Move over, Ms L!

Hi all, wondering why you are looking at this jumbled up page? This is due to the fact that Facebook didn't like our url since it starts with wog, so we have been forced to move the blog. This was some time ago, and we have placed a script which would automatically send you to our new location. Obviously, this hasn't worked for all of you, since we have just finished moderating some of your comments which appeared on this site recently, and not on our new (and improved!) site. So what we're saying is head on over to our new site, and update your bookmarks!

Saturday, 14 December 2019

The Decca tape went for £62 500

Half the Decca audition tape.
Of course, mainstream media are all reporting about the most expensive item from the Beatles auction by Sotheby's which finished yesterday. John Lennon forgot a pair of round sunglasses in a car, and they went for £137,500 (USD 183 218) - a tad more than the estimated £6-8,000 the auction house expected.
But we are more interested in the music, and a tape which once belonged to Brian Epstein and consisted of half of the Decca audition session was sold for £62 500 (USD 83 281).

A 1959 Hofner President 'thinline' semi-acoustic guitar, owned by George Harrison and given to Alan Herring seems to not have attracted high enough bids.

You can check out all the auction results here.

Friday, 13 December 2019

Wonderful Christmastime

Yesterday, Paul McCartney published either a cleaned-up version or a better copy of the music video for his 1979 Christmas hit single, "Wonderful Christmastime". Or it might just be a new transfer in higher quality. The song itself also seems to be a new edit, utilising bits from the longer version. The music video features his then group, Wings, whereas the single itself is really a solo performance, which he recorded that summer. But in December, Wings went on a tour of the U.K. and performed the song live, with fake snow falling down during the performance.

I was lucky enough to attend Paul's performance at the O2 in London last year, where he and his band were joined by the Capital Children's choir for this song, and again, fake snow fell during the song. Now that would have been the highlight of the evening, if it wasn't for the fact that after the song, he announced Ringo Starr on the stage.

This is one of McCartney's songs that tends to divide his fans into two camps, those who love it and those who hate it. I've always enjoyed it for what it is, it's a Christmas song, just like "Mary Had A Little Lamb" and "We All Stand Together" were children's songs.

It has been a staple and constantly radio played each Christmas in the U.K. alongside Lennon's "Happy X-mas (War is over)" ever since, that's for sure - but I'm not sure if that's the case in the U.S.A.

If McCartney has really dug into his video archives and transferred further music videos to the digital domain in higher quality, that's a good thing. The company Keefco, who produced his music videos at the time, was also responsible for the "Back To The Egg" TV special, and that is one of the gems we are hoping to see in a future release of that album in his Archives series. In an interview, Paul recently revealed that he had listened to the song "Arrow Through Me" from "Back To The Egg" for the first time in a long while, another clue to the next Archives release?

Another indication that something is going on in the music video department, is that the Linda McCartney account on YouTube has been publishing music videos of her songs these past few weeks.

Paul McCartney released a DVD compilation of a number of his music videos back in 2007, called "The McCartney Years". perhaps the time is right for an upgrade to Blu-ray - and Dolby Atmos.

Friday, 6 December 2019

The Beatles on People And Places October - December 1962

This just in from Mark Ashworth: A Friday night treat for you all.

The audio of the Beatles' appearances on Granada TV's People and Places were recorded by Adrian Killen, a 16 year old fan from Kirkdale on a reel to reel deck wired to the TV Speaker.

It was sold at auction and purchased by Apple in the 1990s. If I recall correctly the going rate at that time was £2000 per track.

Thirty years after I was allowed to hear the sample tape, I can tonight proudly present that same tape to you!

I've long since questioned why none of these recordings made it on to the Anthology CDs as the quality is great. Why Apple buy these things and then don't do anything with them is beyond me.

As per the photo below, note that John sang Love Me Do without his guitar and Ringo's drum break in the middle harmonica solo isn't too dissimilar from the Pete Best take on Anthology 1.

Some Other Guy is just wonderful and you can hear the madness at the end of track when, by prior arrangement John and Paul threw their hands above their heads and started whooping!


Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Kevin Howlett interviews Sean Magee

For "From Me To You", a Norwegian sleeve was duplicated.
The Beatles just published an interview on their YouTube account, where Kevin Howlett and Sean Magee are having a conversation about the process of making new originals to press the 2019 Beatles singles from. 

