The Beatles – At The Hollywood Bowl 1964 (Medusa MD-005)

At The Hollywood Bowl 1964 (Medusa MD-005)

The Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA – August 23rd, 1964

(36:56):  Introduction, 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 Days Night, Long Tall Sally

The Beatles’ August 23rd, 1964 show was recorded with the intention for official release.  It took seventeen years for it to be finally released despite the less than perfect sound quality.  The tape has been released many times unofficially on CD.  Several of the best ones are The Complete Hollywood Bowl Concerts Complete 1964-1965 box set on Midnight Beat (MBCD108/109) issued in 1997 and its clone The Complete Hollywood Bowl Concerts 1964 + 1965 on Repro Man (RPM101-102). Yellow Dog also released this as Hollywood Bowl Complete (YD034).

The more recent title to feature this show include The Beatles U.S.A. Vol. 1 Live Anthology:  Tour Of America 1964 (Master Of Beatles Essentials MBE-008-0031/2/3), Can You Hear Me? (Secret Garden SGCD-11), Live At The Hollywood Bowl (Dr. Ebbett DBM-032A/B) and Live At The Hollywood Bowl (His Masters Choice HMC010).

At The Hollywood Bowl 1964 on Medusa claims to be remastered from the original source tape.  It sounds noticeably brighter and cleaner than past versions with very nice stereo separation.  The screaming girls are pushed down in the mix (but the buzz is always present).  There is a small imperfection before “Boys” which could be a problem with the PA.  Otherwise, this is a superb sounding document of an exciting show.  

The tape starts off with KRLA DJ Reb Foster introducing Bob Eubanks who financed the show.  The band hit the stage with a very quick version of “Twist & Shout” and the slower (and tighter) “You Can’t Do That.”  

“She Loves You,” their first really big hit in America, is received with excitement as is “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” their second big hit.  “Things We Said Today” sounds woefully out of tune and borders on the brink of disaster.  

But the other songs from the film A Hard Day’s Night, which was released in America earlier that month, fare much better and more fresh than the others.  The band bring a lot of enthusiasm for “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “If I Fell” and “A Hard Day’s Night.”

Ringo has his spot with “Boys,” and the final song of the night is the Little Richard cover “Long Tall Sally,” the singular anthem from the muse of the early day Beatles.  

At The Hollywood Bowl 1964 is a good release of the tape on silver disc.  It is unfortunately only thirty-six minutes long, but it does capture an historic night in excellent sound quality.  Medusa utlize a standard single disc jewel case with photographs from the event on the lining.  Whether or not it’s worth upgrading past releases, it still stands well on its own and is worth having.  

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