. I'm A Looser (2:35)
29. I Feel Fine (2:18)
30. Money (2:54)
31. Twist And Shout (2:45)

CD 2
1. Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da (2:57)
2. Tomorrow Never Knows (2:57)
3. A Day In The Life (5:26)
4. Yes It Is (2:53)
5. I Saw Her Standing There (take 10) (2:58)
6. Norwegian Wood (take 1) (2:03)
7. Not Guilty (3:18)
8. Across The Universe (3:43)
9. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (3:26)
10. Ticket To Ride (3:43)
11. One After 909 (3:11)
12. A Taste Of Honey (take 7) (2:27)
13. I Feel Fine (take 7) (2:28)
14. Yer Blues (4:02)
15. Blues Jam (3:48)
16. Not Guilty (4:24)
17. Get Back (2:17)
18. Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues (2:34)
19. Do You Want To Know A Secret (take 8) (2:14)
20. All You Need Is Love (4:59)
21. Yesterday (budokan '66) (2:28)
22. Paperback Writer (budokan '66) (2:23)
23. She's A Woman (budokan '66) (3:07)
24. Day Tripper (budokan '66) (3:08)

CD 3
1. Christmas Time Is Here Again (1:12)
2. Because (2:19)
3. Revolution (3:20)
4. I Me Mine (2:13)
5. Strawberry Fields Forever (take 1) (2:41)
6. Hey Jude (rehersal Take 9) (5:38)
7. Magical Mystery Tour (2:36)
8. What's The New Mary Jane? (6:05)
9. Lady Madonna (2:14)
10. One After 909 (2:58)
11. Ob-la-di-ob-la-da (2:38)
12. Christmas Time Is Here Again (2) (0:58)
13. Come And Get It (2:30)
14. Hold Me Tight (2:38)
15. I'll Be On My Way (2:11)
16. Strawberry Fields Forever (take 7) (3:55)
17. It's All Too Much (2:28)
18. 12 Bar Original (3:54)
19. I Hate To See (1:08)
20. She's A Woman (take 7) (6:28)
21. What's The New Mary Jane? (2) (6:50)
22. Dig It (8:08)

July 09, 2016

The Last Lennon/McCartney Song? (Now And Then)

Published on Aug 20, 2014
"Now And Then" (also known as "I Don't Want To Lose You" or "Miss You") is the name given to an unreleased composition by John Lennon. It was first recorded in demo form in 1978 and was considered in 1995 as a third possible reunion single by Lennon's former band, The Beatles, for their 1995 autobiographical project The Beatles Anthology.

Lennon wrote "Now And Then" in the late 1970s, around the same time as "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love". He recorded the unfinished piece of music in a demo form at his home at the Dakota Building, New York City, around 1979. The lyrics are typical of the apologetic love songs that Lennon wrote in the later half of his career. Despite reports, for the most part the verses are nearly complete, though there are still a few lines that Lennon did not flesh out on the demo tape performance.

In January 1994, Paul McCartney was given two tape cassettes by Lennon's widow Yoko Ono that included home recordings of songs Lennon never completed or released commercially. The songs on the tape included the eventually completed and released "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love", in addition to two other songs was a tape with the words "for Paul" scrawled hastily in John's handwriting, which included "Grow Old With Me" and "Now And Then". In March 1995, the three surviving Beatles began work on "Now And Then" by recording a rough backing track that was to be used as an overdub. However, after only two days of recording, all work on the song ceased and plans for a third reunion single were scrapped permanently.

According to McCartney, George Harrison "didn't want to do it," possibly because new verses would have had to be written. Producer Jeff Lynne reported that "It was one day—one afternoon, really—messing with it. The song had a chorus but is almost totally lacking in verses. We did the backing track, a rough go that we really didn't finish." An additional factor behind scrapping the song was a technical defect in the original recording. As with "Real Love", a 60-cycle mains hum can be heard throughout Lennon's demo recording. However, it was noticeably louder on '"Now And Then", making it much harder to remove.

Throughout 2005 and 2006, press reports speculated that McCartney and Starr would release a complete version of the song in the future. On 29 April 2007, the Daily Express reported that the song might be released to coincide with the Beatles catalogue being released for the first time via digital download. Additional reports circulated that same year that McCartney was hoping to complete the song as a "Lennon–McCartney composition" by writing new verses, laying down a new drum track recorded by Ringo Starr, and utilising archival recordings of Harrison's guitar work.

In April 2008, The Sun reported that "there have been discussions about finishing 'Now And Then.'" From there, the story was picked up and repeated by a number of music and entertainment media sources.

The only (unofficial) available recording of the song is Lennon's original demo. In February 2009, the same version of Lennon's recording was released on a bootleg CD, taken from a different source, with none of the "buzz" which hampered the Beatles recording of the song in 1995. The overdubs added in 1995 by the other surviving members have yet to surface.

A popular fan remix from 2007 called the "1995 edit" consists of Lennon's original demo along with instrumental overdubs by an unspecified artist and samples from various 1960s Beatles songs. Contrary to repeated misconception, this remix does not contain any of the work that the three surviving members of the Beatles recorded in the 1990s.


New Movie: The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years

Finally, The Beatles have released a film trailer and a poster, as well as information about what started as a documentary about The Beatles live concerts, but ended up as a broader perspective on the first part of their career, from 1962 to 1966.

The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years will be getting a theatrical all-star world premiere in London on September 15th, and the same day it will also be screened in France and Germany. Other countries will follow, currently release dates have been published for Australia and New Zealand (September 16th) and Japan (September 22nd), in addition to the previously mentioned UK, France and Germany (September 15th).

Hulu will have the exclusive US streaming video on-demand rights to the film on SVOD beginning September 17th – marking the first feature film to debut on Hulu following its theatrical premiere. The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years is the first film acquired by Hulu’s Documentary Films arm which will serve as a new home for premium original and exclusive documentary film titles coming to Hulu.

