Sunday, 29 December 2013

Top of the pops dancers

For the British Top Of the Pops music TV shows, often when there was no performance or video clip for a certain song, they would illustrate the songs with dance. So here are a couple of those. First up is the Top Of The Pops Dancers illustrating Wings' "Silly Love Songs", from 1976.



Of course, eventually a real music video for the song was made by Wings.
One video that never was made, was for George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord".  Here's Tony Blackburn from Top Of The Pops in 1971, introducing the dancing troupe "Pan's People" who illustrates that song.


Audiovideo content administered by Universal Music Group. There's a bit of dancing going on in the background of this one as well, John Lennon's "Instant Karma".



To round it off, here's one of Ringo's: "Back Off Boogaloo".

Friday, 20 December 2013

US Album sampler

Photo: Apple Corps Ltd

Back

Disc

Liverpool International BeatleWeek 2014


Liverpool International BeatleWeek has just made the brochure for 2014 available. You may download it as a pdf by clicking or touching the image above. Chris Montez and Tommy Roe will be there! The festival runs from the 20th to the 26th of August.

Bootlegs of the bootleg

Asian bootleg of the Beatles "Bootleg Recordings 1963"

You saw that one coming, didn't you? Here are the first Asian hard copies of the Beatles' "Bootleg Recordings 1963". Of course, not every Beatles fan everywhere in the world is able to download songs off the internet. In Asia, a lot of them don't even own computers. Heck, even in Europe and the USA, many collectors will not purchase records that are not available on physical discs.

Thanks to Dirk Bock, who first posted the photos of these underground releases. Of course, we shouldn't call these bootlegs, but I thought that was a good title for the story. Technically, these are not bootlegs but pirate records, bordering on counterfeits.


Dictionary:

Counterfeit: Mimics a real record, trying to pass it on as the real deal. Purchased by the general public or fans who can't afford the real record. The artists lose money.

Pirate record: Puts together official tracks on a disc and does not attempt to mimic an official record. Purchased by the general public and sells in large quantities. The artists lose money.

Bootleg: Contains only material that the artist has not given an official release. Purchased by only die-hard fans who needs to have every scrap of material from the artist. The artists do not lose any money, because they have chosen not to release it for money themselves.

Traditionally, the record industry doesn't distinguish between these different types of underground releases, typically branding all three categories as "pirate records".

Isn't it funny that this release, which the record company was originally just going to "sneak out", ended up doing so well on the iTunes charts worldwide, even at the inflated price tag they put on it? With a little help from this blog.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Backsides for bootleg CDs


Yesterday we brought you CD labels for your home burned CDs of your iTunes download of The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963. Today we have made some back sides. Of course, you may have sequenced the discs differently, and then these will not be usable to you. It would for instance make sense to have the BBC recordings in chronological order. We have just kept them "as is", because that's how the record company sequenced them. We have taken the trouble of correcting the mistaken dates.

We have chosen to burn three discs, even if it's possible to make them fit tightly on two discs. Our reason is that we wanted to treat the BBC recordings as a kind of sequel to the recently released "On Air - The Beatles Live at the BBC Volume 2". Hence the above cover suggestion for the front of these two discs. As front cover for disc 1, "Studio outtakes & demos", we will just direct you to the untampered with original cover.

Here's our three back sides.




You can burn CDs directly from iTunes or use external CD-burning software.
Edit: I was alerted to another back cover online, it's for a double CD which just splits the track list in the middle. It can be found here.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Apple label for bootlegs





For those who downloaded The Beatles "Bootleg Recordings 1963" and are planning on burning your own CDs from the material, Jeff Levy (of AppleLog fame) created these labels.
The material should fit nicely on three discs. I would have put all the BBC songs on two discs and the rest on a third. I'll get back again with a back cover (you already have a front cover).

Evaluation of the studio tracks from this release:

01 There's A Place (Takes 5 & 6) 
Upgrade. Direct from original master. Live fade-out (same as Roger Scott tape). Line hum at 50Hz.
02 There's A Place (Take 8 ) 
Upgrade. Direct from original master. Line hum at 50Hz.
03 There's A Place (Take 9) 
Upgrade. Direct from original master. Line hum at 50Hz.
04 Do You Want to Know a Secret (Take 7) 
New material (take announcement). Upgrade. Now in stereo. Direct from original master. Final chord is faded up in volume then volume drops drastically. Line hum at 50Hz.
05 A Taste of Honey (Take 6) Missing part of take call.
Upgrade. Now in stereo. Direct from original master. End is longer. End is faded up. Line hum at 50Hz.
06 I Saw Her Standing There (Take 2) 
Upgrade. Direct from original master. Line hum at 50Hz.
07 Misery (Take 1) 
Upgrade. Now in stereo. Direct from original master. Added compression makes reverb much more apparent. Live fade-out (same as Scott tape). Line hum at 50Hz.
08 Misery (Take 7) 
Missing part of take call. Upgrade. Now in stereo. Direct from original master. Live fade-out (same as Scott tape). Line hum at 50Hz.
09 From Me to You (Takes 1 & 2) 
Copied directly from Studio 2 Sessions, speed corrected, click removed at end.
10 From Me to You (Take 5) 
11 Thank You Girl (Take 1) 
12 Thank You Girl (Take 5) 
13 One After 909 (Takes 1 & 2) 
14 Hold Me Tight (Take 21) 
Tracks 10-14: Copied directly from Studio 2 Sessions and speed corrected.
15 Money New mix, pretty similar to the left channel of the common version, but slightly longer at the end with no fade-out.

Thanks to gforce for analysing these tracks. We can add that both the demos, tracks 58 and 59 sound exactly like they used to on several earlier bootlegs. As for the BBC tracks, we'll have to leave them for later. But there are upgrades among them.

More bootleg recordings 1963


What with the success of the Beatles' bootleg recordings 1963 (iTunes charts show it at #4 in the USA, #16 in the UK and #24 in Norway, without the release even having been mentioned on Beatles.com), Universal Music and Apple may be putting their heads together and plan more batches of 1963 recordings to release before the year is over. Here's a list of unreleased material currently circulating on underground bootlegs, courtesy of one of our readers:

STUDIO OUT-TAKES

There's a Place take 1
There's a Place take 2
There's a Place take 3-4 (includes false starts)
There's A Place track 2 take 11
I Saw Her Standing There take 1
I Saw Her Standing There takes 3-8 (various edit pieces & false starts)
I Saw Her Standing There track 2 take 11 (breakdown)
Misery takes 2-6 (includes false starts)
Misery take 8-9 (includes false start)
From Me To You take 3
From Me To You take 4
From Me To You take 6-7
Thank You Girl take 2-4 (false starts only)
Thank You Girl take 6
Thank You Girl take 7-13 (edit pieces)
From Me To You take 9-13 (edit pieces)
The One After 909 take 3 (breakdown)
Hold Me Tight take 22-24 (includes false starts)
Don't Bother Me take 10
Don't Bother Me take 11-13 (includes false starts)
I Want To Hold Your Hand (takes 1-7)
This Boy (takes 1-9)

