Saturday, August 31, 2013

Live In Paris Afternoon Show

The Beatles arrived in Paris for the last two weeks in January where there was a lot of activity going on around them. Not only were they booked for a series of concerts, but they would learn that their latest single would be number one in the good ole U.S. of A. They also managed to record some earlier tunes sung in German as well as commencing the latest and greatest upcoming Macca single which would (once again) hit the top of the charts.
But now for the subject as hand: The Beatles were recorded playing at the Olympia Theatre in Paris, France on January 16 1964. There are recording of both an afternoon show and the evening show. This entry will concentrate on the afternoon show.
Although the evening show was recorded as complete and sounds great, the afternoon show was recorded in bits and there is a lot of the set list missing or not recorded. The afternoon show was played in front of students and therefore the enthusiasm of the crowd is evident.
The afternoon show contains (on tape, as it were) three versions of "From Me To You", the first one complete. The next time is "I Saw Her Standing There" sung by Paul and then we hear the intro to "This Boy" before it's cut off. Next is presumably near the end of the show whereby "Twist and Shout" is performed and then the second version reprise of "From Me To You" is heard before being cut off. The last tune is "Long Tall Sally" and then a very, very short snippet of the "From Me To You" intro.
This version of the afternoon show can be found on an obscure CDR entitled "The Lost Paris Tapes".

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Val Parnell's Sunday Night At The London Palladium Two

A second appearance by the Fabs happened on January 12 1964 when they played at the end of the popular Variety show for the ATV UK network program entitled "Val Parnell's Sunday Night At The London Palladium". This second appearance let the Beatles perform a five song set. There is no visual record of the performance at this date of writing, but there is some audio available for all of us to hear.
The Beatles perform four songs from the current single and LP and one song from the first LP. The single is played first - both the A side and B side in order - "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "This Boy" are both original compositions written by Lennon/McCartney. The vocals are shared by John and Paul for the first tune and the second tune features mainly the vocals of John Lennon and backing from Paul and George.
Next up is the Lennon/McCartney composition "All My Loving" which features Paul's vocal and Paul and George sharing the last verse in harmony. The last song from the second LP is played which is a cover version of Barret Strong's Tamla/Motown tune "Money (That's What I Want)" followed by the last song from the first LP which is also a cover of a Tamla/Motown tune originally done by the Isley Brothers entitled "Twist and Shout". Both of the latter songs are vocalized by John with Paul and George backing.
This set of songs can be found on the bootleg LP "London Palladium" and can also be found on the bootleg CD entitled "Mythology, Volume 1".

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The First "Saturday Club" of 1964

On January 07 1964, the Beatles assembled back into the work routine with little time off with all of the performances for the "Beatles Christmas Show" which consisted of 16 evenings with The Beatles playing a nine song set along with a couple of "comedy" routines.
And so it was that a radio show was completed on this day with the Beatles recording at the Playhouse Theatre in London. It would take only an hour and a half to record the show and the result would be broadcast almost a month and a half later (February 15 1964 to be exact).
The recording of the radio show for "Saturday Club" consisted of a new tune (for the time); the original Lennon/McCartney composition "All My Loving" sung by Paul in a single take vocal. This is followed by the cover version of the Barret Strong tune "Money (That's What I Want)" with John Lennon on vocals. After The Beatles read a request for "The Hippy Hippy Shake", this song is performed by the band with vocals by Paul.
BBC radio then take an older recording of the current single "I Want To Hold Your Hand" from the December 17 1963 performance and include in this broadcast. Although the performance is from an earlier recording, this tune is also read out by the Beatles as a request so maybe there wasn't time to play it.
Next, George takes over the vocal for his performance of Chuck Berry's song "Roll Over Beethoven" that is also featured in the latest LP and opens the second side. The next tune that is performed is the Chuck Berry cover "Johnny B. Goode" which is sung by John. The musical side of the performance is completed with the latest Ringo Starr vocal from the second LP; his contribution is a Lennon/McCartney number entitled "I Wanna Be Your Man".
Obviously, the gem of the set is the version of "Johnny B. Goode". This performance is available on various vinyl bootlegs; mainly "Rare Beatles" and "Beautiful Dreamer", "The Beatles at The Beeb, Volume Nine" also contains this song as well as the entire show. The CD box set "The Complete BBC Sessions" also contains the entire show. Finally, you can find "Johnny B. Goode" commercially on the Apple 2
-CD/2-LP set "Live At the BBC".

Friday, August 9, 2013

"Sweet Georgia Brown" vocal overdub

On January 03 1964, Polydor Records started noticing the attention heaped upon The Beatles and remembered that they had recorded material from the lads from a few years back. This prompted the record company to start distributing the old tunes over and over and over and over and over, etc.
On the above date and at the Studio Hamburg (renamed formerly Studio Rahlstedt) in Hamburg, Germany - Tony Sheridan was asked if he could re-do a vocal for the tune "Sweet Georgia Brown" that had the Beatles (namely John, Paul, George and Pete Best) as the backing band. Tony Sheridan agreed to this and proceeded to change the lyrics slightly and mention the Beatles, their hair and the fan club. This version of "Sweet Georgia Brown" is the one most often heard on all of those millions of Polydor recordings.
The mono version of the song was released on a French (France) vinly EP with the title as "Ain't She Sweet" and was also released in stereo on a French (France) ten inch LP with the title as "Les Beatles". Strange but true.
If interested, you may seek of the box set "Beatles Bop - Hamburg Days" on Bear Records and the CD will contain this cut both in mono and in stereo.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"From Us To You" for the first time.

As a bit of a Christmas present to the Beatles (as well as the fans), the BBC had decided to give the Fabs a showcase on the radio. Their own show was entitled "From Us To You" whereby there would be music, some chat and special guests.
On this first edition of the show, The Beatles record at BBC Paris Studio in London on December 18 1963 (the day after a Saturday Club performance) with the host being Rolf Harris for this special occasion.
The show starts with the theme song especially for the program entitled -naturally - "From Us to You" (a play on words originally from the single "From Me To You" in case you missed it). After the theme song is performed, "She Loves You" (The Beatles' original fourth number one single) is played with lead vocals shared between John and Paul. The New LP (at the time) is promoted with the next couple of tunes; "All My Loving" is played with Paul being the main vocal for this original number. The next song is a cover of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" sung by George. Paul croons the "Music Man" cover "Till There Was You" which is the acoustic number on the new (for the time) LP. It's back to the first LP and a cover of the song "Boys" featuring Ringo on vocals. They then rock it up a notch with the last song on the second LP, a cover of  Barret Strong's "Money (That's What I Want)" with main vocal by John.
The Beatles resort back to the song "I Saw Her Standing There" with the main vocal by Paul and is on the first LP. After this, The Beatles join the host Rolf Harris for an interesting cover of Mr. Harris's popular number "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport" with Rolf Harris on wobble board, Paul on bass and George on guitar. The lyrics are changed in order to feature references to the Beatles themselves. Interesting but very corny at the same time.
The Beatles "wrap it up" with a performance of the latest single "I Want To Hold Your Hand" which is an original with vocals shared between John and Paul. The Beatles end the show with a reprise of the theme song "From Us To You".
The entire Beatles portion of this show can be found on the bootleg LP "The Beatles At The Beeb, Volume Eight" as well as on CD in the form of the box set: "The Complete BBC Sessions".