February 25, 2022

The Beatles Bootleg Recordings

The Beatles' bootleg recordings (also known as "Beatlegs") are recordings of performances by the Beatles that have attained some level of public circulation without being available as a legal release. The term most often refers to audio recordings, but also includes video performances. Starting with vinyl releases in the 1970s, through CD issues in the late 1980s, and continuing with digital downloads starting in the mid 1990s, the Beatles have been, and continue to be, among the most bootlegged artists.

Bootleg recordings arise from a multitude of sources, including radio and TV broadcast performances, live shows, studio outtakes and session tapes, alternate mixes, test discs, and home demos. The largest single source of Beatles bootleg material is the set of Nagra audio tapes from the 1969 filming of the Get Back / Let It Be rehearsal and recording sessions.

Historical overview

The 1970s saw the first Beatle bootlegs issued on vinyl records. The first Beatles bootleg was Kum Back, issued around January 1970 in a plain white sleeve with plain white labels and no mention of a record company.[1] This vinyl bootleg was based on an acetate of one of the early rough mixes by Glyn Johns of the Get Back album (which would later become Let It Be).[2] John Lennon may have been the unintentional source for one of the Get Back bootlegs; Lennon said: "They say it came from an acetate that I gave to someone who then went and broadcast it as being an advance pressing or something."[3]

Other notable bootlegs to appear in the early 1970s were Yellow Matter Custard, containing 14 BBC Radio performances from 1963, (originally these tracks were thought to be from the Decca audition of January 1962, and Lennon himself told McCartney about the album)[4] and Sweet Apple Trax, a two-volume four-disc collection of songs and jams from the Get Back rehearsal sessions first issued in 1974.[5] In 1977, a copy of the Beatles' Decca audition tape was bought by a collector, who released the songs over a series of seven 45 rpm singles pressed on coloured vinyl with full colour picture sleeves.[5] Bootleggers of this era often copied and repackaged each other's releases, so popular titles often appeared from more than one bootleg label. The biggest labels for Beatles material in the 1970s were Kornyfone (TAKRL), ContraBand, Trademark of Quality and Wizardo.[6]

EMI had planned to release an album of alternate takes and previously unreleased songs by the Beatles in 1985 called Sessions, but the Beatles objected after it had been compiled; by the end of the year, bootleg copies were widely available.[7] During the cataloguing and review of the EMI archives in the early 1980s in preparation for the Sessions album and a multimedia show given at Abbey Road Studios, it is suspected that high quality copies of some of the material were surreptitiously made.[5] This may have been the source for the Ultra Rare Trax CD series from Swingin' Pig that started appearing in 1988, which provided takes never previously bootlegged in clarity that rivalled official releases.[8]

The late 1980s also saw the emergence of Yellow Dog, a label specialising in Beatles studio outtakes, who released the CD series Unsurpassed Masters in quality similar to Ultra Rare Trax; Yellow Dog, like Swingin' Pig's parent company Perfect Beat, was registered in Luxembourg, which had the most liberal copyright laws among EU countries.[9] Yellow Dog released Unsurpassed Demos in 1991, featuring 22 songs from the 1968 Kinfauns (Esher) demos, only some of which had been previously made public during the radio series The Lost Lennon Tapes that debuted in 1988.[7]

In 1993, a nine CD box set of the Beatles' BBC radio performances was released in Italy by Great Dane. The official Live at the BBC and Anthology releases in 1994–1996 covered much of the highlights of previously bootlegged material, in sound quality that most bootlegs could not match. However, new bootlegs continued to appear, with bootleggers including the word "anthology" in the title of many of their collections. Starting in 1999, Silent Sea issued a series of CD-Rs, featuring recompiled studio outtakes with commercial-quality packaging and liner notes.[10] In 2000, the Vigotone label followed up their earlier eight-CD package of Get Back session recordings with a seventeen-CD collection called Thirty Days.[11] In the early 2000s, the DVD format enhanced the availability of Beatles bootleg videos, covering filmed concerts, TV appearances, promotional films, and even rare clips and outtakes.[12] From 2017 to 2021 the six-volume The Lost Album series brings together for the first time almost 100% of the Beatles' unpublished or never officially released recordings (as per the words of the publisher Bruno Ribeiro), including home demos, studio demos, unreleased/unpublished songs, studio sessions outtakes, home jams, rehearsals, improvs, alternate takes/demos, concerts, auditions, unpublished alternate mixes, studio monitor mixes, acetates, informal sessions, home tapes, live recordings, meetings, appearances on tv/movies/radio/specials/video/events/songs in interviews and other unofficial audio materials.

The availability of high-speed Internet has transformed the bootlegging industry. The Purple Chick label has assembled and digitally fine-tuned many comprehensive themed packages, including individual studio album sessions, the Get Back sessions, and the BBC performances, all distributed free through various fan trading sites online.[20][21] Author Richie Unterberger noted that it is "now theoretically possible to assemble a complete collection of the circulating unreleased Beatles recordings without ever buying a bootleg."[12]

Commonly bootlegged material

Several books have been devoted to comprehensively documenting Beatles bootlegs; the following is a list of some of the most common or notable bootlegged recordings by the Beatles.

The Quarrymen / Silver Beatles era (1957–1960)

Other than the commercially released songs with Tony Sheridan issued on In the Beginning (Circa 1960), only three recordings made by the group prior to 1962 have become public.[22]

The Quarrymen show, 6 July 1957. The Quarrymen played a show for the Woolton fête at St Peter's Parish Church, notable as the day that Paul McCartney was first introduced to Lennon by a mutual friend, Ivan Vaughan. In 1994, Bob Molyneux, a retired policeman, rediscovered a reel-to-reel tape he had made of the show while experimenting with a Grundig portable tape recorder. The tape contained a poor quality recording of the Quarrymen performances of Lonnie Donegan's "Puttin' On the Style" and Elvis Presley's "Baby, Let's Play House". A thirty-second excerpt of "Putting on the Style" was released to promote the tape's auction at Sotheby's later that year; the tape was bought by EMI for £78,500, becoming the most expensive recording ever sold at auction. EMI decided the recording was not of sufficient quality to include in Anthology. After extensive audio restoration, excerpts from both songs were included in the BBC radio documentary The Day John Met Paul, broadcast on 26 June 2007.

The Quarrymen acetate, 1958. on July 12, 1958, The Quarrymen paid to record themselves at Phillips' Sound Recording Services in Liverpool, performing "That'll Be the Day" and "In Spite of All the Danger". These were included on Anthology 1, although the latter song was edited.[22]

Home rehearsals, 1960. More than one hour of the band's home rehearsals from 1960 have appeared on bootlegs, although the recording's date and location are uncertain. McCartney once said that it was taped at his home in April 1960;[23] the recording may also originate from two separate sessions a few months apart.[24] Three of the songs were included on Anthology 1. The recording also featured early versions of songs that the Beatles would later record in the studio ("Matchbox", "One After 909", "I'll Follow the Sun"). Other songs that were recorded during these rehearsals include "Well, Darlin'", "Hello Little Girl", "That's When Your Heartaches Begin", "Wildcat", "I'll Always Be in Love with You", "Some Days", "Hallelujah I Love Her So", "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise", "You Must Write Every Day", "Movin' and Groovin'", and "Ramrod".

A collection of all these recordings were released on the bootleg recording Lapis Lazuli, featuring a longer version of “Puttin’ on the Style” and all of the Beatles home recordings made in early 1960.

Decca audition (1962)

The Beatles performed fifteen songs that were recorded at their audition for Decca Records on 1 January 1962 (three Lennon–McCartney compositions and twelve cover versions). Five of these songs were included on Anthology 1.

Fourteen of the fifteen tracks appeared on a series of coloured vinyl singles with picture sleeves, released in 1978 on the Deccagone label through Strawberry Fields Forever, Joe Pope's fanzine. The following year, all fifteen tracks appeared on the Circuit Records bootleg album The Decca Tapes.

Due to the questionable copyright status of these performances (recorded prior to the group's EMI contract), the Decca audition was commercially distributed in various configurations starting in 1981; some of these "grey market" albums omitted the three Lennon–McCartney songs.[25] By the late 1980s, legal action by the Beatles had halted commercial availability of the albums.[26] In addition to continued inclusion on bootlegs, a small US record label issued the songs on CD through mail order in 2007 as The Lost Decca Sessions, which it described as legal and licensed.[27]

Cavern Club rehearsals and TV shoot (1962)

Sometime between August and December 1962, the Beatles recorded themselves rehearsing at the Cavern Club, performing "I Saw Her Standing There", "One After 909" (two versions), and "Catswalk" (two versions).[28]

On August 22, 1962, a crew from Granada Television shot footage of the band performing live at the Cavern for use in the television show Scene at 6:30; the crew filmed two takes of the band performing "Some Other Guy." The following month, on September 5, a Granada sound crew returned to capture better audio of the band to sync to the film footage, as they felt the audio from the original shoot was not of satisfactory quality. A new recording of "Some Other Guy" and a recording of "Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!" come from this performance. The shoot constitutes the earliest professional film footage of the Beatles, and would have been the Beatles' first appearance on television, but the footage was shelved for over a year, and was first broadcast after the Beatles had achieved nationwide success. Instead, Grenada booked the group for a live, in-studio performance on 17 October 1962. The Cavern footage has been seen on The Beatles Anthology and other documentary sources, and audio from both dates have circulated amongst bootleggers.

Star-Club performances (1962)

As the Beatles were concluding their final two-week Hamburg engagement in late December 1962, portions of their performances were taped by Star-Club stage manager Adrian Barber; the tapes were acquired by Ted "Kingsize" Taylor, the leader of KingsizeTaylor and The Dominoes at the club.[29] Eventually Taylor sold the tapes, which formed the basis of the double album Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962, released in 1977 by Lingasong Records.

The liner notes for the initial release falsely implied that the recordings had been made in the spring of 1962, prior to the Beatles' EMI contract, on a night when Ringo Starr happened to be sitting in for Pete Best. In commentary for a lawsuit to block the album's release, John Lennon wrote, "the sleeve note, apart from being inaccurate, seems to have been written with a court case in mind." The Beatles lost their case, so the album was viewed as a legitimate release. The thirty songs contained on the initial releases were re-licensed over the following two decades to multiple record labels, most notably Sony Music, which packaged the songs in CD form in 1991 (although the product was withdrawn the following year as legal action was pending from the Beatles). After another lawsuit by the Beatles, Lingasong agreed in 1998 to hand over the original tapes and stop all sales.

