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Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Inner gatefold
Boys - Paul introduces Ringo's vocal outing from the 1964 concert.  At this point in time, American fans would only have known this song from the VeeJay album Introducing the Beatles.

A Hard Day's Night - The next two tracks are from the 1965 concert.  John gets to do the intro for the title song from the group's first film.  "We've only made two.  One was black and white and one was colored."

Help! - During John's next introduction, we hear him exclaim, "Go away with that light!...oh, thank you," demonstrating the loose, chaotic atmosphere surrounding their performances.  They then launch into the "title ditty" of their new film, which was also the most recent single and album available.

All My Loving - The remaining tracks are all from the 1964 concert.  Paul announces this number "from our first Capitol album."  On the studio version, Paul had double-tracked his vocal for the final verse, but when playing live, George got the chance to sing the melody with Paul handling the high harmony line.

She Loves You - John refers to this song as "an oldie.  Some of you older people might remember.  It's from last year."  Actually, although Swan Records had released it as a single in September of 1963, it had only attained recognition in the US after I Want To Hold Your Hand, becoming the group's second Billboard number one hit in early '64.

Long Tall Sally -Paul informs the fans that "this next number will have to be our last," much to their dismay, but when he asks them, "Did you enjoy the show?" they scream enthusiastically one more time.  He credits Little Richard before the band gives a spirited performance of this rock and roll classic.  The album quickly fades out as the crowd's screams continue following the final chords.

The album was released in the UK on May 6th, 1977.  It reached number one there and peaked at number two in the US.  The brief running time of the album is an accurate representation of an actual Beatles concert, and the cleaning up of the original three-track tapes by producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick is quite remarkable; it's the next best thing to being there that we will ever know.

Nevertheless, the Beatles themselves were not happy with this release.  When they finally issued their complete catalog on CD ten years later, this album was nowhere to be found, nor has it ever been officially transferred to that format.  Strange, then, that they returned to these concert tapes when putting together the Anthology series in the mid-1990's and retrieved a performance of Baby's in Black from the 1965 show.  

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