The film is based on the first part of The Beatles’ career (1962-1966) – the period in which they toured and captured the world’s acclaim. Ron Howard’s film will explore how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr came together to become this extraordinary phenomenon, The Beatles. It will explore their inner workings – how they made decisions, created their music and built their collective career together – all the while, exploring The Beatles’ extraordinary and unique musical gifts and their remarkable, complementary personalities. The film will focus on the time period from the early Beatles’ journey in the days of The Cavern Club in Liverpool to their last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966.

Featuring rare and exclusive footage, the film is produced with the full cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.

Richard Abramowitz’s Abramorama will handle the US theatrical release of the film that is set to be an event driven experience with a few special surprises planned for cinemagoers.

Of special interest is a brief sequence near the end of the trailer, featuring colour footage shot from behind the band, from the Washington DC concert, February 1964.


Award-winning Editor Paul Crowder is the editor. Crowder’s long-time collaborator, Mark Monroe, is serving as writer. Marc Ambrose is the supervising producer.
White Horse Pictures’ Grammy Award-winning Nigel Sinclair, Scott Pascucci and Academy Award®-winner and Emmy® Award-winner Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment are producing with Ron Howard. Apple Corps Ltd.’s Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde are serving as executive producers, along with Imagine’s Michael Rosenberg and White Horse’s Guy East and Nicholas Ferrall. Studiocanal is an anchor partner on the film, having acquired UK, France, Germany and Australia and New Zealand rights.


May 20, 2016

Author Mark Lewisohn — Talks About 3 New Beatles Books

The interview "Author Mark Lewisohn: Serious Jibber Jabber With Conan O'Brien" that went public Wednesday is an amazing in-depth discussion on the Beatles centered mostly around Lewisohn's “All These Years: Volume 1: Tune In,” but also talking about the Beatles' career as a whole. The interview, which lasts 83 minutes, is something that never could likely have been done on O'Brien's TV show because of the time spent and the topics covered. The knowledge that emerges on both sides of the interview from Lewisohn and O'Brien, who himself is a huge Beatles, fan, is not only illuminating but enlightening.
For example, the two get into a discussion of Brian Epstein with O'Brien saying, “He's the only one who sees them in '62 and says they're going to be the biggest thing ever.” “He was a man of tremendous energy,” Lewisohn answers. “He would consume himself with whatever it was that was interesting him. And the Beatles were miraculous to him. They came along at just the right time in his life much as he came along at the right time in their lives. It was the perfect marriage of manager and artist.”
An interesting moment is when, in discussing the personalities of the four Beatles, Lewisohn says Paul McCartney, not John Lennon, caused the most problems for Epstein. “They all had their difficult sides, but Paul's was the one that Brian had the most trouble with for sure because Paul was the most conspicuously ambitious for the Beatles. John and George were both ambitious, too, no doubt about it, but they would be more laid back. You wouldn't see it quite so openly as you would with Paul.”
They also discuss Ringo Starr as the rock of the Beatles. “They wanted Ringo first of all for his character and personality was a fit. Secondly, tempo, rock-solid tempo, unwavering beat, metronomic, perfect for guitarists and singers. The guy before, Pete, they always felt he always wavered on his beat. He was erratic, he speeded up, he slowed down. Ringo was rock solid.” “He was also rock solid through every outtake,” O'Brien quipped.
These are just a couple of highlights from a discussion that has many and shouldn't be missed. It's the second interview in two days featuring an intense discussion with Lewisohn. Stephen K. Peeples posted four videos on YouTube with more great talk about the Beatles from Lewisohn. The first is here. None should be missed.

May 03, 2016

Beatles Remastered Anthologies Released

The Beatles Anthology, Vols 1-3 are now available on all collaborating streaming services, and it is the June 2011 remastered-for-iTunes versions. Originally released in 2CD volumes in 1995 and 1996, Anthology’s three chronological collections of rare and previously unreleased Beatles recordings include studio outtakes and alternate versions. The “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love” singles, from Anthology, Volume 1 and Anthology, Volume 2, respectively, were completed in 1995 by George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr from 1977 demos recorded by John Lennon.
The 2011 remasters sound a lot better than their 1995-96 counterparts, which is especially noticeable on the first of the three volumes.

Upon their original release, Anthology, Volumes 1-3 topped charts and went multi-platinum in several countries around the world. “Free as a Bird” became The Beatles’ 34th Top 10 hit in the U.S., winning the 1996 GRAMMY® Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Anthology, Volume 3 includes “A Beginning,” an instrumental orchestral arrangement originally recorded for The Beatles (The White Album).

Anthology, Volumes 1-3 were remastered at Abbey Road Studios by the same team of engineers responsible for The Beatles’ GRAMMY-winning 2009 studio album remasters, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The collections are accompanied by original collage artwork created by Klaus Voormann from classic Beatles imagery.

You can listen to The Beatles Anthology Vol 1-3, and the selected highlights collection, right now. Find your local streaming partner at

Highly Recomended

A podcast has also been made,with Kevin Howlett and Mark Ellen discussing The Beatles Anthology. Available here.


 Beatles’ “Anthology” Receives a Very Digital Remaster

So here’s some good news for Beatlemaniacs: the Anthology series, the three-volume clearinghouse of Beatles outtakes and vault material released in 1995-1996, is getting digitally remastered. The bad news? You’re not going to find it in your local record shop.


This new remaster of each two-disc set is actually going to be an iTunes exclusive – quite a difference from years ago, when no Beatles material was sold digitally. Not only did Apple Computer crack the code for Apple Records, they also offered unreleased bonus tracks when the Love soundtrack for the Cirque du Soleil show was offered through the digital retailer earlier this year.

