Saturday, 30 July 2016

Hollywood Bowl preview

A pre-release review from a listening session.
Yosi Noz is a well known writing Beatles fan who knows the original "The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl" very well. He was recently invited to attend a listening session for the new "The Beatles Live At The Hollywood Bowl" at the Universal Music's Japanese office at Akasaka, Tokyo. Here's his account of the sonic experience, referencing the original 1977 release for comparison.

"Live at the Hollywood Bowl" - My first impression
by Yosi Noz

Yesterday, I attended a listening session for this album Luckily we could hear the entire CD through the big speakers with loud volume, incredible experience! It felt like the band was actually there, playing.
Edit-wise, they replicate the '77 album faithfully. I didn't notice differences with the spoken intros and edits of the songs between the 1977 and 2016 versions. It sounded like a remaster of the '77 album (which it actually was not, for the record). The "show" ends temporarily with "Long Tall Sally".
Then after some silence, "You Can't Do That" starts.

On this song, Giles didn't fix the backing vocals problem (they are off for a while), to my surprise.

"I Want to Hold Your Hand" is supplemented with the spoken intro by Paul (such like "Thank you very much") probably lifted from "All My Loving".

George's vocal on "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" sounded most processed with reverb, eq and maybe compression, to my ears.

Unlike on the "Real Love" single, the spoken intro for "Baby's in Black" is the actual one from the August 30 performance.

By the way, the spoken intros are added with more reverb than on the singing voices.

The flow of the original lineup to the added 4 songs did not sound very good. It may be better if they were placed somewhere in the original lineup rather than together at the end, but Giles may not like altering the order of the original album, which his loving and respected late father created back in 1977.
Sound-wise, it's more natural and powerful than the original, to my ears. Reverb is far more subtle and the audience screaming is more moderate than on the 1977 version. The bass and drums sounds really energetic and lively.

The basic stereo picture is - left: bass and drums / center: vocals / right: two guitars. But the drums also sounded from (left-) center on the 1964 recordings. Overall, an excellent live album.
The Beatles were never quite there?
Listen to this, Keith!

(This of course, refers to recently published statements by Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones that The Beatles weren't such a great live band. WogBlog)

And here's a summary of each track that Yosi originally posted in the Steve Hoffman forum:

Note that there could be errors and I may miss some obvious points.

1 Twist and Shout
MCs' introduction: Same (Now, here they are! The Beatles!)
Performance: Same (Aug 30, 65)

2 She's A Woman
(No spoken intro = same)
Performance: Same (Aug 30, 65)

3 Dizzy Miss Lizzy
Introduction by John: Same
Performance: Sounded as the same edited version of the Aug 30 and 29 recordings in the same order

4 Ticket To Ride
Introduction by Paul: Same
Performance: Same (Aug 29, 65)

5 Can't Buy Me Love
(No spoken intro = same)
Performance: Same (Aug 30, 65)

6 Things We Said Today
Introduction by George: Same
Performance: Same (Aug 23, 64)

7 Roll Over Beethoven
(No spoken intro = same)
Performance: Same (Aug 23, 64)

8 Boys
Introduction by Paul: Same (singing a song called "Boys", Ringo! )
Performance: Same (Aug 23, 64)

9 A Hard Day’s Night
Introduction by John: Same (the black and white one. etc.)
Performance: Same (Aug 30, 65)

10 Help!
Introduction by John: Same
Performance: Same "edit" of two performances
(Though it is credited as from Aug 29, I believe this is the edit of two performances.
At least the opening verse is from 30th.)