Ever since the original "Ringo-version" was lost very early on, later releases featuring this version of "Love Me Do" has had to rely on needledrops from an original single, starting with Ron Furmanek's Canadian "Love Me Do" single, which was used for the Capitol album "The Beatles Rarities" in 1980. Later releases of the Ringo version has occurred on "Past Masters", "Mono Masters", the 1982 20th anniversary 12"-single and the 2012 50th anniversary single (after having mistakenly used the Andy White-version on a first pressing). It turns out that the source record they wanted to use for "Love Me Do" this time, had some distortion in the harmonica solo, so Magee had to drop in about a second from a Swedish pressing.

There was also a drop in volume on "She Loves You", so Magee had to resort to fixing that in the digital domain. Apart from that, the only other songs that has been mastered digitally was "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love", but those were recorded digitally from the beginning, by Jeff Lynne.

Preparations for remastering was however also done digitally with each single, before cutting the actual tapes. All the efforts had as a goal to make the listening experience as close to listening to the original the sixties pressings as possible.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Decca tape for sale at Sotheby's

The famous spool of tape from the Decca audition.
A tape with part of The Beatles' famous unsuccessful audition for Decca Records is now the subject of an auction sale.

"This precious tape holds a special place in the annals of music history,” says Dr. Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s Books and Manuscripts Specialist. “This is a unique recording from the Beatles’ first commercial for Decca on New Year’s Day 1962—one of the first fruits of Brian Epstein's management and a huge opportunity for the young band.”

Under Epstein’s management, the yet-to-be discovered band recorded 15 songs for the record company during the Jan. 1 session. Unfortunately, this tape - which once belonged to Epstein himself - only holds seven of the fifteen songs.

Sotheby's description:
0.25 inch (6.35mm) open reel magnetic tape on a 5 inch (127mm) Phillips brand spool labelled "2" in ball-point, carrying c.15 minutes 20 seconds mono recording at 7.5 inches/second, of The Beatles performing seven songs ('Money', 'The Sheik of Araby', 'Memphis Tennessee', Three Cool Cats', 'Sure to Fall (in Love with You)', 'September in the Rain', and Like Dreamers Do') at Decca Studios, London, on 1 January 1962, housed in a contemporary box (Emitape, for a 5.75 inch spool) labelled "2" and "THE BEATLES" in ballpoint on the base; now housed in a collector's bespoke cloth box; end of tape frayed and brittle with 280mm detached; [with:] CD transfer, letters of provenance and authenticity

Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn has confirmed that this version of the Decca recording is unique: "The ending of Three Cool Cats is a single bass note longer than any version we've had before. The song September in the Rain is four seconds longer than any of the circulated versions as it includes a vocal line which is always edited out. These tiny differences do mark out the tape as original to Brian Epstein, not something created from any other known-to-exist source" (private communication, 2018).

The tape has been the property of Brian Epstein's nephew, Henry Epstein. Sotheby's estimate a sales price of 50,000 - 70,000 GBP. Online bidding opens 6 Dec 2019 at 03:00 PM CET.

The Beatles auction comprises 25 interesting lots, like clothes worn by The Beatles and John Lennon's toaster!

Link: Sotheby's

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Dezo Hoffmann museum opened

Dezo Hoffmann was the first professional London based photographer the Beatles worked with on a regular basis. Their association was mainly in 1963, although Hoffmann also travelled with them to France and USA in early 1964. 

Many of the photos Dezo took of them were used on promotional material, concert programmes, memorabilia and in the "Meet The Beatles" magazine, as well as on the collector's gum cards of the early years.

Gum cards, mainly by Dezo Hoffmann.

Meet The Beatles magazine, Dezo Hoffmann's photos.
In the early eighties, Hoffmann guested TV-shows in the U.K., USA and Australia, showing some of the amateur films he had made during photo sessions with the Beatles. And often, scenes in these films were shot by the Beatles themselves. After having been introduced to amateur film cameras, the Beatles all bought similar equipment and began filming themselves, mainly on holidays.

In Dezo Hoffmann's photo studio in Soho, London.
Originally of Slovakian origin, Hoffmann spoke with a thick accent. Now, in the 250 years old house where he was born in 1912 in the city of Banská Štiavnica, a museum dedicated to him has opened. After twelve years of reconstruction, its current owners, brothers Michal and Šimon Šafařík, decided to open the house to the public, regional daily My Žiar reported. Their primary interest was to create a museum about Dežo Hoffmann with his original photos and personal objects they gained from his daughter and other sources.

The owners want to organise events connected to this Hoffmann museum, such as various workshops. Besides the museum, accommodation is also a possibility.

