Wednesday, July 30, 2014

BBC "Top Gear" Radio Show 20

On November 17 1964, The Beatles entered the Playhouse Theater in London England in order to record a BBC radio show. This was mainly to promote the new LP and single which were to be released shortly after the broadcast (which was transmitted on November 26 1964. The host for this "Top Gear" show was none other than Brian Matthew.
On this show, both side of the new single were performed as well as some of the LP tracks: The show starts with the original composition "I'm A Loser" (written mainly by John) and then a Carl Perkins cover is performed "Honey Don't" (sung by Ringo). This is followed by the B-side of their upcoming single - "She's A Woman" (written mainly and quickly by Paul). Following this is another Carl Perkins cover entitled "Everybody's Trying to be My Baby" (sung by George). The original composition "I'll Follow The Sun" (written mainly by Paul) is then performed and they finish with the A-side of the upcoming single "I Feel Fine" (written mainly by John).
There are various audio clips of the show available: The vinyl bootleg "Broadcast" has "I'm A Loser", "She's A Woman", "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby", "I'll Follow The Sun" and "I Feel Fine". The vinyl bootleg "Beatles At the Beeb, Volume 12" has the entire show as does CD number 09 of the "Complete BBC Sessions" Great Dane CD box set.
The Apple 2-LP (3-LP for the 2013 remasters)/ 2-CD "Live At The BBC" commercially contains: "I'm A Loser", "She's A Woman", "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" and "I Feel Fine". Some of the chat from this show is also included on the first track. The Apple 3-LP/ 2-CD "On Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2" contains "Honey Don't" and "I'll Follow The Sun" from this particular broadcast.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lucky Stars Special

On November 14 1964, The Beatles had an upcoming new single and an upcoming new LP to promote. The single would be released later in the month ( a week after the broadcast) and the LP would be released early in the month of December (the 4th to be exact).
This caused The Beatles to perform on the "Thank Your Lucky Stars" series although the special for the promotion was eventually re-titled as "Lucky Stars Special".
The Beatles mimed to four songs: the A and B Side of the single and two album tracks. The songs that were mimed: "I Feel Fine" (written mainly by John), "She's A Woman" (written mainly by Paul) "I'm a Loser" (written mainly by John) and "Rock And Roll Music" (the classic cover originally written and performed by Chuck Berry).
The show was taped in the afternoon of November 14 without an audience in attendance. The location for the taping was at Teddington Studio Centre for ABC-TV in the UK. The performance was broadcast a week later on November 21 1964.
All of the songs mimed/ performed are the commercial versions which is why audio only bootlegs are moot. I've included the performance of "She's A Woman" (since it's one of my favourites) although all four are available on "youtube".

Friday, July 18, 2014

Another Beatles Christmas Record Outtakes

On October 26 1964, The Beatles entered EMI studio two in order to complete two things: one was the completion of their fourth official LP - eventually titled "Beatles For Sale" by finishing the last song recorded for the LP; a re-make of "What You're Doing" after nineteen takes.
The second task was to make their annual Christmas record. As this was the last studio session of the year, it made sense to complete the Christmas record using the available studio time (although I'm sure at this point EMI would have probably let the Beatles record endlessly due to the sales of their music all over the world).
The interesting this about this session is that there are available outtakes to the speech used for the eventual release of "Another Beatles Christmas Record" on flexi-disc (LYN 757) in December 1964.
The outtakes are available on various bootleg CDs and were first broadcast on the radio documentary "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: A History of the Beatle Years 1962-1970. This included a rendition of "Hello Dolly" with John on Harmonica, Paul on the piano and George on the Kazoo. There is also some speech by all four Beatles reading off the script supplied by them with points of interest although on the outtakes they sound a little lifeless compared to the official release put out a couple of months after the recording.
The "Hello Dolly" segment and take one can be found on the CD: "Complete Christmas Collection 1963-1969" of which I have included a youtube recording below. Takes 2, 3 and 4 are contained on the bootleg CD " The Seven Years of Christmas" although only take two seems to be complete while 3 and 4 are false starts.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

"I Feel Fine" Outtakes

On October 18 1964, The Beatles had a "Power Session" and recorded eight songs within one day. One of the songs included in the session was the next single written mainly by John entitled "I Feel Fine". This tune would be recorded specially for the single and would not appear on the latest LP.
There are various outtakes available on bootleg that start with the song one key higher than the commercial release, then the current key is attempted after that. Take 1 is in the key of A and all other takes are in the key of G. Takes 1,2,5,6,7 and 9 can be found CD as "The Ultimate Collection, Volume three: Studio Sessions 1964". Takes 6, 7 and 9 can also be found on vinyl as "Ultra Rare Trax, Volume 3 and 4" as well as on CD as "Unsurpassed Masters, Volume 07".
"I Feel Fine" was mixed three days later. The UK mono mix for the single has a touch of reverb on the vocals and the instruments are dry but the stereo mix is mainly dry. The US mix - on the other hand - is absolutely drenched in reverb with the effect on everything !! (Thanks Dave Dexter Jr; I say sarcastically). Also there is a strange mix that can be found on the compilation Apple vinyl LP 1962-1966 that has a bit of whispering at the beginning.
Also released on the recent Apple 3-LP/2-CD "On Air - Live At the BBC Volume 2", there are some unnumbered outtakes of "I Feel Fine" being recorded on November 17 1964 for BBC radio for the show "Top Gear" (although these had already shown up on the bootleg CD "The Beatles Broadcast Collection Trailer 1". I've included the commercial version below.
As an aside, another outtake for the EMI session included "Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey" (take 2) and this version can be found on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 1".