Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Royal Variety Show

A very famous show took place on November 04 1963 from the Prince of Whales Theatre in London. The Beatles performed live and featuring four songs. The audience included the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.
The first song performed is "From Me To You"; an original A-side single that went number one earlier in 1963. This is followed by the latest single "She Loves You" ; another number one. The third number is a slow one featuring "Till There Was You" which would be released on the second LP later in the month. A joke by Paul is made in the introduction about "Sophie Tucker". Some great guitar playing by George on this one. The last number is the last song on the second side of the first LP, The Isley Brothers cover "Twist And Shout". This has an introduction by John telling the audience in the cheap seats to clap their hands while the rest of them rattle their jewelry. The Beatles then take a bow and leave the stage.
This is one of the more popular shows and most of it is available commercially. The VHS/DVD of the Apple "Anthology" has most of the footage (with the exception of "She Loves You"), the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 1" contains the soundtrack of the show (with the exception of "From Me To You") and the entire show can be heard on the bootleg CD "Mythology 1".
Below is the link for the entire performance via various sources.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Stockholm Television "Drop In"

Six days after the Swedish radio performance on October 30 1963, The Beatles taped a television performance in Sweden on the Sveriges TV show "Drop In" hosted by Klas Burling. The original idea was to have the Beatles perform two songs for the show.
During the telecast the two songs performed included the latest single "She Loves You" with the last song for the first LP, the Isley Brothers' cover of "Twist And Shout". Watching the telecast, it is amazing at how close the audience is to the Beatles. This, of course, would change dramatically in a very short period of time as Beatlemania would take over.
The host of the show then asks the Beatles to perform "one more". They do so as they play the first song from the first LP, the original "I Saw Her Standing There" sung mainly by Paul. In the background during this song, you can see the other guests getting ready to perform the final closing theme. Once again, as the two co-host start to join hands for the final closing theme, Mr. Burling once again asks the Beatles for another song !! This is followed by a shortened version of the Little Richard number "Long Tall Sally".
The entire show has shown up on a bootleg vinyl LP entitled simply "Stockholm". It can be found on CD under the title "In Case You Don't Know".
The first two songs plus the intro exists on video and the last two songs are available commercially on the "Anthology" VHS and DVD packages by Apple.
I've thrown up a link to the entire show (of various quality).

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Stockholm Radio

The Beatles flew into Stockholm, Sweden on October 23 1963 and were recorded the next day October 24 1963 for a live radio performance. The location of the concert was at the Karlaplanstudion in Stockholm. The concert was broadcast a couple of weeks later on the Sveriges radio, channel one.
Seven songs from this concert are available either commercially or on bootleg recordings. The concert starts off with a count-in by Paul and they perform "I Saw Her Standing There" from the first LP. This is followed by the third single "From Me To You" with the vocals shared between John and Paul.
The next three numbers are from the upcoming second LP (which was not released at the time of the performance and broadcast). All three of them are also cover songs. "Money (That's What I Want)" is sung by John and originally performed by Barrett Strong. Next is "Roll Over Beethoven" sung by George and originally performed by Chuck Berry. The last of the three covers is the only concert performance of this song entitled "You Really Got A Hold On Me" sung mainly by John and originally performed by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.
The Beatles finish off the concert with their latest single "She Loves You" with vocals shared between John and Paul and finally they play the Isley Brothers cover "Twist and Shout" sung by John from the first LP.
It is interested to note that the amps used for this show were not the usual Vox amps but were Fender amps lent to the Beatles by the local group in Stockholm. This is why the recording has a bit of an "edge" to the sound.
This concert can be found on a couple of bootleg vinyl LPs: "Sweden '63" and "Airtime", it can also be found on the bootleg CD: "Stars of '63"
Some of the songs above can also be found commercially on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 1" with the following tunes: "I Saw Her Standing There", "From Me To You", "Money (That's What I Want)", "You Really Got A Hold On Me" and "Roll Over Beethoven".