Dezo Hoffmann

Dezo Hoffmann
Hoffmann was born in 1912 in Banská Štiavnica, which was then located in the Kingdom of Hungary (hence, Dezo has always been referred to as being of Hungarian origin), but what with the changing borders, the town is now in Slovakia. After studying journalism in Prague, Hoffmann worked at Twentieth Century Fox in Paris as a photojournalist. During Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia he was sent to make a documentary of the invasion. After returning from Africa he was sent to Spain to film the 1936 People's Olympiad (a protest against the official Olympic games in Berlin under Hitler's propaganda). Soon after he arrived in Spain, the civil war broke out and Dezo found himself on the barricades. In this period he met personalities such as Hemingway and Robert Capa. Allegedly the three men formed an inseparable trio.

Facing war dangers Dezo was injured a few times. The third injury was serious, leaving him without memory for several months. After recovery he moved to England and joined the squadron of Czechoslovak pilots flying with the RAF during World War II.

After the war he remained in London, working for various newspapers and magazines. In 1955 he began his collaboration with Record Mirror magazine, which was the start of his career photographing show-business celebrities.

In 1962 he went to Liverpool to shoot an unknown but promising group - The Beatles. Mutual appreciation and sympathy led to a long-lasting relationship between Hoffmann and the group. 

During the following years Hoffmann's famous photos of The Beatles attracted the attention of many other stars. He was regarded as a "nice chap" who was appreciated and welcomed wherever he went despite his strong foreign accent. 

Hoffmann also took photos of many other showbiz personalities over the years, among them The Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield, Charlie Chaplin, Sophia Loren, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Laurence Olivier, The Kinks, The Shadows, Tom Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, Bob Marley, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Elton John, Omar Sharif and Pink Floyd.

Hoffmann sold 100 of his Beatles negatives to Australian Colin Kaye whose Silver K Art Infinitum continues to manage sales of editioned archival prints from them. The remainder of Dezo's archive of approximately 1 million photographs of countless pop musicians and showbiz personalities was acquired by Rex Features,the photo agency and photo library which had represented Dezo for worldwide media sales of his work from the early 1960s until his death.

Dezo Hoffmann died on 29 March 1986 aged 73 in the Harley Street Clinic, London. 

During preparations for the Beatles' Anthology series, their Apple company bought the rights and negatives to Hoffmann's Beatles photos, and have used them for promotions as well as for record sleeves ever since. Hoffman's photo collection of the Beatles has been on display at the Egri Road Beatles Múzeum in Hungary since 2015.

Both of the BBC albums featured Hoffmann's photos.
In 1967, a film student made a documentary about Dezo. Part 1 can be found on YouTube. Unfortunately, copyright restrictions have prevented the second part to be published there.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Trace the bass

The last time we saw Paul with this bass was in this clip from a "Let It Be" outtake. © Apple Films Ltd.
German Instrument makers Höfner have launched a campaign though social media, hoping to retrieve information about the whereabouts of Paul McCartney's first bass guitar.

The bass guitar was bought in Hamburg, Germany in the spring of 1961 after Paul had decided to switch to bass after the departure of the Beatles' original bass guitarist, Stuart Sutcliffe. Pursuing his love of arts, Sutcliffe elected to stay in Hamburg with his German girlfriend Astrid, and study painting.

McCartney used the bass guitar on the Beatles' recordings until he got a new Höfner violin bass in 1963 from the UK company Selmer, who imported Höfner instruments to Great Britain. Still using the original bass guitar from 1961 as a back up on tours, it was also on display in the music videos for "Revolution" and "The Ballad of John and Yoko", the latter featured an outtake from the "Let It Be" film.

Although we have heard rumours about the whereabouts of the guitar, Nick Wass, Marketing Manager at Höfner is not interested in conspiracy theories or hearsay, only facts.

The campaign has a web page and a hashtag for social media, #tracethebass. You can find more information about what the bass guitar looks like on