11 All My Loving
Introduction by Paul: Same (from the first Capitol album. etc.)
Performance: Same performance (Aug 23, 64)

12 She Loves You
Introduction by John: Same (some old people might remember. etc.)
Performance: Same (Aug 23, 64)

13 Long Tall Sally
Introduction by Paul: Same
Performance: Same (Aug 23, 64)
(Fades out after this)

14 You Can’t Do That
(No spoken intro)
Performance: New (Aug 23, 64)

15 I Want To Hold Your Hand
Introduction by Paul: New (Just "Thank you very much, everybody." - probably the one before "All My Loving")
Performance: New (Aug 23, 64)

16 Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby
Introduction by Paul: New (Thank you. etc. Probably the words after "I Want To Hold Your Hand")
Performance: New (Aug 30, 65)

17 Baby's In Black
Introduction by John: New (Aug 30, 65)
Performance: Same as the "Real Love" single (Aug 30, 65)

Approx. running time 44:30

The actual cover of the CD was never available at the listening party, just a facsimile of the cover photo.

"The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl" will be released on CD September 9, 2016, followed by an LP release on November 18, 2016. You may pre-order it from Amazon here (New price).

Amazon.com: CD
Amazon.com: 180g Vinyl LP

16 comments:

George Armstrong said...

I can't believe the extra 4 songs are just being tacked on to the end of the 1977 compilation line-up, almost as an afterthought totally out of context. There's more than enough space on a CD to contain two full concerts, one from each year. Sure, there would be a doubling up of three songs (Twist And Shout, Can't Buy Me Love, A Hard Day's Night), but two complete concerts with spoken intros in context and unedited banter would be a much more enjoyable listen than what we're going to get. And shouldn't the cover artwork at least show a scene from one of the Hollywood Bowl concerts? Another lost opportunity.

RHWinter said...

Once again: Apple, Capitol, the Beatles-Estate etc. - they are all either merchands, seeking for profit, or artists, seeking for reputation. NO HISTORIANS amongst the owners of the Beatles' music rights. Unfortunately.

RAJ said...

Too bad the disc is only half full with a lot of other songs that will remain unreleased sitting in the Apple archives... As for the bonus tracks being added after the original album, just think of it as an encore.

Gary Lyons said...

The bass and drums should be centered. Idiots!

Mark McKendrick said...

Keith Richards is a sad revisionist former(?) heroin addict who will never remotely approach the Beatles with his standard of musicianship as a writer or a performer.
And I'm a Stones fan.

Jimmy King said...

I love the most recent transfer of the 8/23/64 concert which was first on line and then pressed on CD by the Medusa label. Its crisp sounding with great stereo . I much prefer the entire unedited show as I do with all bootlegs. I love The Beatles and will buy the new version in September to go along with the vinyl from 1977.

DBerwick said...

Does anyone know any place to get a copy of the full complete two shows?

BWSmythe said...

It's online in the usual places ;)

Jorge Peña said...

Keith Richards is just a "Jealous Guy" haha!

Unknown said...

"It's online in the usual places ;)" And there's the rub for a newbie such as myself. What usual places might those be? Anyone care to toss me a bone? gpercy(at)gmail(dot)com

-A Beatles Fan Since 1963!

Foxx said...

I don't like the extra tracks just being put after the end of the show. I hope they took the time to join the original sides 1 and 2 and removed the fade-out and fade-in.... :-)

BWSmythe said...

Here's a bone - delete if not allowed here (though it's been running for years without interruption) - scour this: www.beatlesource.com

You'll be there for hours ;)

Unknown said...

Thanks for email and website bones!

DBerwick said...

Could someone also email me the usual places? D(dot)Berwick56(at)gmail(dot)come

Ohbodder said...

Please tell me that isn't going to be the CD artwork. We've had some rubbish album artwork in the past but that has to be the worst.

Claus Tanderup said...

@ Gary Lyons
I was puzzled about the stereo picture too... If Giles Martin has this new demix technology, why couldn't he have placed bass, drums and vocals in the middle and the two guitars left and right respectively. But on reflexion, if it was a three track recording both John's and George's guitars would have been on the same track and of course to similar sounding to be seperated, I guess. Just my 50 cents. Claus.