Follow by Email

Friday, December 13, 2013

ANTHOLOGY 1 - side four

Beatlemania flourished in Britain in the latter months of 1963.  Manager Brian Epstein kept the boys constantly in the public's consciousness, from BBC radio sessions to television appearances to an endless stream of concerts (including their one and only trip to Ireland), plus The Beatles' Christmas Show - a three-week engagement of a pantomime extravaganza at the Astoria Cinema in London from December 24th to January 11th.  The workload was daunting, but the Beatles were still hungry and, though no one could have predicted it at the time, they were on the cusp of worldwide fame on a level that few have ever known.

She Loves You - The first of three selections from the Royal Command Performance on November 4th, 1963 features the boys' monster hit from that summer.  Instead of the usual screaming fans, we hear enthusiastic but polite applause from the audience following the number.

Till There Was You - We are treated to a bit of the group's patented stage patter as Paul introduces this song from The Music Man and informs the crowd that it had also been done by "our favorite American group...Sophie Tucker."  Unlike the recording on With the Beatles which had featured bongos and acoustic guitar, Ringo plays his standard drum kit and George plays an inventive electric guitar line.

Twist and Shout - The most famous line of the evening came from John before this final number when he asked those in the cheaper seats to clap their hands and "the rest of you...if you'll just rattle your jewelry."  After a rousing version of the Isley Brothers hit, we hear the house band play the theme several times as the group takes its signature bow.

This Boy - This is the first of four selections from an appearance on The Morecambe and Wise Show taped on December 2nd, 1963.  The boys perform a rather shaky version of the B-side of their current single, demonstrating just how delicate those three-part harmonies are.

I Want to Hold Your Hand - They have no such trouble with the A-side, however, giving a strong performance of their latest hit.

Speech: Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise - Here is an absolutely delightful example of the type of comedy being done on TV at the time, with the Beatles fitting in as seamlessly as they had done on radio.  Their manner is so offhanded, it almost seems as if it's not scripted.  Listening to this banter never fails to make me smile, especially every time Eric refers to Ringo as "Bongo."

Moonlight Bay - John, Paul and George then join the hosts for a brief, but whacky rendition of this old standard.  It's no wonder they appealed to all ages in Britain before exploding upon the world stage.

Can't Buy Me Love - The final selection on this side is a studio track recorded in Paris on January 29th, 1964.  This is one of the first times that they altered an arrangement during the recording process, even though the entire track was completed in only four takes, plus a few overdubs added at Abbey Road on February 25th.  We have take two here with Paul singing (and muffing) a guide vocal and John and George singing backing vocals which were cut by the next take.  Though this song was only intended to be the A-side of their upcoming single, it was later added to the soundtrack of A Hard Day's Night.

No comments:

Post a Comment