EMI has already confirmed that this remaster will not be available physically, nor will the iTunes albums include the Anthology documentaries, either. For those whose interest in The Beatles was piqued by finally having the catalogue accessible on iTunes, this is obviously a good thing, but most collectors aren’t going to care one way or another. And isn’t a digital remaster in a
n uncompressed format a contradiction in terms?A physical product would have made perfect sense for collectors or anyone still missing those sets – I don’t believe all three Anthology entries were ever packaged as a six-disc box set (nor were they ever combined with the Anthology documentaries on DVD for a whopper of a 10-disc set) – but it is what it is, at the moment.

The Beatles’ Anthology is on iTunes June 14. The full details for the digital sets are after the jump.Each two-disc Anthology set can be pre-ordered for $29.99, or bought as a digital box set for $79.99. A 23-track highlights collection will be sold for $12.99, and all tracks can be bought a la carte at $1.29 apiece.

The Beatles’ iTunes page also has a new radio featurette, Meet The Beatles, to listen to, which features testimonials from famous Beatle fans including Brian Wilson, Jackson Browne and more. All of that can be found here.

And here are the track lists. Starred tracks will be included in the highlights collection.

The Beatles, Anthology 1 (Apple/Capitol CDP 72438 34445 2 6, 1995)
Disc 1
  1. Free as a Bird *
  2. John Lennon speaking to Jann Wenner (interview #1)
  3. That’ll Be the Day (Mono) (Phillips Session, 1958 )
  4. In Spite of All the Danger (Mono) (Phillips Session, 1958 )
  5. Paul McCartney speaking to Mark Lewisohn (interview)
  6. Hallelujah, I Love Her So (Mono) (Home Recording, 1960)
  7. You’ll Be Mine (Mono) (Home Recording, 1960)
  8. Cayenne (Mono) (Home Recording, 1960)
  9. Paul McCartney speaking to Malcom Threadgill (interview)
  10. My Bonnie (Live @ Frierich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg – 6/22/1961)
  11. Ain’t She Sweet (Live @ Frierich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg – 6/22/1961)
  12. Cry for a Shadow (Live @ Frierich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg – 6/22/1961)
  13. John Lennon speaking to David Wigg (interview)
  14. Brian Epstein from A Cellarful of Noise (interview #1)
  15. Searchin’ (Mono) (Decca Audition, 1962)
  16. Three Cool Cats (Mono) (Decca Audition, 1962)
  17. The Sheik of Araby (Mono) (Decca Audition, 1962)
  18. Like Dreamers Do (Mono) (Decca Audition, 1962)
  19. Hello Little Girl (Mono) (Decca Audition, 1962)
  20. Brian Epstein from A Cellarful of Noise (interview #2)
  21. Bésame Mucho (Mono) (EMI Session, 1962)
  22. Love Me Do (Mono) (EMI Session, 1962)
  23. How Do You Do It (Mono) (EMI Session, 1962)
  24. Please Please Me (Mono) (EMI Session, 1962)
  25. One After 909 (Sequence) (Mono) (EMI Session, 1963)
  26. One After 909 (Complete) (Mono) (EMI Session, 1963) *
  27. Lend Me Your Comb (BBC Session/Pop Goes The Beatles radio show, 1963)
  28. I’ll Get You (Mono) (Live on Val Parnell’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium – 10/13/1963
  29. John Lennon speaking to Jann Wenner (interview #2)
  30. I Saw Her Standing There (Mono) (Live @ the Karlaplansstudion, Stockholm, Sweden – 10/24/1963
  31. From Me to You (Mono) (Live @ the Karlaplansstudion, Stockholm, Sweden – 10/24/1963
  32. Money (That’s What I Want) (Mono) (Live @ the Karlaplansstudion, Stockholm, Sweden – 10/24/1963
  33. You Really Got a Hold on Me (Mono) (Live @ the Karlaplansstudion, Stockholm, Sweden – 10/24/1963
  34. Roll Over Beethoven (Mono) (Live @ the Karlaplansstudion, Stockholm, Sweden – 10/24/1963
Disc 2
  1. She Loves You (Mono) (Live @ the Prince of Wales Theatre, London – 11/4/1963)
  2. Till There Was You (Mono) (Live @ the Prince of Wales Theatre, London – 11/4/1963)
  3. Twist and Shout (Mono) (Live @ the Prince of Wales Theatre, London – 11/4/1963)
  4. This Boy (Mono) (Live on Morecambe and Wise – 12/2/1963)
  5. I Want to Hold Your Hand (Mono) (Live on Morecambe and Wise – 12/2/1963)
  6. Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise speaking to The Beatles
  7. Moonlight Bay (Mono) (Live on Morecambe and Wise – 12/2/1963)
  8. Can’t Buy Me Love (Takes 1 & 2) *
  9. All My Loving (Mono) (Live on The Ed Sullivan Show, CBS-TV, 2/9/1964)
  10. You Can’t Do That (Take 6)
  11. And I Love Her (Take 2)
  12. A Hard Day’s Night (Take 1)
  13. I Wanna Be Your Man (Live @ IBC Studios, London – 4/19/1964)
  14. Long Tall Sally (Live @ IBC Studios, London – 4/19/1964)
  15. Boys (Live @ IBC Studios, London – 4/19/1964)
  16. Shout (Live @ IBC Studios, London – 4/19/1964)
  17. I’ll Be Back (Take 2)
  18. I’ll Be Back (Take 3)
  19. You Know What to Do (Demo)
  20. No Reply (Demo)
  21. Mr. Moonlight (Takes 1 & 4) *
  22. Leave My Kitten Alone (Take 5) *
  23. No Reply (Take 2)
  24. Eight Days a Week (Sequence)
  25. Eight Days a Week (Take 5) *
  26. Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey! (Take 2) *
The Beatles, Anthology 2 (Apple/Capitol CDP 7243 8 34448 2 3, 1996)