BBC RADIO TRACKS

Please Please Me (Saturday Club 26 jan 1963)
Misery (Saturday Club 16 march 1963)
Please Please Me (Saturday Club 16 march 1963)
The Hippy Hippy Shake (Saturday Club 16 march 1963)
From Me To You (Easybeat 7 april 1963)
Thank You Girl (Side By Side 13 may 1963)
I Saw Her Standing There (Saturday Club 25 may 1963)
Boys (Saturday Club 25 may 1963)
Long Tall Sally (Saturday Club 25 may 1963)
Money (Saturday Club 25 may 1963)
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (Pop Go The Beatles 4 june 1963)
Do You Want To Know A Secret? (Pop Go The Beatles 4 june 1963)
Misery (Pop Go The Beatles 4 june 1963)
Too Much Monkey Business (Pop Go The Beatles 11 june 1963)
Love Me Do (Pop Go The Beatles 11 june 1963)
From Me To You (Easybeat 23 june 1963)
Too Much Monkey Business (Side By Side 24 june 1963)
Boys (Side By Side 24 june 1963)
Love Me Do (Side By Side 24 june 1963)
From Me To You (Side By Side 24 june 1963)
I Saw Her Standing There (Pop Go The Beatles 25 june 1963)
Twist And Shout (Pop Go The Beatles 25 june 1963)
Memphis Tennessee (Saturday Club 29 june 1963)
Money (Saturday Club 29 june 1963)
Till There Was You (Saturday Club 29 june 1963)
From Me To You (Saturday Club 29 june 1963)
She Loves You (Pop Go The Beatles 13 august 1963)
You Really Got A Hold On Me (Pop Go The Beatles 13 august 1963)
I'll Get You (Pop Go The Beatles 13 august 1963)
Long Tall Sally (Saturday Club 24 august 1963)
She Loves You (Saturday Club 24 august 1963)
Twist And Shout (Saturday Club 24 august 1963)
I'll Get You (Saturday Club 24 august 1963)
Twist And Shout (Pop Go The Beatles 27 august 1963)
She Loves You (Pop Go The Beatles 27 august 1963)
From Me To You (Pop Go The Beatles 3 september 1963)
I'll Get You (Pop Go The Beatles 3 september 1963)
Money (Pop Go The Beatles 3 september 1963)
Till There Was You (Pop Go The Beatles 10 september 1963)
Misery (Pop Go The Beatles 17 september 1963)
From Me To You (Pop Go The Beatles 17 september 1963)
Boys (From Us To You 26 december 1963)
I Saw Her Standing There (From Us To You 26 december 1963)
Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport (From Us To You 26 december 1963)

LIVE TRACKS

From Me To You (Sunday Night At The London Palladium 13 october 1963)
She Loves You (Sunday Night At The London Palladium 13 october 1963)
Twist And Shout (Sunday Night At The London Palladium 13 october 1963)
She Loves You (Stockholm Karlaplan 24 October 1963)
Twist And Shout (Stockholm Karlaplan 24 October 1963)
She Loves You (Drop In 30 october 1963)
Twist And Shout (Drop In 30 october 1963)
All My Loving (The Morecambe and Wise Show 2 December 1963)

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

What do I do with my unreleased Beatles recording?

Bulldog Records in Italy had a jolly slogan "It was more than 20 years ago" back when Italian copyright law only protected foreign music for 20 years. 

WogBlog has been hit by a lot of traffic coming from the general media, since we've both been quoted from and linked to a lot lately. One of the people who found our little hideaway on the internet was the keeper of a unique Beatles recording, and he wrote us an email, asking what to do with it.
We've tried to reply as best we could, and in the cause of this we have been thinking about how this change in copyright law in Europe will affect these kinds of recordings.

To start with, a short recap of the current European law on copyright of recorded music:
A) If it has been released, it is protected for 70 years from the year of release.
B) If it is unreleased, it is protected for 50 years from year of recording.
A and B becomes public domain after that. Once there, they can not be copyrighted again.

Before the new law was passed in November 2013, the limit was 50 years in both instances.

So, as of now (December 2013), anything published in 1962 or earlier is in the public domain, whether it has been previously released or not.
However, recordings from 1962 or earlier which has been published some time later in the 50 years from 1962-2012 are protected from the year it was published.

To explain this, take the case of the Decca audition tape. Recorded in 1962, expires in 2012. Except that the Beatles published five of the tape's fifteen songs on Anthology 1 in 1995. So those songs are protected for 70 years, counting from 1995. In this example, anyone can make a CD of the remaining ten tracks and sell it for profit. The Beatles missed the boat on that one. If they had done like Bob Dylan and released unreleased stuff like the full Decca Tape in 2012, the Anthology Decca tracks would be protected by copyright until 2065 and the rest would have remained in copyright until 2082.

This is just an example, I haven't speculated if inclusion of snippets from the other Decca tracks found on the Anthology DVD series could have extended copyrights of these songs further.

So what do you do with the recording you inherited from your dad?

Let's say someone recorded a Beatles concert in 1964. The tape has survived all these years, it's okay in the sonic department, you can hear the screaming fans  - but also the songs, and John and Paul speaking between songs. The concert tape would be somewhat attractive to fans.

As I see it there are four options.

1. You could keep things as they are, and enjoy owning the tape for yourself.
2. You could offer your tape for sale.
3, You could release it on CD some time after 01.01.2015 yourself or via an established record label.
4. You could put up sound files of the concert on the internet after 01.01.2015 and share them freely with anyone.

Should you consider options 3 or 4, to release the taped concert some time in the future, free or otherwise, it needs to be transferred to digital files. Even if you chose option 1 or 2, having the concert in a digital format will be more convenient. You could make a CD or sound files for your own enjoyment in option 1, and in option 2 you could offer potential buyers the chance to listen to free samples.

Of course, you could also start manufacturing CDs yourself and start selling them on the internet or via mail order without the aid of a record label, but there are some snags. Since the contents of the tape will be in the public domain, there is no need to pay anyone anything for the performance itself, but there are other fees involved that will apply, like royalties on publishing rights etc . I don't have a complete overview of these, but partnering with a record company will take care of that part of the business. 

Since you are in possession of the sole copy of the tape, and as such it will not be released by anybody else, under current EU laws, after 01.01.1965 the performance captured on the tape will fall into the public domain. This is somewhat of a double-edged sword, because it means that you can release it yourself, but after that, so can anybody.  So if you reach an agreement with a record label and start to manufacture CDs, anybody can then buy the CD and start making his own CD copies and sell them... Still, for a limited time, it's possible to make a profit on initial sales, I suppose.
To maximize these initial profits, you will of course also have to shell out for a big advertising campaign - unless you are already directly in touch with the online communities who are the main potential customers.

So, if I had such a recording, I probably would try to sell it (after having made a recording of it for myself). And I would think that I would get more from it via an international auction house, during one of their entertainment memorabilia auctions. They are attracting a different, more "high-brow" crowd than ebay auctions. The recording's uniqueness is likely to attract more than one bidder, and a bidding war will up the price.

Until The Beatles/Universal Music decide to release a few live Beatles concerts, there will be a demand for a complete Beatles concert to be available. Mainly because Apple/Beatles haven't bothered to take their 1977 LP/cassette release "The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl" into the digital domain as a CD or a download.

However, hot-on-the-heels of today's release "Bootleg Recordings 1963", we heard whispers of more to come - even before Christmas. Stay tuned....

Bootlegs Back again

Photo: Apple Corps Ltd.
Lo and behold, it's now up again at iTunes and for the first time also in the US. But rather more expensive than the initial New Zealand release, which translated to 12 US Dollars, the price in the US is three times that amount.

US iTunes link
UK iTunes Link

iTunes Editor's Notes:

With more than two hours of previously unreleased material, The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963 tells the story of the band during a period of remarkable transformation: a year that begins with the Liverpool quartet working out arrangements during the "Please Please Me" sessions and culminates in the BBC radio sessions. With subtly different lyrical phrasing and instrumental performances, the 15 aternative studio versions of tunes like "From Me To You", "Do You Want To Know A Secret", and "I Saw Her Standing There" are deeply rewarding, as is the richly harmonized pop standard "A Taste Of Honey".

But, the 42 live performances for BBC underscore the transition from local stars to the peak of Beatlemania in Britain. They respond to a call-in request with a crackling version of "Love Me Do", burn through a cover of Chuck Berry's "Got To Find My Baby", and offer a bright, uptempo reading of "All My Loving". This compilation is rounded out by two demos of songs the group never released: the midtempo "Bad To Me" and the lovely, piano-accompanied closer, "I'm In Love".

