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Friday, November 15, 2013

ANTHOLOGY 1 - side three

Though they felt as if they had struggled for many years, the fact is that the Beatles were still very young when success came along.  The youngest member of the group, George, was only twenty and the oldest Beatle was also the newest, Ringo, a grizzled twenty-three years old.  They came seemingly out of nowhere and skyrocketed to worldwide fame as few have ever done, yet they never let the madness that surrounded them keep them from developing their craft at a remarkable pace, as evidenced even in these earliest recordings.

Please Please Me - One week after their first official recording session in September of 1962, producer George Martin summoned the boys back to the studio to re-record both sides of their first single with session drummer Andy White.  Though Ringo was surely disheartened by this turn of events, the work was quickly accomplished and there was enough time left over to attempt a third recording.  With White still on drums and John's harmonica noticeably absent, they laid down what amounted to a demo of the song that would ultimately be their second single.

One After 909 (False Starts) - This is the first example of something that I feel the Anthology series does very well - show the development of a song over a number of takes.  In this case, the song does not change, however, it simply breaks down a few times - once because Paul is playing without a pick and a second time because John comes in vocally before the guitar solo is over.

One After 909 - We then get an edited version of what the song would have sounded like had they completed it on this day - March 5th, 1963 - after recording both sides of their third single.  They did not return to this song until the Get Back sessions in 1969, giving a definitive performance during the rooftop concert.  This much earlier recording is played at a slower tempo and, of course, lacks Billy Preston's fine work on electric piano.

Lend Me Your Comb - A number from a July 1963 Pop Go the Beatles BBC session is inexplicably dropped into the sequence here.  This tune, once done by Carl Perkins, features a duet by Paul and John, except in the bridge where Paul sings solo.

I'll Get You - Here is part of the October 1963 appearance on the television show Sunday Night at the London Palladium that resulted in full-scale Beatlemania in Britain.  The boys perform the B-side of their fourth single, prompting handclaps from the audience at the outset.

Speech: John - In the Lennon Remembers interview, John maintains that in the early years the Beatles were a great live band and "there was nobody to touch us in Britain."  This audio clip sets up the next five selections from the group's live set for Swedish radio on October 24th, 1963.

I Saw Her Standing There - The boys launch into a raw version of their opening number from the album Please Please Me.

From Me to You - Paul introduces the A-side of their third single to the delight of the Stockholm audience.  John does not attempt to play his harmonica part live.

Money (That's What I Want) - They then choose to perform three numbers from their second album With the Beatles, which would not be released until November.  The boys give their all on this hard rocker, though they miss George Martin's piano line from the recording.

You Really Got a Hold on Me -Though all three of these as-yet-unreleased songs were covers of American rock and roll (this one by Smokey Robinson), they must have been relatively unfamiliar to the Swedish audience, which becomes rather subdued as a result.

Roll Over Beethoven - George and the band perform a smoking version of the Chuck Berry classic, though they omit one verse.  They also make a few variations from their own recent recording, especially when John and Paul join in vocally at the end.

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