Sunday, September 30, 2012

Recording for Saturday Club

On May 21 1963 The Beatles headed out to the Playhouse Theatre in London to record for an upcoming BBC radio performance on "Saturday Club". They were top of the bill for this performance and most of the songs are available on bootleg. The host for this show is Brian Matthew; the actual airing of the show was four days after the recording date.
For this show, the following songs were performed: "I Saw Her Standing There" (the opening track for their current [at the time] LP), "Do You Want To Know A Secret?" (another LP track sung by George Harrison), "Boys" (another current LP track sung by Ringo), "Long Tall Sally" ( a cover of the Little Richard track that would not be recorded by the Beatles for almost another year and an eventual title track for an EMI EP), "From Me To You" (the current single at the time), and finally "Money (That's What I Want)" ( a second cover that would be released later in the year on their second LP; the closer in fact.) The show also features John, George and Ringo reading song request letters from fans.
The performances and the reading of letters for the show can be found on the LP "The Beatles At The Beeb, Volume One" as well as the "The Complete BBC Sessions" Great Dane box set on CD 1. There is also another version on CDR "The Complete BBC Sessions - Upgraded".

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"Bad To Me" demo.

Brian Epstein had asked the Beatles (principally) John and/or Paul to write a song for one his "stable" of performers, Billy J. Kramer. This happened in early 1963 and the song itself was probably written late April/ early May 1963.  The song was professionally recorded by Kramer in late June of 1963 and eventually achieved the number one spot in the charts.
"Bad To Me" was the song given away. This Lennon/McCartney tune was written mainly by John but the verses sounds (to me, anyway) very McCartneyesque.
A demo of the song from an acetate given to Dick James and later sold at auction by his Alister Taylor has appeared on various bootlegs. The demo contains a performance by John and Paul on acoustic guitars and both sing on the demo. The demo was probably recorded between mid-May and early-June. The demo also has a bit of a different arrangement than the official Kramer release.
The demo can be found on both "Not For Sale" and "File Under:Beatles" on LP. It can also be found on CD under the titles "Vinyl To The Core" and "Acetates".

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Swinging Sound '63

On the evening of April 18 1963, The Beatles performed live in concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. BBC radio decided to simulcast two songs for broadcast (the two songs in question being their latest single "Thank You Girl" and "From Me To You".
When it came time for the live broadcast, The Beatles made an artistic decision to substitute "Thank You Girl" and play "Twist and Shout" instead. The latter song was shortened by removing part of a verse in order for it to have the same approximate length as the original planned B-side. The hosts for the evening were George Melly and Rolf Harris.
Therefore, two songs: "Twist And Shout"/"From Me To You" are available for your listening pleasure on the bootleg LP "The Beatles At The Beeb, Volume One" as well as the "Complete BBC Sessions" CD Great Dane box set.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"Side By Side" for the last time

On April 04 1963, The Beatles had a lunch time session for BBC radio. The reason for the taping was to appear on the BBC program "Side By Side". The recording of the show took place at the BBC Paris studios in London.
It was decided to perform six songs (including the show's theme song) but only five of the songs have appeared on bootleg and one song in particular has appeared on a commercial release by Apple.
The show starts with the "Side By Side" theme song and is followed by a cover tune entitled "Too Much Monkey Business" sung by John Lennon. The next song is rumoured to be the first single "Love Me Do" which alas has not been released in any form yet. The next song recorded for the show is sung by Ringo and is his to feature from the first LP: "Boys".
This is followed by a very interesting choice of material. The Beatles decided to play an original composition for broadcast on the BBC yet never properly recorded this composition for any EMI product at the time. This was very unusual. The song in question is "I'll Be On My Way" sung by Paul McCartney (who probably wrote most of it). It has a very breezy feel to it. The song was eventually given to Billy J. Kramer.
The last song to be performed for this BBC session is a version of their third single; "From Me To You". The host of this radio show was John Dunn. The performance was broadcast at the end of June 1963.
"I'll Be On My Way" has been released on various bootlegs over the years including: "Rough Notes", "The Beatles Vs. Don Ho", "Happy Birthday", "Directly From Santa Claus" and was commercially released on Apple's "Live At the BBC".
The entire show - minus "Love Me Do" can be found on the complete BBC Collection box set from Great Dane as well as the LP "The Beatles At The Beeb, Volume One" on Beeb Transcription Records :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Live Performance For A New Single

On April 03 1963, The Beatles arrived at the Playhouse Theatre in London to record live in concert for the BBC radio show "Easy Beat". The main reason was to promote the newest single "From Me To You".  A tape of the performance exists on bootleg. The song is introduced by BBC host Brian Matthews along with a guest appearance of Gerry Marsden (of the Pacemakers). The intro has Mr. Matthews asking Mr. Marsden if the song will be a number one hit with Mr. Marsden repeating "I Hope So" and the quoting his own his "How Do You Do It?" which of course was a huge hit for the Pacemakers but turned down for release by The Beatles.
It's a good version of the tune. The sound is not the best, but the speed and musicianship is very good. Very much worth a listen.
This performance is available on the "Meet The Beeb" and "The Beatles At The Beeb W/Pete Best (sic)" vinly LPs as well as on The Complete BBC Sessions Great Dane box set.