Compared with a properly recorded live concert, the sound quality of the tape is poor, with the vocals in particular sounding "muffled and distant" at best.[29] But for a recording made with 1 mic from the audience with a home-use reel-to-reel, the quality is very good. The Beatles display a rawness that matches the raucous Hamburg atmosphere. While the Beatles would later record many of the thirty songs in the studio or perform them for the BBC, nine of the songs would never be officially released in another version.[29]

Additional material from the Star-Club tapes has been bootlegged, including "Road Runner", "Money (That's What I Want)" (with Tony Sheridan singing lead), a portion of "Red Hot", and alternate performances of several songs.[29]

The BBC sessions (1962–1965)

The Beatles performed for fifty-two BBC Radio programmes, beginning with an appearance on the series Teenager's Turn—Here We Go, recorded on 7 March 1962, and ending with the special The Beatles Invite You to Take a Ticket to Ride, recorded on 26 May 1965; in total, 275 performances of 88 different songs were broadcast.[4] Early bootlegs of some of the performances were based on low-quality home recordings of the broadcasts from the radio. It was not the BBC's practice to archive either the session tapes or the shows' master tapes, but many good quality distribution copies were found in various BBC departments during research for BBC radio specials produced in the 1980s.[30]

Increasingly comprehensive collections of the BBC performances were bootlegged in the 1980s and early 1990s. The most notable of these was The Complete BBC Sessions, a nine CD box set released in 1993 by Great Dane in Italy, where copyright protection for the broadcasts had expired;[31] The widespread availability of good quality bootlegs prompted Apple's own release of BBC performances in 1994, the two CD set Live at the BBC. The set included 30 of the 36 songs that the Beatles never performed on their studio albums, plus 26 other songs and dialogue among the group members and the radio hosts. In 1999, a 10 CD box set The Complete BBC Sessions 1962-1966 was released in Japan by Secret Trax[32] which was soon followed by 3 CD set Attack of the Filler BEEBS! on the same label featuring additions to the box set.

Starting in the 2000s, the popularity of digital downloads through BitTorrent made it possible to replace physical media with virtual box sets of BBC material provided by fans for fans made available free of charge. In 2004, Purple Chick released The Complete BBC Sessions Upgraded as a digital set of ten audio CDs plus one multimedia CD.[20] In 2010, Hobnail released a virtual 13 disc release Unsurpassed Broadcasts. 2015 saw the release of The BBC Archives, by an anonymous source. This set of 23 virtual CDs and one virtual DVD contains all of the available BBC material in the best quality, as well as some previously unreleased radio shows and upgraded material.

Studio outtakes and alternate mixes (1962–1970)

A large number of Beatles studio outtakes are available on bootlegs, ranging from complete session tapes—for example, the morning sessions for the Please Please Me album—to more fragmentary samplings, or alternate mixes and performances derived from acetates. The first studio outtake to appear on bootleg was the White Album outtake "What's The New Mary Jane" in 1972, which fell into the hands of bootleggers via an acetate that Lennon had traded to a friend. In 1977, rough mixes from acetates of "I Am the Walrus" and "The Fool on the Hill" appeared on bootlegs after being played on a Radio Luxembourg broadcast.[33]

After the Beatles' EMI contract expired in 1976, the company began assessing the band's unreleased material for a future release. The first batch of songs to leak came from an in-house compilation cassette that contained "Leave My Kitten Alone", "One After 909" (from 1963), "If You've Got Trouble", "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)", "That Means a Lot", "Come and Get It", "Dig a Pony" (unedited version), and two medleys from the Get Back / Let It Be sessions: "Rip It Up / Shake, Rattle and Roll" and "Not Fade Away / Bo Diddley".[34]

In 1981, in-house engineer John Barrett was given the task of cataloguing the complete collection of tapes from the band's seven-year career with EMI. This led to two projects: a public audio-visual presentation at Abbey Road Studios called The Beatles Live at Abbey Road (which opened on 18 July 1983) and a planned outtakes album which was to be called Sessions. In addition to some of the songs included on the previously leaked compilation tape, Sessions added "Not Guilty", "What's the New Mary Jane", "How Do You Do It?", "Bésame Mucho", "Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (demo), and early takes of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and "I'm Looking Through You".[34] Shortly before the album's scheduled 1985 release, it was vetoed by the surviving members of the band; but both audience recordings of the Abbey Road presentation and the leaked promos of Sessions became available to bootleggers. These songs appeared on bootleg series such as Ultra-Rare Trax and Unsurpassed Masters, along with other material presumably copied while preparing these projects. Most of the aforementioned tracks were officially released on the Anthology albums in 1995 and 1996.

New Beatles studio outtakes continue to occasionally appear; in February 2009, a complete 10:46 recording of “Revolution 1 (Take 20)” from the White Album sessions was released on the bootleg Revolution: Take... Your Knickers Off!. This version begins with Lennon jokingly counting that way.[35]

Live concerts (1963–1966)

Many of the Beatles' concert performances have appeared on bootleg albums. The earliest relatively complete concert recording is from the 7 December 1963 show at the Liverpool Empire Theatre.[36] The Beatles Anthology contained video clips from several concerts, some of which are available in complete form on bootleg video. The following are some of the most notable concerts on bootleg releases.

Washington Coliseum, 1964. The Beatles' first US concert, on 11 February 1964 in Washington, D.C., was captured on black-and-white video for later closed-circuit presentations in cinemas.[37] Some of the video was included in Anthology and in The Beatles: The First US Visit, and most of it was included in the 2003 DVD The Beatles in Washington D.C. from Passport Video. The entire video was released on the grey market DVD Beatles Around the World.[37] All video releases suffer from "dark, grainy, and flickery" image quality;[37] a report of a 2005 auction of the original master tape gives the possibility of a better quality release in the future.[38] In 2010 the Beatles at last came to iTunes and along with their back catalogue they brought with them a video of this show.[39] The video was made available with the purchase of the iTunes version of The Beatles Stereo Box Set simply called The Beatles Box Set where all albums were released as iTunes LP's featuring on-screen album artwork and the Mini Documentaries from the DVD in the physical release.[40]

Hollywood Bowl, 1964 and 1965. The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, an official release by EMI in 1977, contained selections from the Beatles' three Hollywood Bowl shows professionally recorded in August 1964 and August 1965. An authorized CD of the remixed 1977 album with 4 bonus tracks was released in September 2016. Bootleg needle drop copies are available, as well as bootleg compilations of the three performances in their entirety.

Palais des Sports, 1965. The Beatles performed two shows on 20 June 1965 at the Palais des Sports in Paris. Both were broadcast over French radio, resulting in bootleg recordings of decent quality; video of the second show also exists.[41]

Shea Stadium, 1965. The Beatles' concert at Shea Stadium on 15 August 1965 was filmed for a television special, The Beatles at Shea Stadium. The programme and its soundtrack have been bootlegged in various formats. One song, "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby", was officially released on Anthology 2. A thirty-minute reissue of the footage of the concert was remastered and issued simultaneously with the release of the Ron Howard film The Beatles: Eight Days a Week on 15 September 2016.[42]

Budokan, 1966. The Beatles performed for three days at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo beginning 30 June 1966, with the first two concerts (30 June 1966 and the afternoon show on 1 July) filmed in colour for Japanese television. The first night's concert video was officially released by Apple in Japan only as Beatles Concert at Budokan 1966. Excerpts from both shows (along with silent colour footage of the first show on 2 July) were included in The Beatles Anthology.

Candlestick Park, 1966. Notable as the Beatles' final paid concert performance, the 29 August 1966 show at Candlestick Park in San Francisco was taped by press officer Tony Barrow on a portable recorder at the request of McCartney; the tape ran out before the last few minutes of the show.[43]

Television performances (1963–1968)

The Beatles performed on various television programmes; excerpts from many of these were shown in the Anthology documentary, and bootleg video exists of many of the shows in their entirety. The most famous of these were the four appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and 1965; after many years circulating on bootlegs, these received official DVD release in 2003 as The Four Complete Historic Ed Sullivan Shows Featuring The Beatles.[44]

Other notable television performances that have appeared on bootleg video include the Swedish show Drop In from October 1963 (four songs);[45] the April 1964 UK special Around The Beatles (six songs mimed to new recordings);[46] the June 1964 Australian special The Beatles Sing for Shell (seven songs survived in complete form, plus fragments of two others);[47] and a September 1968 appearance on Frost on Sunday (new vocals for "Hey Jude" and "Revolution" over studio backing tracks, plus brief improvisations), for which multiple takes are available.[48]

Home demos (1963–1969)

The individual Beatles sometimes recorded basic performances at home of their new compositions, either for copyright purposes (to be sent to Dick James Music publishing affiliate Northern Songs), to later play for the other Beatles, or to give to other artists who would be recording the songs.

Many of Lennon's demos that appeared on bootlegs were first heard on the radio series The Lost Lennon Tapes. Some of the Lennon demos available include "Bad To Me" (1963, given to Billy J. Kramer), "I'm in Love" (1963, given to The Fourmost [although some scholars date this as a late seventies piano rendition]), "If I Fell" (1964), and "Everyone Had A Hard Year" (1968, later incorporated into "I've Got a Feeling"). There are also Lennon demos available of songs that would develop into "She Said She Said", "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Good Morning Good Morning", "Across the Universe", "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)", "Don't Let Me Down", and two songs he would later record after the Beatles, "Oh My Love" and "Cold Turkey". Lennon's home recordings of "Bad To Me" and "I'm in Love" were briefly released on iTunes in December 2013 in order to extend the copyright terms of the tracks.[49]

McCartney's demos include "One and One Is Two" (1964, eventually an uncharted single for Mike Shannon and the Strangers), "Step Inside Love" (1968, given to Cilla Black), "Goodbye" (1969, given to Mary Hopkin), "Come and Get it" (1969, given to Badfinger), and early versions of "We Can Work It Out" (partially taped over by Lennon) and "Michelle". Harrison's 1963 demo for "Don't Bother Me" has also been bootlegged.

Christmas recordings (1963–1969)

Every year from 1963 through to 1969, the Beatles recorded a flexi disc of comedy and music that was sent to members of their fan club. In 1970, these recordings were compiled onto an LP released via their fan club called From Then to You (US title: The Beatles' Christmas Album). Since these singles or compilation album had no official general-public release prior to 2017, all have been frequently bootlegged, some with additional outtakes from Christmas recording sessions, and some supplemented with Christmas themed BBC recordings. A portion of one song recorded for the 1967 Christmas flexi disc, "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)", was officially released as an additional track on the 1995 "Free as a Bird" single. Part of the 1963 track is featured as an unlockable special feature on The Beatles: Rock Band. In 2017, Apple released The Christmas Records as a box set of seven 7" 45 rpm records pressed on coloured vinyl in replica sleeves.

The White Album (Esher) demos (1968)

In May 1968, the Beatles met at Kinfauns, the Esher home of George Harrison, to review and record demos of songs under consideration for their next album; twenty-seven songs, mostly acoustic, have become public from this session.[50] Seven of these songs were released on Anthology 3, including "Junk", a song McCartney would later record for his first solo album. Of the twenty demo songs not officially released, fifteen would be recorded and released on the White Album, while "Not Guilty" and "What's the New Mary Jane" would be recorded for the album but not make the final line-up. The recordings included on the Anthology series were of a significantly higher fidelity (they came from George's original stereo reels of the demo sessions, and processed at Abbey Road Studios) than the bootlegged recordings (which probably came from John's mono copy of the tapes), raising the possibility that there were higher-quality versions of all twenty-seven songs. In 2018, all twenty-seven original Esher demos were released in high-quality as part of the deluxe 50th Anniversary reissue of The Beatles, taken from Harrison's original 4-track master tapes. Giles Martin described the tapes as: “To me, it is like the Beatles unplugged. These are demos but they are good: they double-tracked themselves.” [51]

Three additional songs would never be recorded in the studio by the Beatles:

"Child of Nature", later released by Lennon, with different lyrics, as "Jealous Guy" on Imagine.

"Circles", released by Harrison on his 1982 album Gone Troppo.

"Sour Milk Sea", a Harrison song given to Jackie Lomax and released in August 1968 as one of the first Apple Records singles.

