Monday, June 22, 2009

I Read a Blog Today, Oh Boy

I just read a blog where the writer complained that The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl has never been released on CD. I say good riddance. It's a lousy record.

I remember being pretty excited about it when it came out in the Summer of '77, and rushing out to buy a copy. I was not impressed. I think I've probably only played a few times since. About once every ten years.

Without the visuals, The Beatles live during the height of the mania, are not very interesting. There's a lot of great footage of them performing at various concerts and TV shows on the 'Anthology' DVD, and the 'Ed Sullivan Shows Featuring the Beatles' as well. So if I want the Beatles live, circa '64-66, I'd much rather pop in one of those.

Another reason I'm not a fan is that it doesn't actually contain the complete performances. When George Martin compiled the tapes, he cherry-picked from the 1964 and 1965 shows to come up with the best 13 tracks. A bunch of songs were left off because they were performed at both shows, too. God forbid we have both versions of 'A Hard Day's Night'! And to make it even worse, Martin mixes up the sequence; a '64 song here, a '65 song makes for an artificial experience attempting to recreate a vintage Beatles' concert.

It would have been much better to make it a double album with the entire concerts, warts and all. But I guess it's better to look good than to feel good, dahrling.


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