News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Hennes Paynter Communications

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Arts and Entertainment

A guide to those "other" Beatles records
Rarities and oddities abound... if fans know where to look

Kabir Bhatia
The Beatles were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. (L to R) George Harrison, Yoko Ono (widow of John Lennon), Ringo Starr, and Lennon's sons Julian and Sean. Paul McCartney did not attend because of what he called ongoing business differences with his former bandmates. Lennon (1994), McCartney (1999) and Harrison (2004) have all been inducted as solo artists, while producer George Martin (1999) is in as a non-performer. Manager Brian Epstein will be induced this April in Brooklyn.
Courtesy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
Next to Taylor Hicks, probably my favorite musical act is The Beatles. So much has been written about the group, it hardly seems necessary to add more. So I will end this post and see you later. KIDDING—we're paid by the letttterr here.
In 2012, EMI re-released the Beatles’ original UK albums on vinyl. Despite archival releases, the group’s “core” catalog has remained 217 songs spread over 16 CDs/LPs.
But what happens when you want more? Solo Beatle albums are obviously a good choice, and most of them have their moments. But here I discuss another option… rare albums, hard-to-find songs, or just flat-out illegal (but easy to find) bootlegs. Enjoy! And be sure to visit me in prison!
The Beatles (John, Paul, George and Pete Best) were playing another residency in Hamburg, Germany when they were drafted by Polydor Records to back up fellow British expatriate Tony Sheridan. Producer Bert Kaempfert set up the quintet in a local school auditorium and recorded several songs, one of which (“My Bonnie”) became a sizable German hit. With Sheridan singing, the Fab Four were credited as “The Beat Brothers” at the time. But in the course of the session, they managed to cut an uptempo version of the Tin Pan Alley standard “Ain’t She Sweet” (with John on lead vocal) and “Cry For a Shadow” (a Lennon-Harrison instrumental, intended to mimic the style of British mega-stars, The Shadows). The latter two songs wouldn’t come out until the height of Beatlemania, with “Ain’t She Sweet” even hitting the Top 40. Both tunes are on “Anthology 1,” but a stereo version of “Ain’t She Sweet” is on the 1974 compilation “The History Of British Rock, Volume II” (Sire SASH-3705/2); that album also includes several Lennon-McCartney songs given away to fellow Merseybeat artists.

Six months after the Tony Sheridan session, on New Year’s Day, a very hungover Fab Four entered Decca Studios in London for an audition. They played 12 covers and three originals (“Love of the Loved,” “Hello Little Girl,” “Like Dreamers Do”). The latter two originals, plus three covers (“Searchin’,” “Three Cool Cats” and “The Sheik of Araby”) are on “Anthology 1.” The rest… well, they’re easily findable on YouTube, sync’d up to images of the band (just search for “Beatles Decca audition”). If you want them on vinyl, you could buy a nice pair of early 1980s albums titled “The Silver Beatles” on Phoenix Records. OR, check out the “Deccagone” label. In 1976, some enterprising (and evil GENIUS) record presser made seven colored-vinyl 45s, compiling all the Decca audition tunes (except “Take Good Care of My Baby”). They’re all packaged in sleeves reminiscent of the mid-1960s Capitol picture sleeves. This “label” also put out an EP of 4 songs from the group’s 1963 Royal Command Performance. And Decca Records made out OK, too… George Harrison tipped them to a hot R&B group playing in London, The Rolling Stones. And except for all those friends and bandmembers dying, the Stones did OK, too.

It’s the height of Beatlemania. You’re a big, shiny executive in a bad suit at Capitol Records. There isn’t enough Beatles product coming through the pipeline. What do you do? What DO you DO?! First, get a better suit. Second, start hanging out with the Beach Boys and hope to meet some local groupies. Third, you setup to record the Beatles' performance at prestigious Carnegie Hall. BUT, the Musician’s Union says “fat chance!” To which you should respond, “that means the same thing as ‘slim chance’." Then you record the group at the Hollywood Bowl, just to mess with those New York eggheads. That’s what Capitol did that summer. And again the following summer (twice). No one was happy with the quality of the 1965 shows, either. Fast-forward to 1977, and Capitol hired Beatles producer George Martin to distill an LP from the three shows. "The Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl" hit #2 in the US and #1 in the UK. It’s never been reissued on CD, but vinyl copies are easy to find. A bootleg double-CD containing all three concerts is also floating around among collectors.  (The Beatles' other high-profile appearance that year, on "The Ed Sullivan Show," is available here, while their first U.S. concert in Washington D.C. is available here).

