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Monday, April 29, 2013

SESSIONS - side two

The back cover of the proposed album
How Do You Do It -This is the song that producer George Martin chose for the group's first single.  The boys actually do a fine job with this piece of fluff, John singing lead.  To Martin's everlasting credit, he let them release their own composition Love Me Do instead.  Just about any other producer would have insisted on issuing this track, probably resulting in a few modest hits and quick oblivion for the Beatles.

Besame Mucho - At their audition for Parlophone in June of 1962, the boys recorded this rousing version of the well-known standard with Paul singing lead.  And, of course, Pete Best was on drums at this point in time.

One After 909 - After recording both sides of their third single on March 5th, 1963, the group concentrated on this early Lennon composition.  Not satisfied with the result, they shelved the song for six years, not returning to it until the Get Back sessions.  Though the uptempo version they played during the famous rooftop concert is preferable, it is fun to listen to this attempt.

If You've Got Trouble - This number was penned by Lennon and McCartney for Ringo to sing on the Help! album.  It is a train wreck in almost every respect, from the inane lyric to the clunky rhythm track.  The highlight is easily Ringo's exclamation, "Aw, rock on, anybody!" before a particularly uninspired guitar solo by George.

That Means A Lot - This intriguing composition by McCartney also dates from the Help! sessions.  It borrows elements used in Ticket To Ride, which was recorded only five days earlier - specifically, the lopsided drum pattern and a catchy, energetic coda.   In The Beatles: Recording Sessions Mark Lewisohn reports that they re-made it a month after this version, but were still unhappy with the results.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps - This is George's stunning demo of his brilliant composition from the "White Album."  Only George's heartfelt vocal, his acoustic guitar and an organ part entering near the end make up this incredible performance, which includes a verse that was dropped before the final version released by the group.

Mailman Bring Me No More Blues - A Buddy Holly tune covered by the Beatles during the Get Back sessions.  They played many of their favorite oldies at this time, but few were as complete as this one.

Christmas Time (Is Here Again) - This amusing and simple ditty is credited to all four Beatles.  It was recorded for the 1967 version of their annual flexi-disc sent exclusively to members of their fan club.  George Martin and actor Victor Spinetti join in the fun.

As you can probably tell from the jacket cover and liner notes, this collection was mastered and ready for release before Paul, George, Ringo and Yoko prevented it from being issued.  Of course, the master was easily bootlegged and copies soon appeared.  It would be ten years before the much more extensive Anthology became a reality.

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