Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Ain't She Sweet" session.

The next day on June 24 1961, the Beatles along with Tony Sheridan moved to another studio to complete the three day recording sessions started on June 22. Three songs were recorded on this day: "Ain't She Sweet" had a John Lennon vocal, "Take Out Some Insurance On Me Baby" and "Nobody's Chile" both covers by Jimmy Reed and Hank Snow respectively featuring Tony Sheridan on vocals.
The location of the recordings were at Studio Rahlstedt in Hamburg Germany.
None of these recordings would be used until they were released two years later on a French EP (in mono) and a French 10-inch LP (in stereo). "Nobody's Child" appeared as a B-side in the UK on Polydor NH 52-906 on January 31 1964. "Ain't She Sweet"/"Take Out Some Insurance On Me Baby" appeared in May 1964 in the UK on Polydor and in June 01 in North America on ATCO 6302. All three appear on "The Beatles' First" LP (Polydor 236-201) in the UK and re-released as a single on ATCO as "Ain't She Sweet" with a differenct B side "Nobody's Chile" on ATCO 6308. all three songs were featured on the LP "The Amazing Beatles and Other Great English Group Sounds" on Clarion 601 in North America on October 17 1966. All songs appear on "The Beatles Circa 1960 - In The Beginning" on Polydor 24-4504 LP in North American among other configurations during the last 40 years or so.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Bonnie sessions

The next studio sessions for the Beatles occurred while they were in Germany playing at the Top Ten Club. In May 1961, Tony Sheridan was signed to a record deal with Polydor and The Beatles were hired to back up Mr. Sheridan for some recording sessions.
The sessions took place on June 22 and 23 1961. The following songs were recorded: "My Bonnie" (with both the German and English intro), "The Saints", "Why" and "Cry For A Shadow" (this last song being an original Lennon/Harrison composition). All of the above were recorded in amazing sounding stereo although the original versions were first released in mono.
"My Bonnie"/ "The Saints" was first released in Germany on a single in mono, "Why" and "Cry For A Shadow" were first released in mono on a French EP. Eventually, all of the tracks were released in mono and stereo on various compilations (E.G. the first two tracks on the "My Bonnie" LP and "Let's Do the Madison" LP, all four tracks on "The Beatles Featuring Tony Sheridan & Guests", the first track for "The Best Of Tony Sheridan", all four tracks on "In The Beginning (circa 1960)", etc.)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

"That'll Be The Day"/ "In Spite Of All The Danger"

The first "professional" recordings by the upcoming young lads from the 'Pool. Various members of the "Quarrymen" including John, Paul and George along with John Lowe on piano and Colin Hanton on drums. The year was 1958. The exact date is unknown to me.
The "studio" was owned by a certain Mr. Percy Phillips who would (for a fee) record the lads direct onto a 10 inch 78 rpm shellac disc.
The two songs chosen for the occasion consisted of a Buddy Holly cover and an original. The Buddy Holly cover was "That'll Be The Day" sung by John. The other side of the 78 consisted of the original McCartney/Harrison composition "In Spite Of All The Danger" which - oddly enough - also sounds like John.
Once the recording was completed, the 78 was passed around from band member to band member and finally rested in John Lowe's dresser drawer for 23 years until mid 1981. The disc was to be auctioned off but instead was bought by Paul McCartney who currently owns the original disc.
Both songs are available with a lot of noise reduction on the "Anthology 1" 3 LP/2CD set.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

On to the next round...