Disc 1
  1. Real Love *
  2. Yes It Is (Takes 2 & 14)
  3. I’m Down (Take 1)
  4. You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away (Takes 1, 2 & 5) (Mono)
  5. If You’ve Got Trouble (Take 1) *
  6. That Means a Lot (Take 1) *
  7. Yesterday (Take 1) *
  8. It’s Only Love (Takes 2 & 3) (Mono)
  9. I Feel Fine (Mono) (Live @ ABC Theatre, Blackpool – 8/1/1965)
  10. Ticket to Ride (Mono) (Live @ ABC Theatre, Blackpool – 8/1/1965)
  11. Yesterday (Mono) (Live @ ABC Theatre, Blackpool – 8/1/1965)
  12. Help! (Mono) (Live @ ABC Theatre, Blackpool – 8/1/1965)
  13. Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby (Mono) (Live @ Shea Stadium, New York City – 8/15/1965)
  14. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (Take 1)
  15. I’m Looking Through You (Take 1) *
  16. 12-Bar Original (Edited Take 2)
  17. Tomorrow Never Knows (Take 1) *
  18. Got to Get You Into My Life (Take 5) (Mono)
  19. And Your Bird Can Sing (Take 2)
  20. Taxman (Take 11)
  21. Eleanor Rigby (Take 14 String Section)
  22. I’m Only Sleeping (Rehearsal) (mono)
  23. I’m Only Sleeping (Take 1) (Mono)
  24. Rock and Roll Music (Mono) (Live @ Budokan, Tokyo – 6/30/1966)
  25. She’s a Woman (Mono) (Live @ Budokan, Tokyo – 6/30/1966)
Disc 2
  1. Strawberry Fields Forever (Mono Demo Sequence)
  2. Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 1) *
  3. Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 7 & Edit Piece) (Mono)
  4. Penny Lane (Take 9 Horn Overdub)
  5. A Day in the Life” (Takes 1, 2, 6 & Orchestra)
  6. Good Morning Good Morning (Take 8 )
  7. Only a Northern Song (Takes 3 & 12)
  8. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! (Takes 1 & 2)
  9. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! (Take 7 & Effects Tape)
  10. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (Takes 6-8 )
  11. Within You Without You (Instrumental Takes)
  12. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (Take 5) (Mono)
  13. You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) (Composite)
  14. I Am the Walrus (Take 16, No Overdubs)
  15. The Fool on the Hill (Mono Demo)
  16. Your Mother Should Know (Take 27)
  17. The Fool on the Hill (Take 4)
  18. Hello, Goodbye (Take 16 and Overdubs)
  19. Lady Madonna (Takes 3 & 4)
  20. Across the Universe (Take 2) *
The Beatles, Anthology 3 (Apple/Capitol CDP 7243 8 34451 2 7, 1996)

Disc 1
  1. A Beginning
  2. Happiness is a Warm Gun (Kinfauns Home Demo) (Mono)
  3. Helter Skelter (Edited Take 2) (Mono)
  4. Mean Mr. Mustard (Kinfauns Home Demo)
  5. Polythene Pam (Kinfauns Home Demo)
  6. Glass Onion (Kinfauns Home Demo)
  7. Junk (Kinfauns Home Demo)
  8. Piggies (Kinfauns Home Demo) (Mono)
  9. Honey Pie (Kinfauns Home Demo)
  10. Don’t Pass Me By (Takes 3 & 5)
  11. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Take 5)
  12. Good Night (Rehearsal & Take 34) *
  13. Cry Baby Cry (Take 1)
  14. Blackbird (Take 4)
  15. Sexy Sadie (Take 6)
  16. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Demo) *
  17. Hey Jude (Take 2)
  18. Not Guilty (Take 102) *
  19. Mother Nature’s Son (Take 2)
  20. Glass Onion (Take 33) (Mono)
  21. Rocky Raccoon (Take 8 )
  22. What’s the New Mary Jane (Take 4)
  23. Step Inside Love/Los Paranoias
  24. I’m So Tired (Takes 3, 6 and 9)
  25. I Will (Take 1)
  26. Why Don’t We Do It in the Road? (Take 4)
  27. Julia (Take 2)
Disc 2
  1. I’ve Got a Feeling (Savile Row)
  2. She Came in Through the Bathroom Window (Savile Row Rehearsal)
  3. Dig a Pony (Savile Row)
  4. Two of Us (Savile Row)
  5. For You Blue (Savile Row)
  6. Teddy Boy (Savile Row)
  7. Medley: Rip It Up/Shake, Rattle and Roll/Blue Suede Shoes (Savile Row)
  8. The Long and Winding Road (Savile Row) *
  9. Oh! Darling (Savile Row)
  10. All Things Must Pass (Demo) *
  11. Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues (Savile Row)
  12. Get Back (Live on the Apple Building Rooftop, Savile Row, London – 1/30/1969)
  13. Old Brown Shoe (Demo)
  14. Octopus’s Garden (Takes 2 & 8 ) *
  15. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Take 5)
  16. Something (Mono Demo)
  17. Come Together (Take 1)
  18. Come and Get It (Demo) *
  19. Ain’t She Sweet (Jam)
  20. Because (A Cappella)
  21. Let It Be (Savile Row)
  22. I Me Mine (Take 16)
  23. The End (Remix)


April 22, 2016

The Beatles - Stars & Stripes - Live At The Hollywood Bowl

The Beatles - Stars & Stripes - Live At The Hollywood Bowl
Bonus: Candlestick Park 1966 (Note this remaster was released back in 2010)

When the His Master’s Choice label announced that they were releasing remastered versions of the Hollywood Bowl tapes (along with the Candlestick Park 1966 tape recording by Tony Barrow), I seriously had my doubts and was full of skepticism. I kept thinking, do we really need another release of the Hollywood Bowl and Candlestick tapes? My own theory was that this time they could be issuing these concerts from a better source tape (possibly an Apple remastering that snuck out of the vaults?). I’ve been spending a few weeks listening to these CDs and thought they sound great, but they really couldn’t be much of an improvement than what has circulated on bootleg before. Boy was I wrong.

