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The Beatles And The Great Concert At Shea (SHEA-656A/B/V)

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The Beatles And The Great Concert At Shea (SHEA-656A/B/V)

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

DVD:   35mm BROADCAST MASTER, Color Bars, Arthur Fiedler Introduction, Opening, I’m Down, Murray The K, The Discotheque Dancers, King Curtis Band, Brenda Holloway, Sound Incorporated, Back Stage, Ed Sullivan Intro, Twist and Shout, I Feel Fine, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Ticket to Ride, Act Naturally, Can’t Buy Me Love, Baby’s in Black, Hard Day’s Night, Help!, I’m Down, ABC Logo – Invaders Promo

ORIGINAL SOUND VERSION:  Introduction, Twist & 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’ first Shea Stadium concert on August 15th, 1965 remains the most famous rock concert in history.  The Beatles themselves acknowledged it importance many times as it opened the doors for the popularity of such events.  They drew over 55,000 people and earned $304,000, a record that stood for eight years.  A documentary of the event was produced by Brian Epstein and Ed Sullivan and was shown on the BBC1 on May 1st, 1966 and on ABC television in the United States on January 10th, 1967.  All subsequent bootleg releases of this show have been sourced from the soundtrack to this documentary.  The sound quality is excellent quality, but there are several problems with this.  Some of the songs contain voice overs by the band recorded by Larry Kane speaking about the magnitude of the event.  This is most obvious on “A Hard Day’s Night.”  Two songs, “She’s A Woman” and “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby,” are omitted and the songs are out of proper sequence. 

Most important is the soundtrack was subject to re-recording in the studio.  Paul recorded new bass tracks for “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Baby’s In Black,” and “I’m Down.”  “I Feel Fine” and “Help!” were completely re-recorded by the band, and for “Act Naturally” the studio version was simply dubbed to match the film.  This last example is the most egregious since there is a shot of Ringo playing the drums silently while the vocals are heard on the soundtrack.  In May, 2007 the raw soundboard for the entire show, including the opening acts, was found and posted online and since there have been a multitude of releases documenting this exciting new source.  His Master’s Choice is the first with a two disc set in a hardbound book titled Sid Bernstein Presents The Beatles And The Great Concert At Shea! (HIC001) 

This set contains the soundboard recording of the entire show, the original BBC soundtrack, and two tracks with interviews of screaming fans at Shea (recorded at the 1966 concert which is apparent since they’re talking about Lennon’s “bigger than Jesus” comment).  Darthdisc released Shea Loves You (DVD11) containing the ABC master tape.  Misterclaudel released The Greatest Live Moment Of Their Career (mccd-67/68 & mcdvd-02), a two-disc and one-dvd set covering the soundboard recording, television soundtrack, and a dvd with the television documentary.  The Beatles And The Great Concert At Shea (SHEA-656A/B/V) is a new release which is similar to the Misterclaudel in having two discs and one dvd.  The track listing for this is identical to the His Master’s Choice release by presenting the soundboard recording followed by the television soundtrack and the interviews with screaming fans from 1966. 

The soundboard tape is a very clear stereo recording which is very detailed and very unbalanced.  The soundman finds it hard to strike a balance between the two microphones and at times the lead is inaudible.  Also apparent are the distressing mistakes, out of tune guitars, and off-key singing by Ringo.  It does contain the complete set including the missing songs and they are presented in the proper sequence.  It is also great to hear “A Hard Day’s Night” without the voice overs.  But in this state it is unusable for network television and it is obvious why the band recorded parts in the studio.  The “original sound version” on the dvd begins with the footage of the band in the dressing room and the soundboard cuts in with Ed Sullivan’s introduction.  The sync job with the video is impressive and is a joy to watch.

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