Gone


The Beatles: "Bootleg Recordings 1963" is no longer available from iTunes. Eight hours after the collection was made available, it disappeared again from all the iTunes stores in all the countries. We don't think it was even made available in the UK. But by doing this stunt, The Beatles have secured their copyright on these recordings for 70 years. Chances are they'll want to do something with these tracks during those years.

Monday, 16 December 2013

The Bootleg is here

From the New Zealand iTunes Store 
The Beatles' "Bootleg Recordings 1963" is due out Tuesday on iTunes. Over in New Zealand it's already Tuesday, so the recordings are available there. From our readers over there we have so far got these comments: "Saturday Club Jan 26 Some Other Guy is an upgrade, Love me Do is complete and an upgrade. A Taste Of Honey, Misery and Do You Want To Know A Secret outtakes are in STEREO! Money is undubbed. Bad To Me sounds much cleaner!"

Of course, the comparisons have been made with the previous versions of this material on underground bootleg releases. So we may now confirm that they have indeed used their own master tapes as sources for the outtakes. On every underground release, these same studio recordings have been in mono.

Here's the iTunes page of this release for New Zealand.

On Air: Christmas at the Beeb

No Christmas is complete without some Beatles programmes on the BBC radio.
Radio alerts: Coming up this week are a couple of reprises on Radio 6 from last year, "The Casbah", hosted by Pete Best (two half hour episodes) and "A Year In The Life: Beatles '62", hosted by Roger McGough (another two half hour episodes).

Then on December 23, a brand new two hour programme from Ken Bruce on Radio 2.

The Casbah

Radio 6 Music: Tuesday 17.12.2013 at midnight: Episode 1 (30 minutes)
Radio 6 Music: Wednesday 18.12.2013 at midnight: Episode 2 (30 minutes)

The Casbah: Birthplace Of Merseybeat celebrates the somewhat neglected and hugely significant venue where The Beatles enjoyed a residency prior to their later and more often recognised success at the Cavern Club. The documentary is presented by original Beatles' drummer Pete Best whose mother Mona both owned and ran the club.

The Casbah, a private members club in the basement of the Best family home, was distinctive in a number of ways having opened as a strictly Rock'n'Roll venue. The majority of Liverpool clubs in the late 50's having had roots in Jazz, Folk & Country music. It was also notable in that it was run by a woman, Mona Best, in an era when music/club promoters were invariably male. The documentary will explore the history of the club (decorated by The Beatles and now awarded Blue Plaque status) while examining the broader context of the boom that came to be known as Merseybeat.

Including contributions from Merseybeat newspaper founder Bill Harry alongside merseybeat veterans Mike Pender of The Searchers, Georgie Spruce (AKA Earl Preston of Earl Preston & The TT's), Howie Casey (of Derry & the Seniors-the first Liverpool combo to play in Hamburg and secure a recording contract), and Geoff Nugent (of The Undertakers). The programme also features the recollections of Casbah Club members and a fleeting, though noteworthy, contribution from Paul McCartney.

A Year In The Life: Beatles '62

Radio 6 Music: Thursday 19.12.2013 at midnight: Episode 1 (30 minutes)
Radio 6 Music: Friday 20.12.2013 at midnight: Episode 2 (30 minutes)

A Year In The Life: Beatles '62 narrates the pivotal breakthrough year for the newly mop-topped Liverpool beat combo via the recollections of those who knew and worked alongside them in 1962. An oral history narrated by Liverpool contemporary Roger McGough, A Year In The Life recounts a familiar tale via the less-familiar recollections of those who were vital to The Beatles development in 1962. The programme will range from their unsuccessful January 1st audition for Decca records through to the recording and release of their breakthrough hit 'Love Me Do'.

A Year In the Life will also reflect upon their crowning in the Merseybeat newspaper as the leading Liverpool group, their first radio broadcasts at the BBC's Manchester studios, the death of original bassist Stu Sutcliffe, their return to Hamburg's Star Club, & the ousting of drummer Pete Best.
Contributors include Bill Harry(the editor of Merseybeat), Klaus Voorman (their close friend from Hamburg & the artist responsible for Revolver's striking sleeve) Pete Best (their original drummer) Joe Brown & Mike Berry (who shared bills with the group shortly before their national fame) Andy White (the studio session drummer who played on 'Love Me Do') & publicist Tony Calder (who promoted their first single).


The Beatles:Alone - at the BBC

BBC Radio 2: Monday 23.12.2013 from 12pm (2 hours)

Ken Bruce and a collection of BBC Beatle moments, with 60s archive sessions and interviews.
Among rarely heard delights are a 1963 edition of the programme "Public Ear" about the early days of the Beatles featuring an interview with Stuart Sutcliffe's mother, a fascinating profile of Beatle manager Brian Epstein from 1964, another of their producer George Martin from the same year and, of course, lots of the band themselves!

And as it's that time of year, the programme also offers a chance to hear extracts from the Beatles' Fan Club Christmas discs, sent to members every year from 1963 to 1969, some produced by the BBC's Kenny Everett.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Paul McCartney acoustic doodling 1973

Just uploaded to YouTube were these two videos of Paul McCartney (with kids). These are not really videos, it's still photos with an interesting soundtrack.


Paul and Linda McCartney (with kids in tow) sitting around at Dustin Hoffman's rented house in Jamaica, 1973 playing some music: Picasso's Last Words (Drink To Me) and Getting Closer.


More of the same: Baa Baa Black Sheep, Hands Of Love, Peggy Sue and more of Getting Closer.

Friday, 13 December 2013

The US mixes


The new american boxed set will be released on January 20th around the world and the 21st in USA. Photo: © 2013 Apple Corps Ltd.

Seems they kept the unique US mixes but substituted other tracks, including the duophonic stereo by the new stereo remasters. 

It appears that the new US Albums will contain a mishmash of mixes, most from the recently issued UK remasters (2009), but the unique US mixes found on some songs will also have been used.


Example: The US mono version of "I'm Only Sleeping" has the backwards guitar licks in other places than on the UK mix, thus it will be preserved on the new release.

However, where Capitol created their fake-stereo aka "duophonic", these will be replaced with their true stereo counterparts, taken from the 2009 UK remasters. This will also apply to their reverb-drenched versions "made for American listeners".


Example: The US stereo version of "I Feel Fine" was created from a mono master tape and fake "duophonic" stereo applied. On the new release, it is likely to be replaced with the true UK stereo remaster.

Looks like you can peel back the trunk cover on "Yesterday and Today" by yourself.

Perhaps they read my initial thoughts regarding the "butcher" cover when I first announced this new release back in November?

From the booklet. This is a still photo from the ad for the boxed set.

Of course, this revisionism has been subject to criticism from the American fans already. The albums will no longer sound like they used to. It all boils down to that you should probably keep your Capitol Albums boxed sets.

Further reading about anomalies and mixing variations:
Beatles Anomalies

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The US Albums

US Albums boxed set. Photo: 2013 Apple Corps Ltd.

"The US Albums", the boxed set of American Beatles albums is now available for preorder over at Amazon.com. At the time of writing, the price for the thirteen disc set is $163.61. The five albums previously not released are Yesterday and Today (as you can see from the picture, the butcher cover is also represented), Revolver, Hey Jude, The Beatles' Story and A Hard Day's Night. And it also looks like a CD-size booklet will accompany the box. Release date is January 21, 2014.

