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The Beatles and The Beach Boys Beat The Boots On “The Big Beat 1963″ and “Bootleg Recordings”

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Beatles - Bootleg Recordings1963 was a landmark year for the favorite sons of Hawthorne, California.  During those twelve months, The Beach Boys released three Top 10 studio albums (Surfin’ USA, Surfer Girl and Little Deuce Coupe) and launched three Top 10 singles (“Surfin’ USA,” “Surfer Girl,” and “Be True to Your School”).  Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, the outgoing David Marks and returning Al Jardine were perfecting their harmony-laden brand of surf rock and setting the stage for the next step in the band’s evolution.  Within one year, The Beach Boys’ music had grown leaps and bounds in sophistication with the likes of “All Summer Long,” “I Get Around” and “Fun, Fun, Fun.”  And greater stylistic changes would come with the fast and furious speed of any of the cars about which the band had so ardently sung.

Across the pond, 1963 was an even more key year for a certain quartet from Liverpool.  On March 22, The Beatles’ Please Please Me arrived on the Parlophone label.  On November 22, With the Beatles followed.  Both records topped the U.K. Albums chart, and songs like “Please Please Me,” “From Me to You,” “She Loves You,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” dominated the U.K. Singles charts during the year.   By the time Capitol Records’ Meet the Beatles arrived in the U.S. on January 20, 1964, John, Paul, George and Ringo were names known the world over, and “Beatlemania” was the word on everybody’s lips.

Now, however, the crucial music of 1963 is being revisited in two unusual digital-only compilations from Capitol Records.  Following in the footsteps of such projects as Bob Dylan’s The 50th Anniversary Collection or the multiple volumes of Motown Unreleased 1962, Capitol is issuing The Big Beat 1963 for Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, and Bootleg Recordings 1963 for The Beatles.  The impetus for these iTunes-exclusive releases is a simple one: to protect these recordings from entering the public domain in Europe.  Recent changes to copyright law in the E.U. have extended the copyright term of a recording from 50 to 70 years, but only if that recording has been released.  In other words, if a recording is not officially released within 50 years of its creation, it will fall into the public domain when the next (51st) calendar year begins.  If it is released, the term extends another 20 years.

Many would like to see the vintage recordings included in these sets released as physical titles with the usual bells and whistles, and indeed, these are intended as stopgap releases only.  It’s likely that these types of releases will become more common with each passing year; whether Capitol (and other labels) will reissue the material in a more deluxe manner down the road is still a matter of speculation.  After the jump, we’ll take a look at the recordings on both The Big Beat and Bootleg Recordings 1963!

Brian Wilson - Big Beat 1963Twenty-two never-before-released, almost impossibly rare tracks will be featured on The Big Beat 1963.  Brian Wilson’s friend Bob Norberg and his friend Sheryl Pomeroy, as Bob and Sheri, recorded the Wilson song that gives this compilation its title.  “The Big Beat” is also joined by Bob and Sheri’s “Ride Away,” which Bob co-wrote with Brian.  Norberg, Brian’s roommate for much of 1963, also recorded “Marie” with Brian and The Honeys (featuring Brian’s future wife Marilyn, her sister Diane and Ginger Blake), and co-wrote “Gonna Hustle You” which appears here in demo form.  (Jan and Dean would record “Hustle” as “New Girl in School” when the lyric was found objectionable.)  Norberg also sings with Vicki Hale on “Summer Moon” over the backing track of “The Surfer Moon” from The Beach Boys’ third album Surfer Girl.

The Beach Boys themselves are represented on The Big Beat 1963 with Brian’s composition “Mother May I,” and demo of Brian and Roger Christian’s “I Do” and “Ballad of Ole Betsy” (a favorite on the group’s fiftieth anniversary reunion tour of 2012).   In addition to “Marie,” The Honeys appear on nine more tracks, including a handful written by Ginger and Diane and a recording of Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Make the Night a Little Longer.”    More Brian Wilson demos premiere here, with titles such as “First Rock and Roll Dance,” “Side Two” and “Thank Him.”  Gary Usher, Brian’s co-writer on songs including “In My Room” and the producer of hits for artists including The Byrds, performs Brian’s song “If It Can’t Be You” (otherwise known as “I’ll Never Love Again”).  Though many of these tracks have appeared in bootleg form, this digital release marks the first time any of them have been available commercially.  David Beard and Lee Dempsey of the indispensable Beach Boys publication Endless Summer Quarterly have shared more fascinating insights on the assembly and creation of The Big Beat 1963 in this piece at The Examiner.

