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Beatles – Shea! The Greatest Live Moment Of Their Career (Misterclaudel MCCD-67/68 & MCDVD-02)

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Shea! The Greatest Live Moment Of Their Career (Misterclaudel MCCD-67/68 & MCDVD-02)

Shea Stadium, Flushing, NY – August 15th, 1965

Disc 1:  King Curtis:  crowd sounds & King Curtis tuning up, National Anthem.  Discoteque Dancers:  Murray The K introduces the Discoteque Dancers, medley (It’s Not Unusual, Downtown, Can’t Buy Me Love, I’m Telling You Now, A Hard Day’s Night).  King Curtis:  Scott Ross introduces the King Curtis Band, What’d I Say, The Branch, Soul Twist.  Cannibal & The Headhunters:  WMCA “Good Guy” introduces Cannibal & The Headhunters, Out Of Sight, Nau Ninny Nau, The Way You Do The Things You Do, Land Of 1000 Dancers.  Brenda Holloway:  Hal Jackson introduces Brenda Holloway, Shake/Satisfaction, I Can’t Help Myself, You Can Cry On My Shoulder, When I’m Gone.  Sounds Incorporated:  Cousin Brucie introduces Sounds Incorporated, America, Fingertips, William Tell Overture, instrumental (including Tony Newman drum solo), Hall Of The Mountain King

Disc 2:  Beatles (original line version):  Introduction, Twist And Shout, She’s A Woman, I Feel Fine, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Ticket To Ride, Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby, Can’t Buy Me Love, Baby’s In Black, Act Naturally, A Hard Day’s Night, Help, I’m Down.  1967 BBC Broadcast version:  Introduction, Twist And Shout, I Feel Fine, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Ticket To Ride, Act Naturally, Can’t Buy Me Love, Baby’s In Black, A Hard Day’s Night, Help, I’m Down

DVD:  “THE BEATLES AT SHEA STADIUM”, video version:  Introduction, I’m Down, Opening Act, Ed Sullivan Announcement, Twist And Shout, I Feel Fine, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Ticket To Ride, Act Naturally, Can’t Buy Me Love, Baby’s In Black, A Hard Day’s Night, Help, I’m Down – ending

Film version:  Introduction, I’m Down, Opening Act, Ed Sullivan Announcement, Twist And Shout, I Feel Fine, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Ticket To Ride, Act Naturally, Can’t Buy Me Love, Baby’s In Black, A Hard Day’s Night, Help, I’m Down – ending

The Greatest Live Moment Of Their Career is Misterclaudel’s version of the newly surfaced mono soundboard recording of The Beatles’ August 15, 1965 Shea Stadium concert and the third set to hit the market.  The Beatles And The Great Concert At Shea (His Master’s Choice HMC001) was the first with the auction reels spread out over two discs.  The Beatles And The Great Concert At Shea (SHEA-656A/B/V) has the same sequence and cover artwork, but with a DVD containing the 1967 documentary and the Beatles portion of that footage synced with the soundboard.  Misterclaudel is similar to the latter release in having two cds and a dvd, but there are several key differences.  The other two sets move the Beatles’ set, which is clearly the center of interest (unless you are a Cannibal And The Headhunters collector), to the beginning of the first disc with the rest of the show afterwards.  Misterclaudel are particular about preserving historical accuracy surrounding these events.  Like with their Tokyo Highway 66 release, where the Beatles’ Tokyo shows following an hour of opening acts, on Greatest Live Moment the label presents the show in its proper sequence.  The staff of Misterclaudel was able to work with the original Scotch reel-to-reel tapes from the winner of the auction and made an digital transfer for use for their release.  The five minutes of crowd noise at the beginning of the first disc, which was cut from the others, is restored.  The label increase the volume with no hints of additional distortion making the tape a bit more clear and livelier than the others.  Finally, they slowed the tape down slightly bringing it closer to the proper pitch.  The difference in tape speed with the other releases is not that great, and wasn’t noticeable to me until viewing the MBE DVD where it is clearly different than the film.  For these reasons the Misterclaudel is an upgrade in audio over the previous two editions. 