Link: The U.S. Albums


The Beatles: The U.S. Albums
Presented in mono and stereo, except where noted as stereo only
** CD debut
Meet The Beatles!
[Capitol Records: released January 10, 1964; 11 weeks at No. 1]
The Beatles’ Second Album
[Capitol Records: released April 10, 1964; five weeks at No. 1]
A Hard Day’s Night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) **
[United Artists: released June 26, 1964; 14 weeks at No. 1]
Something New
[Capitol Records: released July 20, 1964; nine weeks at No. 2]
The Beatles’ Story [stereo only] **
[Capitol Records: released November 23, 1964; peaked at No. 7]
Beatles ’65
[Capitol Records: released December 15, 1964; nine weeks at No. 1]
The Early Beatles
[Capitol Records: released March 22, 1965; peaked at No. 43]
Beatles VI
[Capitol Records: released June 14, 1965; six weeks at No. 1]
Help! (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
[Capitol Records: released August 13, 1965; nine weeks at No. 1]
Rubber Soul
[released December 6, 1965; six weeks at No. 1]
Yesterday And Today **
[Capitol Records: released June 20, 1966; five weeks at No. 1]
Revolver **
[Capitol Records: released August 8, 1966; six weeks at No. 1]
Hey Jude [stereo only] **
[Apple Records: released February 26, 1970; four weeks at No. 2]



PRESS RELEASE:

Celebrate 50 Years of Globe-Sweeping “Beatlemania” 

Hollywood, California – December 12, 2013
– On February 7, 1964, The Beatles arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, greeted by scores of screaming, swooning fans who rushed the gate to catch a glimpse of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as they took their first steps on American soil. Two nights later, on Sunday, February 9, 74 million viewers in the U.S. and millions more in Canada tuned in to CBS to watch The Beatles make their American television debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

In this cultural watershed moment in American history and one of the world’s top-viewed television events of all time, The Beatles performed five songs on the live broadcast. “Beatlemania,” already in full, feverish bloom in The Beatles’ native U.K., was unleashed with blissful fervor across America and around the world. The British Invasion had begun.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of these history-making events, The U.S. Albums, a new 13CD Beatles collection spanning 1964’s Meet The Beatles! to 1970’s Hey Jude, will be released January 20 (January 21 in North America) by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol.

The Beatles’ U.S. albums differed from the band’s U.K. albums in a variety of ways, including different track lists, song mixes, album titles, and art.

The albums are presented in mono and stereo, with the exception of The Beatles’ Story and Hey Jude, which are in stereo only.
Collected in a boxed set with faithfully replicated original LP artwork, including the albums’ inner sleeves, the 13 CDs are accompanied by a 64-page booklet with Beatles photos and promotional art from the time, as well as a new essay by American author and television executive Bill Flanagan.

For a limited time, all of the albums (with the exception of The Beatles’ Story, an audio documentary album) will also be available for individual CD purchase.

A Hard Day’s Night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), The Beatles’ Story, Yesterday And Today, Hey Jude, and the U.S. version of Revolver make their CD debuts with these releases.

By the end of 1963, before The Beatles’ American arrival, “Beatlemania” had already sprung forth across the Atlantic to take root in the U.S. In early December, The New York Times published a Sunday magazine feature and “CBS Evening News” aired an in-depth report about the unprecedented frenzy over the young band from Liverpool. Radio stations across the U.S. began to play The Beatles’ latest U.K. singles in almost non-stop rotation, trying to meet an insatiable listener demand. Capitol Records rushed out the American single for “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (with B-side “This Boy”) on December 26, three weeks ahead of schedule and one month after the single’s U.K. release.
More than one million copies of the U.S. single were sold within 10 days.

On January 3, 1964 Capitol released "Please Please Me" (with B-side "From Me To You"), and The Beatles’ first Capitol album, Meet The Beatles!, followed on January 20. After achieving the No. 1 chart position for five consecutive weeks in the U.K., “I Want To Hold Your Hand” reached the top of the U.S. singles chart on February 1, holding the No. 1 position for seven consecutive weeks, and within two months, more than 3.5 million copies of Meet The Beatles! were sold in the U.S.

The above paragraph had obvious errors and has now been replaced with this:

In early January 1964, Vee-Jay reissued "Please Please Me" (with B-side "From Me To You"), and Swan reissued “She Loves You.” The Beatles’ first Capitol album, Meet The Beatles!, followed on January 20. After achieving the No. 1 chart position for five consecutive weeks in the U.K., “I Want To Hold Your Hand” reached the top of the U.S. singles chart on February 1, holding the No. 1 position for seven consecutive weeks, and within two months, more than 3.5 million copies of Meet The Beatles! were sold in the U.S.

The excitement of The Beatles’ February 7 arrival in New York, where they were met by an estimated 3,000 ecstatic fans at the airport, was documented by the world’s leading media outlets, beamed around the world in a blitz of news bulletins and photos. Every move The Beatles made, and seemingly every word they uttered, was captured – melting hearts of young fans everywhere who simply could not get enough of these charming, witty and stylish British boys and their electrifying new songs. America’s biggest star of the day, Elvis Presley, sent The Beatles a telegram wishing them well for their national television debut. Ed Sullivan spoke of the unprecedented frenzy in his memorable first introduction of The Beatles, saying, "Now, yesterday and today our theater's been jammed with newspapermen and hundreds of photographers from all over the nation, and these veterans agreed with me that this city never has witnessed the excitement stirred by these youngsters from Liverpool who call themselves The Beatles." 

After captivating North America with their Ed Sullivan debut, The Beatles traveled to Washington, DC, performing their first Stateside concert on February 11 at the Washington Coliseum to 8,000 fans in the round.
The Beatles then returned to New York for two sold-out Carnegie Hall concerts on February 12.
On February 16, they made their second appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in a live broadcast from The Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Viewership for the episode was nearly as strong as for their debut one week prior, with an estimated 70 million people -- 40% of the American population -- tuned in to watch their performances of six songs.

On February 22, The Beatles returned to England in triumph, welcomed home upon their 7am landing at London’s Heathrow Airport by an estimated 10,000 fans. The Beatles were now firmly in place as the world’s favorite and most famous band.

Their third “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance, a three-song performance taped prior to the band’s live debut on the program, was broadcast on February 23.

Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart for April 5, 1964 was graced by 12 Beatles songs, including the chart’s Top 5 positions, a sweep of the chart’s summit that has not been achieved by any other artist since. The band’s meteoric rise to unparalleled fame continued as “Beatlemania” swept the globe, a singular and boundless cultural marvel. The Beatles now belonged to the People, as they have ever since, with their universally-loved music and unflagging respect for humankind, advocating peace and love for all people around the world.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Jeff Jones
AUDIO SUPERVISED AND COORDINATED BY: Steve Berkowitz
MASTERING BY: Paul Hicks, Sean Magee, Guy Massey, Sam Okell, Steve Rooke and Greg Calbi
THE BEATLES • THE U.S. ALBUMS ASSEMBLED BY Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound 2013
LINER NOTES: Bill Flanagan
RESEARCH: Bruce Spizer

A lot of fans who were interested in having CD's of the American albums will have bought the earlier collections, The Capitol Albums, vol 1 and 2, and will now finally have the chance to complete their collection. However, for those of them who will view it as incomplete without the "The Beatles' Story" album on CD, they have to shell out for the new box. That was rather an unnecessary business decision, we think.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963 - a copyright scheme?


Yesterday's news about a collection of hitherto unreleased versions of Beatles songs being readied for download on iTunes as an album, has prompted a lot of speculation within the Beatles fan base.
There is a theory that this (similar to the Bob Dylan situation) is just a move from Apple/The Beatles to secure copyright for these tracks in the years to come.
In Europe we had a copyright situation which only secured the rights for fifty years. And the clock starts ticking the moment the recordings are released. A new law, passed in November, extends the term of copyright on released material to 70 years (from the time of original release).