The Beatles launched their own record label, Apple Records, featuring their own new releases, plus albums and singles from Welsh songstress Mary Hopkin and Liverpudlian Jackie Lomax. Both of them required instrumental backing and producing/writing guidance. In Lomax’s case, his first disk was “Sour Milk Sea,” a rocking George Harrison tune written in India and featuring a band of George, Nicky Hopkins, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton. Not bad, except the tune got lost in the shuffle when it was released the same day as mega-hits “Hey Jude” and Hopkin’s “Those Were the Days.” The Beatles recorded an acoustic demo of “Sour Milk Sea” for possible inclusion on the White Album, and an enterprising music-lover with too much time on his hands (trust me, it’s a him) has combined George Harrison’s demo vocal with the rocking backing track from Lomax’s single.

Every Christmas from 1963-69, the Beatles would put out a flexi disc (those wobbly, plastic things you’d see in magazines), with holiday wishes, some off-key singing, etc. By 1968, they couldn’t be bothered to trot down to the studio and put these things together, so DJ Kenny Everett visited each group member, rolled tape, then edited it all together. Paul’s contribution in 1969 was a Christmas song, which an enterprising YouTuber has edited together. It’s catchy, too. All seven fan club messages were collected on the Apple LP "From Then To Us" (aka "The Beatles Christmas Album"). It has not been reissued on CD, but vinyl copies abound online.

Mary Hopkin’s first single to miss the British Top 10, “Que Sera Sera” was produced by Paul McCartney and apparently features a band of just him, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. The track sounds like it could have easily slotted on “Abbey Road” with more overdubs. Hopkin fever-CATCH IT!

“It Don’t Come Easy” said everyone alive then. War raged overseas, and gas had soared to 36 cents per gallon. Apollo 13 nearly met with disaster. Heather Graham was born, which almost balances the Beatles breaking up. Anyhow, Ringo Starr had a big hit with his first single, “It Don’t Come Easy,” which the label said he wrote. Labels don’t lie, but in this case, I wonder… a demo emerged about 15 years ago, which features the recording of this tune that we all know, except with George Harrison singing! It’s otherwise identical to the released version (although there are more prominent backing vocals from Badfinger, and a few measures were edited out here and there for a better flow on the released version). Published reports and foggy memories say the band consists of Ringo, George, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills and Klaus Voorman.

The Beatles are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Mick Jagger, 1988...
Listener Comments:

How interesting! My two favorite musical acts, too! But Elvis would have to tie . Thanks for the info about obscure Beatle music..............Taylor's is rare too, just not as famous.

I am not being sarcastic.....hope you aren't either.

Posted by: Katie (Los Angeles) on February 23, 2014 7:02AM
Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Cleveland RTA is moving Public Square bus stops beginning this week
I am very confused. Why are you taking one or more of the park and ride 246 out of service in the morning. I looking over the new schedule I see that there ar...

Canton school board will vote Wednesday on its high school merger
Great to see that THE REPOSITORY is advising a 'no' vote for now! Another point, besides all the Very accurate points already made against this move is the fac...

Some parents opting their students out of Common Core test
I am an 8th grader at a school in Allen County. I have just recently taken the ELA performance based assessment and found it extremely difficult. It asked me a ...

Fallout from the Ohio Supreme Court Munroe Falls ruling
The comment by Nathan Johnson from OEC is confusing. Instead of cities being 'emboldened' to craft zoning laws that were just stricken down by this ruling, comm...

Stopping sediment dumping in Lake Erie
Ah, yes, the Army Coro of Engineers, the geniuses that designed the levee system in New Orleans that has made the flooding worse due to no sediment reaching the...

Ohio charter school critic says reform bills are a good step
The cold truth is that these charter schools are offering services beyond the what the state tests can guage. Parents and students have a choice and they are ch...

State law trumps restrictions on oil and gas drilling in Munroe Falls
Justice O'Neill's quote brings up a point I wish WKSU would address: since, unlike for Federal judges, our judges here in Ohio are elected, and therefore respo...

Ohio Supreme Court invalidates local fracking bans
If Ohio has their way, Fracking Wells will be planted in the courtyard of every town. That is if the State of Ohio can profit by it...for more on how the court ...

Exploradio: The Mayan queen
Very interesting!

Ohio Department of Education recommends cutting back on time spent testing
Less administration more education. Manipulation of this tax payer has caused her to consider relocation and home schooling due to rthe facts of teachers who wa...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University