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Singles box due Nov 22


  • Pre-order at

  • We are proud to announce the release of this collectible box set presenting 46 tracks on 23 7-inch vinyl singles, in faithfully reproduced international picture sleeves, accompanied by a 40-page booklet with photos, ephemera, and detailed essays by Beatles historian Kevin Howlett. 
  • These singles, plus an exclusive new double A-side single for the mid-1990s-issued tracks “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love,” are newly remastered from their original multi-track master tapes and cut for vinyl at Abbey Road Studios for a new limited edition boxed set.
  • The Singles Collection will be released worldwide on November 22 by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe.
1962 [sleeve art: U.S.]
1A: Love Me Do
2B: P. S. I Love You
1963 [sleeve art: Chile]
1A: I Want To Hold Your Hand
2B: This Boy
1963 [sleeve art: Greece]
1A: She Loves You
2I'll Get You
1963 [sleeve art: Italy]
1A: Please Please Me
2B: Ask Me Why
1963 [sleeve art: Norway]
1A: From Me To You
2B: Thank You Girl
1964 [sleeve art: Austria]
1A: Can't Buy Me Love
2B: You Can't Do That
1964 [sleeve art: Holland]
1A: A Hard Day's Night 
2B: Things We Said Today
1964 [sleeve art: Sweden]
1A: I Feel Fine 
2B: She's A Woman
1965 [double A-side / sleeve art: France]
1A: We Can Work It Out 
2A: Day Tripper
1965 [sleeve art: Belgium]
1A: Help!
2B: I'm Down
1965 [sleeve art: Spain]
1A: Ticket To Ride 
2B: Yes It Is
1966 [double A-side / sleeve art: Argentina]
1A: Eleanor Rigby 
2A: Yellow Submarine
1966 [sleeve art: Turkey]
1A: Paperback Writer 
2B: Rain
1967 [double A-side / sleeve art: Australia]
1A: Strawberry Fields Forever
2A: Penny Lane
1967 [sleeve art: Mexico]
1A: Hello, Goodbye 
2B: I Am The Walrus
1967 [sleeve art: West Germany]
1A: All You Need Is Love 
2B: Baby, You're A Rich Man
1968 [sleeve art: Japan]
1A: Lady Madonna 
2B: The Inner Light
1968 [sleeve art: South Africa]
1A: Hey Jude 
2B: Revolution
1969 [sleeve art: Denmark]
1A: Get Back
2B: Don't Let Me Down
1969 [sleeve art: Israel]
1A: Something 
2B: Come Together
1969 [sleeve art: Portugal]
1A: The Ballad Of John And Yoko 
2B: Old Brown Shoe
1970 [sleeve art: UK]
1A: Let It Be 
2B: You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
1995 / 1996 [exclusive double A-side single / sleeve art: worldwide]
1A: Free As A Bird [1995]
2A: Real Love [1996]

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Singles boxed set

Front cover, as published on Amazon France.
French Amazon has revealed the front cover of the upcoming boxed set of the Beatles' UK singles (vinyl) boxed set. The set will comprise the original 22 British singles from "Love Me Do" to "Let It Be", plus an extra single containing "Free As A Bird"/"Real Love". We have been led to believe that no remastering or remixing has taken place.

The single sleeves will be inspired by various foreign picture sleeves from countries like Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Italy, Norway, Spain, Belgium, France, Japan etc. This is a limited edition boxed set like the Christmas Collection from a couple of years ago. Due out November 15th. We have received the following tentative information about the single sleeves. Some of the information may be wrong.

7" Singles Collection
01 : Love Me Do  - P. S. I Love You [Cover art from USA]
02 : Please Please Me - Ask Me Why [Cover art from Italy]
03 : From Me To You - Thank You Girl [Cover art from Norway]
04 : She Loves You - I'll Get You [Cover art from Germany]
05 : I Want To Hold Your Hand - This Boy [Cover art from Chile]
06 : Can't Buy Me Love - You Can't Do That [Cover art from Argentina]
07 : A Hard Day's Night - Things We Said Today [Cover art from Holland]
08 : I Feel Fine - She's A Woman  [Cover art from Spain]
09 : Ticket To Ride - Yes It Is [Cover art from Sweden]
10 : Help! - I'm Down [Cover art from Belgium]
11 : We Can Work It Out - Day Tripper [Cover art from France]
12 : Paperback Writer - Rain [Cover art from Thailand]
13 : Eleanor Rigby - Yellow Submarine [Cover art from Argentina]
14 : Strawberry Fields Forever - Penny Lane [Cover art from Denmark]
15 : All You Need Is Love - Baby, You're A Rich Man [Cover art from Germany]
16 : Hello, Goodbye - I Am The Walrus [Cover art from Belgium]
17 : Lady Madonna - The Inner Light [Cover art from Japan]
18 : Hey Jude - Revolution [Cover art from Spain]
19 : Get Back - Don't Let Me Down [Cover art from Portugal]
20 : The Ballad Of John And Yoko - Old Brown Shoe [Cover art from Mexico]
21 : Something - Come Together [Cover art from Italy]
22 : Let It Be - You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) [Cover art from UK]
23 : Free As A Bird - Real Love [Cover art from: World Wide]

Friday, 11 October 2019

Grow old with Ringo

Here's a sample track from Ringo Starr's new album, "What's My Name". The track is "Grow Old With Me" - the John Lennon composition - and it seems to suit Ringo fine. Paul McCartney is guest starring on bass guitar and backing vocals.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Auction results from Omega auctions' Beatles collection

Wings over Europe tour bus. Photo courtesy of Omega Auctions.
In yesterday's auction, the most anticipated item was Wings' tour bus from the 1972 tour of Europe. It was also the final item in the auction, and the asking price for the opening bid was a mere £10,000. The bus was estimated by the auction house to sell somewhere between £15,000 - £25,000.