However, unreleased material becomes public domain 50 years from the time of recording. So that's the ticking of another clock. This will continue to be the case each year, so apparently labels will have to continue turning unreleased material into released material in order to keep things under copyright.
Friend of our blog, Anna Crusis lays out two scenarios for the upcoming release:

1) All the tracks are sourced from bootleg, publicity is non-existent and the releases are not mentioned on Beatles.com. All tracks are then taken down January 1st, meaning the bootleggers have no new material and Apple retain the renewed rights. But they will take a beating from fans and the media for such a cynical ploy.

or

2) Most of the tracks are sourced from their own in-house tapes, and remain up forever. This seems to me the more likely scenario, because it costs them almost nothing to do so and they only stand to make money. And if they're up permanently then they'll want them to sound as good as possible.

Of course, since US copyright laws are different, they will not have to take any action there, so this may be released on iTunes in Europe only. The official channels are keeping their mouths shut until the day of release. We'll know then.

BUT, and this is interesting, the 1963 recordings we listed yesterday is not complete. It only includes some of the material that is already available on bootlegs or which the company believes are circulating among collectors.

So what if there are more tapes circulating than Universal Music/Apple Corps Ltd knows about? Will private collectors who have so far kept this material for themselves and their friends be able to contact independent record labels in the new year and release their (now under public domain) recordings legally? If so, this release misses it's mark. And what about other 1963 recordings that are already bootlegged but hasn't been released officially - neither on previous releases nor on this new compilation?

Only if they release another set prior to December 31st will they retain copyright to vault leaks, acetate takes, concert recordings etc that may be lurking in the chambers of private collectors.

Still, the release of the new compilation will be good news to those Beatles fans who shy away from the world of bootleg collecting. For them, it's a virtual treasure chest of unheard versions.

The bootleg industry, like the record industry itself, has changed. In the Beatles' case, bootlegging started with the non-release of the Get Back album. The Beatles recorded it in January 1969, and then left it on the shelf for a year and a half. Meanwhile, radio stations had been getting test pressings of the material, and tapes of it started floating about among Beatles fans. This prompted some entrepreneurs to have records pressed, and suddenly there was a new industry. Private tapes was being bought or stolen and new records pressed. The records were sold under the counter of regular record stores and bought by those fans who craved for new material from a pop group that was no more. It's likely that the 1994 first official release of BBC radio material by the Beatles was an official reply to the 1993 release of a 9 CD boxed set of Beatles BBC recordings by the Italian label Great Dane.  Back then, Italian copyright law only protected recordings for 25 years, so the boxed set was even legal, if only in Italy.
However, things changed rapidly, and just like the record industry itself, the reason was due to the fact that people started downloading songs off the internet. Bootlegging is no longer a lucrative business, because the original bootlegger will only sell a small initial run of his title before it has been "liberated", as the collectors call it, and put up on some torrent site or shared in other ways.
Many bootleg collectors, especially the new generation, now hold the view that all circulating unreleased music should be free of charge and people who charge money for it are frowned upon. And, bootleg downloaders are also the same people who are still paying for downloads and physical records of released music. Because they love the artist's music and don't want to steal official stuff.
Defenders of bootlegs will tell you that these are unreleased recordings, so obviously this is stuff that the artists themselves do not want to make money from. Unlike pirate records, which is a totally different territory. So bootleg collectors are not stealing profits, because the stuff they trade amongst themselves is stuff the record companies haven't bothered to release in the first place. With the new release, Apple and Universal Music are saying that they now want to make money from this kind of material. But more importantly, the stuff they are still keeping in the vaults must now still be stuff they don't want to profit from, and bootlegging of that material could still be defended morally.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Official bootlegs coming!

Official Beatles bootleg for download. Photo: iTunes/Apple Corps Ltd.
The Beatles are set to "Beat the Boots" by releasing their own bootleg series as downloads on iTunes. The first set of recordings will be made available on 17. December. More than 2 hours' worth of music will appear undert the title "Bootleg recordings 1963". The collection features outtakes from the albums, BBC recordings and a couple of demos. Here's the track list, note that some of these BBC dates do not correspond with the dates we have information about from Howlett's book.

Track list:

1. There's A Place - Takes 5, 6 (2:19)
2. There's A Place - Take 8 (1:58)
3. There's A Place - Take 9 (2:04)
4. Do You Want To Known A Secret - Track 2, Take 7 (2:17)
5. A Taste Of Honey - Track 2, Take 6 (2:12)
6. I Saw Her Standing There - Take 2 (3:07)
7. Misery - Take 1 (1:54)
8. Misery - Take 7 (1:56)
9. From Me To You - Take 1 & 2 (3:24)
10. From Me To You - Take 5 (2:17)
11. Thank You Girl - Take 1 (2:09)
12. Thank You Girl - Take 5 (2:04)
13. One After 909 - Take 1 & 2  (4:29)
14. Hold Me Tight - Take 21 (2:42)
15. Money (That's What I Want) - RM 7 Undubbed (2:48)
16. Some Other Guy - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963 (2:02)
17. Love Me Do - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963 (2:31)
18. Too Much Monkey Business - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963 (1:50)
19. I Saw Her Standing There - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 16th March, 1963 (2:38)
20. Do You Want To Know A Secret - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963  (1:50)
21. From Me To You - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963 (1:54)
22. I Got To Find My Baby - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963 (1:59)
23. Roll Over Beethoven - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 29th June, 1963 (2:29)
24. A Taste Of Honey - Live At BBC For "Easy Beat" / 23rd June, 1963 (2:01)
25. Love Me Do - Live At BBC For "Easy Beat" / 20th October, 1963 (2:29)
26. Please Please Me - Live At BBC For "Easy Beat" / 20th October, 1963 (2:08)
27. She Loves You - Live At BBC For "Easy Beat" / 20th October, 1963 (2:29)
28. I Want To Hold Your Hand - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 21st December, 1963 (2:19)
29. Till There Was You - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 21st December, 1963 (2:16)
30. Roll Over Beethoveen - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 21st December, 1963 (2:16)
31. You Really Got A Hold On Me - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 4th June, 1963 (2:54)
32. The Hippy Hippy Shake - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 4th June, 1963 (1:43)
33. Till There Was You - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" /11th June, 1963 (2:14)
34. A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 18th June, 1963 (2:06)
35. A Taste Of Honey - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 18th June, 1963 (1:56)
36. Money (That's What I Want) - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 18th June, 1963 (2:41)
37. Anna - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 25th June, 1963 (3:02)
38. Love Me Do - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 10th September, 1963 (2:29)
39. She Loves You - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 24th September, 1963 (2:16)
40. I'll Get You - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 10th September, 1963 (2:05)
41. A Taste Of Honey - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 10th September, 1963 (2:00)
42. Boys - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 17th September, 1963 (2:12)
43. Chains - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 17th September, 1963 (2:22)
44. You Really Got A Hold On Me - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 17th September, 1963 (2:57)
45. I Saw Her Standing There - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 24th September, 1963 (2:41)
46. She Loves You - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 10th September, 1963 (2:15)
47. Twist And Shout - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 24th September, 1963 (2:36)
48. Do You Want To Know A Secret - Live At BBC For "Here We Go" / 12th March, 1963 (1:55)
49. Please Please Me - Live At BBC For "Here We Go" / 12th March, 1963 (1:57)
50. Long Tall Sally - Live At BBC For "Side By Side" / 13th May, 1963 (1:49)
51. Chains - Live At BBC For "Side By Side" / 13th May, 1963 (2:23)
52. Boys - Live At BBC For "Side By Side" / 13th May, 1963 (1:53)
53. A Taste Of Honey - Live At BBC For "Side By Side" / 13th May, 1963 (2:04)
54. Roll Over Beethoven - Live At BBC For "From Us To You" / 26th December, 1963 (2:17)
55. All My Loving - Live At BBC For "From Us To You" / 26th December, 1963 (2:06)
56. She Loves You - Live At BBC For "From Us To You" / 26th December, 1963 (2:21)
57. Till There Was You - Live At BBC For "From Us To You" / 26th December, 1963 (2:12)
58. Bad To Me - Demo (1:29)
59. I'm In Love - Demo (1:32)

These songs have all appeared on bootlegs around the world, but these versions are from the official archives and should sound better than previously bootegged copies (and sometimes copies of copies).

