The Beatles – The Long And Winding Road (HMC 031)

 

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The Beatles – The Long And Winding Road (TMOQ Gazette – HMC 031)

DVD – The Long And Winding Road – Rough Cut
Intro / Some Other Guy / Love Me Do / Interviews / From Me To You / Interviews / She Loves You (Pathe News) / I Want To Hold Your Hand (Ed Sullivan) / Yesterday (Blackpool Night Out) / Medley Of Songs / Act Naturally (Shea) / I’m Down (Shea) / Various Interviews / Strawberry Fields Forever (Promo) / All You Need Is Love (New Footage) / Hello Goodbye (Mix of promo clips) / Blue Jay Way (Magical Mystery Tour) / I Am The Walrus (Magical Mystery Tour) / Your Mother Should Know (Magical Mystery Tour) / Hey Jude (Rehearsal) / Interview / You Wind Again (Unreleased Let it Be outtake) / Yoko’s Bit (Unreleased Let It be outtake) / I’ve Got A Feeling (Unreleased Let It be outtake ) / Something (Promo) / The End (With MMT footage)
Bonus Tracks:
Rain (Full colour alternate footage) / Strawberry Fields Forever (Full colour alternate footage) / A Day In The Life (Full colour alternate footage) / Paperback Writer (B&W promo No. 4)

CD
Some other Guy (1) – Kansas City – From 7″ Acetate / Some Other Guy (2) – From video / I Saw Her Standing There – One After 909 (1) – One After 909 (2) – Catcall (1) – Catcall (2) – Cavern Club Rehearsal / Introduction – I Saw Her Standing There – From Me To You – Money – The Norsman Rock Classic – Roll Over Beethoven – You Really Got A Hold On Me – She Loves You – Twist And Shout – Swedish Radio / She Loves You – Twist And Shout – I Saw Her Standing There – Long Tall Sally – Drop In Theme – Swedish TV Drop In Show / I Saw Her Standing There – You Can’t Do That – She Loves You – All My Loving – Roll Over Beethoven – Can’t Buy Me Love – I Wanna Be Your Man / Train Song – Mystery instrumental / Some Other Guy (1) – From 12″ Acetate / You Win Again – From Get back sessions

Long, long, long before the Anthology multi-media release Neil Aspinal, chief of Apple records was contemplating a film recalling the Beatles near 10 year career.

Any kind of release that the band might have been given after the split was forgotten and the four former members themselves were finding relations were beginning to repair, intermittently maybe, but the friendships were glueing again. The first waves of nostalgia were kicking in and to present the Beatles story as a whole, ‘The Long And Winding Road’ was the attempt to tie up, in the Beatles own words, the history of the band.

HMC have recovered from the inner sources, a rough cut edit of the film. That’s not to say it was really finished in the end in this way but would have been the starting point to gelling the idea and selling it to the Beatles. Rather famously, it would also be the inspiration to Eric Idle and Neil Innes for their spoof, The Rutles.

The video that HMC have used is nowhere near the quality of the Shea film that they issued last year, it’s not quite as wide aspect for one and the quality of the footage used could have well have been better – it is littered with detritus, stripes, lines, some images are a little too bleached but of course, it is just a working title. Rather like an acetate it’s not used for consumption more drafted to get an idea for the eventual story. That’s not to say that the picture is totally horrible, it’s more than watchable, just imagine yourself going through youtube looking for rare videos and you get the general idea. The lack of a strictly coherent timeline with be something that rankles the most ardent Beatles fans. We must assume though that things were pieces together to loosely tell the Beatles story – more of a cover all bases then strict chronological diary film.

The film begins with a clip from the Yellow Submarine film that introduces Liverpool with the breezy, gloomy confidence with which only a scouser can refer to the city, cutting straight to the Beatles playing ‘Some Other Guy’ at the cavern, then flicking straight to “Love Me Do” by way of a Brian Epstein interview.
The ground for the Beatles is set by George, John, Paul and Ringo being interviewed about Hamburg and their early dreams, we then cut to footage of the Beatles arriving in Europe while John, Paul, Ringo and George (In an interview from 1963) discuss what would happen when the bubble bursts.

Concert footage of “She Loves You” and “Twist And Shout” come next but they’re made half inaudible by the fact that Beatlemania and the thousands of screaming girls that it brought have arrived. The press try to interrogate the Fabs by once again enquiring on their longevity. A curt comment from John silences them it seems before the Fab Four face their first group conference in America.

A whole swathe of Marsayles brothers footage covers their first visit to America as we cut to the band listening to Murray The K on the transistor in their taxi before japing around for the camera while having champagne and food in their hotel room. They seem to take the madness of their schedule in their trade apart from a disbelieving headshake and smile from Paul, you’d never know.