After the tour, the bus eventually ended up at outside a rock cafe in Tenerife - a Spanish island off the coast of Africa - before being moved to the cafe owner's garden. "I went to visit them about 10 years ago and saw this thing rotting away in his back garden," current owner Justin James told BBC News. "I said, 'I want it.'"I didn't know what I was going to do with it, I just thought that it should not be rotting away on the wastelands of Tenerife. It took eight years to bring it back (to Oxfordshire) because it was in such a difficult part to get to, how it was buried in this field. We got cranes and I managed to get it back."

Mr James hoped to use it for musical children's tours, but that plan didn't work out. He is now emigrating to Australia next month. "I reckon someone could get that engine going, but I'm not that person unfortunately," he said. Mr James said he had spent £25,000 on costs relating to the bus, and if it was to fetch more than that he will donate any profit to the Arms Around the Child charity, of which he is a trustee. As the bus didn't attract any bids at all, the future of the bus is anyone's guess.

A surprise hit sale at the auction was an old street sign for Abbey Road. Estimated to sell between £1,500 - £2,500, a frenzied bidding war landed it at a whooping  £6,000!

Sold for a surprising sum of £6 000.
This in contrast to some really interesting items which went unsold, like the three canisters of rare films with interviews and rarely seen footage, two of the films being from the Beatles visit with the Maharishi in Bangor, Wales, the weekend their manager was found dead in London. One of the films was estimated at £1,000 - £2,000 and also featured Mick Jagger, the other at £5,000 - £10,000.

The Beatles on stage in Bangor, Wales.
Description: Black and white film 16mm reel complete with audio featuring footage of The Beatles arriving in Bangor with the MaharIshi Mahesh Yogi during August of 1967. This footage is thought to be the only copy in existence and has not been seen since it was recorded back in 1967. The film last just over 3 minutes and begins with the Maharishi walking with The Beatles behind him whilst he receives flowers from the public. The interviewer steps in at this point and asks "What is it that you preach?" followed by "You seem to have caught the imagination of the Pop stars in this country" to which the Maharishi replies "What is this Pop Stars?" before realising and saying "You mean The Beatles!?". He then explains how he finds The Beatles very intelligent who can use meditation to help lead the next generation forward with peace and love. The film then cuts to all four Beatles sat on stage with the interviewer asking questions such as "Do You Feel any better for it now?, In What Way? Have you tried meditation? and Can you look upon yourself as mediators now?". The Beatles are quite taken aback when the interviewer asks "Do you take it seriously this Cult?" to which George replies "It isn't a cult and of course we take it seriously otherwise we wouldn't all be here", Paul then adds "It is only you that isn't taking it seriously - everyone else here is" to much laughter in the audience. The interviewer is clearly struggling a little at this point and his final question asks them "that it must have cost them to come hear and they must have broken at least 3 engagements to come to Bangor" to which John replies "that is nonsense as they haven't had any engagements for the last year!" again much to the amusement of the audience. The film then cuts to the Maharishi leaving. The following day news came through that Brian Epstein had died and The Beatles had to cut short what was going to be a 10 day conference on meditation.

The third film canister contained in excellent quality a black and white film 16mm reel complete with audio featuring an interview with The Beatles at the Capitol Theatre in Cardiff on the 12th December 1965. This is thought to be the only copy of this interview in existence and it has not been seen since broadcast back in 1965. It was also estimated to sell between £5,000 - £10,000, but all the three items went unsold.

The Beatles in Cardiff, still from film.
Description from the catalogue: This incredibly amusing interview lasts just over 4 minutes with all four Beatles getting involved and having a good laugh both amongst themselves and with the interviewer. Jokes are made throughout this long interview in which the male interviewer asks an excellent mix of questions - at one point he asks them "What is your favourite number that you have recorded" and John responds by saying "Satisfaction". When asked "Why do you still do keep performing and recording?" all four burst into a rendition of "There's no business like show business". They are in high spirits throughout the interview in which they discuss things such as who writes the songs and music, future films they might be working on, marriage, their children (Paul jokes that he has five children in Swansea who all want to know when he is getting married) and much more. Check out a 30 second clip here.

