The Beatles – Acetate Collection (Unicorn UC-146/147)

Acetate Collection (Unicorn UC-146/147)

Disc 1 (76:20):  Ain’t She Sweet (MGM/Verve acetate), Kansas City (Dick James acetate), And I Love Her (Take 21 RM2), If I Fell (Take 15 RM1), A Hard Day’s Night (Take 9 RM10), She’s A Woman (EMI disc acetate take 6), She’s A Woman (EMI disc acetate take 7/8), Another Girl (take 1), The Night Before (take 2), I Need You (take 5), Ticket To Ride (take 2), Yes It Is (take 14), You Like Me Too Much (take 8), You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (take 9), You’re Going To Lose That Girl (take 3), Help! (take 12 RM4), 12 bar original (EMI disc RM1 take 2), Paperback Writer (Capitol acetate), Strawberry Fields (EMI acetate take 7 RM3), A Day In The Life (take 6 RM1), Sgt. Peppers… (take 10 RM1), Magical Mystery Tour (take 9 RM7), Your Mother Should Know (take 8), The Fool On The Hill (take 1), Blue Jay Way (EMI disc alt. mix), I Am The Walrus (take 17 RM4)

Disc 2 (79:17):  Across The Universe (EMI disc acetate), Intervista (EMI acetate), Kenny Everett Workshop (Apple acetate), Everybody’s Got Something To Hide (RM5), Yer Blue (takes 16/17 RM3), Back In The USSR (take 6 RM1), Revolution 9 (Apple acetate take 1 RS1 21.6.68), Helter Skelter (take 21 RM1), Birthday (take 22 RM1), I’m So Tired (take 14 RM1), Mary Jane – master – RS4 (cutting room acetate), Mary Jane – overdub – RS5 (cutting room acetate), Mary Jane – edit version (cutting room acetate), Mary Jane (single edit RE4 & 5), Long & Winding Road (Apple acetate), Let It Be (Apple acetate)

Acetate Collection is the first in a series produced by Unicorn Records.  The label is attempting one of the most impressive collections of rarities for the Beatles collector.  According to the label lots of work have gone into making these tracks sound as best as possible, remastered, de-clicked, pitch and phase & levels corrected from best possible sources.

The label also provide comprehensive liner notes discussing each track.  They write:

This CD brings together a collection of Acetates from 1961-69, some you may have seen before on previous releases, but some discs here make their debut to CD and have remained previously unreleased until now. Firstly an MGM/Verve Acetate of The Beatles June 24, 1961 recording of “Ain’t She Sweet”, followed by an acetate made from a recording of “Kansas City” performed at the Cavern Club on September the 5th 1962, this first appeared on the Anthology series but is included here with voice over completely removed.

There were a number of production film acetates made from The Beatles first two movies, A Hard Day’s Night and Help!  soundtracks, the first three here are “And I Love Her”, with Paul’s single tracked vocal, “If I Fell” and “A Hard Day’s Night”, which are the same as the UK mono mixes. This Is followed by two 7″, 1 sided EMI disc Mono Acetates of “She’s A Woman”. The first being take 6, the released take, but the second compiles a false start and take 7, these acetates were probably cut the same day as the mono mixing for “She’s A Woman” on October 12, 1964.

More production film acetates follow, this time from the Help! soundtrack. “Another Girl” with Paul’s count-in, “The Night Before” with drums mixed further back and less echo, “I Need You” vocal tracks mixed forward with less echo, “Ticket To Ride” with second vocal track mixed back, “Yes It Is” with vocals more prominent, “You Like Me Too Much” with no echo and vocals brought forward, “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” with count in, “You’re Gonna Lose That Girl” rough mono mix with count in, and finally “Help” a rough mono mix with tambourine present during the chorus not heard on the official mono released mix.

“12-Bar original” was an instrumental based around the twelve bar riff, originally only two takes were recorded, and some rehearsals survive from the master tapes, here we have an EMI disc cut on the 13th of December 1965 of Remix mono 2 of the second take. The acetate was auctioned in 1988 for £1300 and found its way onto many bootleg releases, here we have the cleanest source available. This Is followed by an 8″ stereo Capitol Acetate of “Paperback Writer”, take 2, the same as the released take.

 The third of three mono remixes for “Strawberry Fields Forever” Take 7, was chosen for acetate cutting on November 29, 1966. These rough mixes were later scrapped In favor of a re-make of the recording, takes 9-24 on December 9, 1966.  

The 6th take of “A Day In The Life” was chosen for acetate cutting from the first mono mix, what’s presented here is the infamous ‘Oh, shit’ version, with no orchestra and Mal Evans’ bar counting is clearly evident. When the acetate of “Sgt.Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” first appeared, the first mono mix of take 10, we caught a glimpse to how the end of the song originally was played without “With A Little Help From My Friends” graphed in, this is a unique mix without any brass overdubs.

The final five tracks on disc one are from the soundtrack to Magical Mystery Tour, firstly the title track “Magical Mystery Tour” is presented here as a 7″ EMI disc, remix mono 7 of take 9, presented here in it’s cleanest form to date.

 “Your Mother Should Know” a rough mix of take 8, “The Fool On The Hill” take 1 with no flute or recorder overdubs, “Blue Jay Way” a white label EMI disc with hand written notes, this Is quite a bazaar stereo mix, which Is totally different to the disc that appeared on Yellow Dog’s ‘Acetates’ CD In 1991. Since its initial inclusion on the first edition of this CD, much skepticism has been widely thought about this acetate’s authenticity, according to Doug Sulpy, it seems the verdict is still out on this one. Finally, the last of the Magical Mystery Tour discs “I Am The Walrus”, remix mono 4 of take 17, a basic mix with no overdubs.

“Across The Universe” was originally recorded as early as February 1968 for Inclusion as a single release (In which “Lady Madonna” was chosen Instead) this was later used on a charity compilation album “No One’s Gonna Change Our World” In December 1969, then released on the “Let It Be” album with an orchestral accompaniment and new overdubs.

Presented here Is an EMI disc acetate of the original 1968 recording, take 8 with no overdubs or speed variants. This disc was cut on February 8, 1968 from one of two mono mixes made that day.

 What follows Is the Infamous “Intervista” acetate, a Kenny Everett Interview with John, Paul and Ringo for Inclusion on his Radio show aired that Sunday, the 9th of June. This was recorded at EMI Studio Two on June 6, 1968. This Is a 1 sided 10″ EMI disc which clocks In at over 14 Minutes. Continuing on the Everett madness, we have Included a rare 2 sided 8″ Apple acetate, “Kenny Everett Musical Workshop” which contains various jingles from his radio program, some of which were used In his Beatles broadcasts.

 We have included seven acetates from the White Album, “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide” remix mono 5 of take 12 with John’s vocals brought forward, “Yer Blues” Takes 16/17 edit RM3 and edit piece take 1, features an edited-on count-in from Ringo, “Back In The USSR” remix mono 1 of take 6 with different jet noises, “Revolution 9” was mixed for stereo on June 21 & 25, 1968, an Apple Mono 2 Sided Acetate is included here, this also appeared on Vigotone’s ‘Revolution’ CD In 1994, but sounds a little cleaner here. “Helter Skelter” remix mono 1 of take 21, this is one minute shorter than stereo version, and has no fade down and up within the song, no Ringo “blisters” shout at the end. “Birthday” remix mono 1 of take 22, and “I’m So Tired” remix mono 1of take 14.

 Tracks 11, 12 & 13 have been taken from a ‘Cutting Room Inc.’ 1 sided stereo acetate. The first two recordings from this disc have appeared on previous Bootlegs over the years, most notably on “What A Shame, Mary Jane Had A Pain At The Party”, a 12″ Bootleg E.P released In 1979 on a fake EMI label. For some unknown reason the third song was not Included here and has remained unreleased. We have Included that ‘Edit-Version’ of “What’s The New Mary Jane”. On the first edition of this release this track appeared in mp3 form, since the release of ‘Yellow Dog’s’ 2CD set ‘Acetates’ in 2002, we have upgraded the source to a far superior recording. As a bonus to this revised edition of ‘Acetate Collection’ we have included a single edit of “Mary Jane” as mixed for commercial release, although this never happened, it remained unreleased for 27 years until it appeared on the Anthology series.

To bring this revised set of acetates to a close, the final two Apple acetates, “Let It Be” & “The Long And Winding Road” are the released takes, but sound like uncompressed mixes, with high dynamics opposed to the official versions.  

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  1. I just picked this title up because it was offered to me really cheap. I was pleasantly surprised to find these acetates never sounding better. I really wanted the complete Kansas City Cavern disc and it sounds great on this release. Unicorn did a nice job with these.


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