The Beatles “The Beatles Story – Capitol DAT Master” (Medusa MD 012)
Test Tone / Segment 1 / ‘STBO-2-2222’ / Segment 2 / Silence / Segment 3 ( aborted ) / ‘STBO-3-2222’ / Segment 3 / ‘STBO-4-2222’ / Segment 4 (54:21)
A by product of the blast of Beatlemania that was blowing up in the U.S. “The Beatles’ Story” was commissioned by Capitol after the Vee-Jay label release “Hear The Beatles Tell All” as a catch all, cheap to produce novelty piece that would make the label a little extra money on the side without the hassle of trying to get the piece syndicated to radio.
Rounding together radio personalities Roger “Hot Dog Rog” Christian, John Babcock and Al Wiman, the trio took it in turns to tell the story so far of the fabs career without dumbing down their reportage throwing in various literary references but stabbing Liverpool in the back by misrepresenting it’s name and running it down in to the ground. Most of this narration is superfluous and makes one wonder if the trio were getting paid by the word for some of this hyperbole. Incidental music, symphonic versions of the Beatles hits were orchestrated by producer George Martin along side snippets of the commercial versions – something else that trumped Vee-Jays release.
The LPs also featured stereo clips of the Beatles shows at the Hollywood Bowl in 1964 ( The official compilation of these shows wouldn’t appear officially in stores until 1977 ) and interviews with the names behind the band – namely Brian Epstein and George Martin.
The album had originally been prepared for release on DAT in the mid 1990’s, possibly to coincide with the release of the “Anthology” series but the cost of such an excursion was thought to outweigh demand so the project was scrapped though not before promotional copies were put together.
Medusa has managed to obtain one of those promotional copies and has pressed it up for our delectation. Coming from DAT cassette the sound is a uniformly excellent stereo – the narration pans between interviewer and ‘interviewee’ ( The answers to the questions here are clipped from various press conferences and radio interviews.
What Medusa have also done is presented the promo tape in it’s totality. From the test tone that precedes the recording ( Really, Medusa? ), the silences between the tracks ( Really, really? ), the tracking references and also an aborted section of the cassette ( The reason for this doesn’t seem to be clear as it’s just an off cut from section 3 but it does cut out a section of the track “A Hard Days Night”. )
The disk is a nicer, clearer if less spontaneous version of Beatlemania than some of the recent telecasts or radio broadcasts that have been bootlegged over the past couple of years and, as it isn’t officially available otherwise, there’s something to be said for listening to a demo copy of the finished article with side bands intact.
Not strictly a must have but a nice accompaniment to anyone’s Beatle collection.