Some interesting items which did get sold were audio recordings like a tape containing two takes of "I'm So Tired" from 1968, authenticated by Ken Scott. Sold without copyright, this went for £500, half of its lowest estimated sales price. The same holds for a tape containing a couple of "Let It Be" session takes of "Dig a Pony" and "I've Got A Feeling", but by the description we feel we have heard these on bootlegs.

A cassette recording featuring George Harrison from 1978 again went unsold.

A cassette with unheard and unreleased George-related contents, including a song he wrote.

For a complete list of the items, which also contained signed material, records, photos and other memorabilia, we advice you to have a look at the official auction site: Omega Auctions Beatles Collection.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Listen again to the Beatles from the BBC Radio 2 pop-up

Off the air but programmes still accessible for a while, radio 2 Beatles.
The BBC Radio 2 special Beatles pop-up channel has gone off the air, but you can still access the programmes they sent online for a while. This you'll do by surfing to this website, which will give you a list of the programmes, so that you can select the ones you want to listen to.
Among the contents: "I was there": Time witnesses talking, DJ Tony Blackburn, Pattie Boyd, Gillian Reynolds and Marty Wilde. The story of the recording of the Abbey Road album presented by "Yesterday" actor Himesh Patel in two episodes, an hour long presentation of each Beatle's solo career, a 2-hour stroll through BBC's radio archive of Beatles recordings, a reprise of the radio documentary of the Day John met Paul etc.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Giles Martin about remixing Abbey Road

A tribute from Volkswagen

New VW ad.
Seems it's not only the Beatles, Apple, Universal and radio stations who are celebrating 50 years since the Abbey Road album, now Volkswagen have joined in!

The Swedish branch of the Volkswagen company have produced an ad featuring the Abbey Road scene of 2019, with a correctly parked white VW Beetle. You may recall that in the original Abbey Road cover, the Beetle was parked partly on the pavement.

The original VW Beetle.
The ad is to promote Volkswagen's new park assist system, which detects vacant spaces large enough for your vehicle, and automatically manouvres your car into that space - parallell parking made easy.

Volkswagen Sweden have also produced a limited number of empty album covers with this new image, which they are selling for SEK 179 plus SEK 50 for worldwide postage. All the money go to Bris - a children's rights organisation.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Abbey Road – What’s new?

Alternate "Get Back" photo recreates the "Please Please me" cover. Tue May 13, 1969. Photo by Angus McBean.
This is a look at the extra material added to the 50th anniversary edition of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album, besides the obviously new stereo mix of the original album (which you can find Bruce Spizer discussing here).

In this article, regardless of differences in sound quality, we learn what’s new and unheard, even on bootlegs.

By Mike Carrera

Disc 2: Sessions

Abbey Road Super DeLuxe Edition - out September 27

1. I Want You (She's So Heavy) [Trident Recording Session & Reduction Mix] – 7:01

00:00 – 00:37: This track opens with the final part of an early unknown breakdown take, George Martin is heard, saying "Take 4 was very good" after the breakdown and John replies "Which was Take 4?".. the chat between them continues.
00:38 – 3:17: Glyn Johns is heard, saying: "Is it possible without affecting yourselves too much to turn down a little?"  A neighbour is complaining about the noise, and after so much talk between John, Paul and Glyn about the complaint, John says "Last chance to be loud!.. who says?". One minute and 30 seconds after the track starts, Take 32 begins, one of the three takes used to create the final master (The used takes being nos 9, 20 and 32 although none of them are mentioned in Kevin Howlett’s notes).
3:18 – 7:01: combines take 32 with a reduction mix where we can hear Billy Preston’s organ overdub and John’s moog (on right channel) upfront and with many differences plus we have the full ending.
Howlett reports that a newly discovered "faster version" was also recorded on February 23 at Trident Studios.

2. Goodbye (Home Demo) - 2:21

Clearly taken from the acetate but has been cleaned up as good as possible, yet still volume fluctuations several places, just like the circulating acetate source which we have had for ages.

3. Something (Studio Demo) - 3:34

Two versions have been previously available: with and without piano overdub. The first can be heard on Anthology 3, the second on many bootleg releases taken from an acetate. This version is the one with the piano overdub, and besides the much better audio quality compared with this acetate found on bootlegs, the only really new stuff here is the engineer’s intro "Something, this is take one" and some guitar warm-up before the demo take starts and George’s question "are we going?", plus the final five seconds after the final piano chord.

