Beatles For Sale Studio Sessions / Back To Basics (Extract Factory EXT 013)
The anthologizing of a particular album is not a new idea nowadays – it almost certainly sprung from the idea of collecting various different takes of a song around the time that the Beatles “Get Back” recordings started to leak & enterprising bootleggers cobbled together the various versions of “Don’t Let Me Down” for instance & released them lumped together to show how the final recording came to be.
In turn, or as soon as the various songs from an album became available, they were put together to produce ‘alternate’ albums such as Sapcor’s series of vinyl beatlegs. As time went on & more & more takes sprung forth ( Mainly from the Roger Scott stash that Yellow Dog used on their ‘Unsurpassed Masters’ series ) & internet file sharing became commonplace more enterprising home bootleggers began to put together their own variations on these alternate albums.
The fans, being as they are, pick up on every nuance, each variation & all the coughs, hiccups & burps that came from the various tryouts for the albums songs & are happy to spend hours speed correcting, cleaning & compiling the tantalizing tidbits.
Following the sad disappearance of überlegger Purple Chick, who’s distillations of the Beatles albums in to their ‘Deluxe’ series were considered to be the final word on these collections, other hobbiests have stepped in to the breach & taken up the mantle adding extra material that wasn’t available at the time.
This release is a silver disk replication of a project courtesy of Helter Skelter who hit on the idea of presenting a variation of each studio album as recorded take by take, mix by mix & also corroborating the extraneous chatter from the sessions that were additions on the official documentaries that were added the the 2009 official remasters or the Rockband game.
It has to be said that the amount of work that has gone in to these editions was no mean feat – The best sources have been meticulously combed over & the sets have been compiled in the style of the original album with the b-sides & Anthology era tracks taking up the rest of the space.
The downside(s) to this release is the fact that as these fan produced creations continue to roll extra material is routinely found or offered up to replace & further upgrade the original thus for a silver disk collector this can be very frustrating, very quickly as additional addendums are announced almost monthly if not weekly rendering the first pressings of these releases almost redundant if one is searching for the creme de la creme in their collection.
The next hiccup is the fact that Extract Factory have jumped on the wagon with the 4th Beatles album rather than catching straight up with the first ( Which should have given the label some clue as to how these things work .. ) The smallest gripe is that the original artwork to the sets was given a lot of thought & was very handsome indeed.
Extract Factory have gone for a very simplistic make over using a black & white photo of the boys dressed up as typical London city bankers. As well as it fits in with the labels brand in aesthetics a little more colour could have been used for something that should, realistically, have formed the back bone for the collection.