Get Back / Let It Be sessions (1969)

In January 1969, the Beatles got together with director Michael Lindsay-Hogg to film the rehearsals for the group's proposed first live concert since 1966. This project would concentrate on new material, and was intended to form the basis for both a television documentary and a new album, which were given the title of Get Back.[52] But disagreements and a general lack of enthusiasm within the group led to much of the project never being fully completed. However, a one-off live performance was filmed and recorded on the rooftop of Apple Records on 30 January 1969, and the title song "Get Back" was released as a single in April 1969. After essentially being abandoned by the Beatles for more than a year, the project was eventually renamed and released in May 1970; with the film footage now becoming a feature film, Let It Be, and the new songs becoming an album of the same name.

The rehearsals and recordings took place at Twickenham Film Studios (2–14 January) and then at Apple (20–31 January), with more than one hundred hours captured on film and the corresponding Nagra tape recorders used for the film's audio track. These Nagra tapes are the source for most, but not all, of the bootlegs from these sessions.[52] In addition to songs that would later be released by the group, the Beatles played hundreds of cover versions and original compositions. However, many of the performances were brief (some lasting less than ten seconds), and many of the original compositions are undeveloped ideas or improvisations that have been described as the audio equivalent of doodling.[52] A sampling of the rehearsals was officially issued as a bonus disc with Let It Be... Naked.

Among the more complete rehearsed songs that have been featured on bootlegs are "Watching Rainbows", "Commonwealth", Suzy's Parlour (published under the name Suzy Parker), and "The Palace of the King of the Birds" (later recorded but not released by McCartney as "Castle of the King of the Birds"); "All Things Must Pass", "Let It Down", "Isn't It a Pity" and "Hear Me Lord", later released by Harrison; "Gimme Some Truth" and "Oh My Love", later released by Lennon; and "Teddy Boy" and "Hot as Sun", later released by McCartney.

Portions of the rooftop concert were seen in the Let It Be film and the Anthology documentary, and three tracks were used for the Let It Be album, while the complete recording has been bootlegged. The performance consisted of "Get Back" (first and second versions), "Don't Let Me Down", "I've Got a Feeling", "One After 909", "Dig a Pony", "God Save the Queen" (a brief version played while the audio tape reel was changed), "I've Got a Feeling" (second version), "Don't Let Me Down" (second version), and "Get Back" (third version).

On 30 January 1969, Glyn Johns compiled some performances he had been mixing, and made acetate copies for the Beatles. In addition to songs that would eventually appear on Let It Be, this set included "Teddy Boy", "The Walk", by Jimmy McCracklin, and a rock and roll medley that included songs such as "I'm Ready", an early Fats Domino song, and "Shake Rattle and Roll", by Big Joe Turner. This was the first version that leaked out and broadcast on multiple radio stations starting in September 1969, and formed the basis for the bootleg Kum Back that appeared near the end of 1969.[53] Johns started working in earnest on compiling an album in March 1969, and a test acetate from this period eventually surfaced on a poor quality bootleg called “O.P.D.”.[54]

Johns later made two "official" attempts at compiling the Get Back album, with both versions widely bootlegged. The 28 May 1969 compilation by Johns contained the following line-up: "One After 909", "Rocker", "Save the Last Dance for Me", "Don't Let Me Down", "Dig a Pony", "I've Got a Feeling", "Get Back", "For You Blue", "Teddy Boy", "Two of Us", "Maggie Mae", "Dig It", "Let It Be", "The Long and Winding Road", and "Get Back (Reprise)". The main changes made for the 5 January 1970 compilation were the removal of "Teddy Boy" and the additions of "I Me Mine" and "Across the Universe".[55]

One of the myriad Get Back session compilation bootlegs was The Black Album, a three-LP set from the 1980s in a memorable package (although the material has since been bootlegged in superior sound quality).[12] In the early 2000s, Yellow Dog Records created Day by Day, a 38-part CD series the majority of the Nagra tape recordings, with improved audio quality compared to earlier releases. In January 2003, nearly 500 of the original Nagra tapes were recovered by police in England and the Netherlands, with five people arrested.[56]

Even after the raid, bootlegging of the material continued with the Purple Chick label releasing their own digital A/B Road Nagra tape collection.

Studio album needle drops

Starting in 1987, Apple began officially reissuing the Beatles catalogue on CD. However, as digital remastering was still in its infancy, many fans and audiophiles were disappointed with the sound quality of the official reissues, preferring the “warmth” of the vinyl releases.[57] Many fans also clamoured for the digital release of the original Beatles Capitol albums as they contained many unique mixes different from the UK releases. Several bootleggers stepped in to fill this void by offering digital copies of their own needle drops of the entire Beatles catalogue, typically using premium vinyl pressings played and digitised with high-end audio equipment. While these unauthorized copies are not bootlegs as commonly defined, their creation and distribution channels overlap with bootleg products.

Some of the widely distributed collections are the BEAT/Red Robin, Dr. Ebbetts,[58] and Millennium Remasters series and the Beatles' remasters on "DLH Records." The official remastering of the Beatles' catalogue in stereo and mono, released by Apple in September 2009 on both CD and vinyl, has largely made these bootleg remasters obsolete; however collectors in search of authentic original (and in some cases unique) mixes still find them of historical interest. The Beatles' official catalogue of their original stereo studio albums has since been issued via digital download through iTunes.

Material not bootlegged

A considerable amount of additional never-circulated Beatles material is believed to exist, either in private possession or studio vaults, as mentioned in documents and recollections.

From the group's early years, it has been reported that additional songs exist from the 1960 Quarrymen rehearsal tapes, including a Lennon–McCartney instrumental "Winston's Walk" and early versions of "When I'm Sixty-Four" and "Ask Me Why".[22] Another recording of considerable interest is a tape of 18 songs from a Beatles show in mid-1962 at the Cavern Club, recorded from the audience. The tape includes several cover versions of songs not available elsewhere by the Beatles, including the Bruce Channel number one "Hey! Baby", James Ray's "If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody", and the Bobby Vee hit "Sharing You". McCartney bought the tape at a 1985 auction, and since none of it was used for Anthology, it has been assumed to be of poor sound quality.[59]

Many demo recordings are known to have been made by the individual Beatles but have yet to become public. Lennon's uncirculated demos include "Do You Want to Know a Secret", "I Call Your Name", "No Reply" (pre-dating the one on Anthology), "In My Life", and "Good Night". McCartney's uncirculated demos include "A World Without Love", "It's for You", "What Goes On", "Eleanor Rigby", "Etcetera" (a 1968 song intended for Marianne Faithfull), and "The Long and Winding Road". However, a small portion of "World Without Love" made its public debut in January 2013 during a series of Peter Asher concerts and has subsequently appeared in full elsewhere.[60] Also the Daily Express announced, on 20 July 2016, the original acetate of "It's for You" demo featuring Paul's voice (it was discovered among other demos in Cilla Black's collection and was proposed for auction).[61] Portions of these two demos, "A World Without Love" and "It's for You", were made available on Beatles bootleg The Lost Album in 2017.[a][62]

Between the official Anthology releases and the numerous outtakes that have been bootlegged, many of the Beatles' most interesting studio recordings are available in some form. Nevertheless, there are still recordings known to be in EMI's archives that have generated particular interest in their eventual release. One is "Carnival of Light", an improvised 14-minute vocal and sound collage that the Beatles created in early 1967 for an art festival; the recording was under consideration for Anthology, and McCartney has been an advocate for its release.[63] Another is take 3 of "Helter Skelter" from 18 July 1968, renowned for its length of twenty-seven minutes. Anthology 3 included only a 4:38 edit of the 12:35 take 2 from that day's work on the song; asked why a longer version wasn't issued, George Martin explained: "I think it gets boring."[64] The full 12 minutes of take 2 were eventually released in 2018 for the 50th anniversary of The Beatles.

Some recordings may no longer exist, if they ever existed originally. A Quarrymen rehearsal that was recorded at Colin Hanton's home was taped over. BBC documentation shows that "Sheila" and two versions of "Three Cool Cats" were recorded and never broadcast, but the tapes were likely reused or discarded, a fate shared by some of the Beatles' studio session tapes prior to late 1963. Carl Perkins said that he joined the Beatles in the studio for a late night jam session on 1 June 1964, but this was probably not taped. Several Lennon–McCartney titles were mentioned in a 1960 letter from McCartney, including "Looking Glass", "Years Roll Along", and "Keep Looking That Way", but there is no evidence that tapes were ever made of those songs during rehearsals from that era.

One final source of uncirculated recordings is the set of sessions held in 1994–1995 for the Anthology project. In addition to the two songs released, two other Lennon demos (which have been bootlegged) became the basis for additional work by the other three Beatles: "Now and Then" and "Grow Old With Me". "Now and Then" was close to being the third new song for Anthology, but it needed more work than the two released songs and was left unfinished; McCartney has indicated an interest in completing the song with Starr.[65] A new song composed by McCartney and Harrison, "All for Love", was also reportedly recorded by the three ex-Beatles at the sessions but never finished.

Fake or disputed bootleg songs

A number of songs have been incorrectly claimed by bootleggers to be unreleased Beatles songs. Some originated as spoofs or parodies: "Bye Bye Bye" ("Nice Time" by Kenny Everett), "Cheese and Onions" (The Rutles), "Magical Misery Tour" (National Lampoon featuring Tony Hendra). Some were by obscure artists whose names were subject to misinterpretation, such as John and Paul ("People Say" / "I'm Walking"), John Lennon and the Bleechers ("Ram You Hard") and Jock Lemmon ("Idle Sock"). Some were by groups with a (sometimes intentional) Beatlesque style, such as The Fourmost ("I Love You Too"), The Gants ("I Wonder"), The End ("Shades of Orange" / "Loving Sacred Loving"), The Brittles ("Ballyhoo"), Lavender Circus ("N. Bourbaki's Multicoloured Jam"), and Smyle ("It's Gonna Be Alright"); or with a lead vocalist sounding like one of the Beatles, as on "We Are the Moles" (Simon Dupree and the Big Sound as The Moles).[citation needed]

A few "outfakes" have been labelled as Beatles tracks many times:

"Have You Heard the Word". This song was credited to The Fut, and it was rumoured to include some of the Beatles playing with some of the Bee Gees. The actual participants in the 1969 recording were Maurice Gibb, the duo Tin Tin, and Billy Laurie. The recording was so plausible as a Lennon song that Yoko Ono tried to copyright its lyrics as a Lennon composition after his death.[66]

"The L.S. Bumble Bee". Peter Cook and Dudley Moore combined psychedelic music with lyrics spoofing LSD. It was rumoured that Lennon was somehow involved, perhaps as a rebuttal to the controversy about possible drug references in songs like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", but Moore has denied this; the song actually predates Sgt. Pepper, having been released in January 1967.[66]

"Oh, I Need You" (also identified as "Oh, I Want You"). This song was purported to have been recorded during early sessions for Abbey Road. The artist has not been determined with certainty, but it is often attributed to the band Mortimer, who signed with Apple Records in 1968.[citation needed]

"Peace of Mind / The Candle Burns". The song was reportedly found in the Apple trash in 1970, but the true origin is still unknown. Some claim it to be an actual Beatles home demo from around 1967, though the lack of any corroborating evidence and the unfamiliar voices on the record have left Beatles experts convinced that it too is a fake. There is a theory that the tape was found at Apple, but was one of the countless demos sent in by aspiring artists looking for a break with the label. In 2011, a YouTuber named "waltonjones3" claimed that he wrote the song and that "Piece of Mind" was the correct title. He also stated that none of the Beatles were involved with the song.