Now that we've seen all of the commercial releases (well, most of them anyway). Let's move on to to other pastures and we'll be taking a look at the bootleg and pirate releases and songs and things like live, outtake and otherwise "different" version of the tunes we all know and love.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Beatles In Mono (box set)

On the same day of release as the Beatles stereo remastered box set (September 09, 2009), Apple also released another box set of the mono mixes for 10 albums including "Please Please Me"/"With The Beatles"/"A Hard Day's Night"/"Beatles For Sale"/"Help!"/"Rubber Soul"/"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"/"Magical Mystery Tour"/"The Beatles (White Album)".  The catalogue number for the set is Apple 099969.
This set also contains some unique mixes for both the "Help!" and "Rubber Soul" sets. The original stereo mixes from the LP versions are included (the other stereo mixes similar to the 1987 releases on CD are contained on the stereo box set - mainly differences in panning for the vocals). The set also contains a 2-CD compilation entitled "The Beatles Mono Masters" which collects the non-LP tracks mixed in mono during the sixties. The set also contains a 44 page book with photos and liner notes by Kevin Howlett.
The outer box is white with a black frame (opposite to the stereo box) with the box set title in black and the Apple logo beneath it. The side of the box also has the box set title in black. The back of the box has a slick stuck on with the box set title and an explanation of the contents. At the bottom are the bar code, catalogue number, Apple logo, the band website address and the trademark logos. The side of the box opens up to reveal an interior half angled box containing the CDs and the booklet.
All of the CDs have outer clear vinyl sleeves (similar to the Japanese re-sealable type). All of the reproduction artwork, layouts, inserts and inner sleeves are present and re-create the look of the 1960s mono Lps (in miniature form, of course). The Beatles Mono Masters 2-CD has a white cover and the title in black on the front the title on the spine, the disc one and disc two tracklisting on the back, Apple logo, band website adress and copyright information at the bottom. This bonus disc also has the outer clear sleeve and is gatefold revealing a black and white photo of 1963 era Beatles. The labels are Yellow/black Parlophone for disc one and the whole Apple label for disc two. The tracklisting for disc one: "Love Me Do" (version w/Andy White), "From Me To You", "Thank You Girl", "She Loves You", "I'll Get You", I Want to Hold Your Hand", "This Boy", "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand", "Sie Liebt Dich", "Long Tall Sally", "I Call Your Name", "Slow Down", "Matchbox", "I Feel Fine", "She's A Woman", "Bad Boy", "Yes It Is" and "I'm Down". Disc two: "Day Tripper", "We Can Work It Out", "Paperback Writer", "Rain", "Lady Madonna", "The Inner Light", "Hey Jude", "Revolution", "Only A Northern Song", "All Together Now", "Hey Bulldog", "It's all Too Much", "Get Back", "Don't Let Me Down", "Across The Universe" and "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)". Note that the four mono mixes for the "Yellow Submarine" LP are included but were never used on the original LP and Billy Preston gets credit for "Get Back" and "Don't Let Me Down" on the back cover.
The booklet also has a white cover with the box set title on the front. The back cover features a black and white photo of the band from the March 25 1963 session. The book has an introduction and a track-by-track liner notes for all of the songs contained on the 2 bonus discs. Also included are the tracklisting for all of the mono CDs contained in the set with photos of the front cover and a bonus photo. The production credits for each disc and the publishing for each disc are also included. Various photos of the Beatles throughout thier active career are also included throughout the booklet. Very classy indeed !!
The front and back covers of the CDs are the same as the original mono LPs. Even the tri-fold construction on the back of the covers is reproduced !! Nice.  "Please Please Me" has the Black/Gold Parlophone label on the CD - "With The Beatles" to "Pepper" have the Yellow/black Parlophone labels. "Magical Mystery Tour" has the rainbow Capitol label. "The Beatles (White Album)" has the whole Apple lable for disc one and the half Apple label for disc two. All inserts are present: "Beatles For Sale" is gatefold; "Pepper" has the funky inner sleeve, gatefold and cut-outs/insert. "Magical Mystery Tour" has the booklet present in the gatefold. The White Album as the poster/four individual photos and is a top loader similar to first mono presses in 1968 ! A truly nice package and well worth getting ! Highly recommended. This was truly done right by Apple !!
Originally, this package was to be limited but as time has gone by, it seems that there are quite a few copies still available through the normal channels.
As a side note, the stereo box set has definitely been counterfeited with cheap reproductions so beware of this as well !!