Monday, 9 December 2013

The "1" video collection

A Poster for "1". Photo: © Apple Corps Ltd.
The Beatles’ "1" was not just the Beatles' but the world’s best selling album of the last decade, compiling all of the Beatles’ number one singles on to one album. "1" made its digital download debut in 2011 and quickly went to number one on many global iTunes charts, including the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Japan. In addition, the remastered "1" album was also re-released on CD with updated packaging on September 13th 2011.
Now, according to the music merchandising wholesale representative, Break-Thru, the album will be used as a theme when the Beatles' music video collection is due for release in October 2014.

Here's what they are saying: "October: 1's Program: dvd video clip compilation on dvd / vinyl / other 1's pieces. Leading up to this is probably the ideal time to do an Avedon art. program."

So let's take a look at the options they have when compiling this music video DVD. And since we seemed to have an impact on whether George Harrison's tie should be short or long on the "On Air" cover, I'm hoping they are still monitoring this site and are open to some free advice - before it's too late.

1. Love Me Do.
EMI did make a video for this song back in 1982, and I think two different versions of it is circulating. Since this has been the official Love Me Do video for three decades now, it's best to use it again. It may need to be recompiled, using the same footage in upgraded quality.
2. From Me to You
3. She Loves You
There are no music videos or promotional films, as they said in the sixties, for these two. So they will probably make a couple, using performance clips or mimed TV appearances. Big Night Out/Ready Steady Go?
4. I Want to Hold Your Hand
Again, the same sítuation, but the TV clip from "Late Scene Extra" of the Beatles miming to this song in front of a huge model of a camera has been regarded as the music video for this song among fans for a long time, so they should use that.
5. Can’t Buy Me Love 
6. A Hard Day’s Night
They could have used footage from the A Hard Day's Night film for these, but that footage is now owned by Miramax and has to be licensed from them. Another option is to use performance footage and synch it to the records, for instance from the Shea Stadium film etc. Ready Steady Go for "Can't Buy Me Love"?
7. I Feel Fine
We are now entering the realm of the Intertel promo films, as produced by Tony Bramwell and directed by Joe McGrath. Tuesday November 25th, 1965, the Beatles filmed ten different promotional clips in black and white for five songs, "Help!," "We Can Work It Out" (three versions), "Day Tripper" (three versions)," "Ticket To Ride" and "I Feel Fine" (two versions). So for this and some of the following clips, the producer of the new video collection has the luxury of choosing between several films. And I do think that the Intertel videos should be used, because they have been regarded as the music videos of these songs since the sixties. In Anthology, they would put several of these together to create variety, but in my opinion they should select one video of each to represent each song. If they want to include more than one, the alternative version(s) should be presented as bonus material on the DVD.
8. Eight Days a Week
No obvious choice. One thing to consider is to make use of the old US Beatles cartoons. That's how bootleg DVD video makers have solved this in the past, but given Universal Music's resources, they could also create a new video.
9. Ticket to Ride
Intertel.
10. Help!
Intertel.
11. Yesterday
There are two performances they could use footage from: Blackpool and Ed Sullivan. No Beatles Greatest Hits video compilation is complete without "Yesterday".
12. Day Tripper
Intertel.
13. We Can Work It Out
Intertel.
14. Paperback Writer
As we saw in Anthology, there's a gorgeous video for this, made in the gardens of Chiswick. But they also have several Intertel promos filmed in a studio, so again a choice has to be made. And again, other versions can be bonus material.
15. Yellow Submarine
They could make one from footage from the cartoon film, the same goes for the next one:
16. Eleanor Rigby
17. Penny Lane
There's only one music video for this one, and a great one it is, too.
18. All You Need Is Love
They have to go for the "Our World" clip, colourised or in black and white, either way is good.
19. Hello, Goodbye
Three videos were made, all at the Savile Theatre. Of these, I prefer the one they made from outtakes, and it's also the one that's closest to modern music videos. In Anthology, they intercut footage from all three films, here they should use no. 3 and have no. 1 and 2 as bonus material.
20. Lady Madonna
There's two variations of this promo clip, both edited from footage of the Beatles recording "Hey Bulldog". Go figure!
21. Hey Jude
Michael Lindsay-Hogg recorded several takes of this at Twickenham. Use one of those.
22. Get Back
I would have gone for the studio version clip they made for "Let It Be...Naked".
23. The Ballad of John and Yoko
Another one which has several edits, use the one with colour footage throughout. Again, the Anthology used a combination of several versions. Stick with one.
24. Something
No problem here, the one and only "Something" promo clip.
25. Come Together
They made a flash animated music video for this when "1" was new, use that. Fortunately, flash allows for limitless upscaling without the loss of resolution, so go find the flash source file.
26. Let It Be
The usual promo film for this, an outtake of the Let It Be movie. And the same goes for the next one:
27. The Long and Winding Road

So there you have it, the "1" Beatles music video compilation. But with this opportunity, they shouldn't stop here.

Extra videos

Now is the chance to unearth some of the Lennon B-sides of the singles, and Yoko Ono will be aware that in the later days, Paul usually had the A-sides and Lennon the B-sides. Arguably, the B-sides sold the exact same number of singles as the A-sides, so they should also be treated as number ones. And they should be placed chronologically alongside their A-sides.

So these should include: "This Boy", "Rain", "Strawberry Fields Forever", "I Am The Walrus", "Revolution" and "Don't Let Me Down". Possibly also "For You Blue", using footage from the Get Back film. Olivia and Dhani Harrison will want that.

One video that's already linked to "1" is the "I Feel Fine" flash animated video. It was made to promote the original "1" album release, and was used on The Beatles' web site. So it could either go in to the play list instead of the Intertel promo, or as a bonus feature.

Back in 2003, Apple made a music video for "Two Of Us", and I'd hate to have it missing from the collection. However, it wasn't a single so it could be a hidden track, accessible from the menu but not part of the play list.

In the same way, we have a few more one-offs which should make the DVD. The 1976 music video for "Back In The USSR" was made to promote the "Rock'n'Roll Music" compilation album, but it's not necessary to include it here. The same goes for the 1983 music video for "Please Please Me", both of these are largely forgettable. And the BBC 1994 "Baby It's You" alongside the 2013 "Words Of Love" videos are also difficult to include on a "1" compilation. Same thing with the "Within You Without You"/"Tomorrow Never Knows" video, best used on a "Love" DVD.

However, 1999's "Hey Bulldog" is a great video with the Beatles recording the song in the studio. Much of the same footage was used for the "Lady Madonna" promo, so "Hey Bulldog" is another track best kept outside the play list but should be a (hidden) bonus. Another bonus track could be the "Help" promo that was used in the movie, but without the dart throwing.

Aspect Ratio

One important decision to make is whether or not to make it a 16:9 (widescreen) or a 4:3 (old TV) collection. Back when McCartney released his own music video collection, "McCartney Years", the director had chosen to make it 16:9 despite all the original music videos having been made in the 4:3 aspect ratio. So he chopped off tops and bottoms to make this happen, and there was an outcry among the fans about this. We don't want that to happen again. But if they decide to go for this, the general public will want widescreen, please do all the necessary restoration work in the original 4:3 aspect ratio format and save it for history. When everything is done and ready,  you can do the conversion to 16:9 and release that - perhaps with an option for the concerned core fans to purchase a limited edition 4:3 version of the DVD/Blu-ray or as a download.