"Colliding Circles", "Left Is Right (And Right Is Wrong)", "Pink Litmus Paper Shirt" and "Deck Chair". In 1971, humorist Martin Lewis compiled a Beatles bootleg discography for Disc magazine, inserting four song titles he'd simply made up: the John Lennon polemic "Left Is Right (And Right Is Wrong)," George Harrison's "Pink Litmus Paper Shirt," a Paul McCartney vaudeville-style number "Deck Chair," and another supposed Lennon track, "Colliding Circles". These spurious tunes were then picked up by other compilers who have continued to propagate them ever since, despite the complete lack of any evidence for their existence.[67] (Outsider musician R. Stevie Moore has since written and recorded tunes entitled "Pink Litmus Paper Shirt" and "Colliding Circles", making them real songs—just not real Beatles songs. In addition, The Brittles, a Beatles pastiche band, has recorded "Left is Right (and Right is Wrong)" and "Deck Chair"). Musician Neil Innes, a Bonzo Dog Band member and Monty Python associate/friend of Martin Lewis, incorporated all four bogus song titles into the song "Unfinished Words", recorded by The Rutles, and released on their album "Archeology".

Source: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/The_Beatles_bootleg_recordings

February 05, 2022

Beatles The BBC Archives: 24 Discs 2015 - Unsurpassed BBC Broadcasts-3rd Edition

Starting to circulate among collectors is a new, free 24 disc set of Beatles material from BBC Radio. The set is designed to accompany Kevin Howlett's book The Beatles: The BBC Archives 1962-1970. Each disc can be stored in a separate case, or they can be placed in slim cases and housed in the box intended for the book. They will fit in the UK box, not in the US one, because that box was a bit smaller.

In the book box

The set includes every known surviving BBC radio music and interview appearance from 1962-1970, plus guest appearances by other acts, and (as bonus items) interviews with those involved in the sessions.

The sessions are arranged chronologically, with several Special Editions including the complete 5th birthday Saturday Club, The Beatles Abroad, all of the group's appearances on the Top Of The Pops radio series up to 1970, the BBC Beatles Night in December 1963, and even a DVD of their surviving BBC TV appearances.

All tracks have been pulled from the best possible sources including original transcription discs and tapes. Dropouts, mains hum and other annoyances have been carefully removed. Noise reduction has not been used, however it is present on some of the tracks, because noise reduction was used on the releases they are sourced from. Early fades have all been fixed where possible. This has been a huge undertaking, and I am sure the people behind it have spent years of research and audio enhancement work to accomplish such a comprehensive set. These are probably the dedicated and knowledgable fans who should have been trusted to master the Beatles' own official BBC recordings albums... A number of upgrades are included, plus some previously unheard guest appearances. And as a special bonus, a selection of never before heard continuity from the Light Program and Home Service is included, giving a bird's eye view into the hilariously stuffy state of British radio in the early 1960s.

The makers of this amazing collection are not doing it for profit, but because they feel all of The Beatles BBC material should be out there for fans to enjoy and historians to scrutinize. In fact, the set is distributed as free download links, and the people behind it are is are encouraging the fans to continue to distribute this set freely before it gets picked up and distributed for profit by the real bootleggers. They are also encouraging everyone to buy Kevin Howlett's book, not only to get the box to house the collection, but also because it's a vital piece of the BBC puzzle and will enable everyone to put the audio discs into context.  They are also asking people to support the artist and buy the official BBC albums. As they say: This is a fan project, not a bootleg. Don't charge money for copies.

If you have any of the previous releases of the material, like the one from Purple Chick (an earlier non-profit Beatles BBC project), this is a huge update, both regarding upgrades of songs, chat, intros and outtros as well as newly unearthed material. And if you have managed to get hold of the 2010 "Unsurpassed Broadcasts" series, this one surpasses it, both in volume and because it contains material that has been found since then. The set covers the same period that Howlett's book covers, so it goes all the way to 1970, whereas older BBC sets come to a halt after The Beatles' final original music performances in 1965. Doug Sulpy calls this set "core" in his latest issue of The 910, in fact he even hints that it may be too comprehensive! The one thing is, if you want discs, you have to burn them yourself, and the same goes for the artwork, you'll have to print it out.

Comments provided by the Bootlegzone.com

This is a free 24 disc set designed to accompany Kevin Howlett's book The BBC Archives. Each disc can be stored in a separate case, or they can be placed in slim cases and housed in the box intended for the book.

The set includes every known surviving BBC radio music and interview appearance from 1962-1970, plus guest appearances by other acts, and (as bonus items) interviews with those involved in the sessions. The sessions are arranged chronologically, with several Special Editions including the complete 5th birthday Saturday Club, The Beatles Abroad, all of the group's appearances on the Top Of The Pops radio series up to 1970, the BBC Beatles Night in December 1963, and a dvd of their surviving BBC tv appearances.

All tracks have been pulled from the best possible sources including original transcription discs and tapes. Dropouts, mains hum and other annoyances have been carefully removed. Noise reduction has not been used, although some sources had nr burned in. Early fades have all been fixed where possible.

A number of upgrades are included, plus some previously unheard guest appearances. And as a special bonus, a selection of never before heard continuity from the Light Program and Home Service is included, giving a bird's eye view into the hilariously stuffy state of British radio in the early 1960s.

The links are temporary. All fans are encouraged to distribute this set freely before some Japanese bootlegger gets hold of it. If you have not bought Kevin's excellent book yet then show your support by doing so, and as a bonus you'll have a nice box to house the set in (note: purchase the UK version of the book, not the US version which is smaller and will not fit the discs). Everyone doubtless by now owns On Air, but if not then please also show your support by snapping up a copy.

The Beatles - The BBC Archives 1962-1970 [5 Volumes] (2013) Lossless

Track Listing Details:
Artist: The Beatles
Title Of Album: The BBC Archives 1962-1970
Year Of Release: 2013
Label: 20th Century
Genre: Pop, Rock
Quality: Flac (tracks,cue)
Bitrate: Lossless
Total Time: 5 Vol's
Total Size: 1,34 Gb



It is quite remarkable that we have recordings of The Beatles' very first radio broadcasts with Pete Best. This is entirely down to the efforts of local fan Mike Adams, who faithfully taped their radio appearances throughout 1962 and 1963. Though very low fidelity, they provide enough clarity to get a good idea of how the group sounded in that vital intervening period between the Decca audition in January and the arrival of Ringo in August. They show a Beatles with increasing confidence and originality, as well as highlighting stylistic changes: by the time of the June broadcast, Paul has ditched the Elvis overtones which characterised his singing at Decca and remained through to the time of the first broadcast.
The debut Saturday Club would have been a huge deal for the group as it was undisputably the top radio programme for teenagers in the early 1960s. Aside from their two current singles, they chose to do two songs from their Helen Shapiro tour: Keep Your Hands Off My Baby and Beautiful Dreamer, the latter a virtual note for note copy of Tony Orlando's version. By this time a number of people were taping and keeping The Beatles radio broadcasts. Aside from Mike Adam's tape there were also recordings made by Stuart Leaver and (reputedly though it has never been verified) Liverpool recording booth owner Percy Phillips at the request of Briasn Epstein. The BBC of course wiped the tape some time after broadcast, as they did with all their recordings, the union agreements entitling them to a single use only.
The second Saturday Club is also an event, The Beatles' performance being transmitted literally live from a small talks studio. They rocked in their best foot-stomping nightclub style for this show, turning in some truly electrifying performances. The story goes that a tape of the broadcast was made from the studio feed by BBC staff and given to John Lennon, but if it has survived the years then it has left no trace of itself.
The final Here We Go show is interesting, even though the performances are a bit lightweight. This is the first high quality recording of the group before an audience we have, and already there are hints from the audience of the female hysteria which was to come.

1. BBC News March 1962 (2:38)

2. Ray Peters (0:07)
3. Dream Baby (1:48)
4. Ray Peters (0:05)
5. Memphis Tennessee (2:14)
6. Ray Peters (0:09)
7. Please Mr Postman (2:07)
8. Ray Peters (0:06)
9. Ask Me Why (2:17)
10. Ray Peters (0:07)
11. Besame Mucho (2:28)
12. Ray Peters (0:11)
13. A Picture of You (2:18)
14. Interview With Monty Lister (7:23)
15. Chains (1:38)
16. Please Please Me (1:37)
17. Ask Me Why (2:15)
18. Some Other Guy (2:06)
19. Presenter (0:18)
20. Love Me Do (2:16)
21. Keep Your Hands off My Baby (2:29)
22. Beautiful Dreamer (1:53)
23. Ask Me Why (2:21)
24. Ray Peters (0:18)
25. Misery (1:48)
26. Ray Peters (0:12)
27. Do You Want To Know A Secret (1:52)
28. Ray Peters (0:22)
29. Please Please Me (1:57)
30. Warmed Over Kisses (Ben Richmond) (2:28)
31. I Saw Her Standing There (2:35)
32. Chat (0:44)
33. Misery (1:49)
34. Too Much Monkey Business (1:50)
35. I'm Talking About You (1:52)
36. Chat (0:52)
37. Please Please Me (1:52)
38. The Hippy Hippy Shake (1:43)
39. Gerry Marsden And Brian Matthew (0:40)
40. From Me To You (1:54)
41. Going Up (1:55)
42. Peter Pilbeam Talks About The Beatles Radio Debut (2:17)
43. Bernie Andrews & Brian Matthew Recall Saturday Club (2:33)
44. Brian Matthew Talks About The Live Saturday Club (0:53)
45. Keep Your Hands Off My Baby (Alternate Source) (2:28)
46. Beautiful Dreamer (Alternate Source) (1:22)
47. Closedown (1:57)
Volume 1 can be d/loaded here: www.dereferer.org/?http%3A%2F%2Fwe%2Etl%2FXOpo0jIAMf


Some great sessions here. John turns in a completely mental performance of Twist And Shout at the Albert Hall, Paul gets to unleash Long Tall Sally on the unsuspecting millions, an orphaned Lennon-McCartney composition has its one and only airing, and listeners are able to tune into The Beatles' own radio series for the first time. Also some recollections from George Harrison and Terry Henebery, who don't quite see eye to eye on some matters.
Side By Side was a vehicle for folkies The Karl Denver Trio to display their versatility while playing host to another group each week. The visiting group would join in with the opening rendition of the old time classic Side By Side, and then the two groups would take the spotlight alternately one song at a time. The Beatles three visits resulted in moments of great hilarity along with some surprisingly serious interviews and a handful of precious rarities. The obvious jewell in the collection is I'll Be On my Way, a s ong of Paul's that John never liked and which was eventually fobbed off onto Billy J. Kramer. However with The Beatles usual tasteful treatment it manages to be charming and memorable despite its lightweight content. The third SBS show has been presented here almost in its entirety thanks to a newly discovered tape found in the collection of a Karl Denver fan. It features not only all the songs TKDT performed that day but also a Beatles performance of Love Me Do unheard by the world at large since the day it was broadcast over 50 years ago. It's a great rendition, and is distinguished by a full rounded ending - the only studio recording of this song to have one.