The Candlestick concert is from a small reel-to-reel tape recorder Tony Barrow placed in front of the stage as per the Beatles’ request. It documents their last public concert appearance before a paying crowd. The performance level is stepped up: They are probably giving their best performance of the 1966 tour knowing “This is it. No more tours”. Barrow’s tape is one of the best audience tapes due to the privileged location in front of the stage. Every version I’ve had of this tape always felt like it was further away from the stage than it seemed to have been recorded from. This remastered version brings you literally to the front of the stage. You feel the presence of the Beatles for the first time; as if you’re on the field. There is a power to the Beatles rock ‘n roll that is lacking from all other versions of this tape. The one mistake this label made was attempting to complete “Long Tall Sally” (which will be forever incomplete being the tape ran out during the performance)by grafting in a poor quality studio version of “Long Tall Sally” to complete the song. Why a studio version? If you’re going to fake it, at least use a poor quality live version in an attempt to give it a truer semblance of completion. In fact, why do it at all?

All available Hollywood Bowl shows (from the raw 3 track stereo tapes) are offered up on this set and they too are a major improvement. They sound like they are a generation up from what’s been released. These CDs also do play louder--but upon volume matching the older CDs (I used to a/b), the older discs strain to bring the same quality to my ears. Hearing Lennon open up with “Twist and Shout” from 8/30/65, shows you a rawness that these tapes bring you on this set. The older releases suffer in comparison. When Lennon vocally gives it his all here, you feel it. That doesn’t mean these 3 track tapes are a preferable mix. Having the drums in one channel lessens the punch of the recordings and makes using headphones difficult to enjoy. It plays much better though, out of your stereo speakers. That’s why for the ’64 show I prefer the unissued mono mix by Capitol (it’s much more powerful). Overall, I enjoy George Martin's stereo remixes for the 1977 Beatles Live At The Hollywood Bowl release. These raw stereo tapes from His Master’s Choice are an essential upgrade to your collection.

This set comes in a hardback book with excellent liner notes. You never expect less than than class, from His Master’s Choice. It comes highly recommended.

Read more:

The Beatles - Stars & Stripes - Live At The Hollywood Bowl
Publisher: Remastered Workshop
Reference: RMW 570/571
Date: 2010

Pitch, phase and level corrected from HMC 010.

Disc 1
01. Intro
02. Twist And Shout
03. You Can't Do That
04. All My Loving
05. She Loves You
06. Things We Said Today
07. Roll Over Beethoven
08. Can't Buy Me Love
09. If I Fell
10. I Want To Hold Your Hand
11. Boys
12. A Hard Day's Night
13. Long Tall Sally
14. Intro
15. Twist And Shout
16. She's A Woman
17. I Feel Fine
18. Dizzy Miss Lizzie
19. Ticket To Ride
20. Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby
21. Can't Buy Me Love
22. Baby's In Black
23. I Wanna Be Your Man
24. A Hard Day's Night
25. Help!
26. I'm Down

Tracks 1-13: Live at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA - August 23, 1964
Tracks 14-26: Live at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA - August 30, 1965

Disc 2
01. Tuning
02. Twist And Shout
03. She's A Woman
04. I Feel Fine
05. Dizzy Miss Lizzie
06. Ticket To Ride
07. Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby
08. Can't Buy Me Love
09. Baby's In Black
10. I Wanna Be Your Man
11. A Hard Day's Night
12. Help!
13. I'm Down
14. Rock And Roll Music
15. She's A Woman
16. If I Needed Someone
17. Day Tripper
18. Baby's In Black
19. I Feel Fine
20. Yesterday
21. I Wanna Be Your Man
22. Nowhere Man
23. Paperback Writer
24. Long Tall Sally

Tracks 1-13: Live at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA - August 29, 1965
Tracks 14-24: Live at the Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA - August 29, 1966

April 21, 2016

The Beatles - Live At The Hollywood Bowl (1977)

So much has been said and written about the Beatles -- and their story is so mythic in its sweep -- that it's difficult to summarize their career without restating clichés that have already been digested by tens of millions of rock fans. To start with the obvious, they were the greatest and most influential act of the rock era, and introduced more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century. Moreover, they were among the few artists of any discipline that were simultaneously the best at what they did and the most popular at what they did. Relentlessly imaginative and experimental, the Beatles grabbed a hold of the international mass consciousness in 1964 and never let go for the next six years, always staying ahead of the pack in terms of creativity but never losing their ability to communicate their increasingly sophisticated ideas to a mass audience. Their supremacy as rock icons remains unchallenged to this day, decades after their breakup in 1970.
The Beatles' only official live album was recorded over three nights at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, in 1964 and 1965. George Martin had originally wanted to record The Beatles' concerts at New York's Carnegie Hall on 12 February 1964, during their first US visit. Although Capitol Records agreed, he was denied permission by the American Federation of Musicians.

As the effects of Beatlemania became all pervasive, the label decided to release a live album to capitalise on The Beatles' US success. During their first full American tour Capitol agreed to record the group's concert at the Hollywood Bowl on 23 August 1964. George Martin was at the venue, working with Capitol Records' producer Voyle Gilmore on the recording. The concert was seen by 18,700 people.

    "George Martin made such a speech. It sounds like he changed it but I doubt it. There's not much he could do. It was recorded on three-track machines with half-inch tapes. The Hollywood Bowl has a pretty good stereo sound system so we plugged our mikes right in there. I didn't do an awful lot. There wasn't much we could do. They just played their usual show and we recorded it. It wasn't that bad. I kept thinking, 'Maybe we'll get permission to release the tapes.' So I took them back to the studio and worked on it a while. I worked on the applause, edited it down, made it play and EQd it quite a bit.  