The Big Beat 1963 is joined by The Beatles’ Bootleg Recordings 1963, and though the title reflects a less-is-more approach, its contents reveal that more is more: 59 songs more, to be exact.  As with the Brian Wilson compilation, these tracks are drawn from various sources.  Studio alternate takes are heard of such songs as “There’s a Place,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “From Me to You,” “Do You Want to Know a Secret” and “One After 909,” alongside demos of two songs never released by The Beatles, “Bad to Me” and “I’m in Love.”  The former was a No. 1 hit when gifted by Lennon and McCartney to Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas; the latter went Top 20 for The Fourmost.  The majority of the tracks on Bootleg, however, are drawn from the same BBC archive that yielded the recent 2-CD On Air: Live at the BBC Volume Two collection.

A full 42 tracks on The Bootleg Collection represent recordings made by The Fab Four for BBC programs including Saturday Club, Easy Beat, Pop Go the Beatles, Side by Side and From Us to You.  Unsurprisingly, early reports already indicate the tracks are in considerably better audio than on previous bootleg releases of this material – even in iTunes’ inherently “lossy” format.

The Big Beat 1963 is available at Amazon MP3 (link below) and other digital service providers.  The Beatles’ Bootleg Recordings appears to be an iTunes-exclusive.  You’ll find full track listings for both releases just below!

Brian Wilson, The Big Beat 1963 (Capitol, no cat. no., 2013)

  1. The Big Beat (Brian Wilson) – Bob & Sheri
  2. First Rock and Roll Dance (Wilson) – Brian Wilson
  3. Gonna Hustle You (Brian Wilson/Bob Norberg) – Brian Wilson
  4. Ride Away (Wilson/Norberg) – Bob & Sheri
  5. Funny Boy (Wilson) – The Honeys
  6. Marie (Wilson) – Brian Wilson and Bob Norberg with The Honeys
  7. Mother May I (Wilson) – The Beach Boys
  8. I Do (Demo) (Brian Wilson/Roger Christian) – The Beach Boys
  9. Bobby Left Me (Backing Track) (Wilson) – Brian Wilson
  10. If It Can’t Be You (I’ll Never Love Again) (Wilson) – Gary Usher
  11. You Brought It All On Yourself (Wilson) – The Honeys
  12. Make the Night a Little Longer (Carole King/Gerry Goffin) – The Honeys
  13. Rabbit’s Foot (Wilson) (Instrumental with backing vocals) – The Honeys
  14. Summer Moon (Wilson) – Vicki Hale and Bob Norberg
  15. Side Two (Wilson) – Brian Wilson
  16. Ballad of Ole Betsy (Demo) (Wilson/Christian) – The Beach Boys
  17. Thank Him (Demo) (Wilson) – Brian Wilson
  18. Once You’ve Got Him (Ginger Blake/Diane Rovell) – The Honeys
  19. For Always and Forever (Demo) (Blake/Rovell) – The Honeys
  20. Little Dirt Bike (Demo) (Blake/Rovell) – The Honeys
  21. Darling, I’m Not Stepping Out on You (Demo) (Blake/Rovell) – The Honeys
  22. When I Think About You (Demo) (Blake/Rovell) – The Honeys

The Beatles, Bootleg Recordings 1963 (Capitol, no cat. no., 2014)