On to the first appearance on Ed Sullivan and “I Wanna hold Your Hand”, cutting straight through to the Beatles ‘letting their hair down’ before being escorted by troupes of police to their next show.
This is followed by more concert footage spliced with more questioning for the band then a performance of “Yesterday” as we continue to rattle through the bands career at a furious pace.

A good block of “Around The Beatles” is shown next, shunted from the anthology it’s almost a rarity in itself and would make a suitable extra if the Anthology was ever brushed up and brought to Bluray.

A three-way split screen brings more Beatles madness as if to show everything that was going on at the time – We’re show arrivals, departures and shows in Australia, Europe, Hong Kong, etc all set to a sound track with the occasional interview snippet thrown in for good measure.
On to clips from “A Hard Days Night” and then back to America, more specifically Shea stadium and four tracks from the concert film, “I Feel Fine”, “Dizzy Miss Lizzy”, “Act Naturally” and “I’m Down”.

Meanwhile, back in London, the Beatles are hurriedly ushered in to Buckingham Palace to collect their MBEs before another dry interrogation. Here, the wit seems to be fading, their natural exuberance is beginning to wane and who can blame them by this time?
Clips from the Beatles second movie, “Help!” push us along – they’re played along side musical elements of the film side by side.

The film then takes a turn as the word “Christ” appears on the screen and the Ku Klux Klan gave their ominous warning against the fabs, footage of the Beatles records, posters and bobble heads are burned as a split screen of Brian Epstein covering for John’s comment is shown. John gives his reasoning for his comments and then we leap to another press conference where the Beatles battle against a broadside of more in-depth questioning.
The end of the Beatles touring side is quietly covered over as we’re next introduced to clips from ‘How I Won The War’ which itself fades in to the promo for “Strawberry Fields Forever” – a good long clip too – then the promo for “A Day In The Life” follows after which Paul is called upon to defend his comments on drug taking – though it’s not the regular bit of footage that we’re used to.

“All You Need Is Love” follows, though the screen is split between the ‘Our World’ broadcast and images of the beatles and their wives following the Maharishi. The final chord from “A Day In The Life” sounds as news of Brian Epstein’s death catches up with the band. The trio of Ringo, John and George are all interviewed on their future but obviously they’re all too shocked to really give coherent answers.

After they had begun to pick their feet up again, their first project was obviously the ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ film. This is firstly represented by the “Hello Goodbye” footage before a new clips from the nonsensical film and then we see the film for George’s “Blue Jay Way” before the magicians clip from the film followed by Ringo’s drunk acting as he swigs beer with his auntie, leading straight in to the promo for “I Am The Walrus” which moves in to “Your Mother Should Know”. The title theme to the film plays over a few shots from the film and then to the Apple boutique where we hear a report from the opening night.

The typewritten song lyrics proceed the ‘Music!’ rehearsals of “Hey Jude” which cuts in to the promo film from Twickenham featuring a cast of thousands before returning to the Abbey Road ‘rehearsals’.
We then join a clip of John and Paul in New York answering questions about their new company, Apple. A short clip of the “Revolution” promo is intercut with clips of meetings with Dick James and the closure of the Apple boutique.

We begin to fold in to the end with a shot of John and Yoko’s arrest but soundtracked to an unreleased take (!) from the Let It Be sessions at Apple studios of John singing “You Win Again”. Back to Twickenham for a Yoko jam (Paul looks VERY bored here, while Ringo rocks out) this turns to footage of the band listening to playbacks in the control room and chatting to Michael Linsey Hogg, back to Apple for a rehearsal take of “I’ve Got A Feeling” which splices to the concert on the rooftop, comments from the street below and then “Get Back”.

This is all tied in to batchelor Paul finally getting married to Linda Eastman alongside John and Yoko’s first ‘Bed In’. Cut to Ringo talking about future plans then to John and Yoko being interviewed at the Evening Standard, back to Ringo, then back to John and his interview with Gloria Emmerson arguing the fact that he’s outgrown the Beatles.

We then have the “Something” promo suggesting what John has just said, that the band have all fallen in love and gone their separate ways.
Footage from the ‘Hello Goodbye” / “Magical Mystery Tour” shoot is played under “The End” from Abbey Road. A place filler if ever there was one but it acts well as a stop gap for what ever Nel was intending.

Bonus footage comes in the form of promo footage for 4 different films; “Rain”, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, “A Day In The Life” and “Paperback Writer” – These are mainly partial films set to alternate sound tracks. The music is nothing new but the visuals are certainly different.

