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The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963

The Beatles

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Album Review

Rush-released at the end of 2013, just weeks after the heavily hyped appearance of On Air: Live at the BBC, Vol. 2 and just weeks before the release of the similarly promoted box The U.S. Albums, The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963 arrived as a bit of a shock to Beatles fans. There were no rumors about its existence until a week before its December 2013 release but, in retrospect, perhaps there should've been because this set, like Bob Dylan's under-the-radar 2012 The Copyright Extension Collection, Vol. 1, is a way for a record label to extend its rights of ownership on sound recordings and thereby prevent them from entering the public domain. This means Beatles fanatics are treated to an unexpected clearinghouse of rare early Fab Four recordings. Much of this has been bootlegged before, either through collections of BBC recordings or through the ballyhooed Ultra Rare Trax series, but it's a delight to have these raw run-throughs and live performances, plus demos of "Bad to Me" and "I'm in Love," enter easy-to-access circulation. Most of this is devoted to live BBC material that didn't make the previous two BBC collections, either due to song repetition, subpar sound quality, or the performances not being quite as dynamic as what made the cut. It's all fun to hear, particularly the covers ("Some Other Guy" and "Roll Over Beethoven" are especially hot), but what's more revelatory is hearing the Beatles tentatively work through "There's a Place," "Misery," "From Me to You," and "Thank You Girl," feeling their way through the songs (they never found a way through "One After 909," returning to it many years later); more than on the heavily-edited Anthology, you get a sense of being in the studio with the Beatles. Although the audio quality of "I'm in Love" is quite rough, it's also charming to hear the demos. While this can't be called necessary listening — it's for fanatics only — its existence is wonderful for not only presenting the official release of rare Beatles material, but for whetting the appetite for similar releases in the future.

Customer Reviews

I’m laughing at the whiners. (BooHiss, SATPACK)

Honestly? Really? You are COMPLAINING about $40 for 59 songs? That amounts to less than $0.68 per song. …And it’s the Beatles. A $1 burger at McDonald’s is probably overpriced to you as well.
Wonderful collection of songs, though admittedly for the hardcore fan - I wouldn’t start here if you are just discovering the Beatles. But as for me, I’m loving it (another McDonald’s reference…) and would have paid $60.

The Beatles at their worst are still better than most.

Yeah, these are discards......Still pretty cool.
Keep 'em coming. I can't wait for the 1964 set.

Great to See These Tracks!

Given the amount of music that has appeared on various Beatles bootlegs over the years, it probably makes sense that some of these outtakes are finally released officially. For one thing, the sound quality is much better than the bootlegs!
I’m going to assume that we will see future collections going forward and I plan on getting them as well!


Formed: 1957 in Liverpool, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s

So much has been said and written about the Beatles — and their story is so mythic in its sweep — that it's difficult to summarize their career without restating clichés that have already been digested by tens of millions of rock fans. To start with the obvious, they were the greatest and most influential act of the rock era, and introduced more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century. Moreover, they were among the few artists of any discipline that...
Full Bio

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