Informal Recordings 1963 – 1964 (Extract Factory EXT 010)
(55:26) Bad To Me / Tammy – Over The Rainbow / Guitar Instrumental / Guitar Instrumental / Michelle / Guitar Instrumental / Guitar Instrumental / Guitar Instrumental / Three Coins In The Fountain / Rockin’ & Rollin’ ( Backing Track ) / Rockin’ & Rollin’ ( Guitar Overdub Fragment ) / Rockin’ & Rollin’ ( 2 False Starts ) / Rockin’ & Rollin’ ( Trumpet Overdub ) / Rockin’ & Rollin’ ( Vocal Overdub ) / Reading ‘Kings 17 – 8’ / Singing ‘Psalms 23 – 4′ / Asking Directions / Piano & Drum Instrumental / Don’t Bother Me – Guitar Instrumental / I’m In Love / If I Fell ( Take 1 ) / If I Fell / If I Fell / If I Fell / If I Fell / One & One Is Two / Talking Guitar Blues / Gavotte en Rondeau – Bourro in E Minor / Uncredited bonus track – Rockin’ & Rollin’ ( Stereo recreation by Inner Groove )
From the Extract Factory crew another remastered & re-bootlegged piece appears. This time it is the turn of the bulk of the mostly abominable “Garage Tapes” – Some of the earliest Beatles recordings in existence baring the Quarrymen tapes recorded in Paul McCartneys parlor before the break through of the Fabs.
These fabled artifacts first came to light on “For Sale By auction – The Garage Tapes” on Kremo Music ( SELCD 18 ) & on Yellow Dog / Oranges “Maybe You Can Drive My Car” ( YD / Orange 019 ) later to be upgraded as a newer set of tapes, closer to the source, were found by Vigotone subsidiary Spank who released “Alf Together Now” ( SP-148 ) as one of their final projects.
Paydirt for the Beatles fans collections, for their ears, it’s a different story .. These recordings, allegedly unearthed by Beatles historian Gary Marsh in the collection of Beatles chauffeur Alf Bicknell who was given many a little offering by the fabs during the time he escorted them around, helped them in the studio & in the case of John Lennon, helped them with the menial decorating tasks. Noted as “His most treasured possessions from his Beatle years” the tapes “had been five tapes of the Beatles rehearsing “If I Fell” and reading from the Bible in comic voices” but he sold them privately after they failed to reach their reserve at Sotheby’s.
The track listing here is different to the Spank release – Presumably Spank had the correct running order & a good quality dub of the tapes – where as some effort has been made here to combine the tracks in to more of a cohesive order than the hap-hazard order of the previous release the compilers also tacked on a couple of other oddities. For instance “Bad To Me” ( An unreleased, by the Beatles, demo that was given to Billy J. Kramer ) that was not part of the original clutch of Alf tapes & was instead an acetate introduced by Yellow Dog on their initial “Acetates” CD in the early 1990’s.
The only ‘new’ piece of interest is an outfake by Inner Groove who have taken all the pieces of the track “Rockin’ & Rollin'” a little piece of doggerel that the Beatles must have been loosely working on that certainly wouldn’t have really fit anywhere within their official catalogue. The amalgamation is very well done & shows how the song could have sounded if it had been properly produced but like most of the cut & shut appearances of takes on the official Anthology releases it’s only worthwhile to see what could be done with the spare pieces.
The vital piece to this release is obviousley the sound or rather the upgrading of such – The modus operandi of Extract Factory’s plan. To me it dosen’t sound any better than the Spank release at all – In fact it sounds marginally more muffled than the Spank CDR. While this could have been a good recover for the now long out of print upgrade to the original it stands as just another curiosity Beatleg for peoples collections.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)