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Thursday, September 26, 2013

LIVE AT THE BBC - side three

Back cover of the vinyl edition
One major criticism of this collection is that the overall sound quality is rather poor, but there does not seem to be much that executive producer George Martin and the Abbey Road engineers could have done about this.  Many, if not most, of the original BBC session tapes no longer existed in the 1990's because nobody would have believed in the early 60's that they would one day be compiled for sale to the general public.  A good amount of the material was salvaged from people who had recorded the actual broadcasts on home equipment.  The quality therefore varies quite a bit depending on the source and, amazingly, many of the 1964 recordings are inferior to most of the 1963 offerings.

With news of a second BBC collection in the works as of this posting, it will be interesting to see if today's technology can make any significant improvement to these historic performances.

Crinsk Dee Night - John surmises that this would be the title of their film in Portuguese.

A Hard Day's Night - This performance of their latest single features a rare overdub for a BBC session.  George Martin's piano solo from the record is clearly dropped in...

Have a Banana! - ...forcing host Brian Matthew to insist that the group was playing live before he introduces the next song from Ringo...

I Wanna Be Your Man - ...though this performance of the drummer's vocal outing from With the Beatles was from a broadcast months earlier than that intro.

Just a Rumour - A little banter in which George reveals that he has been singing the next song for 28 years.

Roll Over Beethoven - A Chuck Berry classic which the group had recorded for With the Beatles.

All My Loving - Paul's rollicking composition, also from With the Beatles.

Things We Said Today - This tremendous reflective number by Paul had appeared as both the B-side of the single A Hard Day's Night and on the non-soundtrack side of that album.  Here, it features a spoken introduction by Brian Matthew.

She's a Woman - Paul's bluesy screamer was the B-side of the recent single I Feel Fine at the time of this broadcast from November 1964.

Sweet Little Sixteen - John takes the lead on this Chuck Berry classic.  His snarling delivery of "They're really rockin' in Boston..." was included in radio station WBCN's inventive Boston medley back in the 1980's.

1822! - Another witty intro by John before handling the lead vocal on...

Lonesome Tears in My Eyes - ...this oddity from 1957 by Johnny Burnette and his Rock 'n' Roll Trio.

Nothin' Shakin' - George sings this rockabilly number originally done by Eddie Fontaine.

The Hippy Hippy Shake - Paul sings this song by Chan Romero that is in the same mold as the Little Richard screamers he did so well.

Glad All Over - This rockabilly tune once done by Carl Perkins is sung by George, whose high number of lead vocals on this collection gives us a good indication of how important he was to the group in their pre-fame stage act, especially during their marathon sets in Hamburg.

I Just Don't Understand - John sings this strange obscurity recorded by Ann Margaret in 1961.

So How Come (No One Loves Me) - Paul and John (or is it Paul and George?  I admit that it's even hard for me to tell sometimes) do their best Everly Brothers impersonation.  For some reason, the CD case mistakenly adds the word Top onto the beginning of the song title.

I Feel Fine - The group plays their latest single during a November 1964 appearance on a program called Top Gear.

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