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Unknown Performance of Love Me Do (1962)
January 25, 2020 07:53 AM PST
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A three-minute sample from a tape auctioned in the '90s and purchased by the Beatles, featuring selections from various 1962 TV appearances has hit the Internet in December 2019. The samples consist of songs performed on October 17th, October 29th, and December 29th, 1962 — “Some Other Guy,” “Love Me Do,” A Taste of Honey,” and “Twist and Shout.”

As this performance went out live on TV, it wasn't taped at all. As luck would have it, the audio of these 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 an auction and purchased by Apple for around £2000 per track.

Unfortunately, only brief samples are available, form the tape that was used to advertise the auction of the complete recordings. For instance, the Love Me Do sample lasts only 48 seconds.

Here, as a world premiere, we present a complete version of this Love Me Do as played on 17 October 1962. Love Me Do is highly repetitive, consisting of just 3 chords, and the verse is repeated four times! This enables us to re-constitute the complete song from the sample, with only minor fudging of the intro and outro.

The Love Me Do performance of 17 October is a revelation: not only was it the first Lennon-McCartney song to be played on television, it also differs from the version of Love Me Do on the single (and Please Please Me LP)! The difference is subtle, but it helps to resolve a mystery around the sacking of Pete Best as drummer. While the Beatles were rehearsing Love Me Do in Hamburg (with Pete Best on drums), Best made a suggestion for the arrangement: "The idea was to make the middle-eight different from the rest of the tune, and I said, 'OK, we put the skip beat in.'" The 'skip beat' was a fluctuation in tempo, an acceleration to lead into the vocal bridge and again later, before the instrumental middle-eight. It sounded good enough for John and Paul to accept. And when the Beatles went into the studio - with Pete Best - to record Love Me Do on June 6th, 1962, they included the skip beat (on Anthology 1). Later, the drumming of Pete Best was criticized, and the skip beat section was highlighted as being particularly poor. However, the critics do not consider that Lennon and McCartney accepted this skip beat in all performances until then.

Next, when Ringo recorded the song with the Beatles (September 4th, 1962), they did not play the 'skip beat', but added handclaps during the solo section to liven things up a bit. The version with Andy White on drums (September 11th, 1962) similarly omitted the skip beat, and featured Ringo on tambourine instead.

Therefore, it is amazing that Ringo played the skip beat on October 17th, just over a month after recording Love Me Do - without the skip beat. Apparently, Lennon, McCartney and Ringo didn't think it was such a bad idea (of Pete Best!) after all. This suggests that it was probably George Martin who objected to the skip beat, not Lennon or McCartney.

In subsequent TV and radio performances (recordings available after January 1963), Ringo never played the skip beat again! I suppose they wanted to remain consistent with the version out on the record.

So here we go, a truly unique live performance of Love Me Do!

Abbey Road at 50: the ATMOS Remixes
December 07, 2019 02:39 PM PST
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The Abbey Road box released in 2019 marks the first time that Beatles songs are released in ATMOS format (on the Blue-ray disc). Since the 'One' DVD, all subsequent releases featured Dolby 5.1 mixes, but these were mostly rather underwhelming. But the 5.1 and Atmos mixes of Abbey Road mark a turning point; I can imagine that these mixes will become the preferred way to listen to Abbey Road, relegating the stereo mix to older audiophiles....

What is Atmos? It is a surround system like 5.1, but with sound coming form above as well. True 3-dimensional sound. Home Atmos systems are becoming affordable, but are not yet as widespread as 5.1 systems. To give some feeling for how amazing the Atmos mixes are, we have isolated the (8) Atmos channels and used them to produce remixes of the tracks on Abbey Road.

3 of these tracks are full remixes (Come Together, Something, I Want You), the other tracks are just short highlights of the Atmos channels. To showcase the way it works, we start with Her Majesty. This song starts with a chord, which actually was the closing chord of Mean Mr Mustard. We play 4 ATMOS channels (each twice) so it becomes clear that the instruments playing the chord are distributed over the channels. Listening to a real Atmos system, a different instrument would come at you from each corner of the room. Most of these remixes are just samples of what can de done with the Atmos channels. Don't worry, we have already produced full remixes of the major tracks, which will appear in the Cellar on a later date.

Come Together (ATMOS Remix)
December 07, 2019 02:20 PM PST

The vocals shine in this remix. Does Paul sing on Come Together? Sure he does, harmonizes with John during the first half of the song. In the latter half, John harmonizes with John. The vocals in the outro can be heard clearly, perhaps it was a good thing they were no so clear in 1969?

Something (ATMOS Remix)
December 07, 2019 02:16 PM PST

This remix just begged to be produced. The vocals from the centre channel, as pure as you can get (no reverb), supported by the (stereo) orchestra from CD3.

Maxwell's Silver Hammer (ATMOS Remix)
December 07, 2019 02:14 PM PST

We scan through the channels to highlight piano, guitars, and - yes- the Moog synthesizer.

Oh Darling (ATMOS Remix)
December 07, 2019 02:12 PM PST

Paul playing his characteristic Piano style. The Oooh aah chorus stands out well.

Octopus Garden (ATMOS Remix)
December 07, 2019 02:10 PM PST

George's solo guitar is right in your face, and then John joins in with his telltale "Julia riffing".

I Want You (She's So Heavy) (ATMOS Remix)
December 07, 2019 02:07 PM PST

Great guitar amplifier sound, funky and bluesy shines clearly now. The Hammond Organ -- played by Billy Preston -- is super clear now! His previously buried-in-the-mix solo is fantastic.
Lennon's voice rasps supercool when he comes in with "Yeeaaaaaaaah" (without the distortion that spoiled the 2009 remasters version).

Here Comes The Sun (ATMOS Remix)
December 07, 2019 02:01 PM PST

We can now fully appreciate George's singing. The Moog Synthesizer comes in with a bang, and the acoustic guitar sounds lifelike.

Because (ATMOS Remix)
December 07, 2019 01:56 PM PST

We scan through the channels and hear some beautiful vocals, and the Moog Synth. Still, the feeling lingers that Giles Martin could have done more with this track, e.g. separate the vocals more?

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