The show exists on three reel-t0-reel tapes.  The first reel runs from the beginning through to “Nau Ninny Nau,” the second reel from “The Way You Do The Things You Do” to the end of the Sounds Incorporated set and the third contains the Beatles’ set.  There is unfortunately some deterioration at the beginning of reel #2 producing unwanted distortion.  The first disc begins, after the audience noise, with promoter Sid Bernstein saying this is the “great concert at Shea.”  This is the beginning the Beatles’ 1965 summer tour of the US and was in planning for about a year, according to remarks made during the show.  King Curtis begins with the national anthem before Murray The K introduces the Discoteque Dancers.  They dance to a medley of contemporary hits, but without the aid of seeing the pretty girls in tight white shorts this segment of the show isn’t interesting.  King Curtis follows with his short set including his hit at the time “Soul Twist.”  He was a well-known and prolific jazz saxophonist until the time he was murdered in the summer of 1971.  His most well known work is Live At The Fillmore West where he covers Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”  The Cannibal And The Headhunters follow with their set.  They accompanied The Beatles on this tour increasing their national exposure.  This Mexican-American band from Los Angeles plays their big hits “Nau Ninny Nau” and “Land Of 1000 Dances.”  Cousin Brucie introduces Hal Jackson, who introduces Brenda Holloway.  He speaks of her as a real soul talent from Detroit (although she was from LA).  Her three song set starts with Sam Cooke’s “Shake,” which segues into The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.”  She sings the complete song although wants to “make some boy.”  She follows with the Four Tops’ version of “I Can’t Help Myself.”  This was Motown’s biggest hit that summer, spending two weeks at number one of the Billboard Hot 100 list between June 12 to June 19 (when it was replaced by The Byrd’s cover of “Mr. Tambourine Man”) and June 26 to July 3 (when it was replaced by the Stones’ “Satisfaction”).  Holloway ends her set with her own hit that summer, “When I’m Gone.”

Sounds Incorporated finishes the opening acts.  They are a band from Kent, England who was also managed by Brian Epstein.  While they are tuning the chant “we want the Beatles” can clearly be heard on the tape.  They deliver a scintillating set of classical pieces adapted to a jazz arrangement and drummer Tony Newman plays a great drum solo.  The second disc begins with Bernstein introducing Ed Sullivan by saying, “one of our finest newspaper men.  The number one showman of the world.  And most important of all a truly great American.  Mr. Ed Sullivan.”  Sullivan introduces the headliners by saying, “Honored by their country…decorated by their Queen…and loved here in America.  Here are The Beatles!”  What follows is a typical Beatles 1965 set opening with a short version of “Twist & Shout.”  During “She’s A Woman” it is apparent the mix early on favors the instruments with the vocals being slightly buried.  McCartney introduces the next song by saying it was “one of our records a few months ago” before stating “I Feel Fine.”  The mix on this track is terrible since Lennon’s vocals are quite low with McCartney’s and Harrison’s harmonies much louder.  “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” fares much better since Lennon sings it solo, and he delivers a wicked version with very raw vocals.  “Ticket To Ride” also has a much better mix in the harmonies.  Harrison follows with his cover of Rex Griffin’s “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby” from Beatles For Sale.  McCartney gets the audience clapping and cheering for “Can’t Buy Me Love.”  “It’s off of Beatles Six or something. I don’t really know what it’s off.  I haven’t got it.  It’s a waltz this one, remember that…it’s called ‘Baby’s In Black.'”  The following song “Act Naturally” is the low point of the set.  Ringo’s vocals are all out of tune and weak and it is obvious why they simply dubbed the studio track for the later documentary. 

“A Hard Day’s Night” is introduced as being from “the first film we made…the black and white one.”  Lennon’s vocals are high in the mix and the harmonies are pushed deep down and are barely audible.  During “Help!” the vocals cut out for fourteen seconds from :56 to 1:10, which might explain why they chose to overdub the vocals for this song for television.  Nevertheless it is great to finally hear the song in its entirety.  The final song “I’m Down” lasts for two minutes and the reel end with ninety seconds of intense audience screaming.  The balance of the disc is the video soundtrack that has been released many times before and this serves as an interesting contrast, but the focus is upon the reels that surfaced two years ago.  It is most definitely a raw mono soundboard that cuts out the audience noise.  The DVD presents two versions of the documentary.  The first comes from the ABC master that is also found on MBE, SHEA and Darthdisc in identical quality.  Misterclaudel also present a scratchy film version, which is quite pointless to be honest.  The DVD is the weak point of this release and the SHEA version is much better.  If this title had the soundtrack synced with the film as MBE did, but at the correct speed, this would have been the absolute definitive version.  The Greatest Live Moment comes packaged in a fatboy jewel case with thick inserts.  It also includes a two-page booklet with many photos of the event, a photo of the actual tapes and a short paragraph explaining how nervous the band was before the show.  It is nowhere near as comprehensive or as informative as the HMC version which contains several essays about the show and the auction of the reels.  As it is, the audio discs are nicely done and this is the superior version for that.  (GS) 

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