My Favourite Beatles Live Performances

You might be finding a few gems from this gig today...

You might be finding a few gems from this gig today…

PLEASE NOTE: I meant to publish this post before I published ‘I Think I’m Gonna Be Sad…’, but I didn’t finish the draft in time. Sorry ’bout that. But as you can see, I have finished the draft — voila!

Yay! Finally finished school for the year — meaning nearly two whole months of holidays! I saw Ben Folds live last Friday, which was amazing. Very funny/clever man… Ben actually used to live in Adelaide, which is cool. But anyway…

Reading the title of this post, you might be thinking, ‘What? You can barely even hear The Beatles live on some of the recordings!’ Not strictly true… There are some really, really amazing versions of their songs played live. And you can actually hear them (sometimes)! I stay away from 1964 live recordings, though — the screams are slightly overpowering, then. A lot of my favourite recordings come from 1966, when you could actually hear them. (Some from mid-late ’65, as well.) But anyway, let the list begin…

Yesterday: Munich, 1966

BACKGROUND: ‘Yesterday’ was included in The Beatles ’66 set list, but it was not played live like it was in ’65 (i.e. Paul solo with his acoustic-electric guitar plus a pre-recorded string quartet). As can be heard in this video, The Beatles had clearly created a two-electric-guitars/bass/drums arrangement for live purposes. As far as I know, the song was played at each concert in the US, plus Munich (where this version originates).

WHY I LIKE IT: Call me sacrilegious, but I count ‘Yesterday’ as one of my least favourite Beatles songs. But I love this version! I think it sounds way better with the electric guitars and drums than it did with that string quartet. (The string makes the song too schmaltzy, in my opinion.) Not a live version, but my other favourite version of this song can be found on Anthology 2.

I Saw Her Standing There: Drop In — Sweden, 1963

BACKGROUND: In October 1963, The Beatles semi-toured Sweden. (Beatlemania hadn’t quite hit Sweden, so it’s wonderful to actually be able to hear the songs minus any sort of scream.) One of the performances done on this tour was for a TV show called Drop In. The setlist for this night was ‘She Loves You’, ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ and ‘Long Tall Sally’.

WHY I LIKE IT: Listen to that rhythm guitar. Need I say more?

I’m Down: Blackpool Night Out — Blackpool, 1965

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2rjt0 (the stupid Dailymotion embed code refuses to work)

BACKGROUND: In August 1965, The Beatles performed on another show, called Blackpool Night Out (thus we don’t know where the performance was situated AT ALL. Not.). The BNO performance is slightly better known than the above, though, due to inclusion of much of the show on Anthology 2. The set list was comprised of ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘I’m Down’ (obviously), ‘Act Naturally’, ‘Ticket To Ride’, ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Help!. (I highly recommend watching the entire performance on YouTube, by the way. There are some very funny quips from John, and the dancers that perform during the end credits made me laugh. The dancer weren’t actually provided for comic relief — as far as I know — though…)

WHY I LIKE IT: Interestingly, the organ in this performance is much more evident than in the studio version. And it’s amazing! I attempted to compare this version with Shea Stadium, but got irritated with the screams and gave up.

Day Tripper, Paperback Writer, She’s A Woman: Candlestick Park, 1966

BACKGROUND: As I assume most (if not all) of the people reading this know, The Beatles’ only performance at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park was their final live performance (sans the Apple Rooftop). The group (especially John and George) were fed up with the treatment they received on their tours, not to mention the screaming girls (attention which they enjoyed at first, but grew to dislike). Luckily for us obsessive Beatlemaniacs who will quite happily sit through hours of Beatles live tapes (or is that only me…), Paul asked Tony Barrow to record the entire concert on tape. Unfortunately the tape ran out halfway through ‘Long Tall Sally’ (the last song in the gig — excluding the opening bars of ‘In My Life’ that John played on his Casino as he walked offstage), but anyway… The Beatles also took photos onstage that would now be called ‘selfies’… (Haha — The Beatles were the first to use artificial double tracking, popularised longer haircuts for men and invented the selfie! 😉 ) Not coincidentally, Paul was the last person to play at Candlestick Park before its demolition.

WHY I LIKE IT: I’m not sure if it’s just the bad sound quality (I think not), but The Beatles’ guitars sound as if they’re on overdrive. And not just that — John/Paul are really screaming those rockers with passion! They seem to be having a rocking good time. Which I find very groovy! The Beatles really sound like they’re letting loose (someone in the YouTube comments compared the gig to those of The Who!) here, and they are rocking dead hard. Perhaps this is because they know that after that particular gig, they will not be performing together live in the near future… But anyway, really worth listening to. I will post the entire concert below — really, utterly and definitely worth listening to if you have a half an hour to spare.

 

(And of course…) The Rooftop Concert!

BACKGROUND: The Beatles hadn’t toured for nearly three years. In that time, the band created the masterpieces known by the general public as Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Beatles/White Album. (Not to mention Magical Mystery Tour — not that I’d exactly call the film a masterpiece… 😉 ) John had gotten together with Yoko, and Paul with Linda. And the infamous split-up of The Beatles had begun. By early 1969, Paul was desperate to save his band, as the members (especially him and John) began to drift further and further apart. His attempt to save the band — the Get Back Sessions! (Of course, we now know that his attempt wasn’t particularly successful…) The original intent of this project was to basically have a giant jam and end up holding a gig in some exotic location, but arguments between John and Paul led them to have the concert on the Apple Rooftop. This set up a trend still continuing today — rooftop concerts!

WHY I LIKE IT: C’mon… Late-era Beatles performing some fab yet-to-be-released songs — what’s not to like? If I could have been at any Beatles live performance, I would actually choose the rooftop concert. I think it would be utterly magical walking around in one’s lunchbreak, only to find The Beatles playing an impromptu gig. And you could probably hear them, too! Not to mention that ‘Get Back’, ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ are some of my favourite Beatles songs…

And there we go! My shortlist of The Beatles’ live versions! Hope you enjoy listening to the various versions of songs you (probably) already know.

Hope you’re having a fab day — wherever you are in the world — and good day sunshine until the weekend! 🙂

As mentioned above...

As mentioned above…

My Beatles Record Collection Pt. One – ‘With The Beatles’

One of my favourite pictures from the Mad Day Out photoshoot - I must do a post on Mad Day Out, at some point.

One of my favourite pictures from the Mad Day Out photo-shoot – I must do a post on Mad Day Out, at some point.

As I assume is slightly obvious (just a bit), I am a hardcore Beatlemaniac (hmm…you wouldn’t have guessedespecially if you read this blog!). Unlike many teenage Beatlemaniacs – or teenage music fans in general – though, I prefer to listen to The Beatles on vinyl. In fact, I collect Beatles records! I have done so since late last year (I’d been a fan for about ten months), beginning with an eight-record Beatles box set, poignantly released in 1980. But that’ll come later in this series, which will get an update each month (or maybe more – not too sure, yet).

If I say so myself, I have some real gems in my collection, ranging from two British-edition first pressings in mono, to an American edition of the 1970s compilation Love Songs (which I inherited from my grandfather). But today, I’m going to start with one of my British monos – my beautiful copy of With The Beatles!

I got my With The Beatles in February this year from my favourite record shop (in which I am known as Miss Beatle!), using some leftover Christmas money. It plays amazingly well for a record of over fifty years of age, and I swear it is in near mint condition! There is nothing quite like listening to The Beatles on first-edition vinyl – the 2009 remasters are all fine and dandy at first, but to hear The Beatles as they were meant to be heard, you really have to invest in one of these babies. If they play through well, I guarantee you will never have heard The Beatles better.

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Here is (obviously) the cover. Apart from a few discolourations in the white top secion, it is amazingly good condition. Not that it really matters, compared to the record – it is nice to have a good cover to go along with it, though.

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As you can see, the record is in mono (meaning it only plays out of one speaker – unlike stereo, which plays out of two), which makes it rarer than one released in stereo. One thing I should have put in my ‘Six Ways The Beatles Changed The World’ post is how The Beatles pioneered the use of stereo in pop music. In fact, I am fairly sure they were the first band to use it – on Please Please Me. Because of this, though, it means that Beatles records in mono are hard to find, so I struck jackpot with this! As of September 8, you’ll be able to hear most Beatles albums in mono, too, with the new mono remasters. But the original vinyl will always sound better, (pretty much) no matter what.

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The back of the record, complete with the ‘Use EMITEX’ label used on all British pressings of Beatles releases and sleeve notes written by Tony Barrow. Note the flaps of cardboard around the borders – or ‘backflaps’, as they are called. These were only used on first pressings, meaning this was one of the first With The Beatles to ever be made.

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To be exact, though, it was the 206th With The Beatles ever made. Wow – I feel rather special! How fab!

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Here is the side of the record – in absolutely pristine condition! I have two records owned by ‘Clark’ (you may have noted a name on the picture two above), and both are almost perfect. They must have looked after their records very well.

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Here is the British address on the back, plus the EMITEX label – proving it’s a British pressing. Australian versions of this record would have a Sydney-based address, and lack the EMITEX label – and would have a different cover. But that’s a different story, to be explained another day…

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‘Clark’ didn’t just keep her records in perfect condition – she also spiced up the slip-cover, too! Usually, British pressings have a paper sleeve with another EMITEX advertisement plus a warning about replacing your record player needle as needed (and trust me, you should – I may or may not have ruined a record by not. But as with the cover, that story will be saved for the Help! edition of this series). But our ‘Clark’ appears to have cut out all sorts of Beatles scraps and decorated the sleeve (rather like the end-papers of my diary!), making beautifully unique. Now, any guesses of who her favourite Beatle is (clue: it’s probably Ringo)?!?

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Here’s the other side of the slip cover, with a picture of George, a still from A Hard Day’s Night (obviously she scrapped into the next year, too) and a review of the album to pour over!

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And finally, here is Side One of the record – absolutely scratch-less!

(And now for a couple of other things…)

So far, The Beatles: The Night That Changed America – A GRAMMY® Salute (that Grammy special from February) has received an Emmy! It was nominated for six, but only four of the categories it was in were announced today. The rest will be announced on August 25, when The Emmys are broadcasted around the world. So far, it has been awarded for Most Outstanding Musical Direction, but fingers crossed it will get more when the other two categories are announced.

And finally, my good friend kate160801 (you know who you are) has started a blog called ‘The Hunger Readings’, on which she will publish her various pieces of writing. kate160801 hasn’t put much on it yet, but trust me – she is an amazing writer, so make sure you check out her blog here: http://thehungerreading.wordpress.com .

Hope you’re having a groovy day wherever you are, and good day sunshine 🙂

 

Things We Polled Today…

A lovely picture of John and Paul!

A lovely picture of John and Paul! Don’t they look sweet? 🙂

Well – I haven’t done a poll in a while, have I? I also have some other things to write about today (i.e. Ron Howard’s upcoming Beatles doco – for which I cannot wait!), but to start off with – here’s a poll! It’s titled ‘Which Beatles’ period is your favourite’ (as you will see further down), and Option One will be ‘the early years’ – the Hamburg/Cavern Club Era (1960) ’till the A Hard Day’s Night sessions (1964), which includes Pete Best/Stu Sutcliffe, the ‘Love Me Do’/’P.S. I Love You’ sessions, the marathon 12-hour Please Please Me session and the With The Beatles sessions, plus the filming of A Hard Day’s Night and their Australian tour. Option Two will be the ‘middle years’ – the Beatles For Sale (late 1964) sessions ’till the Magical Mystery Tour/Yellow Submarine sessions (1968 – there’s a slight overlap, here, ‘cos both the film and album Yellow Submarine fit in with the psychedelia of Sgt. Pepper/ Magical Mystery Tour, but were recorded around the time of ‘Lady Madonna’, which is considered as a part of their back-to-basics-rock-and-roll late material. I consider Yellow to be middle-period, but that’s only my opinion), which includes ‘Ticket To Ride’/’Yes It Is’, the album/film/single Help! (which includes classics such as the title track, ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’ and – of course – ‘Yesterday’), Shea Stadium, Rubber Soul, ‘Paperback Writer’/’Rain’, the groundbreaking Revolver, the Sgt. Pepper sessions, plus (not-so-positive bits) the introduction of pot/LSD, the decision to stop touring (not that was necessarily a bad thing…) and the ‘Jesus remark’ (which was taken completely out of context). And then, the final option will be the ‘late years’, spanning from the ‘Lady Madonna’ sessions ’till the break-up – this involves India, introduction of Yoko and Linda, the White Album sessions, ‘Hey Jude’/’Revolution’, the Get Back/Let It Be sessions and Abbey Road, plus the mounds of arguments and the split ( 😦 ). If I had to choose, I would vote for the ‘middle years’ – my favourite albums (Revolver, Help!, Beatles For Sale and Rubber Soul) were all recorded in that period – plus the songs I favour – and (not that it matters) I think they looked the best around that period (not that they were bad-looking at any period – except for maybe Paul’s Let It Be beard…)! Oh, and one word: PSYCHEDELIA! But this isn’t a place for me to vote, ‘cos I’m putting it to you. So please choose, and I’d love to see which period is the most popular amongst the people who’ve seen past this large block of text and voted!

 

(And now for some more…)

As most Beatlemaniacs will have heard by now, acclaimed director and actor Ron Howard is both directing and producing a documentary on The Beatles’ touring years (1960 – 1966), which is scheduled for release in late-2015! Ron Howard (who – amongst other things – starred as Richie in Happy Days, plus is the creator behind Parenthood) is a self-proclaimed Beatlemaniac himself, and is being joined by Nigel Sinclair (who produced George Harrison: Living In The Material World); the two (according to Rolling Stone) have been granted access to the Apple Corps archives (I can only dream!), and are sourcing footage/photos/material from fans. For more information, here is the link to the article on The Beatles’ official website, which involves information on how to submit your material for the doco (anyone here got any??). You can find Rolling Stone‘s article (the most informative yet) on the upcoming feature here. And Sky News Australia’s two-bobs’-worth is here – whilst short, it contains a cool news-clip about the event! I cannot wait for this to be released, and I’ll be making sure I’m at the pre-viewing if it makes it to cinemas.

As for some other Beatle-y news, The Grammys’ Beatles tribute has been nominated for six Emmy awards! Let’s hope it wins some, ‘cos (in my opinion) watching Paul and Ringo re-unite is much more interesting than binge-watching Game Of Thrones (not that I’ve ever watched it)… And A Hard Day’s Night has been released on Australian iTunes stores (as of the 9th of this month), but it’s rated M. Why M?? I get that John snorts a bottle of coke (the cola kind…) in the train (‘But they hadn’t even done pot at this point, let alone cocaine,’ I protest), there are a few jokes of a sexual nature (Paul’s comment to the effect of, ‘He [Grandfather] could be in an orgy by now!’, John’s ‘Please can I have one to surge with?’ comment, what John and the girl are hinting at in the ‘she looks more like me than I do’ scene, and the stamp collection), and of course, the smoking – but M? Really?? I also read that the Australian BluRay isn’t particularly good, so I’m glad I got my UK export! Talking of my UK export…IT’S BEING SHIPPED ON MONDAY! I absolutely cannot wait for it to come!

Oh, and a big thank you to my good friend (you know who you are) for recommending an interesting book to me, earlier this year – I just finished it yesterday! But what book am I referring to, you ask? When We Wake, a dystopian novel written by New Zealander-come-Australian Karen Healey! The story is about a sixteen-year-old girl living in 2027 Melbourne named Tegan, who’s about to go on a climate-change-action protest with her best friend Alex and her boyfriend-as-of-the-night-before Dalmar. However, a sniper intervenes, and Tegan is shot dead. Tegan had donated her body to science some time before she died, though. She wakes up (as the first successful cryonics – the process of freezing someone who is dead, and then proceeding to try and revive them – patient) in 2128, and soon enough, she finds herself in the middle of the paparazzi, a medicinal-drug-smuggling plot, a secret – and possibly corrupt – government operation and a devout Christian cult, who want her dead. And of course, Tegan is a hardcore Beatlemaniac – her favourite is Ringo, but the majority of Beatles references are somewhat related to John 🙂 ; yay for Johnny! Sadly, though, George isn’t mentioned… However, I really enjoyed this read, and you can buy your own copy here. Again, thank you, my friend, and hope you’re enjoying the holidays!

And one more thing… if you haven’t already noticed, I’ve changed my sidebar widgets slightly! Please check out my profile, and see if you can guess what songs I’m punning on. Good day sunshine 🙂