Audio

As for sound, the ones that don't have a unique audio mix should be synched to the remastered stereo sound from the albums, "Hey Jude" and "Revolution" should use the original soundtrack that was partly performed live as it happened. And hire Giles Martin to produce a 5.1 surround sound optional audio track. And use me as a consultant for the project. Other inputs? Please use the commentaries section!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Upcoming 50th Anniversary USA Events

Photo: © Apple Corps Ltd.
Here are some of the planned events scheduled for the 50th anniversary of the "British Invasion" led by the Beatles in 1964:

January 21: The American Albums Boxed set. Individual albums will also be made available initially.
January 26: Grammy Awards Tribute to The Beatles
January 27: Beatles Tribute Concert in LA with some of today's top acts.
February 1: The Beatles on the cover of Time Magazine
February 3-7: The David Letterman Show will feature a Beatles song a day by other artists.
February 9: The January 27 concert will be shown on TV.
February: Re-release of the vinyl LOVE album.
March: Henry Grossman's Beatles photos featured on "60 minutes".
June: Mono Albums Vinyl Boxed set.
October: Video Clip Collection on DVD, based on "1". Other tie-ins for "1" may include a re-released vinyl album.

It's quite understandable that the rest of the American albums now will be available, EMI's Capitol left the scene after their first two boxed sets in 2004 and 2006, customers who purchased these will be pleased that they're not forced to buy the new boxed set to get the ones they haven't already bought.

We don't really see the market for the Love album, though - everybody's already got that.

The video clip collection is very welcomed by the fans, they have been requesting it ever since music video compilations on VHS was introduced. And "1" having been EMI's best milk cow, it figures that Universal will also try to exploit that Greatest Hits market in one way or another. Let's just hope that they will include those music videos that are a bit to the left of the "1" concept, like "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Hey Bulldog". Let us also hope that the DVD will keep the original aspect ratios of the promotional films, so that the opportunity isn't ruined like it was on the McCartney Years release.

But whatever happened to the Let It Be DVD/Blu-ray boxed set? Let's hope we don't have to wait for that 50th anniversary...

Source: Break-Thru
Based in Chicago, Illinois, Break-Thru represents wholesale merchants of Entertainment, Music, Trend and Lifestyle merchandise.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Beatles Video Of The Day

When you are a Beatles collector, you will soon realize that there's no way you can have everything. There's the music, and somehow you can probably obtain every version of every song the Beatles have released officially. But you can't have every pressing of every record from every country where Beatles records were released. It's simply too overwhelming. So you have to specialize.

My area of specialization has always been videos. I have a great number of old VHS tapes, DVD's and Blu-rays.
So videos with the Fabs are of special interest to me.

To highlight this area of interest, I have started another blog. It's called Beatles Video of the Day, and it aims to present at least one video every day of the year. I will of course try to include the rarer videos whenever I find them. So check out my new blog at beatlevid.blogspot.com. I've kickstarted it with a number of videos. The videos will mainly be from YouTube, but other embeddable videos may also be included, as they show up. The Beatles' company Apple, TV companies, movie companies and the record companies around the world responsible for releasing Beatles and solo music and films are all monitoring YouTube closely, so videos will come and they will go.

Of course, there may be some cross posting with WogBlog, because some videos are newsworthy.
Happy watching!

London Christmas Beatles Day

Sunday 15th December sees the Christmas London Beatles Day take place at THE SHERLOCK HOLMES HOTEL, 108 Baker Street, London, W1U 6LJ - which is yards from the former Apple Boutique, and just a 2 minutes walk from Baker Street station (and just 1 Underground stop from Abbey Road) & Madame Tussauds.

There will be the usual top selection of Beatles dealers from all over the UK & beyond offering an amazing selection of everything Beatles from badges to books to signed albums & rare original memorabilia, CDs, T shirts, There will be a great selection of Beatles vinyl records from around the UK & the world which will be offered from £1 to £1000+. Many new items including records & CDs will be offered since the last show.

Grab yourself a Beatles bargain – the perfect place to find that perfect Beatles Christmas gift.
Liverpool Author David Bedford will be on hand with his brand new book, and welcome back Kevin Roach and all the way from Paris Eric Krasker with his book.
Music will be supplied by the very talented FAB TWINS - who played some great songs at the October show.

ADMISSION TO THE BEATLES DAY IS ONLY £3 - Doors open at 10am – 4.00 pm – licensed bar & café on site - many food outlets very close by, easy ground floor access for disabled people, remember there is NO congestion charge in London on Sundays, free street parking nearby, nearest Underground/Tube Baker Street.

As always come and have a chat with fellow Beatles fans - Always a great day out with like minded friendly Beatles people...

Official site: Beatlesdays.com

Beatles/McCartney mix tape

DJ Chris Holmes
DJ Chris Holmes, who works with Paul McCartney and often performs deejay sets as an opening act for McCartney's live shows, shares a real gem with the public: a Soundcloud mix to beat them all.

Chris explains:
"I finally had some time to put together a mix for all of you who've been asking over the years of my beatles/mccartney stuff for tour. It's about 2hrs long. I hope you enjoy." 
"I've had the best time in the history of the world making the tracks and putting it together. It starts off at 88bpm and speeds up until it loops around at 176 (88bpm) completing the cycle."  
"It's the first time I've shared this stuff in bulk, I hope you all enjoy it. Here is four years of my Beatles/macca mixes. I am the opening act for Paul McCartney (paulmccartney.com)." 
"This a collection of some of my favorite remixes I've made over the 4 years touring with Paul. I want to thank Brian Liesegang and Cory Nitta for help tweaking and ironing out a bunch of these mixes and most importantly Paul McCartney and his amazing crew for giving me the opportunity to be able to play with him on tour. It is the best job, with the nicest boss in the world."

His mix tape is shared on BoingBoing.net

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

On Air - Video promotion

The Beatles have released several small film clips in promotion of the release of On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2, the last one was uploaded to YouTube just an hour ago. I made a playlist of them all, totalling 16 minutes, for your convenience.


If you just want to see their latest clip, its here.

Ringo for Water Aid

Rock and roll icon and artist Ringo Starr joined today in the national #GivingTuesday movement by donating twenty-five autographed jackets to be sold on eBay in support of WaterAid beginning on Tuesday, December 3.
The hand-signed Timberland cotton khaki jackets will be available on eBay beginning at 10am PST on December 3, with bidding continuing through Friday, December 13. Online shoppers also have the option of purchasing the jacket outright through eBay's "Buy it now" feature.
All proceeds will benefit WaterAid, the largest international nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives through improved access to safe water, toilets and hygiene education.
"I believe in my heart that everyone should have clean water," Starr said. "Two thousand kids die every day from the lack of safe drinking water and it's time to say 'enough'! That's why I am asking people to join me in showing the world we care this holiday season by supporting WaterAid's work to help the world's poorest communities gain access to clean water."
The customized Timberland jackets feature prominent prints designed and autographed by Starr, and are available in men's sizes medium, large and extra-large. Shoppers who choose to purchase their jacket using the "Buy it now" option on Tuesday, December 3 will have their donation matched by a long-time supporter as part of the organization's matched-giving #GivingTuesday campaign.
"#GivingTuesday is all about inspiring people to take action and support the charities and causes they care about," noted WaterAid Associate Director of Corporate Partnerships, Annie Bonner.
"We are thrilled that Ringo Starr has once again chosen to support WaterAid and our work to empower poor communities in their efforts to achieve access to clean water and toilets. It's about making a real difference in people's lives, and this initiative lets everyone be a part of that." Support from committed partners like Ringo Starr is critical to WaterAid's work. In addition to helping WaterAid provide life-saving water and toilets, these partnerships allow WaterAid to reach even greater audiences with the important message that we all have a role to play in making clean water and toilets available to everyone, everywhere. Photo: PRNewsFoto/WaterAid

Monday, 2 December 2013

American albums for January - Yesterday...and Today


Still no official news about the upcoming CD releases of the American Beatles albums, and the ones listed on Amazon UK have been removed, but here's an entry over at AllMusic.com:

Yesterday...and Today

Main Album: Yesterday...and Today 1966
Release Date January 20, 2014
Label: Universal
Format: CD
Release Info:
  • Compilation
  • Studio Recording

Catalog #: B 001970802

Review by Bruce Eder:

Yesterday...and Today was the last Beatles album to be created exclusively for the American market without the group's direct consent, and its tumultuous history seemed to bring the issue of those albums to a head, both for the group and Capitol Records. 
Owing to business and market differences between England and America, the label had reconfigured every one of the group's long-players in America up to that point, and also generated a few LPs out of singles, B-sides, and EP tracks that had no U.K. equivalent on 12" vinyl -- the Beatles had tolerated it all quietly in the early days, content to go along amid the whirlwind of success they were riding, even in the face of such abominations as the original U.S. Help! album. 
By 1966, however, they were on a firmer footing, and well past being wide-eyed teenagers from the north of England; they'd also begun to express themselves creatively in media beyond music, and take themselves a bit more seriously, and having a bit more fun as well -- by the spring of 1966, after all, they were neck-deep into the making of the Revolver album. 
When confronted with what should have been a routine matter, the proposed 11-song U.S.-only Yesterday...and Today, assembling a bunch of single sides and leftover U.K. LP tracks, they delivered the notorious "butcher cover," depicting the quartet in butcher smocks, handling cuts of meat and pieces of dismembered baby dolls -- it was all their comment on how strangely albums like this one seemed to chop up pieces of their history and repertory. 
Somehow, Capitol Records' executives went along with gag and approved the initial design, and a print run of the album was ordered up, anticipating the usual six-figure release-date demand for a "new" Beatles LP. Then the negative reactions started coming in from record chain buyers and disc jockeys, and Capitol was soon faced with a crisis -- everybody seemed to find the cover tasteless and even grotesque, and it was possible some department store chains would refuse to stock the album. A new, tamer photo replaced the original cover, and untold thousands of copies of the original "butcher cover" sleeves were pasted over with the new picture. 
In the end, between the junking of artwork and some jackets, and the overtime needed to salvage the inventory, Yesterday...and Today ended up as the only U.S. Beatles album to show a loss on Capitol's books. 
From that point forward, there would be better coordination between England and America to prevent such near-disasters. 
As for the album itself, Capitol assembled four songs that had been removed from the British version of Rubber Soul, the singles "Yesterday," "We Can Work It Out," and "Day Tripper," a pair of B-sides, and offered a "preview" of the upcoming Revolver album (released seven weeks later) in the form of "And Your Bird Can Sing" and "Doctor Robert" (neither one in its final mix). 
Amazingly, despite origins ranging across 18 months of the band's history, it all hung together very well, with the country-influenced "Act Naturally" and "What Goes On" -- both heavily featuring Ringo Starr -- adding some unexpected roots rock elements amid the cutting-edge, riff-driven glories of "Day Tripper" and others, and the latter contrasting beautifully with McCartney's romantic classic "Yesterday." 
Despite being thrown together in a blender, the album could stand next to almost any of the competition in the summer of 1966, though it became clear with the release of Revolver, two months later, that the band had left most of the sounds represented here far behind them.

So, now we have a catalogue number for this release. Interestingly, this seems to be the only one of the new batch of The Beatles' USA album releases listed on the site. The full discography is here.

Our research dept have also found the same album listed over at Exertis-msent.co.uk, and it also sports a bar code: 0602537645985, which, again, leads us to Amazon Japan's entry for the release. Curiouser and curiouser, as they say.
No doubt, the powers that be are hesitant to break this story, because we are still on the heels of the November releases of the remastered "Live at the BBC" and the new compilation "On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2". The vinyl edition of the former is yet to be out. However, unofficial rumours are strong and the clues we listed certainly point to the conclusion that it's really going to happen. Furthermore, we have also heard whispers of not only single CD releases, but also boxed sets and new vinyl editions of the American catalogue.

As a European, I have to confess that the US albums to us aren't all that interesting, and I can't get really excited about it. Yes, it means that new Beatles releases will be in the shops, which is a good thing, but the American albums are really just footnotes in Beatles history as far as I'm concerned. Besides, I've already got the Capitol albums vol 1 and 2, as well as all the original vinyl editions. And they're not getting played much in this house.
I would much rather see a true official remastering and release of The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl and a Blu-ray/DVD of Let It Be.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Paul McCartney's Making of New

Palladia's TV schedule for December 5th has a strong McCartney theme

December 5th, a TV programme titled "Something New" has been announced on the US high definition music TV channel "Palladia". Here's the description: "Something NEW documents the creation of Paul McCartney's latest album 'NEW', widely hailed as possibly the finest solo work of his peerless discography. The doc alternates between intimate footage of the actual recording process and vivid memories and incisive reflections of all involved. The result is an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look into Paul's creative process and his collaboration with the album's star-studded production team."
VH1 Classic will also air the special on Friday, December 13th at 9:00 PM ET/PT. Something NEW features incredible live and backstage footage shot around the world during his amazing run of shows in 2013 and documents the creation of Paul McCartney's recently released album NEW.
Palladia TV

Friday, 29 November 2013

Recent Beatles music videos

Still frame from the 2013 "Words of Love" music video
When the new "Words of Love" video was released to the public a few weeks back, some journalist wrote that this was the first new Beatles music video since 1996's "Free As A Bird". Of course, this only testifies to said journalist's attention span and lack of research. Here's a list of music videos released by the Beatles/Apple since "Free As A Bird", I found most of them listed on that brilliant website for archived information about Beatles film footage, BeatlesOnDVD.com (no, there are NO videos there).

1996: "Real Love"
1996: "Two Of Us"
1996: "For You Blue"
1999: "Hey Bulldog"
2000: "She Loves You"
2000: "Yesterday"
2000: "I Feel Fine"
2000: "Come Together"
2000: "Get Back"
2000: "I Want To Hold Your Hand"
2000: "Ticket To Ride" (Remastered)
2003: "Two Of Us"
2003: "Get Back"
2003: "Don't Let Me Down"
2006: "Dizzy Miss Lizzie"
2006: "Within You Without You/"Tomorrow Never Knows"
2013: "Words Of Love"

Each title is linked to it's own entry at BeatlesOnDVD.com, except for "Don't Let Me Down", which is linked to iTunes and "Words Of Love" is linked to the official Vevo video on YouTube.

Granted, some of these videos are remasterings of old TV-appearances or sixites promotional films, but some are new inventions. Like "Words Of Love", several feature animation, for instance 2000's I Feel Fine and Come Together, as well as 2003's Two Of Us and 2006's Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows.
Most of the new music videos were put together to promote then current releases, like the "Yellow Submarine Songtrack", "Anthology" VHS and Laserdisc releases, "1", "Anthology" DVD series, "Let It Be...Naked", "The Capitol Albums Vol 2" and "Love".

With 1999's "Hey Bulldog", they were in luck, as the original recording session had been filmed in order to make the 1968 music video for "Lady Madonna". The footage works a lot better when used to illustrate the actual song they were recording! The "Hey Bulldog" video is available from iTunes.

The new(ish) "Get Back" and "Don't Let Me Down" videos were also released on iTunes in conjunction with the digital download debut of "Let It Be...Naked". However, most of the music videos were distributed to TV stations only, and some were used at theBeatles.com website. As the projects get old, these videos were pulled from the website and the powers that be are also closely monitoring YouTube to get fan uploads of the videos banned. We were unsuccessful in locating a fan upload of the brilliant 2003 "Two Of Us" video. That video was an example of turning film footage from the Get Back sessions into black and white and augmenting the video with animated pencil drawings in the background.

The 2006 "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" music video was simply taken from the remastered (and still unreleased) Beatles At Shea Stadium film and released to TV stations to promote "The Capitol Albums Vol. 2".

video