1. Tonight On The Light (0:38)
2. Twist And Shout (2:08)
3. From Me To You (2:22)
4. Chat (1:15)
5. Chat (0:21)
6. Long Tall Sally (1:49)
7. Chat (0:22)
8. A Taste of Honey (2:05)
9. Chains (2:25)
10. Chat (0:22)
11. Thankyou Girl (2:02)
12. Chat (0:12)
13. Boys (1:54)
14. Side By Side (The Beatles And The Karl Denver Trio) (0:51)
15. John Dunn (0:04)
16. Too Much Monkey Business (2:08)
17. Chat (0:15)
18. Boys (2:31)
19. When Day Is Done (The Karl Denver Trio) (2:57)
20. Chat (0:31)
21. I'll Be On My Way (2:07)
22. From Me To You (1:56)
23. Brian Matthew (0:04)
24. I Saw Her Standing There (2:53)
25. Chat (0:25)
26. Do You Want To Know A Secret (1:48)
27. Boys (2:32)
28. Chat (0:18)
29. Long Tall Sally (1:45)
30. Chat (0:12)
31. From Me To You (1:52)
32. Money (2:14)
33. Please Please Me (1:59)
34. I Saw Her Standing There (2:58)
35. Lee Peters (0:04)
36. Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (2:02)
37. Chat (0:17)
38. Do You Want To Know A Secret (1:47)
39. Chat (0:22)
40. You Really Got A Hold On Me (2:53)
41. Misery (1:44)
42. Chat (0:19)
43. The Hippy Hippy Shake (1:43)
44. Terry Henebery Talks About Pop Go The Beatles (3:54)
45. George Talks About Terry Henebery (0:35)
46. George Talks About BBC Sessions (1:47)
47. Goodnight (0:20)


Mostly Pop Go The Beatles this time. Music and chat for episodes 2 and 3 was pre-recorded the same day (with ep3 first), but there are indicators here that like many BBC shows the actual broadcast was a mixture of session tapes and live links. In episode 3, Lee Peters apologises for having gotten Ringo's birthday wrong in episode 2 and mentions fans writing in to correct him, something that obviously could not happen if both shows were completely pre-recorded. This happens at other times in the series too. It might also explain why when the series was aired on the World Service in 1964, new narration needed to be provided by another announcer.

While Lee Peters proves to be quite witty, he makes a few snide remarks here and there which makes one wonder whether The Beatles had him booted out and replaced in the next series. In a later volume Paul relates a story about how they arrived at the studio early one day to find the staff all listening to jazz in the control room. So there may have been a bit of jazz snobbery going on.

A few guest appearances by other artists show just how far removed The Beatles were from their contemporaries at this time. An unintentionally funny moment comes when Carter Lewis is obliged to omit the word "damn" from the line "I don't give a damn about a greenback dollar", such was the BBC's stuffiness. For those of a rigid moral nature, more sustenance can be found in track 57.


1. For The Girl Back Home (0:21)
2. Too Much Monkey Business (1:47)
3. Chat (0:29)
4. I Got To Find My Baby (2:00)
5. Lee Peters (0:22)
6. Youngblood (1:58)
7. Lee Peters (0:10)
8. Till There Was You (2:12)
9. Chat (0:28)
10. Baby It's You (2:48)
11. Who Is Harry (0:23)
12. Lee Peters (0:09)
13. Love Me Do (2:21)
14. Pop Go The Beatles (long vsn) (1:11)
15. Pop Go The Beatles (short vsn) (0:20)
16. Lee Peters (0:21)
17. A Shot of Rhythm And Blues (2:04)
18. Chat (0:45)
19. Memphis Tennessee (2:17)
20. Chat (0:44)
21. A Taste of Honey (1:54)
22. Lee Peters (0:10)
23. Sure To Fall (2:11)
24. Greenback Dollar (Carter Lewis And The Southerners) (0:58)
25. Lee Peters (0:08)
26. Money (2:45)
27. Chat (0:10)
28. From Me To You (1:51)
29. Some Other Guy (2:01)
30. Chat (0:30)
31. A Taste of Honey (2:00)
32. Thankyou Girl (2:08)
33. Brian Matthew (0:26)
34. From Me To You (1:59)
35. I Saw Her Standing There (2:58)
36. Chat (0:21)
37. Anna (3:00)
38. Chat (0:30)
39. Chat (0:36)
40. Boys (2:28)
41. Chat (0:27)
42. Chains (2:15)
43. Lee Peters (0:07)
44. Faraway Places (The Bachelors) (2:27)
45. Chat (The Bachelors) (0:25)
46. Jailor Bring Some Water (The Bachelors) (2:06)
47. Chat (0:14)
48. Ps I Love You (2:01)
49. Chat (0:40)
50. Twist And Shout (2:24)
51. Lee Peters (0:10)
52. Pop Go The Beatles (long vsn) (1:10)
53. A Taste of Honey (1:53)
54. Twist And Shout (2:27)
55. Keith Bateson Talks About Pop Go The Beatles (1:08)
56. Memphis Tennessee (Incomplete Alt Source) (0:48)
57. The End of The Day (2:07)


Some great performances here. Presented for the first time is a near-complete version what is widely regarded as their best ever BBC appearance, that for PGTB episode 5. Included is a cracking guest appearance from keyboard virtuoso Graham Bond, with Ginger Baker (later of Cream) on drums. It's interesting to compare their BBC versions of I Got A Woman and I Saw Her Standing There to The Beatles, a world apart but each with their own merits. The embryonic R&B scene would soon explode into public awareness so it's cool to see Merseybeat and R&B alongside each other at this early stage. PGTB 5 also marks Rodney Burke's debut as announcer, but he seems to think the audience was mostly under 5s.

At the end of the disc Paul and Ringo share some interesting recollections about the sessions.


1. Music And Fun (0:14)
2. I Got To Find My Baby (1:57)
3. Chat (0:36)
4. Memphis Tennessee (2:19)
5. Money (2:30)
6. Till There Was You (2:13)
7. Chat (0:28)
8. From Me To You (1:52)
9. Roll Over Beethoven (2:29)
10. Pop Go The Beatles (short vsn) (0:18)
11. Rodney Burke (0:13)
12. That's All Right Mama (2:56)
13. Chat (0:53)
14. There's A Place (1:52)
15. Rodney Burke (0:11)
16. I Got A Woman (Graham Bond) (2:39)
17. Cabbage Greens (Graham Bond) (2:31)
18. Rodney Burke (0:11)
19. Carol (2:35)
20. Chat (0:30)
21. Soldiers of Love (2:02)
22. Rodney Burke (0:09)
23. I Saw Her Standing There (Graham Bond) (2:24)
24. Spanish Blues (Graham Bond) (2:56)
25. Rodney Burke (0:10)
26. Lend Me Your Comb (1:48)
27. Chat (0:31)
28. Clarabella (2:48)
29. I Saw Her Standing There (2:40)
30. A Shot of Rhythm And Blues (2:12)
31. There's A Place (1:51)
32. Twist And Shout (2:28)
33. Pop Go The Beatles (short vsn) (0:18)
34. Chat (0:20)
35. Sweet Little Sixteen (2:24)
36. Chat (0:10)
37. A Taste of Honey (1:59)
38. Rodney Burke (0:04)
39. Nothin' Shakin' (3:01)
40. Rodney Burke (0:19)
41. Love Me Do (2:30)
42. Chat (0:10)
43. Lonesome Tears In My Eyes (2:35)
44. Rodney Burke (0:05)
45. Mad Mad World (Carter Lewis) (1:57)
46. Chat (0:08)
47. So How Come No One Loves Me (1:54)
48. Chat (0:10)
49. Pop Go The Beatles (long vsn) (1:10)
50. Paul Reminisces (5:05)
51. Ringo Reminisces (1:21)
52. Review of The Week (0:31)


Nothing but Pop Go The Beatles this time. Incredibly three of these sessions were recorded in one go - July 16th - which blows away their previous effort of recording the Please Please Me album in one day. A consequence of this is that they recorded very little chat that day and shows 9 and 10 have no Beatle chat at all, prompting indignant letters from listeners. Once again there are indications that Rodney Burke's links were actually live - during track 53 he mentions many people writing in to request She Loves You, which had not yet been released on July 16th.

The complete guest appearance by Russ Sainty exists, but only two of his numbers would fit on this disc. The other three are contained in a separate folder. If you are not burning to disc then simply copy these into the main folder. This is one of only two shows (the other being 5) for which we have almost the entire half hour.

Countless minor cosmetic repairs have been made as usual but I won't go into these, suffice to say that if I've done my job properly you shouldn't notice anything. I will just comment that Long Tall Sally is the unedited version - on the official release there are some notes edited during the first guitar solo.


1. Right now... (0:06)
2. Pop Go The Beatles (short vsn) (0:18)
3. Rodney Burke (0:12)
4. Memphis Tennessee (2:17)
5. Chat (0:37)
6. Do You Want To Know A Secret (1:47)
7. Rodney Burke (0:11)
8. Sweets For My Sweet (The Searchers) (2:21)
9. Chat (0:43)
10. Till There Was You (2:16)
11. Chat (0:27)
12. Matchbox (1:59)
13. Rodney Burke (0:28)
14. Please Mr Postman (2:16)
15. Rodney Burke (0:05)
16. Da Doo Run Run (The Searchers) (2:23)
17. Rodney Burke (0:06)
18. The Hippy Hippy Shake (1:50)
19. Rodney Burke (0:16)
20. Pop Go The Beatles (Long vsn) (0:24)
21. Pop Go The Beatles (short vsn) (0:18)
22. Rodney Burke (0:13)
23. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You) (2:07)
24. Chat (0:32)
25. Crying, Waiting, Hoping (2:12)
26. Kansas City (2:39)
27. Rodney Burke (0:04)
28. To Know Her Is To Love Her (2:56)
29. Chat (Swinging Blue Jeans) (0:36)
30. It's Too Late Now (Swinging Blue Jeans) (1:45)
31. Chat (0:50)
32. The Honeymoon Song (1:41)
33. Twist And Shout (2:27)
34. Rodney Burke (0:10)
35. Pop Go The Beatles (Long vsn) (0:24)
36. Pop Go The Beatles (short vsn) (0:18)
37. Rodney Burke (0:14)
38. Long Tall Sally (2:01)
39. Rodney Burke (0:16)
40. Please Please Me (1:56)
41. Rodney Burke (0:39)
42. She Loves You (2:19)
43. Rodney Burke (0:23)
44. You Really Got A Hold On Me (3:00)
45. Rodney Burke (0:06)
46. Searchin' (The Hollies) (2:19)
47. Rodney Burke (0:10)
48. I'll Get You (2:02)
49. I Got A Woman (2:48)
50. Rodney Burke (0:14)
51. Pop Go The Beatles (Long vsn) (0:24)
52. She Loves You (2:19)
53. Rodney Burke (0:26)
54. Words of Love (1:59)
55. Rodney Burke (0:08)
56. My Whole World Is Falling Down (Russ Sainty) (1:51)
57. Wipeout (Russ Sainty) (2:20)
58. Rodney Burke (0:05)
59. Glad All Over (1:52)
60. Rodney Burke (0:17)
61. I Just Don't Understand (2:55)
62. Rodney Burke (0:20)
63. Devil In Her Heart (2:22)
64. Rodney Burke (0:14)
65. Slow Down (2:40)
66. Sing Something Simple (0:29)
67. Unforgettable Love (Russ Sainty) (2:32)
68. Walkin' Tall (Russ Sainty) (2:08)
69. Da Doo Run Run (Russ Sainty) (2:21)

Vol.  6

A real assortment here. We start off with Saturday Club, featuring another great vocal from Paul on Long Tall Sally and a real lively version of Glad All Over, so very different to the one they'd recorded two weeks earlier. If anyone knows what the little ditty before You Really Got A Hold On Me is called then please speak up! Apologies for the dreadful sound quality of track 3 - do not adjust your radio sets.

