Sunday, August 26, 2012

One of two for "Side By Side"

The Beatles appeared at the BBC studios Piccadilly in London on April 01 1963 in order to record two radio shows for future broadcast. Both recordings were intended for the "Side By Side" show with host John Dunn and house band the Karl Denver Trio. Unfortunately, only one of the shows has turned up on bootlegs (the second broadcast in mid-May is available and the first broadcast for late April is unavailable).
The theme song is the title of the show: "Side by Side" with vocals by John, Paul and George and the backing is the Karl Denver Trio. Songs performed for the show include "Long Tall Sally" (which at this point in the Beatles' career, had not yet been recorded officially for EMI), "A Taste Of Honey", "Chains" (both from the current at-the-time LP), the B-side to their new single "Thank You Girl" and finally ; Ringo's vocal number from the current at-the-time LP "Boys".
The tunes from the show and a bit of chat can be found on the bootleg LP "The Beatles At the Beeb Volume Two" as well as on the Great Dane box set "The Beatles - The Complete BBC Sessions".

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A "Saturday Club" radio performance

The Beatles were back at the BBC on March 16 1963 in order to plug the lastest music from the debut LP as well as the new single plus other covers. The location for the performance was at the BBC Broadcasting Place in London.
The "Saturday Club" performance starts with two songs from the LP : "I Saw Her Standing There" (shortened for this performance) and "Misery". This is followed by two covers originally written and recorded by Chuck Berry: "Too Much Monkey Business" and "I'm Talking About You" (both numbers sung by John Lennon). The Beatles finish up by playing their single "Please Please Me" followed by a cover version of "The Hippy Hippy Shake" sung by Paul.
All of these can be found on the Great Dane box set "The Complete BBC Sessions". The host for this radio show was Brian Matthews who conducts interviews with the band.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"Here We Go" radio performance.

The day after the recording of their thrid single, March 06 1963, The Beatles were booked to perform for the BBC radio show "Here We Go". The band performed three original compositions: "Misery", "Do You Want To Know A Secret?" and "Please Please Me". All three songs were from the upcoming "Please Please Me" LP. The first two songs would appear as covers for other artist later in the month ; Kenny Lynch covering "Misery" and Billy J. Kramer covering "Do You Want To Know A Secret?". The location of this performance is from the Playhouse Theatre in Manchester.
All three songs appear on the Great Dane label on the CD "Attack of the Fille Beebs, episode one" which uses the familiar William Stout artwork.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"From Me To You" session outtakes.

The Beatles returned to EMI studio 2 in order to record the follow up single to the previously released "Please Please Me/ Ask Me Why" 45 hit. The date was March 05 1963. The session lasted from mid afternoon and throughout most of the evening.
The single was originally to be the two songs: "Thank You Girl" as the A Side and "From Me To You" (a recent composition) as the B side. This was switched around after the arrangement for "From Me To You" was improved on.
The outtakes for "From Me To You" include the first four takes with the arrangement pre guitar solo. The remaining takes ( 5,6,7 and 8) include the middle solo. The song gets as far as take eight which would be used as the basic track for the commercial release. Six edit pieces are also available on bootleg featuring the harmonica overdub as well as vocal overdubs.
The outtakes for "Thank You Girl" feature six takes at the attempt of a basic track with the final take six being used for the commercial release. An edit piece for the ending of the song is attempted as well. The Beatles perform the edit piece from takes seven to thirteen (this edit piece is the one used on the commercial single).
Once both songs were completed, The Beatles turned their attention to a third song: "One After 909". there are no complete takes of the song. Four takes of the song feature breakdowns and take five is basically an edit piece of the ending. Most of the "complete" versions of this song are an edit of takes four and five made in 1976 and the same two takes edited in different spots in 1984 by Geoff Emerick. This version can be found on both the "Sessions" LP as well as the "Anthology 1" commercial release. The entire session can be heard on Vigotone's "March 5 1963 Plus the Decca Tape".

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Please Please Me" Outtakes

February 11 1963 is an important date in musical history. This is the day that The Beatles entered EMI studios (number 2) to record 10 songs in approximately 10 hours and completed their first LP !! Yes, folks...the LP was completed in one day !! The first LP was recorded basically "live" off the floor with every one playing and singing at the same time. There were a few overdubs (mainly percussion, handclaps, double tracking vocals, etc.) but the basic tracks were all live. Fortunately, a lot of the outtakes from this LP are still circulating. In fact, as the Beatles' career moves forward, the method of recording and the reliance of more overdubbing becomes more frequent and true outtakes of the song seem to be less and less. A lot of the "Please Please Me" LP reels have made their way to bootleg, so they are available for your listening pleasure. The LP name was the title track of their second single. Both sides of the first and second single are available on the LP hence only 10 songs recorded on this day.
The first song recorded that day was the original composition: "There's a Place" - all previous attempts at the song (12 takes) are available on various bootlegs mentioned below. Take 13 was the take used on the LP. The second song available is another original composition: "I Saw Her Standing There" - all 12 takes are available on various bootlegs mentioned below. An edit of takes 09 (for the count-in) and take 01 (for the main body of the song) were used as well as edit pieces (handclaps) for the later takes (a mixture of takes 10 and 12). The next original composition "Do You Want To Know A Secret?" is available as takes 07 and 08 (both being backing vocal/percussion overdub takes). Take seven features the back up vocals throughout the whole song but this was changed by take 08 which is also the version heard on the LP. The first cover version appears: "A Taste Of Honey": we can hear both takes 06 and 07 which are, once again, double tracking Paul's vocal. Take 07 is the take used for the LP. We have 08 takes available from the original composition: "Misery". The final version of "Misery" used for the LP ended up being take 16 with overdubbed piano courtesy of George Martin who added this on February 20 1963.
The remaining tracks for the LP are all available commercially and I have not heard outtakes of these.
Most of these outtakes can be heard on the "Ultra Rare Trax" series (mostly volumes 3-4" LP and on the first volume of the "Unsurpassed Masters" series as well.