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Saturday, November 2, 2013

ANTHOLOGY 1 - side two

The role of Pete Best in the development of the Beatles should not be taken lightly.  He was part of the group during their seminal Hamburg phase when they really honed their craft.  Upon their return to Liverpool, people were bowled over by how powerful and professional the group had become.  Pete's appearance on several of the tracks on Anthology 1 in 1995 finally gave him the payday he so richly deserved.  He travels the world to this day with the Pete Best Band and has a loyal following on Facebook and Twitter, even though he is often overlooked as being one of three surviving Beatles.

Speech: John - Lennon waxes nostalgic about manager Brian Epstein in a 1971 interview.

Speech: Brian Epstein - By 1964, Epstein had already written his autobiography, A Cellarful of Noise, and had begun working on a recorded version of it.  This excerpt introduces five selections from the group's famous Decca Records audition on January 1st, 1962.

Searchin' - Paul leads John and George in a Lieber and Stoller number originally done by the Coasters.  The nerves can clearly be heard in a few of George's guitar solos on these tracks.

Three Cool Cats - Another Lieber and Stoller number also done by the Coasters, but with George taking the lead this time.  Paul and John back him both ably and comically.  

The Sheik of Araby - Epstein had hand-picked the group's material for this all-important audition, wanting to demonstrate their versatility.  This comic treatment of an old standard once again has George handling the lead, with John and Paul throwing in the "not 'arf" bits.

Like Dreamers Do - To further impress the Decca brass, Epstein let the boys do a few of their self-penned tunes.  This uptempo one by McCartney features a complex intro and a breathless vocal by the composer.

Hello Little Girl - Lennon claimed that this was the first song he ever wrote, and it shows.  It's very telling that they chose to never record material this lightweight once they finally did get a contract with EMI.

Speech: Brian Epstein - Epstein recounts the group's disappointment with the rejection by Decca, then quickly moves on to his first meeting with Parlophone producer George Martin.

Besame Mucho - Paul sings this old standard at the June 6, 1962 audition/first session at Abbey Road Studios.

Love Me Do - The group also recorded this McCartney composition at that session.  Pete's drumming is all over the place, with numerous changes in style and tempo.  This may be the performance that sealed his fate.

How Do You Do It - On September 4th, with Ringo now in the fold, the Beatles recorded this tune which George Martin had chosen for their first single.  Though they wanted to record only their own material, they took the time to come up with a new arrangement for this song, which was eventually used by another Epstein-managed group from Liverpool - Gerry and the Pacemakers.

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