Ooh! My Soul is the complete unedited version, unlike the official releases which were cut to ribbons. Long John Baldry makes a guest appearance and would later return in the Around The Beatles TV special. Baldry was one of the circle of R&B afficionados which included Alexis Korner, The Rolling Stones etc. This show (and the next) are notable for a change in recording technique with much louder drums and bass than before. This is possibly down to a change in producer (Ian Grant) and engineer (Keith Bateson). She Loves You (which would have been track 19) is sadly unavailable at this time, one of only two songs missing from the Pop Go The Beatles series (the other being the very first song broadcast). A snippet of a version was included on the Yellow Dog set but it is the wrong version (from 16th July). A copy exists but sadly the owner would not release it for use in this set.

PGTB from 3rd September includes a couple of upgrades probably unfamiliar to many people (I'll Get You and Money) plus upgrades of three tracks by Brian Poole, who gets to perform Twist And Shout "with permission of course". There's also some unbooted links from Rodney Burke (including the stock lame jokes). There's A Place was apparently recorded for this show but in any event the recording from July 2nd was used for the broadcast. Why exactly this happened is anybody's guess.

At the end are The Beatles contributions to The Mersey Sound TV special, including a great upgrade of She Loves You unearthed recently. Two different versions of Twist And Shout were also performed, plus a rather amateurish sounding instrumental.

The show "Two Way Favourites" was a vehicle for listeners to request records for their relatives in the armed forces. John did a cheeky parody of this during the 1965 Beatles Christmas record.


Vol.  7

Disc 7

The last three Pop Go The Beatles, once again all recorded in one day and totaling a whopping 18 separate performances (She Loves You was only recorded once), their greatest ever marathon session. Also they somehow managed to find time to record extensive chat. Amazing.

Episode 13 for some reason had 7 Beatle numbers instead of the usual 6. Till There Was You has never circulated before, and can be heard here for the first time in over 50 years! The quality is not as good as the other tracks but is still interesting, very similar to the Royal Variety performance except with the high notes at the end (the last time Paul ever sang it this way). The rest of the tracks from these three shows appear in their best ever quality, with all the bass distortion and limiting gone. They really sound wild on a few of these tracks and were clearly enjoying themselves. A few segments of unbooted chat are included.

This Saturday Club was the 5th birthday edition and was recorded live as a keepsake by producer Bernie Andrews, explaining the sterling sound quality. The whole two hour show will feature on a subsequent volume, but here are The Beatles segments. Memphis is the full unedited version. For the commercial release the intro from the PGTB 7 performance was tacked on the front to remove the voiceover.

At the end is the performance from The Ken Dodd Show, which strangely had screaming teenage girls present - not Ken's usual audience! One can only guess that news of The Beatles' scheduled appearance leaked out in advance.

The Flowerpot Men was a popular children's puppet TV show, the closing song from which began "Goodbye Bill, Goodbye Ben".


Vol. 8

With Pop Go The Beatles now history, the BBC sessions became more of an opportunity to plug their records which, by and large, were barely heard on the Beeb. There were still precious few shows that would actually play rock and roll records and so these live sessions were the only chance groups had to plug them. Which is great for us, but it must have been frustrating for them.

There was so much concern about The Beatles' safety during this Easybeat session that Brian Epstein banned them from doing any more radio sessions with audiences. The Peter Woods interview is hilarious, although oddly enough they repeated it almost word for word on film a few minutes later (which you'll see on the final volume). The Public Ear was a magazine style show which the group enjoyed listening to, and there's some interesting interviews that go beyond the usual questions about haircuts. Pete Best even gets a chance to grumble about his lot, something he would eventually turn into a full blown career :lol: If The Beatles heard this particular episode, this would have been the first time they became aware of his feelings. This show was picked up by the BBC Transcription Service for overseas sale on disc, which explains why it still exists.

The Saturday Club is a good one with plenty of witty banter, including an upgrade of IWTHYH shared on youtube a couple of years back and overlooked on the official set. The medley is fun. Sometimes it gets credited as "Shazam" but the similarity is probably unintentional. She Loves You is the same recording as from the birthday edition, for reasons unknown.

Rolf Harris first met the group at the Swinging Sound 63 broadcast heard on V2 (he can be heard at the very end after From Me To You). It seems they got along well although according to his biography he was sometimes on the receiving end of practical jokes during the Christmas Show at the Astoria. With their usual good cheer they join in with his biggest hit, showing their versatility and ability to come off well no matter how peculiar or artificial the circumstances. This show now sounds better than ever. I Want To Hold Your Hand is the unedited version. On the official BBC set the second middle section (from "and when I touch you" up to "yeh you got that something") is cut out and replaced with a copy of the first, losing Paul's harmony and rather spoiling the song.

At the end is an incomplete superior alternate source for track 21. Unfortunately the guy taping (the same one who taped track 19) wasn't that interested and changed the station midway through the song, before returning once more and then switching off before the end. The missing bits are pasted in from another source.

Also included is a patch for V5. This is just one track (Please Mr Postman) which is fixed to remove an annoying glitch during the opening line. The glitchy part has been replaced from an alternate source. Also the corrected artwork for V6.


Vol. 9


We head into 1964 now and Beatlemania moves up a gear. George and Ringo make a brief contribution to The Public Ear, and then it's an on-the-spot report of the US arrival for Saturday Club. This must have seemed like a dream to listeners in the UK as their success in America was unprecedented. The Beatles sound stunned and overwhelmed in their phone interview with Brian Matthew. Brian for his part seems tickled pink that the group he'd championed for the past year was now the greatest attraction in the world.

Before they left for the US they also taped a music session for Saturday Club which timed in nicely with news of their Stateside success. Like their previous appearances they plugged their current records but also threw in a couple of unreleased numbers, this time a peppy version of The Hippy Hippy Shake (surely performed to put The Swinging Blue Jeans in their place) and a laid back four in the bar treatment of Johnny B. Goode, which seems to go awry during the guitar solo. The recording of I Want To Hold Your Hand was reused from their December appearance. Another phone interview follows, and then some more entertaining contributions to The Public Ear, a show which they particpated in eagerly it would seem.

The second From Us To You special was the first Beatles music session to be picked up by the BBC Transcription Service, who reformatted it and pressed it onto a one-sided disc for overseas radio stations. Here it has been re-edited into its original sequence with the missing parts restored. The show used an identical format to Saturday Club, with prerecorded sessions and records played into a live broadcast presided over by Alan Freeman, thus the comment about Can't Buy Me Love being number one in the charts. The theme song is a new recording, not the one from the first special. These are exceptionally good performances, every one of them of releasable quality. As Alan Freeman notes, it was extraordinary that they could get these together so quickly.

Tomorrow: more fun with Fluff, and Bernie and Brian get to launch their new programme Top Gear, which would point British pop radio in a new direction.


Vol. 10

The Beatles are the undisputed kingpins of the pop world by now, and the Beeb has to fight for their spare time just like everyone else. But they remain committed to Saturday Club, the programme they grew up with as teenagers, and in March turn in a very interesting session indeed.

This rendition of Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby is so totally different to the one put down for Pop Go The Beatles a year earlier, and really highlights the shift in The Beatles' sound away from flat-out dance hall music to a more laid back style. Paul's bass really pumps and George's newly acquired twelve string Rickenbacker gives this song and the others on this session a really unique sound. John performs the only other known rendition of I Call Your Name but doesn't seem quite sure of the words. He makes up for it in full with a screaming version of I Got A Woman, once again so totally different to the Pop Go The Beatles version. This shows that The Beatles took these sessions seriously - they must have found time to rearrange it in a different style since it's unlikely they'd performed it since their previous recording. This track like several others has double tracked vocals, a technique they were virtually addicted to by now. Sure To Fall was obviously one of their favourite songs, and here features for the first time the same "ska" reggae beat in the middle section that they'd recently used on I Call Your Name. Long Tall Sally has changed from the fast version with a skip drum beat that they did all through 1963 to a four-in-the-bar treatment they would keep from now on. Evidence once again that The Beatles didn't just pump out the same old sounds over and over like some critics claimed. They were constantly reinventing themselves.

The third From Us To You is another interesting session, with four numbers that had not yet appeared on record. I Forgot To Remember is a rare gem indeed for 1964, with George showing an increasing fondness for country guitar sounds. Honey Don't is still sung by John, although by now it incorporates Carl Perkins' walking lead guitar part that was missing from their previous rendition. And Ringo turns in one of his rare BBC vocals on Matchbox, sounding particularly eager.

Top Gear was the first of a new generation of "with it" pop programmes that dispensed with the jazz and middle of the road and concentrated on live sessions with a rock flavour. Unlike Saturday Club, it was on late at night after the kiddies had gone to bed and was squarely aimed at a more mature teenage audience. The Beatles appeared on the debut show and turned in a great session, with interesting electrified versions of And I Love Her and If I Fell. A Hard Day's Night was for some reason edited to incorporate the solo from the actual record. Why exactly this was done has never been satisfactorily explained. This edition was excerpted in part in the debut edition of "Top Of The Pops" - not the tv show of the same name but a special series created by the BBC Transcription Service. The one hour radio show was hosted by Brian Matthew and contained only live BBC sessions, which were pressed onto disc and circulated across the globe. Running to literally hundreds of editions, it would preserve for posterity many of these valuable sessions throughout the sixties and beyond. A copy of the Top Gear broadcast was also kept by producer Bernie Andrews, which accounts for the existence of the remaining tracks.

Finally there is an extract from the recording session for the final From Us To You. How exactly this survives is unknown, but perhaps a copy was kept by one of the studio staff. Sadly very little material of this sort seems to exist.

Track 47 provides a glimpse into the Light Programme's habit of playing random BBC sessions after midnight. Since these were never logged there is no way of knowing what was played, but it's not hard to imagine that some Beatles sessions got another airing.

Around this time Pop Go The Beatles was also revived for airing on the General Overseas Service (aka BBC World Service), although the guests artists were discarded and new links recorded. Only episodes 11-15 of the original PGTB series were mined (the rest had probably already been erased); two more runs under the same title would follow with material mined from Top Gear, Saturday Club and Ticket To Ride. Frustratingly, since the GOS transmitted from London using tape rather than disc, they would appear not to have survived.


Vol. 11

The music sessions are starting to wind down now. We have the fourth and final From Us To You, which has a couple of notable rarities in the form of I'm Happy Just To Dance With You and I Should Have Known Better. The former has an amusing gender bending slip up by George, while the latter highlights John's occasional harmonica playing. Also included is Cilla's BBC version of the Lennon-McCartney number It's For You, with an interesting use of harmonium. George continues to use his new 12 string Rickenbacker as he did for most sessions around this time.

The second and last Top Gear session is a particularly good one, with some classy performances equal to and perhaps even surpassing the EMI versions. This show also features plenty of witty banter and was mined almost in full (topical and local references were removed) for several editions of the Top Of The Pops radio series. The version of Honey Don't presented here is the Transcription Services edit; the full (poorer quality) version is included as an extra (track 41).

Interestingly, four of the Top Gear recordings also found their way into Saturday Club a month later. Perhaps this isn't surprising given that the same team made both programmes, but it is disappointing that they didn't record these numbers again. However there is more great chat to make up for it. Like Top Gear, this final Saturday Club was also plundered for Top Of The Pops.