The Beatles heard it and they all wanted tape copies. I had five or six copies made and sent over. That's where the bootlegs must have come from. We had a system at Capitol and we knew where all our copies were. The Beatles said they liked the tapes, that it sounded pretty good, that they were surprised but they still idn't want to release it.
I thought the first concert was a little better than the second. I don't know if I would have put them together like they did because doing it that way they have sacrificed an album. They really could have made two albums". 
[Voyle Gilmore 1977] 

The album
Although they had hoped the 1965 recordings would be better than the previous year's, Capitol decided that the quality was insufficient for release. The tapes remained in the record company vaults for several years, and in 1971 were given to Phil Spector to see if an album could be prepared. However, Spector's work came to nothing, and the tapes remained unreleased for several more years.

"Capitol called me a few months back and asked if I could help find the tapes in the library and, of course, I knew right where they were. They wanted to get permission to put them out and thought it would be useful if George Martin was involved, since he knew the boys and had made all their other records".  [Voyle Gilmore, 1977]


In the mid-1970s Capitol president Bhaskar Menon gave George Martin the tapes and asked him to compile an official live album. Although impressed with The Beatles' performances, he found the sound quality disappointing. Nonetheless, in January 1977 he began working with studio engineer Geoff Emerick to clean up the master tapes and assemble a set of songs for release.

    "Bhaskar Menon, the president of Capitol Records, is an old friend of mine. He mentioned these tapes to me and asked whether I would listen to them because capitol was thinking of releasing an album. My immediate reaction was, as far as I could remember, the original tapes had a rotten sound. So I said to Bhaskar, 'I don't think you've got anything here at all.'
    There have been an awful lot of bootleg recordings made of Beatles concerts around the world and they've been in wide circulation. But when I listened to the Hollywood Bowl tapes, I was amazed at the rawness and vitality of The Beatles' singing. So I told Bhaskar that I'd see if I could bring the tapes into line with today's recordings. I enlisted the technical expertise of Geoff Emerick and we transferred the recordings from three-track to 24-track tapes. The two tapes combined 22 songs and we whittled these down to 13. Some tracks had to be discarded because the music was obliterated by the screams." [George Martin]

The recordings were transferred to 24-track tapes to be edited, filtered and equalised. No redubbing of voices or instruments took place. Eventually an album was assembled consisting of recordings from all three Hollywood Bowl concerts.

Six songs were included from the 23 August 1964 concert tapes: Things We Said Today, Roll Over Beethoven, Boys, All My Loving, She Loves You and Long Tall Sally.

Due to an error, the tracklisting for The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl lists all the recordings as dating from 1964 or 30 August 1965. However, three of the songs - Ticket To Ride, Dizzy Miss Lizzy and Help! - originated from 29 August 1965. Unfortunately a technical fault left Paul McCartney's vocals and introductions inaudible during the first four songs of the first 1965 show, rendering a substantial portion of the recordings unusable.

Five songs from 30 August 1965 appeared on The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl: Twist And Shout, She's A Woman, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Can't Buy Me Love and A Hard Day's Night. The album version of Dizzy Miss Lizzy was a composite edit incorporating parts of the 29 and 30 August performances.

Some of The Beatles' on-stage announcements were inconsistent when presented in album form. A Hard Day's Night and Help! are both referred to as their latest albums, owing to the different recording dates.  [extract from]

Side A
01 - Twist And Shout

02 - She's A Woman
03 - Dizzy Miss Lizzy
04 - Ticket To Ride
05 - Can't Buy Me Love
06 - Things We Said Today
07 - Roll Over Beethoven
Side B
08 - Boys
09 - A Hard Day's Night
10 - Help!
11 - All My Loving
12 - She Loves You
13 - Long Tall Sally

The Beatles were:

John Lennon: vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar
Paul McCartney: vocals, bass guitar
George Harrison: vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar
Ringo Starr: vocals, drums

April 04, 2016

The White Album: Mono vs Stereo

It’s been said the most frustrating of the Beatles’ studio albums is also the most frustrating when comparing mixes. The sheer volume and diversity of the music means that it will vary from song to song as to which version is better. “Dear Prudence” and “Happiness is a Warm Gun” sound absolutely perfect in mono, but the acoustic guitar in the background has much more impact on the stereo mix. The mono mix also features a version of “Helter Skelter” that is a minute shorter and far more cluttered than the stereo mix. But there are enough positives for each mix that it’s worth keeping both around.

The White Album is literally a toss up when it comes to mono vs stereo. This is the album that every fan should own both versions of – because literally, some songs sound better on mono, some sound better on stereo. For instance, I noticed on “The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill” the bass is a little too loud, and the guitar bits are more muffled on the mono version. On the flip side tho, the vocals sound much better. So a bit of a trade off. “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” always sounded strange on the stereo mix to me. Especially if you have headphones on. The mono delivers a much better sounding version of the song, and this is a good example of why you need to own both version. So to sum up it up: there are moments when the mono version is clearly better – where the drums smack with ferocity and the vocals sound beautiful. But on the same note, there are also times where the stereo mix breathes better – especially on “Helter Sketer”.

The Mono/Stereo Differences
Back In The U.S.S.R.
The airplane overdubs occur in different places on the mono and stereo versions. The Mono version has louder piano, a yell after the opening plane sound, and drumbeats under the closing plane sound. The Stereo version has extra guitar chords at the start of the solo, and shouts and piano during the guitar solo.

Dear Prudence
Stereo version has slightly more treble and fades to a lower volume at the end.

Glass Onion
The edit adds the end orchestral piece. Stereo [a] is lacking Paul’s added vocal “oh yeah” at the end of the break. Mono mix [c] has various sound effects, of which only the whistle after “fool on the hill” was used in the standard mix.

Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da
The stereo version has hand-clapping during the intro, the mono version does not. On the mono mix, Paul’s vocals are not double-tracked as they sound to be on the stereo mix which gives the allusion of two or more Pauls singing at once.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps
The stereo version has some vocal sounds from George at the end, the mono version does not. The Clapton guitar remains loud in mono version after the solo break, not in the Stereo version. Near the end of the fadeout only the stereo [b] has “yeah yeah yeah”, even though it is a few second shorter than [a].

The bird sound effects are quite different between the stereo and the mono release.

