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Bootleg Corner Gets Back To Where You Once Belong

Hey Avocados, Kevzero here thanks for stopping by, and welcome to Bootleg Corner. A, still deciding how regularly, post dedicated to the semi-authorized records. Throughout the years I’ve amassed a rather large collection of bootleg CDs, vinyl, downloads, even the occasional cassette; from live recordings to outtake sessions. So I’ve decided to create a space here to occasionally review some them  for you, and a place for other fans of Recordings Of Indiscriminate oRigin(RIORs) to gather together

This Week: 

The Beatles. A/B Road The Complete Get Back Sessions  (83 Compact Discs!)

Label: Purple Chick (Holland?) 

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Track List:

 No offense, dear readers, I’m not writing  track lists for 83(!!!) CDs

Full Length: 

97:44:07

Liner Notes: Unfortunately, none

Performance: A+

This is the entire (in)famous “Get Back” Nagra Reels. In 1969, from January 3rd to January 31st,  virtually every single moment, almost 100 hours, of the Beatles rehearsal and recording sessions, between the studios at Twickenham and Saville Road, were recorded for what would become the movie “Let It Be”. It’s always great, in my opinion, to hear the creative process of The Beatles even as they themselves are falling apart.

Recording: A-

For the first part of the month, at Twickenham Film Studios in London, the performances were only preserved on small 16 minute long mono tapes, “Nagra” reels, that were recorded for use as the film soundtrack. Two different tape recorders were running, running off the same feed, resulting in what was termed “A” and “B” roll Nagra recordings. The “A” rolls generally ran the full 16 minute length of the tape. The “B” rolls were more fragmentary, but often captured performances or dialogue missed while the “A” roll operator was changing reels. Shifting to Apple Studios on January 21st, producer/engineer  Glyn Johns began recording multi-track tapes of The Beatles’ sessions which sometimes captured performances not heard on either the “A” or “B” roll Nagra recordings. The compliers of  this collection edited the “A” and “B” rolls together in sequence. There’s some technical problems with some of the recording; every so often there’s loud random beeps, but for the most part it’s direct from the source and recorded with professional equipment. 

Highlights:

There’s a lot of versions of songs on here that are as good, if not better, as anything on either the official album “Let It Be” or the “naked” album. And it’s not just “Let It Be”, there are early versions of songs that would become “Abbey Road” at these sessions as well. This collection might just be one the best examples of the creative process of, not just the Beatles, but of music in general; both the good and bad.

George’s “All Things Must Pass” which is in my opinion the greatest song The Beatles never released. Paul apparently didn’t like it in favor of “Dig A Pony”. Though the solo Harrison version is excellent, one has to wonder what a finished Beatles version would’ve been. There are other great early recordings here that would become solo songs as well, such as, John’s “Gimme Some Truth”  Paul’s “Another Day” and George’s “Isn’t It A Pity”

Lowlights:

It’s, almost, All Too Much… with 83(!!!) discs, at almost 100 hours, that dare you to listen in one go,  this set may very well just burn you out on The Beatles. As you can expect multiple takes of the same song over and over again with little variety, especially at the end when songs are nearly complete . I’ve thought about making my own personal “mix-tape” but never seem to garner up the effort. 

This collection comes with a pretty hefty, at least  $250, price tag 

Recommended… Yes! If you’re a Beatles fanatic I highly recommend this collection. It’s a fascinating listen at The Beatles implosion.

If you don’t want the whole sessions, there is another widely available bootleg called “Thirty Days”. That collection is, I think, 15 discs that you can find individually. I had a couple of them, and would highly recommend that collection as well 

This week optional discussion: What’s your favorite bootleg format?

I think CDs were the best format for bootlegs, though downloading has more or less surpassed them. Vinyl bootlegs, though nice for their album covers, are, more so now thanks to vinyl’s revival,  waaaay too expensive to the point of being just stupid

Also if anybody else wants to post a bootleg review for Bootleg Corner let me know, I’m still feeling things out here. Mondays at 1pm seems the best for me, but I’m still debating whether or not I want to do this weekly or bi-weekly

Next Time… for me: The Talking Heads come to Cape Cod