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The Beatles And The Great Concert At Shea (His Master’s Choice HMC001)

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The Beatles And The Great Concert At Shea (His Master’s Choice HMC001)

Venue : Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York, NY – August 15th, 1965

Setlist : Disc 1, line recording:  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.  King Curtis:  National Anthem, Intermezzo,  Discotheque Dancers:  medley. King Curtis:  What I’d Say, The Branch, Soul Twist, Intermezzo.  Cannibal & The Headhunters:  Out Of Sight, Nau Ninny Nau, The Way You Do The Things You Do, Land Of 1000 Dances.  Brenda Holloway:  Shake/Satisfaction, I Can’t Help Myself, You Can Cry On My Shoulder, When I’m Gone

Disc 2:  Sounds Incorporated:  Intermezzo, America, William Tell Overture, instrumental, In The Hall Of The Mountain Kings.  Original 1966 BBC soundtrack:  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.  The Beatles Live At Shea described by erupting fans, part 1 and part 2
Review:
The Beatles And The Great Concert At Shea on His Master’s Choice (HMC001), a product of the Yellow Dog people, was the first of several releases with the newly circulating soundboard tape from The Beatles’ first Shea Stadium concert.  This contains only the audio spread out over two CD and is packaged in a thick hardcover book with a lot of text, photos, and newspaper clippings of the event.  The sound quality of this release is excellent although other editions, like the one on the SHEA label, are more preferable since they also include a DVD.  This tape first surfaced several years ago on the auction site It’s Only Rock N Roll and we can be thankful it came into the hand of collectors so that we can all now enjoy listening to it.  Here is the description from the auction site which gives an interesting account to the contents of the tape (and this text is also included in the booklet with this release):

It’s Only Rock n Roll December 2005

The Beatles Unreleased 1965
Shea Stadium Audio Tape

ItsOnlyRocknRoll.com has been so incredibly fortunate in our first four sales to have been able to bring to auction an amazing selection of rare memorabilia relating to a watershed moment in rock n roll history….

The Beatles 1965 Shea Stadium concert.

In addition to the unused tickets, handbill, poster, press credentials, radio ticket giveaways, Sid Bernstein mailings, and the like…..we also were extremely fortunate, in our last sale, to offer the actual Los Angeles master film that ran on ABC television in January ’67…the very same three reels as seen by millions west of the Mississippi! Rounding it all out were the fabulous, then unpublished, color photographs of the concert and backstage activities taken by George Orsino, most recently seen on the covers of the special Shea Stadium 40th Anniversary editions of TV Guide.

Well, we’ve pulled out all the stops this time around! We are excited to be able to offer this piece de resistance of Shea Stadium memorabilia…the never before heard nor circulated, professionally recorded audio tape of the internal line feed from the public address system as it all happened, minute by minute on the evening of August 15, 1965.

In laymen’s terms, this is the “warts and all” version of the most famous rock concert in history…no remixing, no re-recording, and no overdubs.

And when we say minute by minute, we mean just that….from the playing and singing of our National Anthem by King Curtis and thousands in attendance…to Cousin Brucie and Murray the K…to the complete performances by all of the support acts…to the singing of the Beatles/WMCA jingle by the “Good Guys”…to Sid Bernstein’s introduction of Ed Sullivan, and on to the last crescendo of “I’m Down” and, finally the Beatles departure from the stage!

Except, of course, for The Beatles themselves and their inner circle, this writer was assured that he would be only the second person in the world to ever hear this historic recording that has been stored away since 1965. In a word…or, maybe a phrase…this is one for the time capsule!

It is not generally known how much “doctoring” was done to prepare “The Beatles At Shea Stadium” for television. Until the publication of Mark Lewisohn’s The Complete Beatles Chronicles, in 1992, even the most ardent Beatles experts, were under the impression that, other than the fact that several songs were cut from the television special due to time constraints, the only such “doctoring” was the substitution of the recorded single version of “Act Naturally” for Ringo’s live vocal.

Lewisohn’s chronicle of the Beatles activities on January 5, 1966, however, reveals in detail the extent of remixing, re-recording, and ovrdubbing. For it was on this day that the group entered CTS Studios in Kensington Gardens Square, London, to do just that.

CTS (CIne Tele Sound) was the UK’s state of the art audio-to-film dubbing studio at the time. Since the advent of sound motion pictures, such dubbing has been an integral part of movie-making. The practice has been common in live music film just as long. What artist doesn’t want to release the best possible performance?

The reason The Beatles, Brian Epstein, and producer George Martin, elected to facilitate a makeover, of sorts, on many of the Shea Stadium tracks, was two-fold. First, even though state of the art technology, by 1965 standards, was utilized for the film and audio recording of the event, a myriad of complications with the audio feed arose (eg. drop-outs, missing bass tracks, microphone malfunctions, equalization problems…etc. The filming of the Shea Stadium concert for television was the first event of any kind (live or in the studio) to utilize eight cameras. Boy, would we love to get a look at that from eight camera angles and zooms! The bottom line: technical difficulties necessitated re-recording and overdubbing on certain tracks. Second, the conditions at Shea Stadium were electrifying from the audiences standpoint. After all, it was the largest audience in history to ever attend a concert, and the high-decibal screaming was to be expected. From the Beatles standpoint, between the sheer immensity of it all with 55,600 in the seats, they had a hard time hearing themselves. Under such conditions, the performance itself is bound to suffer somewhat. But there is no need to make excuses because from this listeners standpoint, this Beatles “warts and all” performance was just fine. Sure, there were some strained vocals, a few mangled lyrics, and the like, but overall, nothing avid listeners to the abundance of Beatles concerts haven’t become accustomed to from other ’65 shows. It’s too bad that some of the banter was cut, and Ringo’s lyric could have made the cut as well. Lewisohn relates that the re-recording and overdubbing that took place at CTS Studios that day was taken very seriously, as the group wanted to adhere to the live-concert sound and be careful in matching the singing and playing to the on-screen images…a tough task. The most striking aspect of listening to the Beatles performance particularly, was the fact that the screaming, while constant throughout, on this line feed is relegated to the background on this mix. Lewisohn confirms that screaming from the unreleased Hollywood Bowl performance of August 30, 1965 was extensively incorporated into the Shea Stadium film. Interesting, eh?We urge you to read Lewisohn’s full account in ‘The Beatles Chronicles.’

And now….on to the show!

Tape #1 (28 minutes)

crowd sounds and King Curtis tuning up

Introduction of the King Curtis Band…King Curtis “National Anthem” with unknown vocalist and audience participation…WABC’s Cousin Bruce Morrow welcomes the audience and introduces Murray the K…Murray the K introduces the Discotech Dancers medley of songs…It’s Not Unusual, Downtown, Can’t Buy Me Love, I’m Telling You Now, A Hard Days Night…Cousin Brucie introduces Scott Ross of WBIZ, Long Island…Ross introduces the King Curtis Band…What’d I Say, The Branch, Soul Twist….Cousin Brucie addreses the audience and introduces WMCA’s Frank Stickle…Stickle introduces the WMCA ‘Good Guys’…Each ‘Good Guy’ introduces himself, then they harmonize on a Beatles/WMCA jingle (quite well, actually)…and they introduce Cannibal & the Headhunters…Out of Sight, Now Lady Now

Tape #2 (32 minutes)

Cannibal & The Headhunters continued…The Way You Do The Things You Do, Land of 1000 Dances…Cousin Brucie introduces DJ Hal Jackson…Jackson introduces Marvin Gaye…Cousin Brucie introduces Brenda Holloway…Shake, Satisfaction, I Can’t Help Myself, You Can Cry On My Shoulder, When I’m Gone…Cousin Brucie introduces WABC dj Charlie Greer…Cousin Brucie introduces Sounds, Inc….America (from West Side Story), Fingertips, William Tell Overture, Instrumental, In The Hall Of The Mountain Kings

Tape #3 (37 minutes)
Sid Bernstein introduces Ed Sullivan
Ed Sullivan introduces The Beatles
Beatles tuning up and cutting up

TWIST & SHOUT…UNRELEASED…the version heard in the tv special was taken from the Hollywood Bowl recording of August 30, 1965.

SHE’S A WOMAN…UNRELEASED…this song was cut from the tv special

I FEEL FINE…UNRELEASED…the version heard in the tv special was recorded on January 5, 1966 at CTS Studios, London

DIZZY MISS LIZZY…Paul overdubbed a new bass track on 1/5/66 at CTS Studios, London

TICKET TO RIDE…Some instrumental overdubbing was added on 1/5/66 at CTS Studios, London

EVERYBODY’S TRYING TO BE MY BABY…this song was cut from the tv special. (Note: the version released on The Beatles Anthology is an alternate mix.)

CAN’T BUY ME LOVE…Paul overdubbed a new bass track on 1/5/66 at CTS Studios, London.

BABY’S IN BLACK…UNRELEASED…the version heard on the tv special was recorded on 1/5/66 at CTS Studios, London

ACT NATURALLY…UNRELEASED…the version heard in the tv special was dubbed from the commercially released single recorded on 6/17/65

A HARD DAYS NIGHT…this version is not obscured by the voice-overs heard in the tv special

HELP!…UNRELEASED…the version heard in the tv special was recorded on 1/5/66 at CTS Studios, London

I’M DOWN…Paul and John overdubbed new bass and organ tracks, respectively, on 1/5/66 at CTS Studios, London

Beatles Leave The Stage

It would have been a wonderful surprise for Beatles fans to be treated to this recording in an official release along with the re-mastered color television special this past summer on the 40th anniversary of “The Beatles At Shea Stadium.” Well, maybe one day!

The concert is recorded on three reels of Scotch 1/4″ recording tape at 7 1/2 ips and comes housed in Scotch brand boxes. Go to our online site to hear snippets from this historic recording. This audio tape is sold with no rights, given or implied. It is sold as a collector’s item only!  (GS)

CMR Music Store

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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