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The Beatles – Studio Sessions (Unicorn UC 178)

The Beatles, ‘Studio Sessions’ (Unicorn UC 178)

I Want To Hold Your Hand (Sessions) / I Want To Hold Your Hand (Stereo remix Australian 45) / I Want To Hold Your Hand (Stereo ‘Beatles Oldies’ mix) / I Want to Hold Your Hand (UK Mono EP) / Kom, Gib Mir Deine Hand (Stereo Mix) / Kom, Gib Mir Deine Hand (Mono mix) / This Boy (Take 12) / This Boy (Take 13) / This Boy (RMRS15) / This Boy (1962 Stereo remix, Australian 45) / This Boy (Mono Mix UK 45) / She Loves You (Stereo Remix RS1) / She Loves You (Stereo Remix RS2) / She Loves You (Mono mix UK 45) / Sie Liebt Dich (Edit piece take 10) / Sie Liebt Dich (Stereo mix) / Sie Liebt Dich (Mono mix) / I’ll Get You (UK Mono mix 45) / I’ll Get You (Mock Stereo ‘Beatles Beat’) / Eight Days A Week (Composite mix of takes 1 & 5) / Here, There and Everywhere (Vocal Harmonies) / Good Morning, Good Morning (Take 8 with overdubs) / Sgt. Pepper Reprise (Take 5 with overdubs) / Blue Jay Way (Stereo Mix, MMT LP) / Blue Jay Way (Mono mix, MMT LP) / Blue Jay Way (Alternate acetate mix – Different to YD) / Blue Jay Way (Stereo Film Mix) / Can You Take Me Back (Composite mix) / Hey Jude TV Sessions (Upgrade from video source) / Oh! Darling (New Mix)

The original version of Unicorn records ‘Studio Sessions’ (UC-078) arrived in 2000, a mere 17 years later, the revamped version has seen release. A hotch potch of odds and ends, upgraded and uncovered. Some of which will take pride of place in your collection, some of it, well, it’ll be nice to have lets say. If you’re a fan of various odd-ball mixes from around the world too, you’re in for a treat (Though some of these are spartanly different to the ‘regular’ CVs)

Rather than go through every track, thereby saving my sanity, here are some of the more interesting pieces;

‘I Want To Hold Your Hand – various studio sessions’ is essentially a compilation of George Martin shouting at the Beatles from the control room and the rest is chatter between the fabs between and before takes. I enjoyed it. There isn’t a massive amount that would interest the less than ardent fan but there are a couple of snippets there that will be different to hear.

‘This Boy – Take 12’ and ‘take 13’ are incomplete takes with preceding studio chatter and chat at the end. A bit of goofing around is always good to hear as Apple generally lock up the best stuff until they see fit. The live vocals on ‘Take 13’ especially are great to hear, as different as they are to the finished article but ultimately, it all flounders as John hears ‘Thas Boy’ creeping in and falls in to a fit of giggles.

‘Eight Days A Week (Takes 1 & 5)’ is a composite of the two early takes, take one splintering towards the middle of the song as it begins to lose it’s way but the fabs nonchalantly plow on. They’re still not there with the finished article yet (The coda is wildly different for example).

‘Here, there and Everywhere (Harmonies Oops’ed)’ sounds like the Beatles doing the Beach Boys. It is literally a brief snippet but brings out these gently weaving sweeps.

The two ‘Sgt. Peppers’ tracks with overdubs are quietly impressive. Certainly the earlier take of the reprise with overdubs where we have a different Macca vocal and various little organ stabs that are almost buried in the CV.

‘Blue Jay Way’ (Stereo Mix) is more impressive for it’s backing which uncovers some of the various loops and voices in the background. They add a little more texture to this quiet track. The Mono-mix heaves some more weight on to the percussion track and makes the track much heavier – it swings a lot more now too!

‘Blue Jay Way’ (Alt Mix from Acetate) Noted as being different to Yellow Dogs version – One assumes that they mean RM 1 from the original ‘Acetates’ single disk as opposed to the 2 CD version which was only released in 2002. This version seems to slightly more muffled due to noise reduction but the organ does appear to be slightly more prominent. I would dispute the difference in the two.

The ‘Hey Jude’ video source is nothing new albeit from video, it sounds nice but it was presented better on the HMC DVD – which was very possibly the source for this snippet.

Finally, the ‘Oh! Darling’ new mix softens the piano, brings up the choirs and guitar, softening Macca’s vocals, making them sound like a monitor mix. The coda is different as it ends on an instrumental as opposed to the rehearsed finale, though it sounds like Paul gives up but the band carry on to a fade.

As usual with these compilations, most of it is hit, some of it is miss. If you would like these strange mixes from around the world compiled together, then it’s a well rounded comp. there are items that you won’t have in your collection in this quality or on silver disk and that alone makes this disk worth picking up if you’re going to collect everything.

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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