The pig sound effects are quite different between the stereo and the mono release. The guitar is louder in the mono version.

Don’t Pass Me By
The mono version is much faster than the stereo, and therefore is shorter. The violin sounds at the end are markedly different. Mono [a] runs faster, and it has more fiddle throughout the song, and different fiddle at the end. The fiddle at the end of stereo [b] seems to a repeat of a bit of the chorus. The edit added the intro. Stereo [c] has only work from 5 and 6 June without the fiddle or intro added in July. It’s at the speed of the stereo mix [b].

Why Don’t We Do It In The Road
The stereo version has hand-clapping during the intro, the mono version does not.

Sexy Sadie
The stereo version has two taps on the tambourine during the intro, the mono version only has one.

Helter Skelter
The stereo version has a fade-out/fade-in dummy ending with Ringo’s shout of “I’ve got blisters on my fingers”, the mono version does not ! … this makes the stereo version almost a minute longer. The basic song runs about 3:10 to a pause shortly after Paul’s distorted vocal, too close to the microphone. The Mono version then is edited into more of the same take, with sound effects noises, and fades at 3:36. Stereo version is edited instead to a different part of the take, fading out and then back in again, with another edit, ending finally at 4:29 after Ringo shouts “I’ve got blisters on my fingers!”. Is the distorted vocal “Can you hear me speaking– woo!” or “My baby is sleeping, ooh!, dreaming”?

Long, Long, Long
The stereo version is fine, but on the mono, George’s double-tracked vocal is embarrassingly out of synch.

Honey Pie
The stereo version has a shorter guitar solo than the mono version.

Revolution 9
Although the mono was made from the stereo, the opening lines are more clear in mono: “I would’ve gotten claret for you but I’ve realized I’ve forgotten all about it, George, I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?”. This is evidently a separate piece of tape added during mixing.

Everybody’s Got Something To Hide (Except Me and My Monkey)
The screaming after “come on” in the last verse is different in the Stereo and Mono versions.

Revolution [2]
The song was deliberately distorted during recording and mixing, so since the mono version sounds more distorted and compressed, it’s better! John’s guitar also sounds louder in mono version.

Yer Blues
The 2d generation tape is an edit of two takes, each of the two tapes being itself a mixdown from the original 4-track. The edit causes an abrupt transition at the end of the guitar solos. In stereo, traces of other vocal and guitar parts can be heard throughout the song in the left channel, including something shouted over parts of the vocal and what sounds like another different guitar solo. After the edit, the trace lead vocal suggests we are hearing the first part of the song from the other take. The edit in the mixes added the countdown intro, which is louder in mono. The Mono version is 11 seconds longer, long fade.

I Will
This started as 4 track and was copied to 8 track, so it’s 2d generation. The “bass” (vocal) starts later in mono [a], after the first verse. The stereo version has more prominent bongos.

The last “daaaance” starts twice, maybe a double-track error or a leak from a guide vocal, as heard on stereo [b], but covered up by other sound in Mono version. The stereo version has extra vocals at the end of the second chorus.

Happiness Is A Warm Gun
The 2d generation master is an edit of (copies of) two takes with more material overdubbed. Mono [a] has tapping (organ) on the beat from the start until the drums come in, but it is soft and mixed out 4 beats earlier in [b]. In the “I need a fix” section in stereo [b], by error, although the first line was mixed out, the last “down” is just audible. Mono [a] has louder bass in the “I need a fix” section. Mono [a] has laughter near the very end, just before the last drumbeat, not heard in [b].

Honey Pie
Mono [a] has the full lead guitar break, slightly shortened in the Stereo Version.

Savoy Truffle
Mono [a] has sound effects during the instrumental break, and the lead guitar continues through the break into the refrain after it. The organ is missing from the last verse in the Mono Version.

Long Long Long
Doubletracking starts at the first “long” in stereo [a], the third “long” in [b], and sounds somewhat different thereafter. In mono [b] the rhythm guitar is softer but the lead guitar is louder, especially in the later part of the song.

I’m So Tired
Paul’s harmony at the first “You’d say” is louder in mono [a]. The muttering after the song is part of this recording.

Verdict: Toss Up! (This is the definitive album where listeners should own both the mono and the stereo version of it. Some songs sound better on mono and vice versa).

Conclusion: Chances are that you are wondering what box set is “right for you”. The mono box set entices you because purists will always say that mono “is how the Beatles always intended” them to be heard. Then there is the fact that the mono box set is “limited”. However, we found that the Stereo far outperformed the Mono versions. There were only a couple albums that we could see ourselves arguing as being definitively better on mono. Taking all that into consideration, it’s hard to justify paying $40-60 more for a box set that not only has less content (it doesn’t include Abbey Road, Let It Be, Yellow Submarine, or the DVD documentaries), but overall doesn’t sound as good as the Stereo versions. It is true that mono was originally how most of these album were recorded. But they never sounded better then they do now with the Stereo remasters that will have you listening to the Beatles like you have never before.

There are many differences between the Stereo and Mono versions of The White Album. (The Mono mix of the White Album was only available in Great Britain, it was never released in mono in the US.) The mono version of the song Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da is missing the hand clapping that can be heard in all other mixes of the song. Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?, like the Mono version of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da is missing the hand clapping at the beginning of the song.

What’s a Variation, and Why Do We Care?
One part of being a music fan is playing favorite recordings over and over. Like many people, I’ve found that I have memorized many small nuances of the performance on record. Sometimes, when listening to an old song on a new disk, I’ll detect a difference in what is otherwise a very familiar recording. There may be a voice or instrument in one version that is not in the other, for example. This is a variation. Just when people started noticing Beatles variations is lost in the mists of time, but by the end of the Beatles’ recording career as a group in 1970, lists of variations had become a perennial topic among some fans.

