Monday, 13 January 2014

Live compilations

USA Tour Programme

Last week, we told you about a limited edition package which included reproductions of concert programmes, tickets and Beatles buttons. We've been thinking how great it would have been if they had saved these for inclusion in some live boxed sets.
How great wouldn't that be? Imagine three LP sized boxed sets, featuring live CDs and DVDs from each of the Beatles touring years, with facsimiles of concert tickets and tour programmes!
What would they contain? Here's what we could have had:

Dream boxed set

The Beatles Live Project: "Tour Years: 1964"
CD: Hollywood Bowl 1964 - one full concert from the famous performance in Los Angeles. Part of this has already been released on LP/cassette in 1977.
DVD: Washington Coliseum, Washington DC 1964 (already released on iTunes in 2010 as a bonus for those who preordered the remastered iTunes stereo UK catalogue). Plus a look at the World Tour, which saw Jimmy Nicol temporarily replace Ringo Starr as a drummer. There's lots of great footage from the Dutch chapter of the tour, with the Beatles sightseeing on the canals of Amsterdam, adding live vocals to the record playback at a TV-studio and a completely live "I Saw Her Standing There" from Blokker. Follow this with footage of the Beatles travelling through New Zealand and Australia, ending it with Ringo's triumphant return for an almost complete concert from the Festival Hall, Melbourne. The NME Poll Winners concert.
Book: Chronicling the 1964 Beatles tours with photos and an essay focusing on the Beatles concerts of this year.

Australian Tour Programme, 1964

Reproductions of tour programmes, concert tickets and a bumper poster.

The Beatles Live Project: "Tour Years: 1965"
CD: Live at Sam Houston Coliseum and Hollywood Bowl 1965.

DVD: NME Poll Winners concert 1965, Paris 1965 and Shea Stadium.
Book: Chronicling the 1965 Beatles tours with photos and an essay focusing on the Beatles concerts of this year.
Reproductions of tour programmes and concert tickets etc.

The Beatles Live Project: "Tour Years: 1966"
CD: Live at the Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan.
DVD: The best of the Budokan concerts. There's already been official releases of one of the Budokan concerts on video and laser disc in Japan, why not release it for a world wide audience? Clips from the German "Bravo Beatles Blitz Tournee", ending with the six available songs from Munich 1966. Clips from that final USA tour, including press conferences and amateur footage from Candlestick Park. The Award ceremony from the NME Poll Winners concert 1966.
Reproductions of tour programmes and concert tickets etc.

Reproduction of the Candlestick Park concert poster, 1966

Of course, there should be enough material to also release a 1963 compilation. We've got the live for radio recordings from Sweden and the soundtrack to "It's The Beatles" from the Liverpool Empire Theatre. For a DVD, the full "Drop In" performance from Stockholm, the remaining footage from "It's The Beatles", the Royal Variety Performance, "The Beatles Come To Town" film from Manchester with outtakes.

Now, wouldn't that have been an upcoming Apple/Universal Music project worthy of the band? And it could all be accomplished by using material they already have in their vaults. No new interviews need to be made, everything is there.

Paul McCartney is doing his Archive series, with beautiful books, remastered CDs, bonus CDs and DVDs. Why not the Beatles?


abbeysound said...

Good call Roger - we can only hope. You never know, we might even get Let It Be one of these days....

Anonymous said...

The short answer to the question is that 'The Beatles' is not a band but a brand ruled by a committee of committees and that ideas that arrive for approval still go via a long route which features trip-wires.

Things are getting better but ideas are always pragmatic, never ideal and that's because the ideal never gets to final approval stage unless by superhuman skills of persuasion, doubleback alleys, reverse psychologies played forward and extra cheese.

A new record company environment for the first time in 5 decades isn't helping

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile: while you're waiting, some music:

Brian Fried said...

Paul's mic malfunctioned at the Bowl in '64. Plans to release the live recording were shelved because George Martin couldn't get a proper mix and, by the time the '65 shows were done, most of those numbers were no longer active in The Beatles' repertoire.

Tokyo '66 is also awful to listen to repeatedly. This would end up in the used bins quite quickly.

More importantly, Roger, you run into the problem of repetition between years. Much as the first may excite, only fans would buy the same songs from different shows.

Live recordings will come to protect their copyright, and I suspect Apple will announce intention for a live set in 2015 to avoid losing the copyright on any 64 live recordings that don't make it onto the next Bootleg Series release. (Washington, in being part of the iTunes release, is now copyrighted as are the existing 64 recordings on the 1977 Bowl record.)

My guess is that next year will see a 4 disc set of The Beatles Live to commemorate The Beatles at Shea with one CD being Hollywood Bowl, a second being Shea, a third being Candlestick and the fourth being either Ed Sullivan appearances or the rooftop concert.

Whitcomb said...

My 6-disc live box would consist of:

CD 1: The best concert recordings spanning 1963-66, starting with that screaming din from Shea Stadium and the intro by Ed Sullivan. The goal here would be to issue a definitive live Beatles album, ranging from Shea to Munich to Sweden and points in between. My best guess is you could come up with 15 to 20 live tracks, maybe more, and avoid overlap.

Bonus tracks: Sound check and rehearsal recordings, such as the bluesy version (with harmonica)of "I Saw Her Standing There" at the Cavern Club. Plus, and this might seem like an oxymoron, the best of the Star Club tapes -- such as "I'm Talkin' About You."

CD 2: The Hollywood Bowl album as issued in 1977.

Bonus tracks: The '64 and '65 concerts in their entirety.

CD 3: The Washington Coliseum concert, quite possibly the best show the Beatles ever did. If it's available on iTunes, why not CD?

With a companion DVD of the televised show.

DVD 2: Shea Stadium concert film, with the original vocals/instrumentation, not the overdubbed version.

Bonus: Munich and Budokan concerts.

DVD 3: The Beatles' TV appearances. The entire Ed Sullivan repertoire plus Shindig!, BBC and other European TV appearances; the "Our World" telecast of "All You Need Is Love" etc.

I would hang onto the rooftop concert for a Let It Be extravaganza.

Guille said...

Hello everybody! I think in different projects:

1- Washington Concert 1964 Complete (CD + DVD + book)

2- Shea Stadium 1965 Complete (CD + DVD + book)

3- Budokan 1966 (two concerts) (CD + DVD + book)

4- The Beatles Live 1963-1966 (with a compilation of different footage and audio. With things of the previous, and a lot of others, like Liverpool 1963, London 1964/65 Paris 1964/65, Australia 1964, Germany 1966...)

david said...

Audio quality , and performance wise, the Philadelphia and Indianapolis shows are two of the best from from 64, and would make for a great release as part of a package. Doubt we'll ever see anythinh legit, however.