Thursday, 4 May 2017

THE BEATLES AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL... 40 YEARS AGO TODAY

The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl is a live album by the Beatles released on 4 May 1977 featuring songs compiled from two performances at the Hollywood Bowl in August 1964 and August 1965. The album was released by Capitol Records in the United States and Canada and by Parlophone in the United Kingdom. A remixed, remastered and expanded version of the album, retitled Live at the Hollywood Bowl, was released on 9 September 2016 to coincide with the release of the documentary film The Beatles: Eight Days a Week directed by Ron Howard.
Initially, Capitol Records considered recording the Beatles' February 1964 concert at Carnegie Hall in New York, but it could not obtain the necessary approval from the American Federation of Musicians to record the performance. Six months later, KRLA DJ Bob Eubanks booked the band's performance of 23 August at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, where Capitol recorded their performance with the aim of releasing a live album in America. The sound quality of the tapes proved to be inadequate for commercial release, however, although Capitol utilised a 48-second excerpt of "Twist and Shout" from the concert on the 1964 documentary album The Beatles' Story.
High-quality black-and-white film of the 1964 show was also made and preserved. Excerpts of "All My Loving" and "She Loves You" from the 23 August 1964 performance appeared in the 1995 The Beatles Anthology documentary series.
When the Beatles returned to the Hollywood Bowl a year later during their 1965 American tour, Capitol recorded two performances by the group at the same venue. The sound quality of the 1965 recordings was equally disappointing, however.


The Beatles were among the few major recording artists of the 1960s not to have issued a live album. The tapes from the three Hollywood Bowl performances continued to sit untouched in a Capitol vault. In 1971, following his salvaging of the Get Back tapes, which was released as the group's Let It Be album, the Hollywood Bowl tapes were given to American record producer Phil Spector to see if he could fashion an album out of the material. Either Spector did not complete the job or his production was unsatisfactory, and the tapes continued to sit unreleased for another six years.
A complete tape of the August 1964 performance found its way out of the Capitol vault in the early 1970s and formed the basis for a popular bootleg LP Back in 64 at the Hollywood Bowl. The audio, while below professional release standards, was more than adequate for desperate hardcore fans and served for years as the standard recording of the summer 1964 tour.
Finally, with a rival record label's impending release of the Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962 album consisting of a 15-year-old, poor-quality mono concert recording of the group performing in the Star-Club in Hamburg, Capitol Records' president, Bhaskar Menon, decided to revisit the Hollywood Bowl recordings. Beatles' producer George Martin was handed the tapes and asked to compile a listenable "official" live album.

Inner sleeve photo from the original U.S. version of The Beatles at The Hollywood Bowl

When Martin was asked by Menon to hear the tapes, he was impressed with the performances but disappointed in the sound quality. In working on the three-track Hollywood Bowl concert tapes, Martin discovered quite a challenge.The first difficulty was finding a working three-track machine with which to play back the master tapes. Once he found one, he discovered that the machine overheated when it was running, melting the magnetic tape. Martin and recording engineer Geoff Emerick came up with the solution of blowing air from a vacuum cleaner to keep the tape deck cool whilst the recordings were transferred to 16-track tape for filtering, equalisation, editing, and mixing. Martin found the 29 August 1965 recording virtually useless, and, except for a few dubs taken from the performance of 29 August to augment other performances, the album compiled by Martin consisted entirely of songs recorded on 23 August 1964 and 30 August 1965.



A number of songs performed at the two concerts were not included on the album. Songs from the 1964 show not included on the album are: "Twist and Shout", "You Can't Do That", "Can't Buy Me Love", "If I Fell", "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "A Hard Day's Night". Songs from the 1965 show not included on the album are: "I Feel Fine", "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby", "Baby's in Black", "I Wanna Be Your Man" and "I'm Down". "Baby's in Black", from the 1965 Hollywood Bowl concert, however, was issued as the B-side of the 1996 "Real Love" single, and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" from the 1964 concert was mixed into the studio version of the song for the 2006 Love album."Baby's in Black" was often included on bootlegs of the album and remained officially unavailable on an album until the release of Live at the Hollywood Bowl in 2016.
Although the original album sleeve says that the recordings were all made on 23 August 1964 or 30 August 1965,"Ticket to Ride" and "Help" were recorded on 29 August 1965, and "Dizzy, Miss Lizzy" is a composite using parts from both nights in 1965.
The album was originally released as a vinyl LP. Even though the recordings on The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl were between 12 and 13 years old, the album reached number one on the New Musical Express chart in the UK and number two on the Billboard chart in the US.
The album was officially released in several countries on cassette[citation needed] but was not officially released on compact disc until 9 September 2016, when it was re-released worldwide as Live at the Hollywood Bowl. Shortly before the re-release date, a number of tracks were available for purchase and streaming early, and the album was available for pre-order on the iTunes Store. The re-released album was simultaneously released as a digital download and made available on streaming services.[11] It was also released on vinyl on 18 November 2016.















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