“Rain” comes from the recording at Chiswick House, it’s mainly close ups of the Fabs faces, foliage, clapper boards and John miming. “Strawberry Fields Forever” uses footage of the Beatles walking behind the tree on the field surrounded by drums and a battered mellotron – there is no footage from the alternate material that surfaced on the internet that featured the Beatles walking down a verge while a figure in a wet suit emerges from a pond.

“A Day In The Life” is unused super 8 footage from Studio 2 at Abbey Road. These first three clips last around a minute long.

“Paperback Writer” is take 4, begins with around 30 seconds of test transmission and was recorded at the studio. It’s black and white, the sound is live and it ends with the band taking off their instruments and jumping off of the stage. It’s not too different to alternate version 3 that was uploaded to youtube around 2 years ago but it is brand new.

CD:
Beginning with a version of a battered old acetate that has been cleared up quite considerably “Some Other Guy” and “Kansas City” both recorded on the 5th of September, 1962. Apparently recorded to cover over video footage of the fabs to promote them and the Cavern club, this is a steady version of the former (John admits that they might have to re-take at the end) it is most notably announced by Bob Wooler as “Some Other Girl”, of the latter, it’s a more high-energy take on the Leiber / Stoller track.

The second version of “Some Other Guy” is marked as version 2 and instead, comes from video. This was recorded on the 22nd of August but, as the sound might suggest, it was the reason why the Beatles may have had to re-record the track in the first place. Mr. Wooler evades making a mistake by not announcing the song by name but instead just announcing the group – What went wrong the second time, we’ll maybe never know.

tracks 4 – 8 were originally released on Yellow Dog’s release “The Silver Beatles” with a little bit of a speed problem and later “The Decca Tapes” that came without the quality control that now covers most home computers. HMC have used a source taken from internet fixer Masterjedi – for which they make note of on the sleeve – It’s a clearer sounding tape – possible but not quite as smart as the acoustics might allow in the Cavern. It still sounds a little over blown but much less crunchy than it originally did. it’s also slightly longer than before with extraneous chatter left in rather than being clipped out, drop outs have been fixed to repair anomalies.

The best show that the Beatles ever played comes up next, yes, that doyen of the Beatles radio appearances also known as “The Stars Of ’63” raises it’s head again. Again, it’s a relatively new reboadcast tape that has been used and it does sound great. You’ll obviously know of the sound issues that plagued the recording making it difficult for the engineer to record a steady level – they’re still evident here but THAT is what gives the recording it’s vibrancy and gusto.

The only downside to this recording is that the Norseman Rock Classic’s set still exists. It’s a shame then it has been clipped from this rendering. With enough time left on the disk to at least afford one more track it’s time it seems a shame it was given the flick.

The next section focuses on the Beatles appearance on the ‘Drop In’ show on Swedish TV a week after their radio debut. The show was extended longer than the two tracks that the Beatles had been expected to play but they gamely play another two tracks and join in clapping along on the shows ending credits.

One of the biggest ‘finds’ of last year was the Beatles concert show at the Johanneshovs Isstadion in Stockholm in 1994. Released from a tape archive after so many years, I reviewed this tape a while ago on Misterclaudels disk, “https://www.collectorsmusicreviews.com/beatles/the-beatles-live-in-stockholm-sweden-1964-misterclaudel-mccd-453/“, I have to say that HMC haven’t put much more spritz on to the tape but neither did they have to. Apart from John’s microphone being unavailable at the start, it’s a generously clear and well balanced tape. A gift to everyone – If there is truth to this tape being otherwise incomplete with more to see release, let’s hear it!

Now it’s head scratcher time – there has been a lot of debate as to the provenance to this recording – Is it the Beatles or is it not is the main question. Beatle wizards such as long time writer and publisher Doug Sulpy argue that it just doesn’t sound like the Beatles at all. The mystery is given a little balance in the sleeve notes of the gazette as session drummer Clem Cattini claims that’s him on the skins with Jimmy Page of the Yardbirds on guitar. The mystery it would seem, still amuses and bemuses.

An alternate edit of the first “Some Other Guy” appears next, extended with a couple more words from Bob Wooler at the start, fading before John’s ‘retake’ comment at the very end, this acetate seems not to have had as much work applied as the first version on the disk and so is marginally cleaner.

Finally we vault straight to 1969 and the audio from the visuals on the long and winding road, a take on “You Win Again” from the ‘Get Back’ sessions. inexplicably missing from the Nagra stash (It was obviously on one of the tapes that remains MIA.) What can I tell you about the sessions that you haven’t heard before other than this isn’t a spirited effort.

A fantastic package to own, HMC have proved they are once again at the top of the game when it comes to Beatles rarities. Lets hope for more rarities from this gang.

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  1. This is the best sounding “Drop In” that I ‘ve had on CD.

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