4. The Ballad of John and Yoko (Take 7) - 3:35

NEW One of the highlights of the Deluxe Box Set.
00:00 – 00:04 : It opens with dialogue, perhaps after Take 1 or 2 of John trying to speak some Spanish/English/French words to assistant Mal to tell him a string has broken: "Un string avec caput Mal".
00:05 – 00:14: Some dialogue before Take 4 can be heard: "It got a bit faster Ringo!" (according to Howlett but it sounds more like: "It’s gotta be faster, Ringo!" (John to Paul who quietly laughs). "Ok George!" he replies.
00:15 – end: After this we are treated to the full Take 7, with John on vocals and acoustic guitar and Paul on drums. At the end, an enthusiastic John screams "yeahhh we’ll have it, we’ll have it!" while Paul jams on the drums. John also says it’s not "the one" because he "came out before, that’s all right".

5. Old Brown Shoe (Take 2) - 3:13

NEW Very similar to the released take (without the organ and lead guitar overdubs)

6. Oh! Darling (Take 4) - 3:28

NEW and can be heard here, Billy Preston is included in the recording credits and can be heard playing the organ on this early take, contradicting previous information that he only overdubbed his organ part onto Take 26 but which was not used in the final mix.

7. Octopus's Garden (Take 9) - 1:43

An unheard breakdown take, the track starts with Ringo saying "That was superb… right George?". "That was superb" can be heard at the end of Take 2 on Anthology 3 as an edit with Take 8, thus the new bit will only be "right George?" Ten seconds of talk between Ringo and John after the take breaks down that can be heard here have been available as part of the Rockband bits (or bootlegs), but there it lasts an extra 35 seconds longer than on this new release.

8. You Never Give Me Your Money (Take 36) - 5:15

The Track starts with a small jam with Paul saying this phrase twice "Ok you win, I’m in love with you!" from Mayme Watts and Sidney Wyche’s 50’s classic “Alright, Okay, You Win” (recorded by Ella Johnson, Peggy Lee and Joe Williams among others). The chat continues and at some point Paul changes the title to "You never Give me Your Coffee". After a false start where both George and Paul almost at same time reminds Glynn Johns to turn off the Leslie speaker, take 36 starts at 0:58. Sadly this take fades out (at 5:15) so we are not allowed to hear the long jam at the end (if any), which is available on bootlegs sourced from an early mix and a few writers reported could be an edit of takes 30 and 36. Neither Kevin Howlett nor Mark Lewisohn mention any jam or edit between takes 30 and 36, both only comment that Take 30 was the one used for overdubs, so maybe there was never an edit of two takes. But the crucial fact here is that there is an early fade out so maybe we'll never know if Takes 30 and Takes 36 both had a long jam at the end.

9. Her Majesty (Takes 1-3) - 1:33

A very quick session and all three are full takes, dialogue after take 1 "Oh, thank you, ladies and gentlemen" has already been available from the Rockband bits and take 3 with the final guitar chord has also been available on bootlegs for ages.

10. Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight (Takes 1-3 / Medley) - 3:20

"Take 1" which can be heard (with voice over) on the mixing desk at Abbey Road with Paul, George Ringo and George Martin as part of DVD 5 of The Beatles‘ Anthology (and on many bootlegs since) is actually take 2 and it's the very same take 2 here, same bits, same breakdown. The actual take 1 is Paul starting "Golden Slumbers" with "The Fool on the Hill" and can be heard now, along with another breakdown, take 3. Not really a "medley" but the actual takes 1-3 (all incomplete).

11. Here Comes the Sun (Take 9) - 3:40

Interesting without the drum fills and with George’s guide vocal. This take has a thirty seconds longer middle eight than the released version.

12. Maxwell's Silver Hammer (Take 12) - 4:41

A small fraction of chat heard over the intro and end can be heard as well on the Rockband bits (Paul and Ringo practicing the drum-intro and Ringo’s comment "George Harrison is resting his arm" among them). This alternate take is similar to the one on Anthology 3.

Disc 3: Sessions

1. Come Together (Take 5) - 3:27

A segment from this take 5 (from 2:50 – 2:59) was booted as "take 4" coming from the Rockband bits where it was linked with the "take 5" slate after the breakdown, but everything is actually Take 5.
The actual take 4 - a breakdown take - is heard here from 00:00 – 00:05
The dialogue before Take 5 starts at 00:07 – 00:12 and was also available from Rockband but goes on longer here; also available before is the dialogue at the end from 3:08 – 3:12
Different breakdowns from other takes are on the Rockband bits (a mashup of chats and incomplete takes in no particular order, it seems, which is why all bootlegs have incorrect track names or take numbers).