  1. “There’s a Place” – Takes 5, 6. 2:19
  2. “There’s a Place” – Take 8. 1:58
  3. “There’s a Place” – Take 9. 2:04
  4. “Do You Want to Know a Secret” – Track 2, Take 7. 2:17
  5. “A Taste of Honey” – Track 2, Take 6. 2:12
  6. “I Saw Her Standing There” – Take 2. 3:07
  7. “Misery” – Take 1. 1:54
  8. “Misery” – Take 7. 1:56
  9. “From Me to You” – Take 1 & 2. 3:24
  10. “From Me to You” – Take 5. 2:17
  11. “Thank You Girl” – Take 1. 2:09
  12. “Thank You Girl” – Take 5. 2:04
  13. “One After 909” – Take 1 & 2. 4:29
  14. “Hold Me Tight” – Take 21. 2:42
  15. “Money (That’s What I Want)” – RM 7 Undubbed 2:48
  16. “Some Other Guy” – Live at the BBC For “Saturday Club” / 26th January, 1963. 2:02.
  17. “Love Me Do” – Live at the BBC For “Saturday Club” / 26th January, 1963. 2:31
  18. “Too Much Monkey Business” – Live at the BBC For “Saturday Club” / 16th March, 1963 1:50
  19. “I Saw Her Standing There” – Live at the BBC For “Saturday Club” / 16th March, 1963. 2:38.
  20. “Do You Want to Know a Secret” – Live at the BBC For “Saturday Club” / 25th May, 1963 1:50
  21. “From Me to You” – Live at the BBC For “Saturday Club” / 26th May, 1963. 1:54
  22. “I Got To Find My Baby” – Live at the BBC For “Saturday Club” / 26th January, 1963 1:59.
  23. “Roll Over Beethoven” – Live at the BBC For “Saturday Club” / 29th June, 1963 2:29
  24. “A Taste of Honey” – Live at the BBC For “Easy Beat” / 23rd June, 1963 2:01
  25. “Love Me Do” – Live at the BBC For “Easy Beat” / 20th October, 1963 2:29
  26. “Please Please Me” – Live at the BBC For “Easy Beat” / 20th October, 1963 2:08
  27. “She Loves You” – Live at the  BBC For “Easy Beat” / 20th October, 1963 2:29
  28. “I Want To Hold Your Hand” – Live at the BBC For “Saturday Club” / 21st December, 1963 2:19
  29. “Till There Was You” – Live at the BBC For “Saturday Club” / 21st December, 1963 2:16
  30. “Roll Over Beethoveen” – Live at the BBC For “Saturday Club” / 21st December, 1963 2:16
  31. “You Really Got A Hold On Me” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 4th June, 1963 2:54
  32. “The Hippy Hippy Shake” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 4th June, 1963 1:43
  33. “Till There Was You” – Live at the For “Pop Go The Beatles” /11th June, 1963 2:14
  34. “A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 18th June, 1963 2:06
  35. “A Taste Of Honey” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 18th June, 1963 1:56
  36. “Money (That’s What I Want)” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 18th June, 1963 2:41
  37. “Anna” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 25th June, 1963 3:02
  38. “Love Me Do” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 10th September, 1963 2:29
  39. “She Loves You” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 24th September, 1963 2:16
  40. “I’ll Get You” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 10th September, 1963 2:05
  41. “A Taste of Honey” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 10th September, 1963 2:00
  42. “Boys” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 17th September, 1963 2:12
  43. “Chains” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 17th September, 1963 2:22
  44. “You Really Got A Hold On Me” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 17th September, 1963 2:57
  45. “I Saw Her Standing There” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 24th September, 1963 2:41
  46. “She Loves You” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 10th September, 1963 2:15
  47. “Twist and Shout” – Live at the BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 24th September, 1963 2:36
  48. “Do You Want to Know a Secret” – Live at the BBC For “Here We Go” / 12th March, 1963 1:55
  49. “Please Please Me” – Live at the BBC For “Here We Go” / 12th March, 1963 1:57
  50. “Long Tall Sally” – Live at the BBC For “Side By Side” / 13th May, 1963 1:49
  51. “Chains” – Live at the BBC For “Side By Side” / 13th May, 1963 2:23
  52. “Boys” – Live at the BBC For “Side By Side” / 13th May, 1963 1:53
  53. “A Taste of Honey” – Live at the BBC For “Side By Side” / 13th May, 1963 2:04
  54. “Roll Over Beethoven” – Live at the BBC For “From Us To You” / 26th December, 1963 2:17
  55. “All My Loving” – Live at the BBC For “From Us To You” / 26th December, 1963 2:06
  56. “She Loves You” – Live at the BBC For “From Us To You” / 26th December, 1963 2:21
  57. “Till There Was You” – Live at the BBC For “From Us To You” / 26th December, 1963 2:12
  58. “Bad to Me” – Demo 1:29
  59. “I’m in Love” – Demo 1:32
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Written by Joe Marchese

