Saturday, March 29, 2014

"I'm A Loser/Mr. Moonlight" session.

The Beatles entered studio two at EMI (Abbey Road) in order to record a couple of songs for their upcoming fourth LP eventually titled "Beatles For Sale" in the UK. This evening session outtakes have been available from various sources.
The first song attempted was the Lennon/McCartney original "I'm A Loser" mainly written and sung by John with assistance from Paul. The first two takes can be found on the bootleg CD "Unsurpassed Masters Volume 6"; the next take (3) can be found on the next volume of "Unsurpassed Masters Volume 7". Finally, the next four takes of the song can be found on the bootleg CD "The Ultimate Collection, Volume 3, Studio Sessions 1964".
The next song attempted in the studio by The Beatles was a cover version of the Dr. Feelgood song "Mr. Moonlight". The intro and outtake has been commercially released on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 1" (in mono) although there is a stereo version of the song which can be found on the bootleg "Turn Me On Deadman".

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"Blackpool Night Out" - Another Plug For the Film

On July 19 1964, The Beatles performed live on stage for television. The performance took place at the ABC Theatre in Blackpool, England. The title of the television show was "Blackpool Night Out". This was another opportunity for the band to promote their latest LP, single and film "A Hard Day's Night".
The show starts off with a comedy sketch featuring The Beatles, Bernie and Mike Winters. Something about Ringo being a patient in a hospital (ironically) and the Winters act as surgeons. I 've never heard the sketch, so I can't really tell you much about it.
The show - as far as I know - does not exist on tape of any other visual form but it does exist as an audio recording. There are various bootlegs of the show as well as a link to "youtube" which I have kindly provided below for your entertainment. You can find the recording on the bootleg CDs: "Holly Bowl Complete (sic)" as well as the box set "Mythology, Vol. 2" and "Blackpool Night Out '64 - upgraded".
The songs performed during the show include four of five songs from the soundtrack LP to "A Hard Day's Night" as well as the title song from the EP "Long Tall Sally" (in the U.K.). The songs are: "A Hard Day's Night", "Things We Said Today" (the A and B sides of the UK single); "Things We Said Today", "You Can't Do That", "If I Fell" and "Long Tall Sally".

Saturday, March 15, 2014

"From Us To You" For The Fourth and Final Time

On July 17 1964, The Beatles appeared at BBC Paris Studios in London to record a performance for the last "From Us To You" radio show broadcast a couple of weeks later on August 03 1964. This is a very unique BBC broadcast in the sense that we have the performance as well as having the rehearsal tape as well on bootleg.
Starting with the rehearsal tape, this can be found on the 10 inch vinyl record entitled "From Us To You, A Parlophone (sic) Rehearsal Session". The record contains two versions of "From Us to You" (the theme song), "Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey", "Long Tall Sally", "If I Fell", "Boys", two takes of "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" with George Harrison overdubbing vocals on the second version, three takes of "I Should Have Known Better" with a false start, harmonica and vocals overdubbed, "Things We Said Today" and "A Hard Day's Night". My copy is a green wax copy on an unknown blank label.
The actual broadcast featured all of the above tunes and the host was Don Wardell. The show starts with the theme song "From Us To You" with the introduction, a bit of Happy Bank Holiday wishes and the second tune performed is "Long Tall Sally" from the Beatles' new EP in the UK and the title song. Next up is a tune from the first movie soundtrack LP; a nice version of "If I Fell" with John and Paul harmonizing throughout. Three more songs from the first movie soundtrack LP are also performed: "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" featuring the great George Harrison on vocals; Paul McCartney's haunting composition "Things We Said Today" is then performed after his own introduction,  and we have John's turn with "I Should Have Known Better". Ringo also gets his turn on vocals with a performance of "Boys" from the first LP in the UK and the first Vee-Jay LP in the United States. A cover tune is played as well; an early rendition of Little Richard's "Kansas City/ Hey Hey Hey Hey" with Paul on vocals. This song would eventually be released at the end of 1964 for the Beatles' fourth LP on Parlophone. The Beatles finish up this show with the title from the film, the single and the LP title "A Hard Day's Night" and then the theme is once again played as an outro and the credits are read out as narration by John Lennon.
The show (as broadcast) is available on the vinyl bootleg LP "The Beatles At The Beeb, Volume Eleven" as well as being available on the Great Dane box set "The Complete BBC Sessions" on disc 08. The box set also contains highlights from the rehearsal session. As far as I can see, nothing from this session has been released commercially.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Top Gear BBC Light Programme

On July 14, 1964 The Beatles assembled to Studio S2, Broadcasting House, London in order to record a radio show for the BBC. This show being entitled "Top Gear".The show would be broadcast to the UK two days later on July 16, 1964.
The main focus for this show as the New LP (at the time) "A Hard Day's Night" as well as the new EP "Long Tall Sally". Both were promoted for this broadcast. It's interesting to note that one of the songs is the commercial version and one of the songs has the commercial instrumental break edited in.
The show starts with version of the Little Richard cover: "Long Tall Sally" sung by Paul. The next number performed was the B-side of the latest single (in the UK); the original Lennon/McCartney "Things We Said Today" once again with Paul on vocals. The next song performed is the title track of the movie/ the LP/ and the A-side of the latest single "A Hard Day's Night" with both John and Paul sharing vocals on this one. The middle instrumental is the commercial version edited in. The ballad from the film is also undertaken for this broadcast; the original Lennon/McCartney acoustic "And I Love Her" sung and written mainly by Paul.
The show continues with the commercially released version of "I Should Have Known Better". Next up is another ballad from the film, this time it is "If I Fell" sung by both John and Paul in harmony and written mainly by John. The show ends with the B-side of the previous single as well as being on the soundtrack LP "You Can't Do That" sung and mainly written by John.
The show can be heard on the following discs: A copy of "The Beatles At The Beeb" radio show has "Long Tall Sally", "Things We Said Today", "A Hard Day's Night" and "And I Love Her". The entire show can be found on the bootleg vinyl LP "The Beatles At The Beeb, Volume Eleven". The Great Dane box set "The Complete BBC Sessions" contains the show as well on CD (number 08).
"Things We Said Today" and "A Hard Day's Night" were commercially released on the 2-LP/2-CD Apple "Live At the BBC". "Long Tall Sally", "And I Love Her", "If I Fell" and "You Can't Do That" were also released commercially on the 3-LP/2-CD Apple "On Air - Live At the BBC Volume 2".

Saturday, March 1, 2014

"It's For You" Recording Session.

On July 02, 1964 The Beatles had returned to England and the evening saw both John Lennon and Paul McCartney attending a recording session for Cilla Black (who was managed by Brian Epstein).
The recording took place at EMI studios, Abbey Road, St. John's Wood, London in the large Studio 1. The song was written by Lennon-McCartney (mainly by Paul) and Paul contributes some piano playing for the song as well.
It was released as a single in the UK and the US but was not a hit in the sense that it reached the lower rungs in the US (#79) but became a top ten hit in the UK (#8). It was also commercially released in the UK as the title track of an EP. It a good song although I've personally never liked Cilla's voice because her tone reminds me a bit of Ethel Merman !!
I've added a "youtube" recording of the song below: