Saturday, October 10, 2009

Forgotten Beatles Week: "The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl"

What was it?
A 1977 live album compiled from two performances at the Hollywood Bowl - August 1964 and August 1965.

Originally intended for release by Capitol in 1964 (snippets of the '64 "Twist and Shout" performance can be heard on The Beatles Story), the sound quality of the recordings was considered too poor for release.

Demand for a live Beatles album was such, that Capitol tried to clean-up the recordings twice - in the early ‘70s (utilizing Let It Be producer Phil Spector) and later, for this release - using longtime Beatles producer George Martin.

EMI was keen to release a live album to compete with a rival company’s then-forthcoming Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962 (released April, 1977).

Why is it forgotten?
Martin’s salvage job with the Hollywood Bowl tapes was admirable, but the Beatles’ performances on this record were unremarkable. (Many of their live performances suffer from the formidable task of hearing themselves play over screaming fans).

If Capitol ever resumes its series of Beatles CD reissues, it’s possible Hollywood Bowl might finally get a CD release.

Fun Facts:
One of a number of now-forgotten official Beatles releases in the ‘70s (The others being compilations Rock 'n' Roll Music and Love Songs).

It remains the only official Beatles material yet to be released on CD.

Tomorrow: Forgotten Beatles Week comes to a close with some ...rarities.