December 17, 2013 at 11:35

11 Responses

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  1. The Beatles’ “release” appears to be largely a work of fiction. If it was ever available on iTunes today in the US, it’s already been withdrawn. Perhaps it was never available here at all, but only in Europe. In any case, it would appear to be merely a cold-hearted attempted by UMG to secure the rights for another 20 years, rather than product available for sale to an always-eager public.So it appears that any serious Beatles collector will now be forced to turn to other, less legitimate sources if they wish to own this.

    ronfwnc

    December 17, 2013 at 11:53

    • I’m here in the U.S. and have the iTunes window open right now where I can purchase the set. (I also opened and closed iTunes on another computer and am able to reach the purchase page by searching “Beatles Bootleg Recordings”). That said, it will be interesting to see whether the release does disappear within a matter of hours as it has in other territories.

      That is the double-edged sword here, isn’t it? By releasing these recordings, copyright has been secured in the E.U. for another twenty years. But now the bootleggers have easy and unfettered access to better-sounding music to bootleg. A puzzlement…

      Joe Marchese

      December 17, 2013 at 11:57

      • And yes, I agree, a puzzlement. While I know that interest in this will be more limited, to put it out and then pull it back only opens the door to other ways of getting the material.

        adimike55

        December 17, 2013 at 12:34

    • It took some time, but I was able to grab it. Chances are they won’t leave it up long.

      adimike55

      December 17, 2013 at 12:32

  2. Yeah, it wasn’t there 90 minutes ago, but it sure is now. And,Merry Christmas to me, I bought it. Downloading as we speak. My first iTunes purchase, after all these years. I feel so dirty …

    ronfwnc

    December 17, 2013 at 13:22

  3. The Beatles release seemed to have been delayed while the cost was switched from $12 US (as it was when it appeared in New Zealand and parts of Europe) to the $40 it is now. However, BBC is reporting the placement on iTunes for the 1963 recordings are permanent.

    Some websites are reporting that the later recordings have a longer period before they fall into the public domain. (And given that the US Supreme Court ruled you can remove things off of public domain, it’s becoming a bit curious.) Personally, I **want** this to become an annual tradition: after fifty years, it’s not like the recordings are going to steam up the charts any more, but it does rewards the fans of such older material while forcing the artists to either come up with more retrospectives or lose out.

    Bruce, Bowie, McCartney… these are artists revisiting and expanding individual albums regularly and it’s been mostly a treat for fans (albeit expensively) to get that material because they love the original.

    Brian from Canada

    December 17, 2013 at 14:37

  4. Just like the Dylan material….the companies should just put the stuff out on real CDs and watch the sales soar. It makes no sense to just leak it to the unofficial download sites

    Kevin

    December 17, 2013 at 14:57

  5. The Beatles download is still available on iTunes as I post this at 3:00 p.m. EST. I typed “The Beatles” in the search box but the download was nowhere to be found. What you have to do is click on “The Beatles” under
    “ARTISTS AND MORE” and you’ll find it for $39.99. Here’s part of an article I found. This is all very strange indeed. They should know that the bootleggers will go crazy releasing this material if they make it available for only a few hours.

    Early reports suggest that 2 hours and 29 minutes’ worth of Beatles archive recordings appeared on iTunes sites in the early hours of Tuesday morning around the world before being taken down shortly afterwards. The staged release seems to have started in Asia, Australia and New Zealand with further reports of appearances in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Lebanon. CNN reports that the recordings briefly surfaced at midnight in the UK. None of these iTunes sites currently host the tracks. If fans didn’t download them in that brief and unadvertised window, it is already too late.

    Ernie

    December 17, 2013 at 16:03

    • Just checked iTunes at 8:00 p.m. EST 12/17 and they now have the Beatles download pictured in the new releases on their store home page. Looks like they won’t be pulling it as quickly as in other parts of the world.

      Ernie

      December 17, 2013 at 21:10

  6. £35 for a double album download. What a joke. I know where I got it from ;0)

    John

    December 18, 2013 at 08:01

  7. Bad To Me was given to Billy J. Kramer NOT TO Peter&Gordon (who also recorded I’m In Love – not released until recent decade)

    Mateusz

    December 29, 2013 at 16:45


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