Live At The Hollywood Bowl (His Masters Choice HMC010)
Disc 1 (73:15): Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA – August 23rd, 1964: Intro., Twist And Shout, You Can’t Do That, All My Loving, She Loves You, Things We Said Today, Roll Over Beethoven, Can’t Buy Me Love, If I Fell, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Boys, A Hard Day’s Night, Long Tall Sally. Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA – August 30th, 1965: Intro., Twist & 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, I Wanna Be Your Man, A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, I’m Down
Disc 2 (64:20): Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA – August 29th, 1965: Intro., Twist & 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, I Wanna Be Your Man, A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, I’m Down. Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA – August 29th, 1966: Rock And Roll Music, She’s A Woman, If I Needed Someone, Day Tripper, Baby’s In Black, I Feel Fine, Yesterday, I Wanna Be Your Man, Nowhere Man, Paperback Writer, Long Tall Sally
Live At The Hollywood Bowl on His Master’s Choice contains the three known Hollywood Bowl tapes from 1964 and 1965 plus the San Francisco audience source from 1966. The Los Angeles tapes are rough soundboard recordings while the San Francisco is an amateur recording made by Tony Barrow, the Beatles’ press officer.
The center of interest are the Los Angeles shows recorded a year apart for an official album that was released thirteen years later as an afterthought. HMC presents the same unbalanced and raw sounding soundboards from these shows with slight improvements in sound quality in the form of a boost in the volume. The problems faced by George Martin in the seventies when he assembled The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl remain. The mix is very poor and the sound is very raw.
However, they do remain popular concerts because they are the few which come from professional sources. And the performances themselves are very good. What is readily apparent though is how much their personalities, charm and charisma come through and lead to Beatlemania in the first place.
The first disc starts off with the August 23rd, 1964 soundboard recording. Dave Hull of KRLA introduces Bob Eubanks who in turn introduces The Beatles. This is perhaps the best soundboard of the collection. It is reasonably well balanced and enjoyable as the band deliver their set.
August 30th is the second show on the first disc. It starts off with local DJs like Casey Kasem being introduced The Beatles come on stage to a deafening roar. All of the voices and instruments are at least audible in the mix. Of the two shows recorded in 1965 at the Hollywood Bowl, this is the better. The playing is much tighter, more deliberate and confident.
The second disc begins with the August 29th, 1965 soundboard recording. Notorious for being unbalanced and lacking voices, HMC unfortunately were not able to correct that. McCartney is absent through the first four songs, only become audible in his introduction to “Ticket To Ride.” The mix is dominated by guitars and bass.
During the show Lennon complains he can’t see anything because of the lights before “Dizzy Miss Lizzy.” McCartney gets the crowd excited before “Can’t Buy Me Love” by telling them they can do anything “except swim.”
Lennon is very loquacious before “Baby’s In Black” (as usual) explaining: “we’d like to do another one, cause that’s what we’re here for, as Paul fiddles with his amplifier. I hope he can hear me, I’d be awfully disappointed if he couldn’t.” Lennon jokes before “it’s a waltz for all of you over ten. Some people play fast waltzes, some people play slow waltzes. But we’re gonna play a slow one.”
It comes to a wild finish with a happy, energetic version of “I’m Down” at the very end. There is a lot of enthusiasm pouring out and overall the performance is good but not as good as the previous evening at the venue.
The second half of disc two contains the final paid concert of The Beatles’ career at Candlestick Park on August 29th, 1966. For the longest time this was the only decent sounding tape from their last US tour and, after the discovery in the past couple years of the Memphis and Toronto tapes, still is. HMC sounds a bit louder than previous versions. What makes this release unique is that the label complete the final song “Long Tall Sally” with the studio version for completeness. This comes packaged in a hardcover book with a lengthy essay about the shows. Overall this is a nice upgrade and a good, collectible way to obtain these shows.