The live Pop Inn interview only exists because it was taped and kept by the producer. Keith Fordyce also presented the TV show Ready Steady Go and so was well acquainted with The Beatles. Here they chat from the set of Help! and throw in an amusing improvised version of the jazz standard Hold That Tiger (Tiger Rag).

Finally we have some extracts from the second Top Gear recording session. I Feel Fine features the longest and most complete preamble yet, and reveals John having difficulty recreating the feedback noise at the start of the song. The take that follows is not the same as the one that they chose to overdub more vocals onto for the finished show. After that we hear some studio chat that preceded the finished take of She's A Woman, with Paul inciting the others to get it right. This session tape was found in the Transcription Services library in the late 80s, where it had been left over from the production of Top Of The Pops (Transcription Service preferred to work from session tapes rather than broadcast tapes). Another session tape still exists and was owned by Bernie Andrews up until shortly before his death in 2009. This tape contains takes of Honey Don't and I'll Follow The Sun, and a short excerpt of the latter song is featured here from a copy that turned up at auction (complete with a pretty dodgy cover story).

The very first track appears to be an out-take from either the 17th or 25th November sessions. This was included as a teaser at the start of one of the Top Of The Pops radio episodes.


Vol. 12

We're now halfway through the set and up to the last Beatles BBC music session. Although they would continue be interviewed on radio over the next five years, their music would soon become too complex to reproduce in a three hour BBC session. Aside from this, the advent of pirate radio stations free from restrictions on playing records meant that, strictly speaking, BBC radio was no longer essential to The Beatles' homeland success.

Their last bank holiday special bore a different and rather cumbersome title but was otherwise identical in format to the four From Us To You shows. The guests included The Lorne Gibson Trio (who had appeared in two Pop Go The Beatles episodes), The Ivy League and The Hollies (whom John despised but one of the most popular British bands of the time). The Beatles' contribution is good but engineer Keith Bateson (who had worked on Pop Go The Beatles) recalls that by this stage the novelty was starting to wear off and he wasn't surprised when they never returned. The Hollies turn in a terrific set, including a roaring version of the old rock classic Stay. John plays electric keyboard on The Night Before, the only other occasion on which they performed this song, and Paul overdubs some onto Dizzy Miss Lizzy. Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby and Honey Don't both benefit from some nifty Chet Atkins inspired guitar work from George, providing more evidence of The Beatles continuing musical development.

The Top Of The Pops interview was specially recorded for that show and bundled together with material from the last few music sessions. It is not known exactly where or when this was taped. The mention of Buckingham Palace is interesting - perhaps the news hadn't been announced when this conversation took place, since it is difficult to imagine Brian Matthew failing to mention it otherwise. Was George dropping a hint?

The World Of Books illustrates the difference in the BBC's approach to interviewing to that of the other media. Whereas the newspapers were content to ask banal questions about hairstyles, the BBC wanted to probe deeper. John is clearly delighted to be taken seriously for once and reveals quite a lot about his thought processes and influences. This is the longest version of this interview to ever appear.

Pop Profile was another Transcription Service series pressed onto disc for overseas broadcasters. All four Beatles were interviewed separately and once again were served up more probing questions than the type they were accustomed to. These are the complete (albeit brief) episodes. The official release omitted the theme music.

The last track is an early sighting of a man who would become a key feature of The Beatles BBC radio output in the future.

V12 update
Another updated volume - but one with a difference! In this case I have been able to acquire a near-complete tape of the Side By Side broadcast of 24th June 1963. Previously only four of the five Beatles songs have ever been available, plus the opening theme and one Karl Denver track. Now we have all the songs heard in this show. All that is missing is some of the announcer's introductions towards the end.

These new tracks were not actually captured by a Beatles fan, but rather a Karl Denver fan who simply left the tape running. At the end of When Day Is Done he stopped recording The Beatles and just turned on the recorder for KD's songs. Luckily, among the Beatles tracks he recorded was Love Me Do, which has not been heard ever since. It's a great, funky version and is the only studio performance of this song to ever include a proper full ending. Previously the only other instance we had of the group playing the ending is during the live Easybeat in October 1963 (though recorded in a studio I don't consider it as a "studio recording" as such owing to the constant screams of the audience). Oddly enough it sounds for a moment as though the engineer is starting to fade out the track when The Beatles suddenly come to a halt. It could be the studio personel were expecting the track to fade out like on the record.

Also of use on this new tape is the missing section of the opening theme. Previously there was an interruption just after John Dunn says "We're knee-deep in the four Beatles once again this afternoon". Now you can hear the complete introduction. Although the tape also includes alternate source for Too Much Monkey Business and Boys, there wasn't any improvement over the old source so I have not used those. All of the KDT songs however are from the new tape. The two final tracks, Wimoweh and Side by Side (closing theme) are not on the cd but have been included in an extra folder. If you want to listen on an Ipod or similar, just paste these two tracks into the main folder. Side By Side is identical to the opening theme without the addition of Ringo's drums and John, Paul and George's vocals.

The format of this show was different to Pop Go The Beatles. In PGTB, The Beatles would play two numbers first, followed by two from the guest, two more from The Beatles, two from the guest, one from The Beatles, one from the guest and one final song from The Beatles (on occasions this varied slightly with The Beatles performing two songs at the end or in their second last spot). In SBS, the guest played the first song and then simply alternated one song at a time with The Karl Denver Trio.

The choice of songs performed by The Karl Denver Trio is eclectic to say the least. Ja Der Willy sounds like a German beer drinking song, complete with yodelling and laughter. When Day Is Done and If I Had My Way are both old time standards, the former boasting some beautiful guitar work. Wimoweh is actually the traditional version of the chant which most people know as The Lion Sleeps Tonight, much later a big chart hit in the UK. By far the strangest track though is "Zub", in which the yodelling Scotsman and his chums manage to sound uncannily like Yoko Ono and The Plastic Ono Band some six years before their inception. 

Also new to this disc is a brief interview (thanks to the contributor!) where Paul talks about Pop Go The Beatles. It's always amazed me that, in all the interviews they did throughout the seven subsequent years, they never once to my knowledge ever mentioned that they'd had a national radio series. Perhaps, if Paul's comments are anything to go by, they were so embarassed by the title that they chose not to remember?

Thanks again to the collector who made this update possible. A splendid chap I think.


Vol. 13

We kick off this time with the Fabs' Christmas Day 1965 appearance on Saturday Club, although it had been recorded almost a month earlier. This isn't the actual broadcast but rather the unedited session tape which was discovered at the Transcription Service library in the late 80s. This is really classic stuff as The Beatles take off Juke Box Jury, their Cavern fans, and deliver an accapella version of the Saturday Club theme. This version is longer than any that has previously appeared, and now includes some fascinating fly-on-the-wall material where The Beatles discuss amongst themselves their rehearsal plans for the upcoming UK tour, as well as other matters.

The next day John and George recorded their Pop Profile interviews, which were included on the previous volume. A good six months later it was Paul and Ringo's turn. Ringo sounds a little lost, but the Paul interview reveals the changes in attitude and taste that he was going through at this time. The same morning they had all recorded an appearance for the 400th edition of Saturday Club, and while they did not sing they had much of interest to say, with George revealing that it is Paul playing guitar on Paperback Writer, "trying to sound like Jeff Beck". Brian Matthew gently needles them about not being as accessible as they used to be, prompted by the fact that their UK media appearances had dwindled alarmingly in 1966. This interview was also edited down and distributed by the BBC Transcription Service, but the missing sections have been restored here from off air tapes.

The interview with Paul by David Frost is another revealing insight into the major changes in attitude that were affecting all the Beatles at this time. Unfortunately the same can't be said for The Lennon & McCartney Songbook which was an ill-conceived attempt to pander to "serious" music audiences by highlighting all the non-pop artists who had covered their songs. John plainly thought it was a stupid idea and derailed the interview by being uncooperative, while Paul seemed flattered but still a little suspicious. The interview with producer Derek Chinnery confirms that it hadn't really worked out the way he'd planned. It was Chinnery who taped and preserved this program for posterity, but it was also taken up as usual by the Transcription Service who whittled it down and gave it a new title. Both versions are included here.


Vol. 14

A bizarre greeting from John for The Kenny Everett Show kicks off today's collection. Then it's over to the prestigious Ivor Novello Awards with John and Paul and their old friend Brian Matthew, who also returned to Abbey Road with them to record a short interview for his Top Of The Pops radio series. Here they make it perfectly clear that the old order is gone and they are now purely a studio band, an extraordinary development considering their extensive touring schedule throughout the previous years. Brian seems somewhat bemused and puzzled by this new attitude, but takes it in his stride and goes along with the Beatle humour which is still very much unchanged.

Next up is the first of many appearances with Kenny Everett, the zany radio pioneer who had defected to the BBC from offshore pirate station Radio London. Radio 1 replaced the old Light Programme and was modelled squarely on the format set by the pirates and US stations across the Atlantic, except of course that there was no advertising. The Beatles felt right at home with Kenny's offbeat sense of humour and unconventional attitude, and these are undoubtedly the weirdest free-form interviews they would ever put down on tape. Kenny was particularly fond of creating radio jingles for his programmes, so for Where It's At he joined Paul at the piano in a little ditty that went "Kenny Everett and Chris Denning, all together on the wireless machine", which was frequently used to plug the show. Occasionally doubt has been cast over the authenticity of this track, with some suggesting that Kenny actually performed it alone, however the matter is settled here beyond any reasonable doubt: at the end of track 16 Chris Denning can clearly be heard to say, "Come on, sing Paul!"

Scene And Heard was a magazine style series which would prominently feature The Beatles during their later years and serve a valuable role in documenting their ever changing attitudes. The first appearances were by George and Ringo, who gave listeners the lowdown on Magical Mystery Tour and their views on life. George is suddenly deeply immersed in religion, something that of course would continue to shape his life from now on.

Another important radio pioneer was John Peel, who would take over the hosting of Top Gear and play an important role in breaking many new British bands. In December 1968 John brought his new love interest Yoko Ono onto his late night show Night Ride and they discussed various matters and played some of John's favourite records, as well as airing for the first (and only?) time a long extract from their Two Virgins lp (omitted here for the sake of listener sanity!)

Lastly is one of Everett's raw interview tapes recorded at Abbey Road studios, and another appearance of Paul's jingle. The ditty "Goodbye Kenny, see you in the morning" which Ringo sings is based on the Butlins goodnight jingle, "Goodnight campers, see you in the morning". Ringo must have heard this played over the holiday camp's PA system many times when he played there.

NOTE: I have removed this link owing to the fact that I've chosen to redo this volume.

V14 update
This is an updated version of V14. The changes are:

- an extra minute or so has been added to George's Scene And Heard interview, thanks to a BZ member who spotted it in a radio restrospective some time ago.

- the raw Kenny Everett tape has been replaced with a version without the skips.

- track 2 has been shortened slightly to remove Penny Lane. The complete segment is available on Top Of The Pops 1 (V22) .

- All Together On The Wireless Machine has been upgraded slightly.

- Where It's At from May '67 has a few extra bits at the start and end to improve the continuity.

- Where It's At from Nov '67 has an extra bit with John talking about Strawberry Fields (removed from V15 which I have also updated), and the bit with Chris Denning at the end has been removed and placed at the end of the bonus version of the show (see below)

- a bonus folder is included with the complete 90 minute Where It's At from May '67, the complete120 minute Kenny Everett Show from June 1968, and the recently discovered Magical Mystery Tour feature from Where It's At in late 1967. This last track is a highly edited and "Kenny-fied" version of the John Lennon interview, complete with crazy sound effects and singing from Everett. He also snipped out Chris Denning (whose show it was), prompting a complaint from the man at the end.