2. The End (Take 3) - 2:08

Another highlight from this new release. An initial warm up jam from another take is heard from 00:00 – 00:27
From 00:28 – 2:11, we can hear Take 3. At this point the instrumental lasted 1:19 with the extended (and very different) drum solo for 17 seconds (that was edited down to 15 seconds on the final master Take 7 by Geoff Emerick. Howlett doesn’t even mention this, so maybe it wasn’t true?) at some point during this drum solo (1:00) we can hear with headphones Paul talking " coming?" and at 1:01 someone is shouting something like "heeeyyyy, Ringo!". The piano part at the end has yet to be recorded. At the end of this Take 3 George Martin tells Ringo "hard work, isn’t it?"

3. Come and Get It (Studio Demo) - 2:39

"Red Light!" says Paul, "Demo, take one" calls the engineer and there's also five seconds of chat after the song is over. That’s the only new stuff here, but this is also a very different mix (the original mix was made right after the demo was recorded) from the one released on Anthology 3, plus many bootlegs with the unreleased Sessions LP mixes.

4. Sun King (Take 20) - 3:14

00:00 – 00:31: Session chat after take 10
00:32 – 3:14 is Take 20, with a (barely audible) guide vocal from John.

5. Mean Mr. Mustard (Take 20) - 1:34

This time with a loud guide vocal from John, playing with the lyrics, replying his own words with things like "Yes, she does", "Yes, she is", "Yes, he does", "Yes, he is", also adding "God Save The Queen" twice during some verses. Sister "Shirley" is still present here, before the name was changed to "Pam".

6. Polythene Pam (Take 27) - 1:39

The take starts with John comparing Ringo’s drumming to The Dave Clark Five and also adds "It’s like being Tommy in here!" (The Who’s "Tommy"). A guide vocal track is also present as well as an embryonic guitar solo.

7. She Came In Through the Bathroom Window (Take 27) - 2:06

With Paul’s guide vocal track. When the lyrics go "And so I quit the police…", George or John briefly joins in.

8. Because (Take 1 / Instrumental) - 3:04

A very beautiful instrumental take with Ringo’s clapping carrying the rhythm and it even goes longer after the take has ended.
Ringo’s count-in was already available from the Rockband mix as well the dialogue at the end of the take, mixed completely different here but is longer at Rockband:  John: "How was it?". George Martin suggests the harpsichord level should be lower and Ringo states "Less harpsichord, Geoff (Emerick)" and John adds "is my hair alright, Geoff?".

9. The Long One
(‘You Never Give Me Your Money’, ’Sun King’/’Mean Mr Mustard’, ‘Her Majesty’, ‘Polythene Pam’/’She Came In Through The Bathroom Window’, ’Golden Slumbers’/ ’Carry That Weight’, ’The End’) - 16:06

In beautiful stereo to highlight all the differences between this early mix (created July 30, 1969) and the final versions, like the extra harmonies in "You Never Give Me Your Money" erased on the official version during the "Out of college" verse to give an example; missing extra overdubs on several songs recorded days later, the alternate vocal during "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight", missing orchestrations, missing vocals ("The End", for example) etc. But the main difference is that we now have the REAL "Long One" medley, with "Her Majesty" in the middle. This is Stereo Remix 2 (RS2) in full for the first time.
Note: Stereo Remix 1 for each song separately was done also on this day, before assembling the medley.

The version on bootlegs (in mono and poor sound quality) is a legit edit of this very same alternate rough mix but without "Her Majesty", made by second engineer John Kurlander, also on July 30, 1969 after Paul decided he didn’t like "Her Majesty", so it was cut out from the medley. Some bootleg makers inserted "Her Majesty" back in to recreate “The Long One” but the sound levels on the bootlegs containing this fake medley betrays that the inserted song doesn’t belong there, as "Her Majesty" sounds much better, and the medley then returns to the poorer sound once "Polythene Pam" enters.
Both this new 2019 official release and the version on bootlegs, starts with the engineer calling "RS2".

10. Something (Take 39 / Instrumental / Strings Only) - 2:38

Although the orchestral track can be heard on some 5.1 mixes or multi tracks, the strings are combined with the organ at some points, here they are isolated for the very first time.

11. Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight (Take 17 / Instrumental / Strings & Brass Only) - 3:17

Even though the orchestral track is already available, coming from the Rockband files, this comes directly from the multitrack tape, George Martin can be heard in the distance at the very beginning, saying "Do it again" and the end is not truncated like it is on the bootlegs (because the original file is linked there with "The End", so the orchestral levels end earlier)