One’s credentials as a Beatles fan need not rest on whether one can recognize most of the variations. Plenty of genuine fans feel this is one of the most obsessive and boring topics imaginable, and would much rather discuss the meaning of the lyrics, the invention of the melody, or the relation of the song to the Beatles’ lives and times. But who cares about all that, eh? No no, that’s not what I mean…

The variations open the door a little bit into how the recordings were made and prepared for release. The differences tell us something about how the sound was fixed on tape and what the engineers did to make records out of them. At least, they tell us something if we care to ask how the variations happened.

Hasn’t this “been done”? Well you may ask. Beatles Variations Lists have certainly appeared before. One reason to compile a list is simply to collate all the previous work on this topic. When it was suggested I put together something about variations, though, I was dissatisfied at simply rehashing old lists. Aside from the copyright violations (not that it’s stopped writers of some of the books I’ve seen while researching this) it did seem a little boring as well. Nearly all of them are just lists.

There are two reasons I’ve done this. Firstly- Collating existing lists does not result in a good list. I found by listening that many of the variations were not well described. Although I decided to be nice and not make this a catalog of the failings of other sources, a few instances are so wildly wrong that I did mention them. There were times when I wondered whether the writers had even heard the record they were describing. The amount of mindless copying from one print source to another has to be seen to be believed. I found that I had to go listen for myself, and quiz people closely to be sure they heard what they said they did on rare disks I couldn’t get hold of.

Secondly- I wanted to understand why they vary. The only list that relates variations to what we know about the recording sessions is a series of articles by Steve Shorten in “The 910″, which was unfortunately limited by space to highlights. As Steve noted in his first article, the publication of Mark Lewisohn’s book “The Beatles Recording Sessions” in 1988 provided an important framework on which to base an improved listing of variations. For the first time, we had specific information about dates of recording (some of which had been known) and of mixing (none of which had been known, I think). This made it possible to look for variations based on how many times a song was mixed at EMI Abbey Road, instead of the hopeless method of listening to every record released in the world.

Not only is “The Beatles Recording Sessions” a goldmine of information, but Lewisohn lacked the space or inclination to apply his data to the problem of variations. He even calls some mixes unused based on nonappearance in England. Tom Bowers and I did some work on finding those in 1991, reported in the Usenet group It became clear that most of the mixes had been used somewhere, and they accounted for some of the variations that had been spotted previously.

Mark’s excellent work also provides enough information to figure out just how the variants arose. Some of them, especially the earlier ones recorded in 2-track, are editing differences, while others are differences in how the multi-track master tapes were mixed down for record.

Let me emphasize that, with just a very few exceptions, the mono version of a Beatles song is not the stereo version combined into one channel. On the contrary, George Martin mixed for mono first in almost all cases and then did a stereo mix separately. Right here we have a reason for variations, since the same edits and mixing had to be done twice. In some cases there are two or more mono or stereo mixes, providing yet more chances for variations.

The mixes were supposed to sound the same, usually. However, his practice of making separate mono and stereo mixes shows that George Martin did care about how the record would sound in both finished forms, and he may have deliberately mixed some songs differently. Other times, small things are fixed in one mix and overlooked in another, or difficult editing may be done a little better in one of the attempts. George Martin and staff weren’t perfect. That they had problems mixing songs the way they wanted makes the recording process seem a little less mechanical to me.

Obviously the mono and stereo mixes of any song are different. One is mono and one is stereo! Besides that, careful comparison of the mono mix to the stereo mix played as mono would doubtless turn up some differences in emphasis. But what we’re really after here in a variations list is larger game: different edits, sound mixed out in one version, different stereo images, and so on– things that are really noticeable. Well, maybe I stretch the limits on “really noticeable” at times. Forget the ones that seem trivial to you.

Aside from the dubious contribution of Capitol Records USA, I’m not, mostly, listing atrocities performed outside EMI Abbey Road. They’re not genuine, just stupid mistakes mastering records– speed problems, premature fadeouts, defects in tapes, even editing– and the ever-popular mock stereo. Nobody around the Beatles authorized them. Even Capitol is included just out of parochial interest to me and to the large contingent of fans in the USA– although I could argue Capitol’s work is of more than local interest since some other affiliates such as Odeon (Germany) got masters from Capitol. Capitol certainly doesn’t begin and end the tampering stories– there’s that “Penny Lane” from Brazil with a line edited out for no known reason, a “Devil in her Heart” from Mexico with the very end faded off… but I digress. If you live outside the USA, I invite you to catalog your own country’s label’s lack of judgement.

My Favorite Album Of All Time
The White Album is my favorite album ever (by The Beatles or anyone else.) I love it because of all of the different styles of music on it. I love it because of all of the brilliant songs. I love it because of it’s imperfections (“Don’t Pass Me By” comes to mind.) And yes, I love “Revolution #9.”

The Last Beatles Album Mixed In Mono
For most of The Beatles career mono was the standard and the stereo mix was something that was done as an afterthought. The band (and the producers and engineers) worked to get the mono mix just perfect and then would throw together the stereo mix rather quickly, sometimes in a very experimental fashion (as stereo was still very new, people were trying things out to see what worked.) But by 1968 mono was getting phased out and The White Album was The Beatles final album mixed in mono. Their last three albums (Yellow Submarine,

Never Released In The US In Mono
In the US mono had already been phased out and so only the stereo mix of the The White Album was released in the US while in the UK both the mono and stereo versions were released.

Mono Mixes On CD For The First Time
On 9/9/9 (a cool reference to “Revolution #9″) the original mono mixes of The Beatles first 10 studio albums (through The White Album) will be released on mono on CD for the first time.

The White Album is the only one of those 10 albums that was never released in mono on vinyl in the US so it will really be the first release of this mix in the US ever (on any format.) For those of us who think this is the greatest album of all time (and I think there’s quite a few of us!) it’s very exciting to finally get to hear this mix.

The White Album in mono will not be available for individual purchase, instead it will be included as one of the 10 Beatles albums (all with original mono mixes) in the Beatles Mono Box Set