Sunday, May 12, 2013

"Thank your Lucky Stars" on ABC-TV and "Money"

On October 20 1963, The Beatles were recorded lip-syncing to a couple of brand new unreleased songs as well as their latest single. They were taped at Alpha Television Studios in Birmingham for the ABC-TV show "Thank Your Lucky Stars".
Three songs were performed: The first two were recorded earlier in the year. The first song performed was an original entitled "All My Loving" sung by Paul. The fans watching the television show would be unfamiliar with this song as it was not to be released until almost a month later on the new LP. This was also the case with the second tune "Money (That's What I Want)". The studio recording is used and this song was recorded back in July 1963 at one of the first sessions for the new LP. The end of the first song and the second song are available on the link supplied.
The last song performed was the current single "She Loves You". This original A-side was still riding high in the charts at the time.
The program was broadcast six days later on October 26 1963.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

"I Want To Hold Your Hand/This Boy" session outtakes

A rather historic date: October 17 1963. The Beatles entered Studio Two at EMI studios in order to complete the recording of their fifth single which was eventually "I Want To Hold Your Hand" on the A-side and "This Boy" on the B-side. This is also the first session where the Beatles abandoned the twin track method of recording and would from now until mid to late 1968 use the four track machines at the studio. Three "songs" were recorded on this day but besides the two mentioned above, they also attempted to record their annual "Christmas message". This would later appear on a flexi-disc for the fan club in the UK.
Amazingly, most of the outtakes for the two songs which would appear as a single are available commercially and they can easily be found on the following items:
Let's start with "This Boy". Takes 12 and 13 can be found on the Apple vinyl 45/ CD single of "Free As A Bird". The announcement for take 13 can be found on the "Anthology" video.
Now for "I Want to Hold Your Hand", takes 1, 2, and 9 can be found on the "Anthology" video and on the Beatles official website but only as short snippets of the beginning riff. The handclap overdub session (take unknown) also shows up on the video.
The single was originally released in mono and Capitol records in the states used duophonic mixes for some of the LPs as well. It must be remembered that true stereo mixes were actually conducted four days after the recording session at EMI studios. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" was mixed again for stereo three years later as well. The original stereo mixes were released in Australia (of all places !!) on a single and the A-side mix was also used in Australia for the "Greatest Hits" compilation.
The "three years later" mix was included on the "Collection of Beatles Oldies" LP in the UK as well as on the Past Masters collection. The B-side stereo mix was fairly rare for the longest time but has also ended up on the Past Masters collection as of late.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

"Easy Beat" live performance

On October 16 1963, The Beatles appeared live at the Playhouse Theatre in London to perform with an audience and recorded for BBC radio. The recording would be transmitted four days later. The host of the show is Brian Matthew introducing the group as "Britain's biggest attraction". At this point in the career of the group, little did he know that The Beatles would be the world's biggest attraction in less than a year !
This performance could also be called the Beatles greatest hits live. All of the songs performed (with the exception of the first) are all singles and all A-sides as well. All songs are originals written by Lennon/McCartney.
The first song performed is the first song from the first LP sung by Paul: "I Saw Her Standing There". From this point on , the first four singles are played in chronological order. "Love Me Do" is performed with Paul once again on vocal with an interesting live ending. This is followed by the second big hit "Please Please Me" this time sung by John. The third A-side is played in the form of "From Me To You" and finally the last song is "She Loves You". Both the latter and former sung by John and Paul with harmonies from George.
It should be noted that the show is available on the vinyl bootleg "The Beatles At The Beeb, Volume Seven" and it is also available on the bootleg CD series by Great Dane "The Complete BBC Sessions" on disc six. Ironically, one day after this performance for the BBC, The Beatles would enter the studio and complete their next single which would open the floodgates, so to speak. Note that the version of "I Saw Her Standing There" mentioned above is available on the commercially released Apple 2-LP/2-CD "Live At the BBC".