Vol. 15

Now at the end of the long and winding road we suddenly have three volumes worth of interviews from 1969-70. David Wigg from Scene And Heard interviewed the individual Beatles extensively during this time and caught on tape their opinions on most everything including their future together. Although the original shows are long gone, Wigg issued some of his tapes on vinyl in the 1970s and lots more were preserved in the Top Of The Pops radio series. This has allowed them to be recontructed using off air tapes as a template. Also featured is another of John's weird Kenny Everett interviews and Paul talking on Radio Merseyside (the BBC recently having been granted permission to establish local radio networks).

The thing that struck me about these interviews is that while it's apparent they've all developed outside interests, there seems to be no indication of The Beatles coming to an end and plenty of optimism about the future. Even George says - in March 1969 - that he "can see The Beatles sticking together forever".

NOTE: the link has been removed since this volume will updated to include extra material.

Okay, now for other matters. As I said previously the final volume in this set is an ntsc DVD. Since it totals 4gb I'm having to upload it a bit at a time, so there are 8 parts all which you'll have to download before you can unzip it. Here is part 1:


Vol. 16

More late Beatle interviews as the Sixties tick over and the new decade dawns. They still sound positive even at this late stage.

ATTENTION: I have removed the link that was here as I have decided to redo V16 owing to a Kenny Everett interview that has turned up.

Here are parts 2 and 3 of the dvd. Reminder: you need all eight parts before you can unzip it.



Someone suggested an mp4 version of the dvd. I can do that easily enough. Any opinions?

Vol. 17

Well, all good things come to an end... at least for now. So here are the last handful of Beatles BBC interviews before the breakup. Scene And Heard continued to document the state of play until the very end, probing deeper than any Beatles interviews had ever done before. Conspicuous in his absence is Paul, who seems to have been growing ever more estranged from the public and the other three at this time. Not long after Ringo's Open House appearance, Paul would finally bring down the curtain on The Beatles for good.

As usual these interviews have been reconstructed where possible using new improved sources. Before anyone asks, there was another BBC special in 1970 about Let It Be, but this merely repackaged Scene And Heard interviews along with music from the lp. Since it was broadcast after the breakup and includes nothing new, it falls outside the scope of this set.

Also included with this volume are some extras:

A Taste Of Honey (People And Places 2nd Nov 1962) (audio)
Abilene (Tony Rivers And The Castaways) Pop Go The Beatles 24th Sept 1963
Cilla - TV Show with Ringo 6th Feb 1968 (audio)
Frankly Speaking Brian Epstein 23rd March 1964
How It Is - TV Show 17 July 68 (audio)
Memphis, Tennesee (Splice Version PGTB 18th June 1963) (thanks to Qwazi)
Pops And Lenny feature
Ringo on Juke Box Jury 1st Aug 1964 (audio)
The Beatles 1964 Christmas Show Interview 1
The Beatles 1964 Christmas Show Interview 2
Tom Lodge Interview - Radio Caroline 25th March 1966
From Us To You - TS Version
The Trad Lads (Here We Go)
Kenny Everett 9th June '68 complete show (fix)

A Complete Catalogue Of The Beatles BBC Sessions
Restoration comparison
Notes from BZ
Audio patches
Front covers with corrections

The final track on V17 documents the occasion when Paul McCartney gave his blessing for this set. Though it has been over 40 years since that day, The Beatles BBC Archives is now proudly presented here as a historical and cultural artifact. Thank you Paul... and John, George and Ringo.


Vol. 18 - Saturday Night Club - Part 1

This is the first of two discs featuring the 5th birthday edition of Saturday Club, taped for posterity by producer Bernie Andrews. Almost the whole two hours is here, save for the news break halfway through and perhaps one other song. It's a great insight into what it was like to be a British teenager in 1963 and just how different The Beatles were from all their contemporaries. The trad jazz boom was on its last legs but still had enough followers to warrant regular intrusions by the likes of Kenny Ball and Clinton Ford. There's a nice live sessions by The Everly Brothers, Frank Ifield and Joe Brown. Also recorded congratulations from many people including some from across the pond in America, who had no idea of what was coming in just a few short months.

30 minutes from Saturday Club was also fed live into the World Service each week, so the show also had followers in many other parts of the world. Amazingly in early 1963 The Beatles received a request from a listener in Egypt (!)


Vol. 19 - Saturday Night Club - Part 2

The second half of Saturday Club. Interestingly, four of the songs by other artists - Take Good Care Of My Baby, Sheila, A Picture Of You and I Remember You - had all been in The Beatles' repertoire only a short time before. I Remember You is notable for featuring a trumpet instead of harmonica!



Vol.  20 - Special Edition - BBC Beatles Night Out

We momentarily switch our attention to The Beatles BBC TV output. This night was a real coup for The Beatles: a whole hour of prime evening television to themselves. Quite extraordinary for a group that only a year before had been playing in a dive in Hamburg's red light district.

Both programmes were recorded the same afternoon at the Liverpool Empire before members of the fan club. The Juke Box Jury special is a great listen as it reveals them talking at length about the one thing they were most passionate about: music. Even if they didn't really like most of the records chosen, their views on what is commercial and why are fascinating. There are also plenty of funny moments, like where John puts his foot in it by panning The Orchids, only to be told afterwards that they are sitting in the audience. He recovers the situation with typical Lennon humour. It's just a shame that we can't see what is going on because like nearly all BBC tv programmes of the era it was uncerimoniously wiped after transmission. However this is a new off air recording discovered during the "Treasure Hunt" campaign in 2004 and has not been heard till now. The quality is great and has been further improved here by dubbing in the original records.

The concert appearance was controversial at the time because of the perceived poor techical quality. The camera work was mediocre and reportedly featured only one single close up of John in the entire show. Ringo's mic remained totally dead throughout his number, and many viewers said there were too many shots of the audience. There's an account of The Beatles watching the broadcast in their dressing room in a state of dismay, with Paul commenting that if he was someone unfamiliar with The Beatles then he'd wonder what anyone saw in them.

Luckily they still turned in a great performance, although once again the videotape was not archived. However it was innadvertantly preserved in part by being selected as a training tape for enginners to practice physical edits on. Gradually over the years the precious master was whittled away by apprentice technicians, until only parts of only four songs remained, plus a short reel of audience shots. The first poor quality boots of the complete soundtrack appeared in the 70s, and were all that was available until an in-line version appeared on youtube decades later. However even that version had severe wow and flutter and frequent loud clicks. A third tape has been freshly transferred for this set, and although it is incomplete (missing From Me To You, This Boy and the between-song chat) it has been restored and edited together with the youtube version to create the best sounding version of this concert ever (the only complete Beatles concert recording we have from 1963). The existing video clips will appear on the final volume.

Included as a bonus at the end are two solo Beatle appearances made for Juke Box Jury. John upset a lot of viewers with his forthright views, especially Elvis fans who didn't take kindly to their idol being likened to Bing Crosby. Even some of the fellow panelists sound a little taken aback by his comments. However, there is little doubt that he was actually correct in his views. At a time when the British hit parade was incredibly insipid, John's musical taste was way ahead of its time. George's appearance is far more lighthearted, although sadly only excerpts seem to survive. Ringo also made an appearance, but the existing recording is so poor as to be virtually inaudible.


Vol. 21 - Special Disc: The Beatles Abroad

With The Beatles no longer willing to do music sessions, the BBC was left to come up with this bank holiday special via their own resources. It weaved together interviews recorded by Brian Matthew during the first part of the 1965 US tour with The Beatles' own records. The interviews are quite interesting and capture their views on most aspects of life and also their impressions of the Shea Stadium concert. This complete version even includes the news break and has been restored by upgrading the music with better sources.

Also included is the Transcription Service version of the show, which omitted the music and concentrated soley on the interviews (although it omitted some of them). This is the version used in various retrospectives over the years, the master tape to the original broadcast being long gone. Following this are some unused interviews with Brian Matthew.


Vol. 22 - Top of the Pops - 1

This is another special edition documenting the group's appearances on the weekly radio series Top Of The Pops, aired in most places on earth except the UK.

Our old mate Brian Matthew is in charge, but those of you who listened to the complete Saturday Club will hardly recognise him here as he sounds like someone has slipped a couple of tubes of Prellies into his English Breakfast tea. These shows boasted the cream of British pop talent and preserved for posterity a huge chunk of the radio archive which would otherwise be gone forever, because fortunately the Transcription Service diligently kept a file copy of each disc in its library. Ex-radio station copies (along with hundreds of other TS discs) also regularly pop up on auction sites (try popspike if you're interested).

The shows consisted only of interviews and BBC sessions, which were mostly drawn from Saturday Club and Top Gear (which shared the same theme tune). The Beatles early appearances will be familiar to anyone who has followed the various incarnations of The Beatles At The Beeb retrospectives throughout the years, however here they are presented with the linking material by Brian Matthew intact. Once The Beatles stopped doing music sessions the show suffered a huge blow and lost its biggest draw card, however it continued to keep them in the limelight by including interviews recorded for Saturday Club and (on part 2) Scene And Heard. Show 42 is interesting as it actually plays the "darts" version of the song Help! from the film.


And continuing on from yesterday, here are parts 4 and 5 of the dvd:

4 http://www.dereferer.org/?http%3A%2F%2Fwe%2Etl%2F8mkFsQZZMY
5 http://www.dereferer.org/?http%3A%2F%2Fwe%2Etl%2FVAkUY8ISYU

Here are parts 1-3 again for those who missed them:

Remember: you need all eight parts before you can unzip the dvd. Then you simply click on the first file.

Vol. 23 - Top of the Pops - Disc 2

This volume collects together material from Scene And Heard that was siphoned off for use in TOTP. Also included are two Dibbs Mather interviews from '64 and '65 not heard in the UK but included here because they are transcribed in Howlett's book. Of course, they are much funnier to hear than to read, which makes one wonder why they didn't include a cd of interviews with the book! Also included is a George Martin interview. Probably his earliest interview and therefore likely to be the most accurate.


and part 6 of the dvd:


Vol. 24 - The Beatles on TV

The Mersey Sound was included as audio on V6 but here you can actually watch it. Included are The Beatles parts only. It's The Beatles as I said only exists because it was used for editing practise and so there are lots of bits missing and you can see regular splices in the tape. The Grandstand segment is great, not just for the airport coverage but also the terrifically funny interview (and where Ringo actually uses his malapropism, "tomorrow never knows"). Panorama is a very interesting profile of Brian Epstein, including interviews with the amn himself which show just what a unique individual he was in a business largely populated by hucksters. Paul's interview with David Frost is intruiging, especially seeing him separated from the other three and faced with an adult audience. He seems very coy but has one or two interesting things to say about the songwriting. Not Only But Also from 1965 has some amusing material and shows that John, if he had not become a Beatle, could easily have fitted in with the new breed of British comedians who were storming the tv screens at this time. An interview for Tonight by contrast shows his more thoughtfull side, although at this early stage he still seems reluctant to take his work completely seriously. Our World is the complete B&W version with the show introduction and spoken preamble, including the original live audio rarely heard when this clip is seen. The Release interview heralds the era in which John suddenly became far more vocal in his opinions and more willing to consider his work as serious art. It's nice to see him and Victor Spinetti together as Spinetti was a huge admirer of John and sang his praises at every opportunity.