Beatles – Rarities (DBM-053)

Rarities (DBM-053)

(42:19):  Love Me Do, Misery, There’s a Place, Sie Liebt Dich, And I Love Her, Help!, I’m Only Sleeping, I Am the Walrus, Penny Lane, Helter Skelter, Don’t Pass Me By, The Inner Light, Across the Universe, You Know My Name (Look Up the Number), Sgt. Pepper Inner Groove

Rarities was released by Capitol on March 24th, 1980 in the U.S. markets.  The fifteen tracks contained were either never released by Capitol Records, or are alternate takes and mixes not available in the US, or were tracks that simply were not released in the US.  The LP was compiled and annotated by Randall Davis, with research by Ron Furmanek, one of the foremost Beatles collectors in the world, and Wally Podrazik, co-author with Harry Castleman of the Beatles discographies, All Together Now(Ann Arbor: Pierian Press, 1978), The Beatles Again(Ann Arbor: Pierian Press, 1980) and The End Of The Beatles?(Ann Arbor; Pierian Press, 1985).

         Rarities LP inside gatefold

The original concept was to use the infamous “butcher cover” photo on the front, but Capitol decided against that idea.  The front cover was rather uninteresting, but the famed photo was used in the inner gatefold sleeve.  Since many of these mixes have subsequently been made available, Rarities was never pressed on compact disc.  Dr. Ebbetts use a very clean vinyl and have produced a flawless transfer of the LP.

The disc begins with “Love Me Do.”  There are three different studio recordings of this early song.  The first was recorded on June 6th, 1962 with Pete Best on drums for their audition for EMI, the second is the September 4th recording with Ringo on drums and the third, and what appears on their first single, was recorded on September 11th with Andy White on drums and Ringo on tambourine.  The second recording, with Ringo on drums, is used on Rarities.  “Misery” and “There’s A Place” are the common recordings, but this was the first time the songs appeared in stereo on a Capitol album. It was previously available just as a single.

“Sie Liebt Dich” had only been issued in the United States in 1964 as a single on Swan Records (Swan 4182). This marked the first Capitol Records release, and the first stereo release in America.  “And I Love Her” contains Paul’s double-tracked vocals and six bars of acoustic guitar in the fade-out.  “Help” is the mono single mix with a different lead and backing vocals and also lacks the tambourine.  “I’m Only Sleepingthis is the true stereo version, which in America could only be found on the Capitol Record Club edition of “Yesterday” . . . And Today.”  “I Am The Walrus,” which closed the first side of the original vinyl, is a new composite created by several engineers at Capitol.  They took the British stereo version with the six-beat introduction and spliced in the four extra beats of music heard after the third verse in the mono recording.

“Penny Lane” is another compilation which uses the German stereo with the extra piccolo trumpet solo at the end added from the U.S. promo version.  “Helter Skelter” is in mono and lacks Ringo’s blisters statement at the end.  “Don’t Pass Me By” is in mono and sped-up and is followed by “The Inner Light” in mono, the B side to the “Lady Madonna” single. 

“Across The Universe” is the “Wildlife” version from the charity album No One’s Gonna Change Our World.  This album was released on December 12th, 1969 for the benefit of the World Wildlife Fund and contains twelve total tracks including “Marley Purt Drive” by the Bee Gees and “Cuddly Old Koala” from Rolf Harris.  “You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)” is the silliest song in the Beatles’ catalogue and was originally the B side to “Let It Be.”  Finally the five seconds of gibberish that were found on the run off groove on Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was on the UK pressings but not the US, closes out the disc.  Overall this is a great transfer of a curious release.   

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