The Beatles – Acetate Collection Vol. 2 (Unicorn Records UC-143)

Acetate Collection Vol. 2 (Unicorn Records UC-143)

(65:08): Sunday Night At The London Palladium 1963 (Sourced From A Recently Discovered Acetate), Christmas Message Outtake (Unreleased Outtake Not Used On Xmas Album), 3-8. Liverpool Empire 1963 (Taken From A New Video Source), Magical Mystery Tour – Acetate (Remix Mono 4 Remastered), A Day In The Life Interlude (Remix), Can You Take Me Back (Long Version Edited From Best Sources), Hum (Unused Edit Piece For ‘A Day In The Life’), I Am The Walrus (‘King Lear’ Isolated Spoke Word), Beatles & The Beach Boys (Telephone Interview – Acetate 1964).  Bonus tracks:  God Save Us (Unreleased 8″ Apple Acetate), It Don’t Come Easy (Unreleased 8″ Apple Acetate)

The Beatles Acetate Collection Vol. 2 is another release on the Unicorn Records label. According to the liner notes for this release, “Ten years have passed since the release of Unicorn’s Acetate Collection in 2001, although some were controversial, it did compile a comprehensive selection of rare and unreleased Beatles acetates. Although this set doesn’t offer a full running order of acetates, it does provide the listener with some rare and previously  un-bootlegged recordings.”

There is no overriding logic to the selection except these documents’ rarity.  All of the tracks come from the original sources without any digital filtering, speed correction or mastering.  The age of the acetates are obvious by surface noise and clicks and pops in the music, but all are acceptable under the circumstances. 

The disc starts with a recently sourced 10″ 33rpm acetate of The Beatles At The Sunday Palladium from the 13th of October 1963.  Beatlemania began with this show, the term being coined to describe the audience’s reaction.  The first side of the acetate has the edited highlights of The Beatles’ show with “From Me To You,” “I’ll Get You,” “She Loves You” and “Twist & Shout”

The second track presents The Beatles Christmas message outtake from 1964.  It is a different recording to what was released on Yellow Dog’s Complete Christmas Collection and seems to be from a different tape source to The Seven Years Of Christmas.  With the band talking about slicing babies (a la the “butcher” cover of Yesterday…And Today) and Lennon cursing, it’s obvious why this was never released.

Tracks three through eight is a new audio tape source from video of the Beatles at the Liverpool Empire Christmas show from the 22nd of December 1963, containing songs such as “From Me To You,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “All My Loving” and “Roll Over Beethoven.”

It is followed by a cleaned up copy of “Magical Mystery Tour” RM4.  Past copies are notorious for the scratchiness, but this sounds relatively clean.  The take is interesting, lacking some of the instruments and overdubs of the official version.

Unicorn follow with a stereo remix excerpt from “A Day In The Life” interlude, followed by a long edit of “Can You Take Me Back.”  Only a tiny fragment was used on The Beatles (as a lead in to “Revolution #9), but this take lasts several minutes long.  The label included this on their 2000 release Studio Collection, but this is a cleaner edit from the same tape sources.

An unused tape from Sgt Pepper titled “Hum” follows.  George Martin gives a brief explanation to why this was never used in the final edit of the song.  Track thirteen is an isolated mix of Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” the same BBC radio performance used in the ending of “I Am The Walrus.”

The Beatles and the Beach Boys telephone interview is an interesting curiosity.  It dates from March 11th, 1964, and the Capitol Records acetate with type-written label was purchased for $5 at a L.A flea market in 2001 and later sold at auction for a staggering $10.000!! The original 6 minute recording seems to be the only one in existence.  Unicorn offer a small excerpt of Brian Wilson saying he likes the Beatles’ haircuts and George Harrison joking that they cut their own hair.

Two bonus tracks are included from the post-Beatle solo era, both making their silver pressed disc debut.  John Lennon’s song “God Save Us” was the b-side to “Do The Oz,” a single written in defense of the Oz magazine in its obscenity trials.  This arrangement was recorded live and features Lennon himself on vocals (instead of Bill Elliott, who would go on to sing for the band Splinter) and is lacking saxophone and other overdubs.  

Finally, Ringo’s big early hit “It Don’t Come Easy” closes the compilation.  It is similar to the official version except the horns are buried and the “halleluiah” is very loud.  Overall this is a very interesting compilation with nice rarities in very good sound quality.

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  1. The source for track 3 -8 is The Empire Pool December 7, 1963.

  2. If I ever hear/read/see another bootleg with any Beatles Christmas recordings on it I